Saturday, April 21, 2007

Quote of the Week

"Can I talk about your career just a little bit first? You've been an actor since you were very, very young. Have you been committing treason since you were young?"

-- Stephen Colbert to Sean Penn, The Colbert Report, 4/19/07

Make Your Own Free Cell Phone Wallpaper

Pix2Fone is a fantastic service that is free, fun and easy to use. Just install the Firefox extension, or go to their website, and Pix2Fone will provide you with a frame with the same dimensions as your cell phone's screen, so you can crop and resize your image until it's perfect. Then you can either send it to your cell via SMS, or use your browser to download it. It's simple, addictive, and makes paying your provider for wallpaper seem really stupid.

You can use family photos, nature panoramas, kittens, puppies, daisies... anything you like. Or you can start with the pictures below. Totally up to you.

Photos,,,,,,,,,, okay so not all these sites were involved in getting these pictures it's just some of the names make me laugh and also I thought it'd be handy to have all these links in one place...sort of a for the delicious.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Was That an iPhone on Lost This Week?

Not only does Lost keep getting better and better, IMHO, but Engadget reports a great Easter Egg for the eagle-eyed: an iPhone in satellite clothing.

Well That Was Quick

Just days after a lunatic picked up two guns and sprayed bullets all over a college campus, pundits are blaming the real culprits. Oh, not guns! Why, it's video games and rock music, of course.

See, it's the violence in video games and rock music that turn kids into killers.

Folks, you can't have it both ways. Because all those wonderful, beautiful, talented, loving young people who were killed? And the brave young people who tried to save them?

They all listened to the same music and played the same games.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Speaking of Bacon, It's Possible This is My Favorite Simpsons Moment

What Would Bacon Do, Indeed?

If your pet pig has been sitting in the corner, softly sobbing, it's probably because you've been filling the house with Archie McPhee's line of bacon-related gewgaws and notions. Check them out, and buy them... but don't be surprised if your house is soon surrounded by every stray dog in the neighborhood.

Chronotronix V400 Nixie Clock: Limited Edition Retro/Awesome/Cool


Another Way to Deal With the Virginia Loser

I haven't been watching the news the last day or so because I always think after the first 12 hours of a story like this there is no more news.

But even more, whenever I turn on the TV, I see them showing this creep's picture or video or reading his "manifesto." Then debating whether they should or shouldn't.

They claim it has "educational value." That it will help us learn to "spot the warning signs."


Was there anything surprising about this prick? When you heard someone had killed 32 people, you could have, right then, described this guy. You could probably have done a spot-on imitation of him. If this were a movie, I wouldn't have cast him because he was too hammy and stereotypical.

If he had talked and acted like, say, John Cho, and was genial and handsome and funny... and then turned around and started shooting, then yeah, we should definitely study that tape for clues.

But he didn't. He was an asshole and a dud, with a message that made no sense. So why air it? And if you air it, why debate airing it?

Here's a third option.

These shitheads think the only way they'll get "the respect they deserve" is to kill a lot of people. Then they'll become famous. (You can't spell "infamous" without "famous.") Their word will finally get out.

I think NBC should have just reported that they'd received this package, the circumstances of its sending and its receipt, how it was handed over, and described what was inside. That's all that's journalistically necessary.

Then: Whenever possible, anchors should have used phrases like "laughable" and "ridiculous" and "incompetent" to describe it. They could say things like, "While waiting for the FBI to arrive we watched the tape and, I'm sorry, even given the tragedy we had to laugh, this guy was that stupid-looking." Or, "And wait, get this: He wrote, '30 Rockefeller Avenue. What is he, from Mars? What an idiot!" Or "He was actually one of the few people on Earth who looked like he had bad breath."

This way, other loser assholes watching will see that whatever humiliation they're feeling, it gets even worse after death. So when someone tells them that the path to respect is counseling or therapy, maybe they'll believe it.

One more thing: There's a reason I used the word "Loser" in the headline and not"Killer." To me, and perhaps only to me, a "killer" is someone with intent and cunning, however misguided. This guy wasn't a killer. The guns did all the killing. He was just the pathetic moron waving them around.

That makes this even more tragic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Best-Informed Also View Fake News, Study Says

Americans may have more news outlets today than two decades ago, but they still don’t know much more about current events than they did then, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

But here’s one big difference: the survey respondents who seemed to know the most about what’s going on — who were able to identify major public figures, for example — were likely to be viewers of fake news programs like Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report; those who knew the least watched network morning news programs, Fox News or local television news.

