Friday, December 30, 2005

Can U Read this?

At Frsit cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! if you can raed tihs sarhe it.

Studios Unveil 2006 Slates

The major studios have begun announcing their slates of releases for 2006, and they are full of science fiction, fantasy, supernatural thrillers and computer-animated movies. A rundown follows.

Paramount will offer the Tom Cruise sequel Mission: Impossible III, from director and Lost creator J.J. Abrams, on May 5; the computer-animated Barnyard, featuring the voices of Courteney Cox and Danny Glover, on Oct. 6; and the live-action and animated Charlotte's Web, starring Dakota Fanning, on Dec. 20.

Sony has the sequel Underworld: Evolution on Jan 20; Ultraviolet, a vampire thriller starring Milla Jovovich, on Feb. 24; Silent Hill, based on the video game, on April 21; Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code, based on the worldwide best-seller, on May 19; the Adam Sandler fantasy comedy Click on June 23; the computer-animated Monster House on July 21; The Return of Zoom, a comic-based superhero comedy starring Tim Allen, on Aug. 11; The Messengers, a supernatural thriller from the Pang brothers, on Aug. 18; the supernatural fantasy drama The Covenant on Sept. 8; the computer-animated Open Season, featuring the voices of Martin Lawrence, Ashton Kutcher and Debra Messing, on Sept. 29; the horror sequel The Grudge 2 on Oct. 20; the offbeat Will Ferrell comedy Stranger Than Fiction on Nov. 10; and the 21st James Bond movie, Casino Royale, which introduces Daniel Craig as 007, on Nov. 17.

Fox will unveil the Lindsay Lohan comedy Just My Luck on March 3; the computer-animated sequel film Ice Age 2: The Meltdown on March 31; the mermaid movie Aquamarine on April 14; Brett Ratner's X-Men 3 on May 26; the horror sequel The Omen 666 on June 6; Garfield 2 on June 23; My Super Ex-Girlfriend, a comedy starring Uma Thurman, on July 14; and the film version of the fantasy best-seller Eragon on Dec. 15. Also coming from Fox in 2006 is the Mike Judge satire Idiocracy and the vampire SF movie Perfect Creature.

Warner will offer up the Wachowski brothers' V for Vendetta on March 17; the Keanu Reeves romantic fantasy movie The Lake House on June 16; Bryan Singer's hotly anticipated Superman Returns on June 29; M. Night Shyamalan's next creepy fantasy film, Lady in the Water, on July 21; the computer-animated fantasy movie The Ant Bully on Aug. 4; the Nicole Kidman alien invasion story The Visiting on Aug. 11; Hilary Swank's supernatural thriller The Reaping in October; and the computer-animated Happy Feet, with a voice cast of dozens, on Nov. 17. Also on Warner's docket for 2006 is the Darren Aronofsky SF epic The Fountain.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Wild Rumor

The Scifiheaven.net fan Web site reported a wild rumor that Tom Hanks is under consideration to appear in a proposed 11th Star Trek movie written by Hanks' Band of Brothers writer Erik Jendresen, though Paramount hasn't made any announcement about the status of Jendresen's script or the future of the Trek franchise.

Brits Miss Star Trek The Most

The original Star Trek is the show most Britons want to see returned to U.K. TV, according to the results of a survey reported by the BBC. The show, which premiered in 1966, topped a poll of more than 1,000 viewers commissioned by the British interactive TV firm Home Media Networks, the BBC reported.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer came in second, followed by the long-running sitcom Friends.

The rest of the list: 4. Fawlty Towers 5. Blake's 7 6. The X-Files 7. Babylon 5 8. Stargate SG-1 9. Seinfeld 10. The A-Team. Only SCI FI Channel's original series Stargate SG-1 is still in production and returns with original episodes on Jan. 6.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Browncoats to Close 01.03.06 :-(

Sadly, the time has come for this site to close down. We have been through a lot together over the past year and a half, and it is with great sadness that I post this message. Please redeem all of your points in the store if you have not already, as they will do you no good after the site closes down. To continue this community Gossi has set up a near identical forum at http://serenitymovie.org, so The Browncoats will continue on there. Thanks to each and every one of you for making this site, and Serenity such a huge success.

Keep Flyin’!
S_L
Browncoats : Official Serenity Fan Site : welcome

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Monkey Bizness

::monkeybizness::

AOL: Trump, 'penis patch' dominate 2005 spam

Ads mentioning real estate tycoon Donald Trump and those hawking "Penis Patch" body enhancements were among the top 10 junk e-mails in 2005, according to America Online.

Noticeably absent? Porn.

"Porn is passe when it comes to spam," Nicholas Graham, an AOL spokesman said.

Sexually suggestive e-mails took another tumble this year after slipping in popularity last year.

More than a half-trillion junk e-mails, known as spam, were blocked by AOL filters, slightly above 2004 levels, the company said. The number of junk e-mails reported by AOL's 26 million members worldwide has declined about 75 percent since 2003.

E-mails using more sophisticated tactics that attempt to deceive recipients by purporting to be from a friend or a legitimate agency or bear subject lines such as "Your Mortgage Application is Ready" are also beginning to replace blatant product promotions, AOL said.

Spammers "are (employing) 'back alley' tactics, and they are doing it with a specialized team that's working overtime to hide the source of their spam by employing zombie PC's, bot-nets and using other nefarious tactics," Charles Stiles, AOL's postmaster, said in a statement.

In 2005, AOL blocked an average of 1.5 billion spams per day. Approximately eight in 10 e-mails received at its gateway were blocked as junk.
AOL: Trump, 'penis patch' dominate 2005 spam CNET News.com

Rowling To Start Last Potter

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling wrote on her official Web site that she will begin writing the seventh and final volume in her best-selling series in January. "For 2006 will be the year when I write the final book in the Harry Potter series," Rowling wrote in a Christmas message. "I contemplate the task with mingled feelings of excitement and dread, because I can't wait to get started, to tell the final part of the story and, at last, to answer all the questions (will I ever answer all of the questions? Let's aim for most of the questions); and yet it will all be over at last and I can't imagine life without Harry."

Rowling added: "I have been fine-tuning the fine-tuned plan of seven during the past few weeks so that I can really set to work in January. Reading through the plan is like contemplating the map of an unknown country in which I will soon find myself. Sometimes, even at this stage, you can see trouble looming; nearly all of the six published books have had Chapters of Doom. The quintessential, never, I hope, to be beaten Chapter That Nearly Broke My Will To Go On was chapter nine, Goblet of Fire (appropriately enough, 'The Dark Mark')."

No title or publication date has been anounced yet for the final Potter book.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Fantasy Films Make Registry

A handful of fantastical movies, including the original Miracle on 34th Street and Toy Story, were among the 25 films selected by the Librarian of Congress for the National Film Registry, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

James H. Billington also selected 1960's House of Usher and 1975's The Rocky Horror Picture Show for the registry of films that have cultural, historical or aesthetic significance.

Billington made his selections from more than 1,000 titles nominated by the public after lengthy discussions with the library's motion picture division staff and members of the National Film Preservation Board, the trade paper reported.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Shatner To Hawk DVDs

Star Trek star William Shatner announced that he will be selling DVDs of obscure SF movies in a new Web-based DVD-of-the-month club, focusing on what he calls "the best sci-fi movies that didn't come to a theater near you."

The Official William Shatner DVD Club promises a new DVD every month for an annual fee of $47.99, starting with a free copy of 2000's werewolf movie Ginger Snaps.

"I've chosen a select group of memorable and entertaining sci-fi movies that never got the exposure they deserved and made them available to fans everywhere at a great price," Shatner said in a statement.

Upcoming titles include 2002's Close Your Eyes (also released as Doctor Sleep), the 2004 French movie Immortal (Immortel ad Vitam) and the 2004 TV movie Dragon Storm, which debuted on SCI FI Channel.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Christmas

Well, I had a nice Christmas, how about you?

I didn't get the electric guitar that I wanted. I didn't get an internal DVD burner. I did get a couple of Best Buy gift cards, a Target gift card, some clothes, French doors that we so badly needed, a Blockbuster gift card, Warcraft III Battle Chest and a box of White Fudge Oreos. I did get Munchkin and Star Munchkin for my oldest, we haven't played them yet but he has played some games solo and seems to love them. I did buy Serenity for my wife. My kids got lots of cool toys like these - Star Wars Darth Vader Voice Changer Mask, Matchbox Buried Treasure™ Playset, 2 gallon Aqua Scene Desktop Aquariums by Top Fin, Radio Control Bandito and many others and they are happy. We spent alot of time with the families and the weather has been nice and warm (very unChristmasy but not unusual for Houston).

