Some of the wonderful things rattling around in this full brain 'o mine. UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY (or at least twice a week)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Wind Turbines on the Highways, The Invisible, and the NBA Playoffs.

Clogged highways and frustratingly waiting while your gas needle plummets to empty usually doesn't conjure up thoughts of green, but it seems like these very roads could become the source of a lot more energy. Several recent student designs have proposed that major roadways be retrofitted with various forms of wind energy collection devices...
read more digg story

Saw this on Digg…had to blog it. I specifically remember driving over the mountains from Vegas to the OC with the Girlfriend and the Kitten and thinking “Why aren’t these mountains covered in windmills to capture energy from the winds this high up?” I’ve been positively amazed with the lack of such innovation since moving here, especially since I work for the power company, and the threat of brown-outs year after year. So, here’s hoping that this design gains steam and some state gets smart and realizes that this could help. At the very least, tax dollars could be used to fund it, and then the state could sell the energy back to the consumer resulting in yet more money for the government. Places like MI (if you could make all weather turbines), really need more money for their government.

Got a chance to check out The Invisible this weekend…I’d recommend it to rent or go to for a dollar show or something, that’s about it. It wasn’t that the movie wasn’t bad, it looked like they had re-cut some or changed the movie a bit, as the part in the commercial with the old guy talking about “solving the mystery of your own death” was no-where to be found. That’s a pet peeve of mine. The leads were ok, the whole premise of falling in love with a ghost is kinda…I don’t know, doesn’t seem plausible enough even for a movie. The main character, I could care less about before he got “killed” anyway. Not a bad ending though.


I have to admit, I haven’t had a chance to watch my taped Pistons – Magic game 4 yet, but those Bulls are going to provide the Pistons with everything they can take in the 2nd round. It just reminds me of the Spurs – Mavericks series of last year, the unofficial Conference finals, unless they beat the crap out of each other so bad that they’re too tired after this round. Whichever team wins (Pistons) is my pick to win the whole shebang though.

Oh, and go WARRIORS! I love watching top seeds sweat (especially when it’s not my team!) The only thing that would make this series better would be if Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison were on the Warriors, then it would be all of Cuban’s castoffs coming back to haunt him. Regardless of what happens, this series has definitely provided some entertaining basketball. Hopefully the Warriors won’t get full of themselves (ala the Magic of 2003) and start looking ahead. The Pistons (from 2003 vs. the Magic) and the Suns (last year versus the Lakers) came back from similar deficits.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Dan Majerle's Remarkable Shots - FULL VIDEO YouTube and No Edits. Amazing.

Thunder Dan Majerle is just remarkable. No edits. No cuts. Before the Suns Lakers game. MUST WATCH.

read more digg story

Continuing the basketball theme of this week…I heard about this and had to seek it out. Kudos to barrett90 from YouTube to loading it up from PTI (which I can’t watch anymore, but I listen to the podcast every morning!). Those of you who don’t know, Dan Majerle was a college basketball star for CMU from Traverse City, MI, and played his best ball with the Phoenix Suns (back when they had Barkley and challenged Jordan’s Bulls in the playoffs), and Miami Heat. Here he shows he’s still got it with some half court shots, in his suit no less, before a game. Awesome. Back in the day, I didn’t want to be like Mike, I wanted to be like Dan…all tan and with a hot wife. Can you imagine how great “Thunder” Dan would be now-a-days with the new rules?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pacers Fire head coach Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle was fired Wednesday after four tumultuous years as Indiana Pacers coach, following a season in which the team did not make the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
read more digg story

With my affiliation to a certain Detroit team (read: HUGE PISTONS FAN!!!), you wouldn’t think I would even care what’s going on at what was once our most hated of rivals: The Indiana Pacers. Unfortunately, Carlisle is a former Piston, and I just haven’t felt like Detroit has been the same since the Palace Brawl, even though the Pacers have definitely been affected more. Anyway, returning the Pacers to challenge the Pistons would just be another team to keep them on their toes.

