Wednesday, July 30, 2008
But what about being attached to 1,000 balloons? On April 20, this priest took off, by balloons, and lost contact with his ground team. They recovered his body earlier this month, just finally confirming his identity via DNA testing. I think it'd be interesting to take a look at the autopsy report and see how he died, because there are so many dangers in pulling a stunt like this - going too high and losing access to air, the balloons popping or shrinking, getting pecked to death by birds - the possibilities are nearly endless.
And "Another Way to Die." It's the new Bond movie theme song. And get this - it's a duet between Alicia Keys and Jack White of the White Stripes. What a poor combination of voices! It really will be another way to die.
Monday, July 28, 2008
1. Even Koko the Gorilla loved him. Most people have heard of Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English.
What most people don't know, however, is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she'd always seen him do on-screen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!
2. He made thieves think twice. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town.Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, "If we'd known it was yours, we never would have taken it."
3. He watched his figure to the pound. In covering Rogers' daily routine (waking up at 5 a.m.; praying for a few hours for all of his friends and family; studying; writing, making calls and reaching out to every fan who took the time to write him; going for a morning swim; getting on a scale; then really starting his day), writer Tom Junod explained that Mr. Rogers weighed in at exactly 143 pounds every day for the last 30 years of his life.
He didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't eat the flesh of any animals, and was extremely disciplined in his daily routine. And while I'm not sure if any of that was because he'd mostly grown up a chubby, single child, Junod points out that Rogers found beauty in the number 143.
4. He saved both public television and the VCR. Strange but true. When the government wanted to cut public television funds in 1969, the relatively unknown Mister Rogers went to Washington.
Almost straight out of a Frank Capra film, his 5-6 minute testimony on how TV had the potential to give kids hope and create more productive citizens was so simple but passionate that even the most gruff politicians were charmed. While the budget should have been cut, the funding instead jumped from $9 to $22 million.
Rogers also spoke to Congress, and swayed senators into voting to allow VCR's to record television shows from the home. It was a cantankerous debate at the time, but his argument was that recording a program like his allowed working parents to sit down with their children and watch shows as a family.
5. He might have been the most tolerant American ever. Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was on-screen. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first.
Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, "God loves you just the way you are." Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists.
6. He was genuinely curious about others. Mister Rogers was known as one of the toughest interviews because he'd often befriend reporters, asking them tons of questions, taking pictures of them, compiling an album for them at the end of their time together, and calling them after to check in on them and hear about their families. He wasn't concerned with himself, and genuinely loved hearing the life stories of others.
And it wasn't just with reporters. Once, on a fancy trip up to a PBS exec's house, he heard the limo driver was going to wait outside for 2 hours, so he insisted the driver come in and join them (which flustered the host).
On the way back, Rogers sat up front, and when he learned that they were passing the driver's home on the way, he asked if they could stop in to meet his family. According to the driver, it was one of the best nights of his life - the house supposedly lit up when Rogers arrived, and he played jazz piano and bantered with them late into the night. Further, like with the reporters, Rogers sent him notes and kept in touch with the driver for the rest of his life.7. He was color-blind. Literally. He couldn't see the color blue. Of course, he was also figuratively color-blind, as you probably guessed. As were his parents, who took in a black foster child when Rogers was growing up.
8. He could make a subway car full of strangers sing. Once while rushing to a New York meeting, there were no cabs available, so Rogers and one of his colleagues hopped on the subway. Esquire reported that the car was filled with people, and they assumed they wouldn't be noticed.
But when the crowd spotted Rogers, they all simultaneously burst into song, chanting "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood." The result made Rogers smile wide.
9. He got into TV because he hated TV. The first time he turned one on, he saw people angrily throwing pies in each other's faces. He immediately vowed to use the medium for better than that. Over the years he covered topics as varied as why kids shouldn't be scared of a haircut, or the bathroom drain (because you won't fit!), to divorce and war.
10. He was an Ivy League dropout. Rogers moved from Dartmouth to Rollins College to pursue his studies in music.
11. He composed all the songs on the show, and over 200 tunes.
12. He was a perfectionist, and disliked ad libbing. He felt he owed it to children to make sure every word on his show was thought out.
13. Michael Keaton got his start on the show as an assistant. He helped puppeteer and operate the trolley.
14. Several characters on the show are named for his family. Queen Sara is named after Rogers' wife, and the postman Mr. McFeely is named for his maternal grandfather who always talked to him like an adult, and reminded young Fred that he made every day special just by being himself. Sound familiar? It was the same way Mister Rogers closed every show.15. The sweaters. Every one of the cardigans he wore on the show had been hand-knit by his mother.
Maybe it was because I was younger, but it seems like the world with Mr. Rogers' influence on it was a bit better than it is today.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Ryan Braun homered and drove in four runs, Bill Hall hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the eighth inning and the Brewers grabbed a share of the NL Central lead with a 6-4 victory over the Astros on Saturday night.Braun has had some awesome games since the All Star Break, most notably last night's and Thursday's. With these two games, he ends his no-homer streak. Maybe it has something to do with the Brewers signing younger brother Steve?
Milwaukee has won nine of 10 to move into a tie with the Cubs, who lost to the Marlins.
"It really is pretty incredible to make up five games this quickly," Braun said, alluding to the five-game lead the Cubs had over the Brewers at the All-Star break, just nine games ago.
Eric Gagne (4-2) pitched a perfect eighth to get the win, and Salomon Torres got three outs for his 20th save in 24 chances.
The Brewers tied it with two runs in the seventh and went in front in the eighth. Corey Hart hit Doug Brocail's first pitch of the eighth for a double, and Hall followed with a bloop single . Hall went to second on a balk by Brocail (4-5) and later scored on a ground-out by Jason Kendall to make it 6-4.
Braun tied it 4-4 with a line-drive two-run homer in the seventh.
On Thursday night, he bumped his BA up to .300. It dipped below briefly with the loss against the Astros Friday night, but with the great plays he made last night, it's right back up there. He has driven in just 78 runs this year in comparison to his 97 last year, granted that was for the whole time he played (just 12 more games, but 37 more AB). He has had 27 HR and 58 runs this year, compared to his 34 HR and 98 runs last year. The only stat that is higher so far this year than last is his IBB - four this year compared to one last year. Apparently more pitchers are afraid of Brauny - or they wanted to get Prince up to make an easier out/DP/etc.
Today, another game against Houston before facing the Cubs at Miller Park for a four day battle for first place.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
- Those who kill in self-defense and do not show psychopathic tendencies
- Jealous lovers who, though egocentric or immature, are not psychopathic
- Willing companions of killers: aberrant personality—probably impulse-ridden, with antisocial traits
- Killed in self-defense, but had been extremely provocative towards the victim
- Traumatized, desperate people who kill abusive relatives and other (like to support a drug habit) but lack significant traits. Genuinely remorseful.
- Impetuous, hotheaded murderers, yet without marked psychopathic features
- Highly narcissistic not distinctly psychopathic people with a psychotic core who kill people close to them (jealously an underlying motive)
- Non psychopathic people with smoldering rage who kill when rage is ignited
- Jealous lovers with psychopathic features
- Killers of people who were "in the way" or who killed, for example, witnesses (egocentric but not distinctly psychopathic)
- Psychopathic killers of people "in the way"
- Power-hungry psychopaths who killed when they were "cornered" (for fun things about Jim Jones, see here)
- Killers with inadequate, rage-full personalities who "snapped"
- Ruthlessly self-centered psychopathic schemers
- Psychopathic "cold-blooded" spree or multiple murders
- Psychopaths committing multiple vicious acts
- Sexually perverse serial murderers torture-murderers (among the males rape is the primary motive with murder to hide the evidence; Systematic torture is not a primary factor)
- Torture-murderers with murder the primary motive
- Psychopaths driven to terrorism, subjugation, intimidation and rape, (short of murder)
- Torture murderers with torture as the primary motive but in psychotic personalities
- Psychopaths preoccupied with torture in the extreme, but not known to have committed murder
- Psychopathic torture-murderers, with torture their primary motive
To make things funner, I linked each level to a perp that embodies it. Number three was tough to find, as the person he lists on his list (Cindy Campbell) is virtually unfindable via internet searches. I just keep getting stupid Scary Movie quotes. But be sure to check out the extra link on number 12 - it's a trailer for a movie that one of my friends is making and the link to his YouTube page in case you want to see more. You gotta love those shameless plugs right?
Just for fun, it might be interesting to try and think of some criminals on your own and fit them into the scale. Where do you see the Green River Killer? John Wayne Gacy?
