25
May
2010

A 15 year veteran special eduvation teacher at the Canandaigua Academy in Canandaigua, NY has been accused of sexual relations with one student, and encouraging two others to have a sexual relationship with her.

37-year-old Marls Gurecki-Haskins surrendered to the police yesterday after being accused of engaging in oral sex with a student in a classroom during school hours.  She is also accused of having sent text messages and electronic communications to two different 16-year-old students that encouraged them to engage in a sexual relationship with her, but neither of these two boys are known to have progressed to the physical stage.

Ms. Gurecki-Haskins pleaded not guilty to charges of official misconduct, sending indecent materials to a minor and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.  She was not charged with with rape or serious sex crimes due to the age of consent being 17 in the state of New York, and she is only suspected of having had sexual contact with the older boy.

Ms. Gurecki-Haskins is said to be married, and to have recently had a baby.  She is currently on administrative leave from the school.

Check out all of the teacher sex scandals of 2009 I covered, as well as the growing list of teacher sex scandals of 2010.

24
May
2010

Monday’s are usually Moronic Mondays, but considering the massive stories that broke this Monday, there was no way we could hold them to Tuesday.  From Arrington to Twitter, it had to be one of the biggest days in the blogosphere in a very long time.

(Links by Steven for some of the stories we discuss in this episode)

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24
May
2010
Written by  |  under Movies, TV, Writing  |  3 Comments

When LOST started, I was intrigued by the concept. Then it started to get out it was all going to be a big mystery, and I decided, “You know, I’m going to wait until its all over. If people are satisfied with it, I’ll go back and watch it, but I don’t have time for frustration in my life from something that is supposed to entertain me.”

Guess I can skip watching those six seasons, eh?

(Spoilers from here on out, you have been warned)

Even though I didn’t watch LOST, I was actually fairly up on what was going on from all of the pop culture blogs I read, and from friends who would talk to me about it and so on.  Early on in the first season I told one friend, “Mark my words, this has something to do with Purgatory.”  I reached this conclusion on my own, as many others did, also.

I tuned in and watched the last 45 minutes of the finale last night …

I have watched die-hard fans of this show scrambling all day going, “The island wasn’t purgatory!”  No, the island wasn’t purgatory, but it sure as heck was connected to it, now wasn’t it?  At the end of the day, you still ended up with a Purgatory-slant to this series, and once again a series is ruined by the use of deus ex machina.

From Wikipedia:

A deus ex machina (pronounced /?de?.?s ?ks ?m??ki?n?/ or /?di?.?s ?ks ?mæk?n?/,[1], DAY-?s eks MAH-kee-n?) (Latin for “god from the machine”; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new character, ability, or object.

Battlestar Galactica suffered from this also in the form of the song “All Along The Watchtower” being not only the item to unite certain characters at a specific time to reveal a big secret, but it also being the musical form of the mathematical equation that brings them to Earth in the end.  (there was a lot wrong with the end of that show, but it didn’t all qualify for this problem)

For LOST, it was just one thing after another would just suddenly change the show without any warning, and that was because the writers felt they could get away with it due to the nature of the show.  What you got left with were a ton of unanswered questions (from my understanding of it, and from looks of activity on Lostpedia), and dissatisfied fans.  It is true that with a show like this, you could never please all of the fans.  There is no doubt about it, but the way this series seems to have pleased such a small minority that it only goes to speak to what I’ve thought for a long time: The writers were making this up as they went.

If you want to launch something big and intricate like LOST or Battlestar Galactica, you need to have plotted out everything before hand.  You need to not just throw things at the wall, take a look at what sticks and then goes in the direction that takes them.  There is an old saying in writing that (and I’m paraphrasing here) “if you hang a gun on the wall, you had better take it down and use it”, meaning don’t waste time on things you never plan to use.  The writers of LOST hung guns all over the walls, hung from the ceiling, mounted them to the floor and pretty much built a house out of them, and yet they only took a handful of them down to use.

Writers today simply don’t know how to end things.  They get a great concept, they get knee-deep in it, they may even know the very ending, but they don’t know how to connect point A to point B, and it’s getting infuriating.  Of course, doing “alternate endings” of the show mocking other controversial endings (video below) doesn’t help the case that you knew what you were doing.  The guys behind LOST took the easy way out, and that is simply because they had no clue what they were doing.  Never mind all the mysteries they set up that they knew their fans had vested time, energy and love into, and they couldn’t be bothered to solve half of them.

I’m not even a true LOST watcher and this whole thing annoyed me, but it’s more because it is a symptom of television and movies today.  How many other potentially good shows were set aside over the past six seasons or so to keep this show going?  Who knows, all I know is it’s over, and I can good riddance to hearing people trying to figure out puzzles that apparently never had a solution.

If you liked the ending of LOST, more power to you.  I don’t plan to sit here and have a never-ending debate about the merits of the ending … whether or not it was Purgatory … whether it was satisfactory, if you enjoyed it, enjoy it, my opinion shouldn’t change yours one iota.

23
May
2010

Why does Ikea have an aversion to putting stickers on furniture parts?

Would it kill Ikea to put removable stickers on things that say things, like, oh, I don’t know, “A”?  Maybe get wild and use the whole alphabet and label all the parts?

After the last time I wrote about Ikea, I thought I would swear them off.  However, I really did like the way the Detolf displays looked, and I decided to be brave and get three more. Much to my surprise, the company had actually improved the construction and we didn’t have to make any modifications this time. Sweet! They actually do improve things!

So, I ended up deciding I needed a new dresser because, well, um, you see, I have had the same dresser my entire life … I’m not kidding. It was a hand me down from my Dad, and it was his dresser in the 1950′s. To be blunt, the drawers were not meant to hold the cloths of a man who is 6’4″ and just under 300 lbs. “Oh, look! I got a pair of jeans in this drawer! On to the next drawer!”  Not wanting to kill the budget, I turned to Ikea.

I ended up getting two items from the Hemnes collection, one of them being this 8-drawer chest you see pictured here.  I will say it was easy to build, but I got really, really tired of counting holes.  “Okay, this next piece in the drawing has … it looks like five holes … oh wait, six, I missed the one at the bottom.”  Would it kill them to say, “A” and then I find the piece with the little removable decal that says “A”?  Would that really be so difficult?

It’s assembled, it looks great, but yeesh it took my dad helping me to get this thing done in four hours.  We could have probably shaved an hour off of that if they would just label things!

23
May
2010

writingA total of 58 this week … I think I’ll go curl up in a ball in the corner now.

FunJug.com

Photo.BLORGE.com

RememberingChristmas.com

SeanPAune.com

Tablet.BLORGE.com

Tech.BLORGE.com

TechnoBuffalo.com

22
May
2010

Maybe the world just wanted to shake off the horrors of disco, but by golly 1980 was made of total awesomeness when it came to pop culture.

Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back (the second or fifth Star Wars film depending on how you want to look at it).  Yesterday U.S. time was also the 30th anniversary of Pacman being released in Japan, while not the first video game, it was the first to enter true mainstream acceptance.  Coming up in July will mark the 30th anniversary of the first Gundam model going on sale, and while not hugely known in America, that franchise has gone on to sell 400 million model kits world wide.

Did someone just flip a switch at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1st, 1980 and declare it the year of awesome?  Not only that, but a good chunk of the decade went on to be pretty spectacular for the world of pop culture (where my heart obviously resides).  The first year of the 1980′s was just packed with iconic and famous films such as Caddyshack, Raging Bull, The Elephant Man, Fame, Private Benjamin, Xanadu … just seeing if you were paying attention.  There is no denying it was a pretty stellar year for film, though.

I think I shall try to ignore the fact that all of this is making me feel old, and I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back nine times in the theater …

21
May
2010

It’s Friday, and around the Braindead Techcast, that means it’s TechMeme Friday!  Woo-hoo!  Nothing like making fun of a whole bunch of stories all in one shot!  As always, we just head down the TechMeme page and comment on each story, stopping to comment on the most interesting ones, and mock the others.

(Links by Steven for some of the stories we discuss in this episode)

Search more securely with encrypted Google web search – The Official Google Blog
FTC Closes its Investigation of Google AdMob Deal – Federal Trade Commission
An Open Letter to our Valued Customers – AT&T
Facebook confirms plans for ‘simple’ privacy settings – CNET News
Sayonara, iPhone: Why I’m Switching to Android – Daniel Lyons
Security Issues Could Force Facebook to Slow Down Product Development – Inside Facebook
Y Combinator Closes New $8.25 Million Fund, Sequoia Is Lead Investor – TechCrunch
Apple Officially Ends ‘Get a Mac’ Campaign, Revamps ‘Why You’ll Love a Mac’ Feature – MacRumors
US Court: RapidShare Not Guilty of Copyright Infringement – TorrentFreak
iPad Sold Out at Many Apple Stores – Digital Daily

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21
May
2010

Scattercast is 96 … and counting down to #100!

This week is mostly some more thoughts on all of the television announcements from this week that I’ve already covered.  Also a brief mention of Megan Fox leaving Transformers 3 … oh, and more ramblings from me about traveling.

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subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.

20
May
2010

Steven and I are a bit all over the place this episode as we discuss Australia not wanting your porn (but we think New Zealand does!) to the Parents Television Council hating on CBS.

… and then we finally talk tech news -cough-

Is Google TV really going to be any good?

Does Windows Phone 7 have a future?

Tune in and found out what sound my phone makes when I get a text message …

(Links by Steven for some of the stories we discuss in this episode)

Announcing Google TV: TV meets web. Web meets TV. – The Official Google Blog
Google TV – So What? The Distributors Have All The Control – Silicon Valley Watcher
CBS’ New ‘$#*!’ Raises $#*! From Parents Council - The Wrap
Don’t plan on taking that copy of Playboy on your trip to Australia – The Inquisitr
Where’s My TV With 20 HDMI Slots? – TechnoBuffalo
New images of Windows Phone 7 running on an LG – WinExtra

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20
May
2010

CW LogoThe CW has released their new schedule.

(New shows are in bold)

THE CW’s 2010-2011 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

MONDAY
8:00-9:00 PM 90210 (new time)
9:00-10:00 PM GOSSIP GIRL

TUESDAY
8:00-9:00 PM ONE TREE HILL (new time)
9:00-10:00 PM LIFE UNEXPECTED (new time)

WEDNESDAY
8:00-9:00 PM AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL
9:00-10:00 PM HELLCATS

THURSDAY
8:00-9:00 PM THE VAMPIRE DIARIES
9:00-10:00 PM NIKITA

FRIDAY
8:00-9:00 PM SMALLVILLE
9:00-10:00 PM SUPERNATURAL (new time)

Show descriptions at the “Continue Reading” link
Continue Reading ->

20
May
2010

You know what a good career move is?  To be in a successful movie franchise and decide at the last minute you don’t want to be in the third film.  Always a good way to instill confidence in future projects.

One of the worst things about the Transformers movies has been Megan Fox. Her “acting” is about as wooden as a piece of lumber, and scenes with her have been pretty dreadful.  While it has been officially confirmed she will not be in Transformers 3, there is still a lot of confusion over what happened.

Back on May 4, Ms. Fox was spotted with what was clearly a new version of the Camaro that is the car form of Bumblebee.  It appeared it was some sort of test shots for the film.  Last week at the Cannes Film Festival, Shia LaBeouf confirmed he would be reporting to set on Tuesday of this week, so the film is definitely in production.

The yesterday came the news that Paramount had opted to not pick up Megan Fox’s option for the third film.  However, an official statement from her rep said today:

Megan Fox will not be starring in Transformers 3. It was her decision not to return. She wishes the franchise the best.

So, depending on which version you believe, she was either fired or quit, but the end result is she is out of the film.

While this should be a joyous time for fans who would like to still see a movie that actually focuses on the Autobots and Decepticons, a scramble is now on to pick a new female lead.  While they may pick an actress who actually, you know, acts, it makes for other troubling problems.

First off, due to the late date, they will now have to scramble to retrofit the script to accommodate a new female character.  We will also lost some screen time explaining why Mikaela Banes is no longer in the story.  Then introducing a new female into Sam’s life will include some set-up time, plus the scene we will get of him having to explain what the Transformers are to this character.

In short, we got rid of a horrible actress, but we just got saddled with a ton of scenes that will drive viewers nuts as we have to find a way to integrate a new love interest into the story.  Here’s a wild idea … how about we dump the love interest and actually concentrate on the Transformers … you know, the title characters?  Just a wild thought, I know.

As for Ms. Fox, no matter what the true story is, good luck on getting studios to actually believing you are trustworthy when it comes to your commitments.

20
May
2010

The Google I/O Conference dominated the news today, and looks set to do it again tomorrow with the potential launch of Google TV.  As for today the big news was the announcement of the mSpot musical service which … we’re not quite sure if this is a good idea or not.

So, Yahoo has gotten itself out of debt recently … and now it looks like it really, really wants to get back into it.  No clue why.

Hey, did you know Google Wave is now open to everyone?!?  … and yet the tumbleweeds continue to roll through …

(Links by Steven for some of the stories we discuss in this episode)

Proof That Google TV Will Make Its Debut Tomorrow – TechCrunch
Did Yahoo! Just Pave Its Way To Finally Buying AOL? – The Next Web
An open marketplace for web apps – Google Chrome Store
Cloud-Based iTunes, Thy Name Is mSpot – TechnoBuffalo
Google Wave Available for Everyone – Google Wave Blog

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