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Ultimate Showdown

Ultimate Showdown

TIME.com: Best of 2005: Television

-1-
Battlestar Galactica
(Sci Fi)

Most of you probably think this entry has got to be a joke. The rest of you have actually watched the show. Adapted from a cheesy '70s Star Wars clone of the same name, Galactica (returning in January) is a ripping sci-fi allegory of the war on terror, complete with religious fundamentalists (here, genocidal robots called Cylons), sleeper cells, civil-liberties crackdowns and even a prisoner-torture scandal. The basic-cable budget sometimes shows in the production, but the writing and performances are first-class, especially Edward James Olmos as the noble but authoritarian commander in charge of saving the last remnants of humanity. Laugh if you want, but this story of enemies within is dead serious, and seriously good.

-2-
The Office

(NBC)

Last year I put the finale of the BBC's The Office on my top 10 list, after putting the original series on my list in 2003. "NBC is working on an adaptation for next year," I wrote. "If they can find the American equivalent of this comedy of quiet desperation, it'll be welcome on next year's list too." They did, and it is. Naysayers who complained that this version wasn't as dark as the British one, or that Steve Carell's boss wasn't as tragicomic as Ricky Gervais', missed the point. Producer Greg Daniels created not a copy but an interpretation that sends up distinctly American work conventions (the staff party at Chili's, the mandated diversity seminar), with a tone that's more satiric and less mordant. We Americans are different that way; sorry if that bugs you. The new boss is different from the old boss, and that's fine by me.

-3-
Weeds

(Showtime)

When you're slinging pot in your suburban neighborhood to support your kids on your dead husband's meager insurance payout--that's when you can call yourself a desperate housewife. Mary-Louise Parker gave a performance so human and conflicted, you could practically see the needle of her moral compass spinning. Creator Jenji Kohan's writing put the new in nuance, as she drew not only Parker but her various upscale associates (including a surprisingly appealing Kevin Nealon as a stoner accountant) in a way that neither judged nor let them off the hook. The best comic suburban soap on TV, ounce for ounce.

-4-
Sometimes in April
(HBO)

Next time someone tells you TV is a poor cousin to the movies, show them Hotel Rwanda, then this harrowing, complex story of the same genocide--if they can stand it. Don Cheadle's performance notwithstanding, Hotel Rwanda ultimately fell back on the Schindler's-List template of one-good-man-against-the-world Hollywood uplift. April was unsparing, without being gratuitous, in showing how horrific yet casual the violence was, and Idris Elba (The Wire) was stunning as a Rwandan officer who came to see the light too late to save his mixed-ethnicity family. Equally important, this movie explored the important -- if sometimes impossible -- process of reconciliation and justice in present-day Rwanda. I doubt I could bear watching this movie a second time, but I'm grateful to have seen it once.

-5-
Project Runway
(Bravo)

One of the hardest things to portray in fiction is the creative process; it's more interesting to watch, say, Jackson Pollack empty a whiskey bottle than a tube of paint. But somehow, this gimmicky, bitchy, wonderful reality show pulled it off, by challenging a set of aspiring fashion designers to do things like make a garment out of products from a grocery store (the corn-husk dress won). Unlike so many reality game shows, Runway actually cast intelligent, interesting creative people interested in doing good work in their field rather than media whores out to become future Style channel hosts. If you missed the first season, the second is just getting started. As model/host Heidi Klum would say, this show is een.

-6-
Wonder Showzen
(MTV2)

What does it take to get a person on the street to tell a cute hand puppet to ____ off? This and other imponderables were answered by this twisted kids'-show parody, inexplicably relegated to MTV's satellite channel, orbiting the frozen outer reaches of digital cable. From man-on-the-street interviews by an obnoxious puppet to an adorable child asking a butcher, "Who's going to pay for these steaks... I mean, spiritually?" this show is a hilarious, disturbing trip far away from Elmo's World.

-7-
The Colbert Report

(Comedy Central)

By rights, this spinoff of Stephen Colbert's supercilious Daily Show correspondent character should have have one good week in it, two, tops. But sharp writing and Colbert's wholehearted inhabiting of his blowhard alter ego showed that there's as much potential in mocking cable opinion shows as in the news itself. Like The Daily Show, the show is uneven -- between the pair, you've got 14 minutes of solid comedy every night -- but it's worth catching for Colbert's nightly editorial, "The Wørd," in which his bluster is counterpointed by commentary from the on-screen graphics. This is a worthy second half to a media-savvy Daily Double.

-8-
How I Met Your Mother

(CBS)

Five witty, good-looking young people dating, hanging out and trading quips in Manhattan. It's a revolutionary idea for a sitcom--in 1994. Overshadowed by more distinctive sitcom debuts this fall (see #10), Mother does for the young-urbans comedy what Everybody Loves Raymond did for the bickering-in-laws genre: proves that originality isn't everything. The gimmicky hook--narrator looks back on his courtship from 25 years in the future--is a distraction; what stands out is the crackling dialogue and rapport among the ensemble cast. (When Neal Patrick Harris isn't slipping the show into his tailored breast pocket, Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan are so cute you could sprinkle powdered sugar on them and pop them in your mouth.) Mother feels like it's been on for years, and I mean that in a good way; you sense that, just a few epsiodes into the show's run, the writers know these characters inside and out. I can't pretend this is anything but a well-executed Friends ripoff. But I'll be there for them anyway.

-9-
Prison Break

(Fox)

Breakout drama, indeed. The most addictively cockamamie new show of the year, this thriller is paranoid and far-fetched enough to make 24 play like the 9/11 commission report. Combining an old-fashioned escape story with a timely story of oil, lies and conspiracy in the government, Prison Break takes your sense of skepticism and plunges a shank into it. The drama knows how to build and maintain suspense, and nowhere is that better embodied than in star Wentworth Miller--an inmate with his escape plan tattooed in code on his torso--who after 13 episodes seemed tense enough to crack walnuts behind his ears. With the titular breakout under way on the show (it returns in March to resolve its cliffhanger ending), it's unclear where it can go in a second season. But for now I'll follow wherever Miller's tattoo leads.

-10-
Everybody Hates Chris
(UPN) & My Name Is Earl (NBC) [tie]

Why a tie? Because I don't have 11 slots and can't make a damn decision. But also because these sitcoms deserve to be considered together (as I did in this feature in September). Both shows proved a network sitcom could be both good and popular. Each show had a distinctive voice: on Earl, that of a good-at-heart petty crook (Jason Lee) trying to make his life right, on Chris, the hard-edged nostalgia of narrator Chris Rock, looking back on his childhood in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. They share another, less fortunate attribute: neither show has developed its characters much beyond their hilarious but cartoony pilots, and if they had, they'd be higher on this list. But after years in which sitcoms have been either bad or cancelled, I'll take my laughs however I can get them.
TIME.com: Best of 2005: Television

Snacking: Which Foods Are Healthy, Which Are Not

The hunger pangs hit in the middle of the afternoon. You reach for raw vegetables and dip, congratulating yourself on your discipline. After all, you couldn’t pick a healthier snack, right?

Well, that depends. What exactly are you dunking your carrot and celery sticks into?

Often a high-fat, high-sugar dressing or dip, according to registered dietician and weight-loss coach Julie Beyer. “Shift the recipe,” she advises. “Dip your veggies in salsa instead. You can eat oodles of that and never have to think twice.”

Many of the snacks we believe are good for us contain ingredients that are actually unhealthy, experts caution. Marketing is often to blame, explains Rick Hall, who teaches nutrition at Arizona State University. “They’re packaged to look healthy, sometimes almost in a devious way, but it comes down to the consumer’s lack of knowledge, too,” Hall says.

To help raise your awareness, here are nine snacks we often misconstrue, along with some truly healthy alternatives.

1. Snack bars

Marketed as breakfast bars, granola bars, low-carb bars, etc. Frequently made from refined flours, most brands are also riddled with fat (hydrogenated oils) and sugar (in its many forms). For a real energy boost, look for snack bars made from complex carbohydrates, such as oats, and minimal or eliminated fat and sugar.

2. Bagels

“Refined, white carbs are not OK, despite what you might have been told about their fat-free properties,” warns Hall. Oh, and one bagel is roughly equal to six slices of white bread. Go for wholegrain.

3. Pretzels

More refined carbohydrates. Pretzels have been stripped of fiber, that’s why you eat and eat and eat them and never feel full, explains Beyer. Replace with low-sodium, wholegrain tortilla chips, especially brands that use additional wholesome ingredients, such as black beans.

