PTO: The Side Blog

September 21, 2007

Survivor China Doesn’t Like “Chicken” But I Did Enjoy The Premiere

Filed under: Television — calaggie @ 1:35 am

I haven’t consistently watched a season of Survivor since Marquesas (the fourth one) but since this fifteenth edition (wait, it’s been FIFTEEN seasons!?!) takes place in China, I decided to give this one a try and it was entertaining enough for me and had many interesting characters to continue watching for at least a couple more weeks.

The more interesting characters include:
* Peih-Gee, an Chinese-American jeweler from Los Angeles who wants to get things done
* a Virginia chicken farmer nicknamed Chicken (who surprisingly got voted out! DAMN!) [real name: Steve Morris]
* a 20-year-old student nicknamed Frosti [real name: Michael Zernow]
* Courtney, a New York waitress who doesn’t like her overly optimistic tribemates
* Leslie, a 38-year-old Christian talk show host who walked out of the Buddhist welcome cermony
* Jean-Robert, a professional poker player
* James, a black gravedigger who doesn’t speak much

Three of the contestants – Jean-Robert, WWE Diva Ashley, and former Miss Montana Amanda – already have articles on Wikipedia for their notability before this show and I hope that their appearances in this competition do not overshadow their actual careers.


September 12, 2007

Two G8 Leaders Make Surprise Political Moves

Filed under: News, Politics — calaggie @ 3:24 pm

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced he would resign effective September 19 after almost a year in office. Abe and his party, the Liberal Democrats (LDP), have had problems dealing with a financial crisis as well as an inability to gather public support, much less so than the charismatic and well-coifed former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. His likely successor is the manga-loving Taro Aso, Abe’s foreign minister.

Also today: Russian President Vladimir Putin named a relatively unknown longtime associate, Viktor Zubkov, to take over as prime minister after Mikhail Frekhov resigned yesterday. A loyal follower of Kremlin orders, Frekhov said that he stepped down “so Putin would have a free hand to create a new government in the run-up to the presidential election”.

September 10, 2007

Entire Daily Show Archive to be Online in 4Q?

Filed under: News, Television — calaggie @ 3:49 pm

Hollywood Reporter reports in an article about MTV Networks (a part of Viacom) creating individual portals for their popular shows that the entire archive of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” could be available by year’s end:, which launches in the fourth quarter, will archive the entire video history of the show including headlines, interviews and the “Back in Black” feature. The portal also will present the previous evening’s episode in its entirety an hour or two after its broadcast.     

This is interesting, especially Lewis Black’s segment, and I think this could divert many people from YouTube to this new site, pleasing Viacom who I believe is still in that legal battle with Google over copyright infringement through YouTube. It will likely have forums like the Colbert Nation does – now that I mention it, would this affect Colbert’s site? Hmmm…we’ll have to wait and see. I personally hope that a bunch of Mo Rocca’s and Steve Carell’s segments will be on there.

August 8, 2007

Rising Number of Cats With Diabetes in the UK

Filed under: News — calaggie @ 3:52 am

BBC News has an article on how an increasing number of cats are being diagnosed with diabetes. The number in a study by Edinburgh Univesity is that one in 230 pet cats in Great Britain is diabetic and that neutered males that do not get sufficient exercise are particularity at risk. The article also notes, likely for comparison, that more than 2 million people in the UK have diabetes.

July 27, 2007

News Clips: July 27th

Filed under: News — calaggie @ 6:14 pm

Wisconsin Boy’s Lemonade Stand Robbed
Austin Cundy, an 11-year-old boy in Oshkosh, WI, had a plastic container with $20 in it taken by two teenagers when they rode by his lemonade stand on their bicycles, punched him and shoved him off his chair Tuesday. He was earning the money to go camping with his grandparents and to buy his mother a birthday present. People in the community have given the boy cards, money, and offers to have him sell cool drinks at their businesses while a 17-year-old has been taken into custody for suspicion of robbery and physical abuse to a child.

