Monday, December 29, 2008

It's gonna be a pretty sparse week around here, but I did want to point out that Eartha Kitt died. In addition to being the best Catwoman ever, she was an outspoken activist and general world-shaker. She will be missed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dear Scientists,
If you're ever in a wax museum or something and find yourself staring at a representation of a human being that looks a bit too real... don't pull that waving your hand close to their eyes bit. that never works. Just jam your pointer finger into their eyeball. If it's a dummy, no foul. If it's not... well, everyone learns a lesson.

Friday, December 19, 2008

For fuck's sake... (pt. 2)

Baz Lurmann is set to direct remake of The Great Gatsby.

Another one the greatest books ever written will be turned to shit.

Not that the 1974 version was any good either, but that's gonna look like goddamned Dr. Zhivago compared to what this guy does to it.

I was going to make a comment about why don't people just option the shit out of every great novel ever, but then saw that Pale Fire apparently has been in development or awhile. The end is extremely fucking nigh.

(wow. I'm cursing a whole bunch today. My apologies. I'm trying to get over that).

Oh, for fuck's sake...

The FCC reports it received 26 complaints from the public about Utley's language, which was heard live, in the late afternoon, on at least five television stations and one radio station.

Stephen Chow No Longer Directing Green Hornet

I've got many, many reservations about a Seth Rogan-scripted remake of the classic superhero TV show. For one, it was never really supposed to be all that funny. Also, Seth Rogan looks more like a yeti than Van Williams. Hey, I actually like the guy more than most, and I'm sure he'd agree with me. So why star in this?
But I have to admit that I was hesitant to see Stephen Chow direct it. I've thoroughly enjoyed every one of his movies I've seen, from God of Cookery to Kung Fu Hustle (still dragging my feet on CJ7 for some reason). But I'm not sure I'd understand how he'd fit with a project like this. I guess he isn't sure anymore, either. He's still playing Kato, which I'm sure he's doing solely as homage to Bruce Lee, who really made his reputation in this country in the mask.
So, I guess this is my roundabout way of saying I have no clue what's going on with this movie. I'm sure I'll see it, hell, I'll probably even like it. Comedy + Action is tough to pull off well, especially when you're writing and acting. That was one of the bonuses of having Chow direct this. I mean, there's a strong chance that this movie could be the next Casino Royale (obviously I mean the Woody Allen one and not the one with the hilarious ball torture scene). Wait, Edgar Wright is still busy doing that Scott Pilgrim movie, right? Goddamn I hope that's funny. Later, though, he's doing Ant-Man, which could very well herald a return of the comedy superhero movie.

holy shit. They're going to remake Greatest American Hero, aren't they? Mark my words, in 5 years, this there will be a development deal on this.

I scare myself sometimes with my chilling prophecies.

Edit: That's really, really green. It was probably time for a change anyway.
Mark Felt is dead. He was a hero and hopefully an inspiration to many, and I'm sorry for his family's loss. I can only hope that his actions will be remembered and appreciated for many, many years.
Dear scientists,
I know you don't know me very well, and I'm sure you're sick of my letters. But can you please stop giving drivers more shit to look at? Seriously, it's hard enough to convince myself that the wacko in the car next to me isn't going to lose control of their* vehicle while texting or drunk dialing or trying to open a bag of Cheetos or whatever. There is no need to add more stuff to the dashboard for drivers to look at. You just know that the people that buy these cars are the same idiots that try to show it off to their friends while they're driving. So please do us a favor. Try to develop a device that forces people to use handsfree headsets. Or maybe some sort of automatic turn signal. I don't know, you're the guys in the lab coats. But try to help us out maybe?

P.S. That is pretty cool, though. Is that made out of the same technology that used to adorn Slurpee cups?

*I don't want to label either gender a bad driver, no matter how Asian they are**.
**Kidding! I know a lot of you guys are Asian***, and that you're bad drivers is a stereotype and unfair. Besides,
***What? That's a good thing, right? Scientist? Who doesn't want to be thrown in with that lot? I don't get you people****
****I should probably just stop now, right?

Goat #10

Dear scientists,
Please start genetically engineering goats 1-9 so that this guy can have some friends to race with. Otherwise, what's the point?

