May 18, 2004

Lucas Strikes Back

Ain't It Cool News has posted this screen capture allegedly taken from the upcoming DVD release of the original Star Wars trilogy:


I looks a bit like a Photoshop job to me. Still, if Lucas is really planning to go down this road, it seems a bit unfair that Dark Side poster boy Anakin would get to spend eternity with a hip, youthful astral projection, whereas good guys Obi-Wan and Yoda get stuck as a septuagenarian and a Muppet, respectively.

Posted by Jess at 04:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

No one has ever called me his princess before! (giggle)

A recent comment from deep, deep in the Apropos of Something archives (in response to a positively thrilling entry about preventative PC maintenance):


I feel your pain princess, and I'd liyour number. You sound hott! how old are you, please send a picture.

I'm 26, and I'll send a photo as soon as my lastest round of tasteful glamour shots are back from the studio. Thanks for reading...

Posted by Jess at 12:53 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 17, 2004

Then I do what with my what now?

Teedz pointed me toward this bit of news:

Childless couple told to try sex

A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless -- they weren't having sex.

The University Clinic of Lubek said they had never heard of a case like it after examining the couple who went to see them last month for fertility tests.

Doctors subjected them to a series of examinations and found they were both apparently fertile, and should have had no trouble conceiving.

A clinic spokesman said: "When we asked them how often they had had sex, they looked blank, and said: "What do you mean?".

"We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate."

The 30-year-old wife and her 36-year-old husband are now being given sex therapy lessons while the university clinic undertakes a study to try to find out if there are more couples with a similar lack of sex education.

Sometimes I wonder if the news agencies hire people to come up with stories like this just to see how long it takes them to spread around the blogosphere.

Posted by Jess at 04:28 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

They got a pepper bar!

We love the subs! 'Cuz we are filthy rats!Lachlan recently wrote about Quiznos' now-infamous spongemonkeys commercial at My So-Called Blog, declaring it the worst commerical of all time. I tend to agree. As I commented on her entry, the ad disturbed me from the first time I saw it a few months back. In fact, all I could think while watching these freaky little creatures dance across my television screen was, "Quiznos has rat meat in its sandwiches. Those things are rats, and they’re in the sandwiches." At that point, I swore that I would never set foot in a Quiznos.

Perhaps I spoke too soon. A few weeks ago, my wife and I decided on a whim that we would try a Quiznos sub (I guess rat meat sounded tasty to us at the time for whatever reason). So, we went to the local franchise and hopped in line. After a couple of minutes of studying the menu, I turned to Kourtney to ask what she was thinking about ordering. It was then that I noticed her eyes were bloodshot, streaming tears, and becoming swollen. And by "swollen," I mean that her corneas were literally swelling up around her contact lenses.

Naturally, we left Quiznos immediately. After about five minutes in the car, however, all of Kourtney's symptoms had disappeared and she was feeling fine. Needless to say, we concluded that it was something in Quiznos that caused the flare-up. Her theory was that the much-ballyhooed toasting of the Quiznos subs essentially aerosolized the oregano and other spices used in preparing the sandwiches, irritating her eyes in the process. My theory was, and remains, that she's allergic to rat meat.

Meanwhile, on the ride home, we began composing our own ad jingle: "We love the subs! They make our eyes swell shut..."

Posted by Jess at 11:26 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

May 16, 2004

The historical epic: Hollywood's Achilles heel

Evil Doug has posted a short review of the recently-released Troy. I've reproduced an excerpt below. Be forewarned, however, that this post may contain minor spoilers for a 2,800-year-old story (not to mention a really bad Gene Shalit impression toward the end):

...okay, here'e my problem, mates. Briseis is with Achilles, right? He just killed dozens upon dozens of her countrymen AND at his order, her temple was sacked and her fellow priests killed AND Achilles himself beheaded the statue of the god she had sworn her service to. Okay...that known...what was up with her putting the knife to his throat...then getting him to say that he'll kill even more people if she doesn't kill him...and then HAVING SEX WITH HIM?!?!?!?


He DEFILED her temple, KILLED her countrymen, and she gets all hot for him? HUH?!?!

Sure, it's a little odd that a woman who has devoted her life to serving as an Apollonian virgin would give it all up to sleep with the guy who just killed her fellow priests and is currently in the process of sacking her city (when he isn't off sulking in his tent, of course). What I found even stranger, though, was how Briseis would go from being all dirty during her dialogue scenes with Achilles, with dishevelled hair and a blood-smeared face, to being completely glammed-out during the sex scenes -- and right back to looking haggard afterwards.

pitt_troy_set2.jpgI guess the best way to sum up my overall impression of Troy is "silly." It's wasn't necessarily bad -- just laughable at times due to cheesy performances (Agamemnon), weak characterization (the aforementioned Achilles/Briseis relationship, as well as the portrayal of Orlando Bloom's Paris), and goofy costuming choices (check out Brad Pitt's lovely azure skirt and midriff-baring blouse ensemble pictured to the right). In fact, the entire time I was watching Troy, I couldn't help but think about how much more I would enjoy seeing a big-screen adaptation of The Odyssey -- due in some part, I suppose, to the fact that Sean Bean's Odysseus was one of the few truly compelling characters in the film.

