Saturday, January 5, 2013

THIS WON'T REQUIRE MUCH MANSPLAINING:  Last night, the American Dialect Society voted on its awards for Word of the Year (hashtag), Most Useful (-mageddon and -pocalypse beating out YOLO, hate-watching, and beardruff), Most Creative (gate lice, to describe the crowding before airplane boarding), and binders full of other categories which may contain political content and other malarkey.

Interestingly, when you go through the Society's past results they've done quite well -- in 2002, they declared blog as the term Most Likely To Succeed, and using google as a verb the Most Useful term; other past Most Likely To Succeed neologisms include snail mail, World Wide Web, and DVD  ("Digital Versatile Disk, optical disk expected to replace CDs").

Friday, January 4, 2013

COME ON DOWN!  Deadspin presents a lengthy first person piece detailing how to get on and win at The Price Is Right, involving spreadsheets, custom t-shirts, extensive research, and acting like a crazy person.
SO THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE HOVERBOARDS:  New York Magazine raises some difficult questions about the news priorities and journalistic integrity of the Hill Valley Telegraph.  Still unaddressed?  How a single municipality in California could legalize gambling without need for action at the state level.
THIS HOUSE IS CLEAN:  Even though Plaintiff alleged that "following her family moving into the house, various paranormal events have transpired," the Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that it does not constitute the failure to disclose a material defect when a home seller fails to disclose that a murder-suicide took place on the property the previous year.  In part, the Court writes:
[H]ow can a monetary value possibly be assigned to the psychological damage to a house caused by a murder? The psychological effect will vary greatly from person to person. There are persons for whom no amount of money would induce them to live in such a house, while others may not care at all, or even find it adventurous.... The fact that a murder once occurred in a house falls into that category of homebuyer concerns best left to caveat emptor. If psychological defects must be disclosed then we are not far from requiring sellers to reveal that a next-door neighbor is loud and obnoxious, or on some days you can smell a nearby sewage plant, or that the house was built on an old Indian burial ground.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

SO THIS IS A HARVARD BAR, HUH. I THOUGHT THERE'D BE EQUATIONS AND SHIT ON THE WALLS:  Boston magazine has an oral history of Good Will Hunting.
"GET OFF MY LAWN" DESK:Time to feel old--Buzzfeed has a list of 29 albums that are now 20 years old, which I'm betting much of our readership owned or still owns.  (Somewhat surprisingly, I only own 6, though that's partially because I've never owned much rap.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BUT DOES THEIR CLAIM EXTEND TO "AND MANY MORE, ON CHANNEL 4?"  Creative Commons has had it with the Estate of Mildred and Patty Hill and their copyright claims to "Happy Birthday" and has created a contest to come up with a new song to replace it.  Notably, Sorkin and Sports Night were years ahead of the curve.
IT DID WORK OUT PRETTY WELL FOR TRENT REZNOR:  Jay-Z will be scoring Baz Luhrmann's upcoming The Great Gatsby, following a first trailer prominently featuring "No Church In The Wild" off Watch The Throne.  This solidifies my initial impression that the movie is almost certainly a contender for "Hottest Mess of 2013."
IT'S BALTIMORE. NO ONE LIVES FOREVER: Ravens linebacker/justice-obstructor Ray Lewis has announced he will retire at the end of this year's playoffs. He's 37, which in the NFL is old.

My picks for the weekend: Bengals, Ravens, Packers, Seahawks.

added: From 2/10/01, TV Funhouse on Ray Lewis.
THAT BUTTON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE PAIN AND SUFFERING, EXCEPT FOR THE RED BUTTON THAT LAUNCHES THE NUKES:  For 2013, you can learn to stop hitting reply-all, and even disable it in Outlook.
WE'RE SHOOTING A FILM OVER HERE. WE'RE LOOKING FOR ONE OF OUR ACTORS: As part of the Judd Apatow-edited Vanity Fair comedy issue, Ned Zeman chronicles the making of The Blues Brothers. Yes, there's some cocaine involved.  
IT'S BALTIMORE. NO ONE LIVES FOREVER: Maybe we just should've called it a rest at the end of 2012, because "Not for Attribution" pretty unambiguously feels like the worst episode of The Wire which we've seen to date. As much as Sepinwall tries to defend it as black comedy, McNulty's nutty serial killer scheme is just so out of whack with the sober realism (with occasional darkly comic touches) of the rest of the Wire universe that I cannot enjoy it, and so much of the rest, including a Baltimore Sun universe which is new to us on this show, nevertheless feels been there, done that with nothing particularly compelling about it.

Butchie's death was sad, and yes, it was good to see Omar again (and Clay's driver, Day Day Price), and to have Michael, Dukie, and Bug acting like kids for once. But please, tell us, veterans: does this get better, or should we just blaze through and get this over with?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

PALEOFITNESS IS STILL OUT, NO MATTER HOW HARD THEY TRY:  Last year, the Washington Post's In/Out for [Insert Year Here] Gurus correctly predicted the rise of Jessica Chastain, Kate Middleton's uterus, the tv series Happy Endings and Girls, Pinterest, Taylor Swift's bangs, and "hunting the God particle," even if their predicted Tang renaissance did not bear fruit.

What's in store for 2013?  More Longoria, less Clooney. Taxidermy. The 'Fro. Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon & Cecily Strong. A movement to draft Taft into the Nationals' Presidents race. And Donuts: why would they ever be out?

added: Also in for 2013, apparently? Oompa-Loompa attacks.

Monday, December 31, 2012

I WATCH AT THE PLEASURE OF THE PRESIDENT:  All seven seasons of The West Wing are now available on Netflix Streaming, and Vulture has some suggestions for five essential episodes, which somewhat surprisingly excludes Two Cathedrals, though I can't quibble with four of their choices--the fifth, on the other hand?  Well, that's for discussion in the comments.
I GOTTA GET A BELLY FULL OF WINE:  Among the recipients of Her Majesty's New Years Honours for 2012 are actors Ewan McGregor and Adrian Lester, singer Kate Bush, and a metric shitload of folks involved in the London Olympics. Full list here, topped by Professor Peter Higgs (of boson fame) and the Rt Hon The Lord Sebastian Coe both being named to the Order of Companions of Honour.
TIME IS OURS:  Andy Reid's tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles is now over. Like Mike Tanier, I will mostly remember the good times, and regret the fact that unlike with so many of their players the Eagles organization didn't recognize soon enough when Reid's performance had hit its decline phase. Five NFC championship games and a long streak of fond memories are his legacy -- 4th and 26, the two Giants road games decided by miraculous punt returns, the week 17 Dallas game in 2008 -- and now it's time for the next coach to repeat the two sage decisions that Reid did at the start of his tenure: who will be the team's QB of the future, and who will coach its defense? Let us hope for the best, including for Reid himself.

Trivia: Reid's firing means there are only four coaches remaining in America's three major sports who were in their current jobs when this blog debuted. Name 'em.