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I haven’t been to many movies lately, due to lack of funds and just a general disinterest in the public at large, but I made an exception to go see “Despicable Me”. Oh, and a friend paid for it, which was further incentive. I also don’t give many things reviews, and to date, this is my first online review of any movie, so I’m going to give it my best shot because I think this film deserves it.

*Spoiler Alert!*

The story follows a bald, hunch-backed man named Gru (voiced by Steve Carell), who is a russian-accented super-villain of less than super proportions. Once the world’s greatest super-villain when he was younger, he seems to have fallen half a step behind other super-villains when it comes to crime-sprees, and his efforts never really pay off, his greatest achievements to date being the theft of the Times Square Jumbo-tron and the mini-Statue of Liberty from Los Vegas. Between a financier who has lost faith in his ability due to his age and a mother who has never really taken an interest in him or his work, Gru spends a lot of time trying to prove that he is the greatest criminal mind of the century. The unfortunate problem, however, is that a new, younger super-villain named Vector (Jason Segel) has beaten him to the punch, having stolen the great pyramid of Giza and replacing it with an inflatable decoy. Gru realizes he has to up the ante if anyone is to take him seriously, so he devises a plan to steal the moon using a shrink ray that was currently being tested in a top secret lab in east Asia, with the help of his hundreds of little yellow corn-puff minions and a mad scientist named Nefario (voiced by Russell Brand). But mere seconds after having successfully stolen the shrink ray, Vector appears and snatches it from Gru’s clutches.

After many unsuccessful attempts at breaking into Vector’s fortress to steal the shrink ray back, he observes three little orphaned girls (Agnes, Edith, and Margo, who are selling cookies so they can have a better future) walk right up to the gate and into the doors without being shot at or attacked, and a plan formulated in his mind. The next day, he arrives disguised as a dentist at Miss Hattie’s Home for Girl’s (a rather exploitative orphanage in which girls are required to sell girl scout-type cookies for Ms. Hattie, voiced by Kristen Wiig) and insists adopting all three of the girls he’d seen the day before. The three of them are obviously less than excited about being adopted by a single and slightly deranged looking man, but they are determined to make the best of it. It’s clear immediately to the girls that Gru was not exactly sure what caring for children entailed (as he had put out candy and water in dog dishes for the girls) and spend much of their first day pushing his buttons and trying his patience. He gives in to most of their wishes, like accepting a ticket to their up-coming ballet recital, anxious to keep them happy long enough to get the plan over with, though refuses to perform any niceties unbecoming to a villain, like reading bedtime stories and fixing disintegrated toys.

His plan is basically to use the girls as a diversion; using the time spent delivering cookies to keep Vector distracted long enough to get in and out with the shrink ray. Once he had successfully stolen back the shrink ray, he is eager to get rid of the girls and takes them to an amusement park (where he originally intended to abandon them) only to find that he had begun to bond with them, much against his will. Once back home, he presents the shrink ray to his financier and asks for money to build a rocket that will take him to the moon. The financier refuses, telling Gru that he had already invested a lot of money in Gru and was no longer willing to support a villain that never delivered, but the truth is that the financier is in fact the father of Vector, who has taken on Gru’s plan to steal the moon. Gru, depressed, decides to give up on his dream of going to the moon, until the girls offer him the few meager pennies they had saved in order to help him realize his dream, after which his minions followed suit, offering up everything they had to build the rocket. Touched, Gru forges ahead with his plans, only to become less and less focused on this dream as he grows more and more attached to the girls. At one point, Dr. Nefario decides the only way to get Gru back on track is to return the girls and makes a call to the orphanage, relaying to Ms. Hattie that Gru doesn’t want the children anymore. Visibly heartbroken, Gru returns to his plans less enthusiastically that he had before, unable to put the girls out of his mind, while at the same time the girls attempt to acclimate to life without their new father-figure.

