Archive for February, 2010

Where’s Katzenberg?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

This one is a half-percenter, but it’s the kind of thing the internet loves, so here we go.

Last week I talked about the trailer for the new documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty about Disney animation’s revival (see Waking Sleeping Beauty).

The image on the poster is old fashioned castle surrounded by dynamite and explosives with the plunger in the foreground:

Waking Sleeping Beauty poster

I knew I’d seen the image before, turns out it was a goofy sketch that co-director Kirk Wise drew during Beauty and the Beast of then Disney Studio head Jeffrey Katzenberg:

Kirk Wise sketch

Interesting how they removed Katzenberg from the movie poster.

Not surprising, considering he runs DreamWorks Animation, Disney’s main rival, but still, interesting.

Now Twice as International!

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

I love mocking Portland “International” Jetport. But it’s friendly mocking.

“Ribbing”, if you will.

I was, however, concerned back in November when it was announced they were losing flights to Halifax, Nova Scotia – the only international route at the jetport (see “International” No More).

But then last month Air Canada stepped in and announced it’d soon start a twice-daily Toronto to Portland route (see International Again!).

Well now it looks like we’ll have service to Nova Scotia again – at least, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: “Jetport restoring air service to Yarmouth, N.S.

The “International” name lives on!

Who’s Wallace?

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

This entry has to do with the television show Lost. If you watch the show but you missed last week’s episode, you might want to skip this as I might give a few small things away. And if you don’t watch it, you actually might want to read this because I mock several of the conventions of the show.

So I’ve finally had some time to think about “Lighthouse”, this week’s episode of Lost.

In fact, I went back and took a screenshot of the dial in the lighthouse, specifically, who was Candidate #108:

Screenshot of Lost

It appears to me that someone named “Wallace” must factor in heavily to the show. But as the name’s crossed out, it must be someone who’s dead, right?

My first guess? Biggie Smalls.

Yes, rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s real name was “Christopher Wallace”. And he’s dead.

But what would the Island want with him? He’d probably bring Puff Daddy along, and who really needs that kind of drama?

So we move to our second choice – William Wallace.

Hey, if you were stuck on a jungle island with a smoke monster, wouldn’t you want Braveheart around?

Third choice? Surprisingly Wallace of “Wallace and Gromit” fame.

Although I’m not sure he’s dead, so he might not qualify.

Another Wallace who is dead, and who really should have been shipped off to an island somewhere, is George Wallace, racist, er … “segregationist” governor of Alabama.

Although if he ended up on the island, he’d probably be able to walk again. Don’t know if we need that.

And lastly, for the Mainers out there, I present Senate Minority then Majority Leader Wallace H. White, Jr. Not much to say there, except I like to throw a little history at you, on occasion.

So who do you think it is? Or was Candidate #108 merely a ruse to get Hurley and Jack into the Lighthouse? I’m sure we’ll find out soon …

Mengagement Rings

Friday, February 26th, 2010

I think I’ve linked to this blog before, but quite frankly I’m feeling too lazy right now to check. “Schott’s Vocab” is a blog on the New York Times that is a “repository of unconsidered lexicographical trifles — some serious, others frivolous, some neologized, others newly newsworthy.”

Fun puns, if you will.

Today’s entry is particularly amusing because Liz and I actually did this (with a $5 ring, though): “Mengagement Rings.”

One line interested me, though, “For a certain generation, in Britain especially, to spot a husband wearing a wedding band is rare.”

Men don’t wear wedding rings in England?! Can we confirm that?

Green-Eyed Josh

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Got an email from a former coworker yesterday telling me about another coworker’s new book.

At the bottom?

“Sent from my iPhone.”

I hate those words.

I was so jealous – not only of my author friend but also my iPhone-having friend – that I almost threw my back out.

It did throw me into a shitty, jealous mood all afternoon though.

Red Sox Spring Training Facility

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Today the Boston Red Sox released details of their new Spring Training Ballpark and Player Development Complex that’ll open in Fort Meyers, Florida in 2012.

Similar to Minor League Sea Dogs’ Hadlock Field, there’s a replica Green Monster at the new park:

Populous/Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Inc.

Populous/Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Inc.

Aquarium Leaking in Dubai

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The world’s largest shopping mall (based on total area) is the Dubai Mall at the base of the Burj Dubai, er, Burj Khalifa. Inside the mall is the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre, which holds 10 million liters (2.6 million gallons) of water and has the Guinness World Record world’s “Largest Acrylic Panel”.

And it’s leaking.

So says the Gulf News: “Dubai Mall aquarium cracked and leaking.”


Remember when all they had to worry about was shark fights?

Early Maple

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Apparently this warm spell in mid-February isn’t just confusing people, it’s also confusing maple trees; sap is running about a week and a half early.

Check out this article from the Portland Press Herald: “Boiling it up a-sap.”

Wide World of Sports Rebranding

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

ESPN Wide World of Sports logoWhile I guess the signs have been changed for some time, today’s the official relaunch of Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex as the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

Even though I’ve been to WDW several times since the complex opened in 1997, I’ve still never seen it.

Maybe next time …

New US Embassy in London

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I love architecture. In another life I could have designed buildings. I just read an interesting article in the New York Times about the new United States Embassy in London: “A New Fort, er, Embassy, for London.”

