Python’s New Skin
John Cleese branches out by starring in an Internet-only movie
What would possess a onetime Oscar nominee like John Cleese to costar in a movie available only on the Net? “I find filming so slow and boring,” the Monty Python alum says archly, “that the only thing that compensates for it is that either you’re working with people like Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn—so the downtime is extremely pleasant—or something is so intriguing, you just want to be a part of it.”
Cleese, 60, was intrigued by the plotline of Quantum Project, a 32-minute sci-fi drama that costs $3.95 to download at http://www.sightsound.com. “I actually got into Cambridge on science, which surprises people,” he says. He also relishes trying something completely different—a flick billed as the first made solely for Net sales. “I’m the first person who said ‘s—-‘ on British television,” Cleese claims proudly. “I trust that will go in my obituary. To do the first movie totally for the Internet, that’s the icing on the cake.”
Toon In to Job Sites
Do job-related Web sites work? ONLINE asked Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, chief cynic of the cubicle set (and mastermind of Dilbert.com), to browse a few. His fave: Vault.com, a fiesta of wage-slave gossip. “One man was considering sleeping with his boss, and someone advised him to negotiate his raise with her first,” says Adams. “This could be a good source for Dilbert material.” As for job-hunt sites, “I’m suspicious of things called CareerPath.com or CareerBuilder.com,” Adams says. “Not many people think of their jobs as careers these days.” But Monster.com’s title is boss, he says. “You’re going to have to work for a monster eventually.”
At work a client e-mails us raunchy jokes. How can I get him to stop without losing his business?
Forget losing the client—your company could lose its shirt in a sexual-harassment suit, so staunching the raunch takes priority. (And law aside, you and your colleagues shouldn’t have to read sleaze.) Which is the perfect excuse to use with the Neanderthal client: Tell him your lawyer has put the kibosh on the blue stuff.
Click and Get It
•Up for bidding at a http://www.planetgiving.com charity auction through July 12: country music-abilia, including a guitar (above) signed by the Dixie Chicks; frocks worn by Faith Hill and Martina McBride; jeans autographed by Clint Black; and—got your “Achy Breaky Heart” medication handy?—now-shorn singer Billy Ray Cyrus’s ponytail (right), affixed to a Cyrus doll.
School’s out—and it’s only a matter of time before your kids start whining, “I’m bored!” So get some ideas for that rainy day at ChildFun.com, a site that suggests arts-and-crafts projects (such as Statue of Liberty torches for the Fourth of July), silly songs and kid-pleasing games for every occasion. For site founder Jenny Wanderscheid, 30, necessity was the mother of invention: The Mankato, Minn., mom started the site three years ago to share ideas about how to amuse her brood, now ages 7, 5 and 2. “It was a hobby,” she says. “I never had any big goals.”
But—like any rug rat—the site kept “getting bigger and bigger, busier and busier,” she says. Today the popular parenting site is a much-needed financial boon to Wanderscheid and husband Rick, 29, a factory worker. “It lets me spend more time at home,” he says. Which is Jenny’s prescription for parents everywhere. “Playing with your kids,” she says, “is the greatest stress reliever in the world.”
The Perfect Form
We all know how long the lines can get at the local DMV and other government agencies. So cheer on ezgov.com, a for-profit Web site that hopes to untangle federal, state and local red tape. So far, users can pay any U.S. parking ticket online. Says ex-New York governor Mario Cuomo, a stakeholder: “It delivers [government] services more efficiently than they ever delivered them.”