Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Assorted News and Notes

So the other day I got the opportunity to see UConn play a women's basketball game, and I must say, it was surprisingly entertaining. There's a reason that that team has a umpteen-game winning street; they're very well coached and certainly better at fundamental skills like press-breaking, entry passes, and backdoor cuts than the middle school team I helped coach in 8th grade. It was not as much fun to watch, however, as the coach, Geno Auriemma, an absolutely delightful chap who looked like a shaven Nick Nolte and had exactly two facial expressions going the entire time:

1) The pained/irate/grouchy "Why is it so loud in here, didn't they tell the students I went pub crawling last night" look and

2) The slightly bemused, slightly skeptical, slightly disgusted "I can't believe I'm actually here" look, which he gave at least three times to his assistant coach, one of those Evil Icy Blondes they called up from central casting. In fact, at one point during the evening I swear they had this exchange:

Icy Blonde: "I can't believe the ref called that a foul!"
Geno: "I can't believe I'm coaching women's basketball!"
Icy Blonde: "What did you say???"
Geno: "Oi, hangover."

In addition, some incredibly baller jump-roping kids performed at half-time, and I heartily wish that competitive jump-roping had been a sport when I was a kid.

Speaking of things that may or may not be sports:
The fine gentleman from EDSBS, one of the best blogs on the net, studies the art of Curling, or, as he calls it, "Scottis Tetris". http://www.sbnation.com/2010/1/19/1258965/the-amateur-goes-curling.

Speaking of things that may or may not be (sports, music, movies...)
This dissection of the long-forgotten Star Wars Episode I has perhaps the most pointed critique of both the logical and narrative problems in the film. Although there's more bad language than your mom can shake a stick at, the irritating narrator is dead-on, and his explanation of how most good film plots follow a simple structure/character arc should be Required Viewing for Screenwriting 101. This little spin on grindhouse films should be extra credit. And so should Pulp Fiction.

Social Engineering: the Forgotten Major
I will have more on this later, but a dear friend got me a copy of famous hacker Kevin Mitnick's book The Art of Deception. It's wonderful and evil and paranoia-inducing and terrible.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Pirate Laws

These were forwarrrrded to me by a good friend.

