Sunday, June 30, 2013

Was It All A Dream?

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
 
Thursday night, Dizzy, T-Dogg, J-Mo, his buddy Dave & I all went to see a special preview screening of “Pacific Rim” by director Guilllermo del Toro. You've probably all seen the commercials & posters... the movie that looks like a mix of Gundam, Voltron & Godzilla all rolled into one... like some kind of twisted teenage fantasy come to life... well, it pretty much is. The story is in the near future... these giant monsters called Kaiju (Japanese for something) start coming out of a dimensional riff in the depths of the Pacific Ocean & destroying coastal cities (you'll never guess which one is first... unless you've seen ANY disaster movie to ever come out of Hollywood). Well, in response to this new universal threat, the governments of the world join forces (HA!!!) to make these giant robots to fight them off called Jaegers (German for hunters... so I'm guessing they're designed by Germans instead of Japanese scientists who seem to have the lock on robots? Or maybe it just sounds cooler). Now, these robots have to be controlled by two pilots because... they do a "mind melt" with the robot (because wireless PS3 controllers don't work I guess) and just one pilot, the melt is too much for them. Okay, got it? Alright... so the monsters are getting bigger & bigger... so then the government pulls the funding of these robots to build a fence. Now... feel free to read that last sentence again. These monsters... that are traveling through a dimensional riffs in time & space... emerge in the depths of the ocean... travel thousands of miles to the coast line & apparently can only be stopped by robots punching them (because missiles & bombs don't work better?)... so a fence about a hundred feet high that you're going to build over the course of many many years is going to stop them? Yes... THAT'S where they lost me, right? Not anything before... but right there.
 
The story is pretty horrible... and not even the portion about the robots & monsters, all that I can go along with... but more the lead actor (guy from "Sons of Anarchy") and all the stereotype characters (borderline cartoon caricatures) that they force feed into the story... but honestly, it kinda makes up for it with all the amazing fight sequences (though kinda predictable & full of loopholes at the same time) so I wouldn't be surprised if this was nominated for an Academy Award for its visual effects, simply astounding... and even all the scenography is pretty amazing... but yeah, the acting is horrible. I'd still check it out if I were you. Drops in theatres next weekend. Again, it's basically a wet teenage nerd fantasy come to life... and having been one, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Spioler alert: YOU GET TO MIND MELT WITH A CUTE JAPANESE GIRL & A ROBOT!!! Also, the Japanese girl will keep secrets from you... like you had a sword the whole time... here's some news...
 
 
Thank You for Not Smoking - A new study finds that some anti-cigarette messages in public service announcements have an unintended result: They trigger viewers' desire to smoke. (Surprise!!! Though not at all really…) The findings were published in the most recent issue of Media Psychology. Certain "scenes portraying smoking objects or behaviors can be helpful by making antismoking PSAs more relevant and engaging the target audience,” write the study’s authors, Sungkyoung Lee, Ph.D., and Joseph N. Cappella, Ph.D., of the Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (yes, that was a lot of title to absorb, you may want to read it again to get it all). “However, inclusion of such images can [sometimes] distract viewers from processing audio and non-cue visuals, which are often the most important content audiences need to take away.” The key, the authors write, is whether the anti-smoking message is powerful enough to capture the viewer’s attention. In such cases, the images of smokers will reinforce the notion that cigarettes are harmful. But when the anti-smoking message is “weak,” these images can have the opposite effect. For instance, a PSA released in March 2012 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that showed a former smoker adjusting to life with a tracheotomy was one of the most powerful television ads that year. Another memorable series of PSAs was released by the Canadian government in March, which compared smoking with “public farting.” “Such PSAs have shown to be effective in influencing the target audience’s awareness, knowledge and beliefs relating to smoking behavior, which in turn increase antismoking intention and behavior change,” write the study’s authors.
 
