Random TV Notes

  • AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL: When Caridee loses, I don’t want to be anywhere near her. She’s psycho-looking. Take a look at her eyes whenever she’s in the bottom two. I’m pretty sure they’re cloned from Ted Bundy. Just scary.
  • The only crazier looking lady on TV this week is being defended by Alan Shore on BOSTON LEGAL. I haven’t watched Tuesday’s episode yet, so I don’t know the final outcome of the case, but Sunday’s episode was beautiful, right down to the fisticuffs in the men’s room. Legal insanity!
  • THE CLASS is less a sit-com and more a cartoon, but it made me laugh out loud frequently again this week.
  • TiVo LogoNorm Duke needs work on the PBA BOWLING telecasts yet. In the last game this week, he predicted that Chris Barnes would throw a perfect shot in the upcoming frame because he needed to, and he has the mental game to pull it off. Aside from a couple of big money tournaments the PBA has concocted in the last couple of years, Barnes has a reputation for choking like Lonnie Walicek on TV. And, sure enough, the first shot in that frame was way high and not a strike. Unphased by this, Duke congratulated Barnes on making the perfect shot — even after a replay showed it wasn’t — and said he caught a bad break. No, Norm, he just made a bad shot on TV. He’s well-known for that by now.
  • And, yes, I watched all of these shows on the TiVo.  Live TV is for the birds.
Posted in TV

Younger Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

Hilary Duff, 27, and Joel Madden, 19, Have Split – Movie News – Playfuls.com – Fun & Entertainment

Hilary Duff and Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden have confirmed they have split. Madden made a DJ appearance at Chicago, Illinois hotspot Enclave last Wednesday, where he told clubgoers he was no longer with Duff. Madden, 27, and Duff, 19, only went public with their relationship last year, but they have been together for two and a half years.

Thursday Link Dump

Wednesday Wii Link Dump

  • Wii Sports: Airplane?!? Is “Wii sports” the generic name Nintendo is using for all “simple” games meant for all ages? Last I checked, flying an airplane is not a sport, though cool.
  • This site has a better explanation: Wii Motor Sports will be a follow-up title. It’s interesting that a game designed as a pack-in release and a demo kind of thing is sprouting legs.
  • The Wii has sold 600,000 units in its first week. ZELDA was sold with 3/4ers of those systems.
  • Walmarts have more Wiis in stock for December 3rd.
  • My helpful Wii tip of the day: You don’t always have to point to the screen to make menu selections. The cross pad will work fine to select an option while the Wiimote is pointed away from the screen. If an option is already highlighted by default, merely pushing the A button will be enough to select it.
  • After losing three punishing and brutal tennis matches in a row, I hit the comeback trail last night, winning four straight. Take that, Nintendo AI!

DVD Podcast #82 for 28 Nov 2006

This is the 82nd DVD [tag]podcast[/tag]. Ten minutes, roughly, and just under 5 MB.

Listen directly to the MP3 file.

Subscribe via iTunes, or use this RSS feed for your other podcatching client of choice.

Vote for this podcast: PodcastAlley.com Podcast Pickle

Read about this podcast in PODCASTING HACKS.

Where to find release lists: DVDJournal’s release list TVShowsonDVD.com – monthly release list

Where to find more information on these movies: Internet Movie Database

E-mail me at AUGIEDB at GMAIL dot COM. Or leave your comments in the comments section of this message.

This will tick off some people

But I don’t care. It makes me happy.  It does, however, increase the odds of a rendition of the song that’s not filled with screaming and every note being turned into ten syllables.

Tickets will go on sale Saturday (December 2nd, 2006) for a run of Billy Joel dates in the Southern US in February and March. Joel will sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl in Miami, Florida on February 4th, 2007, and the tour starts February 7th, 2007 at the Jacksonville (Florida) Arena.

This isn’t the first time. Billy Joel sang the national anthem at SuperBowl XXIII in 1989.

Whose Line DVD News

Whose Line Is It Anyway UK - Josie and TonyThe original British edition of WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY? is coming to DVD. See what fun the show was with its original games and rotating cast. See Clive Anderson smirk! See John Sessions try to take everything over! See Tony Slattery say a double entendre or ten! See Mike McShane attempt to breathe despite his enormous girth! See Jonathan Pryce do comedy! See Josie Lawrence take the role of every female character the show needed!

Well, it’s only the first two seasons on DVD, but most of that should be on there.

Amazon has a link for it now, but no cover art yet.

New Releases, 28 Nov 2006

Full list.