Joseph Fritzl clearly belongs in level 19, and maybe Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee would join him there for the abduction and torture of Elizabeth Smart.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I didn't care much for Maggie Gyllenhaal as the Katie Holmes replacement - partly because I don't think she's that good of an actress (especially here) and partly because I don't think she or Holmes were of the caliber of former Bat-girls Basinger, Pfeiffer, and Kidman. I just don't like Katie Holmes at all, but her acting is terrible as well. If the 80s and 90s could present Batman with the hottest female co-stars of the day, I think the least we could've done was found someone who could act properly.
Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne/Batman with a greater depth than seen in the former films. The character is more intense than he was in Batman Begins, which leaves Bale topping his former masterpiece. There are certain parts of the movie where he uses the millionaire persona of Bruce Wayne to a much bigger advantage than has been used in former Batman films - for instance, he makes a deal with a Hong Kong businessman in order to get a closer look at his company's financial books.
Morgan Freeman always delivers great performances, no matter what the film. I'm worried he might not be in the next film, but for those who haven't yet seen 'The Dark Knight' I don't want to ruin it. Like I've said before, if Morgan Freeman were really God a la Bruce Almighty, I would believe. I think he's a great person, an amazing actor, and a wonderful role model.
I love Aaron Eckhart. Seriously, if you haven't seen him in anything, please rent Thank You For Smoking... or go see this. I had no clue before yesterday that Harvey Dent (aka Two-Face) was even in this movie. So much focus has been on Heath Ledger that I just didn't notice. Aaron is a great actor and really helps to bring more understanding to the character than Tommy Lee Jones ever could (no offense to him). Jones was so maniacal that he didn't do the character justice. Eckhart, however, brings his sarcastic, witty attitude to a more dramatic role than I've seen him in. In the end, once the turn from Dent to Two-Face is made, I found myself rooting for him. Bad guys with good reasons are easier to like I suppose. He had one of the most solid performances in this film, which is good, seeing as he's one of the main characters.
Michael Caine is growing on me as Alfred. I've always thought he was a great comic, but not much for the drama. Then again, I don't really watch his films because he's in soooo many (Goldmember was good). He still is no Michael Gough, but he's definitely getting better.
Gary Oldman has finally broken free from the bad guy typecasting. I even read an article to that effect this morning. He's so good at playing the bad guy - from Dracula to Lee Harvey Oswald and even to Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale (extra point if you remember what book/movie that was from). It's refreshing to see him as a guy fighting for good, choosing to do the right thing and knowing that it'll be hard. He's always been one of my favorite actors, and that grew as soon as he landed the role of Sirius in the Harry Potter films.
And lastly, Heath Ledger. Heath brings us a Joker that is much more of today's world. His primary goal is to prove that, when push comes to shove, people can be as nasty, disgusting, and ugly on the inside as he is all the time. In contrast to Nicholson's Joker, Heath brings an air of intelligence to the arch enemy of the Bat. The Joker is more sick, twisted, and psychotic in this film than he ever was in films and shows past. Chaos is his main goal - he has no plans ("I'm a dog chasing cars. I don't have plans. I just do things. I'm not a schemer.") and he wants a perfect state of anarchy ("Introduce a little anarchy... Upset the established order... Well then everyone loses their minds!"). However, Heath's Joker has much more respect for Batman than has been shown in previous versions as well. He recognizes that Batman will not kill him because he will not break his one rule. He also realizes that the Bat will not die, and therefore the two are destined to fight forever ("This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object." & "I don't want to kill you. What would I do without you?").
I was a few minutes late to the movie and so I missed the dedication to Heath that happened at the beginning of the movie. Maybe I'll try to convince Theron to go see it so that I can see the first ten minutes. :)
So pretty much, the movie was awesome. If you are a fan of Batman (or any of the actors in the film), go see it, enjoy it, savor the great script and wonderful performances, and go home full of questions about the next Batman film.
If it was just about a battle between who was the better superhero, I still might have to go with Batman. As the original Joker says, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" Spiderman does hold a special place in my heart, however.
I have not seen 'The Dark Knight' yet, but plan to do so soon. I'm both excited and nervous for the film. Being a Heath Ledger fan from way back, I almost don't want to see it because of the emotional damage it did to him to play the Joker, and how it probably contributed to his early death. On the other hand, I want to see him play a bad guy - something he really never had done.
