Month: May 2008

Gone but not forgotten – Harvey Korman

Gone but not forgotten – Harvey Korman

People
I'm not going to claim that I was a huge Harvey Korman fan and was familiar with his entire body of work just because he's now dead, but I saw enough of him to know that he was damn funny. Hell, he gained comedy immortality for his performance in Blazing Saddles alone. So before YouTube pulls the clip, enjoy just one classic moment from our dearly departed funnyman...
Sharon Stone: Idiot of the week

Sharon Stone: Idiot of the week

Rants
I know it's only Thursday, but I feel pretty confident about this selection. You see, it seems Ms. Stone caused a bit of a brouhaha with her comments about the recent earthquake in China. She displayed her tact and political acumen when she uttered the following pearl of wisdom: "I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else...And then all this earthquake and all this stuff happened, and I thought, is that karma - when you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?" No dipshit, the earthquake (and resulting deaths of almost 70,000 Chinese so far) is not karma. It's a tragic geological event that has impacted a whole lot of people who have absolutely nothing to do with the treatment of Tibet by the Chines...
Movie Review: The Great Escape

Movie Review: The Great Escape

Movies
Due to time constraints I wasn't able to enjoy yet another Band of Brothers marathon over the Memorial Day weekend. But all was not lost as I finally got to catch a viewing of The Great Escape, which I had never seen before. And I'm pleased to say that for the most part, the film's reputation as a classic is well-earned. The basic premise of the movie is thus: It's World War II and the German High Command, tired of dealing with the expense and effort involved with keeping some of their most escape-prone POWs imprisoned, has designed a newer and supposedly better prison camp (Stalag Luft III) where it sends the craftiest Allied prisoners. Seems like a swell idea on paper, but what it effectively did was to help the smartest and most resourceful POWs pool their resources and concoct an ev...
Album cover of the week: News of the World

Album cover of the week: News of the World

Album Cover of the Week, Music
I was absolutely fascinated by this cover as a kid and I still think it's awesome: What gets me about this is the look on the robot's face, which says "Oh crap, did I do that?" The blood drop on the finger is also a very nice touch. The only part that doesn't thrill me is that Brian May (the one with the curly hair and puffy shirt) looks like a bit of a dandy. As it turns out, interestingly enough, this wasn't exactly a new painting. The October 1953 issue of Astounding Science Fiction featured the original art by Frank Kelly Freas. Queen contacted Freas and asked him to adapt his work for their album cover. He agreed, and his updated killer robot appeared when News of the World was released in October 1977.
Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 2)

Interesting stuff I now know thanks to Wikipedia (Vol. 2)

Listcruft
The Japanese name for Japan, 日本, can be pronounced either Nihon or Nippon. There are five entries thus far in the Walter the Farting Dog series of children's books. Thibaw Min was the last king of Burma (aka Myanmar). After the British completed their conquest of Burma in 1885, Thibaw and his family were exiled to India. The Netherlands won two gold medals at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona - one in the Women's 800m and one in Equestrian Jumping Team competition. New York Airways became the first scheduled helicopter carrier in the United States and the first passenger helicopter carrier in the world when it commenced passenger operations on July 9, 1953. It offered scheduled service from atop the Pan Am Building in Midtown Manhattan (New York City) to other airports in th
Deep Cuts: The Beach Boys

Deep Cuts: The Beach Boys

Music
Memorial Day is just around the corner, and that of course means the unofficial start of summer. And what would a summer be without the music of the Beach Boys? It would be crap, that's what. Everyone knows the biggest hits (and there were a ton of them), but there's a lot of great material that has gone unnoticed by all but the biggest fans. So here's ten overlooked classics by the boys from Hawthorne, CA. (note: the audio player's default level is pretty loud, so headphone wearers beware). "This Whole World" (Sunflower, 1970) - If any song proved that the Beach Boys (and a post-breakdown Brian Wilson) could still deliver the goods after their late-'60s commercial freefall, this was it. In just under two minutes the band packed in more stunning harmonies and top-notch so...
Album cover of the week: Wish You Were Here

Album cover of the week: Wish You Were Here

Album Cover of the Week
All too often it happens that an album with great artwork is full of forgettable music. Luckily that's not so with Pink Floyd's 1975 classic, Wish You Were Here. For my money, this is the ultimate Floyd album and one of the ten best albums of all-time. One of the really appealing things about this cover - aside from how surreal it is -is how ambiguous it is. There may be a definite story or scenario behind this photo, but it's vague enough to allow you to make up your own. I know I've made up more than a few. This is one of many memorable covers designed by the famed design group Hipgnosis, whose work will undoubtedly pop up at least a few more times in future installments in this series.