Monthly Archives: March 2008

Muy interesante

Ran across some photographs today. Excellent stuff, although I don’t know what some of them are, as the site was in Romanian. Some are from TIME magazine, and some are from various other places I’ve forgotten about (but I’d be happy to credit you if you’re the photographer).

Click on the picture to bring up a larger version in a new window.

See all those colors? Those are people.
This is one boss stogie.
I could barely keep one going.
Theoretical physicist and longtime quadriplegic Stephen Hawking gets a zero-gravity ride. Cool.
Doesn’t matter what country you’re in – giggly girls are irresistible.
Yes, luv. Some people are really, really, really dumb.
There isn’t enough Lemon Pledge in this world…
Ok, that’s gasoline. What’s wrong with this picture?
Al Gore needs some serious filing cabinet help.

Have yourself a merry little Monday. Time to go educate young minds.

Real life returns.


Dinner Theatre was fabulous. I must say that the thrill of seeing 15-18-year-olds displaying unmitigated professionalism onstage never gets old. The fact that they (and my pit band) make me look good is just an extra bonus. To cast and crew reading this: great show. Let’s do it again next year.

But for now, I turn my thoughts to Ms. Johanna Grüssner – the subject of the paper I have to finish in just a few hours. Anyone want to write a 6-page review?

Sometimes – especially after a night like last night – real life bites.

Fink out.

Thanks, Marty

Many of us don’t know what we’d do without our cell phones (Yours Truly included). Since we’re coming up on the 35th anniversary of the cell phone – no joke, it’s been *that* long – I thought I’d perform a little retrospective, just to illustrate how far we’ve come.

Martin Cooper made the first cell phone call in New York City on 3 April, 1973. He recalled in a recent interview:

As I walked down the street while talking on the phone, sophisticated New Yorkers gaped at the sight of someone actually moving around while making a phone call. Remember that in 1973, there weren’t cordless telephones, let alone cellular phones. I made numerous calls, including one where I crossed the street while talking to a New York radio reporter – probably one of the more dangerous things I have ever done in my life.

No kidding – especially considering the weight of the thing. I mean, look at the size of the first wireless phone. The model at left (held by Cooper himself), weighed almost 2 pounds.

The cost to buy one of these babies in ’73: $3,500.

Wireless contract, anyone?

As the 80s appeared, technology got better, but not necessarily any smaller. Emphasis by the industry was placed on putting phones in people’s cars (a decision many have criticized, even to this day). I remember when they were not called “cell phones,” but “car phones.” This doozy weighed 21 lbs.

The 1990s saw cell phones shrink in both size and cost (thank God). Nokia pioneered the “candy bar” phone – meaning that it doesn’t have a lid or closing panel that must be opened or slid in order to talk. I had one of these back in the 90s. The cost by then: around $300 per phone.

Now, cell phones are lighter, cheaper, faster and more robust than ever before. Mine is a Razr by Motorola (already a dinosaur, but I still like it), weighing in at just over 3 ounces. And I went to and designed my own Fabs cover.

So yeah – thanks Marty. You’ve come a long way, baby.


RtB’s First-Ever Contest!

King size Hershey chocolate bar awarded (or sent through the mail) to the first person who correctly identifies the product whose slogan was “You’ve come a long way, baby.” (My sister Mavis, who knows every entertainment history fact there is to know, is, unfortunately, not eligible for this contest. Heh.) Email your answer to ratfink at finkweb org.

Who knew?


Oliver Stone is making a movie about a controversial president. *Clutch the pearls!* His new, high-budget, likely bloated epic, W, is due to hit theaters in January 2009, before George Bush leaves office.

I wonder what prompted him to choose Josh Brolin to play Bush…he must’ve had a fabulous audition. USA Today has an interactive page dedicated to the remaining casting issues, where readers can select who they think should play the as-yet-uncast roles of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice and the Bush twins.
And who’s playing Laura Bush? Elizabeth Banks. My guess is that Stone will be going waaaaaay back into the early days of George and Laura, followed by some major make-up magic.
USA Today didn’t select my pick to play Dick Cheney: David Huddleston. What’s the matter with them, recommending slackers like Clint Eastwood, Michael Caine and Jack Nicholson? Didn’t they love Huddleston’s work in Blazing Saddles? Tell you what. People just don’t recognize quality theater anymore.

In other news: my show opens tonight. Yikes.