Thursday, April 30, 2009

Links of Interest 4/30

Can a computer beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy? Better question – Is this something we should be really asking ourselves?

Hear what Creed has to say about the Office.

Apparently it’s not as hard as you might think to witness a beheading.

We don’t give bone nearly enough of the credit it deserves.

The title says it all – how to be a successful overlord.

Apparently, James Bond is sexist. I had no idea.

This is how wars could be fought in the future.

So, should we all head back to the 70s?

This article seems to argue that the rise of the porn industry is bad for all of us.

Go inside at Augusta National Golf Course.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Links of Interest 4/29

Hmmm, a sequel to Wall Street? And Michael Douglas is aboard? Unsure how to feel about this.

Talking to the Lost script coordinator.

Some of JJ Abrams favorite things.

Henry Winkler talks about his characters.

Do you agree with these 10 influential films of the last 10 years?

Polygamy is all the rage these days.

How the evolution of office spaces show a changing attitude toward work.

It’s possible it’s gonna get a lot rainier.

Everything you wanted to know about Dungeons & Dragons. And quite possibly some stuff you didn’t want to know.

The history of concept aircraft.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Links of Interest 4/28

What a black hole is like, inside it and shit. Warning, you may have to smoke pot in order to think you know what's going on.

American adventure is still alive and well.

Enjoy reading about all the crimes committed by Ferris and his crew during his infamous day off.

This whole torture thing is pretty divisive, huh?

Hey thanks Internet for killing the place where I go to get my jeans!

Great, there will be a garden on the moon just in time for the Earth to end in 2012.

How did your team do in the NFL draft?

A yard sale map sounds intriguing, and pulling its data from Craigslist is definitely a good start, but I’m still unsure how accurate it’s going to be. Have yard sales truly and fully breached the internet advertising age yet?

Cool timeline detailing all of Evel Knievel’s motorcycle jumps.

Cool pictures of the Great Wall of China.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - More like Celebrity Meltdown!

So how did we get to this?

Good lord I wish I knew.

Last week, I implied things were finally heating up on Celebrity Apprentice. Not enough to forgive the previous episodes, but at least enough to no constantly flip back and forth between it and a repeat of River Monsters. (Quick note: Yes, it's true, I didn't see this particular episode of River Monsters. So why didn't I watch it? Because the description was about searching for some catfish that bottomfeeds in European rivers. Um, I saw a giant catfish episode. How many different giant catfish do I need to see? How many different shows can you base around a giant catfish? Please don't answer that.)

Last week had the Rivers brothers (Melissa & Joan) taking turns suggesting Annie Duke wasn't the nicest person in the world. Well, the seeds they planted then came to bloom this week. But I'm getting ahead of myself because there was plenty of other stupid stuff going on...

Before things get going, Trump has to even out the teams, now that there are 4 people on one team and 2 on the other. So he moves Jesse James over to KOTU with Clint Black and Joan Rivers, leaving Brande Roderick, Annie Duke and Melissa Rivers on Athena. I want to give Trump at least a little bit of credit here since that move does create equal drama for both teams, but I just can't do it, so instead I'll give the credit to some nameless PA who Trump probably overheard at the Craft services table.

This week's challenge: create a 4 page ad for Right Guard that will be run in Sports Illustrated. At both team's disposal...David Lee from the New York Knicks. He is to be used in a photo shoot for the ad. Brande and Clint play the roles of project managers. And the guest judge for this week? Who else better suited critiquing a magazine ad than financial guru Jim Cramer? Whatever.

KOTU first...

Jesse James has not hid his disdain for Clint Black, in fact he reminds the viewers he was the first one way back in week 1 or 2 to suggest he be fired. Going in, I'm pretty sure Jesse's one goal was to get Clint Black fired. Because the challenge was based around a magazine ad, James felt he knew what to do, since he apparently owns a magazine. In the world of Celebrity Apprentice, I guess that is good enough credentials. He hastily sketches out an idea, which Clint took under advisement, and to Clint's credit, took some ideas from. But then forged ahead into a new direction, which set James off. And by set off I mean profanity and uncomfortableness. It got to the point that Joan Rivers looked as though she thought she might have to break up a fight.

They pretty much go into the boardroom thinking they lost. Jesse James repeatedly saying the ad "fucking sucks" and to fix it you should "hit the delete button and start over" will do that to a team.


Melissa feels left out. Her ideas are getting ignored by both Brande and Annie, and Annie is doing the lionshare of the work. So Meliisa confronts Brande about the two of them ganging up on her to get her fired. Brande suggests there's no such thought which...I'm not so sure I believe. Had I been Melissa I think I might have tried to woo Annie and get Brande knocked off. I'm not saying Annie would go for it, but it probably would have been more successful than her pouting strategy.

And here's where I jump in once more and say I don't understand how the contestants on reality shows like Celebrity Apprentice think. Melissa seemed genuinely upset that her other two partners may have been scheming to get her fired. And that doesn't make sense - because THAT'S THE POINT OF THE SHOW. It isn't about who has the best ad, it isn't about beating the other team, it's about becoming Trump's apprentice (figuratively speaking)! So even though she probably only got fired this week for the drama it caused, it is kind of her own fault. She didn't plot, she didn't create an alliance when she needed to (I'm not counting her mom as an alliance because neither really did much to help the other) she just worked hard. Had the show been about becoming a director for a non-profit organization, she would have won going away.

Annie on the other hand, might be playing too good. At least Cramer thinks so. He brought it up numerous times during the episode, even suggesting the other two (Brande and Melissa) should have tried to get her off. How she skated through last night after pretty much creating the entire campaign (something she openly admitted to Cramer when he went to observe their team and then completely denied to Cramer in the boardroom) I'll never understand. I'll never understand why no one called her out on it even, but hey, who am I other than emotionally damaged for watching this much Celebrity Apprentice.


