August 30, 2006

Confidential to FattyFat

Posted by Chris on 08/30/06

Good thing I can't see that. Sure would be embarrassing to Mr. FattyFat if I could.

Posted by: Big Fat Brian at August 31, 2006 7:05 AM

Help me, I've been left in Vermont and now Chris is mean to me, so very mean.

Posted by: Fatty Fat's Inner Child at September 1, 2006 3:58 AM

All right, all right, move it along, nothing to see here....

Posted by: Wrath of Fattyfat at September 7, 2006 4:04 PM

August 24, 2006

My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nothing: A REQUIEM

Am I the only one that feels a weird and surreal sense of loss at this Pluto thing? I mean, it was hardly a fancy planet, really just a crap rock made of ice over in the bad part of town, and its orbit was a little weird. OK, maybe it was really just a big fat comet that got too close, but - I'd kind of gotten used to it up there.

It gave me a sense of comfort knowing I could look up to the heavens, and while never able to spot it with the naked eye, or probably even find it on a star chart, it was up there nonetheless, in its lonely, wobbly orbit, not even bothering Neptune for God's sake.

It's like suddenly you have a fence going through your back yard because some yahoo down at City Hall re-zoned the neighborhood. I DON'T LIKE IT. Can't we just grandfather Pluto in, and we'll apply these new standards for the next one?

Posted by Chris on 08/24/06

who are you to stand in the way of progress? it is clear to me, after extensive review of the problem, that pluto doesn't deserve the lofty title of planet. where are the canals? where are pluto's rings? What, no small green aliens with big eyes? No. It is a pluton, tried and true. you are letting nostalgia get in the way of SCIENCE.

Next thing you know: you'll get weepy about the confirmation of the existence of dark matter. no more ineffable mystery for you to dream about.

Posted by: olmy at August 24, 2006 4:34 PM

word life to that one!

Posted by: wildfong at November 14, 2006 3:16 AM

August 22, 2006

The Black Box President

Yesterday President Bush acknowledged - once again - that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

Today he announced that there will be an "involuntary recall" of 2,500 Marines to active duty because there are not enough volunteers returning for duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Let me ask a serious question:

Is there actually anything... ANY POSSIBLE SET OF ACTIONS... that this man can do that will cause his loyal followers to begin to question their dear leader?

There's not, is there? He could do anything, say anything - ANYTHING AT ALL - and that would be just OK with his peeps!

What is this man made of? Can we begin to make those indestructable airplane black boxes out of President Bush? HE CANNOT BE HARMED.

Posted by Chris on 08/22/06

All it's gonna take is one supple-liped intern to "take a shine" to him.

Any volunteers? Anyone?


Posted by: Big Fat Brian at August 23, 2006 7:11 AM

August 21, 2006

Snakes on a Plane

I've never been in a rowdier theatre in my life. And thank God, because I imagine the great time we had at the 10PM showing of "Snakes on a Plane" was due mostly to the crowd. This was a group of college students that had come for the SNAKES, and LOTS OF THEM, and QUICKLY. Bring on the SNAKES!

And the movie delivered. When it wasn't serving up snake after snake, dangling from the oxygen-mask slots, coiling around necks and crawling through blouses, falling down on the couple having sex in the bathroom, biting someone else in the worst place just as they were trying to pee, or writhing down through the center aisle so they could bite someone RIGHT ON THE EYEBALL, the audience would make a HISSSSING sound to warn characters that, lucky though they were to be in a snake-free scene, soon they would be ensnaked, but good.

Speaking about the movie as just a movie becomes almost silly, because the whole thing was more of a hilarious hype experience - and a successful one. I certainly got what I wanted from it. It was exactly what it said it would be, no more, no less.

But when I see it again on cable in a year, I bet I'll note that perhaps the movie could have played out the suspense a bit more. In my limited dealings with serpents I have noted that it takes only a small number - in fact, just one - to make everyone go completely bananas.

Maybe it would have been all the more powerful if there was first one poisonous snake... then another... then maybe two more show up... then they realize THE ENTIRE CARGO HOLD IS CRAWLING WITH THEM HOLY CRAP SOMEONE GET SAMUEL L. JACKSON DOWN HERE. Rather than a sudden explosive appearance of hundreds of the worst kind of snake, all attacking the most sensitive parts of their victims.

And even though they wanted to go for the extreme right away, I missed that "Well of Souls" moment I was looking forward to. I wanted there to be a moment when they showed all of them at once, making my jaw drop at how... many.. damn... snakes there were.

