Thursday, December 20, 2007

Mars Needs Blood: Marscandykills.com

When I first stumbled across the link for PETA's anti-Mars website marscandykills.com, I thought "Those wacky PETA freaks are at it again. What could they possibly have to complain about with Mars candy?" And then I looked at the site. It's pretty disturbing. The experiments that Mars has been performing involving animals and chocolate seem like a bad joke. Injecting chocolate into the veins of mice? It's like Josef Mengele went to work for Willy Wonka. That's why it always bothers me when people call PETA a bunch of whackos. Certainly there are whackos in PETA, particularly the founder (whose stated goal is to have her body barbecued and turned into purses after her death), but they make some good arguments sometimes. And nobody else is going to do it.

In a related note, while I think the idea of their Holiday Celebrity Snow Globe is a good one, it's not as funny as it could have been. If you can't make a good joke out of Michael Vick's prison time, you're not really trying. That just shows that PETA has no sense of humor.

UPDATE: According to another article, Mars is trying to prove health benefits to chocolate, like that chocolate lowers blood pressure, etc. A twist that I'm surprised PETA didn't point out is that Mars' own website states that it does not promote animal research involving the suffering of animals. So PETA's taking them to court.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jokebook: Designated Driver

This cop is waiting outside a bar and sees this guy come stumbling out. The guy is staggering all over the sidewalk from the bar all the way to a car parked out front. The guy pulls out his keys, drops them, picks them up again, fumbles around trying to put the keys into the lock, finally unlocks the door, falls inside, starts the car, and drives away, weaving all over the road.

The cop turns on his lights and pulls the car over. The guy gets out and the cop gives him a breathalyser test.

The guy blows a zero-point-zero.

The cop looks at the results, then looks at the guy and asks, "What is this?

The guy straightens, looks the cop square in the eye, and says in a clear voice, "Tonight, I'm the designated decoy."

Related Posts:
* Jokebook: Homeward Bound
* Jokebook: Police Phobia

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pro Wrestling is Real: The Montreal Screwjob

I discovered an article on Wikipedia about the Montreal Screwjob. What's the Montreal Screwjob? An infamous event in wrestling history where Bret Hart was set up to lose a match against his arch-rival, Shawn Michaels, even though he was originally scripted for a draw. The article is fascinating in its complexity and impact the event had on wrestling in general. What I find most fascinating is that this entire story sounds like one of the hokey story lines they put on stage. If I had seen it happen, I would have assumed it was a clever plot device. I had no idea this kind of machinations and back room dealing actually occurred in wrestling. Maybe it's not all as stupid as I thought. Yes, it is. Or is it? Yes, it is.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Not-So-Pointless: More Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

I admit, since I wrote that last post on National Novel Writing Month, I have softened my tone. I do think there is value to the speed-writing approach. I have so many novels plotted out that I think would be great, but never get around to writing because it seems such a monumental chore. To think I can churn them out in a month makes it easier. Other novels I've started, and then let taper off after my enthusiasm waned. For me, the hardest part is getting something down on paper (er, in my case, down on hard drive). Once the first draft is complete and I have something to work with, it takes some pressure off.

My last completed novel took me three months to write, and then I spent another two months revising and editing. I have to admit that most of the best parts of the novel came in the revision, not the first draft.The novel I wrote in November is extremely rough, but how many writers do nail it on the first draft, anyway? I don't. I was surprised at how much of it came out well, actually. In fact, some of it may be my best writing ever. My biggest concern is how to add another 40,000 words to make it a saleable length. I don't think writing 10,000 words of the main character eating breakfast is going to cut it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pointless: NaNoWriMo

In case you didn't know, National Novel Writing Month (more commonly known awkwardly as NaNoWriMo) was in November. The month is dedicated to writing an entire novel, and the goal of everyone who participates is to write 50,000 words in one month. I've heard of it for years and never participated. Well, this year I had a novel idea that I really wanted to do, and it was October anyway, so I signed up. And I did it. It was a close call for a while there, considering on Nov 15, I had only written 17,000 words, but I made a burst of speed in the end by writing at work.

In the end, I found myself disappointed by the whole experience. I'm happy I finished the novel, but I realized that the whole exercise is kind of pointless. First of all, technically 50,000 words is not a novel. That's a novella. Second, the FAQ discourages focusing on things like character, plot, and revision, just brute force. Well, I could write 50,000 words of garbage, but that doesn't do me any good. I also discovered that a few of the "winners" cheated by starting the month with more than zero words to begin with. I also discovered that while many people who participate do publish their works, most never actually go back and polish up their NaNoWriMo works. It's a good writing exercise to get past writer's block, but I can't take it too seriously. Still...I won. And I have a first draft. Which is a good start.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Jokebook: Lawyers

Q: How do you stop a lawyer from drowning?
A: Take your foot off his head.

Q: What do you call a hundred lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A good start.

Q: Why could the lawyer swim through a river of piranhas without getting eaten?
A: Professional courtesy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fun in a Call Center: Name Game

[I had a really bad case of the flu that day and my nose was completely stuffed up. To get the full experience of this call, read it out loud.]
ME: Bay I hab your dayb?
CALLER: My what?
ME: Your dayb?
CALLER: What?
ME: Dayb. Your dayb.
CALLER: I don't understand.
ME: Your dayb. Your firdst ad lads dayb.
CALLER: My what?
ME: Dayb. Dayb. Your first ad lads dayb.
CALLER: I'm sorry, I still don't understand.
ME: Your dayb. Dayb. Your first ad lads dayb. You dow, lyg Jod or Jill.
CALLER: Oh, my name?
ME: Yes.
CALLER: Oh, okay. [Caller gives name and completes the call. New call comes in...]
ME: Bay I hab your dayb?
CALLER2: My what?
ME: Your dayb?
CALLER2: What?
[Repeat this script sixty or so times. That's what that day was like.]

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bizarro Mickey Mouse: Part Two

Last week, we covered the bizarre evil clone of Mickey Mouse promoting Palestinian bombing. On the other lighter end of the spectrum, we have the recently-discovered Shijingshan Amusement Park in China. The amazing thing about the park is that it's basically a small-scale replica of Disneyland. Somehow, the Chinese managed to keep it a secret until May 2007. Not allowing people to come in or out of the country probably helped. The funniest part about this story to me is how the Chinese tried to say that it wasn't a copy of Disneyland. Take a look at some of the costumed characters. There's Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, even Shrek! Yeah, that's a coincidence.

The interesting thing is that, even though the Chinese quickly took these characters off the park when news broke on it, the Chinese themselves have a very casual attitude towards copyrights. My favorite quote by a Chinese housewife: "I don’t understand why that is such a big problem. Shouldn’t others be able to use those characters besides [Disney]?" Uh, no. That's what copyright means.

Best link on this debacle is at Japan Probe.

Newswire: Eddie Murphy Permanently Sealed Into Fat Suit

This just in from The New Yuk Times: Eddie Murphy Permanently Sealed Into Fat Suit

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Dance Re-Mix: How To Ruin A Good Song

1. Find a pleasant, mellow, soothing song with a gentle voice and a tender theme.
2. Speed the song up twice as fast.
3. Add a loud, thumping, and annoying backbeat
4. Find the hip-hop singer whose song is popular that week.
5. Add him yellng "Re-Miiiiixxx" for ten seconds at the beginning like a Mexican soccer announcer calling a goal.
6. Have him record a fifteen-second monologue that has nothing to do with the original theme of the song. Make sure he includes the word "booty."
7. Record him saying "yeah" and "uh-huh," and sprinkle at random throughout the song.
8. Distribute the re-mix to radio stations and dance clubs.
9. Make sure that radio stations never play the original song again.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

News Nuggets

ENTERTAINMENT
World-famous French mime Marcel Marceau died on September 22, 2007. In his memory, we present the following transcript of his eulogy:

NATIONAL
An audit of the Ronald Reagan presidential library revealed that tens of thousands of valuable items stored there were either lost or unaccounted for. Upon further examination, it turned out the Reagan library just forgot where they put them.

