Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Links of Interest 3/31

More crazy photos you may or may not have ever seen.

The physics behind the cool stuff your mom told you never to do.

Some people aren’t waiting for the apocalypse to start digging into the ground and creating a utopia.

Cool interactive photo gallery of the lights going off around the world during Earth Hour. Click on the pics.

Quite possibly my favorite thing I’ve ever linked to.

Talking with the stars of Adventureland.

And here’s a newspaper talking to Ricky Gervais.

You have to work hard to get what some people deem the easy job in Vegas.

Getting sick during the middle ages didn't seem like a good idea. Because then you would have to deal with getting cured.

People try to learn why a number of young adults seem to be killing themselves in a small Welsh town.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - We've passed the pathetic mark

(I dare you to watch this whole episode.)

I just want to start off by saying that the coming attractions they show in no way entices me to watch. I watch because I've mistakenly started writing recaps of each episode, and through some bizarre sense of duty/OCD/stupidity I continue to do it. I mean there might be 2-3 people out there that are not only enjoying the show, but also enjoying my recaps. Ok, so 2-3 might be a high estimate, but still...

So going into this show, I knew based on those awful promos from the week before that Dennis Rodman's drinking problem not only would hinder the men's team, but also be addressed "intervention-like" in the boardroom. Which is to say, not really addressed at all except by one other person. But as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself.

This week's challenge - run a hotel. And because Trump needed sponsors to keep this terrible show on the air, instead of using one of his hotels (which still got product placement and a plug) he had the Loews take the hit and house this train wreck of a challenge.

In a nutshell, the two teams had 6 rooms to manage at the hotel. They were responsible for room service, maid service, check in, concierge and everything else that a hotel does. At this point in time, it seemed like the women had a pretty distinct advantage, since they had 2 extra people on their team and this challenge appeared to be a numbers game. But whatever, debating the fairness of a challenge on Celebrity Apprentice is probably reserved for the 11th or 12th circle of Hell, so we'll move on.

Project Managers were Tionne (aka T-Boz) for the ladies and Rodman after being called out last week for not really doing much. I can only imagine Tionne immediately realized she got immunity after hearing who she was going up against.

To be fair, Rodman started off fairly strong, pitching and receiving ideas from the guys in order to get the hotel running. From there it went a little downhill, in much the same way Mickey Rourke's career was a little stalled in the 90s. Rodman's behavior began to get a little eratic, culminating at one point on day one in a debate on whether or not to get cool looking cars in front of the hotel because people like to see cool cars. Rodman surprisingly was for this idea.

We're then treated to both teams stumbling through the "comical" mishaps of trying to run a hotel. I don't want to get into too much detail, because I don't feel like stabbing my eyes out. Let's just say the celebrities all looked into the camera at one point (or used voiceover) to say they had a new appreciation for hotel workers, and leave it at that.

I will say that I loved the fact that Trump (who said as much in the boardroom) got Billy(?) Baldwin and the guy who played Big Pussy on The Sopranos to go over and wreak havoc on the teams, going so far as to label them "celebrities" as well. I wish I had the patent on air quotes right now.

The women run their hotel efficiently and still have issues; the men fly by the seat of their pants and yet still manage not to burn the place down (T-Boz sighs in relief). That's at least how the editing made it out so that we had a modicum of suspense in the boardroom. At one point during the evening, Rodman actually takes two of the guests for a night out on the town, an experience I'm sure the two actors (there is no way the people checking into this place were simply off the street), leaving the rest of the team to play catch up. He comes back, orders more drinks, spouts off more nonsense and then leaves again. Really, I have no idea what's going on at this point.

So let's move on to the boardroom. Yap yap yap Trump does his best to instigate drama. He really is a terrible television personality. Darrell Hammond nails his awkwardness perfectly on SNL. In fact I wish it were Darrell Hammond in the boardroom. Jesse James for the guys bites the bullet, and in the first true genuine, stop-the-presses moment, calls Rodman out for his behavior and suggests he drinks too much. There was much nodding by the rest of the people in the room (though no one else really spoke up) and so James was left to take the brunt of Rodman's ire, which admittedly was meek and boring. I did wonder why Rodman kept defending himself in the challenge, telling Trump he did most of the work and even suggesting Brian had the idea to get cars to sit in front of the hotel. It makes me think that even with all the shenanigans he pulls, Rodman still wants the acceptance of everyone, which is truly sad and hopefully is seen as a cry for help.

Enough of the "very special Celebrity Apprentice" though. The men scored an 86 out of 100; the women a 91, and forgoing the pageantry of everyone leaving and coming back and hearing argument and blah blah blah, Trump puts us all out of our misery and fired Rodman on the spot. About 6 weeks too late, but maybe Trump has a thing for black guys.

And with that, the "intervention" is over, save for the white text on black screen PSA at the end that tells us all who to call if we know someone who has an alcohol problem. Very classy.

Next week - Trump apparently does something heinous that the celebrities can't believe! You'd think I made that up. I only wish I had.

Links of Interest 3/30

Star Wars re-imagined within classic works of art. Trust me, it's worth clicking on it. Especially if you enjoy art.

It’s like NASA is using technology from the future. But where did they get it? I’m keeping my eye on you NASA.

10 crazy places on the globe
. I'm sure through the years I've linked to many or all these places, but that doesn't make them any less crazy.

Old school perversions in video games.

I'm mad I never thought to combine musicals, Silence of the Lambs and Legos all together.

The Big Picture out of Boston continues to collect awesome photography of life events. The flooding in the Midwest is no exception.

A profile of Amy Poehler, just in time for her new show Parks and Recreataions.

All the crayon names, plus interesting facts about the waxy substance that lets you draw.

