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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03.11.10 – A Thursday

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word

rigmarole [rig-muh-rohl] n. 1. an elaborate or complicated procedure: to go through the rigmarole of a formal dinner 2. confused, incoherent, foolish, or meaningless talk

birthday

Ivan Nabokov (1787) Lawrence Welk (1903), Ralph Abernathy (1926), Rupert Murdoch (1931), Sam Donaldson (1934), Antonin Scalia (1936), Bobby McFerrin (1950), Jerry Zucker (1950), Douglas Adams (1952), Joey Buttafuoco (1956), Jim Pinkerton (1958), Peter Berg (1964), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (1965), Wallace Langham (1965), Lisa Loeb (1968), Terrence Howard (1969), Johnny Knoxville (1971), Joel Madden (1979), Anton Yelchin (1989)

standpoint

For the past few months, I’ve been tinkering with the idea of fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine – doing a spot at a comedy open mic. I decided the other night, it was time to get serious about it and so I began to peruse YouTube for stand up clips for research purposes.

I discovered there was weeks and weeks of viewing options but the ones I found most fascinating were those that involved the comedians dealing with hecklers. Some comedians get angry, some get clever, some try both, but the result is always the same: Never mess with the guy holding the microphone. You’re just not going to win.

Here’s some of the clips I enjoyed the most.

Todd Glass

Arj Barker
Michael Showalter
(not really a heckler but still a distraction)
Jesse Fernandez
Zach Galifianakis

Each of these guys handled it pretty well, I think. I’d like to think that if this ever happens to me I’d be as smooth as Zach Galifiankis but I’d more likely be like Todd Glass.

quotation

When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there’s an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. ↔ Matt Groening

tune

One of the coolest aspects of the acts that comprise indie rock is that they’re so much more collaborative than those who came before them. They seem to understand the notion that there’s power in numbers, frequently performing cameos in one another’s songs and, even more often, joining forces to record entire albums. Below is one such example, “The High Road,” the first single offthe new self-titled album from the recent team-up project of Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse and The Shins’ James MercerBroken Bells.

gallimaufry

Just when you thought the bitch couldn’t get any crazier. I didn’t even make the connection until after I read about this lawsuit. But maybe she’s trying to drum up a little buzz because, you know, no one ever talks about Linday Lohan.

This will make you think twice before shushing a woman who’s trying to talk on her cell phone during a movie. Why this dude had a meat thermometer in a theater is something I’d like to find out but, in my experience, my experiences tells me I’m going to be disappointed.

→ Sometimes, when trying to figure out a societal issue, it’s not entirely necessary to pour a boatload of money into some unnecessary research study. In this instance in particular, it would’ve been just as effective to get outside and take a look around.

in memoriam

Corey Haim (December 23rd, 1971 – March 10, 2010) died yesterday of an apparent drug overdose. Here’s a video montage of the troubled child actor chronicling his happier days.

04.09.09 – Thursday

Word: histrionic [his-tree-on-ik] adj. 1. of or pertaining to actors or acting 2. deliberately affected or self-consciously emotional; overly dramatic, in behavior or speech

 

Birthday: Charles Baudelaire (1821), Hugh Hefner (1926), Tom Lehrer (1928), Jim Fowler (1932), Carl Perkins (1932), Marty Kroft (1937), Peter Gammons (1945), Dennis Quaid (1954), Marc Jacobs (1963), Paulina Porizkova (1965), Jenna Jameson (1974), Albert Hammond, Jr. (1979), Keshia Knight Pulliam (1979), Jesse McCartney (1987)

 

Occurrence: 2003Saddam Hussein’s statue is toppled to the ground and destroyed by the Iraqi people as U.S. forces take over Baghdad. That was six years ago. When, exactly, did we win that war?

 

Standpoint: A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about sayings or phrases that I find annoying. Since then, I’ve received emails and comments, both here and on Facebook, from all of you who wanted to share your annoying sayings. I found that what really bother some of you are frequently misused words. I picked the top three and did a little research. Here is that I found:

 

  1. “irregardless” vs. “regardless” – “Irregardless” is not a word. At least, not an accepted one. According to dictionary.com, “Irregardless” is a non-standard word because of the two negative elements ir- and –less. The site presumes that “those who use it, including on occasion educated speakers, may do so from a desire to add emphasis.” On the other hand, “regardless” means, “having or showing no regard.”  The winner: regardless
  2. “supposably” vs. “supposedly” – This one is going to disappoint some of you. Dictionary.com says both are fine. “Supposably” is defined as “to believe or assume as true; take for granted.” “Supposedly” is defined as “assumed as true, regardless of fact.” I don’t really see a difference, do you? The winner: it’s a tie
  3. “orientate” vs. “orient” – “Orientate” is actually a word. It means, “to arrange in order; to dispose or place (a body) so as to show its relation to other bodies.” (No, I don’t think that means an actual human body.) “Orient” has many different meanings, including one that resembles the above one for orientate. However, the one that fits with the way most people use both these words is “to familiarize (a person) with new surroundings or circumstances.” So when someone says, “I had to orientate him into the new apartment,” they’re misusing the word. The winner: orient

So, there you go. I still can’t believe that “supposably” is a word. Thanks everyone for your contributions.

QuotationIt’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

 

Tune: Over the weekend, I was having a conversation with a certain someone who insisted that all bands would choose making the big time over being a consistently working, moderately profitable one. I disagreed. Example of one such band? Cloud Cult. Here’s a blurb from the band’s official bio: “Despite offers from major labels, Cloud Cult has chosen to remain independent, recording and releasing their albums through Earthology Records, a not-for-profit environmental record label established by Minowa in 1998. On a self-funded shoe-string budget they have achieved top 20 CMJ radio charting for all of their last three albums, a domain usually reserved for the SubPops and Merges of the world.” My favorite Cloud Cult tune is “Hurricane and Fire Survival Guide.”

 

Link: Lights – Not sure if I’ve posted this before, but wanted to share it. Takes a few seconds to figure out.

 

Gallimaufry: Everyone’s talking about the Philadelphia Phillies’ new World Champions rings. Reviews have been good. I even overheard on lady call them “stunning.” I think the rings are pretty god-awful but I’d probably wear one if I’d just won the World Series. A shame they can’t present the team with the rings every night. The Phillies won in impressive style, coming back late in the game to win 12-11 after being down 10-3 (Thanks to Phinally Philly for the link)…Iron Man 2 began filming recently. Looks like Iron Man cast members Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark), Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts) and Samuel L. Jackson (Col. Nick Fury) will return for the second installment while Don Cheadle will replace Terrence Howard as James “Rhodey” Rhodes. New cast members will include Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Mickey Rourke (Whiplash) and Sam Rockwell (Justin Hammer). It’s rumored that there will be appearances by Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins but nothing solid yet…Think status updates on Facebook and tweets on Twitter are getting impossible to follow? If so, you’re not going to like where Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove is predicting for the future in “A Brief History of the Status Update.” Personally, I think it’ll be great.

 

Incoming: Tomorrow – My “Top 3 Incredibly Cool Things To Do in Philadelphia This Weekend” and some other amazing stuff.

03.11.09 – Wednesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: obviate [ob-vee-ayt] – transitive verb to prevent by interception; to anticipate and dispose of or make unnecessary

Birthday: Lawrence Welk (1903), Rupert Murdoch (1931), Sam Donaldson (1934), Antonin Scalia (1936), Bobby McFerrin (1950), Jerry Zucker (1950), Joey Buttafuoco (1956), Peter Berg (1964), Jesse Jackson Jr. (1965), Wallace Langham (1965), Lisa Loeb (1968), Terrence Howard (1969), Johnny Knoxville (1971)

Occurrence: 1989 – The television show Cops makes its debut. All over the United States, guys in wife-beater tank tops tremble in fear.

Irksome: In its infinite wisdom, Nickelodeon is keeping Chris Brown as a nominee for the 2009 Kids’ Choice Awards. Brown, arrested for beating up his girlfriend and fellow pop star Rihanna, is up for Favorite Male Singer and Favorite Song. Despite Oprah’s protests, Rihanna and Brown are back together so I guess Nickelodeon figures it’ll be all right. In my humble opinion, the people over at Nickelodeon are certified morons. What a great message to send to the youth of America – Hey, kids, it’s OK to beat up your girlfriend as long as you’ve got an exceptional singing voice. Way to drop the ball, Nickelodeon. Hopefully Dwayne Johnson, the host of this year’s Kids’ Choice Awards, will have the good sense to throw Mr. Brown off the stage should the singer win.

Quotation: After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is musicAldous Huxley

Soupçon: Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are witren, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. I took this directly from HERE.

Tune: Some people say that the 1980s produced some of the worst music ever. Debatable. I think when Train debuted “Drops of Jupiter”, it showed everyone that bands in the 1990s were capable of making some pretty awful music as well.

Link: Eats – nice website for finding a place to dine out in your area.

Gallimaufry: For you readers who live in Philadelphia, here is some information about the imminent SEPTA strike. Hope things get resolved before that. What a hassle…Marc Shuster is a talented Philadelphia writer. His novel, The Singular Exploits of Wonder Mom and Party Girl, is launching May 9th 2009. Check out Marc’s blog, Abominations…At the risk of revealing myself as a complete nerd, I will admit right here and now that I’m excited to see the new Star Trek movie.