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.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Comedy: Chris Rock

Everyone is talking (well, Defamer is) about Chris Rock's appearance on "Letterman" last night, and how he turned a question about Richard Jeni into a plug for his movie. Okay, he was trying to be funny, but it fell flat. It might have been funnier to say Jeni was despondent about losing roles to Kevin Pollak. (Too soon?)

Rock's new movie is an unlikely remake of "Love In The Afternoon" by the French director Eric Rohmer. Rohmer's films are gentle, slow-moving, talky, warm explorations of human beings and their wonderful frailties. From the clip they showed last night, the remake is nothing like that.

Maybe Rohmer should get back at Rock by remaking "Head Of State" in his trademark style. A bourgeois businessman is offered the chance to run for Mayor of his provincial town. He discusses it at great length with his wife. There's an attractive campaign worker who flirts with him. He talks to his wife some more. Eventually, he decides not to run for office. ("Pootie Tang" would have been funnier, but Chris Rock didn't write & direct that.)

A Feeble Attempt At Humour

A man who has been blind from birth undergoes a lengthy operation to restore his sight. The next day, the medical staff gather round as the surgeon removes the bandages. A nurse holds a mirror in front of the patient's eyes. As the last bandage falls away, the surgeon eagerly asks, "What do you see?" "Nothing," replies the man. The surgeon gestures for the lights to be turned on in the room. "Can you see anything now?" "No," the man says. At that, the doctors and nurses break into raucous laughter. The surgeon stops laughing long enough to say, "You should have seen your face!"

Sunday, March 11, 2007

TV: Combos 2

Eric provides some follow-up TV star/TV show combos:

  1. Batman becomes president.
  2. Member of family musical group (and California attorney) joins cast of long-running soap opera.
  3. SNL alum becomes target of Dan Quayle diatribe.
  4. South Florida cop wants to be useful in the train yard.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Music: Birthplace Quiz

Match the singers to their birthplace.
1. David Byrne (Talking Heads)   a. England
2. Win Butler (Arcade Fire)   b. Scotland
3. Lloyd Cole (The Commotions)   c. Germany
4. Sebastian Bach (Skid Row)   d. Texas
5. Tanita Tikaram   e. Canada

Incidentally, if you go to Sebastian Bach's Wikipedia page looking for clues, you'll learn that, "he has also reportedly stolen Nardwuar's favorite wool tuque." I thought this was "Wikipedia vandalism", but it may be true. However, I note on the Chris Martin (Coldplay) page, "He has a baritenor voice and is known for his frequent use of fellatio."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Politics: Bush Protests

Here's a Brazilian Bush protester that even Eric could appreciate.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

TV: Combos

Combine a TV actor with a TV show (spelling mismatches allowed). For example, "Small-town Deputy gets mixed up in California soap opera" would be "Don Knotts Landing". Can you name these other combos?

  1. Cheeky English comedian joins the police, is warned to "Be careful out there".
  2. Texas oilman's drunken wife ends up in hospital.
  3. Rhoda's mother fights criminals in the Lone Star state.
  4. Aussie POW learns about love to the strains of Paula Cole.
  5. Ranching family patriarch decides to give up the rat race and become a farmer.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Music: The White Stripes

The White Stripes have announced the title of their new album: "Icky Thump". Fans of British comedy will recognise that (actually, "Ecky Thump"*) from an episode of "The Goodies - an episode which caused a man to die laughing. (His widow wrote a nice letter to the Goodies, thanking them for making her husband's final 25 minutes so happy. Which is one way of looking at it.

* The press release from the band adds: "The Stripes stress they are spelling it wrong intentionally just for "kicks" and "metaphors", and to avoid a possible lawsuit from the estate of Billy Eckstine."

A Feeble Attempt At Humour

Is France reverting to its Celtic past? Yes, it's Gaul-ing.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Lyrics Quiz: Oh!

Suggested by Eric based on a previous post, can you fill in the missing names? Bonus points for the artist.

  1. Oh, _______. Oh don't you cry for me. For I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee.
  2. Oh oh ______. Let me love you 'til the morning comes. Oh oh ______. You know I want to be the only one.
  3. Oh ______, our love holds on, holds on.
  4. Oh ______, don't lead the life that they made for you. I'll be gone a long while and you'll know. And don't feel sorry for lover boy.
  5. Ah! ______! Here we go again! Ah! ______! Is it ever gonna end? Ah! ______! Here we go again! Ah! ______! We ain't learned our lesson yet!
  6. Oh ______, I am but a fool. Darling I love you though you treat me cruel. You hurt me and you made me cry. But if you leave me I will surely die.
  7. Oh ______, why did you do it? You should've called me on the telephone.
  8. Oh ______, how could you treat me this way? Hey, hey. How could you treat me this way?
  9. Oh ______, I think I'm in trouble here. I should have believed you when I heard you saying it. The only time that love is an easy game is when two other people are playing it.