Thursday, December 31, 2009

Links of Interest 12/31

Yes, 2009 was the year of death. But I bet you don’t know just how much death.

Where have all the sea lions gone?

A list of some pretty dumb quotes from the past decade.

So you can be awesome at your New Year’s Eve party tonight.

January is simply a terrible time for new movie releases.

I don’t have high hopes for a Rockford Files remake.

I’ll admit it, I’m now frightened of Jennifer Lopez.

I have no problem with the number 1 cooking show on this list.

Ok, I’m willing to admit this is probably the most convoluted novel plot ever.

The best sports photography of 2009. (via Other Crap)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Links of Interest 12/30

The celebrity meltdowns of the year.

I assume everyone wants to know the top 20 beer pong teams in America?

There’s a lot more to ski jumps than you might think.

Music you probably haven’t heard of from 2009.

I have friends who just got an erection clicking on this link about a technology flea market like place on the streets of Japan.

Are we ready for Ghostbusters III? I mean really ready?

If you’d like to get deeper into knowing about social networks, check this out.

Columnist Dave Barry reviews 2009.

What will the music industry be like in 2010?

So, you’re the only doctor in an expedition to Antarctica. Suddenly, you start feeling feverish and have an intense pain in your stomach. What do you do? (via mental floss)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Top 10 Fictional Sporting Events You'd Pay to See

Enjoy the the Just Missed the Cut and Honorable Mention list.

Ok, it's time to leave the pretenders in the dust. Time to get serious. Time to look at the bigger picture, and see these events not just because they were awesome, but because they had (fake) cultural impact.

Before we get started, please check out the inspiration for just such a list, grab Bill Simmons' ('s The Sports Guy) new book, "The Book of Basketball". Sure it's about basketball, but even for the casual fan it's an enjoyable read.

Ok, enough shilling, let's get it on!

10. The diving meet from Back to School

Forget that on a scale of 1-10 in degree of difficulty the dive measures a 42; forget that after the meet the opponent's diving coach surely filed a protest based on the sketchy roster finagling; forget all the drama between Zabka faking a cramp...

How awesome would it be sitting there, watching as a crew of workers installed the a diving board on the 6 meter platform? That's the kind of tension that creates legends. The murmuring in the crowd would slowly build, getting louder and louder until the PA announcer simply announced the substitute diver and the name "Triple Lindy."

And then you get to witness history.

9. The bowling finals in Kingpin

If more bowling events were like the finals in Kingpin, I'd watch more bowling. Big Ern's hair, an amputee, the pinnacle of trash talk, the rose bowling ball. Why can't ESPN demand theatrics like this? The PBA has too much clout?

8. The boxing "match" in Diggstown

Sure to be a controversial pick since other than James Woods, Louis Gossett Jr.'s mother and myself have seen this movie, it still deserves its ranking. The premise: In the boxing-loving town of Diggstown, a wager is made that one man can defeat 10 boxers in a 24 hour period. Once established, the con is on. But who is conning who.

Seriously, if you like boxing and con movies, you're really missing out if you haven't seen this.

As for the boxing match(es)'s an awesome mix of amateurs and pros brought in to take down Gossett Jr., including the only fighter to beat him in his professional career, and an undefeated prisoner who is a legend on the prison boxing circuit (which I really have to get on - I have to imagine fights on a prison boxing circuit redefine boxing).

In addition to seeing 10 fights, there's more than enough drama in the stands between the two guys who first made the bet. Let's just say the violence isn't contained to inside the ring.

7. The 1 game "play-in" from Major League

Win and you're in. It's Cleveland vs. the Yankees, in a one game playoff to see who wins the division. And remember, this was back before the wildcard, and before there were 3 divisions. Back when 2 teams from each league made the playoffs.

Just to be there as a sports fan would be incredible. Watching Vaughn walk into Wild Thing would give everyone goosebumps. But to witness the last play that won the whole thing, the play that would be #1 on every Best Damn Sportshow list, would be something you told your grandchildren about.

6. Roy Hobbs last game

Remember, there was a question if Hobbs was even going to play in this game. He'd been poisoned and in the labor ward of the local hopsital. And back then, this story was pretty much the only story the papers covered. So while you wouldn't be privy to any of the drama between the Judge and Red and Hobbs on the inside, there was plenty of drama involved in the game.

To be fair, I personally would have preferred the ending of the book the movie was based on, and see Hobbs fail.

What can I say? I'm a Phillies fan. And no stupid old timer on any New York team is gonna get me to switch allegiances. Stupid Roy Hobbs keeping the Phillies out of the playoffs.

Still, I'm remaining objective. Though I wouldn't have just come inside on him, I would have put one in his ribs in that last at bat.

5. Steve Nebraska Yankee pitching debut from The Scout

A horroble movie. You'll get no argument from me. But as for a sporting event? It's pretty special. I mean, a guy pitching a perfect game using only 27 pitches (ed. note: 81 pitches. 27 batters)? Something tells me you're gonna wish you were there.

(The above clip has nothing to do with the epic game, but it was the only clip I could find related to the movie. So I figured, why not?)

To give a little background, since perhaps only I and Brendan Fraser's agent have seen the movie...

