Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Nip/Tuck goes for new look in Hollywood

Caution! Spoilers ahead.

Popular show gets face-lift by cutting ties with Miami

HOLLYWOOD - Goodbye, South Beach. Hello, Beverly Hills.

McNamara-Troy, the debauched plastic surgeons of Nip/Tuck, have closed shop in Miami and traded up (or so they think) for the reconstructive mecca of the famous 90210 ZIP code.

In last week's season finale of the FX series, Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) decided what viewers have known all along — that he can't live without his business partner and best friend, Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh). In a season of several important goodbyes — Julia divorced Sean for good this time and left town with their two younger children; scalpel addict Mrs. Grubman passed away and nemesis Escobar was shot to death — the doctors shut down their Miami practice to start anew in Los Angeles.

The surprise ending marks what fans have come to expect: Nothing on Nip/Tuck stays the same for long. So the season that began with the doctors celebrating their 5,000th surgery in Miami ended with the two of them glamming it up next to the Hollywood sign.

"I just felt there was nothing else they could do in that office," creator Ryan Murphy said. "They've been through too much. The show has always been about taking big risks and taking big chances and doing things you wouldn't expect. In Miami, these are supposedly the best plastic surgeons. Now, we'll do the flip of that. They'll be the little fish in the big pond, which is fun and shows a struggle and gives us room to grow."

Continued growth

That has not been a problem for the Golden Globe-winning series, which has reigned over the 18- to 49-year-old demographic in basic cable since it premiered in 2003. Even last year's over-the-top, macabre season, which turned off critics as well as some fans, didn't seem to make anyone stop watching. In fact, Nip/Tuck has grown 12 percent this year with adults younger than 50, and it is poised to end the year with its most-watched season ever, a feat uncommon among 4-year-old shows.

Perhaps the show's continued success can be attributed to its restless energy and how in one hour it offers a taste of several different genres, mixing the real with the outrageous.

"I think our signature in the first two seasons was that we could operate on so many levels at one time," Walsh said. "Sometimes it was gothic soap opera. Sometimes it was wicked black humor, and sometimes it was farce. Sometimes the soap opera thing was a parody, like our commentary on it, and sometimes it was full-on earnest. Last year, the humor got lost along the way and I think we really missed it. But this year I feel like we brought back those elements of the first two seasons and brought some new stuff, and for me, it's been the most fulfilling to work on."

It started with the show's new use of guest stars, which included recurring roles for Larry Hagman, Peter Dinklage, Jacqueline Bisset, Sanaa Lathan, Brooke Shields, Rosie O'Donnell and Alanis Morissette, and one-episode turns for Kathleen Turner, Catherine Deneuve, Melissa Gilbert and Richard Chamberlain.

"Ryan has always been someone who has had his own obsession with celebrity, and I just couldn't think of a better way to incorporate characters than to bring in all of those extraordinary people," McMahon said.

There was more: Scientology was introduced as the new religion of Matt (John Hensley) and Kimber (Kelly Carlson); Sean and Julia (Joely Richardson) had a baby with a deformity that provoked the final break in their marriage; the characters were shown 20 years in the future; and Murphy borrowed a trick from the movie Magnolia, turning a four-minute montage in the finale into a music video.

Comic relief and more

Many of the season's high points were comical: Sean's interpretation of Bad Santa, Christian's stint as a ventriloquist's puppet, Christian and Dawn Budge's (O'Donnell) sexual tryst, Kimber's face-off with the Scientology figure Xenu, and the sneak peek viewers got of grown-up, messed-up Annie, the oft neglected daughter of Sean and Julia.

"It's a white-knuckle ride working with Ryan," said John Landgraf, FX president and general manager. "I was worried because Miami has been a significant character in this series. But now I think it's exactly the right creative choice to make."

The move gives Murphy an opportunity to build new offices for McNamara-Troy and new bachelor apartments. "I just got bored with the sets. Now I can create these massively great new sets," he said.

Walsh was a little more introspective about the prospect. After filming his emotional goodbye with Richardson, who had to cut short her time on the show this year to take care of her ailing daughter in England and will come back for only a few episodes next year, Walsh said he was despondent over saying goodbye to her and to Sean and Julia's house.

"Joely and I have had so many intense scenes over the last four seasons in that house," Walsh said. "It's always so much more intimate to play those kinds of scenes with an actress, going through the worst a marriage can go through, than to do a sex scene."

Murphy understands the fans feel that way, too, so Sean and Christian will not be moving alone. Matt and Kimber will have their baby, but Matt will move to Los Angeles to go to college and medical school. Kimber will be closer to Scientology and porn. Liz (Roma Maffia) will join the doctors and serve as their anesthesiologist. Julia and her children will visit.

"There's a funny message in all of this, which is that you can keep trying to change the things around you — your relationships, your clothes and where you live — and in an odd way, these guys always land back where they are," Walsh said.

But does moving to California mean that the doctors and best friends will live happily ever after? Or is "a brighter discontent the best that (they) could hope to find," as the song by the Submarines used in the finale's music video goes?

For the sake of the fans, let's hope for the latter.

On the Blogger home page...

The new version of Blogger in beta is dead!
Long live the new version of Blogger!

(P.S. The old version of Blogger is not dead, but it would like to retire for a little while... maybe go to Hawaii or play World of Warcraft all day? It begs you to let it play World of Warcraft all day.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Astros great Bagwell officially retires

In typical Jeff Bagwell fashion, there was little fanfare and few emotions.

Bagwell, arguably the greatest player in Astros history, announced his retirement from baseball at a press conference this morning, ending a terrific 15-year career that could wind up getting him into the Hall of Fame.

“It’s been a long journey, but it’s been a great ride,” Bagwell said. “It really has.”

Bagwell’s retirement has been expected since his badright shoulder forced him off the field during spring training earlier this year. He never played in the regular season, and the Astros didn’t pick up his contract for 2007.

“I wish I could still play and try to win a World Series here in Houston but I’m not physically able to do that anymore,” he said. “That being said, I’m OK with that. Most of you that know me know I had a tough time the last four or five years with my shoulder, which took a lot out of me on and off the field.”

Bagwell will remain an integral part of the organization. He signed a personal services contract through the 2009 season in which he will work with the major league baseball operations staff and player development.

“For me personally, this is a sad day to see officially that Jeff is not going to be part of the Houston Astros playing first base and hitting home runs,” Astros owner Drayton McLane said. “He’s going to be continued to be involved with us. I think there’s more great things to come with Jeff Bagwell and the Houston Astros.”

Bagwell, 38, is a career .297 hitter with 449 home runs, 1,529 RBIs and 202 steals in 2,150 games. The 1991 National League Rookie of the Year and 1994 NL Most Valuable Player, he is the only first baseman and one of only 10 players to hit 400 homers and steal 200 bases.

The news of Bagwell’s retirement was felt in City Hall.

“The greatest hitter in Astros history may have hung up his spikes, but his home run trot keeps replaying in our best baseball memories,” mayor Bill White said in a statement. “As a ballplayer, a team leader and a great community-minded Houstonian we all appreciate having been witness to his career here. We look forward to his continued presence with our team, in our city . . . and in the Hall of Fame.”

Bothered by an arthritic right shoulder since 2001, Bagwell decided to have surgery midway through the 2005 season – a move he said was a last-ditch effort to save his career.

He returned to a pinch-hitting role later that season and started two games at designated hitter for the Astros in the 2005 World Series, but missed all of last season after not being able to endure spring training.

The Astros will head to court next year over the insurance claim they filed to recoup $15.6 million of his $17 million salary for 2006 because Bagwell was deemed disabled. Bagwell will receive a $7 million buyout for 2007.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

PS3 vs. Wii

Do yourself a favor and don't watch any videos streaming from the Google site, go ahead and download them and then watch, the quality is much higher.

PS3 vs. Wii

Danny and Nina

Hey there--welcome to dannyandnina.com. We’ve been together for three years now and are ready to go start a life together somewhere... with a little help from you, that is.

New animated Trek?

