You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Officer, could you change those tires, quick, and check that spoiler!

NASCAR driver Kurt Busch was fined for reckless and drunken driving this week.

Now, the drunken part aside, how often must this happen to NASCAR or indeed any race car drivers?

Imagine it. Jeff Gordon pulls up to a stoplight. A teenager in a Mustang pulls up alongside of him. After the obligatory, "That thing got a Hemmie?" line from the sweaty, spotty lad in the Stang, he revs the engine up and infers the challenge, not knowing that the tired young man in the car next to him regularly drives at around 200 miles an hour for a living. Finally, as the light for the adjacent street turns yellow, the arrogant teen contemptuously shows him the finger right next to the one reserved for the wedding ring (and I don't mean the pinky.)

The light turns green. Two miles down the road a police officer is saying to Gordon, "Yeah, I would've done the same thing...but did you have to run him off the road and into that medical waste dumpster?"

If I were Gordon, I'd answer, "Unlike yourself, officer sir, I didn't have a gun." Instead he simply says, "Sorry, but he cut off the lane."

The officer laughs. As he tears the ticket out of the book and hands it to Gordon, he remarks, "That's one hell of a Tempo you've got there."

Gordon responds, "It's the girlfriend's. I just had some work done on it."

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans/Rememberance Day

We'd just like to take a moment to thank and remember all those who have served and fought and died so that people could be free.

What we do here is fun (and we hope it's fun for you also) but it's just one small blessing from living in parts of the world where people enjoy real freedom.

So if you live in a free nation, remember this day, that our freedom came at a cost.

Those who paid it, are also our heroes.

2008 is right around the corner, and down the street a little.

The committee for the 2008 Beijing Olympic summer games has released the designs of the mascots which are meant to represent the spirit of competition and national flavor of the host country. And here they are...

Whoops, sorry my picture files must be mixed up. How about this...

Nope, let's try this one...

Getting closer, here...

now I've found them and so we can see how they look and what they stand for from the English language Olympic website.

This is Huanhuan, or Fire Rushing over Taiwan. She is meant to signify the desire for competition and and not nuclear proliferation. Don't get us wrong, though, we'll do what we have to do. No one can put out her flame or that of the will of the people represented by her Red exterior and imposing stance. Huanhuan welcomes you with open arms, imperialist westerners.

This is Jingjing the Panda. He is angered that the FONZ did not consider Stew Miller as a viable name for their newborn panda cub. Tia Shan? I mean, what kind of crap is that. Jingjing will take revenge on you and devastate your cities if you anger him again.

I am Beibei the Fish... don't ask why I have a hat shaped like a bird on my head, it isn't important. I sent an e-mail to ex-Fema head Mike Brown and he told me I look fabulous.

This is Yingying and I think we all know what THAT means. Yingying welcomes all western currencies and hopes that everyone has a satisfying time. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. Please do not bring Neil Bush though, he has worn out his welcome.

This is Nini the Swallow, she wanted the other bird hat but got stuck with this one. She represents the avian flu pandemic and the hope that it can be irradicated through the spending of large sums of money. Sponsored by Hoffman La-Roche, makers of Tamiflu.

Here's looking forward to a great summer games. I think.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What's next, The Flaming Jockstrap?

Interesting article there Earl, I guess the old women's lib slogan "burn your bra" would have a whole other meaning these days. Gloria Steinem could be exhorting her legion of followers to "nuke your bras" as she daydreamed of fish riding bicycles. As for me, I think the thing would come in handy for various applications around the house. You could cook up some Orville Redenbacher in it, strap it around your ears and have a ready-made two cup feedbag for those nights when you want to catch a feature. You would, of course, have to buy the right size for the film; size A for short subject material and DD for anything made by Peter Jackson. What will they come up with next?

You can microwave anything these days...

Triumph International has just announced in Japan the development of a new microwavable item: The bra.

Each one comes with sides of chips, snap peas, and pudding.

Seriously, this will be of enormous value to many women in cold climates. The one disadvantage is that once the bra cools off, it becomes stale and greasy. Reheating won't help, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Two giants of the cinema talk to a small fry.

An article I read the other day asked, "Can the wizard and the ape save Hollywood?", another way of asking if a slumping film industry can rebound from its recent malaise with the upcoming release of the next Harry Potter installment and Peter Jackson's King Kong. I decided to sit down with the two driving forces behind the films, King Kong and Harry Potter... I mean Peter Jackson and J. K. Rowling.

Stew: Peter, J. K., thank you for spending a little time with us.

J.K.: Did you get the rider for my appearance?

Stew: Oh, yes sorry, welcome to you great and powerful Lord Voldemort also!! (bowing three times and turning in a circle)

J.K.: That's a little more like it, now where are my apples and albacore tuna?

