Sunday, May 31, 2009

Time for a Good Old Fashioned Book Burning

So the Bible now condones cold-blooded murder? In a church, no less?

George Tiller, an abortion doctor, was shot and killed in his Wichita church. The suspect was later stopped and arrested on interstate 35 in Kansas about 170 miles from the scene of the shooting.

The killer also threatened to shoot two other bystanders who tried to restrain him. They apparently weren't abortion providers. It remains unclear how menacing two innocent people would have pleased God. More importantly, the fact that the shooter fled the scene only demonstrates that he knew what he had done was wrong.

Randall Terry, founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, weighed in on the crime by calling Tiller a "mass-murderer." He was not totally without compassion, however, adding that "We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God." It remains unclear if Tiller's wife, four kids, and ten grand children agree with that assessment. I'm guessing they don't.

Tiller's clinic was one of only three in the nation that performed late-term abortions. The procedure, far more controversial than even regular abortions, takes place after the 21st week of pregnancy.

This is not the first time Tiller has been the target of violence. Back in 1993, he was shot in both arms by an abortion protester. And in 1985, his clinic was bombed.

Clearly the Bible corrupts people's minds and induces its readers to perform acts of violence. In order to protect the public, all copies of this evil book should be rounded up and burned.

Total Eclipse of the Lyrics

Do you remember an '80s song by Bonnie Tyler called "Total Eclipse of the Heart?" Some people consider an overproduced number from Jim Steinman, who also wrote most of Meat Loaf's songs. Admittedly, it's been a while since I've heard Tyler's song, but somehow this seems like a slightly different version than I remember:

(Thanks to Tuan for the link)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Kinda Late to Be Asking

Survival of the Stupidest

There has been plenty of evidence lately that man is upsetting the natural order of things. Usually this charge is leveled in conjunction with global warming, but it may go well beyond that. Our actions as a species may well be influencing the evolution of humans as a species, and not in a good way. Specifically, the old evolutionary tidbit about "survival of the fittest" no longer seems to apply.

Case in point: Yesterday two male teenagers had to be rescued from the Potomac River. And what, pray tell, were they doing in the water to begin with? Well, they had apparently decided to swim from the Virginia side of the river to the Maryland side.

Experts repeatedly tell us that the Potomac's waters are deceptively serene. Underlying them are some vicious currents. Just a few weeks ago an 11 year old boy slipped off some rocks and drowned. A nearby fisherman who tried to rescue him also suffered the same fate.

The two teens only made it as far as some rocks in the middle of the river. They were spotted by passersby who called 911. They were eventually rescued by the Montgomery County Fire Department's Swift Water Rescue team and returned to the Virginia side.

Great. Like we really wanted them back.

Anyway, by utilizing modern technology like cellphones and radio dispatched rescue boats, man thwarted Mother Nature's well intentioned effort to thin our herd of inferior members. Specifically, OUR herd. As a result, these two idiots well be now be free to grow up and further dilute the gene pool.

No Matter How Much We Try to Scrub....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Pros and Cons of Same Sex Marriages

As the debate over same sex marriages heats up, here's a musical tribute to the 'special relationship' shared by George Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. I'm not ashamed to admit that it left me teary eyed.

Meanwhile, Hailstones and Halibut Bones posted the following top ten arguments AGAINST gay marriage.

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

About Those Alleged Photos from Iraqi Prisons....

A couple of weeks ago, President Obama decided to block the release of prisoner abuse photos from Iraq. The decision proved controversial, with some people accusing the President of reneging on campaign promises to release any such images of abuse. Obama, on the other hand, now says that releasing them would only serve to inflame hatred of the United States and therefor further endanger American troops. The specific content of the pictures remained unknown.

Now a British newspaper is reporting that those photos depict scenes of rape and other sexual abuses.

Even if that's true, how do we know those photos are from the inside of an Iraqi prison and NOT from the inside of, say, a Catholic school?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

R.I.P. Reaper

If Republicans want to return to power, they need to drop their obsessive-compulsive fixation with abortion and same sex marriage. Rather, they need to apply themselves to correcting one of the greatest crimes being perpetrated upon the helpless masses of this once great nation by corporate America: TV show finales.