Friday, July 18, 2008
He missed a fan chat that he was scheduled for on the Brewers website. In looking just now - mostly out of boredom - to see if he had ever rescheduled it, I come to find that he did and it had already taken place quite a while ago. I would've thought that the Brewers would've emailed everyone on their mailing list about that, since they were so keen on doing so the first time around, but either I missed it or they didn't really care too much about many people showing up.
Anyways, I thought that I'd post the link up here in case anyone else wants to know what music he listens to, what other sports he likes/has played, or other bubble gum questions. Although, I must say, as a former West Coastian/North Westerner myself, I really miss In-N-Out burgers... Mmmm...
Monday, July 14, 2008
Now the team suggests that, if Favre were to come back, he would be on the bench, as a backup. We all know Favre won't go for that though. He needs the attention that comes with being the star. I saw on the front of a paper at work yesterday that he's asked for the Packers to release him so that he can go play for another team. I wonder how that'll work with the team retiring his jersey.
Theron and I discussed briefly the other day which teams Favre might go to if released, not to mention the absurdity of someone twice declining to return to the team and now whining that someone else will be the star quarterback. If he went to the Vikings, it would make for an interesting jersey retirement ceremony, if the Pack goes ahead with it. Also, Minnesota might get a new stadium if they get Favre in purple?
We both thought he might try to head back to the Falcons, to end his career where he started it. However, as a big fan of one Joey Harrington, that would just piss me off. I love Joey, and have since his University or Oregon days. We even got into a little bit of a exchange of flirtatious looks once. :) In any case, he's had trouble trying to find his niche in the big leagues. Atlanta did try to release poor Joey, but upon releasing him, they discovered that they really didn't have (and/or couldn't get) anyone better, and therefore re-signed him.
I think that Favre is just having anxiety over not having the ability to play. I totally saw this one coming. Favre isn't the type to just sit around and not really do anything. I have a feeling that this is gonna blow over and he'll eventually be content to sit back in his armchair and root on his former team. Otherwise, he could always be an offensive coach somewhere.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Fritzl's daughter/dungeon lover is being questioned about her 24 years in their basement. She and the kids are all doing quite well, especially in therapy.
Teen pregnancies have gone up for the first time since 1991. Again, I need to emphasize the need for comprehensive sexual education. Sure, almost everybody knows about condoms, but many teen boys will refuse to wear them, which cause problems for those girls. They don't really know about other contraceptives or birth control methods other than the pill. If they knew about female condoms or other products/techniques, I'm sure that the rates wouldn't be going up quite as bad. Then again, I'm no longer a teenager. I did stupid things for past boyfriends, things that I knew could possibly hurt me - and did - but any girls will do anything to feel loved, especially with low self-esteem.
And in creepy news, McCain is in Wisconsin today, holding a women-only public forum. I wonder why he's there then...
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I'm sorry, but um, is that diplomatic? Is that going to help you out in any way possible, even if it's not aired? Is it going to win you the respect of the person sitting next to you? I think not. Moreover, even if the mic wasn't still on, there's still the camera mic which would've picked up that comment I'm sure.
Now he's apologized for his comment, citing that he is not jealous of Obama as some analysts would claim. However, he has also said that it's a part of his anger over Obama's comments that black men need to step up and be there for their children. I agree that Obama's comment there wasn't really one that I would've made on my run to the White House, but maybe if we took the race part out of it? I think fathers of all colors, nationalities, and socioeconomic backgrounds need to be there for their kids, need to man up and assume the responsibilities of being a father instead of just enjoying the niceties of making the babies.
Ah, and on the other side of the fence, we have McCain dodging a question asked by one of his own campaign members:
"Let me give you a real, live example, which I've been hearing a lot about from women. There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth control medication. Those women would like a choice," she said Monday.
"I certainly do not want to discuss that issue," the Arizona senator said aboard his "Straight Talk Express" bus in Ohio, according to the Associated Press.
After praising President Bush’s efforts to expand faith-based programs, McCain pivoted: “I also think that we should do everything that we can, and one of those in my view is respect for human life both born and the unborn.”
So women aren't allowed to take birth control but men can get hard even when they're 85 and their heart is in no condition for sexual activities? That just simply makes no sense. I can understand not wanting to lose the conservative vote, but you gotta try to get the feminist vote a bit if you expect to 'reach across the aisle.'