P.S. Is there a way for goats to not have devil eyes?
I actually had no idea the strip was still being produced...
Here's a fun interview with Greg Pak (writer of the Hulk and Hercules books that I've never read) and David Rees, who still says he's going to stop when Bush gets out of office. I wonder if that's what happened to the video show...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008



It's not enough that any trip to the Mekong Delta would probably trigger all sorts of latent 'Nam visions*. They've been finding an average of two new species a week in the region, which is pretty much grounds for evidence that I will never, ever set foot there. While I find the idea of unchartered territory as romantic as the next person, I've also developed -through decades of wilderness mishap- a wild fear of any non-mammalian creatures I see in the wild. the creepier and crawlier, the more likely I would be to bash it with a stick in the woods out of fear. And I shouldn't go to a jungle where all I'd think to do is kill stuff. Hey, those things might have valuable medicines or aphrodisiacs in them, right?
Anyway, a trip to the area today might yield sightings of Gumprecht's green pit viper (sounds cute!), the shocking pink dragon millipede, and oh, the world's largest spider (Heteropoda maxima).
Did I mention that the shocking pink dragon millipede secretes cyanide? I hate it when mother nature uses all these superanimals.
"Some of these species really have no business being recently discovered," WWF's Stuart Chapman said.
*Playboy bunnies in helicopters, acid trips, and R. Lee Ermey. Right?
Thanks to BoingBoing for ensuring I don't sleep until 2009

And if you're about to tell me that all of these are land creatures and there mustn't be anything to fear in the water, think again. I give you:
The Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas)

The giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis)

The giant freshwater stingray (Himantura chaophraya)

Yeah, no thanks.

Oh, and check out the Mississippi paddlefish for some domestic horror.
Hey, you Liberal Democrats. You may have won the election, but you're getting CREAMED in the transition.
Greg Palast on Obama's new Secretary of Education
(the last comment is actually more interesting than the post)

More Bad News

"I am very excited to be working with Bob Weinstein again and returning to the world of 'Halloween,'" Zombie says in the press release. "The remake laid the groundwork, now it's time to really take Michael Myers to the next level. I believe we've just barely scratched the surface of where we can take this series."
So, I guess that they announced last night that Rob Zombie would be helming the sequel to his Halloween remake. Now, I'm still getting over how unhappy I was with the last one. Zombie took any suspense or character out of the film, replacing it with a near-constant stream of tits, gore, and bad cameos.
Sure, all of these were in the first film, but Zombie was just so ham-fisted with his approach that I really just stopped caring after ten minutes. And that weird back story with all the masks on the wall? Ugh.
Anyway, I can't imagine he's going to stay too true to the story line, so I have no idea if the sequel will be set in the hospital like the last one. It does, however, make me kind of excited at the idea of him making a remake of Season of the Witch. Ugh.
A family is Holland Township is angry at ShopRite for not writing their child's full name on a birthday cake.
The child's name is Adolf Hitler. Little Adolf has a baby sister named Aryan Nation.

Why oh why can't I be making this up?

(it says in the caption that they went to Wal-Mart to get the cakes? So... Wal-Mart went for that?)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just in time for the holidays...

After all the Y2K busts, I figured that we would have to wait forever to get some good old-fashioned doomsday predictions:
"I think that you should hear what my opinion about the Obama election is: that he will not be the next president. I said on my home page in August that if he lost to expect to see the 'riots' that 2 Peter 2:13 tells us about. He didn't lose. But the story is not finished yet. I still think they may begin the riots before Christmas 2008, as I said."

These riots, according to his prophecy, will encourage the "old, hard-line Soviet guard" to seize the moment and rain down nukes on the United States, killing at least 100 million of us.

"Prepare now," Freeborn's letter concluded. "We are downwind from Las Vegas. I hope you can survive."
So we have this idiot's backpedaling to look forward to.

Podcast roundup

So, I'm only going to give loose descriptions and I'm linking directly to the feeds. There are others I listen to (particularly music ones), but I never stick to long enough to list here. So this is what I have on file at the moment.

Democracy Now! (audio) - Daily. I listen to at least the headlines every day, usually most of the show.
The Rachel Maddow Show (audio) - Daily. I'll listen to this every other day or so, but I tend to not pay attention to some of it, depending on if I've seen the Daily Show recently.
The Economist - Comes out a few times a week. Usually I listen to the complete audio version of the magazine, but if I can't find that falling off a truck somewhere, this is always a nice mini-fix
Meet The Press (audio) - Once a week. It largely depends on who the guest is (and there is some hesitance now to listen to Dave Gregory's voice for that long every week), but this is still the round table.
Slate's Political Gabfest - Once a week. ...another round table.

