Instituto Cervantes at the National Hispanic Cultural Center is launching another film series this week with Óperas Primeras, spotlighting the first works of young directors that have not been widely distributed around the world. Obscure though they might be, these films have all been singled out for praise, awards and/or film festival recognition.
Lather, Review, Repeat
I'm with Garfield the Cat: Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning cup of coffee! Now, the geniuses over at ThinkGeek (“stuff for smart masses”) have invented a way to get that good caffeine into your system without going through all the early-morning rigmarole of grinding the beans, brewing the coffee and pouring it into a travel mug, only to spill it on the way to your Kia Spectra. (Don’t ya hate that?) Shower Shock is an all-vegetable-based glycerine soap that does not contain any harsh ingredients like ethanol, diethanolamine, polyethylene glycol or cocyl isethionate. (Now, you're talkin’ my language, ThinkGeek!) The bars are pleasantly scented with peppermint oil and infused with caffeine anhydrous, providing 200 milligrams of caffeine per serving. No, you don't eat it, silly! You absorb it through the skin. For maximum effect, ThinkGeek recommends you build up a good Shower Shock lather across your entire body before rinsing. This stuff may not drive Starbucks out of business (vente mochaccino for me, please), but it sure does give my private parts a tingle in the morning! **** (soaps-on-a-rope) out of five
Bar Soap vs. Liquid Soap
A slippery debate
As cleanser connoisseurs know, liquid soap was first patented in 1865 by William Shepphard. The product didn't gain widespread acceptance, however, until 1980 when the Minnetonka Corporation introduced their popular product Softsoap. The company actually cornered the market on liquid soap for several years by buying up the entire stock of plastic pumps necessary for making liquid soap dispensers. (Clever devils!) In 1987, Minnetonka got bought out by the Colgate Company, ushering in the modern-day liquid soap era.
Glitzy, escapist drama gambles it all on a game of cards
America loves to play cards. Hollywood loves to gamble. Over the years, and with increasing frequency, the movie industry has tried to exploit this by giving us films about card-playing: The Cincinnati Kid, California Split, Maverick, Rounders, The Cooler, Lucky You. Hell, even the last James Bond film managed to shoehorn in a pivotal Texas hold-’em sequence. The new film 21 adds to this ever-increasing pot, providing yet another Vegas-bound drama for people who have watched “Celebrity Poker Showdown” once or twice and can sing at least the chorus to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.”
Is network television dead?
When the dust from the recent Writers Guild strike settled, TV executives were gloating as if they’d won the lottery. Sure, some networks were forced to give refunds to aggrieved advertisers, but five months of not paying anyone (other than the executives) any salaries more than made up for that. The pittance eventually granted the writers was also recouped (and then some) by canceling countless development deals and dumping the traditional “upfront season” in which dozens of TV pilots are filmed and then whittled down to the one or two that will actually make it onto the airwaves.