Albert Brooks is a scout for the Yankees, and he travels somewhere (Mexico? The Caribbean? I really don't remember) to see this once-in-a-lifetime ball player, Steve Nebraska. Who is a headcase, but also a phenom. The rest of the movie is spent on getting this guy signed and ready to pitch for the Yankees. Which he does. Really, you have no reason to watch it. I feel bad even bringing it up. Because you might be saying to yourself, "hey, how bad can it be? It's a baseball movie." And I want to stop you right there and say no, no it's not. It has some baseball elements, but no, it's not a baseball movie. DO NOT RENT IT.

4. The first basketball game where Scott "wolfs out" (Teen Wolf)

There are few things to compare with witnessing a person transform into a mythical creature, which is why it's impossible to ignore the classic Teen Wolf. Perhaps there were games where he put up more points/was more comfortable in his "wolfness" to do more amazing things, but the first game has such a pure innocence (considering up until he emerges from the pile of bodies as a werewolf, no one thought something like this was even physically possible) that you'd be kicking yourself if you missed it. This game also didn't highlight any of the bickering within the team dynamic that later games had; it simply had all the wonder of a werewolf playing in a high school game.

(Completely unrelated - can anyone explain what the principal is doing at the 1:21 mark in the clip above? At first I thought he was shielding his erection he got seeing a werewolf; on repeated viewings I've changed my mind. I think he's protecting his genitals from a potential attack. Which - though slightly less creepy, gives a weird vibe on his relationship with Scott. I might need more analysis on the subject. Anyone write a college thesis on the homosexual undertones within the movie Teen Wolf?

3.Final fight in Rocky IV

Talk about a hostile're definitely not wearing your Team USA jersey into this arena. Even though, inexplicably, there are shots of cheering Americans during the fight, you have to imagine as an American, going to this fight, you would be slightly outnumbered. So you have to imagine, at least in the beginning of this fight, you're going to keep the cheering to a minimum.

Up until the final round, you have to imagine Drago was ahead on the judge's scorecards, right? Possibly Liederman has him ahead in points, but with the venue, had this gone to the judges, no way Rocky wins, right? So if you're in the crowd, you're REALLY hoping for a knockout - because if the Russian wins...well let's just say it's not going to be easy to get a cab in (then) communist Soviet Union.

But the feeling of the crowd turning, and slowly starting to cheer for Rocky, not only would it be extremely satisfying as an American to witness and be a part of, but it would also give you the opportunity to, when back in the states, to tell all your friends that you started that cheer! Know how excited you get when you're the first guy at the baseball game that gets the clapping started? This is like that times a million!

2. California Angels vs. Seattle Mariners game

Sure, a mid summer Angels vs. Mariners game would be an absolute snorefest. Luckily, this one has a little more action involved, including:

A visit by the Queen
A very past his prime Reggie Jackson
An assassination attempt
What could be the definitive rendition of the National Anthem

That's right, I'm talking about the game from The Naked Gun, and I can't think of a better baseball game I'd have rather seen. Look at it this way, just in the game montage we get:

A close play at the plate
A leaping homerun stealing catch
4 guys rounding second on a homerun
A pitcher not getting thrown out even though he has a tool chest on the mound for doctoring the ball
A corked bat
And a close, 4-3 pitchers' duel heading into the bottom of the 7th

Of course, that's just the baseball game. There's no way no one would deny watching a famed opera singer (because in the stands no one is the wiser) completely butcher the National Anthem. Add that to a Manchurian Candidate situation involving Reggie Jackson, the Stanford/USC (gotta be USC, right?) marching band stomp over the corpse of Ricardo Montalban and Drebin saving the queen by using a fat person to fall out of the upper deck, and...I mean there's no sporting event that could possibly top this one. Is there?

1. Soccer match in Victory

Where to begin...

First of all, huge mistake by the Nazis to have this game at all. Really, they should have seen they had nothing to win staging it. Win and yeah - everyone expected it anyway. Lose/tie and - exactly what happens.

Being at this game, not only do you watch the premier David vs. Goliath matchup since David vs. Goliath, you leave your mark on World War II by helping to liberate POWs. You also get to see what, without a doubt is the greatest soccer goal in history - a goal tying the game for the POWs on a bicycle kick by Pele, as time runs down. A goal that eventually led to the entire team escaping into the field rushing crowd. Being present at this game isn't just witnessing history, it's actively changing the outcome of history. You can't say you have an opportunity like that at too many sporting events.

And while we're here, let's give Max Von Sydow's Major Karl Von Steiner a little bit of credit. Rather than toe the company line and show no emotion during the game, he not only shows appreciation for the competitive spirit of the POWs, but openly cheers the Pele goal - something that probably got him shot.

Agree? Disagree? Want to send along your Teen Wolf thesis? Talk about it in the comments!

Links of Interest 12/29

His comedy might not be for everyone, but you have to admit, he’s had a long career. So someone must like him. Yes, I’m talking about Gallagher.

Video games that defined the decade.

I always enjoy these lists – 20 movies to anticipate in 2010.

More advertising agency holiday cards.

Vimeo selects their top 25 videos of 2009.

The best astronomy stories of 2009.

A look at some stuff you can buy on the streets of Bangkok.

So what exactly is the large Hadron Collider going to do for us, anyway?

If you’re looking for that perfect dessert, check these out.

Perhaps we should call this decade the “decade of the mistress?”

Monday, December 28, 2009

Links of Interest 12/28

Why do we celebrate New Years at midnight?

Like or hate the CEO of Whole Foods, you have to at least find him interesting.

This is a pretty good wrap up of the viral videos of the decade.

Stuff to get excited about in 2010.

Don’t think much can get done in a minute?

A history of Ms. Pacman you might not have known.

A detailed look at what went in to creating the special effects for District 9.

A 1966 profile on Frank Sinatra that changed the game in magazine writing.

A closer look at the world of Michael Cera.

The interesting man behind bars.

From the Big Picture – scenes from the snow.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Links of Interest 12/23

Interview with Ray Davies of The Kinks.

15 songs that deserve to be Christmas classics.

Duct tape can certainly make some nice clothes (careful – some of the images might not be work appropriate).

If you’ve lapsed in your holiday shopping, here are some things you can pick up on the way home.

I could think of a few others, but I’m not going to argue with this list of annoying people of 2009.

One day I will search my videotape archives and hopefully stumble across the sledding footage I have. Perhaps it isn’t as good as these, but it’s close.

Interview with David Simon (creator of The Wire).

The profitable business of taking hostages.

Don’t write off the independent record store off just yet.

If you like reading about food, this list will interest you.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Links of Interest 12/22

The best television of 2009.

…and then, more specifically, the best moments on television in 2009.

Ugh, the whole set up and announcer for this almost made me skip this, but I’m a sucker for messed up newscasts.

Even He-Man and She-ra celebrate Christmas.

If you believe in the power of aphrodisiacs, seek these out.

Speaking with Radiohead’s Ed O’Brien about the decade that was for Radiohead.

Anyone else like Tori Amos’ Little Earthquakes? If so, you’ll enjoy her talking about it, track by track.

Going deeper into Avatar: Watch this “documentary” on the life of Pandora – the planet from the movie.

Definitely a “smoke some pot and ponder this!” link.

Be careful with those Facebook updates – they could lead to bigger things.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Links of Interest 12/21

A closer look at sex addiction. Is it real or can we call it something else – like "being a guy?"

Snoop Dogg on Martha Stewart
. This is becoming a tradition. Don’t ever suggest to me Martha Stewart isn’t one of the smartest people out there.

I know Brittany Murphy passed away this weekend, which is tragic, but the passing of Dan O’Bannon was more of a shock to me. Find out who he is here, and why you too should be sad.

Cool project photographing death row inmates’ last meals.

Everything is better when you enhance it. Thank god the police have this cutting edge technology or the streets would surely be Thunderdome with criminals running rampant.

Convincing a deathrow inmate not to die.

Always a favorite here, failed doomsday prophecies. Of course, all it takes is one…

“We’re the guys with the crossbows.” Anyone else immediately make a movie a must-see when they find out Willem DeFoe is in it?

Concussions in the NFL are a super controversial subject currently. (Apologies for the alliteration)

Biggest number contest? Can I just say “his number +1” and win? It always worked for black outs!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Links of Interest 12/18

2009 is so over. Here’s a list of music artists you should be checking out in 2010.

The physics of space battles.

Ad agencies make the best Christmas cards.

Think being a mascot is easy?

Sportswriter Dan LeBatard interviews Luther “Luke Skywalker” Campbell about his involvement with the University of Miami football team back in the late 80s/early 90s. This will always be one of my favorite bizarre stories. How a rapper can get such access to a collegiate sports program.

2010 is shaping up to be a (minorly) historic year.

William Shatner interviews are always fun.

A Sherlock Holmes expert takes on Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the icon. The biggest surprise of the article? That there’s a Sherlock Holmes expert.

Secret British sex clubs? Yay! In the late 18th and 19th century? Boo.

The LA Times takes the controversial stance that reality television is bad for society.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Links of Interest 12/17

Do people still watch The Simpsons?

Making Avatar.

Last year had the worst in film for the year. Today, the best.

Casting the right actor makes all the difference.

It’s hard for me to believe all these toys actually exist.

Much like the toys, I have a hard time believing these movie reviews on Comcast On Demand are real. (via @thecline)

Part 3 of the Year in Pictures from the Big Picture.

The slow earthquake of the Pacific Northwest.

What can you use Google Wave for? Well there are these 4 things.

If you need a website to tell you how to use bacon, well…here you go.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Links of Interest 12/16

The worst films of 2009.

The hottest “women” of Christmas movies. For some reason, the list seems a little lackluster.

While I’m no huge fan of Christmas movies, I have to assume there’s a more comprehensive list someone can put together, no?

And you thought I was lying yesterday about The Kids in the Hall being back!

It’s a question that’s plagued us for almost 30 years – how long could Luke survive stuffed inside a dead Tauntaun carcass?

I think I would live in all these. Except for the shoes. They seem lame.

Read all about the public access show the Beastie Boys debuted on – and see rare footage! So old it has Kate Schellenbach on drums, who would later leave and go onto help form Luscious Jackson. She also probably had the most talent of the 4 on the stage here.

Oh good, the super volcano underneath Yellowstone is bigger than first believed.

Part 2 of The Big Picture’s 2009 photo retrospective.

Awful holiday movies.

Alec Baldwin is not like other actors.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Links of Interest 12/15

Walking around Antarctica.

So what’s been going on with the Hadron Collider lately?

Dave Foley talks about some of his film work.

