Thursday, August 4


These two sharks walked into a bar. They ate it.

Overheard, Santa Monica Bay: "Does this remora make me look fat?"

These two sharks walked into a gay bar. They ate it.

Science Corner: Sharks, like many humans, cannot comprehend the success of the Black Eyed Peas

These two sharks walked into a biker bar, thought it was another gay bar. So they ate it.

These two sharks walked into the Democratic National Convention. They ate it.

Cooking Tip: Shark-Finn Soup is two parts shark to one part Finlander.

These two sharks walked into a dance club. The DJ sucked, so they left.

Just kidding. They ate it.

Thursday, February 11

I miss blogging

Now that it seems kind of charmingly retro, maybe I'll take it up again....

Sunday, June 7

Dullard DVD review: "Man On Wire"

"Man On Wire" is like "Ocean's 11." Only instead of trying to break into a subterranean vault in Las Vegas to make the big score, the team in "Man On Wire" is trying to get to the top of the World Trade Center to stun the world.

That stunner is the simple yet insane act of a man walking on a cable between the two towers, more than 100 stories above the streets of lower Manhattan. Getting there was the hard part, and that's the heart of much of this documentary.

The origins, planning and training of the WTC mission unfold in "Man On Wire" in three ways: through archival footage, contemporary interviews with the man and his accomplices, and re-enactments. Part of the challenges are physical, others personal.

It all meshes together in a suspenseful way, even though we know that the wirewalker, Philippe Petit, eventually realizes his goal of sneaking into the towers, setting up his cable and walking that line to the amusement and fascination of New Yorkers and the world.

The fate of the towers themselves is never addressed in "Man On Wire." This movie is not about that day in 2001. It's about a day in August 1974, and an event that will never happen again.


Saturday, May 16

The piano as status symbol

My grandmother still has a piano in the living room, but Franko moved his to the studio. It all means something, according to this LAT article.

Thursday, May 14

Penn and Teller to be judges on "Top Chef"

According to Penn's Twitter feed. It could quite possibly be the best "Top Chef" ever, if not one of greatest moments in TV history.

Tuesday, May 12

LISTS: Top 3 songs about child abuse

No one likes child abuse, including rock stars. Here are the top three songs about the topic, listed "countdown" style. Curiously, all three are sung by women.

3. "What's The Matter Here," 10,000 Maniacs. The leadoff track to "In My Tribe" finds Natalie Merchant in an uncharacteristically subtle mode. She tells the tale of abuse from the view of an observer who is apparently able to ask the titular question, yet unable to intervene. Hear it here. (Merchant solo version)

Key line:
"And instead of love and the feel of warmth, you've given him these cuts and sores that don't heal with time or age."

2. "Luka," Suzanne Vega. The biggest hit of Vega's erratic career, this song is also perhaps the most famous one about child abuse. It's also sung from the first-person perspective, making it all the more wrenching. Hear it here.

Key line: "They only hit until you cry, and after that, you don't ask why."

1. "Hell Is For Children," Pat Benatar. The tight-panted songstress stepped back from her oversexed image to take on a maternal role in this track. Some took the title literally, perceiving it as an ode to Satan. But a cursory reading of the lyrics shows that Benatar was hardly sending our little ones to eternal damnation. She cares — and the song rocks. Hear it here.

Key line: "It's all so confusing, this brutal abusing. They blacken your eyes and then apologize."

Sunday, May 10

Movie review: "Star Trek"

The reboot of "Star Trek" tries to blend the origins format of "Batman Begins" with an action-minded storyline that recalls "The Wrath of Khan." It largely succeeds.

Director J.J. Abrams has brought in part of his "Lost" team to resurrect the franchise, which was all but dead after too many TV spinoffs and humdrum movies. Abrams also enlists an array of no-name actors to play James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock and other beloved characters from the original TV series.

Most of these actors are ideal for their roles. Zachary Quinto as the conflicted Spock is especially well cast, as is the comely Zoe Saldana as Uhura. On the other hand, Karl Urban plays Dr. McCoy as a shrill caricature that would be more suitable for an "SNL" sketch.

The "Star Trek" story concerns a renegade Romulan named Nero who's driven by a need for vengeance. Unlike the villain in "Khan," Nero has it out for Spock, not Kirk. And if a few million people and entire planets die along the way, so it goes.

Nero's rampage is the catalyst through which the young Kirk and Spock convene on the USS Enterprise. Their respective back stories are compelling, so much so that the audience may find themselves wanting a bit more of how these people came to be who they are.

As he has with "Lost," Abrams plays with the boundaries of time itself in "Star Trek." This conceit allows Abrams and his team to rewrite the lore of the original series. The surprising results (a shipboard romance comes to mind) will irritate some fans. But this is exactly what "Star Trek" needs to do to matter again.

Yes, Abrams recognizes "Trek" history by including Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, in a prominet role. Yet Nimoy remains the lone link between this film and the 1960s series and the movies it spawned. "Star Trek" is therefore a true reboot, and it will be interesting to see where Abrams take the series where no "Trek" has gone before.


UPDATE: Nimoy talks about the new movie and more in this interview.

Thursday, May 7

Charles Emerson Winchester is gay

David Ogden Stiers of TV's "M*A*S*H" comes out. We're happy for him, but we still want to know what he could have done to stop the preachiness of the last few seasons of the show.

Saturday, May 2

Someone controls electric guitar

Rare guitars are popping up for sale thanks to the recession.

Speaking of that stringed instrument, here are the lyrics to the wackiest song about guitars.

Saturday, April 18

LISTS: Top 10 imperatively titled Pink Floyd songs

Pink Floyd, like R.E.M., is a band that likes to tell listeners what to do. Perhaps that's a reflection of Roger Waters' famously imperious style. Yet he didn't write all of these songs, and one is from the band's post-Waters era.

So here are the top 10 imperatively titled Pink Floyd songs, based on the wisdom of the advice and the quality of the song:

1. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

2. Have A Cigar

3. Breathe

4. Run Like Hell

5. Take Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk

6. Stay

7. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert

8. Let There Be More Light

9. See Emily Play

10. Keep Talking