SPORTS
Barry Bonds was angered by the decision by famed designer Mark Ecko to brand his home run baseball with an asterisk and submit it to the Hall of Fame. Bonds has said he will not appear in the Hall of Fame if the baseball is accepted there. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was quoted as saying, "That's fine, Bonds. We'll just put the asterisk on your home run record, instead. Would that be more satisfactory to ya, huh?"

See you next Tuesday.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Movie Rules: Mob Rule

Movie Rule: #112456: People will do anything to get away from the Mob.

Examples: Sister Act, True Identity

Most common in: Comedies

In movies, the Mafia is invincible. There's nowhere they can't go, there's no one they can't get to. If you owe them money or cross them, they will pursue you to the ends of the Earth for the rest of your natural life until they kill you. There's only one way to get away from them, and that's to give yourself a foolproof disguise as a nun. Or as a white man. Or as a woman. And even then, the Mafia will still be sniffing around your convent or sorority, eyeing you with suspicion.

Of course, in the real world, people hide from the Mob all the time. As powerful and crazy as they are, it's not like the Mafia has infinite resources and determination. For example, the Witness Protection program usually just gives people new names and puts them in a different state, and they get along fine. Even in extreme cases, they just do a little plastic surgery. Imagine the real-world WPP going, "Okay, Sammy 'The Thunder' Gravanno is really after you guys, so here's what we'll do for you. From now on, you'll be posing as Bobo and Bongo, two kangaroos at the San Diego Zoo. Here are your costumes." The real people would be like, "Are you insane? I'm not spending the rest of my life as a kangaroo. I'm going to Mexico."

The reason running from the Mob happens so often in movies is that it's an easy way to get someone to do something totally ridiculous. Here's the conversation:
WRITER: "You know, I've got a great idea for a movie; a guy has to disguise himself as a tree in a suburban family's yard. And here's the hook: the family has five dogs!"
PRODUCER: "Sounds funny. But why would a guy dress up like a tree?"
WRITER: "Oh, I don't know. Uh, let's say…he's trying to hide from the Mob."
PRODUCER: "Makes perfect sense to me. Write it up and let's shoot it."

Imagine a movie where somebody owes money to the Mafia and they say "Go whack him," and the hitman goes to the victim's house, then comes back and says "Can't find him. He must have skipped town," and the mobster goes, "Okay, fine. Forget about it. It was only a couple thousand bucks. Just tell everybody to keep an eye out for him. If we don't find him, we'll make it up at the casinos." I'd like to see that.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Crazy Legs: One-Legged Samba Dancing

And now for something completely different: a man with one leg dancing the Samba. And no, he doesn't fall down.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bizarro Mickey Mouse: Part One

Two stories that broke recently seemed to connect in my mind, so I'll discuss them both. It seems that in two other countries, it's been revealed that people are using unauthorized copies of Mickey Mouse, and doing so in nefarious ways.

On the one hand, we have Tomorrow's Pioneers, a Palestinian children's show hosted by Farfour, a Mickey Mouse look-a-like who preaches the destruction of Israel to little children. You can actually watch a clip on YouTube and it's pretty shocking. The show includes children reading poems with lines like "It is the time of death, we will fight a war." Farfur also criticizes President Bush. Just what we all want in a children's show - political rhetoric. Not surprisingly, Disney isn't too happy about it. There's a great quote from Walt Disney's own daughter calling the character "pure evil." Can't argue too much about that.

After international outcry, the character of Farfour was taken off the show, but amazingly, they actually killed him! In this clip, we see Farfour being given the land of Palestine by his grandfather, and then the Jewish conspiracy (for some reason, in the form of a P. Diddy-like black man) tries to bribe and then stabs Farfour to death to get the land. They actually martyred a cartoon character in front of its underage audience. No matter how you feel about the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, I hope we can all agree that's not something children need to be exposed to. Although I personally wouldn't mind seeing Barney getting stabbed to death...
Part two coming up.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Movie Rules: Knock-Out

Movie rule #4,627: Even the slightest head impact will knock someone unconscious.

Most common in: Action Movies

The typical scenario: The hero whacks somebody on the back of the head with his fist or a gun and the enemy crumples instantly like a sack of potatoes. And once knocked unconscious, they will stay unconscious for as long as they are required to be. Of course, in real-life, hitting someone on the head will usually just make them mad. People do get knocked unconscious, but that's somewhat rare and usually only last for a few minutes. And a head impact that knocks someone unconscious is just as likely to kill them. Imagine a movie where James Bond sneaks up to a guard, thumps him on the head, and the guard turns around and shoots him. I'd like to see that.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jurassic Slowpoke: T-Rex Walking Animation

The Tyrannosaurus Rex has been the king of dinosaurs for decades, ever since it was first put on display in 1865. Jurassic Park gave it a big boost by portraying it as a fearsome predator, sort of a gigantic lion. Yet one scientist has been leading a charge that the T-Rex was not a predator at all, but a scavenger. Of course, this isn't a very popular view, but he's looking more and more right over time. For example, a recent computer modeling experiment seems to show that, because of its weight distribution and its leg strength, the T-Rex couldn't run more than 25 mph, and would take 2 to 3 seconds to make a sudden turn. In other words, I could outrun the T-Rex, much less a stegosaurus.



Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Freakin' Sweet: Iron Man Trailer

I had my doubts about the new Iron Man movie, especially when I heard Tom Cruise was attached. Well, Cruise is gone, replaced by Robert Downey Jr. And the trailer is out. And it's freakin' sweet.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Call Centered: Spelling "B"

The following is from an actual conversation between me (a call center representative) and a very elderly and grumpy caller. All names have been changed to protect the irritating:

ME: Yes, sir, the copay on that medication is more expensive. There's another medication called Birolax...
GRUMPY: I can't understand you. You don't speak English.
ME: [pause] Sir, I'm 34 years old, I've been speaking English all my life.
GRUMPY: Well, I can't understand you. What's the name of that medication?
ME: It's "B" like Bravo, "I" like India, "R" like Romeo...
GRUMPY: No, don't spell it out. Just say the letters.
ME: Okay. B-I-R...
GRUMPY: What?
ME: B...I...R...
GRUMPY: I can't understand you.
ME: "B."
GRUMPY: What?
ME: "B" like Bravo.
GRUMPY: Don't spell it out, just say it.
ME: Okay. "B."
GRUMPY: What?
ME: "B!"
GRUMPY: [pause] What?
ME: [screaming] "B!!!!"
GRUMPY: What?
ME: [pause] Sir, I don't know how I can say the letter "B" any clearer. It's "B" like Brave or Boy.
GRUMPY: Oh, "B." Okay.
ME: [continues to spell out the medication with no problem and ends call]
CUBICLE NEIGHBOR WHO OVERHEARD THE CALL: You should have said "B" like "Butt-head."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jokebook: Homeward Bound

This guy's wife gets a cat and he hates it. So one day, while his wife is gone to work, the guy puts the cat in the back seat of the car, drives a few blocks, and lets the cat out. When he gets home, the cat's sitting there on the front porch.

So the next day, the guy waits until his wife leaves for work again, then throws the cat in the car, drives a mile away from the house, and tosses the cat out. When he gets home, the cat's sitting there again on the front porch.

Well, the guy's furious. So he waits until the next day, then throws the cat in the car, and drives as far and fast as he can, making all the turns and doubling back he can to throw off the cat. He dumps out the cat and heads home, but realizes he can't figure out where he is.

So that afternoon, his wife comes home and answers the ringing phone. It's her husband. He asks, "Is the cat there?"