I loved the part when, after Trump showed each team the other's work, Jesse monotoned that his team suddenly had a chance to win. I wonder how much bile he had to choke down. And in the ironic twist, his team did win. I have no idea why. The two Right Guard execs offered pros and cons of each ad none of which went very far in explaining why one was stronger than the other. This only goes back to the idea that without a person with a creative background judging these things, the competition is moot. What it does mean is that Joan, Jesse and Clint are safe, and Jesse has to eat some crow. Which he does. Kinda.

So now we get down to the business of trying to figure out who goes home. And here's where things get nonsensical. Before bringing the three ladies in, Trump asks Cramer who he would fire. Without hesitation, he suggests Brande, because she is the project manager, she lost, the end.

So then the three are brought back in, and Trump does the old song and dance, asking them who should be fired, who should stay...blah blah blah. Pretty sure Trump has used one cue card for every boardroom. Cramer puts his 2 cents in after hearing Brande makes her case, saying he doesn't feel she has shown what it takes and should be fired. Brande takes exception, and whines a little more before Melissa steps in and tries to defend herself.

And then something truly bizarre happens. Trump writes a note, hands it to Cramer, asks what he thinks and then goes on as though nothing happened. Yet the cameras focused on this 10 second exchange as though it were Reagan/Gorbachev in 1989. We never find out what is on the note, but I have come up with some possibilities...

  • "Hey Jim, stop bashing Brande. Have you seen those breasts?"
  • "Hey Jim, stop bashing Brande. I want to see those breasts."
  • "Ever hear how broads all get on the same cycle when they're around each other? huh? huh? Hear what I'm saying?"
  • "Jimmy...I'm not wearing pants."
Whatever the note said, it caused Cramer to make a 180, and now say Melissa should be fired. Melissa pleads her case, first saying she's never missed a day despite two leg injuries, and then suggesting once again Annie and Brande conspired against her, only this time stating that they entered into a "cabal" against her. I immediately envision satanic rituals while giggling. Trump, apparently wanting this all along but wanting Cramer to be his hatchetman so he doesn't look bad, does indeed do this, which sends Melissa into a...I guess the best word would be tizzy. She hurredly limps out (this is the first time - at least for me - seeing she has a boot cast on) spraying a number of obsenities in her wake, geting more and more agitated/emotional. And then comes my favorite quote from her, when she calls both Brande and Annie "whore pit vipers." Pit vipers I get, but "whores?" I guess it's possible Melissa knows something more than me, and Annie did profess her blow job expertise last week, but I still think whore might be a little harsh.

Melissa doesn't seem to care however, repeating the "whore" insult with a number of other obsenities as she stumble/walks out of the boardroom past the remaining players, and communicting with her mother that she's done and not coming back up. Joan, now enraged as her daughter calls Brande a dumb blonde and says that poker players such as Annie "give money with blood on it." Another nazi reference? Because if so, I think Joan needs to work on some new material. The holocaust seems to be a crutch for her.

I will say I think Joan may have overreacted just a smidge here. By now everyone should understand people are playing the game to win. The celebrities who didn't care about this competition got eliminated long before. The people left are ones that are truly invested and ready to do what they need to do to win. Does that mean feelings could be hurt? Absolutely. But at the end of the day is this a competition to win? Absolutely. It seemed like Joan might not have understood this right at that moment.

Joan leaves in the huff Melissa created, and the suspense is created for next week about whether or not Joan will continue in the competition. The way they set up the question would leave me to believe that she will definitely be back, but who knows? Well I guess we will eventually, but we'll have to wait a week.

Links of Interest 4/27 - R.I.P. Bea Arthur

How soon we forget - Read all about when Steve Jobs was fired.

Top 10 movie stunts.

Pictures of North Korea.

Looking back, maybe it's not a good idea to attempt to mold your son into a pro quarterback the moment he's born. Unless you want your kid to turn out like Todd Marinovich. Then it's a great idea.

Neuroenhancing drugs. I’m sure there aren’t any side effects with stuff like this.

Let’s keep stuff like this under wraps or I might be out of a job.

Guy tries to become a cop. Things go downhill from there.

Here’s a helpful guide for people looking to get into the seductive world of scotch.

In a world going pussy, we at least still have Lemmy from Motorhead.

More cool lego stuff.

And finally check out this cool new ad from Honda. It's good to see creativity being rewarded.

Honda Insight - Let It Shine from Honda on Vimeo.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I went back in time and bought CDs...

Borders is going back to being primarily a bookstore - by slowly phasing out it's CD section. While technically they will still have a music department, it will be drastically truncated to carry the big releases and not much else.

Now, I'm not going to turn this into a whiny plea about how we should support brick and mortar stores because if we don't they'll cease to exist; nor will I use this space to wax poetically about the loss of physical media for music. While I am a little sad and scared that mp3s seem to be watering down the overall quality of music (soundwise) I will not rant against progress and technology.

No, I bring this up because to get rid of most of their stock, select titles are 50% off. If the CD is adorned with a red sticker, you enjoy the discount. So I certainly had to check out a sale like that...

Normally, you'd think a store would entice buyers by flaunting the 50% discount on few titles and then keeping the majority of the inventory at full price. That's not the case with Borders. They have a wide range of artists and genres discounted, making for a intensive, yet enjoyable search through bins. Which is exactly how I spent my lunch hour, entertained further by an woman frequently calling someone on the other end of her cell phone conversation a bastard; randomly changing inflections when using the word to make it even more confusing to tell whether it was a lover or nemesis on the other end. It didn't matter to me; her chatter drowned out the overplayed Muse song from the Watchmen trailer that played ad nauseum on a small flatscreen a few feet away in the DVD section. (I only offer this extraneous information to explain the mood I was in when searching through CDs, in an effort to possibly explain how I ended with some of these choices.)

At the end of my hour, I walked out with nine titles, angry only that I had 3 more titles and put them down for whatever reasons. Below, I list my purchases, thoughts behind those purchases, and hopefully some samples.

