Sunday, January 31, 2010

GoDaddy's Big Biker Daddy, Bob Parsons

Bob Parsons, founder of is a huge motorcycle fan, and even owns a Ducati dealership as well as a collection of cool custom bikes. Ducati and BMW bikes tend to be among his favorites, although Harleys and custom choppers he both owns and loves as well. Those Orange County AMERICAN CHOPPER boys even built him a real nice custom bike once before. But Parsons really considers himself to be more among the "sport biker" crowd compared to the "lifestyle biker" crowd. Comparably speaking, Parsons views the "sports bikers" as the "nerds" among bikers. Okay.

But, it's been quite a ride for Bob Parsons who signed up for Marines back in 1968, only to be seriously wounded in Vietnam and to spend months recovering in a military hospital. By 1984, Parsons had the vision to get into the future of computers, which he envisioned to be a coming technology and laid the foundation for the first of three technology companies that he would found and be the sole stockholder of.

Parsons has made so much money in his domain name registration and technology businesses that he is well known for being one of the most charitable of all American businessmen. Parsons has been way out front with aid to the Haiti earthquake victims, as well as financial aid to preventing child abuse, domestic violence, teenage homelessness, animal shelters, and other charities. GoDaddy even has an online application for charity groups to fill out to be considered for grants and funding. Compared to critics of like the self-important Robert Peters of Morality In Media, who only lines his own pockets from donations as well as taxpayer paid for government grants, Bob Parsons is a decent, charitable and honest businessman of the highest caliber who gives lots to others. Parsons feels blessed, and loves to share it.

GoDaddy has become well known for their funny and slightly inappropriate ads that they run during the Super Bowl, featuring Indy racer Danica Patrick as well other models. This year CBS turned down one ad that the network felt was demeaning to Gay men entitled, "Lola", after the old Kinks song about a gender-bending cross-dresser. But four other ads are posted on the GoDaddy website that might see the light of day on this year's Super Bowl.

No Nightmare On Wes Craven's Street

Some little glitch caused the alarm at Wes Craven's home to trip on Thursday night. But police found nothing. No dead bodies. No disfigured serial killers with razor-sharp claw fingers. Nothing.

In 1972, Wes Craven's career started with the outrageous LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, which seemed like some stoner kids shooting a disgusting chainsaw/rape/murder crime horror story. By 1972 standards this film was outrageous. Heck, by 2010 standards, this film is still real outrageous. But over the years, his film-making abilities improved and his NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET films were audience favorites and more commercial horror fare.

Another production company not associated with Wes Craven will launch a remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM Street in April 2010. Actor Robert England is also now retired as Freddy Kruger from the NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET series as well, and a new actor has replaced him for the new series. Without Wes Craven on-broad, it will interesting to see how good this film is or not. Can anyone be as good as Wes Craven?

Peugeot To Recall 100,000 Cars

Peugeot Citroen is the second largest automobile producer in Europe, however a partnership with Toyota has only plagued the company with the same unsafe sticking accelerator problems that have resulted in 5 million Toyota cars being recalled around the world. Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1 models, all produced in the Czech Republic are affected by this latest sticking accelerator recall problem.

However, on the positive side for Peugeot, the French brand will open up a Peugeot-Reno car factory in Kaluga, Russia very soon, with the production of 150,000 cars a year possible. Growing incomes among Russian citizens as well as the growth of banks offering car loans will make it possible for 40% of Russian citizens to own cars by 2015.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


DISTRICT 9's debut on DVD has been highly anticipated by sci-fi fans for months ever since the movie debuted in theaters back in mid-August. And it's well worth the wait. This very unique science fiction drama is shot largely like a news documentary in many ways, where a giant space craft of one million insect-like outer space aliens breaks down and hovers over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. There is never any attack on Earth by the aliens, yet they appear as a giant cost and social problem for the people of South Africa. Both the world community and a corrupt weapons technology company vie for how to deal with the aliens as well.

The aliens soon find themselves rounded up in camp very similar to the Warsaw ghetto of the Nazi era, where they live in extreme poverty in terrible conditions. And the aliens love of cat food only leaves them exploited by small-time ripoff merchants and other traders. In many ways, the film is a very intelligent look at the evils of racism and racial discrimination. Interestingly, it is also the Black residents of South Africa who mistreat the aliens as well, where they become the new underclass in this society. In many ways, the film seems to be greatly inspired by the difficult times that once took place in Cape Town during the worst days of apartheid. The aliens are even negatively referred to as "prawns" by the residents, which becomes a new sort of species slur.

Some might say that this film is merely a rip-off of ALIEN NATION. Yet this story goes in unique directions, and has much to say about the terrible apartheid era of South Africa. The special effects are very good as well for a film with a mere $30 million dollar budget. The film returned more than $205 on that investment worldwide.

The movie isn't perfect, though. And some critics like Roger Ebert felt rather unfulfilled by the movie's "third act". And the movie has some other critics for sure. But overall, the film does what a great sci-fi classic really needs to do; it established an intelligent storyline that spurs the viewer to think. And the film more than succeeds on that level.

The bottom line: DISTRICT 9 is very intelligent film on many levels, but perhaps not as great of a film as THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL or other top-tier sci fi classics by any means. +++(three stars out of four)

Rip Torn Arrested For Armed Bank Break-in

This is unbelievable! Emmy award winning and Oscar nominated actor Rip Torn was arrested last night after allegedly breaking into the Litchfield Bankcorp Building in Salisbury, CT bank in a intoxicated state. The 78 year old actor was also armed at the time. He's now being held on $100,000 bail and is facing at least 5 serious charges at this time, including burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief, carrying a gun without a permit and also carrying gun while intoxicated.

This is only the latest episode of intoxicated problems for the aging movie actor. A previous alcohol related arrest resulted in what some critics call "the greatest" celebrity mugshot ever taken.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Jay Leno's Four Month Old Set Will Get Facelift, But Not Jay

Barely used, Jay Leno's new studio will be given a facelift during the Winter Olympics downtime. When Jay Leno returns to the air as host of THE TONIGHT SHOW, the set will look should more resemble the traditional set, with a desk and other touches. But Jay Leno apparently won't be getting any facelift himself, although he looked a little older and grayer during his short failed THE JAY LENO SHOW prime-time flop.

Hey NBC, part of the problem with THE JAY LENO SHOW was that he looked older, more tired and more shop worn than during his old TONIGHT SHOW stint. A little bit of Grecian Formula to put a little more black in his hair would be a real nice start.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Portland Trailblazer Center Greg Oden Becomes Latest Internet Nude Star

For some odd and crazy reason, celebrities just don't quite seem to understand that when they decide to shoot some nude photos of themselves and send them out to friends, that someone, somewhere, is only likely to post them on the Internet or sell them. And then that celebrity has to expend a lot of energy or legal resources to stop those photos and to prevent any further damage. Former HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL star, Vanessa Hudgens had to learn that lesson, twice. Now Portland Trailblazers center Greg Oden is learning that lesson as well.

