Friday, February 27, 2009

Prince of Botanists Winning Answer?

Who is Carl Linnaeus? That was the response, answer, question (whatever the hell they call it on Jeopardy when you say something after Alex does) that moved Leland Graham onto his third round of the long running game show. He was the only contestant who knew that Carl Linnaeus was the one who wanted his gravestone to read Princeps Botanicorum.

You guessed it, Linnaeus was the guy who gave us binomial nomenclature, the scientific naming system that us Homo sapiens loathingly memorized in Biology class. Taxonomy: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species. And looking at the photo of the tombstone he shares with his father above, his wife said “Princeps Botanicorum my ass.” And they went with the old standby of birth, death and Latin.

I have to wonder why there isn’t a movie about this Classification Rapping Crenshaw High School Biology teacher from 1989?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jersey Devil Not Just a Hockey Player

The History Channel aired an episode of “MonsterQuest” last night called “Devils in New Jersey.” Previously unbeknownst to me, and I imagine you, there is a legend that goes along with the name Jersey Devil dating back to 1735. It’s got a tinge of “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” to it. Apparently a lady didn’t want to have another baby so she asked for a devil instead. I mean, it just follows.

Twenty minutes after she gave birth it grew to the size of two full grown men with red eyes, a horse’s head, goat legs, a serpentine tail and bat-like wings. Not the tiny ones, man sized wings. The devil killed the midwife and her assistant and then flew up the chimney. And I heard him exclaim as he flew out of sight “You will be cursed as New Jersians, your state will stink upon sight.”
The moral of this story: If this lady had just had an abortion, South Jersey wouldn’t have had to suffer the fear of this terrible local myth.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Who Invented the Car?

In last night’s speech Obama said that America invented the car. But a French guy named Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is most often credited as the inventor. Though, it is like the television, no one came up with the car as we know it, all at once. If you want to start with theoretical invention, then da Vinci should get the credit.

It’s likely that what Obama meant was that we mastered the whole car manufacturing thing through mass production but he should at least do a quick skim of Wikipedia before saying something like that or he’ll be compared to Al Gore inventing the internet when he meant that he popularized the term “the information superhighway.”

Anyways, here’s a reenactment of the first car crash ever in 1769. At 2 ½ miles per hour, it’s well worth the watch.

Bobby Jindal or Kenneth the Page?

Besides Chris Matthews gasping “Oh, god” under his breath just as Governor Jindal and his pasted on smile slid down the hall towards camera, Bobby Jindal introduced himself to us in the style of Kenneth the Page and a local car salesman shooting his cable access advertisement.

If SNL doesn’t do a Kenneth as Jindal and Tina Fey as Palin sketch next week, then I don’t know what to do with them. They’ll probably just do a sketch about Pelosi jumping up before Obama even starts to speak while Biden rolls his eyes and begrudgingly stands up to clap. Or maybe “30 Rock” will do a “Moon Over Parador”/“Dave” episode where Kenneth has to replace Bobby as President when he passes away unexpectedly.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sheer Bliss Ironic Cream

"Sex and the City's" Kim Cattrall is the celebrity spokesperson for Sheer Bliss Ice Cream. Their flavors include: Pomegranate, Pomegranate with Chocolate Chips, Vanilla with Pomegranate Swirls, Vanilla, Dark Chocolate, Mediterranean Coffee and Freedom. Freedom? Noticing the preponderance of pomegranate in the flavor listings I thought I’d check to see if Freedom is free from pomegranate. And… no. Freedom is not pomegranate free. But it is dedicated to “the American veteran and their families.”

Now mythologically speaking pomegranate seeds are known for having forced Persephone to return to the underworld one season every year for each seed that Hades tricked her into eating. Much like the military’s stop loss program where if you’ve been in the military, they can involuntarily pull you back in even after you’ve served your term of service. Freedom indeed. That Sheer Bliss you’re looking for will cost you 290 calories per serving.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jerry Lewis Protested at the Oscars

Jerry Lewis received the humanitarian Oscar last night ‘cause god knows he’d never be nominated for acting. The weirdest thing that I learned about Jerry last night was, through an offhanded mention during the usual technical awards brush off, that he invented video assist. I doubt he invented it per say, he probably just said let’s use that video tape doohickey machine on the film cameras so that the director can see what’s being shot instead of trusting the camera man to get it. And then he patented the use.

Initially I was wondering why Eddie Murphy of all people would be presenting the award to Jerry but then I remembered that he remade “The Nutty Professor.” So what better way to make you feel more alive and vital then to have the guy who remade one of your movies, because it’s been that long since you made it, be the one who present your greatest award to you.

That was on the inside of the Kodak Theatre. On the outside of the Kodak Theatre there were people protesting Lewis’ telethon as it causes you to take pity on people with muscular dystrophy. Take pity and send 800 million dollars over the years to help cure it. While they’re at it, they should protest something more important like the airing of any of Jerry Lewis’ films.

Watch him say “fag” on his telethon. I’m sure Harvey Milk would have approved. And talk about being uncomfortable with female comedians making fart noises with their armpits. I assume he means his five-year-old niece. And then the topper to his antiquated views “You don’t want to be pitied for being a cripple in a wheelchair. Stay in your house.” The Oscars didn’t slip that nugget into the highlight reel.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sophie’s Choice, Don’t Do It

“Sophie’s Choice” is the title of a book adapted into a 1982 film starring Meryl Streep AND it’s a Watergate-like term used when someone has to make a heart wrenching choice and they want to use pop culture to explain themselves like a local newscaster. You could just call it a choice but people often tack Sophie’s on the front of it in order to express a tough or emotional decision like, Coke or Pepsi?

This is Streep’s 15th Oscar Nomination. She’s already won three. The last being for “Sophie’s Choice.” So watch out for the Entertainment Reporters using it as a sports-like analogy between her performance in “Doubt” and Kate Winslet’s in “The Reader.”

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine’s Day Pagan Holiday Just Like Christmas

Sure, the names represent a Christian origin: St. Valentine and Christ. Though, even that’s debatable. But let’s just cover the pagan rituals. Juno, the Roman goddess of women, was celebrated in a pagan festival every February 15th. This morphed over the years into a celebration on Feb 14th. The St. Valentine connection has been attributed to two different priests who were martyred. It’s likely they were the same person, like Jesus and God, but both were said to send correspondence and thus they were called: “Valentines.” Of course, since they were clergy, they had no romantic inclinations and therefore the connection to romance takes us back to the Roman Goddess of women. ‘Cause ladies are all about romance.

And then, there’s Cupid. Originally he had a homosexual agenda. Making men fall in love with men and women fall for women. But in “The Aeneid”, Virgil made Dido fall for Aeneas at the hands of Cupid, so that was that. Someone wrote it down and then some of us read it in English class and then fat guys started wearing diapers and tiny wings.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Joaquin’s Stylist Recommends Dreadlocks and a Beard for Letterman Appearance

While many are speculating drug use or alcohol in an attempt to explain Joaquin Phoenix’s uncooperative appearance on Letterman last night, I’m going to say with confidence that it’s a character he’s playing and the footage will go in his movie which will likely be a docu-style film of him awkwardly attempting to become a hip hop singer. Letterman’s professional sarcasm allowed him to handle Phoenix’s one word answers with comments like “Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight.”

After Joaquin we all cleansed our palettes with the guest who followed: the new Sports Illustrated cover model Bar Refaeli. As Letterman held up her bikini pics, the studio audience wasn’t sure whether to clap or masturbate. Many did both.

In looking up other Letterman weird interviews I found one by Crispin Glover dressed in a weird outfit and rambling on. At the time everyone said he was on acid, but if you watch this music video that he came on to promote three years later, you will see the same character at 1:50 minutes into the video.

And here's the Letterman weirdness of which I speak.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's a very Wall Street Christmas Story

Wall Street’s reaction to the complaints about handing out bonuses to their top execs immediately after receiving billions in a government bailout was to do something vastly different, hand out awards. As James Gorman, co-president of Morgan Stanley states in a conference call between Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney "There will be a retention award. Please do not call it a bonus. It is not a bonus. It is an award.”

In the words of Ralphie’s Old Man “It’s an award. A major award.” I hope they enjoy their leg lamps.

Senior Citizen wins Westminster

In what will no doubt become a Hollywood movie, dog themed films have been pretty popular lately, a ten-year-old Sussex Spaniel named Stump came out of retirement to win Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show last night. But the story really starts when he came close to death from an undiagnosed condition when he was five, which forced him into early retirement. Clocking in at 70 in dog years he’s not quite ready to order his Hover Round yet. Let’s just hope for the sake of his two sons, Root and Forest, that he doesn’t have any sex scandals and lose his title during his year long reign.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

America says don’t stimulate me… via paperwork

Americans for Prosperity, a lobbyist group, has been calling for Americans (red state voters) to sign a no stimulus petition to be delivered physically to congress via as much paper, shrink wrap and cardboard as they can find rather than through ignorable email and phone calls.