I've broken the purchases into 2 sections, based on what I bought. I didn't see the pattern of my buying spree until I got back to work, but it seems pretty cut and dry, at least in my head.

Please feel free to guess what my total came to in the comments section.

Section 1 - In a former life I was a Nazi on the run.

Look Around - Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66

I have no idea where my enjoyment for old Brazillian music came from, but I'm certainly not complaining. There are few places better to get into the bossa nova groove than with Sergio Mendes. The back of the CD boasts that Mendes "drew on the stunning repertoire of Brazilian popular music outside the canon of the masterful Antonio Carlos Jobim," which, I'm going to have to take the CD sleeves word on. For more information about Sergio Mendes, check out his Wikipedia page.

Couple tracks to get you dancing on your desks...

SeeqPod - Playable Search

The Diva Series
- Astrud Gilberto

Continuing with the Brazilian flavor, here's a famous torch singer from Brazil, Astrud Gilberto. To be honest, I picked up this album, held it under one of those wondrous machines that scans the barcode and then plays samples of music, listened, felt as though I were sitting in a smoky lounge with a number of beautiful women and bought it. Unfortunately, the beautiful women don't come with it - but I do have a sudden desire to smoke.

Not only did I choose this video because Astrud's minimalistic approach to swaying is weirdly hypnotic, but also because I enjoyed the behind the scenes production vibe with the whole thing.

And I picked this video for it's Russ Meyer characteristics...and for the awesome saxophonist that nods along in agreement to the song before busting out his solo. Bsed on this video, while I enjoy Ms. Gilberto's voice, I'm willing to bet she wasn't the world's greatest actress.

Big Band Bossa Nova - Quincy Jones

Listening to this album in my car the other day on the way home, I was surprised to hear the very familiar notes of the background music of Austin Powers.

I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed. Not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I realized I will associate that piece of music with an erratic spy spoof movie series. To discover it on an album I had been anticipating listening too left me feeling slightly hollow.

Of course, this track more than makes up for my hollowness...

The beginning of it is the Spiderman (animated series) theme song which then goes into an awesome "Streets of San Francisco" vibe. Which, by the way, is possibly the greatest television series theme song. Don't believe me?

Every time I hear this I feel like sliding across the hood of my car. But I don't want to scratch it so I don't.

The Wildest - Louis Prima & his New Orleans Gang

Ok yeah, so this isn't Brazilian, it's pretty much big band. I put it here though because there was nowhere else to put it. Besides, his New Orleans Gang is the tops!

SeeqPod - Playable Search

And as an added bonus, doing research on Louis Prima led me to this...

2 things. 1. I had no idea he was the predecessor to Liberace. 2. I need that suit.

Section 2 - I'm so hip Tower of Power stopped asking the question once they met me.

East Infection - Gogol Bordello

I've heard the name a few times here and there, but have no idea what their music styling is. In fact, when I go look for clips to embed here it will be the first time listening to them. I do hope I enjoy them, but with the 50% discount the CD came to a total of $2, so I'm not going to beat myself up too much if it's garbage. Also, it's hard to pass that album cover and not at least contemplate making the purchase. What person isn't at least intrigued by cheeky S&M? I figured as I wrote this I should at least be listening to the album to get an idea just what exactly this band is about...

Oh ok, it's like gypsy punk. I promise to wear my wallet on a chain if I ever go see them.

Oops, looks like the album above this one in my Ipod is Easy Bay Grease by Tower of Power. No offense Gogol Bordello, but you're not really holding my attention. It's not it's me - my attention is not easily held (if you couldn't already tell). I will now be using this space to show off awesome old school Tower of Power.

Tower of Power on Soul Train in '73. As awesome as you're thinking...

And here they are in the 80s. One thing you can't say is they did not miss an opportunity to show off the latest style trends of the moment...

And here's one more...for awesome outfits, awesome choreography, awesome hair and awesome get-up-and-get-the-funk-out-with-a-loved-one sounds...

Wowee Zowee - Pavement

I know admitting this is akin to kicking a child in some cicles but I'm not a big Pavement fan. To me, they sound as though their 3-4 rehearsals away from sounding pretty good at their high school talent show.

I know I'm in the minority.

What that means is that normally I'd never buy a Pavement album. I already have Slanted and Enchanted, and that's more than enough for me. But then, wandering through the racks of CDs who do I see? My boss, who's not only a music afficonado, he's also a huge Pavement fan. Did I succomb to his pressure because I wanted to kiss up? It's more than likely. Have you heard about this economy?

My favorite Pavement song. No, it's not on Wowee Zowee.

Moon Pix - Cat Power

Cat Power's The Greatest was my album of the year back in 2006. But that's the only album I have of hers. So I picked this one up. There's really no other reason.

Not only one of my favorite songs by Cat Power, one of my favorite songs...Willie.

And here's a cut from the Moon Pix album...

She's had a tough road to travel where she currently is, but she can definitely sing. I wouldn't recommend listening to too much of her if you're feeling blue though.

Leaders of the Free World - Elbow

Making my best of 2008 list of music, I figured I should dive into Elbow's back catalog. They're the perfect kind of band to recommend and feel really, really hip. In fact, I'm 90% sure they've taken overtaken the Miata as "something creative directors have or refer to to make sure everyone knows their a creative director." (You'll only get that joke if you worked in an ad agency in the mid 90s, so if you didn't, just move on.)

Heart Attack and Vine - Tom Waits

Tom Waits creates music that is polarizing. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a "casual" fan of Waits. His influences aren't easily found in the Big Book of pop and his sound stylings take a while to get used to. He also enjoys experimentation, something that is not often awarded in pop music.

As I sit here and type this, I'm listening to this album, and if you asked me to describe it I would say, "midnight jazz being rubbed against a cheese grater." Here, this video does an excellent job of encapsulating his vibe...

If that sounds appealing to you, then I suggest you start listening to Tom Waits.

