Friday, March 31, 2006

News: Shell

Shell directs me to two Dallas Morning News stories. But since the DMN site is so badly organized (and requires registration (and has pop-ups)), here are alternate sources for the same stories. And one bonus story from me.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Universities: Duke

Leprechauns: Alabama

A little bit of Irish heritage in Mobile, Alabama. Or "it could be a crackhead that got hold to the wrong stuff."

Monday, March 27, 2006

Celebrities: Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock makes offensive speech at Pennsylvania school. Offers "Letter Of Explanation" on his blog. One of those "I'm sorry that you were offended" non-apologies.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Music: MP3 Blogs

  • Buck Owens, RIP. Shell thinks he looked like Jim Varney. I say Mel Brooks. You be the judge. The Driftwood Singers has a Buck song. Yer Blog has two.
  • An Aquarium Drunkard has a track from the new Josh Rouse album. (He also has some acoustic Rouse tracks, but trying to download them seems to crash my computer.)
  • I saw a Claritin-D ad, with my TV on mute. There was a couple talking, intercut with them performing onstage. The guy seemed to be a really bad actor, so I thought they must be a fake band. I un-muted and immediately recognised Kelly Willis' voice. The bad actor is her husband Bruce Robison. She's looking a little matronly these days. She was quite the beauty back in the day. I saw her support the Wagoneers about 1989 with her band, Radio Ranch.
  • My Old Kentucky Blog offers two tracks from Band Of Horses (nice), and a pleasant but unnecessary cover of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" by the Subways.
  • rbally has a p. but u. cover of "Chelsea Hotel" by Regina Spektor.
  • The Townes Van Zandt bio DVD, "Be Here To Love Me" is worth watching for the jaw-dropping deleted interview segments with Nanci Griffith. She always struck me as a nice lady with an annoying voice. Now I'm not so sure about the first part. In one clip, she tells a story about how she and Townes "accidentally" took some home-made hallucinagens, and then he quietly talked her out of buying too much Coca Cola at a grocery store. Her other story is about Townes setting his toddler's hair on fire - again, an accident. But she laughs (twice!) as she tells the story.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Comedy: Quiz

Name the classic comedians/comedy albums.

  1. "It's nutty Walt again!"
  2. "This is the Blue Room. We decided to leave it just the way it was when President Blue left office."
  3. "The Bible would have gone through my heart if it wasn't for the bullet."
  4. "From New Delhi to Darjeeling, I have done my share of healing, And I've never yet been beaten or outboxed."
  5. "Dave's not here, man."
  6. "Last week I helped my friend stay put. It's a lot easier than helping someone move. I just went over to his house and made sure that he did not start to load shit into a truck. "

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Music: German One-Hit Wonders

VH1 Classic will play "99 Luftballons" for an hour on Sunday. I'll probably just watch the first 20 minutes or so. Catchy song, but I couldn't take a whole hour of it.

According to Ticketbastards, Nena has 4 kids and had a bit of a resurgence in 2005.

So what recent song will be played for an hour in 2026 (as a fundraiser after the hurricane that destroys New New Orleans)? I'll say Shakira's "Whenever, Wherever".

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ireland: Shamrock Ceremony

I love, love, love this photo of George W. Bush and Bertie Ahern at the 2006 Shamrock ceremony at the White House. I even watched the video at the White House site to see why W. was making that face. I think he was going to make one of his hilarious quips but thought better of it.

NPR tries to get to the bottom of this Ceremony - Who started it? When? Where does the shamrock come from?

A better question might be: why does the U.S. government waste so much time each year pandering to such a small-potatoes nation? Does it really buy that many Irish-American votes?

Thanks to Psyclops' Universal Translator, here's the White House press release for the 2001 ceremony, pimp-style.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Music: Tribute Bands 2

Eric suggests two actual tribute bands: Petty Theft (like it! and they're local) and the Back Doors (this is an Irish band).

