Posts from June 2009

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Suki and Lobster

Suki the Puppy hearts Lobbie the Lobster. She chews and chews and chews and is cute.

Categories: Videos.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Drag Me to Hell
“I’m a Mac…” “…And I’m going to Hell.”

Drag Me to Hell is, thankfully, what you’d expect from the guy who directed the Evil Dead trilogy: It’s a horror movie with liberal doses of slapstick comedy thrown in, like a big-budget Evil Dead movie. But unlike Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, this film also ratchets up the horror element; there are parts that are genuinely scary, which you can’t really say about the Evil Dead sequels. Drag Me to Hell is funny and scary. It’s just a whole metric tonne of fun. [Read my full review]

Categories: Movie Reviews.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Gran Torino (2008)


Get off of his lawn…

Can you imagine what Dirty Harry would be like if he retired? Or the Man With No Name? Or any of the various military/police/cowboy/badass characters that Clint Eastwood has played for the past 40+ years? Could you imagine any of them actually being happy? How could they become anything but a grumpy old man? And that’s what we see in Gran Torino: quite possibly the best grumpy old man movie ever. [Read my full review]

Categories: Movie Reviews.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My New Favorite Animal Attack: THE BEE BALL!

Japanese Honey Bees (Apis cerana japonica) are completely, %100 awexome. How awexome? Check this out:

When a Giant Asian Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) menaces one of their hives, they purposefully leave an opening in the nest to draw in the hornet. That’s right — they set a trap! But when the hornet actually goes in is when it gets completely awexome.

Immediately up to 500 honey bees swarm the giant wasp and surround it in a super-tightly-packed ball of bees. The BEE BALL!

beeball

The ball is so tightly packed that the hornet can’t even move. Then all the bees start vibrating their flight muscles, and the friction and energy expended actually raises the temperature in the core of the ball to 117°F (47°C). Giant Asian Hornets can’t survive temperatures above 115°F (46°C). That’s right: THE BEE BALL COOKS THE WASPS TO DEATH.

By killing the hornet this way, the honey bees prevent it from going home and returning with reinforcements.

bees cook hornetThis one’s a goner!

So, yeah, I’m really into the Bee Ball now. I’ve only been into it for, like, a couple of hours, but I’m REALLY into it. It’s, like, the coolest thing. I got stung in the back of the neck by a yellowjacket over the weekend, which really sucked. If I’d known about the Bee Ball defense, I’m sure I would have whupped that yellowjacket with my Bee Ball before it got me.

More reading on the awexomeness of the Bee Ball:
http://uglyoverload.blogspot.com/2008/10/bee-ball.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_cerana_japonica

Categories: Links, Pictures, Science.

Monday, 1 June 2009

“Of the Month” June ’09

Link of the Month:
My First Dictionary My First Dictionary
A deliciously warped and wholly-inappropriate series of dictionary definitions for children. For example: “Get: Ray will get carrots from his garden. He will take the carrots and bring them home. Maybe Father will notice him then.” They’re all accompanied by hilariously appropriate retro illustrations.

Album of the Month:
June 2009 Album of the Month Brent Spiner & Maude Maggart: Dreamland
This is like a 1940s Broadway musical on fast-forward. A story and characters are woven in and out of dozens of lushly-produced songs from the Great American Songbook to produce a really fascinating and unique listening experience. It’s like an audio movie or an old-skool radio play, but one that zips headlong from plot point to plot point at a furious pace so that it never gets at all boring or bogged down. And, yes, Brent Spiner played Commander Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

DVD of the Month:
June 2009 DVD of the Month Andy Richter Controls the Universe: The Complete Series
In Andy Richter’s first failed sitcom, Andy Richter stars as Andy Richter, an office worker and writer whose imagination we get to see on the screen with hilarious results. The show is at its best when “dealing” with serious subjects like racism, like in my favorite episode about the “Black Irish.” The show has an unusual rhythm, which may be why it never found a larger audience, but once you get into that rhythm it really hooks you.

Categories: Music, Of the Month, TV.