In search of (no Leonard Nimoy, sorry) of the quietest places on Earth.

There are 99 Seinfeld references in this poster above. Can you name them all? Here's the key if you want to check your work/cheat.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Best Twitters of my week

A weekly collection of my favorite tweets I get in the past week. The rules are as follows:

  • 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. Trust me on that.

Enough of this silly stuff, on to the tweets...

nathanrabin is watching "The House Bunny". Anna Faris sure is teaching those misfit sorority girls a thing or two! Also, feminism is apparently dead.

nottjmiller Talking to a heroin addict makes you feel better about the 6 pack you just drank. Natural ice. No tract marks.

drew42e Ford should show all the real men that bust ankles, pull hammys and twist knees tryng to get out of the back of their Siverados sans manstep

slapclap The LSU cheerleaders should get an excellence award for excellence in spandex.

nathanrabin if you want to feel thin, attractive, well-dressed and continental I very much recommend visiting Old Country Buffet.

slapclap When you see weirdos hanging out in front of your building at 5 in the morning you realize quickly that you are up with the weirdos.

LillyHisenaj Left cell in car on way to airport, had to use a pay phone to get it back. Me & cuban drug smugglers- only people who were using a pay phone

stuntbrain Just heard that the space shuttle astronauts must test the new system that turns pee into drinking water. Who lost that coin toss?

diplo Uhh just woke up with my church shoes in my pocket.. Now its sabbath in the park time atx yeah!! Let's fly!!

kwade15 Has there ever been a Cheaters episode where it was just a case of simple misunderstanding? Throw us a swerve every so often, Joey Greco.

ScottAukerman Just saw this wk's Biggest Loser. Fatties bigger than me run a marathon. The only marathon I could complete is of Biggest Loser episodes.

CourtneyReimer Good news: people are starting to buy the condos across the street. Bad news: I have to start wearing pants (or buy curtains).

doug_smith Responsible time-travel tip: be prepared for all monetary incidents. It's bad form to hand George Washington a bill with his face on it.

nathanrabin just got ink all over his jeans. Aw crud. There are times when I wonder if people with more than one pair of pants are onto something.

kwade15 My kid said he needed "2 more minutes of sleep" before going to preschool this AM. Yeah, because finger painting requires tons of energy.

diplo Sittin here in first class .. Boysnois tried to pull out some lufthansa mumbojumbo and they were like turn ur swag off bro - u in 25G

nerdist Just dreamt that an Elf wanted to have sex w/ me but I refused b/c I didn't have a condom. Stupid! Humans can't get EIV (elvenimmunovirus)!

PFTompkins Waiter handing me a menu: "There you go, pimpbot."

samantharobot I wanted to walk to Chipotle for dinner but now it is raining. Why doesn't Jesus want me to have tacos?

blogofhilarity Wow Tweetie tells me what twitterers are near me right now. Ladies, start your rape whistles!

Links of Interest 3/27

More information about that demon seed coffee.

What it’s like to be an intern on Saturday Night Live.

Here are the top 10 most viewed SNL commercials from Hulu. Hmmm, I smell a blog post coming up about it.

Now this is a small Pac Man game. I scored 73 before going blind.

Here’s a list of the best television series’ finales.

So you might have heard the word krautrock, but do you know what it actually is?

Extreme weather! It’s like weather – but extreme!

I’m a sucker for good photography. Here are 50 awesome long exposure shots.

Another take on the current financial mess that is kind of depressing. And by “kind of” I mean "completely."

I’ve never heard of this cult movie, but I’m intrigued.

Man lives in house for 40 years and writes about it. It’s more interesting than you’d think.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Anger at the so called "Tournament Of Meat"

Earlier today, I added a link to the tournament of meat bracket someone filled out and posted and didn't think much of it after that. I casually glanced at it, saw the winner, turned my nose up slightly and soon forgot about it.

Time passed and I noticed a few comments questioning the rationale of some of the "games." So I jumped back in to take a closer look.

What I saw disgusted me...

As a clever way to get some page views, I guess the tournament of meat achieved it's objective. But with a little more analysis, what could have been something cool, seemed to be nothing more than a silly parlor trick and easily forgotten. But why? Why not give a little more thought into it? Sure, I know no matter what you come up with people are going to disagree and spew vitriol, but that doesn't mean you can't have pride in what you put up. And it's clear the person who did this has no pride. Pork chops a #8 seed? Chicken - the entire animal, a #8 seed?

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Instead of bemoaning the lack of thought that went into creating the Tournament of Meat, I chose to do something about it. Because it's a good idea at heart. It just needs some tweaking. And in the Popcorn Trick's spirit of overanalyzing the most mundane of things, I am turning my attention toward this. Below a bracket by bracket analysis complete with redos.

The Beef Bracket

Possibly the best thought out bracket, but that still doesn't mean everything is a-ok in this region. Steakumm has no business being a #16. With Steakumm, you can go from nothing to cheesesteak in about 30 seconds. That gets it to #10 at least.

Ground chuck (aka) hamburger is criminally under seeded. It's fucking hamburger! And don't get me started about filet mignon. Here's my new seeding for the beef bracket:

1. Filet mignon
2. ground chuck (aka hamburger!)
3. T-bone
4. Beef ribs
5. Porterhouse
6. Ribeye
7. NY Strip
8. Smoked brisket
9. Pot roast
10. Standing rib roast
11. Steakumms
12. Short ribs
13. London broil
14. Pastrami
15. Corned beef
16. Hanger steak

Sausage Region

Here's where things start to get wonky. First, it's ambitious to think you can come up with 16 sausages people have a familiarity with. Throwing in the idea of lunchmeat is a decent solution. Still, there are some listed I'm unfamiliar with, so I tried to remedy that.