Still, I heartily recommend it if you have been anticipating this movie - AND if you can see it at a late-night show in a college town. The sheer onslaught of so many reptiles in any other context might be absurd, but I assure you in the presence of so much delighted screaming and whooping at the screen, it all makes perfect sense.

Posted by Chris on 08/21/06

Yes, a SINGLE SNAKE ON A PLANE would be enough to cause a riot of panic and I would definitely have a heart attack. I almost stepped on a snake by our garbage can the other day. A harmless garter snake, but I nearly lost my shit.

I heard that people are throwing rubber snakes around in theaters during this movie.

Posted by: Leigh at August 22, 2006 11:46 AM

Lucky it wasn't Snakes IN a Plane because that would have upset the passengers and flight crew. Fortunately they were only ON the plane and presumably blew away minutes before takeoff.

Posted by: simon at August 22, 2006 3:14 PM

August 17, 2006

An Air Travel Special from McSweeney's

...the department has still not resolved the issue of how to ban the passengers from the planes while still providing an incentive to purchase tickets. We might want to backburner this one for a while.

Posted by Chris on 08/17/06

August 15, 2006

The Future of Concealed Explosives

I can understand requiring us to take off our shoes at the airport, I mean one time a man tried to light his shoes on fire, right?

I can understand this thing about no liquids, because certainly some household liquids when combined together CAN be deadly, is this not what we learned from the Joker's diabolical scheme in Batman?

But I'd like to see the TSA start trying to get ahead of this trend a bit, using a thing I like to call "technology" - rather than just hysterically restricting the latest new terror trick.

Because even using MY imagination, unaided as it is by hatred of American freedom, I can already imagine where the next plane-loving terrorists are going to hide their weapons:

1) In a turban.

2) In a baby's clothing.

3) Inside a burqa or hijab worn by an Islamic woman.

4) In the inner coat lining of an Anglo-looking man who would never normally be profiled.

5) In the guts of an iPod or cell phone - because come on, you can't tell me they can't rig one to play MP3s and make calls and ALSO be packed with C4.

6) In a prosthetic limb, or hidden somehow in a wheelchair.

And what is the TSA going to restrict then? All electronics? Traditional ethnic / religious dress? People with disabilities? Babies? Coats?

No, I have no idea what sort of technology or device could be employed, but right now they seem to be heading towards either my Human Cargo plan, or bankruptcy.

Posted by Chris on 08/15/06

August 14, 2006


If you're a fan of the creatures-in-the-dark genre of horror, you'll be very disappointed if you don't see this one on the big screen. Finally, a horror film that doesn't involve teenagers being trapped and taught a good lesson by torturers.

Mentioning Jaws and Alien in the reviews of this film is a bit much, but maybe the excitement is over how you just don't get good horror films very often. And this one is very good. Maybe not an A+, but still a solid A.

It's the sort of movie that made everyone in the theatre SCREAM - and then laugh at how we screamed - and then immediately SCREAM AGAIN because something else happened. I felt the strange "revenge" element added in the third act could have been left out entirely, but by then I was sold.

Posted by Chris on 08/14/06

the real question is whether the movie includes long, painfully drawn-out scenes of hyenas eating children. The Exorcist prequel established a new must-have in the horror canon with that scene. Unless, of course, ultra-violent torture scenes from movies like Hostel and Wolf Creek superceded that one. I can't keep track of these things.

Posted by: olmy at August 14, 2006 5:17 PM

I am soooo pleased you liked this film. I saw the British version back in February; and have seen it about 10 times since. Anyone that comes into my movie clutches is immediately made to watch this. It is already on my all time favorites list. I think it's brilliant. Not an original bone in its body; but done so well in every aspect. I have yet to see it in the theatre (I'm a hypocrite), but am anxious to get out there. I am sure I'll like the British ending better than the "let's make it more palatable to the stupid Americans". Keep touting its wares to all you meet. I'm trying to do the same. And, I have a super crush on Juno (Natalie Mendoza). Mmmm.

Posted by: klugula at August 14, 2006 8:16 PM

Klugula! I definitely need to see this British ending. And I, too, have a fan crush on Juno and felt she was treated unfairly in the movie.

Hey - do you realize that you can now SPELL THINGS WITH A ZOMBIE FONT?!?!

Posted by: Chris at August 15, 2006 4:12 PM

I forgot to mention; I adored the revenge subplot. I thought it added a bit of depth and interest; and it was so subtle; which I appreciated. Especially when Beth said Paul's name; you could barely understand her as the blood was coming out of her mouth. LOVE THIS MOVIE!

