I’m not an astronomer – I didn’t even do well in those two lab courses I had to take in college. However, I am fairly certain that the closest star to earth is our sun, which is farther away than the moon. So… yeah.
I love that this quote is attributed to unknown. Well played! I’m all for inspirational decor, but let’s get the basic logic right.
Sometimes, someone I know will read something on the site and let me know that I’m doing it wrong. For example, Nurse Becky (a friend I’ve known since the mid 90s) immediately took me to task for Learn Bar Tending: Whiskey & Egg Nog, and rather than pointing out that eggnog is one word, she got right to the point and reminded me that it’s nutmeg (not cinnamon) that you want to add to eggnog. Read the rest of this entry →
If Eight Crazy Nights isn’t part of your regular holiday movie rotation, it probably should be. Before you pull the trigger, here are a few things to be aware of:
This Movie is Probably Not Appropriate for Young Children
It’s a cartoon, so I thought it was important to mention this. I know it’s easy to drop kids in front of a cartoon and assume everything is fine (bet my parents didn’t know about all the occult stuff happening on He-Man or the homo-erotic stuff on Thundercats), but this is one of those cases where it’s important to do some parenting and exercise some judgement While it’s possible for adults to put the movie’s themes of alcoholism, depression and prejudice against people who look different in its proper context, your kids might end up repeating a few choice words (“shit”) or phrases (“Can I walk around with my morning erection?”) that you prefer they didn’t after watching Eight Crazy Nights. I do think it’s perfect for that preteen and young teen crowd – odds are, they know all those words and phrases already anyway.
I Found a Musical I Like!
People sing in this movie and I enjoy it – who knew such a thing was possible? The songs are witty, hilarious and well-arranged. I particularly enjoy “Technical Foul,” but there are other songs worth hearing. Not only that, but it’s an Adam Sandler movie I like – this truly is the season of miracles! Read the rest of this entry →
I don’ t know if everyone does this in every region of the country, but in my neck of the woods, they bring Santa to your door twice during the Christmas season. Via fire engine.
That’s what I call bad ass.
Santa always cruises by, sirens blazing (much to the chagrin of local dogs and sleeping babies), on the Sunday before Christmas and then again on Christmas Eve. True, I have witnessed a Santa who is in a post libation state, but hey – it’s cold outside; a man’s got to do something to keep warm. They usually hand out candy of some kind, which is a nice treat for the kids – Santa basically knocks on your door and hands you a lollipop.
I’m not a big fan of bumper stickers, nor am I easily offended. Now this doesn’t bother me, but it requires serious proverbial balls.
See, when I stopped to take the pic, I only noticed it said, “I know I’m a princess,” and I immediately thought, “Well now I know you’re an asshole,” and it wasn’t until I zoomed in on the pic did I realize that it said that bit about her father being the king if kings. So Jesus is your father?!? I’m no theology scholar, but I’m pretty sure it’s not OK to say that.
The purpose here is not to say whether the following movies are good or bad films but instead, to see that they are all using Christmas to manipulate the viewer by using Christmas as an asset rather than part of the narrative.
Movies That Pretend To Be Christmas Movies
A lot of movies wrap themselves up in Christmas, but don’t really convey it’s message of peace on earth, family, friendship, togetherness and presents.
My girlfriend convinced me that this wasn’t a Christmas movie citing the fact that it is watchable out of season while a true Christmas movie is not. Otherwise, I think Love Actually does a decent job (topless woman aside) of being in the Christmas spirit. However, it does deserve chastising for giving birth to this new awful genre of holiday movies like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
While You Were Sleeping
This movie is also not a tremendous offender, but it still should get a wag of the finger for using Christmas to complete it’s own ends.
Home Alone & Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
These are the two worst offenders of all time. There is very little reason for either of these movies to take place at Christmas time – the family could have been going on a summer vacation and the movies could proceed in the same manner. I’m aware that there is a Home Alone 3, but seriously, who’s actually seen this movie? Also, that All Alone on Christmas song kinda sucks.
Movies That Take Place On Christmas
Sometimes, movies just take place at Christmas time, but don’t really have anything to do with Christmas. This is OK, but Batman Returns was a summer release, so it was weird to go into the theater and see all this Christmas crap. Also, the movie is totally strange and doesn’t make a ton of sense – kudos to the cast for making the movie watchable.
The growing sub culture that continues to herald Die Hard as the best Christmas movie ever needs to get a grip. It’s become a weird cult phenomenon to get a bunch of people together and watch John McClain kick ass on Christmas. Weird, but at least it’s a decent movie. I assume that the customary greeting by the host to all guests is, “Welcome to the party, pal!”
Even Blockbuster puts Gremlins with the Christmas movies.
Just wanted to drop a quick rant about warning labels that caution us against obvious dangers – I think the “disconnect from power supply circuit before servicing” is the one I run into the most and the warning I think is the least necessary. The warning about coffee being hot is silly, but people aren’t professional coffee drinkers the way someone would be a technician who’s sole job is to service electronic devices – meaning this professional is probably well aware of the risk of electric shock and they most likely flip the bird at the warning label every time they see it because they’ve already flipped the circuit breaker before they even get in the room with the device.
I’m a long time critic of Newt Gingrich, which is an easy thing to be.
If the man is anything, he’s the father of the current political system that brings government to an unprecedented halt. After all, this is the guy that implied he shut down the government because President Clinton snubbed him on that plane ride back home from Israel in 1995. To complete his revenge, we all got to enjoy the impeachment of Clinton, perhaps one of the most unpopular things anyone has ever done ever and directly lead to other Republicans attempting to oust Gingrich as speaker and Gingrich’s eventual resignation from Congress in 1999… because, when everyone found out that Gingrich himself was having an extramarital affair while he was working on impeaching the president for lying about an extramarital affair, it’s kind of… you know… hypocritical.
Just a little bit.
When it comes to Newt, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
This struck me as funny when I first had the thought, but now, I can't remember what it means.
After he left Congress, eventually Gingrich started The Center for Health Transformation, or what I refer to as The Enemy of K Street. Lobbyists must hate Gingrich’s company because it bypasses them, their process and their fee and puts elected officials and corporations in the same room – why pay someone to negotiate on your behalf when you can pay Gingrich’s firm and get first person access? Yeah, you get better access when you hire a former speaker of the house – funny how that works! So when Gingrich insisted he wasn’t a lobbyist a few weeks ago, that’s technically true – but since his company provides a nearly identical service, it’s faster to just call him a lobbyist. Gingrich also supported the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which I think David Frum, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, was referring to (in part) when he said:
Rather than workable solutions, my party is offering low taxes for the currently rich and high spending for the currently old, to be followed by who-knows-what and who-the-hell-cares. This isn’t conservatism; it’s a going-out-of-business sale for the baby-boom generation.
Well said, sir – well said.
So up to this point, I just thought Gingrich was an opportunist at best and the devil himself at worst – I get the feeling that he converted to Catholicism after hearing about how the whole confession thing works. But after I heard about his thinking on Electro Magnetic Pulse, I have now modified my opinion of him on to Bat Shit CRAZY.
You ever see that movie Broken Arrow, starring Christian Slater and John Travolta? It’s a John Woo movie, so you know that at some point, people will end up pointing guns in each others faces or in a similar Mexican Standoff like scenario.
Stuff like this happens a lot in John Woo movies.
But the point is, this movie features an underground nuclear explosion that doesn’t leak radiation but only emanates an EMP (that’s electromagnetic pulse) which disables all electronic equipment in the area, including knocking a helicopter out of the air in spectacular fashion.
Newt is worried about this.
Instead of underground, Gingrich is concerned that some country will detonate a nuclear device high above the US and knock out our power, and apparently, he’s been worried about this for a long time and has mentioned it frequently over his decades in the public eye. Part of his campaign for president features an argument that we need to focus on a defense against this sort of attack
How do you defend against a magnet? It’s actually a lot simpler than that.
"Magnets - how do they work?"
I don’t think Gingrich is suggesting that we come up with a way to shield ourselves from EMP (although maybe he is), but instead, I think he wants to make sure we can knock such a device (missle) out of the sky before it detonates. However, my understanding is that our missile defense guys are on top of such a situation… knocking projectiles out of the sky is pretty much their sole focus, as I understand it, and it doesn’t really matter what the projectile is, they just want to turn it into a fireball.
Also, the only scientific comments I could find don’t think a nuke detonated in the atmosphere (or whatever ‘above the United States’ means) would push out that kind of EMP to the ground and kill all of our electricity. I read this one account where a scientist called this scenario ‘pretty theoretical,’ which sounds to me like a diplomatic way of saying, “This is horse shit. I have real work to do.”
This seems like typical Newt Gingrich to me. Remember how he reacted to Susan Smith killing her two children?
“I think that the mother killing the two children in South Carolina vividly reminds every American how sick the society is getting and how much we need to change things. The only way you get change is to vote Republican.”
See? We elected Bill Clinton, a Democrat, instead of the incumbent, George H. W. Bush, a Republican, so Susan Smith killed her kids. That must be what happened.
This is the kind of thinking that helps Gingrich arrive at the EMP theory. He wants us to devote time and resources to make sure we can protect against an attack that we’ve been able to defend against since the 80s so we’re secured from a contingency that probably doesn’t exist. OK. We should get our best research and development guys on that.