James Cameron’s Laser Cats 5

A brilliant SNL Digital Short.


Capturing Life

I saw this on PostSecret recently, and the message really spoke to me.   This is why I take as many photos of things as I do.   Because someday, those things and those people may be gone.   I don’t take photos, I capture life.


Stately Blitz

How many states can you name type in 60 seconds?   I only got 26 because I foolishly typed a few long states.   Try it!

Is This the Future? Yes, Please!

The iPhone Blog reports at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) they’ve discovered a cool new iPhone app for the upcoming Chevy Volt.   This app will let owners check their car’s stats, like battery charge and mileage, as well as lock, unlock, remote start, and heat and cool the car all from their iPhones!

If this is an upcoming trend for car manufacturers, I say please and thank you!

2010 Film Scores

MovieScore Magazine recently ran through their top-10 most anticipated film scores for 2010.   Scores that are on my list, too, include:

The Chronicles of Narnia 3 by David Arnold. Other than his Bond scores, David Arnold has been fairly quiet the last several years.   And unfortunately so.   Here’s hoping the fantasy-enriched film will inspire him to write another Independence Day.

Alice in Wonderland by Danny Elfman. Tim Burton plus Danny Elfman.   Not much more needs to be said.

The Last Airbender by James Newton Howard. I’ve already posted the trailer scored by JNH and mentioned he usually doesn’t disappoint, especially for an M. Night Shyamalan film.   I trust more exciting music will be waiting for us.

Iron Man 2 by John Debney. I’m wishing for a score to rival his masterpiece for Cutthroat Island.   I can dream, right?

Robin Hood by Marc Streitenfeld. Marc who you ask?   Yeah, that’s what I asked, too.   This is a Ridley Scott film, so I assumed Hans Zimmer would be composing.   Officially, he’s not, but since Marc is one of Hans’s goons, no doubt this will sound as if Zimmer composed it.   And I’m sure I’ll be very pleased.   Will this be in the vein of Zimmer’s masterful Gladiator or the less-serious-but-still-exciting King Arthur?   Here’s hoping for the former.

Perhaps, though, for me, the most anticipated film score, should the rumors be true, is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1).   According to HP producer David Heyman, should John Williams’s schedule permit, he’ll be scoring the film.   Williams’s last Potter score for The Prisoner of Azkaban was his best Potter score, the best in the series (thus far), and one of his best scores.   Since I’m on the wishing train here, I’m hoping that with this being the last Potter film and given what he has shown he can do with a Potter score, Johnny can blow us away.

Here’s to an exciting 2010 in film-score-land!

The Last Airbender

Probably won’t be going to see this film, but I’ll definitely be purchasing the score composed by James Newton Howard, who usually doesn’t disappoint.   The trailer below is scored by JNH.



Twenty-ten.   Ten is half of twenty.   Makes for a nice, round year visually.   And a cool Roman Numeral: MMX.

Geek-bravado aside, I hope you have a healthy, happy, and humorous new year.   Happy last year of the decade!

Freedom of Farce

Being around a television at work most of the day, I usually see enough infomercials to want to gouge my eyes out.   Most infomercials go in one ear and out the other, barely registering in my mind.   Some, however, linger.   I haven’t seen this infomercial in at least a month, but when I saw it air on ESPN for the first time, I had to laugh at the banality.   I give you: the Freedom Tray.

From the Freedom Tray website:

Made and assembled in America using 100% recyclable materials, the Freedom Tray is the revolutionary food and beverage tray. Whether you’re in your car, watching TV, boating, camping, at the game or serving up the burgers at the tailgate party, the Freedom Tray will make your life easier. Simply pop it open, lock it in place and, instantly, you have a portable and versatile table to meet your needs.

Useful product I suppose.   What struck me about the infomercial, though, was the blatant and undisguised jingoism something right out of 2002.   Even the name evokes a somewhat embarrassing episode in the excessively anti-non-American era that came post-9/11.   Watching the infomercial, I wasn’t sure if I should take this product seriously or if I should file it under ‘f’ for “farce.”

And I’m pretty sure I saw their tagline “Made in America, Used Everywhere” describing democracy on one of those giant, poorly-designed banners behind President Bush.

