Something unfathomably horrible happened this week in Haiti, and the situation there continues to get even more horrible. I'm not one to lay guilt trips on others about charitable giving (comes from the heart, after all), but if you are so inclined, refer to Steve's post earlier in the week listing the places you can contribute to. I'll add another one here, Partners in Health, that has done substantial and valuable work in Haiti for years now. And props to Bungie for doing a special T-shirt fundraiser. If you can't give anything or don't feel compelled to, that's quite alright. But this weekend might be one of those “thankful for where I am and what and who I got” times.
On a cheerier note...letters! Financial relief goes to those in need...comedic relief goes to email@example.com.
* * *
Is it just me or does Liam Neeson in the beginning of the A-Team Trailer. Looks a lot like Big Boss walking through the cemetery at the end of Metal Gear Solid 3... -- Thundrone
Liam Neeson. A great actor with a wicked throat chop (see Taken). However, I feel he's horribly miscast as Hannibal in the new A-Team movie. Will this tarnish a potentially thrilling revision of an 80s TV classic? Is this even a real dilemma? Discuss. -- Chris W.
I'm with you. The problem with The A-Team remake is that the four core characters of Hannibal, Murdock, Face and B.A. are still closely associated with the actors who portrayed them in the show -- George Peppard and Mr. T especially. When I think of Hannibal and B.A., I can't envision anybody else playing the roles. I like Neeson and Cooper as actors (Cooper's probably the best casting decision of the 4, based on the trailer), but the problem is the material...rather, the era from which it originates. How have other 1980s revivals fared?
Knight Rider: Awful TV reboot that quickly fizzled out. Not even a Hasselfhoff cameo could save it.
The Dukes of Hazzard: Awful.
G.I. Joe: Try reading the plot description on its Wikipedia page and then remind yourself it's 2010 and they're being serious.
Transformers: Somehow manages to be enjoyably and impressively awful.
V: Flat acting, hurried writing, and heavy-handed preaching in its first six episodes. Not a great start.
I'm not condemning 80s television at all -- some of the best memories of my childhood. But the updates don't work because if you really look back at a lot of the stuff we watched and got emotionally attached to (which the studios try to manipulate to get us to see these things), a lot of these shows just weren't very good. They were great at the time, definitely. But a show in 2010 about a talking car isn't novel anymore...our cars talk to us now. Just like how government satellites and closed-circuit surveillance cameras would pick up a big black van with a distinguishable red stripe on it in a matter of days. Let's leave all that -- along with one-liners like “Sucks to be you, homey” -- in the realm of beloved nostalgia.
(All that being said, I'll still put it on my Netflix queue.)
How much longer do you think it will be until we see a Nutty Professor-esque game in which Nolan North voices every character? -- Wozman23
I think that's a great idea. -- N. North
Team Conan or Team Leno? -- KnuxSonic
As far as the Conan vs. Jay (vs. Dave vs. Jimmy vs. Craig) issue, I think that Conan needs to go back to late night when he's still funny, while Jay Leno needs to go away because he has sold out and isn't funny at all. besides everyone knows that Craig Ferguson is the funniest of them all.
Also a good recipe for quick cheap food. Heat up some pasta sauce, mix in garbanzo beans, basil, and lots of cheese and serve over noodles. -- Stefan
Team Conan, all the way, since the very beginning of his Late Night run. Now that it seems that next week is his last week of hosting The Tonight Show, I'm sad that he won't get his chance to shine in the brighter spotlight. But I'm also not too worried about it, as the significance of that spotlight isn't what it once was, and a guy with Conan's sharply absurd comedic sensibilities will excel in many other arenas in the years to come. It probably won't be late night, as he'll have a difficult time booking A-listers against both Leno and Letterman, but there are other options.
I also second your pick of Craig Ferguson, who is highly, highly, underrated as a talk show host. Like Conan's Late Night run, he's got the benefit of being in the later time slot where you can get away with more things, but I've got to respect his off-the-script interview style. Both he and Jimmy Kimmel haven't backed down in this whole brouhaha, which has just been fascinating to watch unfold in public.
And thanks for the simple, classic recipe. That should be much easier to stomach than...well...
In last week's mailbag, I presented Timbo D's recipe for Chocolate Chip Grilled Cheese. I was initially disgusted, but that slowly evolved into intrigue. So much so, that I had to know for myself. So on Wednesday after work, I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some mild cheddar and off-brand chocolate chips for my experimental dinner. The recipe called for plain monterey jack cheese, but I had a fresh brick of pepper jack in the fridge, so I called the culinary audible.
There's still time. You don't have to do this.
I was skeptical up to the point where I had everything ready to fry. Chocolate can go well with spicy things, and if it's melted all together, it could chemically combine into the most delicious concoction my taste buds had ever experienced...
Don't be a hero, man. There's no shame in walking away.
Instead, it tasted like fish.
The sweetness of the chocolate hooked into the saltiness of the cheddar and created a lingering aftertaste entirely too reminiscent of salmon (which ironically was my original choice for Wednesday night dinner). Out of due diligence, I ate the entire thing, which my body interpreted as an act of war. I've been paying the price ever since.
So thank you, Timbo. That was the most disgusting thing I've ever eaten.
You were warned. Now you face the consequences.
One of the benefits of gaming as opposed to other forms of entertainment, is that the player controls the on screen action. Unlike a film (which you sit and watch for a couple hours) or a book (in which you read maybe a couple chapters a day), video games allow the participant to influence the world rather than passively observe. With Heavy Rain arriving shortly and Modern Warfare's 2 "airport scene", do you believe more developers will take advantage of the medium and present situations to us we've never experienced? Will we see a WWII game in which we play as the Nazis? Are we going to have a Vietnam game that deals with the My Lai Massacre and it's aftermath? -- JTHMROCKS
We definitely could see those games, but how are you going to market them? “No Russian” had to be hidden from view before MW2 came out (even though it managed to escape any notable mainstream criticism), and Heavy Rain, while unique, has a very narrow appeal. Six Days in Fallujah got dropped -- and as far as we know, still hasn't been picked up -- by a publisher.
But really, with the way that so many developers and publishers treat a story as something they “need” to have rather than something they “want” to have, do you really trust them to handle sensitive topics like My Lai with skilled and careful pens? To me, it seems like any sort of philosophical, ethical, or political statement or situation needs to be Trojan Horsed...and even then, the element of interactivity in those scenes has to make sense and justify their inclusion. Otherwise, it's just shock fodder.
Now that the Packers are out, what do you envision as the perfect finale to the NFL season? And no wishing death upon Favre, even if he's now dead to the State of Wisconsin. -- Sterling McGarvey
The perfect finale to the NFL season is me checking out minor league prospects and planning a trip to Arizona for spring training. What a brutal way to end not only the season, but the last two Green Bay playoff games (the other one was the Favre Interception in the 2007 NFC Championship against the Giants).
I started out this year with the belief that it was only a matter of time before the Old Man falls apart, either physically or mentally. The brief bickering between him and Childress got my hopes up, but that seems to have been settled. I won't deny turning on the guy when he donned the purple jersey (I actually turned on him when he went to the Jets), but after all this time, maintaining a grudge of that magnitude just becomes exhausting. If he wins it, he wins it. My Minnesota cousins will give me grief for it, but I'll just remind them that they just built a baseball stadium in Minneapolis without a roof on it. Have fun with that in April.
Does the grandfather paradox apply to Lost? -- Patrick Klepek
It's 7:12PM on Friday night...I can't even start thinking about this. Will get back to you.
I have an original PS3 60 GB system, and I'm worried I might get the dreaded yellow light of death. I've been researching it online, but when it comes to the net you don't know what to believe. I've read of rumors it is happening mostly with COD MW2, due to an update of the game. Can you tell me if it's true, and what are the chances of it happening to me? What is being done about it? Is it safe to keep playing MW2? -- Dave
The “Yellow Light of Death” is the PS3 version of the infamous Xbox 360 “Red Ring of Death”, but according to Sony, the error light can refer to a multitude of various problems with the machine. The BBC did a report on this purported phenomenon back in the fall, but Sony claims that the rate of failure is within “acceptable” limits (without, of course, disclosing exactly how often it's happened). If you're noticing that it's associated more with Modern Warfare 2, I'd probably attribute that to the substantial number of people frequently playing the game when their system goes south. As they say, correlation does not equal causation. Could it happen to you? Well, yeah, but I wouldn't lose too much sleep, er, sorry...playing time over it.
Hey guys, just wondering if you would be able to recommend a good game to play on the Wii. I recently picked up RE: The Darkside Chronicles, and it was very good. Also looked at The Conduit, beat the campaign and tried the multiplayer, the story was good, not the greatest multiplayer though. I like the shooting genre, and just wondered if you guys could recommend some others. -- Jordan
The Wii's not known for being an FPS powerhouse, but it has carved out its own little niche of interesting rail shooters. Along with the highly-recommended Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (not on-rails), you're going to want to look at Dead Space: Extraction, RE: The Umbrella Chronicles, and House of the Dead: Overkill. Oh, Red Steel 2 comes out next month, and that looks pretty spiffy.
WEBMASTER HATES YOU
I have a DELL laptop of inspiron series 1525...
I wanted to reinstall the windows vista by DVD...also partiotin the hard disk
but it requires Change The Boot sequence ...
to do so Bios Password is required...
I have never set any of the password to the BIOS...
Can You help me? -- saurahb
4 8 15 16 23 42. -- Webmaster
* * *
Next time: the stuff I promised I would get to this time. Send your correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org, and enjoy the 3-day weekend (if you got it).