Thursday, September 28, 2006

TV Corner

Anyone see "Heroes" on NBC? I caught the second half of it and I'll catch the first half on either the sci-fi network or as an NBC rerun. But I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it would be some silly, half-assed teen soap with superheroes. Though even teen soaps with superheroes are sometimes decent (okay, I used to watch "Smallville" --- it was pretty good for the seasons I watched --- don't judge me! lol). Anyway, "Hereos" is actually a steady, intriguing drama with some real suspense and intelligence. The story isn't completely far fetched and it is building nicely. Of course, I've only seen the second half of the first episode, but I think the show definitely has potential. Anyway, I'll return to it after I have seen a few more episodes. If anyone else caught it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Also, I saw the second episode of "Studio 60" and I must say it wasn't bad. But the ending "skit" was not funny. Though I must admit the episode got a few laughs from me before then. I'm still interested in the depiction of the network bosses and so far it has been intriguing. But I'm thinking the show will stop short of true veracity. But, it has only been two episodes, so there is a good chance I could be wrong.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Things that annoy me:

1. Jared from Subway.

Look man, I'm glad you lost a gazillion pounds by eating subways sandwiches. And I'm glad you like to eat sammmaches (lol, I stole this from South Park, though I'm not the biggest South Park fan). But let's get real. You were a gazillion pounds man. Just cutting out meals 25 through 100 would have slimmed you down from ginormousity.

2. Zach Braff

I like Scrubs. Well, sometimes the jump cut from silly fart joke to morbid introspection doesn't always work for me --- sometimes I just don't buy it, but whatever. Anyway, this guy is leaving Scrubs to focus on films. That's all fine and dandy, but he's also going to focus on making films because if you haven't heard, GARDEN STATE was "a big, life-affirming, state-of-the-union address for twentysomethings." That's of course a quote from Zach Braff himself. I guess we should thank him for informing us of this, just in case we watch his film and not come to the same conclusion. I think we also could go without the Braff complaining about gossip and being the male Paris Hilton on Letterman. You are the male Paris Hilton you pudgy nitwit. Anyway I hate this guy. Luckily I'm not alone, Slate's Josh Levin speaks the truth.

4. Howard Stern

I've disliked Stern for a long time because let's see, he's base, slimy, and a hypocrite. Anyway this turd might be back to the radio airwaves because satellite radio hasn't been all that successful for him or his employer. A NY Post writer broke the story then had to give up his reporting duties for the rag when Stern had a hissyfit over it. Radar has the scoop. And this just in, Radar is back and as sharp as ever. Welcome back Radar Magazine!

5. That I have a belly

I'm working on this though. But I still can't get over how I was actually in decent shape only to get lazy and now I have to work my way back. It's funny but I thought I'd be able to return to a nice flat belly in a month or so. I've been working out about 4 days a week for 3 weeks and lost 3 lbs. From a trusted nutrition/exercise website I've read that at best someone who is technically overweight can shed 2 lbs a week. But that entails cardio 6 or 7 times a week and at least 3 days of weights. I'm doing 4 days of cardio and 2 days of weights. I still need to lose like 6 or 7 lbs so I guess it will be another 6 or 7 weeks until the belly returns to being fit and trim. Sorry folks, but I'm not confident enough to post pictures of my current belly status. Maybe I'll post pics of the trim belly, but that will just make me sad and ball up in the fetal position and cry. Lol. I'm so gay. That or a teenage girl. Whatever. If anyone else is shedding some lbs or getting back in shape, hope things are going well for you.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weird Al is my hero

Mucho props to The Grumpy Owl for posting this first.

That has to be Seth Green right?

Also, there's a non-legal, psuedo-political hubbub over a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" that Weird Al recorded. He titled the parody "You're Pitiful" and while it's not on his CD (because of the hubbub) he did release it to the internets. Anyway, check out this NPR article on the controversy and Weird Al's homepage if you can't listen to the parody on the NPR page.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I was wrong

I understand many of us from the TV generation have a love/hate relationship with the boob tube. But we do feel as though we are experts on the subject since we've spent a good deal of time with it. I'm clearly no different. So when ABC stated they would move "Grey's Anatomy" to 9pm on Thursday, pitting it mano-a-mano with the ratings juggarnaut that is the original "CSI", I felt (as an expert) that I should opine on the matter. And what was my "expert" opinion? Basically that while GA is a solid show, it probably doesn't have enough male viewers to compete with CSI. Well, I was wrong. In their first match-up of the new tv season, GA not only was able to compete but brought in 3 million more viewers than CSI. And GA killed in the 18-49 demo which is what the networks really care about.