She says, "Yes."

The guy says, "I'm lost. Put the cat on the phone."

Related posts:
* Jokebook: Police Phobia
* Jokebook: Vow of Silence

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Celery and Panties: The Artwork of Art Frahm

What do celery and ladies' underwear have in common? No, it's not a joke, at least not technically. It seems that back in the 50's, there was an artist named Art Frahm who painted cheesecake photos of women who had their panties suddenly falling down their legs in public. And all the paintings featured women carrying groceries with celery sticking out of it. Truly a bizarre fetish, one that is completely unrealistic. There's a website called the Institute of Official Cheer that analyzes his work and how bad it really was, very funny stuff. Makes you wonder how much of this stuff would hold up to that kind of scrutiny.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Ancient Chinese Secret: China vs Rainclouds

The Chinese aren't content with suppression of freedom of speech and democracy. They even want to suppress the weather. It was recently revealed that they have a plan to try to change the weather for the 2008 Olympics. If it looks like rain, the Chinese are testing equipment to disperse the rainclouds. To me, it seems somewhat sinister that they are so dedicated to the Olympics going perfectly that they even want to alter the weather. I don't know. Maybe it will work, but there's something strange about going to all that trouble over clouds. Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to just use a tent and issue umbrellas?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Movie Rule: Garbage Disposals

Movie Rule #6639: Garbage disposals will always attempt to mangle people's hands.

It was actually my nephew who brought this one to my attention. He's ten years old and when he came over, he had never seen a garbage disposal in real life before. When he saw it, he asked, "Does it ever chop up people's hands?" At first, I was horrified, like "No, why would you think that?" Then he said, "In the movies, garbage disposals always chop up people's hands."

Which is true. Especially in horror movies. Someone scrapes something into the garbage disposal and hits the switch. It doesn't work, hmm. Or they drop something into the garbage disposal. So they reach down into the drain. Then the possessed house or the ghost or the computer virus or the blob hits the switch and then there's screaming or blood or all of the above. Or the disposal goes off a split-second after the person manages to pull his/her hand out. Which, of course, rarely happens in the real world. I personally am not stupid enough to reach into a garbage disposal, and even if I was, the odds of it coming on spontaneously are slim-to-none. But in movies, it happens every time. When was the last time you saw someone in a movie scrap some chicken bones into the sink, hit the switch, grind up the bones, and walk away? I'd like to see that.

Examples: Final Destination 2, Heroes

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Mighty Flop: A Mighty Heart's Failure

Angelina Jolie's new movie A Mighty Heart was, by financial standards, a colossal failure. A lot of people (including this guy at blogcritics who clearly has an axe to grind against her and this guy at the Huffington Post who makes a more balanced argument) are blaming the movie's failure on Angelina Jolie's off-screen antics. I think that's certainly a fair guess. I think the subject matter is also a factor. I agree with a reviewer at AlterNet who described the problem as one of plot: the movie's not about Daniel Pearl or Mariane Pearl as people. The decision to dramatize the agonizing two weeks of her struggling to save her husband and ultimately failing was a bad idea. A movie about Daniel Pearl himself or even their marriage leading up to his kidnapping would have been a much better subject. I know I personally am not really interested in experiencing two hours of a wife desperately trying to save her husband, only to find him beheaded at the end of the movie. As far as Jolie in "blackface," that is pretty offensive. She should have just played it as herself. Without the makeup.

In a related story, I haven't seen so many bad puns in movie reviews since Catwoman.

Related:
The Average Catwoman Review
It's Not Brad's Baby

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Meltdown: Britney's VMA performance

You know, it's easy to pile onto Britney Spears after her disastrous performance at the 2007 Video Music Awards. Which is why I like it. It's easy.

I personally was not too surprised. Her actions over the past year shows she's far too unstable to go back to her old pop princess self. I seriously doubt the old virginal, church-loving singer-dancer Britney ever existed at all, but was merely a creation of her PR, which couldn't keep the cap on the bottle for long.

The question to me, though, is why she melted down so publicly in the first place. Couldn't someone have stopped her? The answer is no. There's an article on MSN that brought together all the theories and facts that leaked out this week showing how her people couldn't stop her from destroying herself. But as far as her outfit, it couldn't have been that bad: for all day after her performance, all of Yahoo Photos' Most Viewed photos were of her.

Related:
Britney is Chaotic
Unlike A Virgin
Britney Spears is an Idiot

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where's Monkey Migraine

In case you've been wondering where I've been for the last month or so, I have not abandoned the blog. I've been working on uploading my Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel, "Really Wild Things" to fanfiction.net. Fanfiction.net has, without a doubt, the worst uploading system I've ever seen. Ever other story site I've been to has a simple form you can paste text into and then hit "upload." With fanfiction.net, I need to cut out the invidividual chapter I'm posting from the text document, save that as a separate text file, upload that text file to fanfiction.net, convert the file into a story format for the website, then go to another screen that has my story listed, click on an option to add a new chapter, then select the text file for that chapter, and hit the button to add it. Having to do that with each chapter for 41 chapters means that I don't have a whole lot of free time left to work on my blog. But rest assured, I'm still here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Oh, Nooooo: The History of Lemmings

Ah, Lemmings, one of the greatest games of all time. If you've never played it, you missed on an experience more addictive (and more twisted) than Tetris and Solitaire combined. The basic premise: you have a group of lemmings that do nothing but walk in whatever direction they're facing. Your goal is to get them from the entrance to the exit. In-between you'll find mousetraps, pits, gaping holes, and other obstacles that have to be avoided with the help of special lemmings that will dig, build, or explode in various useful ways. Back in the day, Lemmings was so addictive to me that I had to delete it from my computer just to get back to a normal life. You can play a version of the game at oldgames.dk. If you have a Palm Pilot, you can even download a freeware version of the original Lemmings. But did you ever wonder how the game came to be? Neither did I until I stumbled across an article by one of the game's creators. It's a remarkable window into game development at a time when a handful of people could create a multi-million dollar game all by themselves. Once you're done reading it, go back and email 3D Realms on why their company of hundreds can't get Duke Nukem Forever out the door in seven years.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Not Again: The New Anti-Marijuana Ads

When I first saw the latest ads fighting marijuana use, I thought they were the worst ever. Crudely drawn and poorly-animated cartoons showing aliens and dogs walking away from stick-figure men as they smoke pot. I thought "no way this is going to work." That's why I was so surprised when a columnist in Slate said they were the greatest anti-pot ads ever. Since he makes some good points, and I admit, I'm not exactly the target audience for these ads and the columnist is an admitted drug user, I'll go with it. But if this is what it takes to reach those dope-heads, then I think they're even worse off than I thought.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Screwcybersquatters.com: "The Simpsons Movie" Name Returns to Fox

A cybersquatter has been kicked to the curb when he tried to charge FOX $50,000 for the domain name "thesimpsonsmovie.com." In case you're not familiar with it, a cybersquatter is someone who buys up domain names in the hopes of getting someone who wants the name to pay them for it. In case you can't tell, I hate cybersquatters with a passion. It's a scourge that hasn't been adequately dealt with, in my opinion. You can type in any word in the dictionary and odds are that you'll find a placeholder page advertising some search engine or web hosting service, wasting space that some people who might have put that site to good use can no longer have. Worse yet, some cybersquatters will buy up other people's names or movie URLs to basically hold them for ransom. That's the case in this one. The cybersquatter even used the URL to promote his podcast and advertise a pornographic Simpsons website. Thankfully, the EU has ordered him to give up the site. Here's hoping this will go a long way towards convincing these losers that nobody's gonna pay them for their crappy URLs.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Top 10 Alien Myths

Space.com has a countdown of the Top 10 Alien Myths and the explanations for them. Some of them are obvious like the Alien Autopsy video, others are surprising like the explanation for flying saucers. All are fun. Except they never explain the little aliens that live in my sock drawer and demand a nightly sacrifice of Hostess Apple Fruit Pies. Some mysteries can never be explained.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Lady Drowns: M. Night Shyamalan

I used to be a diehard M. Night Shyamalan fan until I saw The Village. That could've been a good movie...if it hadn't been for that lame twist ending. I didn't see Lady in the Water because it looked even worse. Turns out I wasn't alone. Lady in the Water was a disaster, so much so that he couldn't get a US studio to fully finance his next film and had to go to India to help finance his next project. Talk about a one-hit wonder.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

News Nuggets

NEWS - Dr Jack Kevorkian, noted for helping terminally-ill patient commit suicide, was released after serving an eight-year prison sentence. At the press conference, he celebrated by killing everyone in the room.

SPORTS - The San Antonio Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers to become the 2007 NBA champions. Nobody cared.

SCIENCE - Hundreds of people waited in line for the release of Apple's new iPhone. And in a related story, hundreds of people have no lives and are mindless sheep desperate to fill their empty lives with the latest gadgets to serve as useless status symbols.

ENTERTAINMENT - Paris Hilton was seen partying and smoking marijuana just days after being released from jail and claiming that she never overdrank or used illegal drugs. This came as a surprise to absolutely no one.

MISC - An aggressive squirrel attacked and injured three people in a German town before a 72-year-old pensioner dispatched the rampaging animal with his crutch. We were going to make a joke about that, but don't think you can.

See you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

How To Keep Me From Reading Your Blog: Lesson 7

If you don't see what's wrong with this or this is what your blog looks like, then you are the problem.

I know it's been over an hour since my last update. Sorry! I know my regular readers depend on me and risk commiting suicide if I don't update at least twenty times a day because this blog is the center of their lives, as well it should be. I promise this blog will be updated more recently from now on! I have big surprises in store, including the simple and effort-less method to becoming a millionare, the key to peace in the Middle East, and the cure to all known diseases. I'll have all that tomorrow!

Last updated March 14, 1997

Related:
Lesson 6
Lesson 5
Lesson 4
Lesson 3
Lesson 2
Lesson 1

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Stuntman: Death of Captain America

Well, Captain America is dead and the media is all over it. They actually reported on his funeral at Arlington Cemetary. I'm surprised the media is buying into this. Anyone who knows comic books knows this is a hoax for two reasons. One, no one is truly dead in comic books. They bring characters back from the dead all the time. Heck, Captain America was already frozen in ice for forty years. Second, is Marvel really stupid enough to kill off one of its most popular characters during the height of his popularity? I say no. And in such a lame way as getting shot by some nobody lone gunman? Doesn't Captain America wear body armor? I would only even slightly believe it if the Red Skull did the deed. That's like Batman facing the Joker, the Penguin, Bane, and the Riddler, and then getting killed by a carjacker trying to steal the Batmobile.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

James Bond's Pocket Change: Canadian "Spy" Coins

In January, the U.S. government announced a new security threat to its contractors - Canadian coins with tiny radio frequency transmitters hidden in secret compartments inside. There was a big uproar over who might have planted the highly advanced devices and why. Was it the Iraqis? The Russians? The Canadians? And how could these devices track individuals? It had to be highly advanced nanotechnology.

But the mystery has been solved, supposedly. The Defense Department concluded there were no tiny transmitters in the coins after all. In fact, they were just regular Canadian coins with a protective coating. Security experts at the time said they doubted the validity of the claims since no transmitters that small could transmit that far, and even if they could, a coin would be a lousy thing to track someone with since the target could easily spend it or leave it somewhere. So the whole thing turned out to be a false alarm.

Or was it? Yes, it was. Or was it? Yes, it was.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Flashback Friday: The Black Hole

The Black Hole was a movie back in the late 70's about an evil scientist with a plot to send himself and his crew into a black hole. I only remember a few things about the movie - like the theme song, which was awesome. Another is the evil robot Maximilian. He rocked. I remember my horror at seeing the robot advance on a man with spinning propellers for hands and the man's body jerking as Maximilian chopped him up. Fortunately, they didn't show it. But how cool would that be to have a robot that would hack people up at your command? I even named one of my cats after him.

The ending of this movie is what I remember most and baffled me. After the ship enters the black hole, I vividly remember the villain floating up to the body of his robot Maximilian and the camera zooming out as he is somehow inside the robot as it stands on a rock ledge in a flaming pit. I remembered thinking, even as a child, where all those flames came from. Later, when I learned about oxygen, I wondered how there could be fire in outer space.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that that ending was supposed to imply that the spaceship had passed into the spirit realm and the heroes had gone into Heaven while the villain ended up in Hell. Hardly a fitting ending for a science-fiction movie.

Trivia
* The Black Hole is considered a colossal failure, both critically and commercially.
* It was Disney's first attempt to create a PG movie production.
* The movie was supposed to be an adaptation of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I don't know how they got this story out of it.
* The robot name "V.I.N.CENT" is supposed to be an acronym of "Vital Information Necessary CENTralized". B.O.B.'s name stands for "BiO-sanitation Battalion," while S.T.A.R.'s is an acronym for "Special Troops/Arms Regiment."
* V.I.N.CENT and Old B.O.B. were lame attempts at R2D2 clones.
* Neither the novelization or the comic adaptation used the Heaven/Hell ending.

Links
Disney's Unofficial The Black Hole page
Wikipedia: The Black Hole
Ultimate Disney: The Black Hole
Space.com review: Does 'The Black Hole' Still Suck?
Toy Archive.com: Blackhole

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Youtube: That's What She Said

Ah, "that's what she said," the game that entertains men throughout the nation. Youtube has a lot to say on it. Here's that's what she said according to the Office. And that's what she said according to Star Wars.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Emperor's New Groove 34: The Death of Disney Sequels

There's been a big shake-up at Disney, all for the better in my opinion. One of the new mandates has been to cancel all direct-to-video sequels of Disney's popular movies. Says one of the new bigwigs at Disney, they "generally dislike direct-to-video sequels because the quality of the stories and production usually pales in comparison with the originals." Amen to that. I mean, does anyone really want five hundred sequels to The Emperor's New Groove with the level of animation found on Saturday morning TV? Here's a list of planned Disney sequels that were thankfully cancelled:

The Little Mermaid 5: Ariel On Ice - The Little Mermaid's ship ends up going off-course in a storm and ends up in Antarctica. Now she can't swim in the water or walk on land; she has to ice-skate everywhere. This was an attempt to create a movie that leads directly into a Disney On Ice production.

Toy Story 4: Product Placement - An interactive DVD that features a parade of the latest and greatest toys. If the viewer wants one of the toys, they can just hit the "enter" button and purchase it automatically from Amazon.com. There was a minimal plot planned where Buzz and Woody end up locked in a toy store overnight, but the real purpose was to create a new engine to drive toy sales.

Cinderella 4: Regime Change - Due to protests from his people and human-rights groups, Prince Charming declares his kingdom a democracy and calls for open elections. Things get worse when Cinderella's evil stepmother is elected President and Cinderella is stripped of her royalty, forced to become her stepmother's servant once again. Though devastated at first, Cinderella learns from her friendly animals and her fairy godmother that true happiness comes not from beautiful dresses, pretty shoes, material wealth, or fame, but from within. This was intended to end the so-called Disney Princesses' licensing campaign, which research showed was making little girls materialistic and egotistical. That one might not have been so bad.

Breaking News From The New Yuk Times

This just in from from the New Yuk Times: Angelina Jolie Adopts Thailand

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Movie Rules: Monkey Business

Movie Rule 9,145: All primates walk on their hind legs, show big, toothy smiles frequently, and give the thumbs-up sign.

