Sunday, July 24, 2005
Marked for Life
Give $15 to Arianna Huffington's gubenatorial campaign and get black balled for life. Go ahead, google my name. Now everyone knows that I'm nothing more than a card-carrying member of the Loony LeftTM
posted by Kermit at 7/24/2005 11:10:00 PM
Cultural advantage: Right turn on red
I'm in the city of angels on business and boy is it Africa hot. I'm staying in a small truckstop town about 45 minutes out of LA. I went to a trucker bar last night and had no choice but to drink Budweiser. I had three bottles of the stuff and it proved to be as inneffective as Mets hitters against rookie starters. I'm not saying that 3 beers should have knocked me out, but I should have at least been aware that I had drunk something. Exclusively drinking homegrown Bavarian beer must build up a serious resistence to the effects of the standard stuff. All I can say is that if I had had 3 Bavarian brews, I would have felt something and a significant something at that. Me thinks I could enter a competition . I'm off to Nebraska on Wednesday to check out a factory there and then it's off to New York. Nebraska should be action packed.
posted by Kermit at 7/24/2005 09:05:00 PM
Friday, July 22, 2005
I didn't come up with this, but let's pretend I did:
A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science.
The new element has been named "Governmentium." Governmentium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.
These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of particles called peons.
Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact.
A minute amount of Governmentium causes one reaction to take over four days to complete, when it would normally take less than a second.
Governmentium has a normal half-life of 4 years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.
In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.
This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration.
This hypothetical quantity is referred to as "Critical Morass." When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium -an element which radiates just as much energy as the Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.
posted by Kermit at 7/22/2005 11:43:00 AM
Monday, July 11, 2005
All right you ant!
I have always assumed that the blue aardvark in the Pink Panther cartoons was voiced by Jackie Mason
(and isn't he looking pretty strange lately: hit the link). It wasn't. Both the aardvark and the ant were played by a canadian comedian by the name of John Byner
. Shocked I am. I went and checked this out because I saw my first german aardvark episode yesterday and boy was the voice wrong. The aarvark must be a hungry rabbi. It was the episode when the ants are on one desert island and the blue meanie is on another. Water and a shark in the middle. Guess what happens.
posted by Kermit at 7/11/2005 03:24:00 PM
When you live in a non-Enlgish-speaking country for a length of time you develope an ear for picking out English from miles away. Well maybe you don't but I certainly have. I can be walking down my street on the way to paperwork and efficiency store and suddenly catch the faint echoes of a couple in Berlin pointing out where the wall used to be until Reagen knocked it down with nothing but his iron charisma. Americans also stick out due to the fact that we tend to have very large round heads. If I see a bowling ball walking towards me, I'm seeing an American. I was surprised to discover that this skill functions equally as well when I am sleeping. Last Sunday morning I was comfortably under the covers with the three liters of water in my belly that I had drunk in a fruitless attempt to counteract the 5 Liters of weissbier that I had drunk previously. Needless to say, the bed and I were one. Through this haze of sleep and fermented wheat came voices. Not just any voices. Not the standard 4 in the morning drunk German voices singing/chanting the chart-topping song commemorating that golden goal scored on the header off the corner against the Netherlands in 1978 and my what a goal that was. No, these voices were in English. And they were loud. I woke up and realized that they were coming from right in front of my window. Ahh the beautiful sound of drunk American soldiers just having left my neighborhood brothel. Nothing comapres. These guys from wonderful places like Oklahoma and Idaho were waxing poetic about whose ass was due for a kicking as there were apparently two factions here who were not exactly getting along. They actually referred to each other as 'sir' as they informed one another of the beating they were about to receive if they didn't watch it. A band of brothers it wasn't. This was too good to miss and I went into the living room in my robe, reclined on the couch and watched the action unfold not twenty feet away. The clock said 5:00 and the birds were chirping and I was loving the show until I realized that my neighbors, the ones who don't work at the brothel, could come to the conclusion that these Mensa candidates were somehow affiliated with me. Loud Americans outside my window? Must be that guy who lives downstairs and barbecues too much. These guys were being obscenely loud and I kept glancing down the street in expectation of the arrival of the polizei. THAT would have been a show. I briefly considered calling them myself but in a moment of great patriotic fervor, decided to support the troops and let it slide.
posted by Kermit at 7/11/2005 11:38:00 AM
Thursday, July 07, 2005
For you Mets people I have a couple of sites that are worth checking out only one of which I'm going to tell you about now. As you all know, due to my very demanding job, I read a lot of blogs so naturally I went and found some Mets Blogs of which there are many. As can probably be gleaned, most of them offer quality analysis and commentary on the political and social ramifications of Goldilocks and the Three Bears
. Amidst all these sites, I stumbled upon an actual original idea. It wasn't my idea because if it had been, I'd have done nothing about it. No, someone more enterprising than myself, not saying much for him, put up a site called Mets Walkoffs and Other Minutiae
which is updated almost daily with the recounting of a Mets' walk-off win. That homerun at the bottom of the 10th or the hit-batsman with the bases a' loaded that drove/walked in the winning run
. Apparently there are 324 walk-off wins in Mets history. Reading some of them sure brings back memories and names. Plus, the guy can write. He actually took the time to track down Masato Yoshii as well. Yoshii is fine by the way. You will all no doubt be pleased to hear that his chain of wiffle-ball batting cages should finally post a profit this year.
posted by Kermit at 7/07/2005 03:19:00 PM
All I can say is wow!
Last week I headed on over to the local multiplex to check out the new movie War of the the Worlds
from my favorite director Steven Spielberg. Spileberg is just fantastic. Jurassic park was a lot of fun. I just loved those kids and that Jeff Goldblum character was really quirky. Schindler's List
was great too. The best part had to be when Schindler cried at the end because he could have saved more people. That was really touching. Now for this new film I was little bit nervous because I had heard that it was an action packed science-fiction movie about aliens invading Earth and the subsequent war of (I have to do it) the worlds. I wasn't really looking forward to long scenes of systematic carnage and slaughter at the hands of giant three-legged war machines or the resistance of the armies of the Earth against these unstoppable invaders. It had sounded a bit much to me but because Spielberg was directing and because my favorite film critic Joel Siegel from Good Morning America
said that "Spielberg's 'War' is out of this World
" I just knew I had to try it.
The movie got off to a good start with the introduction of Tom Cruise's character and his adorable seven year old daughter and rebellious teenage son. It was obvious that there was some tension between these characters but it wasn't exactly clear where it came from but unfortunately before these questions could be answered everthing got interrupted by this lightning storm behind Cruise's home. He goes to investigate and finds a group of people surrounding a crater in the street. Now up until now, it was nice and creepy and I really didn't know what to expect but then in what was one of the loudest things I have ever heard, a giant machine tears through the ground and climbs up onto the street. It was so loud that I had to cover my ears at times. Almost immediately thereafter, the machine starts walking through the streets and vaporizing people with this giant ray gun. It was horrible. The ray gun made this really scary noise and the people were trying to escape but they were getting caught by the ray everywhere I looked. It looked so real and scary that i almost walked out. I was really afraid for Tom Cruise and his family but luckily he was able to get back to his house and get his family together and on the road. As they were driving away I was always nervous that they would run into another one of the terrifying war machines but luckily there wasn't one to be seen for quite some time. This is where the movie picked up again and I started to get back into it. They end up in Tom Cruise's wife's house and there is this great scene where he tries to make his kids some dinner but doesn't know what they like. It's like a 5-10 minute scene and it was really cute. For the next 15 minutes they stay in the house and talk and cuddle. The Tom Cruise character wasn't much of a father but he was really trying and I hoped that he could figure out how to do it. All the while I was expecting a war machine to show up but luckily none did. For the next 40 minutes they drive around and talk and fight with eachother and the family dynamic really starts developing. Aside from one horrible scene when the duaghter is alone in the woods and sees hundreds of dead bodies floating down a river, the film really sticks to the characters very nicely. Sadly the war machines make a short appearance again capsizing a boat and plucking people from the water with these long tentacles. Luckily the family escapes. From here they end up walking up a hill where the army seems to fighting the aliens. The family is behind the line of tanks and helicopters and though you never actually see what they are firing at what you do see is a real fight between Tom Cruise and his son. His son wants to go see the battle but his father wisely forbids it. The boy breaks free of his father's grip and runs up the hill when suddenly there is a great explsion of fire that must have incinerated the tanks and the son too. It was absolutely horrible and hearbreaking. I don't know where the fire came from and I don't want to know. Now it is just Tom and his cute little daughter left on their own. They escape to a farmhouse that also has some survival guy played by that guy from Bull Durham
in it. The survivalist is pretty crazy and Cruise has his hands full making sure he doesn't frighten his daughter. Meanwhile outside you can hear the aliens everywhere but happily you don't see them. Then this tentacle comes in from an alien ship and chases them around the house just like the velociraptor scene in Jurassic Park
. You also get to see the aliens come in the house and they are really weird but kind of cute looking. There is a great part where an alien playes with a bicycle wheel. I don't want to give the rest away but there is this great scene where Cruise saves his daughter from an alien machine and even manages to destroy one. The big question of course is whether Cruise's son survives and you are just going to have to see the movie to find out.
Overall I think this movie was a great family drama that really deals with a lot of important issues facing families today. There were lots of parts of this movie when I totally forgot about the aliens but even when the machines did make an appearance, the focus always remained on the family. This movie shows that a family that sticks together can get through anything. I had been expecting a really violent action movie, but am happy to report that it is a wonderful and touching family drama. Two thumbs up.
posted by Kermit at 7/07/2005 12:17:00 PM
I just picked up the new Kraftwerk record and I've got to say that I'm quite happy with it. It is a double-disc live album with material culled from their most recent tour. Most of the old favorites are there but what makes this record worthy is that it really brings these tracks into the 21st century. Now don't get me wrong, the original recordings are great, but, they are lacking somewhat in the punch department and stuff basically sounds a little thin. This live album sounds amazing; rich, full, warm. More importantly, they reamain faithful to the originals in synth-sounds, effects and the like. All the little moments of groove from the originals are preserved here but with a sound that is to die for. It's refreshing to see that the band mapped their tracks the same way I had and emphasised the same sections and tones that I had liked the most. The result is basically a remastered collection of Kraftwerk tunes that finally gives them the overall sound that they deserve. Worth the money no doubt.
posted by Kermit at 7/07/2005 12:09:00 PM