Totally Random: Presidential Pens

Totally random thought here.   While browsing through some recent uploads to the White House Flickr account via my RSS reader, I came across this photo:

obama pens

These are pens for a bill-signing.   What intrigued me about this photo is the direction of the signature on each pen.   Because the signature reads from the top of the pen to the bottom while the pen’s tip is pointing right, this pen is a left-handed pen.   If you pick up this pen to write with your left hand, the signature is right-side up; pick this pen up with your right hand to write, and the signature is upside-down.   A left-handed pen for a left-handed president?   No detail overlooked or just a coincidence?

Just for the heck of it, I tried to find some presidential pens in official use by past presidents.   I found President Bush’s pens here:

bush pens

These are right-handed pens.   If you take the cap off and stick it on the non-tip end of the pen, the signature will remain upright in your right hand but upside-down in your left hand.   A right-handed pen for a right-handed president?

My guess is that the Bush pen likely used a standard direction because a majority of people are right-handed, but the Obama pen was specially made to be a left-handed pen.   How’s that for an exciting Friday night?

It Came from Outer Space

Wired this week posted a very cool photo series of glacier views from space.   Like this one:

glaciers from space

If They Build It, I Might Come

ComingSoon.net is reporting Warner Bros. is developing a Lego movie:

Dan and Kevin Hageman are writing the script for the family comedy that will mix live action and animation. The studio is keeping the plot tightly under wraps, but it’s described as an action adventure set in a LEGO world.

Interesting.   Who said Hollywood is running out of ideas?

And here’s this, just because:

“The Killer App for Your Appetite”

Pizza Hut recently launched a free iPhone app.   A really cool iPhone app:

I downloaded it and, after I had to sign up for an account on PizzaHut.com, played around with the app.   Very impressive and fun to use.   The ad says the app is a “revolution in mobile ordering.”   I agree, and I’d love to see more of this.

(Nod: Lifehacker)


I snapped this at work last month.   Never a good sign when the men’s room says “danger do not enter”!


Yo Quiero Taco Bell

taco bell dog

Easily one of the best fast-food advertisement campaigns and, of course, in honor of the little dog, too:

(Photo: LA Times)

Disney World’s Hall of Presidents

Recently, the Hall of Presidents attraction at Disney World was updated to include President Obama.   Historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin was consulted by the Disney Imagineers for historical accuracy.   Here’s a bit on the making of the updated attraction:

And here’s a behind-the-scenes video of recording Obama:


Disney Insider writes:

There are many more additions to the show to see. For one, now George Washington speaks, for the first-time ever at the Hall of Presidents, delivering a historic address inspired by a speech he gave on the occasion of his second inauguration, when he described his feelings about being elected by the people to be the first president. And the show now concludes with a choir singing “America the Beautiful”-a moment guaranteed to put a lump in the throats of Guests.

In addition, Pam [Fisher, the Senior Show Writer and Director for the Hall of Presidents] explains, Imagineers have taken the opportunity to give the show its first facelift and sprucing up since 1993. “All the costumes have been refreshed, and some beards and wigs have been replaced. We’re using new digital systems-including video projection, the lighting system, and the show control system. We even have new curtains!”

Finally, here’s the show:

(Nod: Ben)

Human See, Human Do

A coworker at lunch yesterday was opening a banana, and I mentioned to her banana opening is surprisingly easy when doing like monkeys to: from the bottom.   Many years ago, I saw a primate at a zoo opening a banana not the way most humans do from the stem but from the opposite end, and since then I’ve adopted this more efficient method.   I figured primates ought to know a thing or two about bananas.

Today, as I was looking through Lifehacker’s recent articles in Google Reader, I came across this video:

If you don’t already use this method, learn something from our primate cousins and try it out next time you’re eating a banana.   Human see, human do.

(Nod: Lifehacker)


If you love trivia and don’t mind wasting at least an hour of your time, check out Sporcle.   The website’s tagline is “mentally stimulating diversions” and is 100% accurate.   I take no responsibility for lost productivity if you click on that link.   Please don’t be like me and waste almost two hours on the site!   But let me know if you beat my score on any of these quizzes:

Enjoy!   But be warned!

