Something's wrong with F-book.
My Wall shows only "Dislike" links.
And they produce this image:
Something's wrong with my computer's mouse, too.
Every time I put the cursor arrow over a Dislike link, it does this:
My two favorite news stories this week.
Fave Story #1: Ah, Philadelphia - City of Brotherly Love.
10:30am Monday, 7/19/2010: Jose LaTorre Jr., the 320-pound son of the owner of J & Son's Towing in Philadelphia, arrives at an accident scene in his Cadillac, and claims the wreck for his company. It's called wreck-chasing. Tow operators get kickbacks from repair companies when they bring in wrecks. Yeah, it's an extremely ethical business. While LaTorre fils (we'll call him "Hefty Jose" for clarity) is waiting for his firm's tow truck to arrive, Angel Carrera, a driver for a rival company, Mystical Towing, arrives with an actual tow truck. A tow-to-tow confrontation ensues. Tow-to-tow. Get it? Hefty Jose pulls a gun and shoots Angel in the leg. Hefty Jose disappears, and is still at large. 320 pounds. At large. Get it?
Flash forward to 1:15am Wednesday, 7/21/2010: two unidentified men douse 13 cars with gasoline at the J & Son's lot and set them ablaze. The dousing is caught on a security cam. About 15 minutes later, six bullets are fired into the building at Mystical, a scant two miles away. John Campbell, who runs Mystical, says the bullets missed his wife, who was in the business office, by a mere 8 to 10 feet.
LaTorre père claims that Campbell shot up his own business to make it appear as if he had nothing to do with the arson. Huh?! Meanwhile, Campbell says that some other wreck-chasers told him that LaTorre's employees were seen Tuesday moving all the cars that would eventually be burned together into one area of the lot. Campbell says he's also heard a new theory from other chasers that perhaps some third parties are responsible for both incidents: "Because we're feuding, they're trying to get rid of both of us so they can claim the territory."
LaTorre remains open for business and denies the feud has escalated into a turf war: "We ain't going to war, we ain't got no time. We got bills to pay."
Campbell is disconsolate: "Now the reputation of two reputable companies are destroyed."
Fave Story #2: Tempe Town Lake becomes Tempe Town Mud Flats.
In March 1989, the city of Tempe Arizona started planning Tempe Town Lake, a reservoir that would occupy a portion of the then-dry riverbed of the Salt River (which is fresh water, not salt) as it passed through the city. In 1995, the city began construction of a mile-long bike path along the south bank of the river. The path features public art at a number of spots along the way. 800 acres (1.25 square miles, 3.23 km²) of the area was designated as Rio Salado Park ("Salt River" park in Spanish, but the river is still fresh water, not salt) and groundbreaking ceremonies were held on August 8, 1997. Part of Arizona's precious water supply started flowing into Tempe Town Lake on June 2, 1999. Six weeks later, the lake was finally full. Tempe Town Lake is really nice, if you are rich enough to buy one of the luxury condos that have sprung up along its shores.
The dams that maintain this vast amount of water (approximately one billion gallons or 3,785,411,784 liters) in an otherwise arid desert are computer-controlled inflatable bladders. They can be lowered incrementally in the unlikely event of a flood. The west (downstream) dams are 16 feet high and sit on a three-foot base. When unexpectedly-rapid deterioration of the west dams was discovered, the city of Tempe worked out an agreement with manufacturer Bridgestone to replace them. Replacement costs are expected to reach $2.5 million. Work was scheduled to begin in spring 2010, but due to an unusual amount of spring rainfall, the start date was postponed to Wednesday, July 21, 2010.
Oops, one day too late.
Flash forward/backward to 9:46pm Tuesday, 7/20/2010: The collapse of the lake's west dam (caught on a security cam) drained the lake into the normally-dry riverbed of the Salt River (which is STILL fresh water, not salt), exposing debris and trash under the area that the lake used to occupy. The dam breach left some areas of the lake with three feet of water or less (normal lake depth averages about 16 feet). There is little hope for the thousands of fish who used to live there. Most of them will likely die. The lakebed has already begun to generate a powerful stench for all those rich people in their luxury condos. And Mother Nature will have a giggle at the arrogance of human beings, who thought it was a good idea to goose up property values by creating a lake in the middle of a friggin' desert.
Fun Facts: The inflatable dams were designed to last 30 years, and barely made it past 11. The lake is two miles long, and covers 224 acres. The cost of water to fill the lake 11 years ago was about $300,000. These days, a refill will run approximately $350,000 to $400,000.
