Thursday, May 29, 2008

Whistling for Gasoline @ 28 Cents

Thanks to the gods at Netflix, I sawTo Have and Have Not today. This film was Lauren Bacall's debut on the big screen.

The film is famous, of course, for Ms. Bacall's classic line, "You know how to whistle don't you? Just put your lips together and blow."



That scene always blows me away.

Of course, I was also blown away by another scene a little earlier in the film. Humphrey Bogart and Walter Sande were talking about gasoline for Bogart's fishing boat. The gas was a whooping 28 cents a gallon.

Times have changed in so many ways.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For My Fans

One of my ex-girlfriends currently works as a nurse in the Georgia Department of Corrections. Reportedly, she showed my blog to some of the corrections officers that she works with and they loved my solar bra post. They even loved the strip club post that showed up over on D-Tales.

So, in honor of my new found fans who proudly enforce the law from the inside, I give you another amusing video that I found on-line. I didn't make it - but I really wish I did.

It's a woman getting undressed by a bulldozer - yet another one of those things that I would have never believed could happen if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

Bulldozer Undresses Woman

I'm A Bad, Bad Man

I got invited to a friend's 30th birthday party recently. The invite says, "Dress to impress."

My first thought was, "Oh, I guess I should actually wear pants to this one."

But then - from somewhere in the dark nether regions of my brain, came a voice that said, "Well, that would depend on in what way you want to impress."

Yes, I'm a bad, bad man. And the photo below is totally appropriate for me.


It's amazing how quickly I've learned to find images like the one above.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

RIP - Sydney Pollock

Sydney Pollock passed away yesterday at the age of 73 after battling cancer. He was a two-time Academy Award winning actor, director and producer.

As a director, he was the creative force behind such landmark films as Tootsie and Out of Africa. Earlier in his career, Sydney Pollock worked with Alfred Hitchcock when Mr. Pollock directed two episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

As an actor, he appeared in a wide variety television shows and movies - from 1950s Have Gun Will Travel and The Twilight Zone to modern classics such The Sopranos and King of the Hill.

Sydney Pollock will be missed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Solar Bra Means Heart-Felt Conservation

I have always been fascinated by women's breasts. From the modest cleavage of Keira Knightley or Kristen Bell to the more ample endowment of Mélissa Theuriau or Jessica Alba, there's just something about them that attracts my attention.

I suppose that's why, when I heard about the new solar bra that was unveiled in Tokyo, I couldn't help but pay attention to it. This bra is embedded with solar panels that will actually generate electricity as they are exposed to sun light.

The most obvious downside to this is that those solar panels won't work when they're covered by other articles of clothing. As a result, this is really more one of those products that is intended to prompt discussion about renewable energy and seeing potential in every day things than an actual source of electrical energy.

Of course, it does also demonstrate the power of cleavage.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Insanely Busy

To the regular readers of my blog (all 18 of you): I'm sorry I haven't been posting as often as normal. I have been insanely busy as of late.

In addition to all my usual duties with the other non-profits that I do volunteer work for, I have a couple of grant deadlines that I've been frantically trying to meet for work.

Plus, my production company is involved in the Detroit Windsor International Film Festival, which is now less than 30 days away from happening. You can click below to see an overview of what this festival will have to offer.



So, yeah. I've been busy. Regardless, I did want to apologize to everyone for not posting more often.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stephen Colbert Worked With A Bear Sympathizer

I recently learned that one of the greatest of American heroes Stephen Colbert used to work with a bear sympathizer - but not just any kind of bear sympathizer - a Canadian bear sympathizer.

Just look at this recently de-classified surveillance video. It clearly shows Rob Coddry, who worked with Stephen on that other television show, allowing a Canadian bear into his home where it was presumably given aide and comfort.



The surveillance video is only 30 seconds long. One can only presume that everyone was malled to death after that point.

I have to express my profound disappointment that Stephen didn't uncover this sooner. God only knows how many lives have been lost already.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Prince William Addresses Helicopter Controversy

Prince William has been lambasted by the British news media for using a military helicopter for personal use, such as showing off for his girlfriend Kate Middleton by landing a Boeing CH-47 Chinock helicopter in the field behind her family's home. He also used one to visit a community center in Penygraig, Wales.