In weaker PSAs, the visual “cues” of individuals smoking will override the viewer’s ability to “encode and remember antismoking arguments," they add, as such cues play a pivotal role in the relapse behaviors of former substance abusers. Or, as Adweek puts it, the wrong kind of anti-drug ad will “make you want to take drugs.” The creative minds behind anti-smoking ads know that visual cues are key. The variable in the equation is just making sure that the message is strong enough to outweigh the potential trigger for a craving. The risk vs. reward scenario is said to be similar to using a joke or memorable sexy image to sell an unrelated product, like a car or clothing (or beer or booze or dry cleaning services or ANYTHING!!!). If the joke is too good, people will remember only the funny ad, not what the company is trying to sell (service dogs that bring beer?). “In theory, the core content of a message can be placed in either the audio or video channel, or both,” Lee and Cappella write in their study’s conclusion. “Our findings suggest that the audio channel is an efficient modality for delivering the core arguments of a message, especially when the arguments are strong.” I agree… especially since often times you’re not even looking at the TV & it’s playing in the background for example. Great job, guys! You’ve earned a B+ in Marketing 1010. It’s the same principle as when you go to the grocery store & they have the sign at checkout that says something like “Don’t Forget the Ice!” So what do you do? Immediately purchase ice so that you can pick it up on the way out. OF COURSE YOU DON’T!!! You forget it… or just don’t care. However, if you put it as “Ice for $1.99… or enjoy your warm soda (Coca-Cola if they wanna pay for the advertisement)!” with a picture of a cooler in the sun or something… then that’s more provoking to conjuring an image of tasting that ridiculously hot nasty Coca-Cola that’s been slow roasting in the sun at the beach or whatever. Besides, is it weird that just everybody talking about smoking being bad for you has made me more willing to accept the idea of smoking? It’s the same thing when somebody tells me about red meat being bad for me & comparing it to tofu or some crap like that… so I immediately half-vomit a little in my mouth with the thought of most health food… and then go to my happy place where I’ve got a beer in my right hand, girl in my lap, porterhouse on a plate in her ample bosom, fork in my left hand, knife in my other right hand & Cuban cigar in my other left hand. By the way, apparently in my happy place I have four arms, two wings, two legs & a tail with versatile attack capabilities. What’s my point? Oh yeah… gotta keep an eye on Big Tobacco. Now enjoy your smoking… and birth defects like…
  
TWO-RTUGA!!! - A two-headed turtle has hatched at the San Antonio Zoo and officials have named her… what for it… Thelma and Louise. The female Texas cooter (it’s a real thing, google it) arrived June 18th and will go on display Thursday at the zoo's Friedrich Aquarium. Zoo spokeswoman Debbie Rios-Vanskike (van SKYKE') said Wednesday that the two-headed turtle appears healthy and is able to swim and walk. She says experts at the zoo don't foresee any health issues for Thelma and Louise, named for the female duo in the 1991 Oscar-winning road movie of the same name (oh I thought they were talking about “League of Their Own” for a minute). The San Antonio Zoo is no stranger to two-headed reptiles. The facility was home to a two-headed Texas rat snake named Janus from 1978 until the creature's death to 1995. Eh… I still like my name better. EL TWO-RTUGAAAAA!!! Coming to the Syfy channel next fall.
 
Baby Name Update – Nope… not even going to comment on Kanye & Kim Kardashian’s daughter North West on this one. It’s been done to death… and actually not too bad… but this is about something else. Two things actually – Narcissism (strong word but kinda true) & Crowd-sourcing. A Connecticut couple has named its baby with help from customers at a Starbucks coffee shop. Oh yes… it’s one of those stories. Twenty-five-year-old Jennifer James and 24-year-old Mark Dixon of West Haven told the New Haven Register they had been struggling between two names for the boy they are expecting in September, so they decided to put it to a vote. They placed signs at the Starbucks on the New Haven Green, where they are regulars, asking people to vote for either the name Jackson or Logan (ugh… really?). The couple said it got the idea for the voting based on a system used by that Starbucks location, where customers cast votes for the store's employee of the month. (Really? Not just the actual concept of voting?) "We saw that and thought we might as well see how it works," Dixon said. They received about 1,800 votes in the coffee cup serving as a ballot box. The couple said voters did not limit themselves to the two choices they were given (GASP!!!). "We've gotten Obama, Jebediah, Lincoln. Someone put (a) write-in, Webster," James said. James said that when she realized Dixon would sound similar to Jackson, she began pulling for the name Logan. "I don't know why I didn't realize the 'Jackson Dixon' thing, but I think once I realized that, he was going to be Logan no matter what," she said knowing full damn well that the ballot was pointless as she had the Vagina Veto firmly in (nature’s) pocket. The name Logan also was favored by the customers, but ultimately… because there are no losers in this day & age… both names won. The couple said it will name the baby Logan Jackson Dixon. What an amazingly pointless story!
 
