Friday, January 29, 2010

It's nice to get some heartwarming news like this. I'm sure in the coming weeks we'll read about the bitter custody dispute.

Miramax is no more.

A We Are the World like tribute song may been in the works to increase aid for Haiti.

Chatting with Nick Nolte.

Check out some of these youtube challenges. And who knows? Maybe you can win some money.

Knowing stuff like this is extremely important for when SGD in your office. Don't be a victim. Be a survivor.

The 6th and final season of Lost is right around the corner. Why not check out this cool interactive character map showing past connections and get ready for it?

Very cool time lapse video of the city of Vancouver. Hypnotic to say the least.

Sometimes, a Big Mac just won't translate very well. So you have to get regional.

What happens when you take the director of Zombieland, give him a camera, and send him to Antarctica? This.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Links of Interest 1/26

Quick programming note: Today is my last day at my job, as my department was considered expendable. While I will try to maintain a daily pace for The Popcorn Trick, I can only assume some real life interference. I assume you will understand. It also may be a good thing, as I might attempt to focus a little more on some more thoughtful (read: not thoughtful) posts and tasteful (read: not tasteful) porn links.

I may even revisit The Battle of the Network Stars...

Also, if anyone is in need of a marketing/copywriter guru who can help get your message out there, I'm available. Also, I can juggle.

On to the links...

Catching up on The Wire.

A concrete house. In the middle of the forest.

Here’s some happy news – hurricanes may increase in intensity in the future.

Pinball is cool.

This link seems especially appropriate for me. How to find out what you’re worth.

Pictures of famous people you probably haven’t seen before. Strangely engrossing.

Interested to hear about how David Blaine held his breath for 17 minutes? Well, you better click here.

Dying in the name of advancing science.

If I were him I’d just do a complete remake of UHF. Perfection.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Links of Interest 1/25

The New Yorker’s take on the late night mess.

This is slightly bizarre.

There are a lot of weird things out there that people actually believe.

It’s not the brown note. It’s worse. It’s the death note. Or the death rumble. Actually, that’s not a bad nickname. Someone contact the government for me please.

The world’s prettiest cities.

Look, I know the couch is fun – and relatively safe. But sometimes you’ve gotta add a little risk to your life.

Who wouldn’t blow stuff up with grenades if given the chance?

Car dealership commercials are a great source of hilarity.

James Patterson sells more books than you think.

Talking to John Mayer about John Mayer.

Going inside a creationist museum.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Links of Interest 1/22

I love Legos but I don’t think I could ever create these works of art.

Space stuff that you can get your hands on! Possibly.

As Conan rides off into the $33 million sunset, here’s a look at some of his funnier moments.

Keeping a nation secure is harder than you think.

Sure you can get a couch off Craigslist fairly easily. But there are other things you can get too.

What goes on in a 24 hour laundry.

A review of Pee-Wee Herman’s latest stage show.

Guy living his whole life off Craigslist.

The psychology of club dancing.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Links of Interest 1/21

Interview with Tony Clifton.

I’m really not sure how these superheroes could really help you.

The idea of buyouts stink – unless someone offers me one.

An essay about the late night television landscape and how the internet affects how people react to it.

Ski jump mishaps.

I like the 15 second Macgruber sketches on Saturday Night Live because each one executes a one note punch line well. Fleshing out the character (who is already based on a fictional character) for a feature length movie, is a little concerning.

The plight of the repo man.

Sure James Cameron is a dick. But we still have to give him credit for continuing to push the boundaries of filmmaking.

A roundtable discussion with the directors from 2009 that are the odds-on favorites to be Oscar nominated. (via pop candy)

Myths about the American Revolution. (via kottke)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Links of Interest 1/20

A good essay trying to realize sympathy for Jay Leno. It does a nice job of explaining how I feel. But here’s my quick take that I know you’ve all been dying to hear.

I never saw Jay Leno’s standup act. All I have seen is his Tonight Show (and Jay Leno show) stuff. I imagine his stand up is different. That said, I don’t enjoy his humor. I think it’s safe, easy repetitive. Don’t get me wrong. He’s a professional joke teller and he has the cadence down to a science. And that’s a skill. I won’t say he’s not talented. I just don’t think he’s doing too many fresh things with humor.

I’ve been a Conan fan since show one. Sure, those first shows were extremely awkward and difficult to sit through, and it’s possible I said I was a fan just to be a contrarian to the majority of people who said they abhorred him. Still, I continued to watch, and enjoyed his outlook on humor. And slowly, he got comfortable, and turned his show into something worth watching.

So while I certainly would back the Conan horse in a race, the late night show debacle isn’t a race. It’s a clusterfuck. And neither Jay nor Conan had much to do with that.

It was NBC.

NBC has fucked this whole thing up from the beginning. And that’s a shame. I agree Conan didn’t get a lot of time to get comfortable in his timeslot and so it’s not fair to hold him accountable for the ratings. But I also have to give that excuse to Jay, for he didn’t get much time at all in his new timeslot. Do I think his show would ever work at 10:00? No. Especially when it’s a rehash of all his Tonight Show bits sans desk. For the love of God Jay, try something different. Especially now – what exactly do you have to lose? Look at the Towering Inferno Conan has turned his show into! It’s a mess and brilliant!

Getting back to the point though…Leno has positioned himself as a company man, while Conan is positioning himself as the noble man. You can like one more or less based on this, but neither position is bad. Yes, company man has a negative connotation, but think about it. With few exceptions, we’re all company men. We work to better the larger organization that employs us. And that’s not a bad thing. Sure, we want to root for a hero like Conan, but Jay did nothing wring here by NOT supporting Conan. He’s supporting himself, and his staff. Something we’d all find noble if we were on his staff.

My point is this. If you want to get angry and pissed off, get mad at NBC. Direct your vitriol at Zucker and Ebersol (seriously, Ebersol – perhaps you might want to simply keep quiet on the matter). NBC is in a constant state of fuckups right now, and I think the next one is putting Leno back at 11:35 and thinking it will all be business as usual. Honestly, I think the horse is out of the barn on that one, and barring another Hugh Grant situation, #1 won’t come easy.

And please, don’t make me defend Jay Leno again.

(I will take this one shot at Jay Leno. That whole Jimmy Kimmel thing – where everyone said Kimmel came on and crushed Leno by bringing all the Conan stuff up? 2 things struck me that I haven’t seen brought up.

  1. By bringing Kimmel on to kill Leno, (and don’t think Leno didn’t have an idea of what Kimmel was going to do) painted Leno as a sympathetic figure. And Kimmel also pretty much said all the things Jay probably wanted to say to NBC. So it was a strategic move.
  2. Why isn’t anyone pointing out that Jay Leno brought on and promoted the competition of Conan? You want to get mad at Jay? That’s a sneaky, bullshit move to get mad at.

Interview with Harrison Ford.

Remember when a talk show was just a talk show? Yay Mike Douglas.

Rock stars are insane.

No it’s not photography of Mars. It’s Earth!

Ben talks about the end of Lost.

And why not see what the producers of Lost have to say?

Comic strips that need to die.

Cool movies for 2010.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Links of Interest 1/19

They don’t call television the idiot box for nothing. Sure, it has given us fantastic shows such as The Wire and Arrested Development, but at the end of the day, those two shows barely had any viewers. It seems much easier (and more profitable) to simply scream an opinion – and scream louder when the opinion is more proposterous. Who cares if the opinion is flat out wrong? Tomorrow you can scream about something else.

And that was my Noam Chomsky minute.

Golden Globes reviewed.

Interview with Terry Gilliam.

So, that new Domino’s pizza (with the stone cold brilliant marketing campaign), how’s it really taste?

Something like this would certainly breathe fresh air into a tired formula, but I’m taking it with a grain of salt.

Telling me I can’t go to these places only makes me really want to go.

Kubrick’s Napoleon probably would have been a good movie.

Talking with Jackie Collins. Yes, that Jackie Collins.

These days, sex tapes are so ho hum.

If winning an eating contest is on your bucket list, then you should probably click here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Links of Interest 1/18

A profile of author Neil Gaiman.

Here’s a good summary of the Leno/Conan/NBC debacle.

Normal, plain pizza is so boring.

Awesome NBA dunks.

Things Facebook keeps tabs on about you, that you probably wish it didn’t.

I love public access shows. Here are some really good ones. Though none of them come close to what Ithaca, NY television broadcast in the early 90s.

From the Big Picture, pictures showing “Fire and Ice.”

Clicking on this link, I knew Floyd made the list.

Bands support their own tours – why not authors?

I don’t think we should be throwing around the “biggest” moniker since we’re constantly told the universe in infinite and everything.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Links of Interest 1/15

(Apologies for no links yesterday. Real life creeps in. If anyone has any need for freelance copy work, I'm your guy.)

Marvin Harrison seems like he might be in some trouble.

For the men out there – the hottest American Idol contestants of all time.

The Twilight franchise has inspired some very frightening merchandise.

Who doesn’t like a good snowmobile crash?

If you’re feeling hungry, here are a couple challenges you may want to seek out.

A closer look at Avatar.

One-episode characters from Lost.

Talking to a Facebook employee – and finding out what you don’t know about the site. (kottke)

Know these skills and you will go far.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Links of Interest 1/13

A simple love story of two women getting married, while one is incarcerated.

Conan’s press release yesterday about his future plans. Stay classy, NBC.

I’m not sure many of you have even heard of the new comedy Blue Mountain State. I accidentally stumbled upon a “sneak” preview of it the other night, and got through about 10 minutes before I had to turn it off. This review does very well in explaining why.

I will say I did get a chuckle when I heard one of the creators goes by the name, “Romanski.” Too bad he couldn’t use the same cleverness in the show.

The band OK Go – of the famous treadmill video – are back at it again. Damn if these guys haven’t figured out the fucking pop culture landscape right now. I’m tempted to buy their album simply to support their future endeavors.

Is this a news intro or the opening to a Steven Bochco series? And I've got to see Greg Moody report - I hope he's still around.

The point is – WITI in Milwaukee has some fantastic openings for their news.

Director Eli Roth is coming out with a book about the business and his adventures in it. You can read an excerpt of it here.

Because I can. Bill Murray’s lounge act from SNL.

Sometimes it seems, people put more effort into the con then they would have to put into a legitimate life.

I’m not worried about the 30-50 foot sized ones that will most likely burn up in the atmosphere. I’m worried about the ones that require an oil rig crew to go up and destroy.

Trailer for the new HBO show Treme, about New Orleans’ musicians living in a post Katrina world.

No, this isn’t a deforested shot of Pandora. It’s Mars! (via mentalfloss)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Links of Interest 1/12

Quick summary of how the talk show hosts involved with late night are handling it on their shows.

I’m happy with this news simply to hear what crazy titles they come up with.

Video game technology is moving along at a nice clip.

A photo montage of things William Burroughs owned. Which leads to the question – what items would you pick to represent your life?

Once again, movies lie to us. This time it’s about space travel.

Ask a child what they think the future holds, and you’ll probably get a better prediction than anyone else can give you.

10 funny moments with Michael Cera. That they’re not all from Arrested Development doesn’t make sense to me.

I love that someone’s great idea was to basically enforce the law.

Remember when AOL and Time Warner merged? Boy, was that a mistake.

I wonder how much longer it is before someone finds a graboid out there in the sand.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Links of Interest 1/11

The New Yorker takes on the show, Jersey Shore.

The all-male writing room.

Sometimes, a voiceover in a movie can work.

If you’re really into April Fool’s Day, you’re probably starting to prepare now. Here’s some help.

This is a fantastic endeavor, and one I woulf love to try in the city of Philadelphia. Now, who wants to sponsor me?

Television families aren’t the Brady Bunch anymore. Actually, bad example since that union was based on 2 broken homes. Leave it to Beaver? I can’t know for sure as it was in black and white, and…yuck.

Pictures of the moon. Mostly stuff you’ve never seen before.

Pee Wee Herman returns!

The oral (not that oral, sicko!) history of disco.

I know when I need my pop culture mixups explained, I turn to Patton Oswalt.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Links of Interest 1/8

Disappearing in the mountains of Chile. Accident or something more sinister?

Fast food and chain restaurants lying about calorie amounts in their food? What’s the opposite of shocked?

Want to live to be 100? You might want to watch this.

I like books, so I’ll continue to link to lists like this one.

You know those KY Jelly commercials, insinuating the volcano of pleasure it can deliver? Well, does it really deliver?

Planning a trip to Legoland? Here are some helpful tips.

Ten scariest moments in film from the last decade? I think they may have missed one - ours! (Be sure to register and vote! If we win we get it screened in Vegas! Don’t you want to see what we could do in a town like Vegas?)

Take a spin through the Grand Canyon. This is majestic.

It’s absurd someone out there thinks Frasier was a better show than Cheers. And that’s not taking anything away from Frasier. It was a good show. But it’s no Cheers. (via popcandy)

The Avon Barksdale Story. A documentary on the real life drug dealer that inspired The Wire. (via kottke)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Links of Interest 1/7

Interview with Artie Lange.

Michael Cera has a new film coming out.

Rowing across the Atlantic. I guess because it’s there.

Oh my god it’s a Maine Yeti! (Or Sasquatch, depending on your ancestral bloodlines)

A list of some of the stranger ads on television.

Talking to the White Stripes’ Jack White.

Warren Beatty reminisces about what happened on the set of Ishtar.

Sometimes, finding Waldo isn’t the fun part.

This list of 25 lesser known Simpsons characters is a little lame, in the sense that many of them aren’t so “lesser known.” Barney? Selma and Patty? Ralph Wiggum? I’d argue these are fairly well known recurring characters.

Give me Roy everyday of the week. And give yourself a gold star if you remember Roy.

Catch you on the flip side Mrs. S!

Just how important is it to let meat rest after cooking it? Let’s find out.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Links of Interest 1/6

The many roles of Alan Thicke.

Sam Mendes to direct the next Bond movie?

3D. It’s coming to your TV.

I’m pretty sure I would fear Independence Day happening if I saw this cloud coming at me.

An all-Ikea meal seems easy. Hot dogs all day!

Parkour, as told through a flip book.

Sure – why not pick up smoking now?

A look at the cuddly American military sniper.

The final season of Lost is near. Here’s a Q&A with the producers.

So based on this, I guess we’re more about incestuous relationships than gay relationships.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Links of Interest 1/5

Yet another preview of music for 2010.

Interview with Paul F. Tompkins.

Interview with Dave Eggers.

If you’re into beer pong, you’re going to want to check out these awesome tables.

Michael Ruhlman teaches us how to make the hard stuff.

I hate links like this, because they highlight places I’ll probably never get a chance to see.

Keeping stats for college basketball. Someone has to do it. To make it official. Everything’s gotta be official these days or it just doesn’t happen.

Having recently reading the book, The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (Vintage Departures), this new discovery in the Amazon is doubly (perhaps even triply) cool.

I’ll always link to a Buzz Bissinger story if I find it, due to the fact that he once angrily accused me of stealing his blazer, back when I was on a high school field trip. Here, he speaks out on Tiger Woods.

Quit porn? What?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Links of Interest 1/4

The top rented movies of 2009.

The gadgets of 2010.

Sure everyone has a favorite muppet, but what about a list of least favorites?

Alright, I’m jumping into the Apple “Tablet” forecasting. Or rather, I’m linking to a great piece that guesses what the “tablet” will be for everyone. Because I have to admit, I had the same thought Jobs allegedly did when he saw the “tablet.”

Science fiction weapons that aren’t science fiction.

Biggest surprise of this article? Phyllis Diller is still alive.

Who doesn’t want to see a photo gallery about living amongst the world’s slums?

People living on food stamps.

Finding a deli in New York is harder than you think.

I can’t speak to the authenticity of these toys, as this is just a link with pictures. But even if they are fake they’re offensive and overtly sexual, so be warned.