Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bill Of The Day: George W. Bush Sewage Plant

Sadly, the bill was voted down this week.

An Honor That Bush Is Unlikely to Embrace

The New York Times
June 25, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO — Reagan has his highways. Lincoln has his memorial. Washington has the capital (and a state, too). But President Bush may soon be the sole president to have a memorial named after him that you can contribute to from the bathroom.

From the Department of Damned-With-Faint-Praise, a group going by the regal-sounding name of the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco is planning to ask voters here to change the name of a prize-winning water treatment plant on the shoreline to the George W. Bush Sewage Plant.

The plan, naturally hatched in a bar, would place a vote on the November ballot to provide “an appropriate honor for a truly unique president.” Supporters say that they have plenty of signatures to qualify the initiative and that the renaming would fit in a long and proud American tradition of poking political figures in the eye.

“Most politicians tend to be narcissistic and egomaniacs,” said Brian McConnell, an organizer who regularly suits up as Uncle Sam to solicit signatures. “So it is important for satirists to help define their history rather than letting them define their own history.”

Not surprisingly, those Republicans in a city that voted 83 percent Democratic in 2004 are not thrilled with the idea. Howard Epstein, chairman of the ever-outnumbered San Francisco Republican Party, called the initiative “an abuse of process.”

“You got a bunch of guys drunk who came up with an idea,” Mr. Epstein said, “and want to put on the ballot as a big joke without regard to the city’s governance or cost.”

The renaming would take effect on Jan. 20, when the new president is sworn in. And regardless of the measure’s outcome, supporters plan to commemorate the inaugural with a synchronized flush of hundreds of thousands of San Francisco toilets, an action that would send a flood of water toward the plant, now called the Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant.

“It’s a way of doing something physical that’s mentally freeing,” said Stacey Reineccius, 45, a software consultant and entrepreneur who supports the plan. “It’s a weird thing, but it’s true.”

Source: The New York Times

Vid Of The Day: Frogs

Lola calls this "an oldie but goodie" but it's new to me, and it made me laugh.

9 Greatest Fictional Spaceship Chases Ever

From and my buddy, Mr. Boone.

The chase scene — a staple of every good action film. But when a film is set in the cold reaches of outer space, that tricked-out Ford Mustang with a V6 and a hemi don’t mean diddly-squat! (Unless you’re in Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville, where people drive cars in space, in which case we’re very, very sorry for you.)

No, in space, fast three-dimensional thinking and rapid laser fire rule the day, and it takes a unique combination of the two— hell, any combination of the two — to make a chase one of the best. So without further ado, here are ten of the greatest chase scenes involving spaceships ever portrayed in pop culture. So far.

9) Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Starfighter vs. Slave 1
Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones (2002)

While some might balk at the prospect of having anything from a Star Wars prequel on any top ten list anywhere, this chase was pretty cool. Obi-Wan Kenobi in his starfighter, with Jango Fett’s Slave 1 in hot pursuit (beginning about the 2:50 mark), weaving in and out of an asteroid field and firing round after round with that cool pyew-pyew-pyew sound? It was awesome…mainly because it’s a total rip-off of our #1 chase scene. Still, riding on that chase scene’s coattails earns it the number ten spot, and anyway, it’s not really ripping anybody off if the same person wrote both scenes. Then it’s a “sly self-reference.”

8) Firefly vs. the Reavers
Serenity (2005)

Nothing gives a chase scene a bit of an edge like the possibility of being raped to death and worn as a coat if you get caught. The Reavers in Joss Whedon’s Firefly TV series were never seen, only described in grotesque detail, so when Mal and his crew get interrupted mid-heist by a Reaver raiding party, they run like the dickens. Flying across the grasslands in a hover car, the Serenity crew trades shots with the smoke-belching Reaver ship on their tail, barely making it back aboard their own ship in time. Rape narrowly avoided!

7) Bruce Willis vs. the Police
The Fifth Element (1997)

While none of the ships involved in this chase technically fly in space, they’re all flying cars, whizzing miles above New York City! That’s like space, right? We bet if Bruce Willis wanted to take his futuristic flying taxi into space, he could. In this instance, however, he simply leaves the regulated lanes of flying traffic to drive straight down into the depths of New York, with the police in pursuit. What could make a man act so recklessly? Milla Jovovich. She’s made many a man do things he’ll regret, like paying to see Ultraviolet.

