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Friday, December 12, 2008

On the Set of McG's 'Terminator Salvation'

We go toe to toe with the latest Terminator.

Christian Bale as John Connor and Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation

Christian Bale as John Connor and Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright in Terminator Salvation

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Rising up from the plateau of the Albuquerque desert is the burned remnants of a concrete highway overpass, and on the ledge, a figure is about to jump. Dressed in a black bomber jacket and combat boots, with weaponry slung about his waist, he hesitates for a second and then plummets head first to the ground. He's Christian Bale, and he's the newest Terminator.

"Hey, Christian, that looked great!" The voice belongs to a tall figure in a Penguin shirt, black shorts, and a white Stetson, hidden from the desert heat in a makeshift tent. McG watches the action from behind several monitors but also keeps an eagle eye on the set towering above him. "Did you see me start to spin though?" laughs Bale, before downing a bottle of red Vitamin Water.

Bale is hoisted on wires to the top of the set for yet another take, this time joined by a few members of his heavily armed resistance group. The atmosphere on the set seems to shift subtly, a palpable sense of tension rising as set medics gather around.

"Standby!" A low hissing noise is audible. "Everyone got what they need? Picture's up! Fire in the hole! We are rolling... 3-2-1. Action!" Just as Bale tosses a bag over the ledge, a massive explosion blasts the actors from the edge of the concrete structure. Chips of wood, charcoal and other debris scatter over the set in a brown rainstorm. The acrid odor that follows the explosion is quickly replaced the unmistakable smell of... sewage. A cleaning service, blissfully blind to the fact that one of 2009's most expensive and highly anticipated films is shooting a key action sequence, has just cleaned out the set's portable toilets. A mind-numbing stench settles over the set, and actors and crew flee in all directions, covering their noses.

Back in the editing room, McG, the maverick director perhaps best known for the 2000's big screen version of Charlie's Angels, is unable to contain his passion for Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins, aka T4. McG freely reveals innumerous crucial plot points of the story and describes in detail how the movie, slated to be the first in a reboot of the series, opens.


"You start with storyboards," he says. "I want Connor to run up and get into his chopper. He thinks there is a pilot [in the helicopter]. He touches him on the shoulder. He falls out dead. One single shot to the head. He realizes it is the mark of a Terminator. Connor is proficient [in flying]. He gets in and takes off in his helicopter. Through the window we see the body of the communication outpost below and it implodes before it explodes like all those nuclear test films [from the 1960s] that we all saw. The shock wave hits his helicopter. He goes into a flat spin, but ultimately lands. The camera stays fixed inside the cockpit, and we stay with him as he crawls out. We shift to a steadicam and go with him, arch around until we see the body of the cloud of the explosion behind him, and we register his grief. But before he can do anything about it, he is interrupted by the hand of the Terminator which he landed on on the way in. And then they battle in a way designed to replicate the Sarah Connor battle at the end of the first [Terminator film] — like mother, like son. He ultimately [destroys] it with it with a machine gun.

"The interesting thing about this movie is that Connor comes to be under suspicion. Command will look at him and say, 'How come you keep coming through these things alive? And you know so much about the machines? What is that all about?' And they point a finger at him while the audience is realizing..." and here McG's voice is raised to an indignant shout: "... that is fucking John Connor! If anybody is on the side of humanity, it is this guy!' One thing I learned from Amy Pascal at Sony," he muses, "is make sure your hero deserves all the credit in the world and gets none. And that is John Connor."

And in T4, John Connor is Christian Bale, arguably Hollywood's most sought-after male lead for both action and drama. The film plots John Connor's early rise as leader of the Tech-Com human resistance against Skynet after their destruction of much of humanity in a devastating nuclear holocaust. "He is extremely focused," says McG of the Batman franchise star. "He is deeply in tune with his instrument. He diets judiciously. He is very methodical and well prepared. He asks a great many questions. We work on the script day and night."

But the film is not exclusively centered on John Connor. Much screen time will be dedicated to developing the parallel history of Marcus Wright, a member of the resistance who befriends Connor but who is later revealed to be a decommissioned Terminator. Wright has no memory of his past: his earliest recollection is of being on death row. It is up to Connor to figure out if Wright, who did not figure in the prophecy handed down to him by his mother, is someone from the past or perhaps sent from the future.

For the role of Marcus Wright, McG picked little known Australian actor Sam Worthington, who first drew the attention of international critics for his nuanced performance in the indie flick Somersault. That led to other roles and eventually the coveted male lead in James Cameron's highly anticipated Avatar. Cameron, who directed the first two Terminator films, vetted Worthington as the ideal choice for Marcus Wright, but the main recommendation came from a fellow actor from Down Under.

"I just wanted a guy who you could hit with a shovel and it would look like he could shake it off," says McG, "I find that a great many of today's young male actors are pussies. They are waify, and they are all sort of heroin chic. Sam is a fundamentally tough guy from Western Australia. He's a no-tears kind of guy. Truthfully, it was an email I got from Russell Crowe that said, 'You won't be sorry if you cast this guy.'"

