Sunday, December 31, 2006

Aesop, Shmaesop

While the staff here at Information Nation has been laying around, eating leftover Christmas stocking chocolate Santas and watching DVR'd reruns of Match Game on Game Show Network, those industrious drones at Look At This... have been playing ant to my grasshopper, collecting hundreds of Best of 2006 links for the winter while I cavorted and shirked in the summer sun. Sorry, ILUVNUFC. Nobody said this blogging business was fair.

The ill-gotten gains via the sweat of another blogger's brow begin here with parts 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Happy New Year's all!

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Hundreds of Disneyland animatronics can't be wrong...

It really is a small world after all. Check out this great comparison of various planet and star sizes.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

These are a few of my fictional things

Oh those Wikipedia lists of fictional things. They make me giddy with joy, they do. Here are but a few for your consideration:

List of Fictional Chemical Substances (A-M) (N-Z) (think Star Wars' Carbonite or The Nutty Professor's Flubber)

List of Fictional Toxins (Superman's Kryptonite, The Princess Bride's Iocane Powder)

List of Fictional Diseases (Andromeda Strain's Andromeda, The Stand's Captain Trips)

List of Fictional Brands (I Love Lucy's Vitameatavegamin, Bag o' Glass - Sold by toymaker Irving Mainway, played by Dan Aykroyd on Saturday Night Live)

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Making printer ink cartridges seem like a bargain

Oh yeah... I meant to post this last week or so, but it slipped my mind and then I forgot where the site was and my dog ate the keyboard and blah blah blah. And thus concludes the apology.

Food blogger for posts a 10-part(!) expose on the obscenely-priced ($2088/pound when you buy in small quantities) chocolate brand Noka. Is it worth it? Duh. The article, while a bit lengthy, is still a good read and a shining example of indie investigative journalism. Someone at Noka should be a little worried. (via Boing Boing)

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Slate has a humorous look at some of the current crop of Ads We Hate: The Worst Commercials on Television. Somehow he missed the worst offender of them all, the one for HeadOn. HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn! Apply directly to the forehead! HeadOn!

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pictures are overrated

White Jigsaw is just what it says. A jigsaw puzzle you can play in your browser, and all the pieces are white. You start out slow and easy with a 4 X 3 puzzle, and work your way up from there (I'm currently on the 11 X 8 level). The Jay Is Games people reviewed it this past fall, and according to the reader comments there, at least a few people got up to the 25 X 18 level before their corneas exploded from trying to view the by-then microscopic puzzle pieces. Anyway, it's a fun and addictive little diversion from your feverish present-wrapping marathon.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

(I.N.M.F.B.) Information Nation Means Fine Blogging

You know what I got for Christmas? Oh, it was a banner #%$*ing year at the old Bender family. I got a carton of cigarettes. The old man grabbed me and said, "Hey, smoke up Johnny." - John Bender, The Breakfast Club

A Flickr photoset of vintage cigarette ads

There are so many dangers to smoking... and Tom Mullica ignores them all.

I don't know where he learned to smoke like that, but I bet he started when he was young. Probably picked up the habit from watching cartoons.

Test your tobacco marketing acumen by taking this Cigarette Advertising Slogan Quiz. I got just 10 out of 20.

Another list of cigarette slogans.

While we're on the subject of coffin-nail ads, I recall a certain print ad campaign Benson & Hedges used to run to promote their B&H 100s line back in the 70s. The come-on was a sweepstakes with 100 winners and 100 prizes. There were little cartoon illustrations of the 100 prize choices, all of them tied into the number 100 somehow, some good and some obviously jokes. I see one is 100 rolls of film, 100 feet of $1 bills ($200), 100 rolls of dimes ($500), one of them is a kayak, one is a car. I'm not sure how they tied those in to the number 100 due to the poor image quality. I've been looking for an hour for a clearer scan of the ad but apparently my Google-fu is not strong enough.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Gee. Do they still make wooden Christmas trees?

You could have found the true meaning of Christmas by getting the Pathetic Charlie Brown Christmas Tree for Urban Outfitters, but sadly, it is now sold out. Good Grief! (via mental_floss)

And if that doesn't bring you down enough, take a moment to listen to that saddest of Christmas songs, the one that plays while Charlie Brown shuffles around with his head hung down, "Christmastime Is Here" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. I couldn't locate a pic of Charlie Brown doing the depressed shuffle, so I will instead use this one from the "Good Grief" episode of Season 2 of Arrested Development.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Something for the Follicularly Blessed

Go ahead and pull your hair away from your ears and take this "Hair Care or Digital Audio logo?" quiz. I got 11 out of 14. How 'bout you? (via Bifurcated Rivets)

On the subject of hair sprouting from your body, here's a tip to these gentlemen: They're called scissors. Look into it.

World's longest ear hair

World's longest eyebrow

(Check out even more Weird World Records from this vintage Neatorama post)

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Groin Guns, Nook-ya-lur Toys and other life-threatening playthings

The box says Fun! Easy! Exciting!

Notice that "Safe!" is not one of the items on the list. In 1951, a mere $49.50 could get you the U-238 Atomic Energy Lab, containing three "very low-level" radiation sources, a Wilson Cloud Chamber and a Geiger counter. This item is #2 on Radar Magazine's "Ten Most Dangerous Toys of All Time". If you're wondering what the heck beats out a toy that needs to come with its own Geiger counter for World's Most Dangerous Toy, (carefully) click on. (via Cynical-C)

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OMG. Best. Cliches. Evar.

Blog cliches that need to go away. Oy, I'm guilty of a couple of these.
(via Lifehacker)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Staying Alive

Even back in my younger days, I was a trivia sponge. One of my favorite sources of obscure historical fact was the People's Almanac series, compiled by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, the guys who also published The Book of Lists series, which I also practically memorized back then.

Anyway, buried somewhere in one of the editions of The People's Almanac was the tragicomic story of the 1930s New York gang Murder Trust and Michael Malloy, who survived over 30 murder attempts. I managed to locate a full reprint of the story which I think you will enjoy.

The Gang That Couldn't Kill Straight Part 1
The Gang That Couldn't Kill Straight Part 2
The Gang That Couldn't Kill Straight Part 3
The Gang That Couldn't Kill Straight Part 4
The Gang That Couldn't Kill Straight Part 5

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Who do you want to be today?

Apparently, last month David Letterman had "Impressionist Week" on Late Night. Two of my faves were on during the week: Frank Caliendo and Kevin Pollack, whose Peter Falk cracks me up every time. (via growabrain)

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You'll shoot your eye out, kid

Perhaps it's just the rose-tinted memories of one of my favorite Christmas movies, but I don't recall the trailer to A Christmas Story being so... dark.

If all you really want for Christmas is an "official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time", well I have some good news and some bad news for you. Daisy does indeed still manufacture a Model 1938 Red Ryder BB gun, and the shot capacity has even gone up to 650 rounds. Tragically, however, no compass. And we won't even go into "the thing that tells time".

On the other hand, you can still own your own "leg lamp" via one of two ways. You can do it the old-fashioned way and win yourself "a major award", or you can shell out a couple hundred dollars American and get your very own fishnet-stockinged holiday memory shipped directly to you in a box or crate marked "FRA-GI-LEE" with a "Major Award" certificate suitable for framing.

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Start and Stop. And Start. And Stop. And Start. And Stop. And so on.

Tony vs. Paul, a stop-motion battle between two friends (via J-Walk)

So this is what Web 2.0 is, huh?

This soundtrack brought to you by The International House of Pancake Jingles

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We built this list on Rock & Roll

You would think that a list from Blender titled The 50 Worst Artists in Music History would be open for argument. It is not. Creed, Blind Melon, The Doors, Starship. No, these are exactly right. (via Look at This...)
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Let's be careful out there, gamers

The Japanese version of the Wii Safety manual has some hilarious illustrations. (via Global Nerdy)

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Good Experience Games has a great collection of nice, free little online games. A couple of standouts from the wordplay category are listed for your enjoyment, enlightenment and all-around edu-tainment.

WEBoggle, where you play against your online opponents in a 4X4 or 5X5 timed Boggle showdown. I was getting my butt handed to me on a regular basis, but who knows, you'll probably do fine!

Even if you run screaming from traditional crossword puzzles, try Crossword. It's the first "crossword puzzle" I've ever seen with no clues!

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I must have been number 31 or something... yeah, that's it.

From the newly-discovered (by me at least)

A list of thirty of The best blogs of 2006 that you (maybe) aren't reading. There's something for everybody, including:

Cute Overload

I kid you not a blog on The History of the Button. Surprisingly interesting!

Plus there's another 28 on the list to check out, so you better get clicking...

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Monday, December 04, 2006

I can tell you only three things...

You think you're smarter than Bill Gates? Petals Around the Rose is the puzzle/game that stumped a young Mr. Gates back in 1977. Can you unlock the secret?

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How to Sculpt an Elephant in Two E-Z Steps!

Step 1. Get a block of granite
Step 2. Chip away anything that doesn't look like an elephant

Carved crayons (via Boing Boing)

Carved pencils

Carved soap

How to whittle

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mind games

JigZone has new online jigsaw puzzles every day for any level of skill from expert (247 identically cut triangle pieces) to your average solver (100 piece classic cut) and even kids (6 piece). Heck, there's even an Auto Solve option so you can make the computer do all the work. Shows your current solving time, average and record solving times among other visitors. Very nice, clean and simple interface.

Not limiting itself to jigsaws, explores just about every other realm of puzzledom. Worth a look.

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I gotta be me. So does he.

You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. - Tyler Durden - Fight Club

How Many of Me lets you search the US Census database for your (or any) name (via Neat New Stuff on the Web)

Some freaky stories about doppelgangers.

The Twins Network not only has twin-related trivia and links, it also posts a sort of want ads for upcoming twin studies in the scientific community.

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Pick up two habits for the price of one!

If you are of a certain age, you may be aware that baseball and other collectible cards used to come in packages of bubble gum. Nowadays, the gum is usually absent, which is just as well as it was generally about as fresh and delicious as the card itself. However, did you know that from around 1875 until World War II (when the practice was discontinued to conserve paper for the war effort), cigarette manufacturers in the US and Europe usually included collectible cards in their packaging as well?

Subject matter included sports (baseball, golf, cycling, cricket, billiards), famous actors and actresses, bathing beauties, riddles, recipes, trivia, nature scenes and the list goes on and on. A very extensive collection can be found at the New York Public Library Online Digital Gallery.

I think there should be even more to this list (it seems to only go from about A-E. Can someone else figure out how to view the rest?

A deeper history on tobacco baseball cards, plus history of "the Mona Lisa" of card collecting, the 1909 Honus Wagner card and why it is so rare and expensive (one sold several years ago at over $1 million).

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Evolution of video games

Hey! Atari Combat! Pole Position! This took me back. The Evolution of Video Games (via Neatorama)

Speaking of the illustrious Atari 2600, AtariAge devotes itself to basking in the glory days of the granddaddy of all gaming consoles via some nostalgia-inducing screenshots of those old 8-bit games.

(*shaking spindly fist in the air*) You young folk with your X-Stations and Playboxes and whatnot. Why, back in my day we didn't have systems with multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines with Bluetooth. We had, um... single-way non-programmable, perpendicular, sinking point pipelines with no shade at all! And we liked it that way! The only Bluetooth we ever saw was in the mouth of that one fat kid with the pungent breath due to a somewhat lassaiz-faire attitude towards dental hygiene.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ay, Bee, Ee Tee Cee...

Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song? - Stephen Wright

During dinner last night, my five-year old and my four-year old were embroiled in a spirited discussion (okay, they were fighting) over the A-B-C song. The older one, who is in kindergarten this year, has been taught that it ends with "Now I know my A-B-Cs, Next time won't you sing with me" while the younger one fervently maintained (okay, he was screaming in protest) that it was "Now I know my A-B-Cs, Won't you come and play with me".

Fortunately, before it evolved into fisticuffs, cooler heads prevailed and order was restored (okay, Mom and Dad told them both to can it pronto before they got sent to their room).

While I hadn't originally planned on blogging that particular moment of fraternal dischord, I include it here in the interest of context. It occurred to me that while just about any English-speaking child is taught the sing-songy alphabet song at an early age, I had no idea whether other languages had their own alphabet songs. Turns out a few do.

Yiddish Alphabet Songs

Greek Alphabet Song

More background and general history behind the A-B-C ditty so many of us have ingrained in our collective subconscious.

The reason the A-B-C song is still around in almost every English-speaking kindergarten room is because it is an easy and effective way to make the little guys remember the order of the letters. They just happen to fit into a kind of rhyme when set to that particular meter, making remembering the order the letters are supposed to go in easier to remember.

In general, we humans have found various little techniques, called mnemonics, to memorize seemingly random data in list form, whether it's the order of biologic taxonomy ("Kings Play Cards On Fat Green Stools" = Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species), the colors in the spectrum (Roy G. Biv = Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Indigo, Violet), etc.

Some mnemonics aren't even verbal. The picture below shows that most of us carry around a visual mnemonic of which months are long (knuckles) and which ones are short (space between the knuckles). Wikipedia has a nice list of some of the major mnemonics here.

Lastly, Tom Lehrer, satirist, pianist and mathematician (now there's a combo you don't find too often) wrote a little ditty in 1959 to help everyone remember all the known elements in the periodic table (102 at the time, more have been discovered since). Mike Stanfill turned it into a brilliant Flash animation a few years ago. Very clever!

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Making friends with killers

It's late November, and here in the US it's a special time of year that can only mean one thing: time to gather with friends and family and... watch the Zapruder film for more clues.

November 22 will mark the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy, and despite two investigative commissions, numerous movies and countless books on the subject, the American public still is curious about one thing: Did Lee Harvey Oswald really do it?

Austin folk band Asylum Street Spankers maintain Lee's innocence in "Lee Harvey" off their Spanks for the Memories release.

Some of you may be shocked and appalled. You probably thought I was gonna go another way there, what with the buildup mentioning late November and "special time of year" and all, right? Well, fret not, I didn't forget you...


And as we sit around the couch on the day after, in a turkey-induced torpor, we can also digest the strange facts of D.B. Cooper. For November 24 is the 35th anniversary of the only world's only unsolved plane hijacking.

The mysterious details and the possible suspects may raise more questions than they answer, but singer/songwriter Todd Snider might shed some light on the subject with his version of D.B. Cooper.

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Lalalalala I'm not listening

Normally I am delighted to see comments from visitors on this blog, but today I deleted a comment in a previous post "Quiz for The Mi-mi-mi-mi-miiii Generation" from someone calling themselves "Enlightenment". Now before you guys start pulling out your "Captnkurt = Censorship Nazi!" protest signs, please read on...

The comment was an extremely long rant about how the 9/11 Twin Towers and Pentagon tragedies were not really caused by terrorists but by our own government. I think. It was pretty all over the place, and apparently our commenter hadn't heard of this new invention called "paragraphs", which can come in handy when you are posting a 1,500 word screed on your favorite bugaboo. Numerous links were given to support the theory that the Twin Towers couldn't have possibly fallen without someone (our own government, claims Enlightenment) helping things along and blowing up the towers, causing them to fall. For a fuller (and, trust me on this one, far more lucid) explanation of 9/11 conspiracy theories, please check out Wikipedia's detailed entry. It's still paranoid lunacy, but at least it's well-written, grammatically correct paranoid lunacy.

The main reason I deleted the comment was not necessarily because I disagreed with the commenter's central arguments. Okay, I mean I do disagree with them and think they are the usual Conspiracy Theory flavor of kookery. As Jack Nicholson's character said in As Good As It Gets, "Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here."

I deleted the comment because it was completely off-topic, having absolutely nothing to do with the content of the original post. The commenter started off with a ham-handed attempt to tie his comment in to his agenda ("Seeing all these pics of people plugging their ears in your post on tonedeafness makes me think of how Americans don't want to listen to my crazy-ass theories on why terrorists didn't really fly a plane into the Pentagon, etc.")

I would do the same thing if and when this blog starts getting spam comments trying to sell you v1@gR@ or Australian midget porn or photos of undersized Australian porn stars addicted to v1@gr@ or what have you.

This has never been a very political blog, and that is intentional. This blog is about pointing out things I find amusing, funny or strange. Nutty comments from people trying to convince me that the same government that pays $400 for a hammer and the government that didn't have a plan what to do the day after they got to Baghdad is the same government that carefully orchestrated the biggest coverup in the history of coverups, well that's just... amusing. And funny. And strange.

Hmm, maybe I shouldn't have deleted that comment after all...

As for my original nutball commenter, if you are reading this and aren't too busy GoogleMapping directions to my house for a little revenge, why not take this opportunity to broaden your paranoia horizons a little bit? I see that the whole "9/11 was orchestrated by the US gub'mint" theory is just one of a really great list of the Top Ten Wackiest Conspiracy Theories.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Let's Get Small

The Inner Life of the Cell is an eight-minute masterpiece created by Harvard biology students using cutting-edge computer animation techniques. I have absolutely NO idea what the narrator is talking about, but the animation is absolutely, jaw-droppingly, stunningly beautiful.

(Click on image below, wait for video to start after warning message) (via Mr. Sun!)

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Monday, November 13, 2006

How to be a playah

Atari Play lets you play some of the classic board (Scrabble, Monopoly, Battleship and more) and arcade games (Missile Command, Lunar Lander, Asteroids and the previously shown Tempest) for free. There's nothing to download but you will need Javascript enabled.

Speaking of Scrabble, here's a neat story of how a couple of Scrabble enthusiasts stumbled their way into breaking three records for sanctioned Scrabble in North America: the most points in a game by one player (830), the most total points in a game (1,320), and the most points on a single turn (365, for Cresta's play of QUIXOTRY). (via growabrain)

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Every Good Boy Does Fine

How to play drums and piano without really knowing how to play either drums or piano. Very nicely done! (via Digg)

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quiz for The Mi-mi-mi-mi-miiii Generation

Test for your tonedeafness quotient. You will hear two musical phrases, then you decide if they are the same or different. How'd you do?

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Palindrome I

At 17,256 words, this could be The World's Longest Palindrome, though it doesn't really make much sense.esnes hcum ekam yllaer t'nseod ti hguoht .emordnaliP tsegnoL s'dlroW ehT eb dluoc siht ,sdrow 652,17 tA

Weird Al Yankovic has a video parodying (imagine that!) Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues". Palindromes are involved. Fittingly, it's simply titled "Bob". (via Sarcasmo)(omsacraS aiv)"boB" deltit ylpmis s'ti ,ylgnittiF .devlovni era semordnaliP ."seulB kcisemoH naenarretbuS" s'nalyD (!taht enigami) gniydorap oediv a sah civoknaY lA drieW

And for comparison's sake, check out the original, which still rocks.skcor llits hcihw ,lanigiro eht tuo kcehc ,ekas s'nosirapmoc rof dnA

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"Whether it's things or stuff, all my thing-and-stuff needs are met when I shop at Things and Stuff!

From Roadside Art Online comes a collection called Grog N Groc. Hall of Fame - The Best Store Names Ever, my current favorite being "The Lord Jesus Christ if I be Lifted Up Chair Caning and Variety Store". Guess I'd better order some bigger checks (or practice writing much smaller) before I shop there, though...

Shop Horror is a book published in 2005 lists The Best of The Worst in British Shop Names. Some entries in the gallery include Junk & Disorderly, Sofa So Good and Pizza The Action. They are also accepting reader submissions, presumably collecting material for a sequel. And yes, they already have enough people who have suggested "Curl Up & Dye".

Apparently in Ghana, Africa, businesses often have religious-themed names, even when the business has nothing to do with religion. Some of the more amusing from this collection include God First Carwash, In God We Trust Fast Food and my favorite, Blood of Jesus Electricals. Now IANAE (I am not an electrician), but I'm pretty sure I don't want blood, or really any fluids whatsoever, anywhere near my electricals.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hangman is comin' down from the gallows and I don't have very long

Depending upon when you are reading this and which time zone you happen to be in at the time, I hope you're having or have had a fine Halloween.

Here's an enjoyable little (Flash) game of spooky Hangman. (via Look At This)

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Friday, October 27, 2006

“Duh, duh, chick, chicka-chickaaah – oh, yeahhhhhhhh"

Won't you please enjoy the following flashback-fest, replete with Gobs'O'YouTube® video. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... The Top 40 Music Moments in Film History

(thanks for the link, David "Hey, they missed one!" P.)

PS. “Duh, duh, chick, chicka-chickaaah– oh, yeahhhhhhhh" would be #31 “Oh Yeah,” by Yello from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

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Oh, and remember: next Friday... is Hawaiian shirt day.

Think you're an Office Space fan? Try this super-tough 100-question Office Space Quiz. I thought I'd do alright on this but ended up getting only 58%.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

From the fine minds who brought you "Mobile Suit Gundam: Gundam vs. Zeta Gundam"...

The 50 Worst Game Names Ever, where Yo! Noid! placed 24th. (via Boing Boing)

Speaking of ill-conceived advertising mascots, won't you please explore The Orphanage of Cast-Off Mascots?

Even more advertising mascots, from the obscure (Commander Whitehead, Hy Finn) to the beloved (Quisp! Mr. Whipple!) to the despised (I'm looking at you Fanta Girls).

In other mascot news, McDonald's Drops 'Hammurderer' Character From Advertising.

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Eat Like A King The King

"Well I don't know if he was alive when I started work, but he was sure dead when I finished" - Coroner Jerry Francisco, after conducting autopsy on Elvis Presley

It's no secret that Elvis loved him his sammiches.

Some of the recipes compiled at The Ravenous Guide to Eating Like Elvis are (in)famous, such as His Pelvisness' Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, and some might not sound too agreeable if you're a Yankee (e.g. Fried Okra, Fried Squirrel).

The one that takes top honors in the Elvis Bad Foods Hall of Fame would have to be Fool's Gold Loaf. The King would regularly eat two of these bad lads for dinner. Here's the basic version:

1 jar peanut butter
1 jar strawberry jam
1 pound of crisp-fried bacon
Hollow out one loaf of Italian bread, slather on the PB & J and add the still-warm bacon.
Serves 1 Elvis (or 8 mortals)

Does that sound like a lot of calories? Is the surface of the sun a little warm? The recommended daily caloric intake for an adult male is around 2,000 cals/day. An adult Asian elephant has a normal diet of 50,000 calories per day. Each Fool's Gold Loaf delivers a heartstopping 42,000 calories each. And Elvis ate two. A night.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Life on >>>

Inspired, no doubt, by this guy's project where he took a photo of himself everyday for 8 years and turned it into a video, here is a shameless ripoff from some guy named Ben. Sure, it takes place over the course of only one year(?) but in its defense, a lot more stuff happens... (via In4mador!)

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Strengthen Your Abs In Just 30 Minutes!

... as for your unbridled enthusiasm for sniffing strangers' butts, though, you're on your own.

From the description over at YouTube:
This is a mesmerizing and frightening video. It's a word-for-word parody of Susan Powter's first workout video, featuring poodles and a crazy poodle-woman. Absolutely surreal. It was made by Nagi Noda for Panasonic. It was part of 10 films they made for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

At least it's not, you know, weird or anything. (via J-Walk)

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

May I ask you for spending a little moment in looking at some of my interesting facts?

"Looking for a full creative person for your team? ... Deep Studies on movies. Prepared for the totally unexpected advertising and Selling Blasting"

"I am getting to my goal, slowly but surly."

"I have been on Sabitcal for a while." [Editor's note: Side effects of Sabitcal may include dizziness, brain cramps, and bonehead spelling errors. Ask your doctor if Sabitcal is right for you.]

Cover letters from hell, as collected by one Chicago advertising agency.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

This is low, even for you

Simpsons fans know full well that Montgomery Burns' is very, very old (104+?) and very, very powerful (in one episode he is seen entering his Social Security Number of 000-00-0002. An annoyed Burns mutters, "Damn Roosevelt").

Actually, the way it is set up, the lowest possible SSN is 001-01-0001. And President Roosevelt didn't really get it. Find out who got it and why (you'll need to scroll down towards the bottom of the page).

Of course Montgomery Burns is also very, very rich. How rich? Each year Forbes magazine compiles Fictional Fifteen of the top imaginary moneybags, where this year Monty places a very respectable fifth with $8.4 billion, right behind Lex Luthor ($10.1 billion) and just edging out Scrooge McDuck ($8.2 billion).

Sweeping it again this year is The Big Guy, Kris Kringle with a hefty $100 billion tucked under the mattress. It probably helps when you run a sweatshop in one of the world's most inhospitable, inaccessible locations (no walk-offs! no surprise OSHA inspections! no union reps!) with immortal employees (no health care! no retirement pensions!) who actually ask to be paid in wooden horses.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Five words

Animated. Short. Beautiful. Disturbing.

Rabbit. (via J-Walk)

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Friday, October 13, 2006

When you gotta go, you gotta go

Skin diving with gas tanks you stole from a dentist.
Renting a basement apartment in Venice.

Wearing clown shoes while walking through a mine field at night.
Getting a life-size tatoo of someone your height.

(from Paul Gilmartin's brilliant audio poem "Undignified Ways To Die")
Thanks to growabrain for cluing me in to the fascinatingly tragic/tragically fascinating Unusual Death. Take this tidbit culled from a Melbourne, Australia newspaper:
A dwarf nicknamed Od has died in a circus accident in northern Thailand. According to the Pattaya Mail, he "bounced sideways from a trampoline and was swallowed by a yawning hippopotamus which was waiting to appear in the next act. Vets on the scene said Hilda the Hippo had a gag reflex that automatically caused her to swallow." The vet said it was the first time the hefty vegetarian had ever eaten a circus performer. "Unfortunately, the 1,000-plus spectators continued to applaud widely until common-sense dictated that there had been a tragic mistake". (Melbourne Herald Sun - July 16th, 1999)
Another one would be the bizarre incident in the summer of 2003 involving the pizza delivery man who robbed an Erie, PA bank wearing a bomb collared around his neck. He told police at the scene he had been lured to a remote site under the guise of a pizza delivery, abducted by a group of strangers and was forced to commit the robbery or else they would explode the device. The bomb exploded shortly thereafter, just minutes before the bomb squad arrived.

I recalled hearing about this when it happened three years ago and am not exactly surprised to hear that the case remains unsolved. Additionally, you can also read this much more in-depth article on what has been dubbed The Erie Collar Bomber case. I see that America's Most Wanted also ran a profile on the case and provides some further info, pics and video. Worth a look.

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Thinking outside the gourd

Learn how to carve ultrarealistic 3-D jack-o-lanterns

I link to every year right about this time and this year is no exception. Here are the winners of his 2005 carving contest. This one is called The Aliens Pumpkin.

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