There is nothing more frustrating than following a serialized TV show and then having it get canceled without any real sense of conclusion. Yes, I understand the ratings were lousy. But even if a show has lousy Nielsen numbers, there are still several million viewers out there watching the stupid thing. And quite frankly, many of us--er, them--don't have lives of our--um, their--own. We--I mean they--rely on television to give meaning to our--um, their--meaningless, pathetic existences.

The most recent example of this is Reaper. It was an amusing series on the CW network about Sam Oliver, a 20 something year old slacker still living at home. On his 21st birthday the devil shows up to claim Sam's soul because his parents had sold it years before. But rather than immediately whisk him off to hell, the devil put him to work recapturing escaped souls and returning them to hell. Each capture involves some sort of "vessel" with which to capture the soul. The vessel is always something otherwise innocuous, like a portable vacuum cleaner, a remote controlled toy race car, or a baseball. Sam enlists a couple of his slacker buddies to help him in his task, and wild wackiness ensues.

One of the subplots underlying the series, however, was Sam's constant quest to get out of the contract with the devil. In what was supposed to be the second season finale, Sam thinks he finally has a way out. He foolishly makes a surefire bet with the devil. Not only does Sam lose the bet, but his girlfriend ends up losing her soul as well.

Unfortunately, because of lousy ratings, that ended up being the series finale as well. Consequently three million viewers have been left out in the cold. Personally, I'm so upset, I'd be willing to sell my soul just to find out what finally happens to Sam and his friends.

A few years ago, CBS pulled this same stunt with a show called Jericho. That was a series about how one Kansas town copes after a series of nuclear explosions cripple America. And while the acting was somewhat stiff, it was still a fascinating concept for a TV show. The first season ended up with a climactic showdown between Jericho and the neighboring town. But again, because of lousy ratings, CBS killed the show and left viewers hanging in midair. Fortunately, after a massive outcry from the fans, CBS brought the show back the following year for six episodes so it could reach some sort of logical conclusion.

Other shows that have left viewers out in the cold in recent years were The Nine and Invasion. Both shows aired on ABC.

I'm genuinely sorry those shows were duds for their networks. But if they make a commitment to air some sort of serialized storyline, they need to follow through on that commitment. Otherwise, after getting burned a few times, TV viewers will become increasingly reluctant to invest their time in watching a show that's eventually going to leave them high and dry.

Can you imagine what would have happened back in 1980 if CBS had canceled Dallas right after J.R. got shot? There would have been rioting in the streets, the government would have been overthrown, and the ensuing civil unrest would have reduced America to a smoldering post-apocalyptic wasteland.... Kind of like in Jericho.

Oh, the irony.

This is also why I've held off on watching Harper's Island. It's a 13 part murder mystery series on CBS. Each week one character gets knocked off, and supposedly everything will be explained by the last episode. The show sounds like a fascinating concept, and I have all the episodes saved on my Tivo. But I refuse to start watching it until part 13 actually airs. And my reluctance is justified: The show started off on Thursday nights but because of lousy ratings has been moved to Saturdays. And I'll be damned if I'm going get burned again by a.... Premature cancellation.

I hate it when that happens.

One network that should be singled out for kudos on this topic is ABC. Perhaps they learned their lesson after The Nine and Invasion. They recently canceled Life on Mars (the Americanized version) after only one season. But the network suits at least gave the show's producers advance notice and asked them to write an actual finale to the show. As a result, viewers were treated to what was one of the better finales on American TV.

SPOILER ALERT (but the show is canceled, so who really cares): Sam Tyler wakes up from suspended animation on the first manned mission to Mars in 2035. It turns out that his whole "return to 1973 as a cop" thing was all just a crazy dream. His fellow cops were actually Sam's crew mates on the ship.

