Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ninja Sushi & Cabaret

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

It’s snowing…and pretty good too. This morning it was that wet heavy Sierra Cement stuff that’s so abundant around these parts (go figure, being in the Sierra Mountains). I had a thought this morning (gasp!!!) when I was driving to work with my roommate. I’ve heard multiple times (as I’m sure you all have) that Eskimos have like over thirty words for “snow” in their language. However, I never heard anybody elaborate on that before. I mean…is it just like thirty different ways of saying snow, like one for each individual Aleut or Inuit tribe? Or is each word like for a particular kind of snow, whether powdery, thick & wet, sleet, how its blown in the wind, if it’s icy, the color, texture, size of the flake, whatever? So…being the inquisitive punk that I am…I googled that sh*t. In doing so, I checked Wikipedia, a few studies & theses (including one from nearby CSU-Chico, GO WILDCATS!!!), that referred to some works were “just as English uses derived terms for a variety of forms of water (liquid, lake, river, brook, rain, dew, wave, foam) that might be formed by derivational morphology from a single root meaning 'water' in some other language, so Eskimo uses the apparently distinct roots aput 'snow on the ground', gana 'falling snow', piqsirpoq 'drifting snow', and qimuqsuq 'a snow drift.” So yeah, if you’re interested too, check out this link for a breakdown of all the words…but it’s basically just like saying different forms & varieties of snow. Is there anything you can’t Google?

Also, this weekend is a San Francisco Independent Film Festival event at the Sugar Bowl here in Tahoe. Looking at some of the films, I’m awfully intrigued (you know, being a movie geek and all). For example, there’s one called “The Last Son” which seems to be a documentary about the two original creators of Superman and how the character was rejected for many years…and then when he became popular, they lost rights to him. How did this happen? I’ll find out on Saturday. There’s another one on Friday called “My Movie Girl” which…well, here’s the premise and you tell me why you think I’d like it. “Everything Adam knows about Love, he learned from the movies. Unfortunately, Adam is no Cary Grant, and the closest he’s come to experiencing true romance is one drunken night with his unrequited crush, Kate. That evening failed to live up to Adam’s expectations, so he casts himself and Kate in a movie recreation of their big night, hoping for a better ending (happy ending?). Set in San Francisco, this playful comedy is sure to leave any cinephile wondering “Why can’t life be like the movies?” So yeah, any guesses? Also, it’ll be fun…and who knows? Maybe I’ll stumble upon a female cinephile with nothing better to do…and we can discuss the movies afterwards over a few tasty beverages. Anything’s possible. So yeah, I may be doing that this weekend (weather permitting). Oh…and speaking of Superman…

Superman Update - A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold Monday for $1 million, smashing the previous record price for a comic book. A 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, was sold from a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The issue features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents (that’s inflation in value of one BILLION percent). The transaction was conducted by the auction site Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles, orchestrated the sale. Fishler said it transpired minutes after the issue was put on sale at around 10:30 a.m. Eastern time (1530 GMT). He said that the seller was a "well known individual" in New York with a pedigree collection, and that the buyer was a known customer who previously bought an Action Comics No. 1 of lesser grade. "It's considered by most people as the most important book," said John Dolmayan, a comic book enthusiast and dealer best known as the drummer for System of a Down. "It kind of ushered in the age of the superheroes." Dolmayan, who owns Torpedo Comics, last year paid $317,000 for an Action Comics No. 1 issue for a client. Others have sold for more than $400,000, he said, but this copy fetched a much higher price because it's in better condition. It's rated an "8.0 grade," or "very fine." Dolmayan said he didn't buy this copy but he wishes he could have. "The fact that this book is completely un-restored and still has an 8.0 grade, it's kind of like a diamond or a precious stone. It's very rare." There are only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 believed to be in existence, and only a handful have been rated so highly. It's rarer still for those copies to be made available for sale. "The opportunity to buy an un-restored, high-grade Action One comes along once every two decades," Fishler said. "It's certainly a milestone." The sticker shock was astounding to Fishler, nevertheless. "It is still a little stunning to see 'a comic book' and '$1 million' in the same sentence. There's only one time a collectible hits the $1 million threshold." One million dollars for a comic book. An eighty year old comic book. Just…think about that a minute. Let’s say you work 40 years at $25,000 per year, that’s a million dollars before taxes…and forget that you’re not spending a dime in that four decade period. For a comic book. Amazing. Good for Superman.

