Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why I Should Never Say Never

Stardate 01-29-2009

As many of you know, I have ban on anything Jane Austen. Especially her crappy books. I've sworn solemn vows that I would never read any of them. Well, I am seriously thinking of temporarily lifting this ban so that I can read this

This book is a posthumous collaboration between Jane Austen, author of Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, Persuasion, and other English literature classics, and Seth Grahame-Smith, author of How to Survive a Horror Movie and The Big Book of Porn. I can't think of a better team to bring us this updated masterpiece.

Here is how the book is described:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.

I'm very curious to hear what all the Jane Austen fans have to say about this. I think its awesome and I can't wait to read it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Black Medicine: Finger Attacks

Stardate 01-20-2009

Well, Readership, the count down to the end (2012) has begun. Today, Obama was sworn in as President; so starts the moral and economic downfall of our currently thriving nation. I'm proud to say that I saw this coming and blogged about it back in February of 2008. Computer Data tells me that others are concerned about this subject as well. According to Google Analytics, since October 27, 2008, 704 different people have looked at my post titled, "2012: The End of the World." Here is some other data that I am proud of. In the days leading up to the election, Oct 27th- Nov 4th, 143 different people read this post and spent an average time of nearly 7 minutes on the page. I'm sure my impact on the election was huge, but not big enough. Since Nov 5th, the day after the election, 564 different people have logged on to my blog to try and understand how the world will soon end.

My friends, the end is inevitable. At this point we need to stop complaining and start acting. All that matters now is how we spend our time preparing for the end. That is what I would like to speak to you all about. Here is a list of what my female and I are doing to prepare for the end:

1. Build underground bunker (I started digging last Saturday)
2. Put together our food storage (My female has taken charge of this task)
3. Buy lots of guns and ammo (Bought my first gun last week before Obama makes it impossible to do so)
4. Learn self defense (I'm almost a master)
5. Pray that in 2012, Mitt will run again, win, ride into the white house on his white horse to save the constitution and the world from total destruction

As a third degree white belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, I have decided that it is my job to teach you all how to defend yourselves. Over the next few months I have planned a series of posts that will teach you about a few of the self defense techniques that I have mastered. I've used many of these moves while growing up on the tough streets of the upper east side of Salt Lake City and I attest that they do work.

These techniques were taught to me by Master Mashiro and can all be found in his book, one of the greatest books of all time, Black Medicine: Volume II, Weapons At Hand. For each of my posts in this self defense series, I plan to share a few self defense techniques explained by Master Mahsiro. In addition, for those who don't have a concealed weapons permit or may not have your gun with you during the time of an attack, I will share some of Master Mashiro's ideas on everyday household items that you can turn into makeshift weapons in a matter of seconds.

Now, for the first series of techniques. Please pay attention and take very seriously the words of Master Mashiro. The following was taken from the chapter titled, "Striking Points of the Arms and Hand."

"Fingernails: We are all familiar with the fact that fingernails can be used for scratching, an ineffective technique at best. They can also be used for clawing, however, which I more practical. In this context the nails can be used to achieve deep penetration into the eyes, throat and especially the nerve pressure points on the back of the hand. Some dedicated karate and kung-fu artists allow their nails to grow 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, and strengthen them with nail hardener. Naturally they also sandpaper the tips to a sharp edge. The wound produced by four of these nails slashed across a person's throat (like saw teeth) is difficult to believe even when seen." (I am already growing out my fingernails, as should you. I wonder how many throats Master Mashiro has seen slashed by fingernails)

"Tip of Thumb: The tip of the distal phalanx of the thumb, together with the sharp edge of the nail. The tip of the thumb is used for gouging, usually at the opponent's eyes but frequently involving the throat and other nerve pressure points. The trapezius muscle is especially vulnerable to a thumb gouge." Enjoy the picture.

"Thumb and Forefinger: Which of us does not know how to pinch with thumb and forefinger? This pinch can be very painful when applied in the lip or nose region, and can crush a testicle like a soft-boiled egg. When the pinch catches the thyroid cartilage in its grip it can actually be fatal." Enjoy the picture.

The following is taken from the chapter titled, "Makeshift Weapons"

"Bar of Soap: Sooner or later your captors will give you a bar of soap, if only to be relieved of the smell of you. Slip the soap inside your sock (or wrap it in a towel) and use it as a blackjack. Strike for the temple, for the mastoid process behind the ear, or for the collarbone."

"Shit: There is an old story about an oriental warrior who made a mess in his pants, let it slide down his pant leg, and then kicked it into the face of his enemy as a diversion. Just keep in mind the fact that if your place of confinement doesn't contain any dirt to throw in your kidnapper's face, you can always make some!"

Darth Spencer's Tip of the Week: If your shit attack doesn't work, your captors will most likely give you some soap to clean your hands and legs. If they do give you some soap, now you know what to do with it.

Stay tuned for more excellent self-defense techniques.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Jack Attack

Stardate 12-09-2009

I haven't been this excited for a new season of 24 for a long time. I loved the fill in the blank movie that they did back in November. It was full of great action, emotion, and a good story line, and excellent African stereotypes.

