Friday, November 11, 2011

KIELBASA QUEEN, COME ON DOWN:  I don't watch America's Got Talent, and haven't listened to Howard Stern since I was in high school and WYSP played rock music, but, yeah, putting the two together for $15M/year would at least get me interested in reading the recaps and hunting down clips online.
CANIS SEMPER FIDELIS: Today is Veterans' Day. Do you know who loves soldiers more than you do? Soldiers' dogs. Mental Floss compiled an archive of dogs welcoming soldiers home.

HT: Deadspin.
11/11/11, 11:11:11:  It's a big day for lovers of binary and the Corduroy Appreciation Club.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

PENN STATE, 2011, AND WHITMAN MIDDLE SCHOOL, 1994: This is a long post, one my colleagues at ALOTT5MA HQ will recognize as falling in the category of "Ahem I Have Something To Say 'Bout Something." If you're looking for the Isaac Spaceman that is trying to make you laugh, you might want to skip it, because this one is about Penn State.
SO IS THIS MAH-VAH-LEOUS OR NOT? Billy Crystal has tweeted that he'll be hosting the Oscars. No confirmation from the Academy or outside news sources yet, but that would be the least surprising and safest news imaginable.
DAD, THEY ALL COME FROM THE SAME ANIMAL: Understanding the periodic availability of McRib as a pork commodities arbitrage:

The theory that the McRib’s elusiveness is a direct result of the vagaries of the cash price for hog meat in the States is simple: in this thinking, the product is only introduced when pork prices are low enough to ensure McDonald’s can turn a profit on the product. The theory is especially convincing given the McRib's status as the only non-breakfast fast food pork item: why wouldn't there be a pork sandwich in every chain, if it were profitable?

Some wonderful, magical animal...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

8 > 409:  The Board of Trustees of Pennsylvania State University has voted unanimously to fire head football coach Joe Paterno, effective immediately.  The University's president, Graham Spanier, has resigned.

We do not yet know all the facts to assess in full Paterno's moral culpability in the child rape scandal, but I feel like we know enough to know that tonight's decision was necessary.
THE RHINOCEROS AND THE SERPENT: Not the most dramatic episode of Survivor tonight, so thank goodness it wasn't two episodes.

This is what happens when the show has totally dispensed with all the mystical-building-a-civilization mumbo jumbo and survival skills seem irrelevant -- when all that's left is strategery, some episodes can be done this efficiently. I'm just trying to decide if Cochran/Brandon or J. Edgar/Clyde is the mancrush of the week.
AL, CALL YOUR DOCTOR:  On May 27, 2010, in a post about premorse, people we were surprised hadn't died, and stale obituaries, frequent commenter Adam C. noted:
Despite the fact that they're both alive and still in the public consciousness, couldn't we agree that Andy Rooney's and Bil Keane's obits are extremely stale?

Also, Al Molinaro is 90?!?!?!
In addition to Rooney and Keane, who died today at 89, we mourn the loss of Heavy D, the new jack rapper who always made me smile. Here's a vintage clip from Club MTV, 1991, plus his In Living Color theme. The former Dwight Myers was 44.
UNDECLARED: Famous pitchman/guest worker/basketball player of some repute Yao Ming has finally realized that you just can't get anywhere nowadays without a college degree, and has matriculated at Jiao Tong University ("the Beida of the Mid-South").

Since we relish little more than advising our youngers about what we look back on as our best years: Yao, take classes that you enjoy, broaden your horizons, and don't treat Jiao Tong as just a trade school. College is about so much more than preparing yourself to get a job after graduation. And if you get a chance, do a year abroad.
FOR THE CASTURBATION DESK:  Following Brett Ratner's necessary exit, Eddie Murphy has quit as Academy Awards host.  I cannot possibly imagine who y'all will recommend in his stead.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FOR GOD, FOR COUNTRY, FOR SELF?  On November 19, Yale senior QB Patrick Witt has to decide between leading the Bulldogs against the Harvard Crimson in his final game, or traveling home to Atlanta for his Rhodes Scholarship interview.
NEW PROVO FRONT, LIBERTÉ DE QUEBEC, AND ASIAN DAWN: What if Die Hard really happpened?

(Did you know: in the German redub, the terrorists are deemed Irish? Also, this is Alan Rickman's first feature film.)
THE OTHER BOY WHO LIVED:  J.K. Rowling explains in an interview accompanying the Deathly Hallows 2 DVD that she almost killed off Ron Weasley "out of sheer spite."
CHROMIUM STEEL:  On the further battles between Billy Joel and Allentown.
I WONDER HOW THEY COMPILED THIS PIECE: The Daily conducts an oral history of oral histories.
IF YOU KNOCKED HIM DOWN, YOU ONLY MADE HIM MAD: Those of us who are sports fans but grew up after the era of Joe Frazier, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali have learned since just how much we missed -- an era in which there was no greater sporting event than a heavyweight boxing bout, no greater rivals than boxing opponents, and no greater title than heavyweight champion.

Frazier, who died today of liver cancer, was defined by his rivalries with the other two champions of his era, but must be remembered in his own right as an Olympic champion; as a native of Beaufort, SC, who rose from nothing to work in a Philadelphia slaughterhouse where, yes, he toughened his punches against frozen sides of beef; a man who gave it all inside the ring, back when boxing rings were worthy of such efforts.  He was 67.

Monday, November 7, 2011

GIVEN THIS SEASON'S PLOTS, DO THEY NEED TO CHANGE THE TITLE? The Good Wife has seemed a little off to me this season. With the new time slot, the writers were clearly given a commandment to up the sexiness (even though the show now airs an hour earlier than it used to) and decrease the serialization (airing after football on the East Coast creates some problems), and they've clearly delivered on both points, but a few questions from last night:
  • Is Diane so oblivious that she was unable to recognize Grace's voice on Alicia's ringtone in the background? Obviously, she's had inklings that there's some sort of relationship between Alicia and Will for quite a while, and seems like she's finally put the pieces together, and is responding in an interestingly passive-aggressive way (the sexual harassment video at the end of the episode was hysterical).
  • Josh Charles is a devout Baltimore sports fan, and I suspect the writers were having more than a little fun tweaking him for that with the plotline about Will's (prior?) gambling problem. (Also, credit to the writers for working in continuity--Scott Porter is off wooing Rachel Bilson and Jaime King on Hart of Dixie, so we can't see Blake, but we at least get a reference.) Charles has had a pretty good season this year, with him getting to play off not just Marguiles, but Lisa Edelstein, and to do something other than bark orders.
  • With respect to the "secret" deposition transcripts, even assuming that such depositions would be allowed, anyone think that the government would allow such videotapes to be recorded, much less released to opposing counsel in a subsequent case? Even if the videotapes were released, wouldn't the lips be blurred as well to avoid using a lip reader to circumvent confidentiality? I'm willing to cut some slack in the name of good television--people sitting reading deposition transcripts doesn't make for good entertainment--but given how generally good the show has been about keeping it somewhat plausible, it annoys.
HAPPY TIME, PEOPLE:  Remember back in May when many of us gave frequent commenter (and occasional a cappella correspondent) Saray advice on passing the bar exam?

She totally passed.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

THROUGH THE SECOND MILE, SANDUSKY HAD ACCESS TO HUNDREDS OF BOYS, MANY OF WHOM WERE VULNERABLE DUE TO THEIR SOCIAL SITUATIONS:  I think Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel is undoubtedly correct that the alleged Penn State child rape coverup represents what "could be the ugliest scandal in the history of college athletics."

Questions about athletes and their families receiving improper benefits seem trivial in comparison to the horrific allegations in the grand jury presentment, which asserts that after a graduate assistant reported to Joe Paterno that he saw former coach Jerry Sandusky raping a ten-year-old boy in the gym showers, Paterno waited until the next day before contacting athletic director Tim Curley to inform him of the allegations. Curley then waited a week and a half before bringing in the assistant to recount what he saw. Subsequently, Curley never called the police or any other law enforcement agency, instead merely issuing an unenforceable and unenforced ban on Sandusky bringing kids into the locker room.

Words like appalling and disgusting may have lost some of their force in our heated culture, but I don't quite know what else to say. There have been at least eight victims, and I fear more will come to light now. If the allegations are true, Penn State officials protected a colleague and for years allowed more boys to be raped.  It is unconscionable.