Because the man just doesn’t get enough credit sometimes. A collection of Steve Guttenberg videos.

You know, with the technology Nerf is coming out with for its shooting arsenal, it wouldn’t surprise me if we found out they had a government contract as a weapons’ supplier.

If you like sneakers

Someone with a northern geographic location and a bunch of Legos did something cool.

Interview with Werner Herzog.

If you’re not a Genesis fan, just skip this.

The Big Picture has started it’s Year in Pictures feature. Here’s part 1.

Talking with the men currently leading the charge in Hollywood.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Links of Interest 12/14

How to ruin a music video.

The return of The Kids in the Hall.

Here’s something I had no idea ever existed: a leech farm.

Think we’re winning the war on racism? Think again.

Ten biggest movies of the decade (highest grossing). I think the one that bothers me the most is the Pirate one.

If this list of the top viral videos of 2009 tells us anything, it’s that teens like to pass around music videos. And vampires.

What do you do if you get invited to the Skywalker Ranch? Make a film about it of course! A fucking awesome film. Here the guy talks about the experience.

Constructing the city of San Francisco out of toothpicks takes longer than you think.

Awesome long tracking shots from movies. Although the Kill Bill one they have has a cut in it. Not that that makes it any less impressive, but I’d rather they mentioned it so instead of me getting mad and rewinding it a bunch of times to make sure I saw it, I could recognize it for it’s still impressive merit.

Chefs and drugs go together.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Best Tweets of the Week 12/4 - 12/11

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules (and now so is Yoko Ono).

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

VaginaDrum I try to insert conversations about period sex in almost everything I do. It's mostly why no one talks to me. Another reason? Beanie babies.

davio1962 I'm going to Costco at 9:30am in order to look for a great, big tub of "What The Hell Am I Doing At Costco At 9:30am ?".

debenham Got prescribed a muscle relaxant. I took it, but I can still make a fist and I haven't soiled myself. FAIL.

RexHuppke Kraft is trying to buy Cadbury? This means my dream of boxed macaroni and chocolate is tantalizingly close to being realized!

WadetoBlack Taylor Lautner AND Bon Jovi on SNL next week? Holy shit are the Twilight moms going to be in a good mood for their husbands Sunday morning.

wood Nobody ever says "Hey, look! Ninjas!"

WadetoBlack National Kidney Association called earlier asking if I had anything to donate. I freaked out & hung up before realizing they meant clothes.

hotdogsladies Who the fuck gives Lowly Worm a driver's license? Think, people. Think.

JephKelley Do you think Cobra Commander gets paper checks or does direct deposit? I just can't see him walking into a bank. Especially with that mask.

GSouder The woman behind me just ordered a six inch in a bun. I had no idea subway had anal on the menu

Girl11Eleven I before E except after C. Except in: Their, weird, neighbor, heists, codeine or 100s of other words. The rule will work for the word LIE.

baileygenine So it's, don't wear white after Labor day, don't wear black with blue and don't wear clothes under a trench coat, right?

Kathy_L I'm guessing the estimated "servings per container" of this cereal does not mean how many fistfuls I can stuff in my mouth in one sitting.

factualfiction Someone keeps leaving used tea leaves in the office sink. Had them read & was told I wont be caught if I kill the sloppy tea drinking bitch.

hotdogsladies Key to finding a quiet, solitary place to smoke a cigar is to show up literally anywhere smoking a cigar. Mere seconds: ALL yours.

robdelaney Methinks *SOMEBODY's* getting laid tonight! (If it's you, may I watch from behind a plant?)

drew42e Worst thing about parenthood is checking to see if the kids leftover milk cup is tonights, or last nights. 1/2 the time the taste is awful

slapclap I am a self-hating hoosier. Unless the movie Hoosiers is on. Then i'm a self-hating fan of Dennis Hopper career comebacks.

Dolanite I would swear a woman in disguise just tried to run me down outside my building, but it could be all the Remington Steele Ive been watching.

BeTheBoy The good thing about having friends who've been to prison is that they think my house is nicer than it is.

morgan_murphy Gotta skip therapy this mornin. Luckily I'm the picture of mental stability (or if not the picture, at least a drawing made with your blood)

gunthergreen I can tell I didn't drink as much as usual last night because I'm already hungover instead of still hammered.

artichoked Does anyone have any holiday cocktail recipes involving NyQuil & me not having to get out of bed today?

Ryan_Please When I'm away for awhile and it says "59 new tweets" when I return... Don't kid yourself.

WadetoBlack Part of me died earlier when I became the protagonist in the "It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring" song my kids were singing.

Dav3Ston3 Actor friends: before taking a role, take a moment to think of Mark Singer & wonder, if I play this part, will I be The Beastmaster forever?

debenham There's a fallen branch sticking straight up in my yard where I walked the dog earlier. It'd have killed me! If I were made of sod.

glitterplease Someone at work got me sick. Again. I'm gonna spread typhoid like my name is Mary at this bitch and teach these fuckers a lesson.

Aimee_B_Loved I want to be a dramatic re-enactor when I grow up. Preferably on Unsolved Mysteries.

