Monday, April 17, 2006

Yeah, See Ya!

I know I don't post very often, but I also know that no one actually reads my blog so it doesn't matter. Well, no one except that guy who keeps telling me I need to buy a Grand Canyon tour.

Anyway, today I discovered what might be the funniest thing I 've ever seen on YouTube. Here it is. It's an absolutely ludicrous 'martial arts' fight scene from from a movie called 'Undefeatable'. Go. Watch it now.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Censored Eleven

The 'censored eleven' is a group of eleven Warner Bros. cartoons produced from 1931 to 1944 that haven't been officially broadcast on television or released in any format because of their questionable and offensive content involving racist depictions of African Americans.

The eleven cartoons were originally pulled from sydication in 1968 by United Artists and they haven't been aired since. You can, however, find most or all of the eleven on bootleg video and two of the cartoons ("Jungle Jitters", "All This and Rabbit Stew") are now in the public domain.

Have no fear though, Cat Eats Coyote is here. Using all my cunning and genius (i.e. bittorrents) I've managed to track down the eleven banned cartoons and I've decided to upload them to the glorious YouTube.

Why am I uploading them you ask? I'm uploading these eleven videos because they are of historical importance. To often people, groups of people, even whole countries give their best efforts to forget, ignore, or hide their pasts. Why would someone hide their past? Because they were in prison when they were younger? because they were in rehab for a whole year? because they enslaved, looked down upon, and generally treated a whole group of people horribly for nearly 200 years just because of the color of their skin?

Now, I'm not saying these cartoons should be aired on the Cartoon Network or anything. These aren't exactly cartoons that children should be watching or learning from. But to not release them in any form is simply a way of forgetting they even existed. A way of ignoring the fact that racism was once so prevelant in this country that even animated shorts, typically specifically made for children, were poisoned with these stereotypical views. So, watch them, think about them, and don't forget about them.

Hittin' The Trail to Hallelujah Land (1931, directed by Rudolph Ising)

I'm not really even sure if this one has a plot as it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. I guess they're going to...Hallelujah Land, by boat it appears. This short also features 'Uncle Tom' who gets harassed by a troup of singing skeletons. Of course, it features stereotypical black caricatures. The characters have abnormally large lips, inky skin, and walk in a goofy way. If you watch all eleven of these videos you'll notice they all feature these types of caricatures, sometimes even more exaggerated than here.

Sunday Go to Meetin' Time (1936, directed by Friz Freleng)

This short is about a man named Nicodemus who misses church and as a result is sent to hell, or so he thinks. He is really just imagining the whole scene, but it's enough to convince him he should be in church. All the characters in this are even more exaggerated versions of the African American caricatures you just viewed in the first short and there's also a (written) reference to Nicodemus 'stealing watermelons'.

Clean Pastures (1937, directed by Friz Freleng)

This short is about an all black heaven and an angel who comes down to earth to recruit members. The main character's design in this is somewhat shocking, frankly. His caricature is nearly ape-like.

Uncle Tom's Bungalow (1937, directed by Tex Avery)

This one is a simple and rather unexciting Uncle Tom parody. Not much to say here.

Jungle Jitters (1938, directed by Friz Freleng)

'Jungle Jitters' is one of the two shorts that are already in the public domain. It features a cannibalistic African tribe. A saleman (presumably white) arrives and unpredictably the tribe wants him for dinner. He's saved by the queen (also white for some reason), however, who wants a man desperately. Not only does this one have the stereotypical caricatures, but they are all cannibals as well.

The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938, directed by Tex Avery)

This is a spoof of travel shorts that feature exotic locales which were apparently popular at the time this was made. The Isle turns out to be inhabited by a stereotypical African tribe. Regardless of it's seemingly offensive content, I found that this one actually does have several gags including a running gag featuring the character Egghead.

All This and Rabbit Stew (1941, directed by Tex Avery)

The only of the 'censored eleven' to feature good ol' Bugs Bunny. It's pretty much the same old Bugs story, but in place of Elmer Fudd is an amazingly exaggerated black hunter who Bugs obviously fools time and time again. This is the second of the two shorts that are now in the public domain.

Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943, directed by Bob Clampett)

This is the only short I didn't upload to YouTube myself simply because it had already been uploaded by about five different people. This might be the most interesting of the eleven animated shorts if only because it's wide defended by film and animation scholars and even considered one of the greatest cartoons ever made. The short is a jazz-based parody of Disney's Snow White. The cartoon is defended because Clampett was actually friends with many in the L.A. Jazz scene and the characters featured in this short are caricatures of real muscians he hung out with. He also insisted that some of these musicians be on the soundtrack recording, which they were.

Tin Pan Alley Cats (1943, directed by Bob Clampett)

'Tin Pan Alley Cats' is a jazz re-interpretation of Clampett's 1938 short 'Porky in Wackyland'. This short falls in the same boat as Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs. Many real jazz musicians were used in the soundtrack recording of this one as well and many defend it.

Angel Puss (1944, directed by Chuck Jones)

Angel Puss is the only Looney Tunes short included in the censored eleven, the other ten are Merrie Melodies. 'Angel Puss' is about a character who was given four bits to drown some lady's cat, but the cat escapes. He paints himself in white and pretends to haunt the character who 'drowned' him. This would be a solid short if not for the (surprise, surprise) stereotypical black main character.

Goldilocks and the Jivin' Bears (1944, directed by Friz Freleng)

The last of the censored eleven is a jazz take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears which features the 'jivin' bears' as a jazz trio and infuses both the three bears story and Little Red Riding Hood. I don't know that there's much here that could overtly offend anyone, but to each his own I suppose.