They are therefore promoting the idea that they’ve gone viral, in much the same way that networks call new TV shows that haven’t aired yet “their new hit show.” They have also stated that their website has been down due to heavy traffic, you are then compelled to test it out, finding that it is miraculously up and running. If you say it, they will come.

Watch Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, deliver his video on what he’d like from you.

In a second video Senator Inhofe from Oklahoma tells us that the bill is: “93% spending and only 7% stimulating.” Sort of like his sex life.

Their website states that “Americans for Prosperity Policy Director Phil Kerpen investigates taxpayer funded lobbying.”

Which is why it’s so cool that they don’t pay any taxes themselves as they’re exempt and their income in contributions was $5,695,000 in 2007, while they spent $6,768,000. Which means they spent $1,072,849 more, than they took in. So they’re pretty good at out of control spending while simultaneously investigating other people who do the same thing. Americans for Prosperity: Exempt from taxes, yet still not prosperous.

AFP Ironic 2007 Tax returns

Monday, February 9, 2009

James Earl Jones

I recall while watching James Earl Jones receive a SAG lifetime achievement award that he played the voice of a toilet on "According to Jim."

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Venice Billboard

Looks like the King of the Hill Guys are spying on the black guy in the hot tub again.


I wonder who's governor in between the impeachment of an Illinois Governor and the swearing in of an Illinois Lt. Governor? Probably Mayor Daley.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Obama prefix is the new Gate suffix

The only other time I’ve ever seen a prefix take off like this was amongst the Smurfs. And like the smurfs, there don’t seem to be negative Obama prefixes, unlike the use of the popular gate suffix in conjunction with a scandal. And they are almost all nicknames for inspired individuals rather than negative events like gate is. The one negative Obama based word that comes to mind is the suffix blend use in NObama. But at least once people start using his name in a negative suffix or prefix way, we’ll get to cut down on the use of gate. I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch but below are Obama inspired word combinations and Watergate inspired uses of the word gate. One day, FOX News created or not, there will be an Obamagate and the prefix and suffix will collide.

Smurftastic Obamacombos (I don’t know if there’s a term for these things but I’m coining it):

Obamastration = Obama Administration

Obamabration = Obama Celebration

Obamamama = Michelle Obama or Mothers who support Obama

Obamanation = People who support Obama

Obamariffic = Describing something as terrific

Obamanominator = Superdelegate who nominated Obama

Obamacan = Republican who crossed over party lines to vote for Obama

Obamacrat = Democrats who support Obama

Obamafication = Being excited for change due to Obama

Obamafied = Adopting a Yes We Can attitude

Obama’d = Being effected by Obama

Obamabration = To party in the name of Obama

Obamatarian = Avid Obama supporter

Obamatized = Being moved by Obama’s speeches

Obamatopia = The White House with Obama in it, play on Camelot term for Kennedy
White House

Obamauguration = Obama inauguration

Obamazon = Female Obama supporter

Obamerica = US under Obama’s leadership

Obamicon = Making yourself into an Obama marketing poster

Obaminator = Hard working Obama campaigner

Obaminatrix = Hard working female Obama campaigner

Obamaniac = Person obsessed with Obama


Simpson’s Weightgate = Is the laziest use I’ve ever seen. Jessica Simpson gained weight = scandal

Monicagate = Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton sex scandal

Nannygate = Government officials not paying taxes on their nannies

Troopergate = Arkansas state troopers sex scandal involving Bill Clinton or Sarah Palin’s firing of the Alaskan state public safety commissioner for not firing her former brother-in-law state trooper

Whitewatergate = Clinton investment scandal

Travelgate = Firings of White House Travel Office employees

Hookergate = Defense contractors bribed congressman for political favors – I’m not sure why it’s called Hookergate, and I really don’t care to investigate.

Rathergate = The memo shown on 60 Minutes that took down Dan Rather

Nipplegate = Justin Timberlake exposing Janet Jackson’s nipple at the Superbowl halftime show

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fox News

I wonder if Hannity's "liberal translation treatment" is good for your pores.