Saturday, August 25, 2007

I'm Not There

As John said on Obviously Losing,

"I was apprehensive about Todd Haynes' Bob Dylan movie, "I'm Not There," but this trailer has given me renewed hope."

Cate Blanchett, too. I am intrigued to the point of stroking my non-existent beard.

The Cumbrian Spaceman

Regular readers and acquaintances might know of my interest in UFOs and other strange phenomena, but I usually keep that stuff to a minimum here. Why? Because so much of it is complete rubbish. Although I am fascinated by UFOs and definitely believe there must be something more to a lot of the stranger cases, I consider myself a firm skeptic and complete avoider of paranormal/New Age stuff that has no basis in evidence, theory, or proof - you know, science. That's why this intrigues me so much.

The Cumbrian Spaceman is a good, mysterious case that might have a simple explanation. The only problem is that no one has yet found one.

In 1964, an English firefighter took this photo of his 5 year-old daughter after she gathered wildflowers on a picnic. The man claims that there was no one anywhere near the girl or behind her when the photo was taken and that there was an "electric" feeling in the air, similar to the conditions of an approaching thunderstorm. Oddly, livestock that would normally be grazing all over the field were huddled together in one corner.

Other than these peculiarities, nothing strange was seen at the time the photograph was taken. Upon development, however, it looked as though a figure was standing behind the girl. No one noticed anything at the time. Is the figure wearing a spacesuit? Is it a blemish? Light effect?
Kodak labs had the photograph and negative analyzed, and couldn't find any explanation. In fact, they used the photo in an ad campaign offering a lot of cash to anyone who could explain it. No one has. Any ideas?

(Click the photo to enlarge)

More info here

535 Foot Slip 'n Slide

Exactly what the title of this post says. YES.

Check it out.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Receding Headlines: Sssssnake Edition!

Ex-astronaut testifies in love triangle case

Interesting how "ex-" and "love triangle" often appear in the same sentence, astronaut or not.

Georgia says it fired at Russian plane this week

US Government asks that Peach State notify them ahead of time before launching future assertions of states' rights - oh! THAT Georgia!

Colombian warlord violates deal, faces extradition

You'd think warlords might have ways of getting around the establishment.

Kids' food fussiness may be inherited (AP)

"And to my little nephew Timmy, I leave my distaste for weird green specks in soup and my hatred for leafy vegetables"

Man accused of biting girlfriend's snake (AP)

There you have it. Is it funnier that it happened in N. Ireland?

US general: Pullout a 'step backward'

That's....that's what a pullout is.

China declares 'war' on tainted products

Kind of like how we declared 'war' on 'Terror,' but easier to regulate. Wars on words are a cool trend, soon we'll have "War on Unrequited Love" or "War on Peace" or "War on Rye, Hold the Mayo"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Resume Gods Beware

It's kind of nice to have the whole college and college admissions process behind me. Why? Aside from the obvious relaxitude and chill factorial, I don't have to go along with the latest trend in admissions: authentic imperfection. Yes, the hip thing now is for people to not puff up their resumes, but to show themselves as flawed, reflective, Bob Dylanesque, keep-on-keepin-on slices-of-life rather than invincible Resume Gods.

The idea is cool, but now admissions-types are saying students are starting to "fake" authentic imperfection. I attempted to draw a diagram of those last three words and how they relate to each via cross-modulation and some sort of logical circle-of-fifths, but my brain did one of those rare "that's enough" gestures that made me stop.

So I guess the college admissions game continues to be one of honest deception (?). Back in my day, a kid just had to have heart and smart! Not this new-fangled "average" poseuring.

I better get out of here before this post becomes even more incomprehensible.

Hello, Kiddywinks!

On the whole, I would describe my sense of humor as something akin to eating a burrito only to discover afterwards that you never removed the wrapper. Digestive incredulity aside, I've discovered that, for some reason, I never tire of seeing the late British comedian Rod Hull and his sidekick puppet, Emu.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Conversation with a telemarketer I recently had:

"Hi, may I please speak to Mr. Kevin Curran?"
"I'm calling to offer you the chance to upgrade your current student loan plan to Platinum, we..."
"I'm sorry, did you say Platinum?"
"Yes, if you would like to upgrade..."
"Great! Is it actually made of platinum?"
"Um, well, we'll just need you to confirm your..."
"Sorry, the plan, it's made of platinum?"
"Umm...let me check here..."
"Sure, no problem. did you get my information?"
"OK, it's just called 'Platinum,' would you still like to--oh, it's on the computer screen here."
"Cool. Well, I guess we're all set then. Thanks a lot!"
"Thank you very much....oh! If I could just have you confirm your..."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Connective Tissue Post

Caught on the Bound is back after a bit of a break. Sometimes it gets hard to keep up the back-breaking pace of 1-2 posts a day (with about 3 real posts a week). Part of this is because fact-checkers tell us to pitch about 70% of the posts we come up with due to what they call, "Lies! Vicious lies!"