There's no gender breakdown of the ratings and while I'm pretty sure more women and gays watch the program than men, there must be a significant male viewership for the show pull in these big ratings numbers.

Anyway, I was wrong. Sorry about that GA and congrats on the ratings win. I wonder if the season premiere of LOST does as well? I would like it to, but it has been losing viewers so I highly doubt it will pull similar numbers.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thursday TV Rundown

"My Name is Earl" was funny as usual, but "The Office" was beyond hysterical. "The Office" episode revolved around the accidental outing of a gay employee and the hilarity that ensued. Seriously people, you need to watch this show. And I'm sorry but I'm a little tired of Jim and Pam now. How long are they seriously going to drag this out for? Though Jim's new workplace was pretty funny. Who else caught the Ed Helms sighting?

Also, if you can't get enough of "The Office" --- check out Slate's article on 4 international versions (the original British, the US, the French, and the German). It's an interesting read.

I watched "Grey's Anatomy" and as much as I want to cut it down to size, I have admit it was pretty good. Well except for the 1 billionth time the hospital had incoming patients with freaky medical problems --- this time it was the plague. Anyway, the rest of the program was skillfully done. The flashbacks were poignant, especially theAddison/Derek flashback which was then cleverly juxtaposed with Derek's present enlightenment (if not epiphiny). But if Squeaky McSlutty (I kid, I kid) doesn't hop on board the Derek train, I'm going to have a hard time buying it. Man, I can't believe I'm talking about GA like this. I'm totally gay. Or a 13 year-old girl.

I also watched "Shark". It was pretty decent and I'll probably watch it again but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to those that were not already curious about it.

Did you know ...

This is the 80s/90s edition.

Did you know that "Blossom" (Mayim Bialik) is currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience at UCLA? Well, she is. Apparently she's working on solving several mysteries like the cure for brain cancer and how did Blossom get on television.

Did you know that Evie from "Out of this World" is still hot and still acting? Maureen Flannigan's (Evie) last role was on the FX Series "Starved".

Did you know the actor who plays Bernard from LOST also played Principal Willis Dewitt on "Growing Pains"? Yes, I'm both proud and ashamed that this was the first thought in my head when Bernard first shows up on LOST.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Taxi Cab Confession

If you're new to this blog, let me tell you a little about myself. I enjoy Slate and I enjoy NPR. Speaking of NPR, the other day I was able to catch a CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) lecture by an insightful IR expert on his recent trip to Iran. He was of Iranian descent himself and therefore was able to easily chat up the local people. To end his lecture he mentioned a conversation he had with an Iranian cabbie. I'd like to share that anecdote with the blogosphere:

I'm paraphrasing but this is the gist of it.

The IR Expert was heading for a lecture and was studiously going over his notes in the back of the cab. The Cabbie, an extrovert, began to pepper him with questions about his nationality and the work he was here to do. After finding out the IR Expert was American and en route to a lecture and discussion on US/Iran/World relations, the Cabbie became very talkative. The Cabbie started out by saying the US was a bit of a bully on the world stage but that the Iranian government was rampantly bullying its own people. The Cabbie began to barrage the Iranian government with a string of non-stop curses. After a while, the IR Expert could no longer take the Cabbie's boisterousness and asked the Cabbie to tone it down and let him study his notes. The Cabbie complied. After a few minutes the Cabbie began to speak again, but in softer, calmer tone. He asked the IR Expert if he liked melon (by which he basically means a sweet honeydew type melon). And the IR Expert said yes. Then the Cabbie asked the IR Expert if he likes honey (which is usually eaten warm or hot in Iran). Once again the IR Expert said yes. The Cabbie responded with the warning that while both melon and honey are very enjoyable one shouldn't eat them together because something sweet and something hot eaten together will cause an upset stomach. This is apparently a very old wives' tale in Iran (the IR Expert explains to his lecture audience). And after mentioning the wives' tale the Cabbie says that the melon/honey mixture is akin to the mixture of politics and religion; that politics and religion do not mix and this is Iran's major problem.

Now the Cabbie might not be a medical expert but he has a very unique point of view. He lives in country ruled by a religious oligarchy. And he is strongly advocating a separation of Church/Mosque/Temple and State.

This is not to say that religion isn't important, nor that religion should not be protected by a legitimate government. But, they are two separate entities and there's a good reason why the great forefathers of this nation choose to keep them separate.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The West Wing is back.

So I made it back from class just in time to check out "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" on NBC. This new drama revolves around an SNL-like show. It's also created (and produced, natch) by Aaron Sorkin who gave us the first several years of "The West Wing". I enjoyed and was an avid viewer of the first couple seasons of "The West Wing" but I was also a less discriminating viewer back then. I'll most likely watch the next few episodes of "Studio 60" but I doubt I'll become an avid viewer because the show seems to be a rehash of "The West Wing". For those who enjoy Sorkin's fast paced dialogue and his cast of either impudent or pseudo-quirky characters, this show is right up your alley. For me, most of his work is 45% cliche and 45% sentiment, with 10% of real, refreshing, original merit.

The setting of a Hollywood tv show, Sorkin's own backyard, may better play to his strengths. Though the show is mainly about the professional and personal relationships of those who inhabit the fictional Studio 60. Which isn't all that different from the relationships of those who inhabit a fictional White House or Sports Network (Sorkin also created "Sports Night"). Nevertheless, a tv show setting brings with it the chance for autobiography and we seem to be getting some of that with the two main characters. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford play a critically acclaimed, edgy comedic writer/director duo. Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme have received similar notoriety (though as tv show creators, not comedians) since they paired together on "Sports Night". In the pilot for "Studio 60" the director portion of the duo (Whitford) fails a drug test for cocaine. Just a few years ago Sorkin infamously battled with his addiction to cocaine. I wonder if the rest of the show, especially the politics, decision making, and motivations of the network brass, will keep with this type of honesty.

Unfortunately, much of "Studio 60" feels like "The West Wing" deja vu. There's even a political left/right rift in one of the couplings. Matthew Perry's character recently split up with one of the castmembers of "Studio 60" (Sarah Paulson, who was great on DEADWOOD) who also happens to lean a little right when it comes to her Christian faith.

And one of the main obstacles I think Sorkin and his writing team will have, is simply to be funny. Just take a look at SNL. It's hard enough for SNL to be consistently funny. And now a tv drama about a fictional SNL type show is going to try its hand at it? Good luck.

And after all this badmouthing from me, the pilot was enjoyable enough and there is much potential. Unfortunately, I don't think this show will reach it.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Triumph in Canada

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog may the funniest thing to ever grace this planet. If you have never seen the Westminster Dog Show clips or the Star Wars Fans clip, then listen carefully. Stop what you are doing. Go to YouTube or Google Video and find these clips. Find them now! And watch them!

For those of you that have already ... check out Triumph in Canada (7min):

Slate Rundown

I cannot say enough good things about HBO's THE WIRE. Neither can Slate, calling it the best show on television.

FOX News deservedly gets criticized for its use of verbal bullies and ignorant sensationalism. However CNN's Nancy Grace is guilty of the same behavior in her tabloid treatment of headline criminal cases (Scott Peterson, Gary Condit, Elizabeth Smart). In a recent incident, the woman of a missing toddler committed suicide a few hours before the CNN airing of her taped interview with Nancy Grace. Now I am not implying Grace's rough interview with the woman directly caused the suicide. Also, the woman was a suspect in the case. Nevertheless, the sharp Dahlia Lithwick mentions the incident to spotlight her apt criticism of Grace's rampant prosecutorial tabloidism and Grace's disregard for the legal process. It is a great read.