TrekMovie.com reported that a new animated take on Star Trek has been pitched to CBS, taking the form of short Webcasts a la Cartoon Networks' Clone Wars series; the network hasn't given the idea a green light yet.

Abrams: Trek XI Aims At '08

Writer/director J.J. Abrams confirmed to Variety that work is on track to release a proposed 11th Star Trek movie in 2008. Abrams, co-creator of ABC's Lost, is producing the movie for Paramount and co-writing it.

TrekMovie.com, meanwhile, reported that Abrams and Paramount have added Stratton Leopold to the growing list of executive producers for Star Trek XI.

Frankenstein's Boyle Is Dead

Peter Boyle, the veteran actor who played a tap-dancing monster in Young Frankenstein, has died, the Associated Press reported. He was 71. Boyle died Dec. 12 at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease, his publicist, Jennifer Plante, told the AP.

Boyle, who had made a career playing tough guys, broke out of that mold with Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks' 1974 send-up of horror films. The latter movie's defining moment came when Gene Wilder, as scientist Frederick Frankenstein, introduced his creation to an upscale audience. Boyle, decked out in tails, performed a song-and-dance routine to the Irving Berlin classic "Puttin' On the Ritz."

Boyle last well-known role was as the curmudgeonly father in the hit CBS TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, which ran for 10 years.

Boyle met his wife, Loraine Alterman, on the set of Young Frankenstein, when she visited as a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine and Boyle, still in monster makeup, asked her for a date, the AP reported.

Boyle won an Emmy in 1996 for his guest-starring role in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," an episode of The X-Files.

One of his final film roles came in 2004, when he played Old Man Wickles in Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

The son of a local TV personality in Philadelphia, Boyle was educated in Roman Catholic schools and spent three years in a monastery before abandoning his religious studies.

He traveled to New York to study with Uta Hagen, supporting himself for five years with various jobs, including postal worker, waiter, maitre d' and office temp. Finally, he was cast in a road company version of The Odd Couple. When the play reached Chicago he quit to study with that city's famed improvisational troupe Second City.

Upon returning to New York, he began to land roles in TV commercials, off-Broadway plays and finally films. Boyle made New York City his home. He and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy.

Torchwood Gets Second Season

The BBC reported that it has ordered a second season of Torchwood, the hit Doctor Who spinoff series, which will air on BBC Two in the United Kingdom. The series is produced by BBC Wales; the first season, starring John Barrowman as immortal time traveler Captain Jack Harkness, has broken ratings records on BBC Three.

Doctor Who creator Russell T. Davies also created Torchwood (an anagram of Doctor Who), which is set in Cardiff, Wales, and centers on an extra-governmental team of investigators who use alien technology to solve crimes, both alien and human.

Filming for the second season (called a "series" in Britain) is due to start in Cardiff next spring, and the programs will air later in 2007 in the U.K.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Building a Robotic Dalek Pumpkin


Video sites

Thanks for the links TC.


Rocketboom is a three minute daily videoblog based in New York City. We cover and create a wide range of information and commentary from top news stories to quirky internet culture. Agenda includes releasing each new clip at 9am ET, Monday through Friday. With a heavy emphasis on international arts, technology and weblog drama, Rocketboom is presented via online video and widely distributed through RSS.


Monday, December 11, 2006

This is hilarious!

Horny Manatee

Thanks to some lame jokes by Conan O'Brien on the December 4 "Late Night." In a series of phoney college mascots, O'Brien mentioned "the webcam manatee" and gave out its website as www.hornymanatee.com.

So then NBC network had to run and buy that URL for $159 before the show aired. And like much unplanned Internet mania, the site is drawing traffic.

Be sure to take the tour!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Feeling full of holiday cheer? Many things to do around here (Houston area)

No snow? No problem.

Houstonians may lack a white Christmas (typically), but we've got plenty of other seasonal markers that make this time of year uniquely festive. Last month, we asked readers to share the local places and events that define their holiday traditions.

Here are some popular ways get in the spirit.

Mood music

Christmas tunes, as heard in every shop you enter, can feel excessive and commercialized. But the live music that fills the historical JPMorgan Chase Bank does wonders getting you in the mood.

The JPMorgan Chase Holiday Choir performs free concerts in the downtown bank lobby (712 Main) weekdays at noon through Dec. 22. The choir started when employees surprised Jesse H. Jones with a performance in 1946. Jones, then chairman of the National Bank of Commerce, requested a repeat the next year.

"It's one of the few traditions in a city that's so new," one that's endured multiple mergers, says Mike Ballases, chairman of the Houston region. "It's not a Chase thing; it's a Houston thing."

"When I was a little girl, my mom and aunt started going," recalls reader Melody Sebastian, who was just 5 or 6 years old at the time. Her group has grown larger, now that the 42-year-old accounting clerk is married with four children and has a grandchild on the way. Sebastian loves the Hallelujah Chorus, which ends each performance.

Costume party

A trip to Galveston may be your first instinct during the summer, but the beach town draws a healthy crowd the first weekend of December, too. Dickens on the Strand, its annual Victorian-themed tribute to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, began in 1974 as the Old English Christmas and Hanukkah Party and evolved into a weekend-long celebration in 1983.

It's a quirky mix of costumed revelers in voluminous dresses, top hats and peasant rags, and food vendors.

"I love the roasted chestnuts," says reader Kaye Hardy, who dresses up for the occasion.

She and her husband, John, have visited every few years for the last 15. When the couple's two adult daughters were younger, they came in costume, too.

Information: www.dickensonthestrand.org.

Historical highlights

Just because the kids will be off from school doesn't mean they can't learn a thing or two. This year's Bayou Bend Yuletide, themed "The Wonderful World of Children," looks at Christmas through the eyes of little ones.

Education director Kathleen O'Connor and an army of volunteer docents have recreated historical scenes from the 17th to 20th centuries in the former estate of Houston philanthropist Miss Ima Hogg. Each of the eight decorated rooms is a vignette of early American life. Hardy's favorite is the depiction of a 1950s Christmas morning in the Drawing Room.

The event runs through Dec. 31. Tickets are $5-$10, or visit 1-5 p.m. Dec. 17 for free. Information: www.mfah.org/bayoubend

Dressy homes

There's nothing like history with a side of hot chocolate. Readers also mentioned the Heritage Society's annual Candlelight Tour from 6:30-9:30 p.m. tonight at Sam Houston Park downtown. It features eight historic houses decorated to suit the different periods in which they were built.

Seven of the homes are dressed up inside and out and staffed with docents. Pathways are lit with candles, and carolers, storytellers and crafters keep you entertained. Bring along a camera to snatch a photo with Santa.

Tour tickets are $5-$10. Information: www.heritagesociety.org

Bright lights

The Galleria area isn't the only place with cool lights. Readers mentioned several spots around town, with Hermann Park's annual Holiday Lights standing out as a favorite.

The free event, organized by the Hermann Park Conservancy, includes lighted pedal boats for rent, live performances and food vendors.

The lights will be on 6-9 p.m. Dec. 15-17, 22-24 and 26-30. Information: www.hermannpark.org.

For festive neighborhoods to cruise, reader Pamela Jarmon-Wade suggests the Shepherd Park Terrace subdivision northwest of downtown. Laura Mendenhall votes for the Quail Valley subdivision in Missouri City.

Only in Houston

Reader Penelope Loughhead considers Lights in the Heights a "funky/unusual" celebration perfectly suited to the neighborhood.

"We started going and just loved it," says Loughhead, who lives near Rice University. "It's just blown us away at how it's grown over the years."

Held tonight, the free blocks-wide party features live music on porches and in yards, jolly open houses and an inviting, pedestrian-friendly feel.

Information: www.woodland-heights.org

'Firefly' fans resurrect canceled convention

Word comes from Burbank, Calif., that passionate fans of the Joss Whedon TV show Firefly from all over the world have ponied up money to help pay to carry off "Flanvention," the fan convention that was scheduled to begin Friday but was abruptly canceled Thursday.

According to Corey Bridges, the executive producer at Multiverse Network, who was in town for Flanvention, people had come to Burbank from all over the place, only to find when they arrived that the event had had the rug pulled out from under it.

