03.11.11 – a friday

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word

paucity [paw-si-tee] n. 1. smallness of quantity; scarcity; scantiness: a country with a paucity of resources 2. smallness or insufficiency of numbers; fewness

birthday

Lawrence Welk (1903), Rupert Murdoch (1931), Sam Donaldson (1934), Antonin Scalia (1936), Bobby McFerrin (1950), Douglas Adams (1952), Wallace Langham (1965), Lisa Loeb (1968), Terrence Howard (1969), Johnny Knoxville (1971)

standpoint

Bathroom reading. It’s kind of a touchy subject. There’s a few different lines of thought on the issue. Some just don’t do it. Others can’t get the deed done without. Still others insist they think it’s gross but they secretly partake.

As for me, I’m willing to admit I read in the bathroom. Not something I’m bragging about but I won’t deny it. And, for the past six months, since I moved into this house, it’s gone from a casual perusing of a magazine or a comic book and moved into the realm of an actual learning experience.

I’ve got my roommate Dan to thank for that and his subscription to a periodical I’d never heard of before – mental floss.

Unlike the rags that feature dogshit stories about where Reese Witherspoon is vacationing with her children, mental floss consists of short bursts of knowledge that actually translates into something to talk about.

Here’s just a sampling of the things I’ve learned about in the bathroom over the last six months.

→ The t-shirt first appeared in 1913 as regulation underwear for the U.S. Navy.

→ Chinese scientists have actually found a use for discarded cigarette butts, creating a process that transforms them into a compound that prevents steel pipes from corroding.

→ Due to a 12-year civil war that ravaged it, the African nation of Burundi‘s population is almost 50% people under 14 years old.

→ Starfish don’t have brains.

→ When someone on Twitter gains 500,000 followers, that’s called a Wheaton after Wil Wheaton who was the first celebrity to hit the 500K mark.

→ A chimpanzee will most likely drown if you drop him in the water, but a classic VW Bug would float if you drove it into a lake.

→ For some weird reason, Bill Clinton once said, “I’m someone who has a deep emotional attachment to Starsky and Hutch.”

→ In the 1974 NHL Entry Draft, Punch Imlach, GM of the Buffalo Sabres, took Taro Tsujimoto of the Tokyo Katanas in the 11th round. The league had never heard of the guy but it made the pick official anyway. It was later found out Imlach had created Tsujimoto to show his disdain with the length of the draft process.

I could go on and on but I’m gonna stop. No worries, though, I’ll be making this a regular segment as my bathroom tutelage grows larger.

quotation

You know, we’ve got to do it someday…throw away all the guns and invite all the jokers from the North and the South in here to a cocktail party…last man standing on his feet at the end wins the war. ↔ Alan Alda (as Hawkeye in the pilot episode of M*A*S*H)

tune

Back in 1991, there were two bands called Nirvana. One was the over-glorified trio fronted by Kurt Cobain. The other was a bunch of Danish guys who changed their name to Kashmir. Here’s a song I stumbled upon recently by the latter, “Ophelia.”

gallimaufry

Watch out, people, in a mere eight days the Supermoon is coming. And, apparently, it’s pissed.

“Halle Berry Shares Mommy Tips With Pregnant Alyssa Milano.” That an actual title of an actual article someone actually wrote that people are actually reading. Christ. It’s embarrassing to be a member of the human race some days.

This chick is really committed to the acting process. No one told her The Wire wrapped up production a few years back.

