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Unidentifed Flying Objects (UFOs) - Random Topics
In the more distant past (the fifties and sixties), there were spectacular UFO visitation stories, and occasionally photographs of the UFO were taken. They were uniformly bad pictures - out of focus, etc., and no conclusions could be drawn from them as a result. It seems that cameras either weren't on hand to capture the best stuff, or weren't able to capture useful images owing to limitations. Flash forward to the present - Digital cameras (still and video, with autofocus and good low light sensitivity) are universal in cell phones, and if almost anything happens anywhere in the modern world, such cameras are able to capture it. Excepting UFOs -- for some reason, despite an avalanche of cameras in the hands of practically everyone, no one seems ever able to get good pictures of a UFO. What does this suggest to you? -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on April 11, 2014, 3:45 pm

Calvin and Hobbes - Random Topics
Infyrin - To be fair to Jim Davis - Garfield was conceived as a marketing machine from the start. The intention was to create a cartoon character that could be marketed/licensed in every way imaginable, and it succeeded. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on January 13, 2014, 11:50 am

Britney and Kevin: Chaotic - TV Shows
Evidently, Britney has recovered a degree of sanity (or has PR people trying to retroactively touch up her reputation), and recently referred to this program as "the worst thing I've done in my career". -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on December 10, 2013, 6:34 am

Miley Cyrus - Celebrities
Ah, how the might have fallen. Three years ago, I speculated about whether Miley would self-destruct like Britney Spears, or just fade into obscurity. At this point, it looks like the correct answer is "fade into obscurity" -- Her public profile seems to have driven off a cliff somewhere in the last year or so, with movies that were filmed at the height of her popularity now getting minimal releases (and then only due to contractural obligations -- otherwise they would have been direct-to-video). Sic transit gloria mundi. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on September 6, 2012, 12:42 pm

Toddlers & Tiaras - TV Shows
I'll be honest and admit that I've never seen this. However, given the descriptions here (and what I've heard from other sources), the very concept makes my skin crawl. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on July 5, 2012, 9:47 am

Six Million Dollar Man - TV Shows
Parker -- The explanation for the "badness" of the Bionic Woman episodes of "The Six Million Dollar Man" was that when it was originally aired, the episode only had two parts. Jaime died at the end of part 2, and that was that. Then, the executives saw the stellar ratings for that two parter, and decided to make a spin off featuring Jaime. That's why the third part feels awkward -- because the first two parts weren't originally written with it in mind. I'm old enough to remember when this was aired in first run (only the first two parts), and then when it was aired again at the beginning of the next season -- suddenly with a third part that it didn't have the season before! -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on June 27, 2012, 4:23 pm

National Lampoon's Family Vacation - Movie Series
If you're interested in the various "Vacation" movies, then I suggest that you look up the short story "Vacation '58" from National Lampoon magazine, written by John Hughes. The original story is broadly similar to the first movie, but it's a period piece taking place back in 1958. I think it would have worked better as a period piece myself, but if you read the original, you will discover why it wouldn't have been practical to make the story as written. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on August 12, 2011, 6:23 am

Scientology - Random Topics
It's actually a business, but styling it as a religion makes it tax-free. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on January 5, 2011, 5:22 am

Facebook - Websites
I'm another person that finds the whole concept of Facebook singularly pointless. I come from an upbringing that put an emphasis on personal privacy, and this was boosted by a *very* minor brush with celebrity in my teen years that resulted in my valuing my personal privacy even more. I can't understand why anybody other than my immediate family or friends would care about my "status" (and they know how to get hold of me if they want to find out anyway). I'm on the internet, and can be found by anyone willing to do a bit of looking. As for some of the compromising pictures that some people post on their facebook pages -- I've always felt that anything you post on the internet under your own name should be something that you're comfortable posting on the bulletin board at the supermarket -- because that's essentially what you're doing. Some people don't seem to understand this (or the significance of privacy settings). -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on December 20, 2010, 8:24 am

Lindsay Lohan - Celebrities
The fact that Lindsay Lohan is apparently someone that "Dancing with the Stars" (hah!) would like to feature in their next edition says everything one could want to know about just how far Ms. Lohan's star has fallen in recent months... -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on December 2, 2010, 1:41 pm

Bloom County - Random Topics
Bloom County, along with Calvin and Hobbes and the Far Side, represent the best comic strips of the Eighties. All three also represent creators who were smart enough to produce a remarkable body of work, and then quit while they were ahead. I miss all three, but I think that it's better to look back at a smaller body of stellar work, rather than a larger body of work that includes decline and stagnation. For those that might be interested, Bloom County is being reprinted in a comprehensive series of hardcover volumes. These include all of the strips (some not reprinted in previous collections), as well as historical notes and some interesting comments from Breathed himself. Three volumes have been issued so far, and two more are planned to cover the whole run of the strip. If you're a fan of Bloom County, get them -- you won't be disappointed. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on December 1, 2010, 6:45 am

