Ned, the main character, can bring people (and animals) back from the dead by touching them. If he touches them a second time in 60 seconds, they die forever. If he doesn't touch them a second time in 60 seconds, someone else dies in their place. And the next time he touches them, they also die forever. He can, however, touch people who never died and they're fine.
He runs a pie shop (rather different from Mrs. Lovett's shop) and uses his unique talent to partner with Emerson, a private investigator, to solve crimes or collect reward money. He will revive a murder victim to ask them how they died, and then we're off.
Ned's love interest is Chuck his best friend from childhood, who died, and Ned brought back to life. Now, of course, he can never touch her again, so it's not an ideal situation.
Rounding out the main cast is Olive, a waitress from the pie shop, who doesn't really know what's going on, but is secretly in love with Ned.
It's an interesting idea for a show, but what really sets the show apart is the unique look and feel. The whole show is framed in a story book style, rhyming narration. The characters all snap into place on sets brightly and fantastically colored. The cinematography is amazing, with wide, sweeping camera shot that are cinematic in scope.
Unlike Heroes which is about magical people in the real world, Pushing Daisies is about magical people in a fantastical world. It has the sweeping, epic, and fantastical sets and camera swoops of the first Batman movie or even Edward Scissorhands, combined with the bright colors of the Batman TV series. It has a very Tim Burton feel.
Dialog is faster, characters are stiffer, things fit in just the right way. The story is told as though it's a children's book, and the characters move and act as though they are dolls acting out that book.
While the main character actors do a great job, Kristen Chenoweth's Olive provides a great contrast. With her heavily patterned apartment decorations and bright look, loud look and approach to life, she provides a nice balance to the secretive, often dowdy appearance of the other characters. Of course I've also been a fan of Chenoweth since her work on the the West Wing and an appearance on the Conan O'Brien show.
Pushing Daisies is an inventive, original, and beautiful show. If you can handle the talking and walking dead without nightmares, this is a great show to add to your weekly routine.
Sleep 01: More Time, Less Sleep
Sleep 02: Sleep is Obsolete
Sleep 03: Rip Van Winkle Syndrome
Sleep 04: What is it?
Sleep 4.5: Cheating Sleep
Sleep 05: British Sleep Walking
Sleep 06: Orexin A
Sleep 07: Broken sleep
Sleep 08: Partial Sleep
Sleep 09: Spring Cleaning
Sleep 10: Genes, sleep, and age-related disorders
Sleep 11: Naps for better memory
A Wall of Books Part 01: Elliott Bay Books
A Wall of Books Part 02: Inventory
A Wall of Books Part 03: Village Books
A Wall of Books Part 04: Powell's
A Wall of Books Part 05: Amazon Kindle
A Wall of Books Part 06: Organization
A Wall of Books Part 07: Powell's Partner Program
A Wall of Books Park 08: The Pilgrimage
Movie Reviews 01: Happy Feet
Movie Reviews 02: Ratatouille
Movie Reviews 2.5: Corpse Bride
Movie Reviews 03: Transformers
Movie Reviews 04: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Movie Reviews 05: Iron Man
Movie Reviews 06: WALL-E
Movie Review 07: Hellboy II -- The Golden Army
Movie Review 08: The Dark Knight
Movie Review 09: Star Trek
Movie Review 10: Up
Movie Review 11: Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Movie Review 12: Avatar
Movie Review 13: Up in the Air
Movie Review 14: Inception
Movie Review 15: The Social Network
Movie Review 16: She
Movie Review 17: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I
Movie Review 18: Tron Legacy
Movie Review 19: Norwegian Wood
Movie Review 20: Mr. Popper's Penguins
Movie Review 21: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
Movie Review 22: In Time
Movie Review 23: The Muppets
Life in the Garden Part 01: Thinning
Life in the Garden Part 02: The Basil Crop
Life in the Garden Part 03: Tomatoes
Life in the Garden Part 04: Dracaena Trunk
Life in the Garden Part 05: Tomatoes
Life in the Garden Part 06: Discount Trees at Ikea
Life in the Garden Part 07: Moisture Meter Missing Most Moisture -- Measures Mainly Miniscule
Life in the Garden Part 07.5: Bamboo
Life in the Garden Part 08: Self watering containers
Life in the Garden Part 09: Photography and the Garden Show
Life in the Garden Part 10: Seedlings
Life in the Garden Part 11: Seedling Growth
Life in the Garden Part 12: Gardening to save money?
