Saturday, September 30, 2006

Movies: Polls

Radar magazine polled Hollywood insiders in such categories as "Nightmare Actor" (Russell Crowe), "Biggest Hack" (Brett Ratner), "Biggest Credit Hog" (Brian Grazer) and "Biggest Mensch" (Ron Meyer, head of Universal).

(Thanks to Shell for the link.)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Music: Lloyd Cole

Stream Lloyd Cole's new album. Very pleasant. I'd love to hear George Strait doing a countrified version of "How Wrong Can You Be".

Or listen to Scottish band Camera Obscura sing "Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken".

Lloyd and the Commotions had a mini-reunion back in 2004.

YouTube videos: "Rattlesnakes", "Perfect Skin", "Forest Fire", "Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken?" (live), "Brand New Friend", "My Bag" (did he have to change "powder my nose" to "launder my clothes" for MTV?), "Jennifer She Said", "Don't Look Bad", "She's A Girl And I'm A Man" (those last two feature the late guitarist Robert Quine's "reliably understated seething").

And is Jimmy Carr a Lloyd Cole lookalike?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Movies: "The Science Of Sleep"

Here's a funny little video/trailer/PSA for Michel Gondry's new film, "The Science Of Sleep". I like the gal in the video, Linda Serbu. I like the way she says "kitty". Here's a short film she made about pet adoption. And here's a her music video with Simone White. I hope Michel is schtupping one, if not both, of them.

Chromewaves, one of the classiest MP3 blogs around, also has an MP3 of the song the cats sing in "The Science Of Sleep": "If You Rescue Me" (sung to the tune of the Velvet Underground's "After Hours").

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Comic Strips: "The Family Circus"

After yesterday's post, Eric wants to know if there's a web site that explains "The Family Circus". There is a YouTube video that asks people to explain one particular joke. (And, to one of the guys featured at the start of the video, the Family Circus makes us all "angry and depressed".) There is also an archive of the Dysfunctional Family Circus, which asked readers to submit new captions for actual drawings. Example. Not much quality control on this.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Comic Strips: "Marmaduke"

Enjoy Marmaduke but don't always get the jokes? Lucky for you, there's Marmaduke Explained.

Brought to you by the Mathletes (check out their expensive video for "Pinocchiobot" - the money is all on the screen).

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Psychology: Definition Of Madness

There's a frequently quoted definition of madness: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". The saying is variously attributed to Benjamin Franklin and Einstein.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I see that as a definition of stupidity.

My definition of madness is to wrap a vacuum cleaner hose around your waist, put an aluminium pie plate on your head, and say "Look at me! I'm Laverne and Shirley!"

Animals: 4-Legged Chickens

Eric sent me a link to this story about a 4-legged chicken discovered in Pennsylvania. No picture, unfortunately. But here's a 4-legged chick from 2003, in Delaware. And here's one from 2006 in New Zealand. (There are a lot of freaky animals on that last blog.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Animals: Pandas

Zoo Week continues: drunken Chinese man is bitten by panda he wanted to hug and tries to bite its back "but its fur was too thick".

Is there anything drunker than a drunken Chinaman? No, there is not. #2 in drunkenness: monks. #3: judges. (Sailors are not as drunken as you might think.)

Here's a video of a panda grabbing a zoo vistor's jacket.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Animals: Crossbred Lions

The lion sleeps tonight, and most of the day too, because it's a cross-breeding experiment gone horribly wrong. Why couldn't they breed ligers?

(Thanks to Eric for the link.)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Business: Bad Brand Names

What are the worst brand names of all time?

  • Hydrox cookies. It sounds like bleach, but it was actually the original sandwich cookie, ripped off by Oreo. (You can sign a petition to bring them back.)
  • Phillie Blunt. It's a cheap cigar, but sounds like a doobie. (Which may be its eventual use.)
  • Piggly Wiggly. Supermarkets are neither piggly nor wiggly.
  • Price Pfister. Faucets - or, as they say, pfaucets. That's pfunny, but it still sounds like a pfilthy pform of pfornication.
  • Gap and Old Navy are bad enough, but Forth & Towne is pretentious as all get out.

Completely unrelated: the White Stripes on "The Simpsons". It's a parody of the "Hardest Button To Button" video by Michel Gondry.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Movies: Queenan On Eszterhas

Funny Joe Queenan review of Joe Eszterhas' memoir. Excerpt:
A lengthy series of axioms, anecdotes, exhortations, accolades, admonitions and insults, the book does not need to be read in the order in which it was written. Rather, much as in the case of the Old Testament, which it greatly resembles in its stylistic delicacy and unquavering jeremiadic tone, the reader can dip in anywhere.

