Friday, June 30, 2006

So many questions

This story is really illuminating.

Okay, fine, bad pun -- but still. How the hell does something like that just happen? And how does one not notice?

Patent Law Update

Nicole sent me this interesting article yesterday, about an attempt to patent a method of using a swing. The most bizzare thing, of course, is that the patent was initially granted.

Yep, you read that right.

I'm going to go back now and figure out a way to patent how I am eating my lunch.

Now I really need to move

I've been hemming and hawing about moving for a while, and was just reaching the point where I thought that my brief rodent encounter was really not that bad.

Today, though, I'm convinced that I really need to move:

The Arlington homicide -- the fourth in the county this year -- was reported just after midnight, in the Pentagon Row area. The slain man was found on the sidewalk outside the Cost Plus World Market home furnishings store, at 1301 South Joyce Street, police spokesman Matt Martin said.

The only businesses open in the neighborhood at the time of the shooting were several bars, including the Sinè Irish Pub, on the same block as the World Market, and the Champps Americana sports bar a block away, Martin said. The market's plate glass window was shattered during the incident.

Investigators interviewed several witnesses, Martin said, but believe there are others who left without talking to police. "We really need to talk to those people," Martin said. He asked anyone with information about the shooting to call homicide detectives at 703-228-4152, or to use the police department's anonymous tip line, 703-228-4242.

Thanks to my neighbor Joe for alerting me to this on his blog.

Update: There have been cops and sirens and flashing lights around here all evening. Most disturbingly, I returned home this evening to find this memo from the management company:

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ethanol v. Hybrids

I blogged about ethanol last week, and Justin just blogged about hybrids.

According to the New York Times, Ford is trying to make both.

More trouble for New Orleans . . .

. . . and no, it's not hurricane related. It's a transvestite gang:
The transvestites first appeared in March when they raided Magazine Street like a marauding army of kleptomaniacal showgirls, said Davis, using clockwork precision and brute force to satisfy high-end boutique needs.

It's not just Epcot anymore

People died at Epcot in April; now they're dying at Disney-MGM studios.

Entertainment awards

E! has released its list of the best of this past TV season. The winners:

  • Breakout Star, Male: Wentworth Miller, Prison Break
  • Breakout Star, Female: Katherine Heigl, Grey's Anatomy
  • Best New Show: Prison Break
  • Moment That Made You Want to Throw Out Your TV: (four-way tie) Lorelai & Christopher sleeping together on Gilmore Girls; The cancellation of Everwood; Chris Daughtry getting voted off American Idol; Derek & Meredith's season-finale sex on Grey's Anatomy
  • Best Fight: Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey)'s "You Don't Get to Call me a Whore" Fight, Grey's Anatomy
  • Best Baddie: Henry Gale (Michael Emerson), Lost
  • Best Bitch: Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), Desperate Housewives
  • Best Kiss: Jim (John Krasinski) & Pam (Jenna Fischer), The Office
  • Best Guest Star: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Grey's Anatomy and Supernatural
  • Biggest Tearjerker: Denny's death, Grey's Anatomy
  • Best Chemistry: Kate (Evangeline Lilly) & Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Lost
  • Best Love Triangle: Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Kate (Evangeline Lilly) & Jack (Matthew Fox), Lost
  • Biggest Shocker: Michael killing Ana Lucia and Libby, Lost
  • Favorite Funnyguy: Zach Braff (J.D.), Scrubs
  • Favorite Funnylady: Lauren Graham (Lorelai Gilmore), Gilmore Girls
  • Biggest Disappointment: 7th Heaven coming back from the dead
  • Star You'll Miss the Most: Megan Mullally, Will & Grace
  • Show You'll Miss the Most: Alias
  • Best Line: "Quit staring at my vajayjay!" Bailey to George while she was in labor on Grey's Anatomy
  • Favorite Drama Mama: Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars), Veronica Mars
  • Favorite Drama King: Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), Grey's Anatomy
  • Best Comedy: Scrubs
  • Best Drama: Grey's Anatomy

Surprisingly, I actually agree with much of this list. Not everything, but overall, it's pretty good. Not a single mention of 24, though.

And, speaking of awards, Celebritology is seeking votes for it's first honors. The very awesome categories are "Celebrity most likely to be insignificant if it weren't for the paparazzi and celebrity tabloids/blogs," "Most inane comment, demonstrating complete self absorption and cluelessness," and "Most fascinating and/or anticipated celebrity train wreck of the year."

Why does it always come down to this?

Warren Buffet's grand charitable gesture is being questioned by anti-abortion activists. Why? Because by giving to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he's giving money to Planned Parenthood.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to which Buffett has pledged the bulk of his $44-billion fortune, devotes the vast majority of its funding to combating disease and poverty in developing countries. Less than 1 percent has gone to Planned Parenthood over the years. And the Gates Foundation does not permit its gifts to Planned Parenthood to be used for abortion services.

"The merger of Gates and Buffett may spell doom for the families of the developing world," said the Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, a Roman Catholic priest who is president of Human Life International.

Referring to Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi death camp doctor, Euteneuer said Buffett "will be known as the Dr. Mengele of philanthropy unless he repents."


Beyond the issue of abortion, some critics oppose the Buffett and Gates foundations' support for global family-planning and population control programs.

"Some of the wealthiest men in the world descend like avenging angels on the populations of the developing world," wrote Population Research Institute president Steven Mosher, a frequent critic of Gates and Buffett. "They seek to decimate their numbers, to foist upon vulnerable people abortion, sterilization and contraception."

