Thursday, May 31, 2007

Surf's Up Jackass

Proving yet again that marketing people aren't the brightest bulbs on the marquee: (link)
...To promote the upcoming film "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer," 20th Century Fox and The Franklin Mint altered 40,000 U.S. quarters to feature the character.

The U.S. Mint said in a news release Friday that it learned of the promotional quarter this week and advised the studio and The Franklin Mint they were breaking the law. It is illegal to turn a coin into an advertising vehicle, and violators can face a fine.

The federal mint did not say whether the studio or the private Franklin Mint would face a penalty.

The altered coins are quarters honoring the state of California that entered circulation in 2005. They feature George Washington on the front, but a colorized version of the character on the back. All 40,000 were slated to be in circulation throughout the country this week, and about 800 were released in each state.
I personally love the Franklin Mint's statement on this:
The Franklin Mint mainly produces collectibles or commemorative medallions. Unlike its other commemorative coins, these aren't being sold, said Franklin chairman Moshe Malamud. He said putting the character on the coin didn't alter the integrity of the coin.
You mean to tell me that it didn't occur to anyone that this would be a problem. Doesn't the Franklin Mint have a legal department?
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Monday, May 28, 2007

I Spit on Google

Once again, Google DIDN'T run a special image on their homepage in honor of Memorial Day today.

This seems like a strange sort of slight (almost un-American), because, apparently, they'll run a special "Google" graphic for almost anything.

Here's a few examples for 2007...

Valentine's Day:

Earth Day:

This year they even celebrated Yuri Gagarin as the "First Man in Space":

But NOTHING for Memorial Day. What gives?

A 2006 article from WorldNetDaily may provide somewhat of an answer - and to be fair, this is a conservative site I found through a Google search (link):

...for the 8th year in a row, Google has made no effort to commemorate any holiday honoring U.S. veterans or war dead – no tributes to Veterans Day or Memorial Day.

Google's holiday signature is a dressed-up corporate logo for major holidays and lesser-known occasions alike. Besides overlooking Veterans Day and Memorial Day since the company's inception in 1999, it has also ignored Christmas and Easter. Interestingly, Google for Canada honors Rememberance Day, the Canadian version of the U.S. Veterans Day.

Google has been criticized for its one-sided political contributions and content policies:

  • Rejecting an ad for a book critical of Bill and Hillary Clinton while continuing to accept anti-Bush themes
  • Rejecting ads critical of Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while continuing to run attack ads against besieged House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.
  • Allowing the communist Chinese government to have the search engine block "objectionable" search terms such as "democracy."

In addition, the company came under fire for an editorial decision giving preferential placement to large, elite media outlets such as CNN and the BBC over independent news sources, such as WND, even if they are more recent, pertinent and exhaustive in their coverage.

As WND reported, 98 percent of all political donations by Google employees went to support Democrats, and as a matter of fact, Al Gore is now a senior adviser to Google.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave the maximum legal limit of donations to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry and to primary candidate Howard Dean.

Memorial Day is NOT a "conservative" holiday and for Google to ignore it out of some misguided internal political philosophy is laughable (and deserving of a bitch-smack).
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Sunday, May 27, 2007

My Big Fat Greek Lawsuit

Film producer, David E. Kronemyer, alledged that he was not given full credit for his involvement in the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Wishcraft and Stand and be Counted.

Failing to get relief from the studios that produced the movies, he sued IMDb (link) to have his name added to their listings (what a jackass).

Thankfully, the case of Kronemyer v. Internet Movie Data Base (link) went up in flames like a plate of saganaki.
...IMDd asserted that its policy, which appears on the Web site, is that, “with a few exceptions,” credits are listed “exactly as they appear on screen.” The site has a procedure for submission of corrections, which Kronemyer said he availed himself of, but the company says it reserves the right to “reject/delete information at any time for any reason, especially if [IMDb is] unable to verify it. IMDb said that Kronemyer is not credited with the three productions in question because his name does not appear in the credits.
The court ruled that Kronemyer:

...presented no evidence at all as to two of the productions, and his evidence as to “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was weak.

Kronemyer “attached two documents to his declaration purporting to identify him as an executive producer,” the presiding justice explained. “The first is a ‘Loan and Security Agreement’ dated September 2000 between Big Wedding LLC and The Lewis Horowitz Organization. Page 30 of that document states that the movie would be executive produced by appellant and others. This does not establish that appellant was entitled to be listed as an executive producer on the finished film.”

In addition to NOT getting his name listed on the site, Kronemyer will have to pay IMDb more than $6,000 in attorney fees, plus costs.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Happy 100 Duke!

John Wayne's ten best movies:
  • The Searchers
  • Red River
  • The Quiet Man
  • Rio Grande
  • Fort Apache
  • True Grit
  • In Harm's Way
  • The War Wagon
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
  • Donovan's Reef

John Wayne's ten worst movies:

  • Rio Lobo
  • Big Jim McLain
  • Blood Alley
  • Chisum
  • Jet Pilot
  • The Conqueror
  • Circus World
  • The Train Robbers
  • McQ
  • Legend of the Lost

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Rambo is from Mars, Jerry Maguire is from Venus

From a United Press International story (my comments in italics):

Study: 'Chick flicks' also enjoyed by men

A U.S. study suggests, common stereotypes to the contrary, "chick flicks" aren't just for women -- guys also like romantic movies.

No, they don't.

Kansas State University psychology Professor Richard Harris said his research produced surprising results.

"Everyone thinks women like romantic movies and they drag guys along to them," he said.

"What was significant was that the guys also liked the movies, and that the choice to view a romantic movie was usually made together as a couple, not just by the girl."

I hate to burst the researcher's bubble, but a guy will sit through (and pretend to enjoy) Steel Magnolias if he thinks it will help him score.

Although both men and women generalized men as a group wouldn't like a romantic movie, when men rated a romantic flick they had just seen, they gave it a 4.8 on a 7-point scale. When women were asked to rate how much their dates liked the movie, they gave the same 4.8 rating.

Where did do this research -- Starbucks?
The results of the study could be something moviemakers should take into consideration when making a romantic movie, Harris said.

"There are a lot of men who go to these romantic movies and enjoy them," he said. "I wouldn't write off the male audience just because it is a romantic film. I would suggest marketing to the men in the audience."

I would suggest more explosions.
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Team of Destiny (2nd Try)

I'm predicting Ottawa in FIVE over Anaheim for this year's Stanley Cup Finals.
  1. As posted earlier (link), the winning team is either the Red Wings OR a Canadian team for years that end in "7." It's 2007 and the Wings have been eliminated. Do the math.

  2. Last night a Coke machine robbed me of 2 dollars. The machine number was "25275." Since Ottawa is my "2nd" choice and the year ends in "7," this leaves "5" as the number of games it will take.

  3. The "Ducks" is a stupid name for an NHL hockey team and should NEVER be engraved on the Stanley Cup.
Perfectly reasonable.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The BEST Bond Movie Ever

I just happened upon this column about 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service (link), which, if I HAD to pick one, was the very best Bond movie ever made.

BTW, it DOESN'T star Sean Connery.

From: The Revolutionary James Bond Movie, by Robert Castle (link):

...It relies on action and not action devices to generate excitement. Gone are the Aston-Martin death machine, the miniature helicopters, and the rocket backpack. Also absent is a slow, uninvolving sequence like the underwater battle in Thunderball. The Bond Movie returns to James Bond. The superhero does not need superfluous technology

...perhaps On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’s most revolutionary move not only returned Bond to his own devices but followed Fleming’s novel very closely, part of the process mentioned earlier of returning the series to James Bond.
If you've never seen it, it's well worth the rental fee (in "Letterbox", of course).
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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ho's for Hillary

Perfect. Porn star Jenna Jameson supports Hillary Clinton for president. See if you can catch the double entendre at the end of this quote from Jameson's interview with PR.Com (link) "Do you find that the climate of the adult industry changes when there is a Republican administration versus Democratic?"

Jenna Jameson: "Absolutely. The Clinton administration was the best years for the adult industry and I wish that Clinton would run again. I would love to have him back in office. I would love to have Al Gore in office. When Republicans are in office, the problem is, a lot of times they try to put their crosshairs on the adult industry, to make a point."

"It's sad, when there are so many different things that are going on in the world: war, and people are dying of genocide...I look forward to another Democrat being in office. It just makes the climate so much better for us, and I know that once all our troops come home, things are going to be better and I think that getting Bush out of office is the most important thing right now."
Tee hee.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Moore Gets Smoked

Proving that not ALL fat people are jolly, Michael Moore, apparently still stinging from Fred Thompson's criticism of his trip to Cuba, lashed back at Thompson (link) by complaining about the former Senator's taste for Cuban cigars --- (well, they ARE the best).

"I was struck by the fact that your concerns (including comments about Castro’s reported financial worth) apparently do not extend to your own conduct," Moore wrote in a letter sent to Thompson dated Tuesday.

In light of your comments regarding Cuba and Castro, do you think the 'box upon box of cigars — Montecristos from Havana' that you have in your office have contributed to Castro’s reported wealth?"
Moore went on to challenge Thompson to a "health care" debate.

In a video response taped at this office, Thompson declined while conspicuoulsy and hiliariously sporting a "see-gar" of unspecified origins (link).

Thompson, cigar in hand, says that he doesn't have time in his schedule to debate Moore, but he may be the least of Moore's problems. The potential 2008 presidential candidate suggests Moore inquire of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro about documentary filmmaker Nicolás Guillén Landrián, who was tortured by Castro's henchman because of his film.

"He did something Castro didn't like and they put him in a mental institution for several years, giving him devastating electroshock treatments. A mental institution, Michael, it might be something you ought to think about," Thompson says.

Kick his ass Fred.

The video can be viewed at:

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

No, You're Not!

Avril Lavigne's on the cover of the latest issue of Blender (the self-proclaimed "Ultimate Guide to Music and More") exclaiming "Hell Yeah, I'm Hot!"

Hmmm...I don't think so. She looks like one of the Olson twins on Häagen-Dazs.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Play Ball

I know that it's a different Tom LaSorda who's been the CEO of the Chrysler Group since 2005, but every time I hear his name come up regarding the Cerberus deal, I can't help but chuckle to myself and think "Well, he turned the Dodgers around..."

Am I the only one?

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Latte Diablo

Here's someone who needs to get over it...

From Promo Magazine (link):

An Ohio woman was offended by one of hundreds of comments submitted by customers and celebrities that appear on the cups as part of Starbuck’s The Way I See It program. The program is meant to spark discussion and get people thinking about a variety of topics, including religion, the company said.

The offending quote reads, "Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure."

The comment was made by Bill Scheel, a Starbucks customer from London, Ontario, who describes himself as a "modern day nobody."

The Ohio woman, Michelle Incanno, told news outlets that she would not return to Starbucks.
This story dovetails nicely with a funny bit on McSweeny's titled "REJECTED SUBMISSIONS FOR STARBUCKS The Way I See It" (link).

Some of my favorites:
Boobs, hooters, headlights, funbags, party girls; society has made great strides, but in the matter of synonyms for breasts, it really doesn't get any better than tits. Viva tits!
- - - -
Usually with one eye closed, trying like hell to get a double rum and Coke for last call. That's the way I see it. Got a problem with that?
- - - -
This coffee tastes like poop. Burnt poop.
- - - -
If you love someone, set them free. If they come back, make sure you get the money they owe from before you set them free.
- - - -
A clandestine collaboration between Eli Lilly, the federal government, and Starbucks to put Prozac in the coffee? Did you hear anything about that? You're right, it's probably bullshit. You finished reading the Entertainment section yet?

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Monday, May 14, 2007

41 Cents

In honor of the new U.S. Postal Service rates going into effect today, I found this very funny scene from a Seinfeld episode called "The Junk Mail."

Kramer, over Newman's strong objections, goes to the post office and attempts to cancel his mail service:

Postal Employee: "May I help you?"

Kramer: "Yeah, I'd like to cancel my mail."

Postal Employee: "Certainly. How long would you like us to hold it?"

Kramer: "Oh, no, no. I don't think you get me. I want out, permanently."

Newman: "I'll handle this, Violet. Why don't you take your three hour break? Oh, calm down, everyone. No one's canceling any mail."

