Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Prep, Pray & Peel
Good Morning Ladies & Gentlemen,
It's been cloudy the past day or so…but not really any snow or rain to speak of. Sure it's misted a little bit…but quickly evaporates as it's still in the high forties. Apparently later in the week is when "the biggest storm of the year" is supposed to come…which isn't saying much…but at least we'll get some precipitation…allegedly. I'm actually looking forward to it…but mostly because I don't have to drive through it. In the meantime, final preparations are being made for my trip to Cali next weekend…and Bubbles is actually in Disneyland as we read, so she's promised to tell me how awesome it is. What gets me more excited than Disneyland and the chance to have my picture taken with Cinderella? Legoland!!! I think we might be going there…and I can only hope that they have rides for kids my size too. Most adult theme parks don't have rides that size…but I still make it work somehow. It should be a fun time with Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Legoland, Sea World, surfing, lounging, In & Out Burger, tide pool scavenging, and whatever else we can find fun to do during a week or so in Southern California. By the way, wanna see some sweet pictures from when the Mad Scientist visited last week? Here you go.
Last night, I watched a movie that was headlined by one man…David Caruso. That's right, Horatio from CSI: Miami (which I honestly haven't watched in over a year now…but still laugh about occasionally). This movie was "Kiss of Death" and the thing is…though his name was the only one that came up on the credits before the title, the movie also starred the likes of Stanley Tucci, Ving Rhames, Michael Rappaport, Helen Hunt, Philip Don Baker, Samuel L. Jackson…and then a special guest appearance by this guy named Nicolas Cage as Little Junior Brown, an evil paranoid 'roid raging asthmatic figurehead for an empire of car stealing, drugs and gun running…but David Caruso was the star. Anyway, it's the story of a former car thief turned good guy (no, not Cage like "Gone in 60 Seconds" but Caruso) who gets pulled back into the game by his friend (Rapaport) but then the cops catch them…and good guy spends three years in jail because he won't rat. While in jail, his wife (Hunt) dies and he finds out that his friend betrayed him, so he snitches a little to get his friend killed by Little Junior (Cage). Well, the DA (Tucci) and his arresting officer (Jackson) want a little more out of him, so they want him to help bring in Little Junior by going back to work for him…and wearing a wire…and that's when I'm going to stop telling the story. Honestly, it was an okay movie. Intense at times…but nothing really out of the ordinary. A few twists & turns…but predictable…and David Caruso is David Caruso. Doesn't show emotion, kind of a dick, what you come to expect. Nicolas Cage does a pretty good psycho…but you already knew that. One minute he's jumping around in the middle of a strip club in grief over the death of his father (Baker) and the next he's throwing out crazy eyed stares. Okay flick, but not great. Here's some news...
Sexbot Update - A robot named Cosmo has become six-year-old Kevin Fitzgerald's unlikely ally in his uphill everyday battle with developmental difficulties. At a strip mall clinic in suburban Maryland, Kevin is at the unlikely intersection of new efforts to treat symptoms of autism, cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders with robotics and computer work. Here, he scrambles onto a swivel chair to examine a half-meter-tall robot on the table in front of him. Prodding four brightly-colored buttons near the robot's feet, he directs a cartoon version of the machine around a computer monitor, furtively glancing up at the real thing for encouragement. At just 18-months-old, Kevin showed the first signs of learning difficulties, which were later diagnosed as developmental dyspraxia. His mother Patty explained, "It is like having a stroke. His brain is intact, but his body doesn't do what he wants it to do." Some specific skills like pronouncing consonants, matching cause and effect or grasping relative concepts like better and faster can be depressingly difficult for him to master…but for the last year, a small blue-and-yellow android called Cosmo has offered some hope. Programmed to respond to body movements, voice activation, or a four-button-panel dubbed "mission control," Cosmo is designed to teach basic behavioral and physical skills. It can gesticulate (sounds dirty), reproduce phrases and move around when prompted. It also cheers and gives clues to help children complete specific tasks. As a piece of engineering, Cosmo is unspectacular. It has just nine moving joints -- a number that might underwhelm robotics buffs…but Cosmo's potential to help children has caught the attention of Minnesota's globally-acclaimed Mayo Clinic. There investigators are conducting a second phase medical trial to see if the robot can help kids with cerebral palsy develop movements (such as twisting the wrist) more quickly than traditional methods. "It is going extremely well," said Krista Coleman-Wood, a physical therapist at Mayo's biomechemical and motion analysis laboratory. Wearing a glove fitted with sensors, children are asked to make movements that copy and are copied by Cosmo, building up muscle tissue and improving motor planning. According to Coleman-Wood, it is too early to say if children make more progress with the robot than through traditional physical therapy, but fun levels are clearly in the robot's favor. How is this a sexbot update? Well, it's more like a Wingman-bot where it can help those children in need of some special assistance…and meanwhile the parents can go "relieve stress" elsewhere. Really I just wanted to intrigue you guys with the Sexbot Update title…and then spread some awareness of autism. Stem cells y'all!!! Stem cells!!!
Toilet Torcher - The Clorox Company is offering a $5,000 reward and a year's supply of toilet cleaning products for tips leading to the arrest of San Francisco's notorious portable potty pyromaniac. The Oakland-based chemical company deployed a "potty patrol" team in the city Friday to make residents aware of its offer marrying marketing and community service. Since November, more than two dozen construction site toilets have been set on fire in the city, causing an estimated $50,000 in property damage and leaving a trail of foul-smelling evidence. Some may think "Ah, it's just burning poo and a bit of a nuisance" but methane gas and an enclosed environment of a port-o-potty, the last thing that anybody wants on their tombstone is "Here lies James - Died from a crapper backdraft." That's up there with getting ran over by a moped or having a candy machine fall on you. Not a pleasant sight…or smell. I say sick the Hell's Angels on the vandals. They'll get to the bottom of it…by any means necessary. Just another reason to be careful when entering a portable toilet in the San Francisco area. "Oh, sorry sir. The lock must be broken on this one." "No, it works fine. Come on in." Also, just like my constant reminders to not drink & drive…please don't smoke & sh*t. You can't exactly have a Designated Crapper in this situation…but just be careful out there.
