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Friday, August 25, 2006

Rockin' the vote!!!!!!!!

No Earl, I wouldn’t leave you hanging like that. I think the IAU are a bunch of idiots also and second your motion for a really sassy reply to these planet snobs. What's wrong with just adding a few more planets and expanding our corner of the cosmos a little. I'm sure students wouldn't mind buying a few more styrofoam balls to make those solar system models. I also had some more ideas for Mr. Sablok’s restaurant re-naming.

  • Jack the Ripper in the Box
  • Charles Taylor's Stake Shack
  • Orange Muammar
  • Manuel Noriega's Pineapple Hut
  • Bob Mugabe's Big Boy
  • Bundy King
  • Taco Mengele
  • al-Zawahiri's Cave Burger
  • Boston Strangler's Market

Sad-damn good eatin' if you ask me.

Semi-Random Thoughts for the End of the Week

  • Still no responses on the Pluto motion at all. No vote from noted science commentator Mr. Derbyshire, no vote from our 3 most loyal fans, and not a peep from Nuffy or Stew. Jorge and Zimpter I understand, as they never post anymore and don't even return my mail or have the decency to cancel the restraning orders. However, I would think that Stew and Nuffy would have some opinion on the most monumental astronomical decision since Lowell originally decided not to call Pluto "Myanus," which would have instantly doubled the number of astronomy jokes. Stew did write an article on the subject, and Nuffy...well, he is a bit spacey. Still, if no one else votes, my vote will carry the day!
  • The International Astronomers Union resolution says that Pluto is now a "dwarf planet." I imagine Nuffy is even now taking notice and preparing a 12 post barrage about Pluto and how the planet (Take that IAU!) should be renamed to "Northover." As for Pluto, word is that the celestial body would prefer to be called a "little planet" instead of a "dwarf."
  • My favourite turducken receipe: Take one pequin pepper, stuff inside a Naga Dorset pepper, stuff that inside a cayenne pepper, stuff that inside a habanero pepper, stuff that inside a serrano pepper, stuff that inside a jalapeno pepper, stuff that inside an Anaheim pepper, add a generous dollop of kosher salt, a teaspoon of cheddar, coat with spicy breadcrumbs, deep fry, and enjoy. Keep a tissue and a defibrilator on hand, just in case.
  • They've moved a great big statue of Ramses in Egypt so that it's closer to the pyramids. One of the people involved said (from the CNN article): "I think that today if Ramses could talk, he would say 'Thank you for moving me."' No he wouldn't. He'd say, "You got the nose wrong, you stupid gits!" He looks like Regis Philbin, who is most definitely not Egyptian.
  • Arsenal plays Man City this week. Should be three points. Just saying.
  • The new Yahoo! homepage is a disaster (No link, because I hate it). The Honda Element is more streamlined than this ugly thing. As someone with an art degree specialising in Graphic Design, I can testify that it is a big, blocky, chunky, sloppy, crapfest of a web site. There was at least a link to the old version of the page, but Yahoo! has since removed it, I suspect because it was making a deep dent in the new page hit count. Of course Yahoo! will not switch back. That would require humility, fortitude, foresight, and a bloody sense of taste. It's difficult to expect any of that from a company whose product name includes an exclamation point. Google, say hello to more hits.
  • The only food you can't turducken? Soup.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Nothing Says "Delicious" like Hitler...

...or so thought the owner of a Bombay bistro who named his new restaurant "Hitler's Cross." According to the Associated Press, proprietor Puneet Sablok stated that he chose the name and the swastika-based logo only to attract attention. Mission accomplished, I expect.

Once the Jewish community of Bombay explained how upsetting it was, he did decide he would change the name. "I don't want to do business by hurting people," said Sablok. No, stick to salmonella poisoning and a really obscene mark-up, like other restauranteurs.

Still, as vile a name as "Hitler's Cross" is, it behooves us as hip, with-it, visionary doofuses to keep up with the newest fads. So, if really dodgy and offensive names are in, in old Mumbai, here are my predictions for the next big eateries to hit the Maharashira region.