Good grief.

Personality test

I know Debby hates these personality tests, but I kind of like them. This one's kind of long, but worthwhile. My results:

What does it mean? According to the results:
Stability results were moderately low which suggests you are worrying, insecure, emotional, and anxious.
Orderliness results were moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly organized, reliable, neat, and hard working at the expense of flexibility, efficiency, spontaneity, and fun.
Extraversion results were medium which suggests you are moderately talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting.

My trait snapshot:
neat freak, organized, worrying, phobic, fears the unknown, irritable, pessimistic, emotionally sensitive, fears chaos, risk averse, fragile, unadventurous, depressed, frequently second guesses self, likes to fit in, does not like to stand out, perfectionist, hard working, does not like to be alone, clingy, dependent, practical, ordinary, cautious, takes precautions, good at saving money, suspicious, heart over mind, busy, altruistic

I'm not sure if I like the results.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Superman day

Superman Returns has been out for an entire day, and not a word from Justin. How very peculiar.

I guess it's up to me to talk about the reviews. Kurt Loder at MTV didn't really like it. But the consensus, as per Rotten Tomatoes, is that it's pretty good. Or, maybe instead, I should reference Salon's assessment of the state of the superhero. Or, even better, the websites discussing the religions of comic book characters. (Superman is apparently a Methodist. Who knew?)

I know, I should just post superhero tests!

This superhero test says I'm Spiderman, stating that "You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have greatpower and responsibility." I'm not sure how accurate that is, especially since this other test says:

Which DC Super Hero Are You?

Millionaire playboy by day, dark knight by night. You are the world's greatest detective. You are Batman, and you are feared and respected by both hero and villian.
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

I guess the best thing would be to just refer everyone to the very amusing "Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny" movie.

The religious right is getting dumber all the time

Lately, the religious right always has something silly to say. Like Pat Robertson claiming that God advises him on the weather and that Ariel Sharon's stroke was punishment from God.

Today, Jerry Falwell claimed that "You almost got to be a homosexual to be recognized in the entertainment industry anymore."

If they really had the close relationship with God that they claim, don't you think he'd tell them to shut the fuck up before they embarrass him?

Happy Birthday, John Cusack

John Cusack turns 40 today, so Pop Candy listed 40 things we love about him. One of them is that he blogs.

To celebrate, I'm thinking about going to watch Say Anything. It always makes me feel better.

Al Gore and Jon Stewart

If you missed The Daily Show's comparison of things Dick Cheney does and does not find offensive, Wonkette just posted it.

Al Gore is the guest tonight. And Rolling Stone just published a new interview with him. It's not as good as the profile it published on November 9, 2000 -- which I keep a copy of in my desk as a reminder of how different things could have been -- but it's still a pretty good read.

What do you think?

I've started putting links in pop-up windows. Do you like this better?

Lunchtime plans?

Kevin Smith will be conducting a live online Washington Post chat this afternoon at 12:30 EDT.

Update on Harper Lee

I recently blogged about Garrison Keillor's article on Harper Lee and despite his comment that she's "not planning to go on Oprah" anytime soon, she's gone and done the closest thing: writing for Oprah's magazine.

I'm sure the piece is great, but, really, O? Is that what the literati strive for nowadays?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fun with art

Today's Celebritology led me to this site, Gallery of the Absurd, which is very amusing celebrity-inspired art. And quite good, too -- unlike that from one of my longtime favorite sites, The Museum of Bad Art.

My favorite MOBA work, Sunday On The Pot With George, is seen to the right.

It makes my foray into art seem almost professional, right?

Sobering thought of the day

Great, now BoingBoing has me pondering our cosmic insignificance.

Good news!

D.C. is not one of the world's most expensive cities.

Tributes to Aaron Spelling

I grew up on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I have seen every single episode of both shows. So, I'm kind of sorry to hear about Aaron Spelling's death.

I rather enjoyed Slate's tribute.

But the best is definitely's multi-part tribute to the fashion of Dynasty, Melrose Place, and Beverly Hills, 90210. Sheer brilliance.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Naomi Campbell, causing more trouble

Maybe people should stay away from Naomi Campbell. First, she's accused of beating multiple employees with phones. Then, it was reported that a third employee is suing her for assault and battery. Now, a producer gets arrested on drug charges while attending her birthday party in Dubai.

Rivers Cuomo

Gawker ran this little tidbit about Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. I felt the need to share.

Fun With Virtual Reality

Wanna attend a virtual U2 concert? Personally, I'd rather see the real thing.

And, here's a fun little internet games where you get to virtually kick Kevin Federline's ass.

Stupid F-ing Metro

I still can't believe that in a city of this size -- and, theoretically, importance -- a bad rainstorm can virtually shut down the subway system during rush hour. (As an aside, Wonkette is reporting that the storm may have caused damage to the DNC offices.)

Once I got to L'Enfant Plaza, it became clear that the wait for the overcrowded shuttle buses was going to take quite a while -- and considering how many traffic signals out, it looked like the buses were a gamble anyway. So I hoofed it up to Metro Center. Of course, during my long walk in the heat and humidity, I overheard -- and participated in -- a good deal of cursing the WMATA. I did finally make it into to the office, quite late and drenched in sweat.

Once I had cooled off for a couple moments in the air conditioning, the absurdity of the situation became clear, and now, other than the fact that my feet hurt, I find the situation a little humorous. Re-reading Achenbach's recent column on the use of the f-word helped. (Coincidentally, it was also his blog topic for today.) And, I've gotten several calls from relatives who seem to actually believe that we're suffering through floods of biblical proportion.