The best line came during the conversation with mission control: The head controller says that President Obama had wanted to be on hand to congratulate the crew, but "she and her sister had to return to Chicago because their father had taken a turn for the worse."

If networks are truly concerned about why increasingly fewer people are watching their shows, perhaps they should start taking better care of the viewers they still have.

Three Wrongs Make a Right

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Republicans Remain Fixated on OTHER People's Sex Lives

When it comes to same sex marriages, California apparently swings both ways.

Last year a court decision legalized such unions in the Golden State. Then in November, voters passed a measure known as Proposition 8 which defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. The measure was quickly challenged in the courts, and today the California supreme court handed down a ruling that satisfied no one: They upheld Proposition 8, but also said that the 18,000 same sex marriages performed since last year's will stand.

Considering that a number of states in New England have recently taken steps to legalize same sex marriages, California's move seems like a step back. It's also surprising, since the state has a longstanding reputation for being liberal. The issue is far from resolved, however, and the issue is likely to end up on the ballot again as early as next year.

Meanwhile, Republicans are attempting to overturn the DC city council's recent decision to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. And why, you ask, would Congress meddle in a local city matter? Because they can.

Even though DC has theoretically had home rule since the mid '70s, Congress still retains the right to be the final authority on local matters.

Once again, this move demonstrates that the Republicans continue to be ruled by voices from the pulpits of America. The party pretends to be in favor of a reduced federal presence. Some Republicans have even gone as far as to bring up the subject of secession. It's all about states rights, they claim. The government under the Democrats is increasing its authority over the lives of Americans and meddling in things they have no business interfering in.

Noble words indeed. Yet the same people lamenting the growth of the government see no problem with dictating what consenting adults can and can't do in the supposed privacy of their bedrooms. Until Republican leaders regain control of their party from the religious nutjobs currently calling the shots, they are doomed to remain out of power.

Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

No Liberty at Liberty

You would think that an institution known as Liberty University would be big on stuff like freedom of thought. After all, the word "Liberty" is contained in the very name of the institution itself. Surely that would imply a large degree of, well, "liberty" to express one's views on the issues of the day, as well as the ability to formulate your own political opinions.

And if you believed any of that, boy, would you be wrong.

Yes, there really is a place called Liberty University. It was founded by the late Reverend Jerry Falwell, a major figure in the Christian right until his death a few years ago. I'm embarrassed to say that the school is located right here in Virginia.

In an apparent effort to redefine the meaning of the word liberty, last week university officials banned the student Democratic club from campus. So what was the problem? One too many keggers? Out of control toga parties? Hiring a donkey sex show for pledge week? Nope, it was something far worse: Democrats support ideas that run counter to the Christian school's principles.

Apparently those principles don't include things like freedom of speech.

Needless to say, the decision has proven controversial. Virginia's politics have been swinging increasingly towards the Democrats. The state went Democratic in the 2008 presidential election for the first time in 44 years. The majority of Virginia's congressional delegation is Democrat as are both U.S. senators. Virginia has also had Democratic governors for the last seven years.

Well, intellectual freedom is bound to suffer when you let the Christian Taliban run a college.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What Today Is All About

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mega Let Down

Last Saturday I posted the trailer for what may well be the greatest movie making achievement to grace the world's big screens since Lawrence of Arabia.... Or at least Snakes on a Plane.

Well, imagine my disappointment when I learned that that I'll never get the chance to see this visual masterpiece on an IMAX screen. As it turns out, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus was made as a strictly direct-to-video release. In fact, according to this review, the people associated with the making of this cinematic tour de force knew all along they were working on what would be an incredibly cheesy special effects laden piece of trash.

This comes as a horrible revelation to me. Like millions of other people, I had built my hopes and dreams around this movie. I had elevated my expectations to the point where I had placed them on a pedestal in some sort of virtual temple dedicated to the worship of giant imaginary aquatic beasts. But now, with the truth hitting me upside the head like a brick, I feel as if someone has reached into my chest, removed my heart, stomped on it, then fed it to a pack of wild dogs. All that's left is an empty shell of the man who used to be me.