Anyone who knows anything about primates knows that all three of those behaviors are completely unnatural to primates. No primate, including the chimpanzee, walks on its hind legs in the wild. Primates prefer to walk on their hind legs with support from the knuckles of their hands. This was particularly obvious in Every Which Way But Loose, where they had an orangutan with incredibly long arms that had to walk with its arms straight up in the air or hold onto a human to maintain its balance. As far as their smiles, showing teeth is a sign of aggression among primates, so they would never smile on their own. And if I have to explain why the thumbs-up signal isn't natural to the primate, then you need to get out more. But unless the movie is a serious portrayal of primates like Gorillas in the Mist, you'll see primates running around on their hind legs, smiling, and giving the thumbs-up, even when they're fresh out of the jungle.

Examples: Every Which Way But Loose, Planet of the Apes, Monkey Trouble

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Catfight: Annika Sorenstam vs Michelle Wie

Michelle Wie pulled out of a tournament in North Carolina a few weeks ago, complaining of an injured wrist. Famed LPGA player Annika Sorenstam pointed out what, I think, are some fairly suspicious aspects to Wie's "injury." First of all, she was playing so badly that if she had gotten just two more bogeys, she would have been barred from the tour for the rest of the year. Plus, Wie was seen practicing on a golf course just two days later. I personally applaud Sorenstam for saying what we're all thinking - that she faked the injury to keep from being humiliated. Wie may be pretty, but she needs to be a better golfer to be respected, especially if she plans on playing against the men's tour like she tries (and fails at) every year. Apparently, even she knows it because Wie's already said she won't be playing the PGA this year...for the same injury. Right. Now I know it's sexist to call this a catfight, just because it's too women arguing, which is why I'm doing it. Mrreeow, get out the saucers of milk!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pants On Fire: The Missing Pants Lawsuit

I've always been a defender of the so-called "frivolous lawsuits" trumpeted in the media as another example of the law system gone wild. Usually, these lawsuits are more complex than they seem. The crown jewel, the so-called McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit, was in fact a case of a woman getting severe burns requiring surgery. That said, the recent case of a man suing a dry cleaners for $54 million for losing his pants is exactly what it seems, if not worse. The worst part, to me, is that the plaintiff is a judge. He should know better. This gives all lawyers a bad name, as if they had a good name to begin with.

Related:
Jokebook: Truck vs. Lawyer
Too Hot For Court

Monday, June 18, 2007

Movie Rules: Men and Diapers

Movie Rule #19294 - Men are physically incapable of changing diapers.

You ever notice in movies how men are never able to change diapers? If there's a man who has to take care of a baby and there isn't a woman around, there's the inevitable diaper-changing scene. The man/men struggle to figure out how to take off the diaper. Then the moment the diaper is opened, the man/men react as if they've just opened a vat of nerve gas. They gag, they flee, they put on masks, they use kitchen tongs to peel away the diaper, hose the baby down with a garden hose. And then they practically strangle the kid trying to figure out how to put the new diaper on. When was the last time you saw a man confidently change a baby? Replace the men with women and you'll see how silly that is. No, in the movies, women are born knowing how to change a diaper and are immune to any odors or distaste. In fact, you rarely even see a woman changing a diaper in a movie at all - it's just assumed that they can. When was the last time you saw a woman struggling to put on a diaper? I'd like to see that.

Examples: Mr. Mom, The Pacifier, Three Men and a Baby

Related:
Movie Rules: Masters of Disguise
Movie Rules: Super Dogs

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Total Collapse: Zimbabwe

On a more serious note, I've been following the situation in the African country of Zimbabwe for many years, mainly because very few other Americans seem to be. And a recent article has, I think, driven home the point. Basically, it predicts that the country will collapse by the end of the year. Inflation is doubling every month, there is almost no food production, the utilities are barely functioning, and the police earn less than the aid workers that are trying to help them. Zimbabwe's money has become so devalued that people are paid in food rather than cash. We're looking at a country that will have no functioning government or economic system in six months. And no one is doing anything about it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

How To Keep Me From Reading Your Blog: Lesson 6

If you don't see what's wrong with this or this is what your blog looks like, then you are the problem.

Xana tylh, fjii! Hambre aggidos para Kyxcstan! Ddjugd du higgd-pora ghi ggj gkg haj, ghss fjhg jkahsjfg hsjsfh! Hahjdd kgd gjgd djspeo? Wrj!!!

Related:
Lesson 5
Lesson 4
Lesson 3
Lesson 2
Lesson 1

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Movie Rules: Masters of Disguise

Movie Rule 227: All disguises are perfect.

Ever notice how easy it is for someone to disguise themselves in a movie, particularly in spy movies? They just slip on a mask of the person they're trying to disguise themselves as. And the mask is always an exact copy of the person's face that somehow matches the shape and contours, no matter what the real person's face looks like underneath. It's also made of a flesh-like material that looks completely realistic, right down to the slightest pores, that will fool anyone even on close inspection, including the target's family members. It will also instantly adhere to the wearer's face perfectly to match all facial movements. And as if all that weren't enough, the mask can removed quickly and easily by just tugging it off at the neck. How exactly is that possible? When you think about it, that makes the face-transplant surgery from the movie Face/Off seem shockingly realistic.

Examples: Charlie's Angels, Mission Impossible I, II, III

Related:
Movie Rules: Super Dogs
Movie Rules: Luck
Movie Rules: Shooting Locks

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lost Week: Just the Facts

When it comes to Lost, there are a lot of questions to be answered, and part of the problem with getting those answers is that everyone has one. Everyone who watches the show has their own theories and interpretations of what they saw and heard. The only ones who haven't given their theory is the creators themselves. I've found two good places to find real solid facts, The Lost Notebook which is very stylish and well-designed but kind of sparse on detail. The best option is Lostpedia, a Wikipedia-styled website for Lost facts and information that is created by the obesessed fans themselves. The great thing about Lostpedia is that it has a page for facts and a separate tab for theories, which keep them nicely organized. Doesn't look as cool, though.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

LOST Week: Lost Gear

A few days ago, I asked why they shut down a website that offered DHARMA labels you can put on food. After all, it's not like the show offered the same thing. Did it? Well, the answer is no, but I've discovered ABC has been pretty good at merchandising Lost, because you can get almost anything else. At the online store, you can get T-shirts with the Numbers or DHARMA Initiative logos on them, a coffee mug that shows the timer logo when it warms up, a jigsaw puzzle that promises clues to the show if you finish it, a duffel bag with the Blacklit Map on it, and lots of other cool stuff.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Lost Week: Top 50 Lost Questions

Now that the season finale of Lost has aired, we can ask the question, what have we learned? Have all our questions from the last season been answered? If not, what questions remain? And how long can we keeping watching a show that has become so unbearably frustrating? Well, back in 2006, IGN ran their top 50 Lost questions, and it's interesting to go through them and see which ones have been answered and which hasn't. I will say this - that twist ending on the season finale raised even more questions, but at least answered the questions "will they get off the island" and "do the writers on the show actually have a plan or are they making it up as they go along?" I think the answer to both questions is...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lost Week: Get in the Hatch

I can finally admit it; I'm obsessed with the computer in the Swan Station, also known as the Hatch. You know, the computer where you type in the Numbers. I think it's so cool in its combination of simplicity and menace. The way it just has the blinking cursor, the way you just enter the Numbers and aren't supposed to enter anything else, and the way it would beep quietly but steadily until it begins blaring, the clicking of the timer as it resets, all cool. Sometimes I wished I was in the Hatch, entering the Numbers, knowing the world depends on me (or does it?).

