Monday, January 30, 2006

Super Bowl One-Size-Fits-All

It's one week until Super Bowl XL, which might not even suck, and I'm wondering...when did Cracked get this funny?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Chinese Food For Thought

Hmm. Google Image Search results for "Tianamen Square"

Google Image Search results for "Tianamen Square" in China.

Long live the democracy of the internet!

Friday, January 27, 2006

White Chocolate

Apparently, Ray Nagin will have to alter his thinking about the new New Orleans.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Bowling For Haircuts

Oh, Boy: It seems Newsweek has uncovered the growing tragedy of bad haircuts among our nation's children. So sad, those poor, scowling, bowl-cut boys.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Rutgers Numb3rs

A new law forces Rutgers to assign new ID numbers instead of using student Social Security numbers. No word on how this will affect student fake IDs.

And the worst name for a TV show in 2005? "Numb3rs?" Are you kidding me?

Monday, January 23, 2006

50 Most Loathesome People in America

The Beast runs it's annual "50 Most Loathesome People in America, 2005" and I have a hard time disagreeing.

Surely Donavan McNabb doesn't belong in a year in which one of his teammates displayed some of the most selfish and self-defeating behavior ever in the NFL (and that's quite an achievement). I'm also not sure what's so crazy about Thomas Friedman's take on globalization.

And as Andrew Sullivan points out, Pat Robertson shouldn't be forced to apologize for his beliefs, even if they involve the eventual destruction of all Jews when the rapture comes. They're his beliefs, after all. The real dolts are the millions of people who listen to him.

And what? No Donald Rumsfeld? I suppose you could fill an entire list with Bush cronies. But here's one responsible for the incompetent prosecution of a war and the hubris to accept no blame for anything.

Otherwise, what we've got here are 47 truly loathsome people. Proof of the rotting of Middle America.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The W Guide to the Galaxy

Bush playing Zork, a role-playing game from the early days of computing. Brilliant.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Whatchoo Gonna Do When They Come For You

New Brunswick community members pack a City Council meeting to complain about police brutality and insist drug dealers and attempted murderers are people, too. And actually, I believe them.

Friday, the County Prosecutor got involved.

Also, the city alots $1.6 million to help rehab homes.

Tattle-Tale Parrots and Chinese Diplomacy

This CNN story about a parrot who broke up a British couple reads like something from The Onion. Poor Ziggy.

And Chinese immigrant Fuk King Kwok decides to change his name while waiting for his driver's license to print.

A Rose By Any Other Team

A USC cheerleader gets a little confused between Trojans and Longhorns in the Rose Bowl. And as the ensuing photos show, this wasn't her first faux pas.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Simpsomaker

Make your own Simpsons character. Then write a script better than anything they've done in the last 7 years.

Monday, January 16, 2006

24 Ways to Furrow Your Brow

I've watched bits and pieces of the previous five seasons of "24," and after this year's two-night, four-hour season premiere I think we can safely come to a few conclusions.

1. Terrorists on this show have never met a convoluted plan they didn't like. Shoot down Air Force 1 on the off-chance you can retrieve the nuclear "football" in the wreckage? Kidnap the Secretary of State as a distraction? Take an airport terminal hostage to blackmail the president into bailing on an anti-terrorist accord with Russia as a smokescreen to steal some nerve gas? Why not? We've got 24 hours of programming to fill.

2. Suspense can be manufactured out of any contrivance. Only in the world of "24" does the orchestration of a presidential treaty-signing photo-op take priority over a hostage situation in a Los Angeles Airport. Think it might be a good idea to delay this thing for, oh..I don't least four or five minutes? Just, you know, out of curiosity to see if Americans are being slaughtered on live television. Because people are gonna tune in to that photo op for sure.

3. Jack Bauer is one bad-ass muthafucker.

4. And most importantly, I've learned this: Mary Lynn Rajskub is the worst actress ever. Anywhere. She has been fine -- endearing even -- playing bit parts on "Mr. Show" and "The Larry Sanders Show." But her Cloe O'Brien on "24" only knows one facial expression: constipated pouty grimmace. You know, that face you make when you've spent 45 minutes on the shitter but nothing comes out other than a few puffs of gas and a small pellet of poo. Hard to believe smart people thought it might be gripping to watch her frown and type while talking on a phone for an entire season. Popping out poo pellets sounds more enticing to me.

Generation Gap

Meet John Heldrich: The man, the myth, the hotel and school of workforce development under construction in downtown New Brunswick. I'd recommend paying more attention to the man, though.

And some college kids bitch about the tardy ameneties at their high-priced dorm. Gimme my ice cream and coffee along with my shelter.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Intelligent Design, eh?

What's 1994 + 54?

It was hard to notice based on the coverage in the papers, but apparently they canonized St. Messier last night at Madison Square Garden.

