May 29, 2009

May 28, 2009

Department of Giant Blobs

From AOL News: Giant Blob Found Beneath Nevada

...I think that's called "The Earth".

May 27, 2009

Seal of Disapproval

From Newsvine: Canada's governor general eats seal heart
Canada's governor general ate a slaughtered seal's raw heart in a show of support to the country's seal hunters . . .

Hundreds of Inuit at a community festival gathered Monday as [Michaelle] Jean knelt above a pair of seal carcasses and used a traditional ulu blade to slice the meat off the skin. After cutting through the flesh, Jean turned to the woman beside her and asked: "Could I try the heart?"
Dear God. Are we sure she's not Prince Philip's representative?
Asked Tuesday whether her actions were a message to Europe, Jean replied, "Take from that what you will."
A European Union spokeswoman on Tuesday called [the display] "too bizarre to acknowledge."
The spokeswoman added, "Startinnnnnnnng.... Now."

I can't tell you how refreshing it is, in our PR-ruled society, to have someone come out and just GO for it, you know? She might as well have been wearing a t-shirt that read Handle THIS!. Maybe there's hope for the world after all.

May 25, 2009

To Boldly Go Where No Men Have Gone Before

From BBC NEWS | Scotland: Kirk to discuss gay clergy policy

Said the ageing, paunchy starship captain: "We've GOT... to allow gay CLERgy... at all costs! SPOCK!"

Of course, kirk is actually the Scots word for church. I was intentionally misunderstanding for comic effect.

Also, I would like to complain about the numerous copyediting errors with which this article is riddled. Ambiguous modifier:
They are demanding that the Church of Scotland should not accept anyone to be a minister or a deacon who is involved in a sexual relationship outside of marriage with a man or a woman.
Subject-verb agreement/typo:
The motion calls for the passing of an "overture" that would prohibit anybody whose relationships is not faithful and heterosexual
Uncapitalized proper noun:
He said: "What the bible calls for from the very start of creation is that a man and a woman, one man, one woman, should be committed to each other for life."
Apparently the subs at the BBC are hungover this Monday morning...

Also, frankly, I would rather hear McCoy discuss the gay clergy policy.

May 23, 2009

Storm in a D-cup

From Newsvine: Porn star: panel to explore possible Senate run
NEW ORLEANS — Porn star Stormy Daniels says she's formed a committee to explore a possible run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Louisiana Republican David Vitter and will begin raising money for a potential campaign.
I guess it makes sense — she always does well on poles.

And I think she'll bring a nice atmosphere of camaraderie and support to the Senate, too, particularly among the lower ranks — she has a lot of experience getting pages to stick together.


My favourite part of doing research for this post was Daniels' Wikipedia page:
2004 "Space Nuts" [in which Daniels starred] won the AVN Award for Best Extras. These included a video commentary in which Ms. Daniels masturbates while watching the DVD.
Which, coincidentally, is also what Tarantino does on the Pulp Fiction commentary track.

May 22, 2009

May 21, 2009

Department of Whaaaa—?!

From AOL News: Congress Passes New Credit Card Rules
The bill will revolutionize the market by restricting when and how a card company can raise an individual's interest rate, who can receive a card and how much time people are given to pay their bill.

In general, the new rules — which go into effect in nine months — will protect debt-ridden consumers from many of the surprise charges common in the industry, such as over-the-limit fees and costs for paying a bill by phone.
Hooray! What a blow to the predatory lenders in this country! What a victory for the consumer! What an intelligent, reasonable piece of legisla—
Included in the bill is an unrelated measure by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., that would allow people to bring loaded guns into national parks and wildlife refuges.

May 20, 2009

Magical Moments in Boston, #3411

Overheard while walking past a bar in Beacon Hill (at 12:30 p.m.):

WOMAN: [to dog owner, while playing with dog] I really like his balls, you know? I mean, I know that's a weird thing to say, but you don't see a lot of of dogs with balls anymore.

DOG OWNER: [nods sagely]

May 19, 2009

Undercurrents of Fear, Blissful Ignorance, Dominate Campus After Tragic Shooting

BOSTON — An early evening shooting yesterday at Harvard University has left the community here feeling shaken, and dangerously close to becoming aware of the real world.

The victim, a man in his early twenties and apparently not a Harvard student himself, was shot outside the university's Kirlkand House dormitory shortly before five p.m. last night. He was pronounced dead this morning.

Senior Bryant Bonner, a resident of Kirkland house, told the Bloomberg news service that he heard the shooting while in his room studying for his final exams. "I thought it was the lids of trash cans outside," he said.

Baltazar Zovola, another Kirkland resident and wide-receiver on the Harvard football team, heard the shooting from his room as well. “I thought it was someone dropping two or three futons,” he told the Boston Herald.

The Herald also interviewed Stella Barth, a junior at the university, who expressed shock that such a thing could have happened in a world governed by such harmony and intellectual rigour. “I was like, it’s 5 p.m. on a Monday," she told reporters. "Who could be that angry right now?”