Anyway, Carlisle was just let go by the Pacer organization. He’ll find a job elsewhere, that’s for certain. Unfortunately for him, coaches of his ilk are no longer in vogue as they were a couple of years ago when the Pistons let him go. He’s of the “Grind-It-Out” style, which has definitely lost it’s luster the last couple of years. Even though Detroit and San Antonio won championships in 2004 and 2005 with those type of styles, and Miami’s style last year was more an amalgam of styles. The pure “Grind-It-Out” style just won’t win anymore with the various rules changes on defense. As such, you’re going to see more motion styles (like Eddie Jordan, or Lawrence Frank) or straight up Run-And-Gun styles (Mike D’Antoni). There’s just not that many teams that lend themselves to the “Grind” style anymore. But, given Carlisle’s W/L record, someone will take a chance on him.

Fixing the Pacer team though, is a completely different issue. They need to set an identity and get a coach that fits that identity. With all the available candidates out there, they can go in a bunch of different directions. Let’s assume they want to emulate most of the other “In” styles of right now…the Motion style (since no one can really run the straight up Run-And-Gun besides the Suns and the Warriors). First choice should be to go with Suns Assistant Marc Iavoroni. Odds are he’ll end up in Toronto, though. Second choice should be Rick Adelman. He ran a very efficient offense in Sacremento that would work very well with the players on the Pacers. Third choice would be Sam Mitchell. Sam’s shown he can adapt styles if need be like he did this year with the Raptors.

Assuming they get the Coach they want, next they need a little turnover on their roster. Not too many tweaks, in the long run. First thing is to get rid of Jermaine O’Neal. Nice player, but he doesn’t fit the system, plus he’d do better on a team that he didn’t have to be the primary option. I propose you trade him to the Wizards for Antawn Jamison and Antonio Daniels. Daniels adds a nice proponent to run the type of offense you want, and he can still get it his own shot if need be, plus he’s a better shooter than Jamaal Tinsley. Antawn would do great in the offense alongside Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy. Next you turn around and trade Jamaal Tinsley to the Orlando Magic for JJ Redick and Carlos Arroyo. This would subtract Tinsley, who’s just never going to work out in Indiana, for an international flavor who can push the tempo in Arroyo, and a sharpshooter in Redick. If you can’t swing Redick, go out and get a sharpshooter (think Steve Blake or Jason Kapono). You need to have a couple of people who can hit something from outside. The final thing you need to do is get rid of Dunleavy. Trade him and Harrison to his Dad for Corey Maggette, or just dump him for hustle guys. Regardless, he shouldn’t be taking up shots from Jamison, Redick, Kapono or Murphy. Also, work out a deal with Seattle for Rashard Lewis. How bout Lewis for Daniels, Granger, and Diogu.

Making these moves, the opening day roster would look like this:

PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: JJ Redick
SF: Rashard Lewis
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Troy Murphy

With backups:
Jeff Foster
Carlos Arroyo
Jason Kapono
Corey Maggette
Shawne Williams
Keith McLeod
Maceo Baston
Orien Greene
Rawle Marshall

That leaves enough room for a good draft pick or two. That would be a team that could contend in the East, with the right offense installed. I’m sure they’d be incredibly fun to watch as well. Plus, they’d be a good warmup for the Pistons to beat before they beat the Suns in the Finals next year. ;-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Charities worth supporting…Revver and Reeve?

You know sometimes, online ventures just get it right. Not very often, but sometimes.

In the case of What Kind of World Do You Want?, they really got it right. What Kind of World is a contest put on by Five for Fighting and Revver. Revver is another YouTube type clone that pays it’s uploaders for their videos based on how many times the videos are watched. In this case, every time you watch one of those videos at What Kind of World Do You Want?, Revver will donate up to 49 cents to the charity that video was created for. Charities include the following:

Fisher House
Breast Cancer 3-Day: Komen for the Cure
Save the Children
Autism Speaks
VH1 Save the Music Foundation
NY Police and Fire Widows & Children

So, go to the website, watch some videos, and help Revver donate money to these worthy causes.

Also, if you’ve got a little extra cash and would like to give to another worthy cause, head on over to Superman Tags and get some cool Superman Tags to wear in honor of Christopher Reeve. They’re only 10 bucks, they look cool, and they go to a good cause.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Pistons…and what Ails Them.