Only 69 percent of people in the latest survey could come up with Dick Cheney when asked to name the vice president; in 1989, 74 percent could name Dan Quayle. Fewer could name the governor of their state (66 percent now compared with 74 percent in 1989) and fewer could name the president of Russia (36 percent now compared with 47 percent before).

In 1989, fully 81 percent of people knew that the United States had a trade deficit; today, only 68 percent knew...

New York Times

You Make the Call: What Makes This Ad So Disastrously, Horribly Awful?

Is it the:

A) terrible concept of vomiting up bad music?

B) dreadful acting? How is it possible to screw up simply opening your mouth? I don't know, but this actress does it!


C) awful execution, since about halfway through they completely abandon the idea of the music stopping when their mouths are closed... rightly assuming we stopped caring?

Star Trek Inspirational Posters

Idol... or... whatever...

I'm gonna ramble a bit here. I admit it, the wind is out of my sails on this Idol thing with Haley gone. Not that she was so great, but she was the last one I was even semi-rooting for. Now it's like watching Tampa Bay play the Royals for who gets to face the Rockies. And the Hawks.

But let's run through it anyway. First came a somber Ryan, muted in honor of the VT victims. And who knew there was a "Tragic American Idol Theme"? (I thought maybe the opening title entertainbots would walk with their heads hung low, but I was wrong) I believe the doleful theme music was a tradition that started with the "Sad Entertainment Tonight Piano."

Anyhoo, I thought American Idol's we-feel-bad-for-enjoying-ourselves theme transitioned nicely and tastefully back to "Happy Idol," and we were underway. And here come the contestants in the Competition to Choose the Answer to a Future Trivial Pursuit Question:

First up, Phil:

Phil sang something about "Where the Blacktop Ends." I believe there's another name for that: Dirt.

The good news is, Phil finally lost the Huggy Bear hats and aired out his dome. The bad news is, in hi def it was terrifying. But he was much better than in past weeks. Of course that's like saying your phlegm is clear instead of green.

Next came That Hammy Girl I Can Never Remember:

She was yelling something or other that I'm sure sounded great when Martina sings it. Who cares? The judges liked it.

Next up is Sanjaya:

He made my skin crawl. He's getting more fey and creepy and sinister by the week. Last week when he said something about finding out where Jennifer Lopez lived and not telling her husband it literally scared me. I cannot imagine any man or woman finding this person sexually desirable. And when he said he wanted Simon to sing "Shiny Happy People" I was almost certain that while Simon did so, Sanjaya would be capering languidly with his penis tucked between his legs. People, the joke is over. Get this "thing" off my TV stat.

Then Simon and Ryan got into a little bit of a "meow" and I have to say, I was with Simon. Ryan jumped the gun a little. Simon only got two sentences out before Ryan had leapt to the stage. Also, Ryan has been sticking up for the contestants more than usual this season, which is very nice of him, but given the caliber of this year's contestants, it's time for him to stop throwing himself on that grenade.

And next, the moment I dread, Frau Farbissina herself, Lakisha:

Whenever I see her, I think of a line by Damon Runyon: there's no smile in her smile. She is the least joyful person I've ever seen. Pick up this week's Entertainment Weekly. There they all are on the cover, mugging. Not her. Look inside. They're all making fun faces. Not her. Watch her on the show. When she finishes the song and the audience is applauding. Nothing. Robot. Dead inside.

Anyway, she saves all her strength for screaming at the audience. I was praying that Jesus would take that wheel already so she'd shut up.

Next was Chris:

I don't care how well he sang. I don't care if he was friggin' Enrico Palazzo out there. What he did after the song, when he was rightly called on his nasal singing, was the most repellent, meretricious act I've ever seen. As if it weren't bad enough that he was actually trying to pull the old "I meant to do that" excuse, he immediately realized he was sinking fast, and backpedaled
using the Virginia Tech tragedy as his bicycle. He should be booted just for that. He's a prick.

Next was Lady Shrugsalot. I won't print a picture that makes fun of her because it's too cheap and easy, and besides she was pretty good. And she has all the joy that Lakisha lacks. Still, no one's gonna buy a CD from her.

Also, she stepped on one of my personal landmines. She sang a song called "Trouble is a Woman" with lines like "Trouble is a woman with a man on her mind" and "someone is gonna have to pay this time." Can you imagine if the words "woman" and "man" were reversed? Doesn't seem like anyone would be calling it "sassy."

