Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Makeover Online

At iVillage, you can upload a photo of yourself (or, perversely, of anyone) and do a full makeover. Apply a hairstyle, lipstick, eyeliner, blush contact lenses, earwear, and more. It is geared toward women.

I did one of myself (and was not willing to publish it here) and I looked like a rapidly aging effeminate writer who lives in Greenwish Village. It wasn't altogether unpleasant, so, I thought: who is one of the most macho guys around and would benefit from showing a bit of his feminine side? Well, only one name came to mind: Chuck Norris. Mr Norris is not only an accomplished martial arts practitioner; he is also a talented actor, writer, and exercise equipment salesperson. I've decided to go for a kind of 'Jane Fonda' look for Mr Norris (although, to be honest, his hair is off of Heidi Klum).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Life Expectancy Calculator

Do you want to find out how much longer you've got to live? Use the Life Expectancy Calculator (click here for the Eons calculator website) to get an eery estimate of your life expectancy. You'll have to answer 40 multiple-choice questions, and sign up (which is free, but requires that you enter your name, date of birth, and email address). Supposedly, I'm going to be blogging until I'm 87.

The creepy part is, after I finished, a link said, "Find out how to live to be 94". The page of hints shows how changing one's behavior can increase life expectancy. For example, if I stop drinking coffee, I'll add a year to my life. I'll have to think about that. One more year in exchange for no more coffee? For now, I'll stick with the coffee.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Amy Poehler and Will Arnett Welcome Baby Archie

Comedian Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Blades of Glory, Baby Mama) and comedian husband Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Blades of Glory) welcomed new baby boy Archie Arnett into the world on Saturday, Oct 25, 2008. Set an Outlook Calendar appointment for around October 25, 2028: if Archie chooses to go into comedy, he has the genes to be perhaps the funniest person ever created! Amy Poehler is highly funny and talented, as is Will Arnett, whose work on Arrested Development often left me hurting from laughing so much. Together, they play a hilarious brother and sister ice-skating couple in Blades of Glory.

Read the full story here

Read the Movie Review Zoo review of Blades of Glory

Read the Movie Review Zoo review of Baby Mama

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Glow-in-the-dark cat a transgenic success

Scientists at the Audobon Center for Research of Endangered Species have created the first glow-in-the-dark cat in the United States.

Unlike normal cats, the eyes, gums, and tongue of 'Mr Green Genes' glow lime green under a black light, the result of a gene sequencing change. Mr Green Genes is now 6 months old. The successful experiment was performed as a test, in hopes that this kind of gene sequencing can be used to substitute or remove genes that cause diseases that are fatal to various species.

With Halloween only a few days away, Mr Green Genes has perhaps the best 'costume' ever.
Click here to read the full article

George Takei and William Shatner Feud

William Shatner has released a video where he complains of not being invited to George Takei's (gay) wedding a few months ago. Shatner really goes off here, calling Takei sick, psychotic, and 'poor man' for not coming out until he was 70. My perception was that Takei was out long before that, but that he chose not to announce it to the press until then, and Takei confirms that in an ET video interview in the link below. Takei also says that he invited Shatner to the wedding, and that Shatner never shows up for anything related to the other cast members and people associated with the show (including creator Gene Roddenberry) when they got their stars on Hollywood Boulevard. Most surprising was how many posters at the Trek BBS jumped onto the Shatner bandwagon, ignoring the fact that it has long been established that Shatner has an ego the size of a brontosaurus and that he routinely played that card with everyone on the original series, including his co-star, Leonard Nimoy (Spock). Watch the videos, know the history...and then you decide.

click to watch Shatner's video

click here for Takei's response

Friday, October 17, 2008

John, McCain, Letterman, and G. Gordon Liddy

John McCain made sure that he was on time for his 'appointment' on the David Letterman show this time. He didn't want another two weeks of lambasting by Letterman like he got last time he cancelled his scheduled appearance on the show, especially now that it is close to the election. I know...any publicity is good publicity - but maybe not when you are already the #2 public figure and you are running for president of the USA.

Letterman questioned the possible hypocrisy of McCain's attacks on Obama for ties to 60s terrorist William Ayers, asking McCain about his ties to Watergate member G. Gordon Liddy.

I'm also wondering if McCain is a hypocrite. After all, first he said he wouldn't sit down and talk with terrorists, and then he shows up for the debate. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lipness Test for potential Supreme Court judges

During the presential debate tonight, both candidates were asked if they would impose a 'litmus test' for potential Supreme Court judges. They said no but answered yes, if you get my drift. More interesting was the fact that a whole slew of people heard the phrase as lipness test, and rushed up to Google to find out exactly what this is. Kind of cute, actually, but scary, too, since litmus test should be a well-known phrase to most people.

