January 17, 2008

Huh of the Day

Apples, cashews, figs, and strawberries are examples of false fruits. Who knew?

Also, bananas, cucumbers, watermelons, and avocados are false berries while on the other hand tomatoes, persimmons, eggplant, and chili peppers are true berries.

Posted by thom at 12:57 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2008

Cationary Tales

I was doing some last minute surfing before going to sleep and I stumbled across a story about a movie reviewer being sued for giving a movie a bad review. The movie, Forget About It, stars Burt Reynolds and the plot synopsis on IMDB goes thusly:

Three retired war veterans living in a trailer park are vying for the attentions of an attractive female neighbour. When they find a stash of cash in the desert, they start living the high life. The cash is the mobs payroll and the old boys soon have the mafia and the FBI descending upon their idyllic existence.

Sounds like a wild, wacky story, right? It pales in comparison to the story of the making of the movie. It turns out the actor, Michael Paloma, who played the mobster (um, I think, haven't rented it yet) also raised the money to finance the making of the movie. I guess he was researching the part because he raised the money through good old fashioned stock fraud and manipluation just like the mob: a pump-n-dump spam scam. Then to top it off, according to Stephen Eckelberry, the President of Production at Big Screen Entertainment, he then stole the funds meant to pay for the post production of the film. You got to give the guy a little credit: he really immerses himself a part.

Now this is all very interesting and I start googling to find out more details. Mr. Paloma will be sentenced next month. Okay, so I keep poking around. What about the other people involved in making the movie? Are they victims or fraudsters too? This is where things get really weird. I look up the writer of the movie, Julia Davis, on IMDB. Her bio says she is from the Ukraine, is a rocket scientist, is fluent in at least 4 languages, is an accomplished classical pianist, has experience "dealing with all aspects of [film] production, film finance, post production, distribution, government clearances, transportation, visas, military and civilian agencies", has been a stunt double for Angelina Jolie, won "a top model spot in the Fashion Magazine Top Model", then became an Inspector with the Department of Homeland Security, and also "also successfully completed series of tests to become a Naval Intelligence Officer". Oh yes, she "loves to read, designs her own clothes, cares for her family who has since immigrated, continues to develop and write screenplays and is currently working on her first novel."

My instincts tell me I am treading into "I am Elmer J Fudd, I own a mansion and a yacht" territory. But it gets even weirder:

Julia and BJ Davis have been falsely charged with felony crimes and twice imprisoned; the Davis residence has been raided with a Blackhawk helicopter, stormed by twenty-seven ICE Agents armed with assault weapons and ransacked for an hour without a warrant. Prior to the raid, Julia and BJ Davis have been subjected to aerial surveillance with the Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Unit, followed by as many as eight ICE agents at each given time; their medical and insurance records have been inappropriately disclosed by the Screen Actors Guild and voluminous materials have been seized in a warrantless search of BJ Davis' office. Agents Kaufer and Deal falsely accused Julia Davis of being a "Domestic Terrorist" and a convicted murderer, boasted of abusing Patriot Act provisions in "keeping close tabs" on the family, while disclosing highly privileged TECS records and details of FBI investigations to third party civilians and organized crime associates.

The REALLY weird part is, after I kept reading, I don't think she is crazy. If you can believe what you read on the internet. This is so bizarre I am tempted to go fishing around court documents to make sure I'm not crazy for even thinking she isn't crazy.

Posted by thom at 02:05 AM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2008

Tuba Trivia

Here we are only hours into the new year and I've already learned something new. The tubas you see played by marching bands aren't tubas. They are Sousaphones. I guess it is a sort of tuba, but different. They are descended from the Hélicon which, ironically, doesn't seem to be a sort of tuba.

Posted by thom at 09:27 AM | Comments (0)