Friday, February 23, 2007


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B-movie actress found guilty in kidnapping plot
The actress in question is Bonita Money


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From the "molon labe" department: So far, Frank Miller's 300 is rated 100% at Rotten Tomatoes
I read the reviews at Variety and Hollywood Reporter, and they were positive, but not that positive. They praised the spectacle, but both cautioned that the film is not much more than spectacle. The characters are 2D, the significance of the battle is not placed clearly in context, and there are no perspective shots to clarify the geographical parameters of the battle. According to those reviews, the film is cool, but that's all. If that is true (I have not seen it), it is a shame, because it could have been so much more.

The battle of Thermopylae is certainly a fascinating subject. You have learned in your schoolbooks that Herodotus was the father of history, but that is misleading. He wrote about Thermopylae four decades after the events happened. (Herodotus was about four years old when the battle took place.) If he was the first objective historian, then who did he get his accounts from? Well, either there were plenty of objective accounts before him, or he had to rely on non-objective people. He wrote the "history" by listening to old men tell war stories. You know how that goes. Worse yet, they were not even the right men. Remember that all the Spartans died that day, so where exactly did Herodotus get his ... er ... "facts"?

As for his role as the man who created objective history, well, even if he tried and succeeded partially, he didn't have much impact. Even two millennia after his day there was very little in the way of objective history being written! The "father of history" himself is properly classified somewhere between a historian, a cheerleader, and an epic poet. He incorporated fewer obvious myths into his yarns than can be found in the Iliad, so that made Herodotus a historian in comparison. But not a very good one. He estimated the size of the Persian attack force at 5.2 million people, including non-combatants, of which 3.4 million were soldiers. Modern military historians have a good laugh over that number. (In addition to the logistical problems with feeding a force that size with the resources available in the ancient world, mathematicians have estimated the entire population of the world to be about 100 million people at the time - all of whom seem to have gathered to battle the 300 Spartans that day!) Hans Delbrueck wrote in Stories of the Art of War (p. 106) that the correct number for the Persian attack force that day may have been as low as 15,000-20,000. That is the low end among historians, but you get an idea of the range involved, from fifteen thousand to more than three million.

Even the most ardent supporters of Herodotus can offer no more passionate defense than to say "Herodotus, by his day's standards, was fairly accurate in his accounts." (Quote from Wikipedia.) This faint praise is roughly tantamount to a future pop historian saying that Carrot Top was fairly funny by the standard of other prop comedians of his day.

According to Herodotus, the only reason the 300 Spartans (and their 7,000 allies) lost to the three million Persians at all is because they were betrayed by a traitor! Geez, if not for that guy, we'd have kicked their asses!

However large the Persian force really was in September of 480 BC, it was far larger than the number of defenders, and the defense by the Greeks was still a memorable demonstration of bravery which inspired the tales of glory which have come done to us.


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Harry Potter shows his magic wand (Not safe for work. Full frontal dudity.)


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Holy Joe threatens to take his Joementum over to the GOP
I don't like to say "I told you so" ... wait - sorry, I just remembered . . . I am armed. I mean I DO like to say "I told you so"


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Vilsack quits presidential bid faster than Britney quitting rehab


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The UK's Sunday Sport has quite a large gallery of movie nudity!
It's nice to know they like the Fun House! You'll note that many of the collages were created by me or Tuna.


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An Iranian "Scholar" says that Tom & Jerry cartoons are part of the Jewish Conspiracy
This gives you an idea of the state of scholarship in Iran. He begins by defining the cartoons as Walt Disney creations! (They were created by Hanna-Barbera for MGM.) He goes on to state that the Disney studios were a tool of the Jewish conspiracy (It doesn't really matter since Disney had nothing to do with Tom and Jerry, but for the record, people find a lot of anti-semitism in the early Disney work, and some have even accused Disney himself of being pro-Nazi before Germany was officially an enemy. The Straight Dope discusses this subject.)