My idea… which isn’t far off… and no, it’s not original… sell naming rights to your child. When & if some poor woman decides that she wants to bear my enormous bastard offspring (or whatever the situation may be) then I’m thinking… Kickstarter or some other crowd-sourcing type of site… where we put maybe four top choices, let’s say for a boy: Korbin, Konrad, Eugene & Barkevious. For a dollar donation, you can cast your vote for one of the top names. Conversely, if you think that you have a better idea, then for $5 you can cast a write-in vote. As the votes add up (God willing), you are setting up a nice little nest egg for our li’l bastard & making your voice heard like on American Idol. Let’s say 100,000 people cast their votes & it raises something like $250,000 (lots of write-ins). Then your new addition to the family, “Monkey Butt Love”, may be able to have a place to sleep, help with a down payment on a home, or maybe even a semester of art school if you want to put the whole thing on that. Not a bad idea, right?
 
But wait… there’s more. Let’s say that some multinational corporate conglomerate decides that they want your son’s future glory to be associated with their product. Well then, for the flat fee of $250,000 they decide to purchase the naming rights & then you have a beautiful son named “Golden Palace Love”. I know what you’re thinking… what about loop holes out of this situation. Maybe you don’t agree with the name. Be careful though… if there’s anything that previous story has taught us… it’s that Integrity in the vote is important. Act like a f**king p**sy & they may ask for their money back… or they just won’t donate in the first place.
 
There are loop holes that you can exercise. The aforementioned Vagina Veto may decide that she doesn’t want her first born child to be named “Monkey Butt Love” or “Golden Palace Love” or “Fast & Furious 9: Maximum Thrust Love” or something like that. She has to be on board for it… because it’s her baby, regardless of all that talk she uses to convince you that it’s your baby when bills have to be paid, don’t fool yourself or let her fool you, it’s hers. Period. Then along comes the idea of “Wait, we can just pretend that this random donor came in & paid the $250,000 naming rights… but it’s really us. We take out a home loan, filter it through the site with the lump sum payment & then use it towards the house.” I’m not sure what all the legal ramifications may be with a move like that… but either way, it’s chicken shit. Don’t do it. Man the f**k up. When you’re trying to get free money for doing something that people have done for thousands, maybe millions of years, then suck it up & roll with the decision. A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet… even if the bud is named “Tebow for President Love”. Anyway, just a thought… somebody steal it & make millions like everybody else, okay? I’ve got my own ways of making money…
 
 
Bank Robbery Update – Speaking of families & trying to make money… The FBI says a Michigan man who recognized his mom in surveillance photos of a bank robbery called police to turn her in. I know, right? What a f**king narc! MLive.com reports the man told police his mother was at his home in Kent County's Byron Township. Authorities say 53-year-old Dee Ann Sanders of Martin was charged Tuesday with robbing a Bank of America branch on June 18th. Her arraignment is scheduled Thursday in Grand Rapids. A teller says the robber handed her a note demanding $2,500 for her children and grandchildren. She got $1,092. Wait, stop right there… question time. So… she just handed over a note that said something like “Give me $2,500 for my kids & grandkids”? Did she even add pretty please or any kind of threat? They were just like “You know what… here, take this stack… and God bless you!”? Anyway, surveillance photos show a woman wearing a bright red T-shirt with a large American flag on the front. You know… low-profile stuff. FBI special agent Adam Van Deuren says Sanders confessed. It's unknown if she has a lawyer yet. Apparently she doesn’t have a phone listing. Though based on the information in this article, if I’m her lawyer, I’m questioning whether there was a crime committed. It sounds like she was just given money by a bank teller. Anyway, the real crime is the son dropping the dime on his mom. I mean… think about it. Would you rat on your mom? Especially if the only police description is something like “a human being, possibly female, mid-50’s, allegedly poor penmanship, Patriot”? Maybe there were circumstances were it was a little more specific than that… like she signed the note “Sincerely, Dee Ann Sanders” but still, would you do it? Don’t worry mom! Your interstate drug trafficking cartel is safe with me.
 