If that's not bad enough, I've also got some sort of funny rash around my crotch.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Notre Dame to God: Go to Hell

Last weekend folks on the Christian right threw a fit when President Obama--an abortion rights supporter--delivered the Commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. Since it's the nation's top Catholic school, loyal members of our nation's Christian Taliban considered the President's appearance some sort of affront to God. And since God is apparently powerless and can't take care of himself, the protesters decided to defend the almighty with picket signs and poster boards.

Now comes word that Notre Dame's football team wants to revive an old tradition: Annual games in Yankee Stadium against Army. It was one of those games in 1946 that produced a legendary 0-0 tie.

But wait.... New York state voted for Obama in 2008. And thanks to the wackiness that gripped the Notre Dame campus last week, everyone now knows that Obama advocates the formation of abortion squads that would kidnap pregnant women off the streets of America and forcibly remove their fetuses. The state also elected Hillary Clinton--another big abortion rights supporter and alleged relative of the infamous Bill Clinton--to the Senate in 2000. New York has also decided to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states.

Clearly, New York is a hot bed of godless liberal behavior. So why would the good people of Notre Dame want to associate with such heathens? Wouldn't it essentially amount to an endorsement by Notre Dame of abortion and gay marriage?

I'm sure the massive financial windfall from a nationally televised Notre Dame/Army game, to be played in the brand spanking new Yankee Stadium, has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Church of Shame

A new report by an Irish commission has revealed an absolutely astonishing level of abuse in that nation's Catholic reform schools. The 2600 page report, which took nine years to compile, says that rapes, molestations, and beatings were "endemic" in the church run facilities.
"A climate of fear, created by pervasive, excessive and arbitrary punishment, permeated most of the institutions and all those run for boys. Children lived with the daily terror of not knowing where the next beating was coming from..."
Oh, and here's another surprise:
"Church officials always shielded their orders' pedophiles from arrest to protect their own reputations and, according to documents uncovered in the Vatican, knew that many pedophiles were serial attackers."
This report once again raises several important questions: What right does the Catholic church have to lecture the rest of us about morality? How can bishops who are themselves mired in sin up to their necks sit back and proclaim that politicians who support abortion rights should be denied communion? Are these the same people who were so self-righteously protesting Obama's appearance at Notre Dame over the weekend? Does the Vatican have any sense of shame? Is there a patron saint of hypocrisy, and does the Pope pray to him or her on a daily basis?

Most importantly, why are there still hundreds of millions of people out there who continue to believe in the teachings of a morally bankrupt Catholic church?

What One Too Many Whoppers with Cheese Can Do

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The REAL Miracle of Flight 1549

When USAir 1549 managed to successfully land in the Hudson River last January, many people proclaimed it a "miracle" that there were no deaths or serious injuries. Cynics such as myself dismissed that description, pointing out that a seasoned pilot was at the controls. The hand of God had nothing to do with it, we said. It was all about experience, aerodynamics, and a lot of luck.

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to eat my words and start going to church on Sundays. In a development that truly defies rational explanation, it turns out that the people at USAir went out of their way to recover the belongings left behind by the passengers when they evacuated the plane. Items such as luggage, purses, coats, wallets, and even jewelery were carefully gathered from the plane after it was pulled from the river. They were tagged and then shipped to a special facility in Texas. Once there, they were cleaned and restored, and are now in the process of being returned to their owners. The airline is doing all this even though it is under no legal obligation to do so.

If that's not proof of the existence of God, I don't know what is.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Obama: A Supporter of Pedophilia?

After a week of increasing controversy, today was the day that President Obama delivered the Commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. He also received an honorary degree from the prestigious Catholic institution. Not surprisingly, many students and families chose to skip the graduation ceremonies.

You see, the Catholic university's invitation to the President had generated a lot of criticism from members of the church. To many Catholics, inviting a United States President who supports abortion rights was nothing short of sacrilegious. In fact, many Catholics considered this an act of blasphemy comparable to someone daring to suggest that the Earth is NOT the center of the universe.

