Now gluten-free!

Friday, September 29, 2006

When Squirrels Attack

A four-year-old boy was attacked by a squirrel last week in Cuesta Park in Mountain View, Calif. (Full story here.) According to the report, the boy is still getting rabies shots. Apparently, this kind of thing is becoming an increasing problem.

Far be it from me to find fault with our furry, feral friends from the forest, but something needs to be done. Am I suggesting that we grab our shotguns, run outside, and hunt them to extinction? Of course not. All I'm saying is that there's a slight possibility that I might be a little slow to react when I see one of those things dart out in front of my car.

Squirrels, I'd be extra-cautious out there if I were you. You know, just in case.

Seeing Sunspots

The following picture was taken in Normandy by French astrophotographer Thierry Legault with a digital camera and a seriously pimped-out telescope. Note the tiny speck on the left-hand side. Is that a sunspot? A speck of dirt on the lens? A UFO?

Nope. That's the Space Shuttle Atlantis sidling up to the International Space Station. Orbiting the earth at an altitude of 250 miles, these tiny, insignificant objects are silhouetted against the sun, which is about 93 million miles away.

Click on the picture for a closer look.

Cool stuff!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

How Much of a Star Wars Fan Are You?

When I used to mention to people that I remember seeing a Star Wars Christmas special on TV when I was a kid, they would look at me like I had just given birth to a litter of Jawas. In fact, I even started to doubt it myself. Was I going crazy? Had I just dreamed the whole thing?

Sadly, no. Thanks to the Internet, those horrifying images will live on forever.

In 1978, the original cast of Star Wars reunited for what could only have been an attempt by George Lucas to kill the franchise at the height of its popularity. Why would he do such a thing? To this day no one knows.

The Star Wars Holiday Special opens with Han Solo trying to get Chewbacca back to the Wookie home planet so that he can celebrate Life Day with his wife, Malla, his son, Lumpy, and his father, Itchy. Still think I'm making this up? See for yourself.

But surely the whole show couldn't have been that bad. I mean, just look at that all-star line-up! Well...

Perhaps the only bright spot in the show was a poorly written (and even more poorly animated) cartoon that introduced pre-"Special Edition" Star Wars fans to the enigmatic character of Boba Fett.

And just how special would a Star Wars Holiday Special be without a rousing musical finale from Princess Leia?

How any sequels got made after this embarrassment is anyone's guess. And how the actors went on to star in anything else is even more of a mystery - especially considering how the nightmare still haunts them.

As you can see, it really happened. I guess the only thing that makes me crazy is the fact that I saw this and remained a Star Wars fan.

If you're in an especially nostalgic mood, you can go back in time and watch the commercials that aired during the special. (Actually, these are much more entertaining!)

Can't get enough Star Wars? Be sure to check out the following websites: The Star Wars Holiday Special, Star Wars as Seen on TV, The Nitpicker's Guide to the Star Wars Holiday Special, and Star Wars Caught on Tape.

If you feel the Star Wars Holiday Special is something you must either relive or experience for the first time, you can see the first 51 minutes of it on Google Video. But if you can find a bootlegged copy of the entire show on DVD, you just may want to share it with others.

Come to think of it, that would make a great gift idea. After all, Life Day is just around the corner.

And Now Something Worth Watching...

Have you ever wondered where George Lucas got his inspiration? Check out the critically acclaimed short film George Lucas in Love.

Now everything makes sense.

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