Also, the hotdog question. While controversial, I have chosen not to include it here. Yes, I understand it's technically a sausage (tube of processed meat), but to me the hotdog transcends the sausage definition, and becomes its own meat. (I'll let you reread that sentence and then wonder what kind of idiot could spend so much time deliberating on such an idiotic subject.)

New seeding:

1. Italian sausage
2. Pepperoni
3. Salami
4. Balogna
5. Kielbasa
6. Chorizo
7. Bratwurst
8. Breakfast sausage
9. Andouille
10. Lebanon balogna
11. Boudin
12. Blood sausage
13. liverwurst
14. bangers
15. Chavrice
16. Meguez

Pork Region

Ok, I don't know what's going on here. Hog jowls? Out. Pork chop at 6? No. It gets bumped up. I also really didn't want to include smoked pork AND Boston butt, since they're usually the same thing, but after careful deliberation, the committee decided to keep it in. Yes, there's a committee.

New seedings...

1. Bacon
2. Ribs
3. Tenderloin
4. Pork chop
5. deli ham
6. Pulled pork
7. Glazed ham
8. Roast of pork
9. Baby back ribs
10. Prosciutto
11. Scrapple
12. Boston butt
13. Roasted whole pig
14. Cracklins
15. Leg of pork
16. Medallions

Miscellaneous Region

Perhaps the most egregious offenses lie here in this region. The idea of introducing "wild game" is ok, but then you must think about all the wild game meats that are popular. And to have one spot for the whole chicken, that just undemined everyone involved.

New seedings...

1. hotdog
2. chicken cutlet
3. lamb chops
4. chicken wings
5. turkey
6. fried chicken
7. venison
8. veal cutlet
9. duck
10. cornish hen
11.leg of lamb
12. lamb shanks
13. turducken
14. buffalo
16. liver

So there are the new brackets. Now I won't be so presumptuous to give you a definitive winner's bracket for this epic tournament. Instead, I will simply give a look at my bracket. And you have my word that no standing rib roast is going to win. I mean, that's simply absurd.

I won't get into any synopses about each bout (because I easily could) I'll just say that my final 4 is:

Ground chuck
Italian Sausage
Hot dog

Chuck and Italian sausage would be a good game; bacon and hot dog would be a triple overtime thriller. Bacon prevails and takes on Italian Sausage, but by then it's anti-climactic; bacon wins it going away.

Links of Interest 3/25

The article’s title is misleading, as she does forget things, but it doesn’t make her any less incredible/weird.

A DIY look at how loudness is tricking us in the music industry. Rolling Stone also took a look into this a few years ago.

What we can learn when we look at how the Brooklyn Bridge was built.

And here I thought pontificating about the Tournament of Meat made seem a little obsessive. This guy looks at the overvalues of letters in Scrabble and properties in Monopoly.

Think it would be really cool to be a video game tester? Not so fast.

When will this debate ever end? I almost can’t take it.

While the Internet has brought many positives into our lives, it has also destroyed some things. Though I will disagree about Rick Astley. He shall never be deemed bad in my book.

Sure, we’re mostly about stupid pop culture stuff, but every now and then we throw a knowledge nugget out there. Like this essay about how the issues Obama has to overcome.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New Lost tonight!

After what ABC did to us last week, throwing a repeat into the schedule after telling us Lost was going to run uninterupted this season, I didn't know how to act. The week leading up to Wednesday moved tantilizingly fast, as I repeatedly forgot about the no new Lost. After Wednesday reared its ugly head however, the week slowed to a crawl, and only the NCAA tournament held my interest. Luckily, it seemed like it was on 24/7 so I could get lost (ugh - terrible pun) but now that that's on hold, thoughts can drift back to the two islands (reinforced 2 weeks ago).

The image I included at the top is a scan of some of my notes I began jotting down, trying to wrap my head around just what exactly is going on and what has been revealed this season. As you can see, there's simply no easy way to summarize it, and my head started hurting not long after beginning. But hey, in some weird way, that's why we watch this show.

Anyway, on the flips side...ramblings, predictions and lunacies, in no particular order!

Before going on, I will say I have enjoyed the subtle voice shift in the recent shows. They've toned down the mindfucking, and turned up the adventure yarn. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my mindfucked Lost, but it's cool to get a breather before ramping up to what I can only assume is going to be a great season finale. If there's one thing Lost can do, it's throw an end of the season balls-to-the-wall finale.

But now, as we (mostly) amble through 1977 on the island with the Dharma initiative, we get a chance to fill in some blanks the show has alluded to, and a chance to get back in touch with the characters. And Lost has always done a good job with manipulating our feelings with the characters. Remember when we all loved Kate? She was the rogue anti-hero. Now? I wouldn't mind a boulder falling on her. And Juliet was the exact opposite. Her introduction was clunky and her motives mysterious. Now she's a true adventurer and her motives...well they still might be mysterious to some degree but at least now we can get behind them a bit.

The biggest character change we've witnessed however is of course Sawyer. Given a chance to "rebirth" his life, Sawyer has jumped right in. Nowhere has this been more obvious than the chat he had with Jack about their different styles.

Of course, we'll see where this leads.

Other thoughts/musings/sure to be wrong predictions...

Ben bringing the captured Sayid a sandwich. Is that why Sayid seems indebted to him later? Or is there something more? Will Ben help Sayid escape?

The religious symbolism is all abound in this show. My theory is that Jack was actually the Christ figure, with Locke being John the Baptist (JtB was thought to be the messiah at one point I believe) and Ben taken on the Judas role (especially with the recent revelation JC may have asked Judas to bertay him) but I don't think my theory is getting too much traction.

