Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's a Merry, Scary Regretsy Christmas!

As if it wasn't enough that the good folks at Regretsy bring us the finest, most bizarre hand-crafted items, they've now birthed a Christmas video in their inimitable style.

It features a number of iconic and/or unusual images with a photo of a cat popping up, Zelig-style, in the midst of them (from Apocalypse Now to the Hindenberg disaster to a zombie movie). All with singing cats musical accompaniment. Zombies? Cats? You had me at "Meow"!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Washington D.C. Snowball Fight Gun Video: What the...?

Here is the most complete video I've seen of the now-infamous incident in which a plainclothes policeman in Washington, D.C. pulls out a gun after his Hummer is hit by snowballs during a street snowball fight. The D.C. snowball fight gun video is five minutes long and although it stops at various times, it shows what seems to be a complete view of the scene.

The cop doesn't immediately identify himself as a police officer, and uniformed police later show up in response to calls about a man with a gun. The plainclothes cop seems to calm down once his uniformed brethren arrive. The crowd, which heard about the planned snowball fight via Facebook and Twitter, start shouting, "You don't bring a gun to a snowball fight!"

The Washington City Paper has an article on the snowball fight gun incident based on eyewitness reports.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Tiger Woods Mistress Count Update: 6? 10? More?

The Tiger Woods philandering controversy isn't settling down. To the contrary, it keeps growing. After the first few days, it seemed there were three women who claimed to have hooked up with the golfer, or were rumored to have. Here's an update, though: As of today the alleged Tiger Woods Mistress Count seems to be up to 9, or 10, depending on your sources.

For the tabloid press and TV, this Tiger Woods mistress story is the gift that keeps on giving... a perfect economic shot-in-the-arm for an other wise dreary holiday season!

Among the names mentioned so far: Mindy Lawton and Jaimee Grubbs (the only two who have publicly admitted having affairs with Woods, according to the New York Daily News), Rachel Uchitel, Holly Sampson, Jaimie Jungers, Kalika Moquin, and Cori Rist.

Jaimee Grubbs was a star on the ironically named VH1 TV show "Tool Academy."

The Daily News also offers a collage of photos of women linked to Tiger Woods, in case you're having trouble keeping them all straight.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Amanda Knox MySpace Page - "Foxy Knoxy" [Update: Where is She Now?]

Above: Amanda Knox's alleged MySpace page. Tom is her only friend! (bottom right).

It turns out that there's a MySpace page for Amanda Knox, the American student convicted the other day of murdering her roommate. The name in the URL is "foxyknoxy03," and the MySpace page and address were shown on TV on a special program about the Knox case on CBS Saturday night.

 * * * * * * * * * *
UPDATE, October 2016: 
Since there's been so much reader interest in Amanda Knox's MySpace page over the years, we thought we'd do an update. (She's active online, as you'll find out below.) MySpace, of course, has long since faded from popularity, and Knox's page went dead before that. 

The good news is that after numerous legal procedures, Amanda Knox is finally free and vindicated for good, and happily living in the Seattle area. We don't know if she's on MySpace anymore, but she is active on Twitter (@amamaknox, a contraction of her full name, Amanda Marie Knox).

Her Twitter bio reads: 
Exoneree. Author of WAITING TO BE HEARD. Columnist for the WEST SEATTLE HERALD. Freelance writer.
Seattle, Washington  ·
Knox appeared on the ABC news program Nightline on Sept. 30, 2016 to talk about her current life as an exoneree, and how she's using her experience to help others. She is something that's the subject of a new Netflix documentary about her case (titled, not surprisingly, "Amanda Knox.") 

There's an Amanda Knox Facebook account, too, which you can find here. Knox current has more than 10,000 people following her public Facebook feed.

 * * * * * * * * * *
The page shows last login as 12/6/08, and the signup date as 2/1/08. In other words, the MySpace page was created while Amanda Knox was in custody in Italy. So was it created by her, or a friend or family member? 

The Amanda Knox MySpace page has info including:

22 years old
seattle, Washington
United States
Last Login:12/6/2008
- - - - - -

Clicking on the blog list on the MySpace page gives this information:

Friday, February 01, 2008
This page is Amanda's Original Myspace Page.
It is reserved for her for when she is released.

Is Tom Anderson really Knox's only friend? Maybe she or her reps haven't had the chance to go through all the numerous friend requests... and comments from various nutcases, no doubt.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

BBC's Funny Talking Animals - "Walk on the Wild Side" Preview

I don't usually spend a lot of time at YouTube, but these talking-animal videos from the BBC have kept be laughing much of the Thanksgiving weekend. The marmot who keeps shouting "Alan! Alan!" cracks me up, as well as the critters standing on their hind legs who seem to be relieving themselves and the giraffes who keep smacking each other's necks.

Unfortunately, I can't access BBC shows in the U.S. so I have no idea what this TV show they're promoting is all about - it can't be a half hour of odd animals with human voiceovers, I'm guessing. (Or maybe it is: a note on one of the videos says that the series "combines the comedy talents of Jason Manford and friends together with some jaw-dropping natural history footage.")