Stew: They're being brought in now. Peter let me start with you while Ms. Rowling is making a plate. Why King Kong, why not Godzilla vs. Megalon or Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?

Peter: (eating a banana) Well Stew, King Kong is one of the originals of the genre. When I start out to make a movie I only have one question, "What will make me the most money?". I figured if Dino de Laurentiis could make cash on it, hey, anybody can.

Stew: True. Is that all it's about to you though, money? Isn't there something that makes you want to tell the story of an oversized ape from a mythical pre-historic island who battles dinosaurs and falls in love with a beautiful girl before being taken back to New York City as an exhibit, ultimately falling to his death from the top of the Empire State Building?

Peter: (taking a drink from his 32 oz. collectible KONG mug) Well, I do want to delve deeper into the personality of the big ape. I want to know his loves, his hates, his favorite color, and what he does on a rainy afternoon.

Stew: Does that explain your hiring of Barbara Walters to play Ann Darrow?

Peter: What? That's actually Naomi...

Stew: And one has to question casting Jack Black as the monstrous ape after his comic turns in such classics as "The School of Rock" and "Saving Silverman". J.K. how is the tuna?

J.K.: I need my omega 3 fatty acids or I get a little gassy.

Stew: I understand, tell us about Harry Potter and The Globule of Fire.

J.K.: That's, Goblet of Fire.

Stew: Oh, what did I say?

J.K.: You said, Globule of Fire.

Stew: Terribly sorry, tell us about the Omelet of Fire.

J.K.: (fuming) What would you like to know, how many eggs we used?

Stew: Yes, tell me how many eggs you used.

J.K.: That was a joke!!!

Stew: It was?

J.K.: Nevermind. Just think Harry, Hermione, and Rupert. Oh, did I say Rupert, I meant Ron...Please don't take that to mean I have any sort of crush on young Rupert. I just think he's a fine strapping young lad who has a sparkle in his eye that could melt your...

Stew: Peter, why the use of claymation? It seems to make it too "Wallace and Gromitish" don't you think.

Peter: (playing with King Kong action figures) Well it's a motion capture technique that is much different than claymation, it involves...

Stew: Now where were we J.K.? Oh yes, your Rupert Grint fetish. Please continue.

J.K.: (finishing a cigarette) We're finished. Good......Bye!

Stew: Was it something I said?

J.K.: (pointing a plastic wand at Stew) Avada Kedavra!!!!!

(nothing happens)

J.K.: Cheap ass wands. Jackson, better not let Mattel make your stuff. (walks out)

Stew: Well, I guess that's all we'll learn about the Hobbit of Fire.

J.K.: (in the distance) Goblet, you idiot.

Stew: Peter, is there anything you'd like to say as we close?

Peter: (wearing "I Fell for Kong" t-shirt) Can I have the rest of her tuna?

Stew: Knock yourself out.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pump that body!

I know this is going to seem childish, but during a routine check of visitor paths to the site, I came across this blog, and was unable to get beyond the header of the page without snickering convulsively.

The Body Pump!

Of course I just had to write them. I apologise in advance if some of you find this embarrassingly juvenile, but then, what on earth are you doing at this site in the first place?:

Dear Tami and Craig,

I was fascinated to come across your weblog on the Body Pump, primarily because I've never actually heard of such a thing before. Being naturally curious, I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about this product and its various uses:

1.) What kind of pump is the Body Pump? Is it similar to an air pump, where I would have to push up and down on a handle to get any significant pumping, or is it like a petrol pump, where I set the lever and then sit back and watch as my savings are drained away?

2.) Does this device actually pump the whole body, or merely specific parts of the body? Please be tactful. If necessary, euphemisms would be appreciated. You know, words like "danglers" and "hot potatoes".

3.) Your site seems to indicate that there is Body Pump music. Is this music that one plays whilst body pumping, or is this actually music I could play with a Body Pump? I'm very keen on music, so I'm hoping for the latter. If the Body Pump can double as an instrument, does it require amplification, or will it work just fine acoustically? I'm looking for enough volume to fill a room of about 5,000.

4.) You also mention that there are Body Flow lessons available. Is this a sub-product of Body Pump or something you all have cooked up on the side? I mean, I would expect a certain amount of body pumping would require some body flow as well, but I'd like to be certain of the relationship between the two products before getting my hopes up. I certainly like the sound of flowing and pumping at the same time.

5.) Finally, I noticed there are different versions of the Body Pump. I expect this is for people of different sizes and pumping agility. However, given the potential musical uses of the Body Pump (see #3 above), I was wondering if the different versions were simply Body Pumps that played in different keys, like harmonicas or brass instruments?

Thanks in advance for any responses you send. I hope to be body pumping some day soon. I think some U2 or Chopin would sound great on the Body Pump!