4. Muffins

Surely a muffin is innocent, right? Only if you want to consume 600 to 900 calories every time you eat one. Margarine – lots of it – is what makes muffins moist. Reap the benefits of healthy fats by eating an avocado, or a handful of walnuts, which contain omega-3 oils.

5. Rice cakes

Yes, they’re low in calories. That’s because they’re puffed rice – no vitamins or minerals, mostly air! You’re much better off eating a bowl of fiber-rich brown or wild rice.

6. Beef jerky

Jerky contains as much salt as the Dead Sea. If you love it that much, make your own, or eat a soy substitute.

7. Popcorn

Again, almost always doused in unhealthy, hydrogenated oils. With their good-fat properties, olives are a wonderful alternative. Or try some protein-packed seeds and nuts.

8. Fruit

Of course, fruit is good for you, “but first you have to debug them of pesticides and germs,” Hall reminds consumers. To avoid eating risky chemicals and the germs passed on by dozens of human hands, always wash your fruit before you cut into it with your teeth or a knife. On the topic of fruit, Hall also recommends blueberries, raspberries and cherries. “They’re some of the most potent antioxidant foods you can get because of all the phytonutrients that give the fruit their color,” he says.

9. Fruit juice

Apparently manufactures don’t think the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit are sweet enough for consumer taste buds, because they add a ton more refined sugar to most of their fruit juice products. “High fructose corn syrup” is one of the most common ways of labeling these sugar additives. Same goes for most of the “sports” drink products. Squeeze your own fruit and drink plain old water.

A good rule of thumb for ensuring you’re eating nourishing snacks instead of snacks with little or no nutritional value is to use snack time to get your daily dose of fruit and vegetables. “Go to the outskirts of the supermarket, and buy from the produce section,” counsels Hall. “Avoid processed foods, or if you do eat them, learn how to read the food labels.”

Snacking

Monday, December 26, 2005

Slither

Nathan Fillion in a new movie next year...
Slither

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lynx Alphabet Girls

Send a Christmas greeting to your buddy!
Warning: They're not wearing much.
Lynx Alphabet Girls

Kidz Online

Kidz Online (KOL) is a high-tech digital video production and distribution organization with unique and robust online learning specialties that span the globe. Headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, with its principal digital studio in Los Angeles, California, KOL is a leading provider of comprehensive online communications and training solutions and services for global youth, the federal government and commercial customers.

Its rich repository of over 1,000 digital learning resources includes custom created interactive streaming videos for technology training, financial literacy and geospatial skills.
Kidz Online - About Us

Kobe explodes for career-high 62 points

(I know I have a NBA blog that I never use and this really belongs there but this is pretty incredible even though I personally can't stand Kobe.)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Two nights after a most annoying loss, Kobe Bryant took out his anger and frustration on the poor Dallas Mavericks.

Bryant was at his incredible best Tuesday night, scoring a career-high 62 points in just three quarters to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 112-90 victory over the Mavericks.
The 27-year-old Bryant, who brought a 31.3-point average into the game, shot 18-of-31, including 4-of-10 from 3-point range, and made 22 of 25 foul shots while playing only 33 minutes.

When he left the game, he had outscored the Mavericks by himself, 62-61.

"I was so frustrated by the loss the other night I was going to will us to victory," Bryant said, referring to a 76-74 loss to the Houston Rockets. Bryant scored 24 points in that game - a total he matched in the first 16 1/2 minutes against the Mavericks.

"I was very angry, I felt like I wanted to come out and send a message, that we're going to dominate at home," he said. "We're going to hit you, we're going to bring it to you. I wanted to send that message."

Message received.

"We had no answer for him," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We tried to double-team him, we tried to zone him, we tried to trap him in the backcourt, and nothing worked. He had his way with us tonight."

Bryant scored 15 points in the first quarter, 17 in the second, and a franchise-record 30 in the third before taking a seat for good with the Lakers leading 95-61.

FOXSports.com - NBA- Kobe explodes for career-high 62 points
A conservative blog.
Looks to be worth visiting and reading.
Swhicker's World

meeblog

A blog by the meebo folks.

Do you meebo?

meeblog

ITS A WONDERFUL INTERNET

Pretty cool!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blalock Trekking To Lost?

Dark Horizons, citing E! Online's Watch With Kristin column, reported a rumor that Jolene Blalock of Star Trek: Enterprise will guest-star in an upcoming episode of ABC's hit Lost.

Blalock was supposed to guest in the second episode of the current season, which was originally Sawyer's (Josh Holloway) backstory. But the episode was swapped for a Michael (Harold Perrineau Jr.) flashback.

Blalock will appear as a woman from Sawyer's past. The monster is also coming back very soon, Dark Horizons reported. Lost returns with new episodes in January.

In related news, TV Guide Online reported that Lost star Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia) had a lot to say when she was arrested in Hawaii earlier this month for drunk driving. According to documents obtained by KITV-TV, Rodriguez was "very argumentative" during her arrest, at one point telling a cop: "Why don't you just put a gun to my head and shoot me? You've already taken my freedom, you might as well take my life, too!" Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Blogger Templates - Free blog templates, original skins and new designs for Blogger

Blogger Templates - Free blog templates, original skins and new designs for Blogger

Welcome to Angel's Sanctuary

Welcome to Angel's Sanctuary

Stormwolfe's Domain

Untitled Document

Tales of an Ordinary Girl

Buffy/Angel fan
Tales of an Ordinary Girl

Serenity - Have you bought your copy yet today??

Serenity

Warcraft Hits 5 Million Mark

Blizzard Entertainment announced that World of Warcraft, its hit massively multiplayer online role-playing game, has surpassed 5 million customers worldwide. The subscription-based MMORPG launched about a year ago in North America, Australia and New Zealand and has since been released in Europe and Asia. The game was launched in Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong on Nov. 8.

Blizzard's announcement coincided with word of its next Warcraft expansion, World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, set for release in 2006. The expansion will add new lands, quests, monsters, magic items, spells and abilities, two new player races, a new player profession, 10 new levels of power for players to achieve and more.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Monday, December 19, 2005

Cute Overload!

Animal pics.
Cute Overload! ;)

Morena-Baccarin.com

Nice.

Morena-Baccarin.com

MorenaBaccarin.net

Nice pics here!

NikeScream - MorenaBaccarin.net

Serenity (EXCLUSIVE Collector's Tin) @ EzyDVD


EXCLUSIVE to EzyDVD, this Limited Edition Embossed Collector's Tin includes the new movie from director Joss Whedon, Serenity!

Ninja Attack


Four little Ninjas. Waiting. Waiting for just the right moment. The moment when all the elements say, “The time to strike is now.” And then, they spring into action. One by one, they are loaded into the Ninja Attack warrior deployment device. And one by one, they fly through the air into battle.
Silently landing on their target's desk, Eric, Roger, Al, and Takashi will do that special thing Ninjas do. You'll just have to stop by to pick them up when the mission is done. The Ninja Attack launcher is a basic catapult (5 ¾” long), with a cover to hold a Ninja securely in the loaded position. Always have a Ninja ready – you never know when you'll need one. You'll get 4 different, 1 ¼” warriors; your target will get a giant Ninja spanking.

ThinkGeek :: Ninja Attack

Harass co-workers with USB missiles


With these USB-powered air darts, you can shoot to annoy. Just hook the contraption up to your PC and control the darts' aim and firing mechanism with your mouse.

Harass co-workers with USB missiles News.blog CNET News.com

Serenity Role Playing Game


Here’s How It Is…

The Earth got used up, and we found a new solar system and used terraforming technology to create hundreds of new Earths. The central planets formed the Alliance and decided that all worlds should unite under their rule. There was some disagreement on that point. After the Unification War, many of the Independents who had fought and lost drifted to the edges of the system, far from Alliance control. Out here, people struggled to get by with the most basic technologies. A ship would bring you work, a gun would help you keep it. A captain’s goal was simple: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.

The Serenity Role Playing Game lets you re-create the action of the ‘Verse, the science-fiction setting created by writer/director Joss Whedon. Fly a ship out in the black, take jobs as they come, and always make sure you get paid. Everything you need to get started is right here! All you need is dice, friends, and your imagination.

• A self-contained role playing game. All the rules are provided for both players and Game Masters!
• Full character creation rules, plus fifteen sample characters—including the crew of Serenity.
• Complete details on spaceships, guns, and technology.
• Emphasis on story, action, and character development with easy-to-learn rules.
• Game details and descriptions of the characters and settings of the film!

