Friday, October 29, 2010

Nokia N8, Pam Anderson and Dev Patel

After my recent posting on this phone, I felt being too harsh. Although it was not my smack down of a machine,I figured this phone needs another view. Here is the anticipated short movie, ad clip, commercial -how ever one calls it. It is filmed in its entirety with the N8-model. There is some famous faces in it, all to give boost and hipness for the new flagship model of a Finnish company. Notice, that we are talking about the film as a marketing vehicle, not the actual product.

Some of the ideas are just plain weird - an Asian samurai jumps out of the blue in a very bad Halloween costume? I can just see the clipboards: And then we put one of those videogame/ martial arts creatures in there to squeak and flash his sword around, that will get the kids´interest, it is so cool. And how much was Pam really paid to just stand around and do nothing? If it was me, I would have actually changed Pam´s usual role from bombshell into something unexpected, and put her into work for the money. Poor Ed Westwick looks entirely uncomfortable and embarrassed of his turn as a plain bell hop. He could do so much more, he could have been used more.
The whole idea of the story is of Dev Patel trying to get to work on time. What is so hip and funny about that? Am I missing something?

 But this is what you get when combining pressure and clumsy ideas. (Notice I do not call it bad, just clumsy) Because pressure is the word that Nokia experiences right now. It has lost a large part of  its value over the last few years, and the competitors are creeping in, taking their share of the markets. Coolness is what they are after, and I am not sure this is the way. What do you think?


Moomintrolls and Alex Skarsgard

The wonderful fairytale-creatures created by Tove Jansson in her beloved books are here again.
The new movie, "Moomins and the Comet chase" has some pretty impressive cast voicing the characters.
If you haven´t read the book-series, I highly recommend it for people of all ages. The timeless messages of love, acceptance and positive attitude over everything are just charming and to the point.

Watch as Alex and his dad Stellan talk about the movie.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The proper use of a gun: victim name Pumpkin

Now this made my day. How to carve that pesky hard old pumpkin for Halloween?
Well, you take that trusted Glock from the storage (doesn´t everybody have one?) and put it to some use.
Easy and fast. Not for the faint-hearted.


Recording dreams soon possible

Researchers claim that recording and reading people´s dreams is soon a reality. US scientist Dr Moran Cerf writes in the journal "Nature" of his findings. His plan is to actually build a machine, which helps psychologists to interpret and analyze dreams as a form of therapy. Dr Cerf performed a number of tests to volunteers, where he showed a variety of images and objects to them, and was able to monitor brain functions- as in, which area of the brain lit up when looking at a specific item.

However, he did admit that this discovery is a long way from actually precisely "seeing" another person´s dreams  and thoughts, so ideas of "Inception" are not yet upon us.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bitesize pops

Zach Galifianakis shares his view on Mel Gibson

Charlie Sheen went bat-crazy, trashed his room and partied with a hooker . Allegedly. Like a 45-year-old would.

Francis Ford Coppola is planning a horror film with Val Kilmer

The fifty-year-old Birth control pill could soon be replaced with a topical gel, without the side-effects. Allegedly, that is.

Fiona Apple talks about the "challenging" new tracks she is creating for her forthcoming new album

Here is the scoop on the new characters coming to next season of True Blood. Cage fighters and palm readers?

(image via Vanity Fair)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jane Austen and the man behind the woman, William Gifford


According to new research, Jane Austen (1775-1817) probably did not fully write her novels.

Kathryn Sutherland from Oxford University claims to have studied Austen´s handwritten writings, and they clearly give an image of someone else having strongly edited the finished work, as the raw material is so counter-grammatical. She believes the "assistant-in-writing" to have been editor William Gifford, who worked at the time for Austen´s publisher. Among classic novels of Jane Austen are"Emma", "Persuasion" and "Sense and Sensibility".

