Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
The mass of hair - known as a trichobozear -is a potentially fatal result of a mental illness called trichotillomania, a condition in which the patient pulls her hair out and, in many cases, eats it. And while the condition is not well known, American doctors say that it may afflict 1 percent of all Americans.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Music by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Google now hosts nearly 10 million images from Life magazine's photo archives.
"This collection of newly-digitized images includes photos and etchings produced and owned by LIFE dating all the way back to the 1750s. Only a very small percentage of these images have ever been published. The rest have been sitting in dusty archives in the form of negatives, slides, glass plates, etchings, and prints."If you're like me, you'll spend hours searching for your favorite images of yesterday. Click here and start browsing.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I normally don't review something I don't own but I decided to make an exception in this case.
As if comic book conventions weren't great enough, we now have women dressing up as our favorite super heroines. Now, costume play or "cosplaying" as it's called, is a part of every convention. So it was bound to happen that someone made a book featuring cosplayers in all their glory. And while there are books on Japanese cosplayers in their anime costumes, Wonder Women of America is the first book I've seen dedicated to American cosplayers.
Just head over to Strangeco and order your copy!
It's no secret William Shatner is ticked-off about not being in the new Star Trek movie and even posted a response on his YouTube channel. I imagine his real response was much more like this.
Thanks Robyn for the heads-up about this!
Back in the day, boldly and alone, I railed against the inevitable encroachment on my life of the personal computer. Memory is already fading on those brief halcyon days when the internet was just a hyped promise to get us on some vague “information highway”, but all it had yet done was to more efficiently transport pornography across state lines. I knew I couldn’t put a stopper in the culture’s insatiable lust for new technology, but while I still had breath, I continued to rant about the lunacy of workplace management and the lemmings they called employees.
PCs couldn’t do anything more than what a sturdy electric typewriter and a good fax machine had been doing, but both were being quickly jettisoned for these enormous television-like sets that took a quarter of your diminishing desk space, with its’ the small refrigerator size box that pinged and panged next to your feet and its’ ridiculously unmanageable rat’s nest of cables and wires.
At the end of the day office computers were nothing more than what had been termed “word processors”. That was our culture’s first non-government introduction to the concept of taking something pedestrian and giving it an Orwellian name to obscure and justify its’ ambiguous New World role. Typewriters did what their name said they did, they “wrote type” and you could un-jam a key with the eraser end of your pencil or gingerly replace a ribbon when the going got tough, but now simple typewriting was a techno “process” which was hidden, unfathomable and apparently none of your business.
“Let me ask you something”, I would seriously say to anyone who would listen. “If I came to your company and told you I had a new kind of pencil to replace your current way of writing information on paper, would you buy it? If I told you these new pencils – powered by electricity with six black cables connected up to it - would each cost about $5000 each, would require you to hire at least one new full time employee to walk around from desk to desk all day long to make sure all the pencils were working, would require you to accept the fact that when a ‘glitch’ happened from time to time, you would need to expect and fully accept that everything you had written all day long with that pencil would instantly and irretrievably be erased. (And when that happened, all you could do would be to turn it off, wait a few minutes and hope it would let you redo all of your work again.) Tell me”, I would ask, “would you jump at the chance to own one of these new little marvels of mine?”
People would laugh like they did when Jerry Senfield asked why hotdogs came in packs of ten, but hotdog buns in packs of twelve. All acknowledged the obvious illogic and plain truth, but no one ever had any intention of doing anything about it. They would keep buying those hot dogs and buns and submit themselves to whatever fate and waste had been decided for them.
A NEW DAY DAWNS
But before you write me off as a stuck-in-his-ways old codger, let me tell you that I have not only long ago made peace with my computer and the internet, but now I love them both. I love them like a redneck loves his truck, like your kid loves his binky, like a crackhead loves his crackpipe, Love them, love them, love them.
There is an episode of the old Twilight Zone TV series, where a teenager of the future adamantly refuses to subject herself to the culture’s and technology’s expectation to make-over her earthy face and awkward body into one of three possible streamlined mannequin-like visages. She screamed and cried and spoke eloquently of individuality and what it meant to be human, but then after the final commercial, she stepped out from that now-not-so-unbelievable machine which had fashioned her into Model Number 3, and looking at herself in the mirror, joyfully turns to her friend and says, “And the best part of it Val, is that I look just like you”. A few cynical words through Rod Serling’s clinched teeth and then the final fade out.
Yes, I am one of you and I am happy about it.
A NOW ON WITH THE SHOW
Now my long time friend, compatriot, separated-at-birth brother and partner in crime, Keith Roland (hither to referred to as “the Kingfish”) has dragged me kicking and screaming into my next cyber adventure - blogging.
I say, kicking and screaming, but that is only for dramatic effect, because I don’t kick and scream like I used to. I’ve learned long ago that every concert, tradeshow or movie he has dragged me kicking and screaming into, has been for the most part, of great benefit to my soul. There actually are a few exceptions, but we’re both married now and I digress.