Since the weather's not expected to get any better, I'm now wondering what my commute home will bring.

Update: Metro was running somewhat smoothly for my evening commute (although, evening seems to signify something earlier than 8:30 p.m.), but it's still pretty bad outside. I had to walk through ankle-high water to get through the courtyard to my apartment.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

And the winner is . . .

As promised, it's time to announce the winner of the First Annual blah blah blog Summer Fiction Writing Contest.

But, before I reveal the winner, don't you want to know about the three authors?

Here's some background: All three are male, and I have met two of them in person. Here's more info:

  • I've known the first author, Def Leppard, for over 26 years, and he currently resides in the Second City. Most notably, we have the same parents. He submitted his story using his clever psuedonym, but I ruined it for him because (a) I have a sitemeter and (b) I had read an earlier draft of the story. In his defense, he claims to have wanted the contest to be anonymous.
  • I really don't know much about the second author, Mad. He's got a day job which sent him to Hawaii this week. He occasionally reads this blog, and posts comments, which makes him pretty cool in my book. And, he's got a fantastic website where he reports on current events in haiku form.
  • The third author used the nom de plume Chester A. Arthur. He is someone I've known for years, since we went to law school. Together, we ran a brilliant law journal. And he's got a great wife and two lovely children. He, too, submitted his writing anonymously, and was quite surprised that I was able to figure out his identity. Now he thinks I work for the CIA. And, for those that read the blog comments, he ususally goes by the name Peter.

Now that you know the contestants, I can reveal the winner.

Drumroll please.

With 70% of the vote, the winner is Uncontrollable Sobbing, by Def Leppard. Congratulations.

Anyway, a new poll is now up. You can vote here, but note that this poll will likely be up for over a week, since I'm going to Chicago next Sunday to see Def Leppard and give him his prizes, which include copies of my two favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and this lovely mug from my desk:

Bumper sticker quiz

What bumper sticker should be on your car?

Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

If you can read this, I can stop suddenly and sue you

Fun with optical illusions

Click here.


We saw Spamalot yesterday.

Best. Musical. Ever.

And, in that vein, here's a vintage Monty Python interview, courtesy of BoingBoing:

A note

Dear loyal readers,

Drinking is very very bad.
Public drunkenness is worse.
And public vomiting is extremely embarrassing.

That's all I'm saying on the subject.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Here's your reminder

The poll closes on Sunday.

Vote for the winner of the writing contest.

Again, the three choices are:
1. Uncontrollable Sobbing, by Def Leppard;
2. The Rock, by Mad; and
3. Ketchup, by Chester A. Arthur.

Every vote counts.

Now carnival workers hate me

Apparently, my prior post inadvertently pissed off some carnival workers.

But, man, was my comment taken WAY out of context! For those who actually read the whole post, it's clear that my disgust is primarily directed at those people that let their children run wild at fairs, festivals, and carnivals -- but then freak out when the kids get hurt. And, as I noted, I don't particularly like rides.

This is not meant to detract in any way from carnival workers. I think they do a fine job, and as a result, most people enjoy themselves. Just not me.

In retrospect, thus far my blog has also managed to annoy:
1. Basque separatists
2. Bush supporters
3. Tom Cruise fans/Scientologists
4. Britney Spears fans
5. People who like unusual celebrity baby names

New Jersey is weird . . .

. . . and there is a whole website devoted to telling the world about it.

Going undercover

Forget about getting a spam name. Instead, just get a whole new random identity. (Via BoingBoing.)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Return of the Coreys

The infamous Coreys of my childhood -- Haim and Feldman -- are reuniting for a reality show.

Despite how it might sound, this does not appear to be a joke.

How famous is Stephen Colbert?

According to Fametracker's celebrity fame audit, not famous enough.

NYC for a day

So, I had to come up to NYC for work yesterday afternoon. (And no, I did not run into Kevin Federline in Times Square. Too bad, really, since it seems that he had a good time.)

I'm working out of the firm's New York office today, and will catch a shuttle flight home this evening.

Coincidentally, it was my aunt's birthday, so I got to spend some quality time with the extended family.

I hope to post some pictures once I get back.

Update: Here are the two best of the crappy pictures I managed to take on my camera phone.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fairs, Festivals and Carnivals, oh my.

It's the summer, and that means one thing: It's fair, festival, and carnival season.

I hate fairs, festivals, and carnivals.

This is the main reason -- kids run wild at these things, and bad things happen. On Sunday, a six-year-old died when he fell out of a ferris wheel:
Ruben Castillo was riding alone in his gondola, which was near the top of the 100-foot Giant Wheel when he fell Sunday afternoon, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Gee, I don't know, maybe instead of watching from below, a parent or other adult-type figure ought to have gone with the kid to make sure he didn't climb out in mid-air. I mean, ferris wheels are dangerous. Maybe not as dangerous as being Saddam Hussein's lawyer, but still.

The other reason: I get motion sickness on carnival rides. I'm okay with big permanent structures like at Disney, but the flimsy little carnival rides make me puke. Literally.

Stop reading here if you get grossed out easily.

Eight or nine years ago -- and yes, I was theoretically an adult then -- my friends convinced me to go on some swirling thing, and I puked up my turkey sandwich, funnel cake, and cotton candy. While we were still on the ride. All over the place. It was like The Exorcist.

The worst part was that the carnival worker running the ride felt very sorry for me. He gave me a little stuffed animal, the kind that are used as prizes if you managed to toss rings around bottles, or break enough balloons with darts, or whatever.

