Archive for November 10th, 2011
Don’t try and pretend the Oscars isn’t a snoozefest. “And the winner for best… ZZZZZZZZZ.” With Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy officially out of the picture, it’s time for the Academy to step up and hire the Muppets to host.
I am completely serious about this. I’m not trying to start a wacky campaign that will fizzle out after a few days. I truly believe that the Muppets would be the best Academy Awards hosts ever. Eddie Murphy and Brett “I Killed the X-Men Franchise” Ratner’s departures are an opportunity for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to not only make the show worth watching, but raise the bar for future broadcasts.
Why are the Muppets a good fit? So glad you asked! The Academy’s main objective each year is to find a host that appeals to the largest demographic. They won’t book someone like the hilarious Louis C.K. because your mom probably doesn’t know about him and he hasn’t done any family-friendly comedies. Eddie Murphy, on the other hand, traded in his Delirious red-leather jumpsuit for family friendly comedies years ago (none of which was very funny). The Muppets? They reek of family friendliness. Plus, they’re actually funny. Have you seen their parody trailers? This one is hilarious, so is this one, and of course this one. Plus, everyone loves the Muppets. If you don’t love the Muppets, there’s a good chance you’re dead inside.
The Mars Science Laboratory, the largest and most complex machine that has ever landed on another planet, is on target to launch on Nov. 25 at 7:25 a.m. PST.
“MSL has been assembled, tested, encapsulated, placed atop an ATLAS rocket and is ready to go,” said Doug McCuistion, director of NASA’s Mars Program, during a briefing at NASA headquarters on Nov. 10.
The rover, nicknamed Curiosity, weighs in at nearly 1 ton and is a little bigger than a Mini Cooper. The probe is expected to survey the Martian landscape with HD cameras, examine the chemical surface composition within 20 feet of the rover, monitor the planet’s weather, and search for signs of habitability and life, past or present.
Curiosity also has a six-foot arm that can reach down to place sensors on Martian rocks to investigate their chemical makeup. It will be able to drill inside rocks and deliver samples back to a suite of laboratory instruments carried inside the rover, something never done before in Mars.
“This is a Mars scientists’ dream machine,” said Ashwin Vasavada, MSL deputy project scientist, at the briefing.
MSL’s mission is geared toward investigating the possibility of life on Mars. It will look for organic chemistry and determine if its landing site, Gale crater, could have ever had water or other materials capable of supporting organisms.
We all gasped in amazement at photos of a black rhinoceros being airlifted upside down to an area of South Africa where it stood a better chance at reproducing. Inconceivably, a new report suggests there’s no other rhinos for it to reproduce with.
The Red List, an annual state-of-the-endangered-species report compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, has declared the black rhino extinct. Not endangered — gone.
I was almost arrested in Tesco this week. My crime? Comparing prices. Evidently, this is such a security issue for Tesco that it wants you booted out of the store. The deputy manager rushed up to me within minutes of my arriving at one of its London supermarkets. The security cameras had spotted me with a pen and paper in hand, noting the prices of goods on the shelves. “Excuse me, what are you doing?” he said. I told him I was, well, writing down prices.
“You’re not allowed to do that. It’s illegal. Where are you from? Are you from the media?” I don’t feel Tesco has any right to demand my employment status, so I just said: “I’m a private individual, I’m buying some stuff here, and I’m comparing prices.”
It obviously didn’t satisfy him. “It’s illegal to write things down and you can’t take any photographs, either. If you want to check the prices, take the item to the till and pay for it there. The price will be on the receipt,” he said, pointing me to the exit.
A store manager turned up, while another Tesco employee in a suit hovered in the background. “He’s writing down prices,” the deputy said to his superior, identifying a practice that evidently brings the bosses out in force.