Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Location Location Location

I started up Google Earth for the first time in a while today. The newest addition is the ability to see what space looks like from any location on Earth, which is pretty cool. So of course, the first place I go to is our new house. The space stuff was boss, but I made an even better discovery:

We're two minutes away from a clown school! Why the hell am I going to boring old real school?

Also note that London's representation on Google Earth still isn't the greatest. It's a blurry mess, and I didn't have to censor my road because it's not even labeled. Come on, I want 3D models of nearby buildings so that I never have to leave the house again.

Monday, August 27, 2007

One Hundred Original Ideas for Horror Movies (#24 - 25)

  • 24. Skeletons: Skeletons are supposed to be scary; you see them all over the place at Halloween. You see them come to life in cheesy action-adventure movies. But has there ever been a mainstream horror movie featuring living skeletons? I don't think so. And before you object with "skeletons are the same as zombies", let's examine some important differences between skeletons and zombies:
    • Zombies can only be killed by destroying the brain. Skeletons have no brain.
    • Zombies eat brains and/or guts. Skeletons do not eat.
    • Zombies are the recently-dead come to life. Skeletons are the long-dead come to life.
    • Zombies moan. Skeletons creak and chatter.
    • It doesn't matter what started the zombie apocalypse. Skeletons were probably brought to life with some ancient artifact, and finding that artifact is the key to defeating them.
    • Zombies rarely use weapons. Skeletons are proficient with the sword, the sai, the nunchuck, and the bo staff.
    • Zombies are a metaphor for deep social issues. Skeletons are a metaphor for your dead ancestors coming back to life and stabbing you in the face.

    So you see, skeletons are indeed quite scary. They've been dead for hundreds of years, and I believe they are due their 15 minutes of fame.

25. Murderer's Block: A serial killer has gone his whole life without getting caught. As he comes to the end of his career, he realizes that he has run out of ways to kill people. Every way to stop a human brain from functioning has already been done, either by himself or in movies. Drowning someone in liquified pig guts? Done. Slicing them up with a cookie cutter then eating the baked flesh? Passe. Running them over with a Zamboni? He'd done it 7 times in the last month. There's just no more room for creativity in today's post-modern world. Depressed by this fact, he sets out to kill himself in the most creative way possible. He sets up an elaborate Rube-Goldberg device within his own flesh, designed to slice open every piece of skin, sever every limb, puncture every membrane, and burst every internal organ, all at the same time, with the push of a button. Unfortunately, the button fizzles out, so he just takes a shotgun to his head. As he pulls the trigger, he realizes, hey, the old classics may have been done a million times before, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. His life ends in the most realistic, creative, magnificent, glorious, and yes, mind-blowing, shotgun-to-the-head scene ever put to film.


See also: One Hundred Original Ideas for Horror Movies, #22 - 23.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Buses + Bitch + Bioshock

Buses are sort of like teleporters with a time delay. Think about it; you arrive at a certain location, enter a steel vessel, wait a few minutes, exit the vessel, and you're at a completely different location from where you entered. I'm telling you, kids, the future is now.

I only wrote this post so that I could say condescending things like "think about it" and "I'm telling you", because those are pretty hilarious things to say. Think about it.

Oh and in a follow up to that last post about words I hate...I forgot to mention how much I despise Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network. Not only does her name have one too many "i"s in it, but she insists on saying any word that is remotely Italian with an Italian accent. "Spaghetti" is a common enough word in the English language that there's really no need to switch to a completely different voice every time she says it. I'm telling you, if you went to Italy and heard them switch from Italian to English every time they said "cheeseburger", it'd sound like there was something wrong with them.

There is something wrong with Giada De Laurentiis.

I don't have time to blog because I'm playing Bioshock.

It's a game for the Xbox 360. There's been debate amongst geeks as to whether video games can be considered "art" in the same way that media like movies, music, or literature can. Bioshock is one of the first games that settles this debate with a resounding "fuck yes." It's a beautiful, cohesive experience that has been crafted with just as much care and creativity as a painting, novel, or movie.

