No, not football. The immortal WKRP turkey drop episode, of course...
What are you thankful for? Because, really, it doesn't get much better than this...
Here's our posts from last year, and a year or two before. This stuff never gets old. The moral of this story? You can't trust the system. Also, don't deep fry your turkey, no matter how enticing it looks on Alton Brown. Do brine your turkey before roasting, however.
And give thanks you aren't any one of the turkeys in those videos. (No, I don't mean the birds.)
Update: Steve Hayward makes it look soooooo easy. No fireballs, explosion, shrieks of alarm or anything. Worst. Video. Ever.
Now, another politician's famous and controversial...er,... accessory is blogging.
Cool mash-up featuring the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage" set to scenes from "The Empire Strikes Back." (Via Ace of Spades.)
I like these dumb bits -- I guess they're called "wedgies" -- that Cartoon Network runs between shows. Oink! Oink! Oink!
In response to some provocation by the Phlegms, The Telegraph of London offers "10 reasons to dislike the Belgians." But, really, all they had to do was post this...
Jeffrey Jena at Big Hollywood explains what the 'V' controversy is -- and isn't -- all about:
As it happens, I’m acquainted with Scott Peters who developed and wrote the remake of “V” for ABC...
When I started reading some of the rumors and theories about Mr. Peters’ latest show and the behind-the-scenes politics, I laughed out loud. Let me try to shed some light on the “V” controversy.
The script was not written as a roman a clef or allegory for the Obama administration. The script was written by Mr. Peters during the Bush administration and started before Mr. Obama clinched the nomination. The author, Mr. Peters, is not some evil sleeper right-winger/Obama hater. Mr. Peters, besides being a talented writer and director is a gay man, legally married in California, and a liberal supporter of the President who worked for and donated money to the his campaign. If he’s a mole for some right-wing conspiracy he may be the most committed spy ever. Mr. Peters, who was born in Canada, recently became an American citizen; a process he tried to expedite so he could vote for Mr. Obama, a deadline he missed by two days.
This video isn't exactly new, but Mrs. Zaius hipped me to it tonight, and I thought I'd share it for the sake of our five readers who would like a diversion from the usual flotsam and jetsam around here. The California Lakelys saw The New Pornographers open for Death Cab for Cutie a few months ago at the Hollywood Bowl (though we were hip to the band before the show). They're worth exploring.
Anyway, this video was reportedly made by high school kids at Millburn High School in Essex County, New Jersey. (There's a gratuitous hit at George W. Bush in the credits ... but they are high school kids ... sigh ....) And The New Pornographers liked it so much, they approved it as an "official" video for "The Bleeding Heart Show" off the Twin Cinema album from 2005.
Great song from the Canadian Band, and an inspired video (made me think of They Might Be Giants in the early years.)
Although I know who Lady Gaga is, I can honestly say I've never heard her song, "Poker Face." And I'm not sure I could hear it now that I've experienced Eric Cartman's cover and Christopher Walken's dramatic reading.
Videos embedded below (click on "Read more" to view).
It's a question every parent confronts sooner or later: When do I introduce the children to the collected works of H.P. Lovecraft? Isn't there a way to ease the kids into the chaotic world of Cthulu and the Ancient Ones? Is 18-months-old too early... or too late?
Happily, now there is an answer...
I've made no secret of my love for classical music and my ever-present regret over failing to grow a beard like that of Johannes Brahms. Turns out, I've been eating the wrong breakfast cereal. (At least, I think that's what this commercial is about...)
SNL was a rerun tonight -- it was the one with the Obama sketch that major cable news networks thought worthy of "fact-checking." Anyway, I thought this Andy Samberg short was funny... perhaps because I'm not part of your system, maaaaaaaan! Or perhaps because I've had too much to drink.
No angst-ridden meditation on childhood or twee indie soundtrack here, I can tell you...
(Hat tip: Kathy Shaidle on Twitter)
LONDON (Reuters) - Many prehistoric Australian aboriginals could have outrun world 100 and 200 meters record holder Usain Bolt in modern conditions.
Some Tutsi men in Rwanda exceeded the current world high jump record of 2.45 meters during initiation ceremonies in which they had to jump at least their own height to progress to manhood.
Any Neanderthal woman could have beaten former bodybuilder and current California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an arm wrestle.
These and other eye-catching claims are detailed in a book by Australian anthropologist Peter McAllister entitled "Manthropology" and provocatively sub-titled "The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male."
McAllister sets out his stall in the opening sentence of the prologue.
"If you're reading this then you -- or the male you have bought it for -- are the worst man in history.
"No ifs, no buts -- the worst man, period...As a class we are in fact the sorriest cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk the planet."
Speak for yourself, egghead.
Sure, this makes perfect sense. When prehistoric man has few tools to work with and had to chase prey on foot, the fastest, strongest and most nimble survived, and the slow-footed starved, died out and didn't reproduce.
