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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

G.I. JOE Movie Sinks Shipwreck & Gains A Hard Master!

Hector Delgado didn't make the Joe team but at least Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow found a ninja mentor!

El Mayimbe here...

Last I reported, supposedly an offer was made to THE ROCK for the role of Shipwreck. It didn't work out. When I originally reviewed the script, Shipwreck's role was basically a cameo and a setup for the sequel. He had just a line or two in the 3rd act. Obviously the script has gone through its changes during production and now our wisecracking Navy Seal was ultimately cut out because they just couldn't make it work in the movie which is already jammed packed with characters and backstory.

So obviously if the Joe team comes back for a sequel, I'm sure Shipwreck will return as one of the newer members of the Joe team and a fully fleshed out character.

shipwreckgijoecard

In other Joe movie news, Gerald Okamura has been cast as the Hard Master in the upcoming film. The Hard Master is the ninja master/leader of the Arashikage clan who mentors both Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes in the ways of the ninja. Hard core Joe comic fans know that the Hard Master has something to do with the long standing rivalry between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. Gerald Okamura has a cool website you can visit here.

Below is the Hard Master from G.I. JOE #26 (Marvel) - the origin of Snake Eyes along with Okamura who looks like a badass in real life.

geraldgijoe

hardmasterorginsnakeeys

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Top 5 Pre-Death Monologues in Film

[This is the 2nd part in a series. To read the Top 5 Pre-MURDER Monologues, click here. And be warned: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD for all movies mentioned]

If there's one thing that movies tell us about life, it's that our existence is a Hobbesian gamble: Nasty, brutish, and short. In any given U.S. film, death can come at any time, typically in violent fashion. But the fear and anticipation that come from knowing your death is fast approaching can also engender meaningful reflections.

The following pre-death monologues are (mostly) given by characters who know that it's all about to come to an end. Perhaps it's during those tense moments, before someone's life is extinguished, that you can truly get a window into someone's soul. When faced with the ultimate loss, are they rebellious? Resigned? Relieved? As a consequence of this momentary window, these monologues are by turns hilarious, saddening, moving, and profound. Enjoy:

American Beauty: Kevin Spacey Gets Philosophical About Life


Deceased: Lester Burnham

Unfortunately, American Beauty has not aged well; it currently shares a place on the DVD shelf with other forgotten Best Picture winners like The English Patient and Crash. Yet despite its forgettability, it offers a really interesting window into Alan Ball's philosophical take on life before he delved full bore into it on Six Feet Under. In this monologue, which represents the timeless/placeless and disembodied reflections of Lester Burnham, we're meant to recognize that maybe we have more to give thanks for than we think.

Text: I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars... And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined my street... Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper... And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird... And Janie... And Janie... And... Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.

Deep Blue Sea: Samuel L. Jackson Gets Consumed By The Moment


Deceased: Russell Franklin

Alright, so this one isn't really that great of a monologue. But in the years since Renny Harlin's Deep Blue Sea was released in 1999, it has grown into one of the most popular clips of Samuel L Jackson on the internet, representing both his penchant for loud, declarative phrases and his knack for choosing movies featuring excessive and unpredictable violence.

Text: Nature can be lethal, but it doesn't hold a candle to man. Now you've seen how bad things can get, and how quick they can get that way. Well, they can get a whole lot worse, so we're not going to fight anymore! We're going to pull together, and we're going to find a way to get out of here. First, we're going to seal off this

Se7en: Kevin Spacey Gets Philosophical About Death


Deceased: John Doe

Despite the people that think of Se7en as a gimmicky movie that relies on John Doe's methods of death to keep the viewer interested, I still think that Andrew Kevin Walker's script was deeper than people gave it credit for (though not by too much). At its best, it was a commentary on our times, a No Country for Old Men-style tale, if No Country for Old Men had been made as a conventional thriller and been directed by David Fincher.

But none of that really applies to this speech at the end by Kevin Spacey. In this monologues, Spacey reveals the gut-wrenching information of his day's misdeeds to baby-faced detective David Mills. The resulting "Will he or won't he" tension is still one of the most tense scenes of any movie, at least the first time around.

Text: I tried to play husband. I tried to taste the life of a simple man. It didn't work out. So I took a souvenier: Her pretty head...Because I envy your normal life, it seems that envy is my sin.

The Shawshank Redemption: James Whitmore Gets Busy Dying


Deceased: Brooks Hatlen

Frank Darabont's Shawshank Redemption was so full of rich themes and characters like Brooks that scenes like this still have the capacity to move you. Brooks' tear-jerking death is a commentary on the phenomenon of dependency and the brutal consequences of withdrawl. His recitation of his letter is still one of the best-delivered monologues of our times.

Text: Dear fellas, I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry. The parole board got me into this halfway house called "The Brewer". And a job bagging groceries at the Foodway. It's hard work and I try to keep up but my hands hurt most of the time. I don't think the store manager likes me very much. Sometimes after work I go to the park and feed the birds. I keep thinking Jake might just show up and say hello. But he never does. I hope wherever he is he's okay and makin' new friends. I have trouble sleepin' at night. I have bad dreams like I'm falling. I wake up scared. Sometimes it takes me a while to remember where I am. Maybe I should get me a gun, an, an rob the Foodway so they'd send me home. I could shoot the manager while I was at it, sort of like a bonus. I guess I'm too old for that sort of nonsense anymore. I don't like it here. I'm tired of being afraid all the time. I've decided not to stay. I doubt they'll kick up any fuss. Not for an old crook like me.

True Romance: Dennis Hopper Teaches Genealogy


Deceased: Clifford Worley

Here by popular demand: This scene from Tarantino's (written, not directed) True Romance is Dennis Hopper at his best - and yes, that will be the only time I will ever use the phrase "Dennis Hopper at his best." Picture yourself in his shoes: Christopher Walken and some henchmen have just taken you hostage, threatening you to torture you in order that you may reveal your son's whereabouts. Most people would just tell the information and wait for a quick death. Hopper chooses to take this opportunity to make racially inflammatory remarks to the mafia, knowing that great pain probably awaits. The results are those of cinematic legend.