Here’s the design they picked:

Kierantimberlake Architects

Key quote from the article:

The project as a whole, however, is a fascinating study in how architecture can be used as a form of camouflage. The building is set in a spiraling pattern of two small meadows and a pond that have as much to do with defensive fortification as with pastoral serenity: an eye-opening expression of the irresolvable tensions involved in trying to design an emblem of American values when you know it may become the next terrorist target.

Over at the Embassy’s official page they have a few more renderings, including this one that’s much more spikey than the last:

Kierantimberlake Architects

No Snow

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Is anyone else getting concerned? Last week we were supposed to have 8 inches of snow … then we got a dusting.

Last night we were supposed to have a few inches … and we got nothing.

Are the weather-people all just losing it, or is the climate really more jacked up than we know?

New Fantastyland at WDW

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

You might have heard Walt Disney World announced a new Fantasyland back in September.

Back then they released this painting:

Fantasyland visual development

The Fantasyland Forest expansion will be complete in 2013 and feature mostly new Princess themed attractions, restaurants and character meet-and-greet areas.

Lost will be most of Mickey’s Toontown Fair (including Mickey’s house … odd) and the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage attraction that’s been closed for over 15 years, anyway.

The most anticipated new attraction is Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid that will take you literally under the sea in an Omnimover system (like the Haunted Mansion) and be identical to the one being built right now out at Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim.

Recently I came across this model which is easier to decipher than the painting. Someone else (sadly, I don’t remember who) has labelled the attractions and buildings:

New Fantasyland model

New Fantasyland model with labels

To give you a better idea of the current layout, here’s a map of the land as it stand now:

Fantastyland map

And here’s a Google map photo:

Fantastyland photo

Overall I’m not terribly excited, but it can’t be any worse than closing Mr Toad for the Winnie the Pooh ride.

UPDATE: Oddly Jim Hill has a story about this expansion today! For more artwork and tidbits, check out: “The WDW Resort is looking for a few dozen new Disney Princesses.”

How Carlton Came to Lost

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

In honor of tonight’s episode of Lost, here’s an Los Angeles Times video of showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse discussing how Carlton joined the show:

Dubai, the Smugglers’ Sieve

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Article about Dubai and it’s porous border with cross-gulf neighbor Iran: “Dubai Helps Iran Evade Sanctions as Smugglers Ignore U.S. Laws.”

Money quote from a member of Dubai’s Iranian Business Council (IBC):

“You can get anything you want, and you can ship anything you want to Iran,” says Morteza Masoumzadeh, an IBC director and owner of a shipping company that transports goods between Iran and Dubai. “Every company in Iran is either here or has representatives here.”

Oh Manny!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Los Angeles Dodgers logoThe Boston Globe headline really says it all: “Manny Ramirez says this is his final season in LA.”

Can you imagine spring training has barely begun and he’s already saying stuff like, “I know I’m not going to be here next year”?

Oh I’m so very glad he’s not on the Red Sox anymore.

Long-Term Unemployment Rises

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Stories like this are bad to read at five in the morning: “The New Poor: Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs.”

Of course, I never even got unemployment, so that means I’m even worse off.


Mauritius Has Apps

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Dodo birdLast month I mentioned how the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, where Liz and I went on our honeymoon, has the Apple iPhone but no App Store (see Mauritius App Store).

As you can imagine, an iPhone without apps is like Christmas without presents.

Well I’m happy to report that on Thursday Apple announced nine new App Stores – including Mauritius.

I’m Up!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Good morning! It’s barely morning now, on the shy-side of 4:30, but I’m awake as can be. Must be because I fell asleep at 9 last night watching the Olympics. Hope this doesn’t bite me on the other end tonight while watching Lost

Had some weird dreams last night. The most recent involved me, my littlest cousin, his father and my father at a McDonalds. We were getting my little cousin a cup of milk.


Also had a mall dream. Have we talked about those here? I have recurring dreams every few months of being in a mall. The thing is, it isn’t a mall I’ve ever been too – it probably doesn’t even really exist. And every dream it’s a new mall.

What I don’t get is A) I really don’t care for malls and B) why would I go to all of the trouble to invent a mall? Most of the time it’s a very elaborate dream, too. I could tell you about the floorplan, design, approximately when it was build, etc.

Of course, this being me, most of the time there’s a fake Disney Store in my fake mall. Seriously.

I’m not a dream expert, but I think that this is weird.

Anyone have a theory on this?

Anyway, now I’m up.

Iran and the “Arabian Gulf”

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

One of the things that struck me when we lived in Dubai was that everyone called the Persian Gulf by the name “Arabian Gulf”.

Guess it made sense, we were living in Arabia. Of course, the United Nations guidelines are clear:

The term “Persian Gulf” is used as the standard geographical designation for the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The full term “Persian Gulf” is always used to designate that sea area when it is first referred to in a text and is repeated thereafter whenever necessary for the sake of clarity.

But Arab states still call it otherwise, upsetting Persians.

So what’re they going to do about it?

How about: “Iran Threatens Airline Ban Over “Arabian Gulf” Tag.”

Sting in Hot Water

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

So, as you know by now, I worked for quite some time on The Emperor’s New Groove. Musician Sting, the former Police singer, also worked on the flick.

By my logic that makes is best pals. Close confidants.

Which makes me sad that he’s such a hypocrite: “Sting in the pay of tyrannical Uzbekistan regime.”