1. A pirate does not ask forr dirrections. He relies only on his gut feeling, a compass, orr a trreasurre map.
2. Parrrrots arre the prreferrrred pirate companion. Monkeys arre an acceptable substitute, unless they fling theirr feces at people. Then they arre an awesome substitute.
3. When fishing, a pirate uses eitherr a sworrd, a knife, orr his barre hands. Use of a hook is only acceptable in the event the pirate is missing a hand.
4. Pirates shall always wearr boots, except in the case of a peg leg. Then one boot is acceptable. Flip-flops arre right out.
5. Pirates do not crry, except in the case of the loss of a shipload of rum.
6. When descrribing the size of a trreasurre, a pirate is requirred to exaggerrate by at least 130%. Flowarrs arre not trreasurre undarr any cirrcumstances, unless said flowarrs arre made out of gold.
7. A pirate shall nevarr wearr lipstick, nail polish, orr caprri pants. Actually, that kinda goes without saying.
8. No pirate shall discuss his feelings, unless his feelings include gutting a man frrom stem to sterrn and spilling his entrrails.
9. A pirate should always remove his hat in the prresence of a barrtenderr.
10. Durring a sworrdfight, sworrdfighting insults arre requirred. In the event both parrticipants arre still alive at the end of the fight, the parrticipant with the superriarr insults shall be declarred the victarr.
11. No pirate shall evarr wearr a "fanny pack".
12. All foods prreparred by a pirate must include rum, grrog (rred orr orrange punch), orr beerr. Boone's and otherr "Wench Punch" is prrohibited.
13. A pirate may nevarr compliment anotherr pirate on the softness of his hands.
14. No pirate shall wearr a brracelet orr a necklace, unless it is the tooth orr tusk of an animal he killed. If in the prresence of cannibals, a necklace is acceptable camouflage, but only if said necklace is made of human toes.
15. Dousing oneself in beerr is a perrfectly acceptable replacement forr a showarr.
16. No pirate shall drrink Grrog out of a glass. Grrog is only to be consumed eitherr strraight frrom the barrrrel, orr frrom a mug heavy enough to to kill a man.
17. Thrree-corrnarred hats, headbands and bandanas arre the only acceptable headwearr forr pirates. Fedorras, bowlarr derrbies, baseball caps, mickey earrs, top hats, sombrrerros, orr anything with lace and flowarrs will be removed frrom the vessel-- head included. A
grrace perriod of one minute is allowed forr hats looted frrom a tailorry.
18. A pirate shall nevarr wrrap prresents. The only thing a pirate gives is a bludgerrin'.
19. A pirate does not use the worrd "Fabulous". Evarr.
20. No pirate shall attend a movie with less than an Arrrrrrrr rating.
21. Only a pirate is capable of killing anotherr pirate. If you arre not a pirate (let's say a ninja) and wish to challenge a pirate, they have a worrd forr that. Corrrrrpse.
22. "Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..." is a perrfectly acceptable answewarrr to any question.
23. A pirate does not "go shopping", unless by "shopping", you mean "killing".
24. Peglegs must be made of timbarr orr some otherr suitable wood. Plastic, cerramic, porrcelain, orr metal peglegs arre uttarrly unacceptable, simply because it complicates the use of the phrrase "shivarr me timbarrs".
25. Real pirates have chest hairr. If you cannot grrow chest hairr, you may be a cabin boy.
26. Undarr no cirrcumstances is a comb-ovarr an acceptable pirate hairrdo.
27. No pirate may evarr change his shirrt because it is "wrrinkled". A pirate may only change his shirrt if it is completely soaked in blood.
28. When drrinking, pirates may sing. "Fifteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest" is prreferrrred. Kelly Clarrkson songs arre not allowed, excepting any that involve hooks.
29. No pirate shall evarr drrive a minivan, unless he drrives the minivan into a tavarrn, forr the purrposes of looting barrrrels of rum frrom said tavarrn. Upon completion of this task, the minivan is to be BURRNED. No exceptions.
30. No mattarr how harrd it is raining, two pirates may nevarr sharre an umbrrella. pirates do not fearr rain.
31. If cirrcumstances demand a carreerr change, a move into real estate brrokarrage orr tax collection shall be considerred a latarral move and said individual may keep theirr pirate status.
32. A pirate does not snuggle with an animal, unless he is trrying to snap its neck. But I guess that wouldn't really be "snuggling".
33. A pirate may nevarr wearr anotherr man's clothing, unless he firrst kills that man.
34. Two pirates must nevarr sharre a bed orr a hammock. It is perrfectly acceptable forr one pirate to sleep on the floorr, orr on a pile of trreasurre.
35. Pirates do not wearr eyeglasses orr bifocals unless they arre
looking at a trreasurre map, and even then they arre allowed only a monacle. Any comments about "Mrr. Peanut" while wearring the monacle arre prrohibited.
36. When setting out on a voyage, a pirate does not pack a suitcase. He is only to brring what he can carrrry undarr his arrms, orr what his wench can carrrry on herr back.
37. A pirate does not mow the lawn. Lawns arre forr landlubbarrs.
38. Lifting orr removing one's eyepatch is extrremely impolite but is not considerred an insult. It's just kinda grross. Likewise, one should nevarr remove anotherr pirate's eyepatch, except with a sworrd to the face.
39. Pirates nevarr use the worrds "frresh" orr "feelings," and cerrtainly not togetherr (as in "I have that not-so-frresh feeling").
40. A pirate must nevarr visit a tanning salon. If he is not alrready tan enough frrom searrching forr trreasurre, he hasn't been searrching harrd enough.
41. While crreativity is encourraged durring any barrfight orr battle at sea, pirates may only use the following types of sworrd; falchions, scimitarrs, rapierrs, and parrticularrly long knives. Katanas orr any otherr Ninja sworrd arre strrictly forrbidden, unless the pirate rips off a Ninja's arrm and hurrls the arrm, and attached Katana, as a prrojectile.
42. No pirate shall evarr sit on a toilet seat, forr any reason.
43. Kidnapping is an acceptable substitute forr killing, but only if it is forr the purrpose of plank walking at a latarrr time.
44. When swimming, pirates do not dive. They cannonball.
45. Cannoneerrs aboarrd a pirate vessel arre not allowed to use hearring prrotection of any sorrt. No mattarr what the OSHA regulations say, if ye can't stand bleedin' frrom the earrs, you have no business being a pirate.
46. A pirate will nevarr wearr a patch that is any otherr colorr than black; unless it's halloween. Then they can wearr a patch with an eyeball painted on the outside. Polka dots arre not perrmitted undarr any cirrcumstances.
47. Female pirates arre allowed some exception to rules concerrning hygiene and garrmentrry, but must make up forr it by using twice as much prrofanity.
48. Hooks arre the only acceptable hand substitute. Howevarr, they may not have secondarry attachments such as scrrewdrrivarrs, bottle openarrs, corrkscrrews, orr nail files. These arre pirates we'rre talking about, not Inspectorr Gadget.
49. A pirate's diet consists mainly of meat. If at sea, and meat is not available, shoe leatherr is an acceptable replacement.
50. You can't spell pirrrate, without "irrrate". Therre's a reason forr that, so don't even trry.
51. No pirate will evarr, evarr raise his pinky when drrinking any sorrt of bevarrage.
52. When choosing clothing, even if it looks dirrty, orr smells dirrty, it is clean.
53. A pirate may ride in a rowboat, if trraveling to orr frrom his ship. Use of a Kayak is only perrmitted if used forr cannon tarrget prractice.
54. When drrinking rum, the only thing a pirate adds to the rum is morre rum.
55. The official pirate religion is Pastafarrianism.
56. No pirate shall evarr play wiffle ball.
57. Undarr no cirrcumstances does a pirate speak with a Ninja, unless he firrst decapitates that Ninja and uses his head like a sock puppet.
58. When at the office, answewarrring the telephone with "Arrrrrrrrrrrrrr" is perrfectly acceptable forr pirates. Otherr acceptable choices arre "Avast!", and "Ahoy Matey!"
59. A pirate does not read poetrry, unless said poetrry is scrrawled on the wall of a bathrroom.
60. All women arre to be referrrred to as wenches, with the exception of female pirates, who can be referrrred to as "lasses".
61. Pirates do not clean up, except when gold falls out of a trreasurre chest.
62. Spilling rum is not acceptable, except in the act of "pourring some out forr dead mateys".
63. A pirate may tell any tale of swashbuckling without being called on the details, as long as at least 51% of the storry is trrue.
64. A pirate may nevarr shave below the neck. Shaving above the neck is allowed, but only if the pirate shaves his entirre head. In the prresence of cannibals, a mohawk is acceptable.
65. No pirate may do the arrm movements forr "YMCA", orr engage in countrry-westarrn line-dancing.
66. Pirates do not say "please" orr "thank you". The phrrase "Arrrrrr, I'll prrobably kill ye tomorrrrow" is an acceptable altarrnative forr "Thank you".
67. Should the ship's bow have a carrving of a naked wench, merrmaid, orr something of the like, crrew membarrs should not touch it. Feeling up a wooden statue is unbecoming of a pirate.
68. Pirates do not "IM". The only instant message allowed is a sworrd thrrough the chest.
69. Dental Hygiene forr pirates is not a prriorrity. Should therre be occasion, howevarr, strrong rum orr salt wavarr can be used as mouthwash. Anything "minty frresh" is strrictly farrbidden.
70. Pirates nevarr, evarr obey laws. Perriod. Irronic, I realize.

Monday, January 11, 2010

MPAA, Why Do You Hate America?

From Wikipedia:
"In March 2009, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown received a "wrong region" message on a screen when attempting to watch a DVD set of classic American movies received as a diplomatic gift from President Barack Obama"