True, since the author, now 62, regularly refers to such once-mythical but now obscure figures as Zsa Zsa Gabor, Yvonne de Carlo, Elizabeth Berkley and William Faulkner, it is not certain that the intended reader will understand all the references. Still, the overall message — everyone in Hollywood is an untrustworthy moron except me and a couple of directors I might one day work with again — comes through fairly clearly.

Gambling: Roulette

Device to help you win at roulette - costs £1,000, or about $1,877.

More roulette cheats.

And here's an online roulette game - I quit when I got up to $700.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Politics: Robert Novak

Get a jump on next Monday's "Daily Show" by watching this C-SPAN video of Robert Novak. Skip to the last five minutes to hear Novak say:
Somebody mentioned the Jon Stewart program. I've never seen that in my life and I'll go to my grave never having seen it ... A self-righteous comedian taking on airs of grandeur, and I don't really need that.

Could it be because of moments like this? Ot the "Snake On A Plame" reference? Or because he awarded Novak the "Congressional Medal of Douche Bag"?

Alternatively, you can watch the Bert Blyleven F-Bomb.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Phrases: "Zip Up Yer Mickey"

Irish entertainer Twink (real name: Adele King) had a messy separation from her husband this year. Someone has leaked the answering machine message she left for him after his mistress had a baby. You can hear it at this band's MySpace page. (Warning: strong language.) And there's an unnecessary remix.

The standout phrase, "Zip up yer mickey", has become a t-shirt.

There's also a new operating system based on the tape.

Here's a photo of her 1960s girl group, Maxi, Dick 'n' Twink. (Helpful hint: make sure you have SafeSearch enabled before searching for "dick" and "twink".)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Hair

Name these songs that mention hair. I've removed the (Title) from two of them. Quiz inspired by #6, mentioned by Robb the other week.

  1. Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place, where as a child I'd hide, and pray for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by.
  2. It's late in the evening. She's wondering what clothes to wear. She puts on her make-up and brushes her long blonde hair.
  3. I got a girlfriend with bows in her hair. And nothing is better than that.
  4. The girls comb their hair in rearview mirrors, and the boys try to look so hard.
  5. Her hair was golden brown. (Title) like a cornfield.
  6. She had hair like Jeannie Shrimpton, back in 1965. She had legs that never ended. I was halfway paralyzed.
  7. With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue, the only thing I ever got from you was (title).
  8. Lily Belle, your hair is golden brown. I've seen your black man comin' round.
  9. Don't u know straight hair ain't got no curl?
  10. Well, my friends are gone and my hair is grey. I ache in the places where I used to play.
  11. If they dare touch a hair on your head, I'll fight to the last breath.
  12. I can promise you, you'll stay as beautiful, with dark hair, and soft skin...forever. Forever.
  13. Says she likes my hair 'cause it's down my back. Says she likes the group 'cause we pull in the slack.

Update: Robb adds this one:
14. I don't know what color your eyes are, baby, but your hair is long and brown.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

TV: Recycled Titles

New TV shows have a depressing similarity to previous ones: a group of "friends" share laughs and love, a criminal mastermind and his crew pull off heists, a group of strangers are brought together by a traumatic event. Why don't the networks take it a step further and re-use old TV show titles?

  • "Will & Grace" - George F. Will and Nancy Grace debate current events, with the hideous Grace trying to link everything to Natalee Holloway, and the pompous Will making gratuitous references to baseball.
  • "Father Knows Best" - A working class stiff is abused by his wife and kids until he befriends the Beatles' first drummer, Pete Best.
  • "The Jeffersons" - The third President of the USA, a basketball player, and a tall English cricket player form an elite crime-fighting squad. They use their powers of constitutional politics, dribbling, and reaching objects on high shelves to avenge the downtrodden.
  • "Knots Landing" - A North Carolina town is plagued by a of bits of string falling from the sky. Only the malevolent Eagle Scout leader (Dylan Baker) seems unconcerned.
  • "Who's The Boss" - Dr. Who replaces David Brent as the manager of Wernham Hogg in this spin-off of "The Office".
  • "Diff'rent Strokes" - It's the Monkees with a modern twist. The members of the Strokes share a New York apartment. In order to pay the rent, they have to take day jobs - but they never seem to last longer than one episode!
  • "Family Ties" - A family-owned necktie company struggles in the era of "buiness casual".
  • "Saved By The Bell" - An FBI sharp-shooter protects a small town from his perch atop the church steeple. Every episode ends with the villain trying to shoot our hero, but the titular bell deflects the bullets.
  • "Wings" - A colorful cast of characters populates a chicken wing restaurant. It will probably be derided as a "Cheers" knockoff.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Physiology: Butt Implants?

Robb sent me the photos seen on this page and wanted to know if they were butt implants or Photoshop. Even the Snopes messageboard crowd can't agree. I wonder how she'd score on this equation devised by British boffins to measure the perfect female derriere. (Nice touch in the news article to get a quote from Sir Mix-A-Lot.)

