Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas

If you have kids, you might want to check out NORAD's Santa Tracker tonight. Its Cold War technology put to excellent use.

Have a great Christmas and New Year, see you in 2008.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Real McCoy

This affectionate profile of Sam Waterston doesn't have any bombshells in it, but it's short and fun. And it contains a quote from Dick Wolf that sums up what I find most remarkable about Waterston's run on Law & Order, which I judge to be one of the great achievements in television history:

"After all these years, I've never once seen him phone in a performance."

Me neither, and God knows, that would be easy to do with that role.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dancing Spider-Man

A Galley Friend who's a big wheel in the world of semi-professional swing dancing passed along this video of a couple who choreographed their routine to the old Spider-Man theme. Obviously, the guy is in full Spidey regalia, but please note that the gal has dyed her hair red to go for the full Mary Jane look.

Is it totally weird? Yes.

Kind of awesome? Also, yes.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bill Lyon: Stud

Lyon is one of my heroes, so I was thrilled to see him inducted into Philly's Sports Hall of Fame. Here's the fantastic speech he gave on the occasion.

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Dark Knight

Here's the new international teaser one-sheet:

Sigh. Fine. I'm in.

(PS: If you know where to find one these, drop me a line and let me know. I've still got a few feet of uncovered wall-space at the office . . .)

The Greatest Story Ever Told

Webster's Is My Bitch throws an off-hand link to this IMDB synopsis of the "in-production" flick Jack and Diane. The IMDB plot summary reads:

Jack and Diane, two teenage lesbians, meet in New York City and spend the night kissing ferociously . . .

Again, I'm not a hot-shot Hollywood executive, but based on an extensive review of box-office metrics, this sounds like a movie that could make about a gagillion dollars.

Rap: The PowerPoint Presentation

So funny:

Dark Knight Trailer

Fine. I'll say it: It moved. Are you happy?

I just read Ed Brubaker's outstanding Joker-origin book, and I can only hope that Nolan cribbed some of it--at least the tone--for the movie.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Will Arnett Is the New Voice of K.I.T.T.

Too. Many. Jokes.

"Have you seen the new Poof, Michael?"

"You've got a really nice mouth . . ."

"Illusions, Michael, you don't have time for my illusions."

Does this mean that "Final Countdown" will be the new theme?

Seriously though, I think the idea of a puffed-up, needy, semi-bisexual K.I.T.T. is just what this re-imagining needs.

Marvel Digital Comics

Is it the best thing to happen to comics since baxter paper?

Or is it just a more expensive version of the hologram cover?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hatchet Job

That's what this awesome piece on Bobby Petrino is. No two ways about it. Says Petrino is not a man and calls his decisions cowardly. But "hatchet job" has so many negative connotations. Don't some people actually deserve the hatchet?

Petrino didn’t tell players when they were being benched, or why. Some found out when they got to the stadium on game day. Joey Harrington found out from reporters in a news conference that he might not start at quarterback that week.

And my favorite part:

Petrino took exception last week when I asked him about the possibility of leaving the Falcons for a college job (I was giving him the benefit of the doubt, and figured he would wait until after the season).

“My plans are to be here, there’s no question about that,” he said. “I get asked the same question every day, and that’s my plan.”

And now his plan is taking him to Arkansas. At least 13 games covers a full college season.

Get Your Geek On

Jenny points us to these pictures of . . .

Kristen Bell, in a Princess Leia Brass Bikini getup. It's more gold than brass, but still.

I'm just saying.

Advantage: Blogosphere

Because First Things--one of the three best American magazines in production--has started a new blog.

Worth working into your rotation.

World of Warcraft

I gave up the pipe on WoW a long time ago, but these ads are (almost) enough to get me back into it. Particularly the Mr. T and Shatner spots.

Just FYI

Here's Galley Friend Mike Russell writing on Achewood in Sept. 2007:

Okay. If you haven't heard of "Achewood," here goes:

Imagine Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. Now. Empty it of all the
adorable stuffed animals suffering from ennui, honey-cravings and
blustery weather. Then re-populate it with stuffed animals suffering
from clinical depression, drug cravings and blustery rageaholic

Oh, and make the Hundred Acre Wood a suburban California house.

That's "Achewood." Sort of.

