Studies in Pop Culture

Pop culture, from my point of view.

Archive for the ‘in the news’ Category

Natalee Holloway’s Remains Discovered in Dive Photo?

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ABC News is reporting that a Pennsylvania couple claims they think they’ve found the remains of Natalee Holloway. They were snorkeling off the coast of Aruba, and took some underwater pictures, and one of them has something in it that vaguely resembles a human form.

Aruban Authorities, however, have yet to receive formal notice from the FBI about the photo, according to Ann Angela, spokeswoman for the Aruban prosecutor’s office.

Angela said if the couple can provide “solid information,” about the location where the photo was taken, Aruban authorities could send a dive team to investigate. Anything found would be sent to the Dutch Forensic Institute in The Hague.

Angela said it was not uncommon for human remains to be found off the coast and cautioned that even if a body was discovered it may not be Holloway. Holloway went missing in May 2005 during a high school graduation trip to Aruba. Her disappearance became an international cause célèbre.

I think there are two important things to consider here:

  •  One, if this was really a human body, how did the couple not notice this at the time? Things in pictures can look very different than what they actually depict, since they are 2D, and lights and shadows can make things look different. This is called matrixing. Our brains natuarally try to see order in chaos. Think about the “Face on Mars,” or how we can see shapes in couds, or how some people see the face of Jesus in grilled cheese. So is this coral? or really a dead body?
  • Secondly… “Angela said it was not uncommon for human remains to be found off the cost and cautioned that even if a body was discovered it may not be Holloway.” Exactly how many people die in Aruba each year that it makes finding human remains “not uncommon?”

For the record, I’m goofing on the Aruban authorities in this piece, not the fact that an innocent girl was murdered and never found justice. I think the fact that an Aruban official will actually go on record saying what you read here is somewhat disturbing and deserving of ridicule.

Natalee Holloway possible remains

Coral? Natalee's remains? Or the dead body of one of the apparently hundreds of people who die in Aruba each year who are never found? You be the judge.


Written by Jason Stroming

March 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Ashton Kutcher is Officially the Biggest Twit

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Ok, so this is news? Ashton Kutcher, who is best known for showcasing his diverse acting abilities by playing a stoner douche on “That 70’s Show,” a drunk douche in “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” and a possibly-stoned douche on “Punk’d”  is apparently the first person to garner 1 million Twitter followers. Really? Who is following this guy? People who love celebrities who haven’t done anything noteworthy in over 5 years? Besides marrying a washed-up actress old enough to be his mother, I mean. He beat out CNN. What does this say about America?

More people care about what this guy's finger smells like than what's being done to fix the economy.

More people care about what this guy's finger smells like than what's being done to fix the economy.

Written by Jason Stroming

April 17, 2009 at 8:24 am

Marilyn Chambers Found Dead

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I just read this story, and it made me really sad. I wasn’t really a huge fan of Marylin Chambers. Not because I didn’t like her. Quite the contrary. But she was in her prime of porn a little before my time. I only had one porn movie with her in it, and right now, I honestly can’t remember the name of it. But she was older at this point, and in the movie was playing a sex therapist who helps a younger couple spice up their sex life. This being a porn movie and all, she of course eventually joins in the fun. But even though she was a bit older, I kinda liked her style, her sultry voice, and she had more of a natural beauty (and body) than the younger, blonde Barbie doll-type who was cast opposite her. Note how I can’t remember the name of that actress. I never owned another Marylin Chambers movie, but I’d occasioanlly come across movies or scenes of hers on the internet, and I always found myself attracted to her. Again, that voice would drive me wild.

Marilyn Chambers

Marilyn Chambers

Sadly, there is the ugly side of porn, and exotic dancing, and prostitution, and any of these “red light” professions. Their lives are usually riddled with drug problems, financial woes, cases of abuse and domestic violence, and even diseases. The article mentions how she was found dead in a mobile home. She was only 56 years old. Police say they don’t suspect foul play. But I think we can all suspect financial difficulties and drug abuse here.

I hope she’s in a better place now, and at peace.

Written by Jason Stroming

April 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm

A good “Star Trek?”

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According to this article, as well as Ain’t It Cool News, the new Star Trek film coming out in May is really good. I really hope so. I haven’t been too optimistic about this, as reboots or “early years” takes on classics usually don’t work well, but J.J. Abrams seems to be on a streak. I really liked Cloverfield, and if what people are saying is true, he may just have breathed some much-needed life back into the Trek franchise. Voyager had its moments, and I’m enjoying it more now in syndication than I did during its original run, but that may simply be because there’s been no new Star Trek on in a while. It didn’t really have any “Wow!” episodes like The Next Generation or Deep Space Nine had. Enterprise was a syndicated abortion. A seemingly intentional non-Star Trek feel, almost weekly screw-ups with continuity, and a cast nobody could really care about or get behind. Not a good formula.

Reinventing the series, and replacing icons such as William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy is a risky venture, but if buzz is to be believed, the risk paid off.


The "new" Enterprise

The "new" Enterprise

Written by Jason Stroming

April 8, 2009 at 3:53 pm

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Madonna May Have To Adopt A White Baby

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I can’t say I’m unhappy about this report on CNN and other sites this morning. I mean, I’m all for wealthy celebrities trying to help out kids who are less fortunate, but this whole thing about white celebs adopting black kids just has a whole slew of things wrong with it, in my opinion.

I mean, it just reeks of something that is done because it’s fashionable or trendy. I mean, Angelina Jolie can’t seem to stop, and now Madonna wants a second. And yes, it’s a great “lottery-winning” moment for the kid that does get adopted. But what about all the kids who don’t get adopted? Wouldn’t it make more sense for these celebrities to use their fame and fortune to bring more awareness to helping children in the third world? Bono does this, and yet people think he’s annoying. Because apparently everyone hates that bipartisan, let’s-put-our-differences-aside-for-the-sake-of-the-children crap, right? So I don’t quite get that. I think he’s done far more for the children of Africa than Brangelina or Madge have.

Also, last time I checked, there were hundreds of thousands of kids right here in the good ol’  US of A that needed loving homes. But I guess it’s just not cool to adopt American kids.

Written by Jason Stroming

April 3, 2009 at 8:25 am