Watch video (newscaster mistakes downstream for upstream) + updated video + news conference
Snoozeletter Short Film Fest.
Bambi Meets Godzilla (1:32) is the humorous 1969 cartoon created entirely by Marv Newland. Less than two minutes long, the film is regarded as a classic of animation, and in 1994 was voted #38 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time.
A Trip down Market Street (7:10) by the Miles Brothers: San Francisco's main thoroughfare, as seen from the front window of a moving Market Street cable car, just days before the downtown area was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire. This unusual record has been called the first "structural film" because it follows exactly the externally imposed structure of the car ride. [The music on this version is "La Femme D'argent" from the Moon Safari album by the French duo, Air.] [Full version (13:52, silent).] [Background.] [Note: the film has some rolling frames.]
A Day In The Life Of An MC Escher Drawing (1:48) is the hilarious 2006 film by the San Francisco-based comedy troupe Uphill Both Ways. It pokes some gentle fun at the 1960 M.C. Escher lithograph, "Ascending and Descending." [Also: Lego and animation.]
Duck and Cover (9:14) is a famous 1951 Civil Defense film for children in which Bert the Turtle shows what to do in case of atomic attack. It was selected for the 2004 National Film Registry of "culturally, historically and aesthetically significant" motion pictures. The film seems silly today, but its main value was to calm children's fears during the height of the Cold War. In those terror-filled years, we kids needed to feel we had a chance of surviving an atomic bomb. Actually, the film's advice can decrease injuries and radiation burns, if you are several miles away from the blast center. If not, just put your head between your legs and kiss your a** goodbye. ;-)
Powers of Ten (9:18) is the 1968 American documentary short film written and directed by Ray Eames and her husband, Charles Eames (architects, furniture/industrial/graphic designers, artists and filmmakers). The film depicts the relative scale of the universe in factors of ten. It's a mind-blowing head trip.
The Danish Poet (15:16), by Torill Kove: I had the chance to see this charming and humorous animation (narrated by Liv Ullmann) during one of its Oscar qualification screenings, while I was working at the Palm Springs short film fest in 2006. I thought it should win. And it did! ["Can we trace the chain of events that leads to our own birth? Is our existence just coincidence? Do little things matter? The narrator of The Danish Poet considers these questions as we follow Kasper, a poet whose creative well has run dry, on a holiday to Norway to meet the famous writer, Sigrid Undset. As Kasper's quest for inspiration unfolds, it appears that a spell of bad weather, an angry dog, slippery barn planks, a careless postman, hungry goats and other seemingly-unrelated factors might play important roles in the big scheme of things after all."]
[Warning: outrageously adult themes involving homosexuality and bestiality. Also outrageously funny.] Thank You Mask Man (7:26) is the 1969 animated short film based upon a comedy routine by Lenny Bruce involving The Lone Ranger, Tonto and Silver. Produced by John Magnuson, directed by Jeff Hale. The dialogue is sometimes hard to catch, so here's a transcription:
Mask Man: Hi-ho!
DiAngelo: Mask Man! Wait a minute! Mask Man! Did you see that? Is that guy believable? Again, I brought a present for him, made a whole party, he don't wait. Ah, I'll keep the money, but... the sucker. The Mask Man is a beautiful person.
Mask Man: Hi-ho!
DiAngelo: Wait a minute! We have more presents! This guy is selfless. Did you give him any money?
Emmett: Not a nickel.
DiAngelo: How many times he took the garbage out already for us? Cleaned up the yard. He don't want nothing. That's a beautiful person. There hasn't been one guy like that. Every guy always stuck around for a "look what I did for ya" or his friends tell you "look what I did for ya."
Mask Man: Hi-ho!
DiAngelo: Wait a minute! Mask Man! We got a present for ya! Mask Man! Did you give him any money?
Emmett: I didn't give him a nickel.
DiAngelo: You either? Lookit, ya schmuck, ya ain't got a quarter, I'm telling ya. He don't take nothing. He don't even take "thank you."
Emmett: They all take...
DiAngelo: He don't take, I'm telling ya.
Mask Man: Hi-ho!