It seems that Oden once decided that snapping a few pictures of his full frontal manhood seemed like a great idea. But when some "friend" decided these photos were pretty good for cash or exchange, and they started to appear on the Internet. Now, Oden has to pay a lawyer to write letters to some websites asking them to please, pretty please, remove the photos.

This isn't the worse scandal to hit the Portland Trailblazers. A few years ago, some of the Trailblazers guys decided that having sex with some underage 15 girls from a Salt Lake City shopping mall seemed like a pretty good idea. In between that were various arrests for drugs and other problems.

Oden was once the #1 draft pick in the NBA. But since his stint with the Blazers, he's gone through long down periods with injuries. So what does a bored millionaire athlete do with all their free time? Well, shoot a few full frontal nude pictures in the floor length mirror and Email them out to enough people to cause yourself a little trouble.

Meanwhile, I was contemplating shooting some pictures of myself to post online. But, I just don't think that anyone is really interested in 54 year old Wizbang Pop blogger nudes. So, I probably won't bother.

WWE Picks Superstar Wrestler Of The Day, Until He Was Arrested After Hitting A Woman

It was a rotten publicity day for the WWE Wrestling organization as it chose Greg "The Hurricane" Helms as their "Superstar Of The Day", until he was arrested later that day after hitting a woman and two men in a early morning public intoxication incident. The woman decided not to pursue charges against Helms, so he was only charged with public intoxication for the incident.

It seems that WWE professional wrestlers, Greg Helms, Matt Hardy and Chris Jericho were traveling in a taxi Wednesday morning. But then some sort of a drunken altercation took place, and the three professional wrestlers ran from the incident scene. However, when Helms returned to the incident scene, he was arrested. Wrestler Chris Jericho was also arrested. But so far, police are not seeking to charge Matt Hardy for any actions in the incident.'s Potential Super Bowl Ads Condemned By Extremist Morality In Media Organization has released a preview of five new potential funny or attention grabbing Super Bowl ads on their website. Indy racer Danica Patrick is featured in some of them. However, strangely, one ad called "Lola" was turned downed by CBS because it might be viewed as offensive to Gay men. You can watch this ad on the GoDaddy website and make up your own mind about it.

Danica Patrick also loves the opportunity to appear as sexy and more feminine, and to soften her image. So often she feels that her image as a nails-tough racing competitor is her most public image. Make no mistake about it, Danica Patrick is a tough and serious athlete. But she loves opportunities to be viewed as a sexy and desirable woman as well. And what woman wouldn't want that?

Last year, GoDaddy ads featuring Danica Patrick had a funny take on beaver animals. That ad can also be viewed over on their website as well. However, political extremist Bob Peters, of the far right wing, Morality In Media Organization is not very amused. Peters concocted some sort of screwball and far out scenario on his own Morality In Media website, claiming that may be involved in promoting criminal obscenity. Outrageous.

But crackpots like Bob Peters aren't deterring at all. You can expect some new funny and attention grabbing ads that people will talk about for days afterwards.

From a business angle, uses their edgy and outrageous ads to drive viewers to use their website. Getting noticed is central to that goal. Jokers, like Bob Peters that have no concept whatsoever of how American enterprise really works, and don't seem to understand simple concepts like this. If ads didn't work, business wouldn't spend so much money for them. Hey, GoDaddy Go.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leno Tells Oprah About Strained Relations With Conan

In an interview preview taped for the OPRAH show, Jay Leno told Oprah how he hasn't spoken to Conan O'Brien since the whole NBC late night schedule fiasco erupted. If anything, that alone tells just how strained the relations between the competing TONIGHT SHOW hosts has become.

Jay Leno related that he really wanted to talk to Conan O'Brien about the situation, but it just didn't seem like it was the right time for that sort of conversation.

New "Pants On The Ground" Controversy

A new controversy has rocked that goofy little, "Pants On The Ground" song, that was performed by General Larry Pratt on AMERICAN IDOL recently. It appears that The Green Brothers, a Detroit rap act, recorded a song with a lot of similarity back in 1996, entitled, "Back Pockets On The Floor".

Interestingly, the lead singer of The Green Brothers is an older gentleman as well, adding even more similarity to the General Larry Pratt song.

Is General Larry Pratt an original or not? Regardless, The Green Brothers recently posted their 1996 video back on online recently so that people can hear their song as well.

"Hey, that's my crappy song!", "No, that's my crappy song!", "Hey, I took all of a minute to write it!"....... The controversy that means nothing drags on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

FOX's 24 Actor Keifer Sutherland Becomes Cattle Scam Victim

FOX's 24 actor, Keifer Sutherland has found his wallet $869,000 lighter after he was victimized by a cattle investment scam scheme. It seemed that Sutherland invested money in what appeared to be a legitimate business opportunity to buy cattle from Mexico at low prices and resell them in the United States for a high profit. Instead, his money simply to a scam artist who has now been charged with 12 felony counts including embezzlement.

Unknown to many fans of 24, Sutherland has a real love of ranching and even owns a Montana ranch. He has also entered some steer roping competitions, and has won a few contests.

Monday, January 25, 2010

DVD Review: MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D Is Perfect For The Less Romantic

If your idea of Valentine's Day involves the less romantic and more outrageous of pursuits, then taking home a copy of the pretty good slasher horror flick, MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D, might just be for you. As far as slasher horror films go, this film is a little better than most although the script is a little flawed. But the 3D version is especially entertaining as pickaxes get tossed at the camera and other 3D gimmicks.

Instead of some hockey-masked murderous wacko, MY BLOODY VALENTINE follows the insane path of destruction caused by traumatized coal miner Harry Warden who wakes up from a long coma after a Valentine's Day cave-in accident and goes on a murderous rampage. He disappears for 10 years, but a killer like him reemerges on Valentine's Day once again, just as destructive as ever. This is where the story gets a little flaky here, with a confusing turn on who is the latest coal miner killer. But the 3D effects pretty well make up for this unfortunate script turn.

Overall, this is a pretty good film to enjoy if you like your Valentine's Day a little more Gothic than most folks. Rating ++1/2(Two and a half stars, or nearly good).

Tragedy And Arrest Hits Nancy Kerrigan's Family

The family of former Olympic great, Nancy Kerrigan, was hit with a terrible tragedy this weekend, as a fight over a telephone by Kerrigan's brother and father resulted in serious injuries and death for the dad, and a heart attack and arrest of the brother. Some news reports claim that Mark Kerrigan was drunk and wanted to use the kitchen phone, which the father denied. Then a fight broke out where the 70 year old father was graped by the neck and knocked to the ground unconscious. Although, there was a faint pulse, he later died at the hospital.

Mark Kerrigan was arrested on a charge of assaulting an elderly person. Today he pleaded not guilty to the charge in an arraignment hearing. His lawyer claims that Mark Kerrigan suffers from symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder after some military service time. Mark Kerrigan had also been living in the Kerrigan's parent's basement after another violent episode where he was charged with assault and battery.

Nancy Kerrigan also became a crime victim figure back in 1994 when the husband of Tonya Harding and two associates deliberately injured her knee with a police club to keep her out of the Olympics. But Kerrigan was still able to win a silver medal at the Olympics despite the assault, turning in a nearly perfect performance.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Guns N' Roses: Appetite For Self-Destruction And Personal Baggage

Unbelievably, the feud between Axl Rose and Slash has become so toxic that the band now uses security guards at concert performances to enforce a clothing ban on t-shirts and hats bearing the name or image of Slash. Concert fans are either required to turn their t-shirts inside out and check hats at the door, otherwise they are denied concert entry. Some dejected fans have been seen leaving concert sites in disgust and anger.

So far, no fan has made a legal claim about any of this. But this is outrageous enough that you can see problems coming all the way up Broadway for this one.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Conan O'Brien's Show Goes Out On High Note

Last night, Conan O'Brien wrapped up his 17 year hosting run over on NBC with a star studded show that was a real gem. Steve Carell from THE OFFICE came by to do a funny bit. Actor Tom Hank was the sole main interview guest. Music legend, Neil Young gave a great acoustic performance. But it was comic actor Will Farrell that managed the last big gem, a guest musician studded outrageous performance of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird".

Will Ferrell was dressed like a lead singer from Lynyrd Skynrd, while Conan O'Brien joined him on guitar, along with Beck, a guitar player from ZZ Top and others. It was a great TV event.

Quite a cool sendoff indeed!

Actor Andy Dick Arrested On Sex Abuse Charges

Comic actor Andy Dick was arrested on sex abuse charges in Huntington, West Virgina, today. Apparently, Dick was merely talking to a man, then suddenly started to grope his crotch and kiss him, leading to his arrest. Reportedly, there was also a second victim of Dick's sexual advances as well.

Dick was in town doing stand-up comedy shows at the Funny Bone Comedy Club. He was set to arraigned later today, but possibly bailed out of jail for tonight's show. However, Dick was still on probation as a result of a battery plea stemming from another sex abuse incident at a pizza business.

Andy Dick claimed that he was being arrested for, "People grabbing on me", to a reporter. However, eyewitnesses such as the girlfriend of one victim had an entirely different account of the actions of Dick.

This is only the latest incident for this troubled actor, who doesn't appear to avoid trouble for very long.

Andy Dick was once a popular comic star on the NBC show NEWSRADIO along with Phil Hartman and others. The show was moderately successful peaking at #39 among all TV shows, but after Phil Hartman was murdered in his sleep by his mentally disturbed wife between the fourth and fifth seasons, the show once again slipped in ratings and just wasn't the same despite the best efforts of Jon Lovitz. Andy Dick pursued stand up comedy ever since, when not in some trouble with the law.

Harley Davidson Sings The Blues

Hit hard by the recession, Harley Davidson scored their first quarterly loss in 16 years. And motorcycles delivered to dealers fell off by 27% in 2009, down to 223,023 units. For 2010, Harley Davidson expects to witness sales falls of another 5-10%. This might place 2010 production figures around 201,000 to 212,000 units.

Tight credit for consumers for new higher end motorcycle purchases has really hurt the legendary American made brand. Increased competition from import brands from Japan, China and Italy continues to lure buyers to cheaper bikes who can't afford the higher priced models from Harley as well. In fact, all American brands such as Harley Davidson, Victory and Ridley fit into a higher priced market for heavier bikes. And in a down economy, even premium American brands like this suffer.

Harley reported a fourth quarter loss of $218.7 million dollars, which also translated into a 94 cents a share loss for the Harley stock. Last year, the company reported profits $77.8 million, and 34 cents a share.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Conan O'Brien's Final Musical Guest Will Be Neil Young

Conan O'Brien's final TONIGHT SHOW airs tonight on NBC. And musical legend Neil Young is scheduled to appear as his final musical guest. Last night, Conan brought out the real star power with Robin Williams adding some legendary comedy that left the audience in stitches.

Too little, too late, Conan's show is finally getting the real star power it really needed in the first place. Be sure to viddy this show. It will be a great show. Guaranteed!

The Last Stooge: Emil Sitka

Emil Sitka was a best known actor in nearly 40 of THE THREE STOOGES short films, yet was never really a household name. But, his outrageous catch phrase of "Hold hands, you lovebirds" in BRIDELESS GROOM, lives on forever. Sitka was also considered to be the "fourth stooge" by many, and was even set to join Moe Howard and Curly Joe DeRita after Larry Fine suffered a 1970 stroke and was unable to work.

Son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, who died of black lung when he was just 12 years old, and a sick mother unable to care for young Sitka, Sitka lived with a Catholic priest. Sitka nearly became a priest because of the influence of faith in his life. But fortunately, for THREE STOOGES fans he went on to become a fan favorite in numerous THREE STOOGES episodes instead.

Sitka's goofy appearance as a preacher set to marry Shemp so that he could inherit $500,000 in BRIDELESS GROOM made him an instant comedy classic hit. He was just as funny as the other THREE STOOGES in this classic short film. Sitka was a great comic actor.

In 1971, after Larry Fine had become paralyzed with the effects of a stroke, an elderly Moe Howard hoped to revive THE THREE STOOGES one last time and asked Sitka to join him and Curly Joe DeRita. Some publicity shots were taken, and there were high hopes for some new projects involving THE THREE STOOGES. But there were few new actual opportunities for the elderly trio of comics, and Sitka never got to perform on film as the replacement for Larry. By 1975, first Larry, and then Moe had died.

But Sitka remained a lifelong fan of THE THREE STOOGES, and was a real wealth of knowledge about them. In June of 1997, Sitka was hosting some fans of THE THREE STOOGES at his home relating history of the comedy greats, didn't feel very well, and then suffered a serious massive stroke. He never regained consciousness, and sadly died months later in January of 1998.

More than 320,000 persons have visited the Emil Sitka website run by his son, Saxon Emil Sitka. And there's even a newsletter for fans of this great character actor. And strangely, on his headstone, his famous words are written, "Hold hands, you lovebirds".

General Larry Pratt's Not Seeing Any Money For "Pants On The Ground", But That May Change

The outrageous "Pants On The Ground" song first introduced on AMERICAN IDOL by 62 year old Atlanta singer, General Larry Pratt, may be a biggest hit not currently on a disc or the charts right now. YouTube has numerous remixes posted, and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Farve even did a locker room version, as well as comic Jimmy Fallon and many others have covered the song.

As catchy and good as the song is, it seems that General Larry Pratt never copyrighted the song. But he's taking steps to do that. And a record company, Jake Records, has now offered Pratt a recording contract deal, which should bring "Pants On The Ground" to Cd and hopefully the charts very soon.

