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Friday, February 20, 2009

Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds Trailer Finally Online!


Submitted by DangeloGreen

During World War II a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers.

Click to Watch Trailer Below:



  • US Release Date: August 21, 2009
  • About:
    In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as “The Basterds” are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis.
  • Directed by:
    Quentin Tarantino
  • HD Version: 480p | 720p | 1080p
  • Rate this Trailer:

First pic of Rhianna after fight


Yikes. TMZ got the first pic of Rihanna in the hospital after Chris Brown knocked her around on February 8th. Pic sort of speaks for itself.

WTF: Members of Smashing Pumpkins, Hanson, Cheap Trick, and Fountains of Wayne Form Band

Damnocracy, all is forgiven!
WTF: Members of Smashing Pumpkins, Hanson, Cheap Trick, and Fountains of Wayne Form Band

According to Billboard.com, there's a new band that exists on earth called Tinted Windows featuring former Smashing Pumpkin James Iha, Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos, handsome Hanson brother Taylor, and Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger.

I am looking at my calendar right now. It is not April 1.

A couple things while my mind is still barely stuck together: You put together one of the most random something-groups ever and the best name you can come up with is Tinted Windows?! Is that a play on the secretive nature of the group? Do they all wear Men in Black shades on stage? Is this a Blues Brothers revival act? But, really, if you're going to go "Tinted" why not go all the way, like Blacked Out. Or Smashed Windows. Well, maybe not "Smashed." Hm. At least a moniker with some confidence, some commitment. As of now, this band is like the transition lenses of something-groups.

The union sort of makes sense considering Iha and Schlesinger co-own a studio and Taylor Hanson seems like an all-around good guy...but still.

Apparently, the band have already recorded their debut album in New York and are set to make their big time live splash at Billboard's SXSW showcase March 20 in Austin.

If this is Billboard's idea of a gag, I have to hand it to them-- it could be an incredible gag.

UPDATE: It's not a gag. Tinted Windows is very real, their publicist assures us. And their album is coming out April 21.

Posted by Ryan Dombal on Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 5:45pm

Gatorade Confirms What We All Knew: Bulk of its Drinkers Are Nursing Hangovers

Gatorade.jpg
Rest assured, whatever tinkering the Gatorade folks have done, they haven't altered the familiar piss color
A long time ago, in a county far, far away -- well, Alameda -- your humble narrator read the entire Associated Press style guide in one sitting. I laughed out loud once and only once -- at the example of when and when not to capitalize the "o" in olympics: "He went on a beer-drinking Olympics."

That phrase is relevant now, regarding the redesigned and re-branded Gatorade bottles starting to hit San Francisco supermarkets. In short, a lot more of us are going on a beer-drinking Olympics than to the real Olympics, and Gatorade's latest rollout acknowledges this.

Along with dropping the "atorade" portion of its moniker -- the sports drink now will go just by "G" -- the company has come up with a bevy of snazzy product lines that marketing folks might describe as "urban" without having to explain more. Anyhow, Gatorade Fierce is now called "Bring It," Gatorade X-Factor is now "Be Tough," and Gatorade A.M. is now "Shine On."

Beyond new packaging and merchandising, the end result of all this is to justify and lure folks who have no need to drink Gatorade into drinking Gatorade. Let's start with the A.M. -- sorry, "Shine On." There is only one reason to drink Gatorade in the morning and that's for the deep-down body thirst brought about by a hangover. Clerks at several grocery stores I hit up today acknowledged that at least 50 percent of the folks buying the drink at their stores are either hung over or plan to be (You don't need to ask someone about their itinerary when the items on the conveyor belt are hard liquor, beer, and Gatorade).

Gatorade's own marketing material conveys this message in a smarmy manner that just about breaks the unintentional hilarity gauge:

"Developed with morning flavors, the beverage helps morning exercisers to 'Shine On' during their workouts and will contain an excellent source (20 percent daily value) of vitamin C to help active people as they attack their day."

Where to begin? First off, with this glorified hangover relief product, the notion of "morning flavors" conjures up the signature day-after trifecta of halitosis, beer breath, and the aftereffects of that cigar you thought it'd be cool to smoke. (for the record, the product comes in "orange strawberry" and "tropical mango" -- surely the pillars of any American morning). As for the vitamin C, you could get four times that amount in a simple glass of orange or apple juice -- or match it with one big carrot. But, then, that's not urban.

Across the board, Gatorade's new varieties now have vitamins and antioxidants pumped into them. This is clearly a shot across the bow of the VitaminWater people -- who, like Gatorade, have made their millions making water taste good and convincing people to pay to drink what the taps disperse for free. It warrants mentioning that the second ingredient in Gatorade is still high-fructose corn syrup. In fact, a quart bottle of the stuff provides one-fifth of your daily sugar and sodium. That's not a problem if you're a high-caliber athlete running like hell and sweating commensurately. But for most of the folks traipsing through supermarket aisles and buying 200-calorie bottles of Gatorade, it is. That's why low-calorie G2 -- Gatorade for people who really have no business drinking Gatorade -- now has the vitamins you could get in, say, a handful of fruit.

One thing that hasn't changed, however, is the double-entendre that is the shape of Gatorade bottles. Click here. What do you see? Here's a hint: It's not Coit Tower.

8 Awesome Cars They Won't Let You Buy

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Every year automakers build concept cars: radically designed automobiles meant mostly to look cool at car shows. Most of them are ridiculous and impractical, and make you wonder why they even bothered.

But every once in a while, they whip out something that's so cool it's a crime they never bothered to build it. These are the dream cars that automakers ultimately decided were just too awesome for us.

#8.
GM Firebird III

Why is it Awesome?

Jets were still new to the world in the 1950s, and GM's Firebird III was intended to address the big question on everyone's mind: How can we strap a jet engine into a family sedan?

Thus, the Firebird III housed a Whirlfire turbine engine. If you're not sure how exactly a turbine engine works, just focus on the word "Whirlfire," and you'll get a sense of it. And if it's got what is essentially a jet engine inside it, it might as well look like a jet, right?

Damn right.

Along with the obligatory tail fins, nose fins and sharply contoured hood, the car included two separate, clear plastic, bubble canopies. Nothing seems quite as cool as rocketing down the highway of tomorrow with your head peeking out of a plastic bubble, eyes sharply honed on the bogeys/cars around you.

The best part of the Firebird III, though, is that there is no steering wheel. Because really, what kind of jet has a steering wheel? Instead, all control of the car is down to a single, disc-shaped joystick. Push the stick side to side to steer, forward to accelerate, back to brake and twist to change gears, just like a real-live airplane!

We'd definitely ask for the extra feature where pushing down on the joystick fires twin .50 caliber machine guns.

"Why can't I buy one?!?"

Despite the turbine engine's inherent coolness and bevy of advantages over a piston driven engine, including the fact that it can run on almost anything that's combustible (including tequila!), it has always been an impractical option for powering a car.


But... but look at it.

Gasoline powered turbine engines produce nitrous oxide in large amounts, a major greenhouse gas that eventually forms acid rain, making ozone killing carbon emissions seem tame. Also, a turbine engine sounds more like a loud, high pitched vacuum cleaner than the iconic, rumbling purr of an American V8.

Oh, and there was a small additional problem where failing to follow the correct start-up procedure while in a drunken haze could wreck the engine in seconds and render it useless. Oops.

#7.
Nissan Pivo 2 (With Robot Co-Pilot)

Why is it Awesome?

Okay, we admit the thing looks ridiculous. But we're pretty sure this is what cars are going to look like in the future no matter what we do. And it comes with a robot co-pilot.

The Nissan Pivo 2M is an odd little car that still brilliantly solves many problems that have been plaguing motorists since time immemorial. Instead of one, big, polluting, gasoline powered engine, the Pivo 2 has four small electric motors, one in each wheel. This allows each wheel to move independently, turning sideways for those who have trouble parallel parking, sliding closer to the car while turning for smoother cornering and even moving back and forth when accelerating or braking to make sure those in the cabin always have a velvety, G-force free ride.

The entire pod itself can rotate 360-degrees so that reversing is no longer necessary, and getting into the solitary door at the front of the car is a breeze for everyone, no matter how elderly or drunk your passengers are.

Oh, and it has a robot. The ever-vigilant Robotic Assistant who does many things, not least of which monitors your mood while driving and attempts to cheer you up if you're feeling a bit grumpy; as depressed or angry drivers have been proven to be more dangerous, and more likely to be douchebags. He's like a combination R2-D2 and KITT. You would inevitably become friends and fight crime together.

We'd like to imagine he'd also refuse to open the car door by stating, "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that" if you're a little too cheerful and sound like you need a good scare.

"Why can't I buy one?!?"

As awesome as it would be to have your very own, personal droid to nag you every time you frowned, apparently that technology, along with all of the other innovations on the car, would put the car in the price range of a private jet. Maybe your kids will get to drive something like it.

#6.
Phantom Corsair

Why is it Awesome?