And that's it. While I didn't set out to, I realize I've given you way too much to digest for an Internet article. After all, anything over 50 words written on the Internet is most often ignored. If nothing else, check out the pretty pictures and sounds and support your local music extablishment. I'm currently taking advantage of the 50% discount at Borders for these CDs, knowing full well this time next year I'll be hard pressed to find any kind of store selling CDs.

And I hope you've enjoyed the rather deep dive into what I enjoy to listening to. While the list certainly can't cover my tastes completely, it does give a nice overview of some of my likes and (unfortunately) dislikes. Please feel free to ask questions, make suggestions or call me a douche in the comments.

Until next time...

The best Tweets of the week 4/18 - 4/24

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

mrdavehill For a man with immediate access to a shower and clean clothes, I smell far too much like urine right now.

shareyourdonuts Me: "Jesus, that woman is such a WHINER." Friend: "She's deaf. That's how she talks." Me: "Well then thank God she didn't hear me say that"

thesneeze I love when Sea Salt is highlighted on packaging. Who wants boring clean salt from a cave when you can have one fish took a dump in

ScottAukerman AC/DC: As I get older, I am starting to suspect that your song “Big Balls” isn’t about large social engagements.

Dianneamus Oh @Seth_MacFarlane. You and your baritone voice can climb into my bed anytime. As long as you do me in the stewie voice.

shareyourdonuts Rob: "Guess who shit all over the bedroom carpet?" Me: "Oh God Rob, are you sick?" Rob: "What? No! The DOG!" Me: "Sure...the dog..."

saraschaefer1 The G train: the g string carressing the asscrack of Brooklyn.

Jim_Hamilton Took my time at 7-11 because "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" was playing. Turns out every hot dog has its thorn too. That was not a metaphor.

ScottAukerman DATE NIGHT TIP: A horse-drawn Cinderella carriage is the perfect romantic way to take your date through the Arby’s drive-thru.

diplo I wanna get so rich im gonna swallow diamonds an platinum watches so i can get xrays and then i show the xrays to my homiez

paulscheer Just cleaned out the garage only found 2 dead people.

urbanhipster Judging by that ominous chord, either I'm in a movie where something bad's about to happen or the cat is walking on the piano again.

james_gunn Is it weird to jerk off to that Susan Boyle video? Be honest with me.

hotdogsladies If I saw a strip club with a marquee that said, "Niblet Corn," nothing could stop me from going in. I need to see what's on that stage. Now.

debenham Kids downstairs reenacting an entire "Crushing Your Head" sketch from Kids in the Hall. My job as a parent is done now. Fly, children, fly!

PFTompkins Sorry, "Wheels," you're not part of the FAMILY.

mat It's so hot. Just took off all my clothes & am now working totally naked. Can't believe how shitty the air conditioning is in this Starbucks

Caissie Besuited man screaming on cell in train vestibule. Keywords: $ .5 million, Gingrich, white collar, Interpol. Maybe wait for a landline?

nelsonofnelson Guaranteed no @ reply tweet: Hey, anyone catch Castle last night?

biloon I have 299 followers. If you are keepin track, that's 200 more followers than Jay-Z has problems. And like J, bitches ain't a one.

dragonboysuede just took a hearing test. Pancho and lefty are fine. I call my ears pancho and lefty.

ScottAukerman At gym. I like to get on the treadmill directly behind the hottest girl there. That way it feels like I'm chasing her.

hotdogsladies God goes into a bar. Abraham goes, "Whadya have?" God goes, "Isaac w/a twist." As Abe goes to off his kid, God goes "Psych! THAT's a twist!"

kwade15 Trying to decide what snack to have. Went grocery shopping tonight, meaning there hasn't been this much indecision since Was (Not Was).

Dianneamus PSA: Never. EVER, play chicken with the toilet paper inventory in your home.

betty822 Either it's bring your child to work day or my office is being taken over by 4ft tall terrorists in Hannah Montana gear.

Steve_Buscemi taking a bath = a funny thing. You're really just hanging out by yourself, completely naked, and soaking in your own shit.

NOTE: Either the Steve Buscemi twitter account is fake, or he's certifiably insane. I'm having a hard time figuring it out.

rbender So the "Baby Shaker" iPhone game got taken down. This doesn't bode well for my upcoming "Euthanize Grandpa" game.

Steve_Buscemi has recurring nightmares about being trapped in a warehouse full of bus stop benches with real estate agent headshots.

(see what I mean?)

diplo peoples~! tell ur friends to all follow me! if I get 50k followers im turnin the bizzare level to 11!

(Please please make this happen! God, I know you're probably mad at me for questioning your existence, but if you truly do exist, please don't hold it against me and make Diplo's request happen. If not for me, then the rest of humanity. Thanks.)

diplo If i can get my computer to turn on again imma have sex with everyone in reno

(See God? If that doesn't give you a good reason to make it happen, then you're definitely Old Testament.)

Links of Interest 4/24

The top opening tracks from 90s albums.

Everything I hear about Morrissey is so depressing, why would I want to become a fan?

New York Pizza – it’s in the water.

How the cool kids made movies watchable again – 50 years ago (and you thought I was going to reference Tarantino)

Bizarre sex laws from around the country – not from Beck’s awesome album Midnite Vultures.

Home funerals. Apparently it’s not a joke.

Food shortages
– they’re all the rage.

Want to solar power your house? Here’s some help.

The Texas State Fair sounds like Xanadu. A deep fried Xanadu.

One of the crazier conspiracy theories I've heard, and I'm into conspiracy theories.

What really happened at Columbine.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Links of Interest 4/23

I mean, I guess for me, it depends on how hot the robot is.

If your can’t find the office oddball, maybe it’s time to look in a mirror. But wait – it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be the office oddball.

Need help cutting the cord you have connected to your computer?

New planets? Liquid oceans? Earthlike? What is this an Arthur C. Clarke novel?

You’d be shocked to see how shows hide their stars’ pregnancies.

Cool pictures from around the world depicting our environment.