In a remarkable stroke of luck, however, during what would otherwise be a grizzly murder investigation with three armed assailants still at large, ABC news reports that students living in Kirkland House may be given special dispensation for any final exams missed as a result of last night's incident.

The shooting has even proved a boon for student protesters who were planning a rally later today to challenge a series of university budget cuts, among which were proposals to increase class sizes, cut hot breakfasts, and reduce late-night campus shuttle services.

“The rally is definitely still on,” undergraduate council president Andrea Flores told Bloomberg reporters. “People feel even more now that issues of safety are going to be salient.”

The investigation continues.


I extend my deepest condolences to the victim's family and friends. In case you can't tell, I'm a little upset that nobody else has thought to do so — I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be getting soundbites about futons if it WERE a Harvard student that had died.

May 17, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Right now I am supposed to be cleaning up a short story for a competition with a deadline tomorrow, and then finishing up the 6,000 per-week novel words I told myself I'd write this summer. Instead, douchebag housebuyer is standing outside my window trying to rationalise to his wife, over the phone, why they should put in an offer on the open house he just went to, and I can't f@#ing concentrate on anything else.

Some highlights:
"I mean, the driveway is a little small, and there's no garage, but do we really need two cars?"

"Well, it's definitely on a quiet street. Not super close to the T, though. Can you imagine how long the street we live on now is? So it's about the total length of our street from Harvard Square.… No, you're thinking of Central Square."

"So the decks are a little worn, but there are two decks, so it's a lot of outdoor space, which is great."

"I mean, they're asking a lot for it right now, but they said they don't have a broker yet, so I think if we make them an offer now we might get away with not paying any fees."

"The bathroom floor is a little… But, you know we could tile over it or something."

"And if we submitted our offer tomorrow, we could find out as soon as twelve to twenty-four hours from now!"

"The thing is, okay, there's a lot that needs doing, but it's a really great space, you know?"

"So it's three bedrooms, which is more than we need, I know, but for the price it's a pretty good deal."

"The problem is, if we offer this much and then they say no, what's going to happen is it might go to a broker after all."

"Well, okay, so there's this guy in the building next door who is staring out the window and pointing at me and making a throat-slitting gesture, but probably we'll never actually run into him in person, you know?"
It has been approximately thirty-five minutes now since this conversation began. Are you as irritated yet as I am?

May 16, 2009

For the Love of God, Don't Hit the Ejector Seat!

From AOL News: Pilot Sky Sex
LOS ANGELES (May 12)- A helicopter pilot who was videotaped receiving oral sex from a woman as he flew her around San Diego acted so recklessly that his license must be revoked, the National Transportation Safety Board said.
Here's a screen grab from the article:

For his sake, I really hope that caption is meant to read:
Video of pilot David Martz, right, receiving oral sex in a helicopter from a woman, not pictured, surfaced on the Internet earlier this year.
The story continues:
The NTSB said . . . [the woman] blocked his access to controls vital to operating the aircraft in an emergency.
Like his brain, presumably, since all his blood was flowing to his penis HEY-OH!
During his appeal before administrative law Judge William R. Mullins last month, Martz, 52, acknowledged he acted foolishly, but said he has become a much more responsible pilot since then.
He added: "Please give me my helicopter back, mister! I'll take real good care of it, I promise! I'll wash it and put fuel in it every day, honest!"

So is this a ROFLCOPTER, technically, or what?

May 15, 2009

May 14, 2009

Are Grad Students Still Allowed To Be Sophomoric?

It's the Emerson graduate student commencement on Monday, and though I won't be graduating myself until next year, the administration still sent me a helpful info sheet about the ceremony. And because said ceremony is being held at Boston's prestigious Wang Theatre, I thought I'd share a few of the ACTUAL, UNDOCTORED double entendres from the document (apparently May is puerile pun month).

•Show up at the Wang at 1:30 on Monday, May 18.

•Come to the Wang basement.

•The Wang will be warm with your robes
And, of course, as with all good Wang events:
•You cannot spend time with your family until after the ceremony

May 13, 2009

Set Phasers To Yawn

I guess I should preface this by saying that in high school, Star Trek was pretty much my only friend — and apparently this predisposes me to disliking J.J. Abrams' revival of the franchise. But respectfully, I would like to disagree: I think it is my love of good movies that predisposes me to disliking the latest film in the Star Trek series.

To be honest, I would have been perfectly happy to have someone come in and turn the mythos on its head; Kirk et al. could use some freshening up, if you ask me. Plus, I'm not and never was one of those Trek fans who insists that everything carrying the Trek name must fit into the perfectly logical and continuous universe created by all previous incarnations, because:

1) Plenty of other oft-reinterpreted franchises — I'm thinking particularly of Batman here — have no qualms tinkering with the mythos, and are much stronger for doing so;

2) A perfectly logical and continuous Trek universe does not exist, anyway — how could it, after all the torturous jumps through space, time, and logic that the seventeen gajillion previous Treks have made? And,

3) It is precisely such torturous jumps in space, time, and logic that make most Trek films so unbearable to sit through — and J.J. Abrams' attempt is no different.