Here are some jokes sent to Snopes by stupid readers. I like the airplane/Coca Cola/shoe one. But jeers to Snopes for having pop-up ads.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Videos: Weatherman v Cockroach

Rather gay TV weatherman is startled by insect crawling up his leg. Even more startled than the baby panda's mother.

Sports: Andrea Kremer

She has a glowing resume but I'd never seen Andrea Kremer until tonight's NFL game on NBC. She's their sideline reporter. All I'll say is, I can't wait to see Amy Poehler's impression of her on SNL. (Although Cheri Oteri would have been better at catching the craziness in her eyes.) And why does this profile start with the quote, "I need a box?"

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Videos: Baby Panda Sneeze

Video of a baby panda sneezing - it'll have to hold you over until they release the stingray video.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lyrics Quiz: Sandwiches

I was hungry when I made up this here Lyrics Quiz, and kept thinking about sandwiches.

  1. In the town where I was born, lived a man who sailed to sea. And he told us of his life, in the land of sandwiches.
  2. But I'm just a sandwich and nobody loves me. (He's just a sandwich from a poor family.)
  3. Just like a paperback novel - the kind that drugstores sell. When you reach the part where the heartaches come, the sandwich would be me. But sandwiches often fail.
  4. The guilty undertaker sighs, the lonesome organ sandwich cries, the silver saxophones say I should refuse you.
  5. Meanwhile, far away in another part of town, Sandwich Carter and a couple of friends are drivin' around. Number one contender for the middleweight crown. Had no idea what kinda shit was about to go down.
  6. Merry Christmas, I sandwiched it up and sent it, with a note saying "I love you", and I meant it.

And some bonus bread lyrics:

  1. She's been living in her white bread world, as long as anyone with hot blood can.
  2. Yeah, I'd break bread and wine, if there was a church I could receive in.
  3. Buying bread from a man in Brussels. He was six foot four and full of muscles.
  4. There's a skeleton choking on a crust of bread.
  5. I don't mind stealing bread from the mouths of decadence.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Office Pools: American Football

Hard to believe that the NFL season starts on Thursday. Once again, you can join a free football pool at Enterpool.

In the Enterpool version, you pick each game against the line (generally published on Friday - except for Thursday games). You also assign "confidence points" for each game. If you pick the correct winner, you score that many points. More information here.

If you're not already a member, registration is simple. Then click "Join A Group" to add yourself to the public league.

If you have a lot of friends, or want to start an office pool, click "Start A Group" to create a private league. You'll be able to invite your pals to join.

My tip: go ahead and make all your picks for the season now. You can go back and change them later, but at least you'll have some picks in case you forget/lose your internet connection/get called out of town.

Videos: Humourous

Funny videos at Too bad they don't have a Search box.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Anecdotes: Lady Juliana Roberts

Hugh Leonard tells a story in his Sunday Independent column about Lady Juliana Roberts of Dromineer, who died recently. In case you can't get past the registration page, here it is.

My favourite memory was Julie's story of how, when Bobby Sands died, the Provos, staunch democrats that they were, and perhaps still are, demanded that every business establishment in the Nenagh area cease business as a mark of respect.

Lady Julie's reaction was one of well-feigned indignation. "Are you suggesting," she said, "that I should close my doors because of the death of a British member of parliament?"

The heroes faded away like a dawn mist on Lough Derg.

Comic Strips: The Outbursts Of Everett True

Comic strip from the first quarter of the 20th century, "The Outbursts Of Everett True" (found via The Comics Curmudgeon).

Everett True is a big fat man who beats people up for offending his sensibilities. He doesn't like people who are late, sales people who ignore their customers, people who poke him in the chest to emphasise their point, and smart alec cops - among many others.

But is violence really the answer to these pests? As Mr. True says, "There's no hope of my beating any sense into you, but I'll knock some of the ignorance out of you!!!!"

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Phrases: "Dignify A Response"

In this Guardian story about a British TV drama that shows President Bush being assassinated (bet Rarb can't wait to download that), a White House spokeswoman, Emily Lawrimore, is quoted as saying:
"We are not going to comment, because it does not dignify a response."

The same quote shows up in other reports.

You don't "dignify a response". You dignify another person or what they said with a response. Or you could say, "That doesn't deserve a response".

I hope Emily is being misquoted, but I doubt it. Google shows lots of others making the same mistake.

In this USA Today story about Doonesbury (has this strip ever been funny? is it even meant to be?), a different White House spokesperson, Dana Perino, uses the same phrase.

Here's a Harvard pro-choice student saying it.

A Nova Scotian politician ("the member for Halifax Needham") said it too.

There were a lot of reasons to ridicule Scott McClellan, but at least he knew how to say "dignify that with a response".

Friday, September 01, 2006

Internet: Google Books

Things I've learned from Google Books: