The story of Fry & Laurie

The BBC put together a Fry & Laurie reunion show in which I got to see them together after many years. I was glad to learn more about their start in showbiz and about how they met, which was the biggest surprise of all. I had no idea Emma Thompson went to school with them, introduced them and did comedy with them. No idea at all.


Blendtec blends line-up of Olympus gear

Tom Dickson, host of the popular “Will It Blend” video series, recently blended a full line-up of Olympus gear: a DSLR, a point-and-shoot camera, a lens, a HD camcorder, a digital voice recorder, plus some art. But this video doesn’t finish in typical fashion, with him revealing the blended remains of the unwitting electronics. There’s a great twist, and it makes me think Olympus had their hand in this. The tagline is “The ultimate multimedia blend. What will you create?” It’s highly entertaining but also cringe-inducing — it’s hard to see all that good photo gear go to waste.

Take Two: The Full Olympus Multimedia Blend

The first take for this video ended with a surprising bang…

New Olympus cameras get mixed by Blendtec


George Carlin's Modern Man

Pure comedic genius. The transcript is below.

I’m a modern man
A man for the millennium
Digital and smoke free

A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist
Politically anatomically and ecologically incorrect

I’ve been uplinked and downloaded
I’ve been inputted and outsourced
I know the upside of downsizing
I know the downside of upgrading

I’m a high tech lowlife
A cutting edge state-of-the-art bicoastal multitasker
And I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond

I’m new wave but I’m old school
And my inner child is outward bound
I’m a hot wired heat seeking warm hearted cool customer
Voice activated and biodegradable

I interface from a database
And my database is in cyberspace

So I’m interactive
I’m hyperactive
And from time-to-time
I’m radioactive

Behind the eight ball
Ahead of the curve
Riding the wave
Dodging a bullet
Pushing the envelope

I’m on point
On task
On message
And off drugs

I got no need for coke and speed
I got no urge to binge and purge

I’m in the moment
On the edge
Over the top
But under the radar

A high concept
Low profile
Medium range ballistic missionary
A street-wise smart bomb
A top gun bottom feeder

I wear power ties
I tell power lies
I take power naps
I run victory laps

I’m a totally ongoing big foot slam dunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach

A raging workaholic
A working rageaholic
Out of rehab
And in denial

I got a personal trainer
A personal shopper
A personal assistant
And a personal agenda

You can’t shut me up
You can’t dumb me down
‘Cause I’m tireless
And I’m wireless

I’m an alpha male on beta blockers
I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever
Laid back but fashion forward
Up front
Down home
Low rent
High maintenance
Super size
Long lasting
High definition
Fast acting
Oven ready
And built to last

I’m a hands on
Knee jerk
Head case
Prematurely post-traumatic
And I have a love child who sends me hate mail

But I’m feeling
I’m caring
I’m healing
I’m sharing
A supportive bonding nurturing primary care giver

My output is down
But my income is up
I take a short position on the long bond
And my revenue stream has its own cash flow

I read junk mail
I eat junk food
I buy junk bonds
I watch trash sports
I’m gender specific
Capital intensive
User friendly
And lactose intolerant

I like rough sex…
I like rough sex
I like tough love
I use the f word in my email
And the software on my hard drive is hard core, no soft porn

I bought a microwave at a mini mall
I bought a mini van in a mega store
I eat fast food in the slow lane

I’m toll free
Bite sized
Ready to wear
And I come in all sizes

A fully equipped
Factory authorized
Hospital tested
Clinically proven
Scientifically formulated medical miracle

I’ve been pre-washed
And I have an unlimited broadband capacity

I’m a rude dude
But I’m the real deal
Lean and mean
Cocked, locked and ready to rock
Rough tough and hard to bluff

I take it slow
I go with the flow
I ride with the tide
I got glide in my stride
Drivin’ and movin’
Sailin’ and spinnin’
Jivin’ and groovin’
Wailin’ and winnin’

I don’t snooze
So I don’t lose
I keep the pedal to the metal
And the rubber on the road

I party hearty
And lunch time is crunch time

I’m hanging in
There ain’t no doubt
And I’m hanging tough
Over and out.

Naturally, the words are the George Carlin’s copyright, and only he could have come up with this genius concoction.


How to talk like a politician: lesson #1

The latest video from TheFullGinsburg, a bunch of guys out to make fun of “the unholy alliance of politics and TV”. Can’t wait for Lesson #2.


Condensed knowledge for 2008-03-21


Wedding Present (1936)

“Wedding Present” (1936) is a wonderful romantic comedy made toward the end of the great depression. Cary Grant plays an ace reporter named Charlie Mason, in love with his partner in “crime”, Rusty Fleming (played by Joan Bennett). Cary would reprise the role of an intrepid reporter/editor in “His Girl Friday” (1940), opposite Rosalind Russell, although his role in that movie would be somewhat darker.

The “Wedding Present” starts with Charlie attempting to get a wedding certificate but mostly goofing around, which leads to Rusty calling off their engagement. The tagline is “We’re almost married… and we want to stay that way!” Of course, that doesn’t work, so the tension builds up as Rusty is wooed by a pilot, then by a well-known writer of success books, called Dodacker, played by Conrad Nagel.

Seeing Conrad Nagel in the role of Dodacker, one wonders why he had been a matinee idol in the era of silent movies. Not much here endears him to the viewer. Then again, his role in this movie was meant to be unlikable, so who knows… Joan Fontaine certainly saw something in him, since she had an affair with him not long after this movie was made — she was barely 20 while he was well over 40.

There is a wonderful optimism that pervades this movie. It seems nothing can go wrong — except Charlie and Rusty’s relationship — but even that’s rescued in the end. Charlie and Rusty both act as if their jobs don’t matter — and I suppose when you’re both award-winning reporters, you can get a job anywhere you like. They slack off, they skip out on work, but since they always get the first-page stories, things work out alright for both of them.

Although there’s some awkwardness between Cary and Joan, they complement each other very nicely. It’s a lot of fun to watch Joan on screen. She manages to appear charming, intelligent and sexy, all while fitting the part perfectly. It’s hard to imagine that she didn’t want to go into acting when you watch her on screen. She’s so natural — but then that should come as no surprise considering she’d been born into a family of actors with roots in that profession going back to the 18th century.

Cary is still in his pre-polished era. You can see his youthful enthusiasm here, and some of his slightly rough, unpolished edges still show through. Although he looks great in a suit, he’s still not quite comfortable in it, not like in his later years, when his suits became an integral part of his screen persona, a part of who Cary Grant was and always remain. But the youthful Cary is a lot of fun to watch. There’s a sense of unpredictability about his next move. One wonders, how will he handle the next line, the next scene? Much like throwing a pebble in a pond and watching the ripples disturb the water’s surface, watching the young Cary act, one can see the little ripples that belie the thought process behind the role’s mask. This would later solidify into a shiny, pristine, glamorous and timeless surface. In his later years, Cary reached perfection. Cary was the role and the role was Cary.

Although the movie is somewhat anticlimactic in some scenes, and some judicious editing could have fixed it, it’s really wonderful. It’s relaxing to watch and it’s quite entertaining. The ending is spectacularly wonderful, and it alone makes the entire movie worth watching. When you add in everything else — the comedy, the superb acting, the gags, the dialogue, the interaction — you can’t help but realize that you get your money’s worth here. Give it a try, you won’t regret it!

More information


Technorati’s new photo message

Logged into my Technorati account late last week to check my profile settings, and guess what I saw on my photo page? Granted, the message wasn’t for me, it was for every Technorati user, but I thought it was hilarious nonetheless:

For the benefit of those of you that can’t see the image above, let me quote the text:

“Tip: Please favor us with a photo that doesn’t depict your very special but also very private parts. We have to hunt down and quarantine those, and that’s bad for everyone.”

I guess they’re having problems with nasty people posting nasty pics of themselves, or else they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of warning users. That’s pretty sad — to know there are people out there with absolutely no sense of decency and self-control. Zooomr had a huge problem with this last year, in Mark II. You could browse its full photo stream — all public photos posted by users, as they posted them, and I did that a lot to discover great photographs. While I found plenty of great photographs that I faved, I also found plenty of pornographic images.

At any rate, that stuff was pretty nasty, and I spent plenty of time emailing Kris and Tom with specific links, and they would dutifully either make those photos private or remove them altogether. Flickr has the same problem, and that’s why they’re rating accounts as Safe, Moderate or Unsafe, which I think is a better approach than Zooomr’s — Kris and Tom are still stuck doing manual removals, even though they promised they’d introduce a feature to allow users to flag questionable photos.

My rantings aside, I thought Technorati’s approach was pretty funny, and I’m glad to see more companies do their part to make sure the nasties don’t get to poison everyone’s good time on the web with their filth.


Funny animal videos

Yes, it’s Monday again. Here are some funny animal videos to tide you over.

A really sweet pitbull taking care of little chicks:

This little scrappy tortoise won’t let up defending her territory:

Remember those scenes from old cartoons when cats would get a hold of catnip? Well, it turns out they weren’t that far off. See what happens to these kitties when they stumble onto the catnip patch:

A compilation of funny animal segments:

From a Japanese TV show, the top five funny animals:

Talking animals. Yeah.

A lake overrun with jellyfish. I’m not kidding. Have a look. This is part funny, part scary.


Funny videos

It’s Monday and I’m swamped. I’ve got a ton of photos to post-process, and various other things have piled up as well. There are a couple of reviews in the queue, plus a few condensed knowledge posts, so watch for those later. Today, you get funny videos.

I love this computer monster. If all computer “monsters” were like this, working in IT would actually be a fun job. Not to mention that this would be a great way to dispose of old hardware.

Those Japanese are at it again with Human Tetris:

A compilation of people getting frightened:

Here’s some more great Harry Enfield stuff: The Conjugal Rights Guide.

Do you enjoy the mind-numbingly ridiculous security checks at airports? Yeah, me neither. That’s why we can all relate to this “TSA-approved” video:

Darth Vader spoofs are particularly funny to me. Perhaps it has to do with the marked contrast between the movie persona and what we see here…

… and here.


Funny animal videos

Have you ever seen a bird do the moonwalk? It does it better than Michael Jackson. 🙂

Patches is a very unusual horse that reminds me of Mister Ed (from the TV show). Except that Patches creeps me out a bit. He likes to sleep in human beds, rides in cars, and enjoys hamburgers. That’s just not right. Horses eating meat?! I have a feeling Patches’ projected lifespan has been significantly shortened by his lifestyle.

Here’s how fiddler crabs try to attract mates:

The orangutan in this magic comedy act is pretty funny:

Watch what happens to a cat when it gets taped on Japanese TV:

Here’s a compilation of funny cat videos:

Do cats really land on their feet all the time? Apparently, yes, even when they fall while sleeping: