Sunday, August 31, 2008
1. wharrgarbl (noun)
The sound dogs make when they attempt to drink out of lawn sprinklers.
...I heard this odd noise, sounded like "wharrgarbl", and I saw rover being sprayed in the face with the hose. Silly pup.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Ohio GOP illegally funneled $495,000 from federal account, top campaign finance official writes
Money went to support Blackwell gubernatorial bid, GOP spokesman saysThe Ohio Republican Party funneled $495,000 into an account used to support the candidacy of former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell that should have only been used to support candidates for national office, according to a letter from Ohio's current Secretary of State and a GOP spokesman.
The letter says Ohio's Republican party collected nearly half a million dollars from a federal GOP account in October 2006. They also took in $20,000 from a state GOP account the same month and another $25,000 in November 2007.
The letter doesn't indicate which candidates received the party's largesse. But according a state GOP spokesman, the money supported just one candidate -- former Republican Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Blackwell ran for governor in 2006, and lost.
Read the letter in pdf format here.
Blackwell achieved notoriety after allegations he abused his office as the state's top elections official. While serving as Secretary of State, which handles statewide elections, he also doubled as state chairman for George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign. Blackwell has been named in more than ten voter disenfranchisement lawsuits.
He was also named in a 2006 lawsuit after his office publicly disclosed the Social Security numbers of Ohio residents.
Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's office wrote Republican officials Monday. Brunner is a Democrat.
"Pursuant to R.C. 3517.13(T)(1), a state or county political party shall not disburse moneys from any account other than a state candidate fund to make contributions to a state candidate fund," the Secretary's campaign finance administrator J. Curtis Mayhew wrote to the Republican Party's state candidate fund's treasurer Monday."If that is the case, it will be necessary at this time to refund these contributions back to the party committee that made the expenditure."
The letter indicated that the state has been attempting to get the Ohio GOP to issue refund checks for the amounts since at least July.
"The full value of the contributions ($495,000) must be refunded at this time," the letter says. "Please provide a copy of the refund checks as soon as they are written."
A spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party told a reporter the Secretary's interpretation was incorrect.
"We're seeking a legal opinion," the spokesman said. "We feel federal funds can be spent on a statewide race."
Monday, August 25, 2008
Or check out the whole list HERE
During World War II, aviation crews would often decorate their bombers and other planes with one-of-a-kind paintings on the side of the aircraft's nose. They were often meant to raise spirits, boost morale, and remind everyone of the freedoms they were fighting for. Common elements include scrappy cartoon characters with a lot of fight in them, or pretty girls like the kind found in pin-ups and calendars of the 1940s.
The Republic gunships seen in The Clone Wars are a nod to that rich history of aircraft art. There are three seen in the movie, with more on the way from the series.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Kevin Smith Might’ve Reviewed Star Trek
Posted on Friday, August 22nd, 2008 at 7:18 pm by: Peter Sciretta
Entertainment Weekly should probably hire Kevin Smith to write movie reviews. Heck, they’ve sent Diablo Cody to do set reports!? It seems like Smith is seeing all the films early now-a-days. First The Dark Knight, then Watchmen, and now… Star Trek? Maybe so. The Clerks director was a guest on KROQ’s Kevin and Bean show and eludes to having seen JJ Abrams’ Star Trek. Lets take a look at the transcript thanks to TrekMovie:
Smith: I saw a movie last night that I cannot talk about.
Host: Was it good?
Smith: It was phenomenal.
Host: Any stars, any break out stars, and do they trek?
Smith: The stars absolutely trek in this film. It is fantastic. Anybody who was worried doesn’t need to be worried–about this film I cannot talk about…It was in very capable hands. The director did a phenomenal job–the director and his crew. Top notch cast and the guy that plays the lead is an instant star. That dude is going to be so famous. He is so wonderful. He picked up a role that I would say is pretty challenging for someone to step into the shoes of, because it is a role that has been played before many times by the same guy.
Host: How do you out Shatner, Shatner?
Smith: I don’t what you are talking about.
Host: I was just saying that as an expression.