Yet since we Monkeys place somewhere between the first and second figure above — and have the steel-trap brains of Modern Man ... well, perhaps the comments around here should be a little more polite. You wouldn't want your mild mannered Dr. Z running over to your house and dispatching you like an antelope, now would you?
UPDATE: They want me to start on the show at 3 p.m. Pacific Time (6 p.m. Eastern), and I'm game but awaiting confirmation.
I just received an invitation to be the Hugh Hewitt Show today (Friday, Oct. 23).
Guest host Carol Platt Liebau will be interviewing me about net neutrality at at 3:20 p.m. Pacific Time.
Tune in if you happen to live in one of the 150 markets where Hugh's Show is broadcast.
Got so busy with other work, I forgot to mention that an oped I penned in my duties with The Heartland Institute was published in today's Washington Examiner. I'd like to thank the academy, and the editors of that fine paper's opinion pages, for this honor.
The subject is Net Neutrality, which has finally gotten the attention of Dragon Slayer Glenn Beck. And considering his track record, that's a very good development. Here's a taste, but you can click here to read the whole thing:
Advocates of imposing "network neutrality" say it's necessary to ensure a "free" and "open" Internet and rescue the public from nefarious corporations that "control" technology.
Few proposals in Washington have been sold employing such deceptive language -- and that's saying something. But few public policy ideas can boast the unashamedly socialist pedigree of net neutrality. ...
The concept can be traced to an iconoclastic figure, Richard Stallman, a self-described software freedom activist who introduced the term "copyleft" in the mid-1980s. In his 2002 essay "Free Software, Free Society," Stallman fiercely attacks the idea that intellectual property rights are one of the keystones of individual liberty, so important that patents and copyrights are affirmatively protected in the body of the Constitution. ...
Most bold and radical of the neutralists is Robert W. McChesney, founder of Free Press -- the leading advocacy group in Washington pushing for net neutrality. In an August interview with a Canadian Marxist online publication called the Bullet, McChesney rejoices that net neutrality can finally bring about the Marxist "revolution."
"At the moment, the battle over network neutrality is not to completely eliminate the telephone and cable companies," McChesney said. "We are not at that point yet. But the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control."
If only a majority of the Federal Communications Commission believed as Robert McDowell does. The headline above is a paraphrase, but gets the gist of what McDowell said at The Heritage Foundation's "Bloggers Briefing" Tuesday morning (I listened in).
Anyone who likes the Internet as it is now, and would like to see even more innovation and investment in the future, needs to get hip to the arcane subject of "net neutrality." In short, the FCC is trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist so it can regulate the Web from both ends — content creation and its delivery to all of us. I write about this issue extensively for The Heartland Institute, and in fact have recently completed a policy study on the subject. Click here if you're interested in a pretty thorough run-down. I've also done some radio spots talking about this subject here and here.
Anyway, by late spring or early summer of 2010, the FCC will very likely be micromanaging the Internet when a sweeping net neutrality rule is officially adopted. Here are some highlights from McDowell's almost hour-long talk — of which I posted at more length at the From the Heartland blog.
McDowell questions whether the FCC even has the authority to regulate the Internet by imposing net neutrality rules — and is especially concerned that new chairman Julius Genachowski intends to put net neutrality in the commission's "broad .. Title I bucket." ... (Click on "Read more" beneath the icons below for more.)
Forgive all the "uhms" I commit in this interview. I must work on that!
Anyway, I was honored to be a guest on American Journal Radio, to talk about Net Neutrality, and the danger it poses to Internet freedom by the imposition of government regulation of the Web.
To listen to me speak (I lead off the show), click on the American Journal Radio's home page and then on the "Steaming Download" window on the right column, then be sure to click on Oct. 8 edition of the program.
I was on this story weeks ago fulfilling my duties for The Heartland Institute. We published a story about it in the October edition of Infotech & Telecom News. So it's good to see the MSM get on the train, though after the Federal Trade Commission had already issued rules regulating bloggers.
The Federal Trade Commission will try to regulate blogging for the first time, requiring writers on the Web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.
The FTC said Monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final Web guidelines, which had been expected. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews.
How absurd and overreaching is this? If, say, a blogger got a free product from some manufacturer — or even a review copy of a book — and that blogger offered his opinion, a punitive fine comes down from Uncle Sam if the blogger does not disclose how that product landed in his or her hands. I'm no lawyer, but the "reimburse consumers for financial losses" clause seems to be an open-ended sop to the trial bar. And how does one know he's disclosed enough information to satisfy the Web's minders? Well ... that's up in the air. But you'd better not screw up.
The commission stopped short of specifying how bloggers must disclose conflicts of interest. Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be "clear and conspicuous," no matter what form it will take.