But never to be told they can't have what they want, the show's fans, known as "browncoats," scrambled and found a way to make it work.

"It's a remarkable thing," said Bridges, who explained that the local browncoats had found a way to get fans from all over the place to help fund the replacement event. "To me it's the symbolism of this group of people, the browncoats. They've done this before, having something they're deeply passionate about canceled prematurely and having it resurrected."

Indeed, the browncoats are famous for their response to the cancellation of Firefly and the way they've managed to get showings all over the world of Serenity, the film based on the TV show.

And it's not only the fans who showed up despite the cancellation. Many of the show's actors appeared, despite not getting paid to do so. Bridges said actor Nathan Fillion had arrived and was giving away memorabilia from his time on the show to fans.

Anyway, Bridges said that there had been some scuttlebutt in the days leading up to Flanvention that there was trouble brewing. Thus, the local browncoats had begun to come up with backup plans. But at that point, they were told all was well, only to find on Thursday that all was most definitely not.

Flash-forward to Saturday where, absent the hotel ballroom the event was supposed to be held in, the browncoats were organizing replacement events at a "secret" location, Bridges said, and a series of color-coded buses meant to ferry the fans there was arriving.

"Now this is essentially happening for free," said Bridges, "for everyone who shows up. Because we don't have the list of attendees from the organizers."

Firefly Fans

Want to get into the Christmas spirit?

Christmas CDs don't come any better than this.

Heart - Lovemongers Christmas

Check this site out!

"How to go broke saving money."

It is updated daily. This site is very impressive to me.

Firefly Reborn as Online Universe

Like Capt. Mal Reynolds stumbling in after a bar fight, the short-lived but much beloved sci-fi series Firefly will soon make an unexpected return, not as a TV show, but as a massively multiplayer online game.

Now that's shiny.

Multiverse, maker of a free MMO-creation platform, plans to announce Friday morning that it's struck a deal with Fox Licensing to turn the show into an MMORPG in the fashion of Star Wars Galaxies or Eve Online.

The "Browncoats," as Firefly's most devoted fans are known, have been campaigning to bring the show back almost since the moment it was canceled in late 2002. Now they'll get their wish, albeit in a new form.

"We see virtual worlds as an extraordinarily promising new entertainment medium," said Adam Kline, Fox Licensing's vice president of media enterprises in an e-mail. "We believe Multiverse can deliver an experience that will remain true to the original series, while enabling a whole new level of personal involvement for fans."

Canceled in the United States after only 11 episodes, Firefly has become the Star Trek of 21st-century sci-fi fandom: a show that seemed to remake the genre even as it stayed faithful to the conventions of "hard" science fiction, like engine room problems and menacing hordes lurking on the edge of known space.

What made the show special was the wry, often self-deprecating humor of its characters, from the captain with the checkered past to the unwittingly sexy engineer, the dull hunk of a mercenary with a girl's name, and the mysterious young woman passenger with special gifts.

Read more here.

Pettitte heading back to Yankees

I would think he'd have to move out of Deer Park now.

Money talks I guess. There is no loyalty. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with making as much money as you can for yourself and your family. But Andy is near the end of his career, seems like he would want to stay at home and finish it here.

Damnit Andy.

December the 9th - What the ?!

I can't believe how long it has been since I last posted. I've wanted to post, had things to talk about even. Just haven't found or made the time.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Cure Autism Now - Walk Now - This Saturday (tomorrow)

This Saturday (tomorrow), October 28, my family and I will be participating in a very special event, WALK NOW benefiting the Cure Autism Now Foundation. It is a 5K walk and community resource fair with the proceeds going to further the search for causes and cures for autism. Autism is a devastating disease affected over 1.5 American children and their families. 1 in every 166 children is newly diagnosed with autism. Autism is the 3rd most common developmental disorder, following mental retardation and cerebral palsy.

You may be wondering why Cure Autism Now and WALK NOW are so important to me and my family. My involvement stems from a very personal and deep emotional contact with this complicated disease.

My 7-year-old son, Sean, was diagnosed with a form of Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, four years ago. I am very proud of Sean and impressed with his progress so far thanks to hard work on his part, our part and an excellent program within the Cy-Fair School District.

I strongly feel that I can have a direct impact on finding causes and cures for autism. I also feel strongly that Cure Autism Now is a wonderful organization which has been instrumental in furthering autism research. In 1995, when Cure Autism Now was founded there were only 12 researches focused solely on autism. Today there are over 300. That is progress. WALK NOW gives us a tangible way to help the nearly 1.5 million other Americans affected by autism and related disorders.

I am asking for your support in helping us raise money for this worthy cause. Any contribution you are able to make would be greatly appreciated, but I ask you to give big as there is a big need for further research. My personal goal is to raise $500.00 for Cure Autism Now and I hope to far exceed that goal. Last year I raised just shy of $500!

It is easiest to donate online by going to our personal webpage at Sean's CAN page.

Please feel free to forward this on.

I look forward to hearing from you. I thank you very much!


Friday, October 27, 2006

Save big on a tiny income

19 ways – and counting -- to save when you make next to nothing.
Save big on a tiny income - MSN Money

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ultimate Alliance In Stores

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, a role-playing video game that brings together superheroes from the Marvel Comics universe, has shipped to retail outlets nationwide, Activision announced.

The game allows players to create their own dream teams from a roster of superheroes that includes Spider-Man, Wolverine, Blade and Captain America to embark on an epic quest that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth and the Marvel universe.

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance is available for the Xbox 360 with a suggested retail price of $59.99; for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC and PSP for $39.99; and for the GameBoy Advance for $29.99. PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii versions will be available in mid-November.

Serenity's Fillion On Lost

Serenity star Nathan Fillion guest-stars on the Nov. 8 episode of ABC's hit series Lost, "I Do," which also marks the decision by Kate (Evangeline Lilly) to hook up with either Jack (Matthew Fox) or Sawyer (Josh Holloway). Fillion will play a character named Kevin in the episode, which is the last new one for a while as the series takes a 13-week hiatus, returning in February.

In "I Do," Jack makes a decision regarding Ben's (Michael Emerson) offer, Kate feels helpless when it looks like an angry Pickett (Michael Bowen) is going to make good on his threat to kill Sawyer, and Locke (Terry O'Quinn) discovers a hidden message that may guide him through the next steps on his journey to unlocking the secrets of the island.

"I Do" was written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and directed by Tucker Gates. It airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Tonight Only!!!

KISS on the big screen!

You wanted the Best, you got the Best -- KISS on the Big Screen. Experience KISS ALIVE! at Cobo Hall, Detroit 1976. This never-before-seen special one night event will feature a historic Rockumentary - KISS Day in Cadillac, Michigan 1975.

For Only One Night, October 26 at 8PM local. In select theatres nationwide!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Death Road

Watching Death Road on the History Channel right now, scary stuff.

Travel high into the Andes to a road that has more deaths per mile than any other byway in the world. This steep and bumpy road plunges almost 2.5 miles in the four hours it takes to drive it, and those who choose to make the journey will endure an often extremely narrow path that hugs the mountain as it snakes through dramatic, verdant scenery. Twisting between waterfalls and rocky overhangs, the road is unprotected, making near death an almost constant travel companion. A fatal accident every two weeks is not uncommon, and by 1995, the road was commonly referred to as world's most dangerous road. Marsh Mokhtari is our guide, as we explore the people and places along this treacherous path.
All Shows

Why I still love 'Star Trek'

By Charles Cooper

Upon hearing that a bidder at last weekend's auction of "Star Trek" memorabilia paid $576,000 for a 78-inch-long model of the Starship Enterprise-D, my first reaction was pure snark.

Another yuppie dope, I quickly concluded. Doesn't this guy--and yes, it's a guy--have better ways to spend his dot-com dollars?

But it wasn't a single act of insanity. Over the course of three days, more than $7 million worth of props, models and costumes that figured in the "Star Trek" television series and feature films were auctioned off. That's more than double Christie's presale expectations. (For stories, video and photo galleries on the Christie's auction, fan-driven filming of new "Star Trek" episodes and how life imitates "Star Trek," click here.)

What with the Dow Jones Industrial Average seemingly breaking new records every day, I suppose one could attribute this extraordinary splurge to a surplus of disposable income. Times are good, and as the economic historian Thorstein Veblen noted more than a century ago, Americans never have been shy about engaging in conspicuous consumption.

But that explanation only goes so far. My hunch is this crowd would have been equally ga-ga had the items been auctioned off smack in the middle of the recent recession. That's because "Star Trek" and the adventures of Kirk, Spock and the rest who followed have a special way of speaking to sci-fi fantasies we've carried over from childhood.

The first time I saw William Shatner in his spandex-like suit making out with gorgeous aliens and battling Klingons--the two naturally went hand in hand--it was instant infatuation. I was 10 years old and dreamed of one day taking off for distant planets on a starship just like the Enterprise. Back in the real world, NASA was shortly about to put men on the moon. Maybe wanting to be like Capt. Kirk wasn't so crazy an adolescent fantasy.

My career obviously went in a different direction, and the closest I ever came to a spacecraft was a summertime visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. But every astronaut liftoff in the last 20 years has set my pulse racing, returning me to the days when the battles of a fictional starship were more tangible to me than the real-world heroics of the Apollo astronauts.

The Christie's auction again underscored how fan attachment to "Star Trek" is stronger now than it was during the three years the original show appeared on NBC. Put another way, Kirk, Spock and Dr. McCoy were doing their thing when LBJ was still in the White House. The cross-generational appeal of the series is virtually unheard of in the annals of television. Imagine the Nielsens ratings if a network attempted to reincarnate "My Favorite Martian" for prime time.

Lots of science fiction shows have since come and gone since the 1960s. But last time I checked, groupies don't hold conventions to celebrate the "Outer Limits" or "Battlestar Galactica."

Maybe it's the other-worldly gadgetry that various "Star Trek" captains have had at their disposal to use against sundry Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians. When I was a kid, I wanted a phaser in the worst way. My friend next door would have sold his Lionel train set to get his hands on a set of dilithium crystals. (Just what he would have done with them was never entirely clear.)

I think for most folks, though, it was the hokey story lines where the good guys usually--though not always--trumped the bad guys in a way that helped foster a greater good. A professor once tried to explain the appeal of "Star Trek" to me by likening it to Wilsonian idealism. His point was that Kirk et al were on a mission to spread the benefits of the Federation to oppressed aliens throughout the universe. In the aftermath of the First World War, Woodrow Wilson sought self-determination for people living under the rule of multiethnic empires. Kirk = Wilson, the Federation = America.

The story goes that "Star Trek" creator, Gene Roddenberry, wanted a story line that could hold its own against the likes of Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. And that meant writing about technology--lots of it. Holed up in his office with a typewriter and a big idea, he did good.

The personal-computer revolution was still more than a decade away, but Roddenberry's imagined future wasn't that far off the mark. Of course, in one respect he was awfully wrong. On the Enterprise, the computer served the crew. Back on Earth in the early 21st century, it's still too often the other way around.

But at least we can dream of that starry future, the one the Enterprise is pointing to.
Why I still love 'Star Trek' Perspectives CNET News.com

Lynne Stewart sentenced to 28 months

28 months?! She should have been given the maximum sentence (30 years)! I'd give her the death sentence. What a menace!

Damn global warming

Al Gore - STFU


A flood watch was posted Saturday (10-14) as the region's record snowfall melted, and some 350,000 homes and businesses still had no electricity.

More than a day after nearly two feet (60 centimeters) of snow buried western New York, travel bans were lifted Saturday, the airport was open and stores reopened.

However, more than 250,000 customers were without power at noon Saturday and New York State Electric & Gas reported 104,000 customers still in the dark.

More than 300,000 await power and flood watches are posted following record snowfall in Western New York - iht,america,US October Snow - Americas - International Herald Tribune

'LOTR' Actress Befriends USA's 'Wife'

Miranda Otto will shoot 'Starter Wife' in November

Miranda Otto, who filmed the final "Lord of the Rings" film in New Zealand, will head back home to Australia for her next project.

The Aussie actress and Joe Mantegna will join Debra Messing in "The Starter Wife," a USA Network limited series set in the world of Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

"Starter Wife" is adapted from the novel of the same name by Gigi Levangie Grazer and revolves around how Gracie (Messing) copes after her husband, the powerful head of a studio, cheats on her and then divorces her. Used to being a "Wife Of," Grace is homeless, until a friend allows her to temporarily crash in a home in Malibu.

Otto will play one of Gracie's best friends, while Mantegna will play the ex-husband's boss.

Production is scheduled to begin in early November, and the show is aiming to premiere in late spring.

Otto's other film credits include "What Lies Beneath," "Flight of the Phoenix" and "War of the Worlds." Mantegna played Will Girardi on CBS' "Joan of Arcadia." His big-screen credits include "The Godfather Part III," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "Up Close & Personal" and "The Kid & I."

Fox Foments Future for 'Firefly's' Fillion

'Serenity' star snags a holding deal

Don't get too excited. - Marc

Dozens upon dozens of Browncoats are already hopelessly devoted to Nathan Fillion, a number FOX hopes to increase.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, FOX and 20th Century Fox have signed Fillion to a talent holding deal, aiming to either develop a new property for the "Firefly" star or else to slot the actor into an existing show.

Fillion is best known for his work as Mal Reynolds on both FOX's short-lived Joss Whedon offering "Firefly" and in the subsequent Universal feature "Serenity." His additional TV credits include "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place," "Miss Match" and a run on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Message boards have also been buzzing that Fillion will appear in an upcoming episode of "Lost."

On the feature side, the 35-year-old actor was most recently seen in the feature "Slither." He's also completed work on "White Noise 2: The Light."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sunday, October 15, 2006

HOW TO: Make a Blog Header Graphic

Probably posted this before...
HOW TO: Make a Blog Header Graphic - PaulStamatiou.com

Tracking Shot makes snappy movies from your photos

Pretty cool.
Tracking Shot makes snappy movies from your photos News.blog CNET News.com

motley crude

Another blog I ran across while searching for instructions on how to change the header into a picture.
motley crude

One Hot Chic

A blog I ran across while trying to figure out how to add a picture to my header.
If you know how to do this, PLEASE let me know!
One Hot Chic

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Flight of the Conchords

Caught these guys on a HBO special tonight, they were hilarious. If you see the listing, be sure to watch!!!

Oh, I just found the whole show on Google video -


Coming in two weeks!

News, commentary and secrets about the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood

Trailer here!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

William Shatner: Taxi

Shatner sings the late Harry Chapin tune on the late Dinah Shore's show.

Harry, I hope you find this humorous.

4 real jobs you can do from home

Forget stuffing envelopes. There are actual wage-paying opportunities that can fit into your hectic life.

Too broke to save money? Never

Tips about cutting back on vacations seem downright cruel if you're barely hanging on. But even paycheck-to-paycheck types can save money. Here's how you can do it.

Searching for Spock on the Web

Star Trek

Star Trek movies: Which is best?

Star Trek

Of Galactica importance

New, updated sci-fi series is dark, violent and gritty — so unlike the original show

Science fiction often goes where traditional drama fears to tread.

Stay with me: Star Trek was making statements in the late 1960s about racism, warmongering and the Cold War (of course, the spaceship was commanded by an American, reassuring viewers about which nation really came out on top when history's dust settled).

USA Networks' recent series The 4400 debuted featuring a Scientologylike group and finished its most recent season in August echoing the hysteria of our current war on terror while centering on a character with a messiah complex.

Creative spark

Now there's the new Battlestar Galactica.

If this were a TV show set anywhere else, it would have a stack of Emmys for its groundbreaking themes, gritty drama and fearless storytelling. There is no better example of that creative spark than its two-hour Season 3 premiere, "Occupation/Precipice," at 8 tonight on the Sci Fi Channel.