Holy shit, look at that badass. If Batman had been fighting crime in the 40s, that's what the freaking Batmobile would have looked like. Hell, we wouldn't complain if the Batmobile looked like that now.

The Phantom Corsair was the brain child and dream car of Rust Heinz, the son and heir of the Heinz food empire. The Corsair was created in 1938, and set a standard for pimpness that no car has ever matched.

Technologically ahead of it's time, the doors opened via electronic buttons rather than primitive handles, and the dashboard included a compass and altimeter (the latter presumably for when you inevitably have to ramp it off the top of a parking garage in pursuit of the Joker).

The best feature of the Corsair was in the back. This feature was so important to Rust Heinz that the relative comfort of the car was sacrificed to provide enough room by reversing the normal seat layout to sit 4 people in the front, and 2 people in the back. What was so important to facilitate such a change? Airbags? Crumple zones? Spare tire?

Nope. A beverage cabinet. Seriously.

We're going to guess they only went with Phantom Corsair because somebody else already had the trademark on PussyMobile.

"Why Can't I Buy One?!?"

The Corsair was projected to cost around $14,700 in 1939, which is equivalent to over $200,000 in today's money, a sum which was unaffordable to pretty much everyone who wasn't a ketchup magnate during the Great Depression. Not only that, but the car was made almost entirely out of aluminum, a commodity which went almost entirely to the war effort that also started in 1939.

Sadly and ironically, Heinz died in a car accident and his dream car died with him. Still, we like to think that when he got to Heaven, God's first words to him were, "Good, you're here. Build me one of those cars."

#5.
Honda Unibox

Why is it Awesome?

Yes, the Nissan Pivo was only the second-dorkiest looking vehicle on this list. But by this point, that should only indicate how many redeeming values its got up its sleeve.

The Honda Unibox looks like just a boring, clear box set on six wheels, but upon looking a little deeper, she reveals her sexy secrets, like a naughty librarian undoing her hair bun and whipping off her glasses.

First, the thing is set up like some kind of GI Joe vehicle come to life (the Unibox Mobile Command Center!). It has cameras to view the exterior. The dashboard displays are all projected onto the windshield. It even has a freaking radar. The interior is a room like a mobile office (or headquarters).

Oh, did we mention the hidden motorcycles?

Yes, two small Honda motorcycles are compactly stored within the car's door frames, ready to be launched out at a moment's notice. We're assuming they can be jettisoned while flying down the highway, landing perfectly on their wheels while the riders start peppering trailing bad guys with machine gun fire.

"Why Can't I Buy One?!?"

Unfortunately, there still isn't much demand for wacky Japanese concepts like this one. As cool and packed with features as it is, you're still driving a large, clear plastic box that would be about as much fun to drive as, a translucent armored car, except without the perk of having bags of cash in the back.

If you want an idea of what kind of doubts they have about the maneuverability of this thing, it comes with an airbag on the outside of the car for if--or when--you hit a pedestrian.



#4.
BMW GINA

Why is it Awesome?

The BMW GINA Light Visionary Model is what happens when car designers throw away the rulebook and start thinking about "the future" (though not the same cheesy, "highway of tomorrow" future of 50s designers). Instead of using sheet metal like almost every other car ever made, the GINA's skin is made entirely out of shiny, textile fabric.

Yes, fabric; the stuff you're wearing right now. Why? Well, somebody finally figured out that the metal skin of current cars adds hundreds of pounds to the weight but doesn't actually serve a function (it's the stuff under it that protects the driver in an accident). And the combination of the fabric and a network of movable metal and carbon fiber wires lets you morph the shape of the car in a way that makes the thing seem alive.

Seriously, it even closes its headlights like a pair of eyes. Awesome, yes, but also kind of terrifying.

"Why Can't I buy one?!?"

Obviously the big problem is that it's hard to imagine any fabric ever being stain-proof enough to resist mud, squashed bugs, road salt and bird crap that will accumulate over the years.

But even worse, fabric isn't the sturdiest building material known to mankind. While metal dents and paint scratches, fabric just tears. And it can't be repaired by a mallet and blob of Bondo. The entire covering would need to be replaced, even with the slightest tear, because the aesthetic of the skin is dependent on it being as taut as possible.

We're guessing there would be many mishaps involving drivers flailing down the road with their torn fabric "hood" draped over their windshield, screaming as the car weaves down the road and Benny Hill music plays in the background.

#3.
Ford MA

Why is it Awesome?

Are we wrong for wanting to own this life-sized Erector Set car? Because we do.

The Ford MA is a full-size, road worthy car that is made from bamboo, aluminum and carbon fiber materials held together by 364 titanium bolts, and not a single weld.