Taking into account the pretty cast of actors and actresses (although it's still up for debate whether or not Diane Kruger, who portrays the world's most beautiful woman, is actually prettier than Orlando Bloom), the special effects wizardry, and the frenetic battle scenes, Troy is certainly a visually impressive film -- almost like some kind of gigantic wooden animal statue. Once it rolls into the theater and the audience lets its guard down, however, out pops a very mediocre movie.

My Gene Shalit review: "Jennifer Aniston's boy-Troy Brad is the Pitts in this Greek-to-me epic. Trust me, I'm not Trojan Horsing around here -- Troy fails to hit a Homer. Even though Brad might have the face that's launched a thousand hits (at the box office), this film just made me feel ill-iad."

Posted by Jess at 11:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 15, 2004

The Justice Ponies of America

Sometimes, when you're surfing the web, you discover a site that blows you away with clever content, elegant design, and beautiful graphics. Other times, you stumble across a guy who's repainted a bunch of My Little Pony dolls to resemble members of the Justice League of America. Allow me to introduce Batpony, the Martian Ponyhunter,, the Green Pony Lantern:

The Dark Hoofed Detective J'onn P'onzz

In brightest hay, in darkest night...

You can view the rest of the Justice Ponies of America here.

Posted by Jess at 08:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

May 14, 2004

New Orleans, May 2004

As I mentioned a few posts back, my wife and I spent the last few days vacationing in New Orleans. In the past, I had always wondered what people did when they went on vacation and ended up getting rained on for much of their trip. Well, now I know the answer: they make do and try to enjoy themselves anyway.

Yep, we were caught out in the rain more than a few times while in the Big Easy (and enjoyed overcast skies for much of the remainder of our vacation). Nevertheless, we still had an absolute blast. We walked the French Quarter diagonally and then from side to side, toured the Garden District, rode the St. Charles Streetcar, visited an above-ground cemetary, got accosted by street performers, loitered around on Bourbon Street, and ate some delicious cajun cuisine. Sure, the rain forced us indoors a few times, but we made the most of it by catching a 3D IMAX movie and a showing of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (great flick, by the way). All in all, it turned out to be a restful and fun trip -- despite the rainy weather.

Several photos from our trip are included in the extended entry. Hover over the images for a description and click to embiggen.

A festive Mardi Gras statue standing in front of the Louisiana State Museum. Some lovely shuttered doors in the French Quarter. Two birds splashing around in a fountain in Jackson Square.

A Bourbon Street sign -- just just around the corner from our hotel. A creepy Mardi Gras something or another. Yet another in a long line of flower close-ups -- this one taken, appropriately enough, in the Garden District.

A Jackson Square lamppost during an evening rainshower. A secluded alley in the French Market. French Quarter architecture at the corner of St. Philip and something.

An old timey bicycle, somewhere in the French Quarter. St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square.

Posted by Jess at 07:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Are you gonna be my blog?

Wizbang recently hosted a Survivor All-Stars contest, and it seems that I won the grand prize -- a free two-week BlogAd on Wizbang -- with my pick of Amber winning over Boston Rob in the final vote. After much deliberation, here's the ad that I eventually worked up:


Here's hoping that Apple isn't feeling particularly litigious these days.

Posted by Jess at 03:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 13, 2004

Jackson Square at Night

I was just downloading photos from our camera before hitting the sack and couldn't resist posting this shot that Kourtney took of Jackson Square during a rain shower last night. For what it's worth, we didn't do any Photoshopping whatsoever (click the image for a larger view):


I'll have a few more tomorrow...

Posted by Jess at 11:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

It was the one-armed man!

Kourtney and I just returned from a lovely little vacation in New Orleans only to discover a letter from our car insurance company informing us that they have canceled our policy due to my involvement in an automobile accident in early March. Fair enough, right? Well, here's the catch: I haven't been involved in any accidents. Nevertheless, since there's an alleged accident from March showing up on my driving record that we didn't disclose to the insurance company, they've chosen to terminate our policy -- effective next week. The next step, I suppose, is calling the DMV and attempting to get to the bottom of this.

My theory? I bet the same guy who framed me for a parking violation I didn't commit a few months ago is behind this somehow. Either that, or I'm suffering from multiple personality disorder, which would explain both the mysterious accident and the parking ticket.

Bah. I need sleep. I'll post some photos from the Big Easy tomorrow.

Posted by Jess at 10:10 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 10, 2004

We'll be back after these messages...

I'm going to be away from the computer for the next few days, but I should be back by Friday with some fun new stories and maybe even a photo or two. In the meantime, taking a page from Sugarmama's playbook, I thought I'd give you guys the chance to suggest a topic or two you'd like to see me blog about when I return. Is there a subject you'd like to see discussed? A story you'd like to hear told? A burning question you'd like answered?

If so, post your suggestion in this entry's comments, and I just might take a stab at it when I return. If not, carry on about your business as you would normally, and I'll see you on Friday.

Posted by Jess at 07:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 09, 2004

Moral dilemma

My lawn mower and my VCR both gave up the ghost today. Which shall I replace first?

Posted by Jess at 11:09 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

May 08, 2004

Tales from the Classroom: Popular and Hot

An excerpt from an essay I recently read:

Compared to other industrialized democracies, the welfare state in the U.S. is not all that popular and hot.

Sure, I know what the student was getting at, but as I read it, I couldn't help but imagine someone saying, "Man, get a load of the social programs on that Sweden! That's HOT!"

Posted by Jess at 02:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 07, 2004

The latest object of my misplaced reality TV scorn

Dost my ears deceive, or did resident Survivor All-Stars idiot Big Tom attribute the quotation "Et tu, Brute?" to Jesus during last night's tribal council?

I think you're a little confused there, Big Tom. Jesus actually said, "Fredo, you're my older brother and I love you, but don't ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever." The "Et tu, Brute?" line was what Hulk Hogan said to Randy Savage right before the Megapowers exploded at Wrestlemania V.

P.S. Thanks again, Big Tom, for your tireless efforts in perpetuating every negative stereotype associated with people from rural Appalachia for a worldwide television audience that may never have a chance to meet someone from the region.

Posted by Jess at 08:29 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 05, 2004

I take back everything bad I ever said about the journal submission process...

I just received word from what is now my favorite journal that it's going to pubish my first-ever refereed article! For those keeping score at home, it's a co-authored piece on environmental scarcity and interstate/intrastate conflict -- you know, fun stuff.

Posted by Jess at 05:28 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

May 04, 2004

Judging a book by its cover

At issue: Is A.C. Crispin's Time for Yesterday the geekiest book ever?

Exhibit A:

Time for Yesterday

The evidence:

  • It's a Star Trek novel.
  • It's a Star Trek novel with Mr. Spock -- arguably the geekiest of all Trek icons -- on the cover.
  • It's a Star Trek novel that not only features Mr. Spock on the cover, but also a Conan the Barbarian look-alike in the background.
  • The Conan look-alike is wielding a sword that's approximately four feet long.
  • And he has pointy ears.
  • And he's Spock's time-traveling son from the past.
  • Finally, while the creature he's riding isn't technically a unicorn, it does have a horn protruding from its head.

The verdict: Time for Yesterday is, without a doubt, one geeky book. Ergo, it's probably not in my best interest to be spotted reading it in public -- especially while I'm administering a final exam to my students tomorrow morning.

Posted by Jess at 06:46 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 03, 2004

Animals don't feel pain

Yesterday, my wife and I were discussing potential names for veterinary clinics and whether we liked gimmicky names such as "Pets are People Too." Then, I sarcastically suggested that "Animals Don't Feel Pain" Veterinary Clinic would be a terrific name if she ever decided to open her own practice. I can just imagine it now...

Customer: So, when you say "Animals Don't Feel Pain," are you pledging to provide painless care to my pets or are you saying that you believe my pets are physiologically incapable of experiencing sensations of pain?

Receptionist: Well, ma'am, if you accept the latter, the former is more or less a given.

Then, we got off on a tangent discussing other unrelated "Animals Don't Feel Pain" businesses, like the "Animals Don't Feel Pain" Airport Shuttle Service and the "Animals Don't Feel Pain" Bakery. But, as you can imagine, that's neither here nor there.

Posted by Jess at 01:40 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

May 01, 2004

Like a real-life Dr. Dolittle

Congratulations are in order; my wife Kourtney received her doctorate of veterninary medicine this morning!


She and I are still discussing whether I'm now required to call her "doctor" around the house, or if that only applies in public.

Posted by Jess at 12:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Tales from the Classroom: Second Best

A sign left over in our department's lounge from Graduate Student Appreciation Day a few weeks ago:


Enjoy your time on top, Poultry Science graduate students; we're gunning for you next year! Seriously, though, kudos to whomever added the "2nd" to the sign. I think it sums up the disillusionment of the average graduate student quite succinctly.

Posted by Jess at 07:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack