Friday, March 17, 2006

Word


"You Know... For Kids!"


First came the Tit Lobster... then the Furry Lobster... then the Giant Lobster... now comes Tasty, the Plush Lobster, a cuddly cousin of the aforementioned Furry Lobster.

If you'd like a Plush Lobster of your very own, and you're handy with a needle and thread, just click on Tasty's picture; someone was clever and kind enough to provide downloadable pattern and instructions. Make Plush Lobsters to terrify your very own children... Soon there won't be a dry mattress in the house.


Podcast Playlists

It's a bit maddening that iTunes doesn't deal with podcasts as if they were playlists. Therefore you have to make your own if you want to listen to podcasts on the go with your iPod without stopping after each one.

Smart playlists are perfect for podcasts. I have a "Podcast" playlist, where genre is "podcast" and then I just play it on shuffle.

You can also set them up with fields for album or artist, just the way you would for music.

I also have podcast playlists called "Podcasts Under Five Minutes" and "Podcasts Between Five and Fifteen" and "Podcasts Between Fifteen and Thirty" so I can always hit a podcast that's the right length for the activity I'm about to begin.

If you've never made a smart playlist, don't be afraid to play around with the fields and experiment. The more creative you are, the more you can customize your experience.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Google, You Slut

So I was trying to add some more cool clocks to the links at the right of the page, because I find it's better to have an interesting clock sitting in my browser than some boring, static web page.

And I remembered there was a really cool one made up of blocks, like children's blocks. So I Googled "block clock."

Unfortunately, I typed in "block cock" by mistake.

There will be a pause now for you all to laugh the Butt-Head laugh, the way I did.

Now I would have expected Google to give me "cockblock" results, and sure enough, it did give me a pageful.

But look at the helpful suggestion it also gave me... and then laugh the Beavis laugh. The way I did.

The Best Commercial You've Probably Never Seen

Click here to see the amazing Spike Jonze Gap commercial that never ran, and then read Seth Stevenson's Slate piece on why it was a mistake for the Gap to run a lesser version of the commercial only a few times in a couple of markets.

If this commercial were on, I would cheerfully rewind and watch it over and over... instead of fast forwarding through it the way I do most Gap ads.

A Warning to Readers About Reviews

There is a post on this blog -- I'm not going to mention the name of the product, but you can click to it if you like -- where someone "anonymous" left a rave review about the product.

I have a feeling "anonymous" might work for the company or one of its dealers.

I get very broad, anonymous statistics about visitor traffic to each page on the blog. Since this comment appeared, this post has suddenly become a very popular page, with people from all over the country regularly surfing to it, then leaving immediately after seeing there's no response to the comment. We're talking after zero seconds. Every day. As though a lot of people who don't know each other were regularly checking the reaction to one comment. Which is odd.

I'm sure it's still a great product, so it doesn't need such chicanery, so it's such a shame if someone felt the need to do it. Like if the police planted evidence in the O.J. case.

Anyway, I don't know there's anything dishonest happening here, but just a caveat. Always take online reviews with a grain of salt, because they could be from shills. That's why sites that let you get to know the reviewers, in communities like Amazon.com and Yelp.com, are so useful. But even then, know that some of these people are paid to be moles. It's sad.

And by the way, if you comment here, don't mention the company or the name of the product. I think it's great that they will continue to check that post over there and have no idea we're talking about them over here.

The Daily Show's Savage Satire of Democrats


If you missed it, check it out at Video Dog. It's perfect.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

If Anyone's Wondering What To Buy Me For Purim...

Behold the awe-inspiring power of the Athens Display Series. Five widescreen LCDs in one glorious unit, that clearly requires a flux capacitor to power it. They come in sizes ranging from 110" to 200" (!), yet are less than 2.5" in thickness.

Your computer, TV, Xbox, PS2, and the camcorder trained on your neighbor's exercise studio will never look better.

Defamer: Snarky, But Not the Whole Truth

So Defamer reported that George Clooney donated his Oscar gift basket to the United Way. A very nice thing to do, right? I mean, the press always takes celebrities to task for being greedy, and here's one doing the menschy thing.

But then, Defamer feels the need to add a kick in Clooney's ribs:

We can only hope nominees and winners follow suit with Clooney's altruistic gesture and donate theirs as well–the quicker we can get those gift certificates for dog therapy, dinner at Morton's and one-on-one yoga sessions to those hurricane victims, the quicker they can move on with their lives.

They link to their source, a Yahoo News story. They apparently didn't read on:

The loot will be sold in an online auction to benefit the United Way Hurricane Response and Relief Recovery Fund, said spokeswoman Sheila Consaul. Clooney is a member of the charity's board of trustees, she said.

"This refocuses people back to the long-term nature of hurricane recovery efforts," she said.

The gift bag given to presenters at the 78th Annual Academy Awards includes a BlackBerry 8700c, a Kay Unger kimono and a cultured Tahitian-pearl necklace, among other items.

The entire collection will be sold to "one very, very lucky bidder," Consaul said.

The auction will begin March 21 on the United Way Web site.

The winning bidder will also receive a handwritten thank-you note from Clooney acknowledging the donation to hurricane relief, Consaul said.

Obviously this will result in a huge cash donation to the Fund. Not the way Defamer characterized it at all.

I mean, come on, Defamer. Play fair. It's not always necessary to piss on everything.

Isn't McPhee Lovely?

What can I say? I can't even pretend to be impartial at this point. I thought Katharine was awesome. Can we end the competition so we can skip right to her recording an album?

Kellie's song was boring but she is cute as a junebug. If the judges harsh comments hurt her and she needs consoling, I'm here.

I glared at Paris with Ayla's departure still stinging. Even though Paris was pretty good, and the judges raved about her, what was hilarious was the shot of them after her crazy-goo-goo act to Ryan after the judging. All the goodwill was gone. They hated her. Me, too.

Paula's right. Melissa should wear dresses more.

Simon's mash-up of Bucky and Jessica Simpson has ruined a lot of fantasies for me.

And Lisa! I've been saying all along that it doesn't look like she's trying, that she doesn't look like she's giving 100%, that I wish she would give more effort...

How could I have been so blind?

Last night it hit me! I don't want to make any accusations, but I believe the reason I've had that impression is because her face is paralyzed from showing any emotion whatsoever above the eyebrows. Whatever is the cause of that, I cannot say for certain, so I will not speculate. But it's tragic in such a young girl.

Speaking of tragic, we know Elliott is 90% deaf in one ear. This week we found out he's diabetic and wears an insulin pump. What's next? I fully expect an eye to fall out on the show tonight.

Anyway, I'm psyched because Stevie Wonder will perform tonight and show them how it's done. And unfortunately inspire thousands of next season's Idol hopefuls to attempt his incredible songs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bracketology: Colbert Picks Oral Roberts University To Go All the Way

"Do you really think Memphis is going to be able to deal when 900 foot Jesus brings the pain? I mean he can dunk from the other end of the court. You cannot deny him the ball... Remember: Jesus lives outside of time. He's eligible forever."

-- Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report


Monday, March 13, 2006

Jacktracker


I used to hate Mondays. Then came 24.

Now there's loving
24, and then there's loving 24.

Jacktracker is for those who
love 24.

This awesome map mash tracks Jack Bauer's movements as carefully as possible on a map of the real L.A., and updates it week-to-week, with group input. It's more fun to check in on than it sounds like.

Can the Rock Lobster Be Far Behind?


Insanely jealous of the Tit Lobster and the Furry Lobster, a Giant Lobster, measuring nearly three feet long, has made a splash off the coast of Tasmania.

It's difficult to tell from this picture whether the Giant Lobster will consume the Tasmanian men or merely enslave them. One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them... the Lobsters will soon be here. And I for one welcome our new Lobster overlords. I'd like to remind them that as an entertainment industry professional, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their clamdigging camps.

Why Wasn't He Stealing Billions With Halliburton Like the Rest of Them?

President Bush said he was "shocked to learn that his former domestic policy adviser was charged with theft for allegedly receiving phony refunds at department stores" according to USA Today.

Claude Alexander Allen was arrested for allegedly making 25 false returns at Target and Hecht's for "more than $5,000 worth of merchandise he did not buy." Which I guess means he (allegedly) stole it in the first place, then (allegedly) stole the money again when he returned it. So he should be arrested on 50 counts, no?

Meanwhile, he should get up in court and say, "Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face, and you arrested me??!!"

Sex Advice From Project Runway Stars

If you miss Project Runway already, here's a little booster shot:

Nerve.com has a very frank interview about sex with Daniel, Diana, Zulema and Jay. I don't care if you cry and read as long as you cry and read.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

All Your Peers Are Belong To All Peers


I've written again and again that for ease of use, for security, and for just plain fun, you should move from Internet Explorer to Firefox. Now you should move because soon everyone else will, thanks to AllPeers.

AllPeers, (via TechCrunch and everywhere else in the Web 2.0 universe), combines BitTorrent with social networking.

You make up a group of friends with whom you want to share certain files, family with whom you want to share other files, and then you are sharing those files with them, and they are sharing files with you. Bango.

No logging in and out of Flickr, for instance, and no uploading or downloading. You are securely sharing music with your friends, pictures and home movies with your family, and Word and Powerpoint files with your coworkers, all on peer networks. Free.

The technical term for that is "wicked cool."

TechCrunch suggests they'll eventually add chat and VOIP, which will only make it wickeder cooler.

You can go right now to AllPeers.com and register to be part of the beta later this month. It's free and it will be a sensation. Please do. This truly will be historic, and is definitely a case of the more the merrier.

When People Say "Apropos of Nothing" From Now On, You Can Say "No, I've Really Heard Something That Was Apropos of Nothing"

Has anyone done a mash-up of "My Humps" and "She Blinded Me With Science"? I can't hum one without starting to hum the other.

But then again, my life hasn't been the same since Fox got football and adopted "giddyap, giddyap, giddyap let's go" as their theme song and no one seems to notice.

And now you know what it's like to be inside my head.

Worst. Public Toilet. Ever.

This bowel-clenching nightmare is in Houston. On top is how it looks from the outside... Below, the view from the inside.


Pierce Bush

Video of the bizarre Pierce Bush appearance I wrote about is at Crooks and Liars.

Comparing Buck O'Neil to Barry Bonds??

John Thorn has an op/ed piece in today's New York Times comparing the Hall of Fame situations of Buck O'Neil and Barry Bonds, apparently because they're both black. Wow.

I don't know a fraction as much about baseball as Thorn does, but that's ludicrous. O'Neil (and Minnie Minoso) wuz robbed. Plain and simple. It's a stain on baseball -- apparently not the first or last -- that they were snubbed.

Jesus, it's a stain on baseball that Goose Gossage and Jim Rice aren't in the Hall. Why are we throwing pity parties for Barry Bonds? Any numbers he has are tainted. In the neighborhood I grew up in, we called that kind of cheating an automatic do-over.

And the ultimate irony? Thorn correctly points out that Alex Pompez, a numbers runner and gangster, who was indicted for racketeering for Dutch Schultz, is in the Hall and yet Pete Rose is still swirling around in one of those isolation diamonds they put General Zod in. That's madness.

Media Terrorists At It Again

From George Mason University's STATS (via TVSpy ShopTalk):

The Today show was at it again this week, trying to terrorize parents about “missing children.” In a concealed-camera segment which showed how easy it was for an adult man to get a little boy close enough to his car to abduct him, it used unsourced statistics that do not jibe with the best data available on the subject.

Today claimed that since 1982, there has been a 44% increase in the number of “missing children.” But according to the Justice Department, which tracks such data and is widely recognized as the best source for it, there has been no increase at all in these numbers, and in fact, there are signs of a decline between 1988 and 1999, the last year for which numbers are currently available.

As we noted here when Today covered the story in 2004, the show claimed that 58,000 American children go missing each year. That is the Justice Department statistic for what it calls “nonfamily abductions.”

But in such cases, as the media rarely notes, 90 percent of “abductees” return home within 24 hours. The vast majority are teenagers running away with friends or romantic partners and over 99 percent are returned alive and uninjured...

Parents have enough to worry about without such "stranger danger" hype.

I always think the bizarre thing about those segments is that they seem to be primers on the best techniques for abducting kids.

The Pipes of Marlon Brando

Sadly, the gifted Brando may no longer be with us, but thank goodness his impressive voiceover reel still is. (NSFW)

Quote of the Week #3

"I would say they're going well. I wouldn't put a great big smiley face on it, but I would say they're going very very well."

-- General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, asked how things are going in Iraq on Meet the Press, 3/5/06

Quote of the Week #2



"Jon, it's the end of an era tonight here (at Abu Ghraib). The testicle electrodes dangle quietly... the triangular hoods rustle in the wind on forlorn pegs... Where once the hallways echoed with the sounds of naked men screeaming while stacked atop each other like cordwood there is silence...

This prison was the heart and soul of the local economy. It employed hundreds of craftsmen. Blindfold makers, jumper cable splicers, clamp sharpeners, anal pear growers... You take a guy who spent his entire adult life sweeping human teeth off the floor where's he supposed to work now? Starbucks?"

-- Ed Helms, The Daily Show