You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lorkink voor ze TRUTF abort Zarah GON nor

Okay - so how does this fit with the concurrent TV series that stars the photogenic Queen Gorgo as Sarah Connor and Summer "Me? Typecast? Schmypecast!" Glau as another deceptively petite trained combat machine? Has the Terminator franchise splintered irreparably among different media or for different works, as have James Bond, Middle Earth and Batman before it?

Monday, February 25, 2008

No, but Goering created Jar-Jar Binks

[UPDATE: How could I have forgotten? It was Jar-Jar himself who helped, sort of, to create the Stormtroopers.]

"Roger Myers senior, the gentle genius behind Itchy and Scratchy, loved and cared about almost all the peoples of the world. And he, in turn, was beloved by the world... except in 1938, when he was criticized for his controversial cartoon 'Nazi Supermen Are Our Superiors'."

"Did Adolf Hitler draw Disney characters?"

The Telegraph (UK) 23 February 2008)

The director of a Norwegian museum claimed yesterday to have discovered cartoons drawn by Adolf Hitler during the Second World War.

William Hakvaag, the director of a war museum in northern Norway, said he found the drawings hidden in a painting signed "A Hitler" that he bought at an auction in Germany.

The Snow White characters Bashful and Doc, which the museum director William Hakvaag believes were drawn by Hitler, along with a sketch of Pinocchio

He found coloured cartoons of the characters Bashful and Doc from the 1937 Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which were signed AH, and an unsigned sketch of Pinocchio as he appeared in the 1940 Disney film.

Hitler tried to make a living as an artist before his rise to power. While there was no independent confirmation yesterday that the drawings were the work of the Nazi leader, Hitler is known to have owned a copy of Snow White, the classic animated adaptation of a German fairy tale, and to have viewed it in his private cinema.

Mr Hakvaag, who said he had performed tests on the paintings which suggested that they dated from 1940, said: "I am 100 per cent sure that these are drawings by Hitler. If one wanted to make a forgery, one would never hide it in the back of a picture, where it might never be discovered."

The initials on the sketches, and the signature on the painting, matched other copies of Hitler's handwriting, he claimed.

"Hitler had a copy of Snow White," he said. "He thought this was one of the best movies ever made."

Discoveries of Nazi-era memorabilia have repeatedly turned out to be mistaken or the result of a hoax. However, art attributed to Hitler continues to sell at auction, even if its provenance is far from complete.

Nineteen watercolours and two sketches said to be by Hitler were sold in Britain two years ago for a total of £118,000.

The auction firm Jefferys said the seller did everything possible to authenticate the works.

The pictures of cottages and rural scenes were found in a farmhouse in Belgium and were believed to have been painted while Hitler was a young soldier in the country during the First World War.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

"The suggestion that gamma rays would make the fridge redundant was voted the worst."


'... Back in the '50s, Hollywood assumed that by 2000 the American cities would be utopias served by an army of robot servants. So we shouldn’t exactly be bursting with pride over the fact that here in the future we’ve replaced "robots" with "grossly underpaid immigrants"...' (Cracked)


'... If you'd asked someone 30 years ago what the future would hold, their list might have included: (A) Personal hoverpacks; (B) Roast dinner and vanilla ice-cream flavoured protein pills; and (C) Silver unisex body-suits. If you ask someone today, the list is (A) Global warming; (B) Massive species extinction including the hideous drowning of all polar bears; and (C) Violent, desperate, escalating wars over oil and water.
Let's face it, if the future were a holiday destination, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would have issued a high-alert travel warning...'

- Fiona Scott-Norman, "A seriously good giggle: Many of the performers at this year's Comedy Festival are striving for social relevance along with laughs," Melbourne Age (14 March 2008).

* * * * * *

Take that, Curto! Climb aboard the atomic helicopter parked on the roof of your 300-story high apartment block on the Great Barrier Reef and fly off to Moon City One to hide yourself in shame!