Dalai Lama Update - The Dalai Lama is to Peace Conferences what Paris Hilton is to Parties…or Samuel L. Jackson is to Movies. You just wouldn't have a good one without the person making an appearance. That being said, South Africa barred the Dalai Lama from a peace conference in Johannesburg this week, hoping to keep good relations with trading partner China but instead generating a storm of criticism. Friday's peace conference was organized by South African soccer officials to highlight the first World Cup (sigh…always soccer, isn't it?) to be held in Africa, which South Africa will host in 2010…but because the Dalai Lama isn't being allowed to attend, it is now being boycotted by fellow Nobel Peace prize winners like retired Cape Town Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former president F.W. de Klerk as well as members of the Nobel Committee. "It is disappointing that South Africa, which has received so much solidarity from the world, doesn't want to give that solidarity to others," Nobel Institute Director Geir Lundestad told The Associated Press in Oslo, referring to the decades-long fight against apartheid ("FREE SOUTH AFRICA, you dumb son-of-a-bitch!!!"). An eclectic mix of Nobel laureates, Hollywood celebrities and other dignitaries are coming to discuss issues ranging from combating racism to how sports can unite people and nations…but Thabo Masebe, spokesman for President Kgalema Motlanthe, said a high-profile visit by the Tibetan spiritual leader would have distracted from the conference's focus. "South Africa would have been the source of negative publicity about China. We do value our relationship with China." South Africa is China's largest trading partner on a continent in which China is heavily and increasingly involved. Tamu Matose, a spokeswoman for Tutu, told the AP that Tutu would not attend "because of the Dalai Lama issue." Tutu was quoted Sunday as calling the barring "disgraceful." So yeah…it's kind of funny when a peace conference erupts into controversy…but not really funny at all. It's like trying to do a Middle East peace treaty…and forgetting to invite EVERYBODY!!! It's not like the Dalai Lama leads a million man march or anything like that. It's not like he demands a huge following to stand before him…and he says unflattering things about China's mother or something like that to get a rise out of them. He just quietly reminds everybody of the atrocities being done to his people by China…and people listen. I'm pretty sure that he doesn't even have to raise his voice. He just wants peace & equality. Can't we all just get along?
Expendables Update - Okay, so the other day, there was apparently some false intelligence about Forest Whitaker being replaced by 50 Cent in Sly's upcoming "Expendables" movie. Instead former San Diego Charger Terry Crews will be taking over the character. Though no Whitaker, Crews has delivered some solid work lately in a variety of films like "Balls of Fury," "Street Kings," "Norbit," "Harsh Times," "Soul Plane," "White Chicks" "Get Smart," TV's "Everybody Hates Chris" and my personal favorite…as President of the United States in "Idiocracy." He'll also appear in both "Terminator Salvation" and "Game" later this year. Another funny little thing…is the character that he will be playing…is named Hale Caesar. I don't know why that's funny…but it just is. Tune in next week when the role is recast again as LL Cool J…and then ultimately when filming starts next month as Mister T.
Brazilian Update - Last week, it was reported that New Jersey had legislation up to forbid genital waxing ("FULL BRAZILIAN!!!") in salons. Now, the Garden State is smoothing out differences over a plan to ban bare-it-all bikini waxing. The state on Friday decided to reverse course on the proposal after angry salon owners complained about losing business ahead of swimsuit season. Spa owner Linda Orsuto said, "It was an unnecessary issue. In New Jersey especially, where the government has been picking our pockets for so long, it was like, 'Just stay out of our pants, will you?" (You wish) The state Cosmetology and Hairstyling Board proposed banning so-called "Brazilian" bikini waxing after two women were hospitalized for infections following the procedure (yeesh). On Friday, Consumer Affairs Director David Szuchman effectively killed the plan. In a letter to the board, Szuchman says he won't support the ban, and since his office oversees the board, the ban would never be approved. "Many commenters have noted that the procedure can be safely performed. I, therefore, believe that there are alternate means to address any public health issues identified by the board," Szuchman wrote the board. He encouraged the board "to begin an immediate review of the training necessary to safely provide this service, and to establish appropriate protocols and safeguards." Now, I'm not an expert in the area of genital hair removal…but is it really about the training? I mean…wouldn't like Nair or something work…or does that just cause more irritation? I'm sure there's specific wax to use and not just super glue or epoxy or something like that…but I would assume the entire procedure is something along the lines of Step 1: Prep, Step 2: Pray, Step 3: Peel. That's it, right? Prep, pray and peel. Anyway, maybe I'm just not educated on the subject. Do what you want, ladies? We'll still love ya...and it's another reason for the Brazilian fan to make another appearance on the blog. Don't judge me.
So yeah, that was my day…and a bunch of news. Today's pretty standard. I've got basketball, weights and Spinning class after work, then I'll probably make me some delicious edible concoction using household goods, and then probably watch a movie…or some "Wildboyz" on DVD. Did I ever mention that I have all four seasons of the Wildboyz? I don't know why…but they entertain me…in a sickly disgusting, perverted, yet educational way. Much the same way that the late great Steve Irwin did…only with more tattoos. Have a great day everybody!!!