Friday, February 23, 2007

Don't Mess With Grandpa

Grandpa Gets Mad

Mugger Killed By Elderly Man On Carnival Cruise Vacation

The American, who is about 70 years old and retired from the military, put the 20-year-old in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the suspect and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus, said Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose. The suspect, Warner Segura, was later declared dead, apparently from asphyxiation.

The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack. Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to the Red Cross where he was declared dead.
I'm not surprised by this. If you've ever seen an old man complain about the service on a Carnival Cruise line, you know that the elderly will stop at nothing to make sure their cruise goes off without a hitch.

The muggers should just feel lucky they didn't attack before the lunch buffet. Two more of them would have been dead.

Found that article on ABC News. Also found this:

Tonight on 20/20, "Worry In America." Features this interesting tidbit:

To help [Sarah] Fortino overcome her fear, [Dr. Robert Leahy, the author of "The Worry Cure"] used a therapy he calls "verbal exposure." Because when Fortino is flying, her biggest fear is crashing, he tells her to repeatedly say, "The plane is going to crash."

"If you repeat the thought over and over and over — hundreds and hundreds of times — you'll find that the thought becomes less frightening," he said. Leahy also asked Fortino to escalate the ugly thoughts and actually say, "I want the plane to crash."
Um, who wants to sit next to this woman on the plane? Sounds to me that the good doctor's advice might send poor Sarah to a detention facility in Guantanemo Bay.
1st Beaver Spotted In NYC In 200 Years

Beaver Speaks Out

By Jose the Beaver

Yo. What's up? Jose here. You know, NYC's first beaver in 200 years. You're probably wondering what I'm doing in town. Well you know what? It's none of your business.

If you must know, I've been living in Hoboken until I could afford the NYC rent. You know how much a single-occupancy beaver dam in Manhattan is going for these days? Forget about it.

Plus, I've been layin low. Us beavers haven't been too popular lately. First, Leave it to Beaver got cancelled. Then, Beaver College changed their name to Arcadia University. And I heard that Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan SHAVED theirs! I don't even wanna know what that means.

Yeah, it's not easy being North America's largest rodent. The American Indians used to revere me. Now, you Americans accuse me of messing up the ecosystem with my dams, meanwhile, you're dumping crap in my river. Well, I say, dam you all to hell.

Ok, I'm sorry. That was harsh. But for over a hundred years, you dumped the most disgusting filth imaginable into the Hudson, the Bronx River and the East River, and you expected us Beavers to just stick around? The only reason I'm back is because the suburbs are so damn boring. Us Beavers like to go where the action is.

And New York City has never been a better place for beaver action. You see how many Christmas trees were out on the curb last month? Enough to build a hundred quality dams. And don't get me started on the culinary and cultural delights. The sets of "Lennon" and "High Fidelity" were delicious to chew on, and New York Magazine, you were right about new East Village hotspot Momofuku: I think they've got the best chopsticks in town.

So yeah, I'm back. But please, if you see me walking down the street, listening to my iPod, please don't get in my face and try to give me a hug. Beavers don't like to be touched without permission. And only my girlfriend gets that.

But feel free to send me an email telling me about all the hot new beaver spots in the city. You can reach me at And please, keep our waterways clean.

Beaver, out.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

So LOST Has Something To Do With Buddhism

Lost? So am I.

Well, after last week's time-bending (and mind bending episode), this week's Lost sought to give us a dose of reality. LOST reality, anyway, whatever that is.

SPOILER ALERT: Read no further if you haven't seen the Feb. 21st episode of LOST... Or if you don't care about the show.

This week, we got to see Jack in Phucket, Thailand, where he drank coca cola, flew kites (yes, kites) and had a steamy love affair with Bai Ling, a Playboy covergirl and apparently some kind of mystical tattoo artist.

Things were going pretty well for Jack, who was having all the hot sex and ice cold cokes a guy could want. But, like an idiot, he had to ruin it all by stalking Bai to find out more about her.

And what did he find out? Well, she can "see who people really are." And then she tattoos what she sees on their shoulders. And who is Jack? "A leader." But it makes him miserable and angry. Or something like that. I don't have Tivo. I'll have to watch the episode online tomorrow.

He forces her to give him the tattoo, even though it's against well... the rules. Who's rules? I wasn't quite sure. All I know is that the next day, Jack didn't get his ice cold cokes. He got a fist in the face. And a couple more blows in even worse places. Bai Ling's brother and his friends were majorly PISSED.

Meanwhile, back on "Alcatraz," or "the other island," or "cage world," whatever you call it, the Others move Jack from his cell. Why? They're moving Juliet in. Why? She's on trial. Why? She shot that dude in the last episode. Creepy lady from Desmond's flashback/time travel? is in charge now, and she questions Jack about Juliet's plan to kill Ben. Jack says he made it up. Creepy lady doesn't believe him.

So Jack goes back to the bear cage. And while he's there, a yellow school bus pulls up and a bunch of schoolchildren pour out, apparently on a field trip chaperoned by none other than the stewardess of flight 815, Cindy. Ok, no bus pulls up. But it certainly seemed as if Cindy and the other people with her thought they were on some sort of field trip. "We came to watch," Cindy says cheerfully, and, infuriatingly, neglects to tell Jack what she's planning on viewing. Little does Jack know, they're on their way to watch another maddening episode of LOST.

Actually, I assume Cindy meant they were going to watch Juliet's trial, which Alex informs Jack about. Apparently, the penalty for killing an Other is death. Jack decides to go to Ben to ask him to spare Juliet's life. Ben does, but orders Juliet to be "marked." We also learn that Ethan, killed by Charlie, was the Others' chief surgeon.