Indeed, even though the new Star Trek has been billed as one that anybody can enjoy (and, gosh, I'm pretty sure I've heard that before), it devotes so much of its screen time to explaining for fans how it's possible for hot, young Kirk and Spock to exist in the same universe as paunchy, middle-aged Kirk and Spock (time travel and an alternate universe, natch) that most of the movie's two hours feels like one long, arduous set-up to get to a point where the real movie can actually begin. And then the movie ends.

In the meantime we're treated to a bland hodgepodge of sci-fi and action movie clichés (including a frankly baffling visit to the ice planet Hoth), a long, clunky, and unconvincing opening stuffed full of naked (often literally) exposition, and, of course, J.J. Abrams' trademark sluggish, tensionless directing — remember Mission: Impossible 3? Rather than turning the screws on his characters and letting tension build up over extended periods of time, Abrams just makes things happen in the movie as soon as the plot requires it ("We've got to get your heart rate down!" Dr McCoy implores a illness-ridden Kirk, and within seconds the stubborn young cadet has made a full recovery; "He is emotionally compromised," advises a sage future-Spock, "You just have to get him to show it" — and, again, a minute or two later, reckless present-Spock is lashing out in a curiously consequenceless ass-whupping). What we're left with is a bewildering array of short, effects-heavy set pieces that might be somewhat engaging if they seemed in any way connected to one another, but as is stands could probably be reshuffled into pretty much any other order and would have more or less the same impact. I guess we'll have to wait for the Blu-Ray release to find out.

The film's one saving grace, in my opinion, is Karl Urban's Dr McCoy, the only person onscreen who seems to understand what is required of reprising an iconic role — he does a mean Deforest Kelley, for sure, but mostly he manages to go beyond his predecessor and gives us a character that actually feels human, instead of like the rest of the cast's second-rate caricatures of actors who were already, let's face it, pretty hammy. Urban also provides the film's only pun, which is really fantastically delivered — and that, of course, is all you need to win me over.

Anyway, my rating: two pundigrions. Save your money for Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

May 11, 2009


From BBC NEWS | Scotland: Key tram section to be year late
SNP MSP Shirley Anne Somerville said she was worried some parts of the route may be scrapped if it runs over budget. . . .

Ms Somerville said: "This tram scheme has gone from fiasco to farce. With 30% of utility works still to be done at this stage, I am extremely concerned that the project's finances are completely off the rails."

May 10, 2009

Recycling Jokes

During Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live last night, Kenan Thompson reprised the role of Jon Lovitz and Bobby Moynihan reprised the role of Dana Carvey, in a wholesale "homage" to this classic 1986 SNL skit featuring William Shatner.

I would therefore like to take the opportunity to recycle one of my own jokes and draw your attention to upcoming publishing sensation . . .

Confections of a Closet Master Baker, by Gesine Bullock-Prado.

Does Random House not employ teenage boys or what?

May 08, 2009

May 02, 2009

Swine Flu Update: Day 19

From BBC NEWS | UK: Swine flu transfer to English man

A South Gloucestershire man has become the first person in England to catch overactive media flu without visiting Mexico, reports the BBC. Read on to hear more of the SHOCKING TALE of Barry Greatorex, and the CHILLING ORDEAL that befell him in CHIPPING SODBURY:
"Initially I thought it was because I had over-exerted myself in the garden…" he said.
Mr Greatorex has never had flu so presumed it was the "worst cold" he'd ever had.

In a telephone interview with the BBC, Mr Greatorex laid out his nightmarish affliction in no uncertain terms:
The first two or three days this week, it was — I was pretty grotty.
Meanwhile, in Mexico, a sheepish health minister informed the press that, in fact:
The suspected death toll from swine flu [has been revised down] from 176 to 101 . . .

Based on samples tested, the mortality rate was comparable with that of seasonal flu.
The new virus lacked the traits that made the 1918 flu pandemic so deadly, [a] CDC official said. . . .

Although experts were concerned about the possibility of severe cases, the majority so far had been "mild, self-limited illness".
[Health minister Jose] Cordova appeared to agree, saying that the Mexican authorities may, on reflection, have overestimated the danger.
Look out for the exciting film adaptation of the Swine Flu Crisis of 2009, coming next year from 20th Century Fox: Overestimated Danger. Starring Harrison Ford as Felipe Calderón, Phylicia Rashad as Michelle Obama, Benicio del Toro as "Patient Zero", and Will Ferrell as the flu virus. (Tagline: They thought it was just another case of the flu… They didn't count on being right.)

I told you so?

May 01, 2009