The Rose Parade this year will be strong with the force. The parade will present a tribute to “Star Wars” and will feature director George Lucas as its grand marshal. There will be two floats depicting the moon of Endor and the garden planet Naboo; 200 stormtroopers; and even Darth Vader is expected to make a special appearance! Fans will brave overnight temperatures of 45°F degrees to line the parade route for tomorrow morning’s event. Use the heater Luke!

A Colorado resident is selling snow on Ebay, yellow snow no less. However, the listing states, “this snow was yellowed in the non-traditional method and is completely hygenic!” Funny.

As expected, here’s a link to a cell phone video of the entire execution. It’s poorly shot and has so much movement that it may get you dizzy, but it is the full event until Saddam’s actual hanging. It’s crazy to see the look on his face right before it happens. Everyone is cheering in Arabic throughout the video. Eerie to watch.

MC Router, First Lady of Nerdcore

Although the nerdcore subgenre (hip-hop hardcore + nerds = nerdcore) is a few years old, it may gain critical mass now that a new documentary about the movement is seeking distribution. Nerdcore for Life is a new documentary that sheds light on the most popular nerdcore artists and their lives. The trailer for the film has garnered over 600,000 views on YouTube.

MC Router, pictured here, has a famous beef with Wired Magazine for running a story about nerdcore (issue 14.09) and stating there’s “even a few ladies” on the scene without giving her any props. Click on her picture to hear “Unwired” on her Myspace page, it’s her rap rebuttal to the Wired story. Damn, even if you may not like her rap style you gotta admit that she has one of the sweetest tattoos ever!

I am completely fascinated by nerdcore and would love to see the film be entered and shown at the next San Francisco International Film Festival. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing whether the film was even entered prior to the December 15th deadline for the festival. In any case, I sent the director and producer an email about the festival and can only hope that he follows up with the festival organizers. I wish him the best of luck in getting his film shown and distributed. For more on nerdcore go to nerdcorehiphop.org.

In Berlin, a very thirsty man sold his daughter’s dog for 40 euros to buy some beer.

Healthy Penis anti-syphilis cartoon ads that are posted in the Castro increase testing.

Mike Tyson was arrested and released on felony cocaine possession charges and now admits that he is in the throws of a heavy cocaine addiction. Can this guy’s life get any sadder?

Saddam Hussein was killed in a pre-dawn execution in in Baghdad. In a final act of defiance, the former dictator refused a hood to cover his eyes before being hung by the gallows. He was 69 years old. According to reports, the execution was both photographed and video taped and the video up to the placing of the noose over his head has aired on Iraqi television. I have to guess that the full video tape of the execution will likely be leaked onto the Internet for all to see sometime soon.

Two separate geniuses killed themselves earlier this month near Modesto while performing the “ghost ride da whip” stunt popularized by “hyphy” hip-hop artists like E-40. One 18-year-old kid hit his head on a parked car while sticking his head out of the passenger side of his driverless car. Another 36-year-old, yes that’s not a typo, fell off the roof of his driverless car, hit his head, and earned a well-deserved “adios” for his stupidity. Natural selection.

Post-holiday rush to use new iPods and iTunes gift cards crashes site.

The top 100 images of the year taken by the SF Chronicle photography staff.

I would like to wish all the Nug readers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! And just in case you forgot to get something for that special woman in your life, here’s something that male readers can put together in pretty quick order.

As if to welcome me home in earnest, there was a 3.7 magnitude quake last night that made our building’s wooden frame creak but didn’t make anything fly off our shelves. The cat was a little freaked out and fluffed her tail in fear wondering what the hell was going on, but she wasn’t any worse for wear. There was another 3.5 magnitude quake this morning in the same spot.

On Wednesday night, there was a 3.7 magnitude quake in the exact same spot. That makes three quakes in the same spot of approximately the same magnitude over the span of four days. I certainly hope that these are considered one quake with two equal size after shocks and not pre-quakes leading up to a massive 6.7 to 7.0 quake that is expected by scientists on the Hayward fault.

I returned from Oregon yesterday after a very nice, yet very cold, trip. The first morning there was in the twenties, that’s just way too cold. We went up to Mt. Ashland on Wednesday but didn’t stay long because the snow conditions were a little icy. Also, I thought that I would take pictures of Ashland while there, but it was a little too cold to be outside.

The only two pictures I took were with my cameraphone on Thursday night when it was actually warm enough (38°F degrees) to walk into town. Not that it’s much warmer here, it’s 45°F degrees at 10:00AM.

It was a fun trip, but I am glad to be back in San Francisco.

I am off to Ashland, Oregon to visit my friend Mark until the end of the week. While there, we will be snowboarding on Mt. Ashland, which opened earlier this week. I am looking forward to the road trip in the new car. Wish me luck, Oregon doesn’t seem to be the safest state lately due to bad weather.

Author of “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” book drops dead of a heart attack on plane.

Not to be outdone by Taco Bell, an Olive Garden in Indiana sickened 300 people and sent 3 to the hospital with symptoms related to food poisoning, including vomiting, fever, and yes, explosive diarrhea. Damn, do you need any more reason not to eat at Olive Garden, apart from the fact that it is so ghetto? I think not.

In Beta, now you can Google the entire U.S. Patent and Trademark Office archives.

A new bill in the Texas legislature would allow blind people to hunt. And not just with any old rifle, but with a snazzy rifle with laser sights. “This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that’s great,” said State Representative Edmund Kuempel who introduced the bill.

While that may sound crazy, here’s a possible explanation.

Blind people are not allowed to do a lot of things in life. They can’t drive, they can’t be airline pilots, surgeons, astronauts, major league pitchers, air traffic controllers, and a slew of other occupations that require good eyesight. Wouldn’t that make you mad? Mad enough to say, shoot somebody? Well, we all know that shooting people is illegal (unless you’re Dick Cheney), but shooting animals is fair game, right? This Texas lawmaker can foresee many angry blind people finding a buddy and a laser sighted rifle and having a blast shooting at things they can’t see!

Big ups to Lauren for sending me the link to this very real story (not The Onion).

2007 A4 3.2 Quattro

There’s really no other way to express how I feel about this fine piece of German engineering. The one pictured here is not my actual car, but it looks just like it except that mine has dealer plates and is an inch lower due to the sport suspension. It’s navigation system is incredible, even tracking my progress inside tunnels. I guess the navigation system is talking to the speedometer even while GPS satellites are out of range to determine your location. It calculates your progress inside the tunnel and the satellites pick you back up on the other side. Impressive (in Darth Vader voice).

The Bluetooth integration with my phone is awesome and spooky at the same time. The car gets my phone directory from my phone, as well as my most recently dialed and received calls. It’s all displayed on the Audi Multi-Medial Interface (MMI) system which is way better than the BMW iDrive. I researched the ease of use and the quality of the multimedia displays extensively before making my decision on the Audi.

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Well, that goes without saying really. But we’re talking more diarrhea than usual in this instance. Taco Bell lettuce laced with E. coli bacteria was responsible food poisoning at the chain’s restaurants in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Over 71 people suffered symptoms related to food poisoning, including vomiting, fever, and yes, explosive diarrhea. Damn, do you need any more reason not to ever eat at Taco Bell again? Yo no quiero Taco Bell!

Apparently, Amazing Race 11 will be an all-star edition of the race that will feature past winners and notable teams invited at the discretion of the CBS producers. Apparently past winners Chip & Kim and BJ & Tyler (the Hippies) were not invited to be in the new race and are complaining on their own websites and blogs about it like a bunch of sore losers. BJ writes at one point that they were the “winningest winners ever to win.” Whatever, dude! If I never see those shaggy bastards again it will be fine by me!

Variety reports that Rob & Amber (aka Romber) will be in the all-star edition, as will David & Mary, the Coal Miners from Kentucky from the most recent season of the race. Luckily for all of us, nobody from the family edition of the race was invited. It seems that the producers are trying to forget that lame ass edition as much as the rest of us. The new edition of the race is set to air early next year.

Druggies Win The Race

For the first time in years, I was way too busy to write episode summaries for all of the episodes of the Amazing Race 10. I didn’t stop watching the show though! However, I couldn’t really call myself a fan if I didn’t write a synopsis of the thirteenth and final episode. First of all, I was sad to see Miss America eliminated fourth. I had thought that if those two made it into the final three they would have been the first all female team to win the race. They were the “great blonde hope.”

Although they were eliminated, Team Alabama was able to post a new achievement, as they were the first all female team to reach the final three. They were scrappy. Unfortunately, they were not strong enough to win the race and were relegated to finish a disappointing third well behind the other two teams. Ultimately, it was the Druggies that were able to pull it off. They had the most first place finishes of any other team on this race and came in first when it counted–at the finish line.

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Merriam-Webster has dubbed ‘truthiness’ as the word of the year for 2006.

“They say jump and you say how high, you brain dead
you got a fucking bullet in the head”
— Rage Against the Machine, Bullet in the Head (1992)

Holiday shoppers refused to leave a store that was on fire, the deals were just too damn good! What the hell is wrong with us as a country when shopping for “stuff” is more important than our very own safety?

CNET has produced a great memorial video of James Kim.

Wesley Snipes surrendered to authorities on tax fraud charges in Florida today.

A court hearing in Guadalajara, Mexico for Dog Chapman, the Bounty Hunter, has been scheduled for December 22nd. The hope is that the Dog’s attorney can have all of the charges in Mexico dropped. Just in case they don’t drop the charges, the Dog does not plan to attend the hearing.

James Kim’s death in the middle of the Oregon mountains has sparked a flurry of speculation as to why they took a one lane road through the mountains instead of one of the larger highways. A new report sheds light on the fact that the Kim family was using a Internet-produced map to select their route over the mountain pass in Oregon.

Some short looking routes on Internet maps may actually be seasonal, very dangerous, and just flat out wrong. For example, I remember when the Internet maps first came out and that they would advise you to take Tioga Pass out of Yosemite to head to Nevada even though everyone knows that it is closed during the Winter months. Had the Kim family taken a major Oregon State Highway like Highway 38 or 42 or 199 across the mountain range they were trying to cross, James Kim would be alive today.

Amazingly, Kim’s wife and kids were found because their cell phone acted like a beacon while searching for a carrier signal. This tragic story makes one wish that services like OnStar were available on all cars. The Kims would have been able to “call” for assistance immediately after their car got stuck because OnStar works via satellite. Instant happy ending. An expensive tow for sure, but everyone lives.

Another option would have been to subscribe for satellite emergency service which is now as little as $350 annually–less than $1 per day plus the cost of a phone. Satellite phones are about $750 new and about $350 used. Sure it’s $1.49 per minute of airtime, but somehow I don’t think the Kim’s would have been worried about the cost!

This ultimately may be the best solution for most people, because who wants to have a late model GM car nowadays. Simply throw a satellite phone in the trunk, a car charger, and pony up $350 each year and you won’t need a vehicle equipped with OnStar. These phones should start selling like hot cakes. I can see the pitch now, “avoid freezing to death in backcountry roads for less than a dollar a day!”

All kidding aside, the good news is that with advancements in technology what happened to James Kim will likely to be a thing of the past. Cars will probably all have satellite emergency services and most cell phones will all have a satellite option to get people out of life threatening situations like this one. One can only hope anyway.

Sadly, James Kim, the San Francisco man that left on foot to look for help for his stranded family in the southern Oregon mountains was found dead earlier today. One rescue leader said that Kim performed a “superhuman” trek across nearly impassable terrain to try to find help for his family. Ironically, had he stayed in his car or turned back to be with his family he would have been rescued. At least it’s a happier ending than if all four family member had died on the mountain, but still sad.

The Old Jetta

Zooomr is giving free Pro Accounts to bloggers for one year by following these simple instructions. Above is a picture of my old VW Jetta that I used in order to get things started there. If you have a blog, like to share pictures, and don’t already have a flickr account, this may be a great idea. I personally think that I am way too invested with Flickr to make the change. Big ups to Jimmy for sending me the link.

A plane was forced to land before reaching its destination due to excessive farting.

NASA says that they are looking for international support to start building a permanent base on the moon by 2020. By 2024, they would hope to have a permanent rotating crew on the base at all times, like we currently maintain on the international space station. The base would be built on one of the moon’s poles where it could take advantage of increased sunlight for power and would be used to stage trips to Mars and other destinations. Kick ass!

After years of service, we are selling our trusty 1995 Volkswagen Jetta. We finally broke down and ordered a brand new Audi A4 3.2 Quattro which should reach the dealership sometime in the next couple of days. It’s the end of an era.