Sunday, November 29, 2009
Hey! That new Christmas special from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Prep & Landing, airs on ABC this Tuesday!


A bunch of people I worked with at Disney had a hand in making it - Chris Williams, Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton.

You should check it out, I bet it'll be pretty awesome ...

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posted by Josh at 7:14 AM | 0 comments
We're now getting settled in our new Portland apartment. More details once we unpack.

Im the meantime, did you see the recent news about the other cities where we've recently lived?

Yesterday the final two P-3s maritime patrol aircraft stationed at NAS Brunswick took off, the base will closed in the middle of 2011.

Also likely to close soon?


No, not really, but have you seen the stories about their debt taking a whack out of the global economy?

posted by Josh at 7:13 AM | 0 comments
Friday, November 27, 2009
Today is Eid al-Adha, the Muslim celebration to commemorate Abraham's willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son. It's the most important feast of the Islamic calendar.

So wish you Muslim friends "Eid Mubarak", but be careful how you put it in print ...
posted by Josh at 6:30 AM | 0 comments
One of my running gags for as long as I can remember is poking fun of the tiny (but friendly) Portland "International" Jetport.

Now it looks like we'll have to call it the "Portland International Jetport": the last remaining international flight is leaving on Tuesday.

"Portland Jetport Losing Service To Nova Scotia".
posted by Josh at 6:30 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, November 26, 2009
20091125_turkey.pngI'd like to wish all of the Americans out there a Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of the international readers out there, "Happy Thursday".

I'm going to cut a new belthole in my belt.

See you tomorrow.
posted by Josh at 8:06 AM | 0 comments
So I've meant to talk about this a few different times, that the new Stephen King novel Under the Dome is set in fictional town of Chester's Mill, Maine which is based on Bridgton - where Liz grew up and where my brother lives now.

King used to live there back in the day - that's where he set The Mist as well.


Well somehow I missed this story last week, they're planning to make it into a TV miniseries.

"They" in this case being Steven Spielberg and his DreamWorks crew: "Spielberg, King team on 'Dome'".

Now, I'm not naive enough to think they'll really shoot the show in Bridgton, but no matter where they film it if there's a little green house in the background I'll say, "There's my brother's place!"

posted by Josh at 7:55 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The WSJ Numbers Guy helped us debunk the Dubai crane thing back in the day, now he talks Turkey: "Claims of Thanksgiving Excess Fueled by Feast of Fuzzy Data".
posted by Josh at 1:27 PM | 0 comments
I love this first couple! Check out: "Modern Flourishes at Obamas’ State Dinner".

Fun fact?

The first White House state dinner was in 1874 when President Grant hosted King David Kalakaua of ... Hawaii.
posted by Josh at 8:12 AM | 0 comments
20091125_aol_01.pngSomeday America Online will make a great business school case study. These guys were on the top of their game in 1995, virtually everyone who had internet access had dial-up through them.

Then they bought Time Warner, one of the largest entertainment companies in the country.

And now look how far they've fallen - they're having junior high kids with three months of Photoshop knowledge redesign their brand:


No, you know what? That's mean to junior high kids.
posted by Josh at 6:45 AM | 0 comments
Did you see this last weekend? That four people died of swine flu right before the Hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca?

This year it starts today, and goes to November 29.

"4 Pilgrims Die of Swine Flu Before Hajj".

So sad.
posted by Josh at 6:39 AM | 0 comments
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Weird, Macy's has a Happy Kwanzaa Gift Card:


How 'bout that?
posted by Josh at 6:54 AM | 0 comments
Sunday, November 22, 2009
How do I explain this?

Back when I first moved to Dubai I was bored and missed some of my friends, so I went a little crazy with the Cheez Whiz and photoshopped my buddy Ochs (sounds like 'oak' as in tree) into a variety of historic documents, you know, Civil War, moon landing, Zapruder ... check them out at Ochs in History.


Well on Thursday's episode of Fringe they did the same thing - photoshopped a bald dude into a variety of historic documents. Only in this case it wasn't Ochs but their version of the Watcher.


First they dropped him into Paul Revere's "The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street":

The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street


Next he's witnessing Marie Antoinette at the Place de la Révolution:



Lastly he's in the crowd watching Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914:



Now I realize JJ Abrams' minions probably never visited my Newlywed in Dubai site and probably never saw Ochs in History, but still, I kind of feel ripped off.


But I guess there is more than one of everything ...
posted by Josh at 8:03 PM | 0 comments
I have a couple of things that I want to write about, but this is my first day off since last Saturday, so I might spend it relaxing.

Or maybe getting ready to move on Friday.

posted by Josh at 9:47 AM | 0 comments
Friday, November 20, 2009
posted by Josh at 11:48 AM | 0 comments
Wow, usually I find PETA to be annoying, but this is kind of clever and mainstream: "Troops Get Bin Laden Bites".

posted by Josh at 6:38 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, November 19, 2009
posted by Josh at 6:39 AM | 0 comments
Monday, November 16, 2009
Well, at least the economists are happy with last night's game: "Bill Belichick Is Great".
posted by Josh at 3:53 PM | 0 comments
Before we can decide if it's "two-thousand-and-ten" or "twenty-ten" I guess we have to decide what this decade was: "Naming the ’00s".
posted by Josh at 6:22 AM | 0 comments
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I have eight invites to Google Wave. Any takers?
posted by Josh at 8:49 PM | 0 comments
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Jesus, do these guys know who they're messing with?

Oprah's the most powerful person in America, and thus the world!

"Oprah appearance remarks land Emirati doctor in hot water".

Also, isn't Skype illegal in the UAE?
posted by Josh at 12:47 PM | 0 comments
This was in the Sunday paper the other week.


posted by Josh at 12:47 PM | 0 comments
Friday, November 13, 2009
You know an article has to be good if it starts out: "You certainly won’t hear this from the America-bashing state-run media".


Needless to say I saw this article somewhere in the fringe of the right-wing - don't worry, I'm not trolling there, I caught the title in a search - "Hate Crimes Against Muslims Continue to Decline - More Hate Crimes Against Christians".

They even have a nifty chart:


Apparently in 2007 there were 115 reported hate crime incidents against Muslims and 118 against Christians.

That's three fewer hate crimes.

Well that's something.

Oh, wait, no.

According to Pew Research, 78.4% of Americans are Christian, and 0.6% are Muslim.

So, per capita, that's a huuuuuuge difference.

But you certainly won’t hear that from the Islam-bashing right-wing media ...
posted by Josh at 6:37 AM | 0 comments
As long as they fired the marketing 'genius' who came up with the "Bust A Moo" poster for Home on the Range I'm fine with the changes: "Overhaul at Disney Studios Picks Up Speed".

posted by Josh at 6:27 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, November 12, 2009
So this was in the Sunday paper two or three weeks ago - before the World Series.

It made me rather sad.

posted by Josh at 6:28 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I'd say this show has bigger problems than this, but still, it's funny stuff: "4 reasons why V's motherships don't make sense".
posted by Josh at 10:00 PM | 0 comments
For a week all of my friends in Portland have asked, "Who voted yes on one?"

Well, according to last week's Bridgton News the majority of the Lakes Region did:

posted by Josh at 3:39 PM | 1 comments
20091111_v.pngDid you see this?

"Vatican Looks to Heavens for Signs of Alien Life".

So last month it was Anglicans, now it's E.T.?


Unless, of course, der Papst is confused and thinks that V is a new reality show ...
posted by Josh at 3:36 PM | 0 comments
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Our friend Justin Ellis has a good column in yesterday's Portland Press Herald about the same-sex marriage loss: "Looking for the long view in ballot loss".
posted by Josh at 6:52 AM | 0 comments
Tonight's the second episode of the revamp of that show V. If you caught it last week, you saw the visitors appear on Earth; they parked their massive spaceships over major metropolitan centers in every corner of the globe.

I always find exercises like this interesting; which cities did the showrunners include as alien relevant and which did they leave off?

As the series takes place in New York City, naturally we had many multiple shots of the mothership and the Empire State Building.


Of course as the show is written in Los Angeles and most Los Angelenos want to further propagate their town as a major world center the Library Tower shows up in a shot. Although removing the brown smog from the shot probably took much more CGI effort then dropping in the alien craft.


For international flair the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben make an appearance.


As does the Kremlin in the Russian Federation.


Ooh la la, c'est Paris!


... and Rio?!


Wow, someone's sucking up to the International Olympic Committee!


And lastly ... Egypt?

Yep, the V parked a craft near the Giza pyramids and stinky Cairo.


So no Dubai this time. Maybe not enough people know the skyline yet? Once the Burj Dubai is open next month next year maybe it'll enter the cultural lexicon.

As a consolation prize, though, FlashForward did give a shout out to Dubai on Thursday. Apparently they're having a "Already Ghosts" party for all of the people who didn't have a flash forward.


Doors open at midnight, the party gets going at 2 am. Make sure to bring lots of cologne and please, no sex on the beach.
posted by Josh at 6:49 AM | 0 comments
Monday, November 09, 2009
20090318_redsox.pngThis makes me so happy! The Red Sox signed Tim Wakefield to a two year deal today.

In his 15 years with the Sox Wakefield holds a number of records - including the most starts (388). But it's his 175 wins that's my favorite stat. Only two pitchers have more - Roger Clemens and Cy Young - who are tied for first with 192 wins.

Eighteen wins in two years. I know he can do it ...
posted by Josh at 7:35 PM | 0 comments
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Epic Mickey LogoHave you seen anything about the new videogame "Epic Mickey" that DIsney is putting together?

If you haven't here's a recap, it sounds pretty awesome: "After Mickey’s Makeover, Less Mr. Nice Guy".

The fact that Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is in there is genius, too ...
posted by Josh at 12:01 PM | 0 comments
20091108_sebago_01.pngWe went to the Great Lost Bear for dinner the other night - first time I'd been there in about a year.

I had a pretty cool beer with my burger, it was the Local Harvest Ale from Sebago Brewing. All of the hops and whatnot were grown locally.

I don't have the words to properly describe it, but two adjectives I'd probably go for are "citrus" and "pine". It was perhaps a stronger beer than I'd generally drink, "less smooth" perhaps, but still, it was neat to think that everything that went into it was local.

It on sale now in 22 ounce bottles, look for this label:

posted by Josh at 12:01 PM | 0 comments
Not to bag on our Middle Eastern friends, but the blatant disregard for science and logic in this article totally sounds like Dubai: "Iraq Swears by Bomb Detector U.S. Sees as Useless".
posted by Josh at 9:23 AM | 0 comments
I've been saying for months now that the unemployment statistics we see on the news are misleading. Heck, right now Liz and I fall into the "underemployed" category.

"Broader Measure of U.S. Unemployment Stands at 17.5%".
posted by Josh at 9:23 AM | 0 comments
For a science-minded person I believe a lot of "weird" stuff; you might have seen my rants about aliens here before.

I'm fascinated by evolution, too. Don't worry, I believe in evolution by natural selection - but I wonder if creationism is that far off. Granted, I don't think God or Jesus made us from spare-ribs, but I do wonder if humans have been tampered with. I've seen studies that say endogenous retroviruses had a hand in human evolution - the remnants of which make up our "junk" DNA.

I wonder, where did these viruses come from? Did something create them? Something that wanted to turn apes into us?

Anyway, articles like this always fascinate me. It reminds me of that episode of X-Files where the loggers discover ancient bugs in the old growth trees in Washington state.

But it's better, because it's real: "Frigid Antarctica Loaded with Viruses".
posted by Josh at 9:23 AM | 0 comments
Friday, November 06, 2009
Did you see this: "Baguette breaks Large Hadron Collider"?

Wow. It reminds me of a New York Times essay from last month - pretty much how the universe course corrects and won't allow the collider to ever work. Example:

"I’m talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather."

It's got to be true, how else would "an errant chunk of baguette" somehow fall into a £4 billion machine?

posted by Josh at 8:39 AM | 0 comments
I read this article in Dubai's Gulf News the other day (the title makes no sense because, after all, it is the freakin' Gulf News): "The farce is with you".

Basically this French photographer took a bunch of photos and Photoshopped in Star Wars characters and ships.

So I've been trying to find photos of Cedric Delsaux's Dubai shots, but so far his own website and the Empty Quarter Gallery haven't been updated.

All I've found are these tiny, tiny jpgs from here:



Anyone have any better images? This really intrigues me ...
posted by Josh at 6:36 AM | 2 comments
So the Indians are finally getting an Embassy in Washington.

Oh, I'm sorry, that'd be the American Indians.

Huh. Cool.
posted by Josh at 6:36 AM | 0 comments
I love stuff like this: "2010 to Come in Plain and Fancy Versions".
posted by Josh at 6:36 AM | 0 comments
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Oh this is rich!

