Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Scale model of Scrooge McDuck's money bin

This is a set of images documenting a model of the world's richest duck's money bin, built by me in 2002/3, using blueprints created by the great Don Rosa and Dan Shane. The blueprints are a part of the Rosa story "The Beagle Boys Vs. The Money Bin" from 2001. Visitthis page to read Rosa's own words about the blueprints.

And remember Carl Barks - the mind behind the idea of a man storing all his money in a giant concrete bin.

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'Simpsons' stirs uproar in Argentina


An episode of "The Simpsons" is stirring a political uproar in Argentina -- even though it hasn't yet aired.

In the 10th episode of season 19, which has already screened in the U.S, Carl Carlson tells Homer that former Argentine President Juan Peron was a dictator, adding "When he disappeared you, you stayed disappeared."

"Of course, his wife was Madonna," Lenny Leonard says in reference to the singer-actress' role as Eva Peron in "Evita."

However, it wasn't the Peron regime but the 1976-83 military dictatorship that followed his rule that has been blamed for the disappearance of 30,000 citizens.

The episode isn't skedded to air until June or July on Telefe and Canal Fox in Argentina.

But the segment on YouTube had an estimated 12,000 viewings in Argentina over the weekend.

Lorenzo Pepe, a former congressman and now secretary general of the National Institute of Juan Peron, called on national broadcasting regulator Comfer to intervene.

It isn't clear what action Comfer could take. A spokesman for the regulator said censorship wasn't an option for "The Simpsons," which for years has been a top-rated import in Argentina.

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Terrible songs from great albums

By Marc Hirsh
MSNBC contributor

“The Long And Winding Road” by the Beatles (from “Let It Be”)

Image: The Beatles, "Let It Be"

The Beatles are generally regarded as rock ’n’ roll’s greatest band, and Phil Spector was arguably its greatest producer. So how did bringing them together result in one of the most cloying moments in either party’s career? As the world would learn a quarter century later with the release of the Beatles’ “Anthology” outtakes collections, “The Long And Winding Road” is actually quite nice in its stripped-down form; maybe not one of the band’s best but certainly not the horrifically overproduced monstrosity found on “Let It Be.” Spector, clearly operating in the same mode as his uber-creepy “Silent Night” recitation at the end of his otherwise-classic Christmas album, drenched the song in strings and a choir so saccharine that the Beatles needed to end the album, their swan song, with the simple, bracing palate-cleanser of “Get Back” to remind the world of what it was about to lose forever.

“My World” by Guns N’ Roses (from “Use Your Illusion II”)

Image: Guns N' Roses, "Use Your Illusion II"
Geffen Records

Guns N’ Roses’ plan of following up one of the landmark debuts of the 1980s — simultaneously releasing two albums that would have both been doubles in the age of vinyl — was, on the face of it, insane. But despite “Use Your Illusion II” being slightly wobbly (with the name-calling tantrum in the middle of “Get In The Ring,” an inferior second version of “Don’t Cry” and bassist Duff McKagen’s lackluster “So Fine”), there was surprisingly little chaff in what was effectively four albums’ worth of material. It looked like GN’R was going to pull off the whole mess, right up until the final 84 seconds, when Axl Rose decided to rap and everything fell apart in one laughable, deeply stupid instant. If “My World” was a joke, it was funny for all the wrong reasons. And if it wasn’t, then maybe we can keep waiting for “Chinese Democracy.”

“Endless, Nameless” by Nirvana (from “Nevermind”)

Image: Nirvana, "Nevermind"
Geffen Records

From the instant Nirvana blew up huge, Kurt Cobain always had an antagonistic relationship with his own mass popularity. Nowhere is that more evident than on metallic grunge jam “Endless, Nameless,” the all-too-appropriately named hidden track that closed out “Nevermind.” The tuneless, freeform scree didn’t appear on every copy; those who were lucky enough to snatch up one of the first 50,000 before Nirvanamania went mainstream didn’t just find themselves with a collector’s item, they got a far better album. For everybody else who jumped onto the train after “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the top 40, the beautiful-bummer vibe created by the tellingly morose official closer “Something In The Way” was shattered by an unlistenable barrage of interminable cacophony. If you could hear it, Cobain hated you.

“Mother” by the Police (from “Synchronicity”)

Image: The Police, "Synchronicity"

Andy Summers cemented his status as the Police’s worst songwriter early on when he marred the band’s debut “Outlandos d’Amour” with “Be My Girl — Sally,” featuring a spoken-word interlude/love poem about an inflatable sex doll. As his last gasp before the band called it a day, the guitarist took Sting’s fascination with psychology that drove “Synchronicity” painfully literally, falling into a Freudian nightmare by screaming sledgehammer-subtle lines such as “Every girl that I go out with! Becomes my mother in the end!” like a deranged blind date. To complete the picture, Summers set the whole thing to a circular ostinato with a stepladder melody and then, just for kicks, chose the awkward 7/4 as his time signature. Summers gave out an infantile yelp of “Mother!” at the end of the jagged instrumental break, and considering that “Synchronicity” was the Police’s best-selling album, a lot of folks probably did the same.

“EXP” by the Jimi Hendrix Experience (from “Axis: Bold As Love”)

Image: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Axis: Bold As Love"
Experience Hendrix

If “Axis: Bold as Love” were a concept album, its leadoff track might be forgiven as an introductory scene-setting trifle. But alas, “Axis” isn’t; it’s simply a collection of songs, albeit Jimi’s most lyrical. As such, “EXP” is about as disastrous an opener as could be imagined, with goofy sped-up chipmunk voices engaged in an unconvincingly acted radio interview about UFOs that collapses into guitar noise so aimlessly chaotic that it makes Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” sound like a catchy pop tune. It’s supposed to be trippy, but it mostly just expands on the silliest aspects of Hendrix’s earlier “Third Stone From The Sun” that were otherwise well-hidden under the melody and jazz-like psychedelic improvisation. The lyric sheet actually lists the announcer’s dialogue as “Bu… but, but… glub… I, I, don’t believe it,” to which Hendrix himself responds, “Pffffttt!!... Pop!!... Bang!!... Etc!!!?” Yeah, that’s about right.

Live Vote
What do you think is the worst song from an otherwise great album?
"The Long And Winding Road" from the Beatles' "Let It Be""My World" from Guns N' Roses' "Use Your Illusion II"
"Endless, Nameless" from Nirvana's "Nevermind""Mother" from the Police's "Synchronicity"
"EXP" by the Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Axis: Bold As Love""Perfection," from Run-DMC's "Raising Hell"
"Songbird," from Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors""D'yer Maker" from Led Zeppelin's "Houses Of The Holy"
"Jimmy Jazz" from the Clash's "London Calling""The Girl Is Mine" from Michael Jackson's "Thriller"
"Welfare Mothers" from Neil Young's "Rust Never Sleeps""Love Ain't For Keeping," from The Who's "Who's Next"
"The Gift," from the Velvet Underground's "White Light/White Heat""Let Me Put My Love Into You," from AC/DC's "Back in Black"
"Waiting for the Worms," from Pink Floyd's "The Wall""When It Started" from the Strokes' "Is This It"
"Unforgiven," from Metallica's black album"Candle in the Wind," form Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"
"'39" from Queen's "Night at the Opera""Pollywannacraka: from Pubic Enemy's "Fear of a Black Planet"
"Start Me Up" from the Rolling Stones' "Tatoo You""Lovesong" from The Cure's "Disintegration"

Vote to see results
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Flunked, Not Expelled!

The full ExpelledExposed.com site is experiencing particularly high traffic at the moment. We are working to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.