Turns out I'm not the only one. One of the best ways to get the Hatch simulation is with a screensaver that makes a display of the cursor, and you have to enter the Numbers to unlock it. There's also a Yahoo Widget that puts a DHARMA computer on your desktop with a timer counting down to 108 minutes, when you have to enter the Numbers. Both cool. All I need now is an electromagnet that will destroy the world if you fail.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lost Week: Lost Product Labels

Another great addition to your Lost finale party for tonight would be to have beer, potato chips, and cookies, all with genuine DHARMA Initiative food labels on them. There was a place to download PDF files with ready-made labels, but the show found out and took them off. I don't get that. Who's being hurt being that? Unless the show plans to release their own line of DHARMA food, I don't get why they jumped on that. Somebody needs to explain the difference between a fan tribute and copyright infringement to these guys. But they did explain how they created the labels, so you could make your own.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lost Week: You Got Yourself A Fish Biscuit

Planning a party to celebrate the season finale of Lost? Yeah, me neither. But if I did, I would need Lost-themed food to serve. One thing that would definitely be on my menu would be the infamous fish biscuit that Sawyer got while in the polar bear cages. Of course, the real ones aren't available, but someone at Kung Foodie did come up with a way to make some. They're more like fish-shaped cookies, really. But they never answered the question of what the real fish biscuits taste like. Do they taste like fish?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Oxymoron: The Best Of Monkey Migraine

I decided to remove the "best of" label on some of my posts. Not that I don't think they are, but I think the term "best of" is too egotistical. It implies I'm capable of reading my work and saying "Yes, this is as good as I get." Frankly, I think that's a relative term and only others can define my best work. I replaced the label with "favorites," which is more accurate. These are some of my favorite posts. Might not be my best, but I like them.

Lost Week: Michelle Rodriguez Outed?

Thus begins Lost Week, an entire week dedicated to one of my favorite shows, Lost, leading up to the season finale. I had a lot of plans on what this week's posts would be, but this one dropped right into my lap this morning. It's not strictly about Lost, but it does involve one of the former major characters, Michelle Rodriguez. It seems that Curve magazine, a popular gay magazine, put Michelle Rodriguez on their cover, infuriating her because she feels she's been outed. She posted a long and somewhat rambling post on her website's forums that does the "I don't feel I need to define my sexuality" bit. On Curve's part, they point out that they didn't actually call her gay in the magazine, so it seems her response is a bit premature.

Now regular readers of my blog know I already addressed this last year. People who don't want to be called gay shouldn't let photos of themselves flirting with women get around. Frankly, I'm surprised she thought this was still a secret. Her current girlfriend Kristanna Loken already blew the lid off this last year. I hate when celebrities treat the public like they're idiots. Whatever.

Related:
Resident Lesbo: Michelle Rodriguez

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

70-30: Frisky Dingo

Ever wonder about the demented minds that created Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Sealab 2021, and Frisky Dingo? No? Well, I did. And I found this very interesting interview behind the weirdos of 70-30, the animation studio. Remarkably candid and informative article at the Atlantic Magazine called The Making of Frisky Dingo, which sheds great insight on the inner workings of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim line-up.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Civil War: Enter and Exit Signs

Every time I go into a store, I realize there's a war going on in this country. That war is between customers and exit/enter signs. You know, those signs that show whether a set of double doors are intended to be enter or exit? Very important, since you don't want people walking through the doors and hitting each other. Isn't it? I mean, most of these doors are glass these days, so you can see someone coming. The central battle to the war is whether customers will follow the signs or not. I would say ninety percent of customers ignore the signs and go through whichever doors they want. Thus, the battle begins.

Manually-operated doors are a problem. It doesn't really matter whether you push or pull, but some stores are set up so they only open one way- presumably the way you need to go. But whether you push or pull the doors, you can still enter and leave through either one.

Automatic doors show the battle more clearly. Some stores have doors that only open for the side it's intended for. If you walk up to an exit door from the outside, the doors won't open so you have to do that awkward shuffle to the enter doors. Most doors have clearly given up the battle and will open either way, no matter how you approach them.

I saw one store that practically waved the surrender sign by putting "enter" and "exit" signs on both sides. If you're entering, both doors are labelled "enter." If you're leaving, both doors are labelled "exit." What's the point of that?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

DHARMA Revealed

Any regular viewer of "Lost" has many questions which have yet to be answered. For example, what is the DHARMA Initiative? What was its purpose? What do the Numbers mean? What does DHARMA stand for? Well, it turns out they already gave the answers to those questions last year. And not to the most loyal viewers of the show. No, they only gave the answers to those with the endurance and patience to slog through the "Lost Experience," an online game that ultimately assembled a video that gave the answers. Since this has already been exposed to the world, why haven't they put this video onto the show yet so the TV viewers can share it? Beats me. But here it is. Frankly, I'm annoyed that they spent an entire season with the Others and the answers to these questions, much less this video, never came up once. Once upon a time, "Lost" was a show that raised questions and then answered them. Not anymore. Take a good look at your ratings, "Lost," and fix this next season.

Related posts:
Lost in Order
My Ultimate Lost Theory
Resident Lesbo: Michelle Rodriguez

Friday, May 04, 2007

Virtual NASCAR

My office had a NASCAR simulator in the office, and everyone was all excited. Needless to say, my office is predominantly white. I personally wasn't interested, but was curious what a NASCAR simulator would be like, so I looked it up. I found this very interesting article on the challenges and successes of creating a racing simulation. While I applaud and am thrilled by the idea of such an incredible simulation of the fun and thrills of an auto racing simulation, I feel duty-bound to make fun of NASCAR. As a result, I offer up my take on the NASCAR simulator.

Beer drinking - The biggest and most popular part of NASCAR is captured with this simulator. Put on a pair of special gloves that simulate the weight and feel of a can of beer. Put on a pair of goggles that progressively distort your hearing and sight with every beer you drink. See how many beers you can drink and still be aware of the race.

Tobacco Chewing Simulator - Chew on virtual tobacco and spit virtual black goop. Chew it long enough and you get virtual mouth cancer and virtual jaw removal surgery.

Inbreeding Simulator - scan in a picture of your brother and/or sister and see what your children will look like. Children are ranked by the number of teeth and limbs. If you get a child that has more than three teeth, you win a prize.

Car Crash Simulator - Put on a pair of goggles and see and hear cars crash. This could also be considered a simulation of whole reason for NASCAR's popularity.

Previous:
Left Turn Lovers: NASCAR Romance

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Movie Rules: Super Dogs

Movie rule #2183: All dogs in movies and television have human-level intelligence or better.

You ever notice how in most movies and TV shows, dogs seem to have above-average intelligence? By that, I mean they can understand and respond to anything spoken to them, and will behave in human ways. How many times have you watched a TV show or movie and somebody says something to the dog, and the dog understands it? Like in a sitcom, the mother will turn to the dog and say something like "This is all your fault" and the dog will cover its head or run out of the room or growl or something like that. There are even movies and TV shows where the dogs seem smarter than the humans. The point is that the dog acts human, and no one will turn to the dog and say "Holy crap, how did you do that?! You can understand English?" How many times in a sitcom have you seen someone say to a dog "Hey, go get Julie" and the dog just sits there staring at him. Or somebody asks "You feel like going over to my ex-wife's house?" and the dog just licks itself. I'd like to see that.

