Saturday, November 5, 2011

AND IODINE AND THORIUM AND THULIUM AND THALLIUM:  The General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics has welcomed elements 110, 111, and 112 to the periodic table: darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn).
THE EDGE OF GRAVY: Prepare for A Very Gaga Thanksgiving special, little monsters.

Friday, November 4, 2011

DID DOOGIE HOWSER JUST STEAL OUR CAR? Our first explicitly Christmas-themed movie of the year arrives in theatres today with A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (with Arthur Christmas and New Year's Eve still to come), and Vulture has a discussion with the writers about how they came up with the idea for doing a Christmas movie, their reluctance to do the movie in 3-D, the other concept they bounced around for the threequel, why they're not afraid of jumping the shark, and what the three essential elements of a Harold & Kumar movie are.
THREE PEOPLE WHO'VE NEVER BEEN IN MY KITCHEN: So, apparently Jeopardy! went all TV-14 last night.
THE FUTURE IS OVER:  According to folks on my twitter feed (UPDATE: and now, the Wall Street Journal), Dippin' Dots has filed for bankruptcy. There's video:

SANTO GOLDEN?  Ten men are up for consideration for enshrinement to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the 16-member Golden Era Committee, which considers players and executives active 1947-1973:
Buzzie Bavasi, Ken Boyer, Charlie Finley, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Allie Reynolds, Ron Santo and Luis Tiant.
It's a damn shame that Santo's deserved induction be posthumous, but let's hope it at least happens.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

EVERYBODY'S JUST NOT THAT INTO UNLUCKY YOU: Forbes Magazine claims Drew Barrymore is Hollywood's most overpaid star.
REALLY, MAYBE NOW WE'LL STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS: The folks behind the original two Studio 60 Twitter feeds have unmasked themselves as Onion head writer Seth Reiss (@MattAlbie60) and comedy writer Jake Fogelnest (@DannyTripp60). It's particularly impressive, given that they didn't meet in person until well into the project, and apparently still don't know who's on the other end of some of the character feeds. Impressive work from them!
CENTRAL WESTERN TIME ZONE - ADVANCE CLOCKS 45 MINUTES: Time zone anomalies from around the globe.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

DON'T TALK TO HIM LIKE THAT:  It may be season 23, but there's still a reason to watch Survivor.

THIS IS OCEAN'S 11 AFTER OCEAN'S 11 HAS SUFFERED SEVERAL CONCUSSIONS:  Will Leitch did not care for Tower Heist.
YOU CAN NEVER JUMP AWAY FROM CONCLUSIONS: Norman Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth is fifty years old.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

TWO OF THE MEN LYING ON THE BLANKET THAT DAY IN 1940 WERE RICH. THE THIRD WAS POOR—SO POOR THAT HE HAD ONLY RECENTLY PURCHASED THE FIRST SUIT HE HAD EVER OWNED THAT FIT CORRECTLY—AND DESPERATELY ANXIOUS NOT TO BE:  Thus began The Path to Power, the first volume of Robert Caro's intended-to-be-three-part biography of Lyndon Johnson, published in 1982. Today, Caro announced that the subsequently-amended-to-be-four-volumes would instead stretch to five, with a relatively short 700-ish page fourth volume covering 1958-1964, The Passage of Power, to be published in May 2012:
Why did three volumes become four? Because I realized I didn't know how the Senate worked and instead of making it rather minor, I wanted to show how power worked in the Senate," Caro said Tuesday during a telephone interview with The Associated Press from his Manhattan office.

"What do I want to show in this volume? I wanted to show how a master of politics can pick up the reins of power in a time of great crisis and what he can do with that power and the extraordinary results Lyndon Johnson did with it."

Caro said he has already done an outline and most of the research for the presumed final volume, which would cover the rest of Johnson's presidency and how the Vietnam War overshadowed his domestic triumphs and drove him to give up on seeking a second full term. Caro expects the fifth book to take two to three years and adds that he even knows the final sentence.
As a current UChicago Law student tweeted: "The new Robert Caro book is to political nerds what the new George R. R. Martin book is to regular nerds."
I WOULD WATCH IF STATLER AND WALDORF DID THE COMMENTARY EVERY WEEK: Jason Segel hosting SNL to promote The Muppets makes complete sense. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy (and several other Muppets) doing a full 12 minute bit on last night's WWE Raw, with entrance music? A little less understandable. (As someone who's not followed current developments in the WWE aside from the occaisional Grantland recaps, I suspect I'm missing some of the jokes, but still....)
ALSO, BASICALLY THE ENTIRE CHARACTER OF QUINN FABRAY: Since Glee is back tonight, it seems appropriate to link to the Glee wiki (yes, there is a Glee wiki) page on "Things With Little/No Continuity," which includes a note that "The point of this list is to expose continuity issues, not to say that Glee is terrible, so please do not get defensive. These issues do exist, and for the Gleeks to ignore or deny that is an insult to the what we do love about the show, causing other fandoms to lower their respect for us."
BECAUSE I'M THE GUY WHO DIDN'T START WATCHING 'LOST' UNTIL THE FIRST SUMMER BREAK:  Please complete this sentence -- "Adam, the new show you really need to get started with is ____________."

(And the one I seem to keep hearing: Revenge.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

NO GOLDENBERG PEANUT CHEWS?  Lucy inventories her haul for the evening:
9 Snickers
2 Almond Snickers
1 Peanut Butter Snickers
1 mini Almond Snickers
9 M&Ms
3 Peanut Butter M&Ms
3 Dum Dum lollipops
I GOT A ROCK:  The creepy and kooky Addams Family theme (or the lesser-regarded Addams Family Groove), or do you prefer the rockin' surf guitar that is The Munsters theme music?  Yes, it is Halloween once more, and for once let's not talk about the aspects of our popular culture which are actually scary but those which look at the grotesque and morbid with delight and whimsy, from the days when ghosts were friendly and a blind Gene Hackman just wanted to teach Victor Frankenstein's monster about the benefits of fire.

Also, braaaaaaaiiinnns.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

COLLECTIVE SELF-ABSORPTION: The worst fault of many sports announcers is the belief (or actions consistent with the belief) that the audience wants to hear them instead of the game they're calling. Actors fail when their work focuses on actorly performance instead of service of the story. Journalists cannot stop themselves from writing stories about how journalists write stories (I read a story on ESPN a week or two ago about how Albert Pujols refused to apologize for not making himself available for interviews -- if journalists were not the only people who noticed that Pujols didn't make himself available to say nothing insightful, surely they were the only ones who thought he should apologize for it), and authors who are journalists or college professors or lawyers can't help but write fiction about clever or heroic journalists or college professors or lawyers (or authors).

I mention this only because I upgraded (more accurately, I was upgraded, and most accurately, I was switched) to Word 2010 in my office today. I may someday see the wisdom or utility in taking everything that was there before and putting it somewhere else, like some insane professional organizer came into your house and moved literally everything without telling you where it went -- it may make sense for people starting anew, but shouldn't the 20 years we've spent learning Word count for something? But even accepting, without liking, that aspect of Word 2010, I must ask this: who at Microsoft was responsible for thinking that what people needed was more space devoted to What Microsoft Word Does (a chaotic jumble of what used to reside in the pull-down menus) and correspondingly less space for that other thing, what's it called, oh, yeah, your document?