6) Borg Cube vs. Enterprise
"Star Trek: The Next Generation," Episode “Q Who?” (1989)

The appearance of Q in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation is never a good thing, as bad stuff usually happens when he’s around. The best thing he ever did? Introduce us to the Borg. Granted, the crew of the Enterprise didn’t enjoy it, as the Borg attempted to assimilate them and carve the ship up for parts, but the viewers at home got to see the Enterprise try to outrun a massive, more advanced starship (beginning at 2:50). Luckily, Q teleported them all away in time, but if this had been a Joss Whedon TV show, the Borg would have caught them and raped them all to death.

5) Will Smith vs. Ugly-Ass Alien
Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day doesn’t automatically trigger Top Ten feelings in many people, but you have to admit that this was a pretty damn cool chase scene. Will Smith in an F-16, leading an alien fighter ship on a winding run through a rocky canyon, only to blind it with a parachute and sacrifice his own plane to knock it out of the sky. The scene has even been mimicked over the years: the pod race in Star Wars-Episode I had a similar winding-through-canyons-at-high-speed feel to it, but that was a race, not a chase. And in Stealth, Jaime Foxx fell for the same trick the alien did, getting blinded by an explosion caused by a robot and crashing. Will Smith:1; Jaime Foxx: 0. …Unless you’re counting Oscars, in which case reverse it.

4) Enterprise vs. Reliant
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

The pursuit of the Enterprise by the Reliant under the command of Khan Noonien Singh starts out as a hide-and-go-seek, but soon we see a wounded Enterprise make a run for the Mutara Nebula, where neither ship will be detectable by the other. Khan’s pilot slows down and convinces Khan that they shouldn’t follow, but Kirk’s incessant taunting of Khan spurs the chase ever onward. Thank God for the taunting, because the tension in the Mutara Nebula scene is so thick you could cut it with a phaser on its highest setting, and it ends with the Enterprise becoming the chaser and the Reliant becoming the chasee. (Little-known fact: William Shatner’s real-life taunting of Ricardo Montalban on the set led to numerous shirtless wrestling matches.)

3) Darth Vader’s TIE Fighter vs. Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing
Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977)

Before we ever knew Darth Vader was Luke’s father, and way before we knew he was a whiny bitch, he was the scariest dude in the galaxy. So when Luke and his buds were on his way to deliver the killing shot on the Death Star, and Vader showed up behind them with two wingmen, audiences everywhere crapped their pants. The three TIE Fighters pursued the Rebels down the narrow trench, forcing Wedge Antilles to peel off and blowing Biggs Darklighter to smithereens, Luke would have been next, if not for the timely intervention of deus ex machina—er, Han Solo.

2) Spaceball-1 vs. Eagle 5
Spaceballs (1987)

“Ludicrous speed…GO!” With those three words, the second-greatest spaceship chase in history begins, and it’s not even meant to be taken seriously. Lone Starr’s space Winnebago Eagle 5 has just escaped the clutches of Dark Helmet’s massive Spaceball-1 using its hyperdrive, and to compensate, Helmet calls for Ludicrous Speed (one step above Ridiculous Speed). Spaceball-1 immediately goes to plaid, rocketing past the Eagle 5 in a multicolored blur. The chase ends when Col. Sanders throws the brakes, launching Dark Helmet into a console. And that’s the exact moment where Mel Brooks should have stopped making movies. It was all downhill from there.

1) Millennium Falcon vs. Imperial Fleet
Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Han Solo and Chewbacca know how to avoid Imperial entanglements—after all, they’re smugglers, and getting boarded is not in their best interests. So when the Falcon’s hyperdrive craps out with Princess Leia aboard, they’ve got to do some pretty goddamned evasive maneuvers. With agile TIE Fighters and even massive Star Destroyers on their tail, they dodge and weave so that the TIEs are unable to get a bearing on them and two Star Destroyers almost collide. They seek refuge in an asteroid field, narrowly avoiding collisions as the TIEs get picked off left and right by giant boulders, and eventually park the Falcon in a massive cave…but it’s actually the belly of a giant fucking worm!