General Larry Pratt has become a phenomenon of sorts since his outrageous appearance on AMERICAN IDOL, even guesting on THE VIEW and other appearances. His song is something of a novelty, and has huge hit novelty potential. But is General Larry Pratt a one hit wonder or not? Time will tell.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Drama For TWO AND A HALF MEN: Jon Cryer Claims Hitman Is Out To Kill Him

Popular TWO AND A HALF MEN actor, Jon Cryer, claims that a hitman hired by his exwife is out to kill him. Federal authorities are investigating this claim. Last week, the FBI started their investigation. And last Friday, the set of TWO AND A HALF MEN was closed to an audience for security reasons. A laugh track can be added later.

This is the last thing the producers of the #1 comedy on TV needed to hear, more personal problems with the actors. Actor Charlie Sheen is locked into some serious legal problems after an incident with his wife and facing some felony charges in Colorado. And further, his wife is in the hospital with pneumonia and a 105 degree fever, delaying a hearing set to amend a protection order.

For now, production continues with the wildly popular comedy. However, building personal problems could make the show's future cloudy, especially if Charlie Sheen would have to serve jail time if convicted of domestic violence charges. And any serious incident involving Jon Cryer as a result of the hitman claim is another potential landmine as well.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tusk, Tusk. Ebay Purchase Leads To Federal Indictments

Buy or sell some stuff on Ebay. Go to jail. A Thai national who sold an ivory African elephant tusk on Ebay, and a customer who owns a donut shop both found themselves sharing at least 12 total federal indictments for buying and selling endangered species products. The seller faces up to 53 years in prison, and the buyer up to 25 years.

Federal authorities are especially tough on selling endangered species items because some types of animals are dangerously close to extinction. Some endangered animals like African elephants are very slow moving animals and easy prey for ivory hunters. Reportedly, the donut shop owner was in possession of ivory carving equipment as well.

No telling what sort of Ebay "feedback" they'll give each other, or whether Ebay "buyer protection" covers getting arrested or not.

David Letterman Rips Jay Leno As "Phony"

David Letterman has decided to step into the NBC fray with a relentless attack on Tuesday, that ripped Jay Leno as a "phony". David Letterman also seemed to offer some support for Conan O'Brien as well. Letterman was responding to Leno's famous "Don't blame Conan" statement from Monday evening. Letterman was critical that Leno didn't move on to some other network after leaving THE TONIGHT SHOW as well.

Letterman's LATE SHOW even ran a fake TONIGHT SHOW ad that took aim at Leno as well. But probably, a large part of Letterman's wrath is his continued anger at not getting THE TONIGHT SHOW helm years ago when NBC handed it off to Jay Leno from Johnny Carson. David Letterman was Johnny Carson's choice as well, but NBC executives chose Leno over his objections.

However, Letterman didn't really address the simple economics at hand for NBC. NBC would have lost an estimated $3-5 in 2010 with Conan, but can make a $25-40 million profit with Jay Leno at THE TONIGHT SHOW helm.

Charlie Sheen's Wife's Health Crisis May Be Helping Their Reconciliation

Charlie Sheen had a protective order placed against him by his wife, Brooke Mueller. However, as she ended up in the hospital today with a 105 degree fever as a result of some complication of dental surgery she recently had, the couple might be overcoming their marriage problems. Sheen apparently visited his wife today at the ICU unit. And Brooke may soon be well enough to appear at an upcoming hearing to possibly modify the protective order.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breaking News!: Fox Registers CONANONFOX.Com Domain Name

Maybe, FOX is just hedging their bet, but registering the domain name CONANONFOX.Com sure looks like a pretty good sign that the popular late night comic will be on FOX this September. Further, a Twitter page, CONAN ON FOX has just gone up as well. While these signs look pretty tempting, fans of the red-haired comic must remember that quite a few hurdles are still out there.

Conan still needs to be formally released from his NBC contract, which is making steady progress by the day. As of today, NBC is now ready to offer Conan about $34.7 million, plus an additional total amount around $6 million for his staffers and employees. However, NBC is insisting that O'Brien not be able to work for another network until at least September. Further, NBC is attempting to retain "intellectual property" rights over characters such Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, The Masturbating Bear, Pimpbot 3000, etc. (Maybe, the FedEx Pope too?, for some odd reason. Who wants him?). Further, NBC wants a clause that would take money from Conan for bashing NBC.

But perhaps, the worse clause of all gives NBC the power to reduce their payments to O'Brien to as little as $7.5 million or so if he takes work as soon as September and works under another contract.

Automobiles: UK Police Buy Cars From The Czech Republic

An interesting commentary on the declined state of the UK automobile industry is that many UK police agencies actually drive imports such as the Skoda Octavia, produced in the Czech Republic. Skoda actually produced more cars in 2009 than in any previous year at 684,244 units. The global recession might have slowed the company's growth somewhat, yet the company only continues to grow with yearly sales increases every year since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

CNN's Anderson Cooper Rescues Injured Boy

CNN's Anderson Cooper is quite a guy. Yesterday, while covering the crisis in Haiti, a chaotic situation broke out as some hungry looters looking for food were pelted with concrete slabs from the top of a damaged store. A child was hit in the head in the chaos, however Anderson Cooper risked his life and pulled the child to safety and handed him over for medical treatment.

Food and medical services have been very slow coming, leading to widespread looting incidents as some Haitians become very hungry and desperate. Another CNN personality, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, has been offering his medical services to injured persons in Haiti as well.

It seems that at CNN, they do a lot more than just report the news. The character and integrity of their personalities is among the best in the journalism business.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Conan O'Brien's Supporters Stage Desperate Rallies

In a last ditch attempt to rescue Conan O'Brien's show, his supporters are planning protests and rallies around the country at NBC offices. Reportedly, one event was organized today that even used La Bamba and the Masturbating Bear. Perhaps, some film footage may appear tonight on Conan's show. It might be funny, but it is unlikely to help the situation very much. NBC appears set to end Conan's show this Friday. Barry Manilow has been set as the show's final guest, much like Bette Midler was Johnny Carson's final guest.

TMZ reported that La Bamba drove up in some sort of funny Popemobile thing to a cheering crowd at 1:50 this afternoon. Conan certainly has his fan base after 17 years on NBC. But NBC's decision to end the show appears to be set in stone, Masturbating Bear, or not.

The Auto Business: Oregon's Plan To Tax Money Losing Businesses Could Kill Off Many Struggling Dealerships

The auto industry in all parts of the country is in a real funk right now. Dealerships are closing right and left as sales continue to struggle along. At the same time, many states, like Oregon are in real economic mess right now with an unemployment rate running at 11.1% and many businesses falling like flies because of gross business revenue declines in the 10-20% range. Because of declining tax revenues because more than 1 out of every ten Oregonians are without work, the state legislature has decided that new taxes on business right in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is a viable path towards keeping government agencies such as schools, police, fire and other services economically solvent.

But what has so angered many low profit businesses such as auto dealerships and grocery stores, who operate on very slender profit or loss margins is a new tax of 7.9% on businesses grossing $500,000 or more dollars a year, whether or not the business is a profitable enterprise or not. Usually, the rent a business pays is equal to about 8% of gross revenue, so a new tax on unprofitable businesses is the equivalent of doubling their rent. Certainly, this only force many struggling auto dealerships and other lower profit margin businesses to close their doors. It should also only worsen the job loss situation in Oregon, and tie Oregon with Hawaii for having the having the highest personal taxes in the United States.

Oregon's tax raising ballot measures 66 & 67 have been opposed by auto dealers and grocers associations by the state's largest newspaper, THE OREGONIAN. Part of the problem is that from November 2007 to November 2009, as Oregon's economy shrank due to the serious recession, 131,500 private sectors jobs disappeared while government increased the number of workers by 5,100 and even raised many wages or benefits packages while some businesses experienced huge revenue shortages due to falling sales.

In some cities, like Detroit, Michigan, for example, large grocery retailers such as Safeway and others have abandoned the city, leaving only small grocery stores to supply the demand for groceries by hungry residents. These small stores have to use armed guards to protect grocery deliveries to the stores from robbery by hungry persons. This is almost like a scene from a MAD MAX movie. Many home prices have fallen down to just $5,000 in the city as well. Even in cities like Atlanta, Georgia, nice homes in good neighborhoods near golf clubs have declined in value from $450,000 down to just $50,000 recently.

Part of the marketing by the side supporting the Oregon ballot measures has been especially deceptive. The ads portrayed those who earn more than $250,000 a year as wealthy jet setters just at time that so many Oregonians struggle to pay basic bills. However, the tax will really impact individuals earning over $125,000 as well as Subchapter S type businesses who are currently losing money. Businesses are the engine that drive jobs and the economy. Yet in the middle of such a serious economic downturn the legislature thinks that the only solution is to further impact the business community with more taxes on top of their own problems with declining sales and business revenue losses.

The fact of the matter is that all Oregonians, not just higher income earners or businesses will only pay for these huge new business tax increases with higher rents, electric bills, grocery prices, etc., right in the middle of this poor economy. Government services such as schools, police, fire, etc. are certainly essential to an orderly society. However, taxing a struggling business community right now could really accelerate Oregon's economic and revenue problems. The federal government on the other hand, offered financial help to the struggling banking and auto industries. But Oregon is going in the opposite direction, by wanting to tax struggling businesses.

If the federal government would have allowed the banks to fail, then the national economy would have been very interesting. Since banks offer credit cards to individuals, and many households hold credit card debts of around $20,000 or more, debt collectors might have bought this credit card debt from failed banks and then demanded full and immediate payment from households. Debt collectors could have seeked court judgments for immediate payment, and collected any assets from households such their homes, automobiles, jewelry, etc. The U.S. could have had a huge problem with persons made homeless because of the collapse of banks, leading to credit card collapses. Many Americans live on credit cards because their incomes are tight right now. It's not good, but the fact is that they do.

So where does this leave Oregon? Certainly it has serious revenue problems. But can a struggling business community afford $733 million in additional taxes with thousands of more job losses or a new wave of business failures or greatly increased prices for consumers. Certainly, the tax proposals will be very inflationary right in the middle of times when the real problem is that consumers don't have great amounts of money to spend.

Can auto dealers in Oregon survive is measures 66 & 67 pass? Certainly, some will. But many others will have to close their doors or else raise prices by around 10% or more just to stay in business. Ultimately, all of the people of Oregon will pay the costs if the ballot measures pass, either in higher prices or lost jobs.

Conan O'Brien's Projected 2010 TONIGHT SHOW Operating Revenue Loss Was $3-5 Million

While Conan O'Brien definitely feels that NBC has treated him very unfairly, the fact of the matter was that his version of THE TONIGHT SHOW was a money loser. NBC had calculated that for the calendar year of 2010, the show would lose the network around $3-5 million. That compares very badly against the $25 million in profits THE TONIGHT SHOW made the last full calendar year that Leno hosted the show. For NBC, giving Conan O'Brien the ax was probably a serious economic issue towards stopping network revenue losses. Surprisingly, as bad as the ratings were for the 10pm prime-time version of THE JAY LENO SHOW, that show was able to show a slender profit. Compared to the ultra-expensive 10pm dramas of other networks like CBS and ABC, THE TONIGHT SHOW was produced on a shoestring, yet drew in high priced ads. Economically it made sense. But it wasn't as good of a revenue source as a good 10pm drama like an ER by any means.

Conan O'Brien feels that the poor lead-in from Jay Leno's very weak ratings as well as only having just seven months to have success in THE TONIGHT SHOW time slot just wasn't enough time to be successful. Yet, the fact of the matter is that he lost 52% of THE TONIGHT SHOW audience ratings numbers.

Conan O'Brien certainly leaves NBC with a lot of anger right now. But his show just didn't perform very well. And THE TONIGHT SHOW really needed to be a profitable enterprise for NBC which is in a serious financial funk right now. NBC did offer Conan the opportunity to do his show after midnight which would have kept all of the jobs of his writers, staffers and fellow actors. But O'Brien made the decision to leave on his own because he felt that NBC was pressuring him, which of course they were. NBC is in the business of making money, and not losing it.

O'Brien's future looks pretty hazy right now. It appears that FOX hasn't actually contacted him about a new hosting job. And further, NBC is attempting to put language in a contract that will cost Conan O'Brien mega-amounts of cash if he "bad mouths" NBC. This sort of gag rule has to be difficult for the Conan O'Brien camp to accept. What Comic can't tell jokes about certain subjects?

In the end, Conan will see some money from NBC. Will have to live with a probable gag order clause, and might even be restricted for how long before he can work again. And the fact of the matter is that all of the writers and staffers who bought homes in California are without work from Conan's show now, and laying in economic ruin because Conan wouldn't accept doing the show past midnight. And that's a heavy burden to bear. However, it seemed like an empty gesture from NBC to offer Jay Leno a half hour time slot at 11:35. Normally, Leno's joke monologue can run that long. It was likely an NBC ploy to force Conan's hand to quit rather than merely cancel him.

Regardless, the amazing climb of Conan O'Brien may be over for the near future.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

0-60 In 2.9 Seconds: The Awesome Ariel Atom

The Ariel Atom looks like an ultra basic exoskeleton frame on wheels design. And that's part of the idea here. Weighing in at just 1350lbs., the Honda 2.0 liter powered supercar can go an awesome 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds. That's pretty blistering!

The only thing not stripped down is the whopping $49,980 price tag here. That's a fair amount of cash. But then again, you're paying to own one of the world's fastest supercars. And the Ariel Atom is of the best buys in that small but elite market. In that regard, you're not paying a few hundred thousand for some exotic supercar with the same sort of speed specs.

If the Honda 2.0 liter isn't enough engine for you, then a new 500hp V8 model is in the works for the brand. In the meantime, there is another V8 engined model also available.

Interestingly, the ultrafast supercar is manufactured both in Somerset, England as well as under contract with Brammo Motorsports of Ashland, Oregon. Outside of Detroit, Michigan a few interesting small specialty automakers like this exist and thrive.

Ain't life grand!

DVD Review: 100 FEET

100 FEET is an effective and well written crime/horror tale film that's well a watch on DVD. Famke Janssen is very good here, in her portrayal of an abused housewife who murdered her mean and nasty husband, who was also a police officer. The housewife is granted an early release from prison and put under closely supervised house arrest, only allowed to move about 100 feet within her old home.

Janssen's portrayal housewife of victimized housewife Marnie Watson is quite good. Watson's character is played with a strong measure of indignation at the system for failing her. Police ignored her repeated 911 calls because her abuser was a policeman. She was convicted and served time, unjustly, in her view. And now the partner(Bobby Cannavale) of her killed husband sits outside of her home in a parked car looking for any legal reason at all to slap handcuffs on her and to send her back to prison to serve out the rest of her sentence.

Life with an electronic ankle bracelet isn't very easy for Marnie Watson. Neighbors hate and resent her, believing her to be a cold blooded killer, not knowing her real story. Even Halloween is another bad experience when Marnie Watson finds few children willing to even take candy from her, only causing her more personal hurt.

But things will only get worse. Much worse. The ghost of her abusive husband(Michael Pare) returns from the grave as an unholy supernatural force and terrorizes and abuses Marnie Watson once again. And now the story becomes really creepy.

Marnie Watson has little choice. If she leaves the haunted house, she then goes back to prison for 10 years. If she stays in the house with the abusive ghost she may die before the night ends. That's not much of a choice, is it? There's plenty of very terrifying moments here. Director Eric Red has made a great film here.

The bottom line: This is a very good movie here and highly recommended. +++(Three stars out of four).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

When You Absolutely, Positively, Don't Want To Pay A Lot For A Trike

Trike motorbikes are cool. But, some like the models from American-made Ridley can set you back a cool $26k. And customized Harley trikes can cost major boatloads of cash. However, there's some great lower priced trike alternatives out there from the great Chino, California dealer, ScooterDepot.US. They have a number of Chinese-built motor scooter based trikes for sale, ranging from 50cc to 150cc models, for as low as around $1,300 plus a small shipping charge.

On the lower end, there's a cool, but basic 5occ model with chrome wheels, a trailer hitch and even a reverse gear. That's not bad for that small of a cash layout. And it can still go about 35mph. It's not a bad looking scooter based trike design. It has a cool enough style, and can stand up on it's own two feet at stop lights.

On the higher end, are some 55mph+ 150 scooter based trikes that have enough power and comfort for two riders to travel in ease. They may not be real highway cruisers, but around the city, they make for fun good weather travel. These also feature a reverse gear and some pretty trick bodywork. The price per fun factor certainly looks right to me.

What can I say? Trikes are way cool!

Conan O'Brien & NBC Reach Departure Deal

Around the clock negotiations between representatives for Conan O'Brien and NBC have reportedly reached a departure deal for the Emmy Award winning comic host. Reportedly, NBC will give O'Brien a $30 million severance package. And negotiators for O'Brien also were apparently able to hammer out language allowing him to quickly find work elsewhere. NBC was hoping to keep O'Brien from working for another network for up to 3 years. Yet, how fast some other network may sign O'Brien and other staffers or actors from his show remains a big question.

Since he took over THE TONIGHT SHOW reins from Jay Leno, O'Brien manage to lose 52% of the ratings audience of the show. And with a very high salary well into the tens of millions, O'Brien might just be too expensive of a commodity for many other networks to really seriously consider. Finding work might be a little harder this time around.

However, both Jay Leno and NBC have only suffered a great deal of reputation damage in this whole fiasco, while Conan O'Brien seems to be largely garnering a great deal of public sympathy. Probably, Leno's return to THE TONIGHT SHOW will make him somewhat "damaged goods" and his ratings will be lower than the past. His disastrous 10pm prime-time TV show also hurt him with the critics. Some say the real winner here just might be Jimmy Fallon who has remained undamaged here, and could be the real future of NBC. At some point, Jay Leno will really retire, and Jimmy Fallon could well end taking over THE TONIGHT SHOW.

At one time, it looked like Conan O'Brien had won the lottery by his phenomenal climb at the "Peacock" network. In the early days, Conan O'Brien didn't answer his phone when NBC executives attempted to cancel his late night show he took over from David Letterman. That paid off, because his ratings steadily improved and critical approval and Emmy nominations and awards later came his way. That magic worked for 17 years. But after just seven short months, the wheels started to fall off with bad ratings for his new TONIGHT SHOW gig, as well as a weak NBC supporting schedule, partially caused by the huge failure of Jay Leno's new prime-time show.

Can O'Brien make his magic work elsewhere? Maybe? Maybe not? Only time will tell whether his ride continues. But, there's reportedly a new blog offer out there from Kurt Sutter, creator of THE SONS OF ANARCHY, serious or not, for Conan O'Brien to do a guest appearance on FX's motorcycle gang drama. There's another storyline next season about the IRA and running guns. But can comic Conan O'Brien act like a tough guy IRA type?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chinese E6 Electric Sedan May Hit U.S. Market Soon

While some automobile analysts seriously doubt the claims that Chinese automaker BYD can really succeed in their optimistic plans to market their attractive E6 electric sedan in the U.S. in the near future, the Chinese company claims that it will be selling the cars here within a year's time. One believer in the company is Warren Buffet, who has reportedly invested a cool $230 million in the Chinese company's stock.

While the new Chinese entry doesn't have to meet with tough U.S. air pollution standards because it's an all electric powered, crash testing the vehicle presents another hurdle. The Chinese car will likely conduct it's own crash testing and then submit the data to the federal regulators who will later conduct their own crash tests before final U.S. approval is given. And there's always the problem of no existing dealer network to even sell the new car.

And while the automaker claims a range on the order of 230 miles between charges, some auto industry experts also question that claim as well. Another serious problem is the pricing. Right now the vehicle costs around $40,000 per unit to produce. It would take more mass production, as well as cheaper materials and lower cost technology to bring that price down much. However, there is some speculation that the Chinese may dump this car on the market for less than cost for a time to get a toe-hold in the U.S. market. But how long can any company operate at a loss before they drain their assets out(e.g., GM & Chrysler)?

The E6 might just be a lot of wishful thinking. However, the car certainly looked attractive enough during it's public introduction at the recent Detroit Auto Show this year. While many companies such as Chrysler offered much scaled back exhibits, some new upstart brands such as the BYD E6 were seen for the first time. But will they be seen on U.S. streets as well?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hey kids! Look Like Russell Crowe On A Motorcycle In Florida And Get A Traffic Stop

Hey kids! For Heavens sake, don't try to look like Russell Crowe from GLADIATOR on a motorcycle in Florida, unless you want to get stopped. It seems that biker Luis Santiago was wearing this cool looking modified helmet, but the police didn't think too much of it and stopped him, and wrote him a warning ticket.

In Florida, it seems, there is a law that doesn't allow wearing a mask on a motorcycle. And even if a custom helmet is of a similar design, it may only result in a traffic stop . In Florida, some things just aren't cool, I guess. Okay.

It's Leno Vs. Conan Dueling Monologues

Last night, the monologues of both Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien took sad and unfortunate turns as both comics turned their guns on each other, rather than at NBC. At 10pm, Jay Leno fired at Conan with the joke, "Nobody knows what is going on. Conan O'Brien, understandable, is very upset. He had a statement in the paper yesterday. Conan said that NBC has only gave him seven months to make his show work. When I heard months?! How did he get that deal? We only got four! Who's his agent?"

During his 11:35 TONIGHT SHOW, Conan O'Brien shot back at Leno with, "Hosting THE TONIGHT SHOW has been the fulfillment of a lifetime dream for me.....and I just want to say to the kids out there watching: You can do anything you want in life. Unless Jay Leno wants to do it too!"

Sadly, these men who had so much respect for each other, are now becoming embittered. Much more of this and the fun will be gone.

Televangelist Pat Robertson Blames Haiti For Earthquake

Never a stranger to controversy, 79 year old multimillionaire televangelist, Pat Robertson, has managed to blame the people of Haiti for their own recent earthquake. On his popular 700 CLUB program, Robertson claimed that the people of Haiti made a "pact with the Devil" to escape French oppression. And Robertson further claimed that the people have been "cursed" ever since.

However, Pat Robertson's grasp of history seems pretty flawed here. In the 16th century, when West Africans were brought to Haiti as slaves they had a number of native religions that they were not allowed to freely practice under French oppression, so the practice of "Vodou" was often mixed with the Roman Catholic faith forced on the slaves by their French oppressors. Often spelled, Voodoo, Haitian Vodou is an odd mix of the Christian Roman Catholic faith and the pagan faiths of their African ancestors. However, more mainline Catholic and Protestant faiths seem to be growing in Haiti, with far less persons practicing the old ways. Pat Robertson's views also seem to be more shaped by some bad zombie movie as well.

But for Pat Robertson, his new comments only seem like his latest unfortunate misstep. He makes terrible bizarre statements, which always receive huge public condemnation, yet this never seems to shake his hardcore of followers. One of his former 700 Club hosts, Sheila Walsh, once referred to him as their "fearless leader". This friendly, but unfortunate statement, pretty well sums up the blind faith of those who follow the personality cult of political/financial/religious leader Pat Robertson and freely hand him millions in donations each year for his various businesses and religious projects.

In the past, Robertson once claimed that Gay rights groups were somehow responsible for the 9/11 attacks. After a small earthquake once hit Northridge, California, some religious leaders like Robertson's 700 CLUB program made the claim that this was somehow linked to the fact that many of the adult entertainment businesses that produce adult movies are located in this area, claiming this was a "pornquake" of some sorts.

The White House wasn't very amused by Robertson's latest bizarre comments, and White House adviser Valarie Jarrett, claims she was left "speechless" by the comments. President Obama has asked former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to join a bipartisan relief fund effort. And the American military is deploying Navy ships and Marine units to assist the people of Haiti with at least $100 in quick aid coming. Chinese, Canadian, British and Brazilian military and relief units have landed relief ships to assist in relief efforts as well.

One very respected religious leader, Franklin Graham, son of Rev. Billy Graham, was also critical of the remarks of Robertson as well, and felt that he really "misspoke". Franklin Graham is the so Samaritans Purse, a religious relief organization.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jay Leno Will Likely Be Hosting THE TONIGHT SHOW Again

It looks highly likely that Conan O'Brien has decided to blink and to make himself the odd man out over at NBC. While, Conan O'Brien claimed in a letter that he was concerned for the reputation of THE TONIGHT SHOW, and that moving the show to 12:05 would only hurt that TV institution, it seems like this ploy is only likely to end O'Brien's run on the network and as THE TONIGHT SHOW host. NBC will likely not ask O'Brien to stay. Further, NBC will be released from any legal obligations to pay O'Brien a $50 million settlement if he walks as well. Apparently,O'Brien failed to protect himself by not setting a starting time for his TONIGHT SHOW in his contract as was widely thought by a number of TV analysts. So now, O'Brien really has little wiggle room. By his own hand, O'Brien may be ending his talk show hosting days.

Several years ago when Jay Leno wanted to retire, NBC decided that Conan O'Brien would be the next logical host. So an orderly transition schedule was set up. But then Leno changed his mind, and money problems over at NBC gave birth to the idea of a prime-time version of Jay Leno's TONIGHT SHOW that could be produced on a small budget. By eliminating five high priced 10pm dramas, and putting on a really cheap talk show, NBC expected to save millions of dollars a day. But the whole gamble badly backfired for NBC. Conan O'Brien was a ratings disaster for THE TONIGHT SHOW, only holding on just 48% of the audience numbers that Jay Leno had. And Leno's new 10pm show was a real ratings disaster as well. Now with so much damage wrought, NBC will likely replace Jay Leno as THE TONIGHT SHOW once again and hope that the audience numbers come back. And the climb of Conan O'Brien as an NBC commodity is probably over.

O'Brien may hope for an offer from a network like FOX. However, with his big NBC salary, and the inability to hold on to THE TONIGHT SHOW ratings audience, this dream might not jell, either. As funny as Conan O'Brien is, he just might find himself priced out of a job very soon. And that would be very sad.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cd Preview:The Guess Who's ROCKIN' With Bonus Tracks Debuts Jan 26

After guitar legend and founding Guess Who member, Randy Bachman, left the band, a new line-up of musicians including guitarist Kurt Winter replaced him and brought in some fresh and innovative ideas. That was a major shakeup for the group's musical style as well. 1972's ROCKIN' album was a strange little Guess Who project. It certainly broke new ground for the band with the unusual rocker, "Heart Broken Bopper" opening the album with some strange guitar tuning effects. And lead vocalist, Burton Cummings, seemed to be in some sort of retro mood, with a number of songs written with 1950's themes of some sort.

While The Guess Who's career seemed to take a big downturn after 1970's huge success with the "American Woman" single, guitarist Randy Bachman seemed to have great success for a time after reforming his Brave Belt band into Bachman Turner Overdrive.

But, meanwhile The Guess Who only had very moderate success with the ROCKIN' album, with "Heartbroken Bopper" only charting at #47 on Billboard's Hot 100 charts in 1972. The follow-up single, "Guns, Guns, Guns" did even worse, only making it to just #70. Yet, the album was far more interesting and worthwhile than this might indicate. "Heartbroken Bopper" was the hardest rock single this Canadian act issued since the searing classic , "American Woman". It deserved better U.S. success than this.

Strangely, when Rockin' was previously issued on Cd, the order of the tracks was completely altered although one 2003 remastered import did restore the original track order. On the first C issue, the "Hi Rockers" medley of songs was split up into separate tracks with "Sea Of Love", "Don't You Want Me" and the very good, "Heaven Only Moved Yesterday" split up into separate tracks. But now the new Cd issue of this great classic album is supposed to include some rare bonus track materials according to the claims and hopefully retores the original track order as well.