And, finally.. oh, finally... Blake:

I sat there, gaping. I could not believe how bad this was. I thought, "Wow, Sanjaya, buy this man a Miller. He just saved your ass." With every "oooooooo-oooooo" he sealed his fate. But the judges LIKED IT?? I know they're going to get home, hear the TV mix and realize they made a horrible mistake.

The standout moment of the evening for me, though, was when I swear I heard Blake sing something about someone having a "pretty mouth." Did he really sing that?

A pretty mouth??

Hey, down in the South! Up here in the North we are trying really hard to lay off the Southern stereotypes, but you gotta meet us halfway, okay?

I just sat through an hour of songs about farms and dirt roads and bar fights and angels and Jesus and cherry cokes and running barefoot and pickup trucks and fishing poles and leaving the city behind and getting away from the city and hating the city and wanting to wash off the city and on and on and on. So it's a little weird when you keep trying to sell us on the idea that you're "modern."

But the weirdest thing of all... the weirdest thing of anything...

How is it possible that not one of those stupid cabdriver promos has made me laugh? I mean even made me smile? Everything I've ever seen has, even accidentally, made me laugh or smile at least once. Until now.

I don't even know if they're supposed to be funny! Maybe it's a psychological test. To see what kind of person would actually go to that website they're hawking.

If this is -- God help us -- a teaser for a show, I am officially not teased.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ask the Experts

And by "experts" I mean you folks out there. I'm counting on your expertise to answer a few ridiculously trivial questions I have. They're dumb, but they're nagging at me... and I suspect that once I ask them, they will nag at some of you, too.

1. On every procedural show, from Law & Order to Num3ers, whenever a crime is committed, the first thing the cops do is collect all the surveillance footage from nearby cameras and ATMs and so forth. Then they go back to the station, where they look at the footage, and say something like, "Damn! There are no good shots of the plates!" But there is one grainy shot of a guy in the deep background, and one of the techs uses some imaginary software to turn it into a picture that looks like it came from the Sears Portrait Studio. And then they turn to other investigative means.

What they never do is go out and collect the surveillance footage from the next block, and then the next, and then the next. I mean, if I were to, say, rob a bank, no matter which way I drove, I'd be filmed along my entire route, probably from six different angles. They'd have me robbing the bank, leaving the bank, loading the car, turning the corner, waiting at the light, turning the next corner, and on and on until I was parking at the hideout, divvying up the loot with my accomplices, and so on. Cameras would probably film us all driving to our individual homes, and the police could grab us up pretty as you please.

I always hear real law enforcement types complain that it's not as easy as it looks on TV. Am I wrong, or does it seem like, in this video age, it shouldn't be as hard as it looks on TV?

2. A few years ago, I read a great word and I can't remember it or find it. The definition was a bit complex, but it went kinda like this: It was a word or expression derived from an idea that no longer exists. Examples are a better route. We say "dialing a phone" even though phones no longer have dials, or singer release "albums" even though they're not albums any more. Does anyone know what that word is? And can anyone think of any more examples? (This is the kind of thing I consider fun, which tells you something about me. I also like thinking of synecdoches, but that's for another day... unless you have some.)

3. You know the incredibly annoying Mirna and Charla on The Amazing Race? Out of all the obnoxious and irritating and loathsome things they do, perhaps the one that gets to me the most is the way they speak in exaggeratedly pidgin English whenever they speak to foreigners. As if broadly-accented English is somehow easier to understand. This ugliest of ugly American behaviors is, I think, quite common. Has it ever been studied or explained or defined? (And here's a question no one can answer: Why do people get so offended when someone uses the Yield? As if it's "rude" or something? Am I mistaken, or are they in a race for a million dollars???)

4. The last question is much less savory, but I really want to know, and you are all the smartest people I know, so here goes: You know when we were kids, and the teacher put a tooth in a glass of Coke, and after a couple of days the tooth was partially dissolved?

Well then, couldn't four or six liters of Coke left overnight unclog a sink or a toilet?

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

Help me understand what "well regulated Militia" Cho Seung-hui belonged to.

What was his rank? What was his serial number? Where was he trained?

He wasn't in any Militia, regulated or otherwise. He was a psycho predator nut job who sure picked the right country to snap in.

The Founding Fathers were pretty smart. They didn't write the Bill of Rights using Refrigerator Poetry or Mad Libs. They chose their words carefully. They tried to make their meaning clear.

There must be a reason why "A well regulated Militia" are the very first words in that sentence. There must be a reason why "Militia" is one of only three words that begin with a capital letter. There must be some attempt to communicate gravity, importance, solemnity. To make that word matter.

They could not possibly have envisioned that we would totally blow past that phrase and sell guns to anyone and everyone. They couldn't have envisioned guns would someday shoot dozens of bullets at a time, or that pawn shops and tents and gun shows and sporting goods stores would cater to every yokel with a hankering to kill something. They couldn't have envisioned the idea of buying modification kits online. To make your gun more deadly. For what legal purpose?

"Now's not the time." That's what Bush said about any discussion of gun control. Wow. When is it time? How long do we have to wait? How many tragedies do we have to endure? Based on the last four years, I know the lives of our young people mean nothing to him, but they mean quite a bit to us. When do we start standing up for them?

Bush keeps beating the drum, trying to make us afraid that the terrorists are coming. I gotta tell ya, I've lived long enough to have heard that swine flu, bird flu, and killer bees were coming. I'm not afraid of what's coming. I'm afraid of what's here:

People with guns.

Sometime when you're at Starbucks, look around. Ask yourself, if you went to the rest room, how many of these people would you trust to watch your laptop or hold your wallet?

Not many, I'm guessing. You don't know what kind of people they are. They could be crazy or crooked or God-knows-what.

Now ask yourself how many own guns.

Then proceed to shit bricks.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, and I honestly don't care who disagrees. It's an article of faith I hold dear, just as dearly as some hold belief in God or Allah:

There is no reason why any law-abiding civilian needs to own a handgun. None.

As always, the best take on this came from Homer Simpson. When he went to buy a handgun, and was told there was a waiting period, he said, "But I'm angry now!"

I Mentioned It Earlier in the Week... Now, By Popular Demand (Especially Mine), One of My Favorite Scenes Ever:

Monday, April 16, 2007

Andy Rooney Listens to the Voices in His Head Again

"[The Chevrolet] has the most widely-recognized emblem of any product in the world."
That's what Andy Rooney said on 60 Minutes last night. Really, Andy?


I mean, I know you're old, Andy. Not "Joan Collins" old... I mean you're "carbon" old. So I understand if you haven't seen a lot of today's emblems and logos while leafing through the rotogravure while wearing a prince-nez and taking mercurichrome to prevent dropsy.

But the idea that the Chevrolet logo is the most recognizable in the world is so unbelievably ridiculous that only Andy Rooney could come up with it. Personally, I had to look online to even see what Chevrolet emblem he was talking about. Once I saw it, I realized what he meant, but if you showed me that logo and it wasn't on a car? You could hold a barbecue starter to my balls and I still couldn't name the company. (Though I don't recommend it.)

Maybe that's me, but come on, Andy. Most widely-recognized? More than the Nike swoosh? The BMW and Mercedes circles? The Apple apple? The McDonalds arches? The Pepsi globe? The AOL "A"? The Pillsbury Doughboy and his dad, the Michelin Man? The Ghostbusters ghost? The Batman batwings? The Bacardi batwings? The Hardees/Carl's star? The Arby's hat? The Taco Bell? The NBC peacock? The CBS eye? The Shell shell? The Paramount mountain? The Columbia Benning?

I'll bet you could take the "TV" off the MTV logo, and people would still know that "M" belongs to MTV.

And forget about all of those. What about Mickey Mouse?

Mickey Mouse, Andy! Mickey friggin' Mouse!!

Isn't there someone at CBS who could fact-check Andy once in a while?

As long as Andy was complaining about these newfangled automobulators they got these days, the senile old cobweb has another complaint:

"I don't know a Subaru from a Suzuki... They're using a lot of letters and numbers now on their cars... The Jaguar XJR... The Cayenne S..."

Yeah, that's a lot more confusing than the "Model T Ford."

But I was content to let Andy wave his cane and tell auto companies to get out of his yard, until he sniffed:

"This has 'Hybrid Synergy Drive' whatever that means. I'm sure it costs more."

Nice. I'm sure saving the planet is completely unimportant to Andy Rooney, since he'll be leaving it any minute. But if the selfish prick could just once put himself in someone else's shoes, he'd use his platform for good, not... whatever it is he's using it for now.