Does this take away from the value of her work for the public and position as one of the most loved and read writers of all time?
No, but it probably is going to diminish the all ready marginalized space that is given for female writers in the prestigious league of top classics. This is the canon of books, that is all too familiar for all the literature students around the world. We are talking about names such as Kafka, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Dostoevsky. And Austen.

Since the Nobel prize for literature was introduced in 1901, there has only been 11 female laureates out of 107 so far. (The last woman to win the prize was Herta Muller, last year)
The lack of visibility and respect for female authors is well known among the literature scholars- it is argued, that this is due in large part to the topics women approach in their writings. "The male" topics of  politics, war, work etc. are argued to gather more critical interest. This implies that the matters of home, family and emotions (which are regarded as "female" issues) are not as important.

In effect, the new research (by a woman, Kathryn Sutherland) can be interpreted in many ways. Maybe she wrote differently, and did not concentrate on grammar or fine polishing in her first drafts (which writer does?).
Or maybe, as some will inevitably argue, she just was not good enough, and needed a man to finish her work.


Millionaire shopping the Russian way

So much money and so little time. What to do when you are filthy rich and just plain bored in Russia?

Mingle with the other members of the nouveau rich and buy some more useless junkets. The Millionaire fair, held for the sixth time in Moscow, was a mecca of vanity and glitz.
The simple pleasures. Life is just not the same without a diamond encrusted saucepan.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

When there is too much time on Your hands

Machines can be frustrating. Lord knows how many times I´ve cursed at an inanimate object for not working, thrown them against the wall and contemplated on giving up the sad case of machinery in question altogether.

This man goes a step further in his hate. Or, he is just plain bored. Any guesses?
After getting tired at his brand-new cell phone for not working, he began to spread the world. These smartphones are expensive. I understand the rage, completely. Reading at the list, this stick seems like a useless piece of something. That captcha-question peek-a-boo when trying to log in to the app service might have just been a sick piece of joke from some tired programmer. Not being able to play your videos? Of course not. Read the list and get the comical relief of the day.

 And the phone? Nokia n-8.

N8 fail- reasons why the Nokia n8 sucks

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mark Wahlberg in the new Crow-movie?

Bloody disgusting is claiming that Mark Wahlberg has been offered the new lead role in the Crow-remake.
Originally made in 1994, The Crow told the story of a murdered musician, who returns to live with the help of a crow to revenge his death. The movie was based on a fantastic comic by James O´Barr.
Sadly, the actor playing the original lead in 1994, Brandon Lee, was tragically killed by a faulty prop gun.

The original is a cult classic. The role of Eric Raven calls for darkness, mystery, goth godly hotness, borderline disorder tendencies and underlying uncontrollable rage. I don´t see a lot of that in this fellow. What do you think?


The evolution of the geek

This chart explains it all. Where do you fit?

  via flowtown

Uganda and the outing of gays

An Ugandan newspaper "Rolling Stone" published a list of the country´s "top 100" gays and lesbians today, along with their identifying information and pictures. Next to the list was printed the words "hang them".
In Uganda, homosexuality is punishable by law up to a life in prison. Religion and old colonial laws together with Victorian moral codes are claimed to be playing a part in the attitudes against gays in much of the sub-Saharan Africa. The people named in the article are now living in fear, some having to quit jobs and live underground. The paper itself, having been in operation for mere 6 weeks, defends its actions.

Judgment against homosexuality is not, by any means, a solely African phenomenon. It lingers everywhere in our modern world. Heterosexuality is deemed as "the norm" in our expectations, laws, norms and cultural products. The majority rules, as they say. It always puzzles me how deeply rooted the ideas of "us" versus the dangerous and less valued "them" is. "Them" is a tabu, and needs to be weeded out of our way, not shaking the agreed upon view of  the world. Some scientists claim this need for dichotomy in organizing our reality is wired in our brains, some claim it is learned behavior.  But I wonder how long it takes from us all to accept these people and face the fear of them without talks of hanging. It is 2010. 50 years? 100?