Vid Of The Day: Advantage Mom

Therapy awaits.


Classic SNL Clip Of The Day: Harry Potter

Hermione changed a bit over the summer. From Mr. Boone.


16 Fun Facts About Indiana Jones

In honor of the recent DVD release of Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, here's a list from Daisy and

1. Harrison Ford's iconic character wasn't named after Indiana the state, but Indiana the dog -- an Alaskan malamute producer George Lucas once owned (also the inspiration for Chewbacca). Lucas originally called him "Indiana Smith," but Steven Spielberg hated the name, fearing it sounded "too hokey," and the two settled on Jones. The filmmakers let audiences in on the joke at the end of Last Crusade.

2. Ford was Spielberg's first choice to play Indy, but not Lucas', since he had already directed him in Star Wars and American Graffiti. So the role was offered to Tom Selleck, who accepted but had to then drop out due to conflicts with 'Magnum P.I.' Nick Nolte was also offered the role, but turned it down.

3. Aside from Ford, Indiana Jones has been portrayed by four other actors: the late River Phoenix (Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade), Sean Patrick Flanery (above), Corey Carrier and George Hall (all in the TV spin-off 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles').

4. Times Indiana Jones uses his trademark whip in the original trilogy: 8

5. During the filming of Temple Of Doom, the crew played a practical joke on Ford that is the stuff of movie legend: As he was chained to a large stone, Barbra Streisand appeared in a leather dominatrix outfit and whipped him repeatedly, saying "That's for Hanover Street, the worst movie I ever saw." Carrie Fisher then stepped in to protect him.

6. Indy's costume, style and accessories have several influences: George Lucas (the flight jacket), Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of Sierra Madre (the fedora), Zorro (the whip) and Charlton Heston in Secret of the Incas (the costume and overall look). Of course his creators couldn't help but poke fun at his style: "What are you supposed to be, a lion tamer?" Willie (Kate Capshaw) asks him in Temple Of Doom.

7. The vest Indiana wears as he and Willie flit about the palace in
Temple Of Doom was originally designed for Han Solo in Star Wars.

8. How important is the fedora to the legend of Indiana Jones? During the filming of The Last Crusade, rumors circulated that Ford stapled it to his head to keep it from falling off. That's not true, but to make the hat appear battered and worn, Ford and his costume designer would grab, twist and sit on it before takes.

9. Ford's hat wasn't the only thing bruised and battered: The actor sustained all kinds of injuries while shooting the first three films, including bruised ribs and torn knee ligaments (Raiders), and a serious hernia (Temple of Doom).

10. As revealed in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indy studied under the tutelage of Abner Ravenwood (Marion's father) at the University of Chicago. Some fellow alum of U of C are such notable (real) folks as Kurt Vonnegut, Mike Nichols, Ed Asner, Roger Ebert and Barack Obama.

11. It's never clear in the films where Dr. Jones lectures (though it is apparent his female students are jonesin' for an appointment with the good doctor), but according to the videogames he's professor at the fictional New England university Barnett College.

12. A major inspiration for Indiana Jones? Bond, James Bond. Spielberg has said that casting Sean Connery to play Indy's father in The Last Crusade was a nod to the fact that the filmmakers considered 007 the Hollywood patriarch of Indiana Jones (three former Bond villains also appear in the film).

13. Both Connery and Ford went pants-less during the shooting of the entire Zeppelin scene in The Last Crusade, reportedly because it was filmed in a muggy studio and Connery didn't want to sweat too much. Ford, we're assuming, did it in the name of solidarity.

14. Estimated number of kills by Indy in the original trilogy: 45

15. While Indiana Jones action figures never exploded in popularity like their Star Wars counterparts, Indy has still been immortalized in the world of toys: He's available in Lego form, standing at 45 mm tall.

16. Domestic box office grosses: Raiders = $245 million, Temple Of Doom = $180 million, Last Crusade = $197 million, Crystal Skull (as of 10/12/08) = $317.

Buy the new DVD here:

2-disc special edition:


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