A Scary Movie that Isn't The Exorcist: The Abandoned


Death never runs out of time...

Nearly 40 years after its release, The Exorcist is still the gold standard for classic horror films, conjuring up pure psychological terror from the depths of the unknown and the unimaginable.

The scary face that lunges out of the shadows in many B-grade horror films may get a shriek out of you.

But movies that crawl into the dark recesses of your mind and rummage through the twisted bits and discarded debris of your hidden self are the truly terrifying ones.


If you're looking for a frightening movie to rent this weekend, you might try The Abandoned.

This film won't scare the bejeezus out of you quite like The Exorcist but it beats much of the stuff that typically masquerades for horror.

In this 2006 release, the mood is murky and mysterious when an American film producer returns to her homeland, Russia, to claim the family home she has inherited from her now-dead parents.

In the dark, creaking silence of an abandoned house, she learns why death never runs out of time.

Watch the trailer...if you dare...

The Music of Fiomily: It's Emily and Fiona, Back to Back!


Fiomily Take 3

We're tremendous fans of Emily and Fiona and judging from the response to our previous posts showcasing these two young ladies there's a lot of love out there for their talent.

This time we feature them back-to-back with videos of the songs they cover.

By the way, Avril Lavigne might want to look out. In our own opinion, Fiomily's version of Nobody's Home is arguably superior to Avril's unplugged version presented here.

Emily and Fiona already show incredible talent covering songs recorded by others. If they add songwriting to the mix, the sky may be the limit for these two.

Ridiculous Thoughts

Star Girl

Nobody's Home


Star of the County Down

More Fiomily:

Emily and Fiona Sing The Beatles

Fiomily (Emily and Fiona) Encore

If Dr. Phil Made Prank Calls...

More nonsense and nonsensibility
Prank phone callers are using celebrity sound bites and cliches to try to engage people in conversation. The pranker is obviously punching in fairly appropriate sound clips but they're generally non-sequitur and nonsensical.

Read more about these kinds of prank calls in yesterday's Arnold Schwarzenegger post.

Today we focus on Dr. Phil.
What amazes us though is that the out-of-context, goofy sound clips punched into these prank phone conversations seem no less meaningless than what he says on his TV show.

Lifestyle Change


More Lifestyle Change


Norma's House of Hair - Part I


Norma's House of Hair - Part II


If Arnold Schwarzenegger Made Prank Calls...


Not exactly the Turing Test
Computer pioneer Alan Turing proposed that a true test of artificial intelligence would be if you couldn't tell whether you were in a conversation with another human or a machine.

Well, what some annoying yet quite ingenious people have done isn't exactly the Turing Test but in its own way it's darn close.

Nonsense and nonsensibility
Prank phone callers are using celebrity sound bites and cliches to try to engage people in conversation. The pranker is obviously punching in fairly appropriate sound clips but they're generally non-sequitur and nonsensical.

This kind of practical joke is abhorrent on nearly every level but it does make for fascinating sociology.

To ridicule the recipients of these calls is to ridicule ourselves.
It may be nice to think that we wouldn't react the way that these people do but the truth is that many of us probably would.

It's revealing to observe how ready we humans are to make sense out of nonsense while we miss every cue that what we believe is going on actually is not.

Here's Arnold Schwarzenegger spouting dialogue primarily from Kindergarten Cop.

(Language Alert)

Motel Reservation


Customer Service


Radio Ad Salesperson


Travel Agent


Toyota: "Moving Forward"... Indeed

Too little, too late?

Toyota has launched a corporate ad in response to its ongoing quality crisis.

The spot features images of hardworking assembly line workers, backed by an inspirational soundtrack. The mea-culpa voiceover talks about Toyota getting back to what's really important.

Does this ad work for you?

It doesn't for us.

It comes off as a little too slick and much too expensive as a way of communicating with current and potential customers about what's going on.

Because beyond the performance issue itself, the other important repair work necessary is fixing the broken brand.

The well-publicized problem with uncontrollable acceleration was first thought by the company to be an issue with the floor mats.

Pedal to the Metal
But when the focus shifted to faulty accelerator pedals months later, Toyota again offered another solution.

When Woz talks, people should listen...
We certainly hope that this new workaround corrects the problem.

But again, with respect to repairing the brand, this video clip of Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak talking about his Toyota Prius, is more than a little disturbing.

Prius recall
After ignoring loyal-customer Steve Wozniak, Toyota today has announced a Prius recall of 300,000 vehicles. Whether or not this current action is software-related is not yet known but problems with Prius software were reported as far back as 2005.

Toyota: Moving Forward
Repairing mechanical problems is hard enough, but Toyota has been slow to reassure customers and dealers that they are serious about getting to the bottom of the issue.

Like two other major brands in crisis lately -- Tiger Woods, Inc. and NBC -- Toyota has been silent when it was time to speak and less-than-specific when statements have been made.

At any rate, it may be a good time for Toyota to look for a new tagline. "Moving Forward" has a very bad vibe right about now.