So ... it will be up to the FTC to decide of a blogger's "disclosure" was "clear and conspicuous" enough. Nice. And if you and the FTC see things differently (a guarantee), prepare to answer this question: Is it cheaper to pay the up-to $11,000 fine for each "offense," or the services of a lawyer to defend your right to offer your opinion on the Web? This bit of nonsense from the Fox News story really irritates me, since I've worked in newspapers most of my nearly 20-year journalism career:
Bloggers have long praised or panned products and services online. But what some consumers might not know is that many companies pay reviewers for their write-ups or give them free products such as toys or computers or trips to Disneyland. In contrast, at traditional journalism outlets, products borrowed for reviews generally have to be returned. [emphasis mine].
(Kindly click Read more beneath the icons below to ... well ... read more. I get on a roll.)
It was my honor to be on the G. Gordon Liddy Show Friday, Oct. 1. We talked about the FCC's attempt to more strictly regulate the Internet — which is not a good idea, for many reasons.
CLICK HERE and a new window playing the MP3 should open.
This video is all over the place, so why not here? (Consider this a lame offering in lieu of something more substantive on Gore Vidal's and John Perry's madness, or indignation over Alan Grayson's calumny on the House floor, or a long-overdue post on why the stimulus really hasn't worked as advertised, or more Whoopi.)
And so am I. Otherwise, we'd probably be hearing more about this lame tempest in a teapot:
The MTV Awards once again earned its reputation for tawdry entertainment by broadcasting Jack Black praying to the devil. The comedian, who was hawking a heavy metal video game called Brütal Legend, asked the "Dear Dark Lord Satan" to bless the rock star nominees with "continued success in the music industry."
I guess the Newsbusters people aren't Tenacious D fans. (Not really safe for work, and spoiler warning.)
Via FilmDrunk (whence I stole yet another headline) comes news of the Norwegian formerly known as Andreas Jankov:
"I wanted to show that it is possible to be serious and at the same time take the name you like," said Julius Andreas Gimli Arn MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov. The movie enthusiast decided to change his name three years ago after radio host and comedian Espen Thoresen changed his name to Espen Thoresen-Hværsaagod-Takkskalduha.
I guess that's cooler than Julius Andreas Gimli Donknotts MacGyver Chewbacka Highlander Elessar-Jankov. But not by much.
By the way, you should really click through to the FilmDrunk link for a picture of Jankov. The new name is somehow fitting.
And, I think you will agree by the end, this goose is thoroughly cooked:
(Hat tip: Crywalt via the Incomparable e-mail list)
Some monkeys seem to like Metallica, but not because of James Hetfield's adolescent lyrics, you can be certain of that!
This story has been dominating as Drudge's main headline all day. Trouble is, the story isn't exactly new. I wrote a column on this bill — the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 — back in April, which was published in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Go here to read my column, which invokes Jack Bauer.
And go here to see my post on this rather troubling development at the From the Heartland blog.
Police nationwide are on the lookout for attractive teen girls wandering by themselves, according to this report.
(Via Geek Tyrant.)
We've had a relatively mild summer here in Southern California. I know this because my electricity bill last month was a modest $213. This time a year ago, I was going into hock and selling my blood to pay a bill just shy of $300. This time next year, I might not get off so cheaply if legislators and policymakers in Sacramento and Washington D.C. have their way.
The lead editorial in Tuesday's Press-Enterprise concerns California's green power utopianism. The editors write:
California needs a reliable energy system, not trophy political achievements. Enacting a new clean-power mandate will not magically remove the obstacles hindering renewable energy development. So before the Legislature sets a new goal for the use of alternative energy, legislators need to explain how the state can realistically meet that target.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last year signed an executive order calling for California's electric utilities to get 33 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2020. Renewable energy includes solar, wind and geothermal power, along with other alternative sources of electricity. And SB 14, by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto, would codify that target, and its enforcement, into law. The bill passed the Senate in March, and is now pending Assembly action.
But some devilish details obstruct the path to that goal -- issues the legislation seems largely to ignore. State law already requires California's three big private utilities, including Southern California Edison, to get 20 percent of their power from renewable energy by next year. But the state's Public Utilities Commission says the utility companies will not hit the 20 percent renewable goal until 2013 or 2014, well past the 2010 deadline.
The editorial mentions a few fun facts, such as how it often takes 10 years to clear the requisite bureaucratic and legal hurdles to build a new transmission line. The governor's mandate and the bill currently under consideration in the Legislature would do nothing -- nothing at all -- to reduce any of that red tape.
If anyone doubts just how slow this process is, re-read the first part of this series. I posted it 13 months ago. The issues are the same. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is still trying to win approval for the transmission line it wants to construct from a geothermal facility at the Salton Sea. The utility hopes to have the line finished by 2014 -- five hot summers from now.
"The trouble with geeks," Poulos writes, "is that for them, a human love story isn’t cool enough — is simply boring."
That may be the trouble with geeks. I'm not so certain. But what's the trouble with the Avatar teaser trailer? I liked the comment I read somewhere -- I can't find it now -- that it looks like "Halo meets Ferngully." Of course, everybody wrote off "Titanic," too. (Rightly so. Terrible film...)