eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
This may well be the most hilarious news story of the day. Because...

"After years of being identified on screen as the legendary archaeologist 'Indiana Jones,' actor Harrison Ford has won election to the Board of Directors of the Archaeological Institute of America. With his Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull set to hit U.S. movie theaters on May 22, the film star commented on his real world dedication to archaeology, 'Knowledge is power, and understanding the past can only help us in dealing with the present and the future.'"

Best headline about it? The one from E online: "Real-Life Indys Treat Ford Like One of Their Own."
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (B5 - Delenn OMG)
You guys, this is the most amazing product ever produced for sale. NO REALLY. Look at it.

Look at it.

Oh my god.

There's no scale there, but the side is the same size as a standard Swiss Army Knife. And then it's nine inches wide. And weighs three pounds.



Tools included:
Special self-centering screwdriver for gunsights
Bike chain rivet setter
Flashlight (!!!)
Telescopic pointer
Mineral crystal magnifier with precision screwdriver
Snap shackle
Cupped cigar cutter with double-honed edges (!!!)
Golf shoe spike wrench
Golf divot repair tool

I am pretty sure that this knife has been designed for the zombie apocalypse. There is a special gunsight screwdriver. (On the other hand, it would have to be a zombie apocalypse that involved... killing zombies through golf, or something. And then lighting up cigars a la Will Smith.)

Seriously, go look at the whole list of tools in it here.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Supreme Court edition.

'cause ... you know what Antonin Scalia said this weekend? He said that torture doesn't violate the cruel-and-usual-punishment ban because it's (wait for it) not punishment, see. No! Because "When he’s hurting you in order to get information from you, you wouldn’t say he’s punishing you. What is he punishing you for?"

Human Rights First points out that this, um, "close reading" of the eighth amendment ignores, you know, A BUNCH OF OTHER AMENDMENTS. And is bullshit.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
Oh my god you guys, this may well be the most horrifying children's book I have ever seen (today). It is a book that "explains" plastic surgery to kids, by saying that mommy's tummy just doesn't fit in her clothes anymore, so she's going to have a tummy tuck and then be "even more beautiful" even if she has to be on bed rest for a week or two. I KID YOU NOT. Note it is by a plastic surgeon.

Also: it's vanity-published, not through a distributor. So it would be costing him several thousand dollars to publicize... if Newsweek hadn't decided to do a "review." Note the scare quotes. I mean them.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (B5 - Delenn OMG)
... I don't know this person at all, I just saw her on a friends' facebook friends page.

And I think this is the most hilarious status update I have ever seen in my life. Ready?

"Phoebe is breaking up with her life partner of three years, Jenny. Turns out we're both hetero. 3:59pm."

*boggles* OMG you guys. As a status update! On facebook! WHAT?

PAH

Jun. 9th, 2007 12:09 am
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
So yesterday I spent twenty dollars and two and a half hours at a doctor's office ... to learn exactly four words more than I knew going in.

See, it's an insurance hoop. I told my primary care doc that I was having hearing problems. In the last four or so years, I've started to have: difficulty distinguishing words when they overlap, difficulty distinguishing words against background noise, difficulty pinpointing directionality of noise (I can't tell where the siren is coming from, just whether it's approaching or leaving), total inability to "pick out" one conversation at a loud party (this is hampering me as a grad student because I have to leave receptions because I can't tell what anyone's saying), and most especially the kind of clear gap in hearing that leads me to always be saying "sorry, what did you -- oh, alligators! you saw alligators!" because it takes me five seconds to guess what the word is from what I'm hearing. However, my pitch-and-volume hearing is great: I'm the first person to hear the siren, I just dunno where it is. And I clearly hear the words, because I can usually guess.

So first I had to go to an ENT to take a hearing test. Where I described my symptoms, took a v.v. long hearing test, and we determined that, hey, I'm basically at the perfect top bar of the little chart! ... when it comes to volume and pitch.

Which, you'll note, I knew going in.

On the other hand, I learned ... three whole words. Central Auditory Process. And the audiologist at the ENT's office told me to check on same on wikipedia, where surprise surprise... look! it's me! Except for the part about the association with poor performance in school. And the part about how it (typically) starts in childhood. And about how it's not supposed to get worse over time.

And also how I don't have a diagnosis. I just have a "hey, look, you don't have a problem with your physical hearing, you should go see someone who deals with brains who will maybe tell you you have this thing that I can't tell you anything about myself but you should totally google it. Sorry, we don't deal with brains, because they're squishy and weird."

On the other other hand, I read like a hundred and fifty pages of the hilarious Interred With Their Bones, a da Vinci Code knockoff except with Shakespeare. Here's how it goes: a Harvard-PhD-student-turned-theater-director gets interrupted while directing Hamlet at the Globe. By an old mentor. Who... then is killed with poison in the ear! Our hero must then run around the world following tracking her old mentor's research! Into one of Shakespeare's lost plays! That may prove something about his life! Or also about how the plays weren't really written by Shakespeare! And uncover a conspiracy of the Howard family and the Earl of Northampton! While narrowly avoiding a man who wants to turn her into the "enter Lavinia" stage direction! It's, um, thrilling. In that special hilarious way. Also the author is ALSO a Harvard PhD turned theater director. I think there's a rule about people who leave academia and then write thrillers about the subjects of their dissertations: they are hilarious.

Sadly, I'm not done yet, so I don't know if Shakespeare turns out to be sekritly the son of Queen Elizabeth, or sekritly the lover of Frances Howard, or if the plays were actually really written by the Earl of Oxford (Edward de Vere, who one of the characters is sekritly related to). Also, for some reason the Earl of Suffolk burnt down the Globe in 1613. On Tuesday June 29th -- and then someone in the present burns down the new Globe! On Tuesday! June 29th! And steals the first folio!

See what I mean about the hilarious?

AHHHHHHH

May. 6th, 2007 08:32 pm
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
*puts hands over ears* oh my god ewwwww ahhhh

This is the end of this emergency broadcast OMGWTFBBQAHHHHHHHH.

Boooooks!

Apr. 24th, 2007 11:31 am
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
So the BEA autographing schedule has been posted, and all I have to say is that this is the best fifteen-words-or-less blurb ever: "Gay themed coming-of-age murder mystery based on Pinocchio."

No, really.

Anyway, as you all know by now: this is a three-ish day conference for people in or associated with the book business. This year it's in New York, May 31 - June 3. If you go, you end up coming home with hundreds and hundreds of free books from autographing and from the show floor (after the cost of admission, which is around $75-$100 depending on the kind of person you can register as; if you teach, you can register as an education professional). I'm almost certainly not going this year, because I don't know anyone in NYC and am too cheap to pay even hostel prices for NYC. But! Some of y'all should definitely go.

Even if I'm not going, though, this is always the point in the year at which I go "Alan Alda's written a book about 'living a life of meaning'? Julianne Moore's written a YA book about having freckles?" (Both true, both being signed.) So on that note:

Alison Bechdel signing the pb version of Fun Home!
S.E. Hinton is signing the 40th anniversary edition of the Outsiders!
Judy Blume! New chapter book! Really!
Ann Martin -- of "The Baby-sitters Club" series -- is starting a new series: "Main Street."
Sandra Boynton, with a new book about penguins.
Joyce Carol Oates signing The Gravedigger's Daugher.
Ann Patchett (of Bel Canto) with a new book.
A book called Typo: The Last American Typesetter.
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who writes a new knititng book every year. This one is called Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off
An awesomely hilarious book titled The Camera Phone Book: How to Shoot Like a Pro. No, seriously. By National Geographic. Isn't that the most hilarious thing ever?
The best post-Lemony Snickett pseudonym ever for a chapter book author: Pseudonymous Bosch. I don't expect fifth-graders to get that, but I'm snickering.
Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity: the end? we're over it?
FLOW: The Life and Times of Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River Um. Are we seeing this as a national bestseller?
Hugging Life : A Practical Guide to Artful Hugging Well, mostly I just ... you know, wait until I think other people are okay with me in their personal space, and then I hug them.
Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson's third Peter Pan book.
Artemis Fowl graphic novel.
Beowulf graphic novel.
Holly. Black. Two books. No kidding.
OMG The Secret book. By Atria Books. Eewwww.
"Scientific proof of gene regulation by belief, nurturing, and intention!" Riiiiight. *backs away slowly*

Da Vinci Code ripoff count: "A rare-books dealer must unravel a secret that has been hidden in the illuminations of the Gutenberg Bible." And maybe: "A thrilling race to find a lost draft of the Constitution!" and "Who has Pancho Villa's skull? Who will kill for it?" and "Race to uncover the secret of the murder of Hitler's mistress!"

Badly worded blurb count: "Teen author eliminates apprehensions over first-time experiences with Winston, the Squirrel." (Me: Wait, WHAT? First time experiences with... oh, right, by means of a story about. Check.) "Historical story that became most American's first exposure to pedophilia" (Huh? Oh, it's non-fiction. Oh, actually the author is a detective who worked on this case in the 1950s.) "A fantasy adventure that combines actual history, folklore, mythology, and legend." (As opposed to all that fake history.) "Re-telling of Jamestown story in post-apocalyptic future." (Um. What?)

Most hilarious blurbs: " A major hurricane hits NYC in this thriller by the Emmy Award-winning meteorologist!" "An infectiously enthusiastic guide to aprons that are suddenly everywhere." "Suspense novel about a serial killer and the homicide detective determined to catch him." (This is the blurb that describes all thrillers. ALL.) "This book will transform the life of everyone who reads it." (Thanks! What's it about?)

Celebrity signings: Tiki Barber (former Giants running back) with a chapter book and an autobiography; Rupert Boneham (of Survivor) with the Story Of His Fame Etc; the aforementioned Alan Alda and Julianne Moore; John Carter Cash with a book about June Carter Cash; Bruce Dern with a Story of His Fame Etc; Chris Elliott signing what is probably yet another crappy novel masquerading as humor; Charles Grodin signing a self-help book about mistakes; Tim Gunn (of Project Runway) with a book on fashion; Steve Harvey with some sort of superhero novel featuring himself; John Lithgow with a compiled "poetry book for the whole family;" Mandisa of American Idol with a sorta self-help autobiography; Roscoe Orman of Sesame Street (Gordon) again; Karna Small Bodman (apparently a director of the national security council under Reagan) signing a thriller; Anita Thompson (Hunter S.'s wife) with a book on Hunter S.
eruthros: Doctor Who: the TARDIS in wrapping paper and a masked Santa (DW - christmasy)
Best headline EVER: "Pants found in ravine." Way to make the readers wtf, Sf Chronicle!

picture behind the cut: the bad wolf really is everywhere )

Spoilers for SGA 3x13 Irresponsible )

Also, my new icon involves evil clockwork Santas peering at the TARDIS. Who can possibly resist evil clockwork Santas?
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
Good:

The Frisco Vista blog makes me happy in this discussion of guidebooks and the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. (Despite, that is, a name involving "Frisco" -- let's all just mark it as tongue in cheek and move on.) In any case, the Asian has, as said post points out, one of the largest collections of Asian art outside of Asia, a collection that spans millennia, and altogether makes up the most valuable mobile asset in San Francisco. And yet! Nothing but crap. The newspapers don't like to cover the exhibits, the guidebooks could care less -- so much oy.

Daniel Craig? You know, Mr. Bond? Yeah, he wants to do a Gay Bond scene. Also full frontal nudity.

Mark Morford takes this opportunity to mock the stupid. In this case, the stupid "no pre-marital sex for twenty-somethings!" Department of Health campaign.

***
Bad:

The Florida election officials involved in the Sarasota Congressional election? Yeah, they did a machine test, and can only explain 20% of the discrepancies on human error. Now, me, if I tested a machine and found it was screwing up that much? I might say there was something wrong with the machine. Florida election officials? Not so much. They say it's all human error, and they're sure to track down the errors eventually. (To recap: this is the FL-13 House of Representatives election, in which a certain area -- the largely-Democratic Sarasota County -- had a 1 in 6 undervote rate for the House election. For a total of 18,000 undervotes. Compared to c. 200 in neighboring counties. We want to know why, but elections officials are claiming that it's a Statement about negative campaigning -- which, just, okay, there are like more votes for local judge -- and that there's no machine error. Ever! Even though people reported machine error on election day! Oy.)

***
Ugly:

Michael Savage would like us all to know that when Keith Ellison (you remember him -- first Muslim member of congress) is sworn in, it'll be like a witch getting elected. From Media Matters, which transcribes things like this: "So what's next? A witch gets elected, and she says she's gonna only be sworn in with her hand over a pentagram? Where does this end? Tell me when this ends, the tyranny of the psycho, whacked-out minority. Tell me when it ends." So we don't have to. (Savage, incidentally, also critiques Media Matters for taking him out of context. Which is like... geez, what kind of context makes things like "I would also make the construction of mosques illegal in America" seem reasonable?)

Never, never venture into the letters section of salon.com. If you do, you discover scary people. Like, say, the people who appear to be arguing that of pregnant women will of course be battered more that not-pregnant women, because that's the only way men can keep from paying child support. THWAP.

***
Weird:

An ad campaign for milk is going to put up chocolate chip cookie 'scent infusers' at bus stops. Yeah. I'm a bit "... okay."

Some things about weddings freak me out. I mean, I'm not saying that this is a common post-wedding outfit, but apparently it's popular enough to be produced. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a g-string with a TRAIN. (And thus probably NWS.)

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