My friends thought it was very funny. Of course I was very embarrassed, and just wanted to go home and change clothes.

Actually, that's not true. My friends still think it was very funny. It occasionally comes up in conversation. Sometimes they ask me if I still have the stuffed animal. (Yes.) Other times, they just tell their children about it, as a cautionary tale.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lawyering at its finest

Can someone be too old to get a fair trial?

A 79-year-old woman set to be tried on charges that she fatally shot her 85-year-old ex-beau is being deprived of her constitutional right to a fair trial, her attorney said.

The reason? Because the potential jurors are not old enough for her to be judged by a jury of her peers.

How Lucky Are You?

Take the quiz.

I am:
Your Luck Quotient: 68%

You have a high luck quotient.
More often than not, you've felt very lucky in your life.
You may be randomly lucky, but it's probably more than that.
Optimistic and open minded, you take advantage of all the luck that comes your way.

Unlike me, the driver of this car was not so lucky.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Eerily prescient wisdom from Dad

This weekend, my dad said that ethanol is the way of the future. Today, CNN agreed. My dad's a smart guy.*

*Note that he not a scientist, engineer, corn farmer, sugar plantation owner, oil company executive, or anyone else related to the alternative fuel industry. He is an accountant who drives a Honda Civic that gets excellent gas mileage.

Should I stay or should I go?

I just came home to find a notice from the leasing office that my lease -- on the apartment with the mouse and the broken closet -- is up for renewal.

Of course, I've been too busy to really look for a place to buy, or even an alternative place to rent.

As far as I see it, here are the pros of moving:
  • Getting a bigger place
  • More closet space
  • Possible guest room/office
  • Hopefully, no rodents
  • Possibly home ownership

And here are the cons:
  • Stress of finding somewhere to move
  • Stress of packing
  • Stress of moving
  • Cost of moving
  • Higher cost of monthly housing payment
  • Likely less convenient to grocery store
  • Possibly, stress of home ownership
  • Fear of the unknown

Now I am stressed out.

Maybe I should stay put and wait for the bubble to burst.

Voting is working again

Whatever error was preventing voting in the contest poll has now been rectified. (Thanks, Justin, for alerting me to my careless use of the word "fixed." The poll is not fixed.)

Vote early and often.

And if you are one of the authors, maybe you should lobby your friends to vote for you.

Best. Quiz. Ever.

Check out Justin's Progressive Rock quiz.

Spam, spam, spam, spam . . . .

I had 69 pieces of spam in my work mailbox this morning. This must be some kind of record.

I am very thankful for e-mail filters. And, in their honor, here is a recipe for "Vineyard Spam Salad" (courtesy of Gmail) and the "What's Your Spammer Name" quiz.

My spammer name is Banach M. Pompon.
Enter your name to get yours:

Lost-related secret, revealed!

The guy who wrote the Bad Twin book? Some dude named Laurence Shames. Here's his bio.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

It's, like, a funny public service announcement

From BoingBoing, here are two billboards that will make you think twice about using the word "like" in the Valley-Girl type manner:

Dude, that's awesome.

Word quiz

What nine-letter word remains a valid word as each of its letters is successively removed?

The evolution of Wikipedia

The New York Times reports on how, due to abuse, Wikipedia is change its editing policies:
At its core, Wikipedia is not just a reference work but also an online community that has built itself a bureaucracy of sorts — one that, in response to well-publicized problems with some entries, has recently grown more elaborate. It has a clear power structure that gives volunteer administrators the authority to exercise editorial control, delete unsuitable articles and protect those that are vulnerable to vandalism.


To some critics, protection policies make a mockery of the "anyone can edit" notion.

"As Wikipedia has tried to improve its quality, it's beginning to look more and more like an editorial structure," said Nicholas Carr, a technology writer who recently criticized Wikipedia on his blog. "To say that great work can be created by an army of amateurs with very little control is a distortion of what Wikipedia really is."

Song lyrics imitate life

Paul McCartney turned 64 today.

Father's Day Weekend

I was lucky enough to spend this entire weekend with my Dad.

The whole thing started out with a baseball conversation last year. Something like, "Dad, if the Yankees play the Nationals in interleague play, would you want tickets?" "Yeah, that would be fun."

As a starting point, it would be important to note that I have a great dad. But, his major character flaw is that he is a Yankees fan -- although, to his credit, he grew up in Jersey City during the 1940's and 50's, so it does make some sense. But, the Yankees are evil, and corporate, and represent all that is wrong with baseball . . . .

So, back to this weekend. In October, when the preliminary schedule was announced, and the Yankees were, indeed, coming to RFK. And again, the conversation -- "Dad, do you want me to get tickets?" "Yeah." I think he doubted my sincerity.

But I bought the tickets, and and I bought him a plane ticket up from Florida. Turns out it was Father's day weekend. We went to the games Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, the Nats lead for most of the game, but couldn't pull off a win. Yestarday, the Yankees were killing the Nats -- leading 9-2 at one point, following a Johnny Damon grand slam -- but the Nats somehow managed to come back and win.

Then his mother and sister came into town from New Jersey, and we went out for a steak dinner.

Today, the four of us went to brunch and to a winery tour and tasting. Even though I'm 30, my dad thought it was funny when I played with my food.

We got back from the winery, and I dropped my dad off at the airport. When I got home, I found out that the Nats won today's ballgame -- and the series -- in dramatic fashion.

This was an excellent weekend. I hope we get to do it again soon.

