Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Denise Richards Looks Fabulous

Apparently, the lady has had a little bit of work done. She looks fit, she looks radiant. Is that the work of which they speak?
She looks fabulous. Don't be horrified--be pleased that you have lived long enough to see what she looks like now.
Keep on keeping on, girlfriend. Ignore the haters.
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Is the Bodysuit a Thing of the Past?

Not many women can wear a bodysuit, but here we see Kim Kardashian giving it a try.

It looks very retro, does it not? That set me to wondering--is the bodysuit something that reminds us of the Fifties, or is it still a modern garment? Or am I showing my age?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

World War I is Now Over

Position of the carriage of Marshal Ferdinand Foch during the armistice negotiations of 8–11 November 1918, Clairière de l’Armistice (The Forest Clearing of the Armistice), Compiègne.

The final payment of £59.5 million, writes off the crippling debt that was the price for one world war and laid the foundations for another.
Germany was forced to pay the reparations at the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 as compensation to the war-ravaged nations of Belgium and France and to pay the Allies some of the costs of waging what was then the bloodiest conflict in history, leaving nearly ten million soldiers dead.
The initial sum agreed upon for war damages in 1919 was 226 billion Reichsmarks, a sum later reduced to 132 billion, £22 billion at the time.
The bill would have been settled much earlier had Adolf Hitler not reneged on reparations during his reign.
Hatred of the settlement agreed at Versailles, which crippled Germany as it tried to shape itself into a democracy following armistice, was of significant importance in propelling the Nazis to power.
I had no clue about this. To think that the Germans have been paying this off for decades--that's something I did not know. It shows you just how little history I can actually command right now. This old dog needs to hit the books.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Miley Cyrus is Using the Internet Against Her Enemies in the Media

This is one of the better examples of how to "deal with media lies" and I think it speaks volumes as to how much smarter the Cyrus family is than people realize.

Is this young lady worth a billion dollars? Probably.

Does that matter? It certainly does.

Now, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but if you take a 17 year-old girl who is worth a billion dollars, and put her in Hollywood, and put her on television, you're going to see an explosion in media nonsense. People with nothing happening between their ears are going to go batshit crazy trying to figure out how to make money from a scandalous act related to Miley Cyrus.

After they've failed (or succeeded), they're going to move on to whoever comes next. Is this worth commenting on? Sure it is. These jackals can be dealt with but only when the State of California decides, once and for all, to effectively deal with the issue of celebrity stalking for profit. It's not censorship if you're protecting someone from an out-of-control, three hundred pound stalkerazzi photographer who falls out of a tree trying to get a picture of a celebrity adjusting themselves in their backyard.

It's common sense. The public simply has no right to know everything that goes on. Here you have a young lady using social media to quell rumors about her life. And what kind of a life is it when she can't go anywhere or do anything without being chased and hounded and stalked?
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General Fox Conner

