Monday, November 30, 2009

And the Box Office Champion this week is...


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" rose to the top of movie box office charts for the second straight week on Sunday with a three-day haul of $42.5 million on a record-breaking holiday weekend in North America, according to studio estimates.

Over the five-day U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, the vampire romance starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner took in $66 million, pushing its two-week total in theaters to $230.7 million in North America, said independent studio Summit Entertainment, which backed the movie.

Internationally, the high-profile sequel to last year's monster hit "Twilight," based on the best-selling novels by Stephenie Meyer, has taken in $243 million for a worldwide total just under $475 million in two weeks.

Richard Fay, president of domestic distribution for Summit, said the movie continued to do strong repeat business from mostly teenage girls who are fans of the movies and books, and it was able to expand its audiences to include older women.

Total movie ticket sales for the five-day holiday period in North America reached a record $278 million, beating the old figure of $244 million set back in 2000 when "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Unbreakable" were the two top films, according to sales tracker Box-Office.

Coming in at No. 2, also for the second straight week, was Sandra Bullock football film "The Blind Side" with three-day sales of $40.1 million and a two-week total of $100.5 million. Disaster film "2012" rounded out the top three with $18 million in three days, boosting its three-week total to $139 million.


"Blind Side," produced by Alcon Entertainment and released by Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros,, played well to all audiences. Bullock helped draw women, sports lured men and the feel-good tale about a woman played by Bullock who helps a homeless boy become a football hero attracted families.

"This is a movie that plays equally to both genders," said Andrew Kosove, co-chief executive of Alcon Entertainment. "A great deal of moviegoing is consensus driven (among families) and we were the consensus movie for the weekend."

Natural disaster flick "2012" also continued to score well. Internationally, its ticket sales now stand at $456 million, boosting its global haul to $595 million, said distributor Columbia Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp.

Among new movies, Disney comedy "Old Dogs" with John Travolta and Robin Williams was No. 4 in North America with $16.8 million on the weekend and $24 million for five days. Warner Bros' "Ninja Assassin" with Korean superstar Rain was No. 6 with $13.1 million and $21 million for the 3-day and 5-day periods, respectively.

Other noteworthy titles include Disney's "A Christmas Carol," which claimed the No. 5 spot with $16 million, pushing its North American cumulative ticket sales to $105 million.

Twentieth Century Fox expanded the release of its animated movie "Fantastic Mr. Fox," widely around the United States and it climbed to the No. 9 spot with $7 million on the weekend. Fox is a unit of News Corp

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another tragedy in Thanksgiving...

This has been a WTF holiday...

PARKLAND, Wash. – A gunman burst into a coffeehouse Sunday and opened fire on four police officers as they sat working on their laptops, killing the three men and one woman in what an official described as a targeted ambush.

Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said officers were looking for one male suspect who fled the scene and haven't ruled out an accomplice, possibly a getaway driver.

It wasn't clear whether the officers even had time to draw their weapons to return fire, Troyer said.

"This was more of an execution. Walk in with the specific mindset to shoot police officers," Troyer said.

Troyer said the officers — all from the Lakewood Police Department — were catching up on paperwork at the beginning of their shifts when they were attacked at 8:15 a.m. Sunday.

Troyer said the attack was clearly targeted at the officers, not a robbery gone bad.

"There were marked patrol cars outside and they were all in uniform," Troyer said.

With no known suspects, there was no indication of any connection with the Halloween night shooting of a Seattle police officer. The suspect in that shooting remains hospitalized.

"We won't know if it's a copycat effect or what it was until we get the case solved," Troyer said. "We don't even have a suspect ID right now."

Troyer would not release the names of the victims in Sunday's shooting.

"We have no motive at all," Troyer said. "I don't think when we find out what it is, it will be anything that makes any sense or be worth it."

Two employees and a few other customers were in the shop during the attack. All are being interviewed by the Pierce County Sheriff's investigators.

"Some are in shock. They are very upset," Troyer said. "They are the ones who are going to put together for us how this happened."

The Forza Coffee Shop, part of a popular local chain, is on a side street near McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, about 35 miles south of Seattle. The shop is in a small retail center alongside two restaurants, a cigar store and a nail salon.

Brad Carpenter, founder and owner of Forza Coffee, said his staff was OK and being interviewed by police, and that his main concern was with the families of the police officers.

"I'm a retired police officer, so this really hits close to home for me," said Carpenter, of nearby Gig Harbor.

Streets around the coffee shop were blocked off late Sunday morning, and a police helicopter hovered over a large crowd of investigators. TV video showed police taking possession of a pickup truck parked in a grocery store in Parkland.

"We are looking at some people. We are looking at some cars. We are looking at some residences," Troyer said.

Troyer said investigators are checking surveillance video from multiple sources, trying to identify a possible getaway car. He urged people to stay away from scenes to avoid interfering and putting themselves at risk.

Dave Gabrielson, a clerk at Foot Mart about a block away from the coffee shop, told the newspaper all was quiet when he opened the store at 8 a.m. About 30 minutes later, "All of a sudden a million cops were zooming up and down the road," Gabrielson said.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Another dysfunctional family explodes in Thanksgiving.

The holidays. Great time to gather with family and friends, but some times, problems that have been simmering in the surface boil, and then these tragedies happen.

JUPITER, Fla. – Three women and a child in bed were shot to death during a family Thanksgiving gathering in South Florida and a male relative was being sought early Friday.

Police said 17 relatives were in the house when the shootings were reported around 10 p.m. Thursday in Jupiter, a small coastal town about 90 miles north of Miami.

Jupiter Police Sgt. Scott Pascarella said officers were looking for Paul Michael Merhige, 35, of Miami. Merhige is a cousin of the 6-year-old victim, McKayla Sitton, and has no criminal record, police said.

The others killed were Merhige's twin sisters, Carla Merhige and Lisa Merhige, 33, and an aunt, Raymonde Joseph, 76, according to police.

Authorities said a fifth victim, Merhige's brother-in-law Patrick McKnight, was being treated at a hospital. His condition was not available.

Pascarella said police received a 911 call from a neighbor shortly after 10 p.m. Police then received a second 911 call from someone within the home. Pascarella says the shootings took place inside the house.

"What led to this incident, we're not quite sure," said Pascarella. "It did not appear there was any altercation prior to this shooting."

Police said the home was owned by Jim Sitton, a photojournalist for WPTV-TV and father of the little girl killed. Sitton told WPTV his daughter was in bed when she was shot. He was at the party at the time of the shooting but was not wounded.

Yellow crime scene tape was stretched around Sitton's salmon-colored house, located in a well-kept subdivision of stucco homes. Several cars were parked in the driveway, and a crime scene van sat in front.

Sitton told local media that his daughter was supposed to perform Friday in a holiday production of "The Nutcracker."

"God packed a lot of sweetness into that little body," Sitton said. "She's just our life. I don't know how we are ever going to recover."

The relationship between Sitton and Paul Merhige was unclear, police said.

Police across South Florida and the U.S. Marshals Service were searching for Merhige. Pascarella said Merhige is believed to be driving a blue 2007 4-door Toyota Camry with Florida license plate W42 7JT.

"The word we're trying to get out to the public is that this individual is considered armed and dangerous," said Pascarella.

Phone calls to a number listed for Paul Merhige were not answered. A phone call to Sitton was also not returned.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Matrix "Bullet Time" sequence made from Legos.

The Matrix is 10-years-old, and to celebrate Trevor Boyd and Steve Ilett recreated the iconic "Bullet Time" sequence out of LEGO. Their short film, titled "Trinity Help," is a frame-accurate stop-motion animation of the scene. It took them 440 hours to recreate the 44 second clip entirely "in camera."

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Via Boing Boing

Our candidate for Father of the Year.

INDIANAPOLIS—A man was arrested after police said he left his 5-year-old son in a tractor-trailer while he ducked into an Indianapolis strip club to drink. The 39-year-old was arrested at 1:15 a.m. Tuesday on child neglect and public intoxication charges after calling police to report his truck stolen and his child missing. Police said the man was too drunk to remember where he had parked.

They found the boy inside watching cartoons on a television inside the cab. The keys were in the ignition, and the doors were unlocked.

Police said the suspect put his son in jeopardy by leaving him exposed in a high crime area.

The man was taken to the Marion County jail, where his wife picked up him and the child.

Daddy...the MORON!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Science proves that cats are EVIL!!!!

Yes!!! They are EVIL!!!!!
Well, not on...

Have you ever thought that your cat really is evil, and is actively manipulating you to do it's bidding?

Science says that it is. Dr Karen McComb of the Centre for Mammal Vocal Communication Research at the University of Sussex has proof.

A BBC News report spoke to Dr. McComb, who stated that it appears that cats "learn to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective in generating a response from humans." According to the same report, studies have found that a domestic cat's cries are similar to that of human babies, and that's a sound humans are highly sensitive to.

"The cry embedded within the purr" study was published in the journal Current Biology in July and claims that cats actually exploit humans into caring for them, especially when it comes to filling those food dishes. The abstract states that "even individuals with no experience of owning cats judged the 'solicitation' purrs to be more urgent. "

How long before someone synthesizes those sounds to control humans? I'd write more, but someone's dish is empty, and I feel compelled to fill it.

That's why I don't own a cat.
They are EVIL!!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Live like a Hamster, for a mere $150 a day!

This is all true!

An French rental home is giving people the opportunity to live like a hamster in a specially designed abode that features a running wheel and a crate made of hay.

The Villa Hamster, located in Nantes in western France, was the brainchild of Yann Falquerho, a 42-year-old scenographer, who felt the hotel industry had missed out on the little-known animal-transformation niche.

Sometimes, people really do just want to live like their caged pets, was his reasoning.

"We have a lot of success with this little house. It is because of the concept to transform into an animal," Falquerho said in a Tuesday interview with CBC Radio's As It Happens.

The small home, which dates back to the 1700s, boasts cage-like features such as containers of organic grain, a water tube which guests can sip, and a double bed accessible only by a step ladder and a quick scramble on all fours, according to a description in the Guardian newspaper.

Since opening two weeks ago, the Villa has been inundated by media and bookings, so much so that Falquerho, who owns the house, plans to raise the rate from $156 a night to about $230 in 2010.

The hamster villa has been successful enough for Falquerho to consider expanding into other animal worlds.

"Perhaps if we made a special house where you can transform into a dog or a cat, it might be [just as popular.]"

Falquerho said the most difficult part of the venture was finding a hamster wheel big enough for humans. He sought help from an interior designer and an architect. One of his favourite aspects is to see the reaction of his guests.

"When you push the door open to this little house, you think, 'Ahh, my God! What is it? Where am I?' When we see the effect on our customer, it's always amazing," he said.

"We always ask them, 'Why do you want to come into our house?' And every time they tell us, well, 'It was so strange so we wanted to see this house. We've never seen a place where we can transform into a hamster.'"

Vive la Merde!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

And the box office champion this week is...

LOS ANGELES – The vampire romance "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" sucked up $140.7 million in its first three days and pulled in a total of $258.8 million worldwide, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The No. 1 domestic debut for Summit Entertainment's "New Moon" was more than twice the $69.6 million haul over the same weekend last year for "Twilight," the first in the franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's novels.

"Obviously, with the success of `Twilight' itself, sequels being what they are will generate X-number of dollars more, particularly if it's a satisfying sequel," said Richie Fay, head of distribution for Summit.

"New Moon" placed third on the all-time domestic chart behind last year's $158.4 million opening weekend for the Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight" and 2007's $151.1 million haul for "Spider-Man 3."

Among the top-10 all-time openings, "New Moon" is the only one that came outside of Hollywood's busiest time, the summer season. The movie adaptation of Meyer's next "Twilight" chapter, "Eclipse," arrives in the heart of summer, next June 30.

On Friday, "New Moon" set an all-time domestic high for opening day with $72.7 million, topping the previous record of $67.2 million by last year's "The Dark Knight.

Overall, Hollywood had its second-biggest non-holiday weekend ever, with final numbers expected to come in slightly behind the $260 million the industry rang up over the weekend of July 18, 2008, when "The Dark Knight" opened.

Compared to the same weekend last year, business was up 59 percent.

Overseas, "New Moon" debuted in 25 countries and took in $118.1 million.

"New Moon" continues the story of teen romance between a school girl and a vampire (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson), with the sequel adding a love triangle with a werewolf (Taylor Lautner).

Meyer's books have been a phenomenon among women and girls. Females made up 80 percent of the audience for "New Moon."

Opening at No. 2 domestically this weekend was the Warner Bros. football drama "The Blind Side" with $34.5 million. The film stars Sandra Bullock in the real-life story of Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher, who was a homeless teen taken in by a wealthy family and enrolled in private school.

As with "New Moon," females were the big fans of "The Blind Side," accounting for 59 percent of the audience, an unusual split for a movie with a sports theme.

"Football happens to be a part of the story, but it's really more about family and inspiration," said Dan Fellman, Warner Bros. head of distribution.

Young males are the backbone of Hollywood business, so "to have two movies with huge appeal for women result in the second-biggest non-holiday weekend ever is amazing," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for

The "Twilight" franchise "taps into something primal and visceral that drives women crazy, and they're willing to pay for the privilege," Dergarabedian said.

The previous weekend's top movie, Sony's disaster tale "2012," slipped to third-place with $26.5 million, raising its domestic total to $108.2 million. Worldwide, "2012" has taken in $449.8 million.

Sony also had the No. 4 entry with a $12.6 million debut for its animated adventure "Planet 51," about a NASA astronaut (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) who lands on a planet of aliens living the innocent life of 1950s America.

Lionsgate's acclaimed drama "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' by Sapphire" expanded from limited to fairly wide release of 629 theaters, taking in $11 million for an average of $17,500 a cinema. That compared to an average of $34,965 in 4,024 theaters for "New Moon."

In limited release, Penelope Cruz and director Pedro Almodovar's latest collaboration, "Broken Embraces," opened big with $107,597 in two theaters for a $53,799 average. The Sony Pictures Classics romantic drama centers on a blind screenwriter relating the story of a lost love.

Nicolas Cage and director Werner Herzog's dark crime thriller "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" opened with $257,267 in 27 theaters, averaging $9,528 a cinema. Released by First Run, "Bad Lieutenant" is the story of a drug-crazed cop on a manic murder investigation.

The huge spike in business this weekend sets the stage for big crowds over Thanksgiving, one of the busiest periods of the year at theaters.

Along with "New Moon" and other holdover movies such as Jim Carrey's holiday-themed "A Christmas Carol," new releases for Thanksgiving include the Robin Williams-John Travolta comedy "Old Dogs" and the post-apocalypse drama "The Road."

After a strong run in limited release, George Clooney's animated comedy "Fantastic Mr. Fox" expands into nationwide release the day before Thanksgiving.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," $140.7 million.

2. "The Blind Side," $34.5 million.

3. "2012," $26.5 million.

4. "Planet 51," $12.6 million.

5. "Disney's A Christmas Carol," $12.2 million.

6. "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' by Sapphire," $11 million.

7. "The Men Who Stare at Goats," $2.8 million.

8. "Couples Retreat," $2 million.

9. "The Fourth Kind," $1.7 million.

10. "Law Abiding Citizen," $1.6 million.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gang accused of killing people to sell their fat!

Another Whiskey Tango Foxtrot story, this one from Peru.

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian police said on Thursday they had broken up a gang that allegedly killed dozens of people and sold their fat to buyers who used it to make cosmetics.

Four Peruvians were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, murder and trafficking in human fat.

The group stored the fat it collected in used soda and water bottles, which police showed reporters.

"We have people detained who have declared and stated how they murdered people with the aim being to extract their fat in rudimentary labs and sell it," said Police Commander Angel Toldeo.

In addition to those taken into custody, police said they were searching for others who bought fat from the gang or might have worked with it.

Remains from some of the victims were found at a rural house in the region of Huanuco where the group worked, according police video.

Police said they were investigating 60 disappearances in the area that might be linked to the gang.

The investigation started this month after police heard about a shipment of fat that arrived in Lima by bus from Peru's mountains.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cannibals arrested after trying to sell bits of human flesh to a kebab shop!

Russia! Our new home for weird stuff!

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian police have arrested three homeless people suspected of eating a 25-year-old man they had butchered and selling other bits of the corpse to a local kebab house.

Suspicions were raised when dismembered parts of a human body were found near a bus stop in the outskirts of the Russian city of Perm, 1,150 km (720 miles) east of Moscow.

Three homeless men with previous criminal records have been arrested on suspicion of setting upon a foe with knives and a hammer before chopping up his corpse to eat, local investigators said in a statement on their Web site.

"After carrying out the crime, the corpse was divided up: part was eaten and part was also sold to a kiosk selling kebabs and pies," the Prosecutor-General's main investigative unit for the Perm region said in a statement issued Friday.

It was not immediately clear from the statement if any of the corpse had been sold to customers.

Yum yum!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ken Ober, host of MTV "Remote Control" 1957 - 2009

Another icon of the eighties has bitten the dust!

Ken Ober, a brassy comedian best known as the host of the 1980s-era MTV game show "Remote Control," was found dead on Sunday in his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 52.

The cause was not immediately known.

Lee Kernis, who represented Ober for more than 20 years, confirmed the death, saying he was last heard from on Saturday night, when he spoke to a friend and complained of a headache and flu-like symptoms. Ober told the friend that he was going to take something and would see a doctor, Kernis said.

Ober grew up idolizing game show hosts like Bob Barker and Bob Eubanks and went on to host four game shows of his own, including a revived version of the old-time classic "Make Me Laugh" on Comedy Central in 1997.

His breakthrough came a decade earlier. He had received national exposure as a contestant on "Star Search," reaching the semifinal round in the comedy competition, when MTV hired him in 1987 to be the host of "Remote Control." It was among the network's first original series to focus on nonmusical content.

"Remote Control" tested participants' knowledge of television, music-video and pop-culture trivia. The show, which was a launching pad for the careers of comedians like Adam Sandler and Colin Quinn, drew much of its sarcastic, self-mocking spirit from Ober, who ran the program like a late-night talk show (or frat party) and gleefully teased players who gave wrong answers.

"His personality really brought `Remote Control' to life, as well as a new style of programming for MTV," Van Toffler, the president of MTV Networks, said Monday. "We were really flying by the seat of our pants then, and Ken was the reason it worked."

In recent years Ober was a producer on comedy series like "Mind of Mencia" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

Ober was born on July 3, 1957, in Brookline, Mass., and grew up in Hartford. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1980, he began performing standup comedy based primarily in New York.

He is survived by his mother, Claire Freeman; his father, Bud Ober; his stepmother, Iris Ober, and a half-brother, Andrew Freeman.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Alternate Version of Star Trek second pilot "Where No Man Has Gone Before", to be released in 3rd season DVD.

The forthcoming DVD release of Star Trek: The Original Series - Season 3 includes a pilot episode previously only available on the bootleg circuit. Apparently a German film collector found a print of this alternate version of the second Star Trek pilot, titled "Where No One Has Gone Before," and brought it to Paramount. Above are some clips from that alternate version of the pilot, which has never officially been released until now.

The alternate version is in three parts with 1970s-style act breaks, an entirely different version of Captain James T. Kirk's opening monologue ("But now a new task. A probe out into where no man has gone before") and music that contrasts from the famous opening theme and an extended action sequence.

From the (press) release:

This version of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" was completed in 1965 and features archived footage that was not included in the pilot episode ultimately broadcasted. Never-before-aired, this newly recovered version is believed to be what was originally screened for NBC, and the basis for their decision to broadcast STAR TREK.

From Memory Alpha, more background on this alternative version of the pilot episode:

There is a different, pre-broadcast cut of ("Where No One Has Gone Before") in the archives of the Smithsonian Institution. This unique cut includes a few brief scenes trimmed from the aired cut of the episode, different opening titles, and a unique closing theme. The alternate closing theme can be heard on the GNP Crescendo CD Star Trek: Original Series (Volume 1) "The Cage" / "Where No Man Has Gone Before". The pre-broadcast cut is commercially available only in bootleg form, although it has been screened at numerous conventions. Paul Carr was credited as "Navigator" in the end credits of the original cut. The version on the first season box set may contain the alternate ending theme, but does have the changed credits. This cut will be finally be available commercially on the Season 3 Blu-Ray set.

Here's some of the scenes on a vhs bootleg version. Enjoy!

And the box office champion this week is...

LOS ANGELES – Doom spelled dollars at the box office as the global-disaster tale "2012" opened at No. 1 domestically with $65 million and pulled in $225 million worldwide.

The Sony Pictures action saga tells the story of a scramble to save remnants of humanity aboard giant arks as the earth's crust shifts and flood waters pour over most of the planet. With a cast led by John Cusack, Danny Glover and Chiwetel Ejiofor, "2012" was directed by doomsday specialist Roland Emmerich ("Independence Day," "The Day After Tomorrow").

Overseas, "2012" did $17.2 million in France, $15.3 million in Russia, $9.9 million in South Korea and $8.1 million in Spain.

Domestically, "2012" came in just shy of the $68.7 million opening weekend for "The Day After Tomorrow." But Sony reported that its global total was the best ever for an original movie not based on an established franchise, brand or best-selling novel.

"Roland is that type of filmmaker that casts his net really wide," said Rory Bruer, head of distribution for Sony. "The story is something people could really relate to. It's a story of the survival of humanity."

"Disney's A Christmas Carol" slipped to No. 2 with $22.3 million, down only 26 percent from its No. 1 opening gross a weekend earlier. The Jim Carrey holiday adventure raised its 10-day total to $63.3 million.

Big films typically can drop 50 percent or more in the second weekend, but the strong hold for "A Christmas Carol" indicates it could have a long shelf life through the holidays.

Lionsgate's acclaimed drama "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' by Sapphire" broke into the top-10 as it expanded to more theaters after a huge debut in limited release the previous weekend.

Finishing at No. 4, "Precious" took in $6.1 million in 174 theaters, averaging $35,000 a cinema and raising its 10-day total to $8.9 million. That compared to a $19,095 average in 3,404 theaters for "2012."

With a cast that includes Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz, "Precious" stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe as a Harlem teen pulling herself out of an abyss of illiteracy, incest and domestic abuse.

"Michael Jackson's "This Is It" added $5.1 million domestically to raise its total to $67.2 million. The Sony release became the all-time top-grossing music documentary, passing the $65.3 million total of last year's "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert."

The weekend's other new wide release, Focus Features' rock 'n' roll comedy "Pirate Radio," opened a weak No. 11 with $2.9 million in 882 theaters, averaging $3,253 a cinema.

The ensemble cast of "Pirate Radio" features Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy and Kenneth Branagh in a story about 1960s disc jockeys blasting illicit rock music into stodgy Britain from an offshore radio station aboard a tanker.

Starting in limited release, Fox Searchlight's animated comedy "Fantastic Mr. Fox" drew big audiences with $260,000 in four theaters, for a whopping average of $65,000 a cinema. The film expands to nationwide release the day before Thanksgiving.

George Clooney, Meryl Streep and Bill Murray lead the voice cast of "Fantastic Mr. Fox," adapted by director Wes Anderson from the Roald Dahl children's book about a poultry-thieving fox and three evil farmers.

Paramount's micro-budgeted horror flick "Paranormal Activity" pulled in $4.2 million to cross the $100 million mark. Shot for just $15,000, the supernatural tale rode a surge of online buzz to become a horror sensation, with a domestic gross now standing at $103.8 million.

Despite the big opening for "2012," Hollywood business dipped. Overall revenues came in at $140 million, down 6 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when the James Bond adventure "Quantum of Solace" led with $67.5 million.

Still, "2012" was a strong prelude as Hollywood gears up for Thanksgiving, one of the busiest weekends at movie theaters.

"It feels totally like summer," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for "This proves that if you put a summer movie anywhere in the release schedule, you can sometimes get summer numbers."

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "2012," $65 million.

2. "Disney's A Christmas Carol," $22.3 million.

3. "The Men Who Stare at Goats," $6.2 million.

4. "Precious: Based on the Novel `Push' by Sapphire," $6.1 million.

5. "Michael Jackson's This Is It," $5.1 million.

6. "The Fourth Kind," $4.7 million.

7. "Couples Retreat," $4.3 million.

8. "Paranormal Activity," $4.2 million.

9. "Law Abiding Citizen," $3.9 million.

10. "The Box," $3.2 million.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Here's the famous "Traición en Aristides Chavier" Video

Here's the video that has everybody buzzing. Kids playing at grown ups with toy guns. This was filmed at Aristdes Chavier housing project in Ponce. I'll show the video. You make your own conclusions.

The British among the ugliest people in the World!

And that surprises us because...

LONDON (Reuters) - Britons are among the ugliest people in the world, according to a dating website that says it only allows "beautiful people" to join.

Fewer than one in eight British men and just three in 20 women who have applied to have been accepted, an emailed statement from the website showed.

Existing members of the "elite dating site" rate how attractive potential members are over a 48 hour period, after applicants upload a recent photo and personal profile.

Swedish men have proved the most successful, with 65 percent being accepted, while Norwegian women are considered the most beautiful with 76 percent accepted, the website said.

The way that accepts new members is simple. A potential member applies with a photo and a brief profile. Over 48 hours, existing members of the opposite sex vote whether or not to admit them, the site said.

Options are: "Yes definitely," "Hmm yes, O.K," "Hmm no, not really" and "No definitely not."

The site was founded in 2002 in Denmark and went live across the globe last month. Since then, the site has rejected nearly 1.8 million people from 190 countries, admitting just 360,000 new members.

"I would say Britain is stumbling because they don't spend as much time polishing up their appearance and they are letting themselves down on physical fitness," Beautiful People managing director Greg Hodge said. "Next to Brazilian and Scandinavian beauties, British people just aren't as toned or glamorous."

Only the male Russian and Polish applicants fared worse than British men, although Russian women had a 44 percent acceptance rate. Polish women did not appear in the table.

German applicants were slated for offering up unflattering photographs, which may have hindered their acceptance rates at 15 percent for men and 13 percent for women, the lowest rate in their category.

"German men and women aren't faring well, but they are submitting stern images, they need to soften up," Hodge said.

Monday, November 9, 2009

And the box office champion this week is...

LOS ANGELES – Jim Carrey's Scrooge collected holiday donations from movie fans with his new take on "A Christmas Carol," which took in $31 million to open as the weekend's top movie.

The Disney animated version of the Charles Dickens classic knocked the King of Pop out of the No. 1 spot as "Michael Jackson's This Is It" slipped to second place with $14 million, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Sony's "This Is It," presenting rehearsal performances Jackson shot before his death last June, raised its domestic total to $57.9 million. Worldwide, "This Is It" has taken in $186.5 million.

Featuring Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge and also as the three holiday ghosts that show Scrooge the error of his miserly ways, "A Christmas Carol" came in on the low end of Disney's expectations for opening weekend.

On the other end of the spectrum, Lionsgate's acclaimed drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" had a spectacular start, pulling in $1.8 million in just 18 theaters, averaging $100,000 a cinema. That compares with an $8,418 average for "A Christmas Carol" in 3,683 theaters.

"Precious" had a record average for films opening in 10 or more theaters. Others that have averaged $100,000 or more typically debut in only a few cinemas.

The weekend brought a rush of other new movies, led by George Clooney's comedy "The Men Who Stare at Goats," which finished at No. 3 with $13.3 million. The Overture Films release is a satiric look at U.S. military efforts to create "warrior monks" who can predict the future or walk through walls.

Debuting in fourth place with $12.5 million was Universal's "The Fourth Kind," starring Milla Jovovich as a psychologist studying alien abductions in Alaska.

Cameron Diaz and James Marsden's sci-fi tale "The Box" opened at No. 6 with $7.9 million. The Warner Bros. thriller centers on a couple given a mysterious box that can provide them $1 million, but at the cost of a stranger's life.

With nearly two months of playing time through the holidays, Disney is counting on steady business for "A Christmas Carol," particularly over Thanksgiving weekend and in the buildup to Christmas itself.

"You have to play these things for the long term," said Chuck Viane, Disney's head of distribution. "You've got to have the patience and you've got to pick the right weekend. For us, the days when the malls turned to Christmas stores is when we wanted to go."

Director Robert Zemeckis shot the movie using the same performance-capture technology used on his 2004 holiday offering "The Polar Express." Carrey and his co-stars acted on a bare soundstage as digital cameras caught their performances, with computer animators later adding costumes, sets, props and other effects.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "A Christmas Carol," $31 million.

2. "Michael Jackson's This Is It," $14 million.

3. "The Men Who Stare at Goats," $13.3 million.

4. "The Fourth Kind," $12.5 million.

5. "Paranormal Activity," $8.6 million.

6. "The Box," $7.9 million.

7. "Couples Retreat," $6.4 million.

8. "Law Abiding Citizen," $6.2 million.

9. "Where the Wild Things Are," $4.2 million.

10. "Astro Boy," $2.6 million.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Androids to have their own Olympics in China in 2010.

Officially, we are in the future!

China is planning to hold a robot Olympics in 2010.

The international event will be held in the city of Harbin and will see robots take part in 16 different events.

Robots will be able to compete in familiar Olympic sports such as athletics as well as those more suited to machines such as cleaning.

Entry to the competition will be restricted to robots resembling humans. They must possess two arms and legs. Wheels are banned.

The organisers of the games expect from more than 100 universities from around the world to send competitors to the event.

Harbin has been picked as the venue because the city's Institute of Technology is the home of a robot football research group that manages a very successful team of soccer playing humanoids.

Professor Hong Rongbing, from the Harbin Institute of Technology, said the idea of the competition was to drive innovation and produce robots that are more flexible and helpful.

No specific date has been set for the games as its organisers are still rounding up sponsors to help pay for it.

The Chinese event will face competition from the RoboGames that also stages sports events for robots. The 2010 RoboGames will take in California in April.

The Harbin robot games will be one among an increasingly crowded calendar for robot sports and other competitive events. One event, Roboexotica, is for robots that can mix cocktails, light cigarettes and chat with bar patrons.

Robots already have their own world cup. The 2009 competition saw entries from 400 teams that hailed from 35 separate nations. The 2010 event will be held in June in Singapore. A rival event is run by the Federation of International Robot-Soccer Associations.

Photo - Getty Images

Ft. Hood shooter was to be deployed to Afghanistan.

More on the Ft. Hood shootings

A US major believed to have killed 13 people in a gun attack at a Texas army base was due to be deployed soon to Afghanistan, a military official said.

Major Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, a US-born Muslim, opened fire on soldiers at Fort Hood on Thursday.

Relatives of the army psychiatrist said he had strongly opposed his deployment and had wanted to leave the army.

US officials said investigations into what prompted the attack had continued through the night.

At an early morning news conference at Fort Hood, military officials said 12 soldiers and one civilian had been killed

About US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, he is US-born Muslim raised in Virginia.
Joined the army and trained to be a psychiatrist. Treated soldiers returning from combat zones. Described as a devout Muslim who attended prayers regularly
It's said to have been unhappy about imminent overseas deployment

Of the 28 people who remained in hospital, 14 had required surgery but all were in a stable condition, Col Dr Steven Braverman said.

There was no comment on what might have triggered the attack.

"We're not going to speculate about motives. We'll let investigators find that out," deputy base commander Col John Rossi said.

Maj Hasan was shot four times during the attack and is currently on a ventilator in hospital, under armed guard.

The policewoman who shot him first is in a stable condition in hospital, officials said.

President Barack Obama described it as "a horrific outburst of violence".

He said: "It is difficult enough when we lose these brave men and women abroad, but it is horrifying that they should come under fire at an army base on US soil."

Images AFP, Microsoft

Thursday, November 5, 2009

12 Dead, 31 injured in shooting at Ft. Hood in Texas!

It looks that Iraq and Afghanistan are not the only places a US Soldier can die.

FORT HOOD, Texas – The U.S. Army says 12 people have been killed and 31 wounded in a shooting rampage on the Fort Hood Army base in Texas. Lt. Gen Bob Cone said at a news conference that one shooter has been killed and two suspects were apprehended on Thursday. He says they are all U.S. soldiers.

The shooting began around 1:30 p.m. Cone says that all the casualties took place at the base's Soldier Readiness Center where soldiers who are about to be deployed or who are returning undergo medical screening.

He says the primary shooter used two handguns in the attack.

More as it becomes available.

It's Guy Fawkes day!

"Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot."

Guy Fawkes, the only person to enter Parliament with honest intentions!

Happy Guy Fawkes day!

Yankees win #27!!!!!!

The New York Yankees has done it again. After a 9 year drought, they have clinched the World Series title winning 7 to 3 against last year's champs, the Philadelphia Phillies.
This is their 27 MLB Championship.

Hideki (Godzilla) Matsui was named the series MVP.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Space Hotel to be opened in 2012!

Cool! 2001 is coming...only 11 years late!

BARCELONA (Reuters) - A company behind plans to open the first hotel in space says it is on target to accept its first paying guests in 2012 despite critics questioning the investment and time frame for the multi-billion dollar project.

The Barcelona-based architects of The Galactic Suite Space Resort say it will cost 3 million euro ($4.4 million) for a three-night stay at the hotel, with this price including an eight-week training course on a tropical island.

During their stay, guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and travel around the world every 80 minutes. They would wear velcro suits so they can crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.

Galactic Suite Ltd's CEO Xavier Claramunt, a former aerospace engineer, said the project will put his company ( at the forefront of an infant industry with a huge future ahead of it, and forecast space travel will become common in the future.

"It's very normal to think that your children, possibly within 15 years, could spend a weekend in space," he told Reuters Television.

A nascent space tourism industry is beginning to take shape with construction underway in New Mexico of Spaceport America, the world's first facility built specifically for space-bound commercial customers and fee-paying passengers.

British tycoon Richard Branson's space tours firm, Virgin Galactic, will use the facility to propel tourists into suborbital space at a cost of $200,000 a ride.

Galactic Suite Ltd, set up in 2007, hopes to start its project with a single pod in orbit 450 km (280 miles) above the earth, traveling at 30,000 km per hour, with the capacity to hold four guests and two astronaut-pilots.

It will take a day and a half to reach the pod - which Claramunt compared to a mountain retreat, with no staff to greet the traveler.

"When the passengers arrive in the rocket, they will join it for 3 days, rocket and capsule. With this we create in the tourist a confidence that he hasn't been abandoned. After 3 days the passenger returns to the transport rocket and returns to earth," he said.

More than 200 people have expressed an interest in traveling to the space hotel and at least 43 people have already reserved.

The numbers are similar for Virgin Galactic with 300 people already paid or signed up for the trip but unlike Branson, Galactic Suite say they will use Russian rockets to transport their guests into space from a spaceport to be built on an island in the Caribbean.

Ok, you train in the Caribbean, ride on a Russian rocket, stay for 3 days and stick to the walls in a velcro suit like Spiderman? And this cost 4.4 million?

What do you guys think?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another installment of Max Blast of the Past!

While digging in my You Tube account, I came across this video. It's edited to Van McCoy's version of the theme song for Star Trek, written by Alexander Courage. It's a throwback to the 70's (The song was actually made in 1976 for the album "The Real McCoy". I used to own that album on 8-Track!) It made me so nostalgic, that I'm sharing it with you. Why? Beacuse I like torturing you, that's why! And beacuse I like Star Trek.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

And the box office champion this week is...

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Michael Jackson's much-hyped concert movie reigned at the worldwide box office on Sunday, but its performance in North America was hardly a thriller.

"This Is It," composed mostly of rehearsal footage recorded in the weeks before the "King of Pop's" death in June, earned an estimated $101 million in the five days since opening globally on Wednesday, distributor Columbia Pictures said.

Moviegoers in the United States and Canada contributed $32.5 million. In the days leading up to its opening, industry forecasters had said it could earn at least $40 million.

Columbia said it had hoped for an opening in the $30 million to $40 million range.

"This has always, always been a worldwide play," said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution at Columbia's parent Sony Corp. "We're very happy with the results domestically, but ecstatic with the worldwide."

Top territories included Japan with $10.4 million, Britain with $7.6 million, Germany with $6.3 million, France with $5.8 million, Australia with $3.6 million and China with $3.2 million.

Rival studios, perhaps looking to put Sony in the hot seat, had been particularly bullish about the film. One executive, requesting anonymity, predicted the film could make $660 million globally during its limited two-week run -- $260 million domestically and $400 million internationally.

Columbia had shied away from issuing global forecasts because of a dearth of comparable concert films. The record for such movies is held by "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus -- Best of Both Worlds," which earned $65 million domestically last year.

The film's prospects were not helped by Halloween, which fell on a Saturday for the first time since 1998, siphoning off a large swathe of potential North American moviegoers on the biggest night of the week.

Columbia said it extended the planned two-week limited run in North America through Thanksgiving (November 29). Foreign territories will extend the run on a case-by-case basis.

The studio paid Jackson's estate and closely held concert promoter AEG about $60 million for the rights, but will deduct the production costs from its tab. As for box office revenues, which are usually split evenly with movie theater owners, Sony will share its haul with the estate and AEG according to a complex, undisclosed formula.

Columbia's sister company, Sony Music, has done much better with Jackson's recordings. His albums have sold more than 5.7 million copies this year in the United States, according to tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan.

For the traditional three-day period, beginning Friday, "This Is It" earned $21.3 million.

Last weekend's North American champ, Paramount Pictures' micro-budget horror flick "Paranormal Activity," slipped to No. 2 with $16.5 million in its sixth weekend, taking its total to $84.8 million. Paramount is a unit of Viacom Inc.

No other new releases dared compete with Halloween festivities.