The Egyptian symbolism is almost as abundant as the Christian symbolism. Is the fact that when you "leave" the island by turning the wheel and wind up in Tunisia a clue that the foundation for ancient Egypt started on the island?

Someone pointed this out to me. I wish I was this observant. Is there a reason why some people on the plane shifted back to 1977 and why some crashed in the present? Sun had Jin's ring, and Locke had a Shepherd's pair of shoes on. Is there significance to this?

Will we get any answers tonight? I'm pretty sure we all know the answer to that is "no." But I'm fine with that, as long as they continue the pace, flesh out stuff they've alluded to earlier and continue on the trail toward giving us all the answers we want.

Links of Interest 3/24

Movies that went wrong. I don’t necessarily agree with the assessment of Waterworld. Sure, it had problems, but a lot of them were caused by a storm that ruined a lot of the sets. You want a bad Costner movie, look to The Postman.

The creator of The Simpsons gets his chance to answer questions.

And here’s another interview – this time with comic book writer Grant Morrison.

Woody Allen wrote a piece for the New Yorker.

I guess today is turning into interview day. Here’s Kevin Smith talking about all sorts of stuff (as he usually does in interviews).

An interesting article debating just how tortuous solitary confinement (in prison) can be. It certainly didn’t help many of the already frazzled minds of the inmates on Oz. And since I learned everything I know about prison on that show (I’m learning how to grow my fingernails really long, just in case) I’ll have to go with torture.

It’s very hip to create a bracket during March Madness, regardless of what the tournament is about. This bracket is for the tournament of meat. I bet you can’t guess the winner before looking!

Good to hear fruit isn’t part of a healthy diet. I don’t know what to do anymore when it comes to eating. Anyway, here are some food experts sharing their opinion about food.

Apparently, there’s a correlation between the stock market and the Billboard music chart. I think the more interesting story is how the guy behind this theory first came up with the idea.

A short article and then slideshow about...nerds? Geeks? I'm not sure we should be labeling them as such like this article tries to.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Movie Trailer Reviews

Another edition of checking out movie trailers and deciding if what they offer is worth heading out to the movies. First up is...

Drag Me to Hell

You pretty much have to know what you're getting into just by reading the title. And after watching this trailer, all I can wonder is who thought taking Stephen King's Thinner and combining it with the thrilling world of mortgage refinancing was a good idea? They even steal the whole, "well you can even pass this curse on angle - something that though not original by any means, might be a twist you want to keep for the movie itself. Justin Long appears just long enough to cast doubt on the heroine's story before most likely meeting an untimely end.

In fact the only surprise this movie really has going for it is that Sam Raimi is the director. Really Sam, this was your next project after Spiderman? I guess you can get excited for the Bruce Campbell cameo.

Grade: D

Check out more on the flip side...

500 Days of Summer

I can't remember a trailer ever having so many polarizing moments in it for me to both love and hate.

Bad: Using The Smiths to symbolize there's an "edge" to this romantic comedy. (I'll bypass the 1000 words I could write on how I'm the one guy on the planet that hates the Smiths. You can just hate me.)

Good: Regina Spektor on the soundtrack.

Bad: A very weak spit take after a butt joke that wasn't, "Hurt 'em? Damn near rectum!"

Good: Hall & Oates on the soundtrack used unironically. I think.

Bad: A hokey dance number that includes an animated bird. I don't like my live action and animation mixed unless your movie has Uncle Remus or Gabriel Byrne in it.

Good: The goofy guy from Super Troopers (who may simply be playing the same character.

Bad: Kids acting like adults.

This has a Juno vibe to it (the potential hype and quirk - not the subject matter) so I'll wait and see if I go see it.

Grade: C

Terminator 4

Wouldn't it be awesome if behind the scenes people in power were subtly working to make this seemlessly flow into the Matrix trilogy? And that they were also working to destroy the third Matrix movie?

I'm surprised how good this looks. Bale certainly ups the cool quotient but I think they're striking a nice mix of Matrix/Bladerunner/Alien/insertyourowncoolsci-fimoviefromthelast30yearshere. Guess we'll see soon enough.

Grade: B+

The Objective

The only way they could have another Blair Witch reference into this trailer would be to run it in PIP while this movie played. From the "legend" in Afghanistan, to the documentary style shooting and camera work, to the entrails they find, let's hope it's more Blair Witch and less Blair Witch 2

It does seem like the director at least learned a little - basically eliminate the shaky cam and introduce guns into the mix. Color me intrigued. But I thought Blair Witch was clever so take it for what it's worth.

Grade A-

Links of Interest 3/23

Find out what it was like in the beginning, as ER slowly moves toward the end.

A cool collection of wave photography.

The story of a man convicted of a crime forensic scientists don’t believe he committed.

How far parents are willing to go to get their kids a private education. No wonder they’re douches.

The history and cultural impact of Russian tattoos.

The smiley face icon has a fairly sordid history.

Like miniature golf? Think you could create an awesome course? Put your money where your mouth is.

It’s possible the mystery of the disappearing honey bee has been solved. I'm not sure if that's good news or bad news.

Interview with Andy Richter, the new co host of the Tonight Show. You know, the old co host of The Late Show?

A list of TV shows that were canceled too soon. I’ll agree with Frank’s Place, but that might be it.

Why it’s hard to take North Korea’s dictatorship seriously.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - Who's going to blink first?

The above title has nothing to do with anyone on the show. and everything to do with whether or not I'm going to be able to put anymore time and effort into watching this show. It certainly got harder last night when they brought back the Waterboard-like 2 hour episode.

