06.13.11 – a monday

word

cockalorum [kok-uhlawruhm, –lohr-] n. a self-important little man

birthday

William Butler Yeats (1865), Christo (1935), Jeanne-Claude (1935), Malcolm McDowell (1943), Tim Allen (1953), Ally Sheedy (1962), David Gray (1968), Rivers Cuomo (1970), Chris Evans (1981), Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen (1986)

standpoint

By now, if you’ve been following along with this blog the way you know you should, you’ve realized I’m a sucker for trivia. I like facts. That’s why mental floss is like crack cocaine for my brain. Both the magazine and the website. And, as I’ve done in the past, I’m going to share four factoids currently occupying my thoughts. Enjoy.

Vidalia onions can only be grown in certain counties of Georgia. I have nothing witty to say about this.

Wheel of Fortune was the last American game show to offer fur coats as prizes. It took until 1990 for the brains behind the show to realize it was an idea whose time had come.

Cuban citizens are not allowed to move to another dwelling unless they can find someone to swap places with. Even then the government needs to conduct the transaction. Socialism sounds pretty great, right?

→ Despite what you’ve been told, the plow, the wheeled cart and irrigation systems were actually invented by individuals looking to make better beer. Why didn’t those responsible get the proper credit? Most likely it was because they drank a shitload of beer.

quotation

For disappearing acts, it’s hard to beat what happens to the eight hours supposedly left after eight of sleep and eight of work. ↔ Doug Larson

tune

Gotta give it up to my roommate Dan who turned me on to the latest Cold War Kids‘ album, Mine Is Yours. A few years back, I bought the first album, Robbers & Cowards, and I liked exactly two songs from it. When that happens, I typically give up on a band even though I know it’s wrong to do so. In any case, listen to “Finally Begin.” Solid stuff.

gallimaufry

Grantland.com is finally open for business and I couldn’t be happier.

→ After this unfortunate turn of events, is there anyone out there who can tell us where we stand with all of this rapture nonsense?

→ Some might read this article and think that, hell yes, there’s justice in the world. Others might disagree. But there’s one fact no one can dispute: two teams played basketball last night.

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03.30.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Phoenixville, PA (Spent the night at my folks’ place. They’ve graciously taken my cats into their home and I slept over to help ease the transition for both the cats and myself.)

Word: assuage [uhsweyj] verb 1. to make milder or less severe; relieve; ease; mitigate: to assuage one’s grief; to assuage one’s pain  2. to appease; satisfy; allay; relieve: to assuage one’s hunger  3. to soothe, calm or mollify: to assuage his fears; to assuage her anger

Birthday: Jethro Tull (1684), Francisco Goya (1746), Vincent Van Gogh (1853), Franz Oppenheimer (1864), McGeorge Bundy (1919), Richard Dysart (1929), Warren Beatty (1937), Eric Clapton (1945), Paul Reiser (1957), MC Hammer (1962), Tracy Chapman (1964), Ian Ziering (1964), Céline Dion (1968), Donna D’Errico (1968), Secretariat (1970), Norah Jones (1979), Anna Nalick (1984)

Occurrence: 1933 – The first observance of Doctor’s Day in Winder, Georgia. In 1990, the USA officially began to recognize “National Doctor’s Day.”

Standpoint: Today, Y-Rock on XPN kicks off Modern Rock Madness. Basically, it’s a bracket-style contest not unlike the NCAA Basketball Tournament. It pits music artists against each other in one-on-one competition with the victor moving on to the next round until there is only one left standing. Click HERE to take a look at the match-ups. While it’s a nice concept, this type of radio programming always leaves me a bit salty. And that’s because, like most things I guess, it’s primarily a popularity contest. Granted Modern Rock Madness 2008 ended up with a worthy victor: Radiohead. But the rest of the final four (Modest Mouse, Cake and Beck) gave me the feeling that people voted based on who they thought they should and not who was actually the more talented. And this year’s bracket is kind of befuddling. Why pit David Bowie and Elvis Costello against each other right off the bat? Either one could arguably be in the top eight. Also, how did Spoon and Arcade Fire earn a first round showdown? Both bands are wildly successful right now and it just doesn’t seem right to have one of them eliminated in the first round while bands of equal current success like Vampire Weekend and My Morning Jacket virtually assured first-round victories. The organizers of the NCAA Tournament don’t have the number one and two teams play each other on the first night. I wouldn’t care if they did but I’m betting a lot of you would. Should we hold Y-Rock on XPN to a lesser standard? I’m pretty sure the answer is yes, but I wish it was no.

Quotation: Money does not make you happy but quiets the nerves.Sean O’Casey

Digit: 8 – In Scotland, you only need be eight years old to be convicted of a crime as long it can be proven that you knew what you were doing.

Tune: People who talk music with me are sick of me going on and on about Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. I can’t decide whether “Modern Mystery” or “Think I’m Gonna Die” is its best song. Have a listen to both and then you tell me.

Link: Nerdist – A very funny site by Chris Hardwick.

Gallimaufry: If you live in or around Philadelphia, you’ve driven on I-76, otherwise known as The Schuylkill Expressway. It’s a frustrating stretch of road. To put it mildly. In one of your jaunts down “The Schuylkill” you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say something like, “This has gotta be the worst goddam highway in the country.” Well, next time you can reply to that person, “Actually, it’s not. It’s not even in the top 10.”…If you’re single, tired of dating and wonder where you can go to simply have sex with women without the hassle of all that commitment, today is your lucky day. Simply move to New Zealand where it appears young women are taking promiscuity to a whole new level…Saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button over the weekend. Good movie but Slumdog Millionaire and Milk were much better…It’s no secret that there are millions of not-so-bright individuals running around out there, but this guy takes the cake. Do you think maybe he was looking to get caught?…Check out my friend Brendan F. Quinn’s excellent article “Beam Me Up, Scottie: Reynolds’ Race To The Bucket Sends ‘Nova To The Final Four.”…Thanks for all the responses (both here and on Facebook) to my “Annoying Sayings” post this past Friday. I’ll be doing a follow-up later this week with your suggestions.