Also, as Editor-in-Chief of this enterprise, I would like to state that Caught on the Bound will not suffer the usual August "we're done posting until January" syndrome that has afflicted the site in recent years.

New media! Look out for it. Seriously.

Item 4: As we forge ahead into the bleary, unknowing September of our discontent, a quick head-count of the staff here has informed me that we're going to need fresh interns for this fall semester here at Caught on the Bound. Interested? Send an email to caughtontheboundyahoo(dot)com with a brief statement of intent and a fictionalized resume. Experience in curse-breaking, journalism, newshounding, fear-mongering, and seduction preferred but not required. We also need people up on the Internet thing. Course credit available.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Post this to 15 videos or you will die

You're not the only one who thinks YouTube comments are, on the whole, dumb.

Here are some gems I found today:

(on The Kinks' Waterloo Sunset): "When you're looking at the sunset from whatever bridge, you're not actually looking at Waterloo..... now are you? So it cant really be a 'Waterloo sunset'. Thats my point."

(on The Proclaimers' I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) video with scenes from Benny & Joon): "THERE'S A MOVIE OF THIS SONG?"

I think someone should start a collection of wild YouTube comments.

Waiting in Headline

Technology is key on global warming: Bush adviser

Giant robots will simply plug the ozone hole with their little fingers! Or maybe we could rethink that whole Kyoto Protocol thing.

India's Gandhi backs nuclear deal

He's back baby! And this time, peace takes a back seat! Oh wait, it's Sonia Gandhi.

Experts pick '07 conference winners, title game matchup

I thought we were still allowing teams to play the games?

Mummy Was Painted With Spanish Lead

This proves that the Earth is only 5000 years old and that the Egyptians were actually aliens. Also, the Spanish were dangerous painters.

Stephen Colbert's Water Fight With Richard Branson to Air

We need more headlines like this.

Would-Be Robber Wraps Head in Duct Tape as Disguise

It's brilliant! Except for the not breathing part.

Passport rules snare child support scofflaws

Excellent headline - "snare" nicely alliterates with "scofflaws"

Mattel recalls 9M toys because of magnets, lead paint

Again with the lead paint! You'd think after thousands of years we'd figure out that lead = NO!!!! (I'm looking at you, Spanish-Egyptian mummy)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Perseid Meteor Shower

Heads up! Perseid Meteor Shower will be peaking tonight!

I maintain a soft-spot for meteor showers, eclipses, comets, vernal equinoxes, Raptures, etc. because my parents would always let me stay up later on school nights to see these things. So check it out!

By the way, if, like me, you're wondering why meteors are pelting us right now or who the hell Perseid is, the guy you want to bring in for questioning is none other than that notorious space bandit Comet Swift-Tuttle, who, by the way, has to have the best comet name this side of Hale-Bopp! (pictured)

(Hat tip: Brendan)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

These Days

The Alec Baldwin-narrated, Jackson Browne-penned, Nico-sung, Paltrow/Wilson-acted, Wes Anderson-directed scene from The Royal Tenenbaums:

All About the Benjamins

Big Ben's getting his clock cleaned. No, not the Pennsylvanian jack-of-all-trades Mr. Franklin; they're talking about the emblematic edifice in London. Reuters headed off a common mistake:

"The 96 meter (315 ft) clock tower of Britain's parliament is popularly known as Big Ben, although the name actually refers to the 13.5 tonne Great Bell inside."
But some of the Caught on the Bound staff here were noticeably disturbed by this statement. Chris Flanagan, one of our sharper interns (that's right, Jessica and Stevey, you undergraduate twits!) noticed that the name "Big Ben" refers to the bell, but the bell is called the "Great Bell." "Doesn't it seem a little redundant to give a bell two proper names?" Chris asks. After some deep thought and consultation of one of the many Calvin and Hobbes treasuries here at the office, I can conclude with a definitive "No, Chris, you daft git."

This is also a good moment for me to tell you my idea for a catchphrase, should the networks ever make a Benjamin Franklin-themed sitcom: "Hey, Mr. Franklin! Been jammin?"

That's enough coffee for one afternoon, methinks.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Toe the Headline

Loads weighing heavily on roads (AP)

"Gravity Remains!" scream the headlines

Canada to strengthen Arctic claim

"Everybody shut up and listen to what the Arctic has to say!"

Weird treadmill may help brain-injured

CNN knows the difference between normal treadmills and "weird" ones

Lance Armstrong's old team folds

More importantly, Americans have no idea who won the Tour de France this year

Oregon vs. Boise St. - Where?

If you're an Oregon or Boise St. football fan, you might want to start digging that hole through the center of the Earth. Oregon is proposing a deal with Boise St. to play a game in Eugene and another one the following year in Boise, er, sorry, I meant to say CHINA. This really makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Let's hear Oregon's explanation:

He said Oregon is considering Beijing and Shanghai as possible sites.

"This is all preliminary," said Hawkins (some guy from Oregon putting this together). "There is no date. There is no opponent. There is no permission (from China). This is all very tentative at this point, but exciting."

If there's anything that gets me excited in college football, it has to be having NO IDEA WHAT I'M DOING. College football teams have played abroad before, with mixed results (Notre Dame and Navy in Ireland, some other teams in Japan, etc.) I suppose the idea is to draw international fans/give an excuse for Americans to see a new part of the world, but this China business smacks of the business strategy I like to call "throw a dart at the Rand McNally map on the office wall and see what shakes out."

Hawkins said he brought up the trip to China with Oregon coach Mike Bellotti.

"He looked at me and wasn't sure what to make of it," Hawkins told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Hawkins appears to be that guy at the party who is always like, "Dude, this is going to be awesome!!" while all obvious signs and evidence point to it not being so.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Discussion Question - A Lucky Lunch Guess?

OK, time for a change of pace - an open discussion for the comments. This problem came to me in that fuzzy just-waking-up-after-a-nap period. If anyone knows a formal name for it or sees a parallel to a similar question, please let me know. OK,

We'll say you have two friends that you always eat lunch with, Sheila and Dave, and the three of you are joined by one (and only one) of two other friends everyday, George or Ringo. Everyday, you, Sheila, and Dave sit down. Sheila and Dave always try to guess which of the the other two will be joining you guys for lunch. Dave always makes a guess based on compelling evidence (for example, Dave didn't see George in class today and predicts Ringo will turn up for lunch), while Sheila always takes a random guess, based on whoever she feels like naming that day (she has no more knowledge that you). For the past 14 days, Sheila has correctly predicted the fellow luncher, without fail, even though Dave, in every instance, had some good reason to suppose his prediction would come true. Dave has been wrong every single time (we'll assume that Sheila and Dave both whispered their predictions in your ear, not knowing who the other picked).

So, the next time you have lunch, a fanatical Demon comes up to you, Sheila, and Dave. He wants you to guess (choosing either Sheila or Dave) who will be correct in predicting the lunchmate joining your group. If you choose a person who guesses incorrectly, you have to drink deadly poison.

The question: Who would you choose? Why? Does any real evidence point towards Sheila being the good pick? Is there a good reason NOT to pick Dave in this instance, other than a horrendous track record? Is there a clear logical answer to this? Does Sheila's "luck" outweigh Dave's perfectly reasonable predictions? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! And let me know if there's some obvious loophole in this that I'm missing in how the question was set up.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Poet Warrior and Other Tales of the Post-Collegiate Aftermath

You may remember my earlier summary of life in the post-collegiate aftermath. As the summer chugs on, the answers you have to start giving people become increasingly more ludicrous. I'm trying to think of more creative ways of answering the question: "So, what are your plans now?":

1. "Oh, I'm training to become a poet warrior. We start two-a-days next week. I can't wait for things to really get rolling." (This would be followed by a brief explanation of how I'm learning to write treatises blindfolded and committing things like iambic pentameter and rhyming schemes to memory before the enemy, Falsity, gets to them and destroys our quest for Truth)

Effectiveness: Might intrigue some people, most will nod politely and never ask anyone the question again.

2. "My plans? I just want to make a lot of money and be perceived as successful while my soul slowly decays beneath my tanned, playboy exterior."

Effectiveness: A surprising number of people might nod with approval. The rest will be horrified at the bluntness and plausibility!

3. "I'll be doing some open-mics in the city for a while."

Effectiveness: Most will outwardly project a "go-get-em!" attitude, but will shake their heads as soon as I leave and say something like, "Good thing I'm smarter than him!" But I might hear that and shout, "Hey! I heard that!" and they'll be like "Yeah."

4. "I'm going to bum around Europe. Forever."

Effectiveness: Believable. Not very interesting.

5. "I'm not at liberty to comment on an ongoing job search."

Effectiveness: They'll think I'm working for the United States government.

6. "Jobs? Where we're going, we won't need 'jobs!'"

Effectiveness: Intrepid, forward-looking, a good blend of ambiguity and purpose. Not bad for lifting it off the previous post's title reference to Back to the Future: Part II

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Roads? Where we're going, we won't need "roads"

The images and entertainment, even the science, of my childhood promised me two things: becoming a professional athlete is a distinct possibility for anyone; and cars will fly sometime after 2000 (thanks for nothing year 2001).

Maybe we're getting a step closer. Scientists have learned how to levitate...things by reversing the process that allows a gecko to stick to walls, the ceiling, or anything else. I'm still hoping scientists will complete my technological wish trifecta: levitation/flying, invisibility, and teleportation. Let's do it.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Fledgling Site Strikes 10,000 Hits

(From Caught on the Bound Newswire)

MUMBAI - The mood was jubilant for Caught on the Bound Junior Copy Editor, Ashley Polselli, currently on assignment in India for no apparent reason. "When I received the email sent from headquarters in California, two thoughts went through my head: 'I'm so glad we hit 10,000' and 'Why the hell did the Editor-in-Chief send me to Mumbai?'" That timely relevant question aside, Ashley's enthusiasm is shared by Caught on the Bound employees worldwide today as the fledgling site passes a milestone of sorts.

"What we have here is a dream deciding that it was sick and tired of being some second-rate wish. It's a wish that became a dream and it's now looking for a home in Reality Hills" said website founder and editor Kevin Curran, as fellow staff cast him cautious glares. "When this website started, it was nothing more than a blog with random bits lacking a unified theme or coherency. Today, that is still true."

Wearing party hats and with forced expressions of joy, the Caught on the Bound staff joined with Curran in counting-up to the 10,000th hit. "You know, I really wouldn't have minded the festivities and count-up and all, but starting from 9000 was kind of a drag. I didn't even get a chance to work on that English language series he keeps shoving at us" said Chris Flanagan, an underpaid, but over-appreciated intern. "I would describe the atmosphere around the office as...'oxygenated'" he said, with a slight hesitation as Curran stared at him over a steaming pot of black coffee.

"This is a triumphant day for webkind. But the celebration must be short. We have work to do and an employee in Mumbai who needs some savvy hostage negotiation" said Curran, calmly smoothing his three-piece suit.

The United Countries of Baseball

In case you didn't know which team you were supposed to be supporting. Click for larger version.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Department of Redundancy Department

This article from Reuters via Yahoo! News seemed to think one bit of info stood out:

First sentence of the article:

Adults should engage in moderately intense exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week or vigorous exercise at least 20 minutes three days each week, experts recommended on Wednesday.
Then, in the middle of the article:

The new guidelines call for healthy adults to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for at least 30 minutes five days each week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes three days a week.
Then, at the end of the article:

"These guidelines, engaging in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for at least 30 minutes five days each week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes three days a week, should help this big public health problem that we face"
Is this a brilliant way of pummeling this into our heads or just a lack of attention? This article from Reuters via Yahoo! News seemed to think one bit of info stood out.

UPDATE: The quote at the end of the article is gone! Someone must have realized how stupid this was starting to sound.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster

From Caught on the Bound's Department of Keep-Them-Guessing-What-We'll-Post-Next, we now present a brief overview of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Its adherents, often called Pastafarians, profess their belief in this Spaghedeity. The religion's primary prophet, Bobby Henderson, an Oregon State University physics graduate, revealed this Gospel in an open letter to the Kansas State Board of Education in reaction to their decision to allow Intelligent Design to be taught in school science classes.

Flying Spaghetti Monster is a sort of new take on Bertrand Russell's famous Teapot. The religion points out the arbitrariness of teaching only one "scientific theory" of Intelligent Design in schools, while others, such as the, uh, Christian version, are accepted.

Some interesting facts from the Wikipedia page:

-Official prayers are concluded with "RAmen."

-The Prophet Henderson put forth the argument that "global warming, earthquakes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters are a direct effect of the shrinking numbers of pirates since the 1800s" (an illustration of how correlation does not necessarily mean causation). Accompanying chart here.

For those in spiritual starvation, know that there is always a noodly appendage for you to chew on.

Paradigm Shift


Receding Headlines

OJ Simpson blames ghost author over murder book

Sure! Blame it on the ghosts! Why don't we ask the skeletons in OJ's closet a few questions? Headline tomorrow: "OJ Simpson blames ghost murderer over murders"

Iraq role to last years, cost more: officials

Well, hold on, now...let's see how this surge does first before we make any decisions or even think about thinking. Talking about anything emboldens the enemy!

Dow Jones OKs $5 bln sale to News Corp: source
News Corp board OKs deal to buy Dow Jones: source

Take your pick of these headlines. Was it News Corp that OKed or was it Dow Jones? We report, you decide. Also, it's reassuring to know that there are sources behind headlines. Because sometimes I get the distinct impression that maybe there aren't.

Keith Richards rolling in book dough

It's like Play-Doh. Somehow I can totally see Keith Richards rolling in any kind of dough - book, Play, cookie, you name it.

Edwards’s Campaign Tries to Harness Internet

This is a funny mental image. Out of Al Gore's COLD DEAD HANDS.

Labor likes all the ’08 Democrats

Alternative headline: "Labor for anything against '08 Republicans"