Two News Helicopters Collide While Covering Police Chase
Earlier today, the choppers of both Phoenix stations KNXV and KTVK crashed into each other while following a police chase of a man who had fled a traffic stop in his construction truck. The accident occurred after police blew out the truck’s tires and the man eventually had parked it to steal another nearby car. A pilot and photopgrapher aboard each aircraft were killed, making four dead in a rare news-covering tragedy.

Aquafina Label Will Clarify That It Is Tap Water
Pepsi-Cola, the maker of Aquafina bottled water, announced that the product’s new labels will say the water contained within them “is purified water that originates from a public water source”, a striking clarification of the current “Bottled at the source P.W.S.” Coke say it doesn’t plan to alter the label of its Dasani brand even though that also comes from public water sources. I personally don’t drink that much bottled water but what of it I do, usually Crystal Geyser and Arrowhead, are spring water.

A-Rod’s 500th Could Have “Happened” Before His 499th?
Before the Yankees started their regular-scheduled weekend series against the Orioles, the two teams had to resume a game that was suspended on June 28th in the 8th due to rain. Before today, Alex Rodriguez had hit 499 home runs but if he hit one during his final at-bat of the continued game, that would be credited as occurring back in June under Rule 10.23 and make for a confusing story as to when his 500th homer happened. Number 499, hit on Wednesday night against the Royals, would have been promoted to #500 while the 500th chronologically would become his 493th all-time. Thankfully, A-Rod didn’t hit one (grounded to short instead) and the above became simply a what-if.

June 15, 2007


Filed under: Television — calaggie @ 7:43 pm


So, I was channel-surfing tonight and came upon some movie (“Hitch”) on TBS. I then flipped to the next channel, TNT, and saw the same movie playing. I went back and forth and figured out the TBS feed was about a half-second ahead of TNT. I would like to see “Hitch” but I’d rather do it later because I hate starting movies from the middle. I also don’t want to watch it on TV because the videophile in me is a stickler for the widescreen versions of movies and strays away from fullscreen versions unless there is no other choice. Also, the girl Kevin James is going after is named Allegra?!?

UPDATE: Here is a camera phone shot from the TNT airing:

June 8, 2007

Quick News Links: June 8th

Filed under: News, Politics, Sports, Television — calaggie @ 2:30 pm

I know I haven’t written a post in three months and thought that I should just follow the original idea of a blog – a collection of links – in order to make more frequent posts. So here are some of the interesting news stories spanning politics, sports, and entertainment I have read over the past couple of days:

  • The Senate failed to pass the immigration bill that would have give some resolution on the issue. My Senators, Feinstein and Boxer, were split on whether to vote on it (Feinstein) or debate it further (Boxer). It had bipartisan support so why didn’t it pass? Sigh, I guess this is just politicians playing politics with unions and other special interests involved.
  • David Ortiz, the DH for the Red Sox, was apparently unaware of Curt Schilling’s bid for a no-hitter against the A’s yesterday until the ninth inning. Maybe if he played in the field, he would have realized it a lot sooner.
  • Tim Goodman, the TV columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, ponders what is probably the biggest question in television history since “Who shot J.R.?” – namely, what will happen to Tony in the series finale of “The Sopranos”?
  • “You don’t deserve the Ducks!” proclaims Joel Stein in a op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times today. The Anaheim hockey team won the Stanley Cup 4 games to 1 over the Ottawa Senators last night and it doesn’t seem like anyone cares. I honestly didn’t know that how the series was standing until I checked a couple days ago and the Ducks were leading 3-1. Just goes to show that the troubles that the NHL is having in attracting fans. Hmm…if a team wins the Stanley Cup and no one bothers to notice, how much is it worth?
  • In more local news, Dimple Records is taking over the closed down Tower Records lot in downtown Davis. It will be interesting to see how the used music store across the street, Armadillo Music, responds in terms of pricing and marketing because I’ve had good experiences with both stores and I’d like to give Dimple in Davis a try. No exact date has been given for the grand opening but it’s expected to be in late June.