Smith: Yes, absolutely, in a world of expressions, I would agree with that…I am so not
Yes, how do you out Shat, Shatner? When Chris Pine was cast in the role of Captain James T Kirk, fans were not pleased. But now it looks like Pine’s turn as Kirk might be the unexpected highlight of the new film.
Friday, August 22, 2008
The Banana Splits Return
To TV, Music, LicensingAugust 20, 2008
The Banana Splits are returning to the world of pop culture for kids in a big way, beginning on September 2nd when up to 130 1.5-2.5 minute shorts will begin airing on the Cartoon Network and Boomerang. The look of the group has been updated, but the characters remain the same. The property is designed to appeal to kids aged 4 to 7.
The re-launch includes a CD and DVD that will feature 13 new songs, and music videos; a new Website where the shorts can be viewed and the songs can be heard; Banana Splitsville, a live show and play-land at Hard Rock Park; a concert tour and other live appearances; plus a wide range of licensed merchandise including toys, games, books, and apparel.
The original property dates to 1968, when the Banana Splits Adventure Hour, a Hanna-Barbera show on NBC that featured comedy and music videos. The theme song, The Tra La La Song, was one of the most covered songs in the history of contemporary music.
The cross-over between music, TV, and licensing has been the domain of Disney in recent years, with the Cheetah Girls, Hannah Montana, High School Musical, and the Jonas Brothers cranking out success after success. The Banana Splits are aimed younger, however, perhaps in a play to go after territory that Disney doesn’t already dominate.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
SkeptOlympics writes "A new chapter in the ongoing controversy surrounding China's women's gymnastics team opened today, as search engine hacker stryde.hax found surviving copies of official registration documents issued by China's General Administration of Sport of China. The incriminating documents, expunged by censors from the official site and from Google's document cache, still appear in the document translation cache of Chinese search giant Baidu, here (1) and here (2), showing the age of one of China's gold medal winning gymnasts to be 14 instead of 16, the minimum age for competition presented on her government-issued passport. Now that official government documentation is available, how long will the IOC be able to keep a lid on this scandal?"
Puny Humans Make Trixie Mad! Puny Humans NOT Move Half Blood Prince to 2009 or Trixie SMASH Puny Humans!!
Many of you have written to me to express your disappointment in our moving "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" to Summer 2009.
Please be assured that we share your love for Harry Potter and would certainly never do anything to hurt any of the films. Over the past 10 years, we have nurtured and protected each film, and the integrity of the books upon which they are based, to the best of our ability.
The decision to move "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was not taken lightly, and was never intended to upset our Harry Potter fans. We know you have built this series into what it is, and we thank you for your ongoing enthusiasm and support.
If I may offer a silver lining: there would have been a two-year gap between "Half-Blood Prince" and the much-anticipated first part of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," which opens in November 2010.
So although we have to wait a little longer for "Half-Blood Prince," the wait from that film until "Deathly Hallows" will be less than 18 months. I am sorry to have disappointed you now, but if you hold on a little longer, I believe it will be worth the wait.
President, Chief Operating Officer
Posted by Ramon Aranda on 08.21.2008
After Blizzard recently revealed that Diablo III was in development, questions have been asked left and right about the various aspects about the game, but until now Blizzard has remained relatively quiet.
Now Blizzard has provided a little FAQ on the game for fans to chew on while the game continues to get worked on.
What is Diablo III?
We’re developing Diablo III to be the definitive action role-playing game, and a true continuation of the Diablo series. Players will create a hero from one of five distinct classes, such as barbarian or witch doctor, each equipped with an array of spells and abilities. As these heroes adventure through rich and varied settings, unraveling an epic storyline and engaging in combat with hordes of monsters and challenging bosses, they’ll grow in experience and ability and acquire items of incredible power.
The game takes place on Sanctuary, a world of dark fantasy. Unbeknownst to most of its inhabitants, Sanctuary was saved some twenty years ago from the demonic forces of the underworld by a few brave and powerful heroes. Most of those warriors who directly faced the armies of the Burning Hells -- and were fortunate enough to survive -- went mad from their experiences. And most of the others have buried their haunted memories and pushed the horrors from their thoughts. In Diablo III, players will return to Sanctuary to confront evil in its many forms once again.