The whole thing comes in a 500+ piece kit, ready for assembly, earning it the moniker, "The IKEA-Mobile" by many automotive columnists. We're assuming it shows up on your porch in a huge cardboard box.

The MA is also about as environmentally invisible and responsible as an automobile can possibly be, without actually being made of tree-bark. It's powered by a zero-emission electric motor, doesn't need any hydraulic fluids and is 96 percent recyclable. That's enough green-speak to shut Leonardo DiCaprio up for good.

Don't have any place to park it in the winter? Just take that sucker apart and store it in the attic with the Christmas decorations. The only thing that could be better is if they finally build that life-size Lego car.

"Why Can't I Buy One?!?"

The official reason from Ford is that the MA was never meant to be produced, but rather was to serve as an inspiration to the company's designers, and to prove that alternative building materials and DIY kits can work in the marketplace. We think the real reason is that the majority of humankind can barely be trusted to put together a bookcase, let alone a 500 piece, full size car. Picture finally getting the whole thing together in the driveway, then noticing there are two lonely bolts still left in the box. "Those are extras, right, honey?"

Potential mishaps stemming from loose bolts, misplaced pieces and incorrect construction at the hands of amateurs means that not only do you need to be as wary as ever of bad drivers, but now there is the added danger of that person's car flying apart right in front of you as they cut you off. Would you trust something you built with your own hands at 70 miles per hour? We didn't think so.

#2.
Volkswagen GX3

Why is it Awesome?

The Volkswagen GX3 is perfect for anyone who has ever wanted a motorcycle but was always nervous about becoming roadkill after running over a small pebble.

It's a two-seater "car" that looks like the offspring after a Honda motorcycle mounted an F-1 race car. Sure, it has fuel economy that's like owning a hybrid, only one that makes you look like a badass rather than a giant pussy. And yes it can be driven in the car pool lane same as a motorcycle, allowing you to dodge traffic without the need for your battered blow-up doll to accompany you on your morning commute.

But that's not why you'd buy one of these. You buy one of these because you can't drive it without screaming "WHEEEEE!!!" every minute on the road. You could not take this thing to work and show up in a bad mood. It's so low to the ground that it can be driven underneath a semi-trailer truck with ease, action movie style (disclaimer: please don't do that).

Not bad for a car that was only slated to cost $17,000.

Why Can't I Buy One?!?

You almost could have and, in fact, it even had a shipping date for early 2007. Just before it went to factories though, Volkswagen got cold feet about the radical design and admitted that it potentially had some safety issues. Not least of which was the fact that SUVs and trucks tower over the tiny GX3, able to squash it as easily and effortlessly as monster trucks flatten Oldsmobiles at the state fair.

Couple that with the understanding that people don't really like wearing helmets, getting hit in the face with road debris and breathing exhaust fumes when trying to get the kids to school, and you get a German car manufacturer who is very afraid of the American legal system.

#1.
Ford Seattle-ite

Why is it Awesome?

Back in 1963, there was at least one team in the Ford design department who absolutely was not fucking around.

They came up with the Ford Seattle-ite concept car that wasn't only ahead of its time, it's ahead of our time.

The Seattle-ite was to run off interchangeable fuel cells, or even a compact nuclear reactor (back when people didn't quite understand the concept of radioactivity and mutants) and was to be equipped with the kind of real-time computerized mapping system we're just barely perfecting now.

Oh, and the Seattle-ite also looked awesome, sporting a kick ass bubble canopy, sharp lines and unconventional, spaceship-like exhausts. It was also the first car to use six wheels instead of the usual four, capitalizing on the theory that more wheels would increase traction and braking efficiency, and also the theory that six wheels just plain looks cooler.

"Why Can't I Buy One?!?"

Well, there's the minor point that some of the technology they wanted in the thing wouldn't even exist for another 40 years, and even today isn't affordable in a car (which is why fuel cells are still decades from hitting the mainstream).

This is a car that Nostradamus would have been proud of for its power of prediction, so much so that it was impossible for it to even exist as planned until decades later.

As Seattle-ite fans have pointed out, it's almost depressing to look at what these guys were thinking up in 1963, and then to realize our cars are still running off gasoline, pistons and four boring tires. Damn, if Ford had gone balls to the wall to make this thing a reality, what would cars today look like? We'd be zipping back and forth to work on freaking orbs of pure energy. With beverage cabinets.

The 32 Totally Essential (and Free) Apps for Every New PC


You have to admit, Windows is a pretty barebones operating system, feature-wise. After a fresh install of XP or Vista (perhaps following a Clean Start), you're faced with a barren Start Menu and an empty desktop that's beaming with limitless potential. The problem is that it's up to you to hunt and download those applications that you really need in your day-to-day computing experience. And chances are, it's often difficult to find good software that's also free. That's where this guide comes in.

We've put together a list of what we think are the most essential PC apps for every Maximum PC reader. These are all free programs (except one) that should be immediately installed after a fresh build or reformat; 32 indispensable programs and utilities that we couldn't imagine computing without. From the best IM client to FTP browser and Notepad replacement, these essentials truly enhance the Windows experience (much more so than Microsoft's own Windows LIVE Essentials). We're not saying you'd use all 32 entries in our list on a daily basis, but if you are at all serious about utilizing your PC, we promise our picks will not go unused.

And at the end of the feature, we'll even show you how to install these apps in one fell swoop with a special configuration file we've created. Because if it were up to us, this is software that should be bundled with every copy of Windows.

WinDirStat

Have you ever sorted a folder by file size, hoping to track down a hard disk hog, only to be frustrated by the fact that Windows doesn’t let you see the size of nested folders’ contents? So have we, and that’s why we make sure that we’ve always got WinDirStat close at hand.

WinDirStat, short for Windows Directory Statistics, is an application which analyzes the composition of your hard drive, allowing you to identify which files are eating up your disk space. It presents this information in a size-ordered directory view, or as a colorful treemap, making it a snap to see exactly what is using up your hard drive space. Once you’ve figured out which files are taking up more than their fair share of your drive, you can get rid of them with WinDirStat’s built-in cleanup operations.

AnyDVD

For hassle free rips of DVD, Blu-ray, and even HD-DVD content, there's no simpler app to use than AnyDVD. Unlike more traditional DVD ripping tools, AnyDVD decrypts, unlocks the region code, and even removes annoying ads and that pesky FBI warning on the fly. It's not free, but it's well worth the cost for anyone who wants to exercise his fair use rights on Blu-ray or DVD discs. Your money is well spent, typically the brain trust at Slysoft manage to disable new copy protection tricks just a few short days after they go public, which is more than worth a few bucks a year. (standard version is 50EUR for 2 years, HD edition is 79EUR for 2 years)

Foxit PDF Reader

There are few things that can ruin your internet browsing groove like the painfully long wait you have to endure when opening an Adobe PDF file. Acrobat reader, as a program and browser plugin, is notoriously cumbersome and drains not only your time but gobs of memory as well. That's why we use Foxit Reader, a free lightweight application that weights in only at 3MB. The program launches with the speediness of a roadrunner, and gives you access to welcome features like text extraction and comment annotation. Just be careful when you install Foxit to uncheck the Ask.com toolbar and eBay icon options. A professional version of Foxit ($40), gives you advanced editing tools, but we're more than happy with the free offering.


click here for the rest of the list

U2’s New Album Leaks Early Despite ‘Private Hearings’

Written by Ernesto on February 18, 2009

A few months ago, four tracks from the upcoming U2 album ‘No Line on the Horizon’ leaked onto the Internet. In order to prevent the full album from leaking before launch, U2 organized “private hearings” for the press, but these failed. Today, ten hours after the album leaked, downloads on BitTorrent are 100K - and counting.

u2 The official release date of U2’s twelfth studio album is set for 27 February in Ireland, early March for the rest of the world.

Unsurprisingly, it began to appear on BitTorrent sites just a few hours ago, well over a week in advance.

In just 10 hours the album has already been downloaded 100,000 times, which is notable for a music album. A few month ago, some of the fans already got a preview of four of the tracks, after a fan recorded them outside Bono’s villa in the south of France.

Unlike those early leaks, the quality full album that leaked today is reportedly of a quality worth listening to. The source of the leak is unknown, but it has to come from someone close to the band as there were no preview copies sent out to the press.

U2 has always taken an anti-piracy stance and wont be pleased to hear that the album is out before schedule. U2 manager Paul McGuiness has been particularly aggressive in his stance against file-sharers and has suggested that people who share copyrighted files should have their connection to the Internet severed. Skip to 2009 and the RIAA and IFPI are indeed pushing for such legislation.

It doesn’t stop there either. In order to prevent their latest album from being pirated, they refused to send out review copies to the press. Instead they organized listening parties where journalists could listen to the album in advance.

These ‘parties’ were of course surrounded by all kinds of security measures - recording devices and even mobile phones were not allowed anywhere near the hearings. Some good that did.

Despite all the effort the album leaked early, and many U2 fans are having a party of their own now. Over 100,000 of them - and counting.

Bristol Palin stammers the truth: Abstinence unrealistic

In a Fox interview, the new teen mother makes an almost unwitting argument for reproductive choice before Mom barges in and twists her words.

read more | digg story

Pepsi Introducing Pure Sugar Sodas To The US


Author: Steve

pepsi Pepsi Introducing Pure Sugar Sodas To The USOn April 20th Pepsi will start selling versions of Pepsi and Mountain Dew that use real sugar, rather than nasty high fructose corn syrup. The drinks will only be available until June, and while I’m hoping this is a test run to bring the big soda boys back into the sugar camp it probably has a little more to do with Passover. Jewish people who observe Passover generally don’t consume grains; hence the reason for seeking out sugar based sodas. Kosher Pepsi and Kosher Coke have been providing this alternative every year for awhile now, so no Jewish persons need go without a fizzy pop. But this is the first time Pepsi has made a serious push in the US market to test out pure sugar versions of Pepsi-Cola and Mountain Dew in a long while.

Of course you can still get pure cane sodas, if you search for them. Here in Syracuse I favor Jones Soda, a Canadian company, for my carbonated sweet drink choice. The great news is Pepsi has said the price for the pure sugar version will be the same as the traditional one. A concern since HFCS has been used for so long due to its absurdly lower price.

I know you shouldn’t really drink pop at all, but if you do it should be made with sugar. So go out and support this product, and even if we’re not eating or drinking healthy…we’re at least a tad bit healthier. Baby steps out of the office, and baby steps onto the elevator.

Marijuana May Be Protective Against Injury, Study Says

February 19, 2009 - Lausanne, Switzerland


Lausanne, Switzerland: The use of cannabis is not a contributing causal factor in injuries requiring hospitalization, and may even protect users against the likelihood of sustaining such injuries, according to the results of case-control study published online in the journal BMC Public Health.

Investigators at the Luasanne University Hospital in Switzerland assessed the association between the use of cannabis and/or alcohol and the risk of injury among 486 patients aged 16 and older.

Investigators reported: "Alcohol use in the six hours prior to injury was associated with [an elevated] relative risk compared with no alcohol use. Cannabis use was inversely related to risk of injury."

Researchers also analyzed subjects' drug use for the time period exactly one week prior to the patients' hospitalization. They reported, "More patients reported alcohol use in the six-hour period prior to injury (case period) than in the corresponding six-hour period the previous week (control period). ... For cannabis, fewer people reported use prior to injury (case period) than in the control period."

Despite the study's relatively small sample size, investigators concluded: "The results for cannabis use were quite surprising. ... The present study in fact indicated a ‘protective effect' of cannabis use in a dose-response relationship."

Commenting on the study's results, authors speculated that "cannabis is consumed in relatively safer, low risk environments" (e.g., at home) compared to alcohol, which is often consumed at bars or prior to going out in public.

A prior case-control study conducted by the University of Missouri also reported an inverse relationship between marijuana use and injury risk, finding, "Self-reported marijuana use in the previous seven days was associated ... with a substantially decreased risk of injury."

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Alcohol and cannabis use as risk factors for injury – a case-crossover analysis in a Swiss hospital emergency department," is available online from BMC Public Health at: www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/9/40.

Storm Trooper being arrested for carrying a loaded firearm

OMG! Did Google Earth find Atlantis?

Google is officially denying widespread Internet rumors that its Google Earth software located the mythical sunken city of Atlantis off the coast of Africa. Either that, or Google is totally trying to hide something. Since I always appreciate a nice juicy conspiracy theory, I'm going to go with the latter.

Is this Atlantis? Apparently not, according to those meanies at Google.

(Credit: Google Earth)

From what it sounds like, a British aeronautical engineer was playing around with the new Google Earth 5.0, which includes undersea data, and noticed something funny off the coast of Africa, about 600 miles west of the Canary Islands, that resembled a pattern of a street grid. According to the United Kingdom's Press Association, the pattern of streets equated to an area the size of Wales.

In case you've had more important things to read about for the past few thousand years, Atlantis was a legendary island city first mentioned by Plato, allegedly a hard-core naval power located somewhere near North Africa that disappeared when it sank into the ocean. Guess global warming was a problem back then, too.

Anyway, most people think that Plato made it up, kind of like how those guys in Georgia made up the story about shooting Bigfoot, but others just won't stop believin'.

So this guy is trawling the ocean floor with Google Earth--ah, if only we had that kind of free time on our hands--and was quick to announce his discovery. It looks like The Telegraph reported the story first, adding that the exact coordinates are 31 15'15.53N, 24 15'30.53W.

Recently, Google's mapping products have revealed everything from a creepy dude walking around with a sniper rifle to what appear to be U.S. drones in Pakistan.

But when it comes to Atlantis, Google totally had to rain on everyone's parade. "It's true that many amazing discoveries have been made in Google Earth, including a pristine forest in Mozambique that is home to previously unknown species and the remains of an ancient Roman villa," a statement from Google read. "In this case, however, what users are seeing is an artifact of the data collection process. Bathymetric (or sea floor terrain) data is often collected from boats using sonar to take measurements of the sea floor. The lines reflect the path of the boat as it gathers the data."

I smell a cover-up!

In other news, that pendulum map on last week's "Lost" was totally awesome.

8 Humiliating Japanese Ads Starring Oscar Nominees

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Oscar-nominated actors are the most dignified members of our species. They play the serious roles that inspire us and hold a special place of reverence in our culture.

But not in Japan. In a country where demoralization is the national pastime, our revered actors, Academy Award nominees and winners both, sell their own dignity for a paycheck because they assume we Americans will never see it.

But thanks to the Internet, we can celebrate their shame any time we want.

#8.
Sean Connery - Biogurt

Sean takes a leisurely drive in the country with his nightmare rabbit puppet friend on route to his country house, which happens to be an enormous carton of yogurt.

It makes sense that they went with Connery, since the product he's pitching here is called "Biogurt," a word that when we say it sounds like the noise you might make if someone asked you what you ate, and you tried to say the word yogurt while at the same time vomiting all over your shoes. Really, their only option was to get the only man who can make any word sound like the world's manliest lion purring in post-coital bliss. Or they could have renamed the product.

As an aside, Connery once worked on a movie with Lana Turner. Her boyfriend, famed tough guy gangster Johnny Stompanato, believed they were having an affair. Johnny stormed onto the set and pointed a gun at Connery, only to have Connery take the gun from Stompanato and twist his wrist until he relented.

Now watch this ad again, and appreciate what a multi-faceted man Sean Connery is.

#7.
Brad Pitt - Edwin Jeans

In America, when we want to sell a product with ass, we just point the camera at the ass. Apparently, the Japanese need to be told to look at said ass.

Here, Brad's giving a marketing lesson to this group of Japanese pedestrians. "Brad Pitt's ass in Edwin Jeans. Do you like?" Brad asks, employing an Italian accent, because half-assed Italian accents are the international language.

"Look at ass!" Brad demands. "Look at famous ass in jeans! Buy jeans!!!"

"Oh," speaks up one Japanese spectator, "you want us to buy that brand of jeans. Fine, perhaps you could tell me about their superior durability."

"Ass in Jeans!" Brad insists.

"Hmm," says another bystander, "are you saying we should buy these jeans because they are a great value, priced well below their competitors?"

"ASS JEANS!"

"He's rubbing his ass," says another. "He must be telling us these jeans are really comfortable too."

"Mamma Mia! ASSSSSSSSSSJEANSSSSSSSSSS!"

The Japanese bystanders all smile, believing this screaming man is dangerous.

#6.
Nicolas Cage- Sankyo

Nicolas Cage does not have an agent.

We're not going to blame the Japanese for the oddity of this ad. We believe this is all Nic Cage; just Cage being Cage. We imagine it went something like this:

Cage: Alright guys, I got this whole thing worked out. We start with me as a cowboy.

Japanese Ad Exec: Excuse me? I am honored you have agreed to endorse our product, but do you even know what product we're selling?

Cage: Hush, you're interrupting my process. So anyway, I'm a cowboy decked out in silk. A real frilly, silky cowboy with the rootin' tootins and all that stuff. Then I come upon some aliens.

Japanese Ad Exec: Aliens?

Cage: Aliens made of balls. And at first I'm all like, "What in tarnation?!" We're gonna fight, right? Intergalactic war. No! Instead we dance. They shake their balls and do their alien shuffle dance and I'm all like, "giddy up!"

Japanese Ad Exec: I'm afraid I don't-

Cage: I know what you're sayin', "Hey, Nicky Cage, all this silky cowboy and alien balls and dancin' sounds real faggy. But that's when we hit 'em with the switcharoo. I totally butch it up at the end by head butting the head ball alien guy, right in the ball!

Japanese Ad Exec: Uh, thank you for your creative input, but we only have one day to shoot and don't have any of those things.

Cage: No worries, I already filmed it.

Japanese Ad Exec: You what?

Cage: (galloping away on a stick horse) Yahoo! Giddy up! Whaoooo!