Which is why the paper I have due in a few days will probably be late. Damn you, artsy video game.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Words That I Hate

Here are some words that I dislike a lot:
  • Fashionista. It sounds like a stupid made-up word. Because it is.
  • "Lambo" (in reference to a Lamborghini). Criss Angel has talked about his "lambo" in like the last five episodes of Mindfreak. Yeah, I get it, you're rich. Good for you. Now go make a balloon animal, clown.
  • Most words that used to be French or Spanish but are now English. But only because people tend to say them with a fake accent. If the word's now English, and you are a native English speaker, it no longer needs the accent. Ambiance, not ohmbeeyawnce.
  • "Reno" (in reference to renovations). I also really dislike the Home and Garden channel, and how there are billions of advertisements, and they're like "coming up! The world's biggest renos! Our channel has all the awesome renos! MASSIVE MONSTER RENO WEEK IS THIS WEEK!" Then I says to my TV, I says, "you want me to watch someone renovate their house? I can't think of anything more boring. I can't even say it's worse than watching paint dry, because really, it's literally watching paint dry. Also: stop using that word."

Oh man, now I've gotten myself so worked up that I can't think of any more dreadful words.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One Hundred Original Ideas for Horror Movies (#22 - 23)

See also: Explanation and #1 to #5 , #6 to #10 , #12-16.
#17 - 21.

  • 22. Trolls: There are barely any movies about trolls. But the ones that do exist fail to paint a consistent picture of exactly what a troll is. In the seminal 1986 movie "Troll", a kid named Harry Potter (yes, seriously) fights a little leprechaun-like troll that turns people into plant pods. In J. K. Rowling's world of what I will now call "the fake Harry Potter", as well as in The Lord of the Rings, trolls are giant, dumb creatures with clubs. In fairy tails, trolls live under bridges and converse with billy goats. In Discworld, they're rock creatures. In Dungeons and Dragons, they're...uh, I have no idea? How would I know? (the first rule about fight club is...)

    Anyway, my trolls are small yellow creatures, with mushrooms for hair and cinnamon rolls for eyes. They enjoy fine wine and jump-rope, and can frequently be found licking the slime off of abandoned aquariums. Trolls breathe out pepper spray and shit out puppies of various breeds. When a local breeder of Siamese fighting fish discovers a troll in his yard, he captures it and forces it to produce puppies to fuel his side business: Competitive dog fighting. He forces the puppies to fight for months, but one day returns home to find that all the puppies are gone, and in their place are mysterious plant pods. The pods suddenly split open, and emerging from the cocoons are vicious giant trolls, of the Lord of the Rings variety, with dogs for heads!

    The dog fighter gets bludgeoned with clubs and bitten by dog-heads until he dies a slow, painful death. Hahahhaha....DIE MICHAEL VICK! Er...I mean, die fictional character! Yeah.

  • 23. Clips: You know those hair clips that girls have? The plastic ones with sharp teeth that can snap shut with great force? Those things are scary. Imagine they came alive and snapped shut on sensitive body parts. 'Nuff said.

    P.S. The horror is also broadcast on Youtube, but only in short... CLIPS. Get it? Clips? Double meaning? Like "Saw"?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J. K. Rowling

[Like all my reviews, this one is pretty much spoiler-free, except for some vague references. But obviously I can't guarantee that the comments are.]

I'll keep this short, since anyone who's into Harry Potter will have already read this book, or will read it soon.

Deathly Hallows is pretty much what you'd expect from the last Harry Potter book. Almost every character and location from the series shows up in one form or another, even if only for a few paragraphs, as if to see them one last time before saying goodbye. It's not arbitrary, though, and each paragraph has its purpose in setting up the inevitable final confrontation. I wouldn't call it a mind-blowing finale that puts every other book to shame (though it has its twists and moments of brilliance), nor would I say Rowling is a flawless writer, but she does do some things better than almost anyone else.

First, she makes characters you care about. Harry is likable and realistic, and Rowling's unwavering insistence on telling everything from Harry's perspective only enhances that. Other characters are full of personality, even if only given a few lines of dialogue. This ability to create fleshed out characters strengthens the emotional impact when any of them succeed - or fail (and there are plenty of failures here). Second, she creates a cohesive world. There is a complex web of family trees, historical events, and magical rules that loop back on themselves and get described from different perspectives, but somehow it all manages to fit together and avoid contradicting itself. Third, and most importantly, Rowling manages to weave these characters into this world, setting up a cascade of mysteries and questions that slowly fall into place as the plot plays out. It's amazing that she can take all this information and form it into a flowing story both within each book and across the whole series. Harry Potter never has that "I'm making this shit up as I go along" feel to it (sorry, I love you Stephen King, but I'm looking at you here), and I almost believe Rowling when she says that the entire 7-book story popped into her head fully formed during a train ride.