And speaking of Ireland, Jim suggests U22 and Something Else Happens!.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Music: Tribute Bands

I tried to come up with some names for Tribute Bands. Some of these already exist.

  • Fauxasis
  • Phony! Phoni! Phoné!
  • Pretend Pretenders
  • The Replacement Replacements
  • Hologram Parsons
  • Abbaloney
  • Copycat Stephens
  • The Step-Mamas And The Step-Papas
  • Boney Emulators

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Advertising: Using Well-Known Songs

Two TV commercials in a row: KFC and Subaru. KFC used "Sweet Home Alabama". Subaru used "Every Day Is A Winding Road". KFC: bad, bad choice. Song appeals to a narrow demographic. Unclear connection to product (Kentucky or Alabama?). Subaru: excellent choice. No one doesn't like Sheryl Crow. Clear connection: All Wheel Drive good for winding roads.

What's the best use of a song in a commercial? Worst?

Monday, March 13, 2006

TV: Round-up

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Questions: Some Answers

  • Why do Fast Food joints have "limited time only" offerings of certain items, like Whataburger's delicious Honey Barbecue Chicken Strip Sandwich? (The McRib is probably a better example, but I've never eaten one.) Are they a "loss leader" to get people in the habit of coming to your restaurant?
  • Does it hurt to ask? No.
  • Is there a gayer song than Pete Shelley's "Homosapien"? (Sample lyrics: "Homo superior, in my interior.") Probably not.
  • What are the mathematics of "Deal Or No Deal"? (Play online.) Wikipedia discusses the Optimal Strategy - it really boils down to an individual's aversion to risk. I'm not sure I agree with the statement: "The expected winning at any point in the game is the mean of the values contained in the unopened boxes". But I have no knowledge of statistics to back me up on that.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Two Words

Shell posted some more lyrics fragments as a comment to a previous post.

  1. Novices
  2. naughty nanny
  3. dark sarcasm
  4. I hiccuped
  5. billion castaways
  6. military two-step
  7. diesel train
  8. Chinese chicken
  9. elementary penguins
  10. DA man
  11. directing traffic
  12. kissing baboons
  13. mom's spaghetti
  14. menfolk standing

Monday, March 06, 2006

Oscars: Jon Stewart

MSNBC has an excellent review of Jon Stewart's Oscar hosting. Basically, those stuck-up Hollywood types can't laugh at themselves, so they won't ask him back.

I missed this, but apparently Tom Hanks swore because they played him on stage with the "Forrest Gump" theme.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Oscars: Chuck Workman

Bloody hell. We're only halfway through the Oscars and we've had three Chuck Workman montages already: Film Noir, "Important Issue" movies (nicely deflated by Jon Stewart), and now epics. I don't get the point of these. Is it so cinephiles can show off their knowledge of film history? It's time someone said that Chuck Workman is an ignorant hack.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Two Words

I've got two words for you. Name song.

  1. "..leper messiah."
  2. "Vanity, insecurity."
  3. "..bullhorn crackles.."
  4. "..workman's wages.."
  5. "Jacob wrestled.."
  6. " ornate."
  7. "..fanatical, criminal."
  8. "..unborn chicken.."
  9. "Academic inspiration.."
  10. "..good cahoot.."

Combos: Product & Movie Title

Eric suggests some Brand Name/Movie Title combos.

  • Tootsie Roll (invalid - one can't be completely contained within the other)
  • Snow White Castle (okay - but not the Disney version!
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit-o-honey (invalid overlap)
  • Falling Downy (ditto)
  • Peter Pan (complete overlap - rejected)
  • Jurassic Park Ride 'n Fly (could add "Fly Away Home" to make a triple)
  • Fletch-a-sketch (Nope)
  • Minute Maid In Manhattan (prefix with "New York")
  • Neating Raoul (What's that product? Anyway, it ain't legit.)

Fashion: Oscars

The Guardian proffers an Oscars Fashion Quiz. Can you beat my score of 6/10?