My highlights:

  • The Ant Bully (2006)

This is one of roughly 340 CGI films that came to theaters this year with a heavy marketing machine, only to be mostly ignored for not being a PIXAR film. I’m sure it wasn’t very good, either, which never helps. Hollywood studios are still under the impression that CGI movies are cheap and easy to make as well as being guaranteed blockbusters. I’m sure the film won’t hurt the studio and that the DVDs will see big profits, but this is still just another example of Hollywood jumping on a bandwagon and driving it into the ground.

  • The Ellen Degeneres Show: DVD-licious

If Oprah can do it, why not Ellen?

Clerks II (Two-Disc Widescreen Edition)An Evening With Kevin Smith 2 - Evening Harder

  • Clerks II (2-disc set) (2006)
  • An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder (2006)

I know we’re all supposed to be “over” Kevin Smith by now, but the first DVD set of his lectures/Q&As at college campuses was funny. I’m willing to give this one a shot, too. I’ve never seen one of these in person, so it’s not like I’ve heard all the same stories multiple times already.

And I do want to see CLERKS II, also.

Superman Returns (Two-Disc Special Edition)

  • The Christopher Reeve Superman Collection (8-disc set)
  • Supergirl (1984)
  • Superman: The Movie: Special Edition (4-disc set) (1978)
  • Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (1980)
  • Superman II: Deluxe Edition (2-disc set) (1980)
  • Superman III: Deluxe Edition (1983)Superman II - The Richard Donner Cut
  • Superman IV: Deluxe Edition (1987)
  • Superman Returns: Special Edition (2-disc set) (widescreen) (2006)
  • Superman Returns (widescreen) (2006)
  • Superman Returns (pan-and-scan) (2006)
  • Superman Ultimate Collector’s Edition (14-discSuperman Ultimate Collector\'s Edition set)

I sense a theme here.

  • The Usual Suspects: Collector’s Edition (2-disc set) (1995)

Come to think of it, I suppose it has been a good six months since the last special edition of this movie, hasn’t it? Time for an update!

Next week is the crescendo of gift-giving season DVD releases. That includes 24, ANIMANIACS, PINKY AND THE BRAIN, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 2, MIAMI VICE (movie), and more.

Posted in DVD

Tuesday Link Dump

  • Weird Al’s “Do I Creep You Out” video.
  • The next AMAZING RACE will be an All Star edition, including Rob & Amber. They’ve done two editions of both SURVIVOR and AMAZING RACE now. Impressive.
  • Microsoft is working out ways to cut the costs of producing an XBox 360. Doesn’t mean you’ll see a price reduction just yet.  If Sony had seriously done that with their PlayStation 2 at the beginning of the year, I’d own one of those with GUITAR HERO today. Isn’t it fun kicking the crap out of Sony when they’re down? The sad thing is, they do a lot of things I like. My camera and my TV, for starters, are both well-used Sony devices that I enjoy a great deal. But they keep failing on so many other things that it’s just getting sad now.
  • Today’s Apple Rumor: 17 inch LCD widescreen displays in 2007.
  • Just what I was looking for: a USB flash drive bowling ball.
  • The YouTube demographic is older than you think.
  • Just how does the First Down Line work on TV?  Camera mounts have computers built in to track their movement to help out. It takes four people to run the system.
  • Coming later: This Week in DVD Releases.

A more reliable Apple Rumor Du Jour (updated)

Apple’s iTunes may get Beatles songs for iPod listeners – Nov. 27, 2006

While details remain to be worked out, Fortune has learned that iTunes is close to a deal to bring the Beatles catalog online. Apple Computer is said to be angling to become the exclusive online music store for the Beatles for a limited window of time. Other music stores, such as Microsoft’s MSN and Rhapsody, have courted the Beatles over the years to no avail, but it appears Apple is close to getting first dibs on the band’s hits.

UPDATE: Could this possibly be a coincidence? UK Copyrights stand at 50 years, not expanded to 95.  All of a sudden, the UK copyrights on the Beatles’ music only extends for a few more short years.  Maybe the Apple Corps is realizing that it’s time to milk as much money out of the catalog as possible.

The Wii and Exercise and Diabetes

Nintendo Says You Need To Be In Shape To Play The Wii – Gizmodo

A Nintendo PR rep said, “If people are finding themselves sore, they may need to exercise more.” Wow, how’s that for motivation. You know you’re out of shape when a Nintendo PR rep tells you to hit the gym. The rep also said that the Wii is not Jenny Craig and should not be viewed as such. Ouch.