Fox Conner, U.S. Army

As we get closer to the one hundred year anniversaries of the First World War, please allow me to highlight certain people and certain things that I think are remembering. One such person worth remembering is a general by the name of Fox Conner:
Even without a published monograph, this intelligent, insightful and competent officer was held in the highest esteem of his contemporaries. He was not only a competent military historian, but also a brilliant military war planner and strategist as the chief architect of the American victories at Saint-Mihiel and the Argonne in 1918. A serious military science intellectual, Conner's series of War College lectures in the 1930's integrated critical yet sagacious observations of lessons learned by the AEF in the Great War and some that the army had yet to learn. While proposing a structure that an Allied military coalition for the future must resemble in order to be successful in the coming European conflict that he often predicted, Conner established a theoretical and constructive framework not for an Allied Generalissimo but a Supreme Allied Commander. He was the chief advocate and a founding father of the inter-war re-configuration reforms of the modern American infantry division that eventually marched into Europe a second time, long after he had retired. 
Concomitantly the General spoke forcefully against the inadequate replacement system of the Peyton March period, and successfully won the necessary reforms that saw service in the Second World War. Not only does MG Conner's critical role and achievements while serving on Pershing's staff deserve long overdue recognition, moreover his personal dedication and influence supporting the career development of many of the new breed of army officers who would become household names as they later fought the Second World War. His most notable pupil was Dwight David Eisenhower. Upon further reevaluation, MG Fox Conner emerges as the most influential officer intellectual in the United States Army during the inter-war period. Conner's contributions to the United States Army can be evaluated in three capacities. First, as G-3, chief of war plans and operations on the Allied Expeditionary Forces staff in the First World War, Conner was the senior architect of the Saint-Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne offensive. Secondly, as the general commanding the Army's most important inter-war assignments; and, thirdly, as instructor, military scientist, lecturer and personal role model for younger officers in the lean army career years of the 1920s and 1930s. According to Eisenhower, "Outside of my parents, he had more influence on me and my outlook than any other individual, especially in regard to the military profession." 
Eisenhower would later deem as prophetic Conner's poignant observations regarding Allied political decisions that allowed German military forces to march back to the Fatherland, unmolested following the armistice, carrying their arms with bands playing and flags flying. Conner predicted that a myth would be born inside Germany that the Imperial German Army had never really been defeated by the Allies, but rather been traitorously stabbed in the back at home by fifth columnists. This was indeed the myth that Adolph Hitler and the National Socialists would expeditiously exploit in order to seize power. 
Conner, said Eisenhower, warned that a lasting peace had been doomed at Versailles by accepting the principle of a negotiated peace rather than a dictated peace and "in the not too distant future the whole job would have to be done again." Conner was dismayed at the determination of the allies in 1919 to exact a punishing revenge on Germany within the terms of Versailles Treaty, and yet, fail to foresee dire consequences ahead. As Conner told Eisenhower in 1922, "You can't take the strongest and most virile people in Europe and put them in the kind of strait jacket that this treaty attempts to do." 

That's a good bit of history right there. It's too bad we never seem to remember the right history.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Way Jose

Quit staring at his package, ladies!

There are a lot of men who have to pay certain women $10,000 in order to have sex with them. David Beckham is not one of those men:

In Touch Weekly claims to have the story of how Beckham cheated on his wife with a '$10,000-a-night hooker' (see Tiger Woods, Life of: for details), which included a threesome and other debauchery. Call girl Irma Nici claims to have bent it with Beckham five times in 2007.
"It was a high," Nici, 26, said to In Touch Weekly. "All of these women dream of being with him, and I got to hook up with him. It was very exciting."
From the New York Daily News:
A rep for Beckham, 35, was quick to shoot down the cheating story Wednesday morning, telling that the allegations "are completely untrue and totally ridiculous, as the magazine was clearly told before publication."
"Sadly we live in a world where a magazine can print lies and believe they can get away with it," adds the rep. "We are taking legal action against the magazine."
According to In Touch, Nici claims Beckham agreed to pay her $10,000 to spend one night together during their alleged affair.
Sorry, but there's no way in hell I'm buying this. If I'm wrong, and if we live in a world where David Beckham has to pay $10,000 for a hooker, then, brother, there's no hope for any of us. No. Hope. For. Any. Of. Us. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

It Wouldn't Be the First Time Letterman Was Faking It

Why am I not surprised?
Joaquin Phoenix wasn't the only person to dupe 'Late Show' viewers during his infamous appearance last year. No, it now appears David Letterman was in on the ruse the entire time.

The Hollywood Reporter dug up an interview from last year with one of Letterman's writers, Bill Scheft, claiming Letterman was in on the bearded Phoenix joke all along, and faked the famous interview on live television.

"Dave knew about it and Dave loved it because he could play along," Scheft said in the interview with independent newspaper Nuvo that was dug up on Friday after Affleck called off the act.

In an interview with the New York Times, director of the Phoenix mockumentary "I'm Still Here" Casey Affleck said no one knew about the joke, except for his agent, of course. Scheft says otherwise.

Ethics? Those are for the little guy. Letterman doesn't care. He does whatever he wants.

This is one of the great whiffs in the history of entertainment. Two young men, who thought they were smarter than everyone else, failed to accomplish anything of merit, even after getting some old has-been to help them out. Hilarious.

