"The only blog we have to fear is blog itself."

Friday, March 31, 2006

New album alert, eh 

Rick Moranis has recorded a country album:
A few years ago, just after [my kids] started listening to music almost exclusively from their computers, I began to hear traditional, bluegrass and jam-band coming from their rooms. They played me Phish, Jack Johnson, Widespread Panic, Moe, Stringcheese Incident and my favorite, Yonder Mountain Stringband. I also heard music they'd forgotten I'd played for them many years before-- The Band's "Music from Big Pink" and "The Last Waltz."

All of this brought back memories of my Radio days. As a kid I'd spent hours listening to 60's AM country crossover hits, like the Statler Brothers' "Flowers On the Wall", Johnny Cash's "Boy Named Sue", Roger Miller's "England Swings" and "King of the Road".

I'd later find myself as a DJ at CKFH in Toronto while it briefly tried being a county music station. There I played them all. Willie and Waylon, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn...

Now, all these years later, I'd rediscovered country and bluegrass through my kids.
Moranis' originals include part-sincere/part-satirical songs like "Nine More Gallons" (which sounds straight out of SCTV):
I work all day
To pay the rent.
Before the money's earned,
It's all been allocated.
I got nothing on my plate,
But I wish that I were fat.
Nine more gallons,
And I'll have me a hat.
Hear music here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lookalikes! Lookalikes! Lookalikes! 





Fame Slouches Towards Des Moines... 

Student lives at Wal-Mart for 41 hours:
For 41 hours, [Drake University sophomore Skyler] Bartels wandered the aisles of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Windsor Heights that's open 24 hours a day. He checked out shoppers, read magazines, watched movies on the DVD display and played video games.

He bought meals at the in-store Subway sandwich shop, but was able to catch only brief naps in a restroom stall or on lawn chairs in the garden department.

Other shoppers and employees didn't pay much attention until the end of his stay, he said, when it appeared some store greeters began to take notice -- pointing at him and whispering.
And, then, inevitably:
Then, The Des Moines Register...called to ask him about the experience. Once the story ran, TV networks began calling.

He also talked with a book agent, has been contacted by New Line Cinema about a movie concept and did a radio interview with National Public Radio.
I like how the NPR interview is listed with the rarified book and movie "concepts" instead of with the lowly TV networks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Drowsy teens dozing off at school, on the road:
America is raising a nation of sleep-deprived kids, with only 20 percent getting the recommended nine hours of shuteye on school nights and more than one in four reporting dozing off in class.

Many are arriving late to school because of oversleeping and others are driving drowsy, according to a poll released Tuesday by the National Sleep Foundation.
This is news? This is new?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Southpaw Blogging 

Study: Left-Handed Snails Have Advantage:
Left-handed snails are better than righties at defending against predators, according to a new study that suggests lefties have the same competitive advantage in nature that they enjoy on the baseball diamond or in the boxing ring.

The study, published in this month's Royal Society Biology Letters, suggests that snails whose shells coil toward the left were more likely to survive crab attacks than those whose shells coil toward the right.

"It's just a frequency issue," said Yale geologist Gregory P. Dietl, one of the study's authors. "As long as you're rare, you're going to have an advantage."
As a left-hander, I find this interesting but unsure how to exploit this "advantage" in everyday life. Perhaps I should pick fights with right-coiled snails?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I just want to rave for a moment... 

  • Jackie Greene, American Myth - he still wears his Dylanesque qualities on his sleeve, but he does it quite well, so all is forgiven. less folkie and more rock on this album, but chockablock with excellent songs. very solid.

  • Gomez, How We Operate - a very coherent release from the Brit indiepsychbluesrockers (neologistically speaking), busting at the seams with melodic rock songs.

  • Scott Miller & the Commonwealth, Citation - Knoxville's fine historian/rocker possibly topped his last record.

  • Built to Spill, You in Reverse - indie guitar rock done right. just as good as (if not better than) their '90s heyday output.

  • Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit - retro pop fine as well-milled as the highest grade confectioner's sugar. and from Glaswegians. could you expect anything less?


Friday, March 17, 2006

Bird Watching 

Tucked in at the end of an article about Jessica Simpson's dithering about whether to appear at a Washington fundraiser and get "face time" with President Bush is a thumbnail sketch bio about Simpson for those who aren't familiar with that "other" Simpson family:
Simpson, 25, a Texas native who started out singing in her church choir, became a star on the Christian music circuit as a teenager and crossed over to the pop mainstream with her major-label debut album "Sweet Kisses" in 1999.

She became an overnight MTV sensation in 2003 as co-star of a reality show chronicling her first year of wedlock with fellow pop vocalist Nick Lachey, but she filed for divorce in December after three stormy years of marriage. Simpson is currently featured wearing cowboy boots and hot pants in a TV pizza ad.
What's up with that last sentence? Sounds like we've just spotted the bird species Reporterus Droolingus! (closely related to the species Constructionworkeri Wolfwhistlus)

Oh, and according to the article, Jessica's pet charity?
Operation Smile, a non-profit venture offering free plastic surgery for disadvantaged children overseas with facial deformities.
Yup, plastic surgery for all!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Billion Dollar Babies! 

Calif. man caught with fake billion-dollar bills:
The counterfeit money looked good, but there was one flaw. There's no such thing as a $1 billion bill.