Wii controller and consoleAlso, there’s the chance you’re just not playing it right. If you’re flailing all about with the Wii, you might just be working too hard at it. For me, Wii Sports Tennis is the most active game, having to continuously judge whether the hit coming at you is a forehand or a backhand — then having to judge the spin and what counter-spin you want to use — then adjust your timing to hit across the court or straight up — and then how quick to flick your wrist at it — all the while figuring out which of two players on your side should hit the ball back — But, most of all, it’s learning that flailing your arm wildly will not lead to a faster return on your swing. It’s mostly in the wrist, not the arm. That said, it’s a lot more fun to play the game standing up and pretending you’re a tennis player in a slight crouch with your spare art counter balancing you all the way. . .

I’ve not had any pains from playing the Wii, but then I only ever play it for an hour or so at a time, maximum. If it’s any longer than that, I’ll switch up games to exercise different muscles.

Here’s the funny thing, though: It affects my blood sugar. Exercise is good for a diabetic. And all that standing up and lunging around and swinging your arms is a good way to keep yourself active, and a nice way to help regulate your blood sugar. It’s in no way a substitute for a long walk or a stint on the elliptical machine, but it’s ten times better than sitting in front of the computer or watching TV passively. I noticed a slight moderation in my blood sugar levels in the hours after playing with the Wii. I don’t have any hard statistics to back that up, but I’m certain that the limited activity on the Wii has been a help to my overall health, within reason. I’ll keep playing it because it’s fun, but enjoying it a little extra for the help it provides my pancreas.

One other thing: I’ve never had the Wiimote fly out of my hand to the point where the wrist strap had to catch it, posing the potential of it breaking and the Wiimote flying into my TV. If you play the games with just a modicum of self-control, I’m sure you won’t have that problem, either.

Wii Link Dump Du Jour

  • How to knock down 91 pins in Wii Sports Bowling. Great video. Yeah, it’s a cheat, but there you have it. I tried it this weekend — was not successful. I did beat 500 points in the game for the first time, though.
  • I’m thoroughly hooked on Wii Sports. I didn’t put the SUPER MONKEY BALL disc in the Wii at all this weekend. Wii Tennis is getting tougher and tougher, forcing me to learn to aim my shots more as I progress towards “Pro” level. I’ve had some insanely long volleys recently — hitting nearly five minutes without a point being scored. Wii Bowling, just like the real thing, gives me fits at strikes but is relatively easy on the spares. (I can throw a fast straight ball every time.) I’ve come up with a way to play golf sitting down by using the Wiimote more like a fishing rod than a golf club. It works well enough for me that I can enjoy it. I even had a birdie last night. Didn’t play baseball or boxing at all.
  • Still don’t have my internet connection working with the Wii. That’s not the Wii’s fault. It’s my wireless set-up. I need to reboot it, reset it, and play with the settings. I’ve been too busy playing Wii Sports to worry about the Virtual Console and sharing my Mii. I do know, however, that there are at least three other wireless networks going on in my neighborhood. One is named “monkeywifi.”
  • Various permutations of the Wiimote.
  • Wii Error Code database. (There’s one or two tips on this page that might be useful for my WiFi issues, too.)
  • You can replace your sensor bar with candles and still play the Wii. Wild!

Craziest Mac Rumor Du Jour

Smarthouse – Display Panels

Apple researchers have built a full working prototype of a Mac tablet PC and three Companies in Taiwan are now costing a product for a potential launch in mid 2007. Sources in Taiwan have said that the focus has been more on the home and the education environment than the enterprise marketplace. Several months ago I was told that Apple was exploring a neat new device that is basically a touch screen that links to various source devices including a brand new media centre that Apple is planning to launch next year. The Mac tablet has been designed to handle third party applications such as home automation software that will allow users to control lighting, audio, entertainment devices and security feeds. It also acts as a full blown PC has wireless linking for a new generation of Wireless Hi Fi speakers that are currently being tested by Apple.

Because we’ve all seen how successful Microsoft has been with the Tablet PC. . .

Juvenile Diabetes Reversal?

New data from NIH lab confirms protocol to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice

New data published in the Nov. 24 issue of Science provide further support for a protocol to reverse type 1 diabetes in mice and new evidence that adult precursor cells from the spleen can contribute to the regeneration of beta cells. In 2001 and 2003, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) demonstrated the efficacy of a protocol to reverse of type 1 diabetes in diabetic mice. Three studies from other institutions published in the March 24, 2006 issue of Science confirmed that the MGH-developed protocol can reverse the underlying disease but were inconclusive on the role of spleen cells in the recovery of insulin-producing pancreatic islets.

This research is being done by the team that Lee Iacocca’s organization is financing.

And how about that: Good news for juvenile diabetics, for a change.