Wednesday, February 28, 2007

OK, call me a sucker, I ordered the book which accompanies that documentary film on the Jesus tomb. I'll let you know what I think after I get through it ... er ... IF I get through it.


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Arkansas House to argue over apostrophes
For the record, this is one place where the spelling Nazis can't get you. No matter how you write it, there is a legitimate style manual supporting you. This is probably the most completely unresolved matter in English orthography.

Some style manuals say that proper singular names ending in "s" always should form the possessive by adding only an apostrophe.

Others say that you should always add "'s" unless the name is an ancient one like Jesus or Moses, in which case the apostrophe alone will suffice.

Still others say that it depends on whether the trailing "s" sounds like an "s" or a "z". (Or in the case of Arkansas, neither of the above.)

The Chicago Manual of Style offers this particularly complicated rule to cover certain exceptions: "Names of more than one syllable with an unaccented ending pronounced 'eez' form a category of exceptions. For reasons of euphony the possessive s is seldom added to such names." As an example, they offer "Xerxes' army."

For what it's worth, the Chicago Manual has another of its persnickety rules to cover the specific case of Arkansas. "For names ending in silent s, the possessive can be formed in the usual way without suggesting an incorrect pronunication." This, of course, is inconsistent with their explanation for Xerxes, which insists that sound and spelling must be linked! (Oh, that euphony!) Consistent or not, their rule means that "Arkansas's" is the correct possessive form. (They give the parallel example of "Descartes's.")


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In Soviet California ... Godot waits for you
"America's Next Top Model can't strut her stuff on local buses. Ads for the TV show were removed from the sides of Santa Monica's Big Blue Buses after complaints. The ads showed host Tyra Banks and the new season's swimsuited contestants posing in front of a waterfall. Most of the complaints were from people concerned that the city might be endorsing a show they believed was disrespectful to women."


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The least-anticipated films of 2007
I don't know. Ya gotta love a film in which Tim Allen and John Travolta do a nude scene.

Is it even necessary to put Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence films on these lists? Doesn't it go without saying? (Although a film with both of them does reach for new depths.)


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"FCC Indecency Powers Could Be Overthrown By Supreme Court"
(COULD is the key word. Purely hypothetical and not likely)


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Marilyn Chambers - Sex, Soap And Success
I met her once, at a magazine publishers' convention. Man, she is cold!


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Vincent Pastore drops out of "Dancing With The Stars"
And after they went to all the trouble of reinforcing the stage!

You know, if you read his wimpy reasons, you realize that he's a big ... oh!, now I get it


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The New York City Council today approved a symbolic resolution to ban the n word
Curiously, you can still say "redskins," an equally hateful term, any time you discuss football. I suppose the n word would be OK if there were only a team named the New Jersey N...


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"George Monbiot, an English environmentalist and progressive writer, has compared carbon offsets to the practice of purchasing Indulgences during the Middle Ages, whereby people with money could purchase forgiveness for their sins instead of actually not sinning."


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A new study suggests that how we respond to a candidate's face could determine who we vote for
This is interesting. They created a face that looks like Bush and a face that looks like Kerry and asked people which they preferred. Their results came closer to the actual election results than the most scientific polls!

In order to test Al Gore's appeal, they are using a picture of Jabba the Hutt.

This strongly suggests that if Al Gore actually does want to be president, he'd probably be better off looking more like Kennedy and less like Taft. Two words, big fella: Jenny Craig


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"If looks could kill, there would be a trail of dead paparazzi wherever Keira Knightley goes"


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What should Antonella Barba sing tonight
"Antonella can choose from a large number of songs that represent different aspects of the pictures we have seen. The worst of the photos bring out all sorts of possibilities, such ... "Harder to Breathe" by Maroon 5, "On the Way Down" by Ryan Cabrera, ... or Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In the Wind."

I think if she's going to do a Dylan song, it should be "It Ain't Me, Babe"


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Drinkers Can't Judge a Beer by Its Taste, Study Finds
I have a relevant story. In the early 80s I was working in Ft Myers Florida when the local TV station did a beer taste-test at a local bar. The two head guys from the local Schlitz distributor somehow got wind of the test and resolved to infiltrate it anonymously to hype their product. Their intention was to give their beer a "10" in the test, Budweiser a "1" and everything else a "5."

It may have been the biggest misfire in marketing history. First of all, they couldn't tell the beers apart, and ended up giving their own beer a "1."

Believe it or not, that wasn't the worst of it. The TV reporters found out who they were, and made their lead line "Schlitz distributors rate their own beer worst in the market!"


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Top 10 ads with people dressed up as food
What? No Mr. Peanut?


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"Handcuffed To Hugh"
You should get a new respect for Hugh Grant, who managed to stay cool and charming throughout the entire incident!


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Jail time possible for Paris Hilton if driving probation violated
I smell a reality show ... and one I might actually watch.


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Scientists create remote-controlled pigeon
Cue up the Tom Lehrer song and polish up that Nobel Prize!

Still no solution for world hunger. Maybe the pigeons are edible. Remote-controlled squab that feeds the multitudes?

OK, now let me see. I have my Ph.D in Engineering, what will I work on? A way to bring fresh water to cholera-plagued villages? Nah. How about a remote-controlled pigeon!