Text: Ya know, I read a lot. Especially about things... about history. I find that shit fascinating. Here's a fact I don't know whether you know or not. Sicilians were spawned by niggers. It's a fact. Yeah. You see, uh, Sicilians have, uh, black blood pumpin' through their hearts. Hey, no, if eh, if eh, if you don't believe me, uh, you can look it up. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, uh, you see, uh, the Moors conquered Sicily. And the Moors are niggers. So you see, way back then, uh, Sicilians were like, uh, wops from Northern Italy. Ah, they all had blonde hair and blue eyes, but, uh, well, then the Moors moved in there, and uh, well, they changed the whole country. They did so much fuckin' with Sicilian women, huh? That they changed the whole bloodline forever. That's why blonde hair and blue eyes became black hair and dark skin. You know, it's absolutely amazing to me to think that to this day, hundreds of years later, that, uh, that Sicilians still carry that nigger gene. Now this...No, I'm, no, I'm quoting... history. It's written. It's a fact, it's written. Your ancestors are niggers. Uh-huh. Hey. Yeah. And, and your great-great-great-great grandmother fucked a nigger, ho, ho, yeah, and she had a half-nigger kid... now, if that's a fact, tell me, am I lying? 'Cause you, you're part eggplant.

Update: Here's some more classics that should have been on the original list [Thanks Willem and dudeman1st!]

Blade Runner: Rutger Hauer Breaks Your Heart


Some people find this speech lame, but I read a really interesting interpretation of this scene on the message boards at CHUD: The whole film is about Roy Batty's quasi-misguided desire to extend his life. He is bigger, stronger, and faster than most humans but his emotional maturity is like that of a teenager. Thus, this speech isn't overly melodramatic due to bad script-writing - it's that way because of his current condition and emotional state.

The allegory of the white dove flying into the night might be too much for some - to the rest of us Blade Runner fans, it's heart-breaking.

Text: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Star Trek - The Wrath of Khan: Leonard Nimoy Propsers


A death that's as moving as it is infamous for the way the Spock's death was basically nullified in the following film, this scene demonstrates, definitively, why The Wrath of Khan is often referred to is the best Star Trek film.

Text: Ship out of danger? Do not grieve, Admiral - it is logical: the needs of the many outweigh [the needs of the few]....or the one. I never took the Kobayashi Maru test - until now. What do you think of my solution? I have been, and always will be, your friend. Live long, and propser.

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A New Hope: The Future of Star Wars

Copyright Lucasfilm All Rights ReservedWhat will the future landscape of the Star Wars universe look like in another couple of decades and beyond? One thing is almost a certainty; it’s going to be completely different. After checking out the trailers for the upcoming animated Clone Wars film that will spearhead the new TV series, I began to realize that there’s going to be a an entire generation of fans that will only have grown up with the animated series and possibly the upcoming live-action series, without the foundation of the first theatrically released Star Wars trilogy, the prequels, and the many properties in between. What will the Star Wars universe mean to them in another 20 years? Will the franchise still hold the same magic as it did for the original trilogy purists or the prequel generation?

Since the Star Wars universe is alive and well in today’s entertainment landscape with future animated films/series and live-action shows, we all know that there’s a deep universal connectivity within the franchise that has transcended time for the past 30 years. Will the connectivity be as strong in the next 30 if there’s a lack of theatrically released films? Can a live-action TV series still create that same spark in fans? Although it’s widely known that Revenge of the Sith is supposed to be his final movie, George Lucas even stated in a February interview with Reuters that the Star Wars saga is far from over with the animated series, "I felt there were a lot more 'Star Wars' stories left to tell... I was eager to start telling some of them through animation and, at the same time, push the art of animation forward." Whether we’ll see another live-action film sometime down the road remains to be seen.

So, what will the Star Wars landscape look like in the future and how will it transform?

Theater Experience:

Copyright Lucasfilm All Rights ReservedAs much as Star Wars has evolved throughout the years, so too has the theater experience. Given how video technology and the quality of the home entertainment system has exploded in recent years, the YouTube generation and video game revolutions raise the question of whether Star Wars even needs the theater to survive. The fact the George Lucas won’t be directing any more live action feature films any time soon might be the best overall decision to get ahead of the curve. Whether the decision was directly related to the ever-changing video revolution and advances in technology might be irrelevant. It might simply be an organic inevitability. A while back, about a year and a half ago, I talked to longtime Star Wars producer Rick McCallum about how the home entertainment marketplace is quickly overtaking the theater experience. While theater owners have attempted to keep pace with the download generation, McCallum was well aware of what looks to be the dawn of a new age of watching movies, "If the theater owners don't get their act together and really start providing serious quality, the next generation of filmgoers just isn't going to bother to go [to theaters]. They'll be able to download the content, burn it to their DVD, watch it on their 42-inch plasma screen and we're going to see a shift in the whole process of the adventure of going to the movies."

Although the theater experience is a completely unique medium and experience, it feels like it could go the way of the "Drive-in." From a distance, it looks like the future of Star Wars will likely be more in the palm of your hand and in your home instead of sitting with the collective masses in a theater... And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Animated Potential:

Copyright Lucasfilm All Rights ReservedI have to admit, the new animated Clone Wars trailer looks awesome. While live action is bound by what IS possible, the advances in animated technology make the impossible now plausible. To a large degree, the Star Wars universe is much better served in animated form. Hell, all you need to do is look at the video game universe. Take all of the awkward live-action moments and characters, the ones that seemed just too goofy to ever buy into (Jar Jar Binks, anyone?), and they potentially become much more effective on a completely different level in animated form. Just on a buy-in level alone, the animated medium seems to be a much better and believable world for some characters to exist in rather than living on-screen as hybrid live-action entities. Would Jar Jar have worked better if The Phantom Menace were an animated movie? Who knows, but I certainly don’t discount that a character even remotely like him might work better as an animated entity set within a completely animated world.

As far as further animated potential, even characters and sequences that worked along the way can only serve as an example of what could be enhanced to amplify a certain coolness. If the lightsabre clash between Obi-Wan and Darth Maul in Phantom was animated instead of live-action, and a few more edge-of-your-seat impossibilities were thrown in, it would have made the entire sequence even better. It’s the ability to amplify what we already think is cool and turn it into something cooler. Although it’s hard to imagine a world without live-action Star Wars films, for the foreseeable future it might be the best thing for the future of the franchise. However, on the flip side of things, if you raise the bar too, too high in the animated world, the only drawback could be that future live-action entities on the big screen might not be able to compete with their animated counterparts. Then again, like I mentioned earlier, the future of Star Wars might not be on the big screen at all.

