Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Selective analysis

Somebody should tell Mark Steyn that having the number one book on Amazon.ca does not mean that you have the number one book in Canada.

Second time's the charm

You know, if I didn't know better I'd say John Kerry is a Republican plant.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Fun with roadside electronic construction signs.

But what about the reverse vampires?

A physics professor mathematically proves the non-existance of vampires. Or so Nosferatu would want you to believe.

(h/t: Andrew Coyne.)

H to the Ovah

Via Perez Hilton comes news that Beyonce and Jay-Z are splitsville. And in a fitting manner, Jay-Z announced it via a new song, which I think is his 18th since the Black Album came out and was his last album ever. He still has a ways to go to catch Tupac though.

(Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that Hova is continuing to record stuff. But don't say that you're done and then come back less than a year later. That makes you as bad as your average professional wrestler.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

En Fuego

I'm not sure why Chris Selley gets so angry about the dumb Same Sex Marriage -> Polygamy slippery slope argument, but I definitely enjoy the results.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Survivor: Cook Islands Episode 6 Thoughts

Whoo-hoo! The champagne has been broken out here at the 'Muse. The streak is broken! I have successfully picked a bootee! And this time it's a two for two week! Cause for celebration indeed.

Okay, this wasn't exactly a difficult week to choose. Now next week, that could be a bit more difficult. But we'll get to that later.

First, I need to give Cao Boi a lot of credit. I certainly wasn't expecting that brilliant of a plan from him. He was right to try to smoke out the immunity idol, especially since he felt it was in the hands of Jonathan, who was a rival of his. The problem is, he was wrong in his thought that Jonathan had the idol. Instead, he was making a deal with the owner of the idol in Yul, and that might have cost him.

Ultimately, Yul had to look at Cao Boi's plan and say "Once Jonathan and Candice use the immunity idol, the target is going to turn to me. And that isn't good." So his options were to hang with Cao Boi and basically reveal that he has the immunity idol, or to stick with his initial alliance and get rid of Cao Boi, who could be perceived as being weak during the tribe immunity challenges. I can only hope that Cao Boi was given a replica immunity idol though.

So after Aitu voted out Cao Boi, they got to sit in the jury seats that most of them will get to know so very well, and enjoy a feast of lamb while the Blue tribe fougth and gave up their secrets.

The schadenfreude was very strong in this episode. You had Adam's smirk when he heard that the reward challenge would be a physical one. This of course turned into a huge victory for Aitu, with Candace and Sundra dominating Parvati and Rebecca, and Ozzy holding his own against Adam and Brad. And Cristina gets the boot, leaving only Ozzy as the remaining member of the Hispanic tribe that threw a challenge to get an advantage.

The thing is, I don't think Cristina should have gone. Don't get me wrong, it's not a shot at the Blue tribe voting her out per se. It was pretty obvious that this is where things were headed. But Aitu messed up. They got to hear how much Cristina was disliked, and how she was told she was annoying. And when they were given an opportunity to take somebody from the Blue tribe and "kidnap" them to make them immune from the vote, they chose Nate instead of the obvious Cristina. Taking Cristina would have thrown the Blue tribe into a bit of disarray, with no real discussion of a backup plan. Jenny probably gets the boot in this situation, but we have no proof of this (beyond Brad's odd vote for Jenny).

In fairness to Aitu, they might have taken Nate because he was singing like a bird at tribal council, and they were hoping he would continue to do so. And Cristina is probably a stronger physical player than the other women in her tribe. In their shoes though, I would have went with the screwing them over plan.

So who goes next week? Well, I'm going with my gut here, but Flicka seems right here. She starts a fight with her tribe in front of Nate, and she is truly on the outside looking in. I hope I'm right - I wouldn't want to break my streak.

(A final note, in response to Jeff Probst. First, I want to thank you for being the most famous commenter on this blog. If only Batman himself would make an appearance then my bloggin experience would be complete. But to address your "rumour", as you well know, I am not allowed to compete in Survivor because I am a Canadian. So there is no truth to the rumour.)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A brilliant idea for a student film

So Graham sent along via an email one of those tag blog things. The idea is to take your MP3 Player/Music Library, put it on shuffle, and then take the songs in the order they come into the categories below (the categories form a sort of soundtrack of your life). I sent my second list via email, but I figured I'd share my first one with you, the world, because it is... well, let's just get to the list.

Opening Credits: "Bizarre Love Triangle", Stabbing Westward

A fair enough start. Sure, I'd rather the New Order version, but this fits as well

Waking Up: "Word Up", Korn

Geez, is this Not Another Teen Movie 2 or something? Anywho, this might not capture the true meaning of the song, but it works.

First Day At School: "Away From the Sun", 3 Doors Down

I guess there's some sort of "I don't want to go to school" connection to this song if you push things.

Falling In Love: "Bleeding Words", Mobile

Promises promises, everything we said everything we tried
Between me and you the endless silence took over
We've run right out of words

Words to convince, words to deny
Speakin' the language of love and lies
Bleeding words they lead to joy and sorrow
Freedom to death row

This is falling in love?

Fight Song: "That Thing You Do", A New Found Glory

Yup, when I think of That Thing You Do, I get violent as well.

Breaking Up: "Hold Back the Rain", Duran Duran

Hey, this song can fit depending on how you want to interpret it. After the last two songs, I'm willing to give this a thumbs up!

Prom: "When I'm Gone", 3 Doors Down

It's official: there are some f-ed up characters in this movie.

Life's OK:
"Landslide", Smashing Pumpkins

This might be more depressing than Leaving Las Vegas. I mean, Landslide for Life's OK? What's next, Janie's Got a Gun for Family Reunion?

Mental Breakdown:
"What Have I Done To Deserve This", Pet Shop Boys

Though a bit happy for a mental breakdown, this song actually works!

Driving: "Bring Me To Life", Evanescense

Driving away from the sorrow of the break up and subsequent mental breakdown, sure.

Flashback: "No One Knows", Queens of the Stone Age

This works as well - the character officially has gone crazy now and remembers something not good from the past. Hey, this movie's getting some semblance of a plot now! We're back on track...

Getting Back Together: "Gold Digger", Kanye West featuring Jamie Foxx

...and now we've completely left the track and went over the nearest cliff. Gold Digger? Getting back together? How does that fit anything that's happened before this?

Wedding: "My List", The Killers

Hmm..a song about a guy trying to get a girl who doesn't seem to want to reciprocate. Perfect for this movie and a wedding scene!

Birth of Child: "All That I'm Living For", Evanescence

Nothing says happy baby song quite like these lyrics:
All that I'm wanted for,
Although I wanted more.
Lock the last open door, my ghosts are gaining on me.

And also
Guess I thought I'd have to change the world to make you see me,
To be the one.
I could have run forever,
But how for would I have come
Without mourning your love?

Plus the super bonus
Should it hurt to love you?
Should I feel like I do?
Should I lock the last open door,
My ghosts are gaining on me.

Final Battle: "Underneath it All", No Doubt

No really, this came up next. This doesn't even work in the way that "Relax" worked in Zoolander.

Death Scene: "Self Control", Laura Branigan

I must be all snarked out, because I think this is an okay selection.

Funeral Song: "Big in Japan", Guano Apes

And the cover theme comes back. What this has to do with a funeral is well beyond me.

End Credits: "Karma Chameleon", Culture Club

A fittingly ridiculous ending to a ridiculous list of songs and categories.

Honestly, this was actually fun to do (even if this is rather messed up). I might make this a recurring post when I have nothing better to write about (I believe this is called "the lazy way out"). And someday, if I ever become a multi-billionaire, I will hire a writer to write this movie, based on the songs listed above. It will probably be horrible, but who cares? I'd be a multi-billionaire!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It takes a nation of millions to hold us back...

I've just finished watching NBC's new game show, 1 vs. 100, and I can give it a thumbs up. The premise is a bit more convoluted than Deal or No Deal. The contestant is actually competing against 100 other players (referred to as "The Mob"). In it, everybody is asked multiple choice trivia questions. The goal, obviously, is to get the questions right.

For each question that the 1 gets right, they earn money based on the number of mob members who get the answer wrong and the question that they are at (later questions earn the contestant more money per eliminated player). Should a player ever reach a point where every member of the mob has been elminated, the player will win $1,000,000. After each question, the player is given a Deal or No Deal like question - they can keep the money that they have earned to this point, or they can face the mob again. Should they get a question wrong, the remaining members of the mob divides up the money that the player earned to that point. (It should be noted that included in the premiere edition of the mob was Ken Jennings.)

The show moves quicker than Deal or No Deal, which is a definite benefit - one of the issues with Deal or No Deal is the sense that it is going nowhere fast. The peripheral stuff with Howie, the contestant, the contestant's quirky behaviours and the contestant's quirky friends and family overtakes the show itself to the point where you want to scream enough. This is a bit more concentrated on the game itself, which keeps things moving. Bob Saget does a good job hosting (and managed to get a shot in on Howie Mandel at the very beginning of the show).

The show does have two things working against it - the timeslot and the questions. The questions can be worked around (and to be fair, the game hasn't gotten to the really high levels of money to be earned). But the timeslot is rough - 8 pm on Friday isn't what is known as a "quality" timeslot. But if it takes off like Deal or No Deal, it will soon be on many times a week, saturizing the market.

All in all, I would recommend watching the show. It is a fun watch, which is more than we can really ask for from TV nowadays.

In their defense, it takes some awareness to come up with a nickname like He Hate Me

Phat Phree has a funny open letter to EA from Washington Redskins' long snapper Ethan Albright, offically the lowest rated player in Madden 2007

(Actually, this might shock you, but that is a made up letter. The real Ethan Albright was interviewed on ESPN's Page 2 by Patrick Hruby. He does not care about his rating.)

(h/t: Cosh)

Survivor: Cook Islands Episode 5 Thoughts

Bring on the double eviction!

Barring some sort of major switch in momentum, we now know 4 of the final 5 players. That's right, 4 of Yul, Becky, Jonathan, Candice and Sundra will be in the final 5. The only questions that remain are:

(a) Will Sundra remain a part of the alliance, or will somebody (Adam? Parvati?) be switched in for her,
(b) Will somebody (Adam? Ozzie?) emerge as a Terry from last year, who screws everything up by winning immunity challenges non-stop?

How can I make such a proclamation? Because if there was going to be some sort of competition from the Blue tribe (as they will be known from here on out), we would have received some sort of hint of it by now. Instead, we get to see how much of a mess the Blue tribe is in, with no alliance being prominent and perceived as a threat to the dominant Aitu tribe. In many ways, this is paralleling Survivor 1, where the Pagong tribe were happy-go-lucky and did not go into the merge with any sort of plan, while the Tagi 4 knew who their targets were and focused soley on Pagong members (hence the Pagong-ing nickname for the systematic method of one tribe voting another out).

I know I've mentioned quite a few times how a lot of these players were recruited as opposed to applying to play. One of the people who actually applied to play the game was Stephannie (who apparently did it 3 times). So why she basically said she wants to go after two consecutive immunity challenge losses causes me great confusion. If you love the show so much, you should want to be there. Stop complaining and suck it up! Thousands of people want to be there, but didn't get a chance to play! ARGH!

I know I'm very angry/frustrated, but I swear to god they they are making this year just to show it to potential players what mistakes they could make. All that's left is a full fledge quitting and somebody turning on their alliance due to paranoia, and I can see at least one of them happening. Also, barring some sort of miracle, we are looking at 4 weeks of very little suspense.