  • Himmler's Deli and Bagel Shop
  • Ayatollah Khomeni's Bacon Emporium
  • Pol Pot's Proletariat Pizza Parlour and Pub
  • Burger Castro
  • Kentucky Fried Osama
  • Gandhi's Prime Rib Palace
  • McStalin's
  • Dahmer's House of Cannabalism
  • Idi Amin's Crab Shack
  • Mao's Glorious Revolutionary Steak and Ale
  • Trump in the Box

Pluto not a planet? As if!

The International Astronomical Union has revised their guidelines on what constitutes a planet or not, and in doing so has stripped Pluto of membership in the category of planets.

In response, the rest of the international world tells the International Astronomical Union to get stuffed.

Pluto's expected response can be found here.

One member of the union, the California Institute of Technology's Michael Brown, claimed that giving Pluto and similar objects "planetary status" would "take the magic out of the solar system." Of course, this is the fellow who has unsuccessfully been trying to get the name "Xena" officially approved for the celestial body he discovered (which has the current sexy nom de plume of "UB313"). So, he's probably just disappointed that his master plan to attract the attentions of Lucy Lawless has utterly failed.

In addition, several astronomers denigrated Pluto by referring to it as a "Mickey Mouse planet," which is not only a mixed metaphor, but a very old joke.

Therefore, I hereby declare open for voting the following motion:

The International Astronomical Union is not a real collection of scientists, who would never foster such confusion by playing politics over a careful and measured categorization that has been settled for almost a century and neatly incorporated by the Disney company. Instead, we declare that the International Astronomical Union is and always shall be unto time immemorial a boring collection of snivelling little geeks who are taking out their difficult childhoods, their fragile constitutions, their inability to get into Med School, and their nearly complete failure with the opposite sex (or the same sex, in the case of gay astronomers) on poor, defenseless Pluto.

I throw open the voting to my colleagues here on the DOUI and to any of our readers who are of a scientific bent. (Is Mr. Derbyshire reading?) I will tabulate the results and report later.

Vote now by e-mailing me at earlfando@yahoo.com!

In the meantime, let the politicking begin!

Down with the International Astronomical Union!!!
Preserve Pluto's Planetary Position!!!
The IAU stands for Intentionally Assinine Upstarts!!!!
Send the IAU to Pluto for a closer look!!

Etc. etc. Stew, could you manage some t-shirts?

Update: Stew and Nuffy chime in.

Turducken: The Way of the Future

Paul Prudhomme, a pale and handsome potato of a man, gave many good and sacred things to the peoples of the world: curried gumbo, salted salmon pie, Brown Stuff (tm), finted charlsons, and The Off-Color Pile (c). But most importantly and most epicly, he invented the Turducken. Yes, the Turducken was handed gently to the nations of the world by none other than Paul "potato pants" Prudhomme.

Perhaps you are one of the few who still wonders what a Turducken is. No doubt you have seen one before, that unique sick pile of gore and steaming deliciousness, but maybe you assumed it was just a bundled up mass of smoked horse entrails stirred into a bowl of cornbread and hog fat for three hours before being deep fried in a barrel of elk bile. Your assumption was not far from the truth. More technically, though, a Turducken is a chicken crammed into the body cavity of a duck which is crammed into the body cavity of a turkey, with each layer separated by a generous schmear of buttery dressing.

Is the saliva pouring from your dangling lower lip yet? Feel free to pause and dab it off with a soft napkin before continuing with this post. Done? Good. Let's continue. The Turducken has, as most people are well aware, reshaped world culture and thought. How many things, people have begun to wonder, would be improved if we just crammed something smaller inside them and then something smaller inside that, separating the three things with generous schmears of dressing? I mean, honestly, how many things? Reconsider all of your favorite things, please.

1) The Hamburger -- My stars, let's Turducken that hamburger sonofagun! Take a standard McDonald's hamburger, batter dip it, stuff it into a crevice in the middle of a filet mignon, batter dip that whole mess, deep fry it, and stuff it into the center of a large block of creamy velveeta cheese. Eat with chopsticks and Bowie knife.