Diablo III will be a fitting sequel to Diablo II, with the easy interface, fast-paced action, and visceral gameplay that Diablo players have come to expect and enjoy. It will also include many new features that will take the Diablo action-RPG experience to the next level. We look forward to going into much more detail on our plans for Diablo III as development on the game progresses.
What’s new about Diablo III compared to the previous Diablo games?
Exciting new classes like the witch doctor bring new gameplay options to the table. Returning classes, like the barbarian, have been completely redone with new skills to give them a feel unique to Diablo III. New customization options will provide for an even greater level of character specialization than the previous Diablo games, allowing the player to create unique characters brimming with power.
Diablo III is powered by a new graphics engine that can display characters and hordes of monsters in lush, fully 3D environments. Powerful special-effects systems and Havok-powered physics allow the player to lay waste to the Hells’ minions in spectacular ways.
Also, Diablo III builds on the random environments of the previous Diablo games by introducing a host of new ways to create random scripted events throughout the game. This creates a dense and exciting world alive with quests, NPCs, dynamic encounters, and viciously challenging new monsters and bosses. Diablo III’s environments add a great deal of interactivity to the game, including destructible elements and environmental obstacles that can be turned against your enemies.
In addition, Diablo III will benefit from Battle.net upgrades that will provide some exciting new features for players. Cooperative online play remains a primary focus, with multiple enhancements being planned to make connecting with your friends easier and cooperative gameplay even more fun. We’ll have more details on all these aspects as well as other exciting new features at a later date.
Can you give an overview of Diablo III’s storyline?
It has been twenty years since the events of Diablo II. Of those who faced the Lords of Hatred, Terror, and Destruction in the battle over the fate of Sanctuary, there are few still living who can bear to remember the horrors that the Prime Evils wrought upon the world. And of those who did not witness the terrible events firsthand, most believe the stories to be little more than myth. But something evil is stirring once again in Tristram, and it may already have claimed its first victim: Deckard Cain.
Will there be any other familiar faces in Diablo III (other than Deckard Cain)?
Yes. Players will encounter several new characters as well as a number of characters from the previous games.
Will players be visiting any familiar locations in Diablo III, such as Tristram?
Yes, definitely. Players will return to Tristram and certain other locations from the previous games, and they’ll be exploring new areas of Sanctuary as well.
How many character classes are included in Diablo III? What are they?
Five character classes will be included in the game, two of which, the barbarian and witch doctor, were revealed when the game was announced at the 2008 Blizzard Entertainment Worldwide Invitational. The other classes will be announced at a later date.
Will players be able to choose the gender of their character, regardless of class?
Yes. Players will be able to create male and female characters for all five classes.
Will Diablo III be playable over Battle.net? What new features can we expect?
Yes, Diablo III will be playable over Battle.net, and Battle.net will offer some exciting new features to enhance players’ Diablo III experience. We’ll announce specifics and go into much more detail at a later date.
Will there be a single-player component in addition to multiplayer?
Yes. In addition to battling the hordes of the Burning Hells cooperatively with friends over Battle.net, players will be able to adventure through the world of Diablo III solo. More details on both the single-player and multiplayer experience will be revealed at a later date.
What will questing be like in Diablo III? Will it be similar to Diablo II?
Our plans for the story and quest mechanics are still under wraps. We’ll go into detail on those elements of the game at a later date. We can say, however, that we expect to have class-based quests in addition to the main story-line quests.
What engine is Diablo III running on? What graphical enhancements are included?
Diablo III runs on a custom 3D game engine for rendering full-3D characters and environments. The 3D game engine not only simulates advanced animation sequences and sound effects, but also uses a custom physics engine that allows for realistic object dynamics and cloth simulation.
What are the system requirements for Diablo III?
We’ll announce specific system requirements at a later date.
When will Diablo III be released?
It’s too early to estimate Diablo III’s release date. As with all Blizzard Entertainment games, our goal is to create a game that is as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. We intend to take as much time developing Diablo III as is necessary to ensure the game meets our own high expectations and those of our players.