Doc Savage – Since we’re into comic books, scribe-turned-director Shane Black ("Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang") is set to direct the film adaptation of 1930's/40's pulp comic hero "Doc Savage" for Original Film and Sony Pictures according to Variety. As previously reported Black, who penned the likes of "Lethal Weapon" and "The Last Boyscout", will also co-write the screenplay with Anthony Bagarozzi and Chuck Mondry. The film version of the heroic adventurer with near-superhuman skills and intelligence will be set in the 1930's and will include the Fabulous Five, five recurring companions who each appeared in different books. Sounds pretty awesome, right? Anybody wants to place odds that they’re gonna kill some Nazis? Maybe some Nazi Ninjas? I wonder who will play Doc Savage. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Ninja Sushi & Cabaret - Waitresses wield swords and flare flames at diners, who have to get past a moat before sitting at their table in the dimly lit dining hall. The same customers are also encouraged to take photos with the warrior-like waitresses, who dress in black or red to look like ninjas in keeping with the theme of a dark but lively restaurant that opened last month in Taiwan's capital. "The ninja is mysterious," said Ou Chia-wei, owner of the restaurant simply named Ninja, explaining why he chose that theme for the Japanese-style restaurant. "On that premise, we can do magic tricks and light up the food." Waitresses working the barely lit dining room floor burn specialty menus, which vanish without a trace of ash, and send flames snaking across tables as customers watch. A moat and screen of cascading water just past the front entrance make customers wait a few minutes until the drawbridge goes up, leading to a dark stairwell toward the dining hall. There are professional magic shows, as well as cabarets, for those who walk in at the right times (giggidy). Ninjas were mercenaries who resorted to unusual warfare strategies such as espionage, sabotage and assassination from as far back as 700 years ago in feudal Japan. They remain a common, enduring theme in Japanese folklore. Ou, who also owns a hospital-theme restaurant in Taipei, and his wife put the three-storey Ninja eatery together on their own without hiring a designer, said his landlady Ting Tsui-lan. The overall investment was T$15 million ($470,000). "The owner had already liked ninjas and figured that would be a pretty obvious, visual theme for the restaurant," said restaurant sales manager Hsiao Dai. Ninja competes with restaurants that specialize in airliner, dinosaur (WHAT?) and toilet decor in a city teeming with theme diners. Owned and staffed by Taiwanese, it serves Japanese food priced for office workers who frequent it at its location in a congested part of town. Japanese cuisine and culture are popular in Taiwan, where Ninja has seen steady full-house crowds of 150 since opening in late January. Customers are intrigued by the theme, with a 26-year-old woman saying she might rather work than eat there. "We make friends with the customers," said waitress Tu-tu Lin, laying her sword aside to explain to the woman the tricks of her trade (“Cash only, on the bedstand & no kissing on the mouth”). So apparently I need to make it over to Taipei soon to check out a sexy ninja restaurant, a dinosaur themed buffet and a restaurant where I don’t even have to leave my table to go to the bathroom. Oh & one of the tallest towers in the world and culture, blah blah blah might be nice too. But seriously, ninjas & dinosaurs!!! Awesome!!! I still like my idea of the petting zoo barbecue joint. That’d probably fly over in Taiwan. “Which lamb do you want your chops from, sweetie?” “That one’s pretty.” “She sure is. That’s Matilda. She’s my favorite too. Now with your mama’s permission, here’s the knife. I’m gonna hold her down. Do you wanna help me get her ready for the grill? Take little Matilda home in a doggy bag?” “YEAH!!!” Okay, so there’s probably no kid out there who’d want to slaughter their own dinner (I blame cuddling) but hey, it’s no better than a seafood restaurant with an aquarium. “I want that one.” “Sir, that’s a blowfish…for ambience only. They’re not on the menu.” “That mother f**ker’s been making faces at me for the last five minutes. I want his raw, slivered ass on a hand roll ASAP. Here you go, Pierre.” Slip him a twenty, “I’ll see if the diver is on duty.”