And, yes. This is exactly how Tim Robbins and John Cusack feel whenever someone brings up the film Tapeheads, only probably not as shitty.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This is Worth Cursing About

In terms of damage control, there had better be a lot of it, and soon:
Earlier this year, we published a series of posts featuring instant messages written by Facebook CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg.
Today, the New Yorker quoted two of them in a profile of Zuckerberg. Jose Antonio Vargas, who wrote the profile, says he’s also “obtained and confirmed” the IMs.
In Vargas’s story, Zuckerberg admits he wrote the IMs and says he “absolutely” regrets them.
We give Mark tons of credit for going on the record and talking about his youthful foibles.
Here’s the part of the story where Vargas quotes the IMs:
The technology site Silicon Alley Insider got hold of some of the messages and, this past spring, posted the transcript of a conversation between Zuckerberg and a friend, outlining how he was planning to deal with Harvard Connect:
FRIEND: so have you decided what you are going to do about the websites?
ZUCK: yea i’m going to f—k them
ZUCK: probably in the year
ZUCK: *ear
In another exchange leaked to Silicon Alley Insider, Zuckerberg explained to a friend that his control of Facebook gave him access to any information he wanted on any Harvard student:
ZUCK: yea so if you ever need info about anyone at harvard
ZUCK: just ask
ZUCK: i have over 4000 emails, pictures, addresses, sns
FRIEND: what!? how’d you manage that one?
ZUCK: people just submitted it
ZUCK: i don’t know why
ZUCK: they “trust me”
There are two things I want to spew out. I plan to curse. The first thing is this notion of privacy. This kid doesn’t give two shits about privacy, end of story. Anyone who does business with Facebook or trusts that the platform cares about privacy is deluded. He really, honestly, truly, doesn’t think that what you put on his platform is private. That should be a wake up call of epic proportions. In a year, he should be well out of business. This country isn’t smart enough to ensure that he is. Too many sheep, not enough shepherds, and all of the wolves are stuffed full and planning on continuing the buffet.
My other observation is that there is a generation of Harvard graduates out there who will, one day, take power in this country (yes, look it up) and Mark Zuckerberg has a ton of dirt on them. And he wants to “fuck them in the ear.” This young man’s mind is a shit sandwich, served open-faced. He’s a real piece of work. Ethics have never been explained to him. Each and every single one of these people is the personal bitch of one Mark Zuckerberg. Did you use Facebook early on? Too bad, chump. Burned onto a CD out there is exactly what you don’t want your future voters to know about you.
At some point, there will be a sitting United States Senator or a candidate for President of the United States who can, and probably will, be blackmailed by Mr. Zuckerberg. What he is saying above is fairly self-explanatory—when “Facebook” was a young piece of technology, based out of Harvard, he culled and saved whatever was uploaded to that system and has archived it. He is admitting that he has saved private information and has plans to use it and distribute it to anyone who might come to him and ask for it. There are future opposition research people out there who have noted this about Facebook already, no doubt.
Why am I the only one pointing this out?
And, no, I’m not deleting my Facebook account. It’s there so people can read whatever I want them to read. I know how these things work. I will use the application to my advantage. You should do the same.
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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Morgan's Medieval Download Haven is Still Up?

Dating back to the year 2000 is this gem. Do you remember what websites were like back then? Do you remember how people could create a free page on some server or with some service and then they would abandon it or lose control of it or move on and do something else?
How much do you want to bet that this site still brings in revenue and traffic? Not bad for a site that is ten years old.
As far as I can tell, none of the links work anymore, but the page is still there. Enjoy sifting through a piece of old Internet archeology.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Crime of Theft, Not Terrorism?