Amazon.com: Serenity Role Playing Game: Books

'Star Trek' enters G4 galaxy

G4 is about to boldly go where many networks have gone before.

The Comcast-owned cable network is close to acquiring the syndication rights to the original "Star Trek" and one of its spinoffs, "Star Trek: The Next Generation," from Paramount Domestic Television, sources said.

"Star Trek" has been a syndication fixture since the first edition blossomed there after its brief network run in the late 1960s.

Sources also suggest that "Star Trek" will be part of a Comcast effort next year to reposition the channel brand of G4, which struggled to establish itself as the TV home for video gamers, in a broader play for young male viewers. A name change also is being considered.

A spokeswoman for G4 declined comment on the acquisition but issued a statement regarding the channel's positioning. Paramount declined comment.

"Video games are the core of G4's programming strategy," the spokeswoman said. "They are the foundation and basis of our network. Any programming we add to our slate will be attractive to a gamer audience and serve the male 18-34 demographic."

Financial terms of the acquisition were unavailable, but G4 is believed to be double-running both series weekdays, including a primetime window.

"The Next Generation" starts Jan. 8 on G4; it will continue to run on Spike TV as well with time-period restrictions keeping the programs from running in the same daypart. Spike TV will continue to run other "Star Trek" spinoffs including "Deep Space 9." "Star Trek" will begin on G4 in the second quarter.

"Star Trek" is the latest acquisition G4 has made for a program that isn't overtly about video games. The short-lived Fox series "Fastlane" and Comedy Central franchise "The Man Show" are other recent purchases. The network also has had success with the anime genre, a leftover from G4's merger with a Comcast acquisition, TechTV.

In terms of G4's channel positioning, Comcast has to walk a fine line lest it violate affiliate agreements for G4 with other cable operators that specify the channel focus on video games. However, video games will likely still be part of the mix at G4 given how popular they are with the young males the channel targets.

"Star Trek" isn't exactly alien to the gamer world; the brand has generated more than 70 video game titles.
'Star Trek' enters G4 galaxy | CNET News.com

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ghost Rider Bumped To 2007


Ghost Rider, the Nicolas Cage supernatural action movie based on the Marvel comic of the same name, has been pushed back to President's Day weekend 2007 from its original July 14, 2006, release date, Variety reported.

Sony bumped the $120 million movie to Feb. 16, 2007, to make way for its other 28 titles opening next year from its five divisions, which include Columbia, Screen Gems, TriStar, Revolution and MGM, the trade paper reported.

Sony's other summer '06 SF&F movies include Columbia's The Da Vinci Code (May 19), Columbia/Revolution's Click (June 23), Sony Pictures Animation's Monster House (July 21), and Revolution's Tim Allen fantasy movie Zoom (Aug. 11).

The change means that Marvel Studios must now undo a carefully laid out plan of ancillary tie-in deals, the trade paper reported.

The February date allows some buffer space between Ghost Rider and another Marvel franchise film, Spider-Man 3, which Sony is releasing three months later in May.

Sony found the February date a better launching pad than the fall, which has become a haven for horror and family dramas, and when SPE will release such films as its sequel to The Grudge.

Moreover, Ghost Rider no longer has to worry about opening in such close proximity to the June 30 bow of Superman Returns and the July 5 bow of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Trek Rumors Denied?

Sy Fy Portal reported that a Paramount Pictures source denied rumors that the studio is developing a Star Trek film that will feature Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, Capt. James T. Kirk and Capt. Jonathan Archer together.

"You're going to see this a lot right now," the unnamed source told the site. "Without anything announced, you're going to see speculation everywhere. But unless you hear it from someone actually involved, don't believe it, because it likely isn't true."

The Canmag.com Web site reported the rumor that William Shatner is one of the former Star Trek captains who would appear in a proposed new Trek movie set in the "mirror" universe. Citing an anonymous source, the site reported that a script is floating around for a proposed new movie.

"Paramount has only asked for one script, and yes, they are deciding whether or not that's the direction they want to go," the source said. "Erik [Jendresen's] script met with mixed reaction, but it has nothing to do with the quality. It has more to do with disagreements among those who are in decision-making capacities as far as it [Star Trek] is concerned. There are no other ideas on the table at this time."
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Exclusive Serenity Clip Posted


SCI FI Wire has obtained an exclusive preview of an extended scene from the upcoming DVD release of Joss Whedon's SF space western movie Serenity, which has been linked through the Trailers page.

The scene features a bit more of Shepherd Book (Ron Glass). It's one of the features on the the upcoming DVD, which also includes commentary from writer/director Whedon; other deleted scenes and outtakes; the featurettes Future History: The Story of Earth That Was, What's in a Firefly and Re-Lighting the Firefly; an introduction by Whedon; and more.

The DVD streets on Dec. 20. The Serenity DVD is being distributed by Universal Home Entertainment, which is owned by NBC Universal, which also owns SCIFI.COM.

Sorry, I'd like to kiss you, but...

LONDON (Reuters) - An outbreak of opportunistic mistletoe rustling is threatening a Christmas kissing crisis, British environmental experts said Wednesday.

The Wildlife Trusts said over-harvesting of the plant that only grows in the wild and is mainly found on old apple trees meant it was becoming increasingly rare.

"Mistletoe is being taken in increasingly large quantities from orchards, hedgerows and ancient trees to be sold at markets to Christmas shoppers," said The Wildlife Trusts -- a partnership of 47 British wildlife organizations.

"There are cases of mistletoe rustling, and once the whole plant has been removed from its host tree it won't grow back."

The parasitic green plant with white berries has been associated with fertility since the time of the ancient Druids and kissing under the mistletoe has long been a Christmas party tradition.
Oddly Enough News Article | Reuters.com

The top 10 weirdest USB drives ever



USB drives comes in thousands of designs and colors, but these 10 are extraordinary weird. Or what do you think? Go ahead, check them out. They are weird! Promise. Hehe.

10. The iduck
We start off with the least weird USB drive, and it’s the iduck from the Japanese company Solid Alliance. They are available in six different colors and the version on the picture even lights up when it’s plugged in. It’s cute so it’s not that hard to understand why it’s popular, right?
iduck [Dynamism.com]

9. Sake bottle
Now it’s starting to get weird. A USB drive shaped like a Sake bottle? Does that sound like the next big thing? Hehe, I wonder how many of these actually was produced! It’s so weird that it’s cool.
USB Sake [Akihabara news]

8. Sushi
If you already have bought the USB Sake, you definitely got to have a set of Sushi drives. They come in lots of different models and look really authentic. Don’t eat! Weird, eh?
USB Sushi [Dynamism.com]

7. Mikan Seijin USB memory
Ok, now it’s starting to get really weird, don’t you agree? This drive is called Mikan Seijin and if you translate that it means ‘Mandarin Alien’ - a popular Japanese TV show from 1994. It’s a relly horrible product. Hehe.
Mikan Seijin USB memory [Engadget]

6. Big Tiki Drive
Standing almost 4″ tall, the Big Tiki Drive is a really weird product. What’s the connection between Hawaii and storage? Once again, a product that is so weird that it becomes cool.
Big Tiki Drive [Thinkgeek]

5. USB Sushi Dimsum This is just another dimsum Sushi USB drive, but they look so authentic that they deserve a better position in this Top 10 list. They even looks sticky! Only 5 weird USB drives to go, hang on!
Sushidisk.co.uk

4. idisk
The product description of this really strange product says it all: ‘It’s so small you can have it in your ear‘. Hehe, ok! How on earth should can you avoid not misplacing this really tiny (and very weird) product?
iDisk Diamond, even in your ear [Akihabara news]

3. USB Fish Shrimp
Once again: why? Why on earth would you want to have a little fish shrimp sticking out of your USB port? If you want to make it REALLY weird, combine this one with the USB Spaghetti plate port and you have a truly wild combination.
Wild USB combo [Engadget]

2. USB Thumb
The USB thumb is our runner up in the Top 10 weirdest USB drives ever. Having a thumb sticking out of your computer is really, really weird, and it also gives a completely new meaning to the expression ‘thumbdrive’.It looks very realistic, so you can probably use it in some pranks to your friends and colleagues.
USB Thumb [Dynamism.com]


1. Barbie
Yes, at last - the most weird USB drive ever - the USB Barbie. Rip the head of the cute Barbie doll, and plug it into your PC. This is as weird as it gets this time! Enjoy!

Gadgets � The top 10 weirdest USB drives ever

Next stop in New Orleans: Disaster trip for tourists

By Michele Gershberg

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Visitors to New Orleans who once toured the graceful mansions of its Garden District or learned the history of its Mississippi River plantations have a new attraction: The Hurricane Katrina disaster tour.