Who knows...maybe both candidates also heard it as lipness test, which is why they said no, they wouldn't impose that, but then said that they wouldn't pick a judge who didn't share their views on Roe v Wade.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Maureen McCormick (Marcia Brady) Tells All

Maureen McCormick (who starred as Marcia Brady on TVs The Brady Bunch) has joined the ranks of troubled child actors, as she reveals in her new book, Here's the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice. Ms McCormick tells all about her abusive father, string of affairs (which included Michael Jackson, Steve Martin, and co-star Barry Williams), and her problems with drugs (namely, cocaine and Quaaludes). The drug use started after her run on the show, and were coupled with a lack of confidence that saw her fail in an interview with Steven Speilberg and seriously curtail what she probably could have parlayed into a very successful career.

McCormick, now 52, has emerged from all that now, and is once again a successful actress, as well as being on Celebrity Fit Club and, of course, a writer.

I had a big crush on her, as did 99.9% of other boys who watched The Brady Bunch, so I'm glad to hear she's doing all right and still looking good. I also once saw her in person in New York, in about 1980. She would have been about 25). I was walking down the street, around 57th St and 6th Avenue, and was admiring, in as respectful a way as possible, an anonymous woman who was walking with her 'back' to me, about 15 feet in front of me. Suddenly (I don't know why) she turned around and looked straight at me - and it was Marcia Brady! I just kind of half-smiled at her, and that was that. Those kinds of things happen in New York a lot.

I wished she asked me to do some drugs with her (hypothetically, of course).

Read the full story here

Ethology: Seeing Human or Animal Faces on Cars

According to a new study released by researchers in Vienna, people associate human or animal faces with at least 90% of car fronts.

As humans have evolved, they have learned to use the human face to gather information on age, sex, intentions, threats, and more. It now appears that what many scientists believed could be true IS true: that humans apply these same face-reading rules when making judgements on inanimate objects. This study is the first time that the theory has been tested.

The results are that one-third of the subjects associated a human or animal face with 90 percent of the cars they were shown.

You might think that this would lead designers to make a car with a happy or sexy face, but the study suggests that people (men and women) place higher values on cars with powerful faces.

Igloo Room

When you are next in Iowa, you deserve to pamper yourself. Why stay in a normal motel when you can stay (time and money permitting) in a luxury igloo room at the Designer Inn and Suites (located in Toledo, Iowa). The white ceiling is 'cut' to resemble snow bricks. The room includes a whirlpool with submerged lights, a sauna, and a six-jet shower. If you have time, you can watch the 42 inch TV (a must for any igloo). One bad point - no mirror above the bed, but then, you can always opt for one of the other luxury suites that do have one.

Blossom Goodchild's Federation of Light

The Night Googler is getting an itchy wallet finger. I'm thinking about plunking down a wad of cash behind psychic Blossom Goodchild's prediction that a huge intergalactic spaceship will appear in the sky for 3 days, starting on Tuesday, 14th October.

The current bookie odds on this event have been cut down to 100/1, and include the proviso that either George Bush or Gordon Brown will confirm the existence of intelligent alien life with the next year.

The fully prediction tells that the spaceship will be attacked by governments around the world (I agree with that part) but the ship will not respond because they come in peace. In truth, George Bush does not strike me as the type of president who would be reaching out with an olive branch if an alien spaceship kept hovering. It would also seem rather provocative if this spaceship continued to hover after it was fired at. This would simply confirm to most people that it was a threat.

Also hard to believe is the idea that aliens are going to travel here just for the purpose of getting fired on by these primitives, for the sole purpose of helping us out and teaching us about peace. I mean, I want to believe it. It would be great if it did happen. I just find it a bit, well, unrealistically optomistic.

Read the news story here and more here

Thursday, October 9, 2008

National Debt Clock runs out of digits

The National Debt Clock, an up to the minute LED readout of the US National Debt, was until recently robust enough the display the current debt amount. However, when the national debt flipped from 9 to above 10 trillion dollars, the clock no longer had enough digits to display the full amount (they had to lose the dollar sign to account for the extra digit). The clock's owners say they will add 2more digits to account for the growing amount.

Dr Horrible and Joss Whedon

The Night Googler is a card-carrying Joss Whedon fan. Although the Googler never got into Buffy...it was Firefly that made the Googler have respect for Whedon's ability to create and write strong, believable, fully realized male and female characters in an ensemble cast.

But sometimes even the Googler finds he is living under a rock, as he just discovered that Whedon has released an Internet movie called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. You can watch Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog here for free. And please buy the DVD when it becomes available; it is important that we nurture the forum of original Internet content. If talented writer/directors like Whedon can make a living producing content directly for the Internet, it will allow them to fully realize their creative expression without having to shape their product for often-misguided corporate executives with small (or large) private parts (depending on their gender - we must choose the appropriate insult).