Will the game be released in multiple countries? Will the release be simultaneous? Which countries and what languages will Diablo III be localized in?
As with all of our games, our goal with Diablo III is to release the game simultaneously in as many regions as possible, and to localize the game in several languages. We’ll have more details to share about countries, languages, and specific dates as we get closer to release.
Will Diablo III be available on Windows and Mac simultaneously?
Yes. As with all of Blizzard Entertainment’s recent releases, Diablo III will ship for both Windows and Mac simultaneously.
How much will Diablo III cost? Where can I buy this game?
Pricing and availability for Diablo III will be determined and announced closer to the release of the game.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Haha. All You Fundamentalist Evangelicals and Ludites Who Are Against Stem Cell Research Can Suck It
Stem cells can be used to create limitless blood supplies: report
Wed Aug 20, 5:32 AM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Scientists from a US firm claim to have created a large number of red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells, opening up the prospect of having a limitless supply of blood for transfusions.
"Limitations in the supply of blood can have potentially life-threatening consequences for patients with massive blood loss," said Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a Worcester-based company.
"represent a new source of cells that can be propagated and expanded indefinitely, providing a potentially inexhaustible source of red blood cells for human therapy.
"We can currently generate 10 to 100 billion red blood cells from a single six-well plate of stem cells," he said in a paper published online in the Blood journal.
"The identification of a stem cell line with "O -" blood-type would permit the production of compatible "universal donor" blood," Lanza added.
The "O" blood type is a universal blood type and the only one that can be transfused to people with other blood types.
A blood type, or a blood group, is a classification of blood based on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of red blood cells.
"Penis Goes Where?"
A 12-year-old Tipton lad has demonstrated why it's a really bad idea to light your own farts in close proximity to a can of petrol, after he did just that and ended up with 18 per cent burns to his thumb and the backs of his legs.
Tipton firemen duly attended the scene of the mishap, but the small blaze resulting from the incendiary tomfoolery had already burned itself out, the Telegraph notes. Watch commander Paul Harpin explained: “The boy had been pranking around in the garden having a competition with his cousin, when they were breaking wind and lighting it. Right behind him was a petrol can and that just flashed. I think he must have won the competition but he will have some nasty burns now."
Officers administered first aid awaiting the arrival of medical operatives who whisked the victim to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley. Harpin concluded with the obligatory: “It is a warning not to mess around with fire." ®
LOS ANGELES — Barack Obama is getting praise from Nashville, courtesy of one big, patriotic country star.
Toby Keith, perhaps best known to non-country audiences for his post-Sept. 11 song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," says he's a Democrat, and was impressed by the senator from Illinois.
Keith has said in the past that the 2002 song _ which included lines aimed at the Taliban like "we lit up your world like the Fourth of July" _ was more patriotic than pro-war.
Asked while promoting his new movie "Beer For My Horses" about the role of patriotism in the current presidential election, Keith replied: "There's a big part of America that really believes that there is a war on terrorism, and that we need to finish up.
"So I thought it was beautiful the other day when Obama went to Afghanistan and got educated about Afghanistan and Iraq. He came back and said some really nice things.
"So as far as leadership and patriotism goes, I think it's really important that those things have to take place. And I think he's the best Democratic candidate we've had since Bill Clinton. And that's coming from a Democrat."
Sunday, August 17, 2008
16-year-old drops out of school to play Guitar Hero
Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:29PM EDTBuzz up!
Regular readers know that I love video games as much as the next guy. In fact, my right ankle is still sore from drumming my way through a marathon Rock Band session last night (who knew calibrating the TV would make such a difference!?), and I'm always looking for the latest titles to pop into my Xbox.
But how much gaming is too much? For North Carolina native Blake Peebles, there's no such thing. Guitar Hero is his title of choice. "I usually play till I can't anymore," he says, in this profile from the News & Observer.
In fact, young Mr. Peebles is dropping out of high school... in order to focus on Guitar Hero full time. Peebles hopes to join the small but growing crew of players looking to make gaming a job. Citing his victories in Guitar Hero tournaments, which include "gift certificates, gaming equipment, and chicken sandwiches," Peebles thinks he has the chops to play competitively and earn actual money in the process. As the story notes, top gamers on the competitive circuit can earn up to $80,000 a year (though $25,000 is more common). Peebles, of course, can count his 52 Chick-fil-A combo meals toward that total.
I was at first inclined to disparage the decision by his parents to let Peebles drop out of school, but it seems a little less ridiculous when you delve into the facts. Peebles hahdn't been doing well in school and wasn't liked, and even now he isn't gaming full time. He has a tutor that provides a private education, and his parents say he's doing well with the more focused instruction and that their son now even does his homework without complaint. (Presumably he can hit the axe sooner after he's finished his studies.)
However, I worry that Peebles, who's just 16, may have a tough road ahead trying to break into competitive gaming. The costs of traveling to tournaments alone can totally outstrip earnings, and the amount of training can be grueling. Sponsorships are often a pipe dream. And then there's the issue of games going out of date and being replaced by something new. Traditional athletes never have to worry about, say, distance running being upgraded with a new version, but many games can go out of style, fast. In the end, there's just not much cash there: One gamer, quoted at the end of the linked article, says that in eight years his total earnings are about $25,000 total, and that's including a national championship in Halo 2.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
[Movies] Conan Update
Posted by Ashish on 08.13.2008
Dirk Blackman and Howard McCain have been hired to adapt the screenplay for Conan.
The new version won't be a direct remake of the 1982 film though, as producer Fredrik Malmberg plans on going for a darker approach to the material.
"Fans expect [these types of movies] to be more true to the source material," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "There's no reason why there couldn't be a Conan movie every two years. He's almost like Batman. He's a dark hero. He's a hard hero. He has to be badass, but we also have to like him."
Credit: Hollywood Reporter
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This hero used to be a big fan of Metallica but they have been mailing it in ever since Justice for All in my opinion. Couple that with the fact that they replaced the awesome Jason Newstead on bass guitar with a walking vaginal crab with hair and this hero has little reason to listen. But this single, 'Cyanide", at least features some classic heavy riffs and Lars goes back to using 'big boy' drums rather than the shit cans he used on their last record. Also, the lyrics are a bit to 1980's for me. Metallica used to sing about political issues or songs mixed with a Lovecraftian feel or even the random Hemingway tribute. But the lyrics here fall flat. Thankfully, the music makes up for it. In all, I give this song a B or a B-.
Heath Ledger’s Joker — no question it was an amazing performance. And if he were still with us, we could ask him about his various inspirations: what did he watch, what did he read, what did he observe, how did he inhabit his character? Well, one of the clues he left us was his Joker diary, which he kept four a months before shooting.
In it, there’s a list of what would make the Joker laugh – including AIDS, landmines, geniuses suffering irreversible brain damage, brunch, and sombreros. “It gave me this chill,” Grant Morrison said, because it was word-for-word what Morrison had written in one of his Batman stories.
“There’s a Batman [Batman #663, “The Clown at Midnight”] that I did last year that hardly anyone read,” Morrison said.
As a response to his own “Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth,” Morrison had continued his themes of the duality of Joker and the Batman in “The Clown at Midnight.” Having established with “Arkham” that the Joker had a sort of “super-sanity” and that he shifted between personalities,” Morrison explored the idea further in “The Clown at Midnight,” by showing that each time the Joker escaped, one of those new personalities would emerge.
“It’s a really good story,” Morrison said, “but because it was prose, people didn’t want to read it.”
Except, apparently, Heath, who saw Morrison’s list and put it in his Joker diary. “He actually had a whole list — blind babies, doctors, accidents — really horrible stuff,” Morrison said. “Heath wrote it all down. So yeah, I can see there’s a lot of [‘Arkham’ and ‘Midnight’] in his Joker.”
The filmmakers have taken great pains to acknowledge the original comics they drew from, Morrison pointed out. With those shout-outs, sales for the originals have skyrocketed – not just for “Arkham,” but also Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke,” Frank Miller’s “Year One” and “Dark Knight Returns,” and Jeph Loeb’s “Long Halloween.”
Monday, August 11, 2008
Naked Woman Arrested after Bicyclist Hit on San Pablo
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating a bizarre crash on the Southside involving a woman driving a car full of children and a bicyclist.
The incident happened on San Pablo Road, just north of Beach Boulevard Sunday night.
Witnesses in the car told police the unidentified female driver deliberately ran into a woman riding a bike on the side of the road.
Witnesses say the woman jumped out of her Honda and hopped in the back seat of a car whose driver had stopped to help the injured bicyclist.
The driver managed to get the woman out of his car, but she ran to another car, yanked the driver out, got behind the wheel and smashed into her Honda.
One of the driver's at the scene told First Coast News reporter Kyle Meenan, "Three young children got out and they were running around screaming and everything!"
Fortunately, a 14 year old Boy Scout riding in the Honda helped to get all the kids out of the car before the woman rammed it.
Witnesses said the woman had been babysitting the Boy Scout and another child, and the two other children in the car belonged to her.
Witnesses say the woman then drove a car into a fence, got out, and ran in circles while taking off her clothes.
It took several officers to subdue her, according to witnesses.
The suspect has been identified as 34 year old Holly Kay Highfield. Officers arrested her and took her to Shands Jacksonville for an evaluation.
She is facing charges of aggravated battery/use of a deadly weapon, carjacking, DUI, and DUI with damage to property.
Gnome at last: Stunned owner finds kidnapped ornament on doorstep, with photos of him in 12 countries around the world
By Beth Hale
If only he could talk there would surely be extraordinary tales to tell.
He's been swimming with turtles off the Great Barrier Reef, scaled a glacier in New Zealand and toured the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat.
Unfortunately the gnome formerly known as Murphy is giving nothing away - save for a singularly enigmatic smile.
On holiday: Murphy the leprechaun poses for a picture in front of Sydney Opera House in Australia
The adventures of Murphy, now Barrington (of which more later), began back in September after the best part of a decade spent in 'quiet reflection' in a simple flower bed in the 'Shire'.
Owners Eve and Derrick Stuart-Kelso were stunned to discover the 10-inch high stone leprechaun they had inherited when they bought their Gloucester home, had disappeared.
The couple, both retired, assumed the gnome had fallen foul of students from a nearby college and would never be seen again.
Taking a dip: Murphy cools off in Thailand
Both keen travellers, the couple never dreamed that the humble green-hatted garden ornament was setting of an around the world jaunt taking in 12 countries and three continents.
And oblivious they would have remained if Murphy had not decided that there really is just no place like home.
The 8lb gnome appeared on the Stuart-Kelso's doorstep on Thursday last week, some 11 months after disappearing.
A little the worse for wear, the traveller was standing next to a mysterious and tightly-wrapped parcel.
Once unwrapped it revealed a leather-bound photo album containing 48 pictures of the gnome's trip around the globe along with a note putting his impromptu world tour down to 'itchy feet'.
The painstakingly compiled album, complete with index, showed their gnome - renamed Barrington by his travel companions - abseiling down a mountain, standing in a shark's mouth, swimming in the sea, and riding a motorbike.
On top of the world: The gnome takes a cable car ride
Also with him were immigration stamps for all the shores he had been taken to visit - South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong and Laos.
A witty note, purporting to be from Barrington, referred to his 'travelling companion' only as The Bear, and told the couple how he attracted unwanted attention from customs officials and took up 25 per cent of the party's luggage allocation.
The only clue, however, to the identity of those companions was a photograph of a group of grinning young men.
As for the letter it began:
'Hello! First of all I feel I should explain my prolonged absence. A gnome's life is full of time for reflection, and whilst surveying your garden one summer morning, I began to get itchy feet.
'I came to the conclusion that the world is a big place and there is more to life than watching the daily commuter traffic, and allowing passing cats to urinate on you.
'So I decided to free myself from the doldrums of the Shire and seek adventure. My travels have taken me across three continents, 12 countries and more time zones than I can possibly remember.
Adventurer: Murphy joins some ice-climbers
'There have been high points, low points, and positively terrifying points. But I have survived - small thanks to the companion with whom I have shared all these moments.'