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02.12.10 – A Friday

word

impugn [im-pyoon] v. 1. to challenge as false (another’s statements, motives, etc.); cast doubt upon 2. Archaic. to assail (a person) by word or arguments; vilify 3. Obsolete. to attack (a person) physically

birthday

Cotton Mather (1663), Charles Darwin (1809), Abraham Lincoln (1809), Lorne Greene (1915), Charles Van Doren (1926), Arlen Specter (1930), Joe Don Baker (1936), Judy Blume (1938), Ray Manzarek (1939), Michael Ironside (1950), Michael McDonald (1952), Joanna Kerns (1953), Arsenio Hall (1955), Bill Laswell (1955), Josh  Brolin (1968), Christopher McCandless (1968), Chynna Phillips (1968), Christina Ricci (1980)

standpoint

Everyone talks about how the 1990s were a legendary time for music with groups like R.E.M. and U2 coming into their own, and unknown bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam breaking out into the music mainstream.

For those of us who were in college during the 90s, we most likely enjoyed the best soundtrack ever to accompany warm beer from a keg and clumsy encounters with the other sex.

Even the one hit wonders were way better than their predecessors and those that have come since. Here’s 5 songs that make my last statement irrefutable.

5. The Refreshments – “Banditos”

4. New Radicals – “You Get What You Give”

3. Deee-Lite – “Groove Is In The Heart”

2. Harvey Danger – “Flagpole Sitta”

1. Hum – “Stars”

There’s tons and tons more, but I thought I’d start off with these classics. Enjoy!

quotation

Sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed must be interrupted. ↔ Johann Paul Friedrich Richter

tune

Finally. I found it. Years ago, I downloaded a demo by Glen Phillips titled “Easier.” He’s since released a studio version of it but it left me feeling a little light. It’s pretty effing great.

gallimaufry

Here’s hoping a speedy recovery to President Clinton, who underwent a heart procedure yesterday after experiencing chest pains. Apparently, Clinton is expected to make a full recovery.

→ Truth? Until yesterday, I had no idea who Alexander McQueen was. But, apparently, he was a cutting edge fashion designer who died Wednesday at the age of 40. As someone who’s now closer to 40 than 30, I hate hearing when someone that age dies.

→ Warning to my fellow bloggers: If you run an MP3 blog and you use Blogger, you’re about to be eradicated by Google. Probably a good time to move to WordPress, don’t you think?

12.11.09 – A Friday

WORD

mortify [mawr-tuh-fahy] v. (used w/ object) 1. to humiliate or shame, as by injury to one’s pride or self-respect 2. to subjugate (the body, passions, etc.) by abstinence, ascetic discipline, or self-inflicted suffering 3. Pathology. to affect with gangrene or necrosis v. (used w/o object) 4. to practice mortification or disciplinary austerities 5. Pathology. to undergo mortification; become gangrened or necrosed

Note: I am giving the definition of “mortify” because it has been brought to my attention it’s used wrong pretty much all of the time. I have to admit, I learned something new today.

BIRTHDAY

John Labatt (1838), Carlo Ponti (1912), Big Mama Thornton (1926), Rita Moreno (1931), McCoy Tyner (1938), Donna Mills (1942), John Kerry (1943), Brenda Lee (1944), Teri Garr (1947), Bess Armstrong (1953), Jermaine Jackson (1954), Nikki Sixx (1958), Jon Brion (1963), Mo’Nique (1967), Mos Def (1973)

STANDPOINT

This Tiger Woods scandal. Christ.

Thousands of unanswerable questions seem to be flooding the news hourly. None are getting answered.

The facts (maybe) are: (a) At 2am the morning after Thanksgiving, Tiger got into his car and drove into a fire hydrant and then a tree, both within walking distance of his home. (b) His wife reportedly saved him by smashing one of the back windows with a golf club. (c) Tiger didn’t really want to talk about the whole thing, instead he took to dodging police inquiries and issuing vague statements on his website. (d) At least a dozen women jumped out of the woodwork, feeling the sudden urge to tell the world about their sexual misconduct with Woods. (e) Tiger’s mother-in-law was admitted to the hospital with stomach pains that probably had something to do with her son-in-law sleeping with lots of women who were not her daughter. (f) Tiger Woods’ life, no matter how this all plays out, is fucked.

And that sucks for him but he was having sex with hostesses, waitresses and porn stars. Difficult to feel bad for the guy. Difficult, but not implausible. I mean, getting caught for one transgression must be a pretty shitty ordeal. But to get caught having mulitple affairs with at least ten different women within the span of several days? Well, I’m not even sure Bill Clinton could shuck and jive his way clear of something like that.

There is one question, however, I would like answered: Whatever Tiger has done or not done, what’s the difference? How’s it going to change my life?

Sure, it’s interesting to bemoan the current state of a society which seems to (a) shrug its collective shoulders when yet another of its heroes are found to be flawed, and (b) be running out of respectable authority figures and celebrities. We’ve adapted a very another-one-bites-the-dust mentality. Everyone’s rather concerned but no one wholly cares.

There are those overly curious about a situation in which a man who seemingly had everything he could ever want, managed to blunder this bad. People are demanding the truth, soapboxing on the notion we all deserve to know. As usual, the American people want to get down to the bottom of a situation in the interest of mainly being able to say, “I hate my life, but I imagine I’d rather be me than Tiger right now.” It’s always amazed me how determined people are to reveal how fucked up everyone else is.

It’s not like any of it matters.  Woods is under absolutely no obligation to disclose more than he wants. He’s not a politician. He’s broken no laws. In reality, he could pack all ten women he’s been sleeping with into his Cadillac and drive into ten trees. Unless, he’s charged with some sort of crime, he doesn’t have to justify anything. Oh. In addition, he’s also the first billion-dollar athlete, so if O.J. Simpson can kill two people and amble freely out of an actual courtroom, Woods’ gigantic gobs of money will guarantee a night of careless driving and a few years of bad decisions won’t stop him from ambling equally free out the courtroom of public opinion.

Plus, in a few months, possibly a few weeks, everyone will have moved on to the next thing. And I don’t blame it on short memory. Everyone says that and it’s bullshit. The real reason everyone’ll forget about this by the next time Woods steps onto some nationally-televised first tee is once the outrage lessens a bit, most people will start making excuses for Tiger Woods because the execrable things he’s done to his undeserving family will have grown far less significant than the idea of a PGA season without Tiger Woods.

Note: During my research and reading for the above rant, I encountered this piece. As far as I’m concerned, Tiger Woods can do whatever the hell he wants. As long as Glenn Beck is around, everyone else gets a pass.

QUOTATION

The typical gambler might not really understand the probabilistic nuances of the wheel or the dice, but such things seem a bit more tractable than, say, trying to raise a child in this lunatic society of ours.Arthur S. Reber

TUNE

 Yesterday, I hit up my favorite music store, Main Street Music in Manayunk. (One of the best music shops of all-time, by the way. If you can get there, I highly recommend it.) Anyway, I bought a couple albums. One of them was People Are Soft by local Philadelphia band, The Swimmers. I like the whole album a lot. Go buy it and support your local music scene. Favorite track so far? “Nervous Wreck.”

GALLIMAUFRY

→ For all of out there who wish you could get rid of Facebook forever, there’s now an option. Seppukoo.com is ready to assist you with your virtual suicide. Click here to see how it works.

→ There’s many arguments I can tolerate listening to, no matter how completely wrong they are. But I refuse to hear anyone out who’s not entirely convinced Ted Knight didn’t steal the show in Caddyshack. I know. There are argument to be made for Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Rodney Dangerfield. But without Judge Smails (link is a small collection of wavs), it would’ve been a lesser film. Still good. Just not as good.  

→ Do you desire with all your heart to have a chihuahua? All you have to do is get on a plane to California, where the little dogs have become an essential purse accessory to the likes of Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus and a slew of other people who don’t really matter. Animal shelters across the state are reporting chihuahuas make up close to 30% of its inhabitants. Seems even idiots are capable of grasping the notion that, after they take it out of their purse, the dog wants to do all kinds of annoying crap like eat and be taken for a walk.