Posted by: KLUGULA at August 16, 2006 9:50 AM

August 9, 2006

Three Deadly Links

No! Look away! Don't click on these links! They'll only suck away all your time and attention!

  • The latest episode in the Flash-animated "Brackenwood" series. The Yuyu.

  • Three fantastic Flash-based puzzles: Hapland.

  • The return of PBF comics at their new site:

    And, a bonus unbilled Fourth Deadly Link: the Married To The Sea daily comic.

    Posted by Chris on 08/ 9/06
  • August 8, 2006

    The Red-tipped Hitlershark Show

    As both the field of custom D.N.A. modification and audiences' demand for quality entertainment grew, perhaps it was inevitable that those twin titans T.V. and Science would collaborate to produce the perfect ratings beast.

    The aim was to design a hybrid creature, one that combined the most powerful ratings draws, one that intersected several ecosystems and demographics, one that could carry its own sitcom.

    Also, it would have to be big enough that a 4' x 6' rotating banner ad could run down its flank.

    NBC convened the most intensive focus group and marketing research in history to settle on the shape and nature of the behemoth. Three months later: the Red-tipped Hitlershark was created.

    The mighty fish was released during sweeps week, and it was the most highly-rated television event ever - the numbers were better than the birth of little Ricky Ricardo, the M*A*S*H finale, and Superbowl XVII combined. It was so successful the sale of HDTV sets jumped by 200% in a week. The fascist fish had redefined what it was to be a hit.

    NBC executives moved quickly to retool "The Red-tipped Hitlerfish Show!" and schedule it for another night.

    Known to scientists as Carcharodon Adolfus, the Hitlershark was a nocturnal hunter, and could be distinguished from other genetically-modified entertainment fish by the distinctive symmetry of its dorsal and tail fins, and also its tendency to occasionally violate treaty and occupy the Rhineland.

    Unlike standard, camera-avoiding sharks, the Hitlershark was extremely aggressive and attention-seeking. A series of sensitive canals running along its anterior allowed it to sense the distinctive vibrations of any Nielsen family member in distress. If it also sensed a camera crew at the ready nearby bloodshed was a certainty. Several specials on A&E revealed its possible preoccupation with the occult, and no one could forget when Bravo's hidden cameras caught the animal entering into a secret non-aggression pact with Stalin.

    The Discovery channel portrayed the mighty hunter as not only power-mad but with an insatiable appetite for innocent, blond, prey, which though a partial mischaracterization (The Hitlerfish preferred brunettes), worked out very well for NBC in the ratings department.

    But in all the commotion of its blockbuster success, the Hitlerfish escaped its sitcom. Someone wasn't watching the doors, and now the monster was free, roaming the prime-time ecosystem, unchecked.

    This was a disaster. Or was it? The show "Who Wants to Hunt the Hitlerfish?" was born, and was even a greater success. Contestants competed for the chance to hunt the mighty predator. Losers found terrible death in the multiple rows of the dictator's razor-sharp teeth. Everyone was watching. The NBC executive responsible was quickly fired and the show was rescheduled.

    Ending the monster's life and career proved difficult. A bomb placed in its office failed to stop it. An attempt to trap it in the shallows of a low-rated Bond week on TBS and suffocate it proved fruitless. Even when it appeared in an MTV special to have its crib completely restyled, yo, the shark-hunters - some of them even Australian with very impressive hats - came up with nothing.

    But all things must end. The Hitlershark met its demise when it was voted off the show "In The Bunker! starring the Hitlershark" when a live studio audience preferred house-mate Danny Bonaduce.

    The Red-tipped Hitlershark's grand finale broke all previous ratings records. It took its final bow by singing "The Greatest Love of All," backed up by surprise guest Whitney Houston. Unfortunately show producers interpreted the rolling-over-to-white of its eyes in the last stanza as emotion, instead of as the sign that it was preparing to attack. Whitney Houston's bloody death was horrific but everyone agreed that it made for spectacular T.V.

    Posted by Chris on 08/ 8/06

    Independent of Reality

    According to a Harris Poll last month, about 50% of Americans still believe that Iraq had WMDs when America invaded in 2003. From the Washington Post:

    The reality in this case is that after a 16-month, $900-million-plus investigation, the U.S. weapons hunters known as the Iraq Survey Group declared that Iraq had dismantled its chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs in 1991 under U.N. oversight. That finding in 2004 reaffirmed the work of U.N. inspectors who in 2002-03 found no trace of banned arsenals in Iraq.

    If only that would settle it. But, what the other 50% has come to realize by now is...

    Beyond partisanship, however, people may also feel a need to believe in WMD, the analysts say.

    "As perception grows of worsening conditions in Iraq, it may be that Americans are just hoping for more of a solid basis for being in Iraq to begin with," said the Harris Poll's David Krane.

    Emphasis mine. My mistake here - I thought verifying the existence of WMDs was going to be a matter of evidence, not faith.

    If I'd known I could just WISH something into existence like that I would have been clapping my hands as hard as possible back in November 2000.

    Posted by Chris on 08/ 8/06

    August 7, 2006


    If you had told me Sunday morning we'd later be buying almost $30 worth of peanut butter, I'd have subjected you to a thorough, professional-grade scoffing. THIRTY dollars? For peanut butter?

    But. As fate would have it, that afternoon we found ourselves in a tiny gourmet cheese shop - we were wandering - in which they sold a bizarre product: P.B. Loco brand peanut butter.

    At first it seemed like typical gourmet silliness. As if these flavor combinations would work. Peanut butter and cinnamon? Peanut butter and CURRY? Please. But then - there was PB and white chocolate. PB and raspberry. I headed towards the sample tray with the tiny plastic spoons.

    Soon I was singing a different tune. So it turns out that peanut butter and chocolate is not the only stunningly appropriate flavor marriage.

    Posted by Chris on 08/ 7/06

    August 2, 2006

    Recent Realizations in Geography

    The recent installation of Google Earth on my computer has led me to realize exactly where the island of Bermuda is located. And let me just say, WHAT? All the way out THERE?

    I mean, has anyone looked at a map recently? Do you know where they're keeping this place? It's practically a quarter of the way to Africa!

    And so THIS is the far end of the infamous "Bermuda Triangle?" From Puerto Rico to Florida to Bermuda was supposed to be this Zone of Mystery, where invisible U.F.O.s and sea-monsters swallow ships? That's like saying Interstate 10 is the Haunted Highway because a bunch of cars have crashed there!

    People! This is a half-million square miles of ocean, and it's where hurricanes are born! Maybe THAT explains Flight 19? Or the Mary Celeste or the USS Cyclops or any of the other lost ships and planes?

    The actual location of this island has caused me to question a variety of popular myths - Atlantis? Bigfoot? U.F.O.s? Spontaneous combustion? Spirit photography? ALL SUSPECT.

    Posted by Chris on 08/ 2/06

    Rest assured, gentle readers. The mystery and peril of the Bermuda Triangle are REAL. How do I know this?

    Because, once upon a time on a dark and stormy night, while fishing in alarmingly calm waters off the coast of Bermuda, I caught a fish this big ...

    Posted by: Fisherman Olmy at August 3, 2006 8:44 AM

    I just learned this a few months ago! I heard that this is an excellent bar-game question. I don't know why you'd want to risk getting in a fight over the location of Bermuda, but it is widely unknown. It's way out in the North Atlantic Ocean, but most people think it's in the Caribbean Sea (I did).

    I don't have Google Earth, but you can drill down on Google Maps close enough to see the beach chairs. And if you search "Saint George, Bermuda," on Google Maps, you can see the chairs on the decks of the cruise ships in port. Now THAT REALLY blows my mind!

    Posted by: Leigh at August 3, 2006 10:07 AM

    Google Earth is fantastic. It also gives undeniable proof that the Earth is flat, because I have a flat panel monitor not a spherical one. And those maps look quite flat to me. Otherwise everything would slide down to the southern bit, wouldn't it?

    Posted by: simon at August 5, 2006 6:31 AM

    That's where the Cylons come from. The Cylons secretly destroy any ship, airplane, bird or pigeon that passes it's way......and that's how the Bermuda triangle came into being. Freaky, eh?

    Posted by: Boomer at August 7, 2006 12:11 PM

    August 1, 2006

    Compare and contrast!

  • Via This Modern World (and Whiskey Bar), I invite you to compare and contrast the words of Rush Limbaugh and Osama Bin Laden.

  • Via friend Bill, I see that there is an even worse security flaw in Diebold Voting Machines than their C.E.O. Walden Dell, who let's not forget was very committed to re-electing the President in 2004. Kind of seems inappropriate for a device our democracy depends on.

  • Finally, because any man who counts curse words in movies deserves a heapin' helpin' of abuse, I refer you to cartoonist David Rees, who knows how to type something silly on a computer.

    Posted by Chris on 08/ 1/06