Friday, July 6, 2012

I ONLY WANTED, ONE TIME, TO SEE YOU LAUGHING: In what's undoubtedly going to be the funniest thing to emerge from the filming of Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2, Shaquille O'Neal, who has a supporting role in the film, yet again justifies his ALOTT5MA Fave status with this lip-synced lament regarding his hair-growing capacity.
TOO DARN HOT:  For those of us on the East Coast, it's been a pretty darn sweltering week and promises to be a sweltering weekend, so it's time for a return of a favorite--a Friday Playlist--and this week's theme?  Hot.  Let's start off with some Buster Poindexter, a little bit of Sondheim, and some Squirrel Nut Zippers.
STRAP ON THE FEEDBAG:  I don't think last night's episode of "Louie," or at least the half involving Melissa Leo, is the one I'm going to recommend to either of my parents as their gateway into the show, but that was genius.  Patton Oswalt:
Watch the progression of the episode: The late-night talk at Gray’s Papaya about a fellow comedian’s death, tossed off while choking down poisonous junk food. The tension between Louie and Melissa Leo at dinner. The ugly behind-closed-doors fight between the married couple after dinner. The joke-free, laughing conversation in the bar. It’s the shark from Jaws, underneath the dark water: You know something bad (and hilarious) is coming, if only because of all of the buried death, awkwardness, hostility, and desperation in the scenes leading up to...
FRIDAY GRAMMAR RODEO PRESENTS: HOW MICROSOFT CHANGED THE LAW WITHOUT THE LAW EVEN KNOWING IT: [Now with embarrassing math error corrected] This started as a post about Microsoft Word’s irritating choice of default header styles – take a font that nobody uses (Calibri), use a color that nobody uses (blue), default to a font size that almost nobody uses (14-point), and make sure that it clashes with just about every other typographical choice a person could make. But running that conundrum down crashed me headlong into another discussion I had last week with both Spacewoman and a colleague: what does "double-spacing" mean? Allow me to borrow a phrase from the teasers for the 11:00 local news: the answer may surprise you.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

IF THIS IS NOT PLAYED AT DISNEYLAND REGULARLY, WE HAVE LOST: In other "Now the Internet has everything!" news, yes, there is an Andrew W.K. cover of The Mickey Mouse March.
IN ADDITION, ALL THE GUNS HAVE BEEN REPLACED BY WALKIE-TALKIES:  In honor of the 50th anniversary of William Faulkner's passing, the Folio Society will republish The Sound and the Fury in the way Faulkner had intended -- using different-colored inks to mark the shifts in chronology. "If I could only get it printed the way it ought to be with different color types for the different times in Benjy's section recording the flow of events for him, it would make it simpler, probably," wrote Faulkner to his agent in 1928. "I don't reckon, though, it'll ever be printed that way, and this'll have to be the best, with the italics indicating the changes of events. And also, I need to make clear that Greedo shot first."

[HT: Watts. I may not have the last part of the quote exactly right.]

added: As saray discovered, colorized Faulkner will set you back $345.00.
BOOM BOOM BOOM EVEN BRIGHTER THAN THE MOON MOON MOON: No, this post is not about Katy Perry: Part of Me 3-D, which I suspect I'll be passing on, but about San Diego, where, due to an unfortunate technical screw-up, rather than igniting fireworks over 15 minutes, the entire show went off in about 15 seconds.
I FEEL LIKE WE SHOULD RASTA-FY HIM BY ... TEN PERCENT OR SO:  Chuck E. Cheese now has a "revamped image" as "a hip, electric-guitar-playing rock star". He will be voiced by Jaret Reddick, the lead singer for the pop-punk bank Bowling for Soup, singer of the Phineas and Ferb theme song as well as all of the work of Love Händel.
SWEEPING LEAVES ON A WINDY DAY:  Well, dog my cats. This week's Wire season three episode,  "All Due Respect." turns on the difference between one's dog and one's dawg, as we see the diligent work of Baltimore's Finest undermined by an understandable interpretive error confirmed in a well done, darkly comic interrogation scene, made more brutal by the fact that the audience knows the whole time how badly the police have misread things.