There are many other "Walk on the Wild Side" videos on YouTube, too, including a frog conducting Beethoven, an exotic bird dancing to Michael Jackson, and a lion who gets his hair cut to look like Elton John.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Why Won't My Parakeet Eat My Diarrhea?" - Google's Bizarre Search Suggestions

It's been the top search term on Google Trends today. But are there really that many people asking, "Why Won't My Parakeet Eat My Diarrhea?"

The answer seems to be in the search giant's Google Suggest feature, in which you type letters or words into the Google search box in your browser, and Google gives you suggestions based on popular terms that other users have entered. If you start to type in "Why won't...," the parakeet query is one that comes up near the top.

As for the origins of the question "Why Won't My Parakeet Eat My Diarrhea?," it's possible it is a term from a TV show or is some other pop-culture reference. Similarly, if you type in "Why is...," one of the first results that Google offers is "Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?" If I recall correctly, this is a line from an episode of "Lost," in which Hurley's mom sees the drugged Sayyid passed out on the sofa in the Reyes home.

Monday, November 09, 2009

What's Up With Sammy Sosa's Face?! The World Wants to Know!

Left: Sammy Sosa looks like a zombie. His wife's looking good, though.

Is ex-big league slugger Sammy Sosa pulling a Michael Jackson? There's been lots of speculation over his lightened skin at a recent appearance at the Latin Grammy Awards. So what's the story?

Between the light skin and that creepy look in his eyes (as well as the shiny suit), Sammy Sosa looks like a zombie.

But no, he's not trying to look like the King of Pop, and he hasn't joined the ranks of the living dead. "He is going through a rejuvenation process for his skin. Women have it all of the time," says a former Chicago Cubs employee who keeps in touch with Sosa, quoted in the L.A. Times. Although she says the lighting lends to the strange appearance of Sosa's face, she admits that "It did come out looking weird" in the photos. Yeah, you can say that again.

Whatever kind of skin bleaching or other procedure it was, the results leave a lot to be desired.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bombshell: David Letterman Admits Affairs with Staffers; Says Victim of Extortion Attempt

Something tells me David Letterman is going to get a lot more viewers tonight. The longtime TV host admitted on Thursday, Oct. 1st that he had had sexual affairs with different female members of his staff, and claimed that someone tried to extort money from him to keep the matter quiet.

He made the admission during the taping of his show, and also issued a release. A person has been arrested for trying to extort $2 million from Letterman in exchange for not making Letterman's sexual relationships public.

Letterman has been with longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko since 1986, and they have a six year old son. They married last March.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

People of Walmart - Photos of the Unusual Folks at America's Biggest Store

Who goes to Walmart? The Web site People of Walmart offers a photographic record of the odd, the unusual, the weird folks who come to the biggest chain store in the U.S. There are people with mullets, people who seem to be in contact with beings from another planet, lots of people who need to lose a LOT of weight, and, for some reason, folks who are wearing shirts that don't have much fabric to them. (Or, no shirts at all.)

The People of Walmart site has been offline for a bit Thursday night, but they assure us that now back and will have more photos up soon. And you can breathlessly keep up with their latest updates because, you guessed it, they're on that newfangled Twitter than that all the kids are using. You can find them at

Check out the photos of People of Walmart. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll probably throw up a little.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Longtime U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy Has Died

Edward "Ted" Kennedy, a longtime U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, died Tuesday night at the age of 77, his family announced. He had been suffering from brain cancer for the last year.

Ted Kennedy is the younger brother of two famous American politicians, both of whom were killed by assassins: President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Senator from California Robert Kennedy (who was running for the Democratic nomination for president at the time he was killed).

Ted Kennedy died shortly before midnight at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Ironically one of his sisters, Eunice Shriver, died in recent weeks. Ted Kennedy was too ill to attend her funeral. One of her daughters, Maria Shriver, is a former TV personality who is married to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kennedy was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1962, when he was 30 years old. He made a couple of unsuccessful runs for president of the country, but never came close to getting his party's nomination.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 8 - They're Baaaack - Tonight!

The dysfunctional family known as Jon & Kate Plus 8 returns to TV tonight, and viewers will no doubt be tuning in in droves to find out what's happened since the show went of the air more than a month ago, with the couple announcing that they are separating.

Jon has been spotted with various young women, including the daughter of the surgeon who performed his wife's tummy tuck. Is this guy nuts?

And the NY Daily News reports that Kate has been seen packing camping equipment into her SUV. Is she taking the kids camping, or planning to roast Jon over an open fire?

The article also includes the preview of tonight's episode (above), which shows Kate setting up a tent in her back yard, as preparation for the camping trip, apparently.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Breaking: Buys Zappos has made a huge purchase today, buying the online shoe and clothing retailer for $807 million. CEO Tony Hsieh sent an email informing his employees today, suggesting "Please set aside 20 minutes to carefully read this entire email."

According to an article on the technology and social media blog, the Amazon-Zappos deal will be for "$807 million in Amazon stock, plus about $40 million in cash and restricted stock."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Legendary News Anchor Walter Cronkite Dies at Age 92

Longtime CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite, one the the legends of TV news, has died at the age of 92.

