Thursday, July 19, 2007

Valentino's Bad Side

If you want to understand why men of previous times may not have taken women very seriously, all you have to do is watch Rudolph Valentino in "The Sheik" with the knowledge that women were swooning over him because of it. It's just awful. He's basically a grinning idiot through the entire movie.

Almost any other Valentino movie is better. I just watched "Cobra" from 1925. He does quite well. From certain angles he resembles Ben Affleck:





Here's clever bit of screen magic. He says good-bye to the only woman he will ever love:


And as he turns away, the glint of a tear is revealed in his eye:


But there was no special magic that could hide this... Rudolph Valentino had a big butt:



Usually when you see a man with a butt that big he's got a giant red wig on and oversized red shoes and he's trying to sell you a Big Mac.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Strike Watch


There's a passage in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" where the philosophers threaten to go on strike. "Who will that inconvenience?" is the reply.

If you read showbiz stuff you may be aware that there is a looming strike by the Writer's Guild of America over things like pay and residuals. Apparently a fearsome prospect. It's not that I think the producers of American TV and motion pictures are paying writers too much, but I'd think a writer's strike would be about the easiest strike of all to break.

There can't possibly be a shortage of people willing and able to crank out crap just as bad as what is being written now, can there?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

From the Valley of the Uncanny Green Giant

I hope Ray Harryhausen had no part in this.


I used to have nightmares about the Jolly Green Giant. Now I know they were justified.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Remote Control Airship c. 1912



"Anthony's Wireless Airship." A small powered blimp used in 1912 to demonstrate remote control of aircraft by wireless telegraphy.


Historic first telegraphic commands to the mechanical pilot:

TAKEOFF STOP
TURN LEFT STOP
GO FORWARD STOP
WAIT I DIDNT MEAN TO REALLY STOP I JUST DO THAT TO END SENTENCES BECAUSE THERES NO WAY TO MAKE A PERIOD IN MORSE CODE STOP
NO THAT ONE DIDNT COUNT EITHER STOP
GAHHH JUST COME BACK HERE WE NEED TO FIGURE THIS OUT BETTER STOP

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Dog Attack

I was walking my dog down the street and come upon another guy walking his dog. But his dog isn't on a leash and it immediately runs over, bites my dog by the neck and starts shaking him. When I pull my dog away, his dog bites me too.


The guy wouldn't tell me his name or anything he just took his dog and disappeared real quick.

Now, you're probably thinking that isn't a very serious bite, but I'm thinking how serious does if have to be to transmit rabies? You're probably thinking that any responsible dog owner would have gotten his dog his rabies shots, but I'm thinking what responsible dog owner walks his dog out on the streets without a leash?

I'd also think that an unleashed dog running around biting people would be a public health concern, but no, it's not. I called 911 and they had zero interest and referred me to Animal Control. Animal Control said their time frame for acting on a complaint was 10 days. 10 days is too late to decide if someone bitten needs to be vaccinated.

When I was growing up in Minnesota I remember there would be an urgent appeal on TV and radio every now and then to find a dog that had bitten a child(!). And if the dog wasn't found the child(!) would have to undergo "a painful series of rabies shots." "Rabies shots" was always preceded by "a painful series of" in every account. It seems to be a standard journalistic device. But no one alerts the media anymore.

So why not get a rabies shot, just in case? It turns out that rabies shots for humans cost about $1200. It might as well be $100,000 at that price. I decided it wasn't worth it to stick around in this crappy world where dogs bite you and no one really cares that they do.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Vegetable Thief

I had a some promising butternut squash growing in my patch on the side of the house, but someone has taken them. I'd love to tell him what I used for fertilizer there.