Read my full review of Dr Horrible here

Additional info:

I am grateful to Moses Lei, a talented musician who has painstakingly created karaoke tracks for many of the Dr Horrible songs. I was in heaven tonight, singing along to Brand New Day, Freeze Ray, and On the Rise! Click here to visit the Moses Lei karaoke page

Felicia Day (Penny)
I was not aware of Felicia Day's work until seeing her in this video. She has been around for awhile. The connection is that she has already created a successful internet series called The Guild (which, unfortunately, I haven't been able to find). She also starred in Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer series a few years back. Recently, she guest-starred on House. Felicia has a wonderful naturalistic way about her that makes her seem like a real person, not an actor - but she still has a captivating on-screen presence. Click here for Felicia Day's blog

UPDATE: More good news about Dr. Horrible! Michael Hinman at SyFyPortal.com reports that a sequel is in the works! Other good news is that the DVD release of Dr. Horrible will include the 10 best fan video submissions of possible entrants in the Evil League of Evil. If you know a little bit about Whedon/Firefly fans, they are funny, witty, clever, talented...much like the guy they idolize. It's weird that way Read the full article here

If you like everything about porn except the sex...

Now, there's a small demographic. If you like everything about porn (the cheap sets, shoddy acting, and actors with bad teeth, poor diction, and shameless regional accents) but you can't stand the sex, James Gunn (director of the cult classic Slither) has created a new free Internet short film series called, aptly, PG Porn. The first in what will hopefully be a long run is called Nailing Your Wife, and stars Nathan Fillion and real porn star and Penthouse Pet Aria Giovanni.

The film itself is just a small trifle and only mildly amusing, but the concept is great. So is the greater concept, that of bypassing the big networks and producing high-quality film directly for the Internet. Here's looking forward to much more of that, too.

click here to view Nailing Your Wife

Monday, October 6, 2008

Evel Knievel was suspect in string of violent assaults

Over in the USA, the FBI has a policy I have just become aware of that is ill-advised from a cultural standpoint. When someone dies, their secret files are released to the public. Of course, they are highly redacted (i.e.: lots of black marker used to cross out names and places), but they still are consistently going to place the deceased in a bad light by presenting outdated, often unsubstantiated evidence. It's too late for the family of the accused to prove their innocence, and, in many cases, the general public will make assumptions about guilt. This has just happened with famed motorcycle stunt rider Evel Knievel.

Knievel, it turns out, was the subject of an ongoing investigation into violent incidents that he either was personally involved in or was alleged to have orchestrated. Working off the limited information available in the article, there is no doubt that on at least a couple of occasions, Knievel did react violently and personally (once with promoter Shelly Saltman, and once with fellow stunt rider Bob Gill). Other incidents were never proven and were denied.

True or false? We will never know, but perhaps this is not the time to be accusing him of these crimes again. However, they should consider throwing the book at him for being involved in the so-bad-it-is-funny movie Viva Knievel!, a film that critic Rob Gonsalves summed up nicely with the phrase, "jaw-droppingly stupid".

Click here for a link to the full article

Saturday, October 4, 2008

OJ Simpson Verdict

OJ Simpson has been found guity of armed robbery in Las Vegas. He faces a minimum of 15 year for the kidnapping charge, plus additional time for the other 11 charges of which he was convicted. The verdict helps to portray Simpson as a morality-free thug who doesn't mind using a gun to get what he wants (in this case, he says he was merely 'retrieving' stolen sports memorabilia that was rightfully his).

Some people will use this conviction as an indicator that Simpson did kill his wife Nicole. (Simpson was cleared of that charge in criminal court, but convicted of the same charge in civil court).

Strangely enough, despite all that has happened, when the Night Googler hears the name OJ Simpson, the Googler still gets a pleasing visual image of an freakish athlete with unique lateral mobility weaving through would-be tacklers on the way to another long run for the Buffalo Bills. It seems it is hard to separate the beauty of an elite athlete's movements with that same athlete's flawed personality.

Friday, October 3, 2008

morse code

Let's not forget our old, outmoded, outdated, yet elegantly simple technologies like Morse Code. Fortunately, Robert Williams of Bozeman, Montana didn't. On a Sunday night in September, 2008, he was testing out his ham radio when he picked up a signal from a hiker stranded on Glacier Peak, over 600 miles away in the neighboring state of Washington. Williams called 911 and spent the day relaying messages and GPS coordinates from the hiker to rescuers, all via Morse Code. The next day, rescue crews reached the hiker and carried him to safety on horseback.

When I was a kid, I had this cool Morse Code flashlight with a big opening and sort of venetian blinds covering the lens. There was a trigger that opened and closed the blinds, and a basic Morse Code 'glossary' on the side for easy reference.

Wish I'd kept it!

joe sixpack

The Night Googler isn't really a typical Joe Sixpack. If anything, in my drinking days I might have been known as a Joe SixCarafe. But it's over now, and the question is, 'Who won the vice presidential debate?'

At this point in the election, most of the undecided/likely to change voters are lower middle to middle class. So both parties are trying to appeal to those groups. When Palin talks about tax cuts for business, she talks about how it's going to help 'our families'. Biden mentions meeting a friend in line for gas who doesn't know how much it costs to fill up his tank because he can't afford to fill it up anymore. Palin says that Joe Sixpack and Hockey moms need to ban together and just say 'never again' by managing their investments and not over-borrowing.

The Night Googler IS decided but would rather not bring politics into this forum, preferring to simply say, "I wish the election was over and the party I want to get in gets in." I'm sure you agree.