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Leonard Gets Results!: I'm not entirely sure of the mechanism by which I get results, since to my knowledge I've never publicly announced that I think Cryptonomicon should be annotated by some well-meaning dupe. But somehow the word got through to Neal Stephenson, who has set up[0] a Wiki for his new novel, Quicksilver, complete with over-ambitious goal of replacing Wikipedia. Tying a Wiki to a popular book is a good way both to distribute the dupedom and to fight Wiki vandalism, since it ensures steady reader coverage of the footnotes (those relevant to the book, anyway) over time.

I shouldn't complain about the over-ambitious goal, since a trivial corollary is to use the Wiki to annotate Cryptonomicon as well. Quicksilver sounds more annotation-worthy, though, like a cross between a history of science and those weird alternate-history and shadow-history books where Benjamin Franklin teams up with a young Antoine Lavoisier to stop an underground cabal of animal magnetists from Venus. Hmm, that's actually not a bad--glaaaah! Damn you, Thomas Paine, and your fiendish future-tech remote control garotte!

[0]Actually, Patrick Tufts probably set it up on his behalf.

Anti-Spam Countermeasures Render Spam Ineffective #2.71:

Subject: Satisfy your lover with your penis  deflater

How TV Works: Hey, kids! Would you like to know how TV works? Well, gather round and I'll tell you all about the internal workings of television! You see, first there is the "pitch season", where production companies try to get networks interested in their ideas. If the network bites, they film a pilot--

What? You wanted to know how actual television broadcast works, with the antennas and the sets? Sorry, can't help you.

Product Placement Search Requests?:

See a Dream In Bed Tonight Of Going Grocery Shopping

Is there a company that sells you the abililty to have specific dreams, with a free (boring) sample dream? The stories in my seventh grade English reader have begun to come to life! Aah!

- - -

Whew! It was just a dream!

Not For The Faint Of Shark: Hey, you want to see a breaching great white shark? "Yeah, right, Leonard," you say. "Just like the wolphin, right?" No! This time it is what it says! Will you never let me live that down? This nature photographer guy has photos and everything! According to that page, the sharks "have undoubtedly breached for centuries", but since great white sharks have been around for about 11 million years, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say they have been doing this for up to millenia.

There are also some cool photos of penguins, kept safely on a separate page. The photos are not terribly large, but at least the copyright notices are kept out of the actual images.

Kaijuche: You may or may not know that Kim Jong Il, nutcase dictator of North Korea, is quite the cinema buff. (You just know he also ego-surfs. Bite me, Kim Jong Il!) Supposedly he loves James Bond movies, though not so much the latest one which actually had North Korea in it. That's irrelevant to the point that's not the main point but which is on the way to it, which is that at one point Kim Jong Il had South Korean director Shin Sang-Ok kidnapped to make films for him.

That leads right into the main point, which I didn't know until Sumana sent me a link to this Salon Premium exclusive. The main point is that the last film Shin Sang-Ok made before escaping with his wife to the US was a Godzilla rip-off called Pulgasari. Not only that, but it featured a Godzilla alum in the monster suit and other imported monster movie talent from Japan.

There's a capitalist distributor that will sell you a copy of the film, and Stomp Tokyo has the scoop on Pulgasari from a movie perspective. The film sounds okay: it's set in medieval Korea, but fortunately we still get the staple scene in which heavy weaponry is used ineffectively against the monster.

One interesting thing about Pulgasari the movie is that it reenacts in reverse the decline and fall of a giant monster movie series, as the monster destroys the enemies of the main characters and then goes on to destroy everything else. That plot itself is just a slight variant on the standard mad scientist plot; maybe there's some deep insight into giant monster movies here.

Meanwhile, south of the border, where people make films because they want to, South Korean monster Yongary continues to thrive in such films as Yonggary [sic], Yongary, Monster From the Deep, and Yongary Glen Ross.

Just Whack It: On that note, we turn to food. (I'm posting a lot of entries today partly because I'm testing new NewsBruiser features that take effect when you post an entry.) I've tried a bunch of plastic devices that are supposed to help you crack the skin off garlic cloves. I say they are all useless.

The worst ones are flat and you're supposed to wrap it around garlic and push down. This is really aggravating because it takes too long to set up. The better ones are cylindrical and you put the garlic inside and push down. This is better. But what you should actually do is just whack the garlic glove with the flat of your chef's knife. You're already using the chef's knife, and you'll have to wash it anyway. So save yourself some trouble.

On cooking shows they place the flat of the knife against the clove of garlic and press down gently, putting their fingers in the most horrible danger. I do not know why they do this, because it can't help them avoid lawsuits. I was always afraid to follow their example, and to avoid doing so I kept buying garlic-clove-cracking devices, but now I say: just whack it.


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