Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

SONY Got Served.

Sony’s latest revelation came just a day after it announced measures to avert another cyberattack like that which hit its PlayStation Network two weeks ago.  The Japanese electronics company said its Sony Online Entertainment PC games network had been hacked on April 18, but did not find out about the breach until the early hours of Monday and shut down the service shortly afterwards.  The breach may also have led to the theft of 10,700 direct debit records from customers in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and 12,700 non-U.S. credit or debit card numbers, it said.  PS3 players, BE WARNED.

The 10 Greatest Movie Villians.

With certain blog posts, I unintentionally cause some sort of an uproar.  (And then I get inbox full of emails from angry people, then I make my staff go through it, then they complain, and its just not pretty) BUT, that being said, this post is meant to cause some discussions.  My person top 10 movie villains, is a list made out of personal opinion, and a list that I hope people will give me suggestions on.  I haven’t seen every movie, and if you think there’s a bad-ass that I’ve left off the list, please let me know.  But before I get to it, I want to explain why I left one person off the list.  ‘The Dark Knight‘s joker is one of the best most compelling villains I’ve ever seen.  But there is too much speculation about Heath Ledgers death being the reason people loved his performance, or about how he went crazy while playing the role, yadda yadda.  So although I took Joker off the list, I still had to put up one of my favorite scenes from The Dark Knight by one of the most iconic antagonists in modern American cinema.  Click the pic to see the scene.

Click the pic to watch.

And now that we have THAT out of the way, let me go into a bit more detail about my hard thought list.  There is always a very worthy antagonist for every good movie, but my selections weren’t based on the money the movie made, or how well it received by the general public.  When I say best villains, I mean just that.  I’ve picked the most devious, reckless, demented, mischievous rapscallions ever captured on film, and portrayed by great actors, but keep in mind this list is not in any specific order.  This is just my personal top 10, not how they rank.  I also did my best not to over-saturate the list with over played persona’s like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.  Essentially I tried to stay away from a whole list of “possessed crazed white people”, there’s an abundance of that in good movies (Ryan Reynolds in ‘Amityvillie Horror’, Katie from ‘Paranormal Activity’, and so on).  The second category I stayed away from were the action movie bad guys, who are a normally a dime a dozen, and all either want money or have a personal vendetta with the good guy, which is why I tried my hardest to deviate from that as well.  I’ll explain my reasons for picking each person on the list, but basically I wanted to stick to truly unique, one of a kind, malicious bad-assery (more like John Doe in ‘Seven’ which would have came 11th on the list) so I’m pretty sure I picked 10 winners.  Check the method.

Patrick Bateman – (American Psycho)

What I consider a master of deception, Bateman is insane, and can keep it all in his pants when it matters most, but I think is the most unsettling thing about him is when his “crazy” slips out, like in the classic ‘business card’ scene from American Psycho. Interesting, intriguing, while still unsettling and disturbing, this simple scene doesn’t depict any of his murders, but it shows just how the mind of a person that deranged just might work.

Adrian Veidt – (Watchmen)

I consider Adrian an unparalleled monster, for the simple fact that in his movie, he did something no other villains tend to do… Succeed.  He carried out his master-plan, killed a billion people, and had one of the sickest evil lines in ANY movie.  “I’m not a comic book villain. Do you seriously think I would explain my master stroke to you if there were even the slightest possibility you could affect the outcome? I triggered it 35 minutes ago.”  Not to mention in his universe, he’s the smartest man alive.  Check it out.

Hannibal Lecter – (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, Hannibal Rising.)

When the original ‘Silence of the Lambs’ came out, I was far too young to appreciate it.  All I remember thinking was that Buffalo Bill not having a d*ck was downright disturbing in every sense of the word.  But years and years later, when the sequel ‘Hannibal’ came out, my sister sat me down and made me watch the original, and it warped my mind as to how brilliant and insidious the character of Hannibal Lecter really was.  Check out a scene or two from one of my favorite evil genius’s.  (B.T.W. if you haven’t seen any of the movies, he eats people.)

Blue – (Sucker Punch)

‘Sucker Punch’ is a relatively new movie, its an original, and most people are unfamiliar with its basic cast of characters.  But all that being said, Blue, the movies main villain is ridiculously malicious, and carries out one of the most shocking acts in any movie I’ve seen in years.  Seeing as how when this post was written, ‘Sucker Punch’ was still clocking dollars at the box office, I won’t put any spoilers into this post.  But I do have to reiterate that Blue is a gentleman, a low down scheeming liar, a man of great emotional depth, a disturbed m*ther f*cker, and still one of the biggest pimps I’ve ever seen on screen.  The scene below (has no spoilers) but is immediately before Blue shows his “true colors” and rockets himself into villain history.  If you’ve seen the movie, you know what happens next.

Simon Phoenix – (Demolition Man)

I feel like if people were satisfied with my choices so far, they may not be after this.  I know I tried to stray away from action movie villians, but if you’re a fan of the 1993 movie ‘Demolition Man’, you know exactly why Simon Phoenix breaks the action villain mold.  He’s planning, methodical, and absolutely insane.  Not only does he get pure joy from destruction, he carries out most of his acts in a world where people are innocent and crime doesn’t exist.  He prays on the innocent not for any motive or reason, but simply because he just LOVES doing it.  Which makes him a great villain.  Check out exactly what I mean below.

Castor Troy – (Face Off)

Now when it comes to vile, demented, horrid, despicable, and utterly hilarious characters,  no one can tell me that Castor Troy doesn’t deserve to be on this list.  A great sense of humor is always something that makes an antagonist greater than the ‘evil-brooding-angry-man-sitting-in-a-chair-petting-a-cat’ stereotype that villains can have.  But the mental disturbance level of Castor Troy throughout the entire movie “Face Off” is what I think gives Mr. Troy the chops to make it onto this list.  Check out one of the opening scenes of ‘Face Off’ and you’ll see what I mean.

Alonzo Harris – (Training Day)

Yes… the photo above is of Denzel Washington playing Alonzo Harris in the 2001 hit ‘Training Day’… (AND yes he’s pointing a shotgun at a small boy)  So now that we have an idea of how gutter the villain Alonzo Harris was, I have to say that what puts him on this list (for me) is the fact that when you watch this movie, you feel the character’s plight.  You don’t care that he’s an evil, vindictive, deceitful, murderer, you just want him to succeed.  And I’ll admit this whole-heartedly, when I’m alone, I can’t watch the end of ‘Training Day’.  It just pushes a bad button to see Officer Harris go down the way he does.  After all, he’s responsible for one of the most classic lines in current urban culture…. “King Kong ain’t got S*HT on ME!” (tell me you’ve never heard anyone say that in real life.)

Clyde Shelton – (Law Abiding Citizen)

Clyde Shelton is another relatively new bad guy, but never the less, he deserves to be on this list.  I don’t know the percentage of people who have seen “Law Abiding Citizen” but if you haven’t, Shelton is one of the most brilliant bad-asses I’ve seen in a long time.  He manages to keep the audience guessing as to his next move, while keeping the audience guessing as to how he’s doing it all, while keeping the audience saying “I don’t understand why your doing what your doing, but go on sir.”  Perfect example is the courtroom scene below.  Half the time your wondering what the hell is wrong with this man, but you can’t take your eyes of the screen.  Dope.

Agent Smith – (The Matrix)

This list is all about the qualities that make antagonists extra evil, and counting those qualities.  Agent Smith is unique because for the first time we have to disregard a few things.  Lets just forget that the man has an army of HIMSELF.  Lets forget the fact that he technically cannot die.  Lets just forget the fact that he can kill you with one touch.  Lets just focus on the little part where he doesn’t have one main enemy, Smith just hates the ENTIRE HUMAN SPECIES as a whole.  Just for having that much hatred in your blood, you deserve a good spot on the list.  Check out Smith’s explanation for his angry disposition below.

Alex – (A Clockwork Orange)

Click the pic to watch this final villain in action.

Due to restrictions put on me by the people who pay me, there is a certain bracket of content I can’t post directly onto this site.  Alex from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ falls directly into that bracket like 27 times.  And that’s one of the things that makes him one of the greatest Villains in movie history.  Deranged beyond all comprehension, crazed, angry, disturbed, and any other synonym you can come up with, are all things to describe this character.  If the “disturbing” level of  ‘2 Girl’s 1 Cup’ made you want to drop kick a baby stroller, then after watching the “Singing In The Rain” scene from ‘A Clockwork Orange’ you may just look like this when it’s over.   The best part is, unlike ‘2 Girls 1 Cup’, people actually ENJOY watching this movie, which is why Alex is one of the top ranking bad guys on my list.  Enjoy.

The Vote.

So as I said in the beginning of this post, I’m very open to speculation, conversation, and mediation on this topic, and I’m really curious to hear other people’s opinions.  If I’ve missed anyone I’d like to take them into consideration.  So I’ve set up a vote in which you can vote on the list as to who your favorite is, or you can write your own answers in.  Lets see what happens.

The 15 Richest Fictional Characters.

Forbes magazine has released its annual Fictional 15, which ranks the richest characters from television, film, comics and books.  On top of the list is Scrooge McDuck, a billionaire bird known for storing a fortune in gold coins inside a massive Duckburg “money bin.”  With the price of gold up more than 30% year over year, the quacking Croesus’ net worth soared to $44.1 billion.  Joining the Scottish McDuck at the top of the cash heap are; immortal vampire Carlisle Cullen ($36.2 billion), Ireland’s master criminal and child genius, Artemis Fowl II ($13.5 billion) and business magnate Richie Rich ($9.7 billion).  The members of the 2011 list of wealthiest fictional characters have an average net worth of $9.86 billion, up 20% from last year.  In aggregate, the Fictional 15 are worth $131.55 billion –more than the gross domestic product of New Zealand.

2011 Forbes Fictional 15

1. Scrooge McDuck $44.1 B — Mining and treasure hunting
2. Carlisle Cullen $36.2 B — Compound interest and investments
3. Artemis Fowl II $13.5 B — Theft, forgery and Facebook
4. Richie Rich $9.7 B — Inheritance and conglomerates
5. Jed Clampett $9.5 — Oil and gas
6. Tony Stark $9.4 B — Defense
7. Smaug $8.6 B — Marauding
8. Bruce Wayne $7.0 B — Inheritance and defense
9. Mr. Monopoly $2.6 B — Real estate
10. Arthur Bach $1.8 B — Inheritance
11. Jo Bennett $1.2 B — Electronics and inheritance
12. C. Montgomery Burns $1.1 B — Energy
13. Chuck Bass $1.1 B — Real estate
14. Gordon Gekko $1.1 B — Investments
15. Jeffrey Lebowski $1.0 B — Inheritance

WTF Picture From The Distant Past. (Part 2)

With the globalization of the internet, there are trillions of images that float around, and an immeasurable number of pictures that make people say “WTF” on a daily basis.  I came across a series of these pictures that had a bit of a twist to them.  All of said photos are authentic, vintage, and dated between the 1920’s and 1940’s.  The number of pictures that caught my attention was so great that I had to split it up into two posts (the first post dropped yesterday and you can see it here) but the subject matter and content of all the photos are unique, but I guarentee you all that all of them will make you (in one way or another) think to yourself “WTF”.   Check part 2.

WTF Pictures From The Distant Past. (Part 1)

With the globalization of the internet, there are trillions of images that float around, and an immeasurable number of pictures that make people say “WTF” on a daily basis.  I came across a series of these pictures that had a bit of a twist to them.  All of said photos are authentic, vintage, and dated between the 1920’s and 1940’s.  The number of pictures that caught my attention was so great that I had to split it up into two posts (the second would should be coming tomorrow) but the subject matter and content of all the photos are unique, but I guarantee you all that all of them will make you (in one way or another) think to yourself “WTF”.   Check part 1.

BCR vs. BK (It Only Takes A Few People To Make An Entire Race Look Bad).

Ton’s of people have been talking about the video above, and even among my closest friends, this video caused a discussion that upset a few people.  The story I’ve heard about whats taking place in the video is that during ‘Black College Reunion’ week, 2 women were in Burger King, waiting to be served, and the wait was so unbearable for the obese women, they started senselessly tearing up the Burger King and accosting the staff.  (This is the story I seem to keep hearing over and over.)

My first question is why do people have to act like that in the first place?  The world may never know, so lets just move along.  One question that came to my mind immediately after watching the video, and seeing the comments underneath the video from random viewers on YouTube.  WHY are people so racially driven when talking about these peoples actions.  Yes, its quite obvious that everyone that was causing trouble appeared African American, but why does that spark comments about an entire race?  Because of one group of rowdy people, an entire race seems to get put into a box and labeled, which I personally think is very unfair.

The comments that I saw are in the picture below, and you can click the picture to enlarge the photo, but people really said some wild sh*t.  Where my questions lie, when there are videos of crazy drunk white kids during spring break, no one classifies ALL white people as being that ridiculous, its just openly accepted that the group of people being observed in the video are idiots.  When there are videos of a group of girls flashing people during Mardi Gras, not all women are labeled as sluts who will show off their tits for a necklace they’ll lose before the end of the week, so why is it that all black people are being labeled (by some) as ignorant, destructive, or disorderly just because of the actions of a few fat girls?

One of the things that really threw gas onto the raging fire of a discussion my friends and I had, was when we saw someone comment that they themselves were black, and then proceeded to say that most people of the black race can be ignorant or absent minded.  No one person can speak for an entire race, and I think people seem to forget that.  Its unfortunate that whoever the person was that made that comment has black friends that can be ignorant and absent minded, but please don’t do the SAME thing everyone else is doing by labeling your own race as predominately ignorant and absent minded.

The other wild comment I read was about the ‘Obama Entitlement’ class.  I’ve never heard this term prior to reading these comments, but I can naturally assume it means that there exists a class of black people who feel “entitled” to something, or to act a certain way because President Obama is office.  And regardless of weather I’m 100% on the mean or not, people seem to be under the impression this is an iron clad, rock solid phenomenon.  I’m a stickler for details, so let me just examine that one for a second…

1. President Obama is half black, and half white, so either the “Obama Entitlement Class” applies to both black and white people.  OR, it only applies to mulatto children who have both a black and a white parent.

2. I would presume this “Obama Entitlement” suggests that the attributes of the president in office can effect the actions of the people who share the presidents most publicized qualities.  If that’s the case liars would have been tearing up Burger Kings when Nixon was in office, promiscuous men would have been at it when Clinton was in office, and vast number of less than intelligent former cocaine addicted rich kids would have been pulling things apart when Bush lived in the white house.

And finally, 3, it’s ignorant in itself to assume that an entire “class” of people feel exactly the same way about themselves because of the current president being elected.  If some people feel entitled because our president is half black, that’s fine, but how can you tell from a YouTube video that the people there that day were part of that group?

But lets move past the Obama point, past the “all black people are destructive in large groups” thing, and even past the racism aspect of it.  All in all, I’m not trying to preach, or make some sort of major political, racial, or jump on any type of high horse.  All I’m trying to say is this… Two fat b*tches had to wait too long for a Whopper at Burger King… what did you think would happen?

Click the pic to enlarge.


Who Said Gangsters Can’t Be Generous?

In many cultures, in many places, there is a belief that times of crisis reveal the true value of a person.  In Japan, applying that axiom proves difficult, especially in light of a recent Daily Beast report that Japan’s infamous mafia, the Yakuza, are providing tons of vital goods to the earthquake and tsunami relief effort.  The three largest Yakuza groups (kind of like the crime families of the American Italian mafia), have sent dozens of trucks with a few hundred tons of goods to the devastated regions thus far, reports Japan crime expert Jake Adelstein. They’ve sent everything from diapers to batteries to instant ramen.  While this support may seem antithetical to a criminal ethos, one member said, “There are no yakuza or katagi (ordinary citizens) or gaijin (foreigners) in Japan right now. We are all Japanese. We all need to help each other.”  In 1995, Adelstein reports that the Yakuza also provided tons of goods and services following the Kobe earthquake.

There is allegedly a philosophy the Yakuza follows that “values humanity, justice, and duty and that forbids one from watching others suffer or be troubled without doing anything about it. Believers of ‘the way’ are expected to put their own lives on the line and sacrifice themselves to help the weak and the troubled. The yakuza often simplify it as ‘to help the weak and fight the strong,’ in theory,” Adelstein writes.  However, the reality of Japanese organized crime is such that the Yakuza frequently prey on the weak to become strong, Adelstein reports. In this one instance though, they appear to be actually trying to help.  This support is given with great concern, however. The Yakuza said they fear having their donations rejected if their support becomes too widely publicized. One member told Adelstein: “Right now, no one wants to be associated with us and we’d hate to have our donations rejected out of hand.”

Think Panda.

When you see a tuna, think panda. The bluefin tune is now critically endangered to the point of extinction. Industrial overfishing, fueled by the voracious appetite for tuna in several parts of Asia, is killing off the remaining breeding populations. Act quickly to save what’s left. Don’t sell, buy or eat this endangered species. And please support the bluefin defense campaign. Operation Blue Rage, at

The 6 Creepiest Places On Earth.

I don’t consider myself a p*ssy, by any stretch of the imagination, but there is ONE place I’ve visited that legit scares the crap out me.  ‘The Devil’s Tree’ in New Jersey, I won’t go into the backstory, but its just not the place you want to have a picnic.  That being said, some the places on this list could make the Devil’s Tree in New Jersey look like a Snuggles Fabric Softener commercial.  Before I say my usual “check the method” as you proceed to read on, whats every creepier, is that it’s taking me forever to write this post, because for whatever reason, things mysteriously move around, the coding warps, things change format, or disappear all together.  So my apologies for the inconsistent type format,  this really is very peculiar.

6. The Aokigahara Forest

Aokigahara is a woodland at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan that makes The Blair Witch Project forest look like Winnie the Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. It probably has something to do with all the dead bodies scattered around.  What Niagara Falls is to weddings, Aokigahara is to suicide. How many suicides does it takes for a place to get that reputation? A dozen? Fifty?  More than 500 f*cking people have taken their own lives in Aokigahara since the 1950s.  Think about that for a second… Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

The trend has supposedly started after Seicho Matsumoto published his novel Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) where two of his characters commit suicide there. After that, (always eager to prove they are bizarrely susceptible to suggestion) hundreds of Japanese people have hanged themselves among the countless trees of the Aokigahara forest, which is reportedly so thick that even in high noon it’s not hard to find places completely surrounded by darkness.

Besides bodies and homemade nooses, the area is littered with signs displaying such uplifting messages like “Life is a precious thing! Please reconsider!” or “Think of your family!”.  In the 70s, the problem got national attention and the Japanese government began doing annual sweeps of the forest in search of bodies. In 2002, they found 78. But who knows how many they missed? In all likelihood there probably is a hanged person somewhere in Aokigahara on any given day.

By the way, if an entire dark forest full of hanged corpses wasn’t bad enough, a few years ago some people noticed that a lot of the dead in Aokigahara probably had cash or jewelry on them. Thus began the proud Japanese tradition of Aokigahara Scavenging where people are running around the Death Forest, looking for dead guys to loot.

5. The Overtoun Bridge
Located near Scotland’s charming little village of Milton in the peaceful burgh of Dumbarton, the Overtoun Bridge is a local arch construction where no human beings have ever died in any suspicious circumstances whatsoever over the last few decades. However, during that span, for reasons I can’t begin to possibly understand, hundreds and hundreds of dogs have killed themselves there. It appears that dogs have been plunging off of Overtoun since the early 60s, at a rate of one animal a month… bringing the total number today to around 600 mutts, who for some reason, decided to end it all.
And I’m not talking about a series of unfortunate accidents that could have been avoided with a simple guard rail. People who actually witnessed the reported dogs willingly climbing the parapet wall and leaping to their doom with dumbass doggy grins on their faces. Whether they were crying blood, remains to be confirmed. Theories on why is this happening have been all over the place… from particularly aromatic rodents, to a simple stream of bizarre coincidences. I call bullshit on both seeing as (to paraphrase Ian Fleming) “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action… and over 600 is clearly the work of an ancient Sumerian demon or some sh*t.”
To further drive the point home, it has been observed that certain dogs that jumped off the bridge and survived, f*cking climbed back up and THREW THEMSELVES TO THE BOTTOM ALL OVER AGAIN.  (Because the great Overtoun demon’s hunger will not be appeased with tries.)  He “demands fresh canine blood”, and lots of it.  I’m not a dog person, but still, very creepy.
4. Winchester Mystery House
In San Jose there is a house.  It’s a gigantic, sprawling 160-room complex designed like a maze, with mile-long hallways, secret passages, dead ends, doors opening to blank walls and staircases leading to the ceiling.  It’s the work of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune. In the late 19th century, deeply saddened over the death of her husband and daughter, she visited a Boston medium who told her she was haunted by the spirits of all the victims of Winchester rifles. It was said she needed to make peace with them by… always be building a house.  (As in, never stop building a house, or else she would die.)
What a nice thing to say to someone who has just lost her family. There is no way this couldn’t end with Sarah building a real life version of the Addams Family household. In 1884, Winchester started construction of her new San Jose mansion, which went on non-stop for 38 years, right until her death. Despite modern contractors taking about that much time to put in the wooden paneling in your kitchen, the Winchester mansion eventually grew so big you could, in all seriousness, get lost in it.  But getting lost was the idea.  The crazy twists-and-turns and dead ends were intended to confuse the ghosts.  (Sarah was kind of a jerk like that.) But pissing off vengeful spirits was just one of the many architectural choices for the mansion.
The entire Winchester Mystery House was decorated with a constant spiderweb motif (which Sarah believed had some spiritual meaning) and everything from the hooks on the walls to candle holders has been arranged around the number 13, supposedly for good luck.  (Yeah… for someone trying to free herself from ghosts, Winchester did everything but sacrifice a baby goat to Satan to assure her house will be haunted forever.)
3.  The Sedlec Ossuary
Remember when I said Aokigahara was the Niagara falls of suicide? Well, for centuries the abbot in the small Czech town of Sedlec has been the Niagara Falls for dead people, regardless of cause of death. Ever since someone sprinkled soil from the Holy Land on the local cemetery in the 13th century, people from all over Europe started demanding to be buried there and the Sedlec graveyard kept growing until 1870, when the priests decided to finally do something about all those surplus bones lying around. Something insane.
Today, the Sedlec Ossuary is a chapel famous for being decorated with tens of thousands of human bones. This macabre style of interior design was the work of Czech woodcarver Frantisek Rint who, for some reason, was hired to organize the church’s extensive skeleton collection. The results were huge mounds of human remains in the four corners of the chapel, a terrifying chandelier built from every bone in the human body, and a massive skull coat of arms adorning the entrance. I realize this is the Czech Republic and all, but it has been almost 30 something years, surely Poltergeist was released out there already. Like, maybe last year or something? Why are they still playing with human bones as if they were Satan’s Lego blocks and making them sit through Mass every single day for almost 140 years now?
On the Tempting Fate scale, the only thing worse would be to start using some of the skulls as ceremonial mugs or chamber pots.  At this point, does it really surprise anyone that the church became the inspiration for Dr. Satan’s lair in my tattoo artists favorite movie House of 1000 Corpses?
2.  The San Zhi Resort
What do you get when you cross a series of abandoned, rusting, futuristic UFO-shaped buildings with a series of mysterious deaths covered up by the government? How about the ghost town-slash-tourist resort of San Zhi, located just outside Taipei and inside your worst nightmares. The exclusive San Zhi resort in Taiwan was supposed to be the destination for bored, rich folk who always wondered what it would be like to live inside an over-sized hockey puck.
Construction of Pod City started around the 80s but was quickly shut down after a series of mysterious on-site fatal accidents… or it could have been due to Godzilla attacks for all I know. There is actually very little official information on San Zhi. I can’t even confirm how many people died there or if they screamed something about eyeless children eating their souls. The whole thing is shrouded in secrecy.
Currently, most of the information on the complex comes from the locals who (what a surprise) refuse to go near the damn thing. And thus the abandoned 90 pods just stand there, waiting for anyone foolish enough to wander in.  Wait a second… abandoned resort town in the middle of nowhere, mysterious deaths, lack of any official information… where have I seen this before?  (Silent Hill?)
1. Prypiat

A whole lot of you may have just got deja vu looking at the above picture. Specifically, those of you who have played Call of Duty 4, as there is an entire level that takes place there. If you thought the idea of a completely silent, abandoned, radioactive city was typical video game apocalyptic fantasy, you were wrong. Prypiat is in the northern Ukraine and once housed the workers and scientists of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. Founded in the 70s, it held as many as 50,000 people. Then in 1986, according to a footnote in the official Soviet records, there was a small malfunction in the Chernobyl reactor, so for safety reasons the city was evacuated.

Since then, Prypiat has been desolated, its buildings decaying, the giant Ferris Wheel just standing there all alone with nobody to ride it. The city actually had an entire amusement park for the families of the Chernobyl employees. Because when you are living next to a nuclear reactor which was outdated even by 1986 Soviet standards, the only thing on your mind is bumper cars.

The city is located in what is known as the Zone of Alienation, the 30-kilometer radius directly affected by the Chernobyl “minor technical difficulty” over 20 years ago. Despite that, Prypiat is now opened to the public because the radiation levels have apparently went down significantly over the years. We guess we have a different view on radiation than the government of Ukraine. They obviously have a scale for it, while we consider any radiation a very bad thing. Aside from the inherent risk of getting bit by a radioactive snail and becoming the lamest superhero ever, there is another reason why you will never see us among the tourists occasionally visiting Prypiat.

The f*cking nursery.  I told you this was a place built for families and wouldn’t you know it, they have a nursery, which according to certain claims is currently paved with baby shoes and abandoned dolls.  So, Prypiat is basically an abandoned radioactive ghost Soviet baby amusement park.  Thus, ’nuff-said”… Prypiat, the creepiest place on Earth.

Want To Win The Lottery?

The random winning numbers on lottery tickets aren’t exactly random at all.  Mohan Srivastava is the man who figured out how to beat a scratch lottery game — and he has no desire to profit from it.  Srivastava, who was featured in this month’s Wired magazine, is a geological statistician by trade and is naturally adept at analyzing numbers and realizing patterns. His day job involves scoping out potential gold mines and determining the how much gold they might contain.  Cracking the lottery wasn’t all that different. Srivastava, using the same math, was able to predict winning tickets for a Canadian Tic-Tac-Toe scratch lottery game 9 out of 10 times.

The method is surprisingly simple but his road to discovery involved a bit of chance.  Holding degrees from MIT and Stanford, Srivastava was never drawn to the allure of the lottery — given the inherent propensity to lose long term. When a friend gave him a couple of cheap scratch games as a joke, he didn’t think much of it. But one of the tickets turned out to be a winner. Srivastava was intrigued.

As a trained statistician with degrees from MIT and Stanford University, Srivastava was intrigued by the technical problem posed by the lottery ticket. In fact, it reminded him a lot of his day job, which involves consulting for mining and oil companies. A typical assignment for Srivastava goes like this: A mining company has multiple samples from a potential gold mine. Each sample gives a different estimate of the amount of mineral underground. “My job is to make sense of those results,” he says. “The numbers might seem random, as if the gold has just been scattered, but they’re actually not random at all. There are fundamental geologic forces that created those numbers. If I know the forces, I can decipher the samples. I can figure out how much gold is underground.”

Srivastava realized that the same logic could be applied to the lottery. The apparent randomness of the scratch ticket was just a facade, a mathematical lie. And this meant that the lottery system might actually be solvable, just like those mining samples. “At the time, I had no intention of cracking the tickets,” he says. He was just curious about the algorithm that produced the numbers. Walking back from the gas station with the chips and coffee he’d bought with his winnings, he turned the problem over in his mind. By the time he reached the office, he was confident that he knew how the software might work, how it could precisely control the number of winners while still appearing random. “It wasn’t that hard,” Srivastava says. “I do the same kind of math all day long.”

Srivastava had been hooked by a different sort of lure—that spooky voice, whispering to him about a flaw in the game. At first, he tried to brush it aside. “Like everyone else, I assumed that the lottery was unbreakable,” he says. “There’s no way there could be a flaw, and there’s no way I just happened to discover the flaw on my walk home.”

The BEST Drinking Game Ever In Life.

So, while in L.A., I was chillin with my good friend and business partner, and we decided that the clubs were a bit boring.  We’ve both clubbed a bit too much for the weekend, and we were over the scene for the night, so we decided to go back to my hotel and kick it with some folks.  In the process, I’m pretty sure I created one of the most ridiculous drinking games I’ve come up with in the last few years.  The HBO hit series Entourage has been one of my favorite shows for quite some time, so we started watching and put some rules into effect.  With the help of a set of drinking dice that were labeled with phrases like “Sip”, “Drink 2 Cups”, “Bottoms Up”, “Drink Half Cup”, “No Drinks”, “Drink 2 Cups”, and “Drink At Will”, I devised one simple rule.  Every time Ari Gold says the word “F*ck” or any derivative of said obscenity, we roll the dice, and drink as instructed.  We started with season 5, and by the second episode, all parties involved were plastered, and by episode 4 we ran out of liquor.  All in all it was a fun night, and I’m fairly certain that the next time I’m taking a break from work on the weekends, I’m sure to play the game again.  And if your feeling a bit frisky, but you don’t have the dice we used, just take a simple shot of whatever you have whenever Mr. Gold utters the F word.  Here’s a sample, enjoy the results.

The State Of The World Is In Dispute.

A cluster of 300 artificial islands off Dubai‘s coast in the shape of a global map is stable, its developer Nakheel insists, despite a court claim alleging that “The World” was neglected and eroding away.  “There is no issue with the stability of The World islands that are approximately 70 percent sold and handed over,” a Nakheel spokesman said.  “The island purchasers (have) the responsibility to proceed with their developments in due course,” he added.  The islands, many of which represent individual countries and which can only be accessed by boat or helicopter, were meant to be one of the Gulf city-state’s crowning developments.  Builders have announced plans for a few of the islands, but development has yet to begin on most of them.