Chris Comer: Expelled for Real

Christine Comer was the Director of Science for the Texas Education Agency for nine years, until she was forced to resign for failing to remain neutral on creationism.

Reviews of Expelled from those who have seen it

Other News Coverage of Expelled

Biologist PZ Myers expelled from Expelled screening

The "Expelled"

Science & Religion

For more information on creationism and evolution, see NCSE's main website at www.ncseweb.org. Questions? Email expelled@ncseweb.org.

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‘Barbarella’ Lives With Rose McGowan To Star

Rose McGowanA while back, we learned that Robert Rodriguez would be remaking the classic Jane Fonda film Barbarella. We also learned that actress — and Rodriguez significant other — Rose McGowan would be playing the title character. After that, it all went downward with many little speedbumps and disagreements and restrictions holding it all off; including budget and even McGowan as the lead.

Now comes a different story, as Rose McGowan is saying that none of those restrictions are true. MTV explains that she told MTV News that she has contracts, pieces of the set, costumes, and all sorts of wacky pre-production work to prove that this movie is still going forward and that she is definitely playing the iconic Barbarella. The only problem holding things up right now is that there’s another possible strike looming, this time with the actors and SAG.

I really have no idea what this means. I assume she has no reason to lie about all of this and she has these contracts no one will actually ask to see, but at the same time, it’s not quite “official,” is it? I guess we can only take this as it is with a little salt and various other baking ingredients.

I, personally, don’t like McGowan as the lead here. She’s got a good look and she’s very attractive and I assume she’s willing to not wear much clothing, as that is a big part of what we know as Barbarella — but can she really carry an entire film? I’ve never seen her as a BAD actress, but also never seen her as a leading-caliber one, either. I think her whole career has been made playing the “bitchy best friend” character and that she’s done very well there, and that asking her to carry this whole film and make it a success might be a bit of a tall order.

What’s the consensus: do you guys think she should lead here? Better yet, do you think she can?

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AUSTIN POWERS 4 Has A Script!? And Maybe A Babe??

Merrick here...

In the big picture, this news shouldn't surprise anyone...a fourth AUSTIN POWERS movie was inevitable.

However, we'd always heard this project was a ways off...that ideas were being generated as far back as the filming of GOLDMEMBER...but...movie #4 didn't seem to be on the fast track, or even on anyone's radar.

Maybe it was.

At one point we'd heard an AUSTIN POWERS 4 might be a prequel of sorts. Other indications suggested the movie would center heavily on Dr. Evil & his gang of wannabe super-villains, with the Austin Powers character dodging is as their foil rather than being the focus of the film.

Don't know what direction the project ultimately headed, but here's a report saying that a script is done...and that Mike Meyers and director Jay Roach are already looking for their Powers Babe. One contender is Gisele Bundchen.

Word is the 27-year-old Brazilian beauty already has been given the script, and her agent will meet soon with star Mike Myers and director Jay Roach.

..says THIS ARTICLE at boston.com.

More details about this project as more is learned...

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The Incredible Hulk Movie Poster

Paramount just released this new one-sheet for The Incredible Hulk, the increasingly gossiped over Marvel Studios reboot opening June 13th. The first sentence in a recent NY Times article on the movie’s “desperate” need to become a hit was: “Bad Buzz.” Wow. This poster on the other hand, featuring a shoe-gazing, denim-loving Edward Norton/Bruce Banner and the looming back of The Hulk, is not bad, above average even. Look at those tiny army tanks. Man in suit?

Still, such a poster would have worked better the first go around, but after Ang Lee’s flick, TIH’s marketing needs a fantastic hook to get audiences to line up. Something semi-ridiculous like Hulk vs MEG would have had people forgetting their troubles and spilling popcorn as they screamed “Dude” in three languages. Instead, Marvel’s placing their chips on a rumored 25-minute fight outside The Apollo. Good enough?

Non-watermarked poster image thanks to IMPAwards.

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