Saturday, September 27, 2014

BID KID ADIEU:  SI ranks the ten best exits in sports history, though, no Pete Sampras?
YINZER OF THE WEEK: R.I.P, Raymond Alan "Big Al" Brownley:
...His fondness of spaghetti Westerns was only surpassed by his love of bacon, beer and butter pecan ice cream. He fondly reminisced about good friends, good drinks and good times at the Tri-Valley Sportsmens Club in Burgettstown. He was a long-time member of the Elks Club in McKees Rocks where he frequently bartended and generously donated his tips to charity. Quite a teller of tales, Big Al's elaborate stories often were punctuated with the phrase, "And that's when I kicked his ass." He enjoyed outlaw country music: Waylon, Willie, Hank, Johnny. He was also on a first-name basis with the Four Horsemen of liquor: Jack, Jim, Johnnie and Jose. 
Big Al had strong beliefs in which he never waivered: dog shit makes the best garden fertilizer; Heinz ketchup does not belong on a hotdog; and PennDOT should be embarrassed of the never-ending construction, detours and potholes on Route 28....

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WE HAVE TO GO BACK:  Andy Greenwald, on the 10th anniversary of Lost's debut:
Lost bridged the Internet divide between the time Before Twitter (B.T.) and After Twitter (F.M.L.). It helped to normalize the idea that television can be watched intimately with millions of people not currently seated on your couch and that episodes don’t end when the credits roll — they stretch and bleed into the rest of the week through a dizzying scrim of chat windows, status updates, and ill-advised Googling. ... The truth is, Lost diehards — and I count myself among them — would never have been satisfied with the show’s ending, no matter what form it took, because it pulled the plug on our endless, joyous speculating. If we’re being honest, none of us ever wanted to be found.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

NECROPHILIAC, SERIAL-KILLING FUR MONSTERS OF THE SEA: Vox explains otters. (I'm not a fan of their jug bands, either.)
GLORIOUS RULER'S TOUR OF REALM:  For those not observing Rosh Hashanah, or at least if you don't have dinner plans Wednesday night, as part of Matt's visit to Philadelphia we will convene a Quizzo team at the Black Sheep Pub,  247 S 17th St., for Johnny Goodtimes' weekly visit at 8:15pm. Look for the table self-identifying as "LeSean A'Tova."

Monday, September 22, 2014

42 LINES ABOUT 84 PROPHETS:  What are you doing tomorrow?  I'll tell you what you should be doing -- and that is buying (and hopefully reading) Gutenberg's Apprentice, a novel by my cousin Alix Christie.  It is an historical novel about the creation and financing of the creation of movable type and the printing of the 42-line Bible.

The national book tour comes through San Francisco on Thursday at Arion Press at the San Francisco Presidio.  
IT WAS A TEENAGE WEDDING, AND THE OLD FOLKS WISHED THEM WELL:  The Dissolve's editors attempt to compile a list of the fifty greatest uses of pop music in movie history, with many, many clips.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

IT WAS A BRIGHT COLD DAY IN APRIL, AND THE CLOCKS WERE STRIKING THIRTEEN:  I was born in February 1970, so 1984 is almost certainly my sweet spot for influential pop music but -- my goodness -- what an insane list of enduring pop music can be found here, in Rolling Stones collection of "100 Best Singles of 1984: Pop Music's Best Year".

There aren't 10 songs here I couldn't have identified by name and artist if they'd come on the radio on any random afternoon in the last fifteen years.   Much as I still enjoy them, I'm sorry I was so obstinately listening to only Blue Oyster Cult and Scorpions and Emerson Lake and Palmer at the time.  That said -- at the risk of brushing up against the Rule -- my own politics notwithstanding, I must say that Nena's 99 Luftballoons remains one of my all time favorite songs

(I'll risk the argument with Adam about the relatively overrated Prince here (important for his era? My goodness, yes.  But 3 in the top 8?  And all of them above A-Ha?  Really?).  And that's setting aside the DQ here of not having your videos available on YouTube.
SKILLS THAT MAKE ME A NIGHTMARE FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Vox helpfully maps the deaths perpetrated by Liam Neeson on-screen by body count, location, and method.