05.09.11 – a monday

word

élan [ey-lahn, ey-lan] n. dash; impetuous ardor: to dance with great élan

birthday

J. M. Barrie (1860), Mike Wallace (1918), James L. Brooks (1940), John Ashcroft (1942), Candice Bergen (1946), Billy Joel (1949), Rosario Dawson (1979), Andrew W. K. (1979),

standpoint

A few weeks back, I wrote about mental floss, a fact-filled magazine my roommate subscribes to, and shared a sampling of the nuggets of knowledge I’ve come across since reading it. I like factual information and, apparently, I’m not alone because I received quite a few thankful emails from those of you who subscribed to mental floss after reading that post. And, all I can say is, you’re welcome.

Here’s a few more tidbits I’ve come across since then.

→ Back in 1896, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average was created, it was based on the 12 most successful companies in the USA. Today, the Dow Jones is based on 30 companies including American Express and The Home Depot. The only surviving company of the original 12 is General Electric.

→ Each night after Disneyland closes, the park is invaded by hundreds of feral cats.

→ Every sports team in the country that featured the word “red” in its name in relation to Native Americans has changed it to something more innocuous. Only one refuses to join the rest of us in our attempts to forward civilization: the Washington Redskins.

George W. Bush’s Wikipedia page is the all-time most edited with 44,169 changes.

→ There are some out there who estimate that Americans are sitting on $30 billion worth of unused gift cards.

That’s all for this installment.

quotation

If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam. ↔ Lord Langdale

tune

I don’t really like driving. It’s pretty frickin’ annoying. I mean, if it was just me on the road, I would absolutely love driving. But I’m not alone out there and most people haven’t got the slightest clue as to how to conduct themselves when behind the wheel. The only aspect of driving that makes it remotely bearable is music. And some songs are really good to drive to and almost make the experience of driving from one place to another enjoyable. Case in point, “Alex Chilton” by The Replacements.

gallimaufry

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is threatening to creep onto the list of my top-20 movies ever. There’s something about it that makes me want to watch over and over. I don’t care if that makes me uncool.

→ Often, I find stories for this blog on Drudge Report. It’s kind of useful but also kind of freaky. I imagine its headquarters underneath a secret mountain somewhere and everyone who works there is convinced they’re the only people who’ll survive whatever it is they’ve decided that day is going to cause Armageddon. Also, those dudes definitely play lots of online role-playing games.

→ Hey, news media types, I think we can take the “Breaking News” tag off the whole Osama bin Laden thing. It’s been a week now. How long can news actually break?

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07.20.09 – Monday

Word: propitious [pruhpishuhs] adj. 1. presenting favorable conditions; favorable: propitious weather 2. indicative of favor; auspicious: propitious omens 3. favorably inclined; disposed to bestow favors or forgive: propitious gods

Birthday: Alexander the Great (356 BC), Francesco Petrarch (1304), Edmund Hillary (1919), Chuck Daly (1930), Natalie Wood (1938), Kim Carnes (1945), Carlos Santana (1947), Donna Dixon (1957), Billy Mays (1958), Frank Whaley (1963), Chris Cornell (1964), Stone Gossard (1966), Vitamin C (1969), Sandra Oh (1971), Omar Epps (1973)

Quotation: There’s nothing like getting arrested or winding up in the emergency room at Cedars to make you think you might not be a “social drinker.”Ed Begley Jr.

Tune: In the ongoing exploration of the thousands of unlistened to songs on my iPod, I’ve come across anothe song that I’m quite fond of – “Hidden Thieves” by Israeli band, missFlag.

Gallimaufry: “Had I known I was going to live this long, I might not have stepped down from the anchor desk so soon and missed out on a lot of the dandy stories of this last quarter century. However, I would not change the opportunities and the fun I’ve had with my family and friends, and the folks I’ve met sailing and traveling in these ensuing years.” Those were written a few years back by legendary anchorman Walter Cronkite and published in Charles Grodin‘s book, If I Only Knew Then…Learning From Our Mistakes. This past Saturday, Cronkite died at the age of 92, just three days before the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, an event to which he will always be linked. Truly, an important and honorable man. For those of you who watched the final round of yesterday’s 2009 British Open, how heartbreaking was it to watch the 18th-hole collapse of 59-year old Tom Watson? The bogey put him in a four-hole playoff with Stewart Cink, who eventually captured the win after Watson triple-bogeyed the the 17th-hole. I’m not going to lie. I, like most everyone else watching, was pulling for Watson, who is probably unlikely to find himself in a situation like that in a major championship ever again. Jack Nicholson and Paul Rudd have been seen in Philadelphia as of late. They’re here for filming of a as-yet-unnamed James L. Brooks movie. So is Owen Wilson. And, over the weekend, Reese Witherspoon came into town and will be here until October. It’s time like this we can simply hope everyone behaves themselves and, months from now, we won’t be hearing amusing anecdotes about Philly’s unique style of hospitality on all the talk shows.