Thursday, August 31, 2006

To Boldly Return

Ok, fellow Trek-nerds, hold on to your saurian brandy. Something we never knew we wanted is about to make us...well, at least me...very happy. Last month I was cruising YouTube, the website where people can upload various video clips for the general perusal, and on a lark I did a search for Star Trek. Strangely there weren't as many as I would have thought, but in amongst the Simpson parodies and Con footage I came across some 'proof of concept' clips of original Trek episodes with modern CGI effects put in over the 'then ground breaking but now horribly dated' old effects shots. I was blown away. The Doomsday Machine seemed to be the favorite target, and it was awesome. At the time I thought to myself that wouldn't it be great if the studios actually allowed this to be done to all the episodes? You see, I was assuming that these clips were from ambitious fans with lots of mad computer skillz, and too much time on their hands. I was wrong.

Here is a quote from "CBS Paramount Domestic Television has officially announced that they are releasing digitally remastered episodes of Star Trek, with all new special effects and music, to celebrate the groundbreaking series' 40th anniversary, according to John Nogawski, president of CBS Paramount Domestic Television."

The shows are scheduled to begin airing on September 16th, starting with The Enterprise Incident, which was the first on-screen encounter with the Romulans, and will show off the new starship effects brilliantly.

I am sure that there will be some purists out there who will object to this, but I feel that, unlike what George Lucas did to Star Wars, this will only enhance the shows rather than alter them for the worse. And maybe, just maybe, some of the young punks today who giggle at the original series for its primitive look might finally develop some measure of respect for the little series that started a galactic empire.

If only Gene Roddenberry were alive to see this, I'm sure he'd be smiling.

Message ends.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And Now a Paid Political Message

When it comes to helping people, Richard Smoker is your man. Dick Smoker is a compassionate, fiscal conservative who once stayed in the same city as Ronald Regan and even wrote a letter to our greatest president.

Heywood Jablowme, on the other hand, has never voted against the over six-hundred tax raises enacted since the tax act of 1874! Jablowme regularly strangles puppies in his den and uses them to polish the skulls of the orphan nuns he murdered in 1975.

Dick Smoker opposes all forms of taxation, and wants to deport every homosexual and illegal alien in the state. Dick Smoker is endorsed by the NRA, PTA, IRA, ROTF, LMAO, and The Lord God Almighty Himself. If elected governer Dick Smoker will give every man, woman, and child their very own jar of rescued embryos to raise in a good, Christian way.

Heywood Jablowme worships the devil, and if elected will kill and eat every first born male child in the state. Jablowme hates the United States, and often plays Scrabble with Osama Bin Laden while burning flags and P.O.W. bracelets.

Who would you rather have in the capitol? Dick Smoker, a decorated veteran and close personal friend of Jesus, or Heywood Jablowme, a vile, blood-drinking ghoul who despises you and your entire familY?

The choice is obvious.

I'm Dick Smoker, and God and I approved this message.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Shatner Roast

Hi folks, and welcome to a somewhat perplexed edition of The Corner. I just finished watching the Comedy Central roast of William Shatner. It was mildly amusing, although I always thought that the point of these things was to get a bunch of entertainers who were friends of the guest of honor to come up and rip on them for a few minutes then get all mushy at the end. For this one only George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, and Betty White had actually worked with Shatner previously. There were a few laughs, but for the most part the humor was crude, vulgar, mean-spirited, and not particularly funny. And can someone explain why Andy Dick is still employed? Even Gilbert Godfried, whom I cannot stand, makes me laugh on rare occasions. Dick is just a less attractive, shorter version of Sandra Bernhard with a smaller penis, and an even smaller talent. And the one comedian who's bit I was looking most forward to, Kevin Pollak, wasn't even aired! I will say that seeing George Takei say "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!" was worth the price of admission, but the lack of any true warmth at the end just made it feel pointless. And Shatner's closing monologue was stilted, forced, and had more of a 'I know you are, but what am I' feel to it rather than a polished riposte to the night's thrusts. And that, I now realize, sums up my disappointment. I was expecting a verbal fencing match, and what they gave me was a comedic Thunderdome, filled with cheap shots, and below the belt punchlines. Ah well, it's not the first time I was expecting sirloin, and was served cat food. C'est la guerre.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Eat it, Mickey!!