DiAngelo: Mask Man! Mask Man! Wait a minute, we got coffee and cake! Wait a minute! Mask Man, wait a minute, you asshole! Wait a minute! I'm tired of his horseshit now! That's the third time I made a present for him, he ran off. I don't mind for me, but my Ma, she made coffee and cake and everything. That bastard, is he kidding? What, is he too good for everybody? He saw the old lady, he came out here, she made coffee and cake, and that schmuck rides off. And he laughed at us, I'm telling ya. He went, "Hi-ho, ha-ha," like that. He's no good, I'm telling ya, he's a fink. That bastard, I hate him.
Emmett: He saw the old lady came out with arthritis, here, bending, coffee, coffee for ya.
DiAngelo: I'm gonna get him, I'll get him, yeah. I don't want to hear that shit, he's a nice guy. He's not a nice guy. If he's a nice guy, how come he leaves bullets for everybody? I don't care if they're silver, he leaves bullets.
Doc: You know why he leaves the bullets, I betcha? Did you ever hear of Dr. Ehrlich, the Magic Bullet, 606?
DiAngelo: What's that?
DiAngelo: What? Sure, that's what he's saying. He's saying in his own way that the whole world has syphilis. And that's why he rides off with his mouth closed. Oooo! He don't want no part of nobody. Emmett, I'm telling ya. Hey, Pop, bring him back, I'm gonna kick his ass all over the lot. Now bring him back here right now.
Pop: Don't you move, you psychotic. Hold the gun, Ma. Mask Man, what's your story, buddy? Do you know Mr. DiAngelo, he's hopping-ass mad at you? His momma made all them hot toddies and cakes, and you runned off. Runned off and didn't wait for nothing. How come you're so snobby you can't accept love or thank you from nobody?
Mask Man: I'll explain, if you get your goddamn hands off me, you barbarians. The reason I never wait for thank you is, see, uh... supposing once I wait for a thank you.
Kid: Thank you Mask Man.
Mask Man: What's that?
Kid: Thank you Mask Man.
Mask Man: Thank you Mask Man? Goddammit, I like that. Let's hear it once again, son.
Kid: Thank you Mask Man.
Mask Man: Thank you Mask Man. Isn't that sweet?
Victims: Help, get the Mask Man! We're in trouble!
Mask Man: Little busy now, getting a few thank yous.
Victims: Mask Man! Help, help, we're being robbed. Get the Mask Man!
Mask Man: Don't break my balls, now. I helped you people a lot. I'm tired of it. I gonna take one week off, to get some thank yous. You're not gonna get nothing, if you keep it up. Alright, let's have it again: thank you Mask Man. I'm gonna get a book. That's all. Screw these people. I'll get a Thank You Mask Man book. I'll put it in the book. I'll say, "You in the shingle business?" Nah, you think I'm in the shingle business. Look at this: Thank you Mask Man, Leo Carrillo, Freeport, Long Island. Look at all the Thank You Mask... I'm going down to the mailbox and see if the Thank-You-Mask-Man man has been here today.
Prophet 1: Yeah, he's OK, lotta good things to say, you know. He's got the whole brains, after all, outfits, a lotta other people, worked very hard. Paul, Luke and all them people.
Mask Man: Someone's been fooling with my mail. I know it. Someone's been fooling with my mail. Where's my Thank You Mask Mans?
Prophet 2: There are no more Thank You Mask Mans. The Messiah has returned to you in the night.
Mask Man: The Messiah? Well, what does that have to do with me?
Prophet 2: Well you see, men like yourself, you thrive upon the continuance of segregation, violence and disease. Now the Messiah has returned, all is pure. You're in the shithouse.
Mask Man: Well then, I'll make trouble. Because I'm geared for it. And I must have a Thank You Mask Man. And that's why I always ride off and never wait for thank you.
Pop: Damn, you sure can talk some shit, buddy. [whistles] I gotta a damn headache. My head hurts from you. What the hell you talking about? Thank you Mask Man, Leo Carrillo, Freeport, Long Island? Look, I work for the city, you know what I mean, buddy? I got a job to do. Now look. I'm here to see you accept a present, just one present. Do it for the kids, we'll get the hell outta here. What do ya say?
Mask Man: Alright, for the children, I'll do it. Get me... no ashtrays. Anything I want?
Pop: Anything. Just take it, buddy. Whip or a doll, any damn thing that's up on the top shelf.
Mask Man: I tell you what. Anything? Give me that Indian over there!
Pop: Who's that, Tonto?
Mask Man: Yes, Tonta. I want Tonta the Indian!
Pop: What the hell you talking about? You can't have Tonto.
Mask Man: Bullshit! You made the deal, that's what I want: I want Tonta the Indian!