A company contracted to provide logistics support to the islands filed a claim with a tribunal that handles cases related to the emirate’s troubled Dubai World conglomerate, alleging that third-party developers had not been encouraged to develop the islands, and said they were being hit by erosion.  Nakheel subsidiary The World LLC “did not develop the project as anticipated at the time of the agreement and the project has lain largely undeveloped,” according to the claim filed by Penguin Marine Boats Services LLC.  Penguin is contracted to pay “a licence fee of $1.36 million dollars per annum” to conduct operations, but the lack of development on the islands means it has “been unable to develop its business opportunities,” the claim said.

Additionally, “the navigation channels… are presently so ill-defined and the water depths have been so seriously eroded due to reclaimed sand silting up the navigation channels that major reclamation works will henceforth be required.”  A lawyer for Penguin Marine, Richard Wilmot-Smith, was quoted by local media as having told the tribunal that “the islands are gradually falling back into the sea.”  Nakheel dismissed the allegations as “misleading and mischievous statements.  The wholly incorrect and unsupported assertion relating to the state of The World islands was made in the context of a legal case brought against The World LLC by a logistics provider,” the spokesman said.

“Nakheel will continue to protect the interests of its operations and stakeholders and take such action as is appropriate in the circumstances,” he added.  The spokesman said that the case “was dismissed with costs awarded in favour of The World LLC. We are vindicated by the court’s decision.”  However, a final judgment with reasons for the decision has not yet been posted to the tribunal’s website, where judgments appear after they have been issued.  Abu Dhabi-based English-language daily The National said that the tribunal ruled against Penguin but has not yet given its reasons for doing so.  Lawyers for Penguin Marine declined to comment, and the company’s general manager Alex Labor said only that “Penguin’s position is… what our lawyers said during the trial.”

Nakheel, which developed Dubai’s iconic palm-shaped islands and the Atlantis luxury hotel among other developments, was hard-hit by the global economic crisis, which led to a sharp fall in Dubai real estate prices.  Nakheel was to split from parent company Dubai World, which rocked global financial markets when it announced in November 2010 that it needed to freeze debt payments, under a debt restructuring plan.

2012 Predictions.

Everybody’s got one. A prediction about what the devil is going to happen during the winter solstice of 2012. That’s the end of the world, say some. Here we have a graphic, provided by, about various 2012 predictions and possible horrid scenarios. The most redeeming quality of this graphic in my opinion is that it shows both sides–that of the believers and the naysayers.  The believers generally fall into two camps: those who think the Earth’s population will collectively undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and those who think civilization will be completely annihilated or, instead, transubstantiate into a living hell for all. Then you have the skeptics, who either believe that all 2012 doomsday theories are bollocks because they are completely made up or bollocks because quasi-scholars have misinterpreted the Mayan calendar and the beliefs of that highly intelligent civilization.

The believers have a number of varied theories, and I suppose some think they are mutually exclusive, while others believe they can overlap. Their theories range from geomagnetic reversal (extremely unlikely, according to scientists), pole shift (scientifically impossible), egregious solar storms that ravage the planet (if there are storms, they will do nothing more than disrupt cell phone signals), the earth passing through a “galactic plane” (kind of hard when there are none within 24 light years), a rogue planet smacking into the Earth (if this was going to happen, it’s the kind of thing astronomers would notice, and none are coming toward us), a great flood that will tear the planet to pieces (out of the blue, huh?), and a nuclear holocaust (at least this theory/prediction isn’t based on faulty science).  Many of ideas that believers hold onto are based on completely historically incorrect information. For instance, they think that the Aztecs and the Toltecs knew about 2012 and also believe something unusual is going to happen on that date. But this idea is completely made up, as there is no evidence to suggest that either civilization knew about the Mayans. Ok, have I torn the believers’ beliefs apart enough yet?  Let me know.

The Blue Lagoon.

From what I hear swimming is supposed to give you a healthy glow, but these swimmers weren’t quite sure what was going on when they took a late-night dip and turned a fluorescent shade of blue.  ‘It was like we were playing with radioactive paint,’ said photographer Phil Hart who snapped the bizarre sight as his friends emerged from a lake in the dark of night.  The light is created by a chemical reaction called bioluminescence, which happens when a naturally-occuring micro-organism in the water is disturbed.

It’s believed that the combination of bushfires and floods created the high levels of nutrients in the lakes for the organisms to feed.  ‘It may not happen again in my lifetime,’ said Phil. ‘I feel fortunate to have been there to see it and to have had my camera gear there to record it.’  Phil, from Melbourne, added: ‘While the luminescence was obvious to the eye, the bright blue colour is only apparent in photos.’  When the first photo that was taken appeared on screen I could hardly believe how freakish the whole thing looked.

The Human Planet.

It shouldn’t be any kind of secret and that I get my nerd on pretty often, but I was suprised to know a few of my close comrades were just as excited as I was to watch the preview for a new BBC special titled ‘Human Planet’. The BBC and its affiliates are the same folks responsible for bringing the specials ‘Life’ and ‘Planet Earth’ to TV screens and DVD players all over the place. This mini series however doesn’t focus on the strange, unseen world of the animal kingdom, but it focuses on foreign cultues that are rarely seen, observed or documented, which makes the ads for ‘Human Planet’ extremely intriguing. Check the method below to see more.

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Come Save My Life.

You can easily mistake the Rapunzel for a canister, instead its an easy-to-use safety-descending device. Designed by SADI student Sin Sun Ho, this safety line can be used in highrise buildings. You more or less have to glide down the side of a wall (Batman style), holding onto its secure wrist capsule design.

Valentines Day Is Right Around The Corner.

It’s been the source of much rumor and speculation around my community of colleagues as to what my plans for Valentines Day are, and all I can say is that its none of your business. lol.  But if you’re looking to whisk a loved one away this Valentine’s Day, several luxury hotels are offering special deals to tempt you.  Moevenpick is offering a full-on month of romance at all of its Middle East and Asian properties between February 1-28, which includes 50% off a second night, a romantic welcome gift and an in-room breakfast for two.  Luxury chain Four Seasons has turned the US city of Chicago into a romance hotspot, offering a free night for couples who splash out for a bottle of Dom Pérignon on February 14 at the Four Seasons Chicago and a ‘Sweetheart Special’ weekend menu at the deca Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons Hotel.

