Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I recall seeing a preview of this movie online about 6 months ago and it looked like something worth seeing.

Two weeks ago NPR mentioned it in their Day to Day progam of Why Are There So Many Holocaust Movies? (Answer: Actors and produces exploit mass tragety to earn the type of gravitas the holocaust confers in an attempt to win awards.) Defiance was cited as being the exception worthy because "not very jew in WW2 was lead like a lamb to slaughter"

Now I was sent a link to an nice big shiny trailer, and my interest is piqued for a third time. Anyone else think this is worth seeing?

Monday, December 29, 2008

Scientific illiteracy all the rage among the glitterati

I liked this article in the independant.

Scientific illiteracy all the rage among the glitterati

By Steve Connor, Science editor
Saturday, 27 December 2008

When it comes to science, Barack Obama is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.

Closer to home, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith faltered on the science of food, while Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all get roastings for scientific illiteracy.

The Celebrities and Science Review 2008, prepared by the group Sense About Science, identifies some of the worst examples of scientific illiteracy among those who profess to know better – including top politicians.

Mr Obama and John McCain blundered into the MMR vaccine row during their presidential campaigns. "We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate," said President-elect Obama. "Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it," he said.

His words were echoed by Mr McCain. "It's indisputable that [autism] is on the rise among children, the question is what's causing it," he said. "There's strong evidence that indicates it's got to do with a preservative in the vaccines."

Exhaustive research has failed to substantiate any link to vaccines or any preservatives. The rise in autism is thought to be due to an increased awareness of the condition.

Sarah Palin, Mr McCain's running mate, waded into the mire with her dismissal of some government research projects. "Sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not," Ms Palin said. But the geneticist Ellen Solomon takes Ms Palin to task for not understanding the importance of studies into fruit flies, which share roughly half their genes with humans. "They have been used for more than a century to understand how genes work, which has implications in, for example, understanding the ageing process," she said.

Hollywood did not escape the critical analysis of the scientific reviewers, who lambasted Tom Cruise, for his comments on psychiatry being a crime against humanity, and Julianne Moore, who warned against using products full of unnatural chemicals.

"The real crime against humanity continues to be the enduring misery caused by the major mental illnesses across the globe, and the continuing lack of resources devoted to supporting those afflicted," said the psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely.

In answer to Moore, the science author and chemist John Emsley said that natural chemicals are not automatically safer than man-made chemicals, which undergo rigorous testing.

"Something which is naturally sourced may well include a mixture of things that are capable of causing an adverse reaction," Dr Emsley said.

Other mentions went to the chefs Nigella Lawson, who said "mind meals" can make you feel different about life, and Delia Smith, who claimed it is possible to eliminate sugar from the diet. The dietician Catherine Collins said that Lawson's support for expensive allergy foods is a wasted opportunity and too costly for those on limited incomes, while Lisa Miles of the British Nutrition Foundation said that sugars are part of a balanced diet.

Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all espoused the idea that you can detoxify your body with either diet (scientifically unsupportable) or, in the case of Moore, products such as "highly trained medical leeches" which make you bleed. Scientists point out that diet alone cannot remove toxins and that blood itself is not a toxin, and even if it did contain toxins, removing a little bit of it is not going to help.

But top prize went to the lifestyle guru Carole Caplin for denouncing a study showing that vitamin supplements offer little or no health benefits as "rubbish" – it is the third year on the run that she has been mentioned in the review. Science author and GP Ben Goldacre pointed out that the study Ms Caplin referred to was the most authoritative yet published. "Carole should understand that research can often produce results which challenge our preconceptions: that is why science is more interesting than just following your nose," Dr Goldacre said.

Talking sense: Two who got it right

*The writer Jilly Cooper gets nine out of ten for making a stab at why alternative treatments might work: "If you believe them, then they work." That describes the placebo effect, where a harmless but useless remedy seems to work because the patient feels as if it is working.