If you’re a Spinal Tap fan, than this is for you.

The top 10 druggiest rock and roll stories.

I can’t believe there is only one IHOP in the world that serves maple syrup.

Cars that go really fast – desert flatlands fast.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Links of Interest 4/22

Are we closer to legalizing pot? If we go by this picture, I say the future is hazy.

A profile on Dolly Parton. All 3 of her.

Ever wonder what writers read when they aren’t writing?

Now we know what Saturn looks like all up close and stuff.

If I find an interview with the producers of Lost, I’m gonna post it.

An interview with Author Brett Easton Ellis – he wrote American Psycho and Rules of Attraction among others.

What does everyone think about Stringer Bell on The Office? So far, it seems he’s playing the exact same character, just not selling drugs on one show. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Not that I thought celebrities read and answered fan mail, but this article is still a little disheartening.

Another year, another Ebert film festival. Good to see his health problems aren’t taking him completely out of the game.

Think piracy is bad for the music industry – take a look at this study.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Links of Interest 4/21

Ocean's 11 reimagined with the Muppets.

Cool article about how WaWa came to be the success it is. And if you don’t know what WaWa is, I feel bad for you. Go here to get the scoop!

Not only is it a list of things you should know how to do – it tells you how to do them!

A list of the top 100 restaurants in the world.

When Obama took office he said he would respond to 10 letters written to him a day. Nice gesture or ploy to keep the Post Office relevant? Regardless, here’s a look at the process.

This pirate thing is getting out of hand. Here’s a suggestion how to beat them.

Getting out of our solar system to find life.

Just in case the astronauts from Apollo 11 happened to get marooned on the moon (I should be a rapper), Nixon had a speech prepared.

Rifles that kill from a mile away. Too bad Riggs didn’t have this, or Lethal Weapon would have been a lot shorter.

Sounds like the mile rifle is going to be useful since by 2025 pirates are going to be fucking up our shit. Among other things.

Taking a look at the symbiotic relationship between record companies and the reissue consumer.

Witch hunts didn’t end in Salem.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Celebrity Apprentice - Things (FINALLY) Get Interesting

It took a long time, and it was fleeting, but for five minutes last night, Celebrity Apprentice acted like an actual reality television show, with bickering, name calling and tension. It's up to you to determine whether or not that's enjoyable. But after devoting entirely too much time to this stupid show, I have to give it this minor shout out. I was actually interested in the outcome.

That the whole shebang had nothing really to do with who was getting fired is kind of beside the point. At least for now...

We left off last week with a charity auction for Ivanka's jewelry collection (quick aside - of all the people involved in this whole, thing, Ivanka comes off as the most level headed and likable. I don't know how that happened). The teams had to choose specific pieces, models and ensure there were people in the audience with big pockets. Again, it seems the people that know the richest people have an advantage; but in a nice little twist, that was kinda sorta addressed.

Annie Duke started the show crowing how much money she will bring in; Natalie Gulbis set in motion a clever plan to not only raise money, but also to stick it to Annie Duke, by getting one of her rivals to donate some cash.

Annie goes nuts, not so much at Gulbis, rather at the contact that gave Gulbis information. Unfortunately, Duke's call to this person bled through the walls giving everyone a chance to hear her. To be fair, Duke suggested Gulbis' plan was fairly smart, and I at no point thought Duke was particularly uspet with any of that.

Assume there was a lot more drama was involved here as well. This goes far toward what happened in the boardroom.

In fact, let's just skip right to it. For whatever reason, Joan Rivers and Annie Duke get into it. There's been a lot of hinting at this throughout the season and finally we get the blowup. What I think it amounted to was this:

Annie Duke is a strong personality who thinks every idea she was is gold and does not like to back down. She says what's on her mind and doesn't care too much about who she offends on a personal level. She is in it to win it. She will do whatever it takes to make sure she wins.

Joan Rivers is opinionated and passionate as well, she just goes about it a little differently. As a comedienne I believe that while she throws insults around, she is also mindful of what her words do. Probably because she is a comedienne. She wants her team to win as well, but not at the expense of others.

Now, I fully understand everything could be staged and everyone is playing a game, and has alliances, secret deals and strategies that aren't necessarily shown to the audience. So the fight in the boardroom and the exaggerated emotions could be a ruse.

Still, it was entertaining. And it all started (and I can't believe I'm going to say this) with Piers, the first winner of Celebrity Apprentice. Finally, someone in the boardroom starts asking the tough questions and needling the contestants.

Among his gems...

Asks Melissa about the apparent conflict of interest with her and her mother on different teams and how that affects the game
Wonders why Jesse James can't drum up more money, especially with a very famous wife (Sandra Bullock)
Suggests Melissa is not supporting her team by badmouthing Annie

Seriously, finally everything Trump should be doing, Piers does. I can only assume Trump simply doesn't want to offend any of these people and therefore refuses to ask tough questions. Thankfully, Piers does not share the same reservations.

It is also here that Joan offhandedly (and somewhat indirectly I might add) compares Annie to Hitler. Which, perhaps I'm a heartless, callous individual, because had they not made a big deal out of it, I wouldn't have given it a second thought. It was a decent comedic line (though suggesting Hitler was even nice some of the time may have been a little strong) and nothing more.

Annie however, felt otherwise. She continued to harp on it, over and over, to the point that I believe it's more her strategy than anything else. I mean seriously, the Rivers Brothers have to be broken up and I think Annie is subtly trying to plant seeds with everyone else. Was this the time and place? Personally, not for me, but whatever.

Gulbis gets the boot because she picked the wrong jewelry, and because I don't see Trump axing Rivers. He's in love with her. Never a bad word for her. And to be fair, she didn't do anything to get fired for.

Melissa tries to do some damage control, the flareup simply smolders and doesn't ignite and we're off to the next challenge, sadly without Piers. And if the producers didn't see his value after that boardroom, then this show is hopeless.