Speaking of Lithwick, she also penned an informative piece on the current debate over legislating foreign detainee interrogation guidelines. The key battle is over the definition of torture with the Bush Administration wanting "shocks the conscience" while the Senate opposition (including major Republicans) wants to adopt the exact text of the Geneva Conventions ("outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment"). In a speech last week, Bush argued the "shocks the conscience" definition would be more clear and exact. As Lithwick skillfully explains, that's clearly not the case. Would the Bush Administration lie about their reasons for wanting their definition? I'm so shocked.

Speaking of Republican liars, Congressman Bob Ney pleaded guilty to corruption charges stemming from the Jack Abramoff scandal. Ney will be doing jailtime (27 months) and pay a hefty fine (up to $500k).

This is not to say that the Democrats don't have liars or corrupt politicians. They have plenty. When the story first broke about Dem Congressman William Jefferson's corruption scandal I posted on it. I think it reflects our sad political state that he is still under investigation. Though there was a big hubbub over an executive branch agency investigating a legislative branch official. Of course is all executive branch agenices are forbidden to investigate, who's going to do it?

Another major figure in the Abramoff scandel is GOP Senator Conrad Burns (R-Montana) who took $150k from Abramoff. Burns is in a heated race with Dem John Tester. Burns also has a YouTube vid of him napping at a Senate hearing and likes to disparage firefighters and his Guatemalan illegal, house painter (scroll to the bottom). After all this, there's still a chance he might remain a US Senator. Montana, why do you make it so hard to like you? Lol.

And in Slate's continuing dispatch from Fashion Week: Yes, the Fashion Professionals know that what's fashionable can make the average woman not look so great. "You have to be able to convince people that it looks good even when it doesn't. … These shapeless, boxy tops over leggings can make an average American woman look horrible, but everyone's gonna buy it."

Friday, September 15, 2006

Ummmmm ...

Apparently there's a new exercise machine that's sweeping the world or perhaps parts of Asia or perhaps simply parts of cyberspace. One is called igallop while another is called joba. Both are exercise machines that simulate horseback riding. I kid you not. All I have to say is that you ladies are really into your "electronic devices".

YouTube has a clip of the igallop's infomercial. For the curious and those in search of a laugh.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

POV - Waging a Living

The other day I saw a sharp documentary on PBS's POV series. Titled "Waging a Living" the documentary profiled and followed 4 single parents working at or near minimum wage. The federal minimum wage has not been increased in 10 years. Back in 1996 President Clinton allowed States to set their own minimum wage above the federal level. So far, **19 States have done so. Measured for inflation, the current federal minimum wage ($5.15 an hour in 2005 dollars) is considerably less that it was in 1968 ($9.12 an hour in 2005 dollars). (For the record, the minimum wage's inflation adjusted purchasing power was at its peak in 1968.) The documentary shows the viewer on an intimate, personal level just how difficult it is to survive on or near the minimum wage. And as important, the documentary highlights just how Kafkaesque the government assistance programs can be. In one case, as a single mother excelled at her job and received a raise. Only to have her much needed assistance cut back. In the end her raise cost her $100 per month. She decided to shift to part-time and focus on her college career. Yes, this single mother completed her Associate's Degree while working full time and taking care of her 5 children. There are other poignant, heartfelt (and heart wrenching) moments in this skillful documentary. For those interested, visit the website and check when it will be rebroadcast in your area.

As for the minimum wage, I do not see why it cannot be tied to inflation. Or at the least update each year (or each non-recession year). Though I understand a strict minimum wage for all 50 States is not the best solution as different states have varying living conditions. Perhaps the best scenario would be an individual minimum wage for each Metropolitan Area. I know many cities and regions have "living wages" but I have just learned that living wages only affect (or should I use 'effect' here?) companies with contracts to the local government.

In any case, this documentary spotlights just how important the minimum wage issue truly is.

**EDIT: I first stated 14 States had increased their minimum wage. This was sourced from Wikipedia. I have changed it to 19 States after reading the interview with Barbara Ehrenreich on the "Waging a Living" website.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Slate Rundown

Emily Yoffe, who writes both Slate's advice column and Human Guinea Pig (in which she tries out different jobs, skills, opportunities, etc), has a great current Human Guinea Pig column in which she decides to follow the Dog Whisperer and reign in her family dog (did I use the correct "reign" here?).

