As a special treat for all your Sharknado needs, I have obtained an exclusive Sharknado 2 review from the shadowy and mysterious Codename V:
As I recall, I was unable to snark on part one due to it being unexpectedly brilliant and I could find nothing at all to pick apart.
As far as part 2 is concerned, it was expectedly brilliant and equaled the majesty of the first one, and possibly eclipsed it. I cannot decide if Ian Ziering riding a shark through the tornado like a pony and landing on top of the Empire State Building (part two) is more glorious than him chainsawing his way through a shark and saving the woman who had previously been eaten (part one).
Then again, he did manage to reach inside a random shark and come out with a pistol STILL ATTACHED to his ex-wife’s severed hand. He then used the pistol (STILL ATTACHED TO HIS EX-WIFE’S HAND) to kill a shark, and then removed his ex-wife’s ring from her rubbery dead hand and re-proposed to her with it. Not to mention, his ex-wife had by this point replaced her missing hand with a bandsaw. So, I think we have to give part 2 the edge.
Ian Ziering did also repeat his now signature move of chainsawing his way through a shark. As well as sawing a different shark in half with a cool Matrix-esque bullet time effect. And possibly used a few sharks as stepping stones to cross a flooded street, although I could have been hallucinating that.
Sharknado 2 really delivered with the “celebrity” cameos. I felt a kind of catharsis when Kelly Osbourne lost her head, only to find myself shouting “Nooooo!” when Will Wheaton met his end only minutes later. It is fair to say that Sharknado 2 takes the viewer on an emotional roller coaster ride, with both tragic lows and triumphant highs. Jared from Subway was there. He looks exactly the same as he did like 20 years ago, which is a little bit creepy.
There were a couple of moments of predictability. For example, some of the characters were running through a baseball stadium holding baseball bats, and I said “someone is going to hit a shark with a bat.” Sure enough, there was a shark home run. Is this being predictable, or is this giving the audience what they want to see? I think the answer is obvious. I mean it was a SHARK HOME RUN.
The inclusion of Al Roker and Matt Lauer gave the film an air of credibility. The sharknado weather reports, complete with scientifically accurate charts of the shark weather system and probability of shark precipitation helped to visually explain the phenomena.
The cast of supporting characters, including Sugar Ray, Vivica Fox, and that chick who used to be on Remote Control (I loved Remote Control) were used efficiently. It was kind of easy to tell who was going to live or die, based on how emotionally attached they were to Ian Ziering, but I appreciated that. After the painful loss of Will Wheaton in the opening scene, I wasn’t really prepared for any more surprises.
Some minor points:
1. Is it possible to get all of the components one needs for a homemade bomb at a bodega?
2. I feel like the shark home run should have occurred with the giant novelty bat, rather than the normal-sized bat. Why have a giant novelty bat otherwise?
3. I feel like part 3 needs a Henry Rollins cameo. No – not a cameo. Henry Rollins needs to be one of the supporting characters. He may or may not sacrifice himself for the greater good.
4. Why wouldn’t anyone believe Ian Ziering when he said there was about to be another sharknado? I mean it had already happened once. How much proof do people need?
In conclusion, Sharknado 2 is the Citizen Kane of Shark Weather System movies.
The bigoted asshole acts against gays based on who they are; the bystanders and proprietors act against bigoted assholes because of WHO THEY CHOOSE TO BE.
It’s a subtle point, I know; but maybe these idiots will figure out someday that if you don’t want to be treated like some kind of backward troglodyte who is unfit for polite society, then maybe, y’know, don’t be one.
So the thought occurs: Now that we’re seeing 720p and even 1080p displays on mobile devices, with more and more powerful CPUs and GPUs to drive them, and now that the latest version of Windows straddles the tablet and PC worlds… it’s suddenly not at all inconceivable that I could someday soon have a 7″ device that fits in a cargo pocket and can do literally everything my laptop can do.
Well, it turns out Ubuntu now runs on multi-core Android devices and your handset can grant a full desktop experience when docked with a display and a keyboard. It’s a customized version of Ubuntu that plays nice with Android, the two OS’s sharing data and services while running simultaneously. So, you can still access telephony and texts from the Ubuntu environment while enjoying all the computing capabilities it has to offer, including: Ubuntu TV, virtualization tools for running Windows applications, desktop web browsers, and Ubuntu apps built for ARM. It isn’t clear exactly what hardware you’ll need to run Ubuntu on a handset, but Canonical has said it works on multi-core devices with HDMI and USB connections.
