Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fake Google Results: What Happens in Vegas, Number of Deaths in Rambo, Rick Astley, etc.

A funny collection of oddball Google search results became one of the most popular items on today, until it turned out that they were fake results. They're funny nevertheless, and you can see them here. They're a goof on Google's "onebox" results, which summarize the most likely or popular search results in a handy table.

It's meant to be a take-off on other bizarre and/or dumb Google searches, such as "number of horns on a unicorn? (ummm, "uni" means one). Here's a sampling of the "results" listed:

Google search: Things Rick Astley would never do
Results: Give you up, let you down, make you cry, say goodbye

Google search: Number of deaths in Rambo
Results: Rambo: First Blood - 1; Rambo: First Blood Part II - 69, etc.

Google search: What happens in Vegas
Results: Stays in Vegas

Google search: I know kung fu
Results: For the last time, no you don't

Google search: Weeeelllll...
Results: Kyle's Mom's a bitch

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Things That Rick Astley Would Never Do ...

Thanks to the recent phenomenon of "rick rolling," many of us cannot get Rick Astley's hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up" out of our heads. In the song, the deep-voiced singer gives a laundry list of the things that he would never do to his lady love. What things would Rick Astley never do, and how do they rank? Thanks to the Internet, we now know!

Many Web sites have compiled data on the things ol' Rick, now a middle-aged dude with a kid, Would Never Do, according to their mention in the song.

So what are the things that Rick Astley would never do, and how frequently would he not do them? The Web site MLive has put together a handy pie chart to show us all. And The Phoenix supplies the data in cartoon format.

Yet another life-affirming task performed by the Internet... keeping us all informed of The Things That Rick Astley Would Never Do!

Paul Davis Dies; Singer-Songwriter Had a Hit with "I Go Crazy"

Paul Davis, best known for his 1978 pop hit single "I Go Crazy," died Tuesday at a hospital in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. In an odd twist of fate, he died of complications of a heart attack that he suffered on Monday, which was his 60th birthday.

"I Go Crazy" was a big and long-lived hit for Paul Davis (I remember hearing it on AM radio for many months back in the '70s), but he also had popular chart hits with "Love or Let Me Be Lonely" and "'65 Love Affair." He was able to write successful tunes in pop, country, and soul.

You can hear some of the songs of Paul Davis at his MySpace page.

The singles by Paul Davis included duets with artists including Marie Osmond and Tanya Tucker.

It's Administrative Professionals' Day

Once again it's Administrative Professionals' Day, the day to honor secretaries, receptionists, go-fers, and other office support staff. Back in the day when I was an "administrative professional," it was called Secretary's Day, but the name was later changed because the word secretary was thought to have negative connotations (much like salespeople in all kinds of stores and companies are now euphemistically called "representatives" instead of salespeople or clerks).

I was surprised to learn in Wikipedia that Secretary's Day was spearheaded by an executive at the Young & Rubicam ad agency, back in the 1950s, along with the National Secretaries Association, now known as the International Association for Administrative Professionals (IIAP).

It was an ad agency where I began my career as what was called a "group assistant" — an entry-level person who provided administrative support to a group of people in a team. In my case, it was to a Creative Director and his eight-person group, made up of art directors, designers, and copywriters.

You can learn more about Administrative Professionals' Day, which is actually part of Administrative Professionals' Week, in the FAQ at the IIAP's Web site. The Week is observed annually during the last full week in April, Sunday through Saturday, and the day is always the Wednesday of that week.

To all administrative professoinals, go-fers, and other assorted desk jockeys, Happy Administrative Professionals' Day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Pope’s Cologne, Pope Benedict Bobblehead, and Other Souvenirs

Pope Benedict XVI has left the U.S., but don't worry, you can always get a papal souvenir to remind yourself of his visit. And there are souvenirs commemorating his predecessors as well. The religion Web site takes a look at some of the more interesting and amusing Pope souvenirs, with photos.

There's the Pope Benedict XVI bobblehead (above), Pope-on-a-rope soap, the John Paul II air freshener, the Pope Benedict nut cracker, and even a John Paul II action figure. Also featured is The Pope’s Cologne (below), which has kind of a retro feel since it commemorates Pope Pius IX, who reigned back in the nineteenth century.

The CBS Sunday Morning show did a story yesterday on The Pope’s Cologne, which is made by a doctor in California as a labor of love (and also of faith, it seems). According to the story, the doctor came across the formula for the cologne that Pius IX wore, did some research one how cologne is made, and started making it himself.

He's tried to get stores to sell The Pope’s Cologne, but it sounds like it's a tough market to crack, with so many fragrances out there (many with sexy, seductive, or mysterious names).