I told ya I have something cooking on the Pistons…and it makes more sense to me now more than ever before. Here the Pistons sit, up 2-0 in their series against the Orlando Magic. Yet people are still dissing them in a sense…because of what separates them from the “Great” teams of our time. If you were watching last night’s game on TNT, you probably heard what I did. Charles Barkley talking about how Detroit just seems to lack that killer instinct…how they don’t just stomp out teams…they have a tendency to let teams hang around. In this current case, that’s a dangerous thing. The only thing separating a Young Team that Challenges, and a Young Team that Wins, is confidence. Allowing the Magic to stay in games will only give them more confidence…which will eventually turn these games from 8 point Detroit wins, to close losses, which in turn will just keep the series going longer than it should ala the Detroit/Cleveland series of last year. That was the series that took the Pistons out of it. By the time they got to Miami, they were too tired to really turn it on. I know they haven’t lost many tangible things since Ben Wallace left, but they have lost a certain intensity.

Now…I’ve thought for a long time that the Pistons should do what they need to do to rid themselves of Rasheed Wallace. Heck, I hoisted his head up on a platter in an earlier blarticle for them to trade him and parts to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett…one of the most intense players in the league. I’m going back on that.
A couple of weeks ago, it clicked for me. I’ve never been a big ‘Sheed fan. I thought that, while he’s very talented, he wasn’t worth the distraction. Then I sat down and watched disc 1 of the Detroit Pistons NBA Detroit Pistons 1989 Champions – Born to Be Bad series. It was Game 1 of the 1989 Eastern Conference Finals with Detroit vs. Chicago.

Well…about two minutes into that game…Bill Laimbeer gets a tech for arguing a call. And…that’s where it clicked. ‘Sheed is just like Laimbeer. He’s a nightmare matchup for any team. He can hit the inside shot, the mid range, and the 3-pointer. And he’s got a crazy intensity about him that just works with the Pistons. Unfortunately, he’s been on cruise control much of the year, promising that he’d get it going for the Playoffs. And so far, he has.

So, don’t get rid of ‘Sheed…unless you really do have a shot at Garnett. What Detroit really needs to do is go out and find a center in the offseason that is as intense as Ben was. Not an easy task. I’ll address that later after the playoffs what I think Detroit should do in the offseason, needless to say it doesn’t include Webber. He’s playing great now, but he’s not a long term fix.

Friday, April 20, 2007

NBA Playoff Predictions...

Well, I’ve got something else baking dealing with the Pistons going into Playoff time…hopefully I can drop that blarticle over the weekend, until then, here are my predictions for the NBA Playoffs!

Western Conference:

(1) Dallas Mavericks vs. (8) Golden State Warriors
Some are actually calling this an upset in the making. I’m not, though I think it’s going to be a lot harder than most think. Golden State is going to make the Mavs sweat. The Warriors will steal one of the first two at Dallas before going back to “The City” and dropping one there to give the home court advantage back to Dallas. Dallas wins decisively (think last years Game 7 of Detroit whupping Cleveland) at home to move on.

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (7) Los Angeles Lakers
Again, another one that’s going to be closer than you think. Kobe averages 45+ for the series, but gets no help from his bigs. Marion and Stoudemire go off after Kwame Brown goes down in the 2nd game. Marion averages 25 and Stoudemire averages 25+ to more than cancel out Kobe’s 45 per. Suns win in 6.

(3) San Antonio Spurs vs. (6) Denver Nuggets
Ah San Anton…good old Spurs…the Pistons of the West. You know, Denver’s close. If they had D’Antoni as their coach, they’d be a better version of the Suns. Unfortunately, they don’t and they aren’t. Denver could win if they attacked Duncan with Nene and got Duncan in some foul trouble…unfortunately to do that, Carmelo “I’m so glad you’re not a Piston” Anthony and AI would have to give up some shots…not gonna happen. Spurs in 5.

(4) Houston Rockets vs. (5) Utah Jazz
Old Skool Basketball rules as Sloan orders Mehmet Okur to foul Yao hard in the first game. Yao takes a tumble, and sits out the rest of the game, with Utah taking the home court away in the first game. Unfortunately for Utah, that foul awakens something evil in Yao, and he instantly develops the killer instinct that has so far kept him from being considered the best center in the game. Yao averages 35+ and 15 boards the rest of the series, and the Rockets take 4 straight from Utah to put them out in 5 games.

