Studies in Pop Culture

Pop culture, from my point of view.

Posts Tagged ‘news

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

Thoughts on X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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So I got to see “X-Men origins: Wolverine” on Saturday night. While it was a good movie, there are a number of things that bothered me about it, and its connection with the earlier (later?) films.

Warning: Spoilers ahead…

  • Sabertooth is different: This is probably the most glaring issue in this movie. Here, he is played (quite well, I must say) by Liev Schreiber. But in this movie, Sabertooth is smart, suave, confident. In the original X-Men movie, he’s not really any of those things. Sure, we can assume that a lot has happened to him since, but it’s a bit jarring to see him here as this totally kick-ass, intelligent mutant, and to see him as a big dumb oaf of a lackey in “X-Men.”.
  • Sabertooth doesn’t remember Logan: Ok, so the movie goes out of its way to explain (the subtlety is like a hammer over the head) how Logan loses his memory, but does nothing to mention how or if Sabertooth loses his by the first movie. In the first “X-Men,” Sabertooth crosses paths with Wolverine a number of time, ultimately being killed by him, yet doesn’t remember that Logan is his brother?
  • Professor Xavier: He’s one of the world’s greatest psychics, yet when he meets Wolverine 15 years later, he has no memory of the feral, adamantium-clawed mutant who helped destroy Three Mile Island? Really?
  • They ruined Deadpool: Though they may be bringing him back for his own movie, I kind of feel like they ruined the Deadpool character. Yeah, they tweaked his origins a bit, and the little Easter Egg at the end of the credits was a nice touch (he whispers “Shhh…” to the audience, breaking the 4th wall, like in the comics), but I still don’t feel like they did him any justice. Ryan Reynolds, who was born to play a smart aleck, wisecracking character like this, was not given nearly enough to do as Deadpool.
  • Wolverine was Darth Vader-ed: Sometimes origin stories can be cool, showing how a character developed his psychosis to become a hero or a villain, like “Batman Begins.” But why do people continually try to make the most bad-assed character that way because of a woman? Darth Vader becomes the most brutal, powerful, feared and evil killer of Jedi in the whole galaxy because his wife died during childbirth? Really? Awww, I don’t want my girlfriend to die, so I’ll just turn to the dark side and betray all my friends and everything I’ve believed in since I was 9. For a woman. Yeah. Here, we see that Wolverine becomes a bad-ass loner because his wife died. Yep. Not because of being near-immortal because of his healing powers and all the trauma that can bring, or because he had his flesh removed and adamantium put on his skeleton, or because of the years of killing he was forced to commit. Nope, it’s because his wife died. Hollywood loves a good (and completely unplausible) love story, I guess.

That being said, there were some pretty cool scenes in the movie, so it’s still worth seeing. Just be prepared to say “Wait a minute…” a lot during the course of your viewing.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

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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