Curiously, no one protested when George W. Bush appeared there a few years ago. Over 152 prisoners were executed in Texas when he was governor. Bush approved more executions than any other governor in modern history. He did this despite appeals from Pope John Paul II to end capital punishment. So how come all these supposedly devout Catholics didn't raise a fuss then? It must be nice to pick and choose which tenets of your faith you're going to follow.

On the other hand, I understand why so many Catholics are offended by Obama's appearance at Notre Dame. Hell, I am too! And I voted for the guy! By making this visit to Notre Dame, Obama is in effect endorsing the Catholic church, an organization that for many decades knowingly harbored hundreds of known child molesters.

The President clearly owes the American people an apology for associating with such a criminal organization.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

One Hell of a Way to Make a Living

What the Hell?

Forget the latest Star Trek. To hell with the Terminator sequel. Screw the new Transformers. THIS is the movie to see this summer:

I'm betting this movie will be almost as good as Snakes on a Plane!

Friday, May 15, 2009

How We Got Here

Talk About Your Pork Projects....

Just when you thought it was safe to stop practicing safe hygeine and go back to picking your nose, swine flu rears its ugly head again. This most recent--and surprise--outbreak occurred at three schools in New York city. Hundreds of students have come down with flulike symptoms, and an assistant principal is in the hospital on a ventilator. Health investigators admit they are baffled as to why the virus is spreading so erratically.

Oh, and did I call it "swine flu?" My bad. The new official name for it is the H1N1 flu virus. The new term is scientifically more accurate and should have less of an adverse effect on the sale of pork products. Yes, apparently many people thought you could catch the bug from your bacon, which is impossible. First off, this is an airborne illness, and secondly, cooking kills germs. Thus, Egypt's decision to slaughter hogs was just stupid.... Even though it does the question of why people in a Muslim country are raising pigs in the first place.

But that's not the craziest thing to come out of this mess. That award has to go to the Israeli official who called the term "swine flu" offensive to both Jews and Muslims. He wants the name changed to "Mexican flu" to avoid any religious sensitivities.

Well, if nothing else, it's good to see the followers of both Islam and Judaism finally agree on something.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

True Story
(Or Maybe Not)

A priest, a minister, and a rabbi are arguing over whose religion is the best. So they each agree to go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it. A week later they meet again in the same spot to share their experiences.

The priest goes first. "When I found the bear, I read to him from the Catechism, heard his confession, and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his First Communion."

"I found a bear down by the stream," says the minister, "and preached God's holy word. He was so overcome by the lord's spirit that he let me baptize him."

So they both turn to the Rabbi who is lying there on a gurney. What's left of him is in a full body cast. He's missing an arm, and his face is mauled almost beyond recognition. "Looking back on it," says the Rabbi, "maybe I shouldn't have opened with the circumcision."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

On Monday, I wrote about Tyler Frost, the Ohio kid who fell victim to the Christian Taliban in Ohio when he decided to--GASP!!!--go to a dance. He was interviewed on the CBS Early Show this morning. Here's the video:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Humbling Hubble

The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off yesterday on a much anticipated repair mission to the aging Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble is now pushing 20 years old, and a number of its systems are failing. The astronauts on Atlantis will be repairing and/or replacing those items, as well as installing a number of upgrades. They will also be leaving behind a supply of Depends™.

Trivia: The telescope is named for Edwin Hubble, and he is best known for his discovery in the 1920s that the little bright blobs seen in those early telescopes were actually other galaxies. Until then, astronomers actually believed that the Milky Way was the entire universe. Truly amazing how far we come in just over 80 years.

Anyway, this mission to Hubble is the last one, so it has to count. The shuttle fleet is due to be retired next year, and NASA will have no other means to launch another such mission. A replacement 'shuttle' won't be ready until at least 2015, and by then NASA will be fully involved in a return to the moon. By the time that happens, China will likely have landed its own people on the moon and firmly established a number of takeouts featuring the best Kung Pao this side of the asteroid belt.