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"Farmers in Liechtenstein can no longer feed cannabis to their herds"
In the Liechtensteinian dialect, the sound of a cow lowing is transcribed as "doooooooooooooode"


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Here are the latest scandal pics - they are alleged to portray American Idol contestant Antonella Barba
And they are VERY naughty. You don't want to surf here if you're at work.


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The sea was angry that day, my friends ... "we studied every exposed inch from the bulbous area in front of the blowhole to the whitish mark on the knobby ridge on its back."
I have never known anyone to watch The View that closely


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"Alex and Derek were once so close they autographed each other's balls."
"We can only imagine the idyllic Friday night sleepovers that took place in Derek's Central Park West condo after an evening of cruising trendy Manhattan nightclubs, the intensity of their masculine bonding, the late night movie and video game marathons, the Saturday morning cartoon watching, the mysterious and sanguine rituals that turned this charmed pair, this veritable Castor and Pollux, into kindred spirits, into nothing less than blood brothers."


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A TV show is said to have "jumped the shark" when it begins to decline from greatness, usually identified by a specific moment - typically the first time it has to use a stunt or a gimmick which is a far stretch from the premise which made the show any good to begin with. Where does the expression come from? See below.


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In the tradition of Elvis and Jack Nicklaus, it's the ultimate "mismatched buddy" combo: "Hitler and Jesus"
"The Fuhrer and the Son of God are back in this rollicking buddy comedy about self-discovery and redemption. Heil-arious!"


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Why watch the Oscars when you can read the UGO Coulda Been a Contender Awards: 2007 Edition


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Hillary Clinton Shaves Head in Support of Britney Spears


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Google to start filtering YouTube videos
"Yet Google's move may simply drive YouTube's audience to other sites, where copyright violations are even more egregious. While YouTube imposes a 10-minute limit on uploaded clips, sites like Dailymotion.com in France or Peekvids.com in Denmark screen full-length movies and pirated TV episodes."

I suppose Mark Cuban was basically right. Google paid a certain amount of money to acquire YouTube based on a certain expectation of traffic, but after acquiring it they have two very weak choices (1) operate it as it was, keep the traffic, and face monumental lawsuits, thus diminishing the value; or (2) clean it up and lose the traffic, thus diminishing the value.

Either way the only winners are the guys who sold the site to Google.


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Here's the video of Britney Spears going apeshit on a car:


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Sienna Miller Is A Topless Tanner


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Top 14 Borat Transportation Vehicles
"Remember how Borat leaves his village? He's in a car (Dacia, Romanian brand) that's being pulled by a horse. Well, from the images uploaded by Romanians in a recent contest, I took the ones that are worthy of being used by Borat in a sequel. The difference is that the images below are real, from Romania."


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Patricia Heaton goes public in a see-thru top


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Beany and Cecil - Dishonest John tries to Cop the Copter


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Topless women wandering around in public


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Katharine McPhee's Breasts Get Squeezed by Tyra Banks


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Awesome, nad-less Silver Surfer cover for Empire Magazine.


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Beavers return to New York City after 200 years
When I lived in the Bronx it was very rare to see any beaver ... unless you had a date with Dirty Deb


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The NBA All-Star Cheerleaders!


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NHL PHOTO GALLERY - The Classic Fights


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Corey Dillon asks to be released from his Pats contract


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Last night's brawl between Ottawa and Buffalo


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DJ dies at 52
The Celtics great collapsed after a coaching session with his minor league team. He was laughing and talking to someone, then just fell down dead. (Heart attack.) Right here in Austin


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"Warner Bros. acquired screen rights to bestselling Brian Selznick children's novel 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' as a potential directing vehicle for Martin Scorsese"


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You'll soon be singing along with Edward Scissorhands: The Musical


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The 10 Best Moments from the RENO 911! series (with videos)


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Unusual Restaurants In The World


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A Jedi kegger gone terribly wrong


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A spectacular gallery and some explanations for the cgi tricks in Frank Miller's 300


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The Pirate Bay abandons plans for a sovereign nation


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Temperature Of Coffee Expected To Rise Nine Degrees By End Of 21st Century
"Not only will the temperature of coffee increase by nearly nine degrees by the end of this century, the rise is directly linked to human activity."


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