For those that might be catching up only now on The Popcorn Trick's Celebrity Apprentice recap; in a semi-humorous moment, I decided to handicap this season of Celebrity Apprentice. You can find that here. Once done, Cline came up with the brilliant idea of having a Celebrity Apprentice draft between the two of us. You can find the results of that draft here.

You can also see that my team's not doing so hot. In fact, Cline is currently kicking my ass. However, I think I have some dark horse candidates that might do some damage in the later rounds; on the other hand, he has the powerful Rivers bloc which might be difficult to beat (more on that later).

But let's get back to the show. For whatever reason, I figured the producers of the show realized 2 hours was too much time to fill and that the rest of the eps. would be only one hour. So you can imagine my chagrin when, flipping through channels during a Black Dog commercial (when will people learn you DO NOT mess with Swayze's family if you want him to do something?) I found myself mid episode. Actually, it wasn't mid episode. I should be so lucky. It was only 10 minutes in.

And the kicker? In those ten minutes, I missed the build up to the huge Rodman/Clint Black altercation. The thing NBC has been trumping for the entire week as though it was Ali/Frazier. So I have no idea what it was about. Well that's not entirely true. I'm certain I could guess. Anyway, astoundingly, it was anti-climactic and didn't really have that much to do with the rest of the episode, other than setting up Clint Black's blatant homophobia. Nice touch.

This week's task involved a corporate presentation for a video phone. I won't repeat the 3 letter company pushing them here not because of values or the free publicity, but because I can't remember them and can't be bothered to look it up. Let's just say I'm pretty sure we'll never be hearing form them again, because...video phones? Really? They were cool to think about having back in the 70s, but doesn't the Internet cancel their necessity?

Both teams meet with the corporate suits of the video phone company and the only thing anyone really comes away from the meeting is the presentation needs to be exciting. Probably because the product is most definitely not exciting. Claudia Jordan, model for Deal or No Deal is the project manager for the women, while Brian McKnight takes the reins for the men. Cue montage of bickering.

The women bicker about what the whole thing should be about, with sides quickly being chosen between Claudia and Melissa. And I'm going to be honest - Melissa seems to be a real bitch. Whether or not she knows what she's doing, her style is petulant, prissy and more often than not wrong. But she's loud so she gets things done...

The men, down to 5 now seem to get into a weird rhythm. With nothing coming out of the Black/Rodman blowout aside from a smattering of clevery edited astonished looks on the faces of the other celebrities, McKnight makes the decision to cut Rodman out of the preparation.

Presentation time! The ladies use the power of Joan Rivers to drum up excitement, and I guess she does a passable job. The men use a Brian McKnight concert to get people out of their seats. And surprisingly, people did get out of their seats. I loved the fact that during the brainstorming session, when talking about a concert, Clint Black wasn't even thought of as being able to pull it off. Pretty sure Clint Black was a little miffed about it as well, but to his Celebrity Apprentice credit, he took a back seat and didn't make it an issue.

As for the rest of the presentations, I'm still not sure what the women did. They sort of had videos that showed off the phones, but then also had Brande Roderick accept a proposal from a guy. I think they were trying to show how the video phones could make sentimental acts in real life better? I'm not 100% sure and I'm already hitting myself in the face for wasting this much time trying to figure it out.

The men got all military on us - literally - by showing how this technology would be great for an army guy to speak to his family, and I have to say it was a smart move and probably offered more value than the Brian McKnight concert.

To the boardroom we go...

I figured the men had this wrapped up, but we had to have a little canned suspense with the whole Rodman situation. And in typical Rodman speak we have no idea how he felt, or what he is doing on the show. Luckily the men won (in a landslide) so we didn't have to deal with that anymore (of course next week looks extremely painful).

Trump turns his attention to the women, and Claudia airs her grievances about Melissa which, yeah, probably not the greatest strategy. Because even though I agreed with her that Melissa was annoying and overbearing, she still did a good amount of work. I think if Claudia had immediately threw Khloe under the bus she maybe had a chance. I did enjoy the whispered, " Mother, can you jump in here?" Melissa gave to Joan, which the producers thankfully gave us as a subtitle, so no one would miss it. If I take anything away from this show, it's that the editors and other post people have a sense of humor and nudge the viewer along with timed edits. Bravo team. I'm sorry the cast and Trump don't offer much help.

The other women take turns dogpiling on Claudia (wisely realizing that the Rivers brothers are not going to be stopped this week). One particular moment I enjoyed during the boardroom scene was when Trump said how much he enjoyed T-Boz's music. No chance Trump has heard note one from a TLC album.

So Trump puts Claudia out of her misery and I envy her since she can go back to the rest of her life, while I'm stuck watching more episodes. Because now, I can't quit. This is a war of attrition, and I'll be damned if Trump is going to get the best of me. And yes, I know he already has.

Next week - Rodman's Intervention? When did this become A&E?

The Good...The Bad...The Beautiful #44


Nazis? Dinosaurs? Stop motion animation? Sign me up! The ending could have used some tweaking, but that's no reason not to watch this.

Bad and beautiful on the flip side...


This guy is trying something no human should be trying. Especially out on the sidewalk in front of his house.


Links of Interest 3/22

Slavery still exists and thrives. All to make sure you can have tomatoes in your Christmas salad.

Like Legos? Like Star Wars? Then you really should check out this.

Get the straight scoop behind foie gras.

A feel good story about a guy who shouldn’t be succeeding, succeeding.

Spike Jonze is all about making “Where the Wild Things Are” and he doesn’t seem to be using CGI so much. Check out the promo pics.

Mindy Kaling talks about The Office. She doesn’t really address the inconsistencies of this season however.