It's Fashion Week. Slate usually has a few cool pieces on the event. This year they sent their TV columnist, the metrosexual and funny Troy Patterson (I thought he was gay until he mentioned his recent wedding or engagement) to report on what all the hoopla is about. He didn't find the models sexy. I tell you my gaydar is never wrong!

In today's edition of Slate's 'today's papers' column, two very interesting new studies were flagged.

The first is a Baylor University survey on God and religion. It came up with some interesting conclusions. Most Americans have basically 4 ideas of God's personality. There's the Authoritarian God, the Benevolent God, the Critical God, and the Distant God. The study also points out that which type/idea of God one subscribes to tells a lot about that person's political and ideological views. It's pretty intriguing stuff and a good read.

The second is a study by Dr. Drew (from Loveline) that shows celebrities are (big shocker coming up) more narcissistic than the rest of us. Out of the celebrities surveyed, musicians were the least narcissistic and reality tv stars were the most narcissistic. Also, female celebs were more narcissistic than male celebs. However, in the general population males are more narcissistic than females. If you have the time to answer 40 questions, you can find out your narcissistic quotient here. The survey seems a bit obvious to me, I hope this wasn't what they used in the study. Whatever though.


I'm currently devouring LOST season 2 on DVD (thanks to netflix). I love this show. It's a wonderful, suspenseful, exciting story. The characters are superb, the interplay amongst them and their backstories make for very entertaining and interesting viewing. It's the rare tv show with genuine drama, therefore displaying great acting talents. And the larger concept of a mysterious island and its ultimate meaning will always keep you glued to the edge of your seat.

As I've mentioned before on this blog, I obtained my LOST addiction after season 2 had started. So I've been a trooper and waited for season 2 on DVD. Now it's here and I'm currently past the halway mark for season 2. Anyway, you can bet that I will finish viewing season 2 before season 3 starts. Then I'll be all caught up with LOST and that means this blog will have frequent posts about LOST. Or that's the plan. Anyway, if any of you out there have yet to catch an episode of LOST, I strongly recommend viewing an episode. There's netflix of course, as well as iTunes (I think) and other avenues of official online viewing. I'm sure there are numerous ways to unofficially download episodes (through filesharing programs or torrents). So the moral of the post is: YOU MUST WATCH LOST! Lol.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Meet Chad Vader

So I stumbled across these comedic shorts over on YouTube the other day. They're not super funny but they're funny enough. And there's a certain charm about an ongoing series of vids on a grocery store manager who happens to be Darth Vader's lesser known brother. I really like them and it's impressive work for what seems to be high school or college students. Anyway, hopefully you'll get a kick out of them as well.

Chad Vader - Episode 2
Chad Vader - Episode 3

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I think it might be fake ....

As you know by now I'm a big fan of However, I used to despise their advice column because the columnist gave fartingly incompetent advice. I think she now runs the advice column for Yahoo! Anyway, since the old columnist left, Slate's advice column has been superb thanks to Emily Yoffe (who took over). Yoffe doles out wise and practical advice, sprinkled with humor ever now and again.

Well, this brings me to this week's advice column in Slate. The first letter is a doozy. Here's the sub title for the week: "I love her, but she doesn't know I killed her father." It's an interesting (for lack of a better term) read and Yoffe gives solid advice. However, I think it just might be fake. What do you think? I mean how creepy is this guy to strike up a relationship with his childhood neighbor after what he did?!?!? And I'm not saying creepy freaks like this don't exist, but would such a creep actually send in a letter? Maybe I'm just upset this freak reads Slate, lol.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Environment, folks