One recommendation if you haven't read Deathly Hallows yet: Read the previous books first, even if you've read them before. Or at least Half Blood Prince. Details from that book especially come into play in this one, and although it's not impossible to follow what's going on, it'll be less of a mental workout if you have it fresh in your mind.

I have no doubt that the Harry Potter series will be right up there with Star Wars, the Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings as a classic, timeless accomplishment in fantasy. Soon, all the scary fan worship that goes along with it will kick in (e.g., Harry Potter conventions, obsession with mundane details, fan fiction, and dressing up as scantily clad characters of the opposite gender). Still, its popularity is well deserved.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Night of the Living Commercial People

Maybe I just watch too much TV, but have you ever noticed that there are only like five people who act in television commercials? There's a different combination of them in each commercial, but the same faces pop up over and over.

A few examples come to mind. There's the chick (pictured here) who has stolen a dude's Rolo Chocolate Cone, watched her husband waste a cat's talents to sell Temptations Cat Treats, adjusted her false teeth while her date wasn't looking, used her friend's good nature to steal a whole bag of Peak Freans, and committed numerous other atrocities in TV land. I'm sure she's very nice in real life though.

She was also zombie #9 in Land of the Dead, which is actually less anonymous than it sounds, because she had a jersey with the number nine on it. It goes to show you, though, that everything leads back to zombies in one way or another.

There's also the girl who feeds her dog, Maggie, gourmet food designed specifically for small dogs. I remember her because she's hot. Apparently other people agree, because she's also one of the girls standing around looking hot, ready to make babies with the dude who became the last man on Earth after eating a Kit Kat bar.

There are others I can't specifically identify. I know I've seen the guy who shakes his credit card bill and makes the balance go down to zero a few times. The "you won't like it" guy from the Oatmeal Crisp commercials (in which he lies to his kids and abuses his elderly father in order to protect his $4.00 box of cereal) has popped up a few times. Also: Is "you won't like it" really a good slogan if you want your product to sell?

I guess it's nice to see these vaguely familiar people coming up again and again in the hundreds of commercials we have to sit through. Eventually, you see them so much, they become like family. OK maybe not family; more like the person you see on the bus every day and nod hello to, but you will never talk to them or know their name.

You never know, though. Maybe they'll evolve out of being commercial people and end up like Thomas Cavanagh, going from beer commercials ("if I wanted water, I'd ask for water"...haha, take that, shitty beer!) to having his own show. I've never known anyone who actually watches "Ed", and I had to look up his name, but still, it's a step up.

P.S. I wrote this post because I read that Secret Anonymous Sarah is now one of those commercial people.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Search Terms Used to Find Phronk.com

  • are super villians in reallife stupid

    (I dunno, but hopefully they can spell "villain" and "real life".)

  • iphond

  • creative ideas of doing things

    (Here's an idea: search for vague stuff using things.)

  • how to make toilet cake

  • download madea's family reunion utorrent

  • the Golden Compass, his dark material, free PDF

    (Apparently I'm a good source for pirated movies and books. And Madea's Family Reunion? Is that even worth the time it takes to find and download and watch it?)

  • i'm going to punch you in the ovaries

  • Strippers + Psychology

  • saugeen stripper name

    (It seems that the vast majority of people finding this site through Google are (still) looking for the "Saugeen Stripper". I'm still baffled as to why that was a big deal. Looks like some searchers are more stalker-like than others; sorry to disappoint, but I won't be helping you find out her real name so you can whisper it to your computer screen while you jerk off to my blog.)

    And this is my favourite:

  • mauled by a rhino or fucked by a giraffe

    (Now what was the "or" in there intended to mean? Is it part of the search term, like, I want to find a web page about being mauled by a rhino, or a web page about being fucked by a giraffe. Doesn't matter which; either/or. Or is it comparing being mauled by a rhino to being fucked by a giraffe. Ah yes, the eternal conflict between rhino goring and giraffe rape. Which do you prefer? Comment below.)