I saw this on a Law & Order once. No matter what, it seems plastic surgeons can find flaws and faults in order to help you look better. Why shouldn’t we all look like Ken and Barbie?

These ridiculously expensive items makes me want to just make something silly and put an exorbitant price on it to see if it will attract rich people.

Talking to John Walker Lindh’s parents about their son’s traitorous jaunt through the system, and why his prison term should be reduced.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Best Twitters of my week

As some of you may know by now, I keep a list of the best twitters I've seen over the past week. Basically they're just the ones that made me smile, laugh, or guffaw (It's true, I guffaw a lot. Probably more than the average person)

Feel free to follow me and send me twitters, to see if you made the cut next week. You can do so by going here.

Onto my favorite tweets...

saraschaefer1 hey guys, i just turned on my heart light.

samantharobot Been in NY for 10 weeks now. Still haven't joined street gang OR dance crew.

DaveHolmes I think it's a shame that nobody called her "Sarah, Palin and Tall." I blame myself.

phirm Going paintballing. Forgot to get a cup. Experimenting with prayer.

macstarr Im thinking I should rinse my dishes better cause my breakfast kinda tastes like soap.

ztnewetep when leia says to han "i love you" and he says "i know"- that was the exact moment i believed in blasters instead of the force. so sweet.

Jim_Hamilton Can't figure out what's happening on Telemundo. It's either a soap opera or a children's game show.

michaelianblack To my knowledge, the epicurean sorcerer Gargamel never actually ate a smurf. He just wanted to eat one. Like me and babies.

mmmeghan FYI world, I always put pants on before Monday morning meetings. Even though I work from home, I think it's just polite.

cwalken I made a little pimp outfit and put it in the yard. The bluejay hasn't come back since. Some weird shit going on with the squirrels though.

shareyourdonuts What's worse at an airport baggage claim: hunger pains or diarrhea cramps? I'll tell you which. BOTH.

paulfeig Thanks to my wife, I now have the theme to Dancin' with the Stars stuck in my head. Time to jump off the roof.

biloon Twitter is still eating my tweets. Why is Twitter trying to stifle the broadcasting of my brilliance? Twitter and I got beef.

paulscheer U know you are in a good restaurant when u ask the waiter, "What's good here?" And he says, "I don't know, man. Chicken?" So I ordered it.

diplo shit theres a fuckin eagle out side the studio window! where the fuck u come from lil buddy, north dakota ?

shareyourdonuts April Fools Idea: leave note behind in my therapist's office that says "Suicide: Pros and Cons". Under Cons, list "necrophilia, worms, etc"

cellebelle Finished reading Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. :) Cant wait to see the movie. (also need to cancel my subscription to Behind the Times)

JimNorton I fucked my girlfriend on her period. This morning my cock looks like a hotdog with dried salsa on it . Showers are for rookies.

michaelianblack Overcast and rainy. Perfect day for cutting!

shareyourdonuts That grilled cheese should have been called "A stick of butter stuffed with butter and fried in butter sauce between two slices of butter"

calliekimball Subway Stats: 1 mouse, 1 albino w/a beehive hairdo, 2 indigents getting into it, and 1 lovely 12-minute pause in the tunnel.

Links of Interest 3/20

While I’m sure this chart can’t really suggest this is how it is for college campuses across America, we can learn at least a little bit – like theater major might be the way to go to get laid.

I’m sure high school seniors are thrilled with this apparent discovery.

I guess these people are happy about the current economic crisis.

The Amazon might not just hold the cure for cancer (watch Medicine Man with Sean Connery for the full scoop on that) it also might hide ancient civilizations.

Called the most dangerous place in the world, Somalia is looking light a mighty fine place to visit.

Trying to profit off of war.

I’m not sure what’s crazier with these photos – that people caught an underwater volcano erupting off the coast of Tonga, or how much Tonga looks like the island on Lost.

When the corporate world tries to get hip.

I think comparing this to the importance of Google on the web is a little overhyping, but it sounds interesting at the very least.

Ok, does anyone else have a slight problem with the story of the guy who wrestled a tiger shark to its death? I mean, he goes fishing with a professional photographer and a professional videographer and just happens to get into an altercation with this shark?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not entering the Popcorn Trick Hoops Tourney? Then you won't be able to win this...

Yes, you get to win this lovely snowmobiling trophy if you win the Popcorn Trick's March Madness Tournament. No, you don't get the deodorant. I use that enough times a week to make it worth my while to keep.

Seriously, what are you waiting for? Of this crappy picture of the spoils doesn't give you a basketball jones, well, you're most likely a zombie.

Click here to enter.
It's FREE. But hurry - Games start soon.

Links of Interest 3/19

Mardi Gras from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

Awesome tilt shift video of the Mardi Gras celebration this year. I suggest you check out the other depressing photos in the links below and come back to this one so it leaves a happy taste in your mouth.

If you’re a cynic (but one with hope) this article about the nation’s scientific knowledge will both be surprising and not surprising.

What do you think needs to be redesigned in everyday life? I disagree with the idea that the hearse needs to be redesigned. It’s become more iconic than practical, which means everyone knows exactly what is going on when it passes. I think that’s a good thing.

Detroit is in a freefall right now. Built on the steel of the automotive industry, we all know how that’s going right now. Here’s a gallery of pictures depicting the bad times the city is going through. Can we be far away from a real life prison city?

So I guess the economic collapse is what is on everyone’s minds, and it has pushed the idea of an environmental collapse to the back burner. But which is worse for humanity?

I’d argue that most, if not all wars are retarded, but these five really seem to take the cake.