Speaking of suspense, can I get a vote out correct? I think this week is obvious, which means that I will be completely wrong and Cao Boi and Cristina will stick around this week. But in the mean time that is who I am predicting. I've given my reasons for Cao Boi, and Cristina is hated, hated, in her tribe. She's going to go.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pot Pourri from the Musokas

A quick post. I am currently in the Musokas staying at the Delta Rocky Crest Resort and while I couldn't see myself living up here forever, I could see myself staying at this resort many more times. I might post a review when I get back (around the same time as I post the rest of the Chicago trip and the Las Vegas trip). Onto some random links!

  • After reading this, I can't say as I have any interest in seeing Shortbus.

  • When the director of "Employee of the Month" says that he expected Jessica Simpson to be bad, but was swayed after seeing her in a commercial for acne products, is that a good thing for Jessica or a bad thing for Proactiv?

  • Finally, some hard hitting investigative journalism into the Prime Minister's conduct: Is he really a Leafs fan?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Survivor: Cook Island Episode 4 Thoughts

Though we are only 4 shows in, it's safe to say that anybody who wants to play the game of Survivor should watch this season and learn from it. The number of mistakes made in only the first 4 episodes has been amazing.

This week, it was an early version of "I'm in the clear, so who cares if I act arrogantly?" Previously, this had done in such competitors as Judd from Guatemala and Greg from Pualu. Now, JP took the fall because of his arrogance.

It was bad enough that he (and the rest of the men) chose to avoid doing work more often than not. And his sitting back, throwing orders around, while the women made fire, was a bit too much as well. He might as well have said "Hey look at me! I'm creating easy excuses to get voted off if it should come to that!"

His arrogance towards Aitu was rather annoying as well - "Our men are better than their's, so we're going to rule this game, and the men of our tribe is going to rule this tribe!" isn't exactly the humbling statements of a person who is concerned. What does that mean? That Aitu was set up for a big win in the reward challenge (which seemed like a challenge from last season - having to wind a person through obstacles while that person is hooked to a rope). Which they did.

This didn't seem to phase the men of the blue tribe (some day I will learn their tribe name). And Adam, who was selected to go to Exile Island, had a look on his face that said "I don't deserve to be going to here. It should be somebody beneath me." Nate seemed to learn a bit and has a secret alliance with Parvati, though how solid this is is still to be seen.

On to the immunity challenge, where Adam returned. This recycling of a challenge? Build a stretcher out of puzzle pieces provided (last seen - this year in the build your boat challenge at the beginning), carry that stretcher to the beach where one member of your tribe swims out to a stand where another member is being held in stockades. Once they are freed, both members of the tribe swim back to shore holding on to a life preserver. Once back at shore, the person stuck in the stockage has to get on to the stretcher and have her tribemates carry her back (Survivor 1). Once back, the remaining tribe mates have to build a fire to break a rope and hoist their flag (normally this is an individual immunity challenge).

While the blue tribe got off to an early lead, Aitu made up time and then Ozzy the superhuman swimmer put Aitu in the lead. From there Raro never made it back in, especially with Cao Boi's unusual methods to get a fire going. It really didn't help when Jenny split her hand open while trying to get a fire going.

So back to camp for the blue tribe and Stephannie decides to have a brain fart. She figured admitting her mistake and saying that she would understand if she got voted out would be a good way to stay in the game. Oops. The guys of course immediately jumped on this and deemed her to be gone. But Rebecca had other ideas, and realized that THERE WERE MORE WOMEN THEN MEN! Why not vote a man out?

(Aside: If you are going to play Survivor, please have basic math skills. An alliance of 4 in a 9 person group is not a true majority.)

Of course, this would involve geting Parvati onside, and she seemed a bit reluctant. Brad was then brought in and he also seemed a bit reluctant. Would this work out for the women?

Tribal council gave the obvious answer. It would, because JP is stupid. Did he really think answering a question about being a leader by pointing out that sometimes he just sits around and sleeps while everybody else does work would be a way to pull people to his way of thinking? Sometimes I wonder if people think about what they are going to say before they actually say it.