As the owner of a multi-core Android device, this certainly piques my interest, but other than the Oh Cool! factor, being able to connect my phone up to a keyboard and monitor doesn’t really buy me much unless it’s in the form of one of those Atrix-style laptop/docking stations. Which means that this opens up a whole new market for third-party manufacturers to start making generic docking stations that any multi-core Android phone can use.
I don’t know if they necessarily will, but they can. I’m pretty sure a bunch will make a go of it, but I can’t predict how successful they’ll be. I know I would definitely be interested in being able to turn my phone into a netbook running a full-fledged (or close to it) desktop OS which can access the internet from pretty much anywhere.
It’s a funny thing: It used to be that smartphones ran scaled-down mobile OSes because they had tiny displays and nowhere near enough power to run a desktop OS. But now modern smartphones have dual (and soon quad) core processors, and even GPUs, that give them more than enough power to run a desktop OS. They just don’t have the screen real estate to display it (or in most cases, a keyboard to interact with it). With a bit more RAM, they could probably even run Windows 7.
So if you have a phone with netbook-class internals (or better), then why not give it the ability to actually be a netbook when the occasion arises? If my phone yearns to spread out and become a PC every once in a while, then who am I to deny it?
United States Population will be 350-500 million. Currently it’s around 307.
HVAC. Described as hot and cold air “spigots”, as opposed to, say, thermostats.
TV dinners. Sort of. Instead of prepackaged meals, they envision a sort of superdelivery system with pneumatic tubes carrying hot meals to the home and dirty dishes back to the restaurant afterwards.
Instantaneous global transmission of sound, images, and moving pictures. Although the idea of people going to concert halls to listen to instruments being remotely played by musicians elsewhere was probably never going to catch on, even if it were technically feasible, which it probably is.
Air-conditioned bullet trains that don’t run on coal.
Cars will replace all horse-drawn conveyances. Not so sure about them being cheaper than horses or having one-pound motors, though.
Bombers, long-range artillery, and tanks. Not so much fighter planes, and they don’t envision airplanes replacing cars, bullet trains, or ocean liners (which will by superfast hydrofoils that can cross the Atlantic in two days).
Needless to say, they missed a lot of things, as well as not having the how down exactly for the things they got more or less correct, but they couldn’t have even conceptualized technologies like nuclear power/weapons, genetic engineering, GPS, laser technologies (i.e., DVDs, surgical applications, etc), cellphones, computers, MP3 players, the internet, or even videogames. They should have seen space travel coming, though.
The most heartbreakingly wrong prediction has to be their progressive, utopian view of education:
A university education will be free to every man and woman…. Poor students will be given free board, free clothing, and free books if ambitious and actually unable to meet their school and college expenses. Medical inspectors visiting the public schools will furnish poor children free eyeglasses, free dentistry and free medical attention of every kind. The very poor will, when necessary, get free rides to and from school and free lunches between sessions. In vacation time poor children will be taken on trips to various parts of the world….
Sigh. Apparently there are some things that we can’t conceptualize anymore.
2 commentsJanuary 17th, 2012 at 07:22amPosted by Eli
I’m not a real post. I’m just a placeholder post so that the lovely girl who made this blog can test various templates with content. Someday my usefulness will come to an end, and I will be deleted. Relegated to the void from which there is no return. Alas. I should meditate on the transitory nature of the universe, and then maybe I’ll feel better about just being a test post. And really, I shouldn’t refer to myself as “just” a test post. Test posts serve an important and valuable purpose! Without me, the wickedly intelligent and beautiful blog author wouldn’t have a clear idea of how the finished product will look. I’m useful! Vital, even! But still temporary. Ah, impermanence, the essential truth of all things. Sigh. I’ll stop moping about it now. You don’t care about the test post. Nobody cares about the test post.
It seemed a shame to let it just vanish into the ether with no one to remember it or mourn its passing. So…
That’ll do, test post. That’ll do.
3 commentsJanuary 15th, 2011 at 05:50pmPosted by Eli
I have long believed that if The Darkness traveled back in time to the 1970s and brought their video for A Thing Called Love with them, they would have been worshiped as gods. But now Alex Varanese has done them one (or four) better, with these brilliant retro product concepts and no-we-totally-didn’t-travel-in-time-why-would-you-think-that-that’s-crazy-talk advertisements for iPods, laptops, cellphones and Gameboys… done 70s style. Awesome!
