January 2nd, 2006

1939 World's Fair

SF/31 Updateroonie! Exclamation marks!

Just got an update on four (well, five) films locked down and headed for SF/31, this year at the West Newton Cinema:

THE TINGLER (1959) - Vincent Price! Castle Films shlock! Groovy acid trip sequence! No electric devices in the seatbacks, though! This film will also show a few weeks earlier at the Brattle, on a double feature with Peter Jackson's THE FRIGHTENERS. I strongly suggest you go see it if you can't make the Marathon for whatever reason you've got.

FIRE MAIDENS FROM OUTER SPACE (1956) - Dancing fire maidens! Low-budget fun! My evil twin Timmy will be wreaking havoc in the theatre!

KONGA (1961) - Don't know much about it, but hey! Low-budget King Kong! Not even as good as Mighty Joe Young!

THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION (1984) - Planet Ten! Oscillation Overthrusters! Yes on one and no on two! Only the one film I've been incessantly requesting since I started going to this thing!

The fifth is, of course, DUCK DODGERS but I think I'm more excited about THE TINGLER and BUCKAROO BANZAI, oh yes yes yes. So now that you know, you gotta come with.

slow news minute

Around 8:51 every morning, if you listen to WBZ 1030 AM, you'll get a nifty little feature that probably should get its very own name. If I wanted to give as much attention to the feature as WBZ devotes to it, I'd come up with some half-assed name like "The Duh Report" or "The Daily Duh." See, an hour of news is hard to fill at WBZ, even with traffic on the 3s and weather on the 10s and a few minutes of Paul Harvey banging his walker and blathering on sometime after 8:30, so I guess the last few minutes of the hour is devoted to whatever vague semi-story they can write up all slapdash-like and send on to our ears without having to go in-depth on it.

For instance, the week before Christmas, I heard a nifty little piece on how bad Bad Credit is. "Shoppers this holiday season who spend too much," the lead warned, "may find themselves at risk for Bad Credit." Well! You don't say! Then WBZ newsreader Anthony Silva got to quote an economics expert who, as you can tell, is a real expert on the subject: "...Bad Credit may affect your ability to apply for a credit card, purchase a car or a house." Tips on how to avoid or get rid of Bad Credit, according to this expert, include "paying your bills on time." That's some hard-hitting reporting there, Slick.

A bit less responsible was the OMG COMPUTER VIRUS!!1 warning they did last week. "If you have Windows you shouldn't open images or visit random websites," Anthony intoned. "Computer Expert $NAMEHERE says that a vulnerability in Windows allows spyware and viruses to infect your computer. WBZ news time is 8:52; traffic on the 3s in sixty seconds..."

There is indeed a new vulnerability involving Windows Metafiles (.WMF files) and the "Windows Graphics Rendering Engine" and that yeah, it's way open to an exploit. But this is one of those cases where less information is worse than no information. I mean, I wasn't expecting a full explanation, much less the phrase "Windows Metafiles", because it wouldn't have been helpful or understandable to J. Random Windows User.

But WBZ didn't provide any help whatsoever, or any course of action for people to take. Hell, even just saying "Users are urged to visit Microsoft's website for details" at the end, an open-ended finger point which doesn't solve much either, would have helped a lot more than just "VIRUS! SPYWARE! DON'T OPEN NOTHING IN WINDOWS! DANGER DANGER DANGER! NOW HERE'S A MESSAGE FROM MARGIE, THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS AT NATIONAL LUMBER!"

Ah well. Gotta learn to despise them slow news minutes.