Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Sports: Basketball

I hope the Mavs are knocked out by the Suns, if only because Dale Hansen said, after Game 3, that Dallas had a "commanding lead" over Phoenix. 2 games to 1 is never a "commanding lead" (unless it's a 3-game series.) What an idiot.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Advertising: Women In

We take the presence of women in commercials for granted now, but until the 1970s, only men appeared in most TV ads. Brassiere ads were particularly surreal. That all changed thanks to the brave work of pioneers like Palmolive's Madge and Bibi Osterwald (the Jif Choosey Mother). And so, in honor of Memorial Day, I'd like to pay tribute to some of today's leading ladies in commercials.

Who is the hottie in the Mercury ads? It's Jill Wagner. She looked better in the earlier commercial where she's dressed in blue. The new ad really shows off her pointy chin. I always fear for the little boy standing in front of her - the crown of his head may not withstand that chin. She had a bit part in "Junebug".

Has there ever been a better match of product and celebrity endorser than Milk and Elizabeth Hurley? It works on so many levels - two at least. (Watch backstage footage.) Only a vegan could object to this.

And how about that long-legged cutie in the Old Navy ad? Can't find her name. Another blog has been trying to track down a different Old Navy model since 2004. (The song, by the way, is "Check It Out" by Komeda.)

The Old Navy ad is promoting Madras. What other clothing materials are named after cities?

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Song List: Conservative Songs

The National Review has compiled a list of the Top 50 Conservative Rock Songs Of All Time. #1 is the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again". Pete Townshend takes some time off from his undercover investigation of child porn to respond.

Nice to see the Rainmakers mentioned (#36).

No Ted Nugent in the list? How many animals does he have to kill?

I would have added Lou Reed's "Martial Law". I'm sure Eric can suggest a few.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Shell's Lyrics Quiz

Numbers #1-2 have a city in their title, #3-5 have word UP or US in the title, #6-8 have sex-related lyrics, #9-11 have drug/disease-related lyrics, and #12-13 have shoe-related lyrics.

1. Call me pathetic call me what you will
2. Dreadlocked Rasta
3. Some are carpenter's wives
4. So if you give 'em a quick, short, sharp shock, they won't do it again, dig it? (spoken, not sung)
5. Move the heart, switch the place, look for what seems out of place
6. But I can't figure out which Spice Girl I want to impregnate
7. I'm into having sex, I ain't into making love
8. She calls me baby, she calls everybody baby
9. It's not a habit it's cool
10.Deals dope out of Dennys, got a table in the back
11.Did you make disease and the diamond blue
12.But your new shoes are worn at the heels
13.Life's the same except for my shoes

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Streets

Lyrics quiz. #1-#5 refer to a street in the lyrics, #6-#10 have "Street", "Road" or "Avenue" in the song title.

  1. We live on Morgan Street, just ten feet between. And his mother, I never see her, but her screams and curses, I hear them every day.
  2. It's four in the morning, the end of December. I'm writing you now just to see if you're better. New York is cold, but I like where I'm living. There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening.
  3. A small kid stands by the Lincoln Tunnel. He’s selling plastic roses for a buck. The traffic’s backed up to 39th Street. The TV whores are calling the cops out for a suck.
  4. You live in a fancy apartment, off the Boulevard Saint-Michel, where you keep your Rolling Stones records, and a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do.
  5. I put my foot flat down on the floor. I took it as far as I could. I took it down there to Sheridan Street, by the dark wood.
  6. Workin' so hard like a soldier. Can't afford a thing on TV. Deep in my heart I am warrior. Can't get food for them kids.
  7. So just pull on your hair. Just pull on your pout. And let's move to the beat, like we know that it's over.
  8. I'm gonna drive my daddy's Thunderbird. A white rad ride, '66 ('67), so glam it's absurd. I'm gonna put her in the back seat, and drive her 2 ... Tennessee.
  9. You hardly ever saw Grandaddy down here. He only came to town about twice a year. He'd buy a hundred pounds of yeast and some copper line. Everybody knew that he made moonshine.
  10. I was looking for a rhyme for the New York Times when I sensed I was not alone. She said do you know how to spell 'audaciously'? I could tell I was in luck.

(I have to admit that I always thought #6 said, "Deep in my heart I abhor you.")

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Miscellany

This, and also that.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sociology: Pick-Up Lines

Deadspin shared a story last month about ESPN's Chris Berman picking up a leather-clad babe at a party with the line, "You’re with me, leather." (On Tuesday, they posted a clip of Sportscenter anchor Neil Everett describing a fine Gary Matthews Jr. catch with the line, "He's with leather.")

Defamer carried a story about Bruce Willis repeating an old pickup line, "What are your plans for sex tonight?", to a college coed. (It's not clear if he was actually using the line or just reminiscing.)

According to one biographer, Prince William's chat-up line is "Hi, I’m the future king, wanna pull?"

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Words: Humbug

Charles Dickens did like the word "Humbug". There's Scrooge's "Bah ! Humbug!", of course. In "Martin Chuzzlewit", "Shakspeare's an infernal humbug, Pip!" And in "The Pickwick Papers", "He was bound to acknowledge that, personally, he entertained the highest regard and esteem for the honourable gentleman; he had merely considered him a humbug in a Pickwickian point of view."

The origin of the word is unclear.

Stephen Colbert started a "Campaign Against Humbuggery", as a parody of Fox News Channel's "War On Christmas".

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: 1985

Name these songs & artists from 1985:

  1. I was beat, incomplete. I'd been had, I was sad and blue.
  2. I was working part time in a five-and-dime. My boss was Mr. McGee.
  3. Those one track minds that took you for a working boy. Kiss them goodbye.
  4. There's a city in my mind, come along and take that ride.
  5. I took a backseat, a backhander. I took her back to her room. Gonna get back to the basics for you, oh yeah.
  6. I've packed my bags. I've cleaned the floor. Watch me walkin'. Walkin' out the door.
  7. Say after me, it's no better to be safe than sorry.
  8. You'll find a god in every golden cloister. And if you're lucky, then the god's a she.
  9. Now this mountain I must climb feels like the world upon my shoulders.
  10. Everybody's hard as iron. Locked in a modern world. Dreams are make of a different stuff.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Music Video: Nina Persson

Lots of Nina Persson/Cardigans goodies from YouTube.

Bonus MP3 - The Cardigans cover "The Boys Are Back In Town".

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Internet: Google Trends

Google Trends (found via Ashcan Rantings) allows you to compare the popularity of search terms.

Feeble Attempt At Humour

My friend can speak in various Native American languages but I don't know How

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Music: Indie Beards

Who has the best Indie beard?

Jim James has fine chin hairs, but is lacking above the lip. Doug Martsch has only developed his Grizzly Adams beard recently. Sam Beam's is very impressive but I'm not familiar with his work. I've got to give the award to Will Oldham, who really commits to the beard.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sports: World Cup

Sound financial advice from Goldman Sachs: don't bet on England to win the World Cup. Me, I think Ireland are going to surprise a lot of people. They're going to sneak up behind them and hit them on the head with a sausage-dog.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Music: Grant McLennan, RIP

Shocking news - Grant McLennan of the Go-Betweens has passed away in his sleep. Fans and friends pay tribute on the Go-Betweens message board. If you don't know his music, Stereogum has a couple of Go-Betweens songs he wrote. Domino Rally has three more, including "Cattle And Cane" (the line, "His father's watch, he left it in the showers" always gets to me - knowing that Grant's own father died when he was 4). You can hear "Bachelor Kisses" (with my favourite melody of his) at Something Old, Something New.

(It's a little embarrassing to see some Robert songs posted by bloggers.)

Steve Kilbey from The Church pays tribute. He's right to call the first album they made together as Jack Frost a "masterpiece". (Hear "Thought That I Was Over You" at Sound Of The Suburbs".)

The Sydney Morning Herald has a nice article.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Soundtracks: "United 93"

Message board fun. A guy innocently asks, "Can anyone comment on the soundtrack to United 93?" and gets a lot of smart-arse comments.

(R. accidentally referred to this movie as "Flight 911", which would be a good way to piss off movie-lovers)

ilx has a lot of message boards like this, where an innocent question gets trampled on by wise-acres. For example, the topic "180 degree albums - initially hated/later loved" elicits many replies about an album called "Your Mother", like "I got into Your Mother in the later years but i pulled out of that once everyone started getting into Your Mother".

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Simpsons: More Quotes

Eric supplies some more Simpsons quotations of quotidian utility:

  • "Now who's being naive, Marge?" (Said in a patronising way to someone who disbelieves your wild assertions, as when Marge disputed Homer's claim that Earl Warren was a Supreme Court justice and a sleazy male stripper.)
  • "I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals FLAMING." (The common prayer of those who want things to remain the way they always have been.)
  • "Not so good. The girl I've been stalking just had me bumped back to 200 feet." (When asked about your love life.)
  • "That's super." (Spoken in a condescending tone about those who worship a different God.)
  • "Yes, yes, it's all a rich tapestry." (Said in a dismissive voice to those who try to over-analyze their petty lives.)
  • "Her idea of wit is nothing more than an incisive observation, humorously phrased and delivered with impeccable timing." (For putting down Dorothy Parker-types.)
  • "It works with any Ayatollah." (When praising your own geopolitical satire.)
  • "What is your fascination with my 'Forbidden Closet of Mystery'?" (When questioning someone's fascination with your 'Forbidden Closet of Mystery'.)
  • "I wash myself with a rag on a stick." (When you have crossed over from "more of me to love" to "morbid obesity".)
  • "My mom says I'm cool." (The ultimate statement of uncoolness.)

Here's one more quote that can be used when discussing the latest example of political correctness run riot, the uproar over a Filipino boy disciplined by a Canadian school for eating with a knife and spoon:

I think the school was perfectly right to expel that kid's ass for improper cutlery etiquette. I just hope they do the same thing to a Yank kid who holds his fork in his right hand.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Food: Margarine

I've been wondering lately why we put butter or margarine on our sandwiches. (Although I'm told by some Americans that it's less common over here.) Is the spread an adhesive, to hold the contents to the bread? Is it a lubricant, to help the sandwich on its way down your gullet? Is it just for the taste?

Here's an American cookbook from 1837 with directions for making a Ham Sandwich (including buttered bread!). (More sandwich recipes from old cookbooks.)

This Yahoo forum discussion points to sandwich-buttering being a non-American or older person thing.

Visit the website of the British Sandwich Association (British Sandwich Week starts May 14th).

Wikipedia has a good article on margarine - apparently Big Butter conspired against margarine by promoting bans on adding colouring agents to artificial spreads. (A ban is still in effect in Quebec.)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Music Quiz: Band Names

What do the following bands have in common?

  • Chicago
  • The Cult
  • T. Rex
  • Pulp
  • The Faces
  • Oingo Boingo

Music: "99 Luftballons"

Eric suggests translating Nena's "99 Luftballons" (the original German version) to English and back. Well, that doesn't turn out to be very meaningful (even with an extra pass back to English). Instead, here are the English lyrics translated to German and back:
It and I in a small toy business purchase a bag of the balloons with the money, which we have. Adjust it freely at the break of dawn to one after the other one, it been involved. Withdraw at the lower surface, bugs in software somewhat out there lightning the announcement. Swim into the summer sky. 99 red balloons pass.

99 red balloons, which swim into the summer skies panic bells, is it red alarm. It gives somewhat here from somewhere otherwise. The war machine of springs to the life. Open an eager eye. Direct it toward the sky. Where 99 red balloons go past.

99 decision road. Meeting with 99 Ministers. Worry themselves, worry themselves, super hasten. Call the troops out in a haste. This is, which we waited. This is it boy, this is war. The president is on the line, while 99 red balloons go past.

99 knights of air ride super -- high super high techstrahl fighters of everyone a Superhero. Everyone a captain Kirk. Also to mark the orders. Explain and classify themselves. Hunts in the summer sky. As 99 red balloons go past.

Eh. In The 80s gives a side-by-side comparison of the real lyrics.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Offers: Binding

I would like to make the following binding offers:

Tech: Logitech QuickCam Orbit

Video review of a Logitech webcam - worth watching for the deadpan delivery of the reviewer. And very cool effects. Seems like a really cheap way to make a cartoon of a bunny rabbit having a conversation with a talking menorah.