The Two Pence Coin

Do you know why Great Britain had to stop putting so much copper in the two pence (2p) coin?
The copper in the coin was worth more than two pence when melted down, so that’s what people started to do (allegedly). This caused the British mint to issue a warning about melting them down. So the answer to your burning question is that the newer coins are copper-plated steel in order to foil the sort of person who would gather up copper and melt it down and take it to a bulk metal recycling facility.
When I see a story like this, I have to believe it was more about stealing metals or some other material and not so much about terrorism, although I could be wrong on that front:
Effingham County sheriff deputies have reported the early Sunday morning arrest of three men to the federal Joint Terrorism Task Force.
The men, two from Russia and one from Kazakhstan, were found near Georgia Power’s Plant McIntosh on Old Augusta Road about 1 a.m. Sunday after a ranger with the Department of Natural Resources reported a suspicious vehicle, Effingham County sheriff’s spokesman David Ehsanipoor said.
Deputies reported the men, who were inside a 1995 Nissan Pathfinder, had a machete, shovel, wire cutters and ski masks. One man also had black silk stockings in his front left pocket.
Arrested were Evgeniy Luzhetskiy, of Kazakhastan Nail Idiatullin and Rustem Ibragimov of Russia. All three reported they lived in Charleston, S.C., deputies reported.
Now, if this was an incident of terrorism, that’s a bad mark against my skills of analysis. But, I have to tell you that it is entirely plausible that they were just out there trying to steal some metal or something of value. It is not unheard of to break into industrial sites and steal metals for recycling. This sounds like a simple crime of theft, not terrorism.

Friday, September 10, 2010

There Are no Style Icons

Details has a nice interview up with the actor Jon Hamm. I won't quote from the article, but I have noticed that, as of late, Details has run some articles that I have actually enjoyed reading.

American style is always changing. It is not dead. But it is something of a misunderstood concept. Style does not flow down from the stars; style flows upwards. The stars copy what they see in their lives and show it back to us. The stars are supposed to be a little weird and a little cooler than the rest of us, and they're supposed to make us want to be like them because they are, after all, just copying what we have figured out on our own.

I don't see any male style icons. There's a chance that Jeff Bridges could be that fellow right now. There's a chance that Ben Affleck could transform himself into a more well-rounded sort of a Tom Hanks kind of movie star with his new film. I do not see how a basic-cable show can really make Mr. Hamm into the kind of a global celebrity that is worthy of being anointed the "style icon" of America, circa 2010. Doesn't George Clooney trade off with Brad Pitt on this front? And aren't all of these fellows just a little too bland to compare to a Richard Burton or a Steve McQueen?

No offense intended here, but there was only one Steve McQueen. When was the last time you saw a movie star with one tenth of as much charisma or rage?

Mr. Hamm is an excellent actor, but labeling him as the "style icon" is dangerous. Just as David Caruso.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Age of Napoleon

I've already read this book, and I'm revisiting it again.

Two quotes by Napoleon do stand out, and might come up in the context of this project:
"In my youth, I had illusions. I got rid of them fast."
"Among so many conflicting ideas and so many differing perspectives, the honest man is confused and distressed and the skeptic becomes wicked...Since one must take sides, one might as well choose the side which is victorious, the side which devastates, loots and burns. Considering the alternative, it is better to eat than to be eaten."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Don Quixote Fails to Find a Financier

Poor Terry Gilliam--every time he makes a film,
it all goes to hell on him:
Financing has collapsed for Terry Gilliam's "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," the director said at the Deauville American Film Festival.
"I shouldn't be here," Gilliam said, according to Variety. "The plan was to be shooting 'Quixote' right now."
He said he's seeking more financing and still wants to push on with the project that he's been famously pursuing for years, with Robert Duval as Quixote and Ewan McGregor in a supporting role.
Someone out there refuses to pony up the dough for this film and I think I can guess why--Justin Bieber isn't in it, people hear the words "Don Quixote" and their eyes glaze over, and the girls with the big boobies are doing the next Piranha 3-D film. And can you blame them? There's money to make crap; art can take a walk.

Mr. Gilliam is certainly smart enough to know how the game is played; he must lie in order to get what he needs. Telling the truth will not get his film made. He needs to play to the vanity of someone with deep pockets and lie to them about what the film is about.

Monday, September 6, 2010

If Someone Leaves Jane's Addiction, Does it Even Matter at This Point?