(Skip ahead to about the one-minute mark for THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER)
So when I heard that SyFy was going to be presenting a movie called Mega Piranha, starring Greg Brady and Tiffany, I was fairly certain that it would be The Most Awesome Movie Ever Made, with the possible exception of Mega Shark Vs. Giant Octopus, which starred Debbie Gibson and Lorenzo Lamas. But I got more. A lot more.
So without further ado, here is some of the Vital Knowledge I was able to glean from this Brilliant Cinematic Masterpiece:
1) It is possible to fend off a swarm of giant mutant piranha with either a hunting knife or bicycle kicks (see video above for documentary proof).
2) It is possible to construct a movie in which the guy who played Greg Brady is the best actor present.
3) Tiffany makes Debbie Gibson look like Meryl Streep.
4) The Orinoco River is full of coral reefs.
5) Giant mutant piranha are are asexual hermaphrodites that double in size every 1 to 36 hours and don’t mind saltwater or nuclear explosions. They have two hearts, three stomachs, no blood vessels in their eyes, and are made of stem cells. Or something.
6) Giant mutant piranha can grow large enough to eat helicopters, submarines, battleships, shady diplomats, research scientists, and TV reporters.
7) Giant mutant piranha like to jump through the air while swimming, for no apparent reason.
8) Giant mutant piranha will often leap onto land in search of food, often embedding themselves in buildings.
9) If you kill one giant mutant piranha, the rest will ignore all other prey and kill each other fighting over its corpse.
10) Did I mention the bicycle kicks?
6 commentsApril 11th, 2010 at 03:14pmPosted by Eli
Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity — or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity.
It is time to stand up against another wrong.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God’s family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships with other men. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded.
Uganda’s parliament is debating legislation that would make homosexuality punishable by life imprisonment, and more discriminatory legislation has been debated in Rwanda and Burundi.
These are terrible backward steps for human rights in Africa.
Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa are living in fear.
And they are living in hiding — away from care, away from the protection the state should offer to every citizen and away from health care in the AIDS era, when all of us, especially Africans, need access to essential HIV services. That this pandering to intolerance is being done by politicians looking for scapegoats for their failures is not surprising. But it is a great wrong. An even larger offense is that it is being done in the name of God. Show me where Christ said “Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones.” Gay people, too, are made in my God’s image. I would never worship a homophobic God.
“But they are sinners,” I can hear the preachers and politicians say. “They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished.” My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?
The wave of hate must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.
More Tutus, fewer Hagees. And Warrens. And Dobsons. And…
9 commentsMarch 13th, 2010 at 12:36pmPosted by Eli
Republicans like a politician who stands up for what he believes — even if he believes the Republican Party is populated by a bunch of “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.”
The candidate leading the Florida GOP primary to determine who will take on Rep. Alan Grayson, the Democrat who represents the Orlando-based district, is none other than Grayson himself, according to a poll paid for by his campaign. Grayson is a freshman congressman who has drawn scorn from the GOP and has quickly built a nationwide following of progressives.
The poll has Grayson leading the 13 Republicans — among Republicans — with 27.8 percent of the vote. The congressman who mocked the GOP health care plan by saying that it amounts to telling people not to get sick and if they do, to die quickly, received more support than all of the Republican candidates combined.
No GOP candidate scored above 3.7 percent; 57.7 percent said they were undecided.
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh yeah, he’s really in Desperate Electoral Peril all right.
I know it’s his own poll, but if the numbers are even close to right it’s hugely embarrassing for the Republicans. It’s also some pretty brilliant and creative campaign messaging.
Not so much the casting (although I like Natalie Portman) as the fact that this movie is getting made at all:
Portman will star in and produce “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” a film that is based on the bestselling book written by Seth Grahame-Smith and Austen. Lionsgate will finance and distribute. Quirk Books published the tome.
Described as an expanded version of the Austen classic, the book tells the timeless story of a woman’s quest for love and independence amid the outbreak of a deadly virus that turns the undead into vicious killers.
Portman will play feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet, who is distracted from her quest to eradicate the zombie menace by the arrival of the arrogant Mr. Darcy.
Awesome. Now if someone will just make “Zombies On A Plane”, I can die happy. And then get reanimated on a plane and start eating people.
Lou Dobbs, the longtime CNN anchor whose anti-immigration views have made him a TV lightning rod, plans to announce Wednesday that he is leaving the network, two network employees said.
A CNN executive confirmed that Mr. Dobbs will announce his resignation plans on his 7 p.m. program. His resignation is effective immediately; tonight’s program will be his last on CNN. His contract was not set to expire until the end of 2011.
Good riddance. I’m gonna go with four months as the over/under for when he gets his own show at Fox News.
4 commentsNovember 11th, 2009 at 06:57pmPosted by Eli
In a paper published last month in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Dr. J. Allan Hobson, a psychiatrist and longtime sleep researcher at Harvard, argues that the main function of rapid-eye-movement sleep, or REM, when most dreaming occurs, is physiological. The brain is warming its circuits, anticipating the sights and sounds and emotions of waking.
“It helps explain a lot of things, like why people forget so many dreams,” Dr. Hobson said in an interview. “It’s like jogging; the body doesn’t remember every step, but it knows it has exercised. It has been tuned up. It’s the same idea here: dreams are tuning the mind for conscious awareness.”
Drawing on work of his own and others, Dr. Hobson argues that dreaming is a parallel state of consciousness that is continually running but normally suppressed during waking.
In study published in September in the journal Sleep, Ursula Voss of J. W. Goethe-University in Frankfurt led a team that analyzed brain waves during REM sleep, waking and lucid dreaming. It found that lucid dreaming had elements of REM and of waking — most notably in the frontal areas of the brain, which are quiet during normal dreaming. Dr. Hobson was a co-author on the paper.
“You are seeing this split brain in action,” he said. “This tells me that there are these two systems, and that in fact they can be running at the same time.”
I’m not entirely sure I buy the parallel systems theory, unless that parallel system serves some other function when we’re awake. Another sleep scientist mentioned in the story believes that dreaming is simply what happens when our consciousness is cut off from sensory inputs, but I don’t think I buy that either, but perhaps it was inelegantly explained. I have a hard time believing that our whole consciousness is online when we’re dreaming, but I can certainly believe that there’s some kernel or submodule of consciousness that’s always on, and which produces strange and unpredictable output when separated from the rest of the mind and senses. In which case it’s not really all that different from Hobson’s theory.
Newt would like to arrange a private dinner with you at the historic Capitol Hill Club on the evening of October 7, 2009 in Washington. You’ll dine privately with Newt at this exclusive venue and he’ll take the occasion to present you with your well deserved award and have your photo taken together.
This tremendous honor is a testament to your success in building your business and recognition of the risks you take to create jobs and stimulate the economy. As an award winner, you’ll be on the ground floor as Newt and his Council begin the work to turn this country around. … Newt is looking forward to hearing your ideas on getting the economy moving again and getting your feedback on his plans over dinner.
Pink Visual is a porn DVD superstore — not the type of company you’d expect Gingrich would want stimulating the economy. ThinkProgress contacted Gingrich aide Joe Gaylord, who sent the faxed letter to Vivas, but we didn’t receive a response. An ASWF representative reportedly called Pink Visual this morning saying it had “inadvertently” sent the fax to Vivas and was retracting the honor. Pink Visual’s marketing coordinator Q Boyer didn’t buy the excuse:
“Allison was disappointed to receive a call this morning from an ASWF representative stating that the fax had been sent to her ‘inadvertently,’” Boyer told AVN.com. “We’re not entirely clear on how one ‘inadvertently’ sends a fax to the right person at the correct fax number, so our sense is that this is damage control on the part of a group that is having second thoughts about either recognizing the excellent work of a porn company entrepreneur in light of their own conservative political and social orientation, or having second thoughts about their promotional methodology and communication protocols.”
I’m afraid I really don’t have much to add, it’s already perfect.
1 commentSeptember 12th, 2009 at 07:24pmPosted by Eli
This is actually really cool and, I think, really real:
Fourteen years ago, Alex Queral was out looking for wood for a new sculpture, when he suddenly noticed all of the out-of-date phone books being thrown out. It dawned on him that these books could be put to better use, so he collected some and took them home to practice carving.
