Archive for February, 2010

What does the nut do in pajamas?

February 28, 2010

What does the nut do in pajamas?

Okay, I listen to TV theme songs.  No, not just when the show starts…I put together a CD of theme songs (all legally, of course), and it runs about ten and a half hours.  I’ve listened to that a lot in the car, and I use it during breaks when I teach classes.  People tend to like that, by the way…I even get requests.  🙂

It’s funny which ones people know.  Everybody seems to know The A-Team.  A surprising number of people know Quantum Leap.  Why is that suprising?  Well, neither of those have lyrics…that presumably makes it harder.

Sure, we may get exposed to theme songs on a weekly basis (some, like Thundercats, five times a week…yes, a lot of my students know that one, too).  But sometimes, that was twenty, thirty, fifty years ago.  Still, that music can stick with you.

What about the words, though?  What if we take those out of context?  Will you still know them?

I’m going to predict right now that you won’t know all of these.  They’ll all be national shows…you could have seen them (and heard them).  You might surprise me, though.  🙂  Researching on the web is…well, not cheating, but not the same as remembering it.  Answers tomorrow.

1. What can you see are all the same?

2. What makes her lose control?

3. What does the nut do in pajamas?

4. What will you hear if you sit right back?

5. What is it like you are stuck in?

6. What isn’t the French Riviera?

7. Where is he wild as the wind in?

8. What do Lori and Judy get to do anywhere…and to whom?

9. What should you do on the deck?

10. What is he doing like he’s never coming back?

Answers tomorrow! 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

The Man of Bronze returning to the big screen

February 27, 2010

The Man of Bronze returning to the big screen

I was considering writing a post where I was going to talk about why it might be time for a new Doc Savage movie.

Doc is one of my heroes.  He first appeared in the pulps in March of 1933, and was influential on both Superman  and Batman.

There were 181 “adventures”, which always astounds me.  The main author (Lester Dent) was writing something like a hundred (or so) page book every month.  When he did take a vacation, he would write an outline first. 

There’s more to Doc than I’m going to go through in this post.  He is called “The Man of Bronze” (like the later Superman was “The Man of Steel”), but he isn’t actually “super”.  He was trained from birth to be an adventurer, by his somewhat unusual father.  He is very strong, very quick, and very intelligent. 

He has a code never to kill, but he has developed non-lethal methods…for example, he carries little glass containers of an anesthetic gas.  He can subtly break one, and hold his breath for a minute…knocking out people in the room.

There are a team of people helping him (they met in World War I…although, of course, in the first books it’s called The Great War.  It wasn’t called World War I until there was a World War II).  Monk (a chemist), Ham (a lawyer), Long Tom (an electrical engineer), Renny (a construction engineer), and Johnny (an archaeologist and geologist) make up this group.  Monk and Ham bicker constantly, but are actually close friends…think of it a bit like Spock and McCoy.

Doc Savage has been made into a movie once before, in 1975.  Going into it, I had some hopes for that version.  It starred Ron Ely, who was television’s Tarzan.  While well-muscled, he had a quiet presence…Doc is not a blustery guy.  It was produced by George Pal, who had made one of my favorite movies (based on a great book), the 7 Faces of Dr. Lao

Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well.  The movie was “campy”, like TV’s Batman series.   That can be great…but it wasn’t, in this case.  I still enjoyed the movie, but it wasn’t very much like the Doc we knew from the pulps.

I’d hoped for another version.  I even thought about at least an opening scene.   Doc is in a lab, in semi-darkness.  A villain is in the room, holding a bottle of acid.  He raises the bottle over his head to throw it.  Boom!  The bottle is shattered with a gunshot, and acid pours onto the bad guy, resulting in a very messy death.  We see Monk, exulting from his successful kill.  Doc crosses to Monk, takes the rifle from him, and breaks it across his own chest.  Monk looks confused, and Doc says, “I had my shoe off.”  Monk: “What?”  “I was waiting until he threw the acid.  I was going to throw it when the bottle was safely between us.”  Monk: “Doc, what if you missed?”  Doc walks off. (That scene is basically from one of the books).

While versions have been rumored over the years, there is one now in the works that looks like it will really be made. 

Shane Black, a screenwriter best known for the Lethal Weapon movies, is reportedly going to direct for Columbia for a 2012 release.  Some of you may also know Black as Hawkins, the kind of goofy member of the team in the Schwarzenegger movie,  Predator.

I’m hoping the movie brings us the serious sense of danger of the books, even though it also needs a sense of humor.  The casting may be a bit difficult…Doc is actually a pretty complicated character.  I can’t see how Jack Black won’t get mentioned for Monk, and that could work.  Hmmm… James Marsters as Ham?  Jim Parsons as Johnny?  I could definitely see Parsons delivering a line like, “I’ll be superamalgamated.” Brad Garrett might be a choice for Renny.   Mackenzie Crook as Long Tom?

What about Ryan Reynolds as Doc?  Could he bring the gravitas? I know my cast above is mostly a group of comedians, but I think that Doc will needto be the one to keep it serious.   I think they might be better off with a relative unknown in that role.

Well, I’ll be following developments on this one…from my secret headquarters on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.  😉 

2012 Doc Savage movie at IMDB

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

15 million US adults say the Internet is a waste of time*

February 27, 2010

15 million US adults say the Internet is a waste of time*

 The Federal Communications commission (the FCC) is preparing to present a new broadband plan to Congress on St. Patrick’s Day this year.

According to a February 23rd announcement, 93 million Americans don’t have broadband in their homes.

The FCC certainly presents this as a major threat to the future of the country, and, well, they are focused on communications, so that’s not too surprising.

They do seem to be approaching this logically.  They’ve identified three barriers to people having broadband.

1. Affordability

That’s the one most people would expect, I think.  People think the installation fee or the monthly fee is too high, or just don’t want to commit.

2. Digital Literacy

Another group is, well, sort of afraid of the internet.  They think they don’t have the skills for it, or they are afraid of porn and pirates (identity thieves, not intellectual property pirates, I mean…I just like alliteration). 

3. *Relevance

Here’s the interesting one…or the uninterested one.  This group says that the internet is a waste of time, or there isn’t anything that would interest them…or, they are happy with dialup.

Dudes!  Nothing interesting on the internet?  Have you seen Bored.com?  Have you watched Maru and the Giant Box?  I mean, it’s a cat…jumping into a box!  Brilliant!  Ooh, and then there’s these shepherds who use border collies to make sheep into art.  Not only that, they outfit the sheep with LED vests, so they can do it at night! 

Only 81 percent of people in the US see that?  😉

So, I fudged the headline…I don’t know how many are people with dialup, which would affect that figure.  On the other hand, some people probably have broadband…and think it’s a waste of time.  😉

Then, they divide people based on attitude, using such terms as “Digitally Uncomfortable”.

This all reminds me of something I read years ago.  Estimates of how quickly people would adopt the internet at all turned out to be overly optimistic.  One of the reasons was that some people tried it…and didn’t like it.  None of those people promoting the internet seemed to have taken that into account.  You try it, you don’t like it, you quit.  Most people thought that once you had been online, you’d be hooked. 

Does this all mean cheaper broadband and more of it?  Could be…now, if they could get us more 3G and wifi, that would be something!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

On the watch for the sasquatch watch

February 26, 2010

On the watch for the sasquatch watch

Do you believe in Bigfoot memorabilia?  It’s out there…we have an uptick right now thanks to the Olympic mascot, Quatchi.   There is also that Bigfoot garden statue.

For something a bit different in “haute creature”, there is the Sasquatch watch.  The case looks like…well, a big foot, and the face is a drawing very reminiscent of the Patterson-Gimlin movie.  That’s the one you see in all the documentaries, with the Bigfoot swinging its arms and looking over its shoulder at the camera as it walks away.

