Monday, July 31, 2006

Star Wars: A New White Hope

Oh man. Oh man.


Thanks to Denis who found these mash-ups. Someone took Star Wars footage and mixed it with James Earl Jones lines from other movies. Brilliant. It helps, though, if you've seen Field of Dreams and The Great White Hope.

The best one is 9 minutes long, though - probably 3 minutes longer than it should have been. The first few minutes brought tears to my eyes - mostly because I was stifling laughter at work.

The other one is shorter and has its own nice moments - especially in the confrontation with Obi-Wan.

Me, Rick Mercer and Wesley Crusher - Together At Last

Over at The "New" Ranger Blog Show, Ranger Bob has added my blog to his blogroll, alongside Rick Mercer and Wil Wheaton. Sweet!

(That explains the Alberta dot in my clustrmap.)

You may have noticed my blog does not have a blogrool. That's 'cause I'm an idiot and haven't figured that bit out yet. While my brain tries to figure out how to escape my ass, I figured I'd give props to one of Bob's posts. In it, he links to the Rick Mercer Report website where there are some funny "spoof ads". Check out the "Hands in my pocket" spoof - "Knee in my package".

So, I guess I'm really linking to Rick Mercer's site...sorry, Bob.

p.s. There's only one "L" in Philip, Bob. But I forgive you.

You Link Me! You Really Link Me!

Seems this blogger recognizes talent.

Sai Chronicles has my blog listed in its blogroll. Aw, gosh, shucks, I don't know what to say.

I figure the least I can do is reference in kind. I read one of her (? I assume...I don't know who this person is) posts and it got me thinking. Here are a list of books. The idea is to bold the ones you've read and italicize the ones you plan to read. If I've seen the movie, I linked to rottentomatoes.

This is going to be embarrassing because I don't read books anymore: being force-fed in highschool and university will do that to you.

Here goes:

# The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (Will see movie, may read)
# The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger (Saw Conspiracy Theory – does that count?)
# The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams (Saw movie)
# The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald (Saw movie, read book)
# To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (Saw movie, read book)
# The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (Never heard of it)
# His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (Bought this for a friend)
# Harry Potter and the Half - Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling (Will see movie)
# Life of Pi - Yann Martel (Meh. I’m sure a movie will be made)
# Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell (Saw Animal House…)
# Catch-22 - Joseph Heller (May read some day. Isn’t there a movie?)
# The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien (Saw movie, read book)
# The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon (?)
# Lord of the Flies - William Golding (Saw bits, read bits)
# Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (Saw movie, I think...and Bridget Jones)
# 1984 - George Orwell (Have I read this...?)
# Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling (Saw movie)
# One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
# Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (I’ll see the flick sometime)
# The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
# The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
# Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut (ThereMay see flick)
# Angels and Demons - Dan Brown (Movie sometime?)
# Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk (One of my favs. Will read)
# Neuromancer - William Gibson
# Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
# The Secret History - Donna Tartt
# A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess (Messed up flick)
# Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (Saw bits)
# Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
# American Gods - Neil Gaiman
# Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) - Orson Scott Card
# Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
# A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
# The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis (Saw movie)
# Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
# Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
# The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien (Saw movie and puppet play years ago)
# Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (May see flick)
# Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
# Atonement - Ian McEwan
# The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
# The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway (Read in school)
# The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood (Saw, read)
# The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
# Dune - Frank Herbert (Saw movie)

Friday, July 28, 2006

The One Goes Buh-bye

Wow. That didn't take long, did it?

ABC's American Idol wannabe, The One with Canadian host George Stroumboulopoulos, has been cancelled after two weeks.

We hardly knew ye.

Anybody watch this crap? It was brutal and suffered from incredibly poor timing. Apparently America's Got Talent is doing well, but it's hard to believe that there's much more room for these talent "reality" competitions.

The One was supposed to be American Idol+, because we'd get to see the stars in the making, backstage, in the rehearsal studios, etc. But they didn't count on one thing: the show was terrible. I watched about 3 minutes of this thing and could tell right off the bat it was in trouble. George seemed to be holding his own, but the judges were sad and the look of the show was abysmal. Honestly, it looked like a CBC studio production (which the show was slated to be down the road - no word yet on whether or not that'll still happen, but given this terrible press, I somehow doubt it).

The beginning of the end for "reality" competitions? We can only hope...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Sun: it burns! It burns!!!

Ok, so maybe I'm not crazy.

See, I've had the sense all summer that the sun somehow, well, felt different.

Stop laughing.

I walk to work every day and I have just been under the impression that while the actual temperature may be in line with hazy summer days, this was only true when one stood in the shade. As soon as you exposed yourself to the sun - bam! It was a whole different story. The sun has been almost stinging in its intensity, it seems. This, to me, is unusual.

Am I crazy?

Maybe it's just me, 'cause, hey, I'm a sensitive guy (*wink*).

According to this, though, the heat is everywhere...

Bye bye Kazaa

Another Boing Boing piece.

Seems a settlement has been reached between the movie and music industries and the owner of Kazaa, the latest trendy file-sharing service.

It would appear Sharman Networks will fork over $155M and promise to filter out copyrighted works from the service. (Good luck)

While I'm shocked file-sharing proponent Cory Doctorow was not the contributor who posted this article (along with another diatribe as to why it was absolutely the wrong decision and steps on the God-given right of computer users to download an artist's material) I was pleased by the news.


(Although, granted, I was not privy to the arguments)

Look, you can argue all you want that file-sharing should be allowed. But in the end, you'd have to change copyright law in order to make it legal. Fair use CLEARLY does not cover Joe Blow downloading stuff off the net for his own kicks and making it available for his buddies to rip from him (and once again highlights how the Beatmax decision was flawed and short-sighted). It's the economy, stupid: things have to have value or the world goes to shit. If I write and record a song or shoot a movie, I have to have the right to control the distribution of that work. That's how I make money from putting in the effort and how the work retains value. If we all got everything for free, no one would work and there'd be nothing to get for free. Comprende, amigo?

That ain't workin'. That's the way you do it. Get your money for nothing, and your chicks for free.
- Dire Straights (1988)

Putting Death Tolls in Perspective

I'm back to my Boingboinging ways.

I liked this link that was posted today. It puts the death tolls in the Israel/Hezbollah conflict in perspective by giving it a visual representation. With all the news coverage, it's sometimes difficult to see the casualties for what they are: lost human lives (note that the Palestinian coffins represent all Palestinians, not just Hezbollah loyalists). Another guy obviously had the same thought I did when I read this and came up with a U.S. vs. Iraq version. The next time George W. Bush talks about war strategy and the need to do what he thinks is right, think of this.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

National Car Rental sucks

This blog has really fallen by the wayside, huh?

Anyhoo, here's a public service announcement for all you folks who might be moving in the foreseeable future: do NOT rent from National Car & Truck Rental.

I'm moving in a month (end August) and booked online. The National website quoted a very good rate for a Sunday move and had better hours than other rental agencies. Perfect. Book'em, Dan-O. I got an email notice that said my booking was pending (not unusual) and that I would get a call from a rep (which is unusual - usually you just get an email confirmation).

One week later - no call.

So, being the paranoid guy I am, I call them just to make sure everything's cool.

Good thing I did.

The dope on the other end babbles on incoherently. Finally, I manage to figure out that my online booking is essentially worthless. It's just a request which is not a booking until confirmed by a rep. Now, here's the stupid part: the rep won't call if there are no trucks available. The rep will only call if the trucks are available, and even then they may not call soon. The rep explained that if there were no trucks by mid-August (!!) I would get a call explaining that there were no availabilities.

Gee, thanks.

At that point, of course, I would be S-O-L in terms of finding a moving van elsewhere in time. I was stunned. I couldn't believe what this moron was telling me. By the end of the conversation, we were both annoyed at one another. Of course, I couldn't tell this guy to kiss my perfectly toned ass because I might actually need that long shot truck.

As fate would have it, I called Budget, where I expected to have to pay $159. Instead, I got a truck for the same moving day for $49.95!


I wrote a note to the National head office via their website, explained what happened, and told them I would spread the word about their ridiculous protocols.

My mission is done.

Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.
- Paul Gleason as Principal Vernon in "The Breakfast Club" (1985)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Maple Leafs lose Lindros, sign Peca

So John Ferguson Jr. (Leafs GM) has been pretty busy this offseason. Most Leafs fans would be very happy at the idea of their GM being busy, but when the man making the decisions is relatively incompetent, well...

The recent news is that the Leafs let Eric Lindros sign with the Dallas Stars instead of paying him more than the $750k offer that was on the table. Lindros wanted something in the neighbourhood of $1M, with incentives totaling $2M or so.

Now, it's been reported that the Leafs didn't like the incentives idea, perhaps because this leaves you with no clear idea of what your total salary is going to be. And in this day and age of salary caps, that's a risky proposition.

But in Lindros' case, you want a cheap deal with incentives. The knock on Lindros is that you never know what you're going to get - the stud or the dud. Last year, Lindros was a total stud - until he got hurt. Getting hurt is not a new thing for Lindros, but in this case it was a busted wrist, which is beyond his control and has nothing to do with his soft melon. In my opinion, Lindros was the best player on the ice for his 33 games and he gave the Leafs a presence on the ice and a deft scoring touch. I think they're gonna miss him.

Saying goodbye to Eric and his potential $2M salary (he signed with Dallas for $1.5 + incentives equaling a potential $2.5M salary), the Leafs turned their attention to Mike Peca. I like Peca. He's a defensive-minded forward (which is a polite way of saying he doesn't score a lot) and goodness knows the Leafs need help in their own end. But at $4M last year with the Oilers (and 9 goals or so), Peca had to be considered overpaid. But he's a playoff performer (see Claude Lemieux for other example) and that's when he pays dividends.

...Of course you have to GET to the playoffs first, right boys?

One thing's for sure: this is not last year's team. Yes, some of the good ol' boys are back (Sundin, Tucker, McCabe, Kaberle, O'Neill and *gulp* Antropov - why JFJ? WHY????) but the Leafs have shed some major names (Belfour, Lindros...Allison? - fingers crossed, fingers crossed) and picked up some others (Raycroft, Peca, hopefully another winger).

It'll be interesting to see how it plays out on the ice. If the team doesn't improve greatly, though, I hope the first butt thrown out the Air Canada Centre doors is Ferguson's.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

9/11 Pentagon crash

Conspiracy theorists of the world unite!

You know, I've always thought there was something weird about the Pentagon crash.

Sure, it didn't happen over downtown Manhattan, but still there should be a dozen or so camera angles from various places...but I have yet to see one. Or, at least one that shows a plane.

Although apparently camera angles do exist...

This dude (and others if you search YouTube) believe the Pentagon was hit not by a plane, but by a missile. You gotta hand it to them - they make a semi-convincing argument, especially in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Check it out.

Songs of the Salamander

About a week ago, my sister in Montreal sent me a link to a blog she thought I might enjoy.

Since I put no stock in her opinion or tastes, it took me a while to get around to it. I must admit, however, that I got a bit of a chuckle out of this one.

I wonder, though, if she sent me the link based on the article on hair loss (oh, you bitch!).

Man, I'm sitting at "III vertex" on that list with "IV" quickly approaching. As the man says: "Holy F**k!"

But what I like about this blog is what I tend to like about blogs in general: the use of voice. See, when a blogger takes on a personality it makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable (not that reading is ever enjoyable!).

I can't put on too much of a character voice here, unfortunately, since...well...only my friends read this thing anyways. or two at least.

I'll admit that I chuckle when I read blogs that are of the Denis Leary variety. This is bad, since I already swear entirely too much and have a habit of making inappropriate jokes in inappropriate situations.

My wit is a gift and a curse, I tell you.

Working hard to get my Phil,
Everybody wants a Thrill
- Journey "Don't Stop Believing"

Monday, July 10, 2006

It's the economy, stupid.

I shook my head at this one. Then I laughed. Then I shook my head some more.

The headline on read: "Is it Over for YouTube?"

Being a casual visitor to YouTube, I was curious and read the article. It boiled down to this one quote:

"Josh Martin, an IDC research analyst, issued a report Thursday asserting that YouTube will struggle to squeeze profits from its video-sharing business, primarily because its audience has grown accustomed to paying nothing for the service. "

Gee, you think?

It used to be that the way to make money was to offer someone a valuable service or item for which they were willing to trade currency. Nope, not anymore. World, meet the Internet - aka the "Cyber Wal-Mart" where the lowest price (see "zero") is the law. If it ain't free, it'd better be porn.

While no one in their right mind would argue that the internet is not a fantastic invention with extremely valuable applications, it has also opened the floodgates for economic anarchy. And don't give me this "old business models just need to be replaced by new ones." Bullshit, Cory, STFU. The internet, like television, is seen as a means of making money largely because of the commercial applications (electronic retailing) and, you guessed it, advertising. Money makes the world go round. Fortunately for the internet, there are still ad agencies out there that think people read the ads that appear on popular sites - so if your site is popular, hey, cha-ching!

...But I don't read those you? Does anyone?

And watch out: as soon as all those ad execs realize that no one is watching, there'll be a lot more "Is it over for (blank)" articles.