Thursday, January 22, 2009

Too Weird to Live...and Too Rare to Die

Good Morning Ladies & Gentlemen,

I haven't been feeling well the past few days…and now I think I know why, I seem to have a bit of a cold or something. Nothing major…but I just feel run down and I have my Barry White voice going…so if anybody wants to feel a few good shivers over the phone, gimme a call later. Anyway, I'm not going to let it get me down…because I had fun at the work party last night. I brought a nice bottle of wine…and basically went home with a two-liter of Pepsi, mini cans of Coke (great mixers), macaroni salad, pasta salad, potato salad, garlic bread, chicken wings, and chocolate chip cookies. That's what happens when you're the only bachelor at the party, I guess. "Well, I'm just going to throw it all away." "Well, we can't let that happen." So yeah, with my mom & aunt grocery shopping this weekend and the party, my fridge is now full. Now I just have to eat it all before it goes bad…but I could sure use some help…ladies.

While there, our host's seven-year old son entertained us…by just being probably the biggest basketball fanatic we've ever seen…and I've seen a lot (in the mirror). He's a huge Pistons fan (I think his grandpa lives in Michigan) and has posters, magazines, trading cards, Iverson's autographed shoes, Billups & Hamilton autographed jerseys, trophies and little basketball hoops set up all over the house…including one of those Pop-A-Shot hoops upstairs…and he's not afraid to call on anybody for a game…including the tallest guy in the place, yours truly. Now, I know what you're thinking…and it's "Holy crap, $teve's gonna tell us that he lost to a seven-year old." Now, before I tell you the results, I want to mention that it's a Pop-A-Shot game, I hadn't played one of those in many many years, I wasn't allowed to cheat and just dunk it in every time (believe me, I thought of it), I had to shoot from my knees or finger roll to avoid hitting the ceiling every time I shot, this kid apparently plays this particular game hours a day, I was a good bottle of wine behind when he challenged me…and I wasn't going to really try to beat this kid, you know…to not hurt his feelings. So go ahead, place your bets, who do you think won? Was it the grown man who tried out for several semi-pro teams just four years ago…or was it a kid who might still wet the bed? Okay, so without further ado, I divulge that he did in fact beat me…on the sixth game. That's right, I wasn't about to let this guy destroy me. I simply have too much pride. Don't get me wrong, the games were all really close…but I figured that if I didn't let him win at least one, then I might dishearten him…and then our host wouldn't get the million-dollar contracts when he goes pro…and I'd feel a little bad. Also, I'm pretty sure that he would've kept bugging me until he won a game…and it was killing my buzz.

Regardless, this kid is really good and really smart for a seven-year old. He knows all the trivia and his mom was telling us how he watches the basketball games and then goes out and practices what he sees and how everybody just can't believe how good he is at the games. I believe it. This kid kinda reminded me of myself…though I was a few years older when I started really playing ball…but yeah, he's got the fire. Hopefully it'll take him far…and then he'll remember that tall guy who beat his ass in Pop-A-Shot when he was a little tipsy…and maybe I'll get some tickets or something. I can dream. Anyway, here's some news...

Magic Cheese - France is investigating what it says is a scam mounted by a French woman who sold thousands of Chileans kits to make "magic cheese" for French beauty products, an official said on Tuesday. Gilberte Van Erpe, who was arrested and placed under investigation in France last year, is suspected of setting up a vast pyramid scheme, telling buyers the fermented mass produced by the kits could be sold to cosmetics companies in France. A French investigator Sylvie Montagne will fly to Chile to register the lawsuits of thousands of people who claim they were victimized. "We call it the 'case of the magic cheese'. She swindled people, she abused their trust to make them believe that she could commercialize that material." Apparently that's not the French way. Van Erpe, who is under custody in France and accused of fraud and money laundering, could not be reached for comment. The spokeswoman said three other people also were arrested last year and placed under investigation for their role in the suspected fraud, conducted through a company called Fermex. Media have reported that Van Erpe ran a similar scheme in Peru in 2003 and then moved on to operate in Chile from 2004 to 2006. Claiming that the fermented substance was all the rage in Paris as an ingredient for expensive moisturizers and shampoos, Van Erpe charged clients some 300 Euros ($389) for the kits, which had a market value of about 3 Euros, media said. However, the product never made it to French cosmetics labs and most investors lost their money, the spokeswoman said. Le Parisien newspaper said Van Erpe made about 30 million Euros from her activities. It also said 5,000 Peruvians and 4,500 Chileans had filed lawsuits, but Montagne was unable to confirm that figure. Still, because I'm a math nerd, if you take 30 million Euro…and divide by 300 Euro per kit…then that's about 100,000 kits sold…and not quite 10,000 are coming forward. So 90% of those victimized have no idea (barring they didn't buy a dozen kits per person). Just think, YOU could've been making serious cash that way. By the way, if you're still interested in your copper engraving of the Great Emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, they're still on sale through my website at $129.95 each…with a strict limit of five per customer. Send me your credit card information for details.

They Study This? - Young women are much better than men of all ages at spotting a cute baby, finds a new study. The younger women beat older women at the task, too. Past research has shown that the chubby cheeks, big eyes and oversized foreheads of infants can trigger child-caring behaviors in mothers…but what causes this link between cuddly-cute babies and mothers has been unknown. Reiner Sprengelmeyer of the University of St. Andrews in Scotland noticed something new parents around the world have experienced: When his daughter was born, women showed much more interest in the baby than did men (shocking!). "When my daughter was born, I saw that women react totally differently to babies than men. Women are much more keen to look at young babies than men." So he and his colleagues set out to find the cause. They compiled images of male and female baby faces that had been rated prior to the study as cute and less cute, and used a computer program to come up with an average cute and average less-cute (fugly) face for each gender. Then, the researchers digitally changed the shapes of faces in the images, resulting in five images of each baby face along a continuum of less cute to more cute. Study participants were shown pairs of images of the same baby face at different points along the cuteness continuum (oh yeah, it's a scientific turn now). Women of childbearing ages (between 19 and 51 years old) were four times better at picking out the cutest babies than men of all ages and compared with older women aged 53 to 60 who were considered past childbearing. In similar experiments, the researchers tested pre- and post-menopausal women of a similar age (about 55) along with young women either taking or not taking oral contraceptives containing progesterone and estrogen. Post-menopausal women showed poorer ability to choose the cutest baby face. In addition, women taking the pill were better than women not taking the pill at judging cuteness. "These findings clearly indicate that sexual hormones modulate the ability to see small variations in cuteness." But why? "We think the sensitivity to small changes in cuteness helps the mother focus on the baby, to concentrate on the baby if the baby needs it. If the child is getting more and more mature, it is normally so that it is a bit less cute and this could free capacities of the mother to do other things. This is only speculation." And babies who just aren't as cute as others when still young might not need as much attention either, he speculated. "It could be that the babies that don't look that cute are possibly more mature and don't need that much attention, and a cute-looking baby might be an indicator of needing much help and attention and care." Sorry Mr. Sprengelmeyer, that's not what I meant by why. I meant…why the hell are we researching how good somebody can pick out a cute baby? Anyway, there you go ladies…just because I'm not really cute, it just means I'm mature. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now if we can just find out why women's voices jump up about five octaves when they see a child.

2012 Delayed - Sony Pictures has pushed back the release of Roland Emmerich's disaster epic "2012" by several months - from July 10th to November 13th according to The Hollywood Reporter. "We've had such success with the James Bond films in November that we wanted a big tentpole film in that slot this year. We've got so many films in the summer that this is the perfect answer to that" says Sony distribution president Rory Bruer. The new date will also add some extra time for the effects-laden production. The film is now set to open two weekends before the lucrative Thanksgiving session, the action epic will open opposite Warner Bros.' "Sherlock Holmes" (the one with Robert Downey jr & Jude Law) and Fox's "The Tooth Fairy" (where apparently the Rock plays a hockey player turned tooth fairy…and also stars Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal, and the lovely Ashley Judd). Actually the only reason that I'm really mentioning this…is that I thought it was funny that the year 2012 was delayed. I wonder if Nostradamus saw that coming.

Anyway, enough of my silly jokes for one day. Tonight I'm…probably just going to drink juice and watch movies…which is good because I have "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" through Netflix…so I may just take a few shots of Nyquil and see where Hunter S. Thompson takes me. "Psychedelics are almost irrelevant in a town where you can wander in a casino any time in the day or night and witness the crucifixion of a gorilla." Viva Las Vegas…and ladies, "Beautiful f**king tits!!!" Have a great day everybody!!!


Anonymous said...

Barry White! Ooh la la!! I always wanted to see him in concert, but he died before I had time to!
Would you care for a mom's advice? eat healthier, do a water or juice fasting for 24 hours and your cold will vanish!!
Take care, Lilie's mom :)

$teve said...

Oooooooh yeah, Barry White. I know how you feel. That's why I went to the Al Green concert a few months ago...because I missed out on Barry...and Isaac Hayes a while back.

Well, that's basically what I've done, water & cranberry juice (with a little Cherry Nyquil) and I do feel better. Thanks for the motherly advice...and I'm glad to know that Lilie's mom is reading the blog...and I'll try to not make so much fun of the French. :)

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