Thursday, December 27, 2007

Music: Cathy Davey

From nialler9's Top Irish Albums of 2007, I listened to the sample of Cathy Davey and liked what I heard. She's got a great Cameron Diaz smile too. Be sure to watch the "Reuben" video under "Sounds like" on her MySpace with the couple doing a silly dance around Spain.

Also recommended: Adrian Crowley. Ryan Adams likes him. There's a Will Oldham cover ("West Palm Beach") on his MySpace.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Music: Liam Finn

Watch a video by Liam Finn. Hear more songs at his MySpace. Damn, he sounds like his dad. Which is a good thing.

(On this unofficial Neil Finn MySpace, you can hear father and son cover the Beatles' "Two Of Us", and Neil cover "Sexual Healing"!)

And try the Mash'dup House page, with Crowded House mash-ups, sensitively done.

Crosswords: Crosaire

I was delighted to meet an amateur crossword setter last night who agreed with me that the cryptic crossword in the Irish Times, by Crosaire, is often unfair. (O'Brien Books has a free sample.) As this site says, a cryptic clue should contain "a definition and an element of wordplay", and "the wordplay element obeys logical rules". Crosaire falls down on the logic part. Solvers must use induction more than deduction.

An example from Crossword No. 13,413, published December 20th, 2007:

At this stage the tree gets a hat. (7)

I had "_ _ E _ T _ _", and guessed "theatre", which is an anagram of "tree" and "hat". However, there is no indication of an anagram in the clue, and no logical reason the articles "the" and "a" should be excluded from the wordplay.

Then again, Crosaire is set by a 90-year-old who has been doing this for over 60 years, so I should cut him some slack.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Music: Christmas

The Dallas Observer links to My Morning Jacket's "Christmas Time Is Here Again (Bring Out The Joy!)". Note that are more Christmas songs at the page.

The Observer also links to The Old 97's and "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas". (But "Christmas Time Is Here" is better.)

rbally has old R.E.M. Christmas fan club songs. Surviving The Golden Age has the latest R.E.M. fan club song, a cover of Slade's "Merry Xmas Everybody".

If you like remixes of old songs, Analog Giant has Dean Martin remixed by Dan The Automator.

And it's not Christmas without Chris Rea (at Keep The Coffee Coming). Lovely piano.

Coverville has a great video of a college men's choir performing a Christmas medley.

Finally, the Pine Cone Punks still have their MySpace page, but no new songs since "Coal For Christmas".

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Politics: Bertie Ahern

Ireland's unbeloved Taoiseach Bertie Ahern uttered another "Bertie-ism" in November when he said that deferring pay rises for himself and other ministers would "only be playing smokes and daggers", conflating "smoke and mirrors" with "cloak and dagger" (and possibly "snakes and ladders").

Meanwhile, more details come to light of the "dig-out" in the 1990s when some of his "friends" gave him "loans". Choice quotes:

Oh, to have friends like that! Completely unrelated thought: is Ireland the most corrupt country in Europe?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

TV: High-Class Totty

There are two good reasons to watch "Countdown" now: the ageless Carol Vorderman has been joined by Alison Heard. Alison has replaced Susie Dent in Dictionary Corner while Susie is on maternity leave.

Be sure to read the biography section of this unofficial website.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Music: Klima

If you like female singers from Continental Europe (and who doesn't?), try Klima. I like the way she pronounces "City".

The Times lists her as one of the New Acts Of The Year.

She also works with Piano Magic and is part of the duo Ginger Ale (my fave beverage!).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

TV: "WordGirl"

Recommended whether you have children or not: "WordGirl" on PBS. Smart, silly cartoon fun, in the grand tradition of "Rocky & Bullwinkle" and "The Tick". Here's a sample on YouTube. Jim Lehrer (and his button eyes) got an exclusive interview.

Was she named after the Scritti Politti song? And don't miss "The Sweetest Girl" and "Wood Beez". I had never heard his Beatles' cover, "She's A Woman" or his Stevie Wonder cover, "I Don't Know Why I Love You".

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Feeble Attempt At Humour

While Don Henley was recording the "One Of These Nights" album with the Eagles, he heard some nasty rumors that his wife was cheating on him with the entire offensive line of the University of Illinois football team. He laughed it off, until he happened to come home early one day and saw a bunch of cars parked in the driveway - with Illinois license plates.

Henley rushed up the stairs and into the bedroom. As he entered, he saw the closet door slam shut. Bare feet poked out from under the curtains. And the bed was raised up off the floor, and teetered from side to side.

His wife, out of breath, pretended to brush her hair at the dressing table. "Hi Donny," she said, "what's wrong?"

Henley exploded.

"You can't hide your Illini."

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sports: Les Miles

Watch LSU coach Les Miles' press conference where he dismisses talk of him going to Michigan by stating "I'm preparing for Ar-kansas" (pronouncing the final "s").

The state of Arkansas passed a resolution in 1881 that the "s" should be silent. There was a filthy Ozark recitation on the subject.

Quite apart from his mispronunciation, I dislike Miles' style of speaking, which is reminiscent of our current President's. Why do coaches talk in this overly dramatic, overly emotional, us-against-the-world way? (OSU's Mike Gundy is still the one to beat for 2007.)

And why oh why is "Coach" treated as a title for life, a la "Maestro"? Didn't they fight a revolution in this country to get rid of titles?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Few Hit Wonders

Here's a lyrics quiz featuring One Hit Wonders (or not many hits, anyway) from the 1970s. The Comments section has the answers, and links to YouTube videos for each.

  1. C-c-come, come inside. I've been expecting you to arrive. Your sh-sh-shoes, shake 'em off, while I go and turn the music down soft.
  2. Sam, you've been waiting much too long. Now it looks like she's not coming home. Sam, you've been loyal, true and faithful, all this time with being alone.
    If I could get that same dedication, I'd give you everything in creation, if she doesn't come back.
  3. If you're a stranger here, and you need some action, we have a remedy that could really catch on. Pleased to see another face at light-up time. If you're feeling dull and run down, we can really make you shine.
  4. No, sir, I don't feel very much like talking. No, neither walking. You wanna know if I can dance. Yes, sir. Already told you in the first verse. And in the chorus. But I will give you one more chance.
  5. Where you can hear a country song from far, and someone play the honky-tonk guitar. Where all the lights will go out one by one, the people join the sun, and the wind takes it away.
  6. Ain't it good, ain't it right that you are with me here tonight? The music playin', our bodies swayin' in time. (In time, in time, in time.)
  7. Sunday morning, up with the lark. I think I'll take a walk in the park. Hey hey hey, it's a beautiful day.
  8. I gave you love. I thought that we had made it to the top. I gave you all I had to give. Why did it have to stop?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Music: Albums That Are Too Long

The AV Club had a recent piece on albums that would have made better EPs. I'm thinking of albums that were just one or two songs too long.

