Clooney Would Make a Good Ninja

He looks great for a 70-year-old. | MetaFilter

And here, for everyone’s pleasure is “THE GREATEST GEORGE CLOONEY STORY EVER”:
He may be pulling in $12 million a picture and deified by women worldwide, but George Clooney is apparently not above digging around in cat shit for the sake of a good joke.Actor Richard Kind (who plays Paul on “Spin City” and is a member of Clooney’s inner circle) and his pet feline learned that lesson the hard way.

“Richard had this cat that he loved and adored,” Ben Weiss, a “Friends” assistant director and another Clooney crony, recalls in the upcoming issue of Men’s Journal. “So George would go in the bathroom, and that’s where the litter box was. And there would be cat shit in there, so George would clean it up and flush it down the toilet. Then Richard would go in there and say, ‘God, it’s so weird. My cat hasn’t taken a shit in forever.'”

This went on for days: the cat crapping, Clooney merrily scooping and flushing. And eventually, Kind grew understandably concerned.

“Richard went to the vet to get some kind of thing to make the cat go to the bathroom,” says Weiss. “The poor cat. The cat’s shitting, and George is still cleaning it up.”

Clearly, the madness had to end. So the erstwhile “ER” star capped it off with a bang (or, more accurately, a thud).

“Finally, George stood over the cat box and took a giant shit,” Weiss tells the magazine. “And finally Richard goes in there and says, ‘Oh, my God! Kitty!'”
posted by ColdChef at 6:37 PM on March 17 [181 favorites ] [!]

The best of the best of the web (which is total crap).  Welcome to RPN.

Arrgh, Matey, Back Up That DVD

Feature: Turn Your PC into a DVD Ripping Monster

Commercial DVDs are far too expensive to let scratches turn your video into a glorified coaster, but most people still don’t back up their DVD collection. Once upon a time, the four to eight gigabyte footprint of a DVD on your hard drive was prohibitively large. But since the price of a gigabyte has plummeted, ripping your entire DVD collection to your computer is not just possible, it’s prudent—and it’s easy. Let’s take a look at the best ways to back up and play any DVD rip on your home computer, along with how to burn a DVD rip back to a playable DVD.
What You’ll Need
All you need is a PC with a DVD drive and a hard drive with some extra space. If you’re working on a computer with limited space, that doesn’t rule you out. You can find huge internal hard drives for cheap (like this 500GB drive for $99), and installing that hard drive is a breeze.

Control what you own, or don’t call yourself a pirate.

Our first and favorite option for ripping DVDs to your hard drive is DVD Rip, a free, open source application built in the Lifehacker workshop designed to make backing up DVDs to your hard drive as simple as possible. DVD Rip works in conjunction with another tool called DVD Shrink, a freeware application that rips and compresses the DVD image. DVD Shrink does all the heavy lifting—DVD Rip just makes it super-simple to use.

Get the software, follow the instruction, and avast ye geekies!

When Piracy Meets Capitalism

Wal-Mart Wants $10 CDs : Rolling Stone –

Wal-mart wants every CD you buy to cost less than ten bucks. And the nation’s largest retailer — which moved a quarter of a trillion dollars’ worth of goods last year — usually gets its way. Suppliers who don’t accede to Wal-Mart’s “everyday low price” mantra often find their products bounced from the chain’s stores, excluded from being sold to the 138 million people who shop at a Wal-Mart store every week.In the past decade, Wal-Mart has quietly emerged as the nation’s biggest record store. Wal-Mart now sells an estimated one out of every five major-label albums. It has so much power, industry insiders say, that what it chooses to stock can basically determine what becomes a hit. “If you don’t have a Wal-Mart account, you probably won’t have a major pop artist,” says one label executive.

Along with other giant retailers such as Best Buy and Target, Wal-Mart willingly loses money selling CDs for less than $10 (they buy most hit CDs from distributors for around $12).

Hardcore capitalism has always been the downfall of pirates. Just ask the ones off Barbary.

This breakdown of the cost of a typical major-label release by the independent market-research firm Almighty Institute of Music Retail shows where the money goes for a new album with a list price of $15.99.

