Donals Rumsfeld says the Iraq occupation will cost about $3.9 billion (NYT reg required)per month.
General Tommy Franks says that the Iraq occupation could last four more years.
American troops are being killed at a rate of about 1 each day.

I know there are other mitigating factors and that things will most likely change, but if I could just do some easy math, that comes out to:

$187.2 billion
1460 American soldiers dead

Another little bit of easy multiplication I can do generates this:

$6000 (Gratuitity paid to families of soldiers killed in combat) X 1460 = $8,760,000

$8,760,000 Compared to $187,200,000,000, it doesn't seem like that much, does it?

More Iraq war math fun:

The population of Iraq is about 21 million (mid 1997) If we paid each person in Iraq an equal share of the prospective occupation budget, we could pay them all about $185 a month. Maybe we could bribe them into getting along for the next four years. After all, 185 $US is a hell of a lot of money in Iraq.

(Note, the real world is more complex on paper, arithmetic in the proper hands cn be dangerous. I don't actaully think any of these numbers are accurate, but still, makes you think, don't it?)

Retrocrush's catalogue of fuggly superhero costumes.

Ever notice how so many comic-book superhero costumes are not only skintight, but appear to essentially be painted upon the bare skin of their wearers? I imagine that's because it's easier to learn to draw the human figure and musculature rather than learning how to draw folds in cloth.

Ultra-Mini-Review: Pirates of the Caribbean:


Best movie based on a theme park attraction I have ever seen.

I know it's been a couple weeks since the ESRB added new content descriptors to its rating system, but I just want to say how glad I am that they finally decided to qualify the different types of violence present in games. Too often beforehand I would pick up a game in a store and find the ESRB rating of E (Everyone): Violence pretty confusing. Violence was okay for everyone?

Let's check out the ESRB database tallies on the different types of questionable game content:

Drug use: 15 titles
Strong Sexual Content: 52 titles
Use of Tobacco and Alcohol: 62 titles
Strong Language: 154 titles
Violence: 1077

People say that sex sells, but the numbers would seem to indicate that violence sells even better. Hopefully the new ratings, which have less than 10 titles each thus far, will help parents decide what kind of violence is right for children. I'm hoping that the ESRB doesn't stop here, and that different types of questionable content are described in even finer detail, so that the ESRB icon takes up half of the game box and has descriptors like:

Blood & Gore: Intestines, Some Lung
Strong Sexual Content: Asian Teen Blowjobs
Use of Alcohol: Molson Light
Language: "Fuck", "Dickweed", "Schlong", "Puppyhumper"
Mature Humor: Farting, Turds, Obscure Jane Austen Reference
Intense Violence: This one dude gets shot in the face, and this other guy gets totally cut in half
Nudity: Awesome

That will certainly help me make better, more informed decisions about my game purchases. It'd be even better if they added a content descriptor for Sucks: Contains Shitty Gameplay, but I imagine that's some ways away.

(Personally, I'm really curious about ImaginAction, which is the only M (Mature) rated game which has Edutainment. What kind of edutainment gets an M rating? Especially when there are no other descriptors? Maybe it's a voting simulation game.)

My new favorite slogan, spotted on a delivery truck this morning:

Quail Mountain Herbs - California's largest legal herb farm.


A few choice bits from the Cubivore instruction manual:

The more you mutate, the more popular you will be with females.

Raw-Meat will allow you to mate! Your offspring will be born with more meat flaps.

Press the A Button to BITE his Meat.

While biting, hold the control stick down to TEAR OFF his Meat.

When you eat a piece of Raw-Meat, you will then be able to enter a Love Tunnel. The females will drop by and it's mating time!

Females just love a male with "Experience"!

Your hump can be powered up by collecting Hump Bits and by using the Treadmill.

Use the Bullfrogstool to strengthen your tongue.

Z Button to take a doo.

So I'm almost done with that new Harry Potter book. Wow, I can't believe that they killed off Hagrid.

Ahh, I'm just messing with you, actually Hermione dies.

As much as it goes against my hardcore indie instinct to like something that is tremendously popular on its own merits and not because I have an ironic appreciation for crap, I must admit that the Harry Potter book series is pretty damn good. It's like, Narnia good. J.K. Rowling has earned all of her 500 bazillion dollars as far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure her rise from poor single mother to world-famous, ridiculously wealthy single mother will make a fascinating Lifetime Original Movie some day.

Still, I have removed my dust jacket from my copy of Harry Potter and the order of the Pheonix so that strangers would stop asking me, "Oh, you're reading that too?" Although I really like watching their faces fall when I reply, "Yeah! What did you think of the part where Dumbledore gets killed?", it's not worth giving people an excuse to interact with me. I think my animosity stems more from my inability to accept that I genuinely like something that's extremely popular rather than any actual distaste for hardcore Harry Potter fans. However, the Harry Potter series does seem to inspire some really freaky obsession in people.
This family has bothered to come up with a whole entire theme park layout, complete with maps, rides, dining, show schedules, photos, tours, etc. etc.

Damn! I wouldn't be surprised if this theme park actually exists someday, or that these folks get totally sued, but damn! that is one huge amount of work. Right down to the Top Ten Lists. Does this family ever do anything else?

On the other side of the spectrum, there are those nutcases who are sure that Harry Potter is the spawn of Satan and the books are just a clever way of teaching children the dark arts. I don't think it's the children they need to worry about, it seems like adults are more likely to do more silly Harry Potter emulation attempts.

Dumb: Trying to make a potion just like Harry Potter
Dumber: Burning down your house in the process
Dumbest: Admitting that you burned down your house trying to make a potion just like Harry Potter.