Its Las Vegas property is even offering a “Romance Concierge”, on hand to arrange romantic experiences such as a private dessert lesson with the hotel’s pastry chef, a picnic under the stars on the floor of the Grand Canyon and a private shopping experience at the Graff Diamonds store in Las Vegas.  Affinia Hotels in New York, Chicago and Washington are offering a Kiss & Tell Getaway, which includes a room upgrade (where available) and a turndown with sweets, rose petals and champagne from  $194 (€145) per night in New York City, $134 (€100) in Chicago and $204 (€152) in Washington, D.C.  In London, Swissotel‘s The Howard is offering a Valentine’s Day Tea special from £35 (€42), although staying in the luxury W London Leicester Square on February 14, its opening night, could be an equally good treat.

Big-spending  romantics may also want to check in to the InterContinental Hong Kong‘s HK$1 million Valentine’s Date, although it’s not for the faint-hearted.  The night, available February 11-14, includes a stay in Hong Kong’s largest Presidential Suite, chauffeured airport transfers in a Phantom VI Rolls-Royce (with a bottle of champagne en route), 1000 roses, a HK$150,000 shopping spree with a personal shopper, a custom-made menu from one of the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurants, a live string quartet in your suite, a champagne and caviar breakfast and — in case that wasn’t enough — a Valentine message displayed by banner via private boat, which can be seen from the suite’s terrace.  No matter what your budget is, or what your plans are, just spend your Valentines Day knowing that there is always SOMEONE out there that loves you.

5 Amazing Real-Life Superhero Technologies, Gadgets & Powers


Click the pic to watch more.



THE SUPERPOWER: A ridiculously expensive suit that is not only bullet-proof, but extremely light, agile, comes with an insane amount of Terminator-like visual displays and still allows people to run and flip around like an acrobat.

Inciting a pattern of military spending on superhero technology, here is the Air Force’s gift to the Batman mythology: BATMAN, or Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided knowledge (I know, kind of a stretch, right?)   Besides the effort put into the name, the project is an attempt to modernize the gear commandos take with on combat missions, the overall aim being that the gear must be “lighter, smarter, deadlier” and more covert just like Batman’s.   While a soldier usually has to carry 160 pounds of equipment, the BATMAN enhanced tech can decrease the payload and ensure more agility.  So like all that cool Batman electronic technology we see in the movies, the soldiers here have a small computer near their chests that tells them their logistical position and what tactics they can implement for any given situation.  That’s right, it’ll even include awesome communications gear, badass helmet displays, a headset (of course) and a computer (along with the ridiculous amount of batteries they’ll need to keep these things rockin’ on the battlefield.)  In case these new Dark Knights run out of juice, though, the suit also creates the option of refueling with the Bat Hook. A hook is thrown onto a power line and the hook slurps down power to keep BATMAN alert at all times.  If they could combine their technology with this awesome real-life utility belt that an MIT student created, they would be well on their way… now just to keep tabs on the richest men in the world who don’t look turtles who’ve lost their shells… The news report was unclear as to whether or not the suit would, in fact, be equipped with nipples.



Click here to watch more.

THE SUPERHERO: The Invisible Woman (or the Predator, from the movies)

THE SUPERPOWER: Invisibility

Scientists in Tokyo University, Japan, have invented a coat which makes those wearing it appear “invisible”. The coat is made with a special type of “retro-reflective material” that acts as a photographic screen. A camera exists behind the person who is wearing the coat and that camera reflects onto the coat so that the wearer appears transparent. Before it’s “turned on”, it looks like a normal gray windbreaker. The practical application of this? Well, other than being mind-blowingly awesome, it is actually to help surgeons see patient’s bodies all the way through, so that they can analyze every single part, never missing a tumor or what they can’t see behind organs normally.  This can also be used by pilots, to make the floors of their planes appear transparent to help them land… which if they did to the entire plane would then be Wonder Woman technology.  More recently, US and UK scientists have developed a technology that bring us one step close to something that is less like the moderate invisibility invented by the Japanese and are closer to TRUE invisibility, but don’t get your Hollow-Manesque fantasies rockin’ just yet, this wouldn’t hit the market for YEARS.  “Scientists from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany and Imperial College London used their cloak, made using photonic crystals with a structure resembling piles of wood, to conceal a small bump on a gold surface, they wrote in Science.  “It’s kind of like hiding a small object underneath a carpet — except this time the carpet also disappears,” they said.  “We put an object under a microscopic structure, a little like a reflective carpet,” said Nicholas Stenger, one of the researchers who worked on the project.  “When we looked at it through a lens and did spectroscopy, no matter what angle we looked at the object from, we saw nothing. The bump became invisible,” said Stenger.  The “cloak” they used to make the microscopic bump disappear was composed of special lenses that work by bending light waves to suppress light as it scattered from the bump, the study says.  The invisibility cloak was minute, measuring 100 microns by 30 microns — one micron being one-thousandth of a millimeter — and the bump it hid was 10 times smaller, said Stenger.  The researchers are working now to recreate the disappearing bump but on a larger scale, but Stenger said Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak would not be hanging in would-be wizards’ wardrobes in the near future.  “Theoretically, it would be possible to do this on a large scale but technically, it’s totally impossible with the knowledge we have now,” he said.”



Click the pic to watch more.


THE SUPERPOWER: Sees using only sound, and can therefore “see” better than anyone. Peak physical strength and enhanced hearing, and an insane ability in acrobatics.

Ben Underwood is a blind boy whose eyes were removed (he lost them to cancer) when he was three leaving him with absolutely no vision at all.  He can play video games, he can shoot a great game of basketball, he rides his bike around town (Sacramento, California) and even rollerblades every now and then. He can also find objects around the house for his mom. Ben uses many aides for the blind, like a braille keyboard and sound software for the blind to use computers. But according to this report, it’s what he doesn’t use that makes him remarkable. He doesn’t use a seeing eye dog, or even a cane. He emits a moderately loud click with his mouth wherever he goes, which allows him to use the bouncing off of the sound to “hear” his surroundings. He can “see” walls, couches, desks, stairs and anything else around him. This allows him to move around like someone who could see. This isn’t “easy” or even possible for normal people.   He is the only person in the world who “sees” using only echo-location, kind of like a bat.  Check out the video for a 10-minute feature on Ben and his incredible abilities. Now all he needs to do is become a lawyer (like the Daredevil in the comics) and make sure the Ben Affleck doesn’t get the rights to his life story.



Click the pic to watch more.

THE SUPERHERO: The Human Torch

THE SUPERPOWER: Controlling heat/fire and emitting it at will, aka Pyrokinesis.

A Qigong Master uses his Chi energy to create heat using minimal friction and is actually able to steam water using his hand without even touching it. He uses heat healing to help people with back problems.  Using an infrared camera, Ripley’s Believe It or Not shows the man’s hands directly applying heat to objects using nothing but his bare hands. He can increase and decrease the heat of water, or any moist object, at will. He was able to, using only his hand, generate heat of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  He can heat a water on a damp towel to 10 degrees below boiling point and actually walk on suspended sheets of paper without breaking them because, according to him, he makes himself lighter by focusing his energy.



Click the pic to watch more.


THE SUPERPOWER: Super strength, impenetrability via genetic mutation.

A rare genetic condition is giving 3-year old Liam Hoekstra, Michigan, the ability eat like a horse and not gain any weight whatsoever, lift large furniture that most adults would have trouble lifting and increase in muscle strength by just living out his normal life. At 3 years old. He’s a toddler.  His condition was first suspected when he (no foolin’ here) was able to walk at an early age… just how early? 2 days. The child was able to walk after only 2 days of life.  He can also do the Olympic move called the Iron Cross where they hold themselves up with only their hands.  The genetic disease/condition that the kid has is called Myostatin-Related Muscle Hypertrophy. There have only been 100 cases of this in the world.  There’s a defect in his genetic code that allows for excessive muscle growth. So the defect blocks the antibody that usually inhibits muscle growth in the human body, so it’s almost a double-negative situation where the disease blocks the blocker, therefore giving the child incredible muscle strength. There are no medical downsides and his heart will be unaffected. The only downside is that he eats 6 enormous meals a day. He also has a six pack, without even really working out, and looks otherwise no different from other children: his muscles are just that much stronger. So medically, if they were able to replicate this condition it would be open to abuse from athletes, but also open for extremely important use by people with diseases like muscular dystrophy.

Luxury hotel opens in Mecca landmark?

It’s true… Fairmont has opened its new landmark property in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, becoming the second hotel brand to occupy the Abraj Al Bait Complex.  The hotel is situated inside the Makkah Clock Royal Tower, the focal point of an enormous project to upgrade the precincts of the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina.  Standing 76 stories high, the Makkah Clock Royal Tower is the tallest concrete building in the world and features four 40-meter clock faces visible from 17 kilometers away.  Fairmont’s new five-star property features 858 rooms, serviced by 76 elevators designed to provide quick access to the the holy Masjid al Haram for prayers.  There are nine restaurants that range from Indian and Lebanese cuisine to a steakhouse, which Fairmont says is the first à la carte fine dining establishment in any hotel in Mecca.  Thanks to its proximity to the Holy Ka’aba, Islam’s most sacred site, the luxury chain is marketing the hotel as a “beacon for pilgrims” — guests can also visit an on-site museum for Islamic icons and objects of arts, designed to promote the region’s culture and heritage.  Abraj Al Bait will eventually hold three luxury hotels, along with luxury apartments, a four-floor shopping mall, two heliports and a conference center, making it one of the largest buildings in the world.  Raffles opened its Makkah Palace hotel in August, and Swissotel is set to welcome the first guests to its 1,571-room property in 2011, marking the brand’s first entry into the Middle East.

So who’s got some “Arab money”?

15 Things You DIDN’T Know About Breasts…

Your Welcome Duckworth…

Click to... enlarge.

How Will You Die?!

Red Bull ‘EmSee’ Battle 2010

Check a clip from one of the Red Bull EmSee Battle’s featuring an appearance from Slaughterhouse.

Phil Jackson is Returning to the Lakers.

Phil Jackson

I don’t normally do anything pro-sports related (unless its a cheerleader).  But I had to report when I heard that Los Angeles Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson has decided to return to coach the team for the 2010-11 season, it was announced today.  “Count me in,” said Jackson. “After a couple weeks of deliberation, it is time to get back to the challenge of putting together a team that can defend its title in the 2010-11 season. It’ll be the last stand for me, and I hope a grand one.”  Jackson, who most recently guided the Lakers to the 2010 NBA Championship, their second in a row, has won five titles as head coach of the Lakers. Overall, Jackson has guided his teams to eleven NBA Championships, the most of any coach in NBA history.

A member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Jackson established a new Lakers franchise record for regular season victories earlier this year, earning his 534th career victory with a win over the Charlotte Hornets on February 3. The fastest coach to 1,000 career victories, his total of 1,098 regular season wins ranks him fifth all-time while his .705 winning percentage is the best in league history. Additionally, Jackson ranks first all-time in NBA postseason history with a .697 winning percentage (225-98). His 225 playoff victories are also the highest postseason win total for any head coach in league history.

“We’re extremely pleased that Phil has decided to return,” said Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak. “With this most recent championship, we’ve now won five titles in the ten years he’s been our head coach and have been to the Finals in seven of those ten years, which is amazing. He’s not only the best coach for this team, but quite simply the best coach in the history of the NBA.”

The Luckiest People on EARTH.

Skateboarding in Afghanistan

Photograph my Noah Abrams

Of all the places in the world you would never think had a skate scene… Afghanistan has to be on top of the list. No one is 100% sure how it happened, maybe skating Santa made it through the blockade, perhaps Animal Chin made a sneak training session. We may never know how it started, but Noah Abrams has captured a set of very unique and stunning images of this new trend in an unlikely place.