The Burj Dubai - the tallest structure on earth - was supposed to open on December 2, 2009, which is the United Arab Emirates' National Day.

Then we get this: "Burj Dubai delayed to match Ruler’s anniversary".

The opening of the Burj Dubai has been delayed for another month so it will coincide with celebrations for the fourth anniversary of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid becoming the Ruler of Dubai, the developer behind the project said yesterday.

Oh, I'm sure it was delayed on purpose.


If you believe that I have this tower in the desert I'd like to sell you ...
posted by Josh at 6:45 AM | 0 comments
I've seen a couple of articles about Islam in the news this week, thought I'd share.

The first is from the New York Times. It appears that our Muslim friends are adopting some of Christianity's lesser qualities: "Creationism, Minus a Young Earth, Emerges in the Islamic World".


I thought this was interesting, though - the Quran says the universe was created in six days, but that the word "days" can also mean longer periods of time.

So at least they don't think this all came into being in 4004 BC.

Next, "Dubai to appoint female muftis in 2010".

A mufti is a Islamic scholar who is an interpreter of Islamic law. Mufti's issue verdicts on the law which are called fataawa - and no, those are not always death sentences. That's a Western fallacy. Generally they're rulings on social or political issues concerning Islamic law.

Needless to say, this has generally been a dude's job.

We'll see how that goes.

Lastly, from the producer of The Matrix comes a movie 1400 years in the making ...

Yes, Barrie Osborne, a producer of The Matrix and Lord of the Rings is going to make a movie about the Prophet Mohammed.

Mohammed, the founder of Islam.

Mohammed, of whom visual depictions are explicitly prohibited.

That'll be ... interesting. I'm guessing there'll be lots of trick photography.
posted by Josh at 6:44 AM | 0 comments
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Generally I don't promote non-Disney movies, especially computer animated ones, especially especially DreamWorks ones, but this one's a little different.

Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, the guys who wrote and directed Disney's Lilo & Stitch and wrote Mulan, wrote and directed this one, called How To Train Your Dragon.

I'm big fans of theirs, in fact twice in my Disney career I found myself sitting outside of their offices, on the tertiary cusp of their greatness - once in 1999 when they were developing Lilo and again in 2003 when they were coming up with the defunct American Dog.

Anyway, here's their trailer. The jury is still out if it'll be as wacky as their other works, but I'll give it a shot:

posted by Josh at 9:09 PM | 0 comments

"Cat catches swine flu".

I would have guessed the cat would catch the ... wait for it ... the bird flu!

posted by Josh at 4:53 PM | 0 comments
Finally some good news today: "China Approves Disney Theme Park in Shanghai".
posted by Josh at 1:04 PM | 0 comments

"Mainers vote down gay marriage law".

I'm embarrassed to be a Mainer right now.

I'm embarrassed that fiercely independent Maine let a bunch of people from away come in to our state and use fear tactics to take rights away from a group of people.

C'mon we know better than that! We're supposed to be about equality.

Who really thinks that "gay" is going to be taught in school? I want a show of hands.

Even our Roman Catholic governor, John Baldacci, had it right when he signed the law last summer.

"It's important to have your own faith and connection to God," he said in an interview in his statehouse office. "At the same time, it isn't just that faith you're the governor of. ...You're governor of all the people."

"I was creating a second-class marriage for certain people, which wasn't right," he said. "I wasn't doing my duty to the constitution I swore to uphold."

Well, apparently 53% of the voters in Maine think gays are second class citizens.

We used to be a slogan in Maine ("As Maine goes, so goes the nation") which became a joke after we were one of two states to not vote for FDR in the Great Depression.

How often do you think we're going to see that phrase today?

posted by Josh at 6:18 AM | 0 comments
Monday, November 02, 2009
20091102_wink.pngBecause this has nothing to do with President Obama's trip to mainland China in two weeks.

Nothing at all.

"China agency signals Shanghai Disneyland progress".
posted by Josh at 8:39 PM | 0 comments
I love stories like this: "Rich 'may evolve into separate species'".

What does one have to do to become a Futurist, anyway?

I think I'd like to apply, if there are any openings ...
posted by Josh at 8:39 PM | 0 comments
posted by Josh at 8:38 PM | 0 comments