(1) Dallas Mavericks vs. (4) Houston Rockets
Yao’s streak continues as the Rockets take the 2nd game from Dallas at Dallas. The Mavs never recover as the Rockets play suffocating defense shutting down 2 out of the 3 Mavs scorers on the floor at all times. Josh Howard’s defense can’t slow up T-Mac enough and he goes off for 45 in Game 6 as the Rockets move on.

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (3) San Antonio Spurs
The Suns have fits with the Spurs, until Boris Diaw finally shows up in this series. Phoenix drops a game at home to give up home court, but they win game 6 at San Antonio, and Raja Bell delivers 8 3’s in Game 7, including a game winning shot as time expires. Oh, and a dumb foul by Manu is the reason Phoenix has a chance in the 7th game as well.

(2) Phoenix Suns vs. (4) Houston Rockets
Yao keeps his average up, but Amare matches him. Each team holds home court, and in Game 7, Amare gets Yao in trouble, making Jeff Van Gundy have to resort to Mutumbo to slow down the Suns. Mutumbo trips over his walker, and the Suns win by 10 to go onto the NBA Finals.

Eastern Conference

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (8) Orlando Magic
The Pistons lose the 2nd game at home by 20. Then they remember again who they are, and Chauncey averages 25 pts and 12 assists a game, schooling Jameer Nelson at every turn. Pistons roll in 5.

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (7) Washington Wizards
Watch the Wiz steal the first game. Watch Lebron get so mad he smacks Drew Gooden upside the back of the head. Watch Drew play 4 straight games as a meaningful player as the Cavs roll in 5.

(3) Toronto Raptors vs. (6) New Jersey Nets
The Nets will steal a home game from the Raps. Then the Raps will steal one back, and then they’ll steal another and win in 6.

(4) Miami Heat vs. (5) Chicago Bulls
I have no idea how this series rolls. My guess is Dwayne Wade goes off in the first game and the Heat win at Chicago. Then Nocioni comes in in the 2nd game and knocks Wade down. Unlike his commercial, he doesn’t pop right back up. And the Heat are done. Bulls in 6.

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (5) Chicago Bulls
I want this series to happen. How is it that the Pistons are the #1 Seed but they have the hardest road out of the East? Who cares, this series goes back and forth, each team stealing two games on the others’ court. Game 7 at the Palace. Ben Wallace comes up huge with 6 blocks and 22 rebounds. Unfortunately, he can’t score. Deng sweeps in for the game winning hook shot, over Tayshaun Prince, and Jason Maxiell rises above them all to block the shot. Maxiell roars at a fallen Deng as time expires. A new Defensive Beast is born.

(2) Cleveland Cavaliers vs. (3) Toronto Raptors
Bosh averages 25+ a game, and the Raps good all around game gives the Cavs fits. Unfortunately, Rasho Nesterovic is no match for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Ilgauskas goes off for 25 and 10 in Game 6 as the Cavs win a close series over the upstart Raps.

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (2) Cleveland Cavaliers
The Pistons drop the first game at home, and again, wake up finally remembering who they are. They win the next 4 straight over the tired Cavs, and frustrate Lebron throwing a different defensive look at him every time down the floor. Pistons in 5.

NBA Finals

(1) Detroit Pistons vs. (2) Phoenix Suns
Detroit continues its roll, winning the 1st game in Phoenix. Nash’s back goes out, and Chauncey posts Barbosa up 10 times a game. Chauncey averages 25 pts and 12 assists a game in the Finals. Phoenix pulls out the 2nd game, and the middle game of the 3 in Detroit after Nash comes back. The Pistons pull into Phoenix in Game 6, Webber pulls out a vintage performance in the biggest stage of his life. He and Sheed combine to score 40 to match Amare and Marion’s 40. Carlos Delfino comes up with a huge steal on Nash in the final minutes and finishes the break with a jam. Jalen Rose swears up and down that he really wanted to come to Detroit as the Pistons celebrate a series clinching win on Phoenix’s court by 5.

