Friday, August 16, 2013

THANK YOU, CHOLLIE: Five straight NL East titles, winning more games in each than the previous season. Exactly one thousand career wins as a manager, and a .556 overall winning percentage for the red and white. 2008 World F'n Champions. Charlie Manuel should've been allowed to end this season on his own terms, rather than be pushed out the door as the Phillies have done today.

As a 700 Level commenter said during the run, "You follow sports hoping that one day you'll be rewarded and get to root for a team like these Phillies." Charlie Manuel was a key part of that, a brilliant manager of people, and the most beloved beloved and successful** Philadelphia coach during my lifetime.  He'll be missed.

**Buddy may have been more beloved; Fred Shero and Billy Cunningham, at least as successful. Only Manuel combined both.
CHEER FOR THE GUNNERS IF ANDY REID WAS YOUR FAVORITE COACH OF ALL TIME:  The 700 Level has a two-part primer explaining how one's Philadelphia sports fandom should determine one's Premier League allegiance. (I'm open to being wooed.)

related: The ShinGuardian preview:
Manchester City
Pop Culture Comparison:
New England Patriots (2001-present). The first time they won something, it seemed, perhaps against all logic, somewhat endearing. Now, it’s just annoying. This football club has done everything to offend the senses of football purists short of Belichicking another team’s training session. They’ve actually done some wonderful things on the ground in Manchester (and around the globe), and they’re a rightfully well-loved club from the local area, but their supporters could not be more annoying from a distance. The supposed “long-suffering fans” narrative gets tired pretty quick in both Eastlands and Foxboro—I guess I’m just having a hard time believing that many of them were there for the cold rainy Tuesday night scoreless draws in Luton or pre-Adam Vinatieri.
BEST ROYALTIES EVER: While similarities between "Blurred Lines" and songs by Marvin Gaye and George Clinton have already led to litigation, people are also noting that One Direction's "Best Song Ever" seems to borrow more than a little bit from (of all things) "Baba O'Riley."

ETA:  Also, Katy Perry's new single "Roar" sounds an awful lot like Sara Bareilles' "Brave."
CLAP HANDS TWICE. HIT THE TABLE THREE TIMES. CLAP HANDS ONCE. PICK UP CUP AND SET IT DOWN... Vulture presents a comprehensive history (dating back to 1928) of the "Cups (When I'm Gone)" phenomenon.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

NO, NO ZAYT NISHT MESHUGGE. LOZ IM GEYYYYYYYYYN! Genetics researchers have confirmed that Mel Brooks was clairvoyant and there really is a Native American tribe which shares a unique genetic mutation with Ashkenazi Jews, suggesting some common ancestry dating back to Columbus' time. [HT, and title suggested by, GoldNI.]

(Unfortunately, it's the same genetic marker which suggests increased risk of hereditary breast or ovarian cancer, the one prompted Angelina Jolie's actions and was the subject of a Supreme Court patent case this term.)
THAT'S FOR TAKING THE KID OFF THE RAFT:  If it's 8/15, it must be Lost Day, and these are some of Sepinwall's favorite scenes.  Linda Holmes once wrote:
I'm always sad, I guess, when people feel jilted by creative works that show age or have flaws. Good things burn through their periods of greatest creativity and go down blind alleys now and then, while less complex things often don't, for the same reason real plants die and plastic ones don't. You know what never lets me down? Judge Judy, because it's a plastic plant. It doesn't change, and it's nobody's baby. It's there to decorate and specifically to require no upkeep and no attention. 
Anything with the slightest breath of life — including Survivor, for crying out loud, anything that has ever had an idea to begin with — is statistically very likely to exhaust its best ideas, and even if it doesn't, those ideas will never be as interesting to you as old ideas as they were as new ideas. Even the second person who walked on the moon is not as famous as the first. Excitement over something genuinely new has a naturally short half-life. 
It's not entirely them, in other words. It's also us.
NO WORD ON WHAT THE BARDEN DJ CLUB THINKS OF THIS IDEA: With the original soundtrack still in the Top 25 nearly a year after release and a sequel in the works to shoot next summer, it's no surprise that Universal wants to cash in on Pitch Perfect with a followup album, and they've now confirmed a holiday album will be out later this year.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

STOP ME IF YOU THINK YOU'VE HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE:  Smiths/Morrissey Lyrics + Peanuts Comic Strips = This Charming Charlie. (From the same creative impulse that once produced The Dysfunctional Family Circus and Garfield Minus Garfield.)
BORSCHT BELT BELLHOP:  Yes, you should watch this eight-minute 30 for 30 film on Wilt Chamberlain's tenure as a Kutsher's bellhop—as someone who spent his fair share of time there, the Concord and Grossinger's, it hit me in a warm, special place—but, my goodness does it only tell a small, sunny part of the Catskills/basketball story: it was also in the Catskills earlier in the 1950s that college basketball's massive game-fixing and point-shaving scandals were born, as NYC gamblers used these summers to build their relationships with players from across the country. Would you like to learn more?
BISCOTTI FRAPPUCCINO:  Eight unlisted Starbucks beverages you might want to try.

Monday, August 12, 2013

BUT WHERE'S BOB LOBLAW? Now, the story of a thunder god who lost everything--it's Thorested Development.  (HT: Frequent Commenter Maddy)
WELCOME TO THE CLUB, KRISTIN CHENOWETH:  Because she and about twenty other female singers get roped into one ambitious take on a Jim Steinman classic by impressionist Christina Bianco. I might turn around the order of the song, because every now and then her opening Adele falls apart, but that's as fine a Bernadette Peters and Patti Lupone as you'll find.
OBJECTIVISTS AND ANTI-RECURSIVISTS, UNITE!  The ALOTT5MA Grammar Rodeo and Chris Traeger Desks are at loggerheads again. If you go to Google and type in "define literally" it will now give you the following secondary definition for the adverb:
Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling.
INCLUDING SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS:  There are sixty-four foods available on a stick at this year's ongoing Iowa State Fair. Wisconsin's recently concluded state fair, however, had ninety-five, including country-fried bacon on a stick with gravy.
TREAD LIGHTLY:  Wow.  I didn't quite see how they were going to put Walt and Hank back on an equal footing after the end of Season 5.1 but, by God, that was brilliant.  Spoiler away in the comments.