Gray Line New Orleans will begin on January 4 a "Hurricane Katrina Tour - America's Worst Catastrophe!" to show the ruin that befell the city when the storm hit on August 29, breaching a faulty system of river levees and flooding 80 percent of its neighborhoods.

Gray Line New Orleans normally organizes trips through the city's historic districts as well as its swamps and spooky cemeteries, but its business has been severely curtailed by the hurricane. The company said the Katrina tour was born of frustration over the government's slow response to rebuilding.

About 10 percent of the $35 ticket price for the three-hour tour will be donated to Katrina relief groups.

"People around the country don't understand it until they see it firsthand," Gregory Hoffman, general manager of Gray Lines New Orleans, told Reuters. "We're going to walk them through what we as locals experienced leading up to and following the hurricane."

Critics say a commercial tour only sensationalizes the city's suffering, with tens of thousands of residents still dispersed across the United States. Other victims can still be seen on city streets trying to salvage belongings from their wrecked homes.

"There should be tours, but they should be linked with people who are displaced and coming up with a plan of action," said Corlita Mahr, a hurricane victim who works with the grassroots People's Hurricane Relief Fund.

The Gray Line tour includes a history of the Mississippi River and the levees intended to protect city inhabitants, as well as its industries, from oil and gas production to seafood harvesting.

The tour will follow a route through the ravaged Lakeview neighborhood and pass by the Superdome stadium, where storm victims waited for days to be rescued with little food, water or medical attention.

Hoffman, who along with many of his employees lost his home to the flood, noted that visitors are already poking into destroyed neighborhoods on their own accord, not unlike tourists who lined up to see the ruins of New York's World Trade Center after the September 11, 2001, attacks four years ago.

Passengers will not be let off Gray Line buses to take photos of neighborhoods, he said.

"We may pass out maps that show the depths of the devastation, but after you ride around for fifteen minutes in those areas you don't really need any more," said Hoffman.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MAN DATES GAL ON INTERNET FOR SIX MONTHS...

MARSEILLES, France -- Skirt-chasing playboy Daniel Anceneaux spent weeks talking with a sensual woman on the Internet before arranging a romantic rendezvous at a remote beach -- and discovering that his on-line sweetie of six months was his own mother!

"I walked out on that dark beach thinking I was going to hook up with the girl of my dreams," the rattled bachelor later admitted. "And there she was, wearing white shorts and a pink tank top, just like she'd said she would.

"But when I got close, she turned around -- and we both got the shock of our lives. I mean, I didn't know what to say. All I could think was, 'Oh my God! it's Mama!' "

But the worst was yet to come. Just as the mortified mother and son realized the error of their ways, a patrolman passed by and cited them for visiting a restricted beach after dark.

"Danny and I were so flustered, we blurted out the whole story to the cop," recalled matronly mom Nicole, 52. "The policeman wrote a report, a local TV station got hold of it -- and the next thing we knew, our picture and our story was all over the 6 o'clock news. "People started pointing and laughing at us on the street -- and they haven't stopped laughing since."

The girl-crazy X-ray technician said he began flirting with normally straitlaced Nicole -- who lives six miles away in a Marseilles suburb -- while scouring the Internet for young ladies to put a little pizzazz in his life.

"Mom called herself Sweet Juliette and I called myself The Prince of Pleasure, and unfortunately, neither one of us had any idea who the other was," said flabbergasted Daniel.

"The conversations even got a little racy a couple of times.

"But I really started to fall for her, because there seemed to be a sensitive side that you don't see in many girls.

"She sent me poems she had written and told me about her dreams and desires, and it was really very romantic.

"The truth is, I got to see a side of my mom I'd never seen before. I'm grateful for that."

When starry-eyed Daniel asked Sweet Juliette to send him a picture, Nicole e-mailed him a photo of a curvy, half-clad cutie she'd scanned from a men's magazine.

"The girl in the picture was so beautiful, I begged Juliette to meet me on the beach -- and Mom said yes," he recalled. "Mom says she was falling for me, too, and she just wanted to meet me, even though she knew I'd be disappointed when I saw her.

"As for me, I figured I was going to find the girl of my dreams.

"I guess that's about as wrong as I've ever been."

Daniel admits he and his mother could do little but stammer and stutter around each other for days after their cyberspace exploits came to light. And his father Paul -- Nicole's husband of 27 years -- wasn't too happy when the story hit the news and his beer-drinking buddies made him the butt of their jokes.

"Dad was ticked for a while and he forbid Mom to talk to anybody on the Internet ever again," said embarrassed Daniel.
Yahoo! Top Stories - MAN DATES GAL ON INTERNET FOR SIX MONTHS -- AND IT TURNS OUT SHE'S HIS MOTHER!

Kirk To Return In Mirror Trek?

The Canmag.com Web site reported a rumor that William Shatner is one of the former Star Trek captains who would appear in a proposed new Trek movie set in the "mirror" universe. Citing an anonymous source, the site reported that a script is floating around for a proposed new movie that would bring together Shatner's Capt. James T. Kirk, Patrick Stewart's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and possibly Scott Bakula's Capt. Jonathan Archer. The movie would be a prequel film set in the evil parallel universe first introduced in the original Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror" and last seen in the Star Trek: Enterprise two-part episode "In a Mirror, Darkly."

Shatner was rumored to be up for a guest role in the last season of Enterprise, which ended in May, but never appeared. The site reported that the proposed film might incorporate elements of that episode as well.

Officially, Paramount has made no announcements about a future Trek movie of any kind, and cast and crew members have repeatedly said on the record that they know of no plans for a further installment in the venerable movie franchise.

Activity center - Fuel your creative side...

Activity center�Fuel your creative side with hundreds of FREE print projects offered by HP.

Try some of these at work when you feel stressed...

1. Ahhh... I see the f_ck-up fairy has visited us again...

2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

3. How about never? Is never good for you?

4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to worship me.

6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.

9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying.

10. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of shit.

11. I like you. You remind me of when I was young and stupid.

12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

13. I have plenty of talent and vision. I just don't give a damn.

14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.

18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental...

19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?

20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.

21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.

22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

23. No, my powers can only be used for good.

24. You sound reasonable... Time to up the medication.

25. Who me? I just wander from room to room.

26. And your crybaby whiny-ass opinion would be...?

27. Do I look like a people person?

28. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.

29. I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.

30. You!... Off my planet!

31. Does your train of thought have a caboose?

32. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

33. A PBS mind in an MTV world.

34. Allow me to introduce my selves.

35. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.

36. Well, this day was a total waste of makeup.

37. Not all women are annoying. Some are dead.

38. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.

39. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.

40. Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven't fallen asleep yet

41. Can I trade this job for what's behind door one?

42. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

43. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?

44. Chaos, panic, & disorder - my work here is done.

45. How do I set a laser printer to stun?

46. I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted the paychecks.

47. If I throw a stick, will you leave?

48. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
What's Up Dudes?: Try some of these at work when you feel stressed...

WTF? Cops: Strip Club Patrons Left Baby In Car


Indiana mom, friend caroused while newborn sat unattended in Olds

DECEMBER 13--Meet Tiffany Eagle and Ashley Tomaszewski. The two Indiana women went to Kokomo's Big Daddy's strip club early Sunday morning and proceeded to drink until they were plastered. While that's not a crime, the fact that the gals had left the 22-year-old Eagle's newborn son in an unheated car outside the topless joint is where the alleged felonious behavior comes in. According to a Kokomo Police Department report, the three-month-old baby (who was wearing a sleeper) was lying face down in the back seat of Tomaszewski's 1996 Oldsmobile. Cops reported the temperature outside at about 32 degrees at 3 AM, when they were called to the scene after a bar patron spotted the unattended baby, who was later examined at a local hospital and appeared unharmed. When interviewed by cops, Eagle (pictured below at left) claimed that she had left her son with a sitter, and that Tomaszewski, 21, had transported the child to the club. For her part, Tomaszewski, who blew a .28 on a Breathalyzer test, accepted no responsibility for the infant. "The baby was not hers and not her problem," was how cops synopsized the position of Tomaszewski, who is pictured above at right in her Howard County Sheriff's Department booking photo.
Cops: Strip Club Patrons Left Baby In Car - December 13, 2005

The Cyberhand - Medgadget

... CYBERHAND project aims to hard wire this hand into the nervous system, allowing sensory feedback from the hand to reach the brain, and instructions to come from the brain to control the hand, at least in part.
The Cyberhand - Medgadget - www.medgadget.com

Scientists create mice with human brain cells

Experiment aimed at studying brain maladies, not ‘humanizing’ rodents

SAN FRANCISCO - Add another creation to the strange scientific menagerie where animal species are being mixed together in ever more exotic combinations.