Finals MVP: Chauncey Billups. And with my luck, then he’ll sign a contract in the offseason with the Bucks. ^_^

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Dr. Phil Suggests Video Games to Blame for Virginia Tech Shootings

On the heels of Jack Thompson’s rush to blame video games in the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Dr. Phil has chimed in with support for this theory. Do we always have to point this at video games? It's time to think about parenthood as a problem, no?

read more digg story





Those are words I now associate with one Dr. Phil. Before, I just had him pegged as a blowhard. Now he’s pulling a Sharpton and jumping a saddening disaster to gain himself a little publicity just like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson did with Imus.

The Virginia Tech shooting, obviously, is a extreme situation. Dr. Phil though is jumping to this extreme conclusion that video games and mass media (movies, etc) are to blame. I’m sorry, but no. No No No. I’m sure lots of things contributed to this kid thinking that shooting up his dorm and another building was the only way he could express himself. Obviously something was wrong and probably had been for a long time. From the ABC news article, this wasn’t just something that popped up, it had been building for a while. Regardless, I’m sure him playing videogames or seeing a violent movie had little to do with his conscious decision to destroy the lives of his victims, and his victims’ friends and families. I truly doubt there is anyway anyone could have seen this coming from this kid, even if there are those who thought he was disturbed.

An interesting point I’d like to bring up, from Pardon the Interruption of all places, is that this kid put his hands on the guns so easily. Granted, these killings could just as easily been done with a straight up hunting rifle, but the fact that this 23 year old kid went out in the last month and purchased a Glock 9mm and a Walther .22 says something. It’s just too easy. I know the NRA rants up and down about their right to bear arms, or arm bears (thanks Robin Williams), but it’d be a heckuva lot harder for this kid to go on this type of rampage if he had to wait 6 months for each of those guns, or if he had to try this with a knife, or a bat, just not a gun.

Friday, April 13, 2007

VR Game Controller for Sony PS3

Sony is working on one cool Virtual Reality/3D game controller for it's PlayStations. It can read all your palm, finger and hand movements, so you'll be able to pick up and manipulate 3D objects on screen. It gives tactile feedback, so you can even "feel" the objects in your hand.

read more digg story

Wow. I can totally imagine playing Tiger Woods with something like this. You could even play with a real golf club in your hands!

I think perhaps the most interesting game to play like this would be...Tetris. Yes. Tetris! It would be like a timed puzzle....a timed virtual puzzle...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Top Ten Things that are worth paying more attention to than Imus and his f*ckup.


Anyone sick of that name yet? Talk about over-exposure. Much has been made of Imus’ comments on his radio show about the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team. First, they suspended Imus for two weeks without pay. Then, companies are pulling their commercial dollars and running for the hills. Now, MSNBC is canceling the simulcast of his radio show. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton continue to attack him.

Much has been written not necessarily defending Imus, but not vilifying him either. My personal fav is Michelle Malkin’s Imus vs. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks Chart. It brings up some good points on the double standard that’s currently killing Imus. Then there’s this point of view at Politopics and this one from Earl Ofari Hutchinson. These all bring up good points.

Here’s 3 things I think (if you don’t care, just scroll down to the Top Ten^_^)

I think everyone in this country is in some way shape and form, whether they want to be or not, racist. At least a little bit. Once everyone excepts that, this world will be a better place. Call it the Avenue Q Social Theory. I’m not saying everyone out there is a bigot. I’m just saying, all people think things that can be construed as racist, and all people, at one time or another, have said something that could be construed as racist, even if meant as a joke. Imus probably falls into this category…he’s just got more people listening to him, so he’s naturally a bigger target.

I think that the best way this could have been handled, is how you handle bad kids in elementary school…just ignore him. Until Imus had his show pulled from MSNBC, I thought for sure he was going to come out of this better than before he went in. So much free exposure…for something supposedly negative. Exposure…and people like Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, usually go hand in hand. The best way for the Rutgers girls to handle it would be to rise above it…treat it as noise, or a bad joke gone horribly wrong. Unfortunately, the media won’t let it die, which shows they’re not trying to really punish him…

Finally, on a more comedic side of things (I could see South Park running with something like this), if advertisers like Staples and Bigelow Tea aren’t putting their advertising dollars into the show anymore, Imus should go out and find the same people who advertise with any of the rappers on the songs pointed out by Michelle Malkin. He could create a whole different radio career as a Bullworth type character.

Anyway, in the spirit of rising above and not treating this as anything news worthy…here are tens things more worthy of paying attention to than Imus’ F*ckup:

10: Ask A Ninja
They know all.