Future homeowners: Two models in 1956 in a mock-up of future housework. Step into your nylon tights, pull a polyester chair near to the popup table and relax. Because this is the luxury of 21stcentury living - Fifties style.
Half a century ago, the Daily Mail's Ideal Home Show included its first House of the Future.
Designed by radical architects Alison and Peter Smithson, it was their prediction for the style of living we would enjoy today. And how very backward it makes us look.
In their house, there was no refrigerator. Instead, gamma rays blasted meat, fish and dairy products to kill germs. The kitchen hob was a thing of the past - electric pans made supper on any surface.
And although most of us believe a particularly squishy sofa is a must for modern living, the designers thought soft furnishing would be history by now.
They predicted that we would relax on glass reinforced polyester chairs - and tables would rise from the floor at the press of a switch.
Showers would wash the user - and then blow him or her dry, while thermostatic controls around the house would allow us to abandon our different togs of duvets and sleep under one nylon sheet.
In fact, designers predicted nylon would be our favourite material. Even the male model, Peter, wears thick nylon tights. Sportswear designer Teddy Tinling who designed the models' clothing, said at the time: "The clothes worn by the man are plain and unembellished. This is in keeping with the times, a kind of Superman trend to fit in with the Space Age."
To mark the show's centenary, show organisers looked back at some of the most memorable predictions from the 1956 House of the Future.
The suggestion that gamma rays would make the fridge redundant was voted the worst.
But because many homes did not have a fridge in 1956, perhaps it is understandable that the designers did not predict our modern reliance on it.
The furniture and fittings in the one-bedroom showhouse were made from materials available since the Second World War, such as moulded plastics, stainless steel and glass fibre. Although we do use those materials at home today, the prediction that we would live in a series of plastic pods joined by passageways proved a little extreme.
Other worst predictions include electric folding front doors and a warm air curtain to remove dust.
But there are a few, such as the self-cleaning bath and the dishwasher that scrapes the plates, that we might wish had become a part of life.
Others will strike a chord with today's innovators. The roof was curved and dished to allow sunlight to penetrate and rainwater would flow to a central point to water a central patio garden.
Some predictions were spot-on. The designers thought we would use shortwave transmitters to turn on the TV and high-frequency ovens for cooking at high speeds - now remote controls and microwave ovens.
Spokesman for the show Maxine Soghmanian said it had "launched countless household products from the first-ever electric kettle (1920) to the largest home plasma screen (2006), but we have to admit some of the predictions in the Fifties were a bit off the mark."...
- Beth Hale, " Folding front doors and blow-dry showers: How a 1956 vision of today's homes got it wrong", Daily Mail (UK) (13 February 2008)

"Gag me" - Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon wants her children to be bullied at school. The Legally Blonde actress... says being teased in school helps build character. She said: "I wouldn't want my children to miss out on any of that teasing and bullying - don't you think it kind of makes you who you are? I distinctly recall the two weeks of crying because I didn't make the softball team. It made me interesting. Hopefully, it helps kids really understand who they are. You know, figure out who they are."...

- "Bullying good for kids - Witherspoon," Melbourne Age (13 February 2008)

Memo... Reese? Being bullied is, like, seau teautally UNlike not making the softball team.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How the names of popular music bands have evolved


"[Full Name] and the [Plural Nouns]"


"Billy Jones and the Refrigerators", "Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Trio"


"The [Plural Nouns]"


"The Beatles," "The Byrds," "The Rolling Stones," "The Mamas and Papas", "The Tremeloes"


"[Adjective] [Completely Unrelated Noun]" (as two separate words)


"Deep Purple," "Led Zeppelin," "Def Leppard"


"The [Random Singular Noun]" (definite article optional)


"The Knack," "The Verve," "Queen", "Prince", "King", "Princess"


Wistful, gazing-at-departed-sister"s-abandoned-swing-set name, to go with sleeve artwork showing drawful of random toys filmed in sepia


"Something For Kate", "Rebecca"s Empire", "Fairground Attraction"


"[Adjective/Unrelated Noun]" (as one single composite word)


"Wolfcartridge," "Guncider," "Howlmother," "Stinkfinger"

Monday, February 11, 2008

Liam Neeson meets Doc Neeson

... inasmuch as intergalactic wars are herein combined with offensive rock-song lyrics, in the same posting, probably first time in history.