I found this great article written by Fred Topel about why 24 is Science Fiction. Some are good arguments, others however, are a bit of a stretch. Either way, it got me excited for the upcoming Jack Attack. My favorite was #3. Enjoy--

Like you, we have long thought of Fox's hit action show 24 as something outside our wheelhouse: Jack Bauer chases terrorists in real time, hour by hour, in the real world. No spaceships, no ghosts, no hobbits, no magic.

After six seasons, though, we are starting to change our minds. After careful consideration, we have come to a stark realization: 24 is SCIENCE FICTION!

We talked with star Kiefer Sutherland and some of the show's creators in Los Angeles earlier this week about our startling revelation. And we have to say they couldn't really dispute THE TRUTH.

With season seven starting this Sunday, Jan 11, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, it's becoming abundantly clear we can no longer ignore 24. You can decide for yourself, but here's our eight reasons why 24 is sci-fi.

1. It's in the future! If you add up all the years that have passed since season one, which took place in the present, the show's events are now taking place around the year 2017. They've always said that two years or so pass between each season's "day," and there have been several presidential administrations (whomever David Palmer ran against, David Palmer, Logan, Wayne Palmer and now Taylor). Producer Brannon Braga doesn't deny it! "Yes, technically 24 should have flying holographic cars right now,"

2. There's a fountain of youth. See above regarding how much time has actually passed. But everyone still looks about the same as when it all started! At the very least, the characters have miraculously slowed the aging process significantly. "I'm actually probably now finally my [real] age," Sutherland says. "I think I started out a little younger."

3. Teleportation. Anyone who lives in Los Angeles knows Jack Bauer breaks several laws of physics to get from point A to point B in the time it takes for a commercial break. They must be using some teleportation device or time-travel wormholes to do it. Gridskipper has helpfully calculated the speeds of some of Bauer's movements across Los Angeles: For example, Jack and Derek go from Wayne Palmer's Westwood condo to Ontario (California) International Airport via stolen car, covering 56 miles over 17 minutes, meaning they traveled at 195 mph. The Jacktracker helps you pinpoint how Bauer beams in and out of locations.

Season seven takes place in Washington, where things are closer together and there is mass transit. That gives Sutherland a whole new sense of power: "One thing that kind of struck me when I was there is you could feel the power emanating from the buildings," Sutherland added about his time on location. "It changes the way you walk, and it changes the way you talk. There is a different sense of urgency in that city, and so for me it was great to be there, to get a sense of that." That and the wormholes.

4. The dead rise In 24, it used to be that once you're killed, you don't come back. But this season will see the return of Carlos Bernard as Tony Almeida, who we saw die in Jack's arms from a hyoscine-pentathol injection. And our eagle eye spotted Reiko Aylesworth, who played Tony's deceased wife Michelle Dessler, at the 24 premiere party this week in Hollywood. And we know we saw her blow up!

5. We're in an alternate dimension. 24 is set in a reality similar to our Earth but significantly different in key ways: a world in which there was a black president before Barack Obama, where several presidential administrations had nothing to do with W., and where there is a female president whose first name is not Hillary or Sarah. Also, in this dimension, the federal government and agencies such as CTU are extremely effective and efficient, billionaires still have credibility, and torture actually works. "How wonderful in the light of a television show, if you take a look at all of the interrogation from season one down the line, he always interrogated the right people," Sutherland says of Bauer's taste for unpleasantness.

6. Cyborgs. No one eats, sleeps or pees. The characters must be cybernetic organisms, or humans with cyberpunk-like artificial enhancements implanted in their nerve cores. All they need for fuel is coffee. "I think we get so much grief over staying up for 24 hours, which I've always made fun of," Sutherland says. "There's always at least one day a season where we will stay up 24 hours trying to complete an episode. Generally it's the 23rd or the 24th episode, and we've stayed up for 24 hours. Imagine the adrenaline rush with the stakes that are involved for people that are dealing with counterterrorism." In all seriousness, if you like the continuing rush of Chuck, Sanctuary, Fringe and Lost, you'll also like 24.

7. Advanced technology. Jack Bauer's technological toys would make Captain Kirk weep with envy. Whenever Jack needs something, he just calls Chloe on her headset. She types in a few codes, and he magically has it instantly. "OK, Chloe, send that video imaging and infrared targeting info to my handheld." Five seconds later ... "OK, got it!" No dead spots. No rebooting. No crashed laptops. Cell reception underground. It's a miracle!

8. Because Brannon Braga says so. He should know: He produced Star Trek. Braga knows what's real and what's not. Even he admits that 24 stretches the boundaries of pure action. "24 is an action fantasy," Braga says. "I mean, it is. It's not sci-fi, but it is a fantasy for sure."

The reason is particularly stupid. The whole article is dedicated to proving that 24 is science fiction. Then on the last reason, the post a quote from one of the shows creators in which he specifically states that it is not sci-fi.