As a Devils fan, you might think I'm bitter toward that grinning, blubbering Cro-Magnon. But actually, I'm really grateful for his 1994 Eastern Conference Finals defeat of New Jersey. Sure, supposedly guaranteeing a Game 6 victory might be considered gauche in a town where a fella by the name of Joe Willy did something similar 25 years earlier to revolutionize his sport. But mostly, he just set the Devils on a decade of dominance that has yet to see the Rangers even return to the playoffs. Even if this year's standings seem to indicate a turnaround.

Mostly, I'm feeling bad for Bob Kabel, who wore Messier's now-retired number 11 for a portion of his 48 game career in 1959-60. Sorry, Bobby. We hardly knew ye.

The House-Shaking Sound of Silence

People with giant construction drills outside their windows at 5 in the morning gripe to a reporter. Who woulda thunk it'd be so loud to create a sound barrier?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Article #7 in an Endless Saga of Urban Planning

Oh, New Brunswick. Your redevelopment plan is so sexy. Talk dirty to me about blight and high-density mixed-use buildings.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Body Blow

An ingenius live recreation of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out for Nintendo. Living proof that a man named Glass Joe should never pursue a boxing career.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Culture Wars: The Phantom Menace

So, does anyone know the score of our national culture war?

I imagine you've heard about this thing. Open hostilities between left and right with the center getting smooshed via collateral damage. Something about abortionists trying to grinch Christmas away from Jesus freaks and giving Santa Claus a faggot makeover so he can screw Jake Gyllenhaal before attending a NASCAR event.

Or some such thing.

If you listen to talk radio or cable news, you might get the impression this country is about as divided as those election maps. And you might be right. I don't have the statistics to back up any theories as to what the majority of Americans think about anything. I mean, most Americans do not believe in evolution. What good is a poll if it only confirms your low opinion of Americans? These are the same people that made Tim Allen's "Home Improvement" the number one show year after year.

No, I'm not gonna try and disprove the existence of these culture wars. They are too damn entertaining.

Who doesn't enjoy watching Letterman telling Bill O'Reilly that 60 percent of what he's says is crap. Of course, Letterman didn't have any proper ammunition to debate O'Reilly's hysterical rantings of supposed anti-Christmas evidence (what would O'Reilly do, by the way, if the pope decided to outlaw Santa Claus in response to the anti-Christian, commercial, pagan invention he is?). Which is the way it should be. People who scream for attention at the top of their lungs and can't be ignored should at least be laughed at. Certainly someone with such peculiar sexual peccadilloes.

Since I've left the city and returned to an automotive existence, I've rediscovered radio (I know, I know, just in time for Howard Stern to bolt for space). NPR is nice and educational. But then so is 770 AM.

Last week, Rush Limbaugh was going off about the something he saw in the DVD extras of "March of the Penguins." Apparently, the tree-hugging, blame-America-first, blame-humans-for-global-warming filmmakers didn't have the humanistic chutzpah to assist baby penguins that had fallen into a three-foot crevasse. How could these hypocrites hide behind their impartial, documentarian roles instead of saving these poor creatures? How could they sit and watch these animals get torn apart by sea lions?

If you're like me when faced with such inanity, you might start shouting back at the radio. Something like: Hey, moron! This is what happens in nature. These people went there precisely so they could capture the hard life of these amazing birds. The filmmakers are no more cruel for their inaction than nature for eventually killing off all of what it creates.

But then you'd be falling into one of the traps which are these shows reason for existing.

At one point in the Howard Stern bio-pic "Private Parts," a station functionary delivers the latest ratings. People are tuning in record numbers to Stern's controversial show. In response to a question asking why they listen, Stern-lovers say they want to hear what he's going to say next. Stern-haters, who listen twice as long, answer the same question with the same answer.

For much of this country, being infuriated is addictive.

Which might explain some of this media-driven "culture wars" talk. For me, like most of what goes on in this country, I find it entertaining. I mean, can you really take this stuff seriously?

There's a guy on 770 at nights, Mark Levin, who makes Rush seem like a one of those toy monkeys with the cymbals banging together. His voice actually sounds a little like those cymbals. And he deigns takes calls from "libs," as he calls them. But you'll notice that not one of the "libs" he speaks with can hardly put together two sentences, much less a cogent argument. Last week, he had on a guy he rightly suspected was drunk. And then he skewered the guy for it. As if his own producers weren't screening these tomato cans for him to squeeze into sauce.

You can poke fun at me for spending valuable time with some of the folks responsible for this recent divisiveness. My favorite part is when a guy like Limbaugh or Hannity belittle "the media" as if they aren't a HUGE part of it.

But whether this divide is real or perceived, there is value in checking in with what so much of this country uses to check themselves. And laugh at them. Because arguing can be so cruel, especially in a time of war.

Hash (But Not the Good Kind)

Runners run slowly and with beers in Edison hash. And $400,000 missing from Highland Park's tax receipts. If you need me, I'll be in a country with no extradition treaty...