Monthly Archives: September 2009

Science ruins Jurassic Park’s raptor monologue

Matthew Yglesias » Velociraptor: Now With Less Flesh-Tearing .

And thats when the attack comes, not from the front, but from above you. From the two other raptors you didnt even know were there

Student, 3 others charged in BB gun attacks near Rice | Houston & Texas News | – Houston Chronicle

I’m calling it now. Lovett’s theme: BBeer BBike

Student, 3 others charged in BB gun attacks near Rice | Houston & Texas News | – Houston Chronicle.

Burn Down Top 10 Lists: Where the Intro is better than the whole thing

10 Movies/Tv show/books that are worth it just for the opening scene.

Some shows you just want to put on to watch that amazing opening sequence and then turn it off. Its not that the rest is terrible, its just that the opening scene is so good, its worthy to be watched on its own.

1. The Simpsons, “Much Apu About Nothing”

The main plot of this episode concerns Apu trying to stay in Springfield despite being an illegal immigrant in the wake of Prop 24, which would kick out all illegal immigrants. It has some nice scenes of Apu trying to get fake IDs and Homer trying to teach Apu so he can pass the citizenship test. But this episode stands apart for the opening sequence that is, as Homer puts it, like a country bear jamberoo.

With such great lines as: “Let the bears pay the bear tax, I pay the Homer tax,” “Arrest him on account of being a bear. And arrest him on account of being accessory to being a bear,” “Won’t somebody please think of the children!” and Lisa’s rock that keeps tigers away. The whole episode up to the actual plot is some of the best Simpsons work. Of course, the rest of the episode may be worth watching simply for the references in the newspaper to the Bear Patrol escalating bombing.

2. “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”

I think as Brett put it, “I don’t want to see Temple of Doom, I want to see the movie before it!” The whole “Anything Goes” musical number, and Indy dealing with the Chinese gangsters in Club Obi Wan provides some great urban noir that viewers rarely get with Dr. Jones. Plus, “The poison that you just drank!” has worked its way into cultural a priori knowledge so well, its hard to deny that this opening sequence is not better than the rest of the movie. Bonus points: Short Round.

Note: I can’t include Raiders on this list. While the opening scene is fantastic, the rest of the film is certainly worthy on its own. You can’t just turn on Raiders and not watch the rest. Its too good.

3. “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi”This may be a stretch in the definition of “opening scene,” but the fight on Jabba’s barge is the ultimate high point of this film. Nothing beats the musical buildup to Luke giving the high sign right as he walks the plank.

After it, what’s left? Ewoks? Another Death Star battle? Sure, “Its a trap!” is fun, as is the Emperor, but overall the rest of this film is very skippable.

4. Futurama, “Bender’s Big Score”With a drawn out plot and sub-par musical numbers, this return of Futurama was a mixed blessing to fans. Great to see Futurama return. But not up to its best work. However, the opening sequence mocking its cancellation and an extended Futurama theme intro are enough to make anyone vomit in joy from both their freshwater and saltwater stomachs.

Note: Family Guy, “North by North Quahog”: This episode was Family Guy’s return after cancellation. Like Futurama, it had an opening sequence that mocked its cancellation. In a traditional Family Guy pop-culture reference, Peter listed every show that Fox had brought on and subsequently cancelled between Family Guy’s death and resurrection. While a funny bit, the rest of the episode is surprisingly good, especially the clip from “Passion of the Christ II: Crucify This!” The difference in the good to bad ratio between the opening and the rest of the episode is not enough to merit it a place on this list.

5. & 6. Any episode Digimon or Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesYou probably have fond memories of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, and may be tempted to go back and watch some old episodes. Don’t. It is terrible. The new iterations of the show are pretty good, but the old one is so puerile and just plain dumb, its no wonder that it was such a big hit among 8-year-olds everywhere. But you just cannot deny that theme song. Yes, Splinter did teach them to be ninja teens. If only he taught the writers how to make a show for kids that was actually worthy of such a fantastic intro.

Digimon falls into the same category. Crazy coked-out, pseduo-techno intro theme. Crappy Pokemon ripoff of a show. So after they change into digital champions to save the digital world, change the digital channel.

Notes: Any episode of Cowboy Bebop may seem to fit here, too. However, the freakin’ amazing into credits don’t utterly transcend the rest of the show, like with Digimon or TMNT, but transition into it. Perhaps this would fit if there was one really bad Cowboy Bebop episode, but there isn’t. And that’s the real folk blues.

7. Muppets from Space

The most recent Muppet movie to be released in theaters, Muppets from Space was a slight letdown. It didn’t have the knowing comedy or fantastic musical numbers from previous muppet movies except the opening scene. This movie opens by following Kermit the Frog through the Muppets’ house, introducing every character in traditional wackiness before slowly transitioning into a song and dance rendition of Brick House.  But the rest of the movie is about as good as one of Fozzie’s jokes. Wakka wakka, this is not.

8. Star Trek: InsurrectionEasily the weakest of all Trek films, except maybe the crappy 5th one that Shatner directed, Insurrection has low quality action and is just the sort of boring Federation politicking that the reboot entirely jettisoned, to much aplomb. (I don’t think I used aplomb correctly there). However, the opening Data freakout and subsequence chase, complete with HMS Pinafore musical number, is entertaining enough to be watched on its own, without having to put up with the rest of the film.

Notes: Star Trek: The Final Frontier also opens with a small adventure and musical number, with Kirk, Bones, and Spock singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat. Alas, it is nowhere near as entertaining as Insurrection. Life is not a dream.