If any of you are familiar with E.O. Wilson, the father of sociobiology (and a true renaissance man), you'll know he speaks from a vast knowledge of biology, ecology, and science in general. Well, Prof. Wilson has written a new book, The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth, in which he points out just how serious the issue of biodiversity (therefore the environment) truly is. The book is written as a series of letters to a Southern Baptist Minister. Wilson was raised a Baptist though he is now a "provisional deist" ("I'm willing to accept the possibility that there is some kind of intelligent force beyond our current understanding"). However, he understands that many Americans are religious and he calls out for the religious and the secular to join forces to tackle the incisive problems our planet is facing. Climate change is of course a major issue as the plethora of evidence shows (for a great NOVA doc on the subject check out "Dimming the Sun"). Along with climate change, E.O. Wilson points out how thanks to humankind the Earth is currently experiencing its 6th Mass Extinction. Biodiversity, which is the source of our lush, rich, and healthy planet, is facing another low point as thousands of species are dying out as humankind expands. Wilson and other scientists like James Hansen (NASA's top Climate Scientist --- who was basically censored by the Bush Admin) have been raising the flag that the environment is in trouble and we must do something. We should be proud that we are getting greener, but a concerted effort needs to be undertaken. Anyway, I hope that our government (as well as the governments of other nations) quickly realizes just how important this matter is.

Okay, that's probably not going to happen with the craptastic Bush Admin. Maybe the next administration will do something, lol. Though I don't really see Congress doing much on this issue either. Guess the environment is going down the toilet.

Radar is back!

So RADAR magazine is back and they have some decent articles and tidbits up already. One piece of interest is a H-wood poll on such questions as biggest hack, worst actor to work with, and other fun stuff. The gist: Crowe and Lohan are nightmares, Brett Ratner is a hack, Michael Mann is crazy ... the poll seems to be gospel. Here's a link to it:
"Hollywood Confidential"

Also, Slate's wonderful business columnist has a succint piece on why Sumner Redstone (head of Viacom) is a cooky bastard envious of 40 and 50 year-olds. Here's the link:
"Why Tom Cruise Really Got Fired"

Google Video is my hero

So while I'm still mad at Google/Blogger for this whole Beta Blogger commenting fiasco, I must give them some props for delivering the goods. First the Microsoft training vids from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. And now the Conan O'Brien 1864 Baseball reenactors piece (the one that lame YouTube took down for some reason). Enjoy! (it's kinda long at 7 min)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Conan + YouTube = Ghey!

Dunno why YouTube took down the Conan spot but that was totally lame YouTube ... totally man.

Slate Rundown

This may sound like a broken record, but I'm a big fan of I feel the Today's Papers (a summary of the 5 major newspapers) and Jurisprudence (law and legal matters) columns are essential reading. Slate also has superb business columns as well as great dispatches pieces and solid articles on basically everything current. Anyway, here are a couple article links on interesting news stories.

Many of you may remember the Duke Lacrosse/Stripper Rape story a couple of months back. Well if you are wondering what happened to the story, the Slate article has a superb summary on the major facts and why the story is no longer major news. The gist of it is that the prosecution's case is thin at best. The Stripper's story has been equivocal and she has changed it throughout the investigation. There is also strong evidence (time stamped digital photos and credit card reciepts) that place the alleged rapists away from the alleged bathroom in which the rape took place. And while the Stripper is responsible for what strongly seems to be fraudulent rape allegations, blame doesn't simply rest with her. As the Slate article points out, the police and district attorney in the case have pressed on with the rape allegations through incompetence, political sensationalism, and borderline deceit. The Slate article reports on all this by taking apart a recent NYTimes article on why the DA is going ahead with the case. It is a very interesting read, so for those interested here's the link:

Now, before I move on to the second Slate article, I'd like to mention a few things. While this seems to be an incident of a fraudulent rape victim, one can look up state and/or national crime statistics and find substantial cases of genuine rape. Crime and social data also point out that rape/sexual assualt is most likely underreported. And let's face it, rape is still a taboo subject which also disadvantages rape victims because of a despicable social stigma that we, once again, don't really talk about and confront. The point is, just because one victim may be a fake does not mean that rape/sexual assualt is not a major problem.

Second, I believe one of the greatest tragedies in this story is the misconduct and incompentence by the police and DA. As someone who is gearing up towards a legal education I am becoming more and more familiar with our justice system. And while I'm sure there are staunchly ethical and competent police officers and prosecutors, the more I learn about the problems of the judicial system the more I hear and read about police and prosecutors being incompetent, acting towards political benefit, stubbornly avoiding or rejecting contrary evidence, and other abuses of power. The silver lining is that these abuses were eventually caught and placed into the official record so I (and others) could learn from them. But it's still rather heartbreaking to relentlessly read about and hear about such travesties of justice.

