Telephone call for Dr. Horrible

If you pay attention to any geek news outlets on the web, you probably saw the introduction of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, a project organized by Joss Whedon to explore means of promoting and distributing content that don’t involve the RIAA, MPAA, NCAA, NAACP, AAAS, AAA or even AA, so far as I know.
It was free to watch for about a week. Then, available only on iTunes for only a week. Now, it’s free again. For how long? Dunno. Anyway, go watch it. And then go give Real Steve $4 for the commercial-free version. It’s sweet, funny and has Neal Patrick Harris, for frig’s sake. And he sings. I guess I’m the last guy on the continent to figure out that he was in Cabaret on Broadway recently.

I know all this and more

Quick hits for a Friday:
WBUR had a feature this morning on rockers as parents (with transcript so you won’t have to deal with the $#*! RealMedia player). Quotable Tanya Donelly : “I think the shift is that it’s now sort of edgy to have onsies [sic] at your show.”
…from which I learn that Tanya D has a children’s album out, which will be on its way to me Real Soon Now. Watch for a review here…if you’re very patient and craving some disappointment.
And while I’m writing about public radio, if you’re not catching WNYC’s Radiolab podcast, you should be.

April Fool’s Roundup

Here are my favorite April Fools stories for this year:

  • Work for Google on the moon.
  • ThinkGeek is selling a PC Easy-Bake Oven. Mmmm….caffeinated meatloaf!
  • An exposé from VeloNews on the mutant sunflowers planted in rural France along the Tour de France’s routes. This is the best one I’ve read this year – a classic for its subtlety. I was drawn in until the very end.

For a historical perspective, here’s the Museum of Hoaxes’ all-time top 100 list.

Paying For the Kidnap Experience

Last night’s “Reliving History: Fantasy Camps” show on the History Channel featured a segment on some inventive New Yorkers who have started an abduction service. Evidently, some people will pay a gang of complete strangers to kidnap them and hold them for hours or days, complete with rough handling, verbal abuse and head games. Naturally, the entire experience is videotaped. Let me be clear – this is something you pay to have done to yourself, not to someone you love or hate. And I thought that people who go to the Citadel are crazy!
The one customer interviewed on the show professed to be motivated by the desire to test his limits and find out if he could “take it.” I understand this need, but this seems like a frivolous and pointless way to fulfill it. “I survived a staged kidnapping” strikes me as not much of an accomplishment compared to “I ran a marathon” or one of the more “usual” challenges that people engage in when they find insufficient challenge in their routine activities. Maybe some people will learn something about themselves by paying to have themselves kidnapped, but I can’t imagine what…other than that they might like it enough to do it more than once.