He started in journalism in the 1930s and later became a familiar TV face known to virtually all Americans, at a time before cable and satellite, when people only had three broadcast networks on TV.

Cronkite covered many of the major stories of the 20th century, from the Nuremberg Trials after World War II to the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy to Apollo moon landings and the Vietnam War.

Rest in peace, Walter... we'll miss you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Win with the Disney Channel Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes!

Enter the Disney Channel Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes at to win great prizes (including some personal items from Hannah Montana)!

Go to the Web site to look for certain items to watch for in the Disney Channel Scavenger Hunt, then start watching for sneak peeks on the Disney Channel all this week. Enter your choices on the Web site, and find all the items on the list. At that point you'll be able to enter the Disney Channel Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes!

Zack and Cody will be on the S.S. Tipton on the Teen Cruise, and Hannah Montana will be on board too on her way to her Hawaiian concert. And you can get in on the cruise too through the sweepstakes!

Enter the Disney Channel Scavenger Hunt Sweepstakes, and be sure to watch "Wizards on Deck" with Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel Friday, July 17th.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Canadian Pro Football Player Offers Odd "Tribute" to Michael Jackson

People are paying tribute to the late Michael Jackson in their own ways, but here's one of the more unusual ones. Arland Bruce, a player in the Canadian Football League, scores a touchdown, then takes off his jersey to reveal a black undershirt, lays down on his back on the field, and folds his arms across his chest like a body in a coffin.

As you can imagine, his coach and his quarterback were not amused by the stunt.

Bruce was penalized for "objectionable behavior." Last season, Bruce was penalized for another unique post-touchdown expression: removing his helmet and briefly donning a Spiderman mask.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Infomercial Pitchman Billy Mays Dead at Age 50

Billy Mays, the bearded commercial pitchman known for promoting OxiClean and other products, died this morning at age 50 in his home in Tampa, Florida Sunday morning. No cause of death has been identified. His wife found him unresponsive this morning.

The death of Billy Mays was mentioned this morning in several posts by his son, Billy Mays III, on his Twitter account,

A post from Mays III made at about 11 a.m. EST reads, "My dad didn't wake up this morning. I'm sure you'll all hear about it. It hasn't yet hit me but it's about to." About a half hour later he posted, "On my way to the house. He's gone. I'm gonna be strong for him. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers everyone."

Billy Mays was known for his beard and his loud voice, and he found success doing commercial pitches for OxiClean and Orange Glo, as well as other household and cleaning products.

Recently Mays also done a series of commercials for ESPN in which he poked fun at his own image.

Billy Mays was a passenger on board a U.S. Airways jet that made a safe landing at Tampa International Airport yesterday after suffering a blowout of one of its front tires. It's not known if his death is in any way related to that incident.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford Admits Affair in Argentina; Not On Appalachian Trail or Watching "Jon & Kate"

South Carolina governor Mark Sanford held a press conference today to explain his recent mysterious performance, and dropped a bombshell: He was not hiking on the Appalachian Trail, as he told his staff, but was having a tryst with a woman in Argentina!

Nobody would have guess this. When it turned out he had disappeared for this last weekend, he told his staff that he was out hiking on the famous 2,000-mile-plus trail... which would have been interesting, since this weekend included Naked Hiking Day or some other such occasion.

My own theory was that Mark Sanford was holed up in a cabin in the woods somewhere by himself, watching DVDs of past seasons of "Jon and Kate Plus 8" in preparation for Monday night's big season-ending finale. Which would have made for an interesting coincidence, since the Jon and Kate finale was hyped up for its inclusion of a Big Announcement... that the couple was splitting up. That would have been a case of life imitating art imitating life... or something like that.

Mark Sanford and his wife, Jenny, have not split up (although Jenny said in her own statement that she'd kicked him out of the house two weeks ago). But Mark and Jenny Sanford do have four children, which is exactly half as many as Jon and Kate.

Hmmm... I have a feeling we haven't seen the end of the Mark and Jenny reality show drama. In fact, today's Big Announcement by governor Mark may be just the beginning. Good news for Jon and Kate fans going through withdrawal! In fact, maybe the Sanfords can try to patch up their marriage by buying some of those Kids Crooked Houses, just like Jon and Kate!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Maureen Dowd Admits Stealing Copy, Taking Steroids, Crashing Twitter, Farting in Staff Meetings

New York Times op-ed columnist Maureen Dowd on Sunday admitted to plagiarism in a recent column, then surprised reporters by going on to confess to a litany of other offenses. Reached for comment Sunday night, Dowd admitted shooting steroids with Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez, farting in Times editorial meetings when staffers presented ideas she didn't like.

"Yeah, I stuck A-Rod in the butt with a syringe," Dowd casually admitted, saying that Rogriguez injected her in the buttocks, too. "Being a famous media elite columnist is a very competitive field," she explained. "All the hot columnists are taking 'roids or human growth hormone to keep their edge."

What's more, the snarky writer, who famously expressed disdain for the Twitter microblogging service in an interview with its founders, admitted that she had personally caused Twitter to crash several times in recent weeks. "I am responsible for the frequent and untimely appearance of the fail whale," Dowd said, referring to the whale cartoon that appears during Twitter malfunctions.

There are unsubstantiated rumors that it was Dowd, not Twitter management, who caused major change in Twitter functionality that prevented users from seeing all @ replies.

The plagiarism charge resulted from a May 17th column in which she criticized former vice president Dick Cheney. Of course, she didn't use the word "plagiarize" when admitting the mistake; she said she "inadvertently" used without attribution a lengthy sentence from Talking Points Memo Joshua Marshall. The matter came to light Sunday afternoon, ironically enough, when the subject became a hot topic of conversation on Twitter.

In her much-lampooned column about Twitter, Dowd stated, "I would rather be tied up to stakes in the Kalahari Desert, have honey poured over me and red ants eat out my eyes than open a Twitter account."

Dowd has also been lampooned in a Twitter account called Fake Maureen Dowd (, which tweets various quotes from Dowd's columns as well as comments about Dowd made by other Twitter users.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fox Renews Eliza Dushku's "Dollhouse"

Fox TV's popular but ratings-challenged drama "Dollhouse" has been picked up for a second season, James Hibberd of is reporting. This is a victory for the many loyal fans of the show, who have been contacting Fox and urging it to renew the Eliza Dushku vehicle.

Hibberd terms the Dollhouse renewal decision "stunning" because the show's ratings are low. But he notes that DVR and online streaming numbers for the Eliza Dushku vehicle are good. And people involved in Dollhouse have been encouraging fans to contact Fox, such as Dushku herself on her Twitter account,

Hibberd says the official announcement of the Dollhouse renewal will be made at the network's upfront presentation on Monday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

SNL VIDEO - "Motherlover" - Justin Timberlake & Andy Samberg

Fresh out of jail and reunited, Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg are back with their "D*ck in a Box" characters with a very, um, special Mother's Day video called "Motherlover," from last night's Saturday Night Live...

Happy Mother's Day, all!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Derek Fisher Twitter Updates Keep Fans in the Game

Derek Fisher of the L.A. Lakers was suspended for Friday night's game against Houston, but just because he wasn't at the game that didn't mean he couldn't keep fans updated on what the Lakers were doing. Fisher has been keeping Lakers fans on top of the action through his tweets on his Twitter account, The Derek Fisher Twitter page has attracted more than 26,000 followers to date.

Fisher was suspended for one game and will return to the Lakers to play in game 4, which takes place in Houston. And he won't be using Twitter while he's on the bench, you can be sure (a player tweeting from the bench because a controversy with a player on another NBA team earlier this season).

Sunday, May 03, 2009

5/3/09 Hoboken Arts and Music Festival Still On, Despite Rain

According to the City of Hoboken hotline (called shortly before noon), today's Hoboken Arts and Music Festival is going on, rain or shine (and yes, it is raining right now.) The festival runs from 11 am to 6 pm, and the headlining musical act is The Box Tops, featuring original member Alex Chilton! See the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival schedule of events here.

The postman will deliver despite cold or wind or rain, and Celine Dion's heart will go on, and now it seems the Festival will go on too, despite the rain. The music should be good, though I feel bad for the arts and crafts exhibitors.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Say It Ain't So, Bruthah! Henry Ian Cusick from "Lost" Sued for Sexual Harassment

Maybe all that time-travel has finally taken its toll on Desmond. Henry Ian Cusick, the actor who plays Desmond Hume on the hit TV show "Lost," has been sued for sexual harassment by a former ABC employee.

Chelsea Stone, a former employee of ABC Entertainment, has sued Cusick for harassment and sexual battery, accusing the Scottish actor of a variety of offenses, from groping her to making offensive noises and gestures. (View the lawsuit against Henry Ian Cusick.) The charges date back to on-set incidents in October 2007.

It is claimed that Cusick, who first became known on "Lost" for pushing a button every 108 minutes to save the world, "'placed his hand on her buttocks' and then caressed her back 'while making moaning sounds.' He then put his face in her cleavage and wagged his head back and forth."

Is this true, or just a disgruntled employee making false accusations? We'll have to wait and see... if we can keep Desmond from further time traveling!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oprah Winfrey to Land on Planet Twitter Friday

The talk of Twitter recently had been the ongoing battle between Ashton Kutcher (aplusk) and CNN Breaking News (cnnbrk) to see who could get to one million followers the first. But now the big news is that one of the world's biggest celebs, Oprah Winfrey, has joined the incredibly fast-growing microblogging service and is going to post her first "tweet" Friday, April 17th. You can find her at

As of Thursday night, Oprah's Twitter account has more than 50,000 followers, even though she hasn't posted a single comment yet. With the "O" joining the Twitterverse, will her familiar colleagues and feature be joining her in dispensing advice 140 characters at a time? If so, imagine the news Oprah's followers will be getting: Book reviews! Beauty and dating advice! Chatty insights about bowel movements from Dr. Oz!

It all could happen tomorrow, when The Big Oh lands on Planet Twitter...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009 Searches: Jesus, Food, Shopping, and a Certain Dog

As someone who enjoys seeing what's on the mind of people all over the U.S. (and the world), I often check out Google Trends to see what the most searched-for terms are. This exercise is particularly interesting around holidays or other major events, and Easter 2009 is no exception.

Today's top searches are a mishmash of things related to different aspects what people do on Easter, and what the holiday means to them. The religious tradition of Easter is of course prominent, with search terms like "Easter Bible verses," He is Risen," "Easter scripture," and "meaning of Easter" in the top 50 search terms, along with non-religious items related to the day: "Easter parade New York," "Happy Easter comments" (for MySpace and other Web sites), etc. And one odd item: "dirty Easter jokes" ... huh?!

Eating is a big part of Easter, so there are plenty of anxious cooks online. "How long to cook a ham," "ham glaze," "deviled eggs," and "leg of lamb cooking time" all show up, along with queries looking for the locations or hours of supermarkets such as Publix, Winn-Dixie, etc. And some people are clearly planning to have a good time on Easter; one term in the top 30 searches is "mimosa recipe."

Speaking of shopping, that seems to be almost as popular an Easter tradition as eating and going to church. In the top 25 trends there are more shopping-related than religion-related searches, with people looking for "Is Target open on Easter," "Target locations," "Walmart Easter hours," "Nordstroms," and even "Home Depot Easter hours" (maybe people are deciding to fix or replace broken fixtures before company comes over?)

One non-holiday topic is occupying people's minds, and that is the long-awaited First Puppy. Appearing in the top 50 trends are such terms as "Portuguese water dog," "Obama dog," "Obama puppy," and "first dog."

And some folks are clearly not used to dressing up: the search term that has remained in the number-one position on Google Trends is ... "How to tie a tie."

Happy Easter, everyone.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is Tweeting Getting Out of Hand? (And What is Tweeting, Anyway?)

If people talking on cell phones incessantly has caused a stir in society, tweeting is taking it to a whole new level. "Tweeting," in case you're not yet addicted to it, is the sending of short messages on the communications software Twitter. (The messages are called "tweets.")

Tweeting can be addictive, whether it's talking to friends or following celebrities who tweet, and that addictiveness is where some people feel it's gone too far. Prosecutors and police have cited numerous cases about jurors using Twitter (and other devices, like Web-enabled cell phones) to research information on a case on their own, in violation of judges' instructions not to discuss or investigate the case.

And just last week we heard of the first known case of an NBA basketball player tweeting during a game (though during halftime). Charlie Villanueva of the Milwaukee Bucks sent a tweet from the locker room during a game saying "Coach wants more toughness. I gotta step up." At least is was a positive message (as opposed to celebrity gossip), but the Coach was not impressed and has made the locker room a No-Tweeting zone.

Expect to see No-Tweeting rules in courtrooms, schools, and workplaces.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

PETA Wants to Make Tofu Flavored with George Clooney's Sweat

Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently a towel that George Clooney used at a gym has been passed on to PETA, which wants to make tofu that uses Clooney's sweat as a flavoring.

According to an article in the L.A. Times, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has written to Clooney asking his permission to use his sweat for tofu. It seems its possible to use sweat, which has its own "odor profile" for each person, as a flavoring.

The letter tells the actor that they want to turn his sweat into "George Clooney-flavored tofu (CloFu). We could do that and give the tofu away."

PETA, which recently has attracted publicity for re-branding fish as "sea kittens" to create sympathy for the wet scaly critters, goes on to say in its letter to the actor that while Clooney's fans would "swoon" at the idea of eating "CloFu," the group's main interest is to get people to eat tofu.
Clooney's response to the offer, as relayed to the Washington Post: "As a mammal, I'm offended."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Obama Nominates Locke for Commerce Post (Here's Why It Should Have Been *John* Locke)

The news reports are buzzing across the wires today: "Obama nominates Locke for commerce secretary." Now, the assumption is being made that he's talking about Gary Locke, the former governor of Washington State, but if Obama really wants to think outside the box, I have a modest proposal to make: Obama should choose the other Locke: JOHN Locke from "Lost."

Sure, John Locke has never held elective office, but you can't say he doesn't have political experience. (And don't tell him what he can't do, or else you might get a knife in the back!) Let's look at his substantial achievements over the last four-plus seasons. In this time he has:

* gone face-to-face with the Smoke Monster... and lived to tell about it!
* fixed the time-warping Frozen Donkey Wheel!
* effectively interfaced with people (and other entities) of all backgrounds, from department store customers to Losties, Tailies, the Others, and the Other Others
* earned the trust of his higher-ups including Ben, Jacob, Richard Alpert, and Christian Shephard
* has pulled himself up by his bootstraps (literally), going from a physically challenged wheelchair-bound sad sack to a hard-charging leader of the Others
* served effectively as a clerk in a major cardboard-box manufacturer
* shown loyalty and sacrifice by giving one of his kidneys to his lying, scheming, fat-cat, bird-hunting, threw-his-son-out-a-window father

And, of course, John Locke is, like Pres. Obama, a self-professed "man of faith."

If the president is looking for unique qualifications and wants to really "reach across the aisle (isle)," he'll choose John Locke as commerce secretary.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Stock Market Sags - We're Gonna Party Like It's 1997!

As of Monday, Feb. 23, the U.S. stock market has sunk to lows not seen since 1997. So in honor of this 12-year low and the vaporization of bazillions of dollars of wealth, let's look back at some events that occurred in 1997:

* Bill Clinton inaugurated for second term as U.S. President. Cigars and sex scandal to follow.

* Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl 31, their first since 1967. And Brett Favre had another decade-plus to play.

* O.J. Simpson found liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in a civil court. (Years later The Juice would get his butt thrown in jail again for armed robbery... doesn't this guy ever learn?)

* the investment banks Morgan Stanley and Dean Witter Reynolds merge. How quaint... back when banking companies were growing instead of imploding!

* The English Patient wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards. People still watched the Oscars back then.

* the U.K. Labour Party wins election, ending 18 years of rule by the Tories. Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister and enjoys popular support. It was not to last.

* IBM's computer Deep Blue defeats Garry Kasparov in a chess match. Deep Blue gets drunk at a party and makes a pass as Karparov's girlfriend, so Karparov shoots and kills the machine.

* Steve Jobs returns to Apple Computer. More than a decade later he's lost hair and weight, but is still wearing the same damn black turtleneck and blue jeans.

* Princess Diana is killed in a car crash in France. Camilla Parker-Bowles marries Prince Charles years later. Britain harnesses the Prince's ears as a source of wind power.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

R.I.P. Socks the Cat, Former First Feline

Socks the Cat takes a question from the press

Socks the Cat, the First Feline during the Clinton administration, has died. The former First Cat was put to sleep on Friday. Socks was 20 years old and was reported to be suffering from throat cancer.

Socks was rescued as a stray by Chelsea Clinton, Bill and Hillary's daughter, and lived with them in the Arkansas governor's mansion and then ascended to be the nation's First Cat when Bill Clinton was elected president.

Although Socks maintained the demeanor of a regular house cat, government insiders said that Socks had a keen knowledge of history and foreign policy, and was in fact the main architect of the Dayton peace accords that ended the war in the former Yugoslavia. Socks received many cards and letters from around the world, but for national security reasons was allowed to answer only with card containing a simple note and a paw print.

Socks wrote several books under various pseudonyms, including "Feral Cats in the Late Ottoman Empire" and "Mouse Catching Evolution and Practice in the Colonial American Agrarian Economy."

After the Clintons left the White House, Socks was cared for by Betty Currie, Bill Clinton's longtime secretary, and was said to be an advisor to Hillary Clinton in her run for the White House last year.

The final wishes of Socks the Cat are unknown at this time.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Woman Goes Crazy After Missing Her Flight - VIDEO

Here is the famous "woman goes crazy after missing her flight" video. A woman at the Hong Kong airport misses her flight and goes absolutely bonkers, wailing and screaming, pounding on the counter and the ticket machine, and even throwing a tantrum on her back on the floor. OK, many of us have probably felt like reacting as she did... but unlike this lady, we had the good sense and self-control not to act it out.

This isn't just a quick "Damn! I missed the plane!"; this woman's tirade goes on for a full three minutes. Maybe airport staff should have tried to calm her down by promising her an extra packet of honey-roasted nuts on the next flight.

Shaq Dancing with Jabbawockeez at NBA All-Star Game

37-year-old Shaquille O'Neal made the most of his 15th All-Star Game: He dunked. He clowned around. He won a share of the MVP award (with former teammate Kobe Bryant). But his most unusual "performance" came during the player introductions, when he donned a white mask and danced with the dance troupe Jabbawockeez. The man sure is versatile. See the video below.

When he and Bryant received the co-MVP awards, Shaq was asked why he did the Jabbawockeez performance before the game. Shaq explained that he just wanted to do something different, and said that his kids were big fans of Jabbawockeez.

The All-Star Game also featured a video of NBA stars performing love song excerpts as a Valentine's Day spoof, and Shaq supposedly got the biggest cheers for his rendition of “Caribbean Queen,” the Billy Ocean hit from the 1980s.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nadya Suleman Website has Photos of the Octuplets... and a Button to Donate

It should come as no surprise that the mother of the octuplets has a home page. The Nadya Suleman website has photos of all eight of the little tykes born less than a month ago, as well as a Donate button. Nadya Suleman, who now has a brood of 14 children, is accepting donations via MasterCard, Visa, and other credit cards, as well as PayPal.

Visitors can also leave comments on the Nadya Suleman website (I'd hate to think what some of those say), but other than that there's no additional information. It mostly seems like a fundraising vehicle. Maybe some more photos of the babies will be put up.

I can see why Suleman needs the cash: according to a blog posting on the Los Angeles Times, the mother of 14 is on food stamps, three of her older children are receiving disability payments, and she has $50,000 of student loans outstanding.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) Admits to Using Steroids

No, that's not a humorous fake headline: New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) has admitted to taking steroids from 2001 to 2003. Rodriguez made the admission in an interview with ESPN, and the interview is set to be shown on SportsCenter tonight at 6 p.m.