$0.17 Musicians’ unions
$0.80 Packaging/manufacturing
$0.82 Publishing royalties
$0.80 Retail profit
$0.90 Distribution
$1.60 Artists’ royalties
$1.70 Label profit
$2.40 Marketing/promotion
$2.91 Label overhead

$3.89 Retail overhead


$7.83 = RIAA Money = Barely less than 1/2 the price.

Bolded to display good ol’fashioned piracy.

Silly Children, Group Fighting is For Nation-States

Home of Pirates vs. Ninjas

If pirates and ninjas fought, who would win?
The old question has been around since the 1960s, but for the past five years it has been making its way into the mainstream. Pirates vs. ninjas is characterized by over the top debates as people discuss swashbuckling moves versus martial arts action, corsairs cannonballing ninjutsu clans, ninjas poisoning rum, the robust life of piracy and shinobi stealth. The feud has taken hold of comic book fans, role-players, anime and manga fans, video gamers, sci-fi and fantasy crowds, and it’s battling its way into the popular mindset. is the home of the pirates vs. ninjas debate.

The lie to this whole thing is that Pirates and Ninjas could ever be brought together on a battlefield.  Pirates own the high seas, Ninjas the night.  And never the two shall meet.

Picking Apart the Shitstorm

New Haven Advocate: News – Iraq Five Years Later

Iraq’s security plan of the past months has gotten results. It came on the tail of sectarian violence receding, largely due to Sunni and Shia neighborhoods becoming almost completely segregated. Militias had gained territory and set the makeup of the cities’ population.

This is when the security plan went into effect, which reinforced the segregation with walls and barbed wire. Neighborhoods were separated, with minimal ways in and out.

Shia militias are staying quiet, allowing Iraqi and American forces to concentrate on routing out al-Qaeda, which is to their benefit. Meanwhile, cleric Moqtada Al-Sadr’s militia, the Mahdi Army, though not often actively attacking troops, still numbers in the tens of thousands and retains control over parts of Baghdad and much of southern Iraq. Al-Sadr has clout in the Iraqi Parliament and is currently studying to achieve the high religious title of Ayatollah, which can be expected to increase his following.

A female government worker in her 40s I met on the street told me, “The Americans are paying and arming the militias to stay quiet for now. Al Sadr is not stupid. Jaish Al-Mahdi [the Mahdi Army] is now getting weapons and training. They grow strong every day, and they do not give [up] their territory. What do you think will happen in the future?”

The Strategy of staving off the disaster until it can be a huge disaster seems to be a popular one.

The Pretzeldent Loses Again, Lesson: Don’t Mess With Texas

Supreme Court overrules Bush, OKs Texas execution –

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Texas can execute a Mexican murderer being held on its death row. The case pitted President Bush against his home state in a dispute over federal authority, local sovereignty and foreign treaties.


The case decided by the Supreme Court on Tuesday pitted President Bush against his home state, Texas.

At issue was whether the state had to give in to a demand by the president that the prisoner be allowed new hearings and sentencing.

Bush made that demand reluctantly, after an international court concluded Jose Ernesto Medellin was improperly denied access to his consulate before his original prosecution — a violation of a treaty signed by the United States decades ago.

The 6-3 vote means the pending execution of Medellin can proceed. He faces lethal injection for two slayings.

And especially don’t mess with Texans.  They don’t like that.

Medellin was 18 when he participated in the June 1993 gang rape and murder of two Harris County, Texas, girls: Jennifer Ertman, 14, and Elizabeth Pena, 16. He was convicted of the crimes and sentenced to death.

Medellin’s lawyers argued he was not informed upon his arrest of his right to contact Mexican consular officials. Those officials were not able to meet with him until after his conviction.

The Mexican government filed an appeal against the United States with the International Court of Justice in January 2003, alleging violations of international law. Medellin filed his own federal and state appeals based on similar complaints as well as a claim of ineffective counsel. Medellin has the support of the European Union and several international human rights groups.