Dav3Ston3 I have $7 in cash. I want you to know in case I'm mugged and killed today you can go on about how senseless it was that I was killed for $7.

michaelianblack Wife was offended when I said she smelled "yeasty."

tj Saw a rainbow: didn't make me want to fuck a dude. Found the end; no pot of gold. I'm starting to think rainbows are lying sons of bitches.

morgan_murphy someone stole the light off my bike. Now I know what it feels like to be brutally raped. (because that happened after my light was stolen)

Jim_Hamilton I drink to forget. But forget what? Aha, it's working!

xrayedman The 2 most deadly viruses on the earth: 1. Ebola 2. Any virus a pre-school toddler brings home from daycare.

johndstearns Looks like has their own TV show now. Oh wait... that's just "Cops". My bad.

StillDrew Have a bottle of wine I've been saving for a special occasion. I don't think it gets more special than, 'because it's 7:42.'

RexHuppke The first wildly over-hyped winter storm of the season is always the best. The snowflakes taste like meteorologist tears.

Ryan_Please I hate when my FIL shows up without calling first. It's like he dosen't want me to fuck his daughter.

Bauart Some Walmart customers have a mullet; but for most, the mullet has them.

Rayke So far tonight I've watched Gossip Girl, and now Glee. Later tonight, the RW/RR Challenge finale. I'm one 90210 episode away from my period.

JephKelley I like how my hands smell after pumping gas. I may even start bathing in gasoline unless somebody has a good reason why that's a bad idea.

thebenbrooks I think "Waterloo" was ABBA's Waterloo.

Caissie The new AOL is like when we got a new dress for my Grammy's funeral. She looked OK, but she still didn't work.

DavidPressman How can I pleasure myself to Brady Quinn and @richeisen if Time Warner Cable refuses to carry the NFL Network? This sucks!

Dianneamus "I like to watch Dora the Explorer and yell expletives at her when she tells me to do things. It's good practice for when I have kids."

reverendross "Worst year of my life. Glad it'll over soon," she tells the cat. But the cat hears this every December and only cares about food.

GSouder Who ever invented traffic jams can suck it. Wait, is it "Who ever" or "Whom ever"? Whatever, grammar can suck it too.

MrBigFists I'm sending these Zhu Zhu Pet Hamsters off to the Island of Misfit Sex Toys. They're no substitute for the real thing.

CranberryPerson What is the point of existence if your favorite football squad isn't very good? TRICK QUESTION THERE IS NONE.

Aimee_B_Loved Whoever decided that chocolate fountains are only for special occasions is no friend of mine.

davio1962 That the 1st Hannukah lamp burned for 7 more days than predicted, proves that even in Biblical times, the oil companies couldn't be trusted.

AnthonyDeVito I hope Jenny McCarthy's new ABC Family film "Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe" ends with less bloodshed than "Santa Baby 1: No Witnesses."

FriedWords My oldest son just asked for something 'healthier' to eat instead of Lucky Charms. So yeah, he's no longer my favorite.

johnmoe Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug. Both times, of course, are when you're hallucinating. You're a person.

WadetoBlack Ironically wearing ugly holiday sweaters is the new unironically wearing ugly holiday sweaters.

CranberryPerson BOOM timesheets. BOOM clean my desk. BOOM think up less obnoxious way to convey the immediacy with which I complete menial tasks.

Links of Interest 12/11

Authors weigh in on their favorite books of the year.

Rolling Stone’s 100 best albums of the decade.

Though I’m sure not all of these are accurate, it’s interesting to see where bands get their names.

hmmm…this guy is a bad beatboxer, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen worse.

So…David Lynch was asked to direct Return of the Jedi?

Could you gamble away $127 million?

How do you find out something new on a subject that has been researched exhaustively?

Think fast food meat is bad? It’s got nothing on school cafeteria meat.

I guess maybe you might want to say goodbye to these companies.

With time lapse photography, the buckling of the Manhattan bridge seems scarier than it really is. I assume the bridge was designed to do exactly this. Right? Right? (via kottke)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Links of Interest 12/10

The decade according to 9-year-olds from allison louie-garcia on Vimeo.

Actors doing their own stunts.

Pictures in the waters of the Antarctic.

I’m guessing you’re not as excited about this as I am. And that’s a shame.

There were quite a few athlete sex scandals this year.

Possibly a repeat, but I love pun names for stores.

How will we remember this decade?

These things made sports better. You just might never have realized it.

Talking to Tim Burton.

So there was this weird thing in the skies of Norway. Weirder than the normal weird that shows up in the skies of Norway.

This is a weird lake. Or a lot of little weird lakes. Your choice.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Top Fictional Sporting Events You Wanted to See PART 2: Honorable Mentions

To play catch up - read part 1 here.

Ok, it's time to step up to the big leagues. This list of Honorable Mentions is made up of a lot of specific moments that make the events that much more special. You would brag about being at these, and people would hold you in a higher regard. Kind of like when someone tells you they were at Woodstock. Or on the Titanic. Not that I hang around with a lot of old people. You get my point.

Let's hit the list!

10. The Little 500 race in Breaking Away

Based on an actual bike race held annually on the University of Indiana's campus, the climactic race actually makes cycling exciting. The four Cutters, wanting to prove their worth to the snooty campus trust fund babies, enter the race and of course are not taken seriously...until everyone realizes Dave (their ringer) is pretty much a world class level cyclist (this is set up when he keeps pace with the Italian team earlier in the movie). In fact, it's the Cutters' plan to simply let Dave singlehandedly win the race. He jumps out to an absurd lead, only to then suffer a leg injury, forcing him out of the race. The Cutters, their plan in tatters, figure the race is over until Moocher valiantly grabs the bike and starts racing. Though their lead is eliminated, the act keeps them in the race, long enough for Dave to get healthy enough to tape himself to the bike and lead the team to victory.

I really wish this race was on Youtube, because my description doesn't do it justice. Trust me when I say this: If you haven't seen Breaking Away, you should rent it.

Going for it:
It has the classic misfits vs. rich kids dynamic. Also has the drama of a seemingly insurmountable lead and someone coming back from an injury to grab victory from the jaws of defeat.

Going against it:
At the end of the day, it's guys riding around a track for a long time. And while the race has a little bit of heat, it's very regional.

9. Pool match between Fast Eddie Felson and Vincent Lauria at the end of Color of Money

The first (and only?) event that we don't ever get to see. But the drama behind it took two movies to create, so there's a lot more riding on it than bragging rights. If you remember, Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) goes up against Vincent (Tom Cruise) in the tournament and beats him. But then later on, Vincent reveals it was a hustle. Disgraced, Eddie forfeits, gives back the money and goes to find Vincent to have a true mano-a-mano (I never understood why people said "mano y mano;" in Spanish that means "hand and hand") match to reclaim his status as the true Hustler.

Going for it:
Ridiculous amount of emotional baggage on the line. Possibly 2 of the best pool players battling it out for the right to say they're #1. Being able to say you were the one person there to witness it
Going against it:
There's no crowd drama. People might just not believe you were there or that it even took place.

8. Better Off Dead Ski Race

A ski race held on a slope that eats veteran skiers for breakfast...the K-12. What better place to have the nerd take on the ski captain of the high school (obviously they live near the mountains) to win the affection of his former girlfriend? Savage Steve Holland does it again!

Going for it:
The degree of difficulty is off the charts to ski the K-12. And to witness someone do it on one ski when so many people before him have failed on two, well that's chill inducing. Plus, the fantastic snub Lane Myers gives his ex to take the French chick to Dodger stadium and go make out (how did he get access? And why would the grounds crew let him drive onto the field?) is historic.

Going against it:
At the end of the day, it's two morons skiing against one another. There's absolutely no drama for anyone other than people directly related to the people involved.

7. The football game from the Longest Yard
(the '74 version of course)

Star football played lands in jail, so it's only a matter of time before a game between the guards (who fashion themselves quite the gamers) and inmates takes place. That it somehow becomes competitive and goes down to the final play is gravy.

Going for it:
A competitive game with the lead bouncing back and forth between the teams, it also has a lot of intrigue for the fan. Crews coming out of the game, the violence on the field (usurping any kind of normal football game 10 fold), a climactic come from behind win, and a potential assassination narrowly avoided at the end. That's a lot of drama. And there's no real rivalry that can come close to the hatred between these two teams.

Going against it:
There's really nothing on the line other than pride. In fact, Crewes pretty much screws himself. And while there's drama based on the hatred between the two sides playing, you have to think, without the 90 minute back story, if you simply just got tickets to watch this game with no context, you'd most likely be rooting for the guards.

6. Any competition in any of the Air Bud movies

Sure to spur controversy for its conclusion, take a step back and think about it for a moment. You're telling me you wouldn't pay to watch an actual sporting competition with a dog as one of the players? Think about the controversy, the sheer audacity of this happening. And you wouldn't want to witness it? And no, I've never seen an Air Bud movie. But here's the roster:

Air Bud (Basketball)
Air Bud: Golden Retriever (Football)
Air Bud: World Pup (Soccer)
Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (Baseball)
Air Bud: Spikes Back (Beach volleyball)

Yes, all these are sequels and follow the continuity of the first movie. Of course, by Air Bud: Spikes Back, the dog is also solving crimes. So, you can't tell me you wouldn't be jazzed going to your high school football game and cheering for a dog!

Going for it:
You will be witnessing a historic event. Even if it's high school sports - it will receive national attention.

Going against it:
The team with the dog has an unbelievable advantage. After awhile, you have to imagine the crowd would start to hedge and feel sympathetic to the dogless team. Especially in football. Wouldn't you just throw deep every play?

5. The final match in Side Out

Even before beach volleyball was popular this would have been a match to witness. A washed-up former pro and a guy who never played volleyball prior coming to California team up to enter a pro tournament. Along the way they bang chicks and most likely fall in love with one another. That's not really important. What is important are the dynamics on display here. Can you imagine the Behind the Lines stories this match would create?

Going for it:
An unbelievable going-up-against-the-odds story of two guys who have no business being in the finals. You're also on the beach and will probably have a great chance to bump into Courtney Thorne Smith. Not to mention seeing a shirtless C. Thomas Howell.

Going against it:
The hoopla surrounding this match back in the early 90s isn't all that much. This movie happened about 15 years too early.

4. The archery match from The Adventures in Robin Hood

It's all here. No TV timeouts or lame promotions. Good vs. evil. Trash talking. Gambling. Hot chicks. Fights. Hidden identities. It's a soap opera condensed into 5 minutes!

Going for it:
Though I've since learned that splitting the arrow isn't the hardest thing in the world to do, it's still something probably rare enough to want to witness. Plus, after the shot, you get to see a good old fashioned donnybrook with the guards ordered to arrest Robin Hood. Besides, you can't put a price on watching Lockesly chide his contestant and the officials into moving the targets back.

Going against it:
It is archery, so leading up to the final shot would probably be pretty boring. I also didn't see any mutton vendors working the crowd. And you'd have to be careful you didn't get accused of being a "merry man" and arrested along with him.

3. Roy Hobb's first professional baseball game appearance

It's not like you wouldn't have been able to get a ticket. The stands were empty. The game was boring. Aside from the New York Knights being able to keep it close for Hobbs to pinch hit and win the game, I can't imagine there would have been much excitement. But that one pinch hit would have certainly made it all worth it.

Going for it:
He knocked the stuffing out of the ball. It made all the major headlines and was the talk of the town. You would have probably been able to get some serious tail if you had a ticket stub to the game. It would have definitely received the Woodstock mystique...thousands of people saying they were there when there couldn't have been more than a couple hundred. It was also the beginning of the Roy Hobbs era - short but possibly historic!

Going against:
You had to sit in poor conditions for 90 minutes before getting to see anything exciting. And old stadium seats left a lot to be desired.

2. The Chinese Downhill ski race that ends Hotdog: The Movie

The second (and last) ski race to make the list, the Chinese Downhill rates higher because of everything at stake. A trophy and $2300. Though, with some simple math it doesn't add up, because everyone was told to put in $40 to compete. That's 57.5 people. I assume a couple people didn't have change or something.

Going for it:
A bunch of people racing down a mountain trying to be the first one to cross the finish line, anything goes - including a guy that has rockets attached to his helmet. And you're telling me you'd pass on this?

Going against it:
Because it's a ski race, you're probably going to miss 90% of the action no matter where you choose to set up. I guess you could ski along with it, but that probably means you're participating. So then you'd have to stake $40 bucks. And let's face it. You're not winning with the talent that is on that slope. Plus, I'm not thrilled the one guy has a Mets hat on. But that's personal preference.

1. The final round of the U.S. Open in Tin Cup

Don't get me wrong. I wanted to strangle Roy McAvoy, and his continued insistence to drop at the spot and go for it seems highly unbelievable to me, still...are you telling me you wouldn't want to be part of that gallery and watch a professional golfer self destruct like that, only to win the crowd over all in a span of about 90 seconds?

Going for it:
Highest of hig drama with every swing of the club. Thousand of people's emotions riding a roller coaster. And A Waffle House not far from the course.

Going against it:
He kills any hope he has of winning right there - so the rest of the round is going to be really anti-climactic.

Next up: The Top 10

Links of Interest 12/9

I would work at any of these places.

It all sounds so delicious.

Best of lists are starting to creep up. This one is for music.

Tracy Morgan is funny. Here are 8 examples that prove it.

This goes from being kinda “hey those people are kinda loopy,” to “um, these people are probably dangerous and I’m frightened.” And that’s just a trailer! (Of course, it all depends on your beliefs, so maybe I’m the crazy one.)

The best of the worst in advertising.

This is cool – a surfing competition that can only be held every so often because it’s based on the conditions. Oh and it happened possibly yesterday. And there’s something called Condition Black in Hawaii that stops all water activities. It’s fascinating. Also, if you get a chance, watch the surf video up above. You won’t get a true sense of how big the waves are until the helicopter shows up – and is dwarfed by the waves.

The 3 winning photos from the National Geographic Global photo contest.

A look back at the story that is Jon Gosselin.

There is a lot that has to happen to get the Olympic flame from Greece to its final destination (in this case, Vancouver).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Links of Interest 12/8

Apologies for no links yesterday. Real life crept into my fake one.

What is all the rage about Norwegian death metal?

Revisiting Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

Does an album’s cover art detract from the music?

The C.I.A. is a tricky bunch.

If it weren’t for NASA we wouldn’t have…well a lot of things.

I think my kids are gonna simply write Santa a letter this year instead of visiting him.

You think your grill at home is awesome. It is not.

If you’re on Lucas’ list, this is what your Christmas card from him will look like.

Looking for Christmas gift ideas? Maybe stay away from this stuff.

The top ten things found in space this past year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Best Tweets of the Week 11/27 - 12/4

Every week I go back and post my favorite tweets I got during the preceding week. Want to be included in the lunacy? Follow me and be funny, interesting, or threatening! As always, here are the rules:

  • I skew toward the amusing
  • I won't publicize anyone's stuff if they are locked unless they give me permission (the KChop rule)
  • @ replies rarely get on here unless their self explanatory and don't need set up
  • I do love me the setup and punchline stuff, but if they span over multiple tweets, I'm not inclined to include them.
  • Diplo is immune to any of these rules (and now so is Yoko Ono).

Ok, let's go to the tweets...

debihope When I was your age, we didn't have any "sales" or "shopping", we stole clothes off random passerby! Friday was GRAY! And we LIKED IT!

RexHuppke Turkey and scrambled eggs. One person's abomination is another's....OK, this is actually just an abomination.

WadetoBlack A Massachusetts woman claims she saw an image of Jesus on the bottom of her iron. Holy shit! Women can iron? My wife is such a liar.

ajonathancox Fact: Bruce Banner stays home on Black Friday because he'll Hulk out in the Best Buy parking lot and ruin his car. Also, he's fiction.

VaginaDrum BF got a Snuggie for his bday & didn't want it so gave it to me. I've already filled the pocket with Oreos. He has no idea what he's done.

coachbaby4 The eyes are the nipples of the face.

Trick_or_tweet I'm growing my hair through telekinesis. Some argue that it would grow anyway, but they're just part of the conspiracy.

seancorcoran Earlier I went to the bathroom but forgot my iPhone. I was *so* bored.

GooseHonk Hubby said the sweetest thing to me today that I'm now determined to turn into a folk ballad: "You put the 'goose' in my goosestep."

JephKelley Time flies when you're drinking box wine and suddenly feel the need to prove how great your bare chest looks covered in hot candle wax.

davio1962 Loading up the minivan w/ family and driving 2.5 hrs to be with more family because apparently I did something real awful in a former life.

CranberryPerson I never thought of myself as dead inside, but I don't know how else to explain how my farts smell.

artichoked After two nights of wheat beer, my head is in a weizen.

debenham There was a numerologist on the Today Show who has me totally convinced! That numerology is the very dumbest thing there is!

FartSandwich Golden Retrievers are the Aryan race of dogs. In other news, I'm still retarded.

ajonathancox Sometimes you just have to say fuck it and take a third nap.

Girl11Eleven I didn't understand the weird looks until I realized my buying just a can of cat food and a large bag of breath mints probably did look odd.

WadetoBlack I just successfully folded a fitted sheet all by myself! My wife better step up her game. I'm one step closer to being self-sufficient.

Caissie My fantasy Dungeons & Dragons team is doing so poorly right now. Might as well hang it up until Rotisserie Magic the Gathering season.

D_MaeN : If I had I thought I had a soul, I very well might have shit mine out after Thanksgiving dinner.

afoolishwit My mother can't decide whether to watch 'A Dog Named Christmas' or 'The Dog Who Saved Christmas.' there is no punchline.

RexHuppke If it weren't for gravity, the remote wouldn't have fallen off the couch. Also, the couch could fly. Newton. What an asshole.

hotdogsladies A laconic celebrity golfer makes his pasty, fair-weather fans get all mad and pitchforky. At last. My perfect storm of who the fuck cares.

artichoked After 12 hrs sitting in the same seat, I was disappointed to walk outside & not be in Europe.

adamisacson Dropping the kid off at kindergarten on the way to meanergarten.

ajonathancox IPhone Scrabble wouldn't accept "dalek". That's bullshit.

debenham I've come to believe that people who drink coffee on the toilet are simply made of different human stuff than I am.

iamnotdiddy My son asked where I got my jokes. Do you have any idea how hard it is to explain "voices in my head" & "outsourced to China" to a kid?

WadetoBlack If I was President, I would keep the news of the 30,000 troops a surprise. Then again, my military experience comes from playing Stratego.

ajonathancox "Coffee may be for closers, but Fig Newtons are for winners." - Me, my new life motto.

Aimee_B_Loved Today is my mom's birthday. She says she's 29. Which pretty much makes her the whoriest 5-year-old ever.

AndeeD Just walked past the bathroom after husband used it. I think he's a secret sewage eater

DirtyGert Damn I got a piece of lettuce in the slidey part of my phone. I need a microscopic rabbit to go in there and fix it.

Dolanite The bathroom cleaners switched from blue toilet cleaner to red, it's festive! OH GOD I HOPE I'M NOT PISSING BLOOD.

tj Went for buffalo wings for lunch. Found out soup of the day is chili. Got both. Which is to say I've set aside 3-6pm as bathroom time.

lafix Sitting in my car I realize I forgot to put on underwear. Forgot is a strong word.

diablocody Made spaghetti carbonara last night, and it's a fine breakfast, too. Bacon, eggs, all the essentials. Garnish with a Pop Tart.

artichoked Tainted beef threatens school cafeterias across the country. In related news, porn industry reeling from beefy taint outbreak.

thebenbrooks "Do what you love and the money will follow." OK. I'll just spark up this J and wait for the Brinks truck to arrive.

TheMaskedBandit Dear Twitterverse, How hard is it to legally change your name? Sincerely, The Duke Of Pussyville

razorwitted Sure, kids GROW. But cheap PJs STRETCH. Problem solved.

debenham In this part of America in this part of December, it is 62 degrees. At 9-something AM. I'm drafting my apology to the Mayans.

goldengateblond Two trains leave opposite stations. One is going 70mph, the other is going 75mph. What time will I say I'm too fat for these jeans and cry?

WadetoBlack First Tiger Woods. Now Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones was arrested in a domestic altercation. Based on my SAT knowledge, John Woo is next.

trixieboots Lawn sign: "Merry Christmas! This is the month that God comes to earth!" Not to be confused with the other 11 months when we're just SOL.

Girl11Eleven Internet, phone & TV went out and at the same time it began to snow. Panic insued. I've had a glimpse of the Apocalypse and it isn't pretty.

QuinnK Fly: 1, Me: 0. This is the way all good battles start.

VaginaDrum My old diabetic cat lost a tooth. My dad is sending it to me in the mail. I told him, 'That's creepy' and he said 'Well it's in a bag.'

iamnotdiddy I'm going geocaching. And by "I'm going" I mean "I am" and by "geocaching" I mean "stealing shit out of people"s garages to pay for crack".