9: The first picture of the initial Iron Man suit from the upcoming movie.
It looks cool, I trust Favreau on this one. We’re living in some sort of Golden Age for comic movies…enjoy it!

8: The final week of the NBA regular season, and the start of the Playoffs.
The West is crazy, and the Pistons will have fun tearing up the East.

7: Reality TV or…Anna Nicole’s new movie (God rest her soul, it’s what she would have wanted.)

6: Hot Fuzz.

5: The Dresden Files. It’s a good show.

4: Ninja Warrior on G4.
Have you watched this show? Crazy crazy people competing, showing off their insane hand strength. Plus, the commentary is MXC funny.

3: Spider-man 3
It’s gonna rule!

2: The Stanley Cup Playoffs
The first night provided the following:
Sid the Kid’s first Playoff Goal.
A win for the Sharks in the 2nd Overtime.
And a Canucks win in the 4th Overtime. It’s only going to get better.

1: Chicks dude…Chicks.

Other such notables: foot fungus, watching paint dry or water boil, WHO’S WANTS A BODY MASSAGE, and finally Professional Wrestling.

Got anymore? Leave em in the comments!

Update: IMUS was FIRED yesterday. What a sad sad day for all involved that it came to that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Easter Weekend – Grindhouse and Hot Fuzz!!!

Howdy all! Hope you had a great weekend celebrating or not celebrating Easter. As promised, this blarticle is to review the Advanced Screening of Hot Fuzz, but I wanna throw a quick word out there on Grindhouse.

Grindhouse = **** out of ***** Pulp 70’s style action and horror at it’s finest. Death Proof is the better overall film (along with more Holy Sh*t moments), but I liked Planet Terror more, it just seemed to have more fun with itself, and Robert Rodriguez seemed to more naturally blend all his elements together. Zoe Bell and to a lesser extent Freddy Rodriguez should be made stars by their work in these films. Rose McGowan should do 2 things. First is get Robert Rodriguez to let her into Sin City 2, and the second would be to start finding other director’s who want to make such fun films, and get the ball rolling. She comes off the best out of everyone, not as an actress, but that she’s made to do films like these. She should embrace that, and run with it to make a career out of it.

Oh yeah, and Kurt Russell is the man! If only we get could get a Kurt Russell and Bruce Campbell Grindhouse style buddy film….now that would be heaven.

The main event though was Hot Fuzz on Saturday night. Through Aintitcool I found out about a month ago that the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica would be showing an advance screening of Hot Fuzz. The movie would be followed by a Q&A with Hot Fuzz actors Simon Pegg (who also c-wrote the movie) Nick Frost, and writer/director Edgar Wright. Finally, after the Q&A, there would be showings of Point Break, and Hard Boiled, both of which are films Mr. Wright and Mr. Pegg drew inspiration from whilst writing Hot Fuzz.

First of all, once we (the girlfriend and I) got into the theatre, we decided to sit in the absolute back. It’s wasn’t a huge theater by any means, perhaps 200 – 250 people, with no stadium seating, so it wasn’t a big deal. There really wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Notables in the audience that I saw were James Duval of Independence Day fame, at least that’s what I know him from, and Brian Posehn, of The Sarah Silverman Show fame. Finally, someone started the show. The editor of Geek Magazine came out to introduce the people we really cared about: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. They talked briefly, getting the crowd into it, and finally they walked off the stage, and the movie started.

Before I actually get into the review of the movie, I have to mention something. The Girlfriend and I just moved out to Cali in Jan. I haven’t been here that long. Of course, having worked at a theater for dang near 10 years, I had been to plenty of sneaks, but those were only for employees. Last year, while we visited LA, we did get invited to an advanced screening which turned out to be The Break-Up, but that was free. I have never been to any midnight openings of any of the geek movies (Star Wars Prequels, Spider-man, X-men, etc.). This was my first time at an advanced screening of a movie, where everyone knew what the movie was, and we were all anticipating it quite a lot. I think there’s something to be said for that. It’s a special geek culture and quite an interesting experience. In short, I loved it, and I’ll be attending as many as I can from now on.