Scientists announced Monday that they had created mice with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Led by Fred Gage of the Salk Institute in San Diego, the researchers created the mice by injecting about 100,000 human embryonic stem cells per mouse into the brains of 14-day-old rodent embryos.

More...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Apocalypse Deux

A blog. Joss Whedon fan.
Apocalypse Deux

Skydiver survives plunge, learns she's pregnant

SILOAM SPRINGS, Ark. - Shayna Richardson was making her first solo skydiving jump when she had trouble with her parachutes and, while falling at about 50 mph, hit face first in a parking lot.

Although badly hurt, she survived — and doctors treating her injuries discovered she was pregnant. Four surgeries and two months later, Richardson said she and the fetus are doing fine.

“Just this last week we went and saw the doctor and we’ve got arms, we’ve got legs. We’ve got a full face. The baby is moving around just fine. The heart rate looks good. So not only did God save me but he spared this baby,” she said.

Richardson, 21, of Joplin, Mo., was skydiving in Siloam Springs on Oct. 9 when her main parachute failed.

“I heard a snap and I started spinning and I didn’t know why. I didn’t know what to do to fix it. I didn’t know how to make it stop,” Richardson told Fort Smith, Ark., television station KFSM.

She cut away her primary chute so her reserve could deploy, but it didn’t open all the way. She spun out of control, heading straight for the asphalt below.

“At the end I said, ’I’m going to die. I’m going to hit the ground. I’m going to die,”’ she said. “I don’t remember it. I don’t remember hitting the ground. I don’t remember the impact or anything that came with it.”

Broken pelvis, leg
Rescuers got her to a hospital in Fayetteville, where Richardson underwent surgery. She broke her pelvis in two places, broke her leg, lost six teeth and now has 15 steel plates.

“I went into the first surgery where they cut me from ear to ear and they cut my face down and they took out all the fractured egg-shelled bones and put in steel plates,” Richardson said.

During treatment, doctors found that Richardson was pregnant, which was a surprise to her. She said she would not have jumped had she known.

“To hit the ground belly first — that’s dangerous. I mean at any stage of pregnancy that’s dangerous. That’s not something you want to do let alone at 50 miles per hour,” Richardson said.

Her fall was videotaped and Richardson said she was able to watch it, without qualms.

“I wanted to watch it,” said Richardson. “And the whole reason I’m comfortable with watching it because I know how it ends.”

Richardson said her due date is June 25. She plans to make her next parachute jump in August.
Skydiver survives plunge, learns she�s pregnant - U.S. Life - MSNBC.com

Witchblade Resharpened For Film

Platinum Studios, IDG Films and Relativity Media are financing and producing two back-to-back features based on the comic-book series Witchblade, Variety reported. Shooting is set to begin late next year in China; no writer or director is yet attached, the trade paper reported.

Platinum is producing through its partnership with independent comic publisher Top Cow Productions, which holds the rights to Witchblade.

The comics follow the story of a female detective who comes into possession of a mystical and powerful weapon that she uses to battle crime and evil. The comic was previously adapted as a TNT TV show, which was the most successful original series in the network's history during its brief run.

Producers are Relativity's Ryan Kavanaugh and Lynwood Spinks, Platinum chair Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and IDG Films' Steven Squillante and David Lee. Top Cow founder Mark Silvestri and Arclight's Gary Hamilton and Harrison Kordestani executive-produce. Co-producing are Top Cow's Matt Hawkins and Platinum executives Jay Burns and Aaron Severson.

Angel Star Gives Up Ghost

Angel star David Boreanaz will play a ghost writer—or, rather, a writer who's a ghost—opposite Alan Cumming in Suffering Man's Charity, an independent dark comedy that Cumming will also direct, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Boreanaz, who currently stars in Fox's Bones, will play a struggling writer who is accidentally killed by Cumming one evening. Cumming discovers the writer's novel and ends up taking credit for penning it. When it becomes a success, the writer comes back to haunt him.

Suffering Man's Charity also stars Anne Heche, Henry Thomas and Carrie Fisher. Also in the cast are Karen Black and Jane Lynch.
Serenity: The Official Movie Website

Buy Serenity on DVD December 20

Boston Legal - You gotta watch Shatner on this show.

ABC.com: Boston Legal

How to Change Guitar Strings - WikiHow

How to Change Guitar Strings

Monday, December 12, 2005

GREAT pics here - Photo Contest - National Wildlife Magazine

NWF

Serenity - Buy the DVD Dec 20



PRODUCTION INFORMATION

JOSS WHEDON—the Oscar®- and Emmy-nominated writer/director behind the global phenomena of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel—makes his feature film directorial debut with the science-fiction western adventure Serenity.

The film is based on Whedon’s critically acclaimed, short-lived television series Firefly, which aired on the FOX TV Network during the fall of 2002. Set in a futuristic, post-Earth universe dominated by a planetary Alliance, the series chronicled the adventures of the ragtag spaceship Serenity and her eclectic crew of outcasts, led by Captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds, played by NATHAN FILLION. Although FOX TV cancelled the show after only 11 of the 14 produced episodes had aired, Firefly’s quirky mix of humor, complex characters and sci-fi had attracted a loyal and passionate following.

The heartbroken fans, the cast and Whedon wouldn’t allow the cancellation of the series to equal the end of this universe. For Whedon, “this story was not done being told. It wasn’t out of me yet…and it wasn’t out of these actors.” While efforts to find a new home for the series on another network or cable channel proved fruitless, all parties were nonetheless determined to keep the campaign alive. Lobbying for the release of the series on DVD, they saw the Firefly fan base multiply dramatically after the episodes went on sale—almost exactly one year after the last airing on FOX. Once on shelves, the sales of Firefly resoundingly expressed both the loyalty of the fans and the potential for creating new ones.

Still, as much as they refused to give up the good fight, everyone invested in the series knew it would take a miracle to see their beloved show resurrected.

Serenity

Discover Music - Pandora

From the site -

Can you help me discover more music that I'll like?

Those questions often evolved into great conversations. Each friend told us their favorite artists and songs, explored the music we suggested, gave us feedback, and we in turn made new suggestions. Everybody started joking that we were now their personal DJs.

We created Pandora so that we can have that same kind of conversation with you.

Pandora

Click here to listen to the station that I created - Heart Radio

Sunday, December 11, 2005

On Sale this week at Target


Gibson Epoch Electric Guitar Pack - GELPBKCH
$129.74
List price: $199.99
You Save: $70.25 (35%)

• Start planning your jam sessions with this complete electric guitar pack
• Black, bell-shape, solid-body LP electric guitar with volume and tone controls
• Rosewood fingerboard bolt on neck joint with 12th fret inlay double dots
• Pack includes 10' cord, gig bag, strap, picks, extra strings, tuner and instructional DVD



Gibson Epoch 10-Watt Guitar Amp - GGA10BK
$39.99
List price: $49.99
You Save: $10.00 (20%)

• Pump up your volume with this 10-watt guitar amp
• 10 watts of power with volume, treble and bass controls
• Full-range 4" speaker; overdrive switch for extra tone
• Headphone output for optional private jam sessions
• For use with all electric guitars; satisfaction guaranteed by Gibson

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Percy's Internet Guitar Tuner

PERCY'S INTERNET GUITAR TUNER

Beige NEC DVD Burner

Beige NEC DVD Burner ND-3550A, 16X DVD /-R, 8X DVD RW, 6X DVD-RW, 8X DVD R DL, 6X DVD-R DL

ND-3550A complies with the new RoHS-directive, meaning that all components are lead-free. ND-3550A is NEWC's third model in the market can write both DVD -R (DL) and DVD R(DL) in dual layers. With ND-3550A it is now possible for rewritable RW discs to be burned with the highest speed so far in the market, 8x for DVD RW and 6x for DVD-RW respectively. The speed of writing with dual layers is now 8x for R DL.

The ND-3550 takes advantage of an enhanced version of NEC's own AOPC technology (Active Optimum Power ontrol), which adjusts the laser effect in real time so as to achieve optimal readability. The ND-3550A is backwards compatible and writes on CD-R at a maximum speed of 48x. ND-3550A is available in beige, black and silver. This is an OEM Product.

DVD Burner

What I would like to get the family for Christmas

Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run.

Admit it. You love it.

This award-winning card game, designed by Steve Jackson, captures the essence of the dungeon experience . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. And what magic items! Don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon . . .

And it's illustrated by John Kovalic! Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin can reduce any roleplaying group to hysteria.

And, while they're laughing, you can steal their stuff.

Munchkin won the Origins award for Best Traditional Card Game of 2001!

I'd like to have a comment from someone who has actually played this game. Or do you perhaps have one for sale?

Rainy Day Games

Read Board Game Reviews and Buy Board Games

3rd Planet Online

Third Planet offers the latest in comics, toys, gaming, cards, sports memorabillia and more. Collector Pieces are also available in stock. Please contact us for information on rarities and collectibles.

11 ways to put an end to "hit and run" weekends

Why is it that the work week seems to last forever? You're checking the clock every half-hour, and boy, those 39 blocks are painfully slow. And then, at last, it's Saturday and you zip about like a fiend, organizing your entire personal life within a 48-hour span. You barely have time to utter "Let's have fun" when you find yourself smack dab in the thick of the Monday, rush hour, commute. Again. Sound familiar? It's a fact: The more you have crammed into your weekends, the quicker your time off will pass you by. As parents, our weekend to-do list expands faster than a diaper in a swimming pool.

11 ideas to put the brakes on your hit-and-run weekends

1. Don't sleep in. If you need more sleep, go to bed earlier during the week. Not only does sleep steal your time, but it also makes you more sluggish on Mondays by resetting the body's internal circadian rhythms.

2. Never grocery shop on the weekend. During the weekday evenings, stores are usually less crowded. Also, use grocery lists to prevent frequent and unnecessary trips to the store.

3.Create a to-do list. Tack a "five minute list" to the refrigerator made up of household mini-projects that can be completed in less than five minutes. Examples might be reorganizing the towel closet, sorting out clothes that have grown too small for children, or changing the dead light bulb in the garage. Each family member is responsible for selecting and completing one item on the list every night. This will help put an end to those annoying little projects that usually get saved up for the weekends.

4. Play together outdoors. Plan one leisurely activity per weekendthat gets the family outdoors. This helps keep family members from going stir-crazy, while providing fun experiences to remember the weekend by!

5. Make chores a game. Set the timer for 45 minutes, give each family member a chore, and go! When the buzzer rings, time's up. The one who did the best job wins. Watch how fast the house gets cleaned in the name of fun!

6. Order out. You can try your favorite carry out or order a complete, healthy dinner from Whole Foods, or some other full-service health food store.

7. Use paper plates. Make weekend meals the "paper-plate" specials. No dishes used. Period.

8. Cook ahead. During the workweek, double the recipe, freeze and save for weekend dining.

9. Turn off the tube. TV is the ultimate time-waster. After Saturday morning cartoons (you can't win them all), unplug the set, and live life.

10. Think like a Type-A person! Don't just prune the rose bushes, and then spend time with the kids. Do both at once. You get something done, and the kids get to spend time with you.

11. Head out. Get away from the house, no matter what it takes. Homes contain endless projects. Relax and have some fun -- the weekend is short!

Friday, December 09, 2005

Guitar For Beginners & Beyond

Guitar For Beginners & Beyond Forum

Learn How to Play Guitar Download

Learn How to Play Guitar Download

Learn to Play Guitar

Learn to Play Guitar - Introduction

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King's Quest IX has been saved!

Hi, this is Matt Compton of the Save King's Quest IX campaign. Forgive the mass email, but I wanted to be sure to let you know the good news, in case you hadn't already heard. Our campaign has been successful! Vivendi has agreed to grant a "fan license" to the makers of King's Quest IX, so it is going to be released as originally planned, with a name change to "The Silver Lining." WE DID IT!

For more information, you can visit:
http://www.kqix.com

Thank you for your support! The campaign would not have been successful without you!

Sincerely,

Matt Compton
Verdugo Hills High School Class of 88

A high school reunion blog.
Verdugo Hills High School Class of 88

Do you know?

Question: The last 2700 or so of my family were unceremoniously dumped in a landfill west of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. What am I?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Jingle Bell Ranch Christmas Tree Farm

Jingle Bell Ranch Christmas Tree Farm

Clemens decision Astros' biggest move

No deals, but Houston makes headway on arbitration front

DALLAS -- The Astros were quiet on the trade front at the Winter Meetings, but they created quite a buzz when they opted not to offer Roger Clemens salary arbitration.
At first glance, it may seem as if the decision ended Clemens' tenure in Houston, because they cannot negotiate with or re-sign him until May 1. But that rule may work in the Astros' favor, because Clemens may be intrigued by the idea of pitching an abbreviated season.

The Rocket broke down in September and October of '05, and a five-month season may suit him better than a full seven-month campaign, including the playoffs. Clemens plans to at least attempt to pitch in the World Baseball Classic in March, and that will serve as a test regarding the health of his back and hamstrings, all of which caused problems in 2005.

By not offering arbitration to Clemens, who said he wouldn't make a decision on whether he wanted to pitch in '06 until late January at the earliest, the Astros can build a team without waiting for a high-priced player to pick a team, or in Clemens' case, retire. The Astros will likely pursue a third or fourth starter and a bat to boost a lagging offense that cost them during the World Series.

Lost in the Clemens news was the Astros' decision not to offer salary arbitration to Jose Vizcaino, thus ending the super utilityman's five-year tenure in Houston. Eric Bruntlett is the most likely candidate to fill Vizcaino's shoes, and Chris Burke and Danny Klaussen will also have an opportunity to serve in a backup role.

Deals done: Re-signed Orlando Palmeiro to a two-year contract.

Rule 5 activity: Drafted RHP Ben Diggins from Milwaukee (Huntsville) as the 17th pick in the first round of the Triple-A phase.

Goals accomplished: The Astros needed an answer from Clemens, and when they received word that he wouldn't have a decision regarding 2006 until late January at the earliest, that allowed for them to cut ties with The Rocket, however temporarily. They can now proceed in building their roster for 2006.

Unfinished business: The Astros now know for sure that they need a No. 3 or 4 starting pitcher, and they also are on the lookout for an impact bat to insert in the middle of the order. The club has had several discussions with other teams, and they could make a trade in the near future.

GM's bottom line: "We'll find a way to make it work, there's no doubt about it. We have two of the most dominant starters in baseball in Roy Oswalt and Andy Pettitte. Brandon Backe came on strong. I had one club today talk to me about how much they like Wandy Rodriguez. That's not somebody who we're looking to trade, but we really saw what great growth Wandy had last year.

"We've got some other young pitching coming throgh the system with [Jason] Hirsch and [Fernando] Nieve. Their time is coming soon. I can't say with certainty that they'll be ready to start the season, but I think everyone will be impressed with what they see."


Major League Baseball : News : Major League Baseball News
Adam Ash - a blog.

A blog

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Happy Birthday Harry


I see in Today's Birthdays on my sidebar that Harry Chapin was born today back in 1942.

Unfortunately, Harry left us on July 16, 1981.

I miss you Harry. Happy Birthday.

From Wikipedia -

Harry Chapin (December 7, 1942 - July 16, 1981) was an American singer and songwriter. He originally intended to be a documentary film-maker, and directed Legendary Champions in 1968, which was nominated for a documentary Academy Award. In 1971, he decided to focus on music. With John Wallace, Tim Scott and Ron Palmer, Chapin started playing in various local nightclubs in New York City.

Chapin's debut album was Heads and Tales (1972), which was a success thanks to the single "Taxi." His follow-up album, Sniper and Other Love Songs, was less successful, but his third, Short Stories, was a major success. Verities & Balderdash, released soon after, was even more successful, bolstered by the chart-topping hit single "Cat's in the Cradle." He also wrote and performed a Broadway musical, The Night That Made America Famous.

In the mid 1970s, Chapin focused on his social activism, including raising money to combat hunger in the United States and co-founding the organization World Hunger Year, before returning to music with On the Road to Kingdom Come. He also released a book of poetry, Looking...Seeing, in 1977.

Harry Chapin died on July 16, 1981 from cardiac arrest during a car accident on the Long Island Expressway at the age of 38. He was headed to perform a concert in Eisenhower Park in Nassau County the day of his death. He was interred in the Huntington Rural Cemetery, Huntington, New York. His epitaph is taken from his song "I Wonder What Would Happen to this World." It is :

Oh if a man tried
To take his time on Earth
And prove before he died
What one man's life could be worth
I wonder what would happen
to this world


Chapin was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor in 1987 for his campaigning on social issues, particularly his highlighting of hunger around the world and in the United States. His work on hunger included being widely recognized as a key player in the creation of the Presidential Commission on World Hunger in 1977.

His brothers Tom Chapin and Steve Chapin are also musicians, as is his daughter, Jen Chapin.

Astros cut Clemens loose


WTF?

DALLAS — Roger Clemens' two-year stay as a player with the Astros apparently is over now that general manager Tim Purpura and owner Drayton McLane have decided against offering the future Hall of Famer salary arbitration.

By refusing to offer Clemens, 43, arbitration by today's 11 p.m. deadline, the Astros accept that their negotiating window with him will be closed until May 1. By then, the 341-game winner will likely be playing elsewhere if he opts against retirement.

Clemens earned $18,000,022 this year, a record for a one-year contract. If the Astros had offered arbitration and he had accepted and taken them to a hearing, he would have earned no less than $15.4 million next season but more likely something in the $20 million range. By offering arbitration, the Astros would have at least extended the negotiating window with Clemens until Jan. 8.

Quite simply, though, the Astros didn't want to risk going into an arbitration hearing. If they had offered arbitration and Clemens had accepted, he would have automatically gone on the roster and off the free-agent market. Clemens would have had until Dec. 19 to accept arbitration.

Through his representatives, Randy and Alan Hendricks, Clemens informed the Astros earlier this week that he wouldn't decide until late January or early February whether he'll play his 23rd major-league season or retire.

"This is probably one of the more difficult, gut-wrenching decisions we've made in this organization," Purpura said. "It seems like over the last year or so, we've had a lot of tough decisions to make. When you make a decision like this with somebody like Roger Clemens, you have to look at it on all levels in every perspective that you can.

"It's one of those things that you regret you have to do, but you also have to realize that when you're in our role trying to build a club, we need to move forward, and we don't know just what Roger's status will be."

The Astros' decision did not come as a surprise to the Hendrickses. Clemens was unavailable for comment, but Randy Hendricks said he had already sent him an e-mail message.

"We had prepared him for the fact that this could happen," Hendricks said.

Clemens, who won his record seventh Cy Young Award in 2004 after his first season with the Astros, led the majors with a 1.87 ERA in 2005.

Since his arrival, the Astros won a postseason series for the first time last year and went all the way to the franchise's first World Series this year.

After going 13-8 in 2005, Clemens is 341-172 with a 3.12 career ERA. Once he retires, he's tied to a 10-year personal services contract with the Astros.

But there's no guarantee he won't land with the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox or any other team next season.

"There's no hard feelings," Randy Hendricks said. "It's just a strange situation."

The Astros also declined to offer arbitration to infielder Jose Vizcaino. Chron.com Astros cut Clemens loose

Forklift Safety Video

In German

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Car Winter Weather Tips

FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 7, 2005--"NASCAR(R) drivers have it easy when it comes to driving conditions," says Mark Salem, NASCAR's "Performance Pit Crew Chief." "They only race in warm weather. But regular folks like you and me don't have that luxury. We often have to get our vehicles started in very cold temperatures, and we don't have pit crews to help us out if things go wrong.

"So, it's that much more important for the rest of us that we keep our vehicles in peak condition as winter's cold weather approaches. But by taking a few basic precautions, you'll be far less likely to find yourself on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck to arrive."
Here are Mark's suggestions to get you and your car ready for winter weather:

Battery
Keep an eye on your battery. A battery's cranking power is reduced significantly in freezing weather. Older batteries are notorious for fooling drivers by working just fine in warmer weather, then failing as soon as the weather turns cold. If yours is at least four years old, have it tested by your mechanic. When it doubt, replace it. And just to be safe, carry a set of quality jumper cables at all times in the vehicle. You may also want to consider buying a portable power pack, which can be used in emergency starts.

Motor Oil
Give some thought to the kind of motor oil you have in your engine. During winter, you need an oil that can handle low temperatures and quickly flow to critical engine parts on those cold mornings.
"I'd recommend a fully synthetic oil such as Mobil 1 for the winter months," says Salem. "It's designed to flow well even in lower temperatures and is an excellent oil overall." (For more information about Mobil 1(R), go to www.mobiloil.com.)

Filters, Coolant and Hoses
Make sure your three main filters - oil, gas and air - are in good condition. Check your coolant level and the thermostat, as these elements make sure that your engine warms up properly. Coolant should be changed every two years; extended-life coolants last about five years. Also, be sure to test your heater and defroster, since you can't drive if you can't see through your windshield. Finally, check for leaking or soft hoses and have them replaced if need be.

Tire Pressure
Remember, air contracts in cold weather, and the air in your tires is no exception. Your tire pressure will go down as the weather cools, so make sure your tires are inflated properly. Too little pressure will increase wear and increase your fuel consumption; too much pressure can reduce traction, especially in icy conditions. The proper air pressure listings are often found on the side of the driver's door, or in the glove box. (Don't just look at the psi rating listed on the tire itself; that is the maximum psi, not necessarily the recommended pressure.) Make sure you also inspect your treads and replace any tires that are looking worn.

Vehicle Warm-up
When starting a vehicle in cold weather, be sure to allow the engine to idle for a few seconds before driving off. Why? Because doing so will ensure proper oil flow and lubrication. That said, don't allow the engine to idle for a prolonged period after start-up in cold weather. All this does is waste fuel. It doesn't do anything to warm drive-train components. After starting your car and allowing it to idle for a short time, just drive easily for several miles to ensure proper vehicle warm-up.

Icy Windows and Locks
Make sure you keep an ice scraper in your car, and check your windshield wipers and defrosters (front and rear) to verify that they're working properly. De-icers for door locks are also useful, but heated keys are a bit better when locks are frozen.

Stock the Trunk
It's always smart to be prepared, so make sure you keep a few useful items in your trunk - a small shovel to help dig out of snow is a good start. I also recommend keeping a bag of sand in the trunk. It not only gives added traction with its weight, but you also can sprinkle it on snow or ice to improve your traction. Finally, throw an extra blanket, hat and gloves in the trunk, just in case.

"Winter's coming," warns Salem. "So be your own pit crew chief and make sure your car is ready. By following a few simple precautions, you'll have a much better season out on the road."
Mark Salem is NASCAR's "Performance Pit Crew Chief" and hosts a regular "Be Car Care Aware" segment on Speed Channel's "NASCAR Performance" television show. An ASE Certified Master Technician, he is the owner of Salem Boys Auto, an auto-repair facility in Phoenix, Arizona.
NASCAR is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc.
Mobil 1 is a trademark of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) or one of its subsidiaries.

S&H greenpoints

Remember S&H green stamps? :-)
S&H greenpoints

Clemens would retire if he had to decide now

Roger Clemens hasn't decided if he will pitch next season, again leaving the Houston Astros in a bind as they plan for 2006.

"Today, he would retire if he had to make the decision," Clemens' agent, Randy Hendricks, said Monday at baseball's winter meetings.
Hendricks added that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner, who hobbled off the mound after only two innings in Game 2 of the World Series against the Chicago White Sox because of a strained left hamstring, probably won't make a decision until late January early February.

The Astros have until Wednesday night to sign Clemens or offer him salary arbitration. Otherwise, he would not be able to re-sign with them before May 1.

"It's the same situation we were in last year where we were uncertain as to when we would get an answer," Houston general manager Tim Purpura said. "It puts us at somewhat of a disadvantage to build our club."

It's a bigger problem for the Astros this offseason because of an already escalating payroll without even counting Clemens, who made $18 million last season. After being offered salary arbitration, he reached that deal on Jan. 21, only about a month before the start of spring training.

Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Lance Berkman are scheduled to make about $65 million in 2006, up from about $45 million last year. The Astros also have six players eligible for arbitration, including closer Brad Lidge and cleanup hitter Morgan Ensberg.

"We have to go about our business," Purpura said, adding that the team still has not decided whether to offer arbitration to Clemens. "Certainly, we'd love to have Roger aboard. There's no doubt about it. We also understand his thought process, what he's going through to try to make this decision."

The 43-year-old Clemens had problems with his back and hamstring last season. He is determined to pitch for the United States in the World Baseball Classic next March - even in a limited role, Hendricks said.

But that doesn't mean the Rocket will return to Houston.

"I think his commitment to the World Classic is intriguing," Purpura said. "That gives me some indication that he thinks that he's got something left that he can go out and participate in that."

Clemens led the major leagues with a career-low 1.87 ERA last season, going 13-8. He finished third in NL Cy Young Award balloting behind Chris Carpenter and Dontrelle Willis.

"There's no animosity. It's just been a magical two years. As I said to the Astros, I don't think we owe each other anything other than thanks," Hendricks said. "His timetable is not the same as theirs."

Clemens