New challenge - cook stuff and market it for Schwan? Seriously, this is getting way too long already and the product doesn't matter. We see Annie Duke impose her will on the team again, cooking and bragging (seriously, I now know she is very satisfied with her blow job technique) and running the team.

Meanwhile, Clint, Herschel and Joan clash in their kitchen about...stuff. It's all inane and mundane and not worth the words. They lose. Trump wants to keep the Rivers/Clint dynamic alive and gets rid of Herschel.

Next week, we're of course teased that Trump does something crazy again which - I'm not buying. Jim Cramer from Mad Money is on so I do know it will be a lot yellier.

Links of Interest 4/20 (smoke a bowl!)

Donkey Ball? Yes, it appears to be a real game.

One day we will all be machines. At least according to this.

The cast of Footloose – where are they today?

Certainly right up my alley – a list of cheesy TV show openings.

Oh, Julia Stiles, you’re a Mets fan? I hate you.

A perfect article for today’s date.

The idea of Dungeon Dads is an interesting, if revolting one. I wonder if a study would show the phenomena of fathers keeping their daughters locked up suggests our culture puts too much of a value on father’s protecting their daughters from the evils of the world, and thereby turning them into an evil. I should be a 60 Minutes producer. Or schedule programming for MSNBC on the weekends.

A deeper look into the upcoming end of the world in 2012.

Want to know the future? Watch Back to the Future II.

What? You didn’t want to learn everything possible about the slug?

Friday, April 17, 2009

The best Tweets of the week 4/10 - 4/17

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 threaten me! 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.
Ok, let's go to the tweets...

moeturner Tom is teaching my 75 yr old father to use the internet. Dad is into birds, so Tom says "you may not want to search the tit bird"

Jim_Hamilton Awaken by hammering. I guess someone waited until the last minute to build their Good Friday cross.

JeffHilliard Just got hired to wear my bunny suit tomorrow night at a show and have a midgit pretend he is doing me from behind. happy easter/passover

diplo Ok my job is done!! After party 2 people tazed.. cops wippen people in the head with flashlitez and I played lumidee peace out missouri

kwade15 Going to yet another Easter Egg Hunt. Would be more challenging if it was Easter Bunny Hunt, Most Dangerous Game-style.

JeffHilliard When I'm at home I like to open my windows and yell things like yahtzee or bingo bitch, so my neighbors will think I have friends.

diplo man i wish I took acid in st louis with my homeboy yesterday totally forgot.. anyone got a drop of acid for me for jesus zombie day in LA?

ScottAukerman Mexican food is like a video game where you win diarrhea!

jdickerson 3 of 4 days of church and our kids have finally learned the eternal message of Easter: dinosaurs can hatch from eggs dropped in water

nathanrabin is just a day away from half-price Easter candy. Sweet, sweet half-price Easter candy.

debenham My friend Chris, who teaches @ a prison, tells me there's a weird little D&D subculture among the inmates there. Don't kill Adebisi's druid!

hotdogsladies When there's a Nuremberg-style trial for lite jazz, I'll be there every day, holding a picture of Monk, and throwing shit at Kenny G's cage.

diablocody My new assistant is here, wondering why I have a monocle. She doesn't yet know I'm into Mr. Peanut cosplay.

ChrisSpags I just realized I've got a hole in the groin area of my pants. These pants may not make it through the day without me giving someone a show.

AnthonyDeVito I'm so happy that a new population of 2,000 orangutans has been found in Borneo. Because I've been itching to kill some orangutans.

ScottAukerman If you felt the date rape in Observe & Report was unfunny, AND you have jury duty in Van Nuys Apr 23, may I ask that you PLEASE play hooky?

debenham Chance I've accidentally ingested plastic Easter grass during one of my fucking stupid cheap-candy eating frenzies today: 98%.

GinaEgger Every 2 weeks I have a routine: I buy bags of fruit and vegetables, let them rot in the drawer, and then go buy new ones to replace them.

CourtneyReimer Are newspapers worth saving? Yes. (Said the girl who is scrambling to find something to wrap her dishes in before the movers come tomorrow.)

samantharobot Pepper and I ate jelly beans and watched Nova and laughed and laughed tonight. Also, Pepper is a puppet.

janiehaddad Was only female in an all male subway car on the way home. It felt like Jody Foster in The Accused.

Caissie Didn't realize people ate skunk, but completely obvious my driver just polished off a skunk sandwich before picking me up.

KimberlyKane Angel dust and my dress just comes undone

DougBenson Hey, could someone catch me up on what happened in CRANK 1 and then kick yourself in the balls for knowing that information? (Ladies only!)

ChrisSpags Porn stars tweeting about sex is like me tweeting about an Excel spreadsheet. With slightly more goo.

rbender Perhaps I'm being way too honest in my online dating profiles. The stuff about my uncontrollable pyromania might be scaring women off.

debenham Just discovered, through deduction/laundry, that my 9-year-old has been freeballing it for at least a week. I must now go pray on this.

calindrome The whole Kutcher-CNN race is vomitrocious. *So* not what Twitter is about. #who #cares

Links of Interest 4/17

The worst drive thru foods in America.

Just how small can manufacturers make S.L.R. cameras?

A story of love, lust and redemption. Maybe not in that order.

Download the pitch David Simon used to get HBO to buy into The Wire. Check out kottke for even more Wire goodness.

Interview with the guy who coached David Frost for his Nixon interviews. You know – Frost/Nixon?

I hate Atlas Shrugged. It has nothing to do with Rand’s philosophy and everything to do with how poor of a writer she was.

The art of video game criticism. Or lack thereof. The article mentions Pauline Kael, and if you don’t know who that is, check out this movie review to an idea.

I have no skill when it comes to playing or reading music, but I can certainly appreciate the complexity these scores imply.

The Hipster Grifter. I’m definitely going to link to something with that title.

It makes sense that super bacteria is breeding in sewage plants.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Links of Interest 4/16

The timeline of cocaine.

The new cartoon, ‘Sit Down, Shut Up,” from the creator of Arrested Development.

Here are 20 things you didn’t know about money.

More on how rock albums are simply getting louder.

It’s no secret men love internet porn and can be addicted to it. But what about the ordinary woman who poses for those pictures?

I love the idea that scientists can debate the existence of a theoretical concept they themselves kind of just made up to satisfy stuff they didn't have a good explanation for.

Figuring out what killed the bees (and no, it wasn’t trees) and figuring out what we can do to stop it.

Here’s a set of pictures to get you in the mood for spring.

Almost 100 years ago, the Mona Lisa was stolen. Fairly easily apparently.

The author of this article suggests we all need to give Limp Bizkit another listen. I’m not sure how to react.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Links of Interest 4/15

A list of famous hackers.

A mind numbing article on cognitive psychology and how the human mind and computers differ.

Casual incest…ok. Habitual incest? Not so great for your future generations.

I have stood at the edge and looked down at the process on how judged become judges, but have never jumped in with both feet. So while I’ve seen and heard the occasional horror story, I am unaware of how flawed the system really is. I’m pretty sure I want to keep it that way, though this article is pulling on my ankles.

The positives – and negatives – This Is Spinal Tap unleashed upon us.

With the economy in the dumps, why not start your own business? I mean, I’m sure capital is easy to procure.

Mike Tyson may be a flawed hero, but that doesn’t make him any less interesting.

I have a problem with this new reality show about cougars. Not the concept itself, the idea that it’s men fighting over one cougar. Why not have a bunch of cougars fighting over one man?

Another article promising to reveal the secrets of Lost. Don’t hold your breath.

Monday, April 13, 2009

RIP Harry Kalas

Just received news of the untimely passing of Harry Kalas, the voice of the Phillies and NFL Networks among other things.

He will be both globally and locally missed, by everyone.

Given a unique opportunity to skulk around the inner workings of Veteran's Stadium many years ago, I remember the one time I met the man and saw the voice I grew up hearing on the radio. As one of the two idiots that manned the "Schill-o-Meter, I got to do a lot of things the average baseball fan could only think about. My mother, a lifelong Phillies fan grew up listening to games on the radio, and even though by the early 80s games had moved to television, she never gave up her preferred medium. While it's true what many say that baseball is a sport that is easily enjoyed over the radio, it certainly takes a smart, sharp mind to convey the action that is happening on the field. One must inform, emote and entertain all at once to provide the perfect experience.

And Harry Kalas did all that and more.

Diminutive in size, I could hardly believe the barritone voice I listened to every night, yet there it was as he introduced himself and said a few nice words about what we were doing. He then went on, wondering about the correct pronunciation of "the Schill-o-meter," and asking which syllable received the emphasis. Here was a legend asking me how he should pronounce the bedsheet we duct taped to the top of the Vet every fifth day. Startled and humbled by the question, I immediately told him it was whatever he thought it should be.

He gave a polite laugh, and said no, he was just the broadcaster. He asked us a couple more questsions about this and that, politely listened to our rambling fandom and then excused himself, off for a bite to eat and to prepare for the broadcast.

I never got the feeling he ever thought of himself as anything more than a fan. And that could be heard in every game he called.

If there's any good to come from today's news, it's that the Phillies couldn't have picked a better year to win the whole thing. That Kalas got to witness it and call it the way he did for the entire city was magical and I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to share in the emotion.

Goodbye, Mr. Kalas. I can only imagine the games you and Ashburn will be able to call now.

Celebrity Apprentice - I'm getting smarter

Let me preface this summary of the show by saying I saw about 18 minutes of the 2 hours last night. I don't believe that means I missed any of the substance, but I am nothing if not full disclosure, so they're you have it. Easter skewed the schedule a bit, and I found myself in a house full of friends, flipping back and forth to a whole bunch of shows, including this one that capture our interest the most.

River Monsters.

Apparently, this guy who only has one shirt (or it's lucky, or he has a moth problem at home) travels around searching for elusive creatures found in our world's fresh water rivers. This week's search was for the mysterious Goonch, a giant catfish that legendarily ate a buffalo and person. So yeah, obviously that's going to trump a Brande/Melissa Rivers passive aggressive bitchfest.

Check it out...

In this clip you can get a sense of what they're looking for, and see the host's very old t-shirt:

And in this clip, you can see the white whale for yourself:

Don't get your pants in a wad about me not watching the entire episode of Celebrity Apprentice though - I saw the important stuff. Ok, that's not true. There's no such thing as important stuff on Celebrity Apprentice. But I still saw stuff.

The first challenge was to create a promotional outdoor (possibly a lobby ad) campaign for Lifelock - a service that flaunts it's online protection security by openly showing the CEO's social security number on many of their ads. A strategy that might not have been the greatest idea. Maybe that's why they've come to Celebrity Apprentice for their new marketing strategy.

Long story short - the team with Brian McKnight loses. How do I know? Because he was the project manager and he is no longer on the show. There was a lot of chatter before the boardroom meeting about people throwing Melissa Rivers under the bus and getting her fired, which led to Joan Rivers smashing champagne glasses on the floor, but that didn't go anywhere. Prety sure Trump knows the Rivers brothers dynamic is too good for television. Plus, I might tune in again solely to see Joan Rivers douse herself in champagne while attempting to create fake rage at her daughter's distress.

But wait, there's more. Apparently the Lifelock challenge couldn't be stretched into a 2 hour episode (they must have been really boring for that to happen) Trump immediately starts the next challenge, which is to sell jewelry. Teams have to pick out jewelry, pick out models, pick out clothes, etc. More backstabbing, more speaking-to-the-camera confessionals, and of course, nothing gets accomplished. It was cool to see that even celebrities revert back to petty high school namecalling and facemaking when they need to go on attack. You go Melissa.