Alex Rodriguez was one of 104 major league baseball players identified as using performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. MLB didn't have a ban on steroids and other similar drugs at the time, and the testing was done in part to determine how widespread the use of such drugs was and whether a ban and mandatory testing should be undertaken. (Read more on the A-Rod admission here).

Baseball implemented a ban on steroids in 2004.

Well, this will certainly replace Katy Perry's fruit-themed performance of her lesbionic hit song, "I Kissed a Girl," at the Grammys last night as the number-one topic of conversation around the water cooler!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Review of "Christina's House" Starring Allison Lange... Don't Let It In!

The good folks at Arrow in the Head Reviews (part of have watched the movie "Christina's House" so you don't have to. If their take on the film is correct, they are doing you a big favor, for they are none too impressed with this clunker or with its star, Allison Lange. The first part of their review reads:

"Seventeen year old (looks more like 30) Christina (Lange) lives with her nutso dad (Savage) and doofus younger brother (Stewart) in a new house. But an intruder is also hiding in the house. He likes to plant cookies, notes and commit the occasional murder. Who is this person and why doesn’t he/she get a freaking life?"

Arrow in the Head is somewhat more impressed with one aspect of Allison Lange's performance, however:

"Allison Lange (Christina) lets her t!ts take center stage in tight shirts and they do most of the acting."

The review also says Lange "scares us with her close ups (ouch!)." Ouch indeed.

Arrow in the Head's review is a hoot to read and, it sounds, much more fun that actually seeing Allison Lange and the rest of "Christina's House."

Monday, February 02, 2009

Alec Baldwin Super Bowl Ad for Hulu - Turn Your Brain Into Cottage Cheese!

Alec Baldwin's ad for the free online TV-viewing Web site was one of the best of the Super Bowl commercials, in my opinion. In the ad Baldwin says Hulu completes the process of softening your brain that regular TV started, "giving you more of the cerebral gelatinizing shows you want."

It's a goofy ad, much like Baldwin's performance on "30 Rock," and a nice bit of reverse psychology. Unless, of course, you really do want your brain to turn to the consistency of cottage cheese.

(If the video doesn't load, you can view it at the Web site.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Charles Widmore from "Lost" to Bail Out U.S.?

It's clear the U.S. economy is deep in the crapper, and with hundreds of billions of dollars not solving the problem, it's clear that only one person can come to the rescue: Charles Widmore.

Charles who, you say? Charles Widmore is the mysterious, obscenely rich mogul who's pulling a lot of the creepy strings in ABC's "Lost." Sure, he sponsors round-the-world sailing races and buys the very priciest single-malt Scotch, but that's run-of-the-mill billionaire stuff.

No, Charles Widmore can buy rare documents from a 19th-century slave ship, and what's more, carry out a massive diversionary campaign to find his true treasure: that mysterious South Pacific island that is home to the afore-mentioned slave ship, random polar bears, Others, Other Others, and a large quantity of Dharma Initiative Ranch Dressing. And, of course, the island can travel through time and space (which must wreck havoc with the ranch dressing's expiration date).

You see, Charles Widmore so badly wants the rest of the world to believe that Oceanic 815 was lost at the bottom of the ocean that he staged an elaborate fake crash scene on the bottom of the ocean. This is no mean feat; it involved buying a jetliner, filling it full of corpses (apparently these can be bought on the black market), and then having it placed at the bottom of the sea.

What price might Charles Widmore exact for agreeing to bail out the U.S. Treasury? Well, maybe the U.S. agreeing to give his hated son-in-law, Desmond, a one-way trip to the International Space Station. Or maybe a few of the U.S. Virgin Islands so that he can experiment with trying to send them through time and space? I hear St. John is nice this time of year (polar bears not included).

So how about it, Charles? You bail out our economy and we'll give you a Desmond Hume space shot and a few sunny islands? Tell you what, we'll throw in some of that specially aged Dharma Initiative Beer, too...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Senator Oprah?! ... and Other Odd Tales from Blago TV

Soon-to-be-impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich has packed up his show and is taking it on the road... literally. His impeachment trial (he's accused of trying to sell former Sen. Barack Obama's Senate seat) begins today in Illinois, but Blago is appearing on TV elsewhere ... one of the morning news shows, and later on, yes, The View.

It's been like Blago TV the last few days, all Blago all the time, as the disgraced governor appears on one TV program after another to profess his innocence. And at each point he's been dropping bizarre comments comparing his situation to all kinds of historical situations.

One of the latest revelations is that Blago says he was considering naming Oprah Winfrey to fill Obama's seat in the U.S. Senate. Huh? Maybe Oprah would make a great Secretary of Book Clubs, or could use her vast fortune to pay down the national debt, but a U.S. Senator?

Among the other odd events in the Blago scandal:
* he says his impeachment trial is "rigged and fixed"
* Blago compared his arrest to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor
* he likened himself to historical figures including Gandhi and Nelson Mandela
* his lead attorney resigned a few days ago, saying of the governor, “I never require a client to do what I say, but I do require them to at least listen”
* Chicago mayor Richard Daley has said that Blago is "cuckoo"

This dude seems totally whacked out. Will somebody please tell governor Blagojevich to put the crack pipe down and slowly back away?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

James Taylor's Eye Patch - What's Up with That?

Anybody who's seen James Taylor on TV lately has noticed that he's sporting a new accessory on his head... no, not a toupee, but an eye patch on his left eye. So what's up with that? Did Sweet Baby James forget that "National Talk Like a Pirate Day" was several months ago? Is he trying to Go to Pirates of the Caribbean in his Mind?

Apparently it's nothing of the sort. I saw a brief bit of Taylor's appearance on the Larry King Show Saturday night and was surprised to see that black eye patch. Fortunately, guest host D.L. Hughley asked what countless viewers no doubt were wondering... Why are you wearing an eye patch?... and The Handyman replied that he had fallen down (maybe he's not so handy when comes to walking?).

Taylor didn't explain the nature of the accident, and Hughley didn't pursue it. But it's a bit of unfortunate timing, since James Taylor is making a number of public appearances these days in the lead-up to his performance at today's inaugural concert on the national mall.

But if he decides to hang on to that eye patch, he's got a head start on a fun Halloween costume.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Fantasy Island's Ricardo Montalban Dies at Age 88

Ricardo Montalban, the actor known as the proprietor of TV's Fantasy Island, has died at the age of 88. He also starred in movies including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. He also appeared in the Spy Kids movies. You can read more about Ricardo Montalban's death on the People magazine Web site.

Since I never watched Fantasy Island much, my exposure to Ricardo Montalban is mostly from his much-lampooned car commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba, during which Montalban would mention the "seats available in rich, crushed velour... or soft, Corinthian leather!"

He would later add in the commercials, "I like what they've done to my car!"

Rest in peace, Ricardo... hopefully in some soft, Corinthian leather.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2009 Improv Everywhere No Pants Subway Ride - This Saturday

If you'd like to feel the breeze of a New York City subway platform on your bare legs and will be available this Saturday, you might want to take part in the 8th Annual No Pants Subway Ride, an event put on by Improv Everywhere. As the name says, the event involves numerous people riding a given New York City subway train wearing no pants (people of both sexes are welcome). The No Pants Subway Ride always evokes curious looks from other train passengers, especially since the participants are instructed to behave as if there was nothing unusual going on.

The 2009 No Pants Subway Ride takes place this Saturday, January 10th. Get all the details on the event at the 2009 No Pants Subway Ride Web site. There you can find all the instructions for the event and decide if it's something you want to do. You can also find photos from previous No Pants Subway Rides.

The No Pants Subway Ride is put on by the public performance group Improv Everywhere, which has held numerous memorable events in the past. One of more well-known events occurred when the group had participants walk through Grand Central Station and then freeze at the same time, and stay in their frozen pose for several minutes. (If you haven't seen the video of this, check out the Improv Everywhere Web site... the reactions of the other people in the Station are priceless.) On another occasion the group enlisted people to act as bathroom attendants at McDonald's.

At the Web site you can also get on the Improv Everywhere mailing list and find out about other events you may want to participate in.

Introducing the MacBook Wheel - No Keyboard, Just One Big Clickwheel!

The Onion has done a great send-up of the Macworld conference hysteria with this report on the MacBook Wheel (video below), a laptop computer that has no keyboard and instead has a big iPod-like clickwheel to provide input.

Why bother typing out a sentence when you can accomplish the same thing with a few hundred clicks of the wheel?

And as one Mac fan blurts out, "I'll buy almost anything if it's shiny and made by Apple."

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Wacky News Update: Thor Scares a Burglar, Blue Man Group Starts a Preschool, and More

It's a new year, and that means new wackiness from the beautiful people as well as everyday folks, as these examples show...

* Man Dressed as the Norse God Thor Scares Off Burglar: A Scottish man dressed as the Norse god Thor came home from a party and scared away a burglar who'd broken into the man's home. Thirty-eight year old Torvald Alexander went to a New Year's Eve costume party decked out as Thor (he has a Norwegian name), and returned home to find a thief in his home. The six-foot-tall Alexander chased after the intruder while still wearing his red cape and winged helmet.

* Blue Man Group Launches a Preschool in New York: Performance artists Blue Man Group have extended their brand beyond the music CDs and t-shirts: they've opened their own high-tech preschool in New York City. As you'd guess, the Blue Man Group preschool seeks to merge traditional preschool learning with technology and a big helping of fun and play.

* Thousands of Shoes Dumped on Miami Highway: Enough shoes to fill up Imelda Marcos's closet were dumped on the Palmetto Expressway in Miami on New Year's Day by person or persons unknown, snarling traffic for hours.
The shoes appeared on the southbound lane of the Expressway shortly before 8 a.m. Friday, and included everything from work boots and sneakers to bath slippers, beach sandals, and even roller blades. Authorities closed down traffic to collect the shoes, cause long traffic delays. Police have no idea if the shoes' appearance is just the result of a truck losing its load or some kind of social of political commentary, such as a reaction to George Bush having shoes tossed at him at a news conference in Iraq.