Monday, January 03, 2005

Many years ago, I wrote a typically too-high concept skit for The Abominable Showman about learning Socratic philosophy through Punch and Judy hand puppets. (Socrates the Mouse outsmarts and humiliates his pupil and asks him to contemplate the nature of reality and illusion, whereupon the pupil bops Socrates with a mallet and tells him to "contemplate this, illusion boy.") Looks like I wasn't the only one who thought that was a cool idea. Sock Puppets sing and talk about things that don't exist.
  • Here is a summary of that episode of The Showman, a show often considered to be the lowest point in the history of televised entertainment, if not the entire 20th century. (I really think we could have swept the 20th century poll if not for that pesky Holocaust.)


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First official picture from War of the Worlds.
  • It could be, it might be ... it is ... Dakota Fanning, the terminally precocious child who is now Hollywood's official go-to kid. She's going to top the "Am I Annoying?" site before she reaches puberty! By the way, that was Dakota's look-alike younger sister as the child in "The Door in the Floor".


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Latino Review has more than a dozen new stills from SAHARA, starring Matthew McConaughey, Penélope Cruz, and Steve Zahn.
  • "Explorer Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) and his slacker sidekick (Steve Zahn) embark on a treasure hunt through West Africa in search of what locals call the Ship of Death, a lost Civil War battleship that may house a very valuable cargo. A woman, Doctor Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz), warns them that the ship may be linked to mysterious deaths in the area."
  • Only in the movies dept.: Penelope Cruz is a doctor again, and is now challenging Denise Richards as the greatest portrayer of geniuses on film.


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First look at Keira Knightley and the Mickster in Tony Scott's Domino. (Excellent hi-res image)


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Oops, There It Is -- The Best Film Flubs of '04


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EW.com Poll: Rate the lyrics of 2004's notable songs


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Big heads! "I often scan through the wire service photos on Yahoo News, and over the years I started noticing a really strange trend. Many of the photos follow the same form: a picture of a person in the foreground, and on the background, a GIANT HEAD."


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Further proof that all human knowledge, no matter how useless, is on the internet somewhere: "Jenny, are you there?" (867-5309) There is an 80s song by Tommy Tutone called 'Jenny (867-5309)' " This guy called that number in every area code and reported his results.


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"Shrek 2" is the best grosser of a record 2004, as well as the third best of all time.


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The Speeding Outhouse "You can go pretty quick in the Turbo Loo"


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Are there gay lovers in 'The Merchant of Venice'. Not likely. Actor Jeremy Irons was the only person who provided a sensible overview in this debate: "In Shakespeare's time male platonic love was the highest form of love ... Male platonic affection was regarded as a higher form of love to male-female, even husband and wife."


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The richest woman in the world wants to make the 2008 Olympics as an equestrienne.


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The co-founder of Wikipedia makes a personal statement about its reliability


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"Google is hiring about 25 new people every week, and receives more than 1,000 resumes a day. Google uses aptitude tests, which it has even placed in technical magazines, hoping some really big brains would tackle the hardest problems." Google, which began as a school project and did not exist six years ago, is now worth about as much as Ford and General Motors combined.


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Attention James Bond. Akzo Nobel has developed a unique temporary auto paint system which can peeled off after use.


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Vincent Gallo makes a sequel to the Brown Bunny - The White Bunny!
  • It isn't really a sequel, but Gallo supposedly made this short film, and here's what The White Bunny consists of: Paris Hilton in her underwear, rotating on a turntable, followed by ... wait for it ... a White Bunny. Genius!!!
  • As Defamer said, "two great tastes from 2004 that taste great together, freelance celebutante vaginalist Paris Hilton and megalomaniac fauxteur Vincent Gallo."


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Part of the boomer childhood disappears. One of MAD magazine's greatest illustrators, Kelly Freas, is dead at 82.: "Kelly Freas, an influential illustrator who produced sleek, stirring images for science fiction and fantasy books and helped shape the image of Mad Magazine mascot Alfred E. Newman, has died. He was 82."


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Great public nudity display in Amsterdam


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The trailer for 20th Century Fox's FANTASTIC FOUR movie will ship with prints of ELEKTRA, due out Jan 14.


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Miss Howard Stern Signs On to Host Porn Video: "Andrea Brooke Ownbey, better known as Miss Howard Stern, has agreed to host a porn video for Metro Interactive"


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In-flight Web surfing takes off


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Rumor - Kate Bosworth has been cast as Lois Lane in Bryan Singer's Superman.


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After XMas, Santa finally gets something for himself.


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The murder rate in many of America's big cities fell dramatically last year. Chicago - down 25 per cent. New York - fewest homicides in 40 years.
  • New York’s murder rate per person is 6.9 per 100,000, making it it the safest large city in America. Murders in The Big Apple have declined from 2,245 in 1990 to 577 in 2004, a drop of more than 70%.
  • Before you Yanks get in a self-congratulatory mood, consider that New York may be the safest in America, but the homicide rate is still triple that of London and Paris.
  • You'll be pleased to know that Detroit bucked the trend, and managed to increase homicides by picking up some top draft picks out of Medellin, Colombia.
  • Detroit has the highest rate in America with about 40 per 100,000 people, but Medellin has something like 130 per 100,000.
  • If you're into this kind of stuff, here is a UN report on suicide and homicide rates in 86 nations. Colombia leads by a mile in homicide, with nearly triple that of second place Russia (80 to 30). But Russia is also #2 in suicides, and suidices are rare in Colombia, so the Reds give Colombia a good fight for the combined title, losing 83 to 72.
  • Who would have guessed that the world's third highest rate for "suicides plus homicides" belongs to those plucky Estonians, who are strong in both categories: fourth in suicides and sixth in murders.
  • The three Baltic Republics (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) are three of the top four for suicide rates. Russia is the other.


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Hubble Telescope's Greatest Hits


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Paris Hilton steals her own sex tape. The best part - she was caught on tape doing so!!


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Dead at 80: Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress


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Skeptical Inquirer Video - Is acupuncture simply a folk remedy with little medical value or a possible method of treatmernt for western doctors?


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The Netizen's Guide to Flame Warriors


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Two of the guys at Coming Soon! talk about the 2005 movies they anticipate most enthusiastically.


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Here's Dave Barry's farewell to the troops.


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In a world where nobody understands art, one man fights to get to the bottom of it. They call him Stan Murmur: Butt-Printing Artist


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The galleries of strange hobbies.


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Brian Concannon sets himself on fire for a living.


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Landover Baptist says: God Fails to Break His Own Record for Killing: "As unsaved, impoverished Hindus toiled in beachside shacks on Christmas instead of exchanging expensive gifts from American department stores to celebrate the Baby Jesus' Birthday, the Lord was plotting their horrific, briny demise."


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Here's a tough journalistic question: were the many UFOs seen before the tsunami an indication that space aliens caused the tidal waves, OR were the aliens just trying to warn us? Damn, I love hard-hitting Edward R Murrow journalism! By the way, this is not a satire site. This is their idea of legitimate news.


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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, as reviewed by the greatest of all critics - Filthy


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