Stay with me a while longer. Those familiar with the original '70s-era Galactica series likely remember a stilted, candy-coated TV ripoff of the Star Wars movies, complete with bad guys sheathed in clunky plastic costumes as well as former Bonanza star Lorne Greene.

A dark turn

One look at the Sci-Fi Channel's update shatters that prejudice. In this series, the Cylons, a machine race, have nearly exterminated the humans who created them in a galaxy far, far away. But that's where the similarities end.

As the season opens, the bad guys have taken control of a human colony in a brutal occupation they say is aimed at bringing the love of God to humanity. But their iron-fisted rule turns the colony into a gulag complete with torture chambers, suicide bombings, sexual-humiliation tactics, an insurgent rebellion and a police force composed of human collaborators.

Sound familiar?

"We're putting things out there other shows can't even touch," said Edward James Olmos, whose taciturn, conflicted Adm. William Adama is light years from Greene's hammy role.

"Nothing is going the way we thought it would in Iraq," said Olmos, who has spoken out on antiwar and pro-Latino themes in the past. "And in our world, we make you re-evaluate all the time who the good guys and the bad guys are. (Our heroes) are using suicide bombings to stay alive. So while you're being entertained like crazy, it also makes you think."

A bit of backstory: Olmos' Adama leads the only human warship to survive a crushing assault by the Cylons, some of whom look like humans, initially aimed at wiping out the race. The 50,000 people who survived initially intended to find their legendary homeworld, Earth. But many grew tired of the search and elected a leader who advocated settling on a habitable world and rebuilding their old lives.

Then, a year later, the Cylons discover that world, forcing Adama to flee and leave the humans he tried to protect at the mercy of the Cylons who once tried to kill them.

(SPOILER ALERT: Lots of information on the new season starts here).

Iraq connection?

The experience for those left behind is barbaric. Saul Tigh, Adama's second in command, loses an eye in a Cylon prison and is freed only after his wife provides sexual favors to a Cylon leader.

One character well known to Galactica fans kills himself in a suicide bombing that decimates the human police force. Starbuck — changed from the womanizing male character Dirk Benedict played in the '70s to a hard-drinking, self-destructive woman — is held captive by a Cylon bent on using her to produce a human/Cylon hybrid.

Some might assume a veiled criticism of the Iraq war in the decision to make the bad-guy Cylons the occupiers. But executive producer Ronald D. Moore says the new Galactica's goal is to make viewers question ideas they once took for granted.

"We keep playing around intentionally with the question of 'Whose side are you on?' " he said. "I take great delight in trying to explode every TV convention."

Moore's masterstroke: making some of the Cylons look human, in a nod to the sci-fi classic Blade Runner. Besides allowing producers to avoid showing the metal versions too often — sleek and computer-generated, they cost a lot to put onscreen — the Cylons' concepts of God and community prove a compelling new dimension.

Fast company

For those who question the issues he's throwing around, Moore can point to winning a Peabody award in April, joining shows including The Shield, South Park and House honored for public service and quality.

Not bad for a program that was savaged by some of the original series' biggest fans when it debuted in 2003, including original Galactica co-star Richard Hatch (Hatch eventually dropped his high-profile complaints after getting a recurring role as a rebel leader).

Moore notes that the series' name "is a blessing and a curse: It got the show made in the first place, but now we've gotten to a place where the title is holding the show back.

"You mention the show's name to people who watch Nip/Tuck and The Shield — fans of quality television — and they tune out. But if you say to me you don't like science fiction — well, this is the science fiction show you will like."

Olmos pumped up

Moore gets a chance to prove it as his hardy band of survivors considers how to handle those who collaborated with the Cylons, settling on a solution sure to remind some of post-apartheid South Africa.

"I think the first two hours of the new season are the best two hours of television I've been on in my life," said Olmos, who is directing the season's 12th episode. "Our show really throws the ball up in the air. And you don't even know if it's going to come back down again."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Happy Birthday celebs

Alicia Silverstone, born in San Francisco, California, actress, Clueless, Batman Forever - 1976

Susan Sarandon, born in Jackson Hgts, New York, actress, Bull Durham - 1946

Anne Rice, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, author, Interview with a Vampire - 1941

Charlton Heston, Illinois, actor, 10 Commandments, Ben Hur, Planet of Apes - 1923

Monday, October 02, 2006

Firefly, Harry Potter Sweep Genre Awards

(October 01 2006) - When it comes to the Emmy and the SyFy Genre Awards, it's tough being "Battlestar Galactica."

For the second year in a row, the critically-acclaimed SciFi Channel series led nominations, but was completely shut out once again in the seventh SyFy Genre Awards, this time playing second fiddle to a show that hasn't even been on the air for more than two years: "Firefly."

That short-lived series from Joss Whedon moved into the nominations this year because SciFi Channel broadcast previously unaired episodes from the Fox series, qualifying it for all major category nominations, and ended up walking away with five awards, including Best Series/Television.

Nathan Fillion was named Best Actor/Television, beating out runner up Matthew Fox from ABC's "Lost" 41 percent to 24 percent. Fillion's co-star, Adam Baldwin took home honors in the Best Supporting Actor/Television category, finishing ahead of another "Lost" actor, Terry O'Quinn, 43 percent to 27 percent.

Christina Hendricks, who played Saffron in the "Firefly" episodes "Trash" and "Our Mrs. Reynolds," defeated longtime SyFy Genre Awards darling Claudia Black for Best Special Guest/Television. The episode she was nominated for, "Trash," easily won Best Episode/Television, beating out its closest competitor, "Dalek" from "Doctor Who," 55 percent to 18 percent.
SyFy Portal


Slither, the SF horror film starring Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks, hits DVD on Oct. 24.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

TV - Wednesday

DVRed Bones because we had a Den Meeting to go to. Watched it shortly after we got home. Bones has been really very very good so far this season.

Can't wait for tonight!! My Name is Earl, The Office, 'Til Death, and CSI. Oh yeah!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

TV - Tuesday

DVRed Boston Legal because we still have several episodes to watch from last season. This show, to me, is one of , if not the, best show on TV.

Watched the Two and a Half Men we had on the DVR. It was excellent although I missed seeing Candy. ;-)

I'll have to BT Nip/Tuck. I still have almost all of last season to watch first. :-(

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TV - Monday

Watched Prison Break. It was good but this season seems to be a little on the totally unbelievable side.

Watched Gene Simmons Family Jewels. It was great.

DVRed How I Met Your Mother and Two and a Half Men.

Watched How I... later, slept through a third of it, it was alright.


Having fun today with Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrr!

Monday, September 18, 2006

TV - Sunday

Yesterday was the last day of the WB network. They showed the pilots of Felicity, Dawson's Creek, Angel and Buffy. I watched the Angel and DVRed the Buffy.

Last night was the season premiere of The Simpsons, watched it, it was good as usual.

And Amazing Race 10 started too. Watched it, it was good as well. Two teams were eliminated in the opening show.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

'Til Death

If you aren't watching this new comedy on Fox on Thursday nights, you are missing some funny stuff. The comedy after it isn't bad either.

Star Trek Inspirational Posters

Some of these are quite funny. Note that there are several pages worth.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Star Trek Remastered

In Houston? Catch the 1st remastered episodes this weekend!

Balance of Terror - Saturday night at 11:35 pm on KTRK, channel 13. Lots of exterior ship shots in this one, I can't wait.

Miri - Monday morning at 1:05 am on KTRK, channel 13.

And then probably every Saturday night, channel 13 will show a "new" episode until September of 2007.

Alanis Morissette to guest star on Nip/Tuck

Singer Alanis Morissette has signed on to guest star in three episodes of the FX drama Nip/Tuck. During her run she will play the lesbian girlfriend of Dr. Liz Cruz (Roma Maffia). The show itself, which recently kicked off its fourth season on FX, has already included guest stars Larry Hagman and Kathleen Turner into its story lines.

While now known primarily as a signer, Alanis is no stranger to television. Back in 2000 she guest-starred on HBO's Sex in the City where she shared an on-screen kiss with Sarah Jessica Parker during a game of spin the bottle. Recently she's been seen on American Dreams and Degrassi: The Next Generation.