Texans don’t like people messing with them, and the U.S. don’t like nobody messing with them.  Medellin is screwed in at least two ways.

Personally, I like the way we deal with this on the high seas.  It’s a curious thing when “man overboard” elicits a cheer of praise from the scaliwags.

I Wrote This Under Sniper Fire

Clinton says she ‘misspoke’ about sniper fire –

(CNN) — Sen. Hillary Clinton said she “misspoke” last week when she gave a dramatic description of her arrival in Bosnia 12 years ago, recounting a landing under sniper fire.

Then-first lady Hillary Clinton greets a girl as she and her daughter, Chelsea, arrive in Bosnia in 1996.

Clinton was responding to a question Monday from the Philadelphia Daily News’ editorial board about video footage of the event that contradicted her assertion that her group “ran with our heads down” from the plane to avoid sniper fire at the Tuzla Air Base.

Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for rival Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign, said the Bosnia claim was part of “a growing list of instances in which Sen. Clinton has exaggerated her role in foreign and domestic policymaking.”


That girl has some 50-cal flowers in her vest, I just know it.

What’s Up Shorty*

World’s Tallest Man Has Trouble Finding Shoes, Bike – Irresistible Headlines News Story – KMGH Denver

“Thanks to good people I have shoes and clothes,” said the 37-year-old former veterinarian, who still lives with his 66-year-old mother.

In 2006, Stadnik was officially measured at 8 feet 5 inches tall, surpassing a 7-foot-9-inch Chinese man to claim the title of the world’s tallest person.

His growth spurt began at age 14 after a brain operation that apparently stimulated the overproduction of growth hormone. Doctors say he has been growing ever since.

While his size is intimidating, Stadnik charms visitors with a broad grin and childlike laugh. He seems at times like a lonely boy trapped in a giant’s body, even keeping stuffed toys on his pillow.

Stadnik’s stature has brought attention, but he struggles to lead a normal life.

*something this man has never heard in his life.  And, BTW, your average giant robot is about forty feet tall.

My Martian Brethren Are Being Abandoned

SciTechBlog: Blog Archive – Budget woes at NASA to impact Mars Rovers « – Blogs from

NASA officials have directed the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) program to cut $4 million dollars from its $approximately 20 million dollar budget this year, and principal investigator Steve Squyres tells CNN that will likely mean science operations will have to be suspended for Spirit. The rover would be put in hibernation mode, and if all goes well it could be reactivated in the future in the event funding is restored.

NASA Headquarters spokesman Dwayne Brown confirmed the budget directive has been issued. He said the reason behind the cut is to offset cost overruns with the Mars Science Laboratory, a follow-on rover set to launch next year.

NASA spent $800 million to build and launch Spirit and its twin, Opportunity, to Mars. They landed about 3 weeks apart in January 2004, on opposite sides of the planet from each other. Both were designed for 90 day missions, but are still operating more than four years later.

Hmmm, designed for 90 days and lasting over four years….kinda sounds like a certain war to me.


Just hours after we reported that NASA budget cuts would lead to the shut down of the Mars rover “Spirit,” we received this from NASA spokesman Bob Jacobs:

“There is a process that has to be followed for any mission to be canceled and the cancellation of the Mars Exploration Rovers is not under consideration. There is an ongoing budget review within the agency’s Mars exploration program. However, shutting down of one of the rovers is not an option.”

And this from NASA Administrator Michael Griffin:

“NASA will not shut down one of the Mars rovers.”

As you were…

Luckily I Don’t Need A Home

US home prices drop 11.4 pct. in January – Yahoo! News

NEW YORK – A widely-watched index of U.S. home prices fell 11.4 percent in January, its steepest drop since data for the indicator was first collected in 1987.

The decline reported Tuesday in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index means prices have been growing more slowly or dropping for 19 consecutive months.

The index tracks the prices of single-family homes in 10 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

The broader 20-city composite index also fell, dropping 10.7 percent in January from a year ago. That makes it the first time both indexes dropped by double-digit percentages.

Although if I did need a home, in about 5 months might be best time to buy.   Let the market crater a bit first.