Monday, October 18, 2010

The New Willow Smith music video

This has been expected since the first bits of her singing turned up online, and Jay Z could not stay quiet about the wonders of his new 9-year-old protégé.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the girl is just 9_years_old.

But please remember, we are not talking about just any common child: this is the offspring of Will Smith and Jada Smith, the Hollywood powerhouse. Their older child Jayden has already been destined to greatness via the main role in this year´s Karate Kid, and now the younger team member of the Smith-dynasty shows her talents (or whips her hair).

 But of course she did not come up with the song herself, as has been previously suggested. Versions of this song can be found on Youtube, song by people such as Jennifer Lopez. Common music business stuff, recycling the hits until they find a good and promising home.

This is a very clever business move in general. Nowadays it is country and kids´music that sells, the rest is uncertain. Justin Bieber is 16, and getting too old for these markets. A new kid star is golden. With any luck, Willow will whip her hair and rock out hits for a couple of years, and then? She will never have to work again.

Facebook Privacy Reach

Wall Street Journal  revealed today that many of the top applications ("apps") on Facebook are actually devices for gathering and selling user data for third parties, namely advertising and internet tracking companies. In other words, every time one engages on Farmville or Texas Hold ´em poker, for example, the Big Brother is watching and recording. Or shall we say, the Ad Brother is.

Officially Facebook claims that no actual private data is compromised and that they are limiting the ad-and data collection companies´abilities to gain information. Thousands of applications are said to have been disabled for violating its policies. However,  it is hard to believe that Facebook itself did not know of the scope of this data mining in action. The growing number of applications are producing revenue for Facebook via virtual currency used in the games.
Data gathering seems to be so pervasive all around the internet these days, that one must ask, are we surprised of this news?


Friday, October 15, 2010

Sarah Palin and Crack for the general mind

Have you looked at the general program offering on TV these days? It is all reality this and reality that. A show on the mundane everyday life in cake-making or flower hacking must have signified the low point for me -who watches this stuff? Sometimes I just hate people. Not really. But sometimes.

This reality-genre is widely known as crack for the production companies: cheap, fast, fills the schedule and gathers the necessary audience to suck in those endless commercials. The amount of commercials in television has grown steadily over the years- if you don't believe that, just pick up those old Dynasty tapes and measure the minutes. Programs used to last longer, because they could. Nowadays they just take up room from the most important thing, which is ad space. That brings in the cash for the companies.
But they would not be making crack, if there was not a willing, participating consumer for that.

And this brings us to Sarah Palin and her latest PR-stunt. She knows how important it is to stay relevant, especially with the next presidential elections coming. After all, one daughter imitating dancing in skimpy outfits on Monday night prime time just doesn´t quite cut it. We need more exposure.


Fiona Apple and the ode for creativity

Finally the notoriously reclusive yet lovely singer Fiona Apple has emerged from her cave.
Her last studioalbum Extraordinary Machine came out in 2005, after bitter disputes and creative differences with the record label. New material is promised for next year -whether this actually happens, remains to be seen. Apple is known to work slow, and she has stated this to be a frustrating issue for her inner circle.
In this sweet clip she talks about creativity and music. Extra points for the catchy gloves.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Solving the smallest Rubik-cube in the world

I don´t know why, but watching this footage makes me all twitchy and uncomfortable. Kind of like holding the original bigger version of the cube. Never quite got the fascination, although I´m usually the one hooked on  all the trendy games of the season.
The cube is only 10 mm, or 0.39 inches.


Back to the Future once more

Has it really  been 25 years already since the movie Back to the Future emerged?

The movie and its sequels (to a lesser agree, must admit) still hold time and entertain, although it´s close to 2013, and there is still no sight of flying cars and hover boards. Sneakers that  magically tie laces on their own?