And, of course, how can we forget that her career began on a little known show called You Can't Do That on Television, which was a staple on Nickelodeon for the longest time.

How to Dissuade Yourself from Becoming a Blogger

What a buzz all the bloggers are making these days! It seems like just about everybody is pouring their musings into a text box. Are you feeling tempted to start a blog of your own? Here are some ways to bypass the trend.


1. Find five completely random blogs, and read them daily for a month. After thirty days, you will absolutely dread your self-imposed requirement to read all that dreck. Any blog you create will most likely be on par with what you've been reading. Don't put anyone through that.

2. Consider that your voice, even if it is truly a good one, is a tiny peep against the massive wave of tripe out there. The odds of anyone you don't already know finding your blog are low.

3. Write on a regular basis in Wordpad instead. If that doesn't satisfy your urge, and you feel that you must post your blog online, then you might just be craving attention and validation--which you'll never truly find in a blog. If you give up on your Wordpad journal after about three days, you'll do the same with a blog that just takes up server space.

4. Ask yourself if you really have the time to commit to a blog. What about that treehouse you wanted to build? Or the book you wanted to write? Or the car you wanted to fix up? Or the restaurant you wanted to take your wife to? Or the new career you wanted to pursue? Instead of writing about pretty much nothing, or whining about all the things you wish you were doing instead, start doing something that'd actually be worth writing about. And if it's really worth writing about, you'll be having too much fun doing it to tear yourself away from it.


If attention and validation is what you're looking for, know that you will get neither from blogging. As above, very few people will ever know that your blog (or you, by proxy) exists. Of those who do find it, a large percentage will be flamers and trolls, who will only post comments to you about how you suck. The remainder of comments posted to your blog will be sappy treacle, which you won't trust as being sincere anyway.

Consider writing on a wiki instead. Unlike most blogs, wikis like Wikipedia and wikiHow are read by millions of people each month. Several wikiHow authors receive "fan mail" messages every day from appreciative readers. In addition, many authors discover that they enjoy the wiki collaborative writing process more than writing in solitude.


The information you post on the Internet is likely to linger for years and years to come, as web pages are archived by "snapshot" services like the Wayback Machine. Once it's out there, you can't take it back. An employer running a Google search on your name years down the line might be turned off by your now documented obsession with your cat.

Related wikiHows
How to Start a Blog
How to Write a Famous Blog
How to Keep a Diary and Stick to It
How to Write a Featured Article on wikiHow
How to Defeat a MySpace Addiction

External Links
Top Ten Blogger Lies
Top Ten Reasons Why Nobody Reads Your Blog
100 Reasons Not to Blog

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Target has the complete series DVD on sale this week for $18.99!

Go out and buy many of them for Christmas presents.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Check out this blog

Reel Fanatic

Some interesting entertainment commentary here. Nice header too.

One of my favorite movies is on tonight...

Harold and Maude (1971) on TCM at 7:00 pm CST.

I love this movie. Be sure to catch it if you have never seen it. The soundtrack really goes well with this movie, it made me a Cat Stevens fan.


An eccentric but idealistic octogenarian who's been on her own for years hooks up with a rich, ghoulish, not-yet-twenty loner who's been in search of love. Both grasp at enjoying the simple pleasures in life--regardless of what the outside world has to say about their quirky winter-summer romance.

A good quote -

Maude ... "A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they're not dead, really. They're just... backing away from life. Reach out. Take a chance. Get hurt, even! Play as well as you can. Go team! GO! Give me an L! Give me an I! Give me a V! Give me an E! L. I. V. E. LIVE! ...Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room."

Happy Birthday Star Trek!!

Star Trek at 40: September 8, 1966

It was the new television season, just like any other, and NBC was about to debut their new science fiction show. That in itself wasn't a novel idea: CBS had Lost in Space, ABC had contemporary shows like The Time Tunnel and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. It was pretty standard that networks had something on the air that fell into the general category of science fiction. And while these other shows had their own quaint charms, they lasted a few seasons and mostly drifted off into memory, and later syndication. (The other one-hour drama that every network had was a Western; NBC already had a bona fide hit in Bonanza and CBS, with Wild Wild West, neatly combined the Western with sci-fi.)

On the evening of the 8th of September, following Daniel Boone, this new NBC show premiered with an episode called "The Man Trap." The angle of the story was different, to say the least: It was a love story with a sci-fi twist, borne of a relationship from the doctor's past, featuring a monster that, in the end, just wanted to live. It was moving, tragic and anything but cheesy. The viewers — at least the ones who were paying attention — were hooked.

This show proved it had something different. It had a unique life that would go on to exist beyond expectation. It stood outside of time, as it tapped into universal themes and epic struggles, and put the cosmos on notice. Things have changed! Primetime on NBC eventually proved that this was no place for something so big, so broad in scope. This three-season show, after all, would go on to spawn four live-action spin-offs, an animated series, ten movies and counting, plus a licensing empire that, to this day, embraces books, videos, exhibits and assorted merchandise.

Like other cultural, artistic or philosophical phemonena (think Mozart, Van Gogh or Jesus) this new show was largely unappreciated in its own time and only later would be seen as what it is today, a world-wide, cultural juggernaut. Thanks to a form of TV recycling called syndication, the show became a hit to generations of young, impressionable kids, including many future scientists, astronauts and actors. What's ironic is that by today's ratings standards, it would have been a hit in its original run. But back then, with only three major networks, it didn't quite pull its weight. It was only with the need to syndicate TV programs, to get more than one bite out of the entertainment cherry, did this show become what it was all along. It just needed a form of resurrection; the people who had heard of it from their parents, teachers, friends or older siblings tuned in after school, prior to the dinner hour. It turned out to be the perfect time to hit this new, fresh audience and the show became lodged in the collective minds of a nation.

But why?

There have been many soundbites trying to explain its success. ("It's an optimistic vision of the future" being the most common.) Newspaper and magazine column inches, books on how the philosophy of this show has influenced people — from politicians to scientists to philosophers — and now websites and blogs have all been devoted to explaining its personal, and mass, appeal. Everyone, it seems, has their take on why one little show has lasted throughout the ages, and the beauty of it is that everyone is right. It's the infinite diversity of opinion, from an infinite combination of people, that has helped lend the show its uniqueness.

Yes, it had a crew that said discrimination was a thing of past; it had a future that said we were not all annihilated by nuclear holocaust; it had an economy that was driven by progress and achievement, not simple wealth accumulation; it had science as a guiding force, not mysticism or superstition; it had technology as a means to explore, not just make life easier; and, perhaps most importantly, it had a peaceful mission at its core, not one of conquest. The show screamed peace in a time of war. All of these reasons helped contribute to the show's success, but so did the iconic characters, the top-notch writing, the new technology and the great — for then — special effects.

The show that aired that night was called Star Trek, and today is its birthday. We would therefore like to wish a Happy Birthday to Star Trek, and a big Thank You to Gene Roddenberry for having the intelligence and foresight to see into the future — a future at least — and dream the possible dream.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Gene!

I haven't posted yet about Family Jewels but if you aren't watching it, you are missing out on alot of fun! This is good stuff and I look forward to watching it every Monday.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

SciFi closes 'Stargate SG-1'

LOS ANGELES, California (Hollywood Reporter) -- Sci Fi Channel is grounding "Stargate SG-1," the longest-running science-fiction series on U.S. television to date.

The cable network has decided not to order additional episodes beyond the show's current 10th season, but it has picked up a fourth season of its more-popular spinoff, "Stargate Atlantis."

"Stargate SG-1," based on the 1994 movie starring Kurt Russell and James Spader, spent its first five years on Showtime -- which annoyed the show's producers by demanding full-frontal nudity -- before migrating to Sci Fi. Its 200th episode aired last Friday.

"Having achieved so much over the course of the past 10 years, Sci Fi believes that the time is right to make this season their last on the channel," Sci Fi said.

The show's ratings have softened in recent years and series star Richard Dean Anderson left last season, but it boasts a strong fan base, with as many as nine official conventions taking place worldwide every year. Producer MGM is exploring the possibility of taking the series to yet another outlet.