By the end of the show Trump, for whatever reason, goes to great lengths to hide the identity of what he is apparently considering (really I have no idea what purpose the whole last five minutes accomplished or why it needed to be shrouded in secrecy) a corporate spy to both teams. It's finally revealed that Trump wants the first winner of the first Celebrity Apprentice, Piers McBritshguywhoalsojudgedAmericasgottalent to "find out" what's going on with the teams during this challenge. Which, if I were Ivanka or Trump Jr. or that old guy (someone at my house asked if it were Cheyney) I'd be a little annoyed. Like they weren't doing a good job?

Told that there's a lot of "conflict" within both teams, Piers dutifully accepts his challenge and heads to, I have no idea. The end. And I have to say, I enjoyed this abbreviated watching of Celeibrity Apprentice. Not only did it not seem like I wasted my Sunday night, I got to see a catfish the sze of a car.

Links of Interest 4/13

Movies reimagined as French classics.

Science myths that make us all look stupid.

Musicians that know how to act. At least once.

A list of things an NPR listener hates about NPR.

Looking at the socioeconomics of the monster truck rally.

Cool space phenomena explained. Hand of Destruction?

This article about the rising popularity of zombies feels about 5 years too late. Zombies are plenty popular already. Thanks Time. Know what? Why don’t you stick to current affairs?

So that US cargo ship captain was rescued. When Navy SEAL snipers took out his captives. Yeah, that’s pretty badass.

David Sedaris waxes poetically about train transportation.

Not sure The Wedding Crashers would ever make my list of favorite cinematic punches, but hey, who am I to argue with Esquire?

Even some teachers use PowerPoint as a crutch when instructing.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Best Tweets of the week 4/3 - 4/10

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 threaten me! 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.

(In fact Diplo, is getting dangerously close to getting his own category. The man is a genius.)

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

Jim_Hamilton Do I fight crime in my sleep? I feel beat up.

cellebelle its 9:20 in the morning and already i have read 3 separate references to vomit. some fridays are just made of awesome.

debenham Both my cats keep showing up with mysterious injuries on their faces--and they're indoor-only cats. Got a real Bobby/Whitney dynamic here.

alexblagg "Vin" Diesel is a sommelier of destruction.

tremorx "Fast And Furious" breaks April opening record. This is why the terrorists hate our freedoms.

DaveHolmes At Nat's Early Bite in Van Nuys, near a man with a massive upper-neck tattoo. I think it's the Chinese symbol for "unemployable."

michaelianblack My daughter is five. Her favorite song? "Hollaback Girl." I've failed.

shareyourdonuts Guy on train farted himself awake, took a few sniffs, and gave me a dirty look. It was YOU, Sleepfarter!

mrdavehill I'm watching a women drive over her husband repeatedly in her Mercedes on cable right now. My cable has just paid for itself.

DougBenson Another way Bruce Willis could've realized he was dead in SIXTH SENSE? If he tried to use a motion detected paper towel dispenser.

kwade15 Evading people you see @ the grocery store and do not want to talk to should be an Olympic sport. I'd easily land a gold.

debenham I used the minivan today to rend a pair of 200-lb shrubs from the Earth's loamy bosom. DO NOT FUCK WITH ME. Also, finished the lasagna.

claritynow I just watched Run Lola Run. Now I'm secretly craving for a insanely frantic and time sensitive emergency to come up tomorrow.

diplo How come evry time I go out 2 eat after 10 in mntrl there a midget and indian guy ina sombrero a pimp and a 100year old lady tryin to fight?

julieklausner the Sex & The City movie should be given the Day The Clown Cried treatment so future generations needn't suffer.

Jim_Hamilton Just be yourself is good advice unless you're an actor or con man. Or a real douche.

steveagee Holy shit, I'm in a library right now. It's like being INSIDE a fucking Kindle!!

EvilChick Opening a partially frozen beer= Beer on the toaster, under the oven and all over the counter. The kitchen smells like we run a speakeasy :(

80miles Morning subway ride observation: It's amazing how much more disgusting diarrhea is when it's not your own. And nowhere near a toilet.

EricBarbaric Sometimes my cat sounds like R2D2 and Chewbacca making love... right now is one of those sometimes

michaelianblack Do you think it'll fuck things up for me if The Rapture happens on Halloween? Just because that's when I usually dress like Satan.

alexblagg I was planning to write something here carefully calculated to make myself seem more interesting & cool, but then Bebe's Kids came on.

mtmodular This is a good time for ice cream. There is rarely a bad time for it. Unless you were in a contest where the 1st person to eat it died.

jseadub Maybe it's the ass-shot of morphine talking, but did you know that an IV of steroids makes your sexy parts tingle on cue?

kwade15 Going 2 Death Cab show tomorrow nite @ Davidson Coll. I also was asked 2 drive/chaperone 3 16yr old girls. Hope its not Dateline NBC trap.

julieklausner Last night, a brisket raped my tum-tum.

Emily_at_Asylum Reading Permanent Midnight while listening to Leonard Cohen is like the media equivalent of tear gas.

RainyDay11 I keep forgetting that if I have to be somewhere at 10, I need to leave before 10. Devil's in the details and all that..

Caissie My fountain Diet Coke from Subway tastes like basement.

CourtneyReimer Our options for interacting here are limited to: "message," "nudge," "block." It's as if we're all nagging, spiteful mother-in-laws.

steveagee drew one of those faces on my thumb and index finger with a sharpie yesterday. it looked disturbing when I masturbated today.

cellebelle Classmates resume has 3 yrs weight training listed as a skill. Yeah, because thats a SUPER important talent for a graphic designer to have.

shareyourdonuts 5 secs post-fart "Whoah! Did you eat a skunk?" "Yeah, you know what? I did. I saw one and thought, 'Hell..couldn't be too hard to catch...'"

diplo I just told this girl she's sweet like a cheez-it

diplo Y is denver soo gully .. Yall live in the wood on a hill! Clean up ur act!!

mrdavehill Just drank some lemon-flavored cod liver oil. You can really taste the lemon. And also the coder liver oil. More codcentric updates soon.