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Friday, July 10, 2009

Comedy Central Orders Will Ferrell/Jon Heder Series

posted by: Matt Tobey

13404280While your Naploleon Dynamite/Kenny Powers slash-fiction might never come to life, this is probably the next best thing. Comedy Central has just picked up a new show starring Jon Heder and produced Gary Sanchez Productions, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's company that's responsible for Eastbound and Down, Funny or Die and Step Brothers.

COMEDY CENTRAL has ordered an initial run of 10 episodes of a new, untitled sitcom starring Jon Heder ("Napoleon Dynamite," "Blades of Glory") from Gary Sanchez Productions and Debmar-Mercury, it was announced today by Debmar-Mercury, Gary Sanchez Productions and COMEDY CENTRAL.

Produced by Gary Sanchez Productions, the production company led by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, and distributed by Debmar-Mercury, the untitled, multi-camera sitcom for COMEDY CENTRAL will star Jon Heder as an out of work computer IT specialist who leaves the big city and returns to his small home town, where he moves back in with his parents and younger brother. Ferrell, McKay and Henchy will write and produce the series.

"We've always been fans of Jon's," McKay comments. "This deal gives us a chance to take some big creative swings without the risk of testing and focus grouping the show to death."

13 Things Your Home Remodeler Won't Tell You

With business down it may be the perfect time to indulge in some home improvement projects. Read on for more secrets of home remodelers.

Image
1. Business is down 16 percent. The good news for you: I’m returning calls and trimming prices.

2. High-end people will do smaller jobs we might have spurned a few years ago. Focus on projects that will keep your house market-ready, like upgrading a bathroom.

13 Things Your Home Remodler Won't Tell You
©iStockphoto.com/Lisa F. Young
#1--Business is down 16 percent. The good news for you: I’m returning calls and trimming prices.
3. Triple-check financing before you start. You don’t want to run out of money to pay me because your lender decides to lower or eliminate your home equity line of credit. (And it can, at any time.)

4. Those of us who do new houses or commercial projects may not have great remodeling skills. Long track records count.

5. Look at work I’ve done in the past 12 months, on a budget similar to yours. (Older projects likely had bigger budgets and more expensive materials.)

6. Check me out: Any liens? Pending lawsuits? Do I have a valid state license? Do my subcontractors?

7. Test-drive me on a smaller project before you commit.

8. Do I have insurance? (Check directly with my insurance company. Those papers I waved in front of you may have expired years ago.)

9. Don’t overimprove—especially since home values are falling. Check out local trends in the “Cost vs. Value” report at remodeling.hw.net.

10. Spell everything out. Otherwise, I may not prime the walls before I paint or I may not build that closet shelf and put up that rod. Expect nothing that’s not in writing.

11. Ask if you’re getting a dedicated crew. If not, your project may drag on while I juggle multiple jobs. Tie the contract to deadlines for each phase.

12. Ditto for the brand and precise quality of the materials, appliances, and fixtures you are ordering. Don’t let us sub in materials of “equal or better quality” that aren’t.

13. Put “while you’re at it” projects on a separate list and ask me to give you separate estimates. Home improvement spending is projected to slide another 12 percent this year. I’ll likely have time—and be glad—to come back.

Sources: Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies; Roger Peugeot, president of Roger the Plumber, Inc., Overland Park, KS; Collin Johnson, director of inspection services for the City of Glendale, WI; Bruce Case, president of Case Design/Remodeling, Inc., based in Bethesda, MD. Interviews by Joanne Cleaver.
From Reader's Digest

'Green Lantern' has three in ring

Cooper, Reynolds, Timberlake circling project

By Borys Kit

Warner Bros. is about to decide who will wear the super-powered ring in "Green Lantern," the studio's latest DC Comics tentpole movie.

Along with director Martin Campbell and producers Donald De Line and Greg Berlanti, Warners has spent the past five months searching for the actor to play Hal Jordan, the hot-shot Air Force pilot who is chosen by a dying alien to be his successor in an intergalactic police force known as the Green Lanterns.

This week, the race narrowed to Bradley Cooper, Ryan Reynolds and Justin Timberlake. The clock is ticking on the decision as the holding deal the studio had on the actors expired Monday, meaning the three are now free to accept other offers.



Who should light up 'Lantern'?
Bradley Cooper
Ryan Reynolds
Justin Timberlake
The studio ordered up two rounds of screen tests with Cooper, Reynolds and Timberlake. Other actors in the early mix included Michael Fassbender, Henry Cavill and Jared Leto.

Apparently, De Line, Campbell and the studio each had a different favorite among the three finalists, making it difficult to come to a consensus.

Another issue impacting the casting process is the rising budget. "Lantern" is a full-blown space epic that is expected to cost between $150 million and $200 million, if not more. Warners would like to have the production costs at a reasonable level before proceeding.

The studio has scheduled the movie for a December 2010 opening.

Cooper, repped by CAA and Thruline, is feeling a lot of love from Warners as he stars in the studio's surprise comedy hit, "The Hangover," which has grossed $210 million domestically.

UTA-repped Reynolds recently starred in a comic book movie, Fox's "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," where he played "the merc with a mouth" Deadpool. The character is now being developed for a spinoff to which Reynolds is attached. The actor is also in theaters with Disney's romantic comedy "The Proposal."

Timberlake, repped by CAA and Rick Yorn, has been steadily building an acting resume, appearing in such dramas as "Alpha Dog" and "Black Snake Moan" while also showcasing his comedy chops with appearances on "Saturday Night Live."

Mercedes AMG SLS Gullwing Teasers Show Off Simple, Sexy Interior

Development is wrapping up on the Mercedes AMG SLS Gullwing, the all-new, 571 HP gull-winged velvet hammer from Stuttgart. A sneak peek of the beast inside.

Replacing the Mercedes AMG SLR as the top shelf offering from Mercedes, the SLS Gullwing is taking a page out of company history and aping the gull wing doors from the legendary 1954 Mercedes 300SL, but it's not looking back for much else. The interior takes inspiration from modern luxury jets, pretty much everything not covered in leather is raw carbon fiber or aluminum. We're really digging the row of buttons and knobs on the center console, though the 8000 RPM redline and 330 KPH (205 MPH) top speed marked out on the dials are pretty exciting too. The 571 HP V8 will mate to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with the option to row your own at the shifter or through the steering wheel paddles. The knob on the center console looks to be a suspension and tune control with four different setting. We can also see the doors will get a power close feature as their outfitted with a pair of linear actuators. Not too shabby a working environment if you ask us.

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Is nudity on TV acceptable at lunchtime?

by TV Editor

Channel 4 series Life Class

Viewers have complained about a new Channel 4 programme that features full frontal nudity at 12.30pm.

Life Class: Today's Nude features different male and female models each day and encourages budding artists to sketch along at home as a tutor explains drawing and painting techniques.

TV regulator Ofcom has received complaints from viewers who have claimed it is adult viewing and not suitable to be shown at lunchtime.

Alan Kane, the artist behind the programme, has defended it, saying: "Because it is educational and non-sexualised nudity, Channel 4 didn't have any concerns with it at all."

So, is the show really about educating viewers about the finer points of art or simply a ploy to increase ratings over lunchtime?

It certainly wouldn't be the first time that Channel 4 has courted controversy with its programming. Previous shows including a live autopsy, Derren Brown's Russian Roulette stunt and a film about the assassination of George W Bush have all hit the headlines. However, all of these shows came after the watershed.

Have we really moved on so much in our attitudes to nudity on screen that this type of show is now perfectly acceptable to go out during the day?

And more importantly, given the choice of Jane McDonald waxing lyrical about her hormones on ITV's Loose Women or tasteful shots of a male or female nude model on Channel 4 - which would you choose?

Let us know your thoughts on this one...

Brazil’s First Network of Electric Charging Stations Will Be Solar-Powered

Motorcycle on road

The first of many roadside electric charging stations in Brazil is set to be installed in the Barra de Tijuca neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, and it’ll be solar-powered.

The neighborhood was chosen because it has the highest number of electric motorcycles certainly in circulation. The battery charging point will serve a mainly symbolic purpose at first, “awakening environmental awareness by showing people that it is possible to use energy without harming the environment,” said spokesperson Edimar Machado.

Brazil has been a worldwide leader in reducing the impact of the transportation sector on the environment, with 90% of new cars sold in the country being flex-fuel– capable of running on ethanol or gasoline in any proportion. Now the hope is that they can also lead the world in infrastructure for electric vehicles. Once they become more financially viable, Machado hopes to have an electric charging station positioned every 30km across the country.

That could soon allow every electric motorcyclist the capability to travel the entire length of Brazil’s major roadways if they wanted, even if their battery length is only around 40km, like most of the bikes currently in circulation there. Machado also suggested that used batteries could be exchanged for already-charged ones at the stations for the same price as a full charge, in case roadsters can’t wait around for the standard 4 hours it takes to charge the batteries. That would make the time it takes to “fill up” your electric vehicle no longer than it would take to fill up a gas tank.

Even better, the charging stations will generate their electricity from solar energy. The charging point captures solar energy by means of an array of 28 photovoltaic panels that generate 184 volts of direct current, which is transformed into triphasic alternating current. Output is at 110 or 220 volts [1]. And on days when there isn’t much sunlight, or at night, the stations could still derive electricity from the grid system.

The Brazilian Electric Vehicle Association says the market for electric vehicles is already growing by about 50 percent a year, and with new charging stations located conveniently around town that number is expected to increase dramatically. They also project that electric vehicles will consume barely three to five percent of the country’s total energy in 2030, meaning as the system expands it shouldn’t be a significant strain on the country’s electricity. Meanwhile, car fuel consumption will be reduced by 10 percent.

Although that nationwide system of stations is still far from practical, the implementation of this first station is symbolic of what can be envisioned with the right political will and incentive.

Source: IPS News

Image Credit: Diego_3336 on Flickr under a Creative Commons License

Batgirl, Catwoman, And Wonder Woman All In One Video

I have no idea what is being sold in this commercial. It could be anything. That’s not the point. The point is someone took three of the sexiest comic book characters of all time, put them in the sexiest incarnations of their costumes possible, and put them all in a commercial together where they all seem to be heading towards the same rendezvous.

Watch:

Now, I’m fairly certain you can all go off and imagine whatever you’d like to imagine is the result of such a meeting.

You’re welcome.

Ping Pong Door

by Tobias Franzel

Ping Pong Door by Tobias Franzel

Designed by Tobias Fränzel, this innovative door turns into a ping pong table when needed. After the game is finished, it goes back to being a regular door.

Ping Pong Door

Ping Pong Table Door

Ping Pong Door is perfect for people that live in small apartments. [via 1 2 3]

Innovative Ping Pong Door

Run Pee for iPhone makes moviegoing bladders happier


youtube.com It always happens. You're at the movies, nature calls, and BOOM! You miss the scene when Darth Vader tells Luke that all-important secret. With Run Pee Mobile, those days are over. And it's less messy than an adult diaper.

7 Minutes Of Harold Ramis Talking Ghostbusters 3

Harold Ramis

For months and months we’ve been reading snippets from interviews with the original Ghostbusters cast and crew talking about Ghostbusters 3, which is in development. But our friends at MakingOf have director Harold Ramis (who played Egon in the original films) talking about the possibility of making a third film for almost seven minutes. He talks about how the effects might be transformed in this new computer generated world, making it look low-tech, the unproduced draft of Ghostbusters in Hell script, and how the project is developing, and the danger of making sequels. Watch the interview after the jump.