  • My Morning Jacket, "It Still Moves" (even Pitchfork agrees)
  • The Stone Roses, "Second Coming"
  • Matthew Sweet, "Altered Beast"
  • Spiritualized, "Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space" (should have stopped before "Cop Shoot Cop")
  • Tindersticks, first and second albums (blasphemy, I know)
  • Every Prince album after "Purple Rain"
  • The Beatles, "White Album"?

Which albums are too short?

  • Tindersticks' "Can Our Love.." 45 minutes, but only 8 tracks)
  • Weezer, the Green album
  • Every country album ever made

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

YouTube: Haughty Speak-Singing Females

Earworms The Size Of Texas has a YouTube video of Charlotte Gainsbourg "singing" with Air on French TV.

If you like haughty vocalists who speak-sing their songs, you probably liked "The Facts Of Life" by Black Box Recorder.

Here's BBR's Sarah Nixey solo, covering the Human League.

Sexy sisters The Pierces have perfected that bored voice, and did I mention they're sexy sisters?

And here's the original of the species, the Flying Lizards.

Another pioneer of this vocal style was Cristina - here's audio only of her version of "Is That All There Is?" ("he beat me black and blue and I loved it"). And here's her Christmas classic, "Things Fall Apart"

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Music: Ukulele

Who doesn't love the sound of a ukulele? (Name comes from the Hawaiian for "jumping flea".)

YouTube has lots of videos by UK uke duo, the Re-entrants, including Cameo's "Word Up".

Here's a dude playing the "Star Wars" theme on his ukulele.

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro is about as far as you can get from George Formby (although George played a banjo ukulele).

The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain doing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Life On Mars" (including, appropriately, "My Way" among other tunes).

If you like Jens Lekman or Jonathan Richman, you have to visit the MySpace page of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele. He has a free EP for download, which includes a Prince cover.

Also try Bohemia Ukulele Band, a six-piece from Hastings. They have a lot of other ukulele friends, like Sweet Soubrette, Ukulele Girls (French girls doing "Gangsta Paradise"), Perrecy (German guy doing Smiths covers in German, like "Dieser Charmante Mann").

You can learn to play online at Pineapple Pete's Uke School.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Hoax: Fecal Matter Drug?

Are kids getting high from fermented sewage? Snopes says the "Jenkem" story is "undetermined". (And jeers to Snopes, by the way, for having pop-up ads.)

I just hope I'm not busted for running a drug lab, 'cause my shit is primo.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Music: MySpace

MySpace goodies

  • Tacks, The Boy Disaster - Austin, TX band with a terrible name but a great sound. Recommended if you like Midlake, the Flaming Lips. (I was going to add Ben Folds, because of the prominent piano, and then found this Guardian piece compares them to "when Ben Folds Five did a Broadway musical-style version of Flaming Lips' She Don't Use Jelly".)
  • ohbijou - yet another Canadian band with many members. Recommended by Chromewaves. For fans of Lisa Germano, Joanna Newsom, Hayden.
  • A Girl Called Eddy - New Jersey girl living in England. Her album came out in 2004, so I'm really behind the times. Her MySpace bio boasts kudos from Nina Persson and Eric Carmen! Not a million miles from Aimee Mann.
  • Bobb Trimble - Massachusetts artist from the early '80s whose albums are being reissued. See Guardian article for the full story. Not sure what all the fuss is about. Sounds like Russell Mael fronting Fleetwood Mac on downers.
  • Julia Kent - NY cellist. Recommended if you like the cello.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Music: Nicole Atkins again

I posted about Nicole Atkins back in June. She delivered a knockout performance on "Letterman" last night, and INDIEBLOGHEAVEN has it. She reminds me (physically) of a cross between Cat Power and Amy Winehouse. Play the "jukebox" at her website.

Here she accompanies herself on an acoustic guitar (with some fancy stockings).

She joined Peter, Bjorn & John for "Young Folks", filling in for Victoria Bergsman.

Apparently, she recorded a track with UK band Soulsavers but it didn't end up on their album. Listen to "Revival" at their MySpace, with Mark Lanegan on vocals.

I just wish I hadn't found her American Express ad.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Snakes

Celebrate Whacking Day belatedly (it's May 10th) by taking this quiz.

  1. Jodie wears a hat, although it hasn't rained for six days. She says a girl needs a gun these days, hey, on account of all the rattlesnakes.
  2. Wiggle like a snake, wobble like a duck.
  3. ...Where snakes in the grass are absolutely free.
  4. That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane.
  5. You're looking good, just like a snake in the grass. One of these days you're gonna break your glass.
  6. Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad, from a worn out picture that my mother had, and I knew that scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
  7. You’re boned like a saint, with the conciousness of a snake.
  8. The snake is long, seven miles. Ride the snake. He's old, and his skin is cold.
  9. Yeah, I've got a tombstone hand in a graveyard mine. Just twenty-two, baby, I don't mind dying. Snakeskin shoes, baby. Put them on your feet. Got the goodtime music and the Bo Diddley beat.
  10. Sister got bit by a copperhead snake in the woods behind the house. Nobody was home so I grabbed her foot and I sucked that poison out. Sister got better in a month or two when the swelling, it went down. But I'd started out my teenage years with that poison in my mouth.

Monday, October 22, 2007

TV: "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

The New Yorker reports that Larry David's HBO show is a helpful therapy tool for schizophrenic patients. Also, there's a cartoon about home schooling.

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" quotes. "With all due respect, Officer Berg, you are not bald. You've chosen to shave your hair and that's a look you're cultivating in order to look fashionable, but we don't really consider you part of the bald community... with all due respect."

Here's a clip from a Danish series "inspired" by "CYE". Their language is different from our language! LMAO!

Internet: City Of Grapevine GIS

The city of Grapevine, TX has a pretty neat Geographic Information System that allows you to see the ownership and zoning for every parcel of land in the city. And if you look at the intersection of Kimball and 114, you'll see a very clear image of a jet plane flying by. Could it be fake, added by a bored web designer? If so, they went to the trouble of adding a shadow.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

YouTube: "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side"

Idaho: Phantom Pooper

From Defamer, someone is pooping on the streets of Idaho Falls (and finger-painting). Could it be Whoopi (tired of her remote control toilet)? Or Idaho senator Larry Craig, paranoid about using public bathrooms?

Books: Harry Potter

Eric reports that JK Rowling has "outed" Albus Dumbledore from her popular Larry Kotter books.

We should have known something was up from the anagrams of his name: Aroused Dumbbell, A Bulbous Meddler, Bad Lube Smoulder, A Sore Bum - Dull Bed.

One blogger is having trouble accepting the news, but a commenter says: "the gayness of a male character is always narratively compatible when a book is set in an English boarding school."

Gadgetopia reports on the Wikipedia "war" over Dumbledore's entry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Feeble Attempt At Humour

I was going to get myself a shower caddy, but then I thought, how often do I play golf in my shower?

Movies: "Finding t.A.T.u."

Idolator reports (in the wtf category) that they're making a t.A.T.u. movie. "Finding t.A.T.U. is directed by Roland Jaffe, who previously gave us "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission". It stars Mischa Barton, who, while of limited range, could surely have landed a better movie than this. Is she drawn to lesbian roles for some reason?

But who could have guessed that t.A.T.u. would extend their 15 minutes?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Iowa: Ottumwa

Mark Davis has an article in the Dallas Morning News decrying the disproportionate importance of Iowa and New Hampshire in the presidential election process. As an aside, he notes that candidates he has interviewed "are always in a rush to wrap things up so they can get on the horn with Joe Bob from the Ottumwa Courier."

Here's another negative article.

I'm so tired of all this Ottumwa bashing. Sure, it was the birthplace of Tom Arnold but they have apologized for this. Repeatedly.

Hey, Ottumwa is the "Video Game Capital Of The World" (or was in 1982).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Music: 12-Tone System

There's an article in the NY Times about Schoenberg and the 12-Tone System. The best part is the accompanying video where the writer, Anthony Tommasini, demonstrates the concepts on the piano.

The Peabody Symphony Orchestra has some Schoenberg available for free download.

Music: Glossary

A band called Glossary have made their album available as a free download. Recommended for fans of Whiskeytown. I was also going to compare them to a gentler Dinosaur Jr, but I'd be accused of pulling a Robb.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hoax: UFO

Article from the OC Register about a Californian who flies a remote control UFO around Orange County. You can buy one for $1000.

Here is the YouTube video mentioned in the article.

A company called Silverlit makes a cheaper alternative. Here's a similar one with a camera on board.

And here's a video of a girl in bra and panties who makes a cup and saucer float. Just one in a series of videos from this lingerie-clad lovely.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Doors

  1. If you didn't come to party, don't bother knockin' on my door.
  2. From your front porch to my front seat. The door's open but the ride it ain't free.
  3. I've packed my bags. Cleaned the floor. Watch me walking, walking out the door.
  4. Then the door was open and the wind appeared. The candles blew, and then disappeared.
  5. Up the staircase to the first floor. Turn the key and slowly unlock the door, as a man breathes into his saxophone.
  6. I caught you knockin' at my cellar door. I love you, baby, can I have some more?
  7. All the doors I closed one time, will open up again.
  8. And a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, hey, why not ask for more?
  9. Light the candle. Put the lock upon the door. You have sent the maid home early, like a thousand times before.
  10. Close your eyes, close the door, you don't have to worry any more.

And for those beginners who prefer songs with the theme word in the title:

  1. Mama, take this badge off of me. I can't use it anymore.
  2. You men eat your dinner, eat your pork and beans. I eat more chicken than any man ever seen.
  3. Don't know why she's leaving, or where she's gonna go. I guess she's got her reasons but I just don't want to know.
  4. Tambourines and elephants are playing in the band. Won't you take a ride on the flying spoon? Doo, doo doo.
  5. My baby makes me proud. Lord, don't she make me proud. She never makes a scene by hanging all over me in a crowd.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Sports: Baseball Manager Quiz

  1. Which baseball manager holds the record for most ejections (set in 2007)?
  2. In 1998, Barry Bonds became the fifth player to be given an Intentional Base On Balls with the bases loaded. Who was the opposing manager?
  3. Who was the last player-manager in Major League Baseball?
  4. The Texas Rangers had 4 managers in 1977, including one who lasted just one game. Can you name all four?
  5. Match the manager to the quote:
    (a) Tommy Lasorda(1) "Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa."
    (b) Leo Durocher (2) "The key to winning baseball games is pitching, fundamentals, and three run homers."
    (c) Casey Stengel(3) "I made a game effort to argue but two things were against me; the umpires and the rules."
    (d) Earl Weaver(4) "He (Darryl Strawberry) is not a dog; a dog is loyal and runs after balls."

Bonus: Earl Weaver's profanity-laced "Manager's Corner". (Apparently, it was pre-taped and never aired.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Music: Radiohead

So, Radiohead are releasing a new album, and you can name your own price for the digital version. Being a cheap bastard, I offered 0.00 and was accepted. (The Idolator story says the minimum is 0.01, plus a 0.45 surcharge, but commenters got the same deal I did. We'll see what happens on 10/10.)

My God, that Tom Yorke is full of crap, with his links to Anarchist websites, artsy photographs, anti-aviation campaigns, and his silly doodles. But Line Rider is a great time-waster. (Watch some of the movies first.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Politics: Yulia Tymoshenko

Wonkette spotlights the World's Hottest PMILF, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko. She sure has a lot of photos of herself on her website. I like the one of her with "Madlen Olbrite". She's very proud that her trademark hairdo has been copied by "Kylie Minoug", "Siena Miller" and "Mary J Blidge". And I agree with her statement: "For the last months of election it was a lot of filth poured out in a country, a lot of touchy, a lot of offensive, miserable and wrong words are said."

Her daughter is married to an English rocker, lead singer for Death Valley Screamers. She "was captivated by his waist-length hair and the giant tattoo on his torso depicting an alien crawling out of his belly."

Music: Something Happens

Irish band Something Happens on YouTube:

P.S. Tribute band Tizz Lizzy on Podge & Rodge.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Photography: Jill Greenberg

Cute pictures of monkeys by Jill Greenberg, from those pinkos at the New Republic. I guess they're manipulated photos. And she makes children cry.

Religion: Hinduism

Is there any phrase more delightful than "army of monkeys"? Hindus are protesting a shipping canal in India because it will destroy a "a bridge built by Ram and his army of monkeys".

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Football: Pool

If you'd like to take part in an NFL pick 'em pool, head over to Enterpool. You can join a public league, or start your own. Completely free.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Photoshop: Partial Face Transplants

Freaking News has the results of a Partial Face Transplants Photoshop contest, where entrants were asked to combine the left half of one famous face with the right half of another. I particularly like the Queen/Elton John combo. Try to guess who the celebs are before looking at the captions. (Apart from the Queen/Elton John one, which I've just ruined for you.)

Worth1000 had Evil Celebrity Clowns.

Meanwhile, Something Awful has Grindhouse Breakfast Cereals.

And if you want to appear happier in your photos, look to the left.

Beverages: Guinness

Put these countries in order of Guinness consumption: Ireland, Great Britain, Nigeria. (Answer)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

YouTube: Stevie Riks

British musical impressionist Stevie Riks has a wealth of material on YouTube. Some highlights:

Music: Who Are You 2

Robb adds the National: "I'm the new blue blood, I'm the Great White Hope. I won't fuck us over, I'm Mr. November." (MP3 here.)

Which reminds me of the Killers, "Open up my eager eyes, 'cause I'm Mr. Brightside." Coincidentally, there's a great cover by Paul Anka.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Internet: Moan My IP

Want to hear a sexy voice moaning your IP address? is for you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Music: Wilco In Swedish

Nice, slow, live Swedish cover of Wilco's "Jesus Etc.". Using this online translator, going from English to Swedish and back again, "turning your orbit around" becomes "phrases your banana around".

Monday, August 20, 2007

Music: Who Are You?

I'm looking for songs in which an introduction is made. A name or nickname must be present. Contractions are okay. First, second or third person is valid. Metaphors and similes are invalid.

Acceptable: I am the Walrus (valid only if "the Walrus" is an authorized nickname)
Rejectable: He's a real nowhere man
Acceptable: I am Iron Man
Rejectable: I'm a real wild one
Rejectable: We're the kids of America
Rejectable: Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste
Rejectable: We are the World (metaphors not allowed)

Robb has unearthed a good one.
"My name is Sue" A BOY NAMED SUE by Johnny Cash

Here's an obvious entry:
"My name is...Slim Shady" MY NAME IS by Eminem

Animals: Camels

Shell brought this news story to my attention: "Australian woman killed by pet camel". The camel "knocked her to the ground then lay on top of her in what police suspect was mating behavior". The Sun, predictably, uses the headline "60-year-old humped to death". The victim, according to The Courier-Mail was a "jillaroo".

Back in April, a Florida woman was also killed by a pet camel. They were "being filmed by a local television station on Sunday when the camel kicked her and sat on her during a break in filming".

How long before Stephen Colbert replaces bears with camels on the Threatdown?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Music: Gingerbread Patriots

Gingerbread Patriots claim they sound like "rice crispies popping. not the first fierce ones but the soggier ones that suprise you because you thought they had all long since drowned" (sic) but they actually sound like Grandaddy. Listen to "Donna Mills" and tell me I'm wrong.

By the way, can we declare a moratorium on songs named after actors and actresses? "Michael Caine" (Madness, 1984). "Julie Christie" (Stephen Duffy, 1986). "Julie Christie!" (Spearmint, 2005). "Tom Courtenay" (Yo La Tengo, 1995). "Peter Lorre" (The Jazz Butcher, 1986). "Clint Eastwood" (Gorillaz, 2001).

(I'm talking about song titles that consist of only the actor's name - so "Robert DeNiro's Waiting" or "Gonna Dig Up Alec Guinness don't count.)

Still, I like the Gingerbread Patriots, if only for their self-description as "evenly statured", with a horizontal line on their photo to prove it. And their slowed-down cover of When In Rome's "The Promise" is nice.

Wedding Receptions: Newman-Simpson

Now this sounds like a great wedding reception: A.C. Newman of the New Pornographers and Christy Simpson of Matador Records. And a great quote from the groom: "That’s love, wanting the same person to win on a reality show."

Friday, August 17, 2007

YouTube: Soundboard Pranks

I'd never heard of these "soundboard pranks", but there sure are a lot of them on YouTube. This Judge Judy one made me laugh - there's something about the repetition of "Judge Judy" asking the poor bill collector, "How old are you?", that is very, very funny. Too bad you really can't hear the bill collector.

Here's a teenage boy using Dr. Phil when an angry mother calls to complain about him putting dirty pictures on her daughter's MySpace.

If you want to make your own prank calls, here's a Christopher Walken soundboard.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Music: Rhyming Artist/Song

Thinking caps on. Can you name an artist or band whose name rhymes with their best known song?

I've just got one to start you off: "Give me the beat, boys, and free my soul..."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Music: Christian Kjellvander

Charming video of Swedish singer-songwriter Christian Kjellvander playing a song on a banjo in his car, with birdsong in the background. Was it really filmed on a cellphone? Seems awfully good quality.

YouTube has more of his videos, including "Drunken Hands", "Drag The Dirt In", and "Days Of Black (Nights Are Lights)" by his old band, Loosegoats. (The Loosegoats early EP, "Small Lesbian Baseball Players", shows up on a web store that specialises in baseball-related items.)

(Via swedesplease, purveyors of the best in Swedish music.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Album Covers: Children 2

Robb says I blew it by leaving out "Ceremony" by The Cult. "The band was sued for US$61,000,000 by the parents of the American Indian boy, named Eternity Dubray, pictured on the album cover."

A poet named Robert references the child in his poem "Freedom":

Eternity Dubray ceremony child
Did you get the green leaves? Did the (sic) last your parents and family a while?

The poem ends: "Rock music is sexy…"

I don't know if he got the green leaves (the $60 mil?), but apparently he graduated last year with a "One Year Certificate in Entrepreneurs". (The first name on the list is "Afraid of Lighting, Trivia D." - what an awesome name.)

And he contributes to the Dems.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Album Covers: Children

Whither the children who graced the album covers of yore?

The baby on Nirvana's "Nevermind" is Spencer Elden. He's 16 now, and has appeared on another album cover.

The boy on the cover of U2's "Boy" and "War" albums (and a slew of other U2 releases) is Peter Rowan, who is now a professional photographer. (He spells his name "Rowen" to avoid confusion with a bluegrass musician.)

The Rave-Ups' album "Chance" had a picture of the lead singer's son, Chance. Chance is the nephew of Molly Ringwald, and therefore the grandson of jazz pianist Bob Ringwald, who has a newer photo. Here is a letter the father wrote for his infant son. I really enjoy that album.

The most controversial child on an album cover has to be the girl on the cover of "Blind Faith", the self-titled album by the Eric Clapton/Ginger Baker/Steve Winwood/Ric Grech (who?) supergroup. She is now (if we can trust the internet) a massage therapist and shiatsu practitioner.

Sadly, the little angel on the cover of Van Halen's 1984 died in 1997 from lung cancer.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Music Video: Bat For Lashes

As seen on You Ain't No Picasso, a great video for Bat For Lashes.

YANP also has a piece on Melora Hardin, who plays Steve Carell's sometime love interest on the US version of "The Office", and is also a singer. There's an MP3 for "Dial O On The Little Pink Telephone".

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Music: A Camp

Great news out of Sweden! Nina Persson is making a new A Camp album! Not sure about the shift away from the country sound, but the Adam Ant influence could be interesting.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sports: Appropriate Names

The baseball trade deadline brought some sport-appropriate names. I never thought of Eric Gagne until the Rangers traded him to Boston. He should really play in Montreal (his hometown), where they would appreciate that "gagner" is the French for "to win".

The Yankees acquired Wilson Betemit. He should do an ad for Wilson gloves, saying, "It's a better mitt."

And how come no one ever suggested Dave Winfield? His surname can be read as "win" + "field", or "W" + "infield". Did you know he's one of two players to be drafted by three different pro sports (and a fourth as a publicity stunt)?

New Ranger Neftali Feliz doesn't have an appropriate name (I think), but I propose we call him "Netflix". (I like how Baseball Prospectus shows an image that says, "We don't have a picture of this guy", with an "alt" tag of "He's probably very handsome".)

But the Rangers' biggest coup was getting the player with the longest surname in MLB history, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. The cameras caught him laughing with Kameron Loe in the dugout tonight about their discrepancy in name length. His name is an anagram of "Maharaja's Radical Clot".

Monday, July 30, 2007

Media: Weekly World News

The Weekly World News has ceased publication (but the website will remain). As Wikipedia states, the WWN was started to use the old black & white printing presses of the National Enquirer when it switched to colour. I'll miss seeing it at the supermaket checkout (although I only bought it once or twice). I never knew they had a financial column written by Sammy The Chatting Chimp ("Monkey Business"), or an advice column by Lester The Typing Horse ("Horse Sense").

And as for columnist Ed Anger, was he the inspiration for Earl Pitts, Uhmerikun?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Advertising: 12 Kinds Of Ads

There's a good Slate article and slideshow about the "12 kinds of ads" proposed by ad man Donald Gunn. One of the examples cited (Chris, take note) is the football-through-a-tire ad for Levitra.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

MP3: Holly Golightly

Go to the Daily Blizzard and pick up some MP3s from Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs. The first track, "Devil Do", is a lovely stomp. Holly once sang on a White Stripes song, "I love Jack White like a little brother"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Music: Mash-up

Brilliant Portishead/Cher mash-up from Idolator.

Or try The Cure vs Missy Elliot.

Here's a mash-up "how to" from an elderly woman.

If you prefer video mash-ups, here's a "Toy Story 2"/"Requiem For A Dream" mash-up.

Music: Son Volt

That's Son Volt singing "Hello Goodbye" in ESPN's David Beckham commercial. Meanwhile, Beckham remains a game time decision for his ballyhooed US debut.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Music: Mono In VCF

MONO IN VCF have a great sound (and Terry Jacks helped with their unreleased album). Not sure about the band name. Apparently, VCF is a synth term. (Recommended by Torr.)

In a completely different style, I recommend The Bees, who are known as A Band Of Bees in the US. (What? Was The Bees U.K. also taken?) Sunny Caribbean sound, but then they are from the Isle of Wight.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Marketing: Chalk Homer

Brilliant marketing stunt for "The Simpsons Movie": they've painted a picture of Homer beside the Cerne Abbas giant in Dorset. (That's the pagan figure with the rather large member. It looks like Homer is trying to play ring toss with a donut.)

The photo looks a little too perfect. Rarb, can your family in Dorset confirm that it's really there?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Photography: Lady Bird Johnson Funeral

Please take a moment to look at this photo (by David J. Philip) of former Presidents and First Ladies at Lady Bird Johnson's funeral. Tell me that Bill Clinton isn't thinking, "LBJ gets 'Lady Bird'. I get stuck with 'Dragon Lady'."

Actors: Bill Paxton

Something Awful pays tribute to Bill Paxton, noting that he is "the only person to have been killed by a Terminator, a Predator, an Alien, and Pat Benatar". And adding, defensively, "Yes, Bill Paxton starred in the Thunderbirds movie in 2004. Did you see it? No? Then don't try to mock him for it. Maybe it was the best movie ever, you asshole."

Lyrics Quiz: Strange

Fancy a bit of "Strange"? (This quiz and that quote were RB's idea.)

  1. All across the nation - such a strange vibration.
  2. It's strange what desire will make foolish people do.
  3. All these strange relationships really get me down. I see nothin' wrong with spreading myself around.
  4. And in the darkened underpass, I thought, "Oh God, my chance has come at last." But then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask.
  5. ...Strange highs and strange lows...
  6. Strange voices are saying. (What did they say?) Things I can't understand.
  7. Any girl in the world could have easily known me better. She said, "You're strange but don't change," and I let her.
  8. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar, mama.
  9. Strange fascination, fascinating me.
  10. When your world is full of strange arrangements, and gravity won't pull you through.
  11. Ain't it funny, ain't it strange, the way a man's opinion changes when he starts to face that lonely night.
  12. We're sailing on a strange sea, blown by a strange wind, carrying the strangest crew that ever sinned.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Music: Mixed Messages

Eric suggests a new category: "bands that have two songs with opposite messages". He gives two examples:

  1. The Beatles - "Can't Buy Me Love" ("I don't care too much for money, for money can't buy me love") and "Money" ("You're lovin' gives me a thrill. But you're lovin' don't pay my bills. Now give me money").
  2. Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Saturday Night Special" ("so why don't we dump them (guns), people, to the bottom of the sea, before some old fool come around here wanna shoot either you or me"), and "Gimme Back My Bullets" ("Gimme back, gimme back my bullets. Oh put 'em back where they belong").

How about U2 with "Love Is Blindness" and ("ain't love") "The Sweetest Thing"? I'm sure there are many other artists with songs that extol the pleaure and pain of love.

Lou Reed had a song called "Sheltered Life" ("I've never taken dope and I've never taken drugs"), and about a hundred other songs that suggest the opposite ("Heroin", "Waiting For The Man", "White Light, White Heat", "Kicks"...)

Any others?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Media: Chicago TV Reporter

Could someone please set this video to "Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Mystery Theme 3

Eric offers this Lyrics Quiz, and dryly notes: "For some reason I thought of this theme recently." He adds a warning: "There's one band with two entries."

  1. When the sun shines, they slip into the shade, and sip their lemonade. When the sun shines...when the sun...shines.
  2. Oh no, my love's at an end. Oh no, it's...
  3. I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm. Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow. Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains. And I wonder, still I wonder...
  4. I can't sleep, and I lay and I think. The night is hot, and black as ink. Oh God, I need a drink...
  5. Someone told me long ago. There's a calm before the storm, I know; it's been comin' for some time.
  6. Now I know the secret; there is nothing that I lack. If I give my love to you, you'll surely give it back.
  7. Well there's a light in your eye that keeps shining, like a star that can't wait for the night. I hate to think I've been blinded baby, why can't I see you tonight?
  8. Been walking my mind to an easy time, my back turned towards the sun. Lord knows when the cold wind blows it'll turn your head around. Well, there's hours of time on the telephone line, to talk about things to come. Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.

Lookalikes: John Turturro as Billy Martin

In the new ESPN mini-series, "The Bronx Is Burning", John Turturro is fitted with prosthetic ears to play Billy Martin. Is it just me, or does he look like the Late Night character, Preparation H Raymond?

Doesn't look much like Billy Martin, from what I can see.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Music Video: Ironic Rap Covers

Under The Covers discusses "Ironic rap covers vs. unironic rap covers".

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Music: Old Men

You know what's hot in music right now? Geezers.

  • 58-year-old Nick Lowe has released the aptly-titled "At My Age", an "utterly fantastic sad-sack country record" (Village Voice). It gets 83 on Metacritic. (Listen to "The Club") And he recently became a father for the first time, telling The A.V. Club, "But he's a lovely fellow. He might be a blooming nuisance, but he is a lovely fellow."
  • 61-year-old Bryan Ferry has released his album of Dylan covers, "Dylanesque". (70 on Metacritic.) And he gave a great performance of "Let's Stick Together" at that Princess Di concert. Although a tad inappropriate considering her (and his) marital history.
  • 80-year-old (on Saturday) country music legend Charlie Louvin has released a self-titled album. It's one of those round-up-the-guest-stars deals (including bloody Elvis Costello - does he ever say "no"?), but it's still a solid record. Although Charlie's voice is worn, it still packs an emotional punch.
  • 60-year-old John Prine and 82-year-old Mac Wiseman have recorded an outstanding record of duets, "Standard Songs For Average People".

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: 4th of July

  1. A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam's, born on the Fourth of July.
  2. Funny days in the park. Every day's the Fourth of July.
  3. Today's the Fourth of July. Another June has gone by. And when they light up our town, I just think, what a waste of gunpowder and sky.
  4. Who fell into you at a quarter to two, with a tear in your eye for the Fourth of July, for the patriots and the Minutemen, and the things you believe they believed in then.
  5. Sandy, the fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight. Forcin' a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of July. Down in town, the circuit's full with switchblade lovers so fast, so shiny, so sharp. And the wizards play down on Pinball Way on the boardwalk way past dark.
  6. On the stairs I smoke a cigarette alone. The Mexican kids are shooting fireworks below. Hey, baby, it's the Fourth of July.
  7. I stayed at home on the Fourth of July, and I pulled the shades so I didn't have to see the sky. And I decided to have a Bed-In. But I forgot to invite anybody.
  8. Well she lit up the sky, that Fourth of July. By the time the firemen come, they
    just put out the flames and took down some names and send me to the county home.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lookalikes: Chris Farley Baby

The Chris Farley lookalike baby. It's sad, but you'll laugh. (As seen on Defamer.)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Musique: Mareva Galanter

Stumbled across a post on Between Thought And Expression that mentioned Mareva Galanter. It was the part about "former Miss France (and Shannon Elizabeth look-alike)" that got my attention. And yes, she's a looker. She's also a singer.

You must visit the official website for her album, "Ukuyéyé". Very well-designed, in a '60s Op-Art style. The last link on the middle row is the video for "Pourquoi Pas Moi?". The last link on the bottom row is for six "Scopitone" videos (apparently, a 16mm film jukebox). All are worth watching.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Music: Letterman

Bryan Ferry covering "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" on Letterman.

From the following night, Ryan Adams and the Cardinals play "Two". There's a bonus performance of "I Taught Myself How To Grow Old" at the CBS web site. (Thanks to Zoe for the heads-up.)

From earlier this year, Elvis Perkins sings "While You Were Sleeping" (and borrows the Talking Heads trick of the band members joining one by one).

Moving back in time, Natalie Merchant doing "Because The Night". (I love the comment, "Its so weird.....I'd love to bone her but she's not supermodel sexy. Its something else....I just cant figure it out.....kinda like a home economics teacher doing a striptease or something ;-)").

From 1983, Talking Heads and "I Zimbra".

And finally, Andy Kaufman singing "Rosemarie".

Celebrities: John Stamos

John Stamos slurring in an Australian press interview, and then on Australian TV. That's some jet lag.

Did you know that Rebecca Romijn's mother is a member of the Simplified Spelling Society?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

News: Unfortunate Wording

Is it just me, or does this headline sound wrong? "Family of girl whose feet were severed in amusement park accident says she's stable". So she doesn't wobble when you bump into her?

And on the amputee theme, Heather Mills testified in court that (photographer) "Jay Kaycappa has assaulted a lot of people and upset people and I’m going out on a limb."

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Music: "Teenage Kicks"

How many versions of "Teenage Kicks" do you want?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Advertising: TV Commercial Roundup

  • Sounds like Blockbuster has replaced Alec Baldwin with Albert Brooks for their TV commercial voice-over. Presumably because he was calling renters at home, chastising them for their overdue videos. "Once again, I have made an ass of myself trying to get to a phone to remind you that your movie is four days late. I am going to fly out there to Des Moines to straighten you out, you rude little pig. You do not have the common decency of a human being to return 'Oceans 11', or 'Oceans 12', or whatever it is. You have humiliated me for the last time." (Credit Robb with the Oceans joke.) Anyway, this switch is ironic because Baldwin actually replaced Brooks on "Glengarry Glen Ross".
  • That American Express commercial with Martin Scorsese, Sheryl Crowe, Andre Agassi, Alicia Keys, Ellen DeGeneres and Carrot Top - is that the best they could come up? The non-actors sound so dead, the whole thing drags, and who thought Ellen's "punchline" was remotely funny?
  • I don't like that "chicks with swords" ad either. The guy is creepy. And the whole concept is hinky. Did they think, "let's appeal to straight guys by showing half-naked women, and gay guys by doing a musical number"?
  • Here's a web news item on a commercial campaign that ran in the UK. It's interesting only for the little monkey reading the news. She has a terrible voice (and says "Brit-ain" in an odd way) but she's got something.
  • Here's a great ad - for British mobile phone company Talk Talk.
  • Another good one - VW ad with hand shadows.
  • And by the way, Wilco sold out and are allowing VW to use their songs. (CMJ story.)
  • iPhone commercial from Conan O'Brien.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Music: Nicole Atkins

Sort-of-country singer Nicole Atkins (recommended by Chromewaves). Her MySpace page has 3 songs you can stream, and a video of her covering "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" live at SwSW.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Movies: Angelina Jolie

The trailer for "A Mighty Heart" features another jarring line delivered by Angelina Jolie in a dicey accent. It's when she says "I love you". Brings back memories of that ridiculous line from the "Alexander" trailer, when she says, "Never will there be an Alexander like you..Alexander the Great!"

In this "Original Sin" trailer, she lost the crazy-line-reading-in-a-bad-accent contest to Antonio Banderas.

This "Tomb Raider" trailer has her say, "Men are coming for the box. Unlike me, they won't look at it with fear or respect. They will open it. They want to use it." And it shows her punching a shark in the nose.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Newspapers: Bad Headline

Humourously ambiguous headline from the Dallas Morning News: "12-year-old's liposuction raises eyebrows". I don't think that plastic surgeon knows what he's doing!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Music: Pitchfork Round-Up

Some good stuff on Pitchfork today.

Lyrics Quiz: Bad

Can you name these "bad" songs?

  1. I make a rich woman beg, I'll make a good woman steal. I'll make an old woman blush, and make a young woman squeal.
  2. You ever love someone so much you thought your little heart was gonna break in two? (I didn't think so.)
  3. Well they say the sky's the limit. And to me that's really true. But my friend you have seen nothin'. Just wait 'til I get through.
  4. All those downtown ladies call him "Treetop Lover". All the men just call him "sir".
  5. If I could throw this lifeless lifeline to the wind. Leave this heart of clay. See you walk, walk away.
  6. I ain't got a fever, got a permanent disease. It'll take more than a doctor to prescribe a remedy.
  7. Friday night and the strip is hot. Sun's gone down and they're about to trot. Spirits high and they look hot. Do you wanna get down?
  8. Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac. I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back.
  9. Hope you got your things together. Hope you are quite prepared to die.
  10. I know you're looking for a ruby in a mountain of rocks. But there ain't no Coupe De Ville hiding at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.

By the way, when will movie studios stop using #1 in movie trailers? It's currently being used to advertise the DVD of "Ghost Rider".

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Photography: News Photos

Movies: "United 93"

Watched "United 93" last night. Very well made, but the cowardly German character was a definite misstep. There was a German passenger on board, so unless there is evidence to back up this portrayal, it seems defamatory. The Atlantic Review, a German-American relations project, has a full summary, albeit with a clear bias towards the German.

The German actor who portrayed him (and improvised his role) defends himself.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

News: TB Guy

That Andrew Speaker guy, who put other people's lives in jeopardy - what a tool. (Anagram of his name: "Speared wanker".) Does anyone else think that his TB expert father-in-law might have deliberately infected him? I'm not the only one to wonder. "I saw his picture and he totally looks like a mad scientist! Ack!!!"

His wife looks better with the surgical mask.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Music: Shivaree

Chromewaves brings news of a covers album from Shivaree. Shivaree's lead vocalist has the greatest name in music history: Ambrosia Parsley. The album, "Tainted Love: Mating Calls and Fight Songs", features songs by Phil Spector (on trial for murder), R. Kelly (indicted for producing child pornography), Gary Glitter (convicted peedophile), Ike Turner (admitted spouse-abuser) and Spade Cooley (convicted murderer), among others.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

TV: Babes

  • NBC's Weather Plus has a very cute meteorologist in Britta Merwin. Look, she's a model too! When I saw her today on TV, she looked more like the photo in the top right, where Chinzilla is grabbing her ass. She even has a blog where she openly admits that Spring is her favorite season. I didn't think weather people were allowed to have a favorite season - isn't that a conflict of interest?
  • There are a million house "flipping" shows on TV, but only A&E's "Sell This House" has the captivating Tanya Memme (rhymes with "lemme"). Apparently, she was Miss World Canada in 1993.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

YouTube: The Reed Sisters

Thanks to 1963muster for posting these videos of The Reed Sisters on some long ago cable access show. Start with "Celebration" to see their creepy stage mother and the synchronised dance steps. Then watch "From Me To You" and try to figure out the sibling dynamic between the blonde one and the non-instrumentalist one.

Sadly, I can't find anything about these Reed Sisters on the 'net. Let's hope they get the band back together again.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Music: Covers On YouTube

And if you have the time, there's a Go-Betweens tribute concert/documentary (in 6 parts) with Australian artists covering the late lamented band.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Politics: Hillary Clinton

Wonkette reports that Hillary Clinton is asking the public to choose her campaign song. There are 9 songs listed, but write-in votes are allowed. Wonkette and its commenters have plenty of suggestions: "Bitch" by the Rolling Stones, "The Bitch Is Back" by Elton John, "Smack My Bitch Up" by the Prodigy (am I sensing a theme here?).

I voted for "Is This What You Call Change?" by Robert Forster ("As I breathe your deadly wind, as the oil in the river sends everything that's alive to a painful end").

Monday, May 14, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Fools

Part A: "Fool" in the title.

  1. When I come home, baby, and I've been working all night long, I put my daughter on my knee, and she say, "Daddy what's wrong?"
  2. Well on his way, his head in a cloud, the man of a thousand voices, talking perfectly loud. But nobody ever hears him.
  3. And the parting on the left are now parting on the right. And the beards have all grown longer overnight.
  4. As he rises to her apology, anybody else would surely know, he's watching her go.
  5. The pack on my back is aching. The straps seem to cut me like a knife. I'm no clown, I won't back down. I don't need you to tell me what's going down.
  6. Unhand that gun, be gone. There's no one to fire upon. If he's holding it high, he's telling a lie.
  7. A dying flame, you're free again. Who could love and do that to you? All dressed in black, he won't be coming back. Save your tears, you've got years and years.

Part B: "Fool" in the lyrics.

  1. 'Cause we're living in a world of fools, breaking us down, when they all should let us be.
  2. He said, "Girl u better have fun no matter what u do." But he's a fool.
  3. Don't you know, little fool, you never can win?
  4. Something in your eyes is makin' such a fool of me. When you hold me in your arms, you love me 'til I just can't see.
  5. I find it very, very easy to be true. I find myself alone when each day is through. Yes, I'll admit I'm a fool for you.
  6. I am the maker of rules, dealing with fools.
  7. And if you ever have to go to school, remember how they messed up this old fool. Don't pick fights with the bullies or the cads, 'cause I'm not much cop at punching Other people's dads.

Music: Uncle Tupelo

YouTube has an old cable access performance by Uncle Tupelo from 1989 (doing "Graveyard Shift" and "Factory Belt"). And here's "Gun" live in 1992.

And here's a nice homemade cartoon for Wilco's "Hummingbird". Wilco's new album "drops" tomorrow, and they're on "Letterman" tomorrow night. (Thanks to Robb for the heads up.)

Words: Chillax

For those who didn't believe me that "chillax" is a popular slang contraction ("chill" and "relax") in the British Isles, here's an Amazon list.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Fruit

Inspired by Robb and his irrational hatred of #1. Personally, I think there should be more spelling in songs.

  1. Let me hear you say, this shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
  2. God didn't make little green apples, and it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime.
  3. Now when you pick a pawpaw, or a prickly pear, and you prick a raw paw - next time beware.
  4. I'm praying for a rain in California, so the grapes can grow and they can make more wine. And I'm sitting in a honky in Chicago, with a broken heart and a woman on my mind.
  5. And she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Internet: Posting Dangers

The AV Club's Hater has posted an Ad Council PSA about the dangers of posting information online. Creepy!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Emails: Factually Incorrect

I got an email this week that read:
Many will recall that on July 8, 1947, witnesses claimed that an unidentified flying object with five aliens aboard crashed onto a sheep and cattle ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico. This is a well- known incident that many say has long been covered up by the US Air Force and the federal government.

However, what you may NOT know is that in the month of March 1948, exactly nine months after that historic day, George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Condoleezza Rice and Dan Quayle were all born.

See what happens when aliens breed with sheep. This piece of information may clear up a lot of things.

It would have been nice if even one of the people listed had been born in 1948, but no.

  • George W. Bush, born July 6, 1946
  • Dick Cheney, born January 30, 1941
  • Donald Rumsfeld, born July 9, 1932
  • Bill O'Reilly, born September 10, 1949
  • Rush Limbaugh, born January 12, 1951
  • Condoleezza Rice, born November 14, 1954
  • Dan Quayle, born February 4, 1947

Here are some people who were born in March 1948: reggae artist Burning Spear, Irish guitar hero Rory Gallagher, Welsh rock 'n' roller Shakin' Stevens, crime novelist James Ellroy, junkie/folkie James Taylor, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, ugly musical composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, petite actress Rhea Perlman, normal-sized actress Dianne Wiest. The only politician I see born then: Al Gore.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Paper Products: Toilet Paper

Shell sent me a link to this story about the Hutchinson (Kansas) Correctional Facility limiting inmates to four rolls of toilet paper per month. This measure is expected to save nearly $600 a month. And it'll make Sheryl "one square per visit" Crow happy.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cryptic: 10x5

A new crossword. I should really just email it directly to Eric.
1  2  3  4


1. Dostoevsky and Tolstoy novels begun but not finished - what a struggle! (7,3)
5. Working class male prostitute = "Rear Thug"? Do badly. (5,5)
6. People who descend on Santa's knee? (10)


1. Lyric about a boy. (5)
2. A bump on the slopes for Carnegie or Murdoch. (5)
3. Ron backed commercial US/Canadian missile defense system. (5)
4. Carrier, he assumes, contains birds. (5)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Video: Alec Baldwin

Dora The Explorer gets a call from Alec Baldwin.

Celebrities: Shilpa Shetty

What is the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty?

  1. Being named "Shilpa Shetty", which is an anagram of "Shitty as help".
  2. Starring in a film called "Aakrosh: Cyclone of Anger".
  3. Being abused and bullied on "Celebrity Big Brother".
  4. Actually winning "Celebrity Big Brother".
  5. Being groped by a giddy (possibly drunk) Richard Gere while promoting Safe Sex.

Definitely #5, although her official website asks, in headline format, "What is all the big fuss about? Seriously?" Anyway, I offer up this Clerihew:
Richard Gere
Is desperate to prove he's not queer.
Shilpa Shetty
Just wishes he wasn't so sweaty.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

History: First Laundromat

I heard on the radio that the first ever laundromat opened on this day in 1934 in Fort Worth. But US Census Bureau page says it might have been Fort Wayne. That seems a big vague for a Census Bureau. Wikipedia supports Fort Worth's claim

Friday, March 23, 2007

Nitpicking: "Literally"

News story about Aaron Glenn's murdered niece quotes Lt. John Denholm of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.
“We are exploring whether it's even possible to search for her remains at this point,” Denholm said. “It's the literal needle in the haystack.”

Poor old "literal". Is there any word more abused? Here's another example:
I can only thank my angels and God for leading me to what was literally a needle in a haystack.

Actually, it was a key in a storage room - and this woman is a professional writer!

And while I'm nitpicking, I watched "Inside Man" last week with the commentary track by Spike Lee. What an unpleasant man he is. So I was delighted to hear him describe a 180° camera move as, you guessed it, a 360° move. What a maroon!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Feeble Attempt At Humour

The inventor of television was also the first man to plop down on a sofa in front of the TV with a beer in one hand, and his other hand pushed down the front of his pants. When his wife asked him what he was doing, he answered, "I'm feeling a little Logie."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Music: Commonalities

Here's a headscratcher from Eric (who successfully solved Thursday's Cryptogram, by the way).

What do these bands have in common?

  • Aerosmith
  • Elton John
  • Earth, Wind, & Fire
  • Joe Cocker
  • Cheap Trick

Conversely, what do these bands have in common?

  • Chuck Berry
  • Carl Perkins
  • The Marvelettes
  • The Isley Brothers

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Irish Artists

For the day that's in it, to be sure, to be sure. All songs are written by Irish people (or, at least, qualified to play football for Ireland - the "Granny Rule").

  1. Now we go steady to the pictures. I always get chocolate stains on my pants. My father, he's going crazy. Says I'm living in a trance.
  2. From Bissau to Palau in the shade of Avalon. From Fiji to Tiree and the isles of Ebony.
  3. I was on the inside when they pulled the four walls down. I was looking through the window. I was lost, I am found.
  4. Forty shades of green. yeah. Sixty shades of red. Heroes going cheap these days. Price: a bullet in the head.
  5. Sir thwacks you on the knees, knees you in the groin, elbow in the face. Bruises bigger than dinner plates.
  6. And when that foghorn blows, I will be coming home. And when that foghorn blows, I want to hear it. I don't have to fear it.
  7. And I swore, I swore I would be true. And, honey, so did you. So why were you holding her hand? Is that the way we stand? Were you lying all the time? Was it just a game to you?
  8. And there's a black cat lying in the shadow of the gatepost. And the black cat tells me that love is on its way.
  9. 'Cause the winds might change, and the winds might blow over you. And the winds might cut you in two, unless perhaps you get a raincoat.
  10. When you pissed yourself in Frankfurt, and got syph down in Cologne, and you heard the rattling death trains as you lay there all alone.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Web Design: Page Layout

Fascinating article about "eyetracking" and what it tells us about designing good Online News pages. Example 3 says that men like looking at George Brett's package.

Cryptogram: Odd Couple





Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Music: SXSW Bands

Robb thinks the greatest blog idea of all time would be to link to the list of bands playing SXSW, and pick out the best and worst band names.

He likes Turn Me On Dead Man. (Robb had to explain the "Paul is dead" reference. I hope they're a Beatles tribute band - who play all the songs backwards. That would be cool.)

Really bad names: Awesome Cool Dudes, Best Fwends, Chingo Bling, Deaf In The Family, Flosstradamus, Kiiiiiii, Les Breastfeeders, Menwhopause, Palaxy Tracks, River City Rapists, River City Tanlines, Steaming Wolf Penis, The Faceless Werewolves, The WiLd EyeS (automatic rejection for "kooky" capitalisation), Who's Your Favorite Son, God?

Good names: El Jesus de Magico, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Berg Sans Nipple, The Black Hollies, The Capitol Years.