"MGM has tremendous amount of confidence in 'Stargate,' and we are vigorously working to continue the franchise," studio spokesman Jeff Pryor said.

The final three episodes of "Stargate SG-1" are slated to air on Sci Fi Channel next year. Both "Stargate SG-1" and "Atlantis" also run in syndication.

Show has run 10 years; studio hoping to continue franchise

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cool School Lunches

Tired of seeing the same old sandwich every time you make lunch for your kids? Kids can feast on fantastic foods instead of that plain peanut butter sandwich.
Cool School Lunches - MSN Lifestyle - Food & Entertaining

NASA can't find original moon landing tape

WTF? Conspiracy theorists, have at this one!! - Marc

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. government has misplaced the original recording of the first moon landing, including astronaut Neil Armstrong's famous "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," a NASA spokesman said today.

Armstrong's famous space walk, seen by millions of viewers on July 20, 1969, is among transmissions that NASA has failed to turn up in a year of searching, spokesman Grey Hautaloma said.

"We haven't seen them for quite a while. We've been looking for over a year and they haven't turned up," Hautaloma said.

The tapes also contain data about the health of the astronauts and the condition of the spacecraft. In all, some 700 boxes of transmissions from the Apollo lunar missions are missing, he said.

"I wouldn't say we're worried -- we've got all the data. Everything on the tapes we have in one form or another," Hautaloma said.

NASA has retained copies of the television broadcasts and offers several clips on its Web site.

But those images are of lower quality than the originals stored on the missing magnetic tapes.

Because NASA's equipment was not compatible with TV technology of the day, the original transmissions had to be displayed on a monitor and re-shot by a TV camera for broadcast.

Hautaloma said it is possible the tapes will be unplayable even if they are found, because they have degraded significantly over the years -- a problem common to magnetic tape and other types of recordable media.

The material was held by the National Archives but returned to NASA sometime in the late 1970s, he said.

"We're looking for paperwork to see where they last were," he said.
NASA can't find original moon landing tape

Pals Burn William Shatner at Roast

Hmmm, so far it (Windows Live Writer) won't let me copy and paste words into the title field. I don't like that at all. It is letting me copy and paste in the post field. Trying the insert picture function. Hmmm well it looks like unless I have a place to host pictures, inserting pictures using this tool with not be easy. - Marc

William Shatner felt the heat Sunday at a Comedy Central roast in his honor. 

The Star Trek and Boston Legal star, 75, arrived at the event, filmed at the CBS Radford Studios in Studio City, Calif., and slated to air on Comedy Central on Aug. 20, riding a horse – and thereafter was referred to as an ass.

Asked why he would subject himself to such insults, Shatner told PEOPLE earlier, "It seemed like a cool idea at the time. No one can say anything that hasn't been said already."

In a videotaped plea, Shatner's Miss Congeniality costar Sandra Bullock asked the roasters to "go easy on the old coot," but that didn't stop Shatner's Star Trek costars, roastmaster Jason Alexander and comedians including Andy Dick and Greg Giraldo from slamming everything from Shatner's paunch to his hair to his hammy acting style.

As Shatner sat in Captain Kirk's chair from the original Star Trek, Farrah Fawcett took a stab at his "so-called singing career" before introducing clips of Shatner's musical efforts through the years.
Andy Dick wore pointy ears and a blue uniform to reveal that he is the secret love child of Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock.

Star Trek's Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols – who first worked with Shatner when the series debuted 40 years ago – told PEOPLE on the red carpet, "Bill always gets what he wants. Tonight we get what we want. It's payback time."

But Shatner may still get the last laugh: On Emmy night, Aug. 27, he'll vie for best supporting actor in a drama for his portrayal on Boston Legal of eccentric lawyer Denny Crane – a role that has already won him two Emmys.

Interesting Marketing Site

Coolzor - Marketing Thoughts

Download of the Day: Windows Live Writer

Windows Live Writer from the Lifehacker site

Review: Windows Live Writer Beta

Review: Windows Live Writer Beta

In depth review of this new tool.

Yours truly may just have to start blogging again!

And it looks like I just may have some free time coming that I haven't had for months.

Test of Windows Live Toolbar

This just became available in the past couple of days and I am testing it out.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Trek's Abrams Eyes Damon?

The Insider, the syndicated gossip TV series, reported a rumor that Matt Damon is being eyed to play a young Capt. James T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams' proposed 11th Star Trek movie.

Citing an anonymous source, the show reported that Abrams (Mission: Impossible III) is so interested in Damon (The Bourne Identity) that he's sought support from the original Kirk, William Shatner. "Shatner gave his blessing," the source reportedly told the show. "J.J. got his approval."

Rumors are circulating that Abrams' Trek movie will be a prequel to the original series, centering on Kirk and Spock's early days at Starfleet. "J.J. wants Damon as Capt. Kirk," the source said. "He really loves the idea."

For their part, Abrams and his Trek producing partner Bryan Burk (who is also an executive producer on Abram's hit ABC series Lost) have declined to comment on speculation about the movie's storyline, saying only that any reports about its narrative have been released prematurely.
SCI FI Wire The News Service of the SCI FI Channel

Monday, June 19, 2006

Animator Vs Animation

Worth watching.
Weebls Stuff - Animator Vs Animation

Father's Day

I got a new BBQ pit for Father's Day with a cover. I had a smaller one for years but it died of rust. This one is nice and I can't wait to try it out.

My own father passed away 5 years ago so...

Target had the electric guitar on sale this past week and I fantasized about getting it. I sat in a chair while my oldest had me close me eyes while he slid the box along the floor to me, I thought "They got me the guitar!" but this is nice too and we'll all enjoy the food I cook up.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Korn singer says more headbanging could have killed him

This guy had the same disease my youngest son had three years ago. It is a very scary and serious disease until it gets righted, any little bump could potentially kill you.
Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
Chron.com Korn singer says more headbanging could have killed him

Service lets people rip videos from YouTube, other sites

A pair of services run by one person in Australia are giving people new ways to access and use video content from sites like YouTube and Google Video, and copyright holders may well find themselves up in arms about it.

Peekvid - watch videos online

Keepvid - Download videos DIRECT from most video sites

If the Blogger button is working again, maybe I'm back to blogging stuff I find! :-) Shut up dude, nobody cares.

Service lets people rip videos from YouTube, other sites CNET News.com

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why doesn't???

Why doesn't the Blogger button on the Google toolbar work anymore?!

I blogged everything using that button. And now, as you can see, I never blog anymore because it doesn't work.

Is there a fix for this? Please help.


Whoa whoa whoa, the above post was just made using the button, is it working again? I certainly hope so.

More Firefly found in The Corner

Warning: do not visit link if you have not yet seen the movie Serenity.
Boldly Go: More Firefly found in The Corner

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Where have I been?

Oh I'm around and super busy, work and at home.

And my favorite little blogging buddy hasn't worked in weeks (the Blogger button on the Google toolbar). Has anyone else experienced this?

I have many things to blog across several of my blogs, they are all in e-mails that I have sent to myself. Will I ever get around to posting them? Don't hold your breath.

Above ground Pools

Dealing With An Inflatable Pool Air Leak?

I have one of those pools with an inflatable top ring. Seems to have a leak and I am slowly losing air. Any suggestions about locating the leak and fixing it? I appreciate your time and effort.
Aimee, New Jersey 5/22/2005

Look for signs of bubbling, where the ring is covered with water. That will indicate the location. If you don't see bubbling, the leak is above the water llevel. Get some swimming pool algaecide that contains dimethyl ammonium chloride. Make a solution of one part algaecide and 3 parts water and stir it up with a 1-2" brush so that it lathers a bit. They use a technique like this to find a leak in a tire. You don't want to use soap, because you don't want it to end up in the pool water. Brush it on the seams and other areas, until you find the leak. Once found, clean the area with rubbing alcohol and allow to dry off. With this type of thin walled pool, you cannot use a traditional vinyl adhesive and patch, as this can damage the vinyl. Boxer Adhesives offers a complete line of vinyl repair products, including an adhesive patch that is intended to be used with pools just like yours. Visit them at www.boxeradhesives.com for more information. If necessary, it can even be used under water!!! I hope that this information will prove helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/22/2005

Three Hour Tour...