In the meantime, both Stringer Bell and Bunny Colvin have had enough with doing things the usual way; Stringer wants less violence, and Bunny less bullshit. Given that this is the Baltimore of The Wire, I'm not optimistic about reform taking hold, but let's see what Bunny wants to do with his "paper bag" approach exactly. Looking to do things the more usual way, however, we see Commissioner Burrell agreeing to a sitdown with Councilman Littlefinger, which for the moment may work to their mutual advantage, and for a second straight episode both Rawls and Valchek seem like more of a solution than the problems they were in season two.

In other news, McNulty doesn't need Rhonda, and Rhonda clearly doesn't need McNulty, as viewers' desires to see Lance Reddick shirtless have been fanserviced once more. Marlo Stanfield appears to be someone not to mess with and, as with the Sobotkas, Cutty is frustrated by the lack of job opportunities in the modern economy, and one fears what choices he'll now make.  We're more on plot than theme at this point, but we've got a lot of story left to tell this season.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

INDUBITAB-LEE!  Okay, Internet, you really do have everything now: "The Lees of Old Virginia," from the musical 1776, as performed by the characters of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
IN CONGRESS JULY 4, 1776: The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

[See Isaac Spaceman's "A Word From Your Editor" (July 4, 2008) here.]

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY:  Remember four years ago when I went apoplectic over an American woman's mercenary decision to suit up for the Russians in Olympic basketball after she didn't make the cut to play for Team USA?  Because Sudanese-born Chicago Bull Luol Deng's reasons for suiting up for Great Britain's Olympic basketball team are the opposite of that:
"What people don't understand," [Deng] said [in May] with a tinge of irritation in his voice, "when we were in Egypt, we were refugees. My family and I were homeless. For five years, out of all of the countries in the world that my father was contacting, the only one that took us in was England. So how do I not participate [in the Olympics]? If I don't play for them, knowing that I had the opportunity to, explain to me, how am I supposed to live with that for the rest of my life?"
Also suiting up for the Union Jacks: former Bull Ben Gordon (born in London), Tottenham-born GWU star (and NBA vagabond) Pops Mensah-Bonsu, and ... oh, never mind: Ben Gordon's out. Yikes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT? YOU NEVER SEEN A GUY WHO SLEPT WITH A FISH BEFORE?  The federal National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now on the record denying the existence of mermaids.
IN YOUR CASE, SAID O'BRIEN, THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD HAPPENS TO BE MASCOT RACES: We may find no love from Randall Simon for this, but here is a short history of -- and guide to -- the finest mascot races in the Minor League.

And speaking of the minor leagues, while I've only gotten to one MLB game so far this year (with our own Kim Cosmopolitan), I've hit three minor league games so far this year (Fresno Grizzlies, Modesto Nuts and Visalia Rawhide) with the Reno Aces on schedule for tomorrow night. I'm not sure I'm saving money, given that the Little Earthling has a penchant for baseball hats and the Wee Earthling for foam fingers, but it remains great baseball and a great price.
ROLL THE STONE AWAY, LET THE GUILTY PAY:  So how, exactly, is the world handling this unfortunate midweek Fourth of July?  If the holiday were any other day of the week, America would know what days to take off work, but this? It suggests the wisdom of my dad's longtime suggestion that we just declare the first Monday in July "Independence Day" as a legal holiday, but I'd hate to give up the four-day weekends we often get as a freedom bonus.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

WE DISCLAIM THE DISCLAIMER:I'm sure folks want to talk about The Newsroom, and two legal points to jump-start the discussion:
  • Given that the primary message of the showis that "current news operations are full of crap," I'm kind of shocked Fox News cleared the clip that was used during the course of the episode.  (I assume HBO would clear the clip rather than risk suit, though that'd be an interesting First Amendment commentary defense.)
  • Given the "real stories from two years ago" element, the disclaimer at the end of the episode is particularly interesting--it reads "THE NEWSROOM incorporates fictional and fictionalized elements and events, and any similarity between characters in the series and actual persons is purely coincidental and unintentional.  Nothing in the series is intended to convey or imply facts about any persons, elements, or events."  Anyone buy that disclaimer for even a single hot minute?