Update: Here's Entertainment Weekly's list of the funniest movie dads. My dad's not that funny, although he did manage to crack a whole bunch of jokes about the mouse and the broken closet over the weekend.

Update 2: I just saw this on PostSecret:

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Peter's Joke

I'm too lazy to come up with a creative post today, so here's a joke Peter sent to me via e-mail:

Donald Rumsfeld briefed the U.S. President this morning. He told Bush that three Brazilian soldiers were killed in Iraq.

To everyone's amazement, all of the colour ran from Bush's face. Then he collapsed onto his desk, head in hands, visibly shaken, almost whimpering. Finally, he composed himself and asked Rumsfeld, "Just exactly how many is a brazillion?"

I ♥ Henry Rollins

Not only is Henry Rollins one of the coolest rock stars ever, but he seems so gosh darn smart and funny.

In short, he is awesome.

Thanks, Ted.

When does a car crash cause a severed head to fly out of the back of a pick-up truck?

When the driver of the truck killed his wife and then crashes his car:
A man transporting his wife's severed head in a pickup truck collided with an oncoming car, killing a woman and her 4-year-old daughter, police said. The impact sent the head flying onto the road.

Boise police officer was driving behind Alofa Time's truck on a busy road when he noticed the man's erratic driving and then watched him slam into the car, police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said.

Time, 51, who was not injured, told officers he was involved his wife's death, investigators said.

After searching Time's house in Nampa, police found the decapitated body of 47-year-old Theresa N. Time in a car inside the garage, authorities said. She likely had been dead for several hours, Nampa Police Lt. LeRoy Forsman said.

Driving erratically? I'd bet it has something to do with the reason he took the head with him in the first place. Or maybe he's just a big Melanie Griffith fan.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


It's been 9 days since I last mentioned Kevin Federline on this blog, and even longer than that since I last engaged in some good old-fashioned Federmocking.

So, I'm feeling a little bit of withdrawal.

Needless to say, when I read this morning's Celebritology, it made it all better. The entries by the Post staff are great -- but some of the comments are really funny, too.

Update: Following recent trends, Britney wants to have the second baby in Namibia. It is unclear how that will impact her husband's upcoming movie or his new modeling career.

More movie goodness

They're finally getting ready to film the sequel to Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle -- cleverly titled Harold and Kumar Go To Amsterdam -- to be released late next year.

What's even better is that the script calls for Neil Patrick Harris to make a return appearance.

Reciprocal blogging

Previously, Justin blogged about two of my favorite people. To return the favor, I'm blogging about a topic close to his heart: Superman.

To advertise the new Superman movie, they've started MySpace pages for the movie, and for the main characters. I'm sure Justin will be requesting to be Superman's friend any minute now.

Last contest reminder

The first annual blah blah blog summer fiction writing contest ends this Saturday -- two days from now -- at the stroke of midnight EDT. {Insert witty Cinderella-pumpkin reference here.} Get your submissions in, folks!

Since I am not likely to have another chance -- my dad is coming into town tomorrow -- there will not be another reminder.

Keillor on Lee

Garrison Keillor had a wonderful review of the new book about Harper Lee in last Sunday's New York Times. Purportedly, it's a writer writing about a writer writing about a writer -- so many levels -- but really, it's a lovely little sketch of Harper Lee:

She worked for years on a second novel, and then, in the mid-1980's, on a book of nonfiction about a serial murder in Alabama, neither of which worked out to her satisfaction and so she squashed them. She made her peace with being a one-book author. Unlike her friend Truman Capote, she didn't enjoy the limelight. So she backed away from celebrity, declined to be interviewed or be honorifically degreed and simply lived her life, sometimes in Manhattan, riding city buses, visiting museums and bookstores in her running suit and sneakers, seeing old friends, and most of the time in Monroeville, in a ranch house with her older sister Alice, a house full of books. Built-in bookshelves, floor to ceiling.

Lovely, isn't it? Read the whole thing.

Thank you again, Wonkette

Today, I had my second Wonkette mention. And I was too busy at work to even notice.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Morgan Spurlock goes to jail

Following his recent controversial speech, Morgan Spurlock got sent to jail in Richmond, VA. But, apparently, it was only for his TV show:
Morgan Spurlock checked into the Henrico County Jail in February and left with some shattered stereotypes.
An agreement was signed, and Spurlock was processed at Henrico's Jail West on Feb. 8, after he was "sentenced" to 30 days in jail for a phony contempt-of-court charge. The show's production company paid for the cost of the incarceration.
"He lived in a cell like everybody else," Wade said. "We treated him just like an inmate."

Well, not exactly. He got to leave after 24 days.

Still, I am very glad that 30 Days is coming back to TV. The first episode -- about what it's like to live on minimum wage -- was one of the best things I've ever watched. Period. So, even though this jail thing seems like a stunt, I'll be watching.

Florida State makes news!

And it's not about sports!

According to this article, an FSU professor found and took pictures of a rodent species believed to be extinct.

And, after looking at the picture, I am very glad that the rodent that used to visit my apartment was only a mouse.

Lunchtime blogging

For your lunchtime reading enjoyment, I was going to blog about Congress giving itself a pay raise, but Chris already beat me to the subject.

Then I decided that nobody outside of New York will really want to read about a play about hedge funds. And even soccer enthusiasts might be bored by Ask Yahoo!'s discussion of how much the World Cup players are getting paid.

So, instead, I'm just going to blog about my new cell phone, the Motorola SLVR.

