Friday, March 29, 2013

ANIMAL BEAT DRUMS: By request, we're having a very special ALOTT5MA Friday Playlist.  Show us your best songs about animals--either generally or about any specific animal you can think of (cocktail party-appropriate music is particularly invited).  I'll start us off with two:
THIS IS A STORY ALL ABOUT HOW THEIR LIVES GOT FLIPPED, TURNED UPSIDE DOWN: Twenty-five years ago today, West Philadelphia born-and-raised Will Smith and Jeff Townes released their second album, He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper, and Jazzy Jeff's oral history of that ride to the stratosphere is worth your read. Includes his memories of being criticized for bringing hip-hop to the suburbs ("I felt like people started to think we were trying to take something else from them without realizing that all this is was a recognition that we’re doing something good,") and the whole Grammys controversy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

WIGS IN A BOX: Vulture helpfully chronicles the series of awful wigs that we've seen thus far on The Americans, which has been a darn interesting mashup of Mad Men (the periodness and the issues of interpersonal relationships in the age of deception) and Homeland (the spy stuff) thus far.
IF YOU'RE HAPPY AND YOU KNOW IT:  According to a CareerBliss.Com survey, the happiest workers?  Real estate agents.  The least happy?  "Associate attorneys."  I'm sure we have some folks who will weigh in on that.
SKY HOOK: In one of those weird confluences of our interests, we have to note that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is now writing about TV for Esquire, and while it's unsurprising he talks about NCIS and The Following, the fairly lengthy tribute to Switched At Birth and Bunheads is a bit more surprising.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

IN MY VIEW, AS GOOD AS THE YANKEES WERE IN THE FIRST HALF OF THIS GAME, THAT'S HOW AS BAD THEY'VE BEEN NOW:  Tim McCarver will retire from the booth after this baseball season. Deion Sanders could not yet be reached for comment.
THE ELEPHANTIASIS IN THE ROOM:  Jon Hamm begs you to stop talking about his penis.
PRESENTED, AS ALWAYS, BY A PARADE OF DUCKS: The thirty-nine winners of the 72nd Annual George S. Peabody Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence (in Media) have been announced by the University of Georgia. The diverse list includes Girls, Louie, Southland, Switched at Birth, Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, TAL's "What Happened at Dos Erres," SCOTUSblog, that NYT article about the avalanche which I never finihsed, ITV's coverage of the Jimmy Savile scandal, and ABC News' coverage both of Hurricane Sandy and Robin Roberts' battle with myelodysplastic syndrome.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

WHAT IS URINETOWN? URINETOWN IS HERE:  The newest attraction at Lehigh Valley IronPigs minor league baseball games this season? Hands-free video games at the men's urinals, for which the controller is, yeah, not kidding.
SKIP?  Y'know, I'd kinda like to see a tv show where people (celebrities? diving celebrities?) play Uno against each other, so long as they give us the camera from poker tournaments where we can see what cards everyone's holding.
SOUTHWEST PHILLY FLOATER DESK:  Dora, Lionel Simmons, Hernando de Soto, or other: name your favorite Explorer.
DUDE LOOKS LIKE AN OLD DUDE:  Aerosmith's Steven Tyler turns 65 today.

Monday, March 25, 2013

LAUER POWER: Whether you're a regular viewer or, like me, generally familiar with this principals without ever much watching the show, this morning's NYMag longread on the implosion of The Today Show's ratings following Ann Curry's departure is just plain fascinating.
THE ALOTT5MA TRAVEL DESK:  We don't have Maddy around as much as we used to, though "I'm going to college" is as good an excuse as any. This morning, college junior Maddy couldn't help but wonder:
I'm studying in Italy this semester and for spring break some friends and I are traveling to Barcelona and Greece (Athens, Hydra, and Aegina). We'd love some suggestions - must-see museums, (cheap) restaurants, beaches, clubs, etc. We are definitely on a student budget, and would be more inclined to go to a pricey museum than a pricey restaurant. Also, if anyone has experience with gluten and dairy allergies in those places, input would be very welcome. Thanks!
SUIT AND TIE:  In a thinkpiece for The Atlantic, Hampton Stevens wonders whether Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are the Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra of this generation. ("Jay-Z is the one, also like Sinatra, who grew up tough and poor, and so his success speaks the aspiration at the core of the American Dream in a way that white, middle-class Justin Timberlake never can. For Hova, donning the suit and tie isn't about playing into a showbiz tradition. It's a symbol of his Gatsby-ish made-in-America success.")