"I'm more like George Costanza than just the picture. I have a lot of rules roaming around in my noggin. Sometimes they leak out and are shared with those around me, much to my chagrin. Just don't eat watermelon with salt and we'll all be okay!"
Gilligan's Brain in The Skipper's Body...

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Incredible Machines

Incredible Machines - Google Video

Abrams Talks Trek 11 Reports

Mission: Impossible III director J.J. Abrams told Empire Online that news of his involvement in a proposed 11th Star Trek movie made headlines without his authorization, and he wouldn't confirm reports that the film would center on a young James T. Kirk and Spock at Starfleet Academy.

"The whole thing was reported entirely without our cooperation," Abrams told the site. "People learned that I was producing a Star Trek film, that I had an option to direct it. They hear rumors of what the thing was going to be and ran with a story that is not entirely accurate."

But Abrams wouldn't say whether the movie would indeed feature Kirk and Spock. "We've made a pact not to discuss any specifics," he said, adding: "Those characters are so spectacular. I just think that, ... you know, they could live again."

A Paramount spokesman, meanwhile, previously confirmed the accuracy of reports about Abrams' Trek involvement in an interview with SCI FI Wire.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


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By working with engineers, scientists, magicians and most importantly, kids young and old, Fascinations® is proud to bring you the best in truly unique toys and gifts.
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Fascinations® - Wonders Created by Physicists
Fascinations® Toys and Gifts manufactures imaginative toys and gifts for children and adults. To get ideas for unique captivating holiday gifts, birthday gifts, physics toys, or science projects, view the products on our site or visit one of your local toy and gift stores. Regardless of whether you need a toy or gift for Christmas, Chanukah, Mitzvahs, birthdays or other special holidays/occasions, you are sure to find the creative item you want.

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Free instructions and technical support are available including online instructional videos. Fascinations® toys and gifts - designers, creators, producers and wholesale manufacturers of fascinating, magical and amazing gifts and novelty products.
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Fascinations - Unique Toys Holiday Gifts Birthday Gifts Physics Toys Unique Ideas

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Desktop Personal Air Conditioner

Staying cool and comfortable has never been easier, thanks to the Desktop Personal Air Conditioner! Designed for ease of use, it utilizes frozen water to create a personal climate controlled system anyone can use! Don't let hot summer months ruin your code. Stay calm, collected & cool...
ThinkGeek :: Desktop Personal Air Conditioner

Blue LED Faucet Light

Tired of that same old monotonous water? Bored with water that doesn't look like futuristic alien mouthwash? Need to make your midnite bathroom appointments more exhilarating? Then you need to get the blue LED faucet attachment from ThinkGeek. You can turn any faucet in your home into a streaming blue lagoon of techie-bliss in just minutes. How does it work? Just attach to the end of your faucet (universal adapters included), and when the water flows through the magic chamber, it simply turns on the blue LED array and illuminates the stream with a soothingly powerful crystal blue hue.
ThinkGeek :: Blue LED Faucet Light

Friday, April 07, 2006

Monday, April 03, 2006

Case Mod - The Ultimate List

Case mods or computer case modifications are the ultimate display of geek chic, creativity and hardware prowess! Many of them are pieces of art, whereas others are just plain weird.
Case Mod - The Ultimate List

Thursday, March 30, 2006

American Idol 5 - Lisa Tucker is gone

The voters are idiots.
Chron.com Ousted Idol singer should have avoided Kelly Clarkson

A few goodies for 'Zelda' die-hards

The next installment of Nintendo's flagship game series, "The Legend of Zelda," may not be on store shelves until this holiday season, but there was still some good news for "Zelda" fans this week.

Few game series have seen as devoted a fan-base as "Zelda." Never was that more apparent than this week, when game blogs were atwitter with announcements of two "Zelda"-related developments. First came news of a series of high-end resin figurines being created by First 4 Figures. The company says it has entered into a three-year agreement with Nintendo for rights to build the statues. Figures will portray characters from "Ocarina of Time," "Majora's Mask," and the upcoming "Twilight Princess." The company has already said it will build figures of, among others, Zelda, Link (in his regular, Dark and Young incarnations), Ganondorf and Skull Kid--though why anyone would want the face of the annoying Skull Kid staring at them all day long is beyond me. Products will apparently include individual characters, mixed media statues and dioramas; prices will range from $80 to upwards of $200. The company said previews will be on display at this year's E3 conference.

Also circulating this week is the trailer for a fan-made movie based on the storyline for "Ocarina of Time." Details about the production of the movie can be found on the fan site LegendofZeldaSeries.com. The movie will be live-action with some computer generated graphics, and the trailer shows characters including Zelda, Link, Gerudo warriors and what I'm guessing is Saria. Paired with stirring music, the trailer is more than a little exciting for anyone who's devoted countless hours to the series over the years. But I have to say, a few of the scenes with Link look a little Ren Faire to me. Here's hoping the final product looks good and makes us forget that the character we've come to revere is really just a yellow-haired kid in green tights.
A few goodies for 'Zelda' die-hards News.blog CNET News.com

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Anderson Returns To SG-1

Richard Dean Anderson, former star and executive producer of Stargate SG-1, returns to the series for its historic 200th original episode, SCI FI Channel announced. Production on the bicentennial episode begins April 5 in Vancouver, Canada. Anderson, who will be reprising the role of Gen. Jack O'Neill, will also make special guest appearances in a number of episodes of both SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis that will air in the upcoming new seasons, which are slated to premiere this summer.

Stargate SG-1's 200th episode, "200," will center on the SG-1 team as they serve as advisors on a television series that bears remarkable similarities to the goings-on at Stargate Command. As they pitch to the producer the many adventures that they have been involved with over the years, the team discovers that truth really is stranger than fiction, but that nothing is stranger than the machinations of Hollywood. In addition to Anderson, "200" will feature a guest appearance by fan favorite Willie Garson (Sex & the City).

Currently in production on its 10th original season (its fifth on SCI FI), Stargate SG-1 is now the longest-running SF series on American television, surpassing The X-Files and every iteration of Star Trek.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

11th Trek Movie Dead?

The latest British Dreamwatch magazine reported rumors that Paramount has dumped a proposed 11th Star Trek movie that would have been based on a script by Erik Jendresen, according to a report on the TrekWeb.com Web site. Dreamwatch cited as its source Doug Mirabello, a personal assistant to longtime Trek producer Rick Berman, who added that it'll be a long time before Paramount backs any future Trek films or TV shows.

It's been widely rumored that Paramount was developing a new film based on Jendresen's script, which reportedly would be called Star Trek: The Beginning and would involve a new cast and crew from any previously seen.

Dreamwatch also reported that there are no plans to enlist Star Trek: The Next Generation star Patrick Stewart in any new movie projects, despite earlier reports to the contrary. "It's more likely that some executive had a casual conversation with him and brought up some hypotheticals, which he ran with when some reporter asked him about Star Trek," the magazine quoted Mirabello as saying. "[But] there's a chance that someone else at Paramount is planning something huge and keeping us out of the loop. From what I've heard, Patrick wouldn't do another Trek movie unless they paid him Professor X money," he added, referring to Stewart's salary for the X-Men movies.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel

Trek Fans Can Date Online

Online dating is going where no one has gone before: to fans of Star Trek and other SF through the TrekPassions.com Web site, according to a report on MSNBC.com.

The site calls itself "a free personals site for science fiction lovers, including but not limited to Star Trek. Find others who share your passion for sci-fi. Meet people who read Asimov, Bova, Heinlein, Adams, Clarke and more." The site also offers chat and other services.

"These Star Trek people. I mean, you know, these are serious, devoted fans," said Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine, in an interview with MSNBC's Tucker Carlson.
Sci Fi Wire -- The News Service of the Sci Fi Channel