I've written a decent amount. So I'll introduce the second article very succintly. Team USA recently lost to Greece in the FIBA championships. We did rebound and crushed Argentina in the Bronze Medal game (which we won again --- Bronze at the previous Olympics as well). Anyway, Rob Weintraub does a great job in explaining why we lost (mainly that International Basketball is slightly different from the NBA and that the rest of the world has gotten significantly better) and makes a insightful comparison to our showing in the recent World Cup. Here's the link to the article for those interested:

Blog Out!

The other day Sage posted about his travels through South Korea. In his post he relayed the story of the "Compassion Bell". It's a wonderful folk tale and can be found here (scroll to the bottom if you only have time for the short story). Sage has a great blog, so for those interested, be sure to check his blog from time to time.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

commenting problems

I wrote in my beta blogger madness post that yall non-beta bloggers should have no problem commenting. I was wrong. My sincerest apologies.

However you can still comment but you'll have to use the "other" feature (or comment anonymously if you like) and enter in a name and (optionally) a blog link.

As far as Beta Blogger, I'd recommend waiting until more people have switched so that you don't have to deal with this beta/non-beta commenting schism. Beta is not too shabby however. You have access to more templates (I think) and the ability to have labels on your posts. There's also a customize template feature which allows you to add lists and other things to your sidebar (as well as a top and bottom bar) without editing the html (though by now most of us are pretty adept at editing template html).

Have a sold you on Beta Blogger? Lol, stupid Google/Blogger. Grrrrr.


A few weeks back Lisa posted about a YouTube vid in which a young lady took a photograph of herself everyday for a couple years. Featured on today's YouTube homepage is similar vid in which one Noah Kalina took a picture of himself everyday for 6 years. The vid is set to some decent music but it's a long vid, almost 6 minutes. But it's worth it just to see the magical dance his hair does. Man, I miss my hair. Anyway, I believe young Noah is a photographer and I'm sure this vid has given him some decent pub. As I type this, his website ( is down (probably overrun with hits).

Anyway, if anyone is interested here's a link to the vid.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Patty Griffin

If someone asked me to name the most beautiful song in the world and I had to pick just one song, it would be "Rain" by Patty Griffin. And the music video is just as beautiful. (I'm like so in love with YouTube.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006


So I just realized that most (if not all) of my film reviews are about decent (if not stellar) films. Back in the day, okay like last week, I used to watch crappy movies all the time on TV. Anyway, the other day I caught a movie that I thought had potential because of the writers involved. But, the movie turned out to be craptastic.


Rating: ** out of 5

You would think with the word “ass” not once, but twice in the title I would have steered clear of this juvenile action-thriller. But no, this clunker plodded along cable one night and I decided to check it out. Also, the screenplay was crafted (and I use that term lightly) by the Wachowski Bros. (THE MATRIX, V FOR VENDETTA) and Brian Helgeland (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, MYSTIC RIVER), so please don’t judge me for thinking this movie had some potential. Stallone stars as Robert Rath, preeminent hit man with a heart (and some baggage), who only kills bad guys (probably), and who wants to get out of ‘the biz’. On his biggest job he finds the a-dorable surveillance hacker Julianne Moore who shares his solitude and affection for cats. Will he kill her? Will he fall for her? Will she trust him? You get the picture. Oh yeah, Antonio Banderas plays a crazy, competing hit man who tries to kill Stallone and Moore. I have no idea how such a silly screenplay could be penned by these screenwriters but recreational drugs might be one explanation.


So I login to blogger and see a message about blogger beta. I read a little about the beta, mainly that there are new features (customize templates, label posts, etc). New features you say?!? Sign me up! I'm brave enough to be a trend starter!

So it takes a few minutes but "they" move my blog to beta. I'm checking out some of the new features and things are going well. I make some minor changes and then decide to check out what the blog buddies are up to.

