Archive for March, 2008

Amazingly Awesome!

March 31, 2008

Check out these amazing facts. Some are incredible and some are strange but all are true. 

Sporks were originally developed as weapons.

Although he wrote of the mighty Mississippi with great affection, Mark Twain never learned to swim.

Baseball was originally played with only three bases, making it a triangle shaped field rather than the modern baseball diamond.

The oldest standing castle in Europe is in Baldernock, Scotland.

In early Disney animated short films, Pluto the dog spoke and wore clothes like Goofy.  However he was quickly changed to a nonspeaking character and demoted to Mickey’s pet.

Although he played a country bumpkin on “Hee Haw,” Junior Samples held a Ph.D. in anthropology.

Deer have perfect pitch.

A mockery is a unit of apothecary weight equivalent to a twenty-fourth part of an ounce, 1.3 grams or 20 grains.

Voice actor Mel Blanc hated recording the voice of Porky Pig because Blanc’s son had a slight stuttering problem and he felt the voice was insensitive.

The type of facial hair known as muttonchops got its name from a British pantomime character, Colonel Muttonchops, often portrayed as pompous and foolish.

In Singapore cousins can’t marry but siblings can.

One of the most dangerous of all fish is the Tyrannochromis nigriventer which is found in some African lakes. Its jaws feature a series of serrated teeth capable of

stripping the flesh from a zebu’s bones in less than a minute.

The most popular TV show in Papua New Guinea is the US sitcom “Webster.”

The food additive xanthan gum can be addictive.

Jerry Lee Lewis wrote his hit “Great Balls of Fire” after suffering from jock itch.

The Ouija board is banned in Cuba not because it is an American product but because Castro is severely superstitious.

Will Eisner, creator of the comic strip “The Spirit,” designed the Jolly Green Giant mascot.

Queen Elizabeth II is allergic to onions as is most of the royal family.

Dour is the collective noun for a group of penguins.

Actor Fred Gwynne, who played Herman Munster on TV, won a silver medal in swimming at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

Oregano was used in ancient Roman times as the crucial ingredient to a healing salve during childbirth.

The pop song “Rockin’ Robin” contains multiple references to drug abuse and underground drug culture.

The Hochstetter's frog of New Zealand does not croak but instead makes a quacking sound like a duck due to a hardened nasal protuberance that acts like a bill.

In addition to being a successful singer and songwriter, Bono of U2 is also a chess grand master.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Rice Burroughs were good friends and often discussed co-authoring a story where Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes met Burrough’s Tarzan.  A manuscript was rumored to exist, although it has never been published.

Lobsters have no sense of fear.

A. A. Milne first conceived Winnie the Pooh as a stuffed panda.

Ryan Seacrest was home schooled by Mormon parents and did not listen to pop music until his mid-20s.

Tinkertoys were first made by the Amish.

Liquorice is closely related to the belladonna plant also known as deadly nightshade.

Gary Gygax always claimed he invented Dungeons & Dragons as a game of mental stimulation for his Mensa friends and lamented its appeal to dorky college students.

Mr. Clean’s full name is Will I. Clean.  

A camel’s fur is so thick it actually makes it somewhat fireproof.

Isle Be Seeing You

March 30, 2008

Sometimes I have this dream – well, fantasy really – that I’m stranded on a deserted island. I dunno how. Shipwreck or plane crash or something, maybe I get a job with FedEx like Tom Hanks in that movie.

Anyway, I see a boat in the distance. It’s a small craft and it’s piloted by one person and one person only. He sees my signal fire and steers over to the island. I swim out to meet the boat and climb aboard.

When I get on deck I find out the captain of this little ship is none other than the person who invented those shoes with the roller skates in the heel that some kids wear. Then I quickly kill him, leave his body for the sharks to eat, and I sail back to civilization where I’m hailed as a hero.

Not one of my top ten desert island fantasies, mind you (most of those involve the female cast of TV’s Lost) but it’s one I often drift off to sleep pondering. Ah. Sweet dreams.

Sparky MacMillan has written songs barefoot in the rainforest.

A Grand List

March 29, 2008

As a cine-phile, I like to set goals.  First I tackled the AFI list of best 100 films.  Then I set out to watch all the Oscar-winning best films.  Now I’ve a mind to live large with a massive undertaking: 1000 FILMS TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE as compiled by the UK’s Guardian.

The list is huge, obviously, filled with the classic, the neo-classic, the ridiculous and the sublime.  Foreign films, film noir, comedies, drama, fantasy, sci fi, animated, horror and so much more.  So far I’ve only seen about 400, which is good, I think.  But that leaves a lot more to go.

1000 FILMS TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIEHeckuva deadline.  I hope I have plenty of time to accomplish it.