Related:
Movie Rules: Luck
Movie Rules: Shooting Locks

Monday, April 30, 2007

Breaking News From The New Yuk Times

Breaking news from the New Yuk Times: Man Freezes To Death Chewing Mint Gum

Kryptonite: Sodium Lithium Boron Silicate Hydroxide

It looks like Lex Luthor has the last laugh. A group of Serbian scientists discovered a mineral with a composition of sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide. They searched to see if the mineral they found was already discovered. When they entered its components into Google, they were shocked to discover the name already existed. That's what's written on the case in the museum that Lex gets his kryptonite from in Superman Returns. So they named the mineral kryptonite. Yes, there is now a real mineral called kryptonite. Unfortunately, it's white and powdery, not green and crystalline. But it's still cool. Now they just need to find mitichlorians.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Not Paris Hilton's Secret Diary

The five of you that read it may have noticed that not Paris Hilton's secret diary hasn't been updated in a very long time. There's a reason for that, and it's not that I got bored and forgot about it. The fact is that I no longer find Paris Hilton funny. I also realized that anyone talking about her makes her happy, so the best thing we all can do is ignore her, and she'll go away. Still think the old entries are funny, though.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lost in Order

When Lost was on re-runs, I caught up on the episodes I missed from the first season, which turned out to be about two-thirds of the season. I thought it might be confusing watching first season episodes when we're already deep into the third season, but it wasn't. Quite the opposite. The show's always been kind of non-linear with the flashbacks on the lives of the characters, which have never been shown in chronological order, and characters making references to things that we don't know or understand until later on. In fact, the third season has become richer for me, knowing all the things that went on before, and I think knowing later episodes enhanced my understand of the first season as well. For example, in the first season, we didn't know anything about the Others, which meant that when Ethan was running around, we had no idea who he was or where he came from. Now I do, so I understand what Ethan's goal was and why he was there while he was stalking the survivors. I think that's a sign of a truly unique and well-written show, that the earlier episodes are just as strong as the third season episodes, if not stronger.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Flashback Friday: Platypus Man

In tribute to the late Richard Jeni, beloved comedian who unfortunately never made it as big as he should have and commited suicide, we shall honor one of his greatest failures, his short-lived TV series Platypus Man. I don't remember a single thing about this show, other than the fact that it wasn't that funny and the sight of Richard Jeni in an apron cooking just didn't fit.

Trivia
* The opening explained that a platypus is a mammal that attempts to mate frequently but spends most of its time alone, and a platypus man is a mammal that attempts to mate frequently but spends most of its time alone.
* His TV show on the series was called Cooking with the Platypus Man.
* The series aired in 1995, the early days of UPN, which sucked.
* The problem of cooking and his character's problems with relationships were supposed to parallel. They didn't.
* Ron Orbach played Richard's executive producer and longtime friend. He's the cousin of actor Jerry Orbach of Law and Order fame.

Links:
* Unofficial UPN homepage's profile of Platypus Man
* TV.com's profile of Platypus Man
* Wikipedia's entry on Platypus Man

Related:
Flashback Friday: Out of This World
Flashback Friday: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Flashback Friday: Herb

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Mystery of "High School Musical"

I remember the day I realized I was out of touch with the youth of today and officially gave up. It was when I saw a slap bracelet in the store and asked myself "What's a slap bracelet?" I didn't understand it then and still don't, but realized the average kid could probably break it down for me. From then on, I just stopped trying. So when I heard about this thing called High School Musical, I thought "whatever." Then I heard about the hit soundtrack. And saw the High School Musical posters. And the breaking point was when the soundtrack was nominated for "Album of the Year" at the Billboard Music Awards. I couldn't take it anymore. So I booted up Google to answer the eternal question: "what the heck is 'High School Musical?'" The answer is that it's a TV movie on the Disney Channel. Since I don't have cable, that explains my lack of contact with it. But all this fuss over a TV movie? That must be some TV movie.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Breaking News From the New Yuk Times

This just in at the New Yuk Times: Man Kills Two and Self, Brought to you by McDonald's

Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-Tarts

I bought some hot fudge sundae Pop-Tarts. They taste good, but they
don't taste anything like a hot fudge sundae. There's no ice cream flavor at
all. It's really chocolate Pop-Tarts with sprinkles and white frosting as
the filling. They should have called it chocolate cake flavor. It doesn't
taste like that either, but it tastes more like chocolate cake than hot fudge
sundae. I should work for Pop-Tarts.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: 20th Anniversary Edition


Way back in the 80's, I played a game called The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was a text-based adventure game that included really cool stuff like a pair of Joo Janta Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses (also known as a cardboard pair of black glasses), a Don't Panic button, and a microscopic battle fleet (also known as an empty bag). I never finished it, and that's always annoyed me. Now I have a second chance with the 20th Anniversary Edition. Not only is it online and illustrated, it's also free. I'll get that Babel fish yet.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Movie Rules: Shooting Locks

Movie rule #28810 - Shooting a lock will automatically open or close a lock, depending on what's required.

You ever notice how in action movies, whenever someone shoots a lock, it does exactly what they need it to? This is especially true in science-fiction movies, which can be vague about exactly how the lock works. How many movies have you seen where the hero is escaping from a horde of enemy soldiers, runs through a door, then turns and blasts the door's lock with a laser gun, then we cut to the soldiers on the other side, banging on the door that no longer opens. Or cut to the other movie, where the hero has to get through a door, grabs his laser gun and blasts the lock, and the door obediently opens. You'd think the lock's designer would take shooting it into account and make it blaster-proof. When was the last time you saw a movie where the hero tried to open a door, then blasted the lock, and the heroine goes, "Great, you just melted the lock! Now we're really trapped in here!" I'd like to see that.

Related:
Movie Rules: Luck

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yellow Fever: Guys Who Like Asian Women

A while back, I read a Maxim interview with Lucy Liu where she trashed guys who are into Asian women, calling the phenomenon "yellow fever." I couldn't understand why she would be so hostile towards the Asian fixation until I did some research online. One, a memoir of what it's like to be an Asian woman and have guys treating her like a stereotype is sad. There's also a website that profiles the "asianophile," which makes some good points, although I think comparing them to pedophiles is a bit harsh. Maybe some guys like Asian women because they're so cute?

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Pussycat Dolls Are Strippers

The Pussycat Dolls are strippers. I know that sounds obvious, but some people seem to be confusing them with musicians. There's a TV show called The Search For The Next Doll that goes on and on about how the "next" Pussycat Doll has to be someone who can dance and sing and do both equally well. Considering only one of the original six members actually sang at all, that means only one of the original group would have passed their own competition. There's only one good thing about the Dolls, and that's the way they look. I don't know why we have to pretend it's about anything else.

Of course, the Dolls are not about stripping. They're about female empowerment, which apparently is the new term for stripping. Let's look at what "female empowerment" means with an actual quote from the group's founder, Robin Antin:

"It's about female empowerment, about being confident with who you are. It's about singing and dancing in front of a mirror by yourself and having fun."

So the key to empowering women is to dance by yourself in front of a mirror? Wow, how did Gloria Steinem miss the boat on that one? I'm sure that's what the early pioneers who fought to give U.S. women the right to vote did; dance by themselves in front of a mirror. That's something that can change the world.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Don't Phunk With My Video

I've seen the Black-Eyed Peas video for Don't Phunk With My Heart several times, and there are some things that bother me about it. If you haven't seen it, click here. Got it? Okay.

It's a clever idea, a dating show where they transport people to locations and the host goofs on them with voodoo. Funny. But first of all, is Fergie really that hot that guys would line up to go on a date with her. I don't think so...unless she wears a diaper on that date.

The other problem I have is with the voodoo. Why are the guys so surprised and confused when it happens? Maybe the first guy wouldn't know it was going to happen, but wouldn't the other two see it coming? And why does Fergie get so mad? Wouldn't she know what's going on? They didn't think that video through enough.

Related:
My Humps Sucks

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pixar's Cars (abridged)

Warning: The following is a short version of the movie Pixar's Cars. If you haven't seen it or plan to see it, please skip it.

FADE IN:

LIGHTNING MCQUEEN, HOTSHOT RACE CAR, ENDS UP LOST ON WAY TO BIG RACE

MCQUEEN: Where am I?
JUDGE: You're in Radiator Flats, the most boring town in America, and will be here for the majority of the movie.
AUDIENCE: Whose bright idea was it to set a two-hour movie in the most boring town in America?
DIRECTOR: I did. It's supposed to make you slow down and appreciate life.
AUDIENCE: Well, it's not working. We can be bored at home.
JUDGE: For tearing up our road, we sentence you to repair the town's main road.

