Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Snuggies Without All the Laughs

It's been a while since I've seen Westworld, but weren't the guests in Roman World wearing these before the robots went crazy and killed everyone?

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The Twitter Doth Tweat Too Much, Methinks

Just caught OMGLists' "Nine Celebrities Who Quit Twitter." The list includes Seth MacFarlane, Joe Biden, John Edwards, Larry David and J.J. Abrams.

Twitter is latest of hot web 2.0 websites that celebrities have discovered and exploited for self promotion. Lord knows, they need another outlet to rub in our faces how much our lives suck versus theirs, right? While some celebrities still have yet to join the cult, others can't handle the stress of sending short, mundane updates to their fans. These nine celebs seem to have quit Twitter, and left their many fans in the dark.
Actually, I have no snarky anti-Twitter remark to add. Two reasons. First, I regularly post shit to a blog seen by only twenty to thirty people on any given day (often by mistake). Second, I just finished reading a Facebook thread where a dozen users, without the slightest trace of irony, tear into the vacuousness of the Twitter cult with comments like this:

I just can't comprehend the concept (and value) of people actually being interested in my short, mundane thoughts, so I pretty much NEVER update it. Think about it...who really gives a rat's ass that I'm craving four White Castles with cheese and a sack of fries? Am I alone here, people? Can someone explain the real value of this thing on a personal -- not a business -- level?

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Air Farce

I'm once again waved off by The New Yorker's "Cartoon Caption" contest (#197).

My entry was closer to the spirit of the weird and limiting illustration:

"I don't know how female pilots land in those things"
I thought it was better than the first two finalists:
  • "She thinks her bomb bay makes her look fat.” - okay, I suppose

  • "It's a pretty good aircraft, except that it keeps nagging you to ask for directions.” - does nothing for me

  • "She's a lover, not a fighter." - not bad, not bad at all

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Paybacks ARE a Bitch!

Wait a minute. I thought that middle-class folks weren't going to get hit with more taxes.

I hate to sound like a typical union basher, but what the fuck?

From Bloomberg

Unions’ Health Benefits May Avoid Tax Under Senate Proposal

The U.S. Senate proposal to impose taxes for the first time on “gold-plated” health plans may bypass generous employee benefits negotiated by unions.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, the chief congressional advocate of taxing some employer-provided benefits to help pay for a $1 trillion overhaul of the U.S. health system, says any change should exempt perks secured in existing collective-bargaining agreements, which can be in place for as long as five years.

The exception, which could make the proposal more politically palatable to Democrats from heavily unionized states such as Michigan, is adding controversy to an already contentious debate. It would shield the 12.4 percent of American workers who belong to unions from being taxed while exposing some other middle-income workers to the levy.

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Greatly Exaggerated

Yet another reason to mock Twitter.

From the The Inquisitr:
Harrison Ford not dead either

The rumors of celebrity deaths are flying thick and fast after Michael Jackson’s death today, and the latest alleged death in Harrison Ford.

Harrison Ford dead rumors started surfacing on Twitter at the same time Jeff Goldblum dead rumors
surfaced, and there’s more than a coincidence there because both are currently shooting a movie together. A news report circulating on Twitter claims Ford died on board a yacht cruising off the coast of St. Tropez.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Is It In Queue Yet?

I'm scanning the emails between South Carolina Goveroner Mark Sanford and "Maria." Most of it's the usual sappy stuff lovers say to each other.

However, I was struck by this one comment from Sanford:
Have been having a few email problems as I am getting email through an aircard at the farm, where access to computer world is more than tough. Please let me know if you have gotten my last two eamils (sic) so I know it is working in getting to your part of the world...
I know NOTHING about their situation. But, the amateur shrink in me wonders if Maria didn't always get back to Mark in a timely manner. This seems to force him to engage in the time honored male tradition of "just checking" to see if the technology is working (translation: "are you ignoring me?"). Why else send someone an email asking IF their email is working?

In the interests of personal full disclosure: been there, done that (well, it was with telephones, but same idea).

Speaking of needy, I've got "GOVS GONE WILD" stuff at my tabloidtshirts.com site.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Same As Hogwarts

The good news is that the DPS has 257 less teachers to layoff.

Audit reveals 257 ghosts on DPS payroll

A payroll audit this month at Detroit Public Schools turned up 257 names that will be subject to an investigation into illegal ghost employees, officials said Tuesday.

All of the district's estimated 13,880 workers had to pick up paychecks or direct-deposit slips in person by June 12 as a first step in determining if anyone who is not on the payroll is collecting pay.

There were 37 unclaimed paychecks and 220 unclaimed direct-deposit slips totaling about $208,000, said Odell Bailey, DPS's auditor general. He added that the recipients are not on approved leave.

Robert Bobb, DPS's state-appointed emergency financial manager, also said an audit has begun to determine if employees have unapproved health care dependents that are running up costs.

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Panic in Detroit

Detroit just can't catch a break. There's the embarrassment of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. General Motors and Chrysler go Chapter 11. Three Detroit sports teams break our hearts by getting into the finals but NOT bringing home the trophy (Red Wings, Pistons, Tigers). NOW we don't even crack the top twenty of the FBI's "most dangerous neighborhoods" as published in the Chicago Sun Times.

The Nation's 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods:
  1. Cincinnati, Central Pwky./Liberty St.
  2. Chicago, State St./Garfield Blvd.
  3. Miami, 7th Ave./North River Dr.
  4. Jacksonville, Beaver St./Broad St.
  5. Baltimore, North Ave./Belair Rd.
  6. Kansas City, Bales Ave./30th St.
  7. Memphis, Warford St./Mt. Olive Rd.
  8. Kansas City, Forest Ave./41st St.
  9. Dallas, Route 352/Scyene Rd.
  10. Richmond, Va., Church Hill
  11. Memphis, Bellevue Blvd./Lamar Ave.
  12. Dallas, 2nd Ave./Hatcher St.
  13. Springfield, Ill., Cook St./11th St.
  14. St. Louis, 14th St./Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
  15. Little Rock, Ark., Roosevelt Rd./Bond St.
  16. Philadelphia, Broad St./Dauphin St.
  17. Tampa, Amelia Ave./Tampa St.
  18. New York, St. Nicholas Ave./125th St.
  19. Chicago, 66th St./Yale Ave.
  20. Baltimore, Orleans St./Front St.
  21. Cleveland, Cedar Ave./55th St.
  22. Orlando, East-West Expy./Orange Blossom Trail
  23. Detroit, Mt. Elliott St./Palmer Ave.
  24. Chicago, Wallace St./58th St.
  25. Chicago, Winchester Ave./60th St.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

It's a bird, It's a plane, It's...

JibJab's latest political parody takes a "jab" at Obama's superhero status (for some, anyway).

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Still Needy

Even if the judges didn't, I think Abe Maslow himself would have appreciated my entry for The New Yorker's "Cartoon Contest" #195.

My submission was:
"We'll see how self-actualized you feel after a night on the couch."
While I liked mine better, I wouldn't say that the winners were deficient in any way. However, my own self-esteem is starting to take a beating:
  • "Don't give me that holier-than-thou attitude!"
  • "Which part of 'till death do us part' didn't you understand?"
  • "I guess it really did kill you to call."

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day Secrets

This week's PostSecrets was dedicated to "Father's Day."

As expected, the "secrets" ranged from simply sad to tragic:

However, this one really caught the spirit of the day for me:

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Citizen DeLorean

A trio of John DeLorean flicks? According to Wired, there are three such films in the works.

To quote John Z from the infamous drug deal tapes (while looking at a pile of cocaine): "It's gold!"

DeLorean’s Life Would Make a Great Movie. Three, Actually

There are few people in the history of the auto industry quite like John Z. DeLorean. He lived large and dreamed big, and his life story reads like the script of a Hollywood movie. Perhaps that’s why there are not one, but three, films about him in the works.
DeLorean was a man of action who launched the muscle car revolution, made a bundle, married a model and beat a cocaine rap after starting his own auto company — which, by the way, built an iconic car. If that isn’t the plot to a good flick, what is?

“It is almost like an updated Citizen Kane story of the great American entrepreneurial hero and how it all went wrong,” Nick Spicer of XYZ Films, one of the studios working on a biopic, told Variety.