In essence, I will always make less than my husband, my insurance will be less (thank goodness), I will be expected to work hard on my education and career AND do house chores and raise the children seemingly single-handedly, but I might not be able to get birth control on my insurance because the conservative party thinks I'll be killing babies?! Maybe the human life quote was a bad move. If the egg doesn't get fertilized or doesn't attach to the wall, I'm not killing babies by taking birth control because then I'll just have a normal period.
If someone is making a choice that does not affect you but only themselves, then why protest that choice? So if I'm in an abusive relationship and I don't feel like I can get out, but I then get pregnant, I can't get an abortion and protect my unborn baby from the hellish life they'd live getting abused? Or if I'm raped and get pregnant, I can't get an abortion? Or if the baby is a product of incest? That's always a stickler in the states that require parental consent for children under 18 to get an abortion.
And homosexual people can't marry the ones they love in most every state because it bugs other people? I love how people cite the Bible for that, when it also says that slavery is good, as are polygamy and other cruel and gross things. I don't get why it really bugs anyone. It's not like people are forcing each other to be gay and get married, and it's not like it's bugging anyone at all. Britney Spears can get married in Vegas for mere hours or people can get married minutes after meeting, but people who actually love each other and want to be together for the rest of their lives can't get married because it gives other people the creeps. I'm sorry, but that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard.
I really hope that soon people can open their eyes and think about the harm that they're doing to other people by being so prejudiced. Maybe then the world can be a better place.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
In other big Milwaukee news, the Public Museum now has a Woolly Mammoth. The even cooler thing is that it was excavated from cornfields in Southeastern Wisconsin, and shows signs of tool marks which indicate that there were humans about 14,000 years ago in Wisconsin. The only bones missing are a rib and a few in the tail and feet. The real bones are too fragile to be just out in the open, so there's a fiberglass copy up in the public viewing area. I'm excited to go again soon and see it.
And this frustrates me a bit. This guy is building a Statue of Liberty. It wouldn't bug me or even be a blip on my radar if it weren't for the fact that it's STYROFOAM. Yes, that famous material that we're not allowed to really put in the microwave because of the damage it does to the Ozone Layer when it's heated. He better be spraying it with some sort of sealant before he sticks it outside by the St. Louis Arch. It's supposed to be up in that area around August, but the man wants to bring it back to his hometown in Lake County, Indiana, when it's done being on display.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I'm watching a Monster Quest episode about ghosts right now, and I'm not very happy at how they're portraying those of us who've had encounters with the paranormal. I'm fine with everyone (even my sweet sarcastic boyfriend) not believing me. However, unlike other people, I wouldn't make stuff up or exaggerate about things like that. I suppose they are generalizing and I shouldn't be too upset about that, but still, I'm not crazy. It's not like they'll find any evidence of ghosts anyways, because they never find evidence of anything that they're examining. At least I know that I'm telling the truth.
And here's how I can understand their generalizations. Still, you'd think that anyone would know the difference between the moon and a UFO. I guess they were just silly and confused... and possibly quite old.
In tennis news, Venus beat Serena to win the women's Wimbledon title. I hope they're good sports, because otherwise it'll make for awkward dinner conversation.
In Patriotic news, archaeologists found the remnants of Washington's boyhood home in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Hopefully it'll help us to learn more about his life as a young man.
And finally, as proof that no one has forgotten the terrors of World War II, someone beheaded Hitler's wax statue, citing that he was not a good famous German and therefore shouldn't be in the Berlin Madame Tussauds wax museum. The only problem with that is that famous can also include infamous. He should be in the museum as a reminder of things that happened in the past and how we must prevent that from happening again in the future (despite us not helping still with Darfur and other regions suffering genocides).
This blog, about a Japanese soldier interned in a camp during/after World War II in what is now Ukraine, is interesting. The drawings are kinda fun, and I love that they have the Japanese text on them. Now, if only I could relearn my Japanese...
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
First, they make Bert and Ernie move stop living together out of fear that it would turn kids gay or something like that. I always thought that Bert and Ernie were brothers so I dunno where they're getting that notion. Now they have their own places and there's no Rubber Ducky song with interruptions by an annoyed Bert.
But the biggest thing that annoys me about Sesame Street is that now the Cookie Monster is addicted to healthy foods like fruits and veggies. This is not the Cookie Monster we all know and love, the one we grew up with. Surprisingly however, fruit has become the number one snack for kids, passing cookies in recent sales. Stephen Colbert talked to Cookie Monster about this issue just last week.