Finally, after all his scheming, he built the rocket, flew into space, shrunk the moon, and holds it his hand. In the midst of this triumph, he suddenly realized that he had time to make it to the girls ballet recital of swan lake. He flew as fast as he could back down to earth, crash-landing in the middle of the street, only to find the studio empty and the girls gone. Finding a note on one of the chairs labeled “Margo, Edith, and Agnes’s Dad” he flips it over to realize that it’s actually a ransom note left by Vector, who had stolen the girls to get the moon from Gru. After a long run of being rather wishy-washy and a little indifferent, Gru suddenly becomes a force to be reckoned with, having dodged six heat-seeking missiles and literally punching out a shark. Faced with Gru’s new-found strength and aggressive determination, Vector becomes frightened and decides to escape with the moon and the girls held captive in his escape pod. Following them, Nefario tells Gru that the shrink ray’s effects wear off faster depending on the size of the object that was shrunk. Gru realizes the girls are in eminent peril, as the moon is rapidly returning to it’s normal size and in danger of crushing the girls, and risks life and limb to save them, swearing he’d never give them up again no matter what. The movie ends with the girls performing a special ballet recital for Gru, his mother, Dr. Nefario, and all his minions on Gru’s assembly stage, during which Gru’s mother finally tells him that she is proud of him and complements him for becoming such a wonderful parent. This all naturally devolves into a disco dance number, after which Gru stands on the highest platform with his little girls looking up at the moon, where Vector is now stuck.

*End of Spoilers*

Even though I was excited to see it, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie, especially considering the cast of voice-actors they had hired for the parts. I’m not in the least a fan of Russell Brand, Steve Carell, or Jason Segal. Actually, in all honesty I wish I could say I’m not a fan, but the fact is that all three of these actors typically seem to take part in movies in which I have little to no interest. I just don’t like stupid humor. Call me old fashioned, but I think comedy should have some sort of substance and, well, wit to it. I’m not one of those people who can shut down their brains when watching films or believes that three hours of fart jokes are twice as enjoyable as an hour and a half of fart jokes. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the performances of all three, specifically because their voices are relatively unrecognizable. I was very pleased about that because it says, despite evidence to the contrary, that these actors actually have depth and range in their acting abilities and aren’t just leaning on their “strengths”. I have more respect for them now as actors knowing that they are able to think outside of their safe zone when it comes to characters, at least animated ones.

The next thing I really like about this movie is that you get a real sense of bonding and affection as the movie progresses. It’s very nice to see that computer animation has evolved to the point where it can evoke a genuine cathartic response in it’s audience. You feel as though, despite being completely fictional characters and animations, that there really is a love story going on and you get caught up in it. You’re also sympathetic to both Gru and to Margo, Edith, and Agnes and can identify with their search for acceptance and love. One of the greatest parts of this movie is that the characters are so well defined and relatable. Margo (voiced by Miranda Cosgrove), who is the oldest girl, feels responsible for the two younger ones and can be very bossy. She’s intelligent and assertive and seems able to sway Gru by using logic. Edith is the middle girl who shares Gru’s interest in weird and unusual things. She’s a little destructive and likes to blame other people when she breaks things, even when she is watched doing it. Anges, the smallest, is the epitome of a cute little girl and is funny in ways that she doesn’t mean to be, but is because she’s so little. She likes Gru from the very beginning and is the first to start chipping away at his little evil bubble with those giant, mind-controlling brown eyes of hers.

In the same token, I found Gru to be very likable. Despite being a “bad guy”, Gru is a really adorable character who, more than anything, craves love from his mother and acceptance from his peers. Physically, he resembles some sort of hairless bear who can look grumpy and menacing one moment and very cute and friendly the next. His desire to succeed as a villain is driven primarily by the need to feel validated by his mother, who is very critical of him and cuts him down at every opportunity, especially as a child, which has led to social awkwardness and a desperate need to prove himself as an adult. You understand early on that he’s not actually an evil person, which is evident from how he treats his minions (by paying them wages and giving them employee benefits as opposed to ruling over them with fear and intimidation, as well as knowing every single one of them by name) and also how his minions treat him (with respect and loyalty rather than mindless obedience and terrified servitude), and that more than anything else, he just wants love, recognition and appreciation from the people around him, which Margo, Agnes, and Edith grow to show him without condition, and which he in turn shows them.

Overall, this movie is really sweet and has some great one-liners and visual puns; its well spaced and keeps you laughing. And it’s so cute, it’ll make your head explode into kittens. Especially little Agnes, the doe-eyed cutie who everyone loves. Most notably, it has made me a fan of Steve Carell. I can’t find much fault with this movie and I think it’s something people of all ages could enjoy. I’ve heard that there may be a sequel, and while I generally dislike most sequels, I love this story and would like to see more become of it. Maybe Mr. Gru will find himself a lady-friend; who knows. I am eager to see where the story is taken in the future.

My favorite GiFs.

Some of these are slow. Click on them to see it properly.

There is douchery there that does not sleep…

Thor wants noms… (Large file; click on it to see)

Playas gon play. Haters gon hate.

Something is amiss…

That’s right. Keep walking.

OMG!!! CANNOT BE UNSEEN!!!

Don’t worry. I got it.

I don’t know why someone decided to do this. All I know is that the outcome is sheer epicness.

Last but not least!

Your offering has appeased the monster. He shall not destroy your village…

This year…

I Love Israel.

My friend Israel is awesome. For several reasons, but not the least of which is that he’s a total genius.

I’m a corset maker. I’ve make them for myself and for others. I’m still very much a novice at it, but I’ve sold two so far and I’ve been commissioned to do another for a trade which is almost finished, all except the grommets. Here is one reason I love him so much. Israel’s wife, Becky, and I took a class in corset making. We were the only two people in a class of about 15-20 who completed the class, by the way, because it takes the patience of a saint to complete a corset. As we got to the grommet stage of corset making, we had to use a hammer and grommet tools to set them, which took for-fucking-ever. Becky and I got together for a stitch-n-bitch party and Israel was also present, being completely engrossed in the process. As he watched us struggling between the two of us with one hammer (this is before we knew about hand grommet setters), he got this look on his face (like he’s one to do) as though he were coming to some sort of conclusion and he said: “Why don’t we just get a press?”

After we gaped at him like fish for a moment, we were like, “Wha?” He says, “A press, an industrial press. Let’s go to the hardware store and see if we can find one that would help.” So we looked and found this thing:

It is PERFECT! It easily shaved three hours off the corset making process. I can set thirty grommets in ten minutes. God, it’s awesome.

THANK YOU, ISRAEL!!!

In India and surrounding provinces, in the autumn of 1883 and for many years afterward, there occurred brilliant sunsets of unusual color, green suns, and blue moons.

The general idea of a blue moon is the second full moon  that occurs in the same month; i.e. the second full moon that occurs in the month of March, perhaps. However, this is not the phenomenon to which this article is referring. It is describing the phenomenon of a moon, full or otherwise, physically appearing blue in color.

On the 28th of August, 1883, the volcano of Krakatoa, of the Straits of Sunda, had blown up. It is said that the sound was heard 2,000 miles, and that 36,380 persons were killed in the aftermath, and that the extraordinary atmospheric effects of 1883 were first noticed in the last of August or the first of September. However, for seven years the atmospheric phenomena continued, so how would “volcanic dust” explain the phenomenon occurring in all that time? Or the fact that this phenomenon occurred in Trinidad before the eruption occurred and was also seen in Natal, South Africa as little as six months before.

But Krakatoa: that’s the explanation that the scientists gave. I don’t know what whopper the medicine men told.

Nordenskiold, before 1883, wrote a great deal upon his theory of cosmic dust, and Prof. Cleveland Abbe contended against the Krakatoan explanation — but that this is the orthodoxy of the main body of scientists. Nordenskiold states: “It is now, as it was in 1888, considered that the atmospheric effects produced by Krakatau’s eruptions persisted until 1886, when “things had returned to their normal condition.” Ibid, 397-418. Although Krakatau may have been responsible for some of the most spectacular of the atmospheric effects, its predominant contribution may not have been exclusive, before its May and August eruptions in 1883 and after 1886. The eruption of Etna in May of 1886 produced afterglows through that summer. And, the eruptions of Bandaisan in Japan, and of Ritter Island in the Bismarck Archipelago, in 1888, and the eruption of Bogoslov in the Aleutians, in 1890, may have been responsible for atmospheric effects following the lapse identified by Fort. H.H. Lamb. “Volcanic dust in the atmosphere; with a chronology and assessment of its meteorological significance.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, s.A, 266 (1970): 425-533, at 475, 520. 

The orthodox explanation:

See the Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Royal Society. It comes out absolutely for the orthodox explanation, absolutely and beautifully, also expensively. There are 492 pages in the “Report,” and 40 plates, some of them marvellously colored. It was issued after an investigation that took five years. You couldn’t think of anything done more efficiently, artistically, authoritatively. The mathematical parts are especially impressive: distribution of the dust of Krakatoa; velocity of translation and rates of subsidence; altitudes and persistences, etc.

http://www.resologist.net/damnei.htm

Charles Fort: The Book of the Damned

I’m not much of a complainer when it comes to things like my health. I get over things pretty quickly, so there is really no need to bitch too much about it. But, I’m starting to get pissed off at myself because of the things going on inside my body.

I’ve had stomach problems for almost ten years now, and i always attributed it to stress or having a sensitive stomach. I never really thought too much about it or even considered it might be something serious. However, my symptoms have been intensifying over the last couple of years, and it had me more than a little concerned. I’ll admit that I’ve been something of a hypochondriac, not because I wanted attention, but because I kind of just wanted to know what the hell was wrong with me. It started out with stomach discomfort coupled with a lack of desire to eat. I’d go for several days without eating simply because I wasn’t hungry. My parents actually thought I was developing an eating disorder without realizing something more serious may have been going on. In the last few years, the symptoms have come to include spontaneous vomiting, long-term bouts of nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain, and fatigue, as well as some lower G.I. discomfort.

I went to a gastrointerologist and had both a lower and upper G.I. scope to see if the problem was an ulcer somewhere. Afterward, the doctor said that I, and I quote, “Have a pretty colon.” He did blood labs and tissue biopsies and concluded that I was, as he described, “abnormally healthy” stating that I had the kind of gastrointestinal tract to which he would compare others. I was both pleased and frustrated to learn this. Glad that I was healthy, but really wondering if all these symptoms were in my head, and it really was just stress causing me to have all these ailments.

But then, I had the most terrifying symptom of all. I had some sort of episode in which I had horrible upper abdominal pains that radiated down into my lower abdomen, up into my chest, and beck through my spine. It literally felt as though I were being stabbed. I’m pretty familiar with pain, but this was some of the worse pains I’ve ever felt in my life. I’ve had three so far, and they are excruciating. I had no idea what had caused it, until my mother said that it sounded like I was having a gallbladder attack.

Gallbladder attacks occur when gallstones (crystallized bile) obstructs the bile ducts in the gallbladder, resulting in terrible pains in the abdomen. It can (in some cases) cause vomiting, stomach discomfort or pain, loss of appetite, heartburn, and other gastrointestinal problems. If I have gallstones, this would explain all of these problems. Gallstones run in my family, as my mother, grandmother, and several aunts have had them. I will be having an ultrasound and a HIDA scan next week to determine whether or not this is the actual cause for all of my stomach problems, and to prove I’m not just way too stressed or a raging hypochondriac. If there are gallstones, I will be having the organ removed as soon as possible. There is no way I’m going to live with that kind of pain for as long as my mother did, simply because she was more afraid of surgery than she was the gallstones. Not me. This bitch is coming out.

Ah, validation. Updates to be posted.

Crop Circles are in no way a new phenomenon. There have been reports of crop circles in every country possessing farmland for many decades. The first documented report of crop circles was made in 1880 as a piece in the magazine Nature and then reprinted in 2000. It was written by an amateur meteorologist named John Rand Capron. He was quoted to have said: “The storms about this part of Western Surrey have been lately local and violent, and the effects produced in some instances curious. Visiting a neighbour’s farm on Wednesday evening (21st), we found a field of standing wheat considerably knocked about, not as an entirety, but in patches forming, as viewed from a distance, circular spots….I could not trace locally any circumstances accounting for the peculiar forms of the patches in the field, nor indicating whether it was wind or rain, or both combined, which had caused them, beyond the general evidence everywhere of heavy rainfall. They were suggestive to me of some cyclonic wind action.

In 1966, a rash of crop circles broke out in cornfields across the farms across England. They often found several having been done in separate cornfield in one night. Years later, the creator of the “Tully Saucier Nests” came forward and confessed it had been he who was responsible. In 1981, two men were inspired by the original crop circle hoax decided that they would follow in the footsteps of their predecessor and created many crop circles within a few weeks. When they didn’t receive much publicity due in part because scientists decided that the plain, single circles could be explained naturally, the pair decided to create even more complicated patterns.

Nowadays, there are actually crop circle artists; people hired to created unique patterns in their crops. Even still, there are still crop circles occurring in America, Europe, and parts of Asia that have not been claimed and are still a mystery.

Despite all of this, however, there are crop circles that appear overnight that could not possibly have been done in one night with only a handful of people. Ones that are so big, so intricate, so… odd, that they cannot be attributed to hoaxers working in the dark. The most auspicious of which is the biggest crop circle yet.

Is there a such thing as an “authentic” crop circle? Are all of them hoaxes? If that’s true, why don’t they come forward and try to profit from it. Money is usually a great motivator. If they aren’t all hoaxes, what’s causing them?

Now this one is a story that really got my imagination going. Several years ago, an old 8mm video, dated April 1977, surfaced on the internet and was supposedly discovered in a box purchase from an estate sale. It is three and a half minutes long without audio, and appears to portray the hunting/camping trip of an older man (or woman, as the gender is difficult to make out) and one or two teenage boys, depicting them snowmobiling, chopping wood, and working on a late model truck.

At 1:40 in the film, the first unusual shot is seen. It looks as though the person videotaping is just staring into the winter forest, until you realize something in the middle of the frame is actually moving, resembling a darkly-furred animal, which can again be seen briefly at 2:40. At 3:08 is where it gets really frightening. The camera operator seems to have gotten closer to the animal in order to see what it is, only to have it charge toward him, as he drops the camera and runs with it still in his hands. At 3:25, there is a flash of teeth, and the camera falls to the ground, motionless.(*Note: Many people believe that, while the video has not been cut or edited, the shot of the teeth was superimposed later, which tends to shed a very skeptical light on the whole thing.)

Now, if this were scary enough, another 8mm video surfaced on Youtube in 2009, but this time instead of a snowmobiling trip, it’s a police video record. According to the person who posted it, who calls him/herself QuinlanOUR12 (who has since either deleted his account or had his account suspended):

“I was at my little brother’s house Friday June 10th and my sister-in-law was watching Fox News. (She’s madly in lust with that Sean Hannity guy). A short segment came on about “the Beast of Bray Road” [click to watch -Steve]. Hannity then played a clip from a film named…”The Gable Film”.

Sirens went off in my head.

Our only uncle was a film nut in college, back in the seventies. He was always making home movies and beer commercials. He was even hired, (not for pay), to help the Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigate and document a bear attack, just north of Bellaire. (Our Grandmother worked in the Antrim County Courthouse,…. she had a hand in getting him the gig). The victim’s name was Aaron GABLE!

My mother tells us that after filming the attack scene, our Uncle John was so distraught that he packed up his stuff and moved to Florida, two weeks later!. Mom says his behavior was becoming very psychotic, he couldn’t sleep at night and he kept going on about how “bears have FIVE toes,….. dogs have four”!. Just a week after he left, a DNR officer hand-delivered the film that Uncle John made to my Mother’s house. It’s been in a box in the basement ever since.

Now, I seem to recall that these films usually lasted about five minutes or so, but the film we have is only about a minute long… and the end of it was obviously torn off, not cut clean.

I wonder just how much is missing? We almost threw this film away just a couple of years ago, but I wound up buying a vintage projector on eBay, just to see what was on this film. (Boy, was I suprised). NOW,….. I find that there’s this “Gable” film out there?  I wonder if these two films are related. I’ll see if I can get it in better resolution, other than with Wifey’s camera-phone. (It might be expensive,….. but I’m sure it’ll be worth it).

One thing’s for certain, whatever it was on that clip that they played on Fox News,….. it sure didn’t look like no Bear.”

*Warning, extremely graphic! Footage of Severed Torso of Deceased Victim*

Watch for yourself.  Scroll down to watch video.

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There has been much deliberation as to whether or not these videos are elaborate hoaxes (for the time) or actually evidence of a unknown bear-like creature killing the people in the video. There are arguments on both sides, and both sides have valid points, as well as those that are not so valid. Some of the believers assert that this could be anything from a modern day werewolf attack to a distant cousin of Sasquatch. However, thankfully, there are more rational theories, as well as some impressive evidence to suggest it is actually an authentic find. The first is the fact of the evidence littering the ground around the corpse. After the cameraman takes some shots of the body, they head out farther into the field to catalog the evidence marked on the ground with tags. One piece of which was a pair of black rimmed glasses with what looks like a tag laying next to it. Because of glare and width of the camera lens, the only discernible letters are “G L A”. It’s safe to assume that the tag reads “glasses”. However, this detail was not ever mentioned or seen in the original film. If this is is a hoax, how and why would someone have the forethought to add the glasses at all? Both of these films are actually very authentic looking, for one. It seems like it would be more trouble than it’s worth to create not one, but two separate videos, possibly filmed by two different people just to play a prank, especially considering how much the props would have cost (I.E. The bear outfit, the prop body, the camera, renting the cars and vintage police uniforms, the gory intestines, and so on.

On the other hand, Deniers have some pretty solid evidence, too. They pick apart both of the videos, trying to find as much wrong with it as possible in order to debunk it. The first of which is that the blue pickup truck is seen in each of the tapes. In the first film, the truck is being worked on by the older victim. In the second, it’s parked in front of the police cruiser on the road next to the field where the victim lies (who, now that we see her more closely, appears to be female due to the feminine curve of her arms). An answer to this fact may be as simple as the victim could have parked there before she was killed, as it’s obvious she is the one driving. Interesting to note, the notepad the policeman holds up says “Reel 2: Attack Site” on the first sheet and “Vehicle Reg. Aaron Gable” on the second, indicating that they already knew about the first reel and the identity of the victim(s). There is the distinct possibility of both films being hoaxed, but if there is a possibility of authenticity, why create a hoax based on something that was already real?

And now for something completely different… but kinda the same. Another Youtuber named Zach Luemke claims that he was the one who discovered the tape. After emailing him several times about it, Quilan wrote an email back, and Luemke decided to share with others. It’s is as follows:

Re: Gable Film

“I’m sorry I haven’t answered any emails, I’ve been… unavoidably detained.

Let me just say that I can’t say for certain that Johnny wasn’t a big practical joker, he left Michigan before I really had a chance to know him. I didn’t shoot this film, I wish I could tell

you with absolute certainty what this film is,… but Denouncing Negative Reactions Can Often Vilify Every Rational Uniform Position, so I can only say that this looks like just a matter of individual interpretation.

… I hope you understand.

I never meant to mislead anyone, or do anything illegal… I just found this all very interesting, and wanted to share.

That’s all.

Tell the troops I said good-bye.”

(QuinlanOUR12).

You’ll notice every word in one of the sentences is upper-cased. When read, they spell “DNR Cover Up.”

Now, I mentioned much earlier that, in the original tape, the teeth you see in the last few frames were added to the film, for whatever purpose by some unknown person. To end this article, I leave you with a video that shows you exactly, or at least plausibly, how it was done.

Many, like myself and the owner of the tape, Steve Cook, remain neutral about the possible authenticity of the film. Cook has never claimed it to be anything more than an odd video and does not make any assertions about what it could or could not be. He himself isn’t even sure of what he sees when he watches the tape and is reluctant to jump to conclusions, which says to me that he, at the very least, is not being deceitful. But he is not the person who shot the video, so we still don’t know if the Filmer was setting up a very lifelike hoax, or if a person, or perhaps two or more people, have fallen victim to whatever is shown in this movie.

***Information credited to Steven J. Busti and The Museum of the Weird (http://www.museumoftheweird.com/)

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