Ed Wood

It is hard to believe that a man so obviously short of talent could have such a big influence over people who have such an abundance of it, but this biopic goes a long way to explain how. First, however, one must understand that this film was not intended to be a literal account of this period in Ed Wood's life. It is easy to mistake it as such after Jeffrey Jones delivers his Criswellian monologue, but it isn't. Tim Burton appears to have more intended to make a film to celebrate the life of one of Hollywood's most creative failures.

The film covers the shooting of three of Wood's best-known films. In the order they appear in the film, these are Glen Or Glenda, Bride Of The Monster, and of course the infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space. The telling how all these titles were changed, and why, from those that Ed originally gave them, is hilarious in itself. Between the shooting of each film, we also get to see representations of how Ed found "talent" and financing to make these films. During these sequences, the film becomes the Spinal Tap of the film industry.

Johnny Depp is in brilliant form as the titular character. It is hard to get into a character who is so oblivious to his own lack of talent, and keeps such a brave face in spite of such crushing knockbakcs. Depp does this so brilliantly that it's a wonder he wasn't nominated for an Oscar. Speaking of Oscars, Martin Landau is dynamite as the ailing, forgotten one-time king of the horror silver screen. As Bela Lugosi, he is so in character that it gives a unique insight into the final days of Lugosi's life. As we learn what happens to Lugosi while Wood is hammering the final nails into his career's coffin, it's hard to say whether we shed tears for Lugosi's unfortunate demise, or because Landau portrays it with such conviction and sympathy.

If there is a weak link in this film, it is Sarah Jessica Parker. In one of life's ironies, as she is portraying Delores Fuller and reading a review of a stage performance, she asks if she really has a horse-like face (or something to that effect). I bet she didn't have to do much research in order to learn how to do that convincingly. Only Gary Busey, Jake Busey, and Julia Roberts exceed Parker for being obnoxiously ugly. The fact that she can't act worth a damn also lets the side down, although not as badly as one might expect, given that everyone who plays an extra in Ed's films is expected to turn in a rotten performance.

Some of the quirks that make Ed's films as great as they are were left out of the film. Jeffrey Jones, for example, doesn't even try to imitate the weird back-and-forth movement of Criswell's head as he explains that future events such as these will affect you in the future. However, one of the funniest incidents on the Plan 9 set, an actor playing a policeman scratching himself with his gun, is captured here with a certain kind of uncanny accuracy. From this, one gets the impression that Jeffrey Jones didn't care nearly as much about researching his character as did Martin Landau or Johnny Depp. In the end, however, the positives outweigh the negative quite dramatically.

It entertains from start to finish, which, like the titular character's actual films, puts it well ahead of numerous films that made a lot more money or garnered a lot more critical praise. This is another film that proves quality is still possible in Hollywood, in spite of how hard the system rails against it.

Gaining The Most Size and Strength Through Weights

Strength is about neuron reactions from the brain to the muscles. You must wire your brain to perform quick bursts of strength by training it with low rep lifting, in turn it will force your muscles to adapt and gain size after your muscles have been rewired to lift heavy. Once more, the more muscles involved in a single rep, the more your whole body is being required to perform the task. This being said, when size and strength is the goal, multi muscle exercises are the key because it makes your body release growth hormones in only way that multi muscle exercises do. High rep or single muscle exercises don't make you release growth hormone at such a high rate as the former.

Note: Low/high rep is referring to how many reps you can possibly do before not being able to perform any more. Not how many you want to do before deciding to put them down.

Start at weights where you hit failure at 6 reps. Keep using those weights till you can accomplish 12 reps in all exercises. Move on to higher weights once again where you hit failure at 6, repeat.

I know what you're thinking. "Why shouldn't I just start off with something I can do 12 reps with?" Well, you will never push yourself to be as strong as you could be. Sure, someone who never does anything lower than a 6 rep range will be stronger than if they're never picked up a weight in their life, but they will only be half as strong as they have the potential to be.