Pop: You gonna get your Tonta, buddy. His name ain't Tonta, its Tonto. What the hell you want Tonto for?
Mask Man: To perform an unnatural act.
Mask Man: To perform an unnatural act.
Pop: Oh, the Mask Man is a fag! Ah! Ah! The Fag Man. Ah! The dirty fag! You dang queer, you! The Mask Fag Man! Ain't that a kick in the ass! Bet you got mascary under that damn mask, ain't you? A dang queer. I never knew you were a fag, Mask Man!
Mask Man: I'm not a fag, but I've heard a lot about it and read an exposé and I want to try it now, to see how bad it is. Just once. I like what they do with fags, anyway. The punishment is quite correct: they throw them in jail, lotta men, very clever. Hm-hm. Wash him up and get him ready. Uh, I tell you what, give me the horse, too.
Pop: What the hell you want that horse for?
Mask Man: For the act.
Pop: Ah! Disgusting fag. He's a dang queer freep. Ah!
Townspeople: Disgusting fag! Dang creep! Fag! Fag!
Mask Man (riding off into sunset): Hi-ho!
Facebook movie opens NY Film Fest.
"The Social Network" as this fall's "Hurt Locker"? (LA Times)
David Fincher’s "The Social Network" selected as Opening Night film for 48th Annual New York Film Festival on 9/24 (NYFF)
Revenge of the Nerd (Film Comment, Sep/Oct 2010)
Peter Travers' (The Rolling Stone) 4-star tweet review
Trailers: 1st teaser (1:12), 2nd teaser (1:12) (spoof), 1st theatrical (2:31) (LATimes, Time, WSJ, Fortune, CNET, Gawker), red band (2:22) (very=f*ckin', UK), 1st TV (1:04), 2nd TV (0:34), 3rd TV (0:34), 4th TV (0:34), 5th TV (0:34).
Other spoofs: Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, eBay.
Earlier Snoozeletter links: Half a billion Facebook users?, Aaron Sorkin & The Facebook Movie: group is kaput, Facebook movie on The Black List 2009, Face the (Facebook) facts.
Radiohead's "Creep" (writer: Thom Yorke, performer: Scala [YT])
When you were here before, Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel, Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather, In a beautiful world
I wish I was special, You're so fuckin' special
REFRAIN: But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo
What the hell am I doin' here? I don't belong here
===> I don't care if it hurts, I wanna have control
I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice, when I'm not around
She's running out again, She's running out
She run run run run... run... run...
Whatever makes you happy, Whatever you want
You're so fuckin' special, I wish I was special / REFRAIN
+Five days after launch: Hundreds Register for New Facebook Website (The Harvard Crimson) [900 users]
++Four months after launch: Mark E. Zuckerberg ’06: The whiz behind thefacebook.com (The Harvard Crimson) [160K users]
+++Rubber stamp: Facebook Like button rubber-stamped into physical meme (Engadget) details + buy
Update: The reviews and articles are off-the-hook incredible. Don't believe me, read for yourself:
Screenplay + 5/28/09 bootleg draft
Final score: Bulls 5, Melonheads 0.
5 injured in Spain's running of the bulls (AP)... which reminds me of an old joke:
Billy-Bob the tourist visits a restaurant in Pamplona, and wants to try some of the local cuisine. He notices that the guy at the next table is eating a tasty-looking entrée that looks like boiled eggs, so he asks the waiter for the same thing. Manuel the waiter apologizes, and says there is no more left, explaining that it is the cojones of the bull that lost the bullfight earlier that afternoon. Manuel offers to save the next portion for Billy, if he wants to return the following evening. Billy thinks it will put some macho swagger in his step and grow some hair on his chest, so he comes back, and the meal is waiting for him. Billy eats every last bite and it tastes mouthwateringly delicious, but one thing puzzles him. So he asks Manuel why his food looked smaller than the cojones eaten by the other guy, the night before.
Manuel replies, "Oh, sorry sir, sometimes the bull wins."
So you sit there, wondering why you ate those huge blocks of cheese during the past couple of weeks, feeling like you're carrying around an anvil inside your butt, and nothing will ever come out, ever again, so you resign yourself to standing up, unsuccessful for the thirty-fourth time, when you hear that gurgling sound in the pit of your stomach, and YES, it just may happen right now, so you bear down, grunting and groaning, and your face goes bright purple-red, and you imagine that you're gonna have a stroke, right there on the toilet, so the headlines will read "Man's Head Explodes When He Takes A Dump," and your friends will make fun of you at the funeral, pointing and laughing at your casket, blowing fart noises on the backs of their hands, and you will lie there ashamed in your coffin, turning as bright purple-red as you are right now, still grunting and groaning, still trying to get rid of the butt-anvil so your pallbearers' spines won't snap like twigs when they hoist you up onto their shoulders, and then you feel like your sphincter is gonna rip right open, the obstetrician saying, "You're eight centimeters dilated, things are going well," and you fly into a rage because that effete cocksucker is calling out measurements that no real flag-waving God-fearing American could ever understand, so why the fuck doesn't he convert metric into inches and feet and friggin' YARDS, or at least fingers, like "You're three fingers dilated, now four, and now I can slide my fist into your ass, so you'll never be heterosexual again," and your friends will call you "queer," and your face will turn purple-red from shame, almost as bright as it is right now, and you can feel the cork turd crowning, holy shit, there must be massive ripping and tearing, 'coz the butt-anvil is coming out sideways, and you beg the obstetrician to go ahead and make you light-in-the-loafers by reaching WAY up inside and turning that motherfucker around so your ass won't be quite so disfigured, hell, you had a cute virginal ass at one point in your life, before you started gobbling down all that cheese six months ago, and the butt-anvil is spreading your cheeks so wide that you'll never be able to fit into a standard-size airline seat again, they'll force you to buy two seats like that enormously fat guy on the cable channel who can't fit through his front door because he's so damn hefty, and you wonder if you'll ever be able to fit back through your own bathroom door, the situation seemed so innocent when you walked in, eight hours ago, to make your eighty-seventh attempt to get rid of the anvil that's been forming a butt-plug in your colon since you started eating all that cheese fifteen years ago, and you sit there with your chin resting on the back of your hand, like that sculpture by Rodin, wondering if the great man ever looked at his own handiwork and sniffed a faint whiff of farts and turds and liquid diarrhea, oh for the lovely release of a watery squirt right now, you remember that picture of the kid who had a bad case of the explosive runs, so he stood on top of a block of granite, bent over, dropped trou and had his friend take a snapshot of the powerful geyser-like brown blast that shot out of his ass, and you think, you ponder, you meditate like Rodin, and you fantasize about being frozen in this position, so the local newspaper takes a photo for their Weird Shit section, "Man Who Became Statue While Attempting To Push Out Gigantic Butt-Anvil," but you don't know if you have the courage to keep squeezing, pumping and grunting, so you pray to the Greater Butt Intelligence Of The Universe, saying, "Please deliver me from this crossroads, I am at an impasse, and I will never again question the holy goodness of your laxative-like presence, if only you will have mercy on me in this, my hour of need, I promise to sing your praises to all my friends, and make them so bored that they will begin to avoid me and my Born-Again Butt fervor," and then a white light descends upon you and you feel a pain in your no-longer-cherry ass that is more intense than any pain you have ever felt, and you begin to wonder if it might be toaster-in-the-tub time, but you retreat from the awful specter of self-annihilation by breathing deep and fast, panting breaths, and you squeal like a stuck pig, and you hear a tiny splash in the toilet water, and you moan your gratitude and you feel a warm relief spreading through your soul like you will never-ever-ever feel again in your entire life even if you live to be a hundred and fifty, and you look down to see that the product of all this pain and sweat and monumental effort is only the size of a small marble, and you realize that you'll be forced to go back to the beginning and start all over again.
Senator Byrd's gone, but his music...
From the Country Sales website: Well known as the longest serving member of the U.S. Senate, the late Robert C. Byrd had another fascinating side: a love of fiddling that he acquired at an early age growing up in the mountains of West Virginia. Originally influenced by Clark Kessinger and other great musicians in his home state, he had a lifelong passion for old-time rural string music, and usually kept a fiddle in his office for moments of relaxation amidst a very heavy legislative workload which included an 11-year stint as U.S. Senate Majority leader in the late 1970s and most of the 1980s.
In 1977, after recording some fiddle tunes for the Library of Congress, the Senator was persuaded to make a commercial recording of some of his music. Producer Barry Poss (later to become founder and president of Sugar Hill Records) brought in three members of the popular Bluegrass band The Country Gentlemen to provide backing for Byrd—Doyle Lawson on guitar, James Bailey on banjo, and Spider Gilliam on bass fiddle. [Amazon listing]