Earl Fando,
Co-Editor and Contributor,
The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas

This gives a new meaning to the term "collateral damage"

The U.S. Government has developed a new laser rifle that can temporarily "dazzle" individuals, such as people trying to run roadblocks and checkpoints, according to NewScientist.Com.

The weapon was designed as a response to U.N. prohibitions against lasers that permanently blind enemy personnel, codified in the aptly named U.N. "Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons."

One downside: While research has indicated that the weapon will not do permanent damage to an individual's eyesight, field tests reported an extremely high number of auto-related fatalities caused by the weapon, primarily consisting of targets driving off of cliffs, into houses, walls, cows, horses, sheep, large ducks, at least one bulldozer, a roadside frankfurter stand, a giant tarantula, corn fields, wheat fields, Football fields, A Mrs. Fields Cookie Store, and most commonly over or through the individuals wielding the weapon.

Well, you can't have everything now can you?

Hat Tip: Jonah Goldberg

Monday, November 07, 2005

Speaking of Space and Fraudulency...

...I finally got around to seeing the cinematic adaptation of Douglas Adams fabulous first book in the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.

Message to the producers, director, and anyone else associated with the film, (except Alan Rickman who has built up a great deal of good will immunity to this sort of thing): DO PANIC. Panic completely. Run around like turkeys in a barnyard on the day before Christmas. Panic the way a tuna would if it had just made a wrong turn into a Great White shark's open gob. Panic like the investors in Gigli.

I don't want to spoil the film for those who haven't seen it, so if revealing that it's an overdone, ineptly mixed, piece of tripe that would have killed poor Douglas Adams, had he lived to see it, then I apologize for spoiling it for you. Just think of it in the same way you would had I spoiled your lovely mushroom dinner by revealing that the braised fungi on your plate were poisonous Deadly Angel mushrooms instead of the benign button mushrooms you thought you'd picked.

A quick rundown on what made this film such a revolting diasppointment:

1. The sound. Hitchhiker's is in large part, a dialogue comedy. Yet, the music frequently drowns out the dialogue. I believe that this was done to drown out the bored sighing of the actors throughout the film. Either that, or to distract the audience from the fact that the dialogue had only a passing resemblance to that of the book's. In my own case, the music was loud enough to drown out my tortured screams of disappointment from the neighbors.

2. The acting. Martin Freeman is a passabel Arthur Dent and seemed right for the part, but everyone else is wrong in the way John Wayne was wrong for Genghis Khan in The Conqueror.

For example, Sam Rockwell's performance as Zaphod Beeblebrox was not only unpleasant, but effectively replaced what charm Zaphod has in the books with that of an elephant seal, with a Texas accent.

Even Alan Rickman, who is one of the more gifted and entertaining actors in Britain, plays Marvin all wrong. I mean he gets the depression right. That's a giveaway as far as the part's concerned, but he plays him too human. It's almost like he wants Marvin to be liked and no one who reads the books really likes Marvin. The whole point of Marvin is to be cruelly amusing, not depressingly sympathetic. We want Marvin to be depressed and fail and be ignored, because quite frankly, he's much funnier that way.

Mos Def is a so-so Ford, but comes off better than most, in part because he comparatively underplays the role. Next to Rockwell's Beeblebrox, it's like watching Kevin Spacey playing off Jim Carrey.

Finally Zooey Deschanel captures all of the flakiness of Trillian, while never convincing us that she is in fact the brilliant astrophysicist of the book, or indeed has any personality beyond that of a wet ramen noodle.

Bill Nighy is OK as Slartibartfast, but seems embarrassed in the role at times, as though he'd just walked in on two people in a compromising position and their photographers.

At least there's there's the always entertaining Stephen Fry as the voice of the Guide. One out of 20.

3. The plot is a shadow of Adams clever structure. There's a romantic ending, also. The Arthur of the books doesn't so much as touch a woman until book four. There's an annoying musical number that involves dubbed dolphins and, from the sound of it, Up with People.

4. Finally, they had the audacity to throw in the epigraph: "For Douglas".

Now, Adams worked on the script, was listed as an Executive Producer, and had pushed this project for some time, but I don't believe for a second that the finished product is something he would be satisfied with.

Rather, I expect he'd douse the film reels in petrol and set them ablaze, have a few pints, and then put out the fire with his own urine.

It's what I'd do, if it were me.

I'd like a little place in the Fra Mauro Highlands.

A Chinese company going by the name Beijing Lunar Village Aeronautics Science and Technology Co. has been shutdown by the government for selling land on the moon. They say a sucker is born every minute and in this case we know where at least 34 of them are. Selling land on the moon would seem a very underhanded thing to do but it does show that a free enterprise spirit is alive and well all over the world. I did a massive search of the international yellow pages and discovered that there are numerous go-getters out there fleecing the masses.

  • In Holland you can still book a ticket on the Titanic for only $12 from The Dutch Fleece Indies Company. The ticket comes with a free pedicure on the Lido deck and drinks with Gopher, Doc, and Leonard DiCaprio.
  • In Luxembourg you can buy share of a company called LPS Inc. that claims to be developing a substitute for gasoline called "grassoline". Hmmmm, sounds mighty peculiar! I think these people might be infringing on the patent my friend Lucas P. Short was... wait a minute.
  • In Bahrain you can buy a celestial body and name it after someone. Now, I'd like to know who would be dumb enough to do that?
  • In Somolia you can buy a stake in Lindsey Lohan's next movie "Teddy Kennedy: Fully Loaded" in which she plays Mary Jo Kopechne. The movie is based on a true story that finds Teddy driving Mary Jo home in a VW Beetle that grows magical pontoons when it hits the water. Produced by Harry and Linda Bloodworth-Thomason.
  • In Belize they are taking bets on the sanity of famous personalities like Tom Cruise, Madonna, and Charo. I actually made a little bread on their "Tom Cruise jumps on Oprah's couch" board a few months ago. I'm thinking about putting a sawbuck on the "Charo goes postal at Denny's" board.
  • In Vanuatu you can buy tickets on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic's first suborbital flight in 2007. This is especially interesting because you can also buy a small urn to place your ashes in upon your return to earth.
  • In Bhutan you can purchase a penthouse in Atlantis with our old buddy Sasquatch as your very own majordomo. (We suggest you buy a lot of Febreez, not that the old fella smells but because it really is a wonder-product.)

But if you're stuck on owning a little plot on our favorite satellite, just click here now.

Update: Sorry, looks like we're all too late to get in on the deal. From the website:

Each deed of Lunar Property is unique and no acre of land can be sold twice. Sending the registration card back insures that the property holder is listed on file with the database for all landowners. In Feb 2004, the Trailblazer, a TransOrbital mission to the Moon, will deposit the names of the property holders listed in the database, on the actual Lunar surface.

Drat!!!! Everyone remember the famous "TransOrbital" Trailblazer mission? Seems like just last year doesn't it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I Cnath Sptheakth Rigth Nothw

Sorry for the minimal posting this weekend but I've been a bit under the weather. Also, I took time out to attend my alma-mater's Homecoming yesterday. (Yes, I attended an American sue me.) I could tell you where that is, but then I'd have to shoot you. As my aim's not so great, that could take awhile and be quite painful.

Back to the illness. I currently have been suffering from a sore throat and earache. My second trip to the physician today left me on the same bleeding antibiotics that I've started with earlier in the week, and that have done little to no good. I also learnt something quite troubling in that, I have a large canker sore on one of my tonsils.

Feel free to vomit at this point. I wanted to myself, but all that stomach acid would have just upset the sore...and NO, it is definitely not Herpes, you cynics.

Apparently this sort of thing is viral as all extremely uncomfortable illness tends to be. As in, "Well, I'd love to treat this but it's viral, so we'll just have to let it run it's course. Try not to eat too much, and if you absolutely have to eat in the next few days, try to avoid that part of your mouth." All right, that's not a direct quote, but it's in keeping with the spirit of the thing.

I was offered one treatment. It's a cocktail consisting of Maalox, Benedryl, and viscous Lidocaine...but it tastes much the way I would expect hair conditioner to taste. Since, I've never tasted hair conditioner and have no plans to in the near future, this is only an educated guess. (Actually, I've never used hair conditioner - which explains why my hair resembles Albert Einstein's when I let it grow out.)

The only definite reaction this stuff causes that I am totally sure of, is that it makes your entire mouth go numb as a wooden leg in a Norwegian January.

Some of you may be familiar with the bit in Bill Cosby: Himself where he describes a trip to the dentist and being injected with novocaine. The sensation is similar. Your tongue feels as though it's swollen to three times its size, only without any dexterity whatsoever. The simple process of swallowing your own saliva becomes monumentally difficult. I finally have been able to manage it via a complex process that involves moving my tongue in 4 different directions, jerking my head back suddenly, and leaping sideways, all at the same time. I still have not managed to figure out how to drink a bottle of water though, as my numbed lips cannot tell what is water and what is the plastic bottle. The front of my shirt looks like a used baby bib.

Hopefully this condition will clear up soon and I can return to my usual diet of corn chips, blazing hot Mexican salsa, and the odd curry. In the meantime, if you should pass someone in the street who is speaking in a slurred voice, whilst leaping through the air and jerking their head back, please be kind, as it's probably me.

If it's not me, it's probably Ted Kennedy. It's really a judgement call on your part, but, if it helps, I'm much younger looking than he is.