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Saturday, April 24, 2004
Bad Sporting Ideas--Yes, Virginia, there IS an organization devoted to bringing the joy of skiing to the legally blind. Take a look at the site of the American Blind Skiing Association.
So THAT'S what Happened To Michael Dukakis--This week's Sunday New York Times has an unusual MVP. Arts & Leisure was fairly dull, despite a fairly interesting interview with Tina Fey about "Mean Girls." The Magazine's feature story is a decent piece on George W. Bush's campaign organization, but it's too long for its own good, and lacks the quirkiness of the best of campaign journalism. This week's MVP is the occaisional Education Life section, featuring stories on:
* How much schools are getting paid to appear in feature films.
* The sort of books grade school kids are buying at book fairs (noting their fixation on the book "Fabulous Fantasy Cars")
* The dating/matching system set up for students at Wesleyan by two students at Wesleyan, and the controversy over whether Yale has copied that system. (Not covered: whether the 2000 UChicago ScavHunt anticipated this with items #142 and #266 on the year 2000 list.)
* How much "celebrity" professors actually teach and how many students actually sit in their classes, including Madeline Albright, Toni Morrison, Anna Deavere Smith, Cornell West, and Michael Dukakis himself, the most popular political science professor at Northeastern University.
* The organization of havahdparties.com
* Sample multistate bar exam questions
* Fashion trends at various universities and how the fashions reflect the schools' culture.
Just great stuff.
Also, big changes are afoot around here--further updates as events warrant.
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Where Is The Love?--A whole bunch of places, including Wonkette are linking to today's Page Six, which breaks the SHOCKING news that Doonesbury creator G.B. Trudeau gave $2,000 to Howard Dean during primary season. Hey, wait a minute. As I recall, someone else "broke" that story about a month ago.
That's It! That's The List!--For those of you looking for Blender's list of the 50 Worst Songs ever, #50-#41 are here.
#50--Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"--And on. And on. And on.
#49--Right Said Fred, "I'm Too Sexy"--Is this a bad thing? I'm not sexy at all, and I'd rather be "too sexy," at least for a while.
#48--The Beatles, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"--Annoying, yes? Bad, that's a harder call.
#47--Bryan Adams, "The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You"--I'd forgotten about this one, but it's definitely rightly here. Painfully earnest Canadian goes glamrock. Just bad.
#46--New Kids on the Block, "Hangin' Tough"--NKOTB without a doubt belongs (did I mention NKOTB was my sister's first real "rock" concert, and second concert after a family trip to see Peter, Paul and Mary?), but I would have gone with "The Right Stuff," just for its more inane lyrics, which consist of "Oh oh oh oh oh! Oh oh oh oh! Oh oh oh oh oh! The Right Stuff!" repeated over and over again.
#45--Ja Rule f/ Ashanti, "Mesmerize"--Um, I don't listen to Ja Rule, but I find Ashanti painfully overexposed.
#44--Meat Loaf, "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)"--Yeah, it belongs here, but how can you go without mentioning the bizarre Anne Rice video featuring Meat Loaf running around a vampire castle?
#43--Uncle Kracker, "Follow Me"--Yeah, this one's bad, but it's almost so bad it's good.
#42--Simon and Garfunkel, "The Sounds of Silence"--Yes, the lyrics are a bit self-important, especially for a couple of teenagers, but still, it's an American classic, and the one that I'd fight about being on this list.
#41 (tie)--Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start The Fire"--Hey, it's a quick easy and fun review of post-WWII US History. Imagine if I'd begun my history final exam with "Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray." That would have gotten me a nice grade, I'm sure.
#41 (tie)--Color Me Badd, "I Wanna Sex You Up"--The title's embarassing enough, as is the group name, but why not go with the more 80s and manipulative "I adore, mi amor!" Ah, the lucious harmonies of CMB. Almost makes me want to pull out a cigarette lighter and hold it up in the junior high gym again.
Better, and Cheaper, than Details--If you have an MP3 player (and you really should) and you enjoy this blog (and you must, if you're here), I'd like to point you to one of the best deals on the Net. For first time buyers, Audible.com will let you have ANYTHING on their site for $9.95. My preference? One year's subscription to NPR's "This American Life." Every week, you get a new edition to listen to at your convenience. Heck, even if you don't have an MP3 player, you can burn them to CD and listen to them that way.
Well, At Least It's Better Than Trump's--I believe today's Doonesbury marks a milestone. It's the first time I can remember that we've seen B.D. without a helmet of some sort on--yes, we see that he DOES have hair. It will be very interesting to see where Trudeau goes with the plotline introduced today and announced in the media earlier this week. There's a reason Trudeau was a Pulitzer finalist last year (sharp satire on the war, the Bush administration, and the Dean campaign), and this plotline reinforces that his status was well-deserved.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Halloween is only 6 months away!--Some of you may recall with fondness The Onion's piece a few years ago "Dressing Your Dog As Boba Fett Is Something You Have To Devote a Weekend To." This is clearly topped by this, the apparently real chronicle of one man's goal in life--to create the perfect "Tron" costume. Just as a note, as a general rule, a unitard is not a good idea for anyone.
Monday, April 19, 2004
We Built This City On Rock and Roooollll!-I'm surprised Alex over at A List A Day hasn't picked this one up yet, but Blender Magazine has created a list of The Fifty Worst Songs Ever! Now, some of these, I won't quibble with. Clay Aiken's "Invisible" is both annoying and creepy. "I'm Too Sexy" isn't a great record (though Allison Janney's explication of it on "West Wing" is hysterical). "Barbie Girl" is notable only for the trademark lawsuit that sprang out of it. But "Ob La Di Ob La Da?" Annoying chorus, certainly, but still. "The Sound of Silence?" Yes, it is a little "freshman poetry," as Blender asserts. But the #1 choice, "We Built This City," is perhaps the guiltiest pleasure ever. Who can't immediately hum that riff and want to sing along?
Sunday, April 18, 2004
It is coming!--12 days. 12 days. Watch this space for further details.
Adventures at the Movies--Looks like I'm the exception to the general rule on Kill Bill, Volume II. I liked the first part, but found the second part to be more than a bit of a bore--the raw adrenaline that drove Volume I is largely absent. The other difficulty is that there's not a ton of suspense. As a result of the end of Volume I, we know the "twist" in the storyline, and as a result of the title, we know the ending. So you can't really wring much suspense out of the situations. Two amusing moments:
1. The theatre I saw it at was showing "Scooby Doo 2" on that screen during the day and "Kill Bill" at night, and the "Scooby Doo" poster was hanging outside the theatre. About 10 minutes in, a group of 5 or 6 young kids wandered in, apparently trying to sneak in to "Scooby 2." They quickly walked out, disgruntled with what they got.
2. About 10-20 minutes before the end, a guy answers his cell phone next to me and has a conversation. A couple of minutes in, he shouts "I'm watching 'Kill Bill'" into his phone. A wiseass (not myself), responds "The rest of us are trying to, too!" Sadly, this didn't shut him up, but did earn a laugh.