Aliens could misinterpret earth's classic songs as declarations of war if they are recklessly broadcast into space, some scientists say.
Last week NASA broadcast a Beatles song, Across the Universe, towards the North Star, in the hope it would be noticed by extra-terrestrial beings.

But scientists have urged NASA to be more cautious, saying aliens could misinterpret the song, and even take it as a battle cry.

"Before sending out even symbolic messages, we need an open discussion about the potential risks," New Scientist magazine reported Dr Douglas Vakoch of the SETI Institute as saying.

Professor Barrie Jones of Open University said: "the chances are slight, but the consequences would be huge - the end of life on Earth".

"If they have the technology to cross interstellar space to reach us, they will be so much in advance of us humans that there is nothing we could do to resist them," he said.
SETI - the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence - has been listening to the skies for the last 20 years.

The program uses radio telescopes to scan for any messages or noises that may indicate the existence of life on other planets.

Scientist Ainin De Horta, from the SETI Australia Centre, said the there could be dangers in broadcasting songs into deep space.

But he didn't think it would lead to an intergalactic war.

"I think the chances are pretty unlikely that it'll lead to an alien invasion, but I do think there is a point that this should be discussed by the whole world, because who knows what'll happen," Mr De Horta said.

"I think it's highly unlikely that this message will cause a reaction, and that it'll cause a reaction in our lifetime."

Radio waves travel through space at the speed of light or nearly 300,000 km per second.

The first radio transmission, sent in the 1920s, would have travelled nearly 90 light years by now.

"It's not like picking up the phone and ringing me for instance," Mr De Horta said.

"We're talking about vast distances and a response would take years from even the closet star."

SETI has had a few close calls, or what they call "candidates", but Mr De Horta says any authentic messages would have been identified.

"We get what we call candidates every so often, but none of them turn out to be something that can't be explained, like a statistical anomaly or equipment glitch."

The nearest star to Earth, Alpha Proxima, is four light years away.

- Phil Han, "Space songs 'could attract alien danger'," NineMSN News (Friday 8 February 2008)
Yeah, right. Like anyone, no matter how removed from normal Terrestrial life, could ever misinterpret a simple, straightforward Beatles song like, say, "Helter-Skelter."

"Phil Han"... what, shouldn't his nom-de-plume be "Solo K Dick"?

And couldn't de Horta just explain to the aliens "I'm a rock singer, dammit, not a galactic warrior!"?.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Stonagal vs McGonagall

"... The little similarities go on. Both books present the media as corrupt or easily corruptible. The Left Behind tribulation takes seven years; so does Hogwarts'. [Nicolae] Carpathia takes the form of a snake; Voldemort takes the form of a lizard, and Harry is able to tap into the evil world by speaking snake (parseltongue). And in both, the good guys bear a special "mark" - on their foreheads! - that protects them...

"Bad guys' wormy sidekicks. Voldemort's helper is Wormtail. In Left Behind, it's the foppish Leon Fortunato and one named Cankerworm. Presumably they were influenced by CS Lewis' Wormwood [in The Screwtape Letters], or Grima Wormtongue in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings..."

- Steven Waldman, "No Wizard Left Behind: Harry Potter and Left Behind are more alike than you might think," Slate (18 May 2004).

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Seems t'me thut a feller oughter choose his side, ma'am. Ah'm jerst sayin'

Sorry, Sir Ian - if you accept a role in the film version of a Phillip Pullman or Dan Brown novel, then you get blacklisted by the Tolkien Estate. That is the Law. There is a war coming, whether you will it or no. Choose this day where you will stand. Otherwise you will end up as deeply deadlocked as the House of Popplewell in the Pullman vs Lewis and Pullman vs Tolkien theologomachies.

"McKellen hopes to reprise Gandalf role"

ABC News (Monday 15 October 2007)

... British actor Sir Ian McKellen is wrapping up the American leg of his worldwide tour as King Lear and says he will not mind returning to the Shire to reprise his role as the wizard Gandalf for a film version of The Hobbit if and when that happens.