The Plutocracy is over! That pesky bit of Kuiper Belt detritus, that frigid, bifurcated dustball, that hiddeously ancient frozen Yuggoth of Lovecraftian nightmares is history. Today the International Astronomical Union finalized it's definition of just what constitutes a major planet. As before, a planet must not be in thrall to any other body but good old Sol, must not be a star, must have enough mass for gravity to pull it into a roughly spherical shape(we live on an ovoid), and(here's the planet killer for Pluto) it must have a clear neighborhood around its orbit. In other words, all of the major planets have scooped up, or flung away, all debris, asteroids, and other space crap in their ways. Pluto, on the other hand, has such a wonky orbit that it crosses over the orbit of Neptune, which tiny Pluto could never hope to clear away. So rather than the unwieldy 12+ planet Solar System I fretted over the other day, we are now left with an official, and undisputable 8 planets. And what of frozen Yuggoth? It, and it's Kuiper Belt bretheren and sisteren are to be dubbed Dwarf Planets. This way we don't have to change the kids' mobiles every time another big rock is found out beyond Neptune, and all we need do to make all of our schoolbooks accurate is just apply some creative Sharpie action.

Peace out, yo!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

...And We're Baaaaaaack!

Hiya, Folks, and welcome to the first all new, no-bitching, non-video edition of The Corner for quite some time. It's Saturday, and I got more sleep last night than usual, and for once the day is going well. I just finished a huge bowl of chocolate pudding and I'm a ready for some bloggin'!

In science news, the International Astronomical Union has finally nailed down a definition of what constitutes a planet. In their words, a planet is: " a celestial body with sufficient mass to assume a nearly spherical shape that orbits a star without being another star or a satellite of another planet." So what, you might ask, but if you have kids this will affect you more than you might guess. Remember our carefree youth, when we only had to memorize 9 planets? Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Well, your kids will now have to recall 12 heavenly bodies: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto-Charon (now classified as a double planet) and the newly discovered and officially unnamed 2003 UB313(aka Xena). Plus they are considering a new classification for objects that, like Pluto, take more than 200 years to orbit Sol and have eccentric orbits, i.e. not in the same direction as the other planets, or moving outside the plane of the ecliptic. These trapped wanderers will be known as Plutons. Personally I don't know if I like this or not. Ultimately I guess it doesn't really matter, but I would like to reserve planetary status for the big boys, but that's just me. What this does portend, however, is that like Baltic cartographers, astronomers will have to change their charts every time a better telescope comes on-line.

Ok, it's Sunday now. My mom called in the midst of the last paragraph, and I am just now getting back to the old keyboard. I imagine that everyone knows that they have apprehended a suspect in the 10-year-old murder of Jon-Benet Ramsey. This guy makes Jeffrey Dahmer seem well adjusted, and I don't really want to go into all the details of this creep here, but I will say this. I have serious doubts that he did it. I have a feeling in my gut that this clown, while a pedophile and child pornography patron, is merely looking for his fifteen minutes while living out his sick fantasy that he actually had anything to do with this horrific crime. If I'm wrong I'll gladly recant, and if he's convicted I'll volunteer to pull the switch on the chair, but I just don't think he's the guy.

Snakes on a Plane. I didn't really have any desire to see this movie until I saw Samuel L. Jackson on The Daily Show this week. There are a few celebs that are obviously friends with Stewart and it is so much fun to watch them on the show, and Jackson is one of them. Seeing him talk about how much fun he had making this movie is infectious, and the way he and Jon get along is so much fun. It reminds me of the old days of Letterman when Charles Grodin would come on, and they'd spend 15 minutes insulting each other. There's a feeling of being a fly on the wall of the interviewer's living room that makes it all the more enjoyable. When it hits video I imagine we'll rent it and have a good laugh.

And finally, in the Incredibly Pointless Science Projects category, Dutch zookeepers are looking to allow their orangutans to 'date' via the internet with Indonesian orangs. Via the connection they'll be able to push a button that gives their paramours a food treat. The intention is to see if there is compatibility, and hopefully future mating. What's the catch? Well, the cost of transporting the apes is prohibitive, so ultimately the exercise is all for naught. But, if it improves the morale of captive orangs I say just create a CD based program that simulates the process. If Dr. Zaius pushes a button that says he wants to give his digital hottie a pellet, who is to know if the swinger on the screen is real or simulated. It saves the expense of real time communication, and the technology goes back to the first CD based arcade game Dragonslayer. Hey, we're all primates at heart, and if we can let our captive distant cousins get a bit of virtual orangu-tang, why not.