Be Careful of Frostbite – Okay, read this next story carefully. Police expect to file charges against a 57-year-old man who was wearing only underwear in frigid temperatures when he hopped on the hood of his girlfriend's moving car during an argument. Police have yet to identify the man or his 28-year-old girlfriend, saying they'll release the names once they sort out what charges to file (hitchhiking?). Police were called about 3:20 a.m. Thursday by someone reporting a man riding on the hood of a car, screaming at the woman driving it. The woman had a bruise under her left eye and police said they found drug paraphernalia in the car (noooo…). Uniontown is about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh. The region has been hit by heavy snows and overnight temperatures were in the teens on Thursday. Okay, got it. Now let’s break it down. First & foremost, 57-year-old man…and 28-year-old girlfriend. Of course there’s drugs involved. Either that or he’s a retired rock star who gets royalties every time somebody says “Headbanging” or something. Sigh… I can’t even get a 28-year-old girlfriend…but maybe the answer to my prayers is meth. Secondly, the reason he’s in his underwear, chasing his “girlfriend” outdoors at 3 AM…is because she stole his drug paraphernalia, after she popped her. Then what he did…wasn’t hop on the car. He stood in the way…and with her eye starting to already swell, she put the pedal to the metal. Then probably got stuck in a snow bank or an ice patch or something. What charges can come of this? I’m still a big fan of hitchhiking…but obviously possession, perhaps assault, blah blah blah…but really, the most important thing to come out of this…is don’t do drugs, kids. Otherwise, this could be you. Then again… relationships in general can just be full of drama. For example…

Unauthorized Demolition Derby - Authorities said an upstate New York man angry with his wife used a backhoe to demolish more than two dozen demolition derby cars. The Wayne County Sheriff's Office said 29-year-old Michael Fagner (I’ll bet he’s never been teased with a last name like that) caused about $40,000 damage to 30 cars parked at a business in Savannah, 30 miles west of Syracuse. Police said he used the backhoe's bucket to crush most of the derby-ready cars and flip over one vehicle Friday afternoon. Deputies said the backhoe belonged to the business. Authorities say Fagner believed someone at the business was having an affair with his wife. Fagner was charged felony criminal mischief and later released on $5,000 bail. Fagner's phone number wasn't listed (ugh…okay?). Prosecutors didn't know if he had a lawyer…but I would highly suggest one. Loving someone unfaithful can be a f**ked-up thing. Even if you’re not 100% certain. Obviously I don’t condone this kind of behavior, you know…destroying thirty cars that may or may not have anything to do with these raging feelings of jealousy, betrayal, anger, the full spectrum of bad emotions…but I can understand. We’ve all had our hearts broken, I’m sure. Some not to this extent but…you get the idea. Why do we feel this way? How can a man shatter both legs in a skiing accident and suck it up…but if the Love of his life f**ks his best friend, the searing pain in his chest brought on by his own reaction causes him to go into a violent rampage on an epic scale? Why do women lovingly pass an entire child through their Holiest of Holies during childbirth with a smile on their face…but will completely flip the f**k out if she so much as thinks that her husband was talking to another woman? Scientists say…because we’re all crazy. Okay, not quite…