Kramer: "Oh, yes, I am."

Newman: "What about your bills?"

Kramer: "The bank can pay 'em."

Newman: "The bank. What about your cards and letters?"

Kramer: "E-mail, telephones, fax machines. Fedex, telex, telegrams, holograms."

Newman: "All right, it's true! Of course nobody needs mail. What do you think, you're so clever for figuring that out? But you don't know the half of what goes on here. So just walk away, Kramer. I beg of you."

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Canadian or Red

Interesting Stanley Cup esoterica -- Since 1926, when it was established that contention for the Stanley Cup took place solely between NHL teams, in championship playoff years that ended in "7" the winner has either been a Canadian team OR the Detroit Red Wings.

Stanley Cup Winners (link)
  • 1926-27 Ottawa Senators
  • 1936-37 Detroit Red Wings
  • 1946-47 Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1956-57 Montreal Canadiens
  • 1966-67 Toronto Maple Leafs
  • 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens
  • 1986-87 Edmonton Oilers
  • 1996-97 Detroit Red Wings

This supports my contention that the Wings are a "team of destiny" (link). Unless, of course, the Senators knock off the Sabres.


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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fair is Fair

I hate to say this but my favorite poverty pimp, Al Sharpton, is getting a bad rap over his statement supposedly demeaning the Mormon religion:
As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry, that’s a temporary situation.
Rev Al made the statement during a surprisingly civil debate over religion with one of my favorite columnists, Christoper Hitchens. The event is summarized in the New York Times political blog (link).

Hitchens has a new book out unambiguously titled: "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything" (link). While I don't share his atheistic worldview, Hitchens is very eloquent in making his argument against religion and religious institutions.

If you watch the debate (link), Hitchens seems to be winning most of the points.

The controversial remark by Sharpton was a response to a reference by Hitchens to "one of the Republican candidates" who belonged to the Mormon faith which, Hitchens went on to say, had supported segregation until 1965. Hitchens never named Romney by name, only by his faith. Sharpton was trying to respond in kind.

In THAT context, Sharpton's remark isn't as bad as it originally sounded.

Frankly, a lot of the people playing "gotcha" with Sharpton now (because of his role in the Imus firing) are giving Hitchens somewhat of a pass. I can only guess that because Hitchens is one of the strongest voices in support for the Iraq war, Conservatives are reluctant take him on for his anti-religious views. Of course, I could be wrong, but the silence from the right in response to Hitchens' book is curious.

My main problem with Hitchens on religion is that his conviction that there is NO God is just as unproven and therefore based on "faith" as any theistic view to the contrary.

One strong point made by Sharpton to Hitchens during the debate was this:
We are sitting in a room that because of lights, we assume that there is electricity in the building. Electricity can light the room or burn it down; it does not mean electricity does not exist because it burns a building down, or that it is inherently wicked. Clearly people have misused God, as they have misused other things that are possibly positive, but its existence is not in any way proved or disproved by you giving me a long diatribe on those that have mishandled and misused God.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cuba Libre 9/11

That big fat lying piece of crap (and I mean that in a good way), Michael Moore filmed part of "Sicko", his new schlocumentary trashing the American health care system, in Cuba.

According to this AP story (link):

In February, Moore took about 10 ailing workers from the Ground Zero rescue effort in Manhattan for treatment in Cuba, said a person working with the filmmaker on the release of "Sicko." The person requested anonymity because Moore's attorneys had not yet determined how to respond.
At last September's Toronto International Film Festival, Moore previewed footage shot for "Sicko," presenting stories of personal health-care nightmares. One scene showed a woman who was denied payment for an ambulance ride after a head-on collision because it was not preapproved.
First of all, let's assume the incident in the "preview" of Moore's flick is true (a BIG assumption with this fat ass). If American "red tape" is a problem, a socialist/communist bureaucracy is NOT a solution.

More importantly, I'm sure that the Cuban government bent over backwards to be helpful to Moore and his delegation as a way to embarass the U.S.

Last year, I had the opportunity to talk to a Canadian citizen who had just returned from a trip to Cuba. For ALL the talk about how "great" things are down there, she observed people living in squalor. And, propaganda aside, the average cuban she met told her, in whispered tones, that they were deathly afraid of the Castro regime.

I don't expect that perspective to appear anywhere in "Sicko" -- making Moore either an colosial idiot or an American-hate spewing liar.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Forget it Jake, It's Chinatown

This AP story on the GOP's criticisms of Nancy Pelosi's water project (link), reminded me of the plot of Chinatown (link).

Pelosi's project was part of the $15 billion Water Resources Development Act that passed the House April 19 by 394-25 and pays for hundreds of projects around the country. Pelosi's measure would authorize $25 million to improve San Francisco port areas, and also would put some areas off limits to navigation so cruise ships could dock.

Her investor husband gets rental income from four buildings in a nearby commercial district.

Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said that she added the projects to the bill at the request of the Port of San Francisco and that her husband's holdings were not a consideration. It's ''speculative at best'' that they would benefit, Hammill said.

Ya know, Nancy Pelosi and Faye Dunaway sorta look alike. If I close my eyes, I can hear Pelosi saying: "She's my sister, my daughter, my sister, my daughter..."

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Sunday, May 06, 2007

Team of Destiny!!

After watching the Wings win Game 5 against the Sharks, I have to say that they've impressed me as this year's "Team of Destiny."

This doesn't mean that they're the "best" team. Certainly their average age (what is it...57?) would disqualify them for that.

But I think Nabokov coughing up the puck and self-destructing while Hasek seems to be solidifying his game is a significant sign that the hockey gods have lined up the planets in their favor.

I'm in!
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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Caption THIS!

The New Yorker magazine, which I find unreadable, is known for their cartoons. There was a great Seinfeld episode which centered around how obscure, pretentious, and unfunny these cartoons are.

Well, I stumbled across this weekly online contest where New Yorker readers can compete for prizes by captioning a blank cartoon. (link)

Here are two of my entries:

"We gave him a choice, fight a man eating tiger on a filing cabinet OR read one issue of the New Yorker cover to cover. "

"Next week instead playing "Human Whack a Mole" and hitting them on the head with a huge mallet, I'm going to make them read a copy of the New Yorker. "

I wonder if I'll win?

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Happy May Day

I had to chuckle at this Mercury News (link) article on Coachella (link), an annual music festival held in Indio, California last weekend.

The description of Rage Against the Machine's performance brought a special May Day tear to my eye:

Stomping, shouting into his microphone, grabbing his curly hair and inciting the audience to "keep fighting," de la Rocha powered through songs ranging from the bass heavy "Bulls on Parade" to the anthem "Killing in the Name."

He also railed against the war in Iraq and likened Bush administration officials to Nazi war criminals.

"This current administration is no exception. They should be tried and hung and shot," he said. Drummer Brad Wilk, bassist Tim Commerford and guitarist Tom Morello, who wore a hat with the word "UNITY" on it, completed the lineup.

"They changed my life. They made me a liberal," said sweat-drenched history teacher Rafael Ramon, 25, who had waited in a crowd packed shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the stage all day.

How nice, this "sweat-drenched" Ramon guy is a history teacher. BTW, where can I get me a "UNITY" hat?
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Slam Dunk

Ever the wordsmith, Christopher Hitchens calls George Tenet's new book a "sniveling" "self-justifying" and a "disgrace."

A Loser's History (link)

...Tenet informed the Senate armed services committee that: "We believe that Saddam never abandoned his nuclear weapons program." It is a little bit late for him to pose as if Iraq was a threat concocted in some crepuscular corner of the vice president's office. And it's pathetic for him to say, even in the feeble way that he chooses to phrase it, that "there was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat." (Emphasis added.) There had been a very serious debate over the course of at least three preceding administrations, whether Tenet "knew" of it or not. (He was only an intelligence specialist, after all.) As for his bawling and sobbing claim that faced with crisis in Iraq, "the administration's message was: Don't blame us. George Tenet and the CIA got us into this mess," I can say, as one who has attended about a thousand postmortems on Iraq in Washington, that I have never, ever, not once heard a single partisan of the administration say anything of the kind. The White House may have thought that it could count on the CIA to resent some sort of solidity in a crisis but, as Sept. 11 had already proved, more fool the White House.

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