So there you have it. The censored eleven. Thanks to Wikipedia for much of the information (including the picture) included in this post.

That's all folks!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Bird In the Hand Is Worthless

Just an hour or so ago I read about a prank in which a 15 year old submitted a fake Google press release that claimed he was the youngest Google employee...and the press release got picked up.

Ironically, just moments ago I came across this post at Between Thought and Expression. Of course, Will Ferrell's not dead, despite the press release that circulated which said otherwise.

This isn't the first time I've seen a fake press release about a famous person's death. I remember seeing one last year about Rick Moranis dying in a "freak train accident" in which he was mamed by an oncoming train. This one was a "freak paragliding accident". Frankly, the odds of anyone dying in a "freak accident" are fairly low, and the odds of said person being a high profile celebrity instead of a regular person are even lower.

This sort of incident certainly questions the crediblity of news feeds like Google News. How can you trust a press release when any regular Joe can write a fake one up. Perhaps the thing to do is get rid of free press release distribution sites like I-Newswire (which is where both of these fake press releases originated) or at the very least create a situation where only trusted sources can submit press releases.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I Hope You Know There Never Was a Party At All

For those of you not familar with the weblog community (though chances are you already are if you're reading this) many blogs are just filters in a way. A blog finds the most interesting stories, tidbits, videos, and other fun 'clicks' and compiles them in one handy dandy place. In fact, chances are if you've clicked some neat link from a blog, it was probably already discovered by another blog, and that blog might have even gotten it from another blog. So in that sense, it truly is a community. Many of the links I will or have already provided on this site were first talked about elsewhere. In fact, many of them come from the blog links to the right and if they don't I'll try my best to give credit where credit is do. So without further ado, I shall end my rambling and provide cool links that indubitably originated elsewhere. Enjoy.

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Pink snow in Russia. Scientists speculate Mongolian sand storms are to blame. This apparently follows yellow, oily russian snow in February most likely caused from pollution. It seems, however, that pink snow isn't all that uncommon. "Watermelon snow", as it's been coined, is a phenomenon that occurs in Colorado and is supposedly due to an algae.

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A guy calls into QVC during one of their computer programs and admits his Dell is great for pornography.

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The Abu Ghraib Files (via Salon). "279 photographs and 19 videos from the Army's internal investigation record a harrowing three months of detainee abuse inside the notorious prison -- and make clear that many of those responsible have yet to be held accountable." Be warned that some of those images and/or video could be graphic.

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artst.org has high resolution images of works from four different famous artists. Here's to hoping they get more.

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Twisted double-helix nebula found in Milky Way. Picture to the right (from Reuters).

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The Wooden Periodic Table Table. The site's a little hectically designed it seems, but this is an actual table periodic elements including samples and all.

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South Park's Chef quits the show. Isaac Hayes says it's due to religious reasons. Hayes is a devout scientologist and the Comedy Central show recently aired an episode poking fun at the religion. Of course, anyone who's watched South Park knows they've poked fun at pretty much every religion including christianity, judaism, and mormonism. I think this quote from one of the two South Park creators Matt Stone sums it up well: "He wants different standards for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin." Well said my man.

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Phew, usually I don't post this much. I need a break.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sleeping is Giving in, No Matter What the Time is


So, I didn't think this would be as cool as it was, but for the finale of Alexander McQueen's runway show last week Kate Moss appeared as a hologram. The video is here. It's basically the whole show condensed into 7 and a half minutes, but you can skip to the last minute or two to see this. Thanks to glorious Boing Boing for the link.

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Google Mars (explanation). Even cooler than that, however, is Flight Into Mariner Valley, a computer generated flight into the largest canyon in the solar system, Mars' Valles Marineris. To put it into perspective Valles Marineris is "10 times longer, 5 times deeper, and 20 times wider than Earth's Grand Canyon". Now that's a GRAND Canyon.

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If you were ever into collecting baseball cards, even if you just did it for the gum, check out The Baseball Card Blog. It's an almost always interesting and fun read.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Quickie: Live Action Simpsons

The Simpsons opening sequence, live action style.

That's all for now.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Part of the Sky Where The Sun Comes Up

The Academy Awards were last night and despite the fact that I've only seen one film that was nominated in, well, any category (albeit the best picture winner) I watched most of the show anyway.

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart hosted, and he was at his witty, sardonic best. Some seem to be claiming that Hollywood judged Stewart's job as poor, but I'm not so sure that was the case. It seems there are some critics (why do the Oscars need critics) who thought he did a fairly good job. Though most seem to agree it was a dull night anyway. Unsurprisingly, however, I think Roger Ebert says most if it best, like always. I hope he's right and Jon Stewart does get asked back. If he doesn't I won't be surprised. Dems' the politics of Hollywood. This is why I find it so hard to respect nearly anyone involved in the film industry. Movies are still good though.

The best moment of the night was when rap group Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar for the song "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp", which they wrote for the film Hustle & Flow. They won directly after their cleaned up performance of the song, complete with out-of-place dance sequences. They came out to accept their award at a show they clearly didn't fit at, but they didn't care. Stewart put it best when he said "now that's how you accept an Oscar". Three 6 Mafia won one and they were damn happy about it.

Jennifer Garner almost falling was almost classic. ;)

In what was probably an upset, Crash won best picture. I did like it, but I'm not sure if it was best picture worthy. Although I really can't say because I've never seen any of the other nominees.

Wow, I'm writing like I really cared about this show. I've already said too much.

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Kirby Puckett dead at 45. Sad day for fans of baseball everywhere. I still hate the Twins though.

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Some more cool LEGO creations. I wish I were twelve again and/or had a garbage can full of Legos right now. This time it's the Top 10 Strangest LEGO Creations Ever.

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