Unlike Jack's inked tats, Juliet's "mark" seems to be branded into her skin. Jack applies aloe to it. New romance? Ukk. I hope not. The ending shot of Alex's rescued boyfriend (who apparently has never heard of "The Brady Bunch"-- i.e. he was born on the island) looking up at the stars and then it panning across the sky to Alex was a little too mushy if you ask me.

But you didn't read this to hear criticism. You came here for answers. I'll do the best I can. Check out my previous Lost theory if you're interested.

Thailand is a predominantly Buddhist country. As we know, elements of the show point to Buddhism, like the Dharma Initiative and the octogon-like symbol found everywhere:

Dharma Wheel Swan Logo
Left, The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Right, Symbol for the Swan Station

Looking this info up on Wikipedia, I came across this:

According to a saying attributed in some traditions to the Buddha, if a person does not follow the goal of Total Realization, one lives one's life like a preoccupied child playing with toys in a house that is burning to the ground.
What if the island is that "burning house" that the Losties can't escape until they've reached the goal of "Total Realization"? Chew on that.

After all, in the last episode, one of the flashes on the brainwashing movie screen said "We are the causes of our own suffering." This statement correlates with the Buddhist Four Noble Truths, which states similarly, that:

The Truth of the Cessation of Suffering relates to the correct meditative cultivation of the tathagatagarbha (indwelling Buddha Essence in all beings) and not erroneously viewing it as non-Self and empty; cessation of suffering also arises with the elimination of inner defilements, when one can then enter into the Buddhic Essence within oneself: "When the afflictions have been eradicated, then one will perceive entry into the tathāgata-garbha"
Chew on THAT!!

But my mind was really blown when I uncovered "The Four Buddhist Stages Of Enlightenment":

1. The ordinary person "has little control over his mind and behavior, his destiny is haphazard and subject to great suffering."

This seems to describe most people on the island.

2. The noble person "begins sincere training on the Buddhist path and experiences the truth to the extent of cutting of a number of the ten mental fetters and is sure of enlightenment."

This seems to describe Locke.

3. The non-returner does not come back into human existence, or any lower world, after death. Instead, he is reborn in one of the worlds of the Rūpadhātu called the Śuddhāvāsa worlds, or "Pure Abodes", where he will attain Nirvāna."

Eko perhaps?

4. The fourth stage is that of Arahant, a fully enlightened human being.

The Others? Desmond?

The Buddhist concept of Six Realms seems to have a place in Lost mythology as well, mentioning that people can be reborn as a deva (Cher?), an asura, a human being, an animal (polar bear), a hungry ghost (smoke monster??), or a being in Naraka (hell).

I feel like I'm getting somewhere. But my limited Buddhist knowledge holds me back. Perhaps Richard Gere could help. Does he watch LOST?

Apparently, the island provides some way of reaching Nirvana, or creating a perfect world. By turning the key, Desmond instantly reached a higher plane of enlightenment, and, apparently, so did Eko and Locke. Are the Others merely Buddhists who eschewed the whole "nonviolence" thing a while ago? Is Thailand somehow connected to this mystical island? Are the LOST writers just trying to convert us to Buddhism?????

Anyone care to share their ideas on what all this means??

And was there any point to Shannon's flashbacks in Seasons 1 & 2???

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bald Britney, Bridget's Baby

What can I say that hasn't already been said about Britney Spears' rather bizarre choice of hairstyle? Only that she sort of looks like That Yellow Bastard from Sin City:

Bald Brit Bald Yellow Guy

This blogger compares her to the slightly more obvious Mr. Clean.

Why'd she do it? Theories abound. Such as...

1. She's up to star in the sequel to G.I. Jane

Demi Shaves It

2. She really digs Larry David. (She's been wearing that Jewish Star alot!!)

Brit With Star of David Star Larry David
Jewish Star + Bald Head = Brit Hearts Larry??

3. She Wants To Be The New Host of "Deal or No Deal."

Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel, Watch Your Back!

4. She's under contract to become Patrick Stewart's stunt double in the next Star Trek movie.

Where No Britney Has Never Gone Before

5. She wants to start a new fashion trend: Cancer Chic.

Whatever the reason for her self-shearing, Britney at least can take comfort in the fact that her hair will, eventually, grow back. Unfortunately, the damage from her marriage to K-Fed will not be as easily erased.

[Update] Apparently, head-shaving is contagious.

[Update II] The NYPost reports that Britney lied to her nanny about going to Duane Reade, and then spent the night (and day) partying with scantily-clad dancers and strippers. Yeesh.

On a positive note, actress/model Bridget Moynahan is expecting her first child. On a sad note, it's not mine. But it is New England Quarterback Tom Brady's. Which may come as a bit of a shock to Brady's current girlfriend, supermodel Gisele. Now Tom faces an agonizing choice: Dump his mind-blowingly hot supermodel girlfriend and do the gentlemanly thing by making an hororable woman out of his mind-blowingly hot actress ex-girlfriend, or stay with his mind-blowingly hot supermodel girlfriend and support the mind-blowingly hot actress ex-girlfriend and their baby with money from his vast personal fortune. Oh what to do!!!?!?!?

Two Hotties
Hopefully This Picture Makes Up For The Ones Of Howie Mandel And Patrick Stewart

This guy was a little too late, but it was a nice gesture nonetheless.

I hate Tom Brady. I so want to be him.
Republicans Funded By Terrorists

So that's why they're destroying the country!

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