Even if you pretend the television isn’t important in your life, you’re not being honest with yourself. So why not learn more about the wondrous box?

These kids have accomplished more in high school than I ever have or probably ever will.

Right on the heels of the depressing Detroit pictures…pictures from all over that give a sense of the current state of the economy.

Manson has seen better days. And he’s 74? I simply thought he was ageless.

I tried for like 10 minutes (ok 4 seconds) to come up with a clever line for finding a deadly spider in a supermarket’s produce section, but then realized the story was clever enough without me adding anything. But if you’d like, I’ll listen to suggestions in the comments.

Think it’s easy creating South Park because the animation is so crude? This article then would like to have a word with you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Don't forget - Enter our March Madness Tournament for real prizes!

Show off how awesome/skilled/lucky you are by entering the first annual Popcorn Trick's March Madness Tournament! Click here to get started. Invite your friends. Invite your enemies. This is your chance to brag and pick up some real merchandise that I decide to send the winner. Just to get inside my head that much is worth the entry fee (which is nothing.)

If I get overly ambitious, I'll put up a picture of the trophy everyone will be vying for.

Don't miss out - brackets have to be in by game time tomorrow!

Links of Interest 3/18

If Jimmy Fallon continues to do cool mashups like having the Roots playing with Public Enemy, I think he could carve a nice niche out for himself.

While this article raises some decent points about whether there are too many people on the planet, I think the better question is the mismanagement of the population. There’s plenty of space, we simply have to manage ourselves better. Not that I think that will happen anytime soon.

I have a huge love for open air markets. Don’t ask me why, but I enjoy walking through them and seeing the variety of products next to one another. Well, apparently this guy shares the same affinity as he wrote about one in Taiwan.

Ok, so you say you like prog rock and psychadelic music. I’m willing to bet you don’t like it as much as the guy(s) on this blog. I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard of 75% of the bands on this blog.

Here’s a cool website that tries to relate probability to everyday life. We all hear plenty of statistics and odds in any given day, but what do they really mean for us, the individual?

If you’re a libertarian, this article on “familial searching” current DNA databases will scare you. At least it should.

Because we should all know how to open a beer with a pen.

Horrible, horrible mistakes kids make with their senior portraits.

What it’s like to head down to Spring Break with a purpose totally different than seeing exposed breasts and drinking a lot of alcohol.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Popcorn Trick's March Madness Tournament

I welcome you to join the Popcorn Trick's inaugural March Madness Invitational.

I've made the scoring as confusing as possible, in keeping up with the standards associated with our site. I've also made it private to keep the riff raff out. And by riff raff, I mean people that actually might take this seriously and not be any fun. Seriously though, I'm publishing the password so how "private" can it be?

Group Name: The Popcorn Trick
Password: Network Stars

I've decided to create a trophy for this year's winner. So if you win the honor of housing a badly repaired snowmobile trophy is yours. I can't think of a better prize than that. Possibly some other stuff too, it all depends on how many thousands of dollars we get this month with our Amazon associates program. Anyway, please join and spread the word to all your friends. Winning the Popcorn Trick's March Madness tourney carries a lot of prestige.

Links of Interest 3/17

Take a look at some excellent sandwiches from around the country.

A creationist takes his students to the Museum of Natural History every year.

A list of ideas that are currently shaping are future.

Turning the tables on journalists and exploring their personal lives.

A piece of personal New Year’s lore – the roman candle.

Hmmm, if you run a prison, you might want a policy that no inmates be housed with an inmate that they have testified against in a murder trial. But hey, maybe that’s just me.

A perfect article to get ready for March Madness – playing dirty in college basketball.

Of course, it might not be as perfect as this article on how to break up a fight on St. Patrick’s Day.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - This show is just about worthless

What happens now?

After last night's challenge and (not really) shocking firing, it pretty much guarantees a woman will win this show.

Selling wedding dresses gives the women an advantage that I don't think the men could really overcome. Not only is it a product that men don't shop for, many wedding traditions suggest men shouldn't see the dress until their bride walks down the aisle. So why would a woman looking for a dress go to a store full of men? It's was a bizarre challenge that didn't make much sense.

Of course, not much makes much sense on Celebrity Apprentice...

Once again, both teams called in favors to friends, begging for money to pad their total, all under the guise of charity. While getting more money for charity is a good thing, it definitely belittles the challenges Trump poses to these people. This couldn't have been more obvious when the tallies for the teams were brought up and while the women sold one more dress than the men, they also raised $40,000 more dollars than the men.

This makes sense how?

Isn't the entertainment (supposedly) of the show in seeing celebrities doing menial tasks? Isn't it more competitive if both teams are on a level playing field? It would have been much more dramatic had the women stayed up all night decorating their place instead of simply making a phone call to someone and getting it done. Seriously, it undermines the entire concept of the show and isn't enjoyable to watch. I'm surprised everyone involved hasn't figured that out.

Of course that wasn't the most ridiculous part of the show. That would be how Dennis Rodman didn't get fired.

Yes, I believe Tom Green made a mistake not showing up on time like everyone else. He dropped the ball. But he shouldn't have gone before Rodman. Rodman didn't even show up on the day of selling. And when he was there he simply got drunk. I'm pretty sure the men threw Green under the bus because he's annoying but also involved in the process and they saw him as a threat. I was a little annoyed Trump suggested Green didn't do a good job the week before. Green definitely was thrown under the bus then, and Trump couldn't be bothered to investigate further. Unfortunately, with decisions and statements like that, it really pushes the viewer away. Green was the most personable character on the show, and I have to admit, I doubt I'll watch too many more episodes of Celebrity Apprentice. I assume Trump is keeping Rodman around because he (falsely) thinks he's the biggest name on the show. I really don't get it.