Other random things about this week:

- Cao Boi is very, very lucky that the bird accepted the baby chick back. Though I have to agree with Brian, the triumphant music once the bird was put back successfully was rather funny.

(Speaking of Brian, make sure you read the blog that I linked to, especially Brian's entries. Funny and insightful stuff.)

- One other observation, as made by Brian, out of everybody in the tribe, Nate was the only one who wasn't clued into JP's imminent exit. Obviously Parvati and Nate aren't that close.

- What exactly is with all of the construction that's going on in the challenges? I understand that this season was all about combining phsyical challenges with mental challenges, but could they try not to make the challenges seem so contrived and forced?

- Dalton and Jenna are right - Yul is too nice to effectively play this game if he considers hsi first tribal council to be that hard. Hopefully Becky can be the sneaky one.

- Random thing I found on Stephanie LaGrossa's bio at the blog:
LaGrossa is currently the new In Arena Host for all of the Philadelphia Flyers home games

That's pretty random (and maybe a reason to go see the Flyers).

And finally, the boot pick. I'm riding high on at least getting the scenario right for the boot this past week, even if I got the person wrong. So, I'm going to go out on a lmb and say that Nate goes this week, and we see the end of the Nate/Pavarti alliance/relationship. He is officially the outsider now, and I doubt he can rally the support to stick around.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

2006-07 NHL Predictions

(I'll expound on them tomorrow, but I figure I should at least get my overall thoughts out there as soon as possible):

Western Conference:

1. Detroit
2. Calgary (Divison Win)
3. Anaheim (Division Win)
4. Nashville
5. San Jose
6. Edmonton
7. Minnesota
8. Vancouver

9. Los Angeles
10. Dallas
11. Colorado
12. Phoenix
13. Columbus
14. St. Louis
15. Chicago

Eastern Conference

1. Ottawa
2. Philadelphia (Win Division)
3. Tampa Bay (Win Division)
4. Buffalo
5. Carolina
6. New York Rangers
7. Atlanta
8. Montreal

9. New Jersey
10. Boston
11. Florida
12. Toronto
13. Pittsburgh
14. Washington
15. New York Islanders


Western Conference:

#1 Detroit over #8 Vancouver
#2 Calgary over #7 Minnesota
#3 Anaheim over #6 Edmonton
#5 San Jose over #4 Nashville

#5 San Jose over #1 Detroit
#3 Anaheim over #2 Calgary

#3 Anaheim over #5 San Jose

Eastern Conference:

#1 Ottawa over #8 Montreal
#4 Buffalo over #5 Carolina
#2 Philadelphia over #7 Atlanta
#6 New York Rangers over #3 Tampa Bay

#1 Ottawa over #6 New York Rangers
#4 Buffalo over #2 Philadelphia

#4 Buffalo over #1 Ottawa

Stanley Cup Finals: Anaheim over Buffalo

Random hockey related links

Predictions for this year are still to come, but here's a couple of random links related to hockey:

- NHL.com has gotten a makeover of sorts. The end result? Things are easier to find, but the page looks completely cluttered. (In fairness, MLB.com isn't much better, and it's considered to be the gold standard of official league sites.)

- On the bright side, NHL Radio is back and free on NHL.com. So for those of us who are too cheap to buy Centre Ice, this is a fine alternative.

- The Globe and Mail have launched a new sports website, called unoriginally enough GlobeSports.com. The new site is easy to traverse, so it gets a hearty thumbs up from me. One of the features that they have added is an NHL Game Predictor, where they come up with a percentage chance of a team winning. Today's had Carolina (58%) over Buffalo (42%), Colorado (57%) over Dallas (43%) and Ottawa (64%) over Toronto (36%). I would imagine they will post their success rate, but if not, I'll try to track it to the best of my ability.

- One of the odder rules that I have found: The Bell Centre does not allow cameras during a game. Is this true for other locations? The Vancouver Canucks are vague about this, while the Maple Leafs allow non-flash still photography so long as the lens is less than 75 mm if detachable (no restriction if it's not detachable, I guess).