2) The McCain -- Take a little bit of conservative ideology, pack it tightly, and insert it violently into a gigantic gelatinous cube of liberalism, then pull a big plastic sheet of libertarianism over the whole thing and drop it into the warmest parts of the Indian Ocean.

3) Dessert -- Turduckened dessert! Just what the cardiologist recommended! Take a luscious grease-touched Hostess fruit pie, dip it in melted butter, then roll it around in powdered sugar, submerge it in a giant bowl of chocolate pudding, pour the pudding into the hollowed out center of a standard-size birthday cake. Then cover the birthday cake completely, top and bottom, with forty three sheets of Filo dough, and deep fry it.

Turduckening is the wave of the present. All around you, at this very minute, people are taking regular things and improving them by a factor of Five through the Turduckening process. Think of all the things that can be Turduckened! Sandwiches, clothing, novels, furniture, languages, odors, hairstyles, friends, and even emotions. Join the Turduckening movement. Do not let humanity leave you in the dust, gnashing the grit between your teeth and cursing the sky.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Great Moments in Star Trek History: The Early Years

As a bonafide Star Trek: The Original Series fan (but not a Trekkie or Trekker - heavens no - are you mad?), I keep close tabs on trivia and facts about the series. Here then is an underground collection of great moments in the history of this illustrious, demented television programme:

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September something or other, 1966 - Star Trek airs for the first time anywhere on Canadian television. Nobody notices, because in 1966 Canada is merely a giant wasteland, populated by native tribes and lonely Mounted Policemen named Dudley.

September 8, 1966 - Star Trek premieres on NBC, knocking off the Petticoat Junction spinoff "Lulabelle's Knickers" which was deemed too racy for network television due to overuse of the word "heiney."

September 9, 1966 - A N.Y. Times critic refers to Star Trek, writing, "Man, I shouldn't have taken all that acid last night," and "William Shatner dominates the screen with his stilted, wooden, yet dynamic prescence. He also dominates the screen by constantly stepping in front of his co-stars." Judith Crist mistakenly refers to the show as Star Truck in TV Guide, wondering why the truckers were dressed so oddly and shooting at each other with laserbeams.

November 22, 1966 - The notorious "lost" episode "Kirk's Pickle" is aired during the family hour. During the show, Dr. McCoy utters the infamous line, "It's dead, Jim." NBC burns the footage and declares that episode never aired anywhere in the universe, "except possibly on CBS," causing Walter Crokite to soil himself in anger. Later, in 1997, George Takei would produce 28 copies of the show that he personally saved from the flames.

December 24, 1966 - The famous Christmas episode is aired, featuring Sammy Davis Jr. as Kris Kringle and Frank Sinatra as a Scrooge-like Klingon named "Peth-Tert-Lawh-Fort." Dean Martin has a cameo as Spock's long lost brother "Sparky." Fans of the show learn that the Enterprise is actually powered by magical reindeer from the planet Rigel 6 and the whole "dilythium crystal" bit is simply a ruse to keep Scotty out of the minibar in his room. The crystals are merely rock salt, ground up for the cast margaritas.

September 12, 1966 - Chekov, played by Walter Koenig, is introduced to the programme to attract fans of the Monkees, a programme that lasted about as long as Star Trek on network television. He is a Russian character with a pronounced accent. Joe McCarthy audibly denounces Chekov from the grave as "a commie bastard." Richard Nixon merely observes that, "He doesn't really look like Davy Jones at all, does he?" Later Koenig plays bass on 4 tracks from the Monkees hit album Squeal.

March 12, 1967 - James Doohan makes the first of several attempts on William Shatner's life when he plants a phaser set to "overload" in Shatner's dressing room. Unfortunately for Doohan, the phaser is a mere prop, like all the other ones on the programme. Shatner later has Doohan's legs broken as a practical joke.

December 29, 1967 - The episode The Trouble with Tribbles airs on network television. Unfortunately, NBC forgets to edit out the scene where DeForest Kelley loudly shouts, "What are all these hairy balls doing in the Sick Bay?!" The scene is recreated by Dave Chapelle on his programme Chapelle's World in 2004, only replacing the word "balls" with something not printable on this blog.