Anyway, onto the review. In short, ***** out of *****. I have never laughed so hard in my life. Of course, I’ve seen Shaun of the Dead, and I’ve seen some Spaced on the BBC. Shaun should be recommended watching for anyone thinking of seeing Hot Fuzz. I never considered myself a fan of the Zombie Horror Genre…but I loved Shaun of the Dead. Well, Shaun is to Zombie movies as Hot Fuzz is to Action movies. I love action movies. I’ve seen thousands of them, many over and over again. I got a lot of the allusions, but probably not all of them.

For those of you who have no idea what Hot Fuzz is about: Pegg plays Nicolas Angel, a hard-nosed too good cop in London who gets shipped to Stanford (statistically speaking, the safest village) because he’s making all of his co-workers look bad. Angel gets paired with the son of his new Police Chief, Danny Butterman. Together they stumble upon a series of incidents that most everyone writes off as “accidents” but Angel believes they are a part of something more entirely sinister.

That’s the basic plotline. The comedy that follows is quite hilarious. Warning: slight spoilers ahead! The emerging friendship between Danny and Nicolas is quite a thing to behold, as before now Pegg and Frost have always been friends when the story starts. The two actors have learned to play off each other quite well, and the friendship between Danny and Nicolas is heartwarming to watch even if it sometimes set off my gaydar. (That’s a word I learned from the Girlfriend ^_^)

The supporting cast also rocks, most of their jokes hitting spot on with few misses. The townspeople are pretty amazing as well (most of them are well-known British actors and actresses I’m told), I especially loved seeing Timothy Dalton in something meaningful.

The allusions to action movies (especially in the last half hour) are hilarious, often taking direct shots from well-known movies (Point Break, Hard Boiled, Bad Boys 2, Lethal Weapon). There are a lot of great “Holy Crap” moments near the climax of the movie, which makes you wonder how the whole idea for Hot Fuzz got started. I’m thinking it had to do with a late night watching of Trailer Trash’s Most Hilarious Videos with some Grandma getting accidentally walloped in the head, and Edgar and Simon thinking…”Huh, that would look pretty cool on film. Beating up old people is always fun.” If you’ve seen the trailer on TV with Angel drop kicking an old lady was one of the parts where I almost peed myself. Overall, a great time. If you’re ready to laugh, you won’t be disappointed.

The Q&A was great, at least as good as the movie itself. Also, they brought out an additional special guest: Timothy Dalton! Bond himself! Interesting notes from the Q&A: Nick Frost’s favorite action film is Bad Boys 2 (Now with added Cuba!). Edgar Wright considers himself a Dirty Harry fan. They plan on doing one more movie taking on another genre (Zombie Horror, Action Film, ???). There’s a British Comedy Mafia. My gaydar went off during the film because they had to completely cut out Angel’s love interest in the story, and some of her lines were given to Danny. Nobody mentioned anything about Ant Man. Actually, Edgar didn’t mention much else about his next projects as he didn’t want to give anything away too early. Timothy Dalton had the most fun shooting scenes on this movie, even over his Bond experiences. Simon had accidentally mentioned MI3 before an MI3 was even a reality, so now he mentioned something about playing a part on Heroes…and Nick Frost wouldn’t mind playing Chris Farley in a biopic. Overall a great evening. The Girlfriend and I left right after the Q&A, we didn’t feel like sitting through Point Break, just to get to Hard Boiled.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Dieting does not work, overall unhealthy, researchers report

"Will you lose weight and keep it off if you diet? No, probably not, UCLA researchers report in the April issue of American Psychologist, the journal of the American Psychological Association. Good. Now I can go back to my Chee-tos and Red Bull guilt-free."
read more digg story

Color me not that surprised by this article. People have known this for ages…yet they still continue to diet in record numbers, especially following all of the fad diets that come along. I’ve also seen people tortured because diets don’t work for them, or they’re more unhappy than ever after they’ve gained more weight back before a diet.

“People on diets typically lose 5 to 10 percent of their starting weight in the first six months, the researchers found. However, at least one-third to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they lost within four or five years, and the true number may well be significantly higher, they said.”

That’s always been one of the general concerns with dieting. Most people can initially lose weight, it’s keeping it off that’s the problem. Fad diets are even worse with this because they usually promise, and can sometimes backup, quick results…but the crash to your system is that much worse when the weight comes back as fast as it left.

