Friday News Chum: Obits, Animation, Non-Christian Christians, Fecal Transplants, 404 pages, and Close Shaves

Well, it’s Friday at lunch, and that means it is time to clean out the news chum links, toss them into the water, and see if anyone bites on them for discussion.


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

From an article I’m reading:

“The Governator is going to be a great superhero, but he’ll also be Arnold Schwarzenegger,” Lee says of the semi-fictional character. “We’re using all the personal elements of Arnold’s life. We’re using his wife [Maria Shriver]. We’re using his kids. We’re using the fact that he used to be governor. Only after he leaves the governor’s office, Arnold decides to become a crime fighter and builds a secret high-tech crime-fighting center under his house in Brentwood.”

There will be an Arnold Cave, a closet full of Super Suits that allow him to fly and perofrm other stunts and a team of colorful sidekicks….

No, this isn’t my April Fools post. According to USA Today, “The Governator” is a new comic book and animated TV show being developed by Stan Lee.


Interesting Take on Romeo and Juliet

The headline from LA Biz Observed says it sall: ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as Stan Lee supeheroes. Quoting from the start of the article: “Two groups of superhuman soldiers turn the Empire of Verona into the most powerful place on earth. The Montagues are cyborgs made of artificial DNA, and the Capulets are genetically enhanced humans with super speed and agility. They team up to destroy all threats to Verona. Then, trouble. The two families turn on one another, and a young Monague boy and Capulet girl pick the wrong time to fall in love.”


Friday Afternoon Chum

It’s been such a busy week, and the news has been less interesting, that there hasn’t been much chum for the waters. But today’s perusal of the papers over lunch brought some interesting items:

  • From the “Does This Explain Donald *Trump*?” Department: An interesting article in the NY Times today explains why some senior citizens are sharp as a tack: they regularly play Contract Bridge, and the social and memory aspects serve to exercise their brains. It also notes that bridge players are quick to sense when mental faculties are going: you don’t want a partner who isn’t playing at the top of their game. This article caught my eye for a few reasons: it talks about the seniors in Laguna Woods*, where my step-mother lives; both of my material grandparents, as well as my mother, were strong bridge players, and my grandfather was a master; and bridge was a game we played regularly in the UCLA Computer Club, although I was never good at counting suit.
    *: Why does the NY Times have so many articles about Southern California?

  • From the “Life in the Funny Pages” Department: The LA Times has an interesting piece on how the comics page in newspapers is declining with the death of the papers, and how this affecting the cartoonists. I know there are only three traditional cartoons I still follow (“Get Fuzzy”, “Pearls Before Swine”, and “Funky Winkerbean”), and I read those all online.
  • From the “Take the Money and Run” Department: The NY Times News Blog has an article (although I heard it on KTLA last night as well) about a man and his girlfriend in New Zealand who took advantage of a bank error. An error by a bank worker in New Zealand changed a man’s overdraft limit from $62,000 to $6.2 million. When the owner of the account discovered this, they reportedly withdrew as much of that money as they could, locked the doors of their failing business and fled the country with about $2.3 million. The couple are thought to be armed with little more than a change of clothes, passports and an ATM card.
  • From the “Does Two a Pattern Make?” Department: The OC Register has an article on Danielle Fishel, who is one of those actresses I enjoy watching (not necessarily because of their acting). Valerie Bertinelli, who I’ve mentioned before, is another in that category. I am a little surprised to learn Ms. Fishel lives in Yorba Linda.
  • From the “Probably the Only Time They Will Meet” Department: Marvel comics is publishing a Supermodel Magazine. Featured on the initial covers: Millicent Collins, a.k.a. Millie the Model (born 1945), and Mary Jane (born 1965), the model-turned-actress who toyed with the heart of Peter Parker (Spider-Man). Look at the covers closely. Yes, there are insider jokes.
  • From the “Taking the High Road” Department: Two interesting road related articles, one of which I’ll put on the California Highways Facebook Page when I get home. First, a plan to widen a portion of Sunset Blvd in Brentwood has been shelved; this looks to be the segment from Barrington to Gunston, which would be roughly from the school near Brentwood Village to a few blocks away from the freeway. It was probably shelved because of the impact on the expensive houses in that area. Another local road in the news is Angeles Crest Highway (Route 2), which just reopened. This was a section in the mountains closed after a storm in 2005that caused extensive damage in 17 different sites along a 10-mile stretch of the highway, from Islip Saddle to Wrightwood. After the section of highway was closed, another storm in 2006 battered the road and delayed repair efforts. The entire repair project cost $10.5 million and was funded by the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program.

The Resonant Frequency of Chum

A number of articles today seemed to resonate with me as my birthday approaches:

  • From the “It’s No Longer Cool When Your Parents Do It” Department: USAToday has an article about the percentage of older adults on social networks is growing. According to the article, 35% of adult Internet users now have a profile on at least one social networking site. And among online adults ages 35-44, 30% have a profile. For those aged 45 to 54 (I’m turning 49), the percentage is 19% (55-64, 10%; .GE. 65, 7%). The article notes that most adults use social networking for personal rather than professional reasons; about half of adult users are on MySpace and just under a quarter use Facebook. Just 6% use LinkedIn, geared for business networking. They don’t mention LJ. I guess I’m an a oddity: I’m on LJ, MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Haven’t yet gotten into twittering though….
  • From the “Dum Dum Dum Dum” Department: Some of us are old enough to remember when Peanuts still had new run strips (i.e., before 1999). It turns out there were multiple layers in the strips involving Schroder. The music in those strips… it was real snippets of Beethoven chosen specifically for each strip. Evidently, Schulz carefully chose each snatch of music he drew and transcribed the notes from the score. Alas, I never got the joke, as I don’t read music.

I Only Know What I Read In The Funny Papers

Many folks know that I read Funky Winkerbean, which I syndicate here on LJ at chg_funkyw. CNN has an interesting article on the author, Tom Baituk, and how he is making the strip real-life. In this case, the current storyline is about a character, Lisa Moore, who found out that her breast cancer is back. Previous strips have explored subjects such as teen pregnancy, adoption and being a soldier in Afghanistan. Quite a refreshing change from the train wreck that is FBOFW.

So, fess up, who else is now addicted to Funky?