July 12, 1968 - William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy simultaneously release albums of "popular music." The music industry has a momentary slump that executives now refer to as "The Black Hole of Death." Ironcially, on the same date, Deforest Kelley plays Vegas and sings a medely of Elvis and Beatles hits to a standing ovation. Later he claims he opened the wrong door and "just winged that mother" after he found himself on stage.

July 14, 1968 - William Shatner claims to have played both Vegas and Atlantic City on the 12th... at the same time. He later claims that he is Elvis.

November 22, 1968 - Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner exchange the first interracial kiss on American network television in the episode Plato's Stepchildren. Nichols later describes the kiss as "sucker-like." Shatner claims in 1992 that he "got to third base" during the episode.

June 3, 1969 - The final episode of Star Trek (The Original Series) is aired on network television. In this episode, Shatner has to play a James Kirk who is taken over by the mind of a shrewish, homicidal, egocentric woman. The episode is penned by James Doohan, who claims to have based it on "some guy I work with." At the wrap party, DeForest Kelley pulls a groin patting everyone on the back.

Thank You, Thank You...

I'll be here all week ...and thanks to John Derbyshire for the gracious, dare I say merciful link.

Now, my next goal is to get on the blogs of The New Republic, then make my way towards the fringes at The American Spectator, The Nation, and then Mother Jones, and finally the BBC. I'd try for Al-Jezeera, but my Arabic is quite rusty (as in "naught").

For those of you who feel as though I've missed your favourite political blog, please send in an e-mail address and I'll be happy to pop an e-post to them. Please don't warn them. It's much more fun that way.

Greetings to the Conservative Hordes!!! (Our hope)

We don't talk politics around here much but I'd like to welcome any Cornerites from National Review's The Corner. Hello to all!!! Earl did a smashing set of Oklahoma! song parodies and submitted them and struck a little of that ol' Corner gold. We recommend that you check out the site at your leisure and if you like what you see buy our T-shirts. Excuse me a second... sorry, I've been told the shirts aren't ready yet but I promise you they'll have a big picture of Ronald Reagan eating Che Guevara.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Golden Star Trek Moments

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe: attack ships on fire of the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhouser Gate. All those moments will be lost when I am gone, like tears in rain."

The beautifullest lines of dialogue in the history of time? Perhaps. But more importantly, those lines of dialogue have been added to the new Star Trek movie during Mr. Spock's powerful pseudo-death in the random radiation tube of the Enterprise. Yes, the remake of the original Star Trek has decided to veer into remarkable new territory. As usual, Nuffy Noe is the first one to tell you what is really going on with this project, and I can vouch for every luscious detail. You see, I was there. Yes, on-set, creeping among the shadows, seeing, discovering, learning what there is to be learned, smelling the mildly ethnic odors eminating from the commissary. And what did I learn about the new direction that the Star Trek remake is taking? I share with you three patented "Five Times Better"-style factoids.

1) The official name of the movie at the moment is Star Trek: Voyage Unto The Golden Apricot Moments of Time.

2) The role of Mr. Gerrold Spock (yes, that's his new official full name) is played by none other than Alouicious Willard (stage name: Biz Markie).

3) The role of Captain James Tiberius Kirk is played by the one, the only Derrick Fascinus (stage name: Flava Flav), wearing a clown wig and Coke bottle-style glasses. His new backstory is that he escaped from a life of gun crime by stowing away on a Romulan cargo vessel with no pants, where he was discovered by Mrs. Wharf the Horse-Lady.

So you can see how improvement upon improvement is being stacked one upon the other like a house of platinum-coated oat sacks by the new director of this destined-to-be-best Star Trek movie in the history of nerd canons. I learned many more things, secret things, hideful things, during my twelve days of sneaking around the set. I will share those with you directly, but first I must download all the pictures from the Memory Stick of my digital camera: secret pictures, creepful pictures of Biz Markie gnawing on his own pointed ear and sweating, of Flava Flav in full-on prance mode, yes, all these and more.