The way to keep weight off permanently is to be all around generally more healthy, or don’t think of a diet as a short-term thing and keep it up for the rest of your life.

Anyway, onto making life changes and being generally more healthy!

Don’t cut anything out completely because then you’ll just crave it more, but eating in moderation is key. One such way to help moderate is keeping a food diary. There are plenty of free online ones now-a-days.

Another way to be more healthy is find a way to get some more exercise. Walk, run, play basketball, volleyball, join leagues, do anything you can to get yourself moving! Moving not only burns calories, but will help raise your metabolism to help your body burn more even when you’re not working out.

There are some other good tips here, which is one of the many I found when I searched Digg for other dieting articles. I prescribe to some of these myself, most importantly to weigh myself every day, and to not diet on the weekends. Also, drink lots of water. That’s not even a diet tip, that’s another tip for general health!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Apple/EMI in deal to sell music without DRM

Apple Inc. and EMI Group Plc will reveal a ground-breaking deal on Monday for Apple to sell the music label's songs free from copy protection limits, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

read more | digg story

Big Hand to EMI , Apple, Steve Jobs, and Jim Rome!

Looks like Steve Jobs’ open letter to the music industry didn’t fall on deaf ears. I wrote earlier in Feb about Steve Jobs’ letter and how EMI had plans to follow through with developing the ability to sell non-DRM protected music. Looks like they’re actually going through with it!

Good for you EMI. Better for you Apple. EMI will distribute their songs through Apple’s Itunes store. You can buy a NON-DRM protected song for $1.29. About as much as a 20 oz. soda. And you can play it on any device you wish. You can copy it as many times as you like. If you buy the whole CD, you get a discount. If you’ve already bought the song through Itunes before, and you want to upgrade to the NON-DRM’d song, it only costs the additional 30 cents. This is a great great deal. Hopefully, Apple and EMI will make tons of money this way, and this will provide a gateway to other companies making music like this available as well, either through Apple or any other downloading service.

Still…gotta hand it to Apple. The rich get richer. This is a great deal for them. It’ll get the Itunes program on any number of more computers for those who don’t even own an Ipod. Apple still gets their cut of the profits, all because they came up with a satisfactory business model that could easily be tweaked to allow for NON-DRM’d music. That’s awesome.

By the way, here’s some thoughts from the weekend:

Blades of Glory (not Blades of Steel, thanks Jeff) was a funny movie. Amazing just how many figure skaters they got to be in it. It seems they’re letting Will Ferrell play a Ron Burgundy type character every time out now…I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Children of Men…good movie. Not groundbreaking like it was built up to be, but a very interesting take on a hopefully not going to happen near future. I’d give it a 4 out of 5 though. Great Performances all around.

Never thought I’d see a “celebrity” while going about daily life in Southern Cali…but I was wrong. The girlfriend and I went to Javier’s in the Irvine Spectrum Center to have dinner before Blades of Glory. Halfway through the meal, I scan the crowd and notice that someone looks familiar. None other than Jim Rome himself was eating there with some friends or family. My first thought after “Holy Crap! That’s Jim Rome!” was similar to all my other thoughts upon seeing celebrities…”Gosh, he’s shorter than I thought he’d be.”

NCAA Basketball Tournament…Men’s. I pick Florida. But I’m ignorant…I don’t typically watch college hoops. Still…Florida looks to me like the more complete team.

Noah is going to be a good NBA player…not great. He’ll be a great complementary player…not dominant. I’m thinking along the lines of Antonio McDyess.
Oden’s got a chance to be something, I don’t think we’ve even seen him scratch the surface of his potential yet. I’m thinking he’ll be a Ben Wallace type player…with a little more polished offensive game.

Durant’s got the ability to come out and dominate right away, like Carmelo Anthony did. He’s got a higher ceiling though. He could be the next Garnett, if he wants to be. I don’t see the desire though, which is usually what separates the Paul Pierce’s from the Kobe’s and the Dwayne Wade’s from the Lebron’s.

Next weekend is a Hot Fuzz sneak up in LA! I can’t wait. I’ll have a review up by Monday…and I’ll also be submitting it to…although they don’t seem to ever put my reviews up.

Oh, and as Opening Day is today...

Go Tigers!