Life in the Garden Part 13: Graduation
Life in the Garden Part 14: Brackets
Life in the Garden Part 15: Fake Herbs
LIfe in the Garden Part 16: Friendly visitors
Life in the Garden Part 17: FlorAbundance WA Arboretum Plant Sale
Life in the Garden Part 18: Zombie Cilantro
Life in the Garden Part 19: Bamboo recovers
Life in the Garden Part 20: Friendly visitor comes back
Life in the Garden Part 21: Staking tomato problems
Life in the Garden Part 22: More tomato stake lessons
Life in the Garden Part 23: Two weeks of progress
Life in the Garden Part 24: Dinner
Life in the Garden Part 25: Water, Water, Never There
Life in the Garden Part 26: The greenhouse effect
Life in the Garden Part 27: Osteoperosis for plants
Life in the Garden Part 28: All in one
Life in the Garden Part 29: Honey
Life in the Garden Part 30: Lunch
Life in the Garden Part 31: More than plants
Life in the Garden Part 32: Onion
Life in the Garden Part 33: Preserving the harvest
Life in the Garden Part 34: Some pesto numbers
Life in the Garden Part 35: Plant Nanny
Life in the Garden Part 36: Winter Survivors
Life in the Garden Part 37: Planting the seeds
Life in the Garden Part 38: Even more seedlings
Life in the Garden Part 39: Planting Blueberries
Life in the Garden Part 40: Northwest Flower and Garden Show
Life in the Garden Part 41: Salad
Life in the Garden Part 42: Who sells brackets in Seattle?
Life in the Garden Part 43: Romaine Growth
Life in the Garden Part 44: Zucchini
Life in the Garden Part 45: Carrots
This list does not include book reviews, movie reviews, or posts that are part of a different series. They are listed separately in the sidebar.
The Egg Jokes
Who am I?
The last parade I marched in...
Come on, baby don't you want to go, To the same old place, sweet home Chicago
Adventures in dining
The Inner Light
Inertia. Or why I left Helena, MT
The Flight Home
The Snow Queen
A sad story from Oregon
This list does not include book reviews, movie reviews, or posts that are part of a different series. They are listed separately in the sidebar.
LISTEN TO ME!!!!
We Are Happy To Serve You
Hockey vs Football
Holy Cow! I Think He's Gonna Make it...
Barbeque in NYC
Musings on Missoula
Lead: The Latest Threat to Homeland Security
Roaches and Metropolis
Development in other sleep replacement drugs is also going on. Researchers studying narcolepsy discovered that many patients lack Orexin.
The research follows the discovery by Siegel that the absence of orexin A appears to cause narcolepsy. That finding pointed to a major role for the peptide's absence in causing sleepiness. It stood to reason that if the deficit of orexin A makes people sleepy, adding it back into the brain would reduce the effects, said Siegel.
"What we've been doing so far is increasing arousal without dealing with the underlying problem," he said. "If the underlying deficit is a loss of orexin, and it clearly is, then the best treatment would be orexin."
Initial research on monkeys is promising:
The monkeys were deprived of sleep for 30 to 36 hours and then given either orexin A or a saline placebo before taking standard cognitive tests. The monkeys given orexin A in a nasal spray scored about the same as alert monkeys, while the saline-control group was severely impaired.
The study, published in the Dec. 26 edition of The Journal of Neuroscience, found orexin A not only restored monkeys' cognitive abilities but made their brains look "awake" in PET scans.
The full article appears on Wired.
But my TiVo is tired and bloated. It's filled with shows that I've haven't gotten to yet. I haven't started watching ER yet this season, but the episodes are sitting on TiVo. I have folders filled with assorted Law and Orders and CSIs. I have three episodes of Pushing Up Daisies -- a show I haven't even see yet -- waiting to be watched. Throw in the random episode of Chuck or Life, and I am drowning in programming.
On top of it, the new Battlestar Galactica movie "Razor" showed up on TiVo one day.
This strike is the perfect chance to get caught up on all the programs I still have to watch. I anxiously await the Zen like peace that comes from seeing a TiVo with no new programming on it.
It's a challenge. It's an on going battle. It's not easy consuming mass quantities of pop culture on TV, and sometimes it makes me gag. But I'm up for the task. And the longer the writers' strike goes on, the more the battlefield advantage turns in my favor.
We have a special and long standing tradition in my family, too. After we unwrap presents, we all sit around the living room picking up paper. And then....
...we throw it all at the cats.
This is one tradition that has stood the test of time.
Some time in the mid 90s or so, these types of places sprang up all over they country and quickly became cool, hip dating and corporate team building hot spots. By that time, Plaster Palace was long gone. But we still have the Christmas ornaments we "made" from there.
There's something comforting about looking at the tree decades later and seeing those familiar creations hanging on the branches. Some are faded; some are dusty, but they're still there. When I was 8 it never occurred to me that I'd be be looking at those same ornaments 25 and thirty years later.
On another note:
A man walked into a restaurant for breakfast one winter morning. He sat down in the booth, took off his coat and rubbed his hands to warm up. The waiter handed him a menu, then returned a few minutes later with a cup of coffee. The man layed the menu on the table, and continued to peruse it while he wrapped his fingers around the warm mug. He took a sip of coffee and began to relax. He was hungry, but determined to be disciplined. He looked at the "lite" entrees. The waiter came back and the man asked the waiter about the healthy choices.
"I'm supposed to be on a diet," said the man. "I'm trying to be good. What would should I get that's healthy?"
The waiter looked over his shoulder and then said in a low voice to the man, "The oatmeal is left over from yesterday. The fruit platter is two oranges and a grape. And the granola is, well, granola. You sure you want to eat healthy? People don't come to a place like this to be healthy."
The man grinned sheepishly and said, "Well, I've been on a diet, but it's Christmas week. I guess I can indulge a little. I'll have an omelet."
"Are you sure?" said the waiter. "If you're going to break your diet, go all the way. Get the Eggs Benedict."
"Is it good?"
"It two slightly cooked eggs, one muffin, with bacon -- albeit Canadian -- and a rich creamy hollandaise sauce that we just made smothering everything on the plate -- the eggs, the hash browns, the bacon and English muffins. It's thick, luxurious, and is the perfect reward for those who have 'been good,'" said the waiter with a slightly impish grin. "With all that, how could it not be great?"
"Oh, what the heck, why not?" said the man.
The waiter picked up the menu, put the order in with the kitchen, and then went to the back corner of the restaurant. He climbed up on a table and tool a big, shiny platter down from the wall. He climbed down, buffed the platter and handed it to the kitchen.
In a few minutes, the cook rang the bell on the counter, and the waiter picked up the platter with the man's Eggs Benedict. He said it down before his new favorite customer.
The man said, "It looks great, but what's with the big, shiny platter?"
The waiter paused, and looked at the man. Then he smiled broadly and said, "There's no plate like chrome for the hollandaise."
It may be an old joke, but it's on of my favorites today. Merry Christmas.
Normally when I see one, it's at an odd angle, blocked by other aircraft, or just off in the distance.
I got lucky on a recent trip to California, though. The famed Salmon-Thirty-Salmon stopped out side my airport window to pose.
Last month, Wired (15.12) published an article about Doug Morris, the CEO of Universal Music Group. Universal is on the of the largest record companies in the world. They focused on the challenges Universal faced in adapting to the digital world.
The focus was that Morris doesn't get it. While Universal works on new methods of distributing music on line, Morris still approaches the whole business with an Us against Them mentality. This may be the only industry where customer are viewed not only with derision, but as the enemy.
It's an interesting, if disjointed article, that you can read here.
Here's what I found most interesting:
This year, 22 percent of all music sold in the US will move through iTunes. "If iTunes gets up to 40 or 50 percent, they'll have too much power for anyone else to enter the business," says James McQuivey, who analyzes the digital music industry for Forrester Research. If the labels want out, they have two choices: Find a way to unseat the iPod or allow iTunes' competitors to sell unprotected files that can play on Apple's ubiquitous device.
I knew iTunes was big, but I had no clue that more than 1/5 of all music sold this year went through iTunes. More than 1/5 of music sold was electronic -- no CD to burn, no label to print, and no jewel case to crack.
I buy some TV shows though iTunes, but I still prefer to get my music on CDs. I do rip my CDs to MP3, but I like having the original media.
But apparently, there are more people who are willing to forgo physical ownership than I expected.
While this is terribly frightening for the record companies, it does bode well for on demand movies and TVs.
For several years, we've been hearing about the potential of on demand movies that download to your cable box. While most digital cable companies offer the technology, it seems very few people take advantage of it. Meanwhile, people are still buying DVDs in record numbers.
I expected that true on demand entertainment would still be several decades off, because people like owning DVDs. They like to physically put them on the shelf and have the library content right there.
But with more than 22% of music being sold without physical media, I may need to reconsider that position.
In particular, drinking caffeinated coffee in the situation of an emergency onset of asthma can allow the patient to breathe easily. Doctors have recommended coffee as an emergency way of treating asthma patients who find themselves with a sudden onset and no medication for many, many years.
It's reassuring to know that more people than ever are becoming aware of just what a sham TSA really is. Here's a recent OPED piece in the NYT taking TSA to task for its ludicrous liquids ban.
By Clark Kent ErvinIf you are someone who suspects that what is billed as “aviation security” is often more show than substance, you are not alone. In fact, you are part of what Nixon aides used to call the “silent majority.” The security bureaucracy seems to think that as long as it is seen as doing something, and so long as another terror attack does not occur, the public will at least feel secure enough not to insist that it do whatever needs to be done actually to make us secure.
The author is not just a frustrated traveler. He is part of the Homeland Security industry:
Clark Kent Ervin was the first inspector general of the United States Department of Homeland Security, where he served from January, 2003 to December, 2004. He is the Director of the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Program and the author of “Open Target: Where America is Vulnerable to Attack.” He lives in Washington.
And remember -- the "attack" that started this whole liquids fiasco never would have succeeded, anyway. I ranted about that last year.
If TSA really thought those liquids were dangerous and explosive, then maybe, just maybe, asking all passenger to dispose of their liquids in a trash can in the middle of a crowded security screening area isn't such a good idea.
If they're dangerous, don't pile them all up together in the middle of a crowd. That's stupid. If they're not dangerous, then let me take my Mountain Dew through security. And quit confiscating the gel insoles from my shoes.
It was paid for by both business along the route and with tax money. It may not be terribly useful, yet, but it's a start. And Seattle may expand the line someday.
But it has its foes. The anti-tax people think it's a waste of money. The anti-Microsoft/Vulcan people oppose it because it helps Paul Allen. The environmentalists and transit activists oppose it because they want more buses instead. Drivers oppose it because it takes some parking spots and they fear it may make traffic worse. Bicyclists oppose it because someone riding along the track might slip, get their wheel stuck, and fall.
Which brings us to the events of last Thursday.
From the Seattle PI:
Police investigate streetcar sabotage attempt
King County sheriff's deputies were investigating a prank in which a golf-ball sized metal bearing was placed on the track of the city's new South Lake Union streetcar, possibly in an attempt to damage it during its inaugural run.
This is just pathetic. I don't know what's worst.
- The best Seattle's radicals/protesters/terrorists (choose whichever one you want) could come up with was to lay a ball bearing on the track.
- The viscous attack could actually have worked.
- The Sheriff's Department now has to spend time and money investigating this assault.
This is why we can't have nice things, like infrastructure.
Can we now look forward to a nasty spit ball fight once light rail starts running?
Seattle is not really known for its beaches so this was an interesting event. Seattle is also not know for its snow and ice, so it only makes sense to host an ice sculpture event as well.
On Saturday, my GF and I headed down to Pioneer Square to check out the ice sculptures that are part of the Historic Holidays event. On the morning of day two, most of the sculptures were already melting. I'm not sure if they were supposed to last the whole weekend or not, but the impressive sculptures were gradually losing their details.
The Christmas tree was impressive, but we could see it drip.
An elf was having some trouble, too.
The rocking horse was rather said to see. At one point it must have had some impressive detail.
By time we got there, it was more like a duck.
While it may be December, Seattle doesn't really have winter weather. The wind and 40-45 degree temperatures are not ice friendly.
But the artists' skills are truly amazing. Also amazing is the mind set that lets them do this. They put hours into the work, only to have it disappear a few hours later.
And that's the part I can't wrap my head around. To put so many hours into something so ephemeral would be utterly frustrating to me. And yet, not only do they not find it frustrating, I imagine many of the do it because it's temporary.
You can see more pictures of the Ice and Sand here.
I'm now done until 2008-01-03. It's a nice break. I tend to push most of my vacation to the end of the year and then just grab some rest. I like what I do, but it's always nice to not have to do anything for a few weeks.
Of course, I'll still log in to the work email from time to time to make sure there's nothing major to deal with. But that will be only a small part of my day for the next couple of weeks. And those quick checks, which almost always prove to me that everything is fine, do help me relax.
So what does the frequent business traveler do on vacation? Apparently, I'm about to get on a plane...
BERLIN -- A man nearly died from alcohol poisoning after quaffing a liter (two pints) of vodka at an airport security check instead of handing it over to comply with new carry-on rules, police said Wednesday.
While I am convinced the whole liquid ban for air travel is all for show, liquids have now shown themselves to be dangerous at airports.
I'm not sure who to be more annoyed with in this story -- the German authorities for adopting the ridiculous liquid rule, or the idiot who decided to chug a liter of vodka rather than check it.
Though I do feel bad for the people who were stuck in line behind him. I just hope they made their flights.
I've been looking for small things I can do to bring more readers to Cromely's World, and there is a whole industry for blog referral tools. Entrecard is the newest one for me.
Basically, you sign up with Entrecard, and put the widget on your site. You also create your own virtual business card. When you visit another Entrecard users blog, you drop your card there. When another user visits your blog they can drop their card on your site. You earn credits for all these drops.
You can use your credits to "buy" advertising space on another blog. You choose the blog to advertise on, and they accept or reject your ad at their leisure. If you they accept your ad, they earn credits.
You can also sell space on your blog. That's the link in the Entrecard widget. So I get credits for including someone else's link in my Entrecard widget.
There are more detail available at http://entrecard.com/
Last month I wrote about the Blogrush widget in my tool bar. It's another tool for generating traffic.
Blogrush has not brought me any significant traffic, though. In the past month, I have had 6 visitors through Blogrush. I guess I don't write catchy enough headlines.
With Entrecard, however, in the first 22 hours of use, 24 new users visited Cromely's World. I haven't even launched my campaign yet.
For me, 6 visits in a month versus 24 visits in a day means things are not looking for Blogrush.
While I was in California last week, my girlfriend called me. She wanted to know who was sending me flowers. That's no a call you want to get while away on a business trip.
American Express sent me a dozen roses. I didn't think I spent that much money with them. It came with two cards. The first one, with the shipping label read:
THANK YOU FOR BEING A VALUED AMERICAN EXPRESS (R) CARDMEMBER. MAY YOU ENJOY A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY AND A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR. WARMLY, AMERICAN EXPRESS
The card in the box said:
You truly are one of our most loyal American Express (r) cardmembers, and we wanted to take this opportunity to show you how much we value your Cardmembership. We hope you enjoy the accompanying bouquet of flowers -- a token of our appreciation.
May you have a wonderful holiday and a happy an healthy New Year. Here's to 2008, a time of new beginnings and endless possibilities.
It was a mix of yellow, pink, and red roses. They came in a distinctive 1 800 Flowers box, that needed to be opened quickly.
I am grateful for the gesture. It was a pleasant, if odd surprise. Fortunately, I did make it back to town before they died.
And more importantly, I grateful that my GF doesn't jump to conclusion.
While Play Cole put Star Trek into the Muppet Word, another fan brought the Muppet World to Star Trek.
Star Trek Voyager: The Muppet Show
They demonstrate that love in these two clips.
James Doohan played Scotty, the heavy drinking miracle work from the Enterprises' engine rooms. Scotty was the only red shirt who would beam down to a planet and return to the ship on a regular basis. His death in 2005 touched fans around the world.
Star Trek: Tribute to Scotty
Star Trek: Enterprise went off the air in 2005, ending an 18 year streak of new Star Trek episodes. And in 2006, as viewers celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first episode of Star Trek, one fan put together this tribute to forty years of Star Trek using the music from the best episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Star Trek: 40th Anniversary Tribute
It's only fitting that a fan give them a great psychedelic tribute by pairing up Star Trek and Jefferson Airplane.
Star Trek: White Rabbit
The music in a show is just as critical and is often overlooked . A good sound track transports the viewer and makes them forget they are watching the show unfold in a rectangle in their living room. The music also sets the mood.
Here are two clips of Star Trek battles. The first is a compilation of combat scenes; the second is the final major battle from Deep Space 9. The music in Blitzkrieg is Requiem for a Dream from the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers trailer. The must in What You Leave Behind is also from the Lord of the Rings.
The battles have several scenes in common, but the slight change in music changes the effect significantly.
Star Trek: Blitzkrieg
Star Trek Deep Space 9: What You Leave Behind
But Star Trek is a cultural touchstone for more than just member of Play Cole. And fans have mixed it with a wide assortment of cultural flotsam and jetsam.
This week, I'll highlight just a few of these gems from the You Tube search engine.
If you're a fan of the Rocky Horror Picture show, your eyes probably light up and you have trouble staying in your seat when someone calls out, "It's just a jump to your left..."
The crew of the USS Enterprise feels the same way.
Star Trek: Time Warp
An Oak Creek High School teacher has been arrested after authorities said he posted comments online in a debate about teacher salaries, saying the Columbine High School shooters were heroes.
James Buss, 46, of Cudahy, was arrested Thursday by West Bend police and released after posting $300 bail. He has been suspended from his job. He could face criminal charges.
Could face criminal charges for posting offensive comments? Do we arrest people now just because they might at some point have to face criminal charges?
And those criminal charges would be related to offensive comments?
Outrages like this are becoming more common. While Buss's comments may have been inappropriate, arresting someone for praising criminals is fundamentally wrong and is more offensive than his praise of the Columbine killers.
We have to protect offensive speech. That's why we have the first amendment. Those protections were added to our most important national document to protect the unpopular and offensive. Popular and politically correct speech doesn't need protection. The unpopular statements need to be protected.
Buss deserves a large settlement from the department that had him arrested. Elected officials who approve the arrest of people who simply post their thoughts on line need to be recalled or voted out of office.
I'm afraid it won't be long before something like this would be considered subversive and arrestable:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.