This is far less bitchy than it could have been:
Rock band Jane's Addiction said Monday it has parted ways with its latest bass player, former Guns N' Roses member Duff McKagan, five months after announcing his addition to the oft-vacated post.

McKagan, 46, performed a few concerts with the band, and worked on new material for its first album in seven years, but musical differences cut short his tenure.
"Hey we wanted to thank Duff for helping us write songs for our new record," the band said via email. "We love the songs we worked on with him -- and the gigs were a blast -- but musically we were all headed in different directions. From here Duff is off to work on his own stuff so we wish him all the best."
Guess what, diehard fans--you've been insulted once again by the fickle indulgences of overpaid, bloated musicians who are still counting on you to buy their overpriced, shiny discs filled with tuneless, soul-crushing crap. These jackasses are counting on you to stumble into Wal-Mart and buy whatever they're selling so that they can continue living the high life, working once every five to seven years, employing any and all means to drain the pockets of their unsuspecting fans. Don't be the half-wit who pays for Perry Ferrel's shopping spree through Restoration Hardware. Buy your instrument and make a better album than he ever could. Work your ass off. Live, breathe and create your own music.
This will not change unless you stop buying their music and start making your own music for your friends and family. Anyone can play guitar. All you have to do is practice. How hard is that to figure out?

Out and About in Medieval Germany

Whenever we can dump whatever we’re doing and go to a fest, we go to a fest. This is Germany. If you don’t go to a fest, there’s something wrong with you.

These photos are from the mittelalter (Middle Ages) fest at Hirsau Abbey, near Calw.

Don't talk to me about the Renaissance Festival in your home town. These are photos from a real fair, held on the grounds of an old abbey that dates back to the 9th Century.

I especially like how they left barrels sitting around for authenticity. Really, it was a great time. I think we spent somewhere around three hundred euro, and only some of it was for the meat on a skewer stick.

The beer? My God, man. The beer was wonderful. The food was wonderful. The atmosphere was terrific. People take their dogs everywhere, of course, and the place was jam-packed. The skills of the artisans were evident. The music was interesting and the crowd was fantastic. The weather was to die for.

Here, a man operates a saw. This is how they used to make things. With saws. Oh, never mind.

You may have done the Renaissance Festival back in the states, but to attend one in Germany is completely and utterly badass, since everyone carries working weapons around.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another Cad Breaks the Heart of America's Loneliest Girl

What a douchebag:

Saturday Night Live's Jason Sudeikis is finally ready to open up about why he broke Jennifer Aniston's heart -- sort of.
In the October issue of Vanity Fair, the comedian -- who first costarred with Aniston in The Bounty Hunter earlier this year -- reveals why things didn't click romantically with the 41-year-old actress.
"I don't know, I don't know. Bad manners maybe?" Sudeikis, 34, muses. "You know the worst part? Even joking about it gets taken out of context. It's such a weird thing to even speak about. I make what I think is clearly a joke and then some people...I don't know, it's hard. I guess it just proves that not everybody has the same sense of humor as I do. I try not to be too worried about it."
The actor then jokes about the nature of his relationship with Aniston -- and current squeeze January Jones -- by telling the mag that "I completely pay attention when I'm sleeping with someone. It's one of the things I'm known for. I'm always super focused on it -- knowing their name, knowing if something's working. You will never hear otherwise."

I hate to break it to you, but when a man uses Jennifer Aniston, it isn't because he wants to have a better career in show business; it's because he knows he can "trade up" and get a January Jones instead of someone far less spectacularly attractive than January Jones (and I'm a gentleman; I refuse to pick on someone).

Jennifer Aniston has somehow become the lonely girl of Hollywood--the girl who goes home alone (or with a wanna-be star of stage and screen)--and she is either resigned to this or encouraging it. I don't know. One thing is certain--whenever someone hooks up with her, they end up dumping her in favor of someone a little younger and little more attractive. How sad is that?

Kelly Brook Dazzles in Black

Kelly Brook has a prominent role in something that could be called Piranha 3-D. Kelly Brook is a fabulous lady, and she should do more movies.

Friday, September 3, 2010