Was It All A Dream? – Picture this if you will… Sixty-nine-year-old Wladyslaw Haniszewski had lived in the U.S. for about 30 years. But when the New Jersey resident fell into a coma… he awoke to find himself in his native country of Poland. The New York Daily News reports that Haniszewski fell victim to a growing phenomenon in which uninsured immigrants are deported by U.S. hospitals that do not want to get stuck paying for their treatment. “Imagine being carted around like a sack of potatoes," said Polish Consul General Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, who argues that Haniszewski was placed on a chartered flight while still unconscious, never giving his consent to being shipped to a hospital in a country he had not lived in for decades. The practice of medical repatriation has reportedly become increasingly common. One immigration advocacy group told The Associated Press in April that it has documented at least 800 cases of individuals being deported from hospitals without consent over the past six years in at least 15 states. However, the actual number is believed to be much higher because of the significant number of cases that go unreported. "It really is a Catch-22 for us," Dr. Mark Purtle, vice president of Medical Affairs for Iowa Health System, said at the time. "This is the area that the federal government, the state, everybody says we're not paying for the undocumented." There is an ongoing debate over the legality and morality of medical repatriation. Under U.S. law, hospitals are required to gain patient consent, from either the individual directly or an immediate family member, before having the individual deported. The federal government is not directly involved in the cases and does not pay for the cost of deportation. In April, "Colbert Report" host the great Stephen Colbert weighed in on the controversy, saying sarcastically, "It's totally unregulated, so hospitals avoid all the red tape usually involved in shipping the unconscious." Haniszewski has reportedly fallen on hard times in recent years. Friends tell the Daily News that he recently lost his apartment and job, and was forced to relocate to a shelter. The Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick is defending its actions, saying it took the necessary precautions before placing Haniszewski on an outbound flight. “The individual was informed regarding his discharge plan and care,” said hospital spokesman Peter Haigney. “As the hospital's understanding of the facts differs from the published reports, we are conducting a thorough review of the procedures and communications surrounding this gentleman's care.” However, Junczyk-Ziomecka contests the theory that Haniszewski consented to the move or was even informed of the decision. After all, he was still in a coma when he arrived in Poland and even now is unable to verbally communicate with hospital staff. He’s also estranged from his two daughters, who live in Poland. "He can smile from time to time, but he is unable to communicate," Junczyk-Ziomecka told the Daily News. “It’s an incredibly disturbing case,” Lori Nessel, director of the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall University School of Law, told the Daily News. “This kind of action seems clearly illegal and also not ethical, but it’s hard to bring a legal action.”
 
Yes… yes… very controversial topic this… medical repatriation. My stance: Let’s say, God forbid, I need to stay in the hospital… and I pay my taxes (and an ass-ton for medical that I don’t use often) like a good citizen… but I can’t get the attention that I need (or pay ten times as much as I should have to) because an elderly man estranged from his family is in a coma but I’m covering the charges? I’m gonna lean towards the side of deportation… er, repatriation. All expense paid trip to the homeland? Sh*t, I’d like to check out the Czech Republic when I’m young & healthy… why I gotta wait until I’m in a coma & considered a burden on society? Anyway, that’s really not the reason I brought up the story… it’s just the thought of let’s say that you’re in a car wreck or just randomly pass out or something, let’s say, RIGHT NOW while reading my boring ass blog. Then when you come to… you’re in the middle of some Polish hospital where all the nurses speak a language that you can’t understand, the smell of cabbage & feces waft through the air (okay, maybe not in a hospital) you get the idea. It would understandably freak you the f**k out. Was it all a dream? Where am I? When am I? Why can’t I move or talk? Anyway, I feel sorry for the guy… but unfortunately I just don’t want to pay for him to be in a vegetable. It may sound heartless & cruel but… apparently that’s just me. I’m not really Democratic or Republican or conservative or whatever… I’m just an asshole… who doesn’t want to work harder to get less. Don’t be mad. I’m only being real…
 
Anyway, that'll do it for tonight. Next time, I've got a few horror flicks to review... and another Batman movie. Intrigued? Of course you are... have a great day everybody!!!

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