Wednesday, January 31, 2007

News: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Shell offers up the Gold Standard of "Slow News Day" stories: "4 towels, ashtray taken from Motel 6". The story was picked up by a Philly blog (which refers to "Eulass, Texas").

What is up with the Star-Telegram? They have a blog devoted to "American Idol". Idiots.

Better Motel 6 stories: "Woman’s body found near Suwanee motel", "Sevier Co. mom and daughter find crack pipe in their Knoxville motel room", "Motel 6 murder trial begins", "Arrest made in burglaries of non-profits: Redmond police spot SUV in motel parking lot".

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Burial: Fossilisation

It occurred to me (while reading Bill Bryson's "A Short History...") that the best form of burial would be fossilisation. A caller to Australian radio wanted the same thing. Probably not practical. BBC game to create a fossil.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Music: Hodge Podge

Observer article by Sean O'Hagan mourning the loss of mix tapes, independent record shops and sleeve notes. This Sean O'Hagan is not to be confused (as I've been doing) with the one who was in Microdisney and is now the High Llamas. (And provided the music for the Musical Painting.) (Although the Bob Stanley who writes for the Guardian is the Saint Etienne one.)

His partner in Microdisney was the unreliable Cathal Coughlan. Someone on his Message Board posted a review of Lou Reed's concert performance of "Berlin". Good that it was recorded for DVD.

Speaking of mix tapes and vinyl, there are turntables that connect to your PC. There's also a cassette tape ripper.

Recommended unsigned artist: B from Sweden. Don't like the one-letter name but I like his music. (M and X did it first.)

Finally, check out the MySpace page for a Grant McLennan tribute album.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Guitars

  1. He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack and sit beneath the tree by the railroad track.
  2. The kids was just crass, he was the Nazz, with God-given ass. He took it all too far but, boy, could he play guitar.
  3. All I got is a red guitar, three chords and the truth.
  4. Now that ain't workin'. That's the way you do it. You play the guitar on the MTV.
  5. Well I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk. And my car's out back if you're ready to take that long walk from your front porch to my front seat.
  6. Everybody told me you can't get far on thirty-seven dollars and a Jap guitar.
  7. Well, late at night when the people were gone, he used to pick up my guitar, and sing a song in a shaky voice that was real as the day was long.
  8. With the rerun shows and the cocaine nose-job, the daytime crap of the folksinger slob. He hung himself with a guitar string.
  9. Take the guitar player for a ride. He ain't never been satisfied. He thinks he owes some kind of debt. Be years before he gets over it.
  10. So, I jumped on a bus to Dun Laoghaire, stopping off to pick up my guitar. When a drunk on a bus told me how to get rich, I was glad we weren't going too far.

Bonus: What guitar are you? (I'm a Fender Telecaster.)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Religion: Gene and Melissa Scott

Dr. Gene Scott was our crankiest televangelist. "Was", because he died in 2005, but his shows still run on TV. Lately, I've seen broadcasts with his third wife, Melissa Scott, who has taken over his official site. These new broadcasts are a lot tamer than those described in this profile. Here's a classic tirade. And a song and a joke.

As for Melissa, there's something about a woman in a clerical collar parsing scripture in Hebrew and Greek that does it for me. Although her singing sounds flat (watch three songs). Her maiden name was Melissa Pastore - there's a vocation-appropriate name. Allegedly, she was also an adult model under the name "Barbie Bridges". Here's a "Daily Show" clip that shows Melissa as a dancing "Playmate" with Dr. Gene.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Music: MySpace

  • Bobby Cook sounds like an English Ryan Adams ("Drunken View" could have been on "Rock & Roll"). (Found via Torr.)
  • Kevin Rowland is hosting a new Dexy's track, and loads of great old videos.
  • Lee Hazlewood has a new album (his last, he says) coming out tomorrow. (And it's named after an Eddie Izzard routine!) Check out his own version of "These Boots Are Made For Walking".
  • Possibly our greatest living songwriter, Boo Hewerdine, has a version of "Bell, Book & Candle" sung in Japanese by Hitomi Yaida.
  • Dawn Landes makes nice 'n gentle folky music.
  • And it's a tad late, but I don't think I ever linked to Pine Cone Punks and their fantastic Holiday song, "Coal For Christmas".

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Eric's Two Themes

Eric presents a Lyrics Quiz with two separate (but equal) themes.

Theme A

  1. So don't worry about tomorrow, take it today. Forget about the check, we'll get hell to pay.
  2. Yeah, my whole family done give up on me, and it makes me feel oh so bad. The only one who'll hang out with me, is my dear Old Granddad.
  3. Take another shot of courage, wonder why the right words never come, you just get numb.

Theme B

  1. Climb in the back with your head in the clouds, and you're gone.
  2. Every day I work so hard, bringing home my hard earned pay. Try to love you baby, but you push me away.
  3. Don't forget this fact, you can't get it back.
  4. When I first met you, didn't realize. I can't forget you, for your surprise.
    You introduced me, to my mind. And left me wanting, you and your kind.
  5. Relax, relax, relax, I need some information first. Just the basic facts, can you show me where it hurts?

I only got the last one. (D'oh! Should have got B3 too!)

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Advertising: Office Depot, Burger King

Mr. B agrees that Office Depot's "Helping Hand" commercial is (a) creepy, and (b) a ripoff of Staples "Easy Button".
So do the internets.

Jay Leno did a risqué takeoff.

You can hack the real Easy Button.

I'm the only one who thinks the Burger King Whopper Jr. commercial has rent boy overtones ("You can't sell yourself for a buck").

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Retail: Amazon

Amazon usually makes sound recommendations (although it's embarrassing when that recommendation is made based upon something you bought as a gift for your 12-year-old niece, and Amazon thinks you're a big S Club 7 fan). But then I get this email:
We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in "Remain in Light" by Talking Heads have also ordered "Some Enchanted Evening" by Art Garfunkel.

Really? REALLY? There's only one thing that can cheer me up now, and that's a photo of Art Garfunkel and his clone.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Movies: Must Watch

It's late at night, you're flipping through the channels, and you stop on a movie. It's a film you've seen a hundred times before, and you really should be going to bed, but you can't help yourself. You've got to watch this movie again. What movies do this for you?

For me, it's "Midnight Run" and "Back To The Future".

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Feeble Attempt At Humour

Barbara Walters' 10 Most Wiveting People of 2006.

  • Peter Manning - There have been other Cindewella stories in the histowy of the National Football League (a garbageman, a high school coach, a field-goal kicking mule) but none better than that of Peter Manning. This time last year, Manning was a semi-successful model/actor with a stwing of TV commercials on his wesume. In some of these ads, he even played a football player! The Indiana Colts took a chance on this handsome thespian, and Peter wepaid their twust by leading them to the Playouts. If they ever make a movie of his WIVETING life, guess who'll play the lead wole!!!
  • Dick Cheney - He shot a man in Texas just to watch him die. No one could weally blame him for that, but it was the covew-up that pwoved his undoing. Needless to say, the Vice-Pwesident wesigned when the twuth was wevealed. What he'll do next is anybody's guess, but it's bound to be WIVETING!!!
  • The Homeless Man Who Begs Near My Studio - I don't know what first piqued my intewest - his psychotic wamblings, his pungent odor, or the wagged clothes that exposed most of his buttocks - but I had to know more about him! I followed him one Apwil evening to the doorway where he makes a bed of bubble-wap and discarded fast food containers. It was one of those mild Spwing nights that whisper, "Summer is just awound the corner!" Perhaps it was the weather, the pathos of his situation, or the Thunderbird wine that we shared, but we ended up making dirty, dirty love on his makeshift bed. As the popping of the plastic bubbles mingled with his gwunts of passion, I was well and twuly WIVETED!!!
  • iPop - It's not a person, it's a machine. About the size of a shoe, this amazing gadget contains hundweds of tiny wecords, just like a jukebox. I have one and I love it (but I have to ask my gweat-gwandson for help)! Hats off to Bill Gates for inventing this WIVETING music-box!!!
  • Gewald McWaney - "Major Dad" is still a "Major Stud"! He's the owiginal "McDweamy"! He can "burke" my "delta" anytime! Yes, after all these years, I'm WIVETED!!!
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Cwazy name! Cwazy guy!
  • Mel Tillis - No one was more surpwised than me when the stuttewing Countwy Music star went on a tequila-fueled binge in Malibu this year, unleashing a tiwade of anti-Semitic wemarks at police officers. He was certainly not anti-Semitic back in 1973, when we made dirty, dirty love in his dwessing woom at the Gwand Old Opwy. (Although he did accuse the Jews of starting all his ewections!) One thing's for sure - Mel is WIVETING!!! (Actually, upon further weflection, that might have been Woy Acuff in 1973.)
  • Bawack Obama - He makes no apologies for being Bin Laden's son, but neither does he bwing the subject up. In fact, he seemed confused when I waised the question. But he's not confused about his ambition: to be Amewica's first Pwesident fwom Illinois. To weach that exalted office, he knows he must pwotect his weputation, which is pwobably why he turned down my offer of dirty, dirty sex. Or he's homosexual. Either way, he's WIVETING!!!
  • "24" - The television show stawwing Keith Sutherland is bweaking all the wules. The scween splits up into two or thwee sections. There is a mystewious "Cookie Monster" who is eating survivors of a plane cwash. And evewy episode lasts twenty-four hours. Too long for me and my tiny bladder, but my gweat-gwandson says it's WIVETING!!!
  • Woseanne Barr-Arnold-O'Donnell - My final choice may seem a selfish one. After all, I picked Woseanne to be my co-host on "The View". I wanted someone that all the housewives at home could identify with. To be honest, I thought she would talk more about her tewwible ex-husbands, but she has maintained a dignified silence. She doesn't even mention cuwwent husband, Kelly, vewy often. Wecently, Woseanne has been the target of that awful Twump man, and he has twied to dwive a wedge between us. Of course, he has failed. Just last week, I weassured Woseanne before the show, holding her pudgy hands and stwoking her gweasy hair. Before I knew what had happened, we were on the floor making dirty, dirty love. Appawently, we are now "Scissor Sisters". So, Mr, Twump, lay off my Wosie! She's WIVETING!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Music: Self-References

What singers have sung their own names in a song? (Let's not include rappers.)

  • My name is Prince and I am funky. (Prince, obv.)
  • No, my first name ain't "baby" - it's Janet. Miss Jackson, if you're nasty. (Miss Jackson)
  • Where the only water flowing is the bitter Sting of tears. (Sting)
  • Because of a few songs wherein I spoke of their mystery, women have been exceptionally kind to my old age. They make a secret place in their busy lives and they take me there. They become naked in their different ways, and they say, "Look at me, Leonard. Look at me one last time." Then they bend over the bed and cover me up, like a baby that is shivering. (Leonard Cohen)
  • Talking to myself, causing great concern for my health. Where is your head, Kathryn? (Kathryn Dawn Lang aka k.d. lang)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Advertising: Aveeno

It's the question that all America is asking: Who is the Aveeno Girl? Here's a photo. She's a Dutch model named Daniella van Graas. Her accent coach was Doug Honorof. She played a "beauty" in "Something's Gotta Give", directed by that hack, Nancy Meyers

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monkeys: TSA

The TSA has published guidelines for traveling with a Monkey Helper. "TSOs will conduct a visual inspection on the monkey and will coach the handler on how to hold the monkey during the visual inspection." "The inspection process may require that the handler take off the monkey’s diaper as part of the visual inspection." (Via Defamer.)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Telephone: Greetings

I was watching a boring Italian film. The only interesting part was learning that the Italians answer the phone with the word "Pronto". It means "ready" (the Spanish "pronto" means soon). This article describes telephone greetings around the world. The Japanese win with "Moshi moshi". And too bad that Alexander Graham Bell's "Ahoy-hoy!" never caught on with anyone other than Mr. Burns.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Magic: The Kruskal Count

The death has occurred of mathematician Martin Kruskal. He invented (or discovered) a magic trick called the Kruskal Count. (Further mathematical analysis of the trick.)

Bonus mathematical tricks by Martin Gardner.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Clothes

Lyrics about clothes. Name the artist & song.

  1. They seek him here, they seek him there. His clothes are loud, but never square.
  2. I, I love the colorful clothes she wears, and the way the sunlight plays upon her hair.
  3. She's so swishy in her satin and tat, in her frock coat and bippity-boppity hat. Oh, God, I could do better than that.
  4. Talking to the guy who lives downstairs and walking around in ridiculous flares.
  5. I'd like to drop my trousers to the Queen. Every sensible child will know what this means.
  6. Here he comes, he's all dressed in black. PR shoes and a big straw hat.
  7. Feel this sweater, there's no better than authentic Irish Setter.
  8. So baby, let's sell your diamond rings to buy some boots and faded jeans and go away. This coat and tie is choking me. In your high society, you cry all day.
  9. The way you wear your hat. The way you sip your tea.
  10. Bless my cotton socks I'm in the news.
  11. Your hat strategically dipped below one eye. Your scarf it was apricot.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Quotations: 2006

What were the best quotes of 2006? has the 25 Dumbest Quotes, but they use the wrong part of Bush's overheard conversation at the G8 Summit. Surely "Yo Blair" was the most memorable line? And they quote Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade instead of the phrase I want carved on my tombstone: "What are you looking at, Sugartits?"

The Associated Press also swings and misses, picking a bland Michael Richards apology quote instead of the "Afro-American" one.

BBC Sport has some sporting quotes. The Commentators' Classics are best: "Snakes on a plane? What's that all about?"

For the true nerd, Byte And Switch has the Top Ten Quotes from the storage networking industry. "I'm not sure iSCSI is the right storage protocol the industry needs. I think storage needs to move away from block-level storage protocols and embrace other semantics." Too bloody right!

But my favourite quote of the year came from the Bishop of Southwark. After imbibing too freely at the Irish Embassy in London, he was found in the back seat of someone's car, throwing toys out the window. When asked to explain himself, he replied: "I'm the Bishop of Southwark. It's what I do."