And that's when it hits me. Either blogger simply didn't mention it in their summary about beta or I simply glossed over it, but beta bloggers aren't signed in when they comment on non-beta blogs. So if I want to comment on one of your fabulous blogs I have to use the "other" button and enter my a name and blog link. Now I don't really mind this, well I do, but I can easily type two lines every time I have to comment. Well it is annoying, but I really don't have a choice. Stupid blogger.

By the by, you super fabulous non-beta bloggers should have no problems commenting on my (beta) blog. If you do, please leave a comment about it (if you can) or email me at (vitalfilm @ gmail). Thanks.

Well, I hope they turn this beta public soon enough so things return to normal.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Blog Out!

Check out plain simple english. Especially the current post which is part 5 of Buffy's (can her real name be Buffy?) "not so super model" (autobiographical?) series. Anyway, it's a wonderful read about determination, rejection, delusion, and I'm guessing a few other things as the series progresses. The parts are short and snappy and funny and honest. Enjoy!

PS - I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Friday, September 01, 2006

More YouTube

Like every music video is on this place. And if not, some clever 12 year old has edited clips from a video game to the song you're looking for. (By the by, the song is "Reno Dakota" by The Magnetic Fields)

I just heard of Camera Obscura on NPR. They're a band from Glasgow with a unique sound. According to the interview a common theme in their songs is an upbeat tempo intertwined with "less than upbeat" lyrics. Anyway check out "Lloyd I'm Ready to be Heartbroken". It's a great song and the video kicks some ass as well.

And who doesn't like the Magnetic Fields? Marse is a big fan. And I've heard nothing but good stuff. I must say I'm becoming a bigger fan the more songs I listen to. Anyway, someone (I'm guessing a 14 year old in Taiwan or Belarus) put a 3D animation of the formation of a magnetised Galaxy Cluster to the tune of "No One Will Ever Love You" by The Magnetic Fields.

I'm Getting Old

So it doesn't help that I'm 27 and I still go to a 4 year college. It's a long story people ... that has to do with film studies and mental health and the x-files. It all comes back to the x-files --- remember that people. Anyway, so I frequent a campus with other students who technically could be 10 years younger than me. 10 friggin' years people! It's been a week of school so far and I already feel like the old man I am thanks to the newest in ladies fashion.

Okay, who decided we needed to revist the '80's? I mean some of the outfits are cute, but none of them are sharp and sexy. I'm sorry the '80s weren't sexy. They were about 99 Luft Ballons, snorting cocaine, and ALF. And now with the '80s back, does every single girl have to wear horizontal stripes? And don't get me started on leggings. I now have another reason to hate the Lohan. Does everyone wear leggings because of Lohan? That's just sad. I'm sorry. It is. And while I'm happy the low cut jeans are now gone, frankly the wrong people were wearing them (and I see enough belly in the mirror and mine has hair on it), does it have to progress to triangle leg, acid wash? One thing I will give props too are those high, wide belt/girdles. They make for a very nice figure.

And the boys, oh man, how can extra baggy still be in? It can't. I was cool when it ended. No more super baggy please. Or whatever, like I care.

In other news, apparently I am a 13 year old girl trapped in an old man's body. I've come to this conclusion because I've been listening to The Fray's "How to Save a Life" nonstop. It has a catchy tune and I even think the lyrics are decent. I first caught it on a rerun of "Scrubs" the other day. Then I heard it as promo music for the "Grey's Anatomy" premiere. And then when I searched for the music video on YouTube (my new most favoritest website) I found several "One Tree Hill" vids that clever 13 year olds have edited together with The Fray's "How to Save a Life". So I like crappy music. I also like The Dixie Chicks. Don't judge me! Here's a link to their "Not Ready to Make Nice" video.

And just to prove I'm spending too much time on YouTube and that 13 year old girls go crazy for "How to Save a Life" here's a vid of 3 girls and their "intrepretive dance" to the song. Be warned, I lasted like 30 seconds. (If you do click, check the comments, people are vicious, lol)

And more proof of my YouTube obsession. Here's a 17 year old boy who was born in Israel and came to the US 4 years ago. He does a kick-ass cover of "Not Ready to Make Nice".