Still, I wrestle with this whole blog concept and how I fit into it. I’m a big compulsive reader. I read the cereal box through a sleepy haze during breakfast, I read the women’s magazine’s at Fast Cuts, I read the McDonald’s receipt at the stoplight and I’ve been known to pick up other ephemera trampled underfoot, just out of curiosity at what I might have missed.
So naturally, I love reading blogs and am no stranger to them. In fact a couple of years ago, I was hired to write and produce a video based on a series of blogs written by some guy whose ramblings had developed a following.
But now I have my own. Where the hell do I fit into this? Who the hell cares what I have to say? Blogs run the gamut from the most absolutely brilliant, insightful and informative to the most worthless pieces of unintelligent drabble imaginable, butchering spelling and the simple grammar as they go. Where does my little boat fit into this ethereal sea of words?
I guess I am going to find out.
Perhaps I have unconsciously made this diatribe long and tedious so as to loose most of you and get you off of my scent. Only the die-hard blog reader - or my mother – could possibly be hanging on up to this paragraph. So if that’s you, thank you. You deserve some kind of reward. Like the end of this monologue.
Now into the blog…..
Written, directed and produced by Anthony Waller, Mute Witness is the story of three Americans shooting a low-budget slasher film in Russia and find themselves in a dangerous situation. Billy (Marina Zudina), the makeup/special effects artist is accidentally locked in the studio at night and stumbles across the making of a snuff film. A night of terror begins as Billy is pursued by the killers, hunted by the police, KGB and an organized crime kingpin.
Although the film suffers from a bad supporting cast and a poor script, it still packs a punch. The second half of the film severely stumbles but is saved by the talented Marina Zudina, all without uttering a single word. Despite the flaws, Mute Witness still works due to the intense chase and sustained terror. It's a roller coaster ride you won't soon forget.
Trivia: Originally set in Chicago, Anthony Waller changed the setting to Russia for budgetary reasons. Also, this is Sir Alec Guinness's final film.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
First I find out one of my favorite comic books, She-Hulk, was cancelled and now the most original show on television is added to that list. ABC will not be ordering any future episodes of Pushing Daisies. While avoiding the word "cancel", ABC has made it clear Pushing Daisies will be living up to it's title while continuing to air such... *ahem*... "gems" like According to Jim, Dancing with the Stars and Desperate Housewives.
It's a no-brainer that Heath Ledger will not only be nominated for an Academy Award for his work on The Dark Knight but will easily win the Oscar. Besides saving the movie from Christian Bale's growling Batman, he made the Joker into the villain he should always have been; a psychotic madman bent on destruction.
Twilight is the number one movie this weekend. No big surprise there, but I thought I'd remind everyone of another vampire movie you can enjoy at home on DVD with no long lines, annoying cellphones or $6.00 tubs of popcorn.
30 Days of Night where the vampires are mean and nasty and don't suffer from teenage angst. Set in Alaska, where it's a full month with no sunlight, is a great gimmick and surprising that no one thought of it years ago. Plus, it's got the best ending in a horror movie since David Croenenberg's remake of The Fly.
Trivia: Writer Steven Niles pitched the idea for years in Hollywood with no takers. He took the idea to comic books where it was picked up by Sony Pictures. One of the producers who had initially rejected the script worked on the film adaptation.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Issue #38 February 25, 2009 will be the final issue of She-Hulk.
She's been savage. She's been sensational. She's been an avenger. She's been a lawyer. She's been a bounty-hunter. But there's one thing She-Hulk has always been, in all of her many series... cancelled. But it hasn't stopped her yet! In this oversized final issue, Peter David brings his run on the Jade Giantess to a close... but can Jen use her last remaining pages to save her friends from a truly mammoth threat? Catch her now, before someone turns her red.And from Peter David's website:
I've known about it for a couple months but didn't say anything because I'm not big on making with the bad news.
I have to admit, I'm shocked. Shocked. The market has always been so supportive of books with female leads, and She-Hulk has never had a title canceled out from under her before, so I could never have seen this coming.
It all started with being dragged to a postcard show. I stumbled upon a real photo postcard of Frances O’Connor. I had recently watched the movie Freaks and couldn’t believe I was holding a postcard signed with her foot. Thus, my new obsession was born.
I’ve been collecting sideshow performer postcards for over ten years now. I try to learn as much as I can about the various performers, reading every book available. And although there are several books on the subject, very little is known about Frances O’Connor.
Frances Belle O’Connor was born in 1914 in Granite Falls, Minnesota. Born without arms, she learned to use her feet for everyday tasks.
With her mother as her manager, she began her sideshow career with the Al G. Barnes Circus in Wyoming. She was quickly billed as “The Living Venus De Milo”, and while not the first sideshow performer to have that nickname, she certainly exemplified the title. Beautiful with a sweet personality, she attracted scores of men to her shows and reportedly turned down many marriage proposals.
From the 1920s through the 1940’s, she worked with Cole Bros., Sells-Floto and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circuses. Her act consisted of smoking cigarettes, sewing, shooting a rifle, eating and drinking, some of which she performed in the 1932 film Freaks.
After her mother passed away, Frances lost interest in show business and retired in California. She never married or had children and passed away in relative obscurity in 1982.