The Man Who Shot Muammar Qaddafi

In a recently posted video, Senad el Sadık el Ureybi claims that he shot Qaddafi, but he did not shoot the deputy. According to the young rebel (and as reported by ynetnews):

“We grabbed him, I hit him in the face. Some fighters wanted to take him away and that’s when I shot him twice, in the head and in the chest.” What’s more, adds ynetnews, “He noted that Gaddafi didn’t die instantaneously, and that it took half an hour. He said he didn’t like the idea of Gaddafi being caught alive.” This is sounding more and more like the demise of Nicky Santoro in Casino. And as I recently wrote, a decision has yet to be made on where Qaddafi should be buried.

More Fonts, Fewer Games

Over the weekend I noted in The Weekly Standard that we shouldn’t forget Steve Jobs’s contribution to fonts. He gave us plenty. But if you were a Mac user in the 1980s, perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the computer was waiting for Commodore and other PC games to arrive in Apple format. For our family Apple IIe, we had quirky games like Captain Goodnight, Autoduel, and Moebius. There was Silent Service (created by the great Sid Meier) and Raid Over Moscow. Luckily there was the Bard’s Tale series (which seems less exciting looking back on it now). And when my non-Apple friends had already figured out Castle Wolfenstein, I was probably still playing Karateka (which I pronounced like erotica).

Hammersearch!

Breaking news out of the just-concluded Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco: Google’s domination of the Internet may soon be coming to a close as rapper-entrepreneur MC Hammer has parachuted his way into the search engine business. Reports Mashable Tech,

Most search engines are built on links and keywords, explained Hammer at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Google and other search engines aren’t as strong at connecting keywords to related topics—something he called relationship search.

Hammer explained a search for a car is not just about the car, but about the model, the mileage, the specs and even the zipcode (you likely want to buy from a local dealer). A search for a home is related to the surrounding community, schools, neighborhood condition and other related concerns.

“It’s about relationships beyond just the keywords,” Hammer said on stage.

To address this issue, Hammer launched WireDoo, with the tagline is “Search once and see what’s related.” The rapper and entrepreneur didn’t reveal much more about the search engine, beyond that it can bring up related topics to a search query in multiple verticals, including finance.

It’s important to note that Google Search does take into account keyword relationships, but Hammer believes that the search engine that his team has built — a project more than two years in the making — will prove to be more useful due to its focus on relational search.

To be honest, this “deep search” sounds too legit to quit. Still, when it comes to search engines, Google is certain Hammer can’t touch this. No doubt the rapper is telling his team that we’ve got to pray. We’ve got to pray just to make it today. And no, I couldn’t find an appropriate pun for the “Addams Family” song.

(Hat tip to Steve Ustaris.)

 

More Fear and Loathing

courtesy MDCarchives

For the Gonzo fanatics out there who can’t get enough of the life and times and prose of Hunter S. Thompson, my esteemed colleague Matt Labash has reviewed Fear and Loathing at Rolling Stone: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson, edited by Jann Wenner, in the Wall Street Journal. (And I stress Gonzo fanatics. The rest of us are left to wonder what’s with all the references to grapefruit.)

About Those Videos…

As I note at weeklystandard.com, the final hours of Muammar Qaddafi weren’t pretty. He was a banged up, bloody mess. How eerie was the first video (graphic), in which Qaddafi is still alive? I remember thinking at the time the phone camera concept was ridiculous. Who knew it would redefine the way we witness history? (And if only the video takers wouldn’t jump up and down so much while recording history—or is it snuff?)

Remaking a Masterpiece

It’s almost never good to remake a classic (The In-Laws, Psycho, The Longest Yard), although there are in my opinion a few exceptions (The Thomas Crown Affair and Sabrina). But now comes word that producer Al Ruddy will oversee the remake (with the help of General Motors) of the 1981 cross-country classic Cannonball Run. Yes, this film ranks right up there with Casablanca and Citizen Kane. Seriously, what would you rather see on a Saturday afternoon—Gone With the Wind or Cannonball Run? Does Gone With the Wind have outtakes? I don’t think so.

Thanks to HBO, I probably saw Cannonball at least one hundred times. There are scenes that would not work today, such as the drinking and driving by Terry Bradshaw and Mel Tillis. Why is the hi-tech Japanese team (co-starring Jackie Chan) riding around in a souped-up Subaru? Nevertheless, one shouldn’t mess with greatness—at least “greatness” defined by an 11-year-old sense of humor. (And don’t get me started on the sequel, which I consider as blasphemous as Godfather III.)

Seeing Is Believing

photo by Keith Allison

It was awfully uncomfortable watching Rex Grossman at a press conference following the Redskins’ horrendous loss to the Eagles last Sunday. Grossman, who finished with 4 interceptions and a QB rating of 23.7 (completing 9 of 22 passes) before he was benched in the fourth quarter, had this to say:

I believe in myself, no matter if the whole stadium doesn’t, the coaching staff doesn’t, you know, whatever the situation is. I believe in myself that every single play, I’m gonna get it done.

I can handle things! I’m smart! Not like everybody says … like dumb … I’m smart, and I want respect!

Alphabet Axes ‘Angels’

Sadly, not even Minka Kelly could rescue Charlie’s Angels from the ratings basement. Variety reports:

The network confirmed Friday that production has shut down, though episodes that have already been shot will continue to air in the Thursday 8 p.m. time slot for the time being. At least seven episodes are believed to be in the can.

Rumors of its demise had been circulating all week were all but confirmed when the series barely inched up a tenth of a ratings point Thursday, to 1.3 rating/4 share in 18-49, 6.0 million total viewers. The series has aired four episodes to date having launched on Sept. 22.

No word yet on whether ABC has settled on a permanent replacement in that time slot but special “The Great Pumpkin” has been skedded to Oct. 27.

The show, executive-produced by Drew Barrymore, now joins the growing list of fall casualties, including The Playboy Club, How To Be A Gentleman, and Free Agents. Could Prime Suspect or Whitney be next? (Not to worry, Maria Bello fans, I am sure she signed a contract guaranteeing her another cop show similar to Simon Baker’s situation on The Mentalist. Or was it The Guardian?)

P.S. The above title is my homage to Variety‘s slanguage. Who knows, the trade publication might’ve actually used it. Now if only Peacock Prexy Ankled For Eye…

P.P.S. For once, the Great Pumpkin actually saves the day!

Don’t Touch That Dial

If you think your cell phone is a piece of crap, you might be right. According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,

One in six mobile phones in Britain is contaminated with faecal matter, according to new research for Global Handwashing Day.

Experts say the most likely reason for the potentially harmful bacteria festering on so many gadgets is people failing to wash their hands properly with soap after going to the toilet.

The findings of the UK-wide study by scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London also reveal a tendency among Britons to lie about their hygiene habits.

Although 95% of people said they washed their hands with soap where possible, 92% of phones and 82% of hands had bacteria on them. Worryingly, 16% of hands and 16% of phones were found to harbour E. coli-bacteria of a faecal origin.

This study ranks up there with the findings concerning dinner mints at restaurants—the ones near the bathroom that supposedly revealed traces of … well, you know. Or the germ analysis of New York City cabs that showed similar traces of, shall we say, bodily fluids (and not just urine) and other matter on door handles and on the passenger seats. (On a related note, you might want to wash your hands after tying your shoelaces.)

But what this study indicates is that people like to think they are hygienic but are not. I know people, good friends, even, who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. One friend tells me he is convinced the sinks and the soaps are actually dirty and that he’s “careful” anyway. Sure he is. And so was Poppie.

Not a Helping Hand

Here is a bizarre story out of Zimbabwe about women who are raping men and supposedly collecting their essence for rituals. Come again? The victims are hitchhikers who are drugged, used, then left on the roadside without their possessions. In other instances, the men are allegedly held at gunpoint and forced to perform (talk about pressure!).

A police chief issued this ultimatum last year: “Let me warn all social miscreants who are soiling the country’s social fabric, cultural norms and values by perpetrating abominable and weird activities of women sexually molesting men, sometimes at gunpoint, to stop the practices forthwith.”

“Soiling the country’s social fabric” is one way to put it.