Men Are From Marsupial

March 28, 2008

When I read the news, scan the headlines, peruse the latest happenings from around the world, I tend to gravitate towards the type of stupidity that allows us to look askance at humanity with a tsk tsk and a wry smile and a smug feeling of superiority because we aren’t nearly as stupid as the thief who leaves his ID at the crime scene or the idiot who removes himself from the gene pool with a drunken cry of “Hey, y’all, watch this!”  But I am at a loss as to what to make of THIS story… 

A New Zealand man has been sentenced to 75 hours of community service for falsely claiming a wombat raped him. 

Go on.  Read that sentence again.  It won’t change.  It’s true.  According to this online report, Arthur Ross Cradock, a 48-year-old orchard worker, admitted in the Nelson District Court yesterday to the charge of using a phone for a fictitious purpose, after calling police with the message, ‘I’ve been raped by a wombat’. 

The details appear to be that on the afternoon of February 11 Cradock called the police and claimed he had an emergency.  On a second call Cradock told authorities that he was being raped by a wombat at his home and sought assistance.  A third call was made to withdraw the complaint. “Apart from speaking Australian now, I’m pretty all right you know, I didn’t hurt my bum at all,” Cradock informed the operator. 

Although alcohol has purportedly played a big part in Cradock’s life, his defense lawyer asserted that alcohol was not a factor on this day in question.  Which seems a bit of a shame, really.  I mean, I would think that if you are gonna go to court for lying about being buggered by a burrowing beastie then loads of alcohol would be your best defense.

Sparky MacMillan is gonna make you sweat one way… and then the other.

People I Hate #17 (In A Series)

March 26, 2008

Who: Bindi Irwin. 

Why: Oh, yeah. I know I’m evil and mean and going to rot in hades and all, but let’s face it: she wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar if her dad hadn’t been the Crocodile Hunter.  And she can call herself “The Jungle Girl” or “The Jungle Book” or “Jungle Fever” for all I care, she’s not a zoologist or biologist or have any real qualifications to be a TV star – other than people feeling sorry for her.

How I justify it: I’m a complete bastard.

Of Music, Monty, Melting and Mayhem

March 25, 2008

Well, now that you’ve gorged yourself with jellybeans and hard-boiled eggs and whatnot, here’s some fun to waste some time…

Relive nightmares of Easters past at BUNNYOCALYPSE: The Marshmallow Bunny Apocalypse.

Keep the malevolent fire burning at CHOCOLATE RABBIT MELTDOWN.

Or for something completely Python, try your hand at this MONTY PYTHON QUIZ.

Or if music’s your thing, check out this INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT LYRICS QUIZ.  How difficult?  It’s called And Great Lyrics Quiz Rock Roll The.  Yeah, I thought so.

March Madness

March 23, 2008

Who am I pulling for in the NCAA tournament?  Easy: Gonzaga.

Oh, yeah, sure.  I know the team got knocked out in the first round by Davidson, but I don’t care.  I like Gonzaga.  Every year I pull for them.

It’s not that I’m an alum or even that I know anything about the school.  Where is it?  What’s the mascot?  Isn’t it even worth rooting for?  I couldn’t tell ya.  I just like the sound of it.  Gonzaga.  Gon-za-ga!  GON-ZAH-GUH!!!!!!  Sounds like a cool cheese or a type of skin rash or a Captain Marvel villain, which is awesome.  And I’ll never bother to learn any more about the team, the school or the name other than that. 

Gonzaga!  Gonzaga!  Gonzaga!  Long may you have a kick-ass name!

Persistence of Vision

March 20, 2008

As a longtime animation fan (I used to want to be an animator when I grew up, but sadly I wasn’t born in Korea), I always appreciate calling attention to lost works of cartoon art.

So I humbly pass on this: ANIMATED & FORGOTTEN – FEATURE LENGTH “CARTOONS” YOU MAY NOT REMEMBER.

If you’re interested in animation, check out some of these dandies.  Unfortuantely, no anime made the roster, but I can certainly add “Anything by Miyazaki” to the list.

No Smurfs though, please.

Let Me Take A Lick At You!

March 19, 2008

And I thought that Australian beaver ad was weird…

Mmmmm. Them cheesy tots looks tasty tho’.

Lost v. Lost

March 18, 2008

Who’s your favorite Lost character?  There’s still time to cast a vote or two in this NCAA-style bracket for Losties.

Currently, it’s down to an Elite Eight – with a few shockers in tow (Jacob? Really?) – but you can take a moment to exert a modicom of control over these intriguing, beguiling, maddening castaways.  More than you could ever hope to do with the TV show, I’m afraid.

Click HERE to vote.