Sunday, November 30, 2003
Transporter: Fighting Man
Ever see a movie with a kickass soundtrack, only to find out the soundtrack sucks? Sometimes, the music has nothing whatsoever to do with the film. The worst of all the soundtracks is "Music Inspired by" nonsense.
Which brings me to "The Transporter." Its a half decent, Hong Kong style shoot 'em up with a coupla good chase scenes, too. My favorite aspect of the film was the odd juxtasposition of funky, goofy music during fairly straight forward fight scenes.
My favorite example of this is major fight scene about 35 minutes into the film. The cut "Fighting man" by DJ Pone & Drixxxe is playing the whole time. Its a bizarre, almost tongue-in-cheek soundtrack.
If you like this tune, or any of the music from the film, unfortuantely, you cannot order the actual soundtrack in the U.S. Instead, you can only get the never any good "Music inspired by the movie."
Yeah, it was so inspirational, the director and musical coordinator decided to use none of it. Sheesh!
There is some good news -- you can actually order the original film soundtrack via Amazon UK:
The Transporter [SOUNDTRACK]
by Stanley Clarke
ASIN: B00006MLR1 (Catalogue Number: 5046609612)
And while you are here, check out Fighting man by DJ Pone & Drixxxe.
After you listen to this, come back and post a comment if you think this goofy tune could possibly work as the track for a big fists, feet and gun fight. In the film, it really gives the scene an interestingly amusing flavor. (I found it hilarious). But it works . . .
The Carina Nebula: A montage of four April 1999 telescope pointings with six color filters produced this revealing image of the "Keyhole Nebula." The circular structure contains bright filaments of hot, fluorescing gas, and dark silhouetted clouds of cold molecules and dust-all in rapid chaotic motion. Some small dark globules in the image may be collapsing to form new stars. Located about 8,000 light-years from Earth in the Carina Nebula (NGC 3372), the "Keyhole" was named in the 19th century.
Saturday, November 29, 2003
When in the greater Chicago area, you must eat hot dogs. This one is my favorite:
Right about the time this blog note gets posted, I'll be woofing down some Superdawg!
(One superdawg, one whoopski dog, both extra onions).
Stellar Eggs: In one of the most famous and often reprinted Hubble images, the orbiting camera captured this eerie glowing pillar of cool molecular hydrogen gas and dust in the "Eagle Nebula" (M-16), 7,000 light-years away in the constellation Serpens. New stars are incubating at the top, embedded inside the finger like protrusions. Each "fingertip" is larger than our own solar system. The pillar is slowly eroding away under attack by ultraviolet light from hot stars outside the frame.
Friday, November 28, 2003
Giant Galactic Nebula NGC 3603
Life Cycle of Stars: This one picture of the giant galactic nebula NGC 3603 captures various stages in the life cycle of stars. Upper right of center, for example, is the evolved blue supergiant Sher 25, with a ring of glowing gas. Near the center is a so-called starburst cluster dominated by younger, hot stars whose ionizing radiation and high-speed "winds" have blown a large cavity around them. (These violent emissions have also sculpted giant gaseous pillars from the cold molecular-hydrogen cloud.) The dark clouds at upper right are believed to represent an even earlier stage of star formation.
DVD shopping engine
Since today is black friday -- the busiest shopping day of the year -- and so many of you probably don't ant to brave the crush of the stores, or (gasp!) the mall, try shopping from the comfort of your own home:
Look for the best prices on DVDs with DVD Price Search Engine.
Its a good way to comparison shop Online.
Here's the obligatory excerpt from dvdpricesearch.com's site:
Besides keeping you informed of the latest DVD coupons, bargains and specials on the web, DVD Price Search helps you compare prices on the newest and hottest DVD movies. Price comparison shopping online has never been easier with our search engine which is capable of finding those hidden deals that other price comparison websites just don't know about!
Hat tip to linkfilter
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Thanksgiving, and the Mensa Society Rejects
Ever work for morons?
Oh, I have. Here's the tale, apropos of the Thanksgiving Holiday:
I worked at a firm some years ago, where the senior partners (there were 3) were not the brightest tools in the shed. They managed to put together a money-making firm, but that was merely proof that intelligence is not a prerequisite for profitability, as I was about to find out in painful detail.
We go to Chicago every year -- its become a family tradition. The first year I worked at the firm, I told the management brain trust the week before Thanksgiving that I was spending the holiday in Chicago. I repeated this info on the way out the door Wednesday.
"Have a safe flight!"
We had a very nice weekend in Chi-Town, eating our way across the city. Then, it was back home by late Sunday, and in to work on time on Monday. I'm not at my desk for more than 5 minutes, when one of the assistants sees me, and whispers conspiratorially: “The partners want to see you – they are very very angry.”
I go in to see them, very casual. Hey, I’m just coming off a four day weekend, and I know I didn’t doing anything wrong, so I really don't give a shit if they had too much triptophan or not.
“Where WERE YOU Friday?” these future Nobel Laurelates ask me.
“Um, Chicago, like I told you.” I said. “We discussed this on Wednesday.”
“But why didn't you call to say you weren't coming in on Friday?” asked one member of team Mensa.
“What am I missing here?” I asked innocently. I could feel my blood pressure start percolating, and my natural impatience was starting to show through.
“You never told us you weren’t coming in on Friday” was the reply. I made a mental note to call the MacArthur Foundation, just to tell them their money was no good here.
My prior attempts to keep myself out of confrontation mode was getting no where. These guys are salesman, and the only thing they TRULY respect was a strong close. So I went at 'em:
“You know where Chicago is, right? It’s over 1000 miles away -- What did you expect, I was going to fly to Chi-town, wuff down some turkey, and turnaround and come back home THAT NIGHT – just to come in for a half a day, one of the slowest days of the year?
Nobody answered, they just had that blank stare you see on people who have taken one-too-many-acid trips. So I pressed my point home:
NOBODY REALLY EXPECTED ME TO FLY BACK HERE FOR A HALF DAY, RIGHT? RIGHT?”
“Um, no of course not. But you need to tell us when you are taking a day off.”
“I did that. I said I was going to Chicago for the weekend. Is there anything else?"
“O.K. I got work to do. I’ll see ya later.”
No one else said a word.
And that’s how I learned I worked for the dumbest motherfuckers on the planet.
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
Roof Sex: An absolutely hysterical 1 minute stop-motion animated short from the creative minds at Eat PES. The best description of this film would be "recliners bumpin' uglies." (Be sure to watch thru the credits).
There is also a very funny commercial for the Discovery Channel/TLC called Beasty Boy.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Special Interest Boondoggle?
Will this approach impact the 2004 elections? While the Democrats think it could, the GOP is already betting that voters are inured to these sorts of claims:
"A portion of the public believes Republicans are too close to business -- it's in their calculus already," said Matthew Dowd, pollster for President Bush's re-election campaign. New examples of that link "won't affect how people vote," he added. "My guess is, the public is glad there's a bill and won't pay attention to the argument Republicans did this for the special interests." -- WSJ
What's so amazing is that the Democratic Party has overlooked these issues for 4 years. Recall that Enron CEO Ken Lay was the President's largest campaign contributor. The Dems, in a feat of awesome stupidity, failed to capitalize on that strategic advantage in the mid-term 2002 elections.
Here's how the WSJ sees the issue:
"So Democrats, looking for the biggest chinks in Mr. Bush's political armor, have sought to portray him as a tool of special interests. They have highlighted everything from no-bid contracts for big campaign donors in the multibillion-dollar Iraqi reconstruction package to a failure to close tax loopholes for companies involved in scandals."
"The focus on business involvement in Iraq, the tax cuts and budget have strongly reinforced the impression that this president and administration act for big business, rather than people," says a recent memo by Democracy Corps, a group of influential Democratic pollsters and strategists. "Almost two-thirds now say Bush is more for big business than the average person," while "55% say Bush is 'President for the oil companies,' " the memo adds. "These crystallized perceptions may play a bigger role in our framework in the months ahead."
Democrats Take On Business
By Jacob M. Schlesinger and Tom Hamburger
Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2003