WFMU's The Best Show on WFMU - Once a week. 3 Hours of mirth, music, and mayhem. Mostly the latter. Sometimes I listen to this live, sometimes I tune to the podcast. It's all relative.
Jordan Jesse GO! - Once a week. I go from bored and barely complacent to zealous fan on this, depending on the episode. I'm currently waiting for them to bat out of this slump.
The Sound of Young America - Once a week. This depends entirely on the guest, though I should state here thast Jesse Thorn has become a favorite interviewer of mine, recently. Both because his interests and mine overlap often and so I tend to like his guests, but also because he conducts these in a more relaxed tempo, and in his home, which is nice.
Never Not Funny - Once a week. I recently subscribed to the primo podcast, which is much longer. It varies, but honestly, listening to Andy richter's interview alone was worth it. I just wish Paul F. Tompkins was still on it twice a season. Weird: I kind of love and hate host Jimmy Pardo.
The Moth - Just people telling stories. I switched for this instead of This American Life for some reason some time back. I think TAL started getting too precocious for me? Or maybe I felt bad about never contributing. Either way, I'm comfortable with my decision.

WFMU's Sinner's Crossroads - Weekly. Gospel music. See post the other day.
NPR: All Songs Considered - I have like 4 of these I haven't listened to yet, so I don't know why I'm counting this, but I do like it whenever I'm listening to it. And Tom Moon appears on it quite a bit, which I like.
KEXP Live Performances - I only download these rarely, and it depends entirely on who is playing, but it's still great when it's great.
*I just deleted all of the NPR live concert series, because it kept downloading the same Laura Gibson video show without asking me, and I didn't want it or it's cumbersome file size.

History Nerds
Stuff You Missed in History Class - Every couple of days. I like history. A little while ago, I actually had to get out of bed I was laughing so hard at one of the hosts, when talking about serial killers in the Countess of Bathory episode, says: "...650 victims over 54 years, No one's even come close to that. Some guy in Brazil murdered 300, and actually he's on the loose right now, so... look out Brazil". He was talking about the "Monster of the Andes", Pedro Lopez, who operated in Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador, but has certainly been wanted by authorities since 2001.
Stuff You Should Know - Every couple of days. I also like stuff.

Ifanboy Pick of the Week - Three guys talking about comic books.
WordBalloon - No idea. Usually, these are extended interviews with comic book creators. I listen every once in awhile, but not often enough to know how often it comes out.

ESPN: NBA Today - Ball. I just found this the other day, after the disappearance of the Inside dish in July.
Basketball Jones (audio) - This reminds me of listening to the sports writers from my college newspapers sitting around bullshitting. I don't agree with everything they say, but they know boatloads more than I do about the league. Warning: Canadian Accents.

Monday, December 15, 2008

No updates today because I wasn't near a computer. None tonight because I'm going to be at a football team, 40 years to the day after Philadelphia gained an unfair reputation as the worst sports fans in the country.

It doesn't sound like our weather will be any better, though. Oh well.

I'll be back later with my new sudden obsession!

Taken Sat. night, outside home.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ninja Warrior: For Mice

yeah, Ninja Warrior is pretty awesome. But let's get some mice on!

My favorite Onion headline of the day
wait for it....

wait for it...


(better than casino fight?)

What's better?

A tortoise named Bandit?
or a tortoise named Bandit ON WHEELS.

what I'm Listening to This Week, Pt. 2

Sinner's Crossroads, hosted by Kevin Nutt.
A program (and podcast) on WFMU, this hour long gospel program features some of the best songs I've ever heard on a regular basis. I can't even delete the podcasts because I listen to them over and over, knowing that I'll probably never be able to track down most of these recordings, even with the power of the internet on my side. Host Nutt does a good job of not getting preachy while on the air, leaving something of a sober look at some of the most excited and uplifting music ever recorded.
If you've ever avoided the genre because of the religious implications, seriously give this a shot. I'm not promising anything you'll like it, but it's worth at least being familiar with.

Download here or on iTunes.

This and Theme Time Radio Hour comprise about 35% of my listening lately.

Video Game Art

This from The Economist

The United States is being overrun by feral hogs.

So, you're telling me there's a loose herd of free-range pork running around that I can shoot without any regulation in many states? There has to be a better way to take advantage of this...

Japan using Google maps to report strange smells

This is something I could totally run wild with. "Crack-like smell outside the corner store. Attempts at investigation called off on account of potential presence of crack"

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I attended the funeral on Saturday of a very dear old friend who died just before Thanksgiving. He was a very popular and interesting man, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have known him for my entire life (literally. He was in the room when I was born). It's funny, though, even though I called him "Dr. Jim" my entire life, I never really thought of him as a doctor at all. Because he was so much more interesting than that. He was a musician, an inventor, a craftsman, a storyteller, a pilot, a truck driver, an outdoorsman, a builder, a sailor, an electrician, etc... He was many, many different things. And more amazingly, none of these labels could be applied superficially to Jim. These weren't hobbies that he dabbled in, but things he applied himself to and learned as trades. He was more skilled in any of these areas than I could ever hope to be, and it was amazing to watch him work. It wasn't really until I watched him casually sew up my brother's head wound in his back yard that I was completely aware that oh, he was that kind of doctor. Later, this became more prevalent as my dad's health started to decline and he was always there for emergencies or advice alike.
What I find to be even more astonishing, is that he was without question one of the most approachable, magnanimous, and entertaining people to be around I've ever known, a gracious friend and a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. When I was a kid I would walk over to his house all the time, and though Jim would be making his own shotgun shells in the basement, or tinkering in his workshop, he would put that down to teach me how to play chess, or show me how to play an autoharp, or produce something he'd made that would entertain me for hours.
Anyway, at the funeral I was thinking about these things, and how while I was sad that he was gone, I was obviously blessed to have gotten to know him at all. But I digress. Because I was astounded when I read his obituary I was astounded to see how successful a doctor he actually was. This was reinforced at the funeral, when several of his colleagues spoke at length at what an inspiration he was to be around. To know that he affected everyone around him the same way he has affected myself and my family seems right, though. But it was funny that, it isn't until the end of the obit that his rennaissance-man stature is mentioned, which blew me away ecause that was always what I thought of him as more than anything. This quirky, amazing man who was such a magnetic and jovial personality that you felt special just to hear him say hello to you. I'm sure you've known someone like that in your life, maybe you've been lucky enough to know a couple of people like that. They're a rare breed, and if you're lucky enough to have them still in your life, remember to appreciate it a little more the next time you see them. And if you do not anymore, stop for a moment and remember them.
Sorry this isn't a happier post, I'm truly not in a sad mood at all, but I've been meaning to post something about this since before I left and I figured I should do it now while I'm thinking of it.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'm sorry I've been sort of MIA lately, I'm trying to get a lot of things done at the moment, and my attempt at a news blockade has been a complete failure. First it was "I'll take a month off after the election". But of course, This Minnesota race is going to go on FOREVER, and by the time that's over, I'm going to be following the 2012 election race already... so who knows. I'd love to see Al Franken pull this off, though.

Anyway, I'm going to start catching up on the 200 emails I have been neglecting, and then I have some other stuff to post about. In the meantime, though, why not search through the photograph archives of life magazine, now accessible through google? Live has always had one of the better photo archives, and to be able to check it out at a high resolution with captions is the type of thing that makes the internet a hundred times better. I can't even get into the amount of time I've already wasted looking through this, and I'm sure the trend is far from over. I urge you to glance through, though, because if you've got the time, this is indeed a precious resource. Search here.

It looks like some of these pictures didn't format themselves correctly. Either click on them to see the whole thing or just go start your own search because it's more fun.

What I've been listening to lately:

Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country
This is a compilation I found some months back that disappeared before I ever got the chance to really investigate it. I recently found it again on this site and I wanted to make a note here before I forgot about it, because it's incredible. Regular readers of this site will not be surprised of my admiration of this comp, since it was released by the incredible Trikont record label, which has been a favorite of mine for the better part of a decade.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Letters to God

I'm almost certain these weren't written by actual children, but it doesn't really matter, because they're AWESOME. Read a bunch more here.

Sorry for the disappearance, I was on an actual vacation (answer: It was without a doubt the best vacation ever, thanks for asking) and I didn't have much computer access. I'll have some fun stuff to come soon, though, including a new favorite things list, my innovative ideas for the airlines, "Obama So Crazy", and more!