Here´s a promo video for the upcoming Scream Awards 2010, with the familiar Michael J. Fox reprising his role. He still looks the part. Did you know that Eric Stoltz was supposed to play the main role, but was canned after five weeks into the shooting of the first film? He just wasn´t  funny enough, as the powers that be decided. In a major studio film like this, after all the work and five weeks, a decision of this caliber is not done lightly.To be sidelined and tossed aside as "just not good enough" must sting. Stoltz ended up doing bit parts here and there, as a drug seller in "Pulp Fiction" and lately, in the scifi-show "Caprica" as a mad scientist.

Although, after now finally seeing the old footage, I  must admit that they made the right decision. Fox nailed the part and helped making it a huge success worldwide, with nearly 400 million $ in gross profits from just the first movie alone.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Armless pianist wins China´s got talent

Playing the piano does not come easy for most of us, but imagine doing it with your hands--and well?

Liu Wei just took the grand prize in China´s version of the "(country´s name) Got Talent" reality-tv competition.
Susan Boyle has got nothing in comparison to this skill.


Corey Feldman talks about the untimely death of Corey Haim

In this interview clip actor Corey Feldman explains how the death of his friend earlier this year was not related to drug use, as was reported, but to his failing health. Feldman and Haim acted in several unforgettable cult films together in the 1980s, the most notable one being "The Lost Boys" from 1987. 

 Haim began using heavy drugs early on in his teens, and although he seemingly gained sobriety in his later years, the long-lasting addiction had taken its toll on his body. Noticeably frail Haim confessed in the reality-show "Two Coreys" how his lifestyle had permanently damaged his brain and heart. Corey Haim was 38-years-old when he died.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Career choices : My life as a college pimp

Ever wonder what the hard and arduous days in the life of a pimp sound like? Here is an interview for you all .
Monthly income 10 000-25 000 dollars, nightshifts, gun mandatory, the flashy outfit optional, manipulation skills a plus.

Read the interview, if you have the stomach for it. I especially like the part, where the unnamed fellow claims "to help women, who are his friends, to find paying customers as a form of service". He does admit that girls must be kept "dummy" and dependent, or they just might get smart and leave "his service".

How Harry Potter is born

Ever wonder how J.K. Rowling organizes all those twists and turns while giving birth to yet another worldwide mass phenomenon? Well, here´s a picture. She divides the columns by chapter number, story timeline, chapter title, main plots and subplots. (If only the handwriting would be clearer.) She recently stated that more Potter bibles are to be expected. After all, one castle per lifetime just quite does not cut it. 


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bitesize pops

The row on the upcoming (?) Hobbit-movies is getting ugly. The labor disputes have been taken to the government  level in New Zealand. Now Sam Neill  is involved.

Light drinking is apparently not a risk for the baby. So drink up, pregnant mothers.

Great interview with the elusive Edward Norton

Amy Winehouse claims to have been drink-free for three years now. I´ll have a drink for that.

New theory on Jack the Ripper - a woman

We need more Blood on the Baby Bottle

The fifth season of Showtime: s  wonderful series Dexter has started for our Sunday-pleasure, and from the looks of it, the usual mix of blood, splatter and family life is back on spin cycle. TV Guide  went behind the scenes of the macabre hit show, and the pictures are awesome. Did you know that approximately 7-10 gallons of fake blood is used per season?


Monday, October 4, 2010

Ask Me Why You Deserve Hell

The Mormon LDS -church super conference was held last weekend at Utah.

 Having experienced years of religious studies and emerged as a secular Christian, I am always open for a nice little chat about the universe and  the healing  magic of faith. A while ago I happened to enjoy the company of two nice and handsome young gentlemen dressed in suits and nametags while riding the elevator. They were very eager to start a conversation. A smile always does it for me, I´m telling you. Later, as the doors opened for the lobby, they were not smiling anymore, at least not in my direction. I was not the target audience, after all. My questions about the historical origins of The Book were not welcomed, nor were my courteous demands on the state of gender equality within their belief system. Oh well, it happens.

Via Buzzfeed