Isn't it cute? And I can listen to iTunes on it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

How safe are we?

Apparently, not very safe when someone can get in to the Department of Homeland Security with a fake ID:

Retired New York City policeman Bruce DeCell, who had arranged to meet with DHS officials to lobby for document security, purposely used a forged version of identification that Mexican consulates in the United States issue to their nationals living here illegally. . . .

Undocumented Mexicans can use the cards at banks and other institutions that accept them. The cards are not valid for entry into federal government buildings.


DeCell told CNN that a friend in California bought him the fake Mexican card, which he used last week for the Department of Homeland Security meeting.

"I sent him a passport-size photo and the spelling of my name, and he had the card made for me on the street," he said.

Prior to his meeting with DHS officials, DeCell was asked to furnish his name, Social Security number and birth date, so they could be compared by security personnel to a valid form of picture identification. The building security accepted his matricula card, even though it listed a phony date of birth, he said.


DeCell said he has used the card for years in airports and other sensitive locations, but was still astonished that he was able to use it to enter the headquarters of the DHS, the federal agency charged with determining secure IDs.

I agree with Chris -- we pay waaaaaay too much for this to happen.

T-shirt update

Some guy did a whole post of cool t-shirt sites. But he somehow missed this important t-shirt related story:

Indie film director John Roecker tells TMZ he was walking to his car with a female friend in LA's trendy Los Feliz neighborhood last Sunday when he was approached by a shirtless man and a tall blonde. "Hey, man, you're making fun of my religion," said the stranger angrily.

Roecker quickly recognized the couple as actor Bodhi Elfman and his wife, 'Dharma and Greg' star Jenna Elfman. Mr. Elfman's ire was apparently drawn by Roecker's self-made t-shirt, which had a picture of Tom Cruise on the front under the caption "Scientology is Gay!" and a 'Stayin'-Alive'-era John Travolta on the back with the words "Very Gay!" For the record, both Cruise and Travolta have said repeatedly they are not gay.

According to Roecker, who first recounted the incident on LA's KROQ-FM's Kevin and Bean Show, the invective started to fly after he made several references to Scientology theology and its reported central tenant, the story of Xenu. Roecker says Jenna repeatedly said "What crimes have you committed?" and began screaming at Roecker, "Have you raped a baby?" as motorists on Los Feliz Boulevard drove by in snarled traffic.

Civic Duty

I had to race home to make it to my precinct before it closed, but, I somehow managed to make it right as they made the cut-off. Unfortunately, I was one of only a few that took the primary election seriously.

As with a lot of things, Justin, Ted, and I had some amusing -- well, at least to us -- e-mail repartee about the election. First, Justin keenly observed:

Two reasons not to vote for Harris Miller.

One, don't trust a guy with two last names. Two, this.

Of course, the discussion with Ted got a little more abstract, and a little more serious:

Dara: Ted, are you ignoring us today? Did we upset you yesterday?
Have you voted or are you voting in the primary? Who should we vote for?
And, are you more likely to become a homo or a Republican?

Ted: I was working! No, I am not ignoring you -- and you should know it takes a WHOLE lot to offend me.
I voted this morning, for Jim Webb. It's a no-brainer.
Great question. Republican.

Ted: I hadn't seen this quote until today. Calling your opponent the "anti-christ of outsourcing" gives an automatic endorsement.

Update: Webb won. Of course it doesn't get easier for him -- or as Justin e-mailed earlier today, "This is just a race to lose to George Allen."

A third contest entry!

From the grave, Chester A Arthur submitted this entry in the writing contest.

If he can post from beyond, certainly others can find something to submit by Saturday.

I just think this is funny

Monday, June 12, 2006

Scary and funny at the same time

This story about the KKK rallying at Antietam bothered me on a whole bunch of levels, but then I got to the next-to-last paragraph, and just had to laugh.

Said Jeffrey Margolies, a counter-demonstrator from the Jewish motorcycle group Semites on Bikes: "It's disgusting that they would come to sacred ground."

As a Jew, I find the whole concept of "Semites on Bikes" highly amusing. Then I looked at their suggested membership traits and found it even more so:

Semites on Bikes is a group of predominantly jewish bikers . . . riding in the Baltimore & Baltimore County areas of Maryland . . . . Members are non-stereotypical jews who should have at least three of the following traits (though we accept anybody foolish enough to ride with us):

* works with hands
* the closest 695 exit near your home has a numeral less than 18 or greater than 23
* has to lip sync kaddish at funerals...only knows first two words
* has been arrested at least once
* only goes to schul for weddings and bar mitzvahs
* shiksa goddess(god) is synonymous with wife(husband)
* rides a V-Twin cruiser
* bowls
* hunts and/or fishes
* has caused the death of another human
* has a tattoo that won't wash off
* does their own home improvement
* enlisted in the military
* is a right wing conservative

Fueling the Fire

Check out Justin's latest blog post.

World Cup Fever!

Actually, it's just a mild infection, but still . . .

I just got back from a little lunchtime diversion* of watching the first half of the U.S. team's first match. They were losing to the Czech Republic 2-0 at halftime, when I left to get back to work.

*Law firm sanctioned, of course.

Update: The U.S. lost 3-0. But don't despair just yet -- maybe we can still beat Italy on Saturday.

Read Dave Eggers on the True Story of American Soccer, hopefully it'll make you feel better.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Predictions gone wrong

Since 06-06-06 has passed, largely without incident, I think it's safe to assume that the apocalypse rumors were largely unfounded.