So step right up and see the story of the man who led the last assault on Detroit (well, before the Japanese came along) and relive his Promethean fall in a multiplex near you.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Eat Your Heart Out Ron Popeil

Comfort Wipe or the shower brush? Make up your mind, I've got to adjust the chair.

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The Super iPhonomatic

Will it Blend 's Tom Dickerson does a "bassomatic" on the iPhone.

Listen carefully at the 1 minute mark. I swear it sounds just like the id monster from Forbidden Planet (clip below).

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Moonie Meme

Ironically, I found this video describing how cults use the meme as their primary method of propagation on Facebook.

From YouTube:
Diane Benscoter talks about how she joined the Moonies -- and stayed for five long years. She shares an insider's perspective on cults and extremist movements, and proposes a new way to think about today's most troubling conflicts.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Odd Man Out: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

[A Note From Maul “Secunde:” Most of what follows was written before my “Prime” incarnation had viewed the new Star Trek film. The premise of this piece was to establish why Star Trek 3: The Search for Spock was my favorite of the original crew movies. Having seen the “reimagining,” I’m a little conflicted. While the latest Star Trek movie doesn’t necessarily capture the feel of the 1960’s series any better than the initial six, it's now running neck and neck with TSFS in my mind for the top spot (my review here). Of course, I’ve always been attracted to bright, shiny objects. In order to avoid confusion, consider this piece as though it were written in a timeline where Abrams’ Star Trek didn’t exist.]

It’s conventional wisdom in fan circles that of the six “original cast” Star Trek films the even numbered outings (2, 4, and 6) are the best. I can understand why Treks 1 and 5 are generally held in low esteem. But I am perhaps the ONLY person who actually found 1984's Star Trek III: The Search for Spock to be the most faithful (and therefore the most enjoyable) of the first half dozen excursions.

...Read More at The House Next Door.

[Posted as part of the "Summer of '84" -- a co-production of The House Next Door and the Blog Talk Radio shows Back by Midnight (hosted by the initiator of this project, Aaron Aradillas) and Movie Geeks United! ]
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Bacteria: The New Plastic

This Wired story may actually cause The Graduate's Mr. McGuire to reconsider his advice to Benjamin.

Teen Decomposes Plastic Bag in Three Months

Plastic takes thousands of years to decompose — but 16-year-old science fair contestant Daniel Burd made it happen in just three months.

The Waterloo, Ontario high school junior figured that something must make plastic degrade, even if it does take millennia, and that something was probably bacteria.

...Burd mixed landfill dirt with yeast and tap water, then added ground plastic and let it stew. The plastic indeed decomposed more quickly than it would in nature; after experimenting with different temperatures and configurations, Burd isolated the microbial munchers. One came from the bacterial genus Pseudomonas, and the other from the genus Sphingomonas.

Burd says this should be easy on an industrial scale: all that’s needed is a fermenter, a growth medium and plastic, and the bacteria themselves provide most of the energy by producing heat as they eat. The only waste is water and a bit of carbon dioxide.

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Han Solo P.I.

A neat parody merging Star Wars and Magnum P.I. I wonder if they realize that Tom Selleck was originally slated to play Indiana Jones?

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Friday, June 12, 2009

He's Had His Kicks

For no particular reason, here's the Crispin Glover 1987 appearance on The Late Show when David Letterman was still cutting edge:

Since Letterman, the new "Mr. Wilson" of talk show hosts, wants to be more topical, I have some ideas for future monologues or "Top Ten Lists:"
  • The sexual assault charges against Barack Obama's half brother in Britain.

  • Ashley Biden's cocaine use caught on tape.

  • David Letterman knocking up his own girlfriend and then not marrying her for six years.
And yes, I agree that they're not any funnier than Letterman's jokes about Palin's daughter. That's the point.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Grandma Got Tased over By The Po-po

Combative grandma gets tasered by police officer after a routine traffic stop. It's a close call, but I tend to agree with Matt Lauer on this (Erin Burnett's an idiot).

The cop really didn't have any good options. Either use the taser or wrestle with an old lady right NEXT to the freeway (and possibly break one of her bones). That she later denied being disagreeable at all only makes me side with five-oh even more.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Living Doll

Too bad Kutcher didn't meant it when he tweated that he'd stop tweating?

From Contactmusic.com:

ASHTON KUTCHER is struggling with sleepless nights after agreeing to help his wife DEMI MOORE sort through her collection of over 3,000 dolls.The Ghost actress began collecting rare figurines while she was married to Bruce Willis and she has since amassed so many dolls, she has insured the lot for $2.25 million (£1.5 million). But Kutcher admits on his Twitter.com page he isn't as fond of the realistic toys as his wife is. And after checking out a few of the dolls, the actor is urging Moore to display them in her own museum - so he doesn't have to look at the creepy collection. He writes on the social networking site, "Spent the day going through wifey's insane doll collection. 3000 thousand contemporary art dolls all staring at U (sic). I'm gonna have nightmares. "I'm trying to convince wifey to open a doll museum. She also has thousands of Barbies and original GI Joes."

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Monday, June 08, 2009

90/10 Rule

Slate chronicles some mono-micro-bloggers otherwise known as "Orphaned Tweets:"

After examining some 300,000 Twitter accounts, a Harvard Business School professor reported last week that 10 percent of the service's users account for more than 90 percent of tweets. The study dovetails with recent analysis by the media research firm Nielsen asserting that 60 percent of Twitter users do not return from one month to the next. Both findings suggest that, thus far, Twitter has been considerably better at signing up users than keeping them.

Which got us to thinking—there must be a legion of Twitterers out there who sign up, tweet once, and never return. In the spirit of the great blog One Post Wonder, "a collection of blogs that have one post," we set out to find these orphaned tweets. Different people obviously have different tweet metabolisms, but we decided that any account that's been dormant for at least six months is fair game. We found several thousand of them.

...Reading many of these one-offs, you can't help but wonder whether some tragedy has come between the user and his second post.

Phillyrules it hurts to breathe. should I go to the hospital? 10:09 PM Aug 23rd, 2008

muthuboss life is hopeless ...... 10:26 PM Jul 6th, 2008

rvictor Trying to escape this insanity7:24 PM Jan 7th

jeffreyshardy Sitting next to a big, hairy, smelly guy on the bus5:04 PM Feb 11th

DouglasAllen I am writing an email to the makers of Spray N Wash to thank them for making a product that got the blood stains out of my new PJs and robe. 7:40 PM Aug 27th, 2007

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Sunday, June 07, 2009

Going Deep

Abner Doubleday's evil scheme is finally exposed. Slate reviews Death at the Ballpark: A Comprehensive Study of Game-Related Fatalities 1862-2007 (Robert M. Gorman/David Weeks) in "You're Out."

I wonder if anyone watching baseball ever died of boredom?

...Given the fetish for statistics in baseball, it was probably inevitable that someone would get around to recording this, too: the number of people baseball has rendered incapable of generating more statistics

...They chronicled 850 baseball deaths in Death at the Ballpark, spanning professional, amateur, Little League, and even backyard pickup games. And though the book purports to be comprehensive, readers have already tipped them off to about 50 incidents they missed.

The authors say their aim was to "raise awareness" about baseball's many dangers, but there aren't any recommendations for making the sport safer here, no real signs of impassioned outrage, and no warnings to suburban parents about aluminum bats. Death at the Ballpark is fundamentally a reference book—a list carefully organized into categories like "Thrown Ball Fatalities, Amateur Fatalities—Position Players" and "Thrown Ball Fatalities, Amateur Fatalities—Baserunners." Often, however, the authors pause for a half-page to narrate a death in noirlike detail. The opening paragraph of one entry ominously begins, "Patrick J. McTavey, 38, worked home plate during a heated semipro championship game on Long Island, NY, on September 26, 1927," and ends: "It was the last call he ever made."

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Saturday, June 06, 2009


While most of the rest of the world commemorates the anniversary of D-Day, they celebrate the 25th birthday of Tetris. What a bunch of assholes.

Bing, on the other hand, has an image of the Normandy Beach on their home page. I guess the choice is clear.

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Friday, June 05, 2009

Line Dancing

Surprisingly "Hey babe, wanna make an easy fifty bucks?" didn't make eHarmony's list of "Pickup Lines that Actually Work."

Number two strikes me as creepy.
Pickup Lines that Actually Work

If you’re the type of man who thinks that asking “if I told you that you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?” is likely to lead to an actual date, you may need some help. While some pickup lines sound great in a bar with your friends, out in the real world they’re likely to fall flatter than drywall.

...Here are six deceptively simple ideas to get you going.
  1. Are you Laurie James? - If you’ve got even the merest hint of shared history with someone, it makes approaching that person so much easier. So if you don’t, here’s an idea – pretend that you do...

  2. Hey, Nice Shoes - The main problems with most pickup lines are that they’re too generic and can clearly be aimed at anyone. So if you’re interested in someone you see while you’re out, pick something special about her and ask her about it. just blasting the room with random pickup lines...

  3. Don’t I Know you from Spinning Class? - Assuming some familiarity with someone is a perfect, nonthreatening way to approach a woman, and if you root your question in your own reality, you’ll be able to follow up, too...

  4. What Kind of Dog is That? - If the woman you have your eyes on is with a ‘prop,’ you’ve already got a clear advantage...

  5. I Just Got out of a Mexican Jail - Someone we know actually used this line and ended up marrying the girl he was directing it at...

  6. Let me Buy you a Drink - It’s not big, it’s not clever, but it’s straight, simple and directly to the point...

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Cafe Au Lait

I apologize in advance for chuckling at this Associated Press story. Not because of the actions of some a-hole arsonist (no one was hurt).  I just found the "Starbucks" meets "Hooters" concept funny.
Maine topless coffee shop gutted by overnight fire

A deliberately set fire destroyed a topless coffee shop early Wednesday, just hours after the owner talked with local officials about making the business more like a strip club, investigators said.

The fire at the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop was reported just before 1 a.m. by an ambulance that happened to be driving past.

The state fire marshal's office concluded it was arson after investigators, aided by a specially trained dog, sifted through the shop's ruins. Officials would not say how or where the fire started, but said evidence was taken to the state police crime lab for analysis.

The coffee shop featured waiters and waitresses without shirts serving coffee and doughnuts. Owner Donald Crabtree had met Tuesday night with planning officials to discuss adding a disc jockey, expanding parking and extending the hours of operation.

Crabtree said he spent $277,000 buying and renovating the former motel in Vassalboro, just north of Augusta. It wasn't insured, he said. He and six others who live in the old motel escaped the fire unharmed.

Crabtree said he's determined to reopen his business.

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"C" Minus

Last weekend, people with Lycos email accounts, such as myself, couldn't log in.

I was barred from my queue by a message instructing me to "upgrade" from a free email account to one that costs $20 a year. Since I had received absolutely NO prior warning, I was understandably upset. My address book and past correspondence was hopelessly trapped inside of a Lycos profile that I wasn't sure was worth a double sawbuck to rescue.

It turned out to be some sort of bug with the Lycos servers. On Monday, I got an email from Lycos CEO Jungwook Lim apologizing for the problem. However, I'm a little leery about the, and I quote, "exiting new features to be announced very soon." Well, you get what you pay for.

Dear Lycos Mail user,

Lycos Mail experienced an outage the evening of May 31 and the morning of June 1 which caused your Lycos Mail free account to appear to require an upgrade in order to log in. This message was in error and access to your Lycos Mail free account has been restored as of June 1.

We sincerely apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this incorrect message may have caused. We hope that you will continue to use Lycos Mail and we have some exiting new features to be announced very soon.

Thank you for being a loyal customer of Lycos.

Best Regards,
Jungwook Lim
CEO - Lycos, Inc.

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Monday, June 01, 2009


Borat, going commando except for some feathers, lands on Eminem's face at this year's MTV Movie Awards. Someone probably should have let the rapper in on the joke beforehand.

Oh the humanity! Or to paraphrase Les Nessman: as God is my witness, I thought angels could fly.

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Red Alert

Okay, it's way too early to celebrate. But I can't help myself.

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