Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Family Guy episode 5ACX21

In the Family Guy episode "Peter's Daughter" (originally aired November 25 2007), Meg is thrilled to receive a Maroon 5 CD from Michael, the med student she's dating. Says Michael: "I remember how you told me you like terrible music, so I thought you might appreciate it."


There were many other moments where I howled with laughter... Peter's "Officer Nasty" striptease... the Sanka commercial...

...and this:



update - November 29 2007, 12:30 a.m.

Well, the clip is already yanked from YouTube. Wow, that didn't take Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation long. The clip (all 20 seconds of it) was a spoof of Aliens, with Mike Henry doing his campy best.

I understand and respect copyright, and if I headed a major entertainment corporation, I would probably have my staff chase down full-length episodes from sites like YouTube. But a 20-second clip? These clips help fuel a huge show fan base, and I can't believe companies like NBC* and Fox devote time and resources into such pedantry. Protect your advertising revenue stream, yes. Get nitpicky over short, review-length clips? No!

Or maybe this has something to do with the ongoing Writer's Guild of America strike. I don't know.

I didn't upload the clip to YouTube. But I provided link references to the show and the episode on this post. And on November 28th, my blog was the #4 Google hit for "Family Guy Season Six Officer Nasty" and the #6 Google hit for "Family Guy Sanka Commercial" -- but enough of this free advertising. From now on, I won't blog about Family Guy.

* remember Dick in a Box? It went VIRAL. People LOVED it. And NBC couldn't have been more anal-retentive in its campaign to scrub the Web of all traces of it. Internet buzz is modern-day word-of-mouth advertising. Free. Companies that don't recognize that are fucking DINOSAURS.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Don't tase me, bro!

I've had it with electroshock weapons. Members of my family have served the public as police officers, and I know that policing is a demanding, difficult, and dangerous job. But let's not kid ourselves: this is not Star Trek technology, and a Taser® is not a phaser set on stun. (And Dr. Crusher isn't beaming distance away, waiting to offer the services of sickbay.)

Since October 14 2007, I have been following the story of Robert Dziekanski with great sadness. Dziekanski was killed when RCMP officers shot him with a Taser at Vancouver International Airport. The government of British Columbia has announced a public inquiry into the events. Amnesty International is concerned about these weapons, and would like their use to be suspended while they are studied more closely.

Heather Mallick hits it out of the park on today:
He was Robert Dziekanski, who had just made the first plane flight of his life. Unable to speak a word of English, sleepless, dehydrated, stranded for 10 hours in the airport, unable to talk to his mother who — if he only knew — was 100 metres away on the other side of a door, had a massive panic attack.

He stood beneath a sign that read "WELCOME. Airport Greeting Centre." When the RCMP arrived, they calmly — and it is their calmness that condemns them — marched up to Dziekanski, who was pitifully relieved to see them. The video shows that they electrocuted him repeatedly from a distance and landed on him, crushing his neck, as he writhed and screamed in pain. And then he stopped, dead. On the video, the RCMP made no effort to revive him.
I know many people in law enforcement might disagree with Amnesty International, Heather, and me. To them, I pose this question: Dziekanski was acting unruly and creating a disturbance. Did he deserve to die for that?


- don't get too excited about the "excited delirium" theory... the jury's still out on that one
- the title of this post references the now infamous University of Florida incident from September 2007

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


No more sugar rationing! The war is over.

Breadlines are a thing of the past! Food is plentiful.

TTC tokens become available again!

Now that the Toronto Transit Commission price increase has taken effect, commuters can actually buy tokens again. The price has increased to $2.25, but this is a bargain compared to the $2.75 cash fare many riders were forced to pay because of the recent token rationing policy. Those fancy tokens must be made of gold and platinum for the TTC to be so anal about them!
"Tokens are expensive to produce … we simply don't have enough if everyone stored 100 at home." - TTC chair Adam Giambrone
I am sure that some riders stockpile tokens at the old price. But Giambrone is delusional if he thinks that we all have a few hundred extra dollars lying around to invest in subway tokens. People buy tokens for two main reasons: they can save a bit of money compared to regular cash fare, and they can enter a station via turnstile. (That second feature is really handy when there's a lineup of 50 people trying to buy a Metropass at the beginning of the month -- or when one of the fare booth workers is on break.)

What an interesting approach to running a business: assume your customers are always trying to fuck you over.

I understand that the TTC and the city are in a financial bind. I don't understand why the TTC adopts a backward, indifferent, and hostile plan of business in an era when society would be best served by trying to entice -- not discourage -- people to use public transit.

In Berlin, you can pay your fare at an automated machine that couldn't be simpler to use -- in one of several languages. In Toronto, it's rare to find a token vending machine that's in service. Need a receipt? Visit the fare booth, where you're likely to wait in a long line, while people with transfers and exact change push past you. The fare collector will write you a receipt by hand. Isn't that nifty? Just like 1950!

Confession: I had three leftover tokens, purchased last week. I can assure you it was an inadvertent hoard -- I walked to/from work more than usual, because of the nice weather. I owe the TTC 45¢ -- please don't call the Stasi on me.