04.03.09 – Friday

Word: satire [sat-ahyuh r] n. 1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule or the like, in exposing, denouncing or deriding vice, folly, etc. 2. a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice is held up to scorn, derision or ridicule 3. a literary genre containing such compositions

 

Birthday: Washington Irving (1783), Marlon Brando (1924), Doris Day (1924), Gus Grissom (1926), Jane Goodall (1934), Wayne Newton (1942), Tony Orlando (1944), Richard Thompson (1949), Ray Combs (1956), Alec Baldwin (1958), David Hyde Pierce (1959), Eddie Murphy (1961), Mike Ness (1962), Picabo Street (1971), Jennie Garth (1972), Aries Spears (1975)

 

Occurrence: 1996 – The “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski is arrested in Montana. Currently, he’s serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in Florence, Colorado. Don’t bother trying to visit him. He’s not accepting visitors. (Note: Apparently, I was mistaken about yesterday being the anniversary of the assassination of Jesse James by Robert Ford. It’s today. That’s what fact-checking at 2am will get you. Lesson learned.)

 

Standpoint: Michael Vick is getting out jail in a month or so. It’s rumored that he will be playing football for some NFL team in the upcoming season. Probably the Dallas Cowboys. And that’s a sad sad thing. The former Atlanta Falcons quarterback funded a dog fighting ring and had direct knowledge of his friends killing dogs. I understand that I’m a little tough on the NFL. I apologize for exactly none of what I say about the league. If he is reinstated and resumes his playing career, it will be a new low for an organization that has already burrowed underneath the slimiest slime and muckiest muck.

 

Quotation: He who stands for nothing will fall for anything. Alexander Hamilton (Note: I’ve heard this attributed to Malcolm X. Guess he lifted it from Hamilton.)

 

Weekend: My picks for dope stuff to do in Philadelphia this weekend.

 

Tonight (4/3) – 8pm Go see Bob Mould (formerly of Husker Du and Sugar) at The North Star Bar. 

Saturday (4/4) – 8pm The 6th Borough’s Depression Isn’t Just a River in Egypt at Connie’s Ric Rac.

Sunday (4/5) – 2pm Take the kids down to the American Swedish Historical Museum to participate in Swedish Easter traditions.

 

Tune: Another favorite unsung band. Teenage Fanclub. Check out “Ain’t That Enough”.

 

Video: I’ve heard of American actors going over to Japan and doing crazy commercials. I’d never seen video evidence of it, though. Until now. Watch this collection of Nicolas Cage commercials. (Thanks to Tim Mulvey.)

 

Gallimaufry: NASA still has made no decision regarding the naming of the new room in the International Space Station. But Chaka Fattah (D-PA) is getting behind naming it after Stephen Colbert who won the contest after urging his Colbert Report viewers to cast write-in votes for him…People keep asking me questions about the new Facebook and what to do about all of the clutter. I’m still feeling it out myself but here’s an article that may help…The Onion’s AV Club encourages everyone to turn off the shuffle and listen to these 25 albums the way they were intended – straight through. Sadly, I own only one of these albums: XTC’s Skylarking…All right. That’s it for me. Thanks for another great week. Come back on Monday for some more.

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03.17.09 – Tuesday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: stultify [stuhl-tuh-fahy] verb to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous

Birthday: Nat King Cole (1919), John Wayne Gacy (1942), Patrick Duffy (1949), Kurt Russell (1951), Gary Sinise (1955), Casey Siemaszko (1961), Rob Lowe (1964), Billy Corgan (1967), Mia Hamm (1972)

Occurrence: 1854 – The rubber band is first patented. Interesting, but I would like to know the first time someone figured out how to wrap it around their hand and point at people like a gun.

Standpoint: In today’s NFL, you’re just not a viable wide receiver until ESPN shows a clip of you getting arrested or questioned by the police. Apparently, it’s a rite of passage. This past Saturday morning, Donte Stallworth struck and killed Juan Sanchez, a man who had just finished his shift. Stallworth has now joined the ranks of Plaxico Burress, Javon Walker, Marvin Harrison and host of other professional wideouts who can’t seem to help but get busted for (or suspected of) criminal acts. Originally, it was reported that charges would not be brought up against the Cleveland Browns player, but now it seems a definite possibility. The most amazing aspect of this current trend of “bad boy” wide receivers is that, for the most part, every one of them is, or has the potential to be, an elite player. Randy Moss. Terry Glenn. Brandon Marshall. Koren Robinson. All great talents. All ended up destroying or diminishing their own careers for participation in events that, to the rest of us, seem completely absurd. The problem is well-documented. This is news to no one. So when does Commissioner Robert Goodell drop the hammer and start kicking these guys out of the league? And when do the teams start sending a real message by not signing these guys, no matter what their level of talent may be? The NFL has become a safe harbor for individuals who continually break the law (see Matt Jones), learn nothing from their actions and have the bank accounts to mount defenses O.J. Simpson would drool over. I’ll take drama-queen Terrell Owens over any of these guys. He may be a big problem in the locker room and a seemingly below-average human being but at least I know when I walk out of work he’s not going to run me over in his Bentley.

Quotation: How do I know what I think until I see what I say?E.M. Forster

Soupçon: The original Greek question mark became the English semicolon (;). I know I keep ripping off A.J. Jacobs but can you really blame me? I maintain a daily blog that includes an interesting fact section and I’m reading a book chronicling a man’s search for knowledge. I’ve just gotten to the “R” chapter of The Know-It-All so I’m almost done ripping it off.

Tune: Besides being great guys, Backyard Tire Fire is an outstanding live band. About a year ago, my brother and I went to The North Star to see The Beautiful Girls. BTF was the opening act and they put on a great show. After their set, I had lost my interest in seeing the main act and spent the rest of the night at the bar with the band. Great night. Check out “Corrine”.

Link: Bag of Songs – Superlative Philadelphia-based blog covering the world of music.

Gallimaufry: Not everyone is hurting during the recession. Condom sales are up due to, among other factors, people staying in more and couples holding off on having a child. Read Amanda Ruggeri’s article “10 Winners in the Recession” from U.S. News & World Report to see who else is prospering…Paste Magazine has made a list of the best independent movie houses in the country. Surprisingly, none of Philadelphia’s made the list…Looks like tough times ahead for Atlantic City, NJ. Casinos are experiencing record losses right now. Hope the Borgata is still there May 23rd when I’m going to see Joel McHale for my birthday. Fingers crossed, people…Hope everyone has a SAFE St. Patrick’s Day. Lots of drinking rookies out there. Be careful and don’t drive.