Friday, April 28, 2006

Pop Culture Roundup

I finished Stiff the other day, which was fascinating from beginning to end. In one of the later chapters she discusses experiments to re-animate human heads. This was borne from someone's curiosity during the French Revolution about whether a criminal's head was still alive after being lopped off by the guillotine, and for how long. Over the years, this morphed into attempts at head transplants. Many monkeys and dogs were lost during these experiments. Apparently switching the heads of a pair of monkeys was successful, except the geniuses didn't re-attach the esophagus so they starved to death. One thing that I have learned from this book is that I am very, VERY thankful for the state of medicine that is around today versus some of the wacked-out techniques and theories that have been around over the years.

I watched Kung Fu Hustle this past week. It's a subtitled Japanese import movie that did reasonably well at the box office a few years back. I haven't seen many Japanese imports, but this one and the last one I saw, Shaolin Soccer, have a few things in common. First, I didn't realize until I looked both of these up on Amazon that they both involve Stephen Chow, which might actually explain everything else that I'm going to write about them. Second, in both movies there seem to be one or two plot points that don't really get explained. The movie just seems to hope that the audience goes with it. In Hustle, this old married couple that you assume for the first half of the movie is just there for a few comedy bits turn out to be fighting masters and take on a much more serious role in the second half. The movie seems to say, 'Just trust us.'

I picked up K.T. Tunstall's Eye to the Telescope this week, and every time I listen to it I enjoy it even more. Somewhat expectedly, this is not her debut album (although VH1 will let on that it is). I might have to sample some of her other stuff.

Around the web, RealLivePreacher writes about his online community getting together. And tell your UCC friends about the blog network.