This new issue of this version of the album sure sounds interesting. This album was always one of my favorite Guess Who projects, although considered a near throw-away by many music critics. But The Guess Who were always one of the great Canadian acts of all time. Burton Cummings was always a great vocalist.

The bottom line is that this is a must-have album for fans of Canadian rock acts like The Guess Who. This great act can do no wrong in my view. +++(Three stars out of four)

Conan O'Brien In Talks With FOX

A FOX owned website, FOX, claims that NBC personality Conan O'Brien is in talks with the network to jump ship from NBC and get his own 11:35 pm late night show on FOX. Coming from a FOX owned website, the news might be a pretty reliable inside source that indeed Conan O'Brien will quit NBC. However, by leaving the network and signing with another network, it could cut the share of the $50 million that NBC would owe O'Brien according to the complex contract terms that he signed. So that's not such a good deal for O'Brien.

But, there are some real pitfalls here for O'Brien. At NBC, O'Brien at least has a stable job that he is unlikely to lose. But, O'Brien has lost at least 52% of the old TONIGHT SHOW audience. On FOX, he only risks having a much smaller audience yet or even ending up without a job if cancellation comes. A move to FOX for a declining entity like O'Brien might just be the worst career move ever.

NBC made a major tactical mistake by moving Jay Leno to prime-time and Conan O'Brien to 11:35. But, Conan O'Brien could only complicate his situation by a move to FOX or any other network for that matter.

Sarah Palin Signs TV Deal With FOX News

Sarah Palin has signed a multi-year TV deal with FOX News to be a contributor. But this might make it very difficult for her to run for president in 2012. It is also far short from her hopes to host her own TV show as well. However, Palin will have a few occasional specials on the network, though.

So far it hasn't been disclosed just how much the network will pay her. But it does give the former Alaska governor enough free time for other projects. But the multi-year contract would certainly interfere with any schedule to build an effective organization for any 2012 presidential run according to some political analysts. Overall, the deal might make fans of the former governor happy to see more of her, but it is probably a strong signal that she's not running for president in 2012.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


If you think that GREEN ACRES was a farm horror, then you haven't half seen farm horrors. Two recent DVD releases play on this rural horror genre, but with mixed results. FARMHOUSE looked promising, as it featured both Kelly Hu and former WINGS star, Steven Weber, as two wine vineyard farmhouse owners who invite in lost strangers with car problems. At first both folks seem nice enough, but then both turn into five alarm sickos who like to torture and kill their "guests".

Weber well portrays a sadistic weirdo. And Kelly Hu well portrays an ultra-sexy Asian babe who's all about raunchy sexual kicks with her lover husband, who only gets "hot" from his sadistic murders of the "guests". She looks as hot as ever in this film, and even flashes a sly smile while she's being watched having raunchy sex in one hot scene. And the twisted couple do devise some pretty terrible things for their guests. But this film just isn't as good as it has the potential to be. Unfortunately, the very sexy scenes involving Kelly Hu might just be the best of what this film has to offer here. This film isn't as gross as the SAW series by any means either, but it has some rather sick moments. But, it's only a so-so horror film at best.

But far better than FARMHOUSE is the very effective film by the Pang brothers, MESSENGERS 2: THE SCARECROW. This is a very good film here. The storyline about a poor farmer on the verge of foreclosure, with failing crops, unable to afford new irrigation equipment and with crows eating his crops is a compelling tale. The poor farmer finds a creepy looking scarecrow hidden in a part of the barn that he didn't know about. And then all of his fortunes began to change.

Strangely, the creepy scarecrow figure begins to answer the poor farmers prayers, wishes, hopes and aspirations like some strange genie from a magic lamp. The crows that ate his crops all end up dead one day. The banker who wanted to foreclose on the farm ends up as roadkill for an 18 wheeler and his expensive watch and cash end up laying in with the now flourishing corn crops. But the son of the farmer tells his dad that the scarecrow is evil. And after events begin to get out of hand, with a strange satanic couple living in a trailer nearby, and then the terrible scarecrow figure only comes to life to terrify the family. This is a very good horror film. If the Pang brothers always make films this good, then I'm definitely on-board as a fan.

The bottom line here: FARMHOUSE: ++(Two stars, or just fair). But MESSENGERS 2: THE SCARECROW has a great storyline and is great entertainment: +++(Good).

THE JAY LENO SHOW Officially Canceled by NBC

NBC made the announcement this Sunday that THE JAY LENO SHOW will officially end on February 12, 2010. Leno will then be moved to the later 11:35 time slot, while NBC hopes to keep both Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon on board, while moving them to later time slots. There is no word about Carson Daly or the late night poker program that NBC now airs. But to shore up badly sagging ratings, NBC has decided to shuffle the chairs on the deck.

NBC has high hopes that Conan O'Brien won't quit because of the demotion. This week NBC reportedly offered him the ultimatum, to either accept the 12:05 time slot or to quit the network. NBC cannot fire O'Brien because a clause in his contract offers him a $50 million dollar bonus. There was some talk that several other networks might have an interest in acquiring Conan O'Brien should he decide to quit NBC.

As much of a disaster as THE JAY LENO SHOW has been in the ratings, sometimes only drawing as little as 3 million viewers, NBC has actually made money off the show because it was so cheap to produce. But the problem was that the network was being steamrollered with the far better 10pm dramas on CBS and ABC crushing NBC in that time slot.

NBC hoped to cut costs by putting on a cheap show like THE JAY LENO SHOW in primetime. But viewers solidly rejected the concept. NBC Universal might have shot itself in the foot by ending the highly rated and acclaimed MONK series over at the USA Network to cut costs as well. By going cheap, NBC only invited in disaster and the ultimate deal to bring in Comcast as a buyer as GE sought to reduce their interests in the dying network.

NBC hasn't been managed very well lately, and dropping ratings and advertising revenues as a result of the absurd costing cutting moves by the network only badly backfired. Can NBC comeback? Comcast will give it the good old college try. Maybe, some good new 10pm dramas will help.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

ShamWows Come Up A Little Short In CONSUMER REPORTS Test

When he's not beating up prostitutes, the ShamWow guy, Vince Shlomi, 44, has a day job of promoting ShamWow products. These towels supposedly have the amazing ability to soak up vast amounts of liquids of all types. The only problem is that CONSUMER REPORTS tested these $20 set of cleaner uppers and found that cheap sponges work a little better.

In a product test conducted by CONSUMER REPORTS, the ShamWow products will soak up milk equal to 12 times the weight of the claimed "supertowels". However, other liquids top out at 10 times the weight of the towel. Cheap sponges did a little better than this according to CONSUMER REPORTS. That's not a high recommendation for a much higher priced product.

However, ShamWows are more towel-like unlike sponges. So in that regard they may have other uses. So it's really up to the consumer whether a $20 ShamWow set is really better than some cheap sponges.