Month: November 2009

A New Obsession with Amazon.com


At this point, I have to admit, I have a new Internet entertainment obsession: Amazon.com. Yes, I know your first reaction would likely be, “who doesn’t?” Well this is a little different from what you would expect and it even does not require the spending of money.

What started it:

A co-worker shared a link on Facebook posted by another co-worker regarding some particularly hilarious Amazon customer reviews. These reviews were of the (apparently now famous/infamous) Mountain Men’s Three Wolf Moon Shirt:

The Mountain Men’s Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee:

http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-Mens-Three-Short-Sleeve/product-reviews/B002HJ377A/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

Let me first warn you. Before you start perusing the reviews you might be advised upon doing so, the next two to three hours of your day just might be spent. Starting with the first one: “This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that’s when the magic happened . . .”

I was hooked. I could not stop.

Upon doing some additional binging (no – we don’t “Googel” here) on the web, I discovered this has become quite the internet meme while remaining somewhat underreported. It turns out, the Wolf Moon T-shirt is one of the most popular of this phenom but not the only one.

Numerous references are made to the “Tuscan Whole Milk” customer review page (I know – ordering milk online?)

The Tuscan Whole Milk Reviews
(Heavily popular and well-referenced across the web)
http://www.amazon.com/Tuscan-Whole-Milk-Gallon-128/product-reviews/B00032G1S0

What further amazes me is the fact these are allowed to stay posted. And that’s where the creativity lies. Amazon’s customer review policy only targets the removal of negative and inciddiery reviews that are not directly target at the product itself. Although, many times, this is put to the test and in some of what I read, pretty much this policy has been violated (see Bil Keane below.)

Some reviews are not nearly a bizarre as the product that is beiong reviewed. Did you know Amazon sold Uranium Ore?

http://www.amazon.com/Uranium-Ore/product-reviews/B000796XXM/

Are you in the market for some BIC Pens? Why go to the local Walgreens when you can order from Amazon and – get the inside scoop from customer reviews!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/B000JTOYLS/

“Very good if you need to write on paper!”

And where else can you get literary perspectives of the King James Bible with varying degrees of intellect:
http://www.amazon.com/Boldtext-Pew-Bible-James-Version/product-reviews/0834003473/

Then we come to the Family Circus Reviews: Someone has serious issues with Bil Keane.

http://www.amazon.com/I-Had-Frightmare-Bil-Keane/product-reviews/0449146154/

http://www.amazon.com/What-Does-This-Say-Keane/product-reviews/0345470303/

And as for the shirt? Yes, I did order one. I mean – who could resist with such stellar reviews!

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Russian Entropy


Meet Pasha. Someone please ship XBOX360 to Russia, STAT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aGQ7DAvpHc

Take away the Fancy Karate Gi, studios, weapons, CGI superhuman effects, and controlled dojos, and this is what most of the white guys look like doing karate. Still effective likely in combat, but sorry guys, the truth hurts.

New Nerdodamus Prediction


By popular demand, Nerdodamus has returned to yield a new prediction.

The people of Minnesota, in keeping with tradition, will elect another celebrity native to public office in the coming years.

First, it was Jessie Ventura, followed by Al Franken. The next celebrity to be elected to a high public office position will be:

PRINCE!

Forensics Fraud


These are a great series of articles from Reason Magazine. I subscribe to this magazine in print and I love getting each issue. One of the stories I have been keeping up with is the expose on forensics fraud created by two “forensics experts” who over the years, gained favorable reputation by prosecutors by always delivering what they wanted in terms of “expert testimony.” Their arrogance and lust for probably even a potential Court TV show led them to even manufacture evidence even to the point of getting too sloppy to destroy the evidence of their tampering.

“Indeed, and Without a Doubt”
How a Mississippi dentist may be sending innocent people to jail.
Radley Balko | August 2, 2007
One of the first pieces on Dr. Michael West.
http://www.reason.com/news/show/121671.html

CSI: Mississippi
A case study in expert testimony gone horribly wrong
Rodney Balko’s first peice on the Stephen Hayne story from November 2007.
http://www.reason.com/news/show/122458.html
President of Mississippi State Medical Association Denounces Dr. Hayne
Radley Balko | February 15, 2008, 12:03pm
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/125019.html

The Bite-Marks Men
Mississippi’s criminal forensics disaster
Radley Balko | February 25, 2008
http://www.reason.com/news/show/125151.html

Dr. Steven Hayne Is Done
Radley Balko | August 4, 2008, 8:51pm
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/127915.html

Hayne Sues
Radley Balko | November 7, 2008, 11:37am
The last bastion of a discredited hack: Sue for Defamation. Former Mississippi medical examiner Dr. Steven Hayne has filed a defamation suit against the Innocence Project.
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/129975.html

Manufacturing Guilt?
Experts say this exclusive video shows a dental examiner creating the bite marks that put a man on death row.
Radley Balko | February 19, 2009
http://www.reason.com/news/show/131527.html

The National Academy of Sciences Slams Bite Mark Analysis
Radley Balko | February 28, 2009, 4:13pm
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/131943.html

Michael West Responds
Radley Balko | March 1, 2009, 10:55am
The Tooth? You can’t handle the tooth!
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/131954.html

More on Michael West’s Response
Radley Balko | March 4, 2009, 11:37pm
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/132059.html

Civil Rights Lawsuit Filed Against Hayne, West
Radley Balko | April 6, 2009, 1:11pm
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/132728.html

Dr. Michael West Speaks Out, Says He Has “Lost Faith in the System”
Radley Balko | May 14, 2009, 11:31pm
Surreal. He has “lost faith” and the system. The system he helps to corrupt? Lost faith in how he can keep working knowing the baggage he now carries?
http://www.reason.com/blog/show/133504.html

A Forensics Charlatan Gets Caught in the Act
Video from a defense attorney’s sting exposes Mississippi bite-mark “expert” Michael West.
Radley Balko | May 15, 2009
http://www.reason.com/news/show/132574.html

TV Story on Youtube

In Defense of the “Bro-mance”


The following is a rant –a- response to this stupid article. Read the article first and then read my point-by-point response with a male perspective. Be advised of this before reading.

This post is meant to defend what is now called a “bro-mance.” It used to be referred to as a guy having a buddy.

http://lifestyle.msn.com/relationships/articletkt.aspx?cp-documentid=19996811

1. He has more nicknames for his best guy friend than for you.

RESPONSE: What is the significance of keeping score on petty items such as this? I am sure if the opposite were true (he had more nicknames for you than his friend) THE OTHER GUY WOULD NOT CARE or for that matter, probably even notice. Why? It is insignificant. Bear in mind he could likely know the guy a lot longer and his friendship with his bro has probably lasted longer than many relationships with women and will likely last longer than the one he is currently in -especially if she is keeping score on the number of nicknames.

2. When you suggest a double date, he says, “Great, you go out with Suzy, and Bill and I will catch the game.”

RESPONSE: Let’s get real. Double-dates are for the women, not for the men. Men rarely have fun on these things and if the two guys get along and act the way they would had the women not been there, the woman would be appalled and embarrassed. So let’s just make it enjoyable for everyone. Let the ladies go out and let the guys stay home! We don’t want to dress up in the homogenized golfer outfit you have picked out for us to wear.

3. He went to see I Love You, Man … twice. And cried.

RESPONSE: And this is a problem because . . . ? I guess a man crying in a movie is only acceptable if it is a chick flick? I suppose women would have a problem with a guy crying at the end of the first “Rocky” movie too? That reminds me, I have not seen it in a while. Think I’ll pop that in tonight. ALRIGHT ROCKY!!!! YO ADRIAN!!! WE DID IT BABY!!!

4. They have at least two almost-identical outfits.

RESPONSE: Correct. When two guys wear the exact same thing, they marvel at each other’s excellent taste in apparel. We do not throw fits and cause scenes and create drama because we happen to be wearing the same thing.

5. During your wedding, his pal dragged you aside and said, “Take good care of him for me, okay?”

RESPONSE: Deal with it. You are lucky he is not taking the groom aside and saying “DUDE, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? GET OUT! GET OUT NOW! I CAN DRIVE US FAR AWAY FROM HERE! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO THROUGH WITH THIS!!!”

6. He spends more time getting ready for his bros’ night out than for your Friday night date.

RESPONSE: Yes. He wants to look good. Just like you want to look good when you tart yourselves up and go out on your “ladies night out” binges. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. When’s the last time you dressed up for him that way on a date? Hmmmm??

7. They have an anthem, be it from Journey or Jay-Z, that they famously dub “our song.”

RESPONSE: “Just a small town girl! Living in a looonely woooorld! She took the midnight train going anywhere . . . .”

8. They take 10 minutes to tell the “hilarious” story about the first day they met (again).

RESPONSE: Right, and when we have figured out how in the hell we got baited and switched by you . . . Oh wait. Now we remember. But it is so depressing to think about since you don’t do those things anymore.

9. You finally earn enough airline miles for the anniversary trip you’ve been dreaming of, and he says, “Cool! Dave and I can go to Vegas!”

RESPONSE: Did you tell him that you were planning to do this? Probably not. You see, when you spring something like this on a guy and he is going to use this as an opportunity to do something that will not cost him as much money as an anniversary trip with you is already going to cost. What you do not spend on airline tickets you will more than likely make up the difference and more on buying crap and going to see Siegfried and . . . well Siegfried. This was your agenda, remember. You assumed he would have either no independent thought or would read your mind and know exactly what to say.

10. He answers his buddy’s call … while you and he are getting romantic together.

RESPONSE: Well . . . I guess what is currently happening is not as exciting as him getting the call. Maybe the problem is with you!