Until then, please keep a Biz Markie picture at the forefront of your visual memory, and imagine him speaking the lines at the beginning of this article, and also, as always, recall to mind this.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

To go where no geriatric has gone before.

It's the 40th anniversary of Star Trek: The Original Series, which is to say that it is the 40th anniversary of Star Trek period. The official anniversary is September 8th, just a few weeks away on Stardate 8276.43-ATO-U2-REM.7912-B, give or take a quatloo.

As in keeping with Star Trek convention, the surviving cast and crew, all in their early ninties, along with hordes of undisciplined, pointy-ear-wearing hooligan geeks will be having of all things, a convention. This convention will have, in addition to the lucrative autograph sessions (which are expected to fetch approximately a billion dollars U.S. alone for Bill Shatner), a number of actual convention sessions for the more discerning fans. A sample from a draft convention agenda is below:

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Session 4-B: How to maximize your screen time, while playfully anatagonizing your co-workers.
Presenter and STAR: William "Bill" Shatner.
Mr. Shatner will elaborate on traditional methods of screen hogging, such as moving towards the camera, elaborate gestures, extreme pausing, line stealing, and fixing the cameramen up with easy dates. In addition, he will reveal his own personally developed innovative methods, such as bribing the screenwriters to include more dialogue for his character, threatening the directors with extended walkouts, and subtlely suggesting to Gene Roddenberry that he needed more screen time or he might accidentally let those photos of Gene and Nichelle Nichols slip under Majel Barret-Roddenberry's dressing room door. In addition, Mr. Shatner will discuss associated techniques on how to avoid getting the crap beat out of you by an enraged James Doohan.

Session 7-A: Turning a cult television career into a five record recording contract.
Presenter: Leonard "Spock" Nimoy
Mr. Nimoy will explain how sleazy record producers can be easily convinced that a moderately limited singer who happens to have a regular role on a hit sci-fi television show can sell millions of records warbling tunes about Hobbits (The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins from The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy), William Shatner's failed attempt to join the regular cast of Hee Haw (Billy Don't Play the Banjo Anymore from The Way I Feel), Experiments with public nudity (Nature Boy from the disturbingly named The Touch of Leonard Nimoy) and remakes of Johnny Cash hits (I Walk the Line from The New World of Leonard Nimoy). Mr. Nimoy will also explain in extended and graphic detail the best ways to manage one's groupies.

Session 12-B: Staying in the Closet in the Twenty-Third Century.
Presenter: George "Mr. Sulu" Takei
Mr. Takei will describe the difficulties of being a closeted gay man in the rough and tumble world of the United Federation of Planets, his long and unrequited crush on Chekov, his liberation during the extended shirtless swordplay scene in The Naked Time, and the time the Green Dancing Woman "made his Johnson move."

Session 37-A: Keeping Cool in a Room Full of Uptight Caucasians.
Presenter: Nichelle "Uhura" Nichols
Ms. Nicholls will talk about her experiences as an African-American woman on national television in the 1960's, including Leonard Nimoy's pathetic attempts to speak "jive," How she fended off Bill Shatner's amorous advances (with a crossbow on at least three occasions), and how she fought off the boredom of endlessly repeating the line "hailing frequencies are open, Captain."

Session 164-D: How to Survive Life as a Redshirt.
Presenter: Bob "The Redshirt Who Lived" Zsworski
Mr. Anderson will describe how he managed to appear on 54 Star Trek episodes as a security guard aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise without once getting phasered, pushed into a bottomless pit, burned by underground creatures, killed by salt-eating monsters, beamed into solid rock, or converted into essence and then crushed by aliens from Andromeda. Some of Mr. Zsworski's tips include: "Always try to get bridge duty," "Never make the casting calls for beam down duty," and "Always stand behind Kirk whenever someone is holding a weapon."

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Obviously, we'll have more later, as this kind of anniversary doesn't come around that often...

Is Nuffy Noe alive?

Actually we know he is. I'm just giving him grief for not posting lately. A little more of this and he'll become another Jorge Carlito Viejo.

Still, I know he's quite distressed over learning that Mark Northover has passed on.