Happy 233rd

us flag

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

To the men and women who made the American dream and the American way a possibility for us all, thank you.   Your valor, your dedication, and your sacrifice to this country and its people is honored today and every day.   Thank you for making it possible for the rest of us to enjoy hot dogs and fireworks today.

The fight for freedom continues.   We salute you.



Zagat has published their 2009 Fast Food survey, and the best fast food burger belongs to In-N-Out Burger.   This comes as no surprise  to me.   I rarely eat fast food in fact, I eat it so infrequently, I might as well say I never eat it.

But there’s just something magical about In-N-Out.   When I was visiting my sister in Arizona this past February, we made sure to grab a burger one night.   Perhaps a good thing for me, In-N-Out Burger only has locations in four states: California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona.

What makes In-N-Out special is they’re a no-nonsense fast food joint they do three things: burgers, fries, and shakes.   That’s it.   No pretend-healthy food, no chicken or fish.   Just the basics.

My In-N-Out meal:

in-n-out burger

in-n-out burger

Mmm.   I think I may have to open a franchise on the east coast!

(Nod: Lifehacker)


Every morning, I receive dictionary.com’s word of the day in my inbox.   Usually the word is something that I know I’ll never use, and I’m likely to forget the word ten minutes later.   Sometimes, though, the word sticks, either because the definition is either useful or humorous, or because the word is just fun.   Today’s word falls into the latter category because it’s just fun to say: prestidigitation.   The word means the “skill in or performance of tricks; sleight of hand.”   I’ve been repeating this word all day.

An example of part B of the former category (a word with a humorous definition) would be the word of the day from 19 June 2008: defenestrate, which means “to throw out of a window.”   There’s actually a word in the English language for throwing something out of a window.   How terrific.   I now use this word at work when I want to throw my work computer out the window err, defenestrate my computer because it isn’t working properly.   Look out below.

Up With Easter Eggs

In their latest film Up, the Pixar team continues their tradition of including a healthy dose of easter eggs throughout the film.   Slashfilm has compiled a list of easter eggs in Up, including the ever-present Pizza Planet truck originally from Toy Story.   The truck in past films, clockwise starting top-left: Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc., Toy Story 2, Ratatouille, Cars, and Finding Nemo (click for larger version):

pizza planet truck in past films

And here’s the truck in Up:

pizza planet truck in up

Balls to the Wall

A manager in my department at work mentioned I was “balls to the wall” this week.   I knew the phrase meant going all-out, full-throttle, etc., but I was curious about the origin of the phrase.   Did the phrase really have something to do with male anatomy as I thought?   Or was my mind thinking on a high-school level?

Turns out the answer is no to the first question.   According to Slate Explainer,

The expression comes from the world of military aviation. In many planes, control sticks are topped with a ball-shaped grip. One such control is the throttle to get maximum power you push it all the way forward, to the front of the cockpit, or firewall (so-called because it prevents an engine fire from reaching the rest of the plane). Another control is the joystick pushing it forward sends a plane into a dive. So, literally pushing the balls to the (fire)wall would put a plane into a maximum-speed dive, and figuratively going balls to the wall is doing something all-out, with maximum effort. The phrase is essentially the aeronautical equivalent of the automotive “pedal to the metal.”

Interesting bit of trivia.   But about the second question, pilots go balls to the wall in the cockpit.   Turns out the answer is yes.

You’ve Got a Friend in 2010

The good thing about a private movie screening is no previews, but the bad thing is no previews, so I missed out on seeing this teaser trailer attached to Up:


In Toy Story 3, all the original cast returns, sans Slinky Dog’s Jim Varney who died.

Also due out next year is the latest installment of Shrek: Shrek Forever After.   Again, all the original cast returns, which is great for continuity as well as hearing those characters again that we have grown fond of.   An interesting addition in Shrek Forever After, though, is the voice of Rumpelstiltskin: Paul McCartney.   As with the previous Shrek films, I’m looking forward to some heartly laughs.

“Cavs Win!”

Local Cleveland newscast WEWS makes it on SportsCenter.   Classic:

To Boldly Go

space shuttle atlantis

Alan Taylor at Boston.com posted some great photos of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launch and the crew’s Hubble Space Telescope repair mission.

(Nod: Ed)