Dancing With the Stars - TV Shows
What stars? If Bristol Palin, and some other reality TV cretins are the best they can do, "Dancing with the pseudo-celebrities" is more like it. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on October 18, 2010, 1:41 pm

2001: A Space Odyssey - Movie Series
Keep in mind that 2001 originally went into production in 1964, and the special effects were being worked on for literally years, long before most people had even heard of LSD. Clarke himself stated that he wasn't into drugs at the time, and I don't think Kubrick was either, so I doubt that it was their intention to produce a light show for the acid crowd. They were trying to produce visuals for an experience "Beyond the infinite", and this just happened to coincide with the peak of the LSD craze. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on May 18, 2010, 3:09 pm

Max Headroom - TV Shows
It will finally be possible to see Max headroom again, as the series is finally getting a DVD release this summer. I liked it a lot when it came out -- It will be interesting to see how it holds up 23 years later... -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on May 9, 2010, 11:36 am

Edsel - Random Topics
I agree with some, but not all, of the comment below on the Edsel. I always felt that mechanically, the Edsel was a typical car of its era, and it was probably as reliable as anything Detroit produced during that period (apart from some understandable teething troubles that will crop up on any new design when it first launches). I also agree that the timing of the Edsel's launch (at the beginning of a pretty major recession) had a hand in the car being seen as unsuccessful. But I must disagree about the styling - for the term "striking" I would substitute "distinctive", and that is not meant in a good way. The vertical front grille was certainly unique, but in my opinion it looked hideous. I saw a restored Edsel out on the road last week, and I still think it looks awful. The 1960 Edsels actually replaced the vertical grille, and I think they looked a lot better, but by then the brand was doomed. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on April 28, 2010, 11:55 am

Body Piercing - Random Topics
Years ago, I joked that the final frontier of piercing would be having a hole drilled through your head from one side to the other (through the brain), with a large stud that fit through the hole. I thought that this was an truly absurd idea that no one would ever try. But they have (in a limited fashion) -- see http://www.tattooique.com/info/brain-piercing-extreme-body-piercing-idea/ -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on April 28, 2010, 11:00 am

Charlie Brown Specials - TV Shows
It's worth noting that the original Charlie Brown Christmas special would have turned out very different if Schulz hadn't stood up to the network executives. The network suits objected to a) The quotation from scripture that Linus makes, b) The use of actual childrens voices (rather than adult voice actors), c) The absence of a laugh track and d) the Vince Guaraldi jazz score. In other words, nearly all the things that makes the program truly memorable and distinctive (and which continue to make it a seasonal favorite 45 years later) are all things that the Network wanted to excise. Socre one for Charles Schulz for insisting on his vision for the program. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on April 28, 2010, 10:51 am

Urban Dictionary - Websites
A lot of what's on urban dictionary is crap, especially the absurd sexual definitions that look like they were written by bored "gangsta" teenagers who probably have never actually done anything sexual for real. That said, there is some very good stuff there, if you're prepared to wade through the crap that surrounds it. I don't really know how their editing policy works, or why some stuff gets posted there and other things don't. Still, I do find the site useful -- as someone who is getting on in years, I don't always understand the slang employed by some of the students around here, and UD is a quick way to look up what some of their terms actually mean. It's usually pretty good for that. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on March 5, 2010, 6:26 am

Six Million Dollar Man - TV Shows
I was eight when this show debuted, and for most of its run, it was must-watch TV for me and most of my contemporaries. I've seen it more recently with adult eyes, and I can't believe how cheesy it looks. Nonetheless, I'd love to watch the episodes again on DVD, just to revisit some of those youthful memories. There used to be a lot of SMDM episodes up on Youtube, but there was a purge a few years back that cleared most of them out. And for some reason (owing to a dispute about the rights, I think) the series has never been available on DVD. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on February 22, 2010, 1:48 pm

Tiger Woods - Celebrities
I thought that there was something bizarre about how Tiger looked during his PR appearance, but I couldn't quite place it. And then I figured it out -- this is the first time I've ever seen the top of his head. It's the first time I've ever seen the man without a basecall cap bearing a certain logo on top of his head. I guess Nike didn't want their logo appearing under these circumstances. -- Submitted By: (Eugene) on February 22, 2010, 6:17 am

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