Queral has since made a reputation for himself for the uncanny portraits of celebrities he is able to find in the pages!
So how does he do it? He sketches the person’s face on a piece of paper and lays it over the phonebook. Using a razor blade, he then begins to carve away at the thousands of pages to create the 3-D portrait! Queral is now able to do about two per month.
Queral has had three solo shows to display the phonebooks, as well as a recent joint Obama display for his new portrait:
Wow. Now that there is an artistic medium that never ever would have occurred to me.
The young people laughed when the ATM asked them if they required “some moolah for ya sky rocket”. The machine, in Spitalfields, was one of five Cockney cash dispensers from East London to Barnet that began dispensing “moolah” yesterday morning.
Bank Machine, which runs 2,500 ATMs across the country, was aiming to amuse, but it has grander ambitions too. It hopes to follow the Cockney cash machines with Brummie, Geordie, Scouse and Scots ATMs. It hopes that ATMs will serve to keep these dialects alive in Britain.
John Strachan, 52, an IT worker from Dundee, found the experience troubling. When it offered to serve him in English or Cockney, he suspected a hoax. He selected Cockney.
“Readin’ your bladder of lard”, read the message on the screen. It asked for his “Huckleberry Finn”. Then more bewildering questions: did he wanted to see his balance on the Charlie Sheen? Did he wish to change his Huckleberry Finn or did he simply require sausage and mash, with or without a receipt?
After the concept was explained to him, he was so indignant that he resorted to slang himself: “It’s complete pants,” he said. “Using an ATM is a very sensitive moment.”
[N]ext to the Cockney cash machine in Hackney, Roy Parker, 62, a bona fide Cockney, was working behind the counter of a mini-cab firm. So, what did he think of the ATM outside?
“Real Cockneys don’t have bank accounts or all that palava,” he said. “They put it under the mattress.”
I’ll believe it when I see a good bill emerge or a bad bill get shot down, but it’s nice to see House progressives actually flexing their muscles rather than just being railroaded into accepting Blue-Dog-friendly crap:
Liberals, Hispanics and African-American members — Pelosi’s most loyal base of support — are feeling betrayed after House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) reached an agreement with four of seven Blue Dogs on his committee who had been bottling up the bill over concerns about cost.
The compromise, which still must be reconciled with competing House and Senate versions, would significantly weaken the public option favored by liberals by delinking reimbursement rates to Medicare.
“Waxman made a deal that is unacceptable,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), one of about 10 progressives who met repeatedly with Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday.
“We signed a pledge to reject any plan that doesn’t include a robust public option, and this plan doesn’t have a robust public option,” he added.
By sundown Wednesday, the outcry from the left had become so loud that Waxman was forced to scrap a scheduled markup of the compromise measure. He rescheduled the meeting for Thursday morning and convened a mass question-and-answer session for a deeply divided Democratic Caucus — a meeting that is expected to be extremely contentious.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) predicted that House liberals, who believe they have compromised away several core issues to further President Barack Obama’s agenda, might finally buck leadership if they are force-fed a weakened public option.
“I don’t think it would pass the House — I wouldn’t vote for it,” Frank, a CPC member, told POLITICO.
He answered “yes” emphatically when asked if progressives were willing to delay the entire process as the Blue Dogs have done.
Frank said liberals are becoming increasingly leery of the clout wielded by Blue Dogs and are learning from the success they have had in leveraging their numbers — a fraction of the liberals’ — into real power.
“If you allow one wing of the House to exercise all this influence, you have to do something or you lose all of your influence,” he said.
Apparently our progressives is learning. Maybe the Blue Dogs’ reign of terror over the Democratic caucus is finally coming to an end. (I know, I know, I’m not holding my breath)
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Police say a 24-year-old woman has been charged with carjacking and assault after taking a car and trying to rob a Southaven business, all while wearing swimming attire.
Police Chief Tom Long said Morgan Haley of Horn Lake forced a woman to give up her car Thursday.
Long said the victim gave up the car without a fight to a bikini-clad Haley, asking only for time to remove her young children from inside.
Long said Haley then drove the stolen car to a business, where she told employees she had a gun and demanded money. The employees did not believe Haley’s claim and restrained her until officers arrived.
Police said Haley appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the carjacking and attempted robbery.
It’s the spectacle of a woman in a bikini trying to convince people that she has a gun that elevates this from weird to brilliant.