Empower the meatless!

Watch this short film of Terry Bisson’s well-known short story, They are made out of meat. I like the idea, but it was a little off-putting that they used actors made out of meat to play the main characters.

There is no shortage of non-meat actors, you know, and there are some CGI functions that might want to protest the usurpation of roles that really ought to go to minorities. Here some excellent, juicy non-meat roles come up, and they hand them over to the meaty majority.

(via The Valve)

And a good time was had by all

Remember when you went to the high school dance, and all the social strata of the institution were exposed? You knew who the jocks and cheerleaders were, and the stoners and the college preppies, and of course, the geeks, the A/V nerds, the chess club crowd…the ones who didn’t show up very often, and when they did, everyone was wondering what they were doing there. Geek Prom wasn’t anything like that—it was kind of an anti-Heathers experience, where all the distinctions were thrown away. There were some beautiful people there, and everyone liked them, but they weren’t any more special than the four-eyed nerd with bad hair. This was an event where everyone was appreciated for being unique.

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I can’t be the only one who thinks this

I haven’t watched South Park in a long time, but I understand the latest controversy is that they blanked out an innocuous, brief portrayal of Mohammed, and everyone is saying the network caved under pressure. Michelle Malkin and her fellow right-wing nutjobs are embarrassingly hysterical over it.

People, it’s a cartoon that intentionally tries to drum up shrieks of outrage…it tries so hard that I’ve lost interest in it. I can’t possibly be the only one who thinks this whole affair was done on purpose by the creators, can I? If you think this episode is significant, you’ve been played.

My musical taste might differ from yours

The Folk Era was a special time in America, a time of innocence, when people sang Kumbaya and really meant it. When banjo music got airplay and Burl Ives had groupies. No one knows what caused the folk era, and scientists are studying what can be done to prevent it from ever happening again.

The nice people at royzimmerman.com have sent me another CD, The Best of the Foremen. They tell me this group was especially popular with biologists (I can see it—songs about wallowing in whale guts and what we euphemistically call “firing the Surgeon General” are always well received by us), and that SJ Gould had them play at his wedding. I can’t argue with Gould! Not any more at least.

Self-mocking folkies are always fun to listen to. Check ’em out.


In the rural fastness of Western Minnesota, a legend grows. A man so nerdly that his infamy spreads far and wide; when people see shell-less molluscs, his name leaps to their lips; when geeks and nerds gather, they all whisper the same thing: “Pee-Zee” (or, as the Canadians and Dr Who fans would say, “Pee-Zed.”)

Yes, in yet another of a string of geek honors, I have been invited to the GeekProm, to be held in the Science Museum of Minnesota on 22 April. There will be spaz-dancing, cow-eye dissections, and a talent show, and some couple will be crowned King and Queen Geek.

Obviously, I deserve to go to this. What you may not realize, O Unsuspecting Readers, is that by reading this site you too are now fully certified Geeks and Nerds. Sorry about that, but it is infectious, and you have only yourselves to blame. I’m also afraid that there aren’t any scientists interested in working on a cure, so you’re just going to have to live with your punishment…and show up to out-spaz me on the dance floor.

See you all there.

I guess nobody likes Bruce Willis

So…I went to that Bruce Willis movie I mentioned earlier. It was OK, a rather predictable cop thriller in which he does his usual schtick of getting beat up and bloodied and shot, while still defeating the bad guys at nearly every turn—but at the same time he doesn’t do the hokey super-cop stuff we saw in the Die Hard movies. At least I was pleasantly surprised, as I went in to it with low expectations.

I mentioned that we usually don’t have a problem with obnoxious people here, though, and that was true tonight, but for a different reason: I was the only person at the movie.

There I was, front row center, in a lovely old art deco movie theater, big screen, popcorn, the works…and it was all just for me. It was much nicer than you’ll get with your usual home theater set up.

The virtues of the small town movie theater

Kung Fu Monkey has an excellent rant about the theater experience, and how it is ruined by loudmouths and cell phones.

I just have to say that since I moved to Morris, I love going to the movies. I’ll even go to bad movies. And it’s all because the ambience has completely changed. Rogers recommends bringing back real ushers to silence the kibitzers and chatterers and inconsiderate babblers, but we’ve got something better: everyone in the theater knows everyone else. Nobody gets to make a public nuisance of themselves and then vanish into the anonymity of the crowd.

He’s exactly right. The community experience, the ability to just watch a movie and enjoy it, is the number one factor that has me going back over and over again, even when they’re showing garbage on the screen. I mean, seriously, I’m actually considering going to the theater this week to watch that lame Bruce Willis vehicle, 16 Blocks. I don’t even like Bruce Willis movies.

Get that heathen some popcorn


I know that Steve Allen was a lifelong skeptic and freethinker, but was he also a squid worshipper? How else to explain this sign?

Through the Center for Inquiry in LA, which hosts that Steve Allen Theater, there’s also a very useful list of dramatic productions of interest to freethinkers, including everything from Agnes of God to Zardoz (sorry: Red Dawn didn’t make the cut). Any college students interested in subverting their university’s film series might want to recommend some of the movies from this list. Or you might just try adding all of them to your Netflix subscription.