A Study in Jealousy - Cheating on a spouse or significant other is sure to cause feelings of jealousy and hurt in the spurned partner…but men and women differ on what part of cheating they think is the worst: Men tend to be more bothered by sexual infidelity, while most women are bothered more by emotional infidelity. The prevailing explanation for this difference is the unique evolutionary roles played by men and women, but a new study suggests that it has more to do with the types of attachments people form in relationships. The widespread evolutionary explanation posits that men rank sexual infidelity as the greater sin because over the eons they learned to be hyper-vigilant about sex, as they could never be absolutely certain that their children were actually theirs. Women, on the other hand, became more bothered by emotional infidelity, because they are concerned about having a partner to help raise their children. A recent study found that men feel guiltier after a sexual discretion, while women feel guiltier after an emotional one. The problem with the prevailing idea was that while men were more likely than women to rate sexual infidelity as worse than the emotional kind in studies, there was still a small subset of men who put emotional infidelity at the top of the list, said Kenneth Levy, a psychologist at Penn State. This subset seemed to indicate that "there must be something else going on," Levy told LiveScience. Levy, who studies attachment in relationships, saw the results instead through the lens of his research and began to suspect that individual differences in how people view relationships could be affecting men's and women's views on infidelity. Levy spoke of two types of attachment in relationships: dismissive and secure. A person with a dismissive attachment "doesn't see the value in relationships," he explained, describing them as "hyper-independent." Or, in other words, "most of us value our independence, but we also value our relationships. These individuals only value their independence, to the exclusion of relationships." On the flip side, those with secure attachments see the value in relationships and are comfortable with the interdependency that comes with them, Levy said. Levy thought those with a secure attachment style might be more likely to be bothered by emotional infidelity, while those with dismissive styles would see sexual infidelity as more of problem. To test this idea, Levy and his colleague Kristen Kelly had over 400 undergraduate students (about three-quarters were female) complete a standard assessment of attachment style in romantic relationships and also asked them which they would find more distressing - emotional or sexual infidelity. The findings of their study, detailed in a recent issue of the journal Psychological Science, backed up Levy's hunch: Males with a dismissive style found sexual infidelity more bothersome, while men with a secure style rated emotional infidelity as worse. Somewhat unexpectedly, the same was found in females. "So it seems to be that this concern about sexual infidelity seems to be tied to dismissiveness attachment whether you're a male or a female," Levy said. While it would seem like those with dismissive attachment styles wouldn't care about either type of infidelity, Levy notes that this kind of attachment is defensive; dismissive types distance themselves from relationships too avoid deep-seeded feelings of vulnerability. Their concern over sexual infidelity shows a concern about their connections to others, but on an unemotional level. Levy suggests that this attachment model of jealousy could replace the standard evolutionary one, though it is itself rooted in evolution. Attachment is a mechanism that helps people become connected to other people - an important survival technique in human society. These attachments are learned from our earliest relationships, with our parents or other caregivers, and seem to carry on through life, as our most important relationships shift from our parents, to our friends, and finally to romantic relationships. So it would seem that the attachment styles adults display in relationships were learned from early on, and not programmed in. This understanding could point to ways of reducing feelings of sexual jealousy, "which research shows is tied to all sorts of maladaptive behaviors," by promoting secure attachment in children or exposing adults to the benefits of this kind of attachment, Levy said. Okay…so that last sentence kinda lost me because it’s basically saying we should raise kids to be more emotionally attached so that when somebody just f**ks somebody, it’s easier to handle. I’ve got a better idea. Don’t cheat. I know, it’s easy to say. What the hell do I know about this stuff? You may be right. Then again, maybe I know a lot more about this stuff from observation with mild dabbling in field work. Silly me, I just go with cheating is wrong. Whether it’s your state capitals test or on your spouse, just don’t cheat. Keep it in your pants. That’s it. I’m done with talking about that stuff. What do you say we end this on a positive, kid-friendly note?

Puppet Cleavage - Puppet cleavage has been ruled out for advertising posters in Colorado Springs bus shelters. Lamar Advertising rejected posters for a touring production of the Broadway show "Avenue Q" because they show the cleavage of a fuzzy pink puppet. Lamar account executive Jeff Moore says the company takes a conservative approach in Colorado Springs. The city is known for its political conservatism, and some conservative Christian groups have headquarters in the city. The poster has been replaced by one showing the face of another puppet. "Avenue Q" is a Tony-winning musical about twenty-something New Yorkers, both human and puppets, searching for life and love. I’m guessing with one another…which is another topic all together (“Oh my God, it’s like she’s made for fisting”). So yeah, I thought I’d just give you a little fuzzy pink puppet cleavage. No comment on conservatism or Christians. Just implied puppet eroticism.

So yeah, that’ll do it for today. Join me tomorrow when I talk about…stuff, probably funny or perverted. I may even throw in an interesting study…or a dinosaur…or review a movie…or share a funny thought or dream or something. The possibilities are pretty much infinite. Have a great day everybody!!!

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