March 8, 2007

At Least It Was Short…

Filed under: Spectactular Spam — calaggie @ 5:14 pm

Part 2 of an continuing series of spam e-mails that have escaped built-in filters and caught my eye before deletion.

From: English <>
Subject: Check out the popular Job Board.

Many recreational golfers fight a slice, and those that don’t often have a hook.
The one regret I have here is that it did not go into more detail about how to incorporate more of the core rulebook monsters, or those from Monsters: A Field Guide into the setting. “But he hung in there and knew I didn’t mean to do it. It’s talked about, but it hasn’t gotten past the rumor stage.
It is different enough to be worth reading. Final solution was to just simply remove Crystal Report and install it again along with all patches and fixes.

February 5, 2007

Davis Flashmob Sets New Guinness Record

Filed under: News — calaggie @ 11:20 pm

The Aggie's coverage of the flashmob

I should have written about this sooner but I was preoccupied with a paper and the Super Bowl. I seriously regret not putting money on the Colts…oh well, maybe next year I’ll be more risk-taking and put $10 on the line. Anyway, on to what I wanted to talk about.

On Thursday at noon, students at my university (UC Davis) formed the largest flashmob in US history around the ATMs near the campus bookstore, made noise while the bell chimed, and then dispersed when it was 12:01. The record should appear in the 2008 edition of the Guinness Book of Records. The amount of people that participated was estimated to be over a thousand students and it took place during the 20-minute lunch break between the end of 11:50am classes and the beginning of 12:10pm classes.

I’m definitely going to buy the book for posterity when it comes out but I feel a little bad about myself when thinking about it because I woke up ten minutes or so before it started and didn’t feel it was worth it to rush to campus when I could eat lunch and go to my 1:40 class. There are many angles of the event on YouTube so just search for “UC Davis flashmob” and laugh at the random exuberance of college students.

February 1, 2007

People in Boston Overreact Over ATHF Promotion

Filed under: News — calaggie @ 1:18 pm

I know I haven’t been tending to this sideblog ever since I moved my main blog to a new domain and I even forgot it was still up until someone left a comment a couple days ago. So, for my first post back from unintentional vacation, I’ll talk about a news story that is too strange not to pass up.

Surely by now you’ve heard about the “bomb scare” in Boston yesterday over lighted signs meant to promote the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie. The performance artists, Peter Berdovsky (27) and Sean Stevens (28), were arrested for disorderly conduct and placing a hoax device. Sure, a mooninite giving someone the finger might offend some drivers on the freeway but to think it’s dangerous because it lights up is ridiculous. People in Seattle didn’t seem to mind so why was Boston so uppity?

The mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, gave a statement yesterday saying that “it is outrageous, in a post 9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme…I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred during the response to today’s incidents.”

With all the attention this has gotten in the mainstream media, the marketing effort certainly attracted people to learn more about the series and Turner hopes that will parlay into a slightly bigger box office turnout. But I think this is an example of authority figures just not getting it and being out of touch. Example: at a news conference, the two guys wanted to talk about hairstyles of the ’70s instead of the case. (YouTube link) [They likely were told by counsel that they should keep quiet about the details.] Many of the reporters asked them if they were taking this seriously but thankfully others with a sense of humor played along and asked the guy with dreadlocks if he was worried his hair might be cut if sent to jail.

P.S. I’m keeping the name of this blog the same even though I’ve stopped writing at Part-Time Otaku because (1) people for some reason still leave comments over there, (2) it gives a certain sense of inconsistency, and (3) it would be a bitch to move it somewhere else. I’ll try to add a feed to this site in the sidebar of the new one so that people will know I’ve started writing here again.

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