Archive for August, 2010

I’ve thought for a long time that every town should have its own local Wiki — a user-driven guide to anything and everything anybody think you should know about that area. Local history, interest, etc., social/political issues relating to the area, and also entries on restaurants, entertainment venues, businesses, and anything else that might be useful for people living there. The idea is catching on in a few places, as shown by this MeFi thread. Apparently, the most vital and vibrant ones seem to be located in (surprise!) college towns.  (pic via Oddmuse)


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If you’re wondering what the exclamation “Oh, snap!” is for, it’s pretty much this: “TIME Announces New Version of Magazine Aimed At Adults” — from The Onion, of course. For the record, I don’t read Time, but I subscribe to Newsweek, and they could have done that instead just as easily.

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Before there was “Attack of the Show,” there was “The Screen Savers” on TechTV (which eventually merged with AotS’ network G4). And among the awesome guests who made appearances were They Might Be Giants.

I’d never seen this clip of They Might Be Giants performing fan favorite “Particle Man” with John Linnell playing the baritone sax part on some weird handheld synthesizer thingy, and having fun struggling with the little stylus.

They also did “Stalk of Wheat,” “Another First Kiss” and “Wicked Little Critta” on the show (search results here). I found this on Paste Magazine’s “23 Greatest Sci-Fi Songs of All Time,” which has 2 TMBG songs (and lots of other good stuff).

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Social dis-ease

Awesome British geek sitcom “The IT Crowd” has a nifty fake commercial that hits a bit close to home for those of us who enjoy social networking. Friendface! It’s like a petri dish full of friendship germs!

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These Nichols & May beer commercials from the 1950s are terrific.  Apparently the famed comedy duo, who went on to fame together in a Broadway revue and then separately in film careers, just improvised these bits — taking care to include Narragansett’s official slogans in their patter — and then the cartoonist created the animations to accompany them.

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Wiki got knack

This entry on Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” is just one reason why Wikipedia just rules. It’s nice to see signs of a real person in the writing, rather than the dry-as-dust prose of most reference sources — even when the entry is clearly mimicking that prose:

“Mix-A-Lot also briefly touches upon the roles that ethnicity, nutrition, and physical fitness play in determining the shape and size of the female buttocks. He recommends that any exercises performed should be limited to the abdominal area. He cautions against a fitness routine strenuous enough to diminish the heft of the gluteal muscles. Though he offers no broad dietary guidelines, Mix-A-Lot contends that the dish “red beans and rice” is an important food staple for maintaining a healthy buttocks.”

You won’t find this in Britannica, or even World Book. (via Mental Floss)

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Grand old mags

Kevin Kelly is compiling a list of The Best Magazine Articles Ever. I’m pleased to see he’s including Gene Weingarten’s amazing article on children’s-party clown The Great Zucchini, which really should have won him his Pulitzer instead of the gimmicky stunt piece that did (although that one’s great as well). Seriously, I know an article on a guy who does jokes for kiddies at birthday parties sounds like the last thing you’d ever want to read (at least I hope it does), but you should read it. It’s an amazing piece of reporting and writing. (via Kottke)

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