LOTS OF SCENES OF MCQUEEN LIVING SMALL TOWN LIFE, REPAIRING ROAD, AND BEING BORED

AUDIENCE: Yeah, nothing more exciting than watching road construction. For a movie about race cars, this movie sure is slow.
LARRY THE CABLE GUY: Git-R-Done! That's funny right there!
NORTHERN AUDIENCE: We beg to differ.

MCQUEEN IS FOUND AND RETURNS TO CIVILIZATION

AUDIENCE: Thank God.

MCQUEEN RACES FOR THE TITLE

ANNOUNCER: Only a hundred and thirty-two laps to go!
NORTHERN AUDIENCE: This is why we don't watch NASCAR.
SOUTHERN AUDIENCE: Boy howdy, this sure is excitin'! Better'n watchin' NASCAR!

MCQUEEN SACRIFICES WINNING RACE TO PUSH OLDER CAR OVER THE FINISH LINE

AUDIENCE: So we waited an hour and a half to see him not win the race?
DIRECTOR: The moral of the story is that there are more important things than winning.
AUDIENCE: No, the moral of the story is that Pixar is losing it.

FADE OUT

Related:
The New World (abridged)
Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (abridged)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Movie Rules: Movie Luck

Movie Rule #3891: Luck exists.

You ever notice that in movies or TV shows, luck is a fact of life? Like there's usually an episode in a sitcom where a character is cursed with bad luck and they declare they don't believe in luck, and spend the rest of the episode inflicted with inexplicable problems until they give in. Then there's movies like Just My Luck where the whole movie revolves around luck. Where was the last movie or TV show where a character breaks a mirror or gets cursed by a gypsy, declares "Ah, there's no such thing as luck," and spends the rest of the time watching TV or getting a good night's sleep? I'd like to see that.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Yahoo's Most Popular

I love Yahoo's "Most Popular" feature on their news page, especially the photos. Unofrtunately, Yahoo deletes them two weeks afterwards. But fear not, I've been preserving some of the most interesting on my other blog, Yahoo's Most Popular Photos.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Jokebook: Police Phobia

Late at night, a police officer is on the side of the road when he sees a car with its taillights out driving by. So the cop turns on his sirens. To his surprise, the car takes off at a hundred miles an hour. The cop engages the car in a high-speed chase that only ends when the car blows two of its tires and is forced to stop.

The cop goes over to the driver's side window of the car and growls, "You want to tell me what that was all about?"

The driver gasps, "Sorry, officer. My wife left me for a cop last week."

The cop nods. "I see. So that's left you a little bitter towards police officers?"

The driver gasps, "No, I thought you were gonna give her back."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Games Fever: Reloaded

Since my original post on My Games Fever, I've had some additional thoughts. First of all, the show is really annoying. All these sound effects and the screen is crammed with crap so you can only see the host in one-third of the screen, and he or she is always jumping around trying to look excited and happy to be there. A review in the New York Daily News put it best.

Oddly enough, these kinds of shows (called "participation shows") are huge in Britain. For the life of me, I can't understand why. They must be much better produced in Britain. There is a version called Playdate where callers try to get dates with people in studio, sort of a home version of The Dating Game. I can see how that would be fun to watch.

And what's with the title? My Games Fever. Shouldn't that be My Game Fever? Or Game Fever? Or My Game? It's even a bad show grammatically.

MyNetworkTV is failing miserably, and if this is their best idea for fixing it, they've got a long way to go.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Gun For A Leg: Grindhouse

The new movie Grindhouse is already built on an interesting idea, an homage to B-movie "grindhouse" movies with two short horror movies combined into one movie. Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof, about a homicidal stuntman running people over with his car, sounds interesting, but Robert Rodriguez is topping it with a zombie movie called Planet Terror. The poster has a woman with a machine gun for a leg. I assumed it was a metaphor, but it's not. In the movie, a woman gets her leg ripped off and literally replaced by a machine gun. It sounds silly, but in the trailer, that gun-leg rocks. And it's…dare I say it…kinda sexy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Phoenix Comedy Scene

Of course, we all know the stories of the big comedians like Seinfeld and Leno. But what about the every day working comedian struggling to make it? What about the comedians who aren't in the hub of comedy like Los Angeles, but in the gritty mean streets of Phoenix, Arizona? The Phoenix New Times has the answer.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Jokebook: Vow of Silence

There's a monastery where the monks have taken a vow of silence, but once a year at a special dinner, one monk can stand up and say one thing.

So one year a monk stands up and says, "I really enjoy the mashed potatoes we serve here at the monastery." And he sits down.

The next year, another monk stands up and says, "I hate the mashed potatoes served here at the monastery." And he sits down.

The following year, the abbott of the monastery stands up and says, "I'm sick and tired of the constant bickering."

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Game That Plays You: My Games Fever

MyNetworkTV continues to be a pioneer in bizarre programming. First it was English-language telenovelas, and now it's My Games Fever. On the surface, it looks good - a game show where the viewers are the contestants. The host presents puzzles and the viewers call in to play. First time I saw it, I immediately thought something was strange. There's no phone number to call to participate. You can only text message, but you can't even text your answer. You can only send in a notice that you want to play. I figured out why when I read the fine-print: you get charged 99-cents for every text message you send in, and one contact is selected at random to call in and answer the puzzle on the air. So of the thousands of people who text in for a dollar each, only one gets to play, and that's not even a guarantee that you'll win. They've created a game that charges the contestant to play. A contestant could actually lose money playing the game. Stupid. Some of the female hosts are pretty cute, though.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cold Snap: Winter Comes To Phoenix

They've had a "cold snap" here in Phoenix over the last few days, in the twenties at night. On Saturday, the local news literally gave advice on how to deal with the cold spell. The advice? Take your dogs and cats in, and use an extra blanket at night. Thanks. Like I'd be lying in bed and going, "Oh, the newswoman just said to put on an extra blanket! Because my plan on dealing with the cold was to strip naked and dive into a bathtub full of ice cubes. What a relief to have such wise advice." I'll take advice on dealing with weather from a Phoenix native when I see one carrying an umbrella in the rain. Don't get me started on that.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Flashback Friday: Robotman

I remember watching the Robotman animated special years before I read the Robotman cartoons. It was called Robotman and Friends and portrayed Robotman as a loveable little robot with a heart on his chest, flying through the clouds with his little propeller on his head. Sort of like R2-D2 meets the Care Bears. Looking back, I imagined that must have been the creator of the comic strip's worst nightmare - his edgy, funny comic strip being transformed into a sappy, silly, cutesy special. But it turns out it wasn't. When I did the research for this flashback, I discovered it was the other way around. The character of Robotman was created for the toys and the animated special, and the comic strip was just supposed to be a part of the media blitz. That explains where the heart on his chest came from. It turned out that the comic strip survived while the stuffed doll vanished into obscurity.

Trivia
* The original special was called Robotman and Friends, aired in October of 1984.
* Robotman had sidekicks - Stellar, Oops, and Lint. They fought an evil robot Toberon who tried to eliminate all the love in the world.
* After one other TV special, the Robotman character lived only in the comic strip.
* In the comic strip, Robotman lived with a family in suburbia for several years. He never fought an evil robot or tried to spread love in the world.
* Several years later, Robotman switched to living with a nerd named Monty.
* In 1999, Jim Meddick permanently phased out Robotman from the comic strip, changing it into Monty.

Links
The best website, hands-down, for Robotman is the Robotman Library. There's a good interview that explains the origin of the comic strip, as well as info on the related Robotman paraphenalia. That's about it.

Related
Flashback Friday: Out of This World
Flashback Friday: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Flashback Friday: Herb