Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Unoriginal Congressman Spends Bribe Money on Rugs
I don’t care that Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham is selfish. We expect this kind of behavior from our politicians and, honestly, I would be more surprised if the guy wasn’t taking money.

What bothers me is his complete and total unoriginality in spending it.. The guy wasted $2.5 million in bribes on his house, his boat, some antiques and a couple of nice rugs.

That’s a lot of money. And he is facing a long time in jail for taking it. Couldn’t he think of anything better to do with it than buy a rug?

Here are some suggestions:

Throw a party. A really big party on an island somewhere.
Donate it all to charity. Looks good at your trial.
Resign from congress and go back to get a PhD. Hmm? Maybe not.
Invest the money in a competing defense company.
Bribe someone else.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ponch Wants You to Move to Arkansas
Erik Estrada is the host of an informercial for homesites in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. I saw it this afternoon on CNBC.

Why, you might ask, should I move to the middle of Arkansas?

Well, there is the obvious answer: You might run into Erik on the golf course.

The other reason is provided, during this extremely long commercial, through testimonials by local residents. The testimonials tell you that there is "no crime" and that this "is a great place to raise your kids." In addition, you can, if you so desire, participate in one of the many "activities" or, if you prefer, you can relax, undisturbed, in this "peaceful" community.

Allow me translate this for you:

  • low crime rates and a good place to raise you kids = lots of other white people
  • activities and relaxation = lots of other old people

The Census Numbers support my translation. Your typical Hot Springs Village resident is much whiter and much older than your average Arkansan.

  • 65 years and older : 57% vs 14% State Avg. (12% national avg.)
  • One Race-White: 98% vs 80% State Avg. ( 74% national avg)

And, even though you could raise your kids here- no one does. Only 1.5% of the residents are under the age of 5- much lower than the state/national average of about 7%.

Want to live with a bunch of other old, white people in a retirement community in the middle of Arkasas where less than 1% of the population is black (state avg: 16%- national avg: 12.3%)?

Then Hot Springs Village might just be your new home.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Next Generation Candle Technology

I just saw a commercial for this absurd product. Supposedly it is “the most significant enhancement to happen to the candle in many years.”

Intrigued, I went to their website for more information.

It turns out that the Colorfusion™ Candle is just a regular candle that sits on an opaque plastic tube. Inside the tube are some colored LEDs that turn on when the candle is lit.

Quite an enhancement. Very significant. But this next-generation candle technology is not without problems...

According to, "The candle will burn for 40-45 hours and the light show will last for approximately 25 total hours." So you really only get the enhanced candle for the first day- then you just have a regular candle in an ugly, plastic candle holder.

And, unlike a regular candle, this whole contraption needs to be stored in a special, light-proof box because the LED light show can be triggered by sunlight or bright incandescent/fluorescent lights.

Friday, November 18, 2005

X-Screamly Boring

The Stratosphere is tall. It’s the tallest thing west of the mississippi, actually. In any other town- this building would be the main attraction. A skyline defining, supertower- with a rotating restaurant on top.

But Vegas expects more from its buildings.

The original designers of the Stratosphere knew this. That’s why they included plans for a big ape that would carry riders up the side of the structure. The ape ride was never built. Instead, some genius decided on a giant teeter-totter.

Big ape or giant teeter-totter? hmmm….

Any kid will tell you: teeter-totters are boring. Even a really big one, painted bright green and perched on top of the tallest building in the neighborhood. Even if you give it an exciting name like X-Scream and charge tourists $8 to ride it. It’s still a teeter-totter- not a giant ape.

Bored: Some guy named David on the X-Scream and a giraffe on a teeter-totter.

Lacking this basic, playground knowledge- I can only assume that the stratosphere owners were homeschooled. This might also explain why they named their new hotel and casino, the tallest building in the western US, after the atmospheric layer best known for its lack of turbulence and depleted ozone. The Stratosphere- its name and all of its rides- is boring.

And again, Las Vegas expects more.

How about Mesosphere, Mesosphere- after the layer that protects the earth by burning up meteors? Or Magnetospere Las Vegas? Everyone loves those bright aurora things.

Why not make Vegas bright? A meteor shower every night or the Northern Lights perfectly rendered in the clear dessert sky? Why not give all of Vegas something cool to look up to for a change- instead of six tourists, strapped to a giant teeter-totter, dangling over the edge of your boring tower?

From the AP story Tower thrill riders OK after power outage at Las Vegas casino:
“Six tourists were … stranded for about 90 minutes on a casino thrill ride 866 feet above the Las Vegas Strip.”
“Officials blamed a power outage”
"Power remained on inside the casino."