For Worthington, the movie is about beginnings: "How did John Connor become John Connor? In this one he is not the general, the leader as such, as yet. He is working his way up the ranks. How did Kyle Reese become Kyle Reese, the Michael Biehn that we know from the first one?" Worthington was sent the script and wanted to play the role but was cautious about stepping into a franchise that had been created by the director that had just cast him in his biggest movie role to date, by the man who will make him a star of the future. "I wanted [Jim's] blessing to be honest, getting into something as big as this and after working with him for so long. It is his baby. I did not want to do it if it were a crap move."

The weight of taking on the mantle to continue one of the most successful and beloved sci-fi series in cinema history is not lost on Worthington: "It's a big thing. The movie has got a lot of history, and a lot of people love it. You just don't want to fuck it up, to be honest. So that is what keeps going on in my head... We hound McG all the time to try and get this story right because you read all about [if there] should be another one. What is the point of us making another one? We've got The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Why are we doing T4? So, what do we want to say? Yeah, it is a big popcorn movie, but what are we trying to say on a deeper level?"

Aside from the pressures of living up to the past and communicating the sociopolitical message of the film, the sheer physicality of the part is also taxing. "We have torn many muscles," says Worthington. "I was doing a fight scene. The guy was a dead weight, and as I pulled him off I just tore all my intercostal muscles. But you just pump yourself full of painkillers and keep going. Then get another bruise and worry about that."

The new installment in the series will be the first not to star Arnold Schwarzenegger or Linda Hamilton, although the director does hint that the now Governor of California may have a "special appearance" in the picture. McG, who says he spoke with Schwarzenegger about the Terminator character, says he was "very supportive" of T4. But, jokes McG, "He was mad at us for not shooting in California!"

Anamorphic Art: Images That Morph Before Your Eyes

newscientist.com — An anamorphic image is one that can only be interpreted when viewed from a particular angle or through a transforming optical device like a mirror.



The Ambassadors
(1533) by Hans Holbein the Younger

The skull in this painting (best seen standing to the right of it), hanging in the National Gallery in London is regarded as the most famous piece of anamorphic art, but the anamorphism is not immediately obvious and many people need to be told where to look to find it.

When the painting was first in the possession of the National Gallery, it took some years before anyone solved the puzzle of the "splodge" in the front of it, appearing to spoil an otherwise detailed painting.
Many sixteenth century European portraits include skulls as reminders of death

Copyright: The National Gallery, London


click here for the rest: Anamorphic Art: Images That Morph Before Your Eyes

YOUTUBE BOOB ADDRESS

Barack Obama is learning how to speak to the internet crowd.

Santa's Not Coming: All KB Toys Stores To Be Liquidated And Closed

KB Toys has returned to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, says the Wall Street Journal, and will be liquidated by its parent company — Prentice Capital Management.

"Going out of business" sales will begin quickly at the chain's 277 retail outlets, 40 larger KB Toy Works stores, 114 outlet stores and 30 temporary "holiday stores."

The WSJ says the liquidation was prompted by a 20% decrease in sales in the second half of this year.

The article had no information about the fate of KB Toys gift cards (though KB Toys website says they have suspended sales of gift cards for the 2008 season) — a detail that is up to the bankruptcy court. Generally, gift card holders are considered "unsecured creditors" unless provisions are made for the store to continue redeeming the cards.

Know anything about KB Toys gift card policy during liquidation? Email us at tips@consumerist.com

KB Toys Faces Liquidation [WSJ]
Gift Card Rules [KB Toys]
KB Toys Succumbs to Holiday Slump [NYT]
KB Toys Files Bankruptcy, Citing ‘Sudden’ Sales Drop (Update2) [Bloomberg]

HP laptops get new battery that charges quicker, lasts longer

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. -- HP plans to offer as an optional upgrade for some consumer notebooks a new kind of lithium ion battery that charges faster than regular batteries and lasts three times longer.

The battery is made by Boston-Power, which announced iut as the Sonata battery. HP will re-brand the battery as the HP Enviro battery, and start offering them early next year.

Conventional batteries offer roughly 300 charge cycles before becoming useless. The Sonata, or Enviro, promises 1,000. HP will sell the Enviro with a three-year warranty.

The new battery should allow an 80-percent charge in thirty minutes, which is better performance compared with conventional lithium ion batteries.

HP has not announced pricing.

Sweden's #1 Destination - ICEHOTEL


icehotel.com — ICEHOTEL is the best experience in Sweden. This according to French, German, British, Dutch and Italian tour operators. The entire ICEHOTEL is on loan from the mighty Torne River and is a place where time stands still. The ICEHOTEL art is a unique experience. Every year new suites and new art work is created by carefully selected artists.


click here

Sweden's #1 Destination - ICEHOTEL

Why Minority Report-Style OS Is Coming To PCs Sooner Than You Think

| posted by Kit Eaton

Windows Icons Mice and Pointers--the WIMP environment is how we've been piloting our computers since the clever guys at Xerox PARC developed the system in the early 1970's. The mouse itself has just turned 40 years old. But a number of technologies are just about to change everything, and bring Minority Report-alike futuristic computer interfaces into reality.

Our interaction with technology is already more physical than typing and mice: Nintendo's Wii is raking in the cash because the motion-sensing Wiimote allows for a degree of "natural" control over games that's not been seen before. Apple's iPhone and its laptops, incorporate multi-touch technology, making sophisticated command-interactions with the devices as easy as touching their surfaces in different ways.

Hands-free gesture interactions are an everyday occurrence too. Sony's EyeToy webcam plugin for the PlayStation lets you play games by running, jumping, waving and punching on the spot while the webcam stares at you and the CPU works out how what the heck you're up to.

Key to driving our gadgets into an even more gesture-based future are a couple of technological breakthroughs.

Firstly, position and movement sensing is now cheap and reliable enough to be simply incorporated into everyday gadgets. Microscopic semiconductor accelerometers in the iPhone sense how you're waving it about. The Wii, meanwhile, combines accelerometers with an infra-red positioning system to locate the Wiimote in 3D space in near-real time.

Secondly, display technology is developing almost faster than technology writers can keep up with it. The humble LCD has gone through a trillion refinements, and can now be reliably manufactured in sizes that would've dazzled its inventors. Panasonic have crafted a single-unit plasma display used in a gargantuan 150-inch TV. Flat displays are now also flexible. But industry is already exploring standards for displaying 3D imagery on future TVs, and holographic displays are being invented left, right and center.

Most importantly of all, integrated circuit revolutions of all types, from cell architecture to shrinking transistor sizes have given CPUs potentially "spare" power. This means devices can perform all the motion-capturing, interpret it, apply it to controling software and display the results with ease. And do it cheaply too.

Sensing the future, Apple has just patented an enhanced version of its desktop that incorporates 3D elements and "real physics" properties: dropping a file gets a more literal meaning. And Oblong Industrie has seized the Minority Report idea, and combined existing technologies into a prototype UI called G-Speak. If it looks amazingly similar to the way Tom Cruise interacted with his machines it's because one of the company founders worked on the movie.

WIMP works because it's a closer analog to traditional paper and pen desks, and it sealed the fate of text-based command-line computing. But traditional paper-based desktops don't fully marry with how we really interact with objects: items have 3D physical properties. We move them in three dimensions, we organise, associate thoughts, feelings, impressions with, and get new ideas from physical objects very differently.

Which is why 3D fully-interactive gesture-based user interfaces, thanks to technological paradigm shifts, will be on your desktop--or hovering above it--sometime sooner than you think.


30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

  • By Entertainment Mog
    ()

playboy-logo-194x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

It was recently announced that Christie Hefner, daughter of Hugh Hefner, will be stepping down as the CEO of Playboy in January 2009.

So, do you know what that means?!?!

Someone NEW gets to be the CEO of Playboy! Here is a list of those who we think would be great front runner candidates for the job as new CEO for Playboy.

1. Jerry Yang

jerry-yang-300x201 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy Who is Jerry Yang? Yang is the co-founder and CEO of Yahoo!, a multi-service website with email services, a search engine, clubs, chat services, news, and more. He recently made an announcement that he will stand down as CEO.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Jerry can only go up. After making the wrong call on a decision that literally costs billions of dollars and losing his job, the guy can only go up. Have you ever SEEN the stuff that goes on with Yahoo Chat? He’s completely prepared for a little soft core porn.

Secondly, this could be a new generation for Playboy. Yang could help them go high tech. You would be able to get the Playmate of the Month on your start page and chat with the Playmates. There could also be special clubs and forums starring the Playmates. He’s already got ins with other search companies for cutting deals.
Odds: 5 to 1 (that his balls are, indeed, as big as he demonstrates above)

2. Holly Madison

holly-madison2-207x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Holly Madison?

Madison is one of the Playmates and costar of Hugh Hefner’s “The Girls Next Door” series on the E! Channel. Holly Madison not only appeared on the cover (and inside) Playboy magazine in November 2005, but also was on Playboy’s website as Cyber Girl of the Week in 2003.

Why the CEO for Playboy?
Who better to run Playboy than one of the Playmates?

She’s been a fixture in the mansion and the business for the past few years and knows how the company works. She has attended some college and knows the innerworkings of what keeps Playboy running. Now that she’s out of the mansion, it may be time to get her into the boardroom

Odds: 10 to 1 (that Cris Angel magically convinces her that he should be in charge instead)

3. Joe Rogan

joe-rogan-206x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Joe Rogan? Comedian, actor, and television personality Joe Rogan has been famous in show business since about 1995 when he was cast in the television sitcom “News Radio”. In 2001, he began a variety of different things such as hosting NBC’s “Fear Factor” and co-hosting Comedy Central’s “The Man Show“. His other huge road to fame is the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) circuit where he is a commentator for the sport and now hosts “UFC Wired”.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Joe would give an entire new dimension to Playboy. If Playboy is looking for something different and a new marketing strategy, then Joe’s your man. How about the UFP (Ultimate Fighting Playmate)? It would be awesome! They’d have to be naked, of course. After all, it’s Playboy. You may think it’s sexy, but things could get hairy from time to time, with ears and cotton tails flying all over the place.
Odds: 30 to 1 (that Joe can get Holly to tap with a rear naked choke.)

4. Eliott Spitzer

elliott-spitzer-300x225 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Elliott Spitzer? Elliott Spitzer is a lawyer and former Governor for New York. On March 17, 2008, he resigned as governor due to his involvement as a client in an upscale prostitution ring.

Why the CEO for Playboy? With an undergraduate degree from Princeton and law degree from Harvard, Spitzer is well educated and was seen a great leader until his prostitution scandal. With Spitzer’s biggest weakness being scantily clad women, he should thrive in the Playboy environment. It would also be a great place for him to rebuild his reputation as a leader and an innovator.

I’m thinking he has a good shot if he remembers to keep his pants on and his black socks off. We KNOW Eliot can spot talent.
Odds: 40 to 1(that he gets cut last minute for not taking his black socks off before a threesome)

5. Dana White

dana-white-300x199 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Dana White? Dana White is the President of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). He has a background as an aerobics instructor and also a background in martial arts.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Getting past the obvious UFC/Playboy images that are going through your head, Dana White is a leader and an amazing business man. Rolling Stone has even said, “Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, may soon be hailed as the greatest sports promoter ever, of all time, bigger even than boxing’s Don King.” Dana White took dying sport that was illegal in 36 states and turned into a money making machine. Imagine what he could do with Playboy if he got his hands on it.

Wouldn’t it be a cool marketing strategy to organize UFC-type fights with the Playmates? The last one standing could be the Playmate of the month. Or even better yet, market it to the public and see how many men would like to fight (or wrestle) with a Playmate.

He’s got a pretty sweet gig, so he’s a long shot, but hot girls beats sweaty dudes any day of the week hands down.
Odds: 50 to 1(that he let’s Junie Browning be the Vice President of Operations)

6. Ellen DeGeneres

ellen-degeneres-225x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

ellen-degenres 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Ellen DeGeneres?

Ellen is a successful stand up comedienne, actress, talk show host, and television personality. She is currently most famous for her talk show “The Ellen DeGeneres Show“. Though she’s done countless things to make her famous in show biz, she’s probably best known for how much she likes the ladies.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

Okay, it’s true that Ellen may have no idea what a man likes, but she sure knows what’s sexy in a woman. You have to admit, she has good taste in women.

Odds: 60 to 1 (that she will continue to allow men in the mansion)

7. Ron Jeremy

ron-jeremy-221x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Ron Jeremy? Ron Jeremy is a former pornographic actor. Though he has been in non-pornographic films, he’s best known for his porn films, and having a member large enough to warrant it’s own spot on the list.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Ron has more experience in the adult industry than anyone on this list. He knows what works and he may be exactly what Playboy needs, another high profile high energy, well respected leader. Move over Hef, here comes Ron (no pun intended - sorry for the mental).

Ron Jeremy has already been in the porn industry and has gotten a lot of attention and notoriety. Also, I don’t know about you, but the ladies might really take a liking to him. It could be good for morale around the Playboy mansion.

Odds: 100 to 1 (that the hedgehog will be trimming bushes at the mansion)

8. Ron Paul

ron-paul-300x200 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Ron Paul? Ron Paul is a United Stated Congressman from Texas. He also has written books and ran for the President of the United States.

Why the CEO for Playboy? I think Playboy could really promote the “All-American Girl” thing with Ron Paul as their CEO. You can’t get much more patriotic than a Congressman. Do you think it’ll matter that he’s a Republican?

Ron was also on the House Banking Committee and is not afraid to stand up for what is right. Playboy could use Ron Paul’s experience in understanding how to fix faltering financial institutions.
Odds: 1000 to 1(that he moves to LA post politics)

9. Sean Combs

puff-daddy-240x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Sean Combs? It’s Puff Daddy! Okay, so he was originally known to us as Puff Daddy. He has since changed his stage name to P. Diddy, and now it’s just “Diddy“. Combs is a rapper, record producer, actor, men’s fashion designer, and entrepreneur.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Diddy is a marketing genius. He owns Bad Boy Entertainment Worldwide which owns Bad Boy Records, a movie production company and 2 restaurants. He is a writer, producer, actor, and clothing designer. He has turned remaking old songs into a $340 Million+ empire. If anybody can turn Playboy into a media monster and return it to its glory day, its Diddy, or Puffy, or P or whatever the hell he’s going by now.

If “The Hef” thinks that Playboy could use a new look, then Puff Daddy might just be the person to do it. We already know that he’s capable of successfully marketing entertainment. He would jazz up Playboy and make it more hip for the 21st century. He’d give the Playboy mansion a little more style and maybe even orchestrate a rap number with the Playmates in it. He could also orchestrate a photo shoot called “Nothin’ but Bling” where the girls are wearing just that - nothin’ but bling.
Odds: 10 to 1 (that he can throw a better party at the mansion)

10. Mark Cuban

mark-cuban-300x214 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of PlayboyWho is Mark Cuban? Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, a billionaire, owner of the Dallas Mavericks (an NBA basketball team), and chairman of HDNet and HDTV Cable Network. There is usually some sort of controversy going on with him because of his criticism, mainly of the referees in the NBA. He’s been fined repeatedly for these incidents. Though it may sound like he’s an ass, Cuban stated that he matches each fine with a charitable donation.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Not only does Mark Cuban own the Dallas Mavericks, which means we could have Playmates for cheerleaders but he is an incredible successful businessman. A working class guy from Pittsburgh, after being fired from one of his first real jobs out of college Cuban built up and sold his first company for $2M. Cuban then took the $2M he netted from selling his first company into $2.8 billion (what he retained after Yahoo bought his second company Broadcast.com). Now if he could have that kind of return with Playboy, the shareholders would sure to be impressed. No, Cuban doesn’t really need the money from Playboy, but the chance to surround himself with playmates may be a big enough sell to get him on board.
Odds: 20 to 1(that he trades the magazine to Cleveland to get Lebron on the Mavericks)

11. Anne Sweeney

anne-sweeney-300x210 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Anne Sweeney? Sweeney is the co-Chair of the Disney Media Network ABC-Disney Television Group. This group includes ABC Television Network, ABC News, ABC Daytimes, ABC Sports, ABC Entertainment, ABC Studios, ABC Family, The Disney Channel, Toon Disney, SOAPnet, and Jetix.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Breaking away from Disney and being the sole chair person would be a great challenge for Sweeney. She’s helped to produce hit television shows and build up the ABC network into a powerhouse. Imagine what she could do for Playboy! Turning that company around and returning it to its former glory would be an ever greater accomplishment than getting people to watch ABC. How did that happen again? At the end of the day, Disney is “The Happiest Place on Earth”. What do you think the Playboy mansion is? “The Happiest Place on Earth” if you’re a guy of course.
Odds: 1000 to 1(that Minnie Mouse ever poses as a Sweeney-era centerfold)

12. Arnold Schwarzenegger

arnold-schwarzenegger-220x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Arnold Schwarzenegger? Well, first of all, we all know Arnold, but here’s the lowdown on him anyway. Currently the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger (an Austrian native) was a body builder, actor, businessman and now a politician. His acting career is well known as he starred in huge hits such as “Conan the Barbarian” and the “Terminator” movie series. In November 2003, Schwarzenegger took office as the Governor of California.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to be a success at anything that he does, so this would be a good move for Playboy. As far as what’s in it for Arnold, well let’s see. He’s from Austria. He comes to this country, becomes an actor, marries a Kennedy, and becomes governor of the state of California. He’s living the epitome of the American Dream. There’s only one thing missing from his dream - Playboy!
Odds: 2000 to 1 (that Skynet takes control of the bunnies)

13. Bret Michaels

bret-michaels-300x198 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

bret-michaels1 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboybret-michaels 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of PlayboyWho is Bret Michaels? Musician and television personality Bret Michaels was first well known to us as the lead singer of the rock band “Poison”. However, starting on July 15, 2007, Bret debuted as the star of a reality show called “Rock of Love” where 25 sluts women compete to win Bret Michaels’ heart. The show has already gone through 2 seasons and the third is to air on January 4, 2009.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Bret Michaels would be perfect for this. You could have a new reality show called “Rock of Love - Playboy Edition” where the Playboy modes compete for Bret Michaels’ love and to be “Playmate of the Year”.
Odds: 200 to 1 (that Brett sings “Talk Dirty to Me” to a 12 playmates per year)

14. Carly Fiorina

carly-fiorina-215x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Carly Fiorina? In short, Fiorina is a successful financial consultant and business woman. She was formerly the vice-president at AT&T and organized the initial public offering of Lucent Technologies (a company made up of AT&T, Bell Labs, and Western Electric). Fiorina is also the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and was more recently an economic advisor for presidential candidate John McCain.

Why the CEO for Playboy? I think it’s time that Fiorina orchestrated a new “initial public offering” involving Playboy. Just the subject gets your mouth watering, doesn’t it? With all of her experience with technology and telecommunication, I think it’s time to bring back AT&T’s old tagline “Reach out and touch someone”, only in Playboy style.

Odds: 4000 to 1 (that she rolls out iPhone and BlackBerry Apps so men can better read the articles within a month)

15. Courtney Love

courtney-love-192x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Courtney Love?

Rock musician and actress Courtney Love is most famous for being the lead singer of the alternative rock group “Hole” as well as being famous for bad behavior and the short term marriage to Kurt Cobain. Love went through a bout of drugs that sent her on a downward spiral. After rehab, she has been producing songs that have an anti-drug message.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

The number one reason Courtney Love would make a good CEO for Playboy is the publicity. There’s a lot of it surrounding that girl. If her rehabilitation sticks, Playboy could go with an anti-drug theme with the Playmates and if it doesn’t, then Love could give Playboy a whole new kind of “bad girl” image.

Odds: 1,000,000 to 1 (that she bans all drugs at the mansion)

16. Joe Francis

joe-francis-272x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Joe Francis?

In 1997, Joe Francis started a company called Mantra Films Inc. and began his new business in marketing girls acting in a provocative manner at Mardi Gras and Spring Break. All men are intrigued by this. Who isn’t? Joe Francis is the one that had the bright idea to film and market it. He would soon be the founder and CEO of “Girls Gone Wild“.

Why the CEO for Playboy? I guess the better question would be “why not?” He made “Girls Gone Wild” a huge success. He obviously knows how to market naked women. This is a chance for Joe to move up in the world of nudity and it might be a relaxing break. Playboy girls are tame compared to what he’s used to.
Odds: 20 to 1 (that he will be checking every single ID at the door)

17. Curtis Jackson

50-cent-199x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of PlayboyWho is Curtis Jackson?

You know him better as rapper 50 Cent. Of course, Fitty is a famous rapper who has been on the scene since 1998. Before his career in rap, 50 Cent lives in Queens, NY dealing drugs and running with a gang. However, he redirected his focus to rapping rather than the illegal activities from his past. Along with rapping, 50 Cent has tried his hand in acting, though we still all know him best for his musical career in rap.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

50 Cent is an awesome success story since he came from such a tough background. Though he doesn’t belong to a gang anymore, he still has the tough guy image. It would be a new image for Playboy. He could even publicize it with a headline like “What Goin’ On at Hef’s Crib”. Him, Eminem, and Dr. Dre would make sure that the bills got paid every month.
Odds: 50 to 1 (that he charges girls to pose in the magazine)

18. Daniel Whitney

larry-the-cable-guy-300x214 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Daniel Whitney? You better know standup comic and actor Daniel Whitney as Larry the Cable Guy, a dim-witted redneck. Whitney did a lot of radio comedy in his early days and then went on the road with stand up. With his buddies, he became part of the Blue Collar Comedy crew in the early 1990s. Since then, he continues to be part of the Blue Collar Comedy crew, but also has done stand-up on his own and has been in some movies as well. Whitney is best known for saying (as Larry the Cable Guy) “Git-R-Done”.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Whitney would have so much fun as the CEO for Playboy. Could you imagine the publicity that he would get and the publicity that Playboy would get? I think they’d be good for each other. He could work his new career into his comedy act. And of course the new tag-line for Playboy would be, you guessed it, “Git-R-Done”.
Odds: 100,000 to 1 (that he sings the stockholder’s address as a country song)

19. Gary Kremen

gary-kremen 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Gary Kremen?

Gary Kremen is an American entrepreneur and the founder of match.com, a dating website. He also registered several domain names back in the early days of the Internet such as sex.com, jobs.com, autos.com, and housing.com. He has since sold these domains (for lots of money).

Why the CEO for Playboy?

Kremen could add a new dimension to Playboy and have a personals site with the Playboy models on it. He could call it bunnies.com or hefsbabes.com.


Odds: 500 to 1 (that he has mansion.com registered and a new virtual live at the mansion site ready to flip the switch on)

20. Kent Brownridge

kent-brownridge 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Kent Brownridge?

Kent Brownridge, a businessman is the CEO of “Maxim” and “OK!” magazines. Both of these magazines originated in the United Kingdom, but also have publications throughout the United States.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

We know that Brownridge has experience as a CEO. Also, you figure that he started at a celebrity magazine, then he became the CEO of “Maxim”. Playboy would not only be a step up, but the logical next step.

Odds: 30 to 1 (that he cares to leave Maxim for Playboy)

21. Larry Flynt

larry-flynt-300x225 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Larry Flynt?

Flynt is in the industry of marketing adult porn. What he’s most famous for is producing the Magazine “Hustler”. Flynt is the founder of Larry Flynt Publications and not only produces Hustler Magazine, but also produces pornographic videos.

Why the CEO for Playboy? First and foremost, Flynt has pornographic magazine experience. Secondly, the guy loves his job! The third reason that Flynt would be a good candidate for the new CEO for Playboy is that he would bring a raunchier side to the magazine. More rough, less fluff.
Odds: 5000 to 1 (that he can make Playboy nastier than Hustler)

22. Meg Whitman

meg-whitman-261x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Meg Whitman?

Up until March 2008, Meg Whitman was the CEO of eBay. When she became the CEO, the company only had about 30 employees. She is said to be one of the most successful businesswomen.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Meg Whitman is a brilliant business woman. She helped to build eBay from when it was barely a market place and is in need of a new challenge. Building up Playboy, which actually has a great product to start with would be exciting for her. She also has the background in new technology to understand all the challenges she will be faced with emerging media, AKA ‘people downloading free porn all of the Internet’.
Odds: 5000 to 1 (that she auctions the first centerfold for charity)

23. Oprah Winfrey

oprah-winfrey-225x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Oprah Winfrey? Oprah is a talk show host on the internationally syndicated talk show “Oprah”. Along with her many successes on her talk show, Oprah has dabbled in acting and currently has two magazines in publication, “O, The Oprah Magazine” and “O at Home”.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Oprah is also consistently ranked as one of the world’s most influential women. She co-founded the Oxygen Network which is designed to appeal to women. I think it’s about time she tried to appeal to men and took over Playboy, just as long as she isn’t in Playboy

Oprah would open the sensitive side to Playboy. She might get some of the Playmates to open up about their feelings and troubles. I think that the Playboy mansion would be a very relaxing place if Oprah was the CEO for Playboy. Also, she could publicize her new found title with a new magazine called “O My God” and it would talk about her entry into the pornographic industry.
Odds: 1000 to 1 (that she buys all the Playmates a car and a free book club subscription)

24. Pamela Anderson

pamela-anderson-225x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Pamela Anderson?

Pamela Anderson is an actress, model, and sex symbol. She’s known for her promiscuous attitude. She’s played on television shows such as “Home Improvement”, “Baywatch”, and “V.I.P.”. Perhaps a lot of men know who she is because she was Playmate of the Month in February 1990.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

Pam is very familiar with the magazine having posed on the cover a record 12 times and she also knows what’s sexy. She can also make history and be the first CEO to pose nude in Playboy.

Odds: 100 to 1 (that she poses as CEO Anderson for the 13th time)

25. Robert Ritchie

kid-rock-300x200 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of PlayboyWho is Robert Ritchie?

You may better know him by his stage name, Kid Rock. Kid Rock is most famous for his singing and songwriting, but he’s also done some acting. While most musicians stick with one genre, Kid Rock has talents and interests in many different genres in the music world as he sings rap, hard rock, southern rock, heavy metal, hip hop, blues, and country.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

Well, he was married to Pamela Anderson. You can’t get much closer to Playboy than that! Also, he’s got the “bad boy” image that the Playmates would love, so morale would be great. He spends every day around models, and definitely knows how to get women naked. Because he’s such an effective entertainer, I think Kid Rock could market almost anything, so Playboy would be a piece of cake!
Odds: 100 to 1 (that the playmates go on tour with the American Bad Ass)

26. Shawn Fanning

shawn-fanning-281x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of PlayboyWho is Shawn Fanning?

Computer programmer Shawn Fanning is the founder of Napster.com, a file sharing network on the Internet. The main attraction on Napster.com is to download music easily. Fanning actually got the idea for the site because he was having trouble downloading MP3 files. From there, he developed a program with an easier way to download music and the rest is history.

Why the CEO for Playboy? The answer to this question is simple. Playboy could go into the high tech industry of file sharing on the internet.
Odds: 10,000 to 1 (that he puts the image archives out on the web free to the world to piss off Metallica…err…Hef)

27. Tom Anderson

tom-anderson-191x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Tom Anderson?
Whether you realize it or not, you probably already know “Tom”. Tom Anderson is the founder and president of MySpace.com, a social networking website. When anyone sets up an account with MySpace, they always start out with a default “friend” - Tom. Tom has about 250 million friends on MySpace.

Why the CEO of Playboy? Tom Anderson is the most popular person that I can think of, though most of us just know him as “Tom”. I think he could market Playboy very effectively with over 250 million friends on his side. Also, you figure that Tom already has 250 million friends. Adding on several Playboy Playmates isn’t going to do any harm!

What are your thoughts? Do you think any of these candidates would be suitable? Do you have additional reasons why you feel that may be suitable? Are there any other candidates that you could think of that would be great as the CEO for Playboy?
Odds: 1000 to 1 (that MySpace gets the exclusive distribution deal for Playboy’s content)

28. Stephen Colbert

stephen-colbert-300x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Stephen Colbert?

Colbert is a comedian, actor, and writer that specializes in satire and parodies. He first became famous in his role in Comedy Central’s “Strangers with Candy” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show. His brilliance has made him famous.

Why the CEO for Playboy?

Maybe Stephen Colbert could give Playboy a new image, one full of parodies. He could really play up the “dumb blonde” thing, but make it sexy. He understands how America works, and is a true American Hero. He loves apple pie, an is truly the best man for the job.
Odds: 2 to 1 (that he is top voted for and most qualified for the job)

29. Jenna Jameson

jenna-jameson-230x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy Who is Jenna Jameson?

Jenna Jameson is a well known adult film star who has built her own empire. She is getting past her prime as a performer, but is running her own production company - Club Jenna.

Why the CEO for Playboy? Jenna is already quite familiar with adult entertainment, but she is a blossoming businessperson too. She’s currently an author, speaker, and model, and has started to succeed with her own company. She could be the motivation to have Playboy go more hard core in a classy fashion. Her attention to details has made her one of the most watched women on the planet.
Odds: 500 to 1 (that we’ll see penetration in the first quarter magazines)

30. Bill Clinton

bill-clinton-213x300 30 People Who Could Be the Next CEO of Playboy

Who is Bill Clinton?

Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States and was in office from 1993 to 2001. That’s what he’s most famous for. What he infamous for is the sex scandal(s), one of which took place with an intern, Monica Lewinsky while he was President.

Why the CEO for Playboy? We know Bill Clinton loves women, so he’d be very passionate about the job. Right now, he needs a job and his wife Hilary is upstaging him big-time, so being the CEO at Playboy would be a god career move. Perhaps the biggest reason that Bill Clinton should be considered for the job as CEO for Playboy is because he needs somewhere to put his cigars.

Odds: 10,000 to 1 (that Hillary lets him take it)

More information on the Playboy CEO Job:

8 Jewish archaeological discoveries

From Dead Sea Scroll fragments to a ‘miracle pool’

MSNBC.com

Image: scroll fragment
AP

By John Roach, contributor


Introduction


It’s been more than 60 years since the first pieces of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the caves of the Judean desert, but yet another piece of parchment bearing 2,000-year-old scriptures — verses from the Book of Leviticus — was found just in the past few years. Such finds demonstrate that the Holy Land can still produce ancient treasures, thousands of years after the events described in the Bible.

Click the "Next" arrow above to learn about seven more archaeological discoveries in recent years that have shed light on Jewish history and the Old Testament.

Image: Elah Fortress ruins
Bernat Armangue / AP

Ceramic shard may bear oldest Hebrew inscription


A 6-by-6-inch pottery shard unearthed at the archaeological dig site of Hirbet Qeiyafa (the Elah Fortress) in Israel, shown here, contains five lines of faded characters that may bear the oldest Hebrew inscription ever found. The 3,000-year-old text dates to the time of the Hebrew Bible's King David and is thought to be written in proto-Canaanite, a precursor to the Hebrew alphabet. While other people used proto-Canaanite characters as well, the inscription contains a three-letter verb meaning "to do" that existed only in Hebrew, according to Yossi Garfinkel, a Hebrew University archaeologist in charge of the dig. "That leads us to believe that this is Hebrew, and that this is the oldest Hebrew inscription that has been found," he told the Associated Press. Other scholars, however, have urged caution until more is known about the inscription and its context.

Image: pottery shards
AP

Elusive biblical wall discovered?


The Book of Nehemiah describes the construction of a wall as part of a rebuilding project after Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians. Archaeologists think they have now found the wall. Their case rests on the pottery pieces and other artifacts shown here. They were discovered near a wall that was previously thought to date to the Hasmonean period of Jewish history (142-37 B.C.). These pottery pieces date to the 5th century B.C., which suggests that the wall is older and corresponds with the time of the biblical account. Other archaeologists, however, are unconvinced.

Image: water flows through remains of Siloam Pool site
Kevin Frayer / AP

Remains of ‘miracle pool’ discovered


In this image, water flows through a site where the remains of a pool serve as a link between Jewish rituals and a famous miracle said to have been performed by Jesus. The site, known as Siloam Pool, was used by Jews for ritual immersions before heading down to the Temple Mount. Jesus is said to have miraculously cured a man of blindness in the pool. Archaeologists have also found biblical-era coins with Jewish writing, pottery shards and a stone bottle cork — all helping confirm the authenticity of the site, located in what is now the Arab neighborhood of Silwan.

Image: Dead Sea scrolls
Tara Todras-whitehill / AP

Dead Sea Scrolls shrouded in mystery


The ancient texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls are considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century, yet to this day they remain shrouded in mystery and controversy. The 2,000-year-old collection of writings, which includes the earliest surviving pieces of the Bible such as the Book of Isaiah, shown here, was discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd in a cave above the ancient settlement of Qumran. Conventional interpretations hold that the texts were authored and stored by the Essenes, a hard-core Jewish sect thought to have occupied Qumran at the time. However, in recent years this view has come under attack by scholars who believe Qumran was a fortress or pottery-making facility that had nothing to do with Essenes. These scholars contend that the cave was just a convenient storage locker of sorts for Jews fleeing the Roman siege on Jerusalem in the year 70.

Image: sarcophagus
Bernat Armangue / AP

Evidence of King Herod's tomb mounts


Archaeologists excavating King Herod's winter palace in the Judean desert continue to unearth what appear to be the remains of the ancient ruler's tomb. The sarcophagus shown here was pieced together from scattered fragments of a mausoleum archaeologists believe was smashed apart by Jewish rebels who reviled the king as a Roman puppet. Herod was the Jewish proxy ruler of the Holy Land under Roman imperial occupation from 37 to 4 B.C. After his death, scholars believe the palace became a stronghold for rebels fighting the Roman occupation. The rebels were defeated, and the palace destroyed, in the year 71.

Image: drainage channel
Emilio Morenatti / AP

Tunnels, chambers aided escape from Romans


When the Romans sacked Jerusalem around the year 70, Jews took refuge in a network of underground tunnels and chambers, archaeological finds have revealed. This image depicts one of the tunnels dug beneath the main road of Jerusalem during what is known as the Second Temple era. Pottery shards and coins from the end of the era attest to the channel's age, according to one of the project’s researchers. Elsewhere in the city, archaeologists have uncovered chambers filled in with supplies, an indication that the ancient Jews prepared for the uprising.

Image: archaeological site in Masada
Rachael Strecher / AP

Archaeologists question Masada saga


The mountaintop fortress of Masada overlooking the Dead Sea is famous in Jewish history as the final holdout for about 900 rebels who chose suicide over capture by the Romans in A.D. 73. The story plays a central role in Israel's national mythology, though recent studies have cast doubt on its credibility. Some scholars think the mass suicide was greatly exaggerated or never happened at all. In the 1960s, archaeologists found two male skeletons and the braided hair of a woman in a bathhouse — and the Israeli government gave those remains a state burial in 1969, thinking that they came from Masada’s Jews. More recently, however, some archaeologists have suggested that the remains were actually those of the Jews’ Roman enemies. Despite the recent controversies, the Masada fortress, seen here, remains one of Israel's top attractions. A cable car carries visitors to the top of the rock.

Updated: 3:44 p.m. ET Dec. 10, 2008

© 2008 MSNBC.com

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28162671/

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