You can choose your color…even get a pink watch, if you want.

I saw this add on a visit to Cryptomundo, a great site where Loren Coleman blogs.

I don’t wear wristwatches myself, but it’s an interesting item.  Presumably, they’ve obtained the necessary licensing.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness 2010

February 26, 2010

Bufo’s Oscar Prediction Madness 2010

I’ve been doing an Oscar prediction contest for more than twenty years, and I have to say, I think we’ve worked out a pretty good way over the years.

So, this time, I’m doing something different.  🙂

No, not really.  This post isn’t the actual contest.   While I can (and will) do polls in this post, I can’t track who said what.   I also can’t do it the way we usually do.

I’m still going to do it the tried and true way for anybody who wants to participate.  If you are interested, comment this post and I’ll send you the details (and the spreadsheet). 

Important note: there is no fee to play the real game, and we only play for that most valuable of human possessions…bragging rights. 

I do plan to put out the predictions before the actual event.  We tend to be pretty accurate: last year, we called all of The Big Six categories, and ten out of 18 of the Maven. 

For the blog version, just vote for the candidate you think the Academy is most likely to pick.  That doesn’t mean you think it is most deserving…just that you think it is most likely to win.

I’m also only going to do The Big Six here: the acting awards, Best Picture, and Best Director.

If you want to predict what we call the incredibly difficult Maven Section, you can do that if you choose to play the regular game.

It’s either that, or the longest blogpost in history.  😉  No, probably not the longest, but I don’t think WordPress would be very happy with me. 😉






To see all the nominees, you can go to

Official Site nominees 

See you in the movies!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

Why cryptozoologists are watching the Olympics

February 25, 2010

Why cryptozoologists are watching the Olympics

Okay, you’ve been watching the Olympics for more than a week, now.  You’ve thrilled to Shaun White, Lindsay Vonn, and Bode Miller.  Maybe you’ve followed the other competitors, like Kirstie Moore, who is five months pregnant, or “Andy Himalaya”, a 51-year old pop singer who is the entire Mexican team.

But quick…who is the Olympic mascot?

Trick question…there are three of them, and a bonus marmot. 

One of them is Quatchi…and he’s a Sasquatch.

Yep, the Canadian version of Bigfoot (although some would say it’s the other way around, with good reason). 

As somebody whose interest in “hairy bipeds” goes back to, oh, fifth grade or so, I’m quite tickled. 

I have to tell you, I don’t have a lot of Olympics merchandise…but I am tempted by those Quatchi tchotchkes (say that three times quickly) ;).

Quatchi Official Homepage

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

 

Puppet porn? Avenue Q ad too sexy for Colorado Springs

February 25, 2010

Okay, let’s start with the basics.

Avenue Q is a Tony Award-winning Best Musical that features puppets as main characters.  It is undeniably intended for adults, and the most popular song is called The Internet is for Porn.

Colorado Springs is the home of the US Olympic Committee, and is famously politically conservative.

So, when Avenue Q was coming to the area, they bought advertising space.  The ad was first approved, and then rejected. 

Why?

It showed too much…um…cloth, I guess.

Yep, the ad shows too much puppet cleavage. 

Puppet cleavage.

Are they concerned that, I don’t know, Mortimer Snerd is going to get too excited? 

I love this quote from this article:

“If I have to explain it to my 4-year-old or my grandmother, we don’t put it up.”

I assume that lets out any ads for confusing things like curling, or, you know, political ads about health care reform.  Although, I suppose a 4-year old in Colorado might understand curling…

One last time…

Puppet cleavage.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.  If you are reading this blog for free and would like to support it, just click here and then shop at Amazon.

Can you pay them to go through your garbage?

February 24, 2010

Can you pay them to go through your garbage?