As for the women, they haven't lost, so there's really no conflict. The Annie stuff between her and Joan seem a distant memory. There was nary a mention of it. It's lack of foreshadowing also suggests it really doesn't rear its head in the future either.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Links of Interest 3/16

Disney lies. (Read that how you want.)

It’s news like this that makes Monday mornings a little more bearable.

Here’s Bourdain’s annual critique of food television.

Well this one snuck up on me, but I like the idea. The McGangBang.

A look at the local television news anchor.

Have Thomas Friedman’s (Prestigious columnist for the New York Times) recent predictions of doom and gloom ever panned out?

A closer look at our terrible food system in this country and the solutions for it.

Learn how to not be taken by the long con.

Who’s never thought about what it feels like to freeze to death?

Don’t all movie remakes kind of miss the point?

Yeah, I don’t think anyone is really sure about what to do with toxic waste.

Friday, March 13, 2009

THe best of my Twitters - Week of 3/9

A running column of the best "tweets" I get during the week. Want to try to get on the board and get instant popcorntrick fame? Feel free to follow me.

Why am I doing this? Because even though Twitter is considered such a mobile, fleeting form of communication, buried among the dinner updates and co-worker complaints is some truly brilliant stuff. Is the following brilliant? That's not up for me to decide, I just figured I'd give some shout outs to stuff that makes me smile during the day.

Last week's entry can be found here. As always, if you're on private, I'll respect that and won't quote you. Now, let's move on to the "tweets:"

diplo I'm about to attack a manatee @ lithia springs too many people givin these beasts a free ride for too long

mrdavehill Last night I bought "SSI: Sexy Squad Investigation" on DVD. It's from the producers of "Lord of the G-Strings" so I know it will be good.

mike__smith Not pleased with springing forward. Pondering establishing own time zone with greater emphasis on falling back.

janiehaddad Wish I had the Cadillac of umbrellas instead of the Yugo.

jwiltshire The best part of having several guitars within reach is being able to play the sad Jurassic Park theme while roommate tells me about her day

mmmeghan I just got a new plug in air freshener for my apartment and one of the rotating scents smells like men's cologne and it's slightly arousing.

mtmodular So we meet again, work.

debenham Just sawed, perfectly, through a piece of polycarbonate in 12 seconds. I feel like a crucial ethnic in a heist movie!

DougBenson The first rule of Mentally Disabled Fight Club? Pancakes!

douglaswolk I am starting to feel like somebody has just scribbled a "TL;DR" below all the culture I have ever cared about or brought into the world

Jim_Hamilton If you ask me what I've been up to and I reply "writing," remind me that tweets don't count and ask me again.

sunnythaper So I buy luggage, 7 travel size items, and my boarding pass falls on the floor next to the cashier out of my pocket. "Travelling?" she asks

sunnythaper It's 5am...... FIVE EH EM........ I'm either going to get to the airport early, or go on a shooting spree.

80miles A woman on the elevator just said that I look like a disheveled reporter. Well, here's the story: unsolicited critiques are jarring @ 8am.

michaelianblack Latch hook project of the day - another rug featuring a kitten playing with yarn. I'll be honest, it's the exact same one I did yesterday.

whitleystrieber Recording Dreamland on Nazis with Jim Marrs and Joseph Farrell. They are still powerful, no mistake.

DougBenson once had a cup of hot chocolate in Amsterdam that was so good, it was like drinking a crack baby. (Sorry, I skipped the "how good was it"s.)

bryanbrinkman so why hasn't nickelodeon released any new crazy chemical concoctions ala floam, gak, squand, or smud? because I want more.

Links of Interest 3/13

There’s a lot more to this story of a floating house. But that’s certainly a start.

Ok, so Return of the Jedi wasn’t great, but I’m not willing to say it sucks. Especially with the newer trilogy out there.

You mean our brain is working even when we’re not thinking about it? Who knew?

Weird video games.

Good to see Philly on the list. Actually no it’s not. It’s awful that Philly is on the list. Where am I going to get my Marmaduke fix?

Apparently it’s a big deal that Barbie is 50.

Well I’ve heard of stranger ways to save the world from global warming. I think.

Old tobacco advertisements. No wonder everyone smoked.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Links of Interest 3/12

Super villains can only be so badass. Especially when defeated by lame heroes.

Daylight Savings Time actually uses more energy. Plus I lost an hour of sleep.

You think your workplace stinks? Check out these places.

Q&A with Oscar from the Office.

The Library of Congress has a collection of panoramas they have now put online.

The lure of vampires is stronger than ever.

As Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” turns 25, people reflect on what the song was really about.

The story of the world’s largest diamond heist – told by the guy who did it.

Like Indian food but never really sure what it is you’re ordering? This handy card can help.

Here’s a look at 10 bands poised to break out at SXSW – which is happening very very soon.

An interview with Bryan Cranston the star of Breaking Bad, who makes crystal meth sexy. Well sexier than it already is.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Links of Interest 3/11

An interview with Brett “the Hitman” Hart. Even if you’re not a wrestling fan, it’s worth it.

It’s like Pi, but totally for real.

Vertical farming.

Looking at the current state of slasher movies.

Awesome, awesome, awesome sports photography:

The story of a mythical Led Zeppelin show played back in 1969 in Maryland.

So yeah, there are a couple Howard the Duck fans out there.

Why it’s important to push forward with criminal proceedings against Bush.

Really, should we be messing around with trying to make robots evolve? It’s like scientists want to see Terminator happen in real life.

The curious case of seeing more fiber show up in more foods.

Wow – a mall is currently being built in the swamps of Jersey.