"Fire Bill Maher" Movement Underway at

Bill Maher is no stranger to controversial remarks, but this time he seems to have really stepped in it with his comments about the Pope and Catholicism in general. In fact, a Catholic anti-abortion group has organized a campaign called "Fire Bill Maher" at to get him kicked off his job at HBO.

Among other things, he calls the Catholic Church "the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia." Comparing the Church to the Texas religious compound that was recently raided, Maher says, "the Catholic Church is no better than this creepy Texas cult." Maher also compares Pope Benedict XVI to a cult leader and accuses him of urging a cover-up to keep the child sexual abuse scandal under wraps.

Maher did apologize for one of his remarks during that segment, in which he said that the Pope is a former Nazi, and said he wouldn't make that joke again. (As a young man, the then Josef Ratzinger was forced to join a Nazi youth organization.)

You can see the video of Maher's comments here.

But the organization behind the Fire Bill Maher movement isn't satisfied with Maher's apology, saying it doesn't go far enough, reports Albuquerque TV station KOAT.

This controversy may keep percolating for some time.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Danica Patrick Takes Japan 300 - First Woman IndyCar Winner

Congrats to Danica Patrick of the U.S., who on Sunday won the Japan 300 race, becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar race.

Patrick finished just about six seconds ahead of Helio Castroneves, taking the lead from him on the 198th lap of the 200-lap race. She credited her team for its strategy that enabled her to take the lead late in the race while the other leaders had to pit to take on fuel.

For Danica Patrick, now 26 years old, the race was the realization of the promise she showed when she burst on the scene of Indy racing at the 2005 Indianapolis 500. She got the monkey off her back in her 50th career IndyCar start, and this win will give her a good shot of momentum a month before the 2008 Indy 500.

Danica Patrick will be one of three female entrants in this year's 32-racer Indy 500 field. The others are Venezuela's Milka Duno and another American, Ohio native Sarah Fisher.

Fisher, long a fan favorite, recently formed her own racing team with two female racing legends, Janet Guthrie and Lyn St. James. Sarah Fisher will be looking for her first IndyCar win. The Indy 500 will be her next race, and as part of the lead-up to that race she will be appearing on The Today Show on Wednesday, April 23rd.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Mystery of Mereana Mordengard Glasgow

Mereana Mordengard Glasgow is an odd term related to an even odder (and possibly sinister) video. It's hard to find much information on the subject, but according to one Web site it refers to a video that shows a man's still face for close to two minutes, then in the last few seconds, shows a close-up of the face, with the man smiling.

If that Web site can be believed (I have no idea if it can), Mereana Mordengard Glasgow (also called Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv) has a disturbing history:

"'The full video lasts 2 minutes, and was removed by Youtube after 153 people who viewed the video gouged out their eyes and mailed them to Youtube’s main office in San Bruno. Said people had also committed suicide in various ways. It is not yet known how they managed to mail their eyes after gouging them out. And the cryptic inscription they carve on their forearms has not yet been deciphered.

Youtube will periodically put up the first 20 seconds of the video to quell suspicions, so that people will not go look for the real thing and upload it. The video itself was only viewed by one Youtube staff member, who started screaming after 45 seconds.'"

Sounds like an urban legend to me, especially the send-your-eyeballs-to-YouTube: how do people package and mail their eyeballs if they have no eyes to see what they're doing?).

Anyway, the Mereana Mordengard Glasgow / Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv legend makes for a creepy story, and might make a good scary short story or movie.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Marcus Buckingham - How to Take Control of Your Career and Life

Marcus Buckingham was a guest on the Oprah show today, talking about how people can grab control of their careers and other aspects of their lives. Buckingham is a consultant and motivational speaker who is called a "strengths coach," which I guess is something like a life coach who specializes in building on a person's strengths.

You can find the details of Buckingham's workshop at

In his appearance on Oprah, Marcus Buckingham concentrated on finding out whether folks were satisfied in their jobs. He spoke with several people and had "I Hate My Job Interventions," drawing on the principles taught in his book Go Put Your Strengths to Work.

Vermont Man Told to Clean Feces Off of His Property

A Dummerston, Vt. man has been ordered to clean up the human and animal waste found on his property, according to the Brattleboro Refomer. The man's septic system failed, leading him to use a commode and to dump the contents on the yard.

Public officials investigated a complaint and, finding that he did indeed have human and animal waste on his property, and that it posed a public health hazard, ordered him to remove it. They've also instructed him to hire a professional to fix the septic tank.

Just throwing poop on the lawn wasn't his only offense, though. Town officials "ordered Barrows to immediately stop defecating and urinating on the floors, out the windows and on the yard."

It's not the man's first run-in with the authorities regarding potty habits, either. Last summer officials found that the home was in need of repair and had debris inside and out, and that "human feces was present in and around the toilet area in the basement with no running water or septic to handle the waste."

And to think that some people complain about their neighbors when the grass gets a little long...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

American Idol April 16th Results

Mariah Carey sang her new single, and one more contestant got eliminated on American Idol on April 16th. What were the results and who got to stay?

Check PopCrunch here for the story on tonight's American Idol results.

Mariah Carey has been mentoring on American Idol this week, and it continued Wednesday, results night, when Carey took the stage to sing her new single "Bye Bye," the latest from her album, E=MC2.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tricia Walsh-Smith and the "YouTube Divorce" - Video

Breaking up with someone by text message seems quaint compared to the antics of Tricia Walsh-Smith, who has lashed out against her husband in a video she posted on YouTube.

Why is this getting so much press? Well, Tricia Walsh-Smith is a playwright and former actress who is married to Philip Smith, president of the Shubert Organization, which is the largest theater owner on Broadway. (You can find Tricia Walsh-Smith's official Web page here.) Tricia Walsh-Smith is 25 years younger than her husband.

In the video Walsh-Smith pages through the couple's wedding photos, calling one family member "evil;" discusses the couple's, um, intimate relations (or rather lack of them); and has the camera zoom in on a picture of her husband, adding the caption "Mean, Bad Husband."

Although her video is being casually called the "YouTube Divorce," it's basically a rant, although if the two decided to divorce Mr. Smith could certainly use the YouTube episode as ammunition in arguing that Tricia Walsh-Smith is overly impulsive or unstable. (Ironically, the name of one of Ms. Walsh-Smith's plays is "Bonkers.")

Looks like one of those situations where a person is so upset at a situation that she shoots herself in the foot (or with a camera) in order to lash out at the object of her anger!

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Wall Street Journal Parody

No, it's not my parody, but it's a spoof on Rupert Murdoch and his latest corporate acquisition, the Wall Street Journal. The New York Press says that My Wall Street Journal is a parody created by National Lampoon editor Tony Hendra and some folks from The Onion, Comedy Central, and others.

With articles with titles such as "Could Hillary Win as an African-American Male?" and "Bush Abolishes Death, Taxes," it's sure to amuse readers and annoy Mr. Murdoch and other folks at Dow Jones.

Check out My Wall Street Journal here.

The New York Press article says that Hedra and some others created another parody of the nation's leading financial publication back in the 1980s with the Off the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Science of Sex Explored in the New Book "Bonk"

Is wearing polyester hazardous to your sex life? That's one of the odd findings suggested by a study cited in the new book, Bonk: The Curious Couple of Science and Sex. The book looks at the history of research on sex, and the study with polyester was one in which rats dressed in polyester pants got less sex than rats that weren't in polyester (I wonder if it's because the non-poly rats were bottomless, which potential rat mates might find more erotic, but actually I'm trying to block the entire subject of rat sex out of my mind.)

Bonk may sound like an odd take on its subject, this isn't the first time its author, Mary Roach, has tackled an unusual topic in a humorous manner. Roach is also the author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

And like a good researcher, Roach made herself into a guinea pig in sex research. You can hear here talk about this and other aspects of the book, and read a brief excerpt from it, in this interview from National Public Radio.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Hawk Attacks A-Rod in Fenway Park!

A hawk attacked A-Rod in Fenway Park yesterday, but it wasn't the New York Yankees' player, it was a 13-year-old girl named Alexa Rodriguez.

The girl, on a tour of Fenway with a school trip from Connecticut, was bleeding from the scalp but wasn't seriously injured. A teacher who was a chaperone on the trip said Alexa Rodriguez was "a little shaken, but OK."

Some people thought this may have been an omen for the Yankees hitter Alex Rodriguez. Maybe the Red Sox have programmed the player's name into a microchip in the hawk's brain and trained it to attack a person with that name, and the hawk thought "Alexa" was the same as "Alex"?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Kelly Cutrone's People's Revolution has Reality TV Stars

Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port of MTV's "The HIlls" both work for the New York and L.A. public relations firm People's Revolution, which specializes in fashion and celebrity branding.

People's Revolution is the PR firm owned and run by well-known public relations maven Kelly Cutrone. It specializes in the fashion and style industries, and is usually heavily involved in New York's Fashion Week shows. You can find an interview here that Kelly Cutrone did with New York's Gawker Web site before Fashion Week in Fall 2004, in which she talks about what she likes and doesn't like about fashion shows.

If you're in the business of getting publicity, having not one but two pretty young reality TV stars working in your firm isn't a bad idea, as PR Week has noted.