Do you know somebody who’d like a little of that Kardashian  flash?  Do you want to make them feel like a real star going into that birthday party or award ceremony?

I heard about this one on KGO, the big dog talk radio station in my area.

You can hire a group called Private Paparazzi to provide that flashbulb-popping, press card in the hatband experience…oh, wait a minute, I think I’m stuck in the 1930s again.  😉  They don’t use flashbulbs any more, right?

Anyway, it sounds like a good (if not cheap) way to add a really memorable touch to somebody’s special event.  They also emphasize that you’ll get a professional photographer to stay and take great pictures, and I think that makes it a lot more valuable.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

The 1 Million Dollar (Super)man

February 23, 2010

For the first time ever, a comic book has sold at auction for seven figures.

Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman, sold for $1 million in an auction conducted by ComicConnect.com.

A million dollars?  That shatters the old record, which was something like $350,000.  I can’t help wondering if the secret buyer was Lex Luthor, and he’s going to use it in some bizarre scheme to travel back in time and undo Superman’s birth.  Really, I can’t help wondering stuff like that.  😉

I jokingly asked people in a tweet if they were mad at Mom for chucking their comics.

However, the real story of why comics became rare is far more insidious than that. 

Comic books were destroyed in what was really the first US culture war (preceding the smashing of rock and roll records).  Elementary school kids were encouraged to make bonfires of comic books…yes, even Superman.

If you are interested in more of that story, I recommend The Ten Cent Plague (Kindle edition) (paperback) by David Hajdu.  It’s well-researched…and scary.

Superman didn’t fly in this issue, by the way.  Remember the old opening?  He “was able to leap tall buildings in a single bound”.  Yeah, leap…didn’t fly.  Like some others, he was influenced by one of my heroes, Doc Savage.  Doc (who debuted five years earlier and was very popular) is the Man of Bronze…Superman is the Man of Steel.  Doc’s first name is Clark.  Doc has a Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic Circle.  Doc was called a “Superman” in advertising.

Still, Superman is undeniably an iconic figure, starring in comics, movies, radio, multiple TV series, novels…even a Broadway musical!  I was always more of a DC comics person (Superman, Aquaman, Batman) than a Marvel guy (Spider-Man, Iron Man, the X-Men)…I just didn’t want my superheroes to have acne, you know?  I did really like the old George Reeve series.

Anyway, congratulations to Superman!  Prices are up, up and away!  😉

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

New crop circle special on NatGeo Tues at 8pm

February 23, 2010

New crop circle special on NatGeo Tues at 8pm

Crop circles, right?  A lot of you think they misspelled the first word… 😉

Well, I’m not going to argue for aliens or anything (you know, unless you want to argue against that) 😉 .

However, I’m always amazed at how uncritically people will take a claim of a hoax.  That came awhile back on crop circles, with a couple of guys called “Doug and Dave”.  They claimed to have made the crop circles, using a board and a rope.  Boom!  worldwide headlines that the mystery was solved.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t really demonstrate how they did it, and it was pretty unlikely that they did everything out there, or could even duplicate some stuff.

I’m not saying they couldn’t have faked some crop circles…sure, why not?  But just because there have been fake doctors doesn’t mean there haven’t been any doctors.

You would think that a claim of a hoax would be examined as scientifically as a claim that there was a crop circle, wouldn’t you?  Marcello Truzzi famously made a statement in 1976 that has been abbreviated by others (including, I think, Carl Sagan) as “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.”   That’s never sounded particularly…dispassionate to me.  I think the issue there is that an extraordinary claim is actually a series of claims, and they may each require proof.  If you say you saw a car in the road, you don’t have to also prove that cars exist.  If you say you saw a unicorn, well, that requires a different set of multiple proofs.

The National Geographic Channel (basic cable in many places) is running what they say is a new crop circle documentary on Tuesday night (February 23) at 8:00 PM (check your local listings…timezones can make that tricky).

The Truth About Crop Circles

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.


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