If you look at the accompanying photo, you can see two shuttles ready for launch. This is the first time NASA has done that. Should it be discovered that Atlantis was seriously damaged during launch (as happened with the Columbia), it will be up to the crew of the Endeavour to rescue their comrades on the Atlantis. Unlike other missions to the International Space Station, the Atlantis crew will not have the option of seeking temporary shelter there. The Hubble's orbit is just too different from that of the ISS. Recent budget cutbacks forced NASA to remove the Garmin from the dashboard of the Atlantis, so there's no way the crew would have been able to find its way to the space station.

During its life, the Hubble has returned some truly remarkable images of the cosmos. Though I've posted the following video before, it's worth watching again. And if this doesn't leave you feeling humbled, then you're just beyond hope.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stimulating Trojans

Footloose, Part Duh

Seventeen year old Tyler Frost has been a bad boy. As punishment, his school is about to suspend him and bar him from graduating with the rest of his class. So what horrible crime did Tyler perpetrate upon humanity? Well, he attended prom.

Problem was, it wasn't his prom.... Which is understandable since his school doesn't have a prom.

Tyler attends Heritage Christian School in Ohio. It bars from students from such sinful behavior as holding hands, kissing, listening to rock music, and yes, dancing. Tyler's girlfriend, however, is a hedonistic harlot who attends a public school that is absolutely crawling with sinful behaviors. Apparently seduced by the devil's temptations, Tyler decided to attend his girlfriend's prom.

Now here's the twist: Tyler signed an agreement to follow Heritage Christian School's rules at the beginning of the year. Included in that agreement was a stipulation that students could attend proms elsewhere provided they got a signature from the principal at Heritage, which Tyler did.

The principal acknowledges signing the form but nevertheless warned Tyler not to attend the dance. The matter ended up before a parent council which threatened the kid with the suspension. So according to this group's interpretation of the Bible, "breach of contract" is permitted by God.

In this era of mass school shootings, this is what Heritage Christian is worried about?!? Dancing and holding hands?!? It's refreshing to know that the people running this place have their priorities straight. Besides, I think we all know where such flagrantly promiscuous behavior can lead: Premarital sex, illegitimate teenage births, and your mother running for vice president on the Republican ticket.

This entire affair is a truly frightening and serious breach of national security. We've been so damn worried about the Taliban in Pakistan that we failed to notice that they've infiltrated the United States and set up shop in Ohio.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 08, 2009

Boldly Starting at the Beginning
(WARNING: Some Spoilers Ahead)

I was able to catch a 7 PM showing of Star Trek last night. And while it wasn't at matinee prices, it was well worth the extra three bucks.

As pretty much the entire world knows, the cast is entirely new. The only exception to that is Leonard Nimoy, who plays an old Spock thanks to some time warp thingamajig. At the same time, the movie did manage to avoid the classic time travel story that has become so tiresome. The writers simply established an entirely new Trek timeline and left at that. There was no going back and setting everything right.

My one complaint about this aspect of the movie is that the two Spocks eventually meet and the universe doesn't end!!! That seems to run counter to everything science has taught us over the years.

It's refreshing to have young, physically fit characters running around, getting into fights, and leaping from spaceships towards the planet below. It certainly gives new meaning to the word "skydiving."

The movie starts appropriately enough with the birth of the familiar James T. Kirk, and he immediately begins hitting on the cute olive skinned female baby in the adjacent crib. Kirk's mother turns out to be the hot Cameron Chase character from TV's House. Fortunately, however, Doctor House was not Kirk's dad.

Over the course of the next half hour we--and Kirk--end up meeting people like McKoy (who wastes no time bitching about space travel), Sulu (who again shows off his fencing skills), Chekov, and Uhura. Predictably, Kirk's first encounter with Uhura is in a bar where he unsuccessfully hits on her. Much to his consternation, she later gets the hots for Spock.

But the highlight of the movie comes when we finally meet Scotty, played by Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead). Although the character borders on raving lunacy, he's already an engineering genius.