It's true that when first you start lifting with 6 reps you won't gain muscle mass as fast you would with 12 reps, but after a few workouts you'll soon be able to lift 7, then 8, 9, 10, 11, till you're finally able to hit 12 with weight, and guess what? You'll be twice as strong as you would be if you were working with you're initial 12 rep ability. Now, what about muscle size? By the time you're able to hit 12 with your new weight you'll now be working in a twelve rep weight to gain that muscle mass but you'll be doing it with weights twice as big! Now keep on lifting with this weight or up your weight to something you can only do 6 reps with again and work your way up to another 12! Some more great news is that if you do all this while using multiple muscle exercises you are making your body release a crapload of growth hormones which further up your muscle mass.

Body Hacking Tips and Tricks

Unstitch your side!
If you're like most people, when you run, you exhale as your right foot hits the ground. This puts downward pressure on your liver (which lives on your right side), which then lugs at the diaphragm and creates a side stitch, according to The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Men. The fix: Exhale as your left foot strikes the ground.

Stanch blood with a single finger!
Pinching your nose and leaning back is a great way to stop a nosebleed - if you don't mind choking on your own O positive. A more civil approach: Put some cotton on your upper gums - just behind that small dent below your nose - and press against t, hard. "Most bleeds come from the front of the septum, the cartilage wall that divides the nose," says Peter Desmarais, M.D., an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Entabeni Hospital, in Durban, South Africa. "Pressing here helps stop them."

Make your heart stand still!
Trying to quell first-date jitters? Blow on your thumb. The vagus nerve, which governs heart rate, can be controlled through breathing, says Ben Abo, an emergency medical-services specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. It'll get your heart rate back to normal.

Thaw your brain!
Too much Chipwich too fast will freeze the brains of lesser men. As for you, press your tongue flat against the roof of your mouth, covering as much as you can. "Since the nerves in the roof of your mouth get extremely cold, your body thinks your brain is freezing, too," says Abo. "In compensating, it overheats, causing an ice-cream headache." The more pressure you apply to the roof of your mouth, the faster your headache will subside.

Prevent near-sightedness!
Poor distance vision is rarely caused by genetics, says Anne Barber, O.D., an optometrist in Tacoma, Washington. "It's usually caused by near-point stress." In other words, staring at your computer screen for too long. So flex your way to 20/20 vision. Every few hours during the day, close your eyes, tense your body, take a deep breath, and , after a few seconds, release your breath and muscles at the same time. Tightening and releasing muscles such as the biceps and glutes can trick involuntary muscles - like the eyes - into relaxing as well.

Wake the dead!
If your hand falls asleep while you're driving or sitting in an odd position, rock your head from side to side. It'll painlessly banish your pins and needles in less that a minute, says Dr. DeStefano. A tingly hand or arm is often the result of compression in the bundle of nerves in your neck; loosening your neck muscles releases the pressure. Compressed nerves lower in the body govern the feet, so don't let your sleeping dogs lie. Stand up and walk around.

Impress your friends!
Next time you're at a party, try this trick: Have a person hold one arm straight out to the side, palm down, and instruct him to maintain this position. Then place two fingers on his wrist and push down. He'll resist. Now have him put one foot on a surface that's a half a inch higher (a few magazines) and repeat. This time his arm will fold like a house of cards. By misaligning his hips, you've offset his spine, says Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S,. co-owner of Results Fitness, in Santa Clarita, California. Your brain sense that the spine is vulnerable, so it shuts down the body's ability to resist.

Breathe underwater!
If you're dying to retrieve that quarter from the bottom of the pool, take several short breaths first - essentially, hyperventilate. When you're underwater, it's not a lack of oxygen that makes you desperate for a breath; it's the buildup of carbon dioxide, which makes your blood acidific, which signals your brain that something isn't right. "When you hyperventilate, the influx of oxygen lowers blood acidity," says Jonathan Armbruster, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Auburn University. "This tricks your brain into thinking it has more oxygen." It'll buyup to 10 seconds.

Read minds!
Your own! "If you're giving a speech the next day, review it before falling sleep," says Candi Heimgartner, an instructor of biological sciences at the University of Idaho. Since most memory consolidation happens during sleep, anything you read right before bed is more likely to be encoded as long-term memory.

The Fifth Element

This movie is grossly underrated, but I think that's because people went into it expecting something entirely different from what they got. They went in expecting one of the following: Die Hard in space, Star Wars, or  Independence Day.

The first group saw the movie as cluttered -- they were expecting a simple action thriller where the hero is one person, *maybe* with a sidekick, and plenty of villanous cannon-fodder. What they got was a conflict between multiple heroes with individual agendas who all basically wanted the same thing but kept getting in each others' way. The fast editing, wild visuals, and bizarre costuming just made it look sillier.

The second group saw it as small-minded -- they were expecting a well-thought-out SF epic where an ancient evil must be defeated by an ancient and nicely arcane good. What they got was a farce where the mystical rituals were nothing more than plot devices and ultimately the fate of the universe rested on a bunch of self-centered idiots. They were disappointed when nobody explored the ancient Mondoshewan race, when the hero only visited one other planet and then came straight back to Earth, when the "ancient evil" had only a corporate executive as its lackey.

The third group were expecting a repeat of the previous year's hugely successful "Independence Day." They were expecting a massive invasion from hideous creatures that would ultimately be repelled by an unlikely but very plucky patriotic hero (or group of heroes) who boldly went out and saved the world in its hour of need. With a bit of wisecracking thrown in for comic relief. What they got was a hero who had to be *pestered* into saving the world, a general disrespect for authority, incompetant villains, incompetant heroes, and a general impression that the entire human race is a laughingstock. Worth saving, but still a laughingstock.

What all these groups didn't realize going in was that this movie is French. And this is *exactly* what French farce is all about. It's comedy, it's silly, it's surreal, it's not meant to be taken too seriously, and it is a way to accept that life is priceless, although those who live life tend to be quite ridiculous. How do the French have a low crime rate *and* a complete disrespect for authority? This is how. They don't really disrespect authority. 

And that's what this is about. The world is about to end. And it's *funny*. Really. Not in the sense of your typical American situational comedies, but rather in the sense of French farce. That is to say, it's not the situation that's funny -- the situation is the direst of all imaginable tragedies. What's funny is the fact that everybody acts like an idiot in the face of it, from the military trying to take over despite having just proven they have no idea what they're doing, to the permanently baffled priest, to the government posturing uselessly away. It's a good movie, but you've got to understand that it's also a very silly movie. Go into it with a light heart and you'll enjoy. Don't expect adrenalin or epics or patriotism. This is about the human condition, and how fundamentally ridiculous it is.

Tips And Tricks To Handle Your Freaky Body

If your throat tickles, scratch your ear.
When you were nine, playing your armpit was a cool trick. Now, as an adult, you can still appreciate a good body-based feat, but you're more discriminating. Take that tickle in your throat; it's not worth gagging over. Here is a better way to scratch your itch: "When the nerves in the ear are stimulated, it creates a reflex in the throat that can cause a muscle spasm," says Scott Schaffer, M.D., president of an ear, nose and throat specialty center in Gibbsboro, New Jersey. "This spasm relieves the tickle."

Experience supersonic hearing.
If you're stuck chatting up a mumbler at a cocktail party, lean in with your right ear. It's better than your left at following the rapid rhythms of speech, according to researchers at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. If, on the other hand, you're trying to identifiy that sond playing softly in the elevator, turn your left ear toward the sound. The left ear is better at picking up music tones.

Overcome your most primal urge.
Need to pee? No bathroom nearby? Fantasize about a hot woman. Thinking about sex preoccupies your brain, so you won't feel as much discomfort, says Larry Lipshultz, M.D., chief of male reproductive medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine.

Feel no pain.
German researchers have discovered that coughing during an injection can lessen the pain of the needle stick. According to Taras Usichenko, author of a study on the phenomenon, the trick causes a sudden, temporary rise in pressure in the chest and spinal canal, inhibiting the pain-conducting structures of the spinal cord.

Clear your stuffed nose.
Forget Sudafed. An easier, quicker, and cheaper way to relieve sinus pressure is by alternatively thrusting your tongue against the roof of your mouth, then pressing between your eyebrows with one finger. This causes the vomer bone. which runs through the nasal passages to the mouth, to rock back and forth, says Lisa DeStefano, D.O., an assistant professor at the Michigan State University college of osteopathic medicine. The motion loosens congestion; after 20 seconds you'll feel your sinuses start to drain.

Fight fire without water.
Worried those wings will repeat on you tonight? "Sleep on your left side," says Anthony A. Star-poli, M.D., a New York City gastroenterologist and assistant proffessor of medicine at New York Medical College. Studies have shown that patients who sleep on their left sides are less likely to suffer from acid reflux. The esophagus and stomach connect at an angle. When you sleep on your right, the stomach is higher than the esophagus, allowing food and stomach acid to slide up your throat. When you're on your left, the stomach is lower than the esophagus, so gravity is in your favor.

Cure your tootache without opening your mouth.
Just rub ice on the back of your hand. on the V-shaped webbed area between your thumb and index finger. A Canadian study found that this technique reduces toothache pain by as much as 50% compared with using no ice. The nerve pathways at the base of that V stimulate an area of the brain that blocks pain signals from the face and hands.

Make burns disappear.
When you accidentally singe your finger on the stove, clean the skin and apply light pressure with the finger pads of your unmarred hand. Ice will relieve your pain more quickly. Dr.DeStefano says, but since the natural method brings the burned skin back to a normal temperature, the skin is less likely to blister.

Stop the world from spinning.
One too many drinks left you dizzy? Put your hand on something stable. The part of your ear responsible for balance - the cupula - floats in a fluid of the same density as blood. "As alcohol dilutes blood in the cupula, the cupula becomes less dense and rises," says Dr. Schaffer. This confuses your brain. The tactile input from a stable object gives the brain a second opinion, and you feel more in balance. Because the nerves in the hand are so sensitive, this works better than the conventional foot-on-the-floor wisdom.

Going Through A Hangover, Detailed Description

What's going down when you feel like throwing up.

Does it feel like a pig made love to your skull? Thank cytokines, inflammatory chemicals that booze causes to be produced in excess by your immune system. Cytokines, according to Dr. David Sack, an expert in comprehensive neuroscience cause "pain, thinking and memory problems, evenanxiety." Yup, a typical Sunday morning (minus the dead clown in our bed).

Thirst and dry mouth can be blamed directly on the drinks. Alcohol acts as a diuretic and sucks the fluid from the male body faster than your sister in a Denny's parking lot.

Flushing, sweating, and dilated blood vessels are all side effects of a night out. You'll look "dull, lusterless, dry, and generally older," in the morning says Howard Sobel, M.D., director of the N.Y Institute of Aesthetic Dermatology and Laser Surgery. Abuse hooch and chronic blood vessel dilation will redden your face and nose for good - and not in a cute Rudolphy way.

Your racing heart-beat is a result of the buildup of acetaldehyde, a toxin produced during the digestion of alcohol. The cumulative effects of a sustained drinking problem enlarges the wrong love muscle and could lead to congestive heart failure.

This tasty organ produces the enzymes responsible for breaking down ethanol. In the long term, too much of the stuff and scarring (cirrthosis) becomes a problem. And sorry, eskimos, people of asiatic descent are genetically poorer at digesting alcohol. Yet still genetically gifted at producing the world's best tentacle porn.

These popular post-drinking "cures" are anything but.

"Drinking more alcohol might postpone a hangover for the short run," says Susan Kraus a dietitian at the Hackensack University Medical Center, "but you've set yourself further back from the inevitable." But be a man - ignore sound medical advice and enjoy one of the cockstails to the left.

"Sweating it out" might be the most popular, and least helpful, solution. The critical workout is in your liver. not your quads. Sorry, brah - neither anaerobic (pounding the weights) nor aerobic (jazzer-yoga-lates) exercise boosts liver function. In fact, dehydrating yourself further will only worsen your condition.

Once the cappucino comes out, it's a good sign the paty is done, but i'ts not a cure. Coffee is another diuretic and will only sap more precious water from your already drained body.

"Hornovers" are definitely the coolest and only bonus to your morning hell. Nobody is quite sure why we wake up randier than Roman Polanski at a Chuck E. Cheese, but some postulate that booze, as a capillary - widening vasodilator,  gets the blood flowing to the main vein fast. Yet while sex with yourself (or another person, even!) is a relief of one kind, it won't ease a splitting skull.

"The tolerance that alcoholics develop is due to increased enzyme production," explains Carolyn Dean, M.D., medical director of the Nutritional Magnesium Association. While great in the short term, that doesn't make you boozeproof. Studies show you may be able to handle alcohol-related hangover symptoms, but you're more likely to suffer from alcohol withdrawal problems - like hallucinations. We know - sounds awesome.

Gird your loins (and the rest of your body) for another booze bat.

"Anything high in protein is a good alcohol buffer," says James Schaefer, Ph.D., and a lead researcher in hangover studies. A meal high in delicious amino acids should keep the pyloric valve closed longer. (That's the valve that controls when your stomach contents dump into your small intestine, where most alcohol is absorbed, dummy.) Avoid fatty or sugary meals before a bender, as they're less efficient. Sigh, so long. Krispy Kreme tuna melts.

Water is an obvious friend, but once the drinking has commenced it's difficult to follow the "eight ounces of water per drink" rule. Also that rule is for boring people. You are cool and awesome, therefore instead of asking for Evian and risking the scorn of the bartender, just skip all the carbonated drinks (they irritate the pyloric valve) and take your cocktails mixed with water or fruitjuices.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol, NyQuil) can exacerbate liver problems in heavy drinkers. Use an over-the-counter antacid, which will ease the cauldron of pain brewing in your gut and contains enough aspirin to act as what Dr.Sack calls a "prostaglandin synthetase inhibitor" (something to battle body damaging cytokinesis), but not enough to harm your delicate stomach lining.

According to a study conducted by the Department of Food Science and Technology at the College of Agriculture and Biotechology at Chungnam National University in Deajeon, South Korea (whew!), certain natural compounds could help delay the absorption of alcohol in the small intestine. If you can get your hands on leaves of laurus nobilis, fruit of kochia scoparia, or seed of aesculus you'll be good to go! And are also probably a woodland druid.

Being Left-Handed Is Not That Bad

According to Scientific American, 15% of people are left handed. Males are twice as likely to be left-handed than females.

Left-handers are more likely to be geniuses - 20% of all MENSA members report being left-handed.

A study found left-handed men are, on average, 15% richer than right-handed men for those who attended college, and 26% richer if they graduated.

Left-handed people are three times more likely than right-handed people to become alcoholics.

If both parents are left handed, 50% of their offspring will be left-handed. Two righties only have a 2% chance of having a lefty.

Psychologists from Queen's University Belfast found that female cats are more likely to be right-pawed, while male cats tend to be left-pawed.

Lefties are more likely than righties to really, really hate spiral notebooks.

Research conducted by Dr.Nick Cherbuin shows that lefties are better at handling large amounts of stimuli, making them naturally better at playing video games.

Statistically, the older a mother is, the more likely she is to give birth to left-handed children.

Left-handers are believed to reach puberty 4 to 5 months after right-handers.

Living in a righty's world: only 50% of lefties report using a computer mouse with their left hands. Similarly, 68% use their right hand for scissors and 74% hold a dinner knife in their right hands.

Defying the odds: 4 of the 5 original designers of the Mac computer were left-handed. Of the last 5 presidents, 3 are left handed (Obama, Clinton, Bush Sr.).

According to one study, lefties have an average lifespan that is nine years fewer than of the righties.