The bizarre crime echoes the French film 'Amelie' starring Audrey Tatou in which a gnome belonging to her father is taken around the world and photographed to show him how much he is missing out on in life.
Last night grandmother-of-three Mrs Stuart-Kelso said: 'The leprechaun went missing many, many months ago and I had forgotten about it.
'Then I opened the door on Thursday and saw he was back. It was such a shock.
'Murphy was quite badly damaged and there was a tightly wrapped parcel next to him. My curiosity eventually overcame my alarm, because I did wonder if it might explode.
'Then I saw it was a beautifully bound photo album and opened it up.
His feet were missing, but that's no real surprise given that he was sent abseiling down a mountain.'
Stunned: Grandmother Eve Stuart-Kelso found her gnome on her doorstep, with a letter and photo album of his travels
She said while strange, the gift had sent the family into fits of laughter.
She said her grandchildren, Sophie, 14, Ellie, 13, and Piers, 13, would be thrilled to hear of the gnome's adventures. The trio give the green-hatted gnome a fresh coat of paint every year.
Gloucestershire police took a less amused view of the adventure.
A spokesman said: 'Any theft of a person's property, even if it is carried out as a joke, will be treated as a crime by police.'
As for Murphy, his wanderlust satisfied he is now back in the flower bed where he belongs - only this time he's out of temptation's way in the back garden.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
(CNN) -- Soul singer and arranger Isaac Hayes, who won Grammy awards and an Oscar for the theme from the 1971 action film "Shaft," has died, sheriff's officials in Memphis, Tennessee, reported Sunday.
Singer Issac Hayes seen performing in the U.K. last year. Hayes was found dead Sunday at age 65.
Relatives found Hayes, 65, unconscious in his home next to a still-running treadmill, said Steve Shular, a spokesman for the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.
Paramedics attempted to revive him and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m., the sheriff's department said.
No foul play is suspected, the agency said in a written statement.
A tale told by a menacing alien life-form
By Oliver Pritchett
Some people have suggested that my new production for the Royal Shakespeare Company is gimmicky, but I am convinced that the Dalek is absolutely right for the part of Macbeth. This is not a case of casting some television celebrity just to get more bums on seats; in fact my aim is to get more heads poking up nervously from behind seats. This casting is perfectly consistent with the spirit of Shakespeare's tragedy.
The Dalek had a career in the theatre before he went off to seek domination of the universe. He spent some time in rep and was a much-praised Tin Man in the Chichester production of The Wizard of Oz. He also knows his Shakespeare; he was very effective in the crowd scene (near the back) in Julius Caesar and his gun-stalk was seen sticking out from behind the arras in the 1987 Stratford production of Hamlet.
So you can see, as well as being a TV star, he is a seriously committed actor and a pro. The theatre runs through his circuits. Of course, his craggy, portable air-conditioner looks make him perfect for the role of Macbeth.
Although he is undoubtedly a celebrity, he has mucked in with the rest of the company and, right from the start, he told us to call him Dal.
He is somebody who has his runners firmly on the ground and he is also incredibly modest.
After our successful first night when we all said: "Dalek, you were wonderful," he shrugged his turret and diffidently murmured: "I am simp-ly pro-grammed to re-peat the lines."
We have all had to remember that we must never utter the words "Dr Who" in the theatre. It's an old superstition from the planet Skaro where Dal started out in the business. Apparently, if you say "Dr Who" all sorts of things go wrong - fuses blow, sparks fly out of your torso, vaporising guns fail to fire at the crucial moment and you could even melt into a pool of slime.
In rehearsals I confess I forgot a couple of times and said the forbidden words - which meant that Dal had to rotate his turret anti-clockwise three times and spit on his control panel, to ward off the bad luck. Eventually, we all learned to refer to Dr Who as "the inter-galactic series."
To complement the vibrant voice of the Dalek, with its magical combination of laryngitis and constipation, I decided to get the actresses playing the three witches to model their performances on sat nav systems.