The best thing about the story is the final line: "The report did not specify what purpose the pigeons may perform."


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Falwell to Arms: Christians Being Duped by Global Warming?
The Reverend Jerry Falwell says global warming is "Satan's attempt to redirect the church's primary focus" from evangelism to environmentalism."

WTF? I think he means that Satan is causing the CONCERN about global warming, not global warming itself, although now that I think about it, the argument that Satan is causing global warming probably makes more sense. I mean he has the experience with hot temperatures.

Although, now that I think about it, Satan is merely from hell, which is temperate compared to Texas.


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The Evolution of Yahoo! over a decade


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Nintendo Wii Takes Lead in Console Wars
Sony has to be taking a long, puzzled look at the stats, because Playstation 2 is still outselling the much-hyped PS3, which is in fourth place behind XBox!


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Can a fading TV show be saved?
There is some precedent for it, but it ain't easy. Melrose Place is the example cited


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1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Commercial starring the WB Roadrunner and either Wily or Peter Coyote (I can't tell them apart)


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20 Great Pictures of Maria Sharapova


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MPAA: "We Were Only Testing" Forest Blog
Interestingly, they gave the exact same excuses for their alleged copyright violations that are offered by file sharers, except substituting the word "blog" for the term "DVD". "I was only testing the DVD to see if I wanted to buy it." "I never made it available to the public."


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Baby boomer nostalgia - Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred


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Colbert weighs in on the Oscars


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Jesus' Tomb Proves He Was Not Gay, Says James Cameron


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Praise for 'Potter' star nude role
"Brilliant Radcliffe throws off Harry Potter's cloak," The Daily Telegraph said. "He is a thrilling stage actor of unexpected range and depth."


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The tombstones of the Russian Mafia


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Do-It-Yourself Crotch Bulges


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Boobs, Butt or Shoulder? Can you guess?


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"Penelope Cruz pictures by acclaimed photographer Ellen Von Unwerth"


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iPhone's movie-themed "Hello" Ad


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Another Fantastic Look from FANTASTIC FOUR: RISE OF THE SILVER SURFER?
Bad news if true: they've changed the Galactus character from the old Jack Kirby concept. Also, rumor has it that The Watcher has already been written out, which forces them to come up with a new ending.


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NHL - The state of the Original Six
They are not actually the "original six." The name is a misnomer. The NHL was founded in 1917, and no American teams joined until 1924. Furthermore, the Bruins are an older franchise than the other three American teams in the group. But the "original six" were the only six teams in the NHL from 1942-1966, which is a helluva long time, and that's what established their mystique.


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NFL Already Worried About Super Bowl XLII Halftime Show - Idolator
The NFL is apparently figuring that there's only one way to top this year's completely epic performance by Prince at this year's Super Bowl, and that's to bring in The Boss.

Wait a minute! Shouldn't the halftime entertainer be targeted at the people who actually watch the halftime show instead of taking a break for beer, bathroom, and pizza? I recommend Celine Dion.


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The latest on Al Gore's personal energy consumption
From the looks of the guy, just his oven and dishwasher alone must use more energy than Zimbabwe.

This article is the same old stuff, but read the comments. There is some very funny stuff in there, as well as some lively debate.

All kidding aside, the right-wingers' polls must tell them that Gore has some serious political credibility, because their spokesmen are pulling out all the stops to discredit him with their sound bites. And he's not even running! (Yet?)

My quick, admittedly unscientific impression is that they are devoting more effort to Gore now than to Clinton or Obama.


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What was the NBA all-star weekend like for the people who live and work in Vegas?
Every single person who talked to the reporter gave a variation on this response: "They were the absolute worst. Never again. Never again. They were all thugs, drug dealers, or gangsters. They didn't tip, they were rude, they abused us. These poor waitresses worked harder than ever for less money that weekend. None of us made anything. We would've all made more if they never came to town. In fact, if they ever have that thing here again, I'm refusing to work it."


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The entire Bond franchise re-enacted by bunnies


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Eddie Murphy tries to spin his early Oscar departure
Oh, let's be honest here. The man did get one of the worst hose jobs in Oscar history. He shouldn't have walked, but I can see why he would be upset. Not only was Arkin's performance the least impressive of the nominees, but it didn't even stand up favorably to several unnominated performances, like Pitt, Nicholson, and Affleck, not to mention several of the other performances in the same film! Arkin may someday replace Tomei and Sorvino as the least comprehensible winner of all time. As far as I can see, Arkin got an Oscar for not being dead.


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A big screen version of Get Smart
Maybe! Get Smart is actually one of the few shows that contains a solid film premise. Maxwell Smart will be played by Steve Carell and Chief will be played by Alan Arkin. Warners will produce.


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Ellen von Unwerth has apparently shot some hot photos of Gretchen Mol
Small versions are available at the link, but the full-sized versions are "members only"


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"Vegas" rolling on without Caan, Cox
Caan quit to return to films. Cox was apparently laid off for budgetary reasons. (??)


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Helen Mirren went to the Oscars commando


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Matt Groening discusses the Simpson movie


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Top 10 Greatest Film Speeches and Monologues - with film clips


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