Animated Tone:

Copyright Lucasfilm All Rights ReservedSay what you want, but Star Wars is, and always has been, for kids. It’s likely (if not a certainty) that when you first saw anything Star Wars related, you were a kid. Although, from this writer’s perspective, it’s clear the three prequels were much more overtly directed at kids, what worked for the first trilogy (at least Star Wars and Empire) was its less obvious PG-13 tone. After all, it was a different time with completely different standards and expectations within the world of cinema. Given how the animated medium allows for a much deeper, and possibly darker exploration of the Star Wars world beyond the Force - like the unknown facets of General Grevious and Count Dooku - the new animated series looks like it might appeal to adults, teens, and young kids all at the same time. What hasn’t been fully mined on screen to maximum potential is the rich and deeply complex subtext within the Star Wars universe. Certainly not as much as the comics and novels.

In March, George Lucas spoke with ComingSoon.net about what fans can expect from the tone of the upcoming animated film, which might bring all of the Star Wars fans together as one universal audience, "It's unusual for an animated film, because it's not really hardcore like say Beowulf and it's not a Pixar movie, so it kind of falls in between in this funny world where Star Wars is, which is kind of hard-edged but not really, sort of on the verge of PG-13, flips over once in a while, but sort of the high end of PG." If anything the trailers for The Clone Wars look a lot more serious and sinisterly cool in a Japanese Manga type of manner. If Clone Wars is half as serious in tone, story and character as the many Asian Anime properties, exploring the religious, sociological, and philosophical subtext within Star Wars, fans will be in for one hell of an awesome ride. What some fans believe was lost in story and meaning along the way with the live action films, might be found in another medium that serves the characters and universe much better.

The Video Game Galaxy:

Copyright Lucasfilm All Rights ReservedAlthough the video game industry predates Star Wars by 6 years, with Pong invented in 1971, both have grown up in chorus with one another. Given the soaring revenues generated from the exploding video game market, the future of Star Wars will always include games. Although all 6 feature films have generated billions at the box office, the video game market is outpacing and surpassing Hollywood like never before. With recent first week sales of Grand Theft Auto IV totaling upwards of half a billion dollars, it’s safe to say that the upcoming September release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will be a windfall for Lucasfilm, especially on the heels of the animated Clone Wars as a marketing lead in. At last count, over 60 Star Wars video games have been released over the years since 1982. While fans might be longing for more feature films, the video game industry has proven it doesn’t need the big screen to be successful. When the animated film and series hit the scene in the near future, along with the planned live-action series, the future of Star Wars in the gaming world will be stronger than it ever has been.

Live-Action Longevity - The Law & Order Factor:

Copyright Lucasfilm All Rights ReservedNow that the franchise is three decades old, how will Star Wars cater to its aging fan base? It very well might come in the form of the upcoming live-action series slated for 2010. As much as I believe many deeper aspects of Star Wars would be better served in animated form, so much can be explored in a live-action TV series if done right. Still, anything live-action on TV comes with certain confines and restrictions. If the future doesn’t include live-action feature films, making the franchise accessible to a mainstream audience via television on an ongoing basis is the best possible move to ensure live-action longevity. As well, it certainly opens up the franchise to explore uncultivated dramatic layers through various characters, sub-plots and arcs that wouldn’t (or couldn’t) be explored in a live-action feature film. That’s not to mention the many new characters and storylines that could also be spun-off into other shows and to other mediums. Think about it, with 120 minutes to work with in a film, only so much ground can be covered. In a long running TV series, all corners of the galaxy can be explored.

Since many Star Wars fans are now adults, the upcoming live-action TV series might be the perfect bridge between a new animated series, the video game universe, and a lack of feature films. In 2007 at Celebration Europe, producer Rick McCallum elaborated on the live action TV series, its tone and target audience, "As I said before, it’s a much darker, much more character-based series, much more adult, and we’re hoping that it will go on for up to 400 episodes." Assuming that we could expect at least 20 episodes a season, 400 episodes would mean 20 years of Star Wars on the small-screen. If there’s any one property in the entertainment world that could outlive Law & Order and Gunsmoke as the two longest running shows in TV history, it’s without a doubt Star Wars. From an economical standpoint, at $1 million per episode, it would take at least 10 years to even come close to the budget of one live action feature film. In terms of the affect on future generations of fans, a 20 year live action Star Wars series could have a much greater impact across several generations than any of the films, original trilogy or prequels.

The Verdict:

Copyright Lucasfilm All Rights ReservedIf you have any doubts whether the Stars Wars franchise will still hold the same magic as it did for the original trilogy purists or the prequel generation, think again. In its current state, with big plans for the future, Star Wars might have an even bigger impact on future generations. Although the first trilogy kick started the franchise and the prequel trilogy continued the saga for a new generation of fans, giving them their own trilogy, the future of Star Wars looks brighter than ever. What wasn’t explored in the first 30 years will undoubtedly be harvested for up and coming generations to enjoy. It’s staggering to think that if the live-action series does end up running for 20 years, the entire Star Wars landscape will be transformed into something we’ve never seen or known. In many ways, the up and coming future fans are lucky. Like Obi-Wan told Luke in the first film, which is relevant to every fan’s experience with the Star Wars franchise, "Your destiny is different than mine."

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The X-Files: I Want to Believe Trailer Has Arrived!

The X-Files: I Want to Believe Trailer

The very first trailer for The X-Files: I Want to Believe has finally arrived! The buzz for this movie is definitely going to pick up with this trailer. It really doesn't reveal much, but still the perfect amount to start up discussion surrounding what the heck actually happens. Was that Daniel Craig I saw? No, it was just Callum Keith Rennie… I have a good feeling most of this movie is going to be centered around that frozen lake that the FBI is searching on. Doesn't it seem like Mulder and Scully are standing there at the end when they both turn and look at "something"? Hey X-Files fans makes sure you take a look at this trailer and chime in with your thoughts below! Are you excited to finally see Mulder and Scully return?

