June 30, 2008
Part of me hopes today’s xkcd cartoon isn’t autobiographical, but another part of me really hopes it is. I’m a bad person.
Holy ****! Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize last year for story about a stunt where world-class violinist Joshua Bell played as a busker at a D.C. train station. Turns out he wasn’t the first newspaper guy to pull that stunt — the Chicago Evening Post did the same thing way back in 1930. But here’s the weird part — Bell once owned the same Stradivarius violin that Jacques Gordon played in the 1930 stunt. The only thing that would have been better was if Bell still had it, and was playing it at the D.C. train station. But I guess you can’t have everything.
June 29, 2008
I’m not sure which is funnier, this Tampax commercial (I hope it’s real) or the physics discussion taking place in the comments below it.
June 28, 2008
42 Extremely Creative Advertisements Not as nice as some collections I’ve seen, but it’s got some good ones.
June 27, 2008
Ten Cool (and Free) Magic Bar Tricks Only the finger-through-the bottlecap trick pictured is really a magic trick, the rest are more along the line of bets you can win pretty easily. But still nifty.
A hasty Eulogy for George Carlin (adapted from somebody else’s, to save time)
June 26, 2008
Scientist and author Carl Zimmer has a nice summary of a recent dustup between scientists and creationists over E. coli, the bacteria Zimmer has been studying for the past few years. There’s been some lively discussion closer to home as well — feel free to join in, if you like!
Popular Mechanics interviews “Top Gear” host Adam Carolla And they credit the Jalopnik car blog for breaking the story that the show is a go, which is cool. And Carolla says the network won’t censor their remarks, and they can slag on any car they want, even if it’s an advertiser, which is even cooler (if it turns out to be true).
Lit 101 class in three lines or less Nice take on “1984”:
WINSTON: Don’t tell the Party, but sex is way better than totalitarianism.
EVERYONE: Surprise! We’re the Party.
WINSTON: Oh, rats.
June 25, 2008
June 24, 2008
You could certainly say that George downright invented modern American stand-up comedy in many ways. Every comedian does a little George. I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve been standing around with some comedians and someone talks about some idea for a joke and another comedian would say, Carlin does it. I’ve heard it my whole career: Carlin does it, Carlin already did it, Carlin did it eight years ago.
And he didn’t just do it. He worked over an idea like a diamond cutter with facets and angles and refractions of light. He made you sorry you ever thought you wanted to be a comedian. He was like a train hobo with a chicken bone. When he was done there was nothing left for anybody.
The Camera Flash Experiment The latest stunt from the folks at Improv Everywhere doesn’t rank up there with all-time greats like Best Game Ever and Food Court Musical, but it’s still neat to see all those cameras flashing in waves across the Brooklyn Bridge.
June 23, 2008
Dumb-ass headline of the day: Award-winning comedian George Carlin dies Does anyone think the significance of Carlin’s life, career, insights, humor, etc. has anything whatsoever to do with any awards he won? (AP PHOTO)
That was quick: Time magazine has a great profile: How George Carlin Changed Comedy
June 22, 2008
Get your kicks on Scoot 66 — this guy is traveling cross-country on a Vespa scooter, staying mostly at campgrounds, and blogging the whole trip. Probably hoping for a book blog deal (heck, maybe he already has one), but it’s stil
l an interesting experiment, when he’s not whining about the weather.
June 21, 2008
This is just wrong. “Hey kids! when you see a square block with round pegs sticking out the top, put it in your mouth! It might be yummy!”
June 20, 2008
Death and Taxes 2009: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go: A big poster you can buy, a big graphic you can navigate (pan, zoom, etc.).
10 older women who are still really attractive That’s not their title, which is a bit crude. But yes, yes I would. Every single one. (ADDED IN EDIT: What I meant to say, OF COURSE, is that IF I WEREN’T BLISSFULLY WEDDED TO MY LOVELY AND TALENTED WIFE, I would. Is that better, Dear?)
June 19, 2008
Lara Logan Rocks. She’s my new hero. “If I were to watch the news that you hear in the United States, I’d just blow my brains out, because it would drive me nuts.” She’s got bigger brass ones than a freakin’ pawnshop.
Beautiful Interactive timeline of Internet memes
June 18, 2008
12 Beers You Should Only Drink In College: Glad to see old favorites like Schmidt and Milwaukee’s Best (talk about false advertising!), but I can’t believe they included PBR (a perfectly good beer, and not all that cheap) but left out Blatz. When I was in college at Wisconsin, we had a saying: “There’s nothing like a good beer, and Blatz is nothing like a good beer.”
Celebrities’ real names reveals that “Sanford & Son” star Redd Foxx’s real last name was Sanford! And that reminded me that, like the new NBC “Top Gear” show, “Sanford & Son” was based on a BBC show, “Steptoe and Son” — but I hadn’t realized that “Steptoe” himself (above right) was played by the same guy who played Paul’s granddad in “Hard Day’s Night” (below right).
June 17, 2008
I’m not a big fan of the way video is taking over the Web, but this Bonnaroo-inspired post on The Fine Art of The Hippie Festival Dance would have benefited from some moving pictures.
Teach the Controversy is a nice rejoinder to creationists who think we should tell schoolchildren lies about evolution being less established than other theories like gravity or the earth moving around the sun.
June 16, 2008
“Ain’t gonna be no rematch.” “Don’t want one.” (at least, that’s what I imagine them saying)
Rhymes with “Great” Tiger Woods is the best golfer who ever took a divot, and I look forward to seeing him go down in history as the greatest golfer ever. But let’s take a moment to give it up to Rocco Mediate, for a great tournament, and a great tie-breaker, and for having a great time through it all. (AP Photo)
It’s official: “Top Gear” is coming to America. Hosts are Adam Carolla (of “The Man Show” and “Loveline”), stunt driver Tanner Foust (of “Supercars Exposed”) and builder (homes, not cars) Eric Stromer, who had a brief stint on the soap opera “Santa Barbara” and more recently was on a HGTV show on building stuff (homes, not cars).
I have mixed feelings about this. There’s no way the show can be as good as the BBC “Top Gear,” but it has the potential to be better than every other car show out there (not that there’s much decent competition), so maybe it’ll be worth watching even if it pales by comparison to the original.
10 Worst Cover Songs Who knew Shakira and Celine Dion both covered AC/DC songs? And who knew “Walk This Way” didn’t debut in the ’80-s as a duet between Aerosmith and Run-DMC (I did, but the list’s compilers apparently didn’t). Still pretty cool, though.
June 15, 2008
How great is Tiger Woods? Even if he doesn’t win his 18-hole playoff against Rocco Mediate (and kudos to Rocco, who’s a great guy to have on TV on Sunday), that clutch putt to tie was just awesome. (Photo by Getty Images)
June 14, 2008
I don’t know how that flashlight works, but I definitely want one (pic from Animal Radio).
June 13, 2008
Husbands of the Year. You think this one’s bad? Check out the guy in the tent! (Although, admittedly, he’s probably a boyfriend rather than a husband — I’m guessing most women don’t agree to go camping once they get that ring).
June 12, 2008
Did I miss a memo or something? Is “baby mama” now the slang term for “wife and mother”?
So you like to fish, and you think you’re pretty skillful with a rod and reel? Weep.
Remember the awesome MTV cartoon “Daria”? These comments on a blog post on “Daria” making fun of Jane magazine have me feeling nostalgic for it.
June 11, 2008
The Webby Awards are famous for limiting acceptance speeches to 5 words. Here’s the complete collection from this year. From the boring (“Flickr is honored, thank you”) to the hilarious (“Please help us monetize this” from Mobile NYTimes) to the thoughtful (“brave Iraqis made this possible” from Hometown Baghdad).
I wonder if they left a note thanking us for all the fish: Dolphin deaths: Expert suggests ‘mass suicide’
A photo-collection link that lives up to its billing: 25 Unbelievable Pictures You Probably Haven’t seen before.
June 10, 2008
The 50 Best Pun Stores: My favorites are the “Dirty Hoe” garden shop and “Fi-Dough” pet bakery.
June 9, 2008
Smithsonian Magazine has a nice (if brief) article on the historical context of evolutionary science in the 19th century. Someone once observed that cranks and kooks who seek to deny modern scientific theories always ignore the historical context in which the theory first arose (e.g. they forget that science was moving inexorably in that direction anyway, even if so-and-so hadn’t written such-and-such a paper). That’s especially true of evolution, and not just becaue Alfred Russel Wallace (my personal hero) came up with basically the same theory independent of Darwin (and, as the article notes, forced Darwin into rushing his ideas into print in order to claim his rightful priority).
P.S. The subtitle’s mention of “Favoured Races” refers to races (subspecies) of animals, not humans. Creationists love to pretend Darwin was a racist, but he was actually fairly progressive for his time (Wallace was even more so).
June 8, 2008
Back from our Grand Cayman vacation. Here’s where we stayed (and no, we didn’t use the pool once, but other people did for some reason). Here’s our photo gallery.