Monday, June 29, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened When the Stars Died...

This past week has been over-loaded with celebrities passing away! Everyone always says that they come in three's! But this time is really five!!! Let me explain.

On Friday, June 19, 2009, Gary Papa died. He was a local news sportscaster for WPVI-TV (ABC) in Philadelphia, PA. If you lived near Philly and watched sports, you knew Gary. He lost a very public battle with prostate cancer.

Then on Tuesday, June 23, 2009 Ed McMahon passed away. He was a TV icon and was known far and wide. But he was elderly, 86, he was also in poor health. So his passing was not a complete shock.

Then on Thursday, June 25, 2009, we had two! Both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson passed away. Farrah also had a very public battle with cancer. So while very sad, it was also not a complete shock.

It was Michael's passing that was the earth stopping event that made everyone stop and watch. To call the event shocking is an understatement! I remembered him in a blog post myself.

Then on Sunday June 28, 2009, Billy Mays passed away. He was know as that wild Pitchman who sells everything you didn't know you needed! This one was shocking only because of this crazy week! By this point, I was checking and re-checking news stories to make sure these are really true! There were rumors that Jeff Goldblum and others had passed away, but they proved to be untrue.

All these deaths are sad and the fact that they are all together is weird. But it was Billy Mays that hit me. Why? I was not a super-fan of his. I knew of him. I watched his show, Pitchmen on the Discovery Channel sometimes. But I didn't know him personally. No more than any other of the five from that week. What was different? It happened on Twitter. (I know again with Twitter, but stay with me on this.)

While on my way to work, Alyssa Milano put out a tweet @Alyssa_Milano, that said send your condolences to Billy Mays' son, Billy Mays III, who was also on Twitter @youngbillymays. I did not know he had a son! So I thought I would check out what he was saying about the situation. What I saw stopped me cold. He spoke of how he could not believe this. How it all seemed all too real. How he would try to stay strong during this difficult time. But mostly just how much he missed him. To him, Billy Mays wasn't the wild pitchman on TV. He was just Dad. His tweets showed his real raw pain. He would never again be able to pick up the phone and call his Dad. Never be able to ask him for advice. Never be able to share a joke with him. Never be able to tell him he loved him. It moved me in a unexpected way that I was not prepared for and I wept for him. After I got myself together, I called my Dad and told him what had happened. I (kinda) held it together and told him I loved him.

Which brings us to today. I sat down and wrote all this stuff down here. I guess the moral of the blog post is "Life is Short." We get so caught up in the day to day "little stuff", we forget about the "big stuff"! Don't wait until it's too late. Call your Mom or Dad, or that Aunt or Uncle, or Grandma or Grandpa. Tell them what's in your heart. You never know when it will be too late.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Unless you live under a rock, I'm sure you've heard the sad and shocking news of Michael Jackson's death.

It was one of those rare world-wide events that makes everyone stop and remember. All the 24 hour news channels drop everything else and it becomes the one and only story. I first saw the news on Twitter and then watched TV coverage with the rest of the world.

Here is the Official Michael Jackon YouTube Channel. All the hits are there! Go check them out. I bet there are some that you haven't seen in a while!

Here is Michael's info from Wikipedia:

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, entertainer and businessman. The seventh child of the Jackson family, he made his debut onto the professional music scene at the age of 11 as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1969, and later began a solo career in 1971 while still a member of the group. Referred to as the "King of Pop"[2] in subsequent years, his 1982 album Thriller remains the world's best-selling record of all time[3] and four of his other solo studio albums are among the world's best-selling records: Off the Wall (1979), Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991) and HIStory (1995).

In the early 1980s, he became a dominant figure in popular music and the first African American entertainer to amass a strong crossover following on MTV. The popularity of his music videos airing on MTV, such as "Beat It", "Billie Jean" and "Thriller"—widely credited with transforming the music video from a promotional tool into an art form—helped bring the relatively new channel to fame. Videos such as "Black or White" and "Scream" made Jackson an enduring staple on MTV in the 1990s. With stage performances and music videos, Jackson popularized a number of physically complicated dance techniques, such as the robot and the moonwalk. His distinctive musical sound and vocal style influenced many hip hop, pop and contemporary R&B artists.

Jackson donated and raised millions of dollars for beneficial causes through his foundations, charity singles, and support of 39 charities. Other aspects of his personal life, including his often changing appearances and eccentric behavior, generated significant controversy which damaged his public image. Though he was accused of child sexual abuse in 1993, the criminal investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and Jackson was not charged. The singer had experienced health concerns since the early 1990s and conflicting reports regarding the state of his finances since the late 1990s. Jackson married twice and fathered three children, all of which caused further controversy. In 2005, Jackson was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges.

One of the few artists to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, his other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records—including one for "Most Successful Entertainer of All Time"—13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career, and the sale of 750 million records worldwide.[4] Jackson's highly publicized personal life, coupled with his successful career, made him a part of popular culture for almost four decades. Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009, aged 50.[5] The specific cause of death has yet to be determined.[2] Before his death, Jackson had announced a 50-date sell-out This Is It comeback tour, in London, England.[6]

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

AOTS does Wilkins Coffee!

I admit that I saw the Wilkins Coffee commercials on AOTS. I couldn't resist putting their take on Wilkins Coffee! :)

I couldn't get the direct video here. Here is the link to their video!

Wilkins Coffee!

Check out these old commercials for Wilkins Coffee! It shows a very early version of the muppets!! They come from YouTube user: godwhomismike

US to Trade Gold Reserves for Cash!

US To Trade Gold Reserves For Cash Through

Why didn't I think of that! :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trailer for Zombieland!

I just saw this trailer for Zombieland and it looks funny! It's great to see Woody Harrelson again!

Here is the info from Wikipedia:

"Zombieland is an upcoming American post-apocalyptic, zombie comedy, written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and directed by Ruben Fleischer. The film will be distributed by Columbia Pictures and is scheduled to be released on October 9, 2009.[1]"

"After America is ravaged by a zombie plague, a lone band of survivors fights the living dead while they cross the nation from coast to coast. They stop in an amusement park, where they believe they will be safe.[2]"

Official website
Zombieland at the Internet Movie Database

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Full Trailer for 2012

Here is the full trailer for the new movie 2012! The end of the world never looked so good!!!

Here is the info from the Wikipedia page:

2012 is an upcoming American disaster science fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. The film has an ensemble cast, including John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Woody Harrelson. The film will be distributed by Columbia Pictures. Filming began in August 2008 in Vancouver; the film is expected to be released worldwide on November 13, 2009.

Maybe I should check my vacation time for that week!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Magnum v. Solo, sequence comparison

Here's another great video of Star Wars opening clips. This one comes from YouTube user TheCBVee.

Here is their run-down:
"Comparing our Star Wars spoof:
to the original Magnum, P.I. opening:
We tried to match it shot for shot, but naturally had to make a few compromises"

Friday, June 12, 2009

Flying High!

Last night, my wife, my good friend Tom, and I went to see the movie "Up!". If you have seen the preview for this movie, it looks like a pretty standard film from the geniuses at Pixar. But the trailer and promo pics really just scratch the surface of this great movie!

Here is the info from it's Wikipedia page:

"Up is a 2009 computer-animated comedy-adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. The film premiered on May 29, 2009 in North America as the first animated film to premiere on the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.[3] The film is scheduled for release on October 16, 2009 in the United Kingdom. This is the second film of director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.), and features the voices of Edward Asner, Christopher Plummer, Bob Peterson and Jordan Nagai. The film centers around a cranky old man and an overeager Wilderness Explorer who fly to South America in a floating house suspended from helium balloons. It is accompanied in theaters by the short film Partly Cloudy, directed by Peter Sohn.[4]

The film has received overwhelmingly positive reviews with a current rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is the first Pixar film to be presented in Disney Digital 3-D[5]. A video game based on the film of the same name was released on May 26, 2009."

If you have ever seen any of Pixar's films, then you know that they set the bar VERY high for good movies. Filled with humor and amazing shots, the movies always are good, but always seem to have a great story. Without a great story all the computers in the world can't help the film. And Up! is no exception.
I will not give a complete re-hash of the entire movie. The trailer and info above give you a pretty good idea about what to expect. But what they don't tell you is the complex and very adult story behind all the colorful balloons. What the movie is really about is childhood sweethearts that connect over a love for adventure. The couple gets married and hopes to go on that great adventure "someday". But day-to-day "life" gets in the way. Then one day they realise that they've waited far too long and one of them has to go on alone. It's pretty heavy stuff for a cartoon.

After seeing the movie and thinking about how to sum up my thoughts in blog form, a Star Trek episode came to mind. It is my all time favorite episode from Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Yea, I know always back to Sci-Fi! But stay with me on this one!) It's called Tapestry. If you have never seen the episode, the basic theme is this: When you make your way though life, will you 'Play it safe' or 'Take a chance & go for it!' "It" will be different for everyone. But you know it when you see it. And it is a shame to see those choices from a rear-view mirror and say to yourself, "What if..." or "I should have..." I think that everyone must face such choices sometime in their life. Up! is about an old man trying to make up for lost time and fulfill a promise that a little boy made a long time ago. Like I said, pretty heavy stuff for a cartoon.

But, that being said, the heavy themes will most likely be lost on young kids as they laugh at "talking" dogs and the "old man" humor. It's a must see for everyone!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Keyboard Cat!!!!

This is another one of those little clips on YouTube that seems to have a life of it's own. It is everywhere!!! This guy made a short film of his cat 'playing a keyboard' (less than a min.) And people have re-used it and now it's an internet meme (a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet)!

Here is the "official" description from the "Keyboard Cat" Wikipedia page!

"Keyboard Cat is an internet meme. It consists of footage of "Fatso", a cat (now deceased) owned by Charlie Schmidt of Spokane, Washington, "playing" an upbeat rhythm on a electronic keyboard. The clip has gained popularity by being appended to blooper and other viral videos as if to "play" that person offstage after the mistake or gaff, usually accompanied with the title Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat or a variant. The first such video was created by Brad O'Farrell.[1][2][3][4] Keyboard Cat was further popularized by Stephen Colbert on May 18, 2009, during a "toss" with The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.[5]"

Here is the orginial:

I can't list them all, but here are just a few of the ways in which it's being re-used as the best clip ever!!

The band Green Day got in on the action!

And my personal favorite!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Iphone Shuffle: Rocking it Old School!

I haven't done an Iphone shuffle post in awhile. Today on my way to work I heard a great one. It was off the Jurassic Park soundtrack. Specifically it was number 04 "Journey to the Island".

Here is some history on the movie from Wikipedia.

"Jurassic Park is a 1993 (OMG 15 YEARS AGO!!) science fiction thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel of the same name by Michael Crichton. The film centers on the fictional island of Isla Nublar, where scientists have created an amusement park of cloned dinosaurs. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) invites a group of scientists, played by Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern, to inspect the park prior to its public opening. Sabotage sets the dinosaurs loose, and the technicians and visitors attempt to escape the island."

This music is from the scene where Dr. Alan Grant and his party see the dinosaurs for the first time. The wonder and awe is really captured. We have all seen the movie and it's sequels a bunch of times (15 YEARS AGO?!?) But if you can remember the 1st time you saw this great movie, this music just might bring you back to the wonder of it all!

I added the trailer just for fun. (Try not to walk around like a Velociraptor all day!) :)