Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Didn't Laugh Once During This Onion Article, But I Still Loved It

What does that say? [Link]

[Also: Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Matthew Phelan's 26th Birthday!]

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Juicebox (container)

A juicebox is a small container used to store liquid, most often juice. They are frequently made of cardboard with a foil lining, but variations exist. Juiceboxes are most popular with children, although other uses include boxed water for emergencies and boxed wine.

They are known as Cartons in the UK, and Prima's in Australia

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Vox: a blog service for actors and people who studied Latin

Rich Sommer—aka Harry Crane on AMC's Emmy-award-winning period thing, The Hidden Persuaders—evidently has a blog on Vox. (He was a Beta tester.)

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Monday, November 24, 2008

"Guess Who" Board

I am always surprised when something I've drawn has the kind of charming sloppiness (as opposed to a graceless sloppiness) that reminds me of Bill Watterson's ink work*. This "Guess Who" board was a recent example. I hope to have more moments like this once I switch from Micron pens to some kind of dip pen or brush.

(Note: This was something I had to insert via Photoshop into a panel of the first page of my second Lab Rats comic for Weekly Reader's Current Science magazine.)

[Second Note: Check out this enigmatic gag cartoon Bill Watterson did for his college newspaper—now totally devