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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Russian Spy Ring Case Likely a Movie Promotion Stunt

The timing of the arrest of the 10 Russian spies this month prompted serious questions about whether it had to do with an upcoming film. The movie, titled “Salt” and starring Angelina Jolie, was about CIA agent Evelyn Salt who was accused of being a KGB sleeper agent and was on the run to clear her name. The date which the arrests took place was right before the release of the movie and this raised suspicions among the public, especially the conspiracy theorists.

Today, a confidential document leaked from a major movie distribution studio confirmed that it was indeed a publicity stunt. The 10-page document was a contract between the FBI and the studio detailing the responsibilities of each party and the payout structure. The FBI was to coincide the time of the arrests with the film release to bring more hype to the movie, and in return, the studio would pay a commission based on the box ticket numbers.

In fact, there were more of these contracts between the FBI and movie studios that were leaked. For example, the FBI has been secretly monitoring many alien robots in disguise. These robots, known as the Decepticons, are hiding in plain sight as cars, cassette players, and other household items. According to the contract, the FBI was to make the arrest just prior to the July, 2011 release of Transformers 3 for it to gain publicity. However, the FBI denied the authenticity of the said document.

“Yes, we are keeping tabs on alien robots,” said Agent Fox Mulder, the FBI agent in charge of investigating extraterrestrial and paranormal activities. “But the claim that we based our investigation on movie release dates simply isn’t true. This is not happening.”

In yet another document, details of a collaboration between law enforcement and movie studios were laid out for an upcoming Western. According to the agreement, 10 Indians would be arrested just prior to the release of the film featuring the classic cowboys versus Indians match-up. The document even went into details about how the arrest would be carried out. The following leaked text clearly indicated the FBI’s intention to make these arrests in groups of three: “One little, two little, three little Indians; Four little, five little, six little Indians; Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians; Ten little Indian Boys.”

Local enforcement seemed to be displeased with the FBI’s involvement in these cases.

“Look, the cowboys and Indians had stopped fighting long ago,” said Texas Ranger Cordell Walker, who was himself a cowboy. “The war was over, much like the Cold War and they should stop picking fights just for movie promotions.”

“I have worked in law enforcement around Hollywood for a long time,” said Detective Axel Foley of the Beverly Hill Cops. “Never have I thought the relationship between law enforcement and the movie industry would be tangled together like this.”

The FBI denied its involvement with these movie promotion deals, but announced that it would start an internal investigation headed by its own lie detection expert Dr. Cal Lightman, assisted by consultant Patrick Jane from the California Bureau of Investigation.

“This case was so bizarre that it could be made into a movie,” said a film director who declined to be named. “Don’t be too surprised if you see it in theaters everywhere next year. The truth is out there and it’s stranger than fiction.”

Bottle Monster Unboxes an iPad

I got an iPad.

I bought it either because I had fun trying one at Best Buy, or because I am an iPhone app developer and need one for work purposes. It was probably a little of both, but anyway, I ordered one and got it in the mail last week. So, I proceeded to open it. But after I opened the outside packaging, I thought, wait, I should make one of those unboxing videos, like what you see many people unboxing the iPhone, XBox, Wii, etc. on Youtube. But my will have a puppet in it, of course! So here we go:

About the device

So, did I like the iPad? Yes, I love it. Even though so far I’ve mostly just used it to browse the web and watch videos (something that I normally do on my computer), somehow using a touch screen to do so is quite an enjoyable experience for me. The battery life is excellent. I got it on Monday and did not charge it at all until Thursday night. Of course, when I was watching videos instead of just browsing the web, the batteries would not last as long, but I could still go without charging it for the whole day. Compared this to my laptop that would only last less than two hours or so, that was pretty good and freed me from being close to an outlet. Also, it stays cool instead of heating up like my laptop, so I appreciate that as well. It is a little heavier than I thought, but is still significantly lighter than my laptop. Therefore I prefer using the iPad when I am in a situation in which I don’t have a desk in front of me.

Now, the downside. There is no multi-tasking so I will need to quit one app if I want to start another app. However, if the app is well designed, it will save its state before it exits so you can resume from where you left off. I mostly just use the web browser anyway. It just means that I won’t be checking my IM or Twitter all the time. I guess it also make you focus more on one thing instead of going back and forth. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just a different mentality. Also it doesn’t support Flash. It means I will have to wait till I get back on a regular computer if I really want to see that content. As a computer programmer, I believe it’s a good trade-off. It makes the whole device more stable and keeps the battery from draining. The Youtube videos still work anyway, because they have their own dedicated app, and have recently switched to HTML5 for the mobile version, which is supported on iOS devices anyway.

So, overall, it’s pretty nice, but is still a luxury item, in my opinion. At this point, it cannot completely replace your regular computer, but maybe it was not meant to anyway.

About the video

I actually already cut the outside FedEx box open before I made the video, so I just taped it back. My camera isn’t high def, so you can’t tell anyway unless I tell you, which I just did. What you might be able to tell, if you are really observant, is that some parts of the video are fast-forwarded because the puppet hands are really clumsy at doing things. To remove the plastic from the box, I had already cut a slit on the back (hidden from view) so it’s easier to tear. I actually struggled to remove the plastic from the actual iPad, so you saw me bring it to the side of the screen. What I was actually doing was taking one hand out of the puppet so I could actually peel it. Of course, this was fast-forwarded because it took me a while. (I think that particular part was playing at 13x normal speed.) For the introduction where I had the puppet talking, I actually did several takes, but for the actual unboxing, I knew that I could only do one take (or make it an excuse to buy another one? Hm). That was interesting in trying to get everything right in one try.