Ok, true believers, this is your friendly neighborhood Marius signing off for now. And let me just say that Sake is, quite possibly, the greatest contribution the Japanese have made to the world. :-)

Namaste, my friends.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Flying Spaghetti Monster Likes Planes


The C-17 has been touched by his noodley appendage.

Ra-men. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Anybody Got Some Cheese?

Ok, so I've been doing some pretty heavy duty whining of late, but I'm ready to stop now. I'm still not sure that I've made the right career move, but after a long talk with Targon today I'm feeling much better. Both he and his signifcant other have been in education a long time, and now that I have a better idea of just what it is I have ahead of me I'm not quite as ready to hide under the sink and babble incohearantly. Although I am not thrilled that the certification I need to complete is actually another frikken Bachelor's degree...yet another fact they don't feel the need to reveal during the application process. I don't know. I'm still daunted, but no longer eating my own liver out with worry and panic. But I am, once again, wondering just when I'll find a job that I can settle into and ponder the possibility of retiring from some day. Ah well.

Well, I just re-read this, and it seems that maybe I'm not ready to stop whining after all. Sorry, folks. I'll try to become amusing again any day now.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Stress, The Final Frontier...

I may have made a terrible mistake, and it's scaring the shit out of me. Please don't take this as arrogance, or hubris, but usually I make the right decisions for myself ie. career moves. I freely admit that I have made some horrific blunders in my life, one of which is now rearing up to bite me in the ass, but usually my 'big' choices turn out to be the correct ones. But this new gig has my blood pressure overwhelming my medication, and my sleep patterns. Teaching high school, I figured, would be much easier than teaching college. Oh how foolish we mortals be. I have one class that consists of 20 freshmen, none of which seem able to stay quiet for more than a few nanoseconds. And it is my last class of the day, right after lunch, so while I'm fighting off the post lunch nap monster, they are more wired than Richard Simmons at an ABBA concert. Another thing I had not considered was that in high school you meet with your classes EVERY DAY! I'm used to seeing my classes twice a week, and having large gaps of time in between them. Now my first class comes in at 9:30am(two hours after I'm required to sign in) and I don't stop, except for a 20 minute lunch, until 2:45. I'm exhausted, and it's only the first week of classes.

I hope that this is just an adjustment period, and that I'll eventually find my stride here, but right now I feel like someone who has walked out onto a rickety, old, Indiana Jones style suspension bridge, with huge gaps in the boards ahead, and angry Thuggee warriors behind. I just hope no one decides to cut the ropes.

Your friendly, nerve-wracked Marius.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What Do You Get When You Mix Jim Kirk And King Arthur?

Cool Shuttle Pic

The shuttle Atlantis on its way to the launch pad for a late August date with the ISS.


I know I was going to give you all a blow by blow description of my trials and tribulations of this week, but to be quite honest they are quite boring, and I really don't want to revisit all the joyous details. Let me just give you this warning. When you agree to take a new job here are a few questions to ask before you give notice at your current gig: 1. Will it cost me anything to take this job?(if the answer is $200+ find out just how many different money orders you will need) 2. When will my health benefits begin?(if the answer is 90 days later, think twice) and 3. If I work a day before we can process my paperwork(due to clerical errors, not my fault) will I still get paid for that day?(short answer, no)

And just like my last job, the administrative arrangement at the high school leaves a lot to be desired. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of 'but we've always done it this way' for me to fight. Ah well, c'est la vie I suppose. Have a great weekend.

Marius Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 04, 2006

Stay Tuned

Hi, Folks,
It has been pointed out that my posts have been somewhat lacking of late. I apologize for the paucity of content, but tomorrow, when I have rested my weary dura mater, I promise to give you a full rundown of the unfathomably horrible, unconcievably hiddeous, nauseatingly officious process it takes to take a college teacher, and break them down molecule by molecule, dollar by dollar, and convert them into a zombie-fied high school teacher.

Tune in tomorrow!!

Marius the Brain-dead

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Chad Vader II

Ok, I've had a really stressed-out week(yeah, I know it's only Wednes-fucking-day), that I'll tell you all about once there's a little bit of aesthetic distance twixt it and me, but this really helped cheer me up. Enjoy episode two of Chad Vader: Dayshift Manager.