Further investigation led agents to a West Hollywood apartment where they found the stash of yellowing and wrinkled $1 billion bills with an issue date of 1934 and bearing a picture of President Grover Cleveland.

"You would think the $1 billion denomination would be a giveaway that these notes are fake, but some people are still taken in," said James Todak, a secret services agent involved in the probe.
Not that far afield from The Simpsons episode ("The Trouble With Trillions") where Harry Truman has a one trillion dollar bill made, supposedly in 1945, for post-war Europe reconstruction.

"Ooh! A trillion dollar bill. That's a spicy meatball!" ~~Homer

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Diaper your horse, or not? 

The question:
Does making a horse wear a diaper constitute an infringement upon its owner's religious freedom?
The result:
Perhaps wary of a fight over civil rights as they pertain to the regulation of horse excrement, local officials in Ebensburg, Cambria County [PA], dropped consideration of an ordinance requiring operators of horse-drawn carriages to affix "containment devices" to the business ends of horses as they clip-clop through the newly beautified downtown streets.
The backstory:
Ebensburg, population 3,100, has a small community of Amish that drive their buggies into town from small farms. Active participants in the farmers market and other businesses, they usually keep to residential side streets, said Ebensburg Mayor Charles Moyer. Occasionally, their horses dump a load of manure directly in front of someone's house.
The money quote:
"If somebody doesn't want to apply one of these devices to their horse, I don't know how you go about forcing them to."
The runner-up:
"As a rule, traffic pretty much takes care of it and eliminates the problem, with the cars running over it and smashing it around."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Live action Simpsons 

This is awesome:The Simpsons come to life (ignore the text's conflating of Maggie and Lisa, though, and head straight for the video)!

the name of this summit is the talking heads 


Saturday, March 04, 2006

Excuse the language but... 

Kermit the Frog is a fucking sellout.

There, I said it.

In an ad campaign which debuted during the Superbowl, Kermit is shilling a hybrid SUV by playing off his iconic song "Bein' Green." I don't mind Kermit shilling for a car company exactly; it's been rather a few years since his prime earning years, so he might be hard up for cashflow. I mean, I would hope that his hookers 'n' blow years were left behind in the '70s/'80s heyday, when Kermit and his pals had a hit TV show and movies which were both popular and critically lauded. But, still, I'm sure he developed a taste for life's finer things, to say nothing of the upkeep on those Beverly Hills and Orlando lilypads.

But even more than the money, Kermit likely misses the entertainment industry power he once wielded. Today, he's just another minion cranking out inoffensive product for Disney. No longer in the headlines, no longer able to demand meetings with studio execs at Spago, glory fading like a yellowing newspaper in garage scrapheap. He's like latter-era Bob Hope: he's an American institution with the magic gone, the public and the industry pays respect but everyone's just going through the motions and pretending that the laughs are just as big as they were in the old days.

So I can picture the poor bastard these days as Barfly Kermit, buttonholing people after a few rounds to regale them with war stories of working with Harry Belafonte and Carol Burnett and Rowlf the Dog--the startled fellow bar patrons reacting first with delight, then with sympathy, and finally with growing discomfort with their inability to politely quit themselves of the increasingly desperate and slurring frog's conversation.

I can understand, therefore, Kermit thinking that a Super Bowl ad and its subsequent large-scale ad campaign might have a shot at leading him on a path back to the fame and fortune of his salad days.

But why oh why, Kermit, did you have to pimp yourself out along with your song "Bein' Green"?

Along with "The Rainbow Connection," "Bein' Green" represented all that was young and idealistic about that firebrand frog that America first fell in love with.
It's not easy bein' green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over 'cause you're
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky
This is a song about the importance of being an individual, and not letting society dictate who you are. This is a song about following your own path, regardless of popularity or trends, while also realizing that you don't have to be better, faster, louder, stronger to be unique.
When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder, why wonder?
I am green and it'll do fine
It's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be
Thus, while advertising would have you believe that you MUST accept the flash of being red or yellow or gold to be acceptable unique--and purchase the appropriate products to allow you to achieve this redness or yellowness or goldness--Kermit taught us so long ago that we can accept the greenness within.

Or so we thought. Now, apparently, Kermit would have us believe that it IS actually easy being green as long as we purchase the right car.

Kermit the Frog is a fucking sellout.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


The folks over at E! are apparently (and rightfully) fed up with the jackassery of ex-Creed singer Scott Stapp. A new story moved this morning and run on Yahoo has a wee bit of fun at Stapp's expense:
Scott Stapp doesn't think too highly of "someone."

The Associated Press released quotes Wednesday from an AP Radio interview in which the former Creed singer accuses "someone" of being behind the recent release of a sex tape.

"Obviously, someone wants to hurt me, and doesn't want me to be successful in my solo career," Stapp told AP Radio.

"Someone" could not be located for comment.
Indeed. Perhaps Stapp is under attack by Bil Keane's "Not Me" or "Ida Know"?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Wikipedia Pool 

The "Eleventy-billion pool":
This is a pool for predicting the date at which the number of articles (as defined by the official article count presented on the Special:statistics) in the English Wikipedia reaches 110,000,000,000 (one hundred and ten billion). The person who comes closest to the actual date is the winner (of fame lasting one hundred ten billion years). The current number of articles in the English Wikipedia is 1,000,599. It may be a while.

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