He is currently a flight officer in the Royal Air Force. Officially, he is trying to accumimlate as many hours in the cockpit as he can as he is still working on his pilot's license and this is why he is flying so often.

This, of course, has not stopped anyone in the British media from accusing him of just wasting money, as People magazine points out.

Quite frankly, I can't say that I blame Prince William for this - even if he is purely joy riding at taxpayers' expense. I mean, just look at this thing.


If I had access to a Chinock helicopter, I would fly that thing everywhere.

I would hover just a few feet off the ground and become the first person to go through the drive-thru line at Taco Bell in a Chinock.

And God help them if they forgot my fire sauce!

More on the Report

Earlier this morning, I posted about how astronaut Garret Reisman was a special guest on The Colbert Report- live from the International Space Station. They talked for several minutes in an interview that was classic Stephen Colbert.

Well, that particular clip is now available on-line. Check it out below.





It's truly one of the coolest things I've seen all year.

I also found an article in the Houston Chronicle that talked about this interview, which included references to a few things that got edited out of the episode when it aired - like the fact that there aren't any refrigerators on the International Space Station to chill ice cream or beer.

OMG!

I was just watching The Colbert Report.

Stephen Colbert had one of the astronauts on his show, Garrett Reisman, live via satellite from the International Space Station. It was one of the coolest things I've seen all year.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair

Some of the most ironic stuff shows up in my email in-box on a daily basis. Most of it, I delete. However, sometimes I get something that makes me laugh hard enough that I almost have to post it somewhere.

This afternoon, I got an email from the folks at WebMD.com. It included a link to their article on Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair.

Ah....

I don't think any of those foods are going to do much for my hair. Somehow, I really don't think so.

258 More Days

U.S. Senator Barack Obama won huge in North Carolina yesterday. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton is still in this race, having recently loaned her campaign another $6.4 million. However, for all practical purposes, the Democratic nomination is over. Obama will be the nominee.

And this means that we only have 258 more days until the grown-ups return to the White House.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

May Is Asian Heritage Month

One of the other bloggers in Detroit published a post yesterday about May being Asian Heritage Month and providing her readers with "7 days of fun" to celebrate it. The problem is that all of her suggestions were a series of "Asian" restaurants.

I'm sorry.

I love D-Tales and think she has one of the best blogs around. However, I know enough Asians to know that there's a lot more to Asian culture than a series of overpriced sushi places, even without invoking Frank's Rule of Sushi or talking about the Sushi Witnesses.

With that in mind, I give the world my own version of her 7 days of Asian culture - that are 100% sushi-free.

Tuesday - Literature
Asian culture has produced a cornucopia of top-notch literature over the centuries. Yan Lianke's novel Dreams of Ding Village, for example, told the story of HIV/AIDS in China. This resulted in the novel being banned in his home country because the People's Republic of China insists that AIDS doesn't exist in China - and if ever showed up it would only be the result of Western imperialism.

Another great Asian novel that's much easier to get one's hands on is Waiting by Ha Jin. It tells the story of an ordinary man who misses the best opportunities of his life, simply by trying to do what he perceives as his duty.


Ha Jin won the National Book Award in 1999 for this novel. As a result, it's available at most bookstores and libraries.

Wednesday - Music
I couldn't find any concerts in the Detroit area this month that would showcase the musical talent that has come from Asia. Luckily, I did find one web site with loads of MP3s for music from a wide variety of Asian cultures - from Chinese opera to Thai classical to Cambodian instrumentals.

Thursday - Dance
I saw a Thai Candle Dance once and it's amazing. Thanks for the wonders of YouTube, you can see on below.



Friday - Art
Detroit is home to a rather impressive collection of Asian paintings, ceramics and sculptures as part of the Detroit Institute of Arts. In fact, more than 2,600 objects of Asian art are available for one's viewing pleasure at the new DIA.

Plus, admission to the DIA is free on Friday to Detroit residents. It's only $8 for everyone else.

Members of the DIA, of course, are always allowed in for free. You can purchase a membership for only $65 at either the museum entrance or via their website. Not only does your membership get you into the museum from free, there are also a variety of special events throughout the year for DIA members.

Definately, worth it. But I digress.

Back to all things Asian.

Saturday - Cinema
If I ruled the world, anyone over the age of 21 who hasn't seen Akira Kurosawa's 1950 classic film Rashomon would be required to wear sack cloth and ashes. They would also have to ring a bell and proclaim, "Unclean! Unclean!" whenever they walked the streets.

Oh, and they would only be allowed to walk the streets because they wouldn't be considered worthy of other means of transport.

I don't rule the world - at least not yet.

However, one never knows when this may change. Therefore, I recommend that everyone see this film at least once as a precautionary measure. It's available at better video stores, such as Thomas Video in Clawson or Liberty Street Video in Ann Arbor, as well as on Netflix.

Sunday - Architecture
I.M. Pei is generally considered to be one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, having won both the AIA Gold Medal as well as the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

Unfortunately, there aren't any of his buildings in Michigan. I would normally start a lobbying campaign to have one commissioned here. However, he has retired.

Luckily, the folks at GreatBuildings.com have photos from some of his more high-profile projects available on their web site.

Monday - Anime & Manga
Walt Disney brought animation to the masses, but the Japanese have given it their own touch with anime and manga. Both are available at almost every comic book store in the country, such as my personal favorite - Green Brain Comics in Dearborn.

And there you have it. My 100% sushi-free tour of Asian culture.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Free Month of Netflix

I am a Netflix addict.

Thanks to this service I've seen almost every movie Alfred Hitchcock ever made (except for a couple of his old silent ones that aren't available on DVD anywhere). I even saw his two World War II propaganda films that he made with the intention of rallying the French to resist German occupation - only to be the British government kill them because they were too anti-German.

I've also seen everything that Keira Knightley has ever appeared in simply because, well, she is Keira Knightley and I would pay good money to watch that woman eat a bowl of corn flakes in the morning.

Anyway, I mention all of this because I once again have an email invitation to give someone a free month of Netflix. If you would like it, please let me know.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Dinner @ Fusia

I was at Fusia and Asian Village when they first opened. To put it mildly, I was unimpressed with the place.

I even remember being in meetings where one person after another told a horror story about the place. I quietly predicted that they would be out of business within a matter of months and felt confident in my prediction.

However, after all of that, I was eventually coaxed into attending Detroit Synergy's Supper Club last night and urged to give the place another chance. The woman who runs Supper Club for Detroit Synergy has amazing tastes so it I put my faith in her.

After my experience last night, I have to say that I was impressed. The place has made some amazing changes in a relatively short period of time and completely transformed themselves.


For starters, the service was top-notched. The staff at Fusia was knowledgeable and attentive, without hovering. This was a h-u-u-g-e improvement over their original incarnation when they hired fashion models for a large portion of their "wait staff". Being fashion models, they clearly put an emphasis on looking good over serving customers.

In addition, the original Fusia chef is no longer there. Most likely, he's currently working as a bus boy at an Applebee's in Alabama or something. The new executive chef is Shawn Mac of Twingo's fame. He completely reinvented the menu and started producing food that is just plain delicious - a delightful blend of Asian and European culinary traditions.

I will definitely be back there sometime soon. I highly recommend this place.

Three Years Ahead of the Media

The Detroit Free Press reported recently that Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick demanded that his friend Bobby Ferguson get a part of construction contract for the original effort to redevelop the historic Book-Cadillac Hotel. More importantly, they reported that the costs associated with this were a large part of the original effort falling apart; dealing the hotel's re-opening by more than a year.

This would be news if it weren't for one thing: I reported the same thing in my documentary on that hotel, Checking In: The Story of the Book-Cadillac Hotel.

And my documentary wrapped production in June of 2005.

There you have it. The Detroit Free Press. Now only three years behind the curve on their stories.

For anyone who is interested, you can see an except of my documentary - narrated by the extremely talented Ann Marie Weinert - on-line here. You can also buy the DVD by clicking here.

Folks in the mainstream media just might want to check my film out, if only so they can see what else they are behind the curve on.