Making The Hobbit has not been an easy task since Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson got into a legal battle with studio New Line Cinema over royalties - a fight that may be close to being settled after a lot of name calling.

McKellen says he is rooting for Jackson to direct The Hobbit, but he has the Oscar-winning director's blessing to play Gandalf one way or the other.

"When Peter announced he had withdrawn from The Hobbit, he sent me an email saying 'Because I am not going to do it, it doesn't mean you have to do the same. Of course, you must play Gandalf whether I direct or not'," he said...

Of The Hobbit project, he says: "I am glad to read that it is looking more and more likely ... I would be disappointed if they didn't want to have the original Gandalf. I suppose if I am still functioning and working well, it is very likely I would be asked to do it and if I were, I would be very pleased to do it."...


'... Popplewell faces misdemeanour charges for not having a liquor license, but will not be charged over the 10-inch (25-cm) baby snakes in the bottles...'

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Lord's Anointed

... Few [American] Catholics believe that a [Presidential] candidate is disqualified [solely] by being a Mormon. The reason is obvious: Catholics are accustomed to having heretics in the White House. Jews likewise are not offended that the president is not one of their own. This is and always has been a dominantly Protestant country. With the exception of JFK, who, sad to say, was not much of a Catholic, Catholics are accustomed to having presidents who are, in their view, religiously wrongheaded. Evangelicals, by way of contrast, are accustomed to thinking of America as a Christian nation, meaning a Protestant nation. For many who lack a fully developed ecclesiology, America is something very much like their church. You don't want a heretic as the head of your church...
- Fr Richard John Neuhaus, "Mitt Romney on Faith in America," First Things "On the Square" blog (Friday 7 December 2007)
And while we're on the topic of combining the offices of President of the United States and Free-Church-Protestant Pope...

Thousands of Baptists - black, white, theologically conservative, moderate, Republican and Democrat - opened on Wednesday a historic meeting that former president Jimmy Carter called "the most momentous event" of his religious life.

The gathering is billed as the broadest of its kind among Baptists across North America since they split over slavery in 1845. The cause is unity across racial, theological and political lines and an end to their internal divisions.

"For the first time in more than 160 years, we are convening a major gathering of Baptists throughout an entire continent, without any threat to our unity caused by differences of our race or politics or geography or the legalistic interpretation of Scripture," said Carter, 84, who spearheaded the new movement.

Up to 20,000 Baptists are expected to attend the three-day gathering, called the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, in Atlanta. Over 30 organizations representing 20 million Baptists are making the unity effort on the common platform of the gospel - salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ - and biblical mandates such as helping the poor.

It's an assembly that has never happened before, the Baptists emphasize... Carter, a longtime Bible teacher and a Baptist since he was a child, described animosity among Christians as "a cancer metastasizing in the body of Christ" and it's that divisive image of Christians that is prevailing today, he said...

Dispelling early rumors that the convocation may be a Democratic rally considering it takes place just ahead of primaries on Super Tuesday and involves former president Bill Clinton and former vice president Al Gore, Carter stressed to the media, "We are doing everything we can and have for the last two years to avoid any sort of racial division, philosophical division, theological division, geographical division or political division here at this assembly."

Also clarifying that they are not trying to exclude anyone, including the conservative Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Carter said he and SBC President Frank Page exchanged positive letters recently and hopes they can work together.

Carter and many other Baptists had severed ties with the SBC after the conservative resurgence when conservatives took control of the denomination in the 1970s and 1980s. SBC remains the largest US Baptist and largest Protestant denomination in the country.

While SBC head Page and other top leaders from the conservative group are not participating in the Atlanta meeting this week over concerns of a possible political slant, pastors and lay members from Southern Baptist churches are attending, Carter affirmed.

- Lillian Kwon, "Carter Launches Bold Baptist Movement to End Factions," Christian Post (Thursday 31 January 2008)

UPDATE: Now Mr Carter has, in virtue of the office and appurtenant dignities irrefrageably annexed unto his very person, been exercising his Sixtus Sense.