07.21.09 – Tuesday

Word: blithe [blahyth, blahyth] adj. 1. joyous, merry, or gay in disposition; glad; cheerful: Everyone loved her for her blithe spirit 2. without thought or regard; carefree; heedless: a blithe indifference to anyone’s feelings

Birthday: Philip Neri (1515), Jean Picard (1620), Sam Bass (1851), Ernest Hemingway (1899), Don Knotts (1924), John Gardner (1933), Janet Reno (1938), Kenneth Starr (1946), Cat Stevens/Yusaf Islam (1948), Garry Trudeau (1948), Robin Williams (1951), Howie Epstein (1955), Jon Lovitz (1957), Charlotte Gainsbourg (1971), Josh Hartnett (1978), Damian Marley (1978), Rory Culkin (1989)

Quotation: The unforgivable crime is soft hitting.  Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.Theodore Roosevelt

Tune: Brakes (sometimes known as brakesbrakesbrakes) is an English band best known for its short song, “Cheyney, Cheyney, Cheyney, Stop Being Such a Dick,” credits itself, in the words of lead vocalist Eamon Hamilton, with being “fundamentally responsible for the election of Barack Obama as President of The United States of America.” Hamilton further explains, that without the song, “…it is without a doubt that McCain would’ve won, and died, and Sarah Palin would have become President and Ruler of the Known Universe by April 2009. We would’ve been releasing our new album ‘Touchdown’ into a world in the grip of a nuclear winter, with no electricity for people to listen to the CD, and no Internet for them to download it from. We would still have toured it, though.” Those words may or may not be true, but I’m reasonably sure I’m happy we didn’t have to find out. My favorite offering from the band? “Beatific Visions” off the album The Beatific Visions.

Gallimaufry: We may be witnessing the beginning of the end. As is the case with all popular and profitable pop culture offerings these days, American Idol is involved in troubles involving slighted egos demanding overinflated financial compensation. It all started when Ryan Seacrest, host of the FOX show, received a contract extension for three years to the tune of $45 million dollars. It grew larger when the show’s most visible (and biggest asshole), Simon Cowell began negotiations to make him richer than about 99% of the rest of world’s population. It became a problem when Paula Abdul, the judge most known for emotional breakdows and once upon a time starring in a music video with Keanu Reeves, began feeling slighted from a lack of a big money offer, declared she’s thinking of not coming back to the show for the next season. Everyone better wise up because, while Idol is a big money ticket, it can’t afford to start paying everyone oil executive salaries. Alternatively, despite the fact Abdul might be one of the most annoying people on TV, someone needs to step in get a deal working with the former Laker girl because the truth of the matter is people do tune into the show to see if she will freak out. Bottom line, Abdul’s a bit of a draw. “One weapon of this kind that went off over Omaha would eliminate most of the electrical production in the United States. And we are not today hardened against this. It is an enormous catastrophic threat.” Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that yesterday during a speech at the Heritage Foundation. You’re probably wondering what he was talking about. Nuclear weapons? Biological? Nope. The man who is trying his best to become the predominant GOP mouthpiece was talking about EMPs. Electromagnetic pulses. He’s pretty sure it’s the weapon our enemies will soon be using to take us out. His proof? A fictional novel by his “co-author and good friend Bill Forstchen,” a novelist who, ” has written a remarkable novel called One Second After, in which he takes a town in North Carolina and shows you what would happen with a successful electro-magnetic pulse attack.” If we’re going to start defending ourselves from fictional attacks, I’d rather start with something more inevetable, like Independence Day. Those aliens were completely out of their fucking extra-terrestrial minds. For all of you out there who think Facebook might be creepy and weird, read the romantic tale of Kelly Hildebrandt and, um, Kelly Hildebrandt. One is a 20-year old woman from Florida. The other is a 24-year old male from Texas. They met when the female Kelly Hildebrandt plugged her own name into the Facebook search engine. It produced one result – the male Kelly Hildebrandt. After a gradual process that started with email exchanges and ended with the male Kelly visiting the female Kelly in South Florida, the couple fell in love. See? That’s not creepy or weird at all. Right? (I’m fully aware some of you are going to find their story insanely adorable.)

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03.31.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: subterfuge [suhb-ter-fyooj] n. an artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.

Birthday: René Descartes (1596), Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), Joseph Haydn (1732), César Chávez (1927), William Daniels(1927), Gordie Howe (1928), Liz Claiborne (1929), Richard Chamberlain (1934), Shirley Jones (1934), Barney Frank (1940), Christopher Walken (1943), Gabe Kaplan (1945), Al Gore (1948), Rhea Perlman (1948), Ed Marinaro (1950), Angus Young (1955), Ewan McGregor (1971), Josh Saviano (1976)

Occurrence: 1918Daylight Saving Time is first used. I’ve heard all the reasons why DST is a good idea. None of them appeal to me. It’s just a hassle. Except when I’m at a bar when we’re turning the clocks back. Then, I mean hey, one more hour of drinking. When is that ever a bad thing?

Standpoint: I like police officers. I know lots of people who don’t. Most have had a bad experience with a cop. Some just like thumbing their nose at authority. (Rock on, rebel.) But being a police officer can’t be easy. I can understand why they might sometimes be rude. First, people generally lie to them. Hardly anyone tells the exact truth. At least not right off the bat. Cops always have to ask a million questions to get to the bottom of anything. That’s gotta be frustrating. Second, imagine if – every conversation that you had in a day – you had to worry about someone either lunging at you or sprinting away and diving over some fence. I’d find it hard to remain forever-courteous in that situation. So I get it. I appreciate everything that law enforcement does for our society. But what Dallas Police Officer Robert Powell did to Ryan and Tamisha Moats was borderline criminal. Guy definitely shouldn’t be a cop. Or even a junkyard security guard. Moats, however, handled the situation like a gentleman and continues to do so. The saddest part about the whole incident is that, if Moats wasn’t an NFL running back, we would’ve never even known it occurred.

Quotation: A careful driver is one who honks his horn when he goes through a red light.Henry Morgan

Soupçon: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms prohibits the use of the word “refreshing” in describing any alcoholic beverage. I thought old Zima ads might’ve used the word but I can’t find any official use of the word “refreshing.”

Tune: Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain” has always confused me. If she’s singing, “You’re so vain/You probably think this song is about you,” then wouldn’t the song at least be partially “about” whoever the hell she thinks is “so vain?” I think so. Furthermore, Simon has never confirmed who she’s referring to. Popular speculation names several suspects: Mick Jagger, Cat Stevens, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor. Apparently, back then, if you played the guitar or happened to be Warren Beatty, you had a pretty good shot of dating Ms. Simon.

Link: Calvin and Hobbes Wonderland – Everything you could possibly need about the awesome comic strip by Bill Watterson.

Gallimaufry: It’s no secret that I like President Obama. But funny is funny. Check out Barack Obama’s Teleprompter’s Blog…Ever wished for super powers? Sure you have. Let Cracked explain why you don’t want them…Using TweetDeck for Twitter is my new vice. I highly recommend it.