Thanks to IGN for debuting the trailer while we wait for the official site, XFiles.com, to update with their own high definition version for everyone to enjoy.

Watch the first trailer for The X-Files: I Want to Believe:

You can also watch The X-Files: I Want to Believe trailer in High Definition on IGN

The X-Files: I Want to Believe is directed by X-Files creator Chris Carter and co-written by both Carter and show regular Frank Spotnitz. The film arrives after a six year hiatus following the series' finale in May of 2002. The X-Files: I Want to Believe arrives in theaters this summer on July 25th. Believe! The first teaser poster is featured below.

Indiana Jones Spoiler

Inside Scoop on MythBusters & Indiana Jones

Lately, it seems like everyone and his mother is excitedly whispering about "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." It'll be in theaters before long, and the movie speculators are abuzz with excitement - but fans of the hit show MythBusters might especially want to listen up! Get this, my cousin works as a production assistant for the crew that shoots MythBusters for Discovery and he just told me that to commemorate and celebrate the release of this highly-anticipated movie, MythBusters is planning something very special.

Word around the campfire at Discovery is that a special, one-time MythBusters episode will be devoted to debunking the 10 of the most popular Indiana Jones myths of all time! If you've ever wondered how his eye-popping stunts get pulled off or why plot A was chosen over plot B, this episode is one you don't want to miss. All of the most persistent Indiana Jones myths will be to rest in typical Myth Busters fashion, by exposing them to the searing light of investigative truth!

I was told that this episode will be similar to the MacGyver series that was shot earlier this year. I didn't believe him at first, of course, but he sent me a cell phone pic he took while on set the next day.

Indiana Jones Spoiler - MythBusters Wiki: Discovery Channel

I'm a pretty skeptical person by nature, but considering the success the MacGyver series had, and the fact that the new Indiana Jones movie is coming out, it only makes sense. Plus they did the awning fall Temple of Doom Myth bust a couple years ago. I can't wait to see what Myths they bust. My predictions are:

  • See if Buster can "out run" a boulder on a 30-degree incline.
  • Adam trying to swing on a whip.
  • An elaborate reenactment of one of the scenes.

So whether you're a fan of MythBusters or just a closet Indiana Jones junkie, consider yourself "in the know" - and make sure to tune in. I know I will.

A little background on the movie

Following his legendary battles and and edge-of-your-seat adventures, Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones has more or less been a private citizen. But that all changes when a new adventure rips him out of retirement and reawakens his insatiable thirst for action! Jones (played by Harrison Ford) soon finds himself embroiled in a thick, messy Soviet-run plot to discover the alluring secret behind hidden, mysterious artifacts known as "Crystal Skulls." Teamed with newcomer Shia LaBeouf, Jones embarks on what some are calling his most suspenseful mission yet! One man was lucky enough to snag an advanced screening of the movie and could hardly contain his excitement:

"Everything is bigger and better than before, the action is of high-caliber, the plot is thorough and exciting with intelligent writing coupled with awesome special effects. But what really surprised me was that it looked like it was filmed in the 1980's; something that's rare in this Digital Age!"
Original here

Update: BREAKING NEWS...Spectrum Labs Raided by Feds...all a/k/a Tommy Chong DVDs Confiscated




WE TOLD YOU THEY DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE THIS DOCUMENTARY!!!

The FBI has raided Spectrum Labs, the company that partially owns and is distributing the film a/k/a Tommy Chong. The raids occured Wednesday night at their office in Newport, Ohio.

Spectrum Labs' primary business is selling detoxification products.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Congress held hearings on detox products back in 2005. The founder of Spectrum Labs, Matt Stephens, was subpoenaed, but he pleaded the fifth. Congress was unable to pass legislation on detox products.

They confiscated all the remaining 10,000 of the DVDs possibly because Tommy Chong is not allowed to profit from his conviction (wrongful conviction).

"I'm not profiting off the story of my first amendment violation at all," said Chong.

The fact that another company which doesn't sell the dvds was also busted seems to indicate that it may be primarily related to detoxification products. However, the feds are being tight-lipped.

Read Here
and Here

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Flu vaccine doses to make record numbers

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Flu vaccine manufacturers expect to make a record number of doses for the next flu season despite concerns that demand may drop because this year's vaccine was largely ineffective.

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This flu season was the worst in four years for adult deaths from flu and pneumonia.

The five companies that make flu vaccine for the U.S. market plan to make at least 143 million doses for the 2008-09 season. They made 140 million doses for the current season, the worst in four years for adult deaths from flu and pneumonia.

Part of the problem was that the vaccine didn't work well against the viruses that ended up circulating.

Each year, health officials essentially make an educated guess and formulate a vaccine against three viruses. Their guess usually works well.

But two of the three strains for the current season were not good matches, and the vaccine was only 44 percent effective overall, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reports on that data "probably doesn't help us going into the flu season, when people are thinking, 'It didn't really match, so how can we rely that this vaccine's OK?' " said Paul Perreault, executive vice president of CSL Biotherapies, one of the five manufacturers.

Still, the company is tripling its production to 6 million doses. The company believes that this fall's vaccination drive should be successful, due in part to education campaigns and a complete makeover of the vaccine, Perreault said.

Besides CSL Biotherapies, three companies make flu shots for the United States. Sanofi Pasteur Inc. is planning to make 50 million doses for the coming flu season; Novartis Vaccines, 40 million; GlaxoSmithKline PLC, 35 million to 38 million.

In addition, MedImmune Vaccines Inc. plans to make about 12 million doses of FluMist. That's a nasal mist containing live virus approved for healthy people between ages 2 and 49.

Manufacturers said this week that they anticipate delivering much of their vaccines by the end of September.

Federal health officials have been expanding recommendations for annual flu shots, potentially ratcheting up demand. The biggest boost came in February, when an influential government advisory panel expanded annual flu shots recommendations to virtually all U.S. children except infants younger than 6 months and those with serious egg allergies. Previous recommendations focused on children under 5.

The action means about 30 million more children could be getting vaccinated, starting this year.

