Sunday, January 23, 2011

Onion News Network: Welcome to the FactZone

When you hear that The Onion is getting its own television news show, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Well, "reliable news source," of course. In the tier of fake news reporting somewhere between Fox News and The Daily Show/Colbert Report comes The Onion News Network on IFC. Basically, ONN (not to be mistaken with OWN, which is an easy thing to do) take all of their very believable headlines from TheOnion.com and have clueless, yet confident news reporters describe them to you. This "news without mercy" includes such crucial issues as tangled headphones costing Americans millions every year and the new matching varsity jackets that the Supreme Court judges just bought. Can you even handle these riveting topics? Because "you've just been cleared to enter the FactZone."

The FactZone on ONN is presented by head news anchor Brooke Alvarez, who boasts "more stalkers than any other major network on-screen personality." She's not afraid to bring Americans the truth, all while incorporating snide remarks about how amazing she is and how bad the other reporters look in comparison to her. I have a feeling she would get along very well with Colbert's character. The first big news story of the night involves a 16-year-old attractive white girl from Detroit charged with murdering her classmate with a screwdriver. The judge has recently decided that she will be tried as a black male adult in her case, to which her parents are extremely distraught over, and wish she was at most to be tried as a black celebrity or a stunningly beautiful Filipino lady. Politically correct? There's no room for that in the FactZone.

Another breaking news story involves North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who has agreed to hand over his nuclear weapons in exchange for the lead role in the next Batman movie. Several first responders on a panel debate whether or not the U.S. government should sign the deal, with concern to how good of an actor Kim Jong Il would be and if he has the right body shape for the role. If he succeeds in convincing the U.S., then part of the deal would include Christian Bale taking over duties as leader of North Korea for the time being, to which a responder says, "he is hot, but those people have suffered enough!" Alvarez continues to emphasize the important of appearance over safety with the next news story about beautiful ONN field reporter Susan Merriweather, who has been captured by Al Queda terrorists in Afghanistan and not allowed her hair and makeup team. While their colleague is tied up, blindfolded and has a knife to her neck, Alvarez and touchscreen correspondent Tucker Hope can only notice how terrible her hair looks. Thankfully though, the kidnapped reporter has her hair and makeup team air-lifted in, so she looks significantly better when she's being knocked out with a rifle by the terrorists.

Other news reports on ONN include the recent bill passed in California that forces all registered sex offenders to wear lightly-tinted sunglasses and cut-off shorts, another time-traveling soldier arrested for trying to bring an end to Suri Cruise's existence, a "This Day in History" about the invention of the hand job, and "The Cressbeckler Stance" presented by an old guy who seems like a cross between Andy Rooney and Yosemite Sam. Clearly, the Onion News Network is the first place to go for all of America's pressing news stories. And if anything else, it's probably more factual than Fox News. As Alvarez says, "Onion News Network is always with you, even when you think you're alone."

Andrew Garfield didn't expect 'The Social Network' to be exciting at first

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'The Social Network' star Andrew Garfield has admitted he didn't think it would be an exciting movie until he read the script.

The 27-year-old actor, who plays the role of ousted Facebook founder Eduardo Saverin in the film, was initially skeptical about the subject matter, but quickly fell in love with the project.

"When I first heard about it, I was confused, like most people. It doesn't conjure images of an exciting film when you hear the words 'Facebook movie,'" ContactMusic quoted him as saying.

"But then as soon as I knew who had written the script I thought, 'Well, there must be something in it' and of course, I was proved right upon reading it," he said.

Andrew believes part of the appeal of the movie is how there are no clearly defined good and bad characters.

"There are no villains, no heroes, just a bunch of human beings with different opinions of the situation," he added.

IAF now on the glide path for network-centric operations

IAF is now moving towards bolstering its network-centric warfare capabilities, with multi-sensor tracking and data fusion ensuring "a filtered and composite real-time air situation picture'' at one central place to ensure swifter and cohesive combat operations.

"There is a pilot project underway for network centric operations (NCO), which will be completed in a few months. It will be followed by large-scale transformation of the entire force over the next five to six years,'' said assistant chief of air staff (operations & space), Air Vice Marshal M Matheswaran on Friday.

This comes shortly after IAF made its state-of-the-art digital information grid AFNET (air force network) operational last year. Linking all major IAF formations and static establishments through a secure wide-area network (WAN), AFNET will accelerate the use of information technology as well as link all field units through a dedicated satellite.

In fact, the IAF will showcase its NCO capabilities during the Republic Day parade this year. As for the flypast, IAF is deploying 28 aircraft for it this year, which includes three Sukhoi-30MKIs, five MiG-29s and five Jaguars.

"The flypast will be in two phases, with four Mi-17 1V helicopters trooping the national Tricolour and the ensigns of the three Services at the start of the parade,'' said an officer.

"The second phase will be at the end of the parade with waves of formation of Mi-25 attack helicopters, a transport aircraft `big boy' formation and then the fighter jets. A `vertical charlie' manoeuvre by a single Sukhoi spiralling upwards will signal the close of the proceedings,'' he added.