Here's Time magazine on Achewood this week-ish:

Achewood defies categorization or description, but a brief, futile
attempt at a synopsis would go something like this: A bunch of cats,
some robots, a bear and an otter who's 5 years old, live together in a
fictional neighborhood called Achewood, which you might usefully think
of as a grown-up, suburban, stoned version of Pooh's Hundred Acre

It's not plagiarism, but it does look like either an amazing coincidence or extremely ungenerous writing.

Eastern Promises for Tennis

Galley Friend B.W. sends us this link on McEnroe and the Russian mob:

US tennis legend John McEnroe expressed his concern on Friday that organised crime, such as the Russian mafia, could be infiltrating tennis. The former world number one believes that threats to tennis players or their families could be forcing them into throwing matches. "The thing that worries me is that mafia types, like the Russian mafia, could be involved. That's potentially pretty dark and scary," McEnroe told The Daily Telegraph.

If Law & Order has taught me anything, it's that the reach of the Russian mob is nearly limitless. Just ask poor ADA Ricci.

(Btw, that two-part episode gets my vote for best L&O ever.)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

HD DVD vs. Blu-Ray (cont.)

I don't ever get into Wal-Marts, but they've got a generic-brand HD-DVD player now selling for $189. That doesn't seem to be a sale price, either.

It'll be interesting to see what the stand-alone player numbers look like post-Christmas.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The West Philly Grifters

A couple impossibly un-cool GS readers have complained that they don't have access to Facebook and/or indoor plumbing. Also, they're pissed about the Taft-Hartley Act. But they really, really want to see the pictures of Jocelyn Kirsch, one of Philly grifters. (The Philly papers have more on the story today.)

So here are some pics. Keep scrolling down for the best part of the Daily News story:

I know what you're wondering. The Daily News has the answer:
JUDGING FROM her reaction, Jocelyn S. Kirsch may have received the best Christmas present of her life in 2003.

Her father, Dr. Lee Kirsch, a plastic surgeon from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, shipped her a package containing a pair of silicone breast implants, she told her fellow Drexel University dorm residents. Kirsch, then a freshman, said it was her father's Christmas gift.

Kirsch quickly showed off the implants on her dorm floor, according to classmates familiar with the story. . . .

By senior year, Kirsch had no contact with any of her freshman friends who, perhaps, had seen her body before her father's Christmas gift. She also took down any photos on her Facebook page from before her sophomore year, said the two former friends.

Scott Sexton, the metro columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal, interviewed Kirsch's high school friends who described a troubled young woman with a penchant for lying and for sticky fingers.

By which the reporter means that she stole a lot of stuff. Just to be clear.

Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians

Shockingly enough, that's exactly what this site is devoted to.

It's really reprehensible. And mean-spirited. In no way do I endorse it.

However, it's pretty spot-on.

Only in New York Philly?!?

The Daily News is all over this fascinating story about the well-to-do 25-year-old UPenn grad and his 22-year-old Drexel girlfriend who've been grifting hundreds of thousands of dollars using stolen identities. It's totally engrossing and if the WGA strike wasn't happening, would be the subject of a Law & Order episode by next spring.

Update: Galley Friend M.G. sends us this link to scandalicious Facebook photos of the griftress. I'm guessing she was the mastermind.

G.I. Joe News

Darth Maul is Snake Eyes.

Say what you will.

KSK Does Zales

The Christmas Ape writes his own script for a saccharine Christmas jewelry store commercial. Here's a taste:

[Tinkling overlay of Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles"]

[Scene one]

Tony Romo sits in front of a vanity mirror in a room dimly lit by candles. He's wearing an elf's hat. He smiles faintly but with determination. His mind seems distant. He turns to a small TV to his right, sees Peter King reporting from Minnesota. Suddenly wistful, his smile fades to nothing.

Behind Romo, a closet door silently glides open.

"But how, you were -- "

King reveals a small jewelry box, sweeping it over Romo's shoulders to his face. He opens it slowly.

"It's for your cock," King whispers sweetly.

The Dark Knight

I've been undergoing a semi-reconsidering of Batman Begins, mostly on the strength of recommendation from Galley Friend S.B., who considers it the greatest superhero movie ever made. I'm far from convinced. But there's now word out on the first six minutes of The Dark Knight. And it sounds just about amazing.

It starts off with a breathtaking shot of Gotham City in broad daylight. The camera swoops into this big glass skyscraper the way only an IMAX movie can. It was stunning. Then BOOM! One of the windows in this big glass skyscraper is blown out. It then cut to two thugs in ugly clown masks (the ones we saw in the first publicity stills that were released months ago) shooting a zip line down to an adjacent rooftop.