And, in that regard, here are some other predictions that didn't work out (via Boing Boing).

Interesting website

Here's an interesting real estate website that shows birds' eye views of famous tv homes.

Another contest entry

Earlier today, Mad submitted the second writing contest entry, called "The Rock".

Submit your entries here or here.

Fun with the internet

The Huffington Post has a fun new feature: a People Ranker.

Of course I decided to play with it for a while.

First off, an epic battle between celebrities. I chose perennial tabloid figures Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck, George Clooney, and Vince Vaughn.

And, the winner is:

Vince Vaughn!?!

Really, I would have thought what with everyone talking about the birth of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's daughter, he would have kicked everyone else's ass.

Shows what I know.

The next battle, was religious deities, and in the interest of political correctness, I tried to be inclusive. God, Jesus, Xenu, Buddha, Krishna, and Zeus all represented.

Satan kicked all their asses, by a significant margin.

Maybe it had something to do with 06-06-06?

Of course, that leads to the ultimate battle. Good versus evil.

I guess what they said in Spaceballs is true -- "Evil will always triumph because good is dumb."

And, in another epic battle from a while back, the pirates seem to be beating the ninjas by a significant margin:

I'm sure the Home Improvement Ninja will remedy this situation very soon.

And finally, one more very important battle, at least to me.

Yay! My blog beats Justin's.

Tom Petty Concert

Here are the pictures and videos from the Tom Petty concert last night.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Stolen Sidekick Story

This story about the theft of a sidekick has been all over the internet this week.

The sad thing is that even though the identity of the thieves has been determined, they're so stupid that they won't give it back.

Update: This story has now been mentioned in the New York Times.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Random Friday post-lunch thoughts

It is not a good idea to eat Five Guys at your desk. Not only will your desk get greasy, but your entire office will smell like french fries.

Show the Dixie Chicks some love by buying tickets to their shows. They play DC on August 4th.

In New Jersey-related news, the first female rabbi in the US is retiring.

This is just one example of why I love DCist and EavesdropDC.

Despite the wishes of the prosecution and the defense, the Judge in the R. Kelly trial is allowing the public and the media to view the entire video.

After an interesting e-mail exchange, Justin drew this nifty illustration of how we share a brain:

I was going to get an early lunch . . .

. . . but then I stumbled across this site, which details the adventures of some guy eating nothing but monkey chow for a whole week. He's also keeping a blog.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Et tu, NYT?

Last week, everyone was up in arms about the Washington Post's article on the wingman.

This week, the New York Times takes on an equally controversial issue: Whether it's okay to date your friend's ex.

It must be a really slow news month.

Elections, past and future

Salon is already predicting the two frontrunners for the 2008 Democratic nomination -- Feingold and Warner -- and is trying to handicap their odds. They seem to like Feingold better, but think that Warner's slightly more centrist, and therefore has a better chance of winning.

And, while we're on a political note, Ted e-mailed this Rolling Stone article to me earlier in the week, ostensibly because he knew I would blog about it. According to the enlightening article by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the 2004 election in Ohio was rife with irregularities -- enough so that John Kerry might have won:

Across the country, Republican election officials and party stalwarts employed a wide range of illegal and unethical tactics to fix the election. A review of the available data reveals that in Ohio alone, at least 357,000 voters, the overwhelming majority of them Democratic, were prevented from casting ballots or did not have their votes counted in 2004 -- more than enough to shift the results of an election decided by 118,601 votes.
(citations omitted.)

Salon disagrees with the conclusion that, but for these irregularities, Ohio would have gone for Kerry -- mostly due to a failure of proof:
To date, dozens of experts, both independently and as part of several research panels, have spent countless hours examining 2004's presidential election, especially the race in Ohio. Many of them have concluded that the election there strains conventional notions of what a democracy ought to look like; very little about that race was fair, clean or competent.


One has to wonder what, after all of this, Kennedy might have brought to the debate. There could have been an earnest exploration of the issues in order to finally shed some light on the problems we face in elections, and a call to urgently begin repairing our electoral machinery. Voting reforms are forever on the backburner in Congress; even the 2000 election did little to prompt improvements. If only someone with Kennedy's stature would outline this need.

If only. Whatever his aim, RFK Jr. does not appear intent on fixing the problem.


Certainly you can find some good in Kennedy's report. His section on Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio's right-wing secretary of state, nicely sums up the reasons why people have been suspicious of the voting process in the state. Blackwell, Kennedy notes, "had broad powers to interpret and implement state and federal election laws -- setting standards for everything from the processing of voter registration to the conduct of official recounts." There's no argument that he used those powers for partisan gain. As Kennedy documents, in the months prior to the election, Blackwell issued a series of arbitrary and capricious voting and registration rules that could well have disenfranchised many people in the state.

But to prove Blackwell stole the state for Bush, Kennedy's got to do more than show instances of Blackwell's mischief. He's got to outline where Blackwell's actions could possibly have added up to enough votes to put the wrong man in office. In that, he fails.

Mostly, I agree with Kos's take:
At what point do we take a nonpartisan step back, survey the mangled landscape before us littered with butterfly ballots and pregnant chads and glitching computer machines and say that this is not--should not--be part of the democratic process of our nation?

This isn't just about unsecure voting machines, which seem to dominate any discussion about election reform. It's about requiring a photo ID to vote. It's about voting machine shortages, whether they exist intentionally or because of incompetence. It's about limiting the availability of absentee ballots. It's about requiring that voting papers be filed only on 80 lb paper. It's about purging names from voter rolls without notice. It's about allowing partisans to control what is supposed to be a nonpartisan election process.