I'll pass on describing the storyline any further, except to say that it works. This new Trek is an action packed two hours with some tremendous special effects. It should also appeal to non-Trekkers, mainly because it doesn't assume that you already know the characters.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Where No Nerd Has Gone Before

The new Star Trek movie opens tomorrow. Needless to say, it's already catching flack from longtime fans. And is it just me, or does the Klingon chick in the video kinda look like Susan Boyles?

Auntie Em! Auntie Em! It's a Sideways Twister!

Maine has become the fifth state to legalize same sex marriages. Governor John Baldacci signed the measure yesterday. Meanwhile, state legislators in New Hampshire are poised to send a similar measure to their governor as well. Assuming he signs, that would leave Rhode Island as the sole holdout in New England.

God is reprtedly furious at these recent developments and has decided to teach the people of New England a lesson by sending a "sideways tornado" through several states located over a thousand miles away.

What? No Waterboard?

An auction house in New York city is planning to sell a number of torture devices from the 16th century. The items includes things like a table rack designed to stretch the human body and a tongue tearer which, well, does just that.

Coincidentally, former vice president Cheney has reportedly cashed in his 401k and is enroute to New York.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Something to Ponder

Iron Man vs. Bruce Lee

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Iron Man and Bruce Lee were to square off? Neither have I. Fortunately, however, someone else out there did wonder about the outcome of such a showdown.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Gone in a Heartbeat

His full name was Xuan Van Pham, but everyone called him Subie. I first met him back when I first started driving a cab in 1992. He was easily the best mechanic in the company's garage. Subie had been working there pretty much since leaving his native Vietnam and settling in the U.S. in the late '70s. I quickly learned from longtime drivers that if you had a problem with the car, Subie was the one to see. He would quickly get you back on the road.

But aside from his mechanical abilities, the most amazing thing about Subie was his laugh. It was, well, just really, really loud. You could be out by the gas pumps with a dump truck rolling by in the street, and you would still hear his laugh from all the way in the building. It would shake everything in the area. I swear I once saw a brick come loose from the roof of the building and crash to the parking lot below. Doctor Evil from the Austin Powers movies would have done well to have that laugh.

And if someone in the shop dropped something, Subie would let loose with his trademark "Uh-oh, better call Maaco." Hell, sometimes I'd go in there and deliberately knock things over just to hear him yell it. As often as he said it, he should have been getting a commission check from Maaco.

In Fairfax county, every cab has to go through meter course twice a year. Subie was always there, making sure every car had the necessary paperwork ready for the hack inspector. And while everyone should have gone to the shop the day before for a quick safety check, there would invariably be one or two guys who would show up with a burned out bulb. It would fall to Subie to quickly change it so the cab could get through meter course and back on the road. When it happened to me, my excuse was a highly believable "Um, it must have burned out last night?" It was right about then that Subie told me to call Maaco.... Among other things.

Yesterday morning Subie was sitting in his car at a red light in Arlington, Virginia when he had a heart attack. His car then rolled into the intersection where it was struck by several other vehicles. By that time, however, he was apparently already dead. He was 59.

Subie, you will be missed.

Cinco de Miracle Whip

Today is Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates the date in 1862 when Mexico discovered Tequila. The first batch turned out to have a worm in it, but by the time the inventors found it, they were too trashed to care, and thus a tradition was born.

The day is marked by boisterous celebrations, folk dancing, grand parades, and the wearing of masks to ward off killer flu viruses.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fighting the Flu

(Thanks to Danny for the link)

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Flu Update

The swine flu is quickly becoming the biggest craze to hit the planet since The Macarena. It seems like EVERYONE is talking about it. There's even a story that says "Flu Fighters Warn Against Complacency."

That's just crazy. Hell, when's the last time they even had a hit?

Friday, May 01, 2009


By now, everyone has heard of Susan Boyles, the Scottish singer who managed to leave Simon Cowell speechless on "Britain's Got Talent." Boyles has said she won't change despite the fame, but is that a realistic expectation?

Here's a more realistic look at what the next year will be like for Ms. Boyles: