Saturday, March 15, 2014

YOUR WEEKEND CHALLENGE IS TO USE AS MANY AS YOU CAN IN ONE SENTENCE:  According to Stefan Fatsis, author of the books Word Freak and A Few Seconds of Panic (and the Friday sports correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered), the words most likely to be added to the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary are bestie, blondie, derp, ew, internet, janky, min, ohmigod, onesie, slumdog, spork, squee, twerk, ur, whassup/whazzup, & zen.

Friday, March 14, 2014

THEY'RE GOOD FOR YOUR HEART!  Since there was a bit of a fearsome debate late night on Twitter amongst several ThingThrowers, decided to raise it here--Chili Con Carne--beans, or no beans?  Can we at least all agree that Cincinnati Chili is not, in fact, really chili?
DELAYING YET AGAIN THE JOE QUINCY SPINOFF FROM WEST WING:  Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon (Reno 911) to remake The Odd Couple for CBS.
WORTHWHILE SLATEIAN INITIATIVE:  A widget to let you know if Amazon Prime makes economic sense for you, with the caveat that you have to figure out for yourself the value of Prime’s catalog of e-books, streaming tv and movies, etc., for you.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

ShopperTrak, a company that measures foot traffic at retailers, reported a 14.6 percent decline in the 2013 holiday season compared with 2012, continuing a pattern of double-digit declines. 
The story is told in Sbarro’s filing for bankruptcy protection early this week. Six of the seven biggest creditors listed are entities to which the company owes lease payments. It owes more to several individual landlords than it does to the supplier who provides the soda to enable Sbarro’s customers to wash back their greasy pizza. 
The company’s challenge highlights the underlying problem with a strategy built around selling mediocre pizza at the right place and right time. It means that owners of the real estate in question can extract much of the value of the crowds they attract, not the restaurant chain. 
Other fast-food chains may offer mediocre food, but their real estate strategies are less exposed to the epic decline in foot traffic in the nation’s malls. As people do more shopping online, fewer are visiting the mall — and more seem to be putting a bit more thought into their food....
WE WILL SEE WHEN THIS FILTERS DOWN TO WORDS WITH FRIENDS:  For the first time in 9 years, the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary is being updated.  Please provide your suggestions for words that you think should be added.
WILL YOU GO TO LUNCH? GO TO LUNCH. WILL YOU GO TO LUNCH? AVClub reviews Kevin Spacey's career arc, and I'll give you two representative passages:
Is there anyone in the 86-year history of the Academy Awards who reacted as badly to winning one of the big prizes as Spacey? Not since Kevin Costner decided that he was Clint Eastwood has a big star so badly misjudged his own talent and appeal. Free to select his own leading-man vehicles, Spacey decided that he needed to appear in the most maudlin, turgid movies available, playing shy, lonely characters. Any character exhibiting physical disfigurement got an automatic callback. ... 
The role of Frank Underwood is a roots move, Spacey’s equivalent Bruce Springsteen recording a solo album in his bathroom between stadium tours and symphonic albums for the purpose of shoring up authenticity cred. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WHAT ABOUT BROKEN OXEN? Yes, Vulture's top-ten list of worst injuries to Amazing Racers ends exactly where you'd expect, lying on one's back and fruitfully pulling a slingshot.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE LET ME GET WHAT I WANT: Thirteen bands that are never, ever, ever getting back together.
VOICED BILABIAL STOP:  Webster's Unabridged is adding around 2000 "B" entries, including bacony ("a fine adjective to describe something that resembles bacon"), bad hair day, badassery (“the state or condition of being a badass; badass quality or character” or to “the actions or behavior characteristic of a badass”), belt-and-suspenders, bigfoot (the verb), body man and body woman, bork (the verb), and big-time (verb: "to treat dismissively or as an inferior").

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE BUDGET FOR BIG CHIEF TABLETS WILL BE ENORMOUS:  A Confederacy of Dunces has had a ton of movie adaptation efforts that haven't gotten off the ground, including one with Harold Ramis directing John Belushi and one with Steven Soderbergh directing Will Ferrell, so I'm not persuaded that today's announcement of a stage adaptation is going to lead to an actual production.  Assuming they star cast, it's Nathan Lane as Ignatius, right?
ONCE AGAIN THE INEVITABLE HAPPENS:  Werner Herzog invites us to consider the degree to which he is having a laugh at the expense of his audience and/or subject, with predictable results. (SLYT) (h/t MeFi)
BECAUSE ALOTT5MA UNNECESSARY REMAKES WEEK NEVER ENDS:  A "gritty action comedy with heart" Fletch reboot, starring Jason Sudeikis?
JEFFREY CORBIN GUESSED "SOME KIND OF BEEF":  If every state had its own Official Meat.
WHEN YOU SEE THE SOUTHERN CROSS FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME:  Word has come to the ALOTT5MA Vexillology Desk that New Zealand is considering changing its national flag to something less British, much like what Our Neighbours to the North did in 1965. You can see the proposed silver fern flag and other potential designs here.

Monday, March 10, 2014