Public health leaders are expected to discuss the 2008-09 flu season next week at a national influenza vaccine summit meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by the CDC and the American Medical Association.

Each year, the flu results in 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths, according to official estimates. The elderly, young children and people with chronic illnesses are considered at greatest risk.
Original here

Top 10 interview mistakes

Editor's note: CNN.com has a business partnership with CareerBuilder.com, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to CNN.com.

Hiring managers don't want to hear a lot of things during an interview -- confessions of a violent past, a cell phone ring, a toilet flush. Yet job seekers have committed these interview gaffes and worse, according to CareerBuilder.com's annual survey of the worst interview mistakes.

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Hiring managers say don't offer personal details that can be controversial during an interview.

Odd behavior isn't the only way to ruin your chances of landing a job.

When hiring managers were asked to name the most common and damaging interview mistakes a candidate can make, 51 percent listed dressing inappropriately.

Forty-nine percent cited badmouthing a former boss as the worst offense, while 48 percent said appearing disinterested.

Arrogance (44 percent), insufficient answers (30 percent) and not asking good questions (29 percent) were also top answers.

To ensure your interview is smooth and error-free, follow these five tips.

• Do some research: When you walk into a job interview, knowledge of the company's history, goals and current activity proves to the interviewer that you are not only prepared for the interview, but also that you want to be a part of the organization.

• Don't lie: If the conversation drifts to a topic you're not knowledgeable about, admit you don't know the answer and then explain how you would go about finding a solution. Displaying your problem-solving skills is better than babbling about something you don't understand.

• Keep it professional: Although interviewers often try to create a comfortable setting to ease the job seeker's nerves, business decorum shouldn't disappear. Avoid offering personal details that can be controversial or have no relevance to the position, such as political and religious beliefs or stories about a recent break-up.

• Know what to expect: Expect to hear staple interview questions: "What's your biggest weakness?" "Why do you want to work here?" "Tell me about yourself." "Why did you leave your last job?" These open-ended questions are harder to answer than they sound, so think about your responses before the interview.

• Put on a happy face: The interview is not the time to air your grievances about being wronged by a past boss. How you speak about a previous employer gives the hiring manager an idea of how you'll speak about him or her once you've moved on.

Unfortunately, many job seekers are not only ignoring these tips, they're making mistakes that leave unforgettable impressions for all the wrong reasons. Here are 10 real-life examples from this year's survey:

• Candidate answered cell phone and asked the interviewer to leave her own office because it was a "private" conversation.

• Applicant told the interviewer he wouldn't be able to stay with the job long because he thought he might get an inheritance if his uncle died - and his uncle wasn't "looking too good."

• The job seeker asked the interviewer for a ride home after the interview.

• The applicant smelled his armpits on the way to the interview room.

• Candidate said she could not provide a writing sample because all of her writing had been for the CIA and it was "classified."

• Candidate told the interviewer he was fired for beating up his last boss.

• When the applicant was offered food before the interview, he declined saying he didn't want to line his stomach with grease before going out drinking.

• An applicant said she was a "people person" not a "numbers person" -- in her interview for an accounting position.

• During a phone interview the candidate flushed the toilet while talking to hiring manager.

• The applicant took out a hair brush and brushed her hair.
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The 6 Most Frequently Quoted Bullsh*t Statistics

Every once in awhile, you'll hear a statistic so striking you can hardly believe it's true. Our first impulse is to repeat it, because knowing interesting things tends to make people like us better.

Unfortunately, some people are so desperate for interesting facts to quote, that they'll just pull them right out of their ass. Then those facts get repeated, by--you guessed it--people like us.

The six most quoted "too awesome to be true" stats that, in fact, are ...

#6.
You Accidentally Swallow About 8 Spiders a Year

This extremely commonly believed statistic has been fed to us by countless internet chain mails, and probably by some know-it-all kid who sat next to you in some class or other. When you sleep, you open your mouth to breath (and drool on your pillow), and supposedly this is the ideal window of oppurtunity for all the spiders who hang out near your bed hoping to be eaten alive.

Why Is It a Load of Crap?

Well, first of all, this a real kick in the crotch of the intellect of spiders everywhere. Although spiders are occasionally seen doing stupid things, it's safe to assume they have enough wit to realize when they're about to crawl through the mouth of a damned giant. If the giant white teeth aren't enough to deter them from going spelunking down your dark, wet throat (apparently no other animals have these) you'd think the heavy draft and deafening snoring sounds would be some sort of indication of how terrible a home your mouth would be.

Who Started It?

Back in 1993, people were already getting fooled by online urban legends at an amusing rate. So, a columnist for PC Professional named Lisa Holst decided to prove that you could make up anything on the internet and people would believe it.

She did this by making up a set of facts that were utterly ridiculous, the spider myth among them (which itself was taken from a collection of insect folklore that dates back to the 1950s), and unleashing it on the world in the form of emails.

In a twist of oh-so-predictable irony, people who forwarded chain mail about this just "happened" to forget to include the fact that these were completely fake.

Who Was Fooled?

Ask a group of internet strangers and you'll find at least a handful of people who wholeheartedly believe this myth. Presumably because they read it somewhere. You've even got this supposed entomologist from Experts.com quoting it.

In 2006 The UK's Daily Mirror warned that "the average person will swallow anything from eight to 20 spiders before they die."

Not satisfied to go along with the normal fudged data, The Mirror upped the ante of retardation by adding "A spider is also likely to drink from your eye at least THREE times in your life. Some experts have suggested they are attracted by the vibrations of snoring and the smell of undigested food - a good reason to floss your teeth before bedtime."

Really, is that what it takes to get the UK to worry about dental hygiene?

#5.
You Only Use 10% of Your Brain

You've heard it since you were a child, and it might have even crept into one of your textbooks: "We only use 10% of our brain! Just think what we'd be capable of if we could tap into the rest!"

The idea that the brain has UNLIMITED POTENTIAL is probably pretty appealing to 2nd grade teachers whose students complain that they can't do ONE MORE math problem. We still remember our teachers happily informing us that we're only using 10% of our brains, so we could do ten more if we wanted. The implication was of course that if we worked hard enough, we'd be able to set fire to the school with the power of our minds.

Why Is It a Load of Crap?