Cut to the street as we see another thug waiting on a street corner with his clown mask in his hand. We’re looking at him from behind and can’t see his face. A van pulls up and the thug puts on his mask and jumps in to join the rest of the clowns. The clown who’s driving is bitching about how this Joker guy who planned the heist didn’t even bother to show up and questions why they should cut him in on any of the loot. There’s an awesome line from one of the clowns about The Joker and how he wears make-up as “war paint” to scare the crap out of people. Very cool stuff.

The two clowns in the skyscraper dramatically swing down to the rooftop while the clowns in the van enter the bank guns a blazing.

One of the rooftop clowns disables the silent alarm and comments that the alarm isn’t going to the cops. Once the alarm is halted, his partner shoots him dead.

It gets better from there.

Advantage: Not the Blogosphere

I hardly ever do this, so I hope you'll forgive me, but Galley Friend D.M. sends me this link to a blog post about a piece I wrote elsewhere on Google's Book Search. While not an attack piece, I tried to raise what I deemed some important concerns about this project in specific and Google in general. Anyway, that blog post describes the piece as "Jonathan V. Last defends Google in The Weekly Standard."

Ordinarily, I wouldn't be bothered by this total misreading. The blogger probably read the first couple graphs and then posted without reading the end. No crime there.

But what struck me was the name and subtitle of the blog:

"One Letter At A Time: A Blog About Reading and Writing"


Update: Blogger James Comerford has thoughtfully commented below and updated his original post. Advantage: Blogosphere.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Big Love

I have remained silent too long. But now I have had it. Enough is enough. Last week photos emerged supposedly showing Jennifer Love Hewitt in an unflattering light. Yes, that light would be called the sun. Nevertheless, extreme close-ups of Love made it seem as though the talented actress had some dough to be kneaded. But who can really say when malicious photographers use Photoshop, not to mention the ripples of the water shining irregularly on her. And even if JLH did have some junk in the trunk, have we forgotten it is almost winter and we all need to store up our energy.

I am proud to say my girl has now responded on her blog:

A size 2 is not fat! Nor will it ever be. And being a size 0 doesn't make you beautiful.

What I should be doing is celebrating some of the best days of my life and my engagement to the man of my dreams, instead of having to deal with photographers taking invasive pictures from bad angles. I know what I look like, and so do my friends and family. And like all women out there should, I love my body.

To all girls with butts, boobs, hips and a waist, put on a bikini -- put it on and stay strong.

I agree she doesn't need to lie, as when she refers to "my engagement to the man of my dreams." That cannot be true since I am here in DC and still married. But seriously, everyone should leave the poor girl alone. She's gone through enough as it is. And she must be starving.

Get Your Geek On

And I mean seriously on. Galley Friend M.E. sends us this screed about comics illustrator Rob Liefeld. You don't know who Liefeld is? Doesn't matter. You do know Liefeld's stuff? Then strap on your Compton hat, because you might get smoked. Here's the intro:

Comic books exploded when Bill and myself were about ten years old. They'd always been popular and we'd always collected and enjoyed them, but a surge of popularity brought out collectors and special editions and all the shit we've learned to deal with from breakfast cereals and television punditry. Kids were replaced by old men with backing boards, and eventually the kids and the old men became one, and 9 out of 10 kids you met collected comics for the money they'd never see and gave you the most turd-burgling stink-eye if you took the literally, figuratively, and creatively worthless SPIRITS OF VENGEANCE out of its polybag. It was a grand and miserable time for all involved, and as a result now Spider-Man wears flying armor and the good writers we lost, guys like Alan Moore, are busy writing graphic novels about how Snow White loves fucking the Seven Dwarves in a metaphorical Future Paris or whatever.

You don't need to know about this. Comics were once for kids and now they're for the adults who loved them as kids but suddenly became adults with no upward motivation. Talented people did and still work on comics and as immature and goofy as any hobby can be, they should be respected and admired for their work. We don't hate comics. I'm a little more bitter about the loss of innocence than Bill, but we both don't appreciate Garth Ennis having Superman demand blowjobs in a comic and expecting people to call him a genius.

It gets better from there. It's like the comic-book equivalent of "Shoot 'em in the head! Shoot 'em in the head!"