9. Lolita

Light of my life, fire of my loins, my sin, my soul, the end. Really, all you need is that opening ephebophiliatic adulation of a gross 12-year-old. Sure, maybe buddy road trip sex romps across the great USA were a new and impressive thing back in the 50s. But now, boooring! Its been done. Finish the intro and high-five Nabokov, you’ve basically read the greatest book of all time.

10. This listReally, you should have stopped after the first one. The rest kinda sucks. I really had to struggle to make it an even 10.

Burn Down John Deere

This week’s Mad Men wasn’t that exciting. The historical references, my favorite part, seemed forced. A conversation about Vietnam? That was really wedged in there. Maybe its because not much was really happening around this time. Later in July, there is the Seven Day scuffle in Vietnam, but not much.

There were a few interesting moments.

When the men from Putman, Powell and Loeb show up, Peggy is standing with the women secretaries, rather than with the men copywriters.

Kinsey the guitar when the men show up.

Lane Price being described as a snake charmer, counterposed with Don using the metaphor of snakes that suffocate because they try to swallow too much.

Sally’s look of terror when she hears that the present is from Baby Gene.

The real story of the episode was about Joan. While she seems to take everything in life with such grace and charm, we see her have a rare breakdown during her going away party. Her husband fails to become a surgeon. He’s not good at it. Her promised life fails to come forth as she is told that she needs to keep working. Because like many good shows on Tv today, Mad Men is about failure. The failed promise of the new future. And Joan suddenly realizes her own failed future.

Product placements: Ritz crackers, Dr. Pepper soda, Hilton Hotels, John Deere

Of course, the big bang of the episode was John Deere running over the new Guy’s foot. Apparently, the inability to play golf means that he’s out of the ad business forever. But having the blood spray everywhere? Was the scene directed by Tarantino?

However, maybe his loss is everyone else’s gain. Taking down the new guy at the top means everyone else goes up. And Joan jumping in as leader to save his life, though not his foot, may be a good excuse to rehire her.

The Hilton scene was interesting, but I can’t help but think that there is the whole underlying “Oh, if only these schmucks knew what the future had in store” sense that really permeates the show. His great-granddaughter is going to be Paris Hilton. Now there is top notch advertising right there.

According to Wikipedia, the in the next ep., Betty tries her hand at politics. And then two eps after that, she hosts a fundraiser. Will Betty get involved in the Goldwater campaign? She certainly seems like that sort of cold, overly protective housewife who fears the terrible Other. I’m worried about Law and Order! Inner city instigators are causing all the riots! Other Herblock cartoons

Burn Down the Yoko Ono Wishing Tree

Last Friday, right around the corner from my apartment at 18th and 8th, there was the Yoko Ono wishing tree, in a little exhibition in the bike lane on 8th ave.

I Wished for Heat Vision

I Wished for Heat Vision

For those who do not know, the Yoko Ono wishing tree is a tree, and you write down a wish on a strip of paper and tie it to a branch on the tree.
I confronted such a tree in Washington DC a little over two years ago and wished for heat vision.
I still do not have heat vision.
Fuck you Yoko Ono.

PS: Yoko Ono ruined the Plastic Ono Band
PPS: I’m trying to put The Mathletes’ song “Yoko Ono Wishing Tree” on here, but it won’t let me upgrade to put on music files.

Burn Down Southern Senators

Senate passes measure to allow gun transport on Amtrak –

Currently, passengers cannot bring guns aboard Amtrak trains, because Amtrak simply does not have the money or manpower to provide the security checks required to make gun handling on trains a safe prospect.

This bill does not have any extra money to help set up such a system.

This stroke of genius was sponsored by Senator Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi.

I’m convinced this is revenge for integration. Northerners went down to Mississippi and forced them to let black people in schools. So, now he’s going up to the Northeast Corridor, where Amtrak does most of its business, an forced expensive and unnecessary requirement.

Seriously, as if someone from Mississippi went to their senator complaining about not being able to bring guns on a train. If Joe Biden brought this up, I could understand. If someone from Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, or Connecticut brought this up, I could understand. But Mississippi? This is pathetic gun fetishization of the most preposterous kind.

Hey, let’s make it OK for people to bring guns on mass transit! Cool!

Admittedly, Mississippi does have 10 Amtrak stops, in such important cities as: Hazlehurt, Brookhaven and Yazoo City (and by God it put them on the map!)

In fact, all of Mississippi has an Amtrak ridership of about 100,000 people a year, at least for 2008. To put this in context, Penn Station alone has more than that in a week.

So in conclusion, someone wants to change the rules, forcing an expensive burden that will mostly affect somewhere he doesn’t live, to fulfill a fetishization of power.

Punchline: And that is the definition of government! Zing!

Burninating Down Blog

In the news: Chinese woman finds a snake with an evolutionary mutation. A snake with one arm.

A snake with one arm, due to a genetic mutation

A snake with one arm, due to a genetic mutation

This may seem like some freaky image from pre-Eden, but we’ve all seen it before.

Check out all his majesty…

Well, fiction is becoming reality through the lie of evilution. Next up, X-Men

Consummate Vs, consummate!!!

Maori Legend of Man-Eating Birds is True, proving the New Zealand is Jurassic Park

Slashdot Science Story | Maori Legend of Man-Eating Birds is True.

That doesn’t look too scary, more like a 6-foot turkey!

When You Think About It, The Death Star Was Stormtroopers’ 9/11

When You Think About It, The Death Star Was Stormtroopers’ 9/11 – Star Wars – Gizmodo.


As Shane commented, its hard to make 9/11 jokes in New York and not risk getting punched in the face. But this is fantastic.

Cat-‘o-Nine Tails to whip those Yankees into shape!

Commentary: Why the shock about Joe Wilson? –

Eeee! Someone in the traditional media wrote about the Brooks-Sumner affair in relation to Joe Wilson. 

When do I get to be a history professor?