4thofeleven: (Default)
“Beginning in about 2005, the CIA began secretly developing a ­custom-made Osama bin Laden ­action figure, according to people familiar with the project. The face of the figure was painted with a heat-dissolving material, designed to peel off and reveal a red-faced bin Laden who looked like a demon, with piercing green eyes and black facial markings.”
 - CIA hatched plan to make demon toy to counter Osama bin Laden's influence, The Washington Post
You know, I think a lot of us were worried that after the end of the Cold War, the CIA would lose its reputation for complete insanity. It seemed for a while there was no place in the new world order for such cunning plans as securing American power by making Fidel Castro's beard fall out. It's good to know the War on Terror gave them a new opportunity to play to their strengths, as well as finally answering the question: What would Darth Maul look like with a beard?


Sep. 3rd, 2012 06:10 pm
4thofeleven: (Default)
Australians have been asked to catch the world's deadliest spider, the funnel-web, so the arachnids can be milked for their poison.
Funnel-web poison is needed to make the anti-venom which is used to treat spider bite victims. Without the anti-venom, victims may die within the hour.
- Venom shortage sparks call to hunt funnel-webs, ABC News

Yes, it seems to me the best possible solution to a shortage of anti-venom is to encourage ordinary people to try and catch venomous spiders! There’s no way this could possibly go wrong!

On the plus side, it’s nice to see MMO-style quests being given out in real life. Unfortunately, the article fails to mention how much experience the Reptile Park will give out in return for collecting spiders…
4thofeleven: (Default)
Weirdest thing seen recently in Star Trek Online: a player going by Josef Tito. Not a ship named after Tito, no, somebody decided to name their character after Tito.

Now, hey, I’ve got nothing against Tito. Guy had plenty of admirable qualities, and as far as Balkan leaders go, he was a pretty good one. Still, why name your Star Trek captain after him? Is it some sort of weird theme, and all of this guy’s bridge officers are named after post-war European dictators? Is it some sort of commentary on the Federation’s vaguely socialist/utopian structure?

I choose to believe that there’s someone out there who sincerely believes that, if he’d had the opportunity, Tito would totally have become a space explorer, and he’s just glad to finally have a game where he can see how that would have turned out…
4thofeleven: (Default)
"At the insistence of the husbands of some burka-wearing women, a leading rabbinical authority is to issue an edict declaring burka wearing a sexual fetish that is as promiscuous as wearing too little."
 - Israeli Rabbis Clamp Down on Burka

No further comment necessary, really.
4thofeleven: (Default)

So, can someone explain this ad to me? I mean, granted, psedo-furry Reservoir Dogs/Clockwork Orange is a memorable concept, but I'm not sure it entirely sells the idea of 'minivans'.
4thofeleven: (Default)
So, has everyone seen the newly unveiled mascots for the 2012 Olympics?

They're, um, unique.

I like that the blue one's expression is silently pleading with the audience not to invoke the wrath of the orange one - clearly the Green Tentacle to orange's Purple Tentacle.
4thofeleven: (Default)
While using the computers in the library at uni today, I notice a guy next to me highlight a sentence from a webpage, then copy it into a word document.

Then he goes back to the webpage, highlights the same sentence, and copies it again.

And again.

I think he had two pages of the same sentence before he saved the document and logged out.

It was like some incredibly lazy re-enactment of The Shining...
4thofeleven: (Default)
...with capes

I guess they decided to go for truth in advertising, creating a set of uniforms that just scream "minions of an evil cult/corporation in a bad sci-fi movie".

4thofeleven: (Default)
My god. What the hell did I just watch?

Alright, so Zardoz is a science fiction film from 1974, primarily famous for featuring Sean Connery wearing red underpants, bandoliers and little else. It’s famous for that for two reasons; number one, because once you’ve seen the costume, it will be burned into your retinas for all time, and two, because there’s very little else in the movie that one can describe.

So what is the plot? Alright, let’s see what I could discern. Sean Connery’s an ‘exterminator’, one of a bunch of horse riding barbarians in a post-apocalyptic world. He worships a giant flying stone head called ‘Zardoz’, which speaks to the Exterminators, telling them “The gun is good! The penis is evil!” before vomiting out weapons for them in exchange for grain. Connery sneaks aboard the Zardoz head by hiding in the grain shipment, and after shooting the pilot, flies back to its base, the ‘vortex’. The Vortex, it turns out, is home to a bunch of people made immortal through advanced technology, who maintain the last surviving human technologies and culture. They’ve grown bored with immortality, however, and desire death. They can’t die, though, because they erased the knowledge of the machine that keeps them alive from their memories. Connery works out where the machine is, though, and how to destroy it. He then shuts down the barriers around the vortex, allowing his fellow exterminators to overrun the vortex and slaughter everyone there.

The problem is that that’s only about half the movie. The rest of it is a series of half-thought out ideas that are dropped as soon as they’re introduced, random non-sequiturs, and Sean Connery wandering through various locations wondering just how the hell he got roped into this film. The actual plot starts taking a backstage to random scenes involving characters we’ve never seen before or since. The final confrontation between Connery and the machine that controls the Vortex (the ‘tabernacle’) consists almost entirely of lines that seem to be referencing plot points that aren’t actually part of the film, before becoming a sequence of Connery wandering through a hall of mirrors, being confronted by the disembodied heads of the other main characters! Entire scenes are devoted to the trial of a Vortex inhabitant, his statements being broadcast to the rest of the community, and including such brilliant lines as "My thoughts leak out in Second Level, through the head wound of my third death." This character never appears in person, never interacts with any other character, and serves no purpose whatsoever save padding. And he's just the most obvious of the amount of irrelevant meaningless detail that goes into this film. Granted, the film never gets boring, but only in the same way that the Star Wars Holiday Special is never boring - you spend the whole time in a state of shock trying to work out how this incoherent mess will manage to top its own incompetence next.

Zardoz seems to want desperately to be the next 2001, and in pursuit of that goal, it throws in every half-baked idea and surreal bit of imagery it can come up. The problem is the only coherent idea the film has is “Immortality would get boring after a while”, and that’s neither as original or as deep as the film maker obviously think it is.

(The other major problem is that – well, Connery and most of the main actors do a decent enough job with the crap they’ve been given. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for any of the extras and minor parts, all of which seem to have been given to actors who wouldn’t be good enough to appear in infomercials…)

My advice? Watch the trailer instead – it includes most of the highlights of the movie (flying stone heads, Connery looking ridiculous, seemingly deep statements that are actually utterly meaningless.) Make up your own story to tie all of it together – it’s more than the film’s makers were willing to do.

I have seen Zardoz, and it doesn’t work.
4thofeleven: (Default)
Found on Youtube, felt this needed to be shared.

You're listening to Baby Laugh a Lot!

Warning: Containes the most horrifiying 'laughter' I've ever heard...
4thofeleven: (Default)
Bust of Vladimir Lenin found at centre of Antarctica

What strikes me as weird is that this is apparently a discovery - that nobody remembered that the Soviets stuck a bust of Lenin in the middle of Antarctica...


4thofeleven: (Default)
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