High times in the Himalayas

The people of Malana are poor, illiterate and grow some of the world's best pot. That may be about to change.

By Joel Elliott — Special to GlobalPost

Click here for photo gallery

MALANA, HIMACHAL PRADESH, India — Half a dozen men, all in their 20s, began to stir as the first rays of sunlight broke over the snow-capped Himalayan peaks and warmed the interior of their guest house. They had been smoking hashish and drinking whiskey until the early morning hours.

Within the first hour of daylight, they lit up and began smoking again. They would not stir from their spots until sleep overtook them, a cycle they had established over the past couple of weeks.

This is the vacation many drug tourists experience in Malana, an ancient village of 1,600 known internationally for its "Malana Cream," coveted as some of the best hashish in the world. Most villagers can speak just enough English to facilitate a hashish sale.

“Do you want charas [hashish]?” one man asked a visitor.
“No charas, no thank you.”
“Charas? Malana Cream? You want.”
“No, thank you.”

He looked confused.

The mostly illiterate residents of Malana make their living from cultivating cannabis, or "charas," and have almost no other industry. Decades of mafia domination and a desire for quick cash has reduced a village with a rich history spanning thousands of years to little more than a drug production facility.

This is something O.P. Sharma would like to change. Sharma, once a farmer, then a narcotics officer, and now a freelancing anti-drugs activist, seeks not merely to eradicate cannabis from the area, but to provide the villagers with alternative cash crops as well.

“For the last three decades or more these people have been cultivating cannabis almost exclusively,” he said. “These people have never grown anything which is legal.”

News of the extent of Himachal Pradesh's drug cultivation broke in 2006 when Iram Mirza, a young journalist with CNN's local affiliate, went on an undercover reporting trip through the region. She found that thousands upon thousands of acres of unclaimed forest land in the mountains were being used for cannabis cultivation. European and Israeli drug mafias pulled all of the strings.

Similarly, a recent tour of the mountains and ridges surrounding Malana revealed scores of terraced fields full of cannabis.

“The cops come and raid with 100, 200, 300 men with swords, cutting down charas wherever they see it, but it's only once in a blue moon, and they never find the good plants,” said a drug user named Sumit (who asked that his real name not be used for fear of arrest).

Despite the fact that the hashish they cultivate ultimately becomes some of the most prized in the world, people in Malana live in squalor. Raw sewage flows across paths in the middle of town. Health and education facilities are poor. Many villagers suffer from eye and skin infections. Drug use begins at a very young age.

One reason for the village's lack of infrastructure is that the villagers receive only a tiny portion of the returns from their crops. Buy a tola, or 10 grams, of the best hashish in Malana, and you'll pay $30. But once that same hashish makes its way to Delhi, the price increases threefold, while the rate in Goa is 10 times the original sale price.

“In Amsterdam, it's like a vintage car,” Sumit said. “Dealers can name their price.”

In this system, the transporters and dealers, not the cultivators, make most of the money. Sharma hopes his plan will show the Malana villagers it is possible to make a decent living growing something other than cannabis. For the first step of the plan, Sharma secured a $3,900 grant from Sai Engineering Foundation Shimla to purchase almost 6,000 pounds of sweet peas and beans, which he gave to 225 of Malana's villagers to be planted.

Sharma figures a husband and wife farming team in Malana can make about $935 per year growing beans and sweet peas, versus what he estimates as a $1,000-per-year return on cannabis cultivation. He hopes the fact that his alternative crops are legal will persuade villagers to turn to them.

It won't be easy. Mirza is betting 60:40 odds — against Sharma.

“It's a herculean task,” she said. “You see, cannabis is such an intrinsic part of their culture. It's just growing out there; you can't control it. I saw fields — entire mountains covered with it — 3,000 acres of land under cultivation. Why would an average farmer go for an alternative crop?”

Only this summer's harvest will reveal the project's success.

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