Here's a little advice. If you're over the age of 12 and trying to make a magical potion, just tell the fire department you were cooking up meth, you'll look like less of an idiot. Also, if you really do want to make a polyjuice potion, you'd have better luck adding fluxweed instead of toothpaste. Duh. (link via 8bitjoystick.)

Well it's certainly better than how some people show their obsession with the series. I don't need to tell you about the creepy awful Harry Potter slash fiction authors. (Link does not actually lead to Harry Potter slash fiction. Find it yourself, creep.)

I don't get why so many folks are keen to sexualize Harry Potter, I mean, he's a teenager already, he's going to get to that point eventually by himself, without the help of slash-fic-authoring preverts. I guess I'll just have to wait until the next novel, athough I'm not sure how good it'll be now that Ron is out of the picture.


And in further music celebrity do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do news, I'm sure you've already read that Britney "Saving it for marriage" Spears got it on with Justin Timberlake. Although the admission of celebrity hypocrisy is bad enough, I'm most chagrined that Britney Spears had sex with Justin Timberlake and nobody taped it!

LL Cool J Re-signs with Def Jam - He couldn't have done this before Def Jam Vendetta? Crap, I would have loved to have an LL Cool J wrestler. Oh well, maybe for the sequel.

Hold on to your hats, celebrity burnout Ozzy Osbourne says that now that his own son has gone into rehab for treatment for his OxyContin addiction, he believes that marijuana is a gateway drug.
"One thing leads to another. Coffee leads to Red Bull, Red Bull leads to crank.
Well, I certainly can't argue that the argument that coffee drinking eventually leads to doing methamphetamines (actually, I went from methamphetamines to Red Bull to coffee, but I guess the process works both ways) is about as solid as the argument that smoking pot eventually leads to OxyContin addiction(you'll forgive me if I don't believe that Jack Osbourne had what I would call a "typical" teenager experience). However, I really do hope that the anti-marijuana propogandists really latch onto Ozzy as a spokesman. "I did drugs all my life, and now I'm nothing more than a rockstar millionaire with his own show on MTV about me trying to take out the garbage. Just say no." It should be just as successful as KISS telling the kids not to do drugs. I'm sorry, but it's simply not possible to rock and roll all night in addition to partying every day without using stimulants.

Although I certainly hope that Jack overcomes his problem with OxyContin, this shouldn't be used as a case for marijuana as some sort of evil key to unlocking the dark hardcore drug desires within our hearts. Some people are more prone to take hard drugs, some aren't. Some people like to smoke pot, some don't. The two groups are not one and the same.


My good friend Paris has his daily drawing site up. His drawing skill amkes me furious with envy. Therefore you should visit his site and overload his server with helpful, insightful comments about his amusing and huggable cartoon stylez. Go!


I was just clicking around to make sure that no other Terminator movies were in production and I found the cast listing for the upcoming film "Around the World in 80 Days", which, judging by the cast alone, looks to be either a really awesome, or completely ill-conceived film. A partial list of the most notable cast members follows:

Kathie Bates
Jackie Chan
John Cleese
Sammo Hung
Johnny Knoxville
Rob Schneider
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Owen & Luke Wilson

Is this based on the book? Is it a modern version of Cannonball Run?

Oh yeah, and Terminator 3 sucked cybernetic balls from the future. The first half hour of the film is spent explaining why everything that happened in the last movie was pointless, and the rest of the movie was dedicated to being sucky. Admittedly a whole lot of very interesting utility vehicles were destroyed in the primary car chase sequence, which was all well and good, but the plot and the characters, while not as important in an action movie, were pretty pathetic. Once the T-X started inflating her breasts, it became pretty clear that the film was not going to release the audience from a stranglehold of suck. Oh and the inflating breasts thing didn't even have a point. I guess she just wanted to give the cop who pulls her over a little thrill before killing him, which she coudl have done just as easily without inflating her breasts. Or maybe the T-X has advanced humor subroutines. I don't know, and I'm not about to start making excuses for this movie.

The action sequences were as over-the-top as expected and managed to wreck multiple cop cars, an ambulance, a fire engine, a crane, a hearse, a big rig, many sedans, a oversized pick-up truck, a motorcycle, two helicopters, a couple sports cars, and everything but this one really, really, really tough mini pick-up/veterinary ambulance. So as far as the vehicular body-count goes, it delivers. However, the situations in which characters place themselves and the decisions they make, not to mention the continuity errors that insult even the intelligence of the average Schwarzenegger film devotee.

The other only worthwhile scene is when Arnold needs to get his clothes and swipes them from an effeminate go-go dancer in a strip joint, then dons the stripper's Elton John-esque glasses. Sadly, the whole joke is ruined by him subsequently discarding and trodding upon them, as though to say, "Not only does camp not suit my persona, but it must be destroyed." What a bitch, although I do find it strange that the T-101 comes pre-programmed with fashion sense (but not a popularized catch-phrase expiration date analyzer, as he appropriates the familiar standby "Talk to the hand." from the stripper, which might have been funny in what... 1998? He might as well have spouted out "Where's the beef?").

Someone needs to send a cyborg back in time to stop this movie from being made. I would happily vote for Schwarzenegger as governor of California if it meant that he would be too busy to make Terminator 4. The only thing it has in common with the first two movies is Arnold and the character names. It utterly failed to meet even my typically low expectations.

For those of who still obsessing over the Hulk's schlong length (honestly, what is wrong with you people?) apparently, it's just 2 inches.