How fast are you reading this article? Well, let's suppose you are only using 10% of your brain. Now, read it 10x faster. Go, do it now! Are you having trouble? Yeah, that's because you can't devote that other 90% to just whatever you want. The parts of the brain are specialized, so trying to use all of it at once isn't going to make you any smarter. That would be like trying to become a better writer by striving to use all the keys on your keyboard in every sentence.

So the part of your brain you're using to read this article is not the same part you'll be using tonight when you get drunk and fight a hobo. There's even a special part of the brain that apparently keeps you from turning into a dick (No, really).

Who Started It?

There is a bit of debate on who exactly brought this bullshit statistic into the world. A series of neurologists over the past few hundred years figured out that a human can survive when parts of the brain are removed. Over time, this was misinterpreted to mean that the brain uses little of its potential, and thus the 10% statistic was born.

Facts tend to survive based on how interesting they are, rather than whether or not they're true.

Who Was Fooled?

Surely nobody takes this seriously any more, not when a ten-second Google search can tell you otherwise, right? Well don't tell that to Psychology Today, who ran that helpful 2006 article on how to access the lazy 90% of your grey matter.

One of their tips is to replenish the brain with nutrients, but we're assuming we get plenty with all the spiders we've eaten.

#4.
Men Think About Sex Every Seven Seconds

As we all know, men do nothing all day but think about having sex with their girlfriend/ex-girlfriend/friend that happens to be a girl/friend's sister. It should come naturally, then, that, on average, men think about sex every seven seconds or so, right? I mean, what else are men going to think about? Their jobs?

"Puhleaze, sister. We all know what's going on in there."

Why Is It a Load of Crap?

Let's suppose for a moment that you are a man. Have you thought about sex since you began reading this article? Well, probably, yes, because you just read the word "sex" several times. How about when you were reading the spider-eating segment moments ago? Were you imaging a massive spider-orgy? If so, you are unlike most men in the world. As a matter of fact, many experts estimate that 30% of men don't think about sex during the day at all. There are variants of this myth, usually ranging from 3 seconds to 20 seconds, but none of them are based on any actual research, and none of them are really true.

After all, how would they even arrive at such a number? Hook electrodes up to a dude's head and have him walk around for a week, counting how many times the sex lobe lights up?

Who Started It?

The origins of this statistic stretch long and far (no "that's what she said" intended), so again we can't pin it on a single person. We all know who it really was, though. A group of wives sitting at a table drinking tea or coffee, start talking about their horrible husbands. They just hate how it is always about sex sex sex sex sex. So, one of them pulls a number out of her head for a joke. "Did you know that men think about sex every seven seconds?"

The others have a good, womanly laugh about their husbands, and then they all run off to do womanly things, like quilting, or going to the bathroom at the same time. That's what women do, right? We don't really know.

Who Was Fooled?

Well, about half of us, according to this online poll. Countless sites are still including it among their "interesting facts" about sex, like this one and this one over here.

It seems like common sense would have squashed this one even before it got started. Obviously there are long stretches where a guy isn't thinking about sex (say, while spending 45 infuriating minutes on the phone with Microsoft tech support). To make up that average later he would have to think about sex every, what 2 seconds? So for the rest of the day his brain just turns into a spinning kaleidoscope of titty?

#3.
Spousal Abuse Skyrockets on Super Bowl Sunday

Surely watching the manliest of sports play out on the world stage brings out the redneck in all of us. It isn't too hard to imagine that a shitty husband or boyfriend might do something like this on Superbowl Sunday.

"Woman! Get me a beer! *smack*"

"Woman! Turn up the TV! I'm watching the Supabowl! *smack*"

"Woman! I don't wanna see you again for the next 2 hours unless you're nekked! *smack*"

And who hasn't been to a Super Bowl Party where one of the male guests gets into a fistfight with his wife in front of all their closest friends? What's that you say common sense? Pretty much everybody hasn't been to a party like that?

Why Is It a Load of Crap?

The problem with this statistic is that the kind of men who would hit their wives and girlfriends over something on TV are the kind of men who are already doing it anyway.

In reality, there is no solid evidence that suggests spouses are abused on Super Bowl Sunday, and in fact for some men the distraction of football might actually make them less likely to hit their wives.

Who Started It?

This myth reached its peak in 1993, when a series of battered women's advocates came forward claiming abuse hotline calls went up by as much as 40% on the day of the big game. Similar stats got repeated and inflated endlessly in the lead up to the Super Bowl, when every section of the paper is obligated to have a story about the Super Bowl, even if there's absolutely nothing to report. Oh newspapers, how we'll miss your journalistic integrity.

Who Was Fooled?

It becamse a big enough deal that NBC aired a public service announcement warning about the dangers of spousal abuse before the game. We hate to think how many abusive husbands, having settled in to watch football, saw the ad and thought, "Hey, that reminds me! I've been so preoccupied with the game that I haven't abused my wife today! Thanks, NBC!"

#2.
You Must Wait 30 Minutes After Eating Before Swimming

If at any time in your life you've had food in your hand near a swimming pool, you've heard this myth. You cannot swim until you've waited at least 30 minutes.

For some families, the more harsh "hour" rule was used. If you broke the rule, the implication was that you would get cramps, be unable to swim, drown, and die. This rule seemed to apply even if you stayed on the shallow end. According to this statistic, unlike air, water-to-skin contact has magical properties that cause the food in your belly to explode unless it is past a certain point in your digestive track.

Why Is It a Load of Crap?

Because you're not a Gremlin. As you may have already guessed, water does not, in fact, bear properties that form a cramp of death, should you get in the water after eating. Getting into the water after eating will have no more effect on your body than going for a walk.

In fact, the movement of your body in the water, particularly if you are just a little kid with floaties on, is more restricted than that of a typical walk. Granted, if you were to swim rigorously for exercise, you wouldn't want to jump in the pool and start swimming lines right after a big bowl of Chili unless your goal is to chum for some sharks with your mouth.

Who Started It?

This one actually comes from an old wives tale that slowly became popular over the years. Supposedly, your stomach is using oxygen to digest food that your muscles need to swim. In actuality, the amount of oxygen your body needs to swim is more than satisfied, whether or not you've eaten recently.

Who Was Fooled?