#5.
Dennis Hopper - Tsumura

Dennis loves rubber duckies and forgot he's not in a David Lynch movie.

We defy anyone to figure out what Dennis is selling in this ad. We think the only thing he's selling is crazy, in which case this is the most perfect alignment of celebrity endorser and product ever. Dennis Hopper guzzles crazy like a Hummer guzzles gasoline; like Amy Winehouse guzzles... well, gasoline.

Dennis tells a fellow, "I want to show you something." (NOTE: If Dennis Hopper ever asks to show you something, do not follow him to a second location). What does Dennis have to reveal? A rubber duckie and a bizarre bath time practice of getting hopped up on inhalants and mercilessly screaming at the duck.

Then he asks the fellow what his favorite beer is. The man answers "Pabst Blue Ribbon" and Dennis just looks at his feet.

#4.
Harrison Ford - Kirin Beer

When you have created two of cinema's most enduring characters in Indiana Jones and Han Solo, what do you do next? If you're Harrison Ford, you brush up on your mime work.

Harrison's just kicking it in a towel with a sweaty Japanese guy, as he is wont to do anytime he's got a free moment. Harrison wonders aloud, and in Japanese, if he could have a Kirin Japanese Lager.

Through the magic of pantomime, his swarthy sauna mate creates a fresh, cold beer out of thin air. So convinced is he with this piece of theatrical wizardry, Harrison reaches out with a "glass" to take part in the imaginary beer.

But even dream beer cannot compete with the superior flavor of Kirin Beer, so the two dash out to replenish their dehydrated selves with refreshing alcohol. Yeah, it's pretty disheartening to see Han Solo pimp beer, but we think it's safe to say we'd rather Harrison did a million more Kirin beer commercials than the last Indiana Jones movie.

#3.
John Travolta - Tokyo Drink

In Japan, John Travolta is a master of karate, jazzercise and headbands.

Travolta belongs to an athletic club made entirely of light where all five members workout rhythmically to the same song over and over about a guy contemplating date rape. When Travolta turns and says the name of the product he is either doing history's twitchiest version of "the snake" dance move, or being attacked from below like the girl at the beginning of Jaws.

We didn't think it was possible, but this commercial is more 80s than the actual 80s.

#2.
Paul Neman - Maxwell Blendy Coffee

Fuck up somebody's birthday? Paul Newman will put his hand over his mouth like he is an audeince member at the Def Comedy Jam. Fear not, he will be struck by an idea so ingenious that it overpowers his entire body. Sadly, his idea turns out to be to drink Japanese instant "Blendy" coffee and repeatedly point at you.

Oh Paul. Poor dearly departed Paul. Did you ever think all those years of building a towering, sterling reputation would be undone by something called a "YouTube?" What's with all the pointing? Is it a cocky Shooter McGavin point? If so, it seems unwarranted. Or is it a threatening Hulk Hogan point, meant to convey that some ass-kicking is going to take place later?

Also, who the hell is he pointing at? Is it shot from the point of view of one of the dinner guests, or is Paul just pointing at some camera that only he can see? Either way, everyone else at the party must be fucking terrified. They could have taken the product pitch out of this ad and presented it as a piece of experimental cinema at Cannes. Film scholars would still be debating these questions today.

#1.
Sylvester Stallone - Ito Ham/Bayern Sausage

Two-time Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone (what, you forgot Rocky?) materializes in a thick of flowers to invade an innocent family's home and demand pork.

This ad is actually based on an old Japanese proverb:

"One day a man made of beef jerky dressed in white linen will rise from the fields of cornflowers. You will accept him into your house. He will bring a gift. The gift will be ham. You will not refuse his ham gift. He will force you and your family to watch him eat the ham. Do not speak directly to him or your soul will be sucked away to the Land of Wind and Tears. Should you successfully appease this spirit, he will leave a handful of teeth on your bathroom sink." Yeah, Japanese proverbs suck.

But Japanese ham companies would be silly to pay a known star like Sly all that money and not cash in on his famous personas. And really, who better to sell ham than Rambo and Rocky?

When Rambo came back from the war, he brought the war with him. The war for delicious ham! Rambo murders many foreign people. Then he runs down a beach and dreams of ham. In the second half of the spot we catch up with Rocky who, as everybody knows, beats the snot out of people. Now Rocky implores us to enjoy that snot on succulent Ito Ham.

But if you thought Sylvester is a one trick ham pony, you severely underestimate Sly's range. He can sell sausage too.

When Sly goes golfing, he thinks of nothing but waterfalls of sausage. That sound of forking sausage will officially haunt our dreams indefinitely.

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