*The vocal coach and singer Carrie Grant is applauded for raising the profile of Crohn's disease without abusing the science. "There are so many therapies available, but none of them are going to cure you," she said.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Final Solution

Jose, do what these guys did and hack your Nerf gun to shoot 500 rounds per minute. Full hack details here.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Not far enough Hose.

THAT will end all doubt.

Of course, the 'classic' even with less rubberbands, being that you fire by cranking you can keep the ROF to a reasonable limit and acutally get much more effect from it, plus you don't have to build it you can just order it. It looks really great too. Even when not being used, you'd be glad to have it around

gatling gun

for more routine warfare, a double spinner wheel is wonderful

hog leg

Of course, a bit of wood cut to shape and the $3.00 parts and you can make your own. Heck 10 of those for $20, some dowels, I bet you'd be able to create your own functional gatling gun, even if not quite as fancy as the other two.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The next evolution

So we have a pair of Nerf pistols at work to blow off steam with. Now that I've seen the video below I'm thinking it's time to up the ante.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Just for the NIMBY lulz

and the Alanis Morissette irony.

Full story here:
"MPR, churches oppose proposed LRT route

MPR said noise and vibrations from the train, connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul, could harm their ability to record and broadcast. The churches say those very same effects could rattle their aging buildings and disrupt their worship services. "

The fact that the, assumed, heathens - nay pagans have teamed up with the local churces makes my smart-alecy-cynical side giggle. So many bad jokes; so little time. I guess it is good that these ones write themselves.

(follow the smart alec link for a good story)

Thursday, December 18, 2008


As much as I enjoy the Food Channel, Rachel Ray does nothing for me. Until now. Wait for it...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wet Fucking Blanket

Sorry for this one, guys. Watch if you have an hour and a lot of patience. The official site is here. If the video isn't working you can see it here.

I'm watching this on PBS as I type ... guess I wanted to share the misery.

36 days left

Feeding The Animals

Tyler Doshier explores the experience of a Girl Talk show as an example of "collective effervescence." The video was Tyler's final video project for his "Religion in Culture" class and comes via his buddy mason at NeoGAF.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Promises Kept

When I was a teenager two of my favorite entertainers vowed similar oaths. George Lucas said he'd never use special effects except to forward the story he was trying to tell. Metallica said they'd never make a music video unless there was a very special idea behind it. I can't say that Lucas ever followed his own rule. But for a second Metallica only made videos like "One" and "Unforgiven." Then when the black record came out they made not-so-special clips like "Enter Sandman" and a whole slew of performance clips followed. 

The video you see above is what I see as Metallica returning to form. Their new  record may not be the second coming of "Master of Puppets" but I'll be damned if this isn't the coolest fucking music video I've seen in years.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Who Is Your Daddy And What Does He Do?

From the brilliant record "Total Brutal" by Austrian Death Machine.

I hope this website got some kind of producer credit on the record.

R.I.P. Forrest J. Ackerman

Forrest J. Ackerman, the king of science fiction fandom passed away today. 

To learn more about the publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland and curator of perhaps the greatest collection of science-fiction memeroabilia ever assembled read this 2003 profile from the Los Angeles Times

Ackerman's collection was one of legend. And he gratiously shared it with anyone who came calling to his Los Angeles home. One of my great regrets is that I never took a tour of the Ackermansion when Forrest was in good health.

Yay, Norway!

They've already blessed us with the best vampire movie in ages. Now Dead Snow, a horror comedy about frozen Nazi zombies, will be playing Sundance.

Go to Twitch for the teaser.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Hit & Run

Here's a great mini-documentary about the Hit & Run t-shirt crew. My buddy Brandy, one of the co-founders, figures prominantly in the clip. You also get a look at a some of Kime's art.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tim & Eric in Minneapolis!

January 22 at the Pantages. Their live shows are great. Not to be missed.

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