At some point, the right to vote morphs into a privilege to vote, granted to those lucky enough to live in a county with enough machines, or lucky enough to live in a state that seeks to enhance, rather than suppress voter turnout. It's a privilege that can be exercised only by those citizens who can afford to take a whole day off of work to sit in a line until midnight in Ohio, or by those who can afford to pay the fee for a state ID, or by those who are fortunate enough to even know of these requirements.

Sometimes the blog seems to just write itself

Xenu was a race car driver.

(Apologies to Primus.)

Deep thought

Okay, while I'm really glad that they're making a 24 movie, am I the only one that is just the teensiest bit disappointed that it isn't going to be in real time?

Next-to-last writing contest reminder

I thought I'd use this break in Blogger's total friggin' meltdown to remind everyone that the First Annual blah blah blog Summer Writing Contest deadline is only 9 days away. (Had to check my math on that.)

All entries are due on or before midnight EDT on June 17, which is next Saturday.

Please please please submit your work. I don't want Def Leppard to win by default.

Here are my top 10 reasons why you should submit an entry:
10. Writers are cool, as evidenced by the movie about Truman Capote.
9. In a past life, you were either Scott or Zelda Fitzgerald, and this is your chance to figure out which one.
8. "Eight, Eight, I forget what Eight was for."
7. It's the summer and you're bored. Plus, it means you can stay inside in the air conditioning.
6. Writing is fun, and at a minimum, provides a believable excuse for your alcoholism.
5. You live to amuse me.
4. Maybe some celebrity (Tom Cruise? Brad Pitt? Stephen Baldwin?) will option the screenplay rights to your work.
3. This provides a good excuse to not finish reading the Modern Library's list of the 100 best works of fiction of the 20th century.
2. Xenu told you to do it.
1. Chance to win random prizes.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Evolution? Hogwash.

Check out the Creationist FAQ, courtesy of the Science Creative Quarterly.

And, while you're at it, buy The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Important reminder

Don't forget that tomorrow is "Dump the Pump" day. Beat high gas prices by taking public transportation!

Kids today

Apparently, this is what it's like to be a teenager today:

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Silly Celebrities

Political commentary videos

First, thanks to an e-mail from Jay, it's a little ditty about N.S.A. Wiretapping.

And, if that wasn't enough, how about The Do It Yourself Online Presidential Leadership Quiz?

Hidden dangers?

In Pakistan, some folks think that kites are dangerous and should be banned:

[I]t had been reported that 861 people died in kite-flying related accidents from 2002 to the first quarter of 2006.

861 people died from flying kites in 3.25 years? That number seems, uh, high. And don't let me get started on the evils of helium balloons:

Two college students were found dead inside a large, deflated helium balloon after apparently pulling it down and crawling inside it, officials said.
"It was more a fun thing they thought they were doing," said Linda Rydman, whose daughter was found dead. "You know how you blow up the balloon and suck the helium."
Inhaling helium can quickly lead to brain damage and death from lack of oxygen, according to the Compressed Gas Association, which develops safety standards in the gas industry.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Looks like the Courts are finding new ways to have people settle their disputes:

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's Motion to designate location of a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition (Doc. 105). Upon consideration of the Motion - the latest in a series of Gordian knots that the parties have been unable to untangle without enlisting the assistance of the federal courts - it is

ORDERED that said Motion is DENIED. Instead, the Court will fashion a new form of alternative dispute resolution, to wit: at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, June 30, 2006, counsel shall convene at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If counsel cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida Ave., Tampa, Florida 33602. Each lawyer shall be entitled to be accompanied by one paralegal who shall act as an attendant and witness. At that time and location, counsel shall engage in one (1) game of "rock, paper, scissors." The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location for the 30(b)(6) deposition to be held somewhere in Hillsborough County during the period July 11-12, 2006. If either party disputes the outcome of this engagement, an appeal may be filed and a hearing will be held at 8:30 A.M. on Friday, July 7, 2006 before the undersigned in Courtroom 3, George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building, 80 North Hughey Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801.

This is why I like being a lawyer. You can have fun with it. Although, coming home from work late and having peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner kinda sucks.

Monday, June 05, 2006


Tomorrow is 06/06/06, and it's freaking a lot of people out -- and making numerologists really busy.

Yep, 666 is upon us. To celebrate, they're planning a giant party in Hell, Michigan. And wait, there's more -- not only does the remake of The Omen debut tomorrow, but it's the National Day of Slayer. So in that regard, here's the How Evil Are You quiz:

You Are 54% Evil

You are evil, but you haven't yet mastered the dark side.
Fear not though - you are on your way to world domination.

Only 54%? This will definitely surprise some people.

The truth is that all of this 666 stuff is meaningless to me.

Tomorrow is my grandmother's 93rd birthday.

Now THAT's something.

Update: The crazies have started. On Metro this morning, some crazy woman was shouting at everyone to accept Jesus and become better people -- stop lying and killing, etc. -- otherwise God is going to get angry and smite us all.

Update 2: The crazies have multiplied. When I went to go grab my lunch -- yes, at Cosi -- there was a strange homeless-looking dude standing on the corner with a handwritten posterboard with some religious-looking writing on it. (I did not get close enough to read it.) More disturbingly, the same corner was occupied by a bunch of college-age Lyndon LaRouche supporters handing out their publication while arguing about how alternative fuels are a myth (and the only real choice is nuclear power).

Of course a song popped into my head, and I giggled noticeably.