This cutesy little kids site is one of many offering swimming tips that still buys into the old "wait 30 minutes" rule.

These lies aren't without their consequences. What happens when they find out the 30 minute statistic is false. Doesn't that suggest that the other stuff on the page must be false, too? A horseplay revolution could arise, complete with much more serous acts of rebellions like kids diving in the shallow end, swimming during electrical storms and thinking they could stay under water longer by biting fart bubbles.

#1.
Christmas Causes Suicide

Christmas: A season of joy and togetherness and shopping and joy and shopping. It might be true that Christmas has become really commercialized (as you might have heard from Charlie Brown once or twice), but people generally seem to enjoy it. Aside from the stress, and family you hate, the travel and the junk lying around the house, of course. And the music.

Actually, when we hear that suicide rates jump during the holidays, it's easy to believe it. Especially if you've ever spent a Christmas drunk and alone, tearing up as you sit in your apartment and watch your favorite Christmas movie from childhood (Die Hard).

Why Is It a Load of Crap?

Actually, the suicide rate goes down significantly. Why?

While it's depressing as hell to be alone on Christmas, the truth is most of us aren't. It's just hard to commit suicide when there's people around constantly trying to get you to wear ugly sweaters. Depressed or not, most people aren't big enough dicks to let the kiddies find them hanging over the Christmas tree with a note pinned to their chest.

Who Started It?

In this case, no one fooled us more than ourselves. It's what they call confirmation bias; we decide ahead of time that people should get depressed over the holidays, so when we hear somebody killed themselves on Christmas, we assume the holiday was the reason.

Never mind that far more people kill themselves on President's day, and most other lesser holidays. Never mind that there could have been a thousand other reasons to be depressed.

Who Was Fooled?

The movie Gremlins, for one. A character quotes the suicide stat, which is one of several scientific inaccuracies we noticed in that film (see swimming after eating).

But also, just about every newspaper in the country tends to climb on board. Studies indicate that newspapers actually emphasize suicides during the holidays over the rest of the year, again assuming a link between the suicide and the holiday when they didn't even know if the victim recognized that it was the holiday at all.

In the general population, whether or not you believe this stat tends to depend on how much you hate Christmas (see this typical response from a ray of sunshine talking about how it's "no wonder" suicide rates go up that time of year).

For some reason, when we're miserable we like to project it on other people, and assume they're all miserable too. And, if thinking that other people are suicidal makes you feel a little less suicidal yourself, then go for it.

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Men are more likely than women to crave alcohol when they feel negative emotions

Women and men tend to have different types of stress-related psychological disorders. Women have greater rates of depression and some types of anxiety disorders than men, while men have greater rates of alcohol-use disorders than women. A new study of emotional and alcohol-craving responses to stress has found that when men become upset, they are more likely than women to want alcohol.

Results will be published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at OnlineEarly.

“We know that women and men respond to stress differently,” said Tara M. Chaplin, associate research scientist at Yale University School of Medicine and first author of the study. “For example, following a stressful experience, women are more likely than men to say that they feel sad or anxious, which may lead to risk for depression and anxiety disorders. Some studies have found that men are more likely to drink alcohol following stress than women. If this becomes a pattern, it could lead to alcohol-use disorders.”

As part of a larger study, the researchers exposed 54 healthy adult social drinkers (27 women, 27 men) to three types of imagery scripts – stressful, alcohol-related, and neutral/relaxing – in separate sessions, on separate days and in random order. Chaplin and her colleagues then assessed participants’ subjective emotions, behavioral/bodily responses, cardiovascular arousal as indicated by heart rate and blood pressure, and self-reported alcohol craving.

“After listening to the stressful story, women reported more sadness and anxiety than men,” said Chaplin, “as well as greater behavioral arousal. But, for the men … emotional arousal was linked to increases in alcohol craving. In other words, when men are upset, they are more likely to want alcohol.”

These findings – in addition to the fact that the men drank more than the women on average – meant that the men had more experience with alcohol, perhaps leading them to turn to alcohol as a way of coping with distress, added Chaplin. “Men’s tendency to crave alcohol when upset may be a learned behavior or may be related to known gender differences in reward pathways in the brain,” she said. “And this tendency may contribute to risk for alcohol-use disorders.”

There is a greater societal acceptance of “emotionality,” particularly sadness and anxiety, in women than in men, noted Chaplin.

“Women are more likely than men to focus on negative emotional aspects of stressful circumstances, for example, they tend to ‘ruminate’ or think over and over again about their negative emotional state,” she said. “Men, in contrast, are more likely to distract themselves from negative emotions, to try not to think about these emotions. Our finding that men had greater blood pressure response to stress, but did not report greater sadness and anxiety, may reflect that they are more likely to try to distract themselves from their physiological arousal, possibly through the use of alcohol.”

###

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER) is the official journal of the Research Society on Alcoholism and the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. Co-authors of the ACER paper, “Gender Differences in Response to Emotional Stress: An Assessment across Subjective, Behavioral and Physiological Domains and Relations to Alcohol Craving,” were: Kwangik Hong, Keri Bergquist, and Rajita Sinha of the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. The study was funded by the National Institute of Health, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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Says it takes a certain mindset to drive in Dubai

Dubai drivers are alarmingly 'suicidal': report
A view of Dubai's main highway during rush hour (File)

DUBAI (Reuters)

It takes a certain mindset to drive in Dubai: a take-no-prisoners attitude coupled with nerves of steel.

This Gulf city, which boasts stunning wealth and spectacular skyscrapers, is also home to an alarmingly large number of suicidal drivers, and one of them was at the wheel of my taxi as we careened off a Dubai highway and onto a side road.

"It is very safe to drive," said Mohammad as he ignored a stop sign in a dusty construction area and flung us onto a mercifully quiet roundabout.

Asked whether he had been in many accidents, he replied: "Never. But I hit somebody, maybe one or two times, not serious."

Dubai was last year named the most congested city in the Middle East, in a study which found commuters spend nearly two hours in their cars each day, often in heavy traffic.

Some experts say the congestion that jams the streets could dent the city's aspirations to extend its role from star of the wealthy Gulf region into global business hub.

Top

Survival tips

For now, some tips: a driver who lingers for even a split-second when traffic lights go green is obviously asleep, so hit the horn to wake him up. Besides the accelerator, the horn is a Dubai driver's best friend.

Many drivers treat posted speed limits as a mild suggestion, glaring at those who obey the rules or blasting their horns contemptuously at true slow pokes.

And do not be fooled into thinking roads have only paved lanes: the sandy shoulders on either side are fair game to get out of a pinch.

Of course, even offroading across corners to reach another street will not help much, given the volume of traffic. I saw one ambitious driver, fed up with standstill traffic on a particularly narrow street, attempt a U-turn.

He inched back and forth to get his car perpendicular to the traffic, at which point a truck squeezed from behind into the minuscule space he had vacated, piling on the pressure for him to complete the maneuver.

Unfazed, he coolly finished the turn and sped off.

Police are cracking down on reckless driving. The government amended the federal law on traffic violations this year, creating stiffer penalties for violations like racing.

And there is a heavy human toll. The newspapers say one person is injured on the roads every two hours and there is a fatality every 15 hours.

"Every day, three or four accidents is compulsory," said Ilyas, another Dubai taxi driver.


(Written by Reuters correspondent Amran Abocar).

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Hydrogen Cars Won't Make a Difference for 40 Years


California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has made the state's "Hydrogen Highway" a key part of his environmental agenda.
Photo courtesy Ann Johansson/AP Photo

President Bush, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the big automakers agree on this much: They love hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology and its promise of a zero-emission, petroleum-free future.

Unfortunately, experts say it will be 40 years or more before hydrogen has any meaningful impact on gasoline consumption or global warming, and we can't afford to wait that long. In the meantime, fuel cells are diverting resources from more immediate solutions.

"As a climate strategy, it's not very good," said Dr. Joseph Romm, executive director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions and author of The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate. "We don't have the time."

Climate experts and alternative-fuel researchers, including some hydrogen proponents, agree that hydrogen is at best a long-term solution. In the short and medium term, however, other technologies offer far greater benefit at far less cost: Cleaner internal combustion engines, hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

Some worry that these near-term solutions are being short-changed. But hydrogen advocates counter that the answer isn't cutting hydrogen funding, but increasing funding for research into a wide variety of alternatives to oil.

"The few million we're spending to change our energy policy is like sending one platoon to Normandy," said Paul Williamson, director of the Hydrogen and Alternative Energy Research and Development program at the University of Montana. "It's just not going to happen."

To some extent, politicians and policymakers recognize that hydrogen remains a long way off, which is one reason the California Air Resources Board has told automakers to build 58,000 plug-in hybrids by 2014. And automakers are building cleaner gasoline and diesel engines while developing hybrids.

But the emphasis remains squarely on hydrogen.

Congress appropriated $283.5 million for the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative this year, bringing its investment to $1.16 billion since 2004. California's "Hydrogen Highway" may be floundering, but the Air Resources Board is handing out $7.7 million to build hydrogen stations even though the last three agencies to receive state funding gave it back.

Many hurdles remain to be cleared before hydrogen is a viable source of energy -- not the least of which are making, storing and distributing it on a large scale. Meeting these challenges will require, in the words of several hydrogen proponents, a "Manhattan Project"-level of research and funding. And we're a long way from the hydrogen economy President Bush envisioned in his 2003 State of the Union.

The transition has begun though, and California is leading the way even as it keeps relaxing the rule dictating how many electric and hydrogen vehicles automakers must build. There are 175 fuel cell vehicles in California and more coming. Honda will begin leasing its hydrogen-powered Clarity FCX this summer and General Motors will put its Equinox fuel cell vehicles in 100 driveways this year. Hyundai plans to begin mass-producing fuel cells cars in 2012, and GM -- which has invested more than $1 billion in hydrogen -- says it will have 1,000 vehicles on the road in California by 2014.

But few people expect to see fuel cell vehicles in showrooms before 2020, and we won't see any large-scale benefit from them until 30 years after that.

"2050 is when hydrogen might -- might -- have a significant impact," said John Heywood, director of the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The timeline has more to do with economics than science. There are roughly 240 million vehicles in America and about 16 million new vehicles sold each year. That means it takes about 15 years to turn over the fleet. But it takes even longer for new technologies to penetrate the market.

Heywood cites hybrids as an example. They may seem ubiquitous, but after 10 years, hybrids accounted for just 2.2 percent of domestic auto sales last year. Run the numbers and Heywood estimates fuel cell vehicles will need 25 years to make up 35 percent of new vehicle sales and 20 years beyond that to get to 35 percent of the U.S. fleet.

We can't wait that long. Scientists increasingly agree that industrialized nations must cut greenhouse gas emissions as much as 80 percent by 2050 if we are to curb global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency says fuel economy may have to rise to 75 mpg within 30 years to hit that target. California law requires easing emissions even further than that by 2050. Hitting these targets will require putting 379,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2020 and 7.6 million by 2050, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Hydrogen critics argue that plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles are the answer. But electricity brings its own challenges. Plug-in technology can cut fuel consumption by up to 62 percent, but it adds $8,000 to $11,000 to the cost of the car, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (.pdf). EVs like the Subaru R1e and Mitsubishi's MiEV have a range of no more than 100 miles. The Tesla Roadster gets 220 miles and charges in about 3½ hours, but it costs $98,000 and its lithium-ion battery pack which weighs 1,000 pounds.

"The reality is, as much as everyone in the industry has hoped for affordable, high energy batteries, they don't exist yet," said Ron Cogan, editor of GreenCar.com and Green Car Journal. "We're not there yet with battery electric vehicles or hydrogen. We're on a path to both."

And we'll need both if we're to address global warming and our dependence on oil, climate experts say. Even critics like Romm aren't suggesting we scrap hydrogen entirely. For all its challenges, hydrogen still presents the opportunity, however distant, for a sustainable source of energy that can displace petroleum.

For now, the issue isn't electrics or hydrogen but electrics and hydrogen.

"Given that timeline and the number of vehicles we're talking about, we have to keep working on battery electric vehicle and fuel cell vehicles at the same time," said Spencer Quong of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "Both of them have huge challenges, and if we don't work on both of them, we won't meet our objectives."

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