I firmly believe that Shakespeare, on his journeys between London and Stratford-upon-Avon, would have met such creatures at crossroads along the way and they would have given him misleading directions, so I decided this was valid within the context of the play.
So, at the beginning of Macbeth, the witches greet the Dalek and Banquo on the heath and the first witch says: "At the next roundabout, turn left," the second witch adds: "You have reached your destination," and the third one declares: "When it is safe to do so, make a U-turn."
This creates just the right atmosphere of mystery and confusion and it is no wonder that the Dalek Macbeth croaks: "Your or-ders have not been under-stood. My circuits are over-heating."
After the encounter with the sat nav hags, the clear idea is planted in Macbeth's memory bank that he is, in fact, named Thane from the planet Cawdor.
As Lady Macbeth, we have that brilliant actress Rosalind Peabody. Viewers will remember her from the popular TV series Space Station Zero Nine in which she is held hostage by a giant turquoise sponge.
In our production she wears a skin-tight one-piece silver foil jump-suit. We did a lot of workshopping to get the voice right.
At first we considered the tones of the Tesco automatic check-out, which had the bossiness, but lacked the right degree of menace, so we settled for the BT woman who tells us we have dialled an incorrect number.
There is no doubting her authority now as she orders the Dalek Macbeth to exterminate Duncan. "I will o-bey," he replies, trundling off down the dark corridor of Dunsinane.
The famous scene in Act II is more effective now as Lady Macbeth declares: "The dagger which I see before me has not been recognised. Please check and try again."
I believe I have also heightened the tension when Banquo's ghost materialises at the feast. Now Banquo wears gold lamé thigh-length boots, a tight-fitting scarlet tunic and has what looks like an upturned colander on his head. No wonder Macbeth looks appalled.
I have taken a tiny liberty at the end, but I am convinced that Shakespeare would agree with me that a shower of meteorites is more spectacular than Birnam Wood on the move.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Joshua Zumbrun 08.05.08, 6:00 AM ET
Washington, D.C. -
The turmoil of the mortgage market granted a temporary reprieve from hearing about the woes of America's Rust Belt. That doesn't mean things are better. Despite a decade of national prosperity, the former manufacturing backbone of the U.S. is in rougher shape than ever, still searching for some way to replace its long-stilled smokestacks.
Where's it worst? Ohio, according to our analysis, which racked up four of the 10 cities on our list: Youngstown, Canton, Dayton and Cleveland. The runner-up is Michigan, with two cities--Detroit and Flint--making the ranking.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
[Movies] American Gladiators Star In The Running For Leads In Conan & Captain America
Posted by Ashish on 08.06.2008
Mike "Titan" O'Hearn is going places...
American Gladiators star Mike "Titan" O'Hearn is apparently in the running for the lead roles in both Conan the Barbarian and The First Avenger: Captain America.
Slash Film reports that O'Hearn has already auditioned for the role of Conan and had a meeting with Lionsgate about the role today. He will also be auditioning for the Captain America role soon.
Of course, O'Hearn is just one of many actors being considered for the lead roles in both films.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Apparently not, because the 53-year old Brazilian national has been found guilty of attempted murder after shooting a neighbor he thought was another neighbor whom Correi claims sodomized his cat, thus turning it gay.
Confused? We don’t blame you:
[Correi] asked neighbor Anabela Silva Cruz to help catch the animal which had escaped on to an adjacent piece of land. A second neighbor, homosexual José Pedro Macedo, who was at his window, saw they were having trouble in their attempts and offered his help too.
As he tried to join in the mission, José Correia yelled insults at his neighbor concerning his sexual orientation.
After catching his pet, José Correia went to his neighbor’s house with a 6.35 calibre Browning pistol. Anabela Cruz remained on the property’s patio and was injured when the Browning was fired.
Courts proved that it was a case of mistaken identity, that José Correia believed it was his other neighbour on the patio, and was convinced José Pedro “was a homosexual and that there had been contact of a sexual nature between the neighbour and his cat.”
Said “sexual contact” then turned the cat into a queer, claimed Correia. A magistrate described the man’s tale as “one of the silliest motives I have ever heard in my life.” But at least it’s imaginative!