Archives for category: In The News

Grammy Award nominations were announced today. Good news for fans of music that doesn’t suck.

Tanker Spill Leaves Chocolate-Covered Highway Upstate
Part of a highway in the Finger Lakes region was closed for five hours Thursday evening after a tanker truck crashed, spilling 45,000 pounds of slippery liquid chocolate that hardened.

La lee doo dum, la lee doo dum daaaaaaay!

Well, as much as it causes me great mental and physical pain to say this…congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for winning their first World Series title in 86 years. They had to work for it in the ALCS (and yes, I’m still a little bitter that it wasn’t the Yankees tearing the St. Louis Cardinals a new one on TV tonight), but they earned their title.

Not that I’m bitter or anything, but…George Steinbrenner – get that checkbook (or Visa Check Card, whatever) out and start signing some pitchers, if you want to even have a hope of getting to the ALCS next year, let alone the World Series. And for Brak’s sake, get a second closer. Mariano Rivera may still be the best closer in the business, but he was overworked and too well scouted in the playoffs this year.

It’s only Monday, but someone in the Tech Sector has already found a way to make my blood boil. Specifically, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer, who had this to say at an event in London:

“We’ve had DRM in Windows for years,” Ballmer said. “The most common format of music on an iPod is stolen.” (Full article here.)

No, you vacuous moron, the most common format of music on an iPod is a format that has been around for years, is easy to use, and is essentially ubiquitous among end-users.

It’s called fair use, you mouth-breather. Consumers don’t dislike (or try to get around) DRM because it’s difficult to use – consumers avoid DRM because it infringes on their fair use rights. That’s why Apple’s DRM works – it’s practically invisible, and doesn’t limit my ability to listen to music that I own.

You know what, Ballmer? Keep “improving” Windows DRM. And you’ll keep driving users to Apple. And in the meantime, revel in the fact that you’ve been named Douchebag of the Week.

(Yes, I had a bad day at work today…why do you ask?)

BBC News: Three Die in Saudi Shop Stampede

A Saudi man and a Pakistani man were among those killed, officials in the port city of Jeddah said.

The incident occurred after shoppers rushed into a branch of Ikea to claim a limited number of credit vouchers being offered to the public.

All that, for a $150 credit voucher. I shudder to think about what might have happened at last week’s Philadelphia grand opening.

Somehow, I’m glad we didn’t wait around trying to get free POÄNG chairs. We might have gotten disemboweled or something.

He was Rick James, 1948-2004, bitch.

So, AFI’s long string of “100 Years…” lists continued this week with 100 Years, 100 Songs. Take a look at the top 10:

1) Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz, 1939)
2) As Time Goes By (Casablanca,1942)
3) Singin’ in the Rain (Singin’ in the Rain, 1952)
4) Moon River (Breakfast At Tiffany’s, 1961)
5) White Christmas (Holiday Inn, 1942)
6) Mrs. Robinson (The Graduate, 1967)
7) When You Wish Upon A Star (Pinocchio, 1940)
8) The Way We Were (The Way We Were, 1973)
9) Stayin’ Alive (Saturday Night Fever, 1977)
10) The Sound of Music (The Sound of Music, 1965)

Can someone at AFI maybe check and tell me if this isn’t actually the “80 Years, 80 Songs” top 10? How is it that there’s not a single song from the last 27 years in the top 10? In fact, here are ALL of the entries on the list from within my lifetime:

9) Stayin’ Alive (Saturday Night Fever, 1977)
14) My Heart Will Go On (Titanic, 1997)
16) Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born) (A Star is Born, 1976)
27) Unchained Melody (Ghost, 1990)
31) Theme from ‘New York, New York’ (New York, New York, 1977)
33) Aquarius (Hair, 1979)
40) Fight the Power (Do The Right Thing, 1989)
44) Wind Beneath My Wings (Beaches, 1988)
51) Fame (Fame, 1980)
55) Flashdance…What a Feeling (Flashdance, 1983)
58) Gonna Fly Now (Rocky, 1976)
60) It Had to Be You (When Harry Met Sally…, 1989)
62) Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast, 1991)
65) I Will Always Love You (The Bodyguard, 1992)
68) Streets of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, 1993)
70) Summer Nights (Grease, 1978)
74) Rainbow Connection (The Muppet Movie, 1979)
75) Up Where We Belong (An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982)
78) 9 to 5 (9 to 5, 1981)
79) Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do) (Arthur, 1982)
81) I’m Easy (Nashville, 1975)
83) The Rose (The Rose, 1979)
85) Come What May (Moulin Rouge!, 2001)
86) (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life (Dirty Dancing, 1987)
90) Seems Like Old Times (Annie Hall, 1977)
91) Let the River Run (Working Girl, 1988)
93) Lose Yourself (8 Mile, 2002)
94) Ain’t Too Proud to Beg (The Big Chill, 1983)
96) Footloose (Footloose, 1984)
98) All That Jazz (Chicago, 2002)
99) Hakuna Matata (The Lion King, 1994)
100) Old Time Rock and Roll (Risky Business, 1983)

Clearly, this list was put together by a panel devoid of anyone under the age of 40. There are at least 5 songs on this list that make me outright retch, and at least 2 that I would sooner put a pencil through my ear than have to listen to again. (In case you couldn’t guess – “My Heart Will Go On” and “I Will Always Love You”.) Bette Midler, Celine Dion, and Whitney Houston are all on this list. It’s nice to see that “Lose Yourself” made the list, but I suspect that’s only because after winning the Oscar for Best Song, they felt obligated to include it. (I haven’t a clue how “Fight the Power” made it onto this list. One of the clerks at AFI must have slipped that in while no one on the panel was looking.)

And how is it that “The Rose” makes this list, but not even one track from The Blues Brothers? (Alright, that’s just a personal gripe.)

Anyway, the point of this whole diatribe…we (the blogging Gen-X public) need to “amend” the AFI list. What movie song from your lifetime would you want to see on this list?

The comment box is standing by.

Sure, it has a lot to do with the four years I worked there as a sound technician. But it’s stuff like this, combined with what I know about the way those roller coasters are put together, that scare the crap out of me. For instance:

-The “Viper” coaster at Six Flags Great Adventure was opened incomplete. A section of the ride was not assembled and the design modified (on site, I think) so that the ride would open on schedule. Also, at least in its first few years in operation, bolts regularly shook loose from the ride.
-The brakes on “Batman & Robin: The Chiller” got so hot at the end of a run that special mist machines had to be installed (after construction of the ride!) to prevent the brakes from overheating and failing. The misters didn’t prove to be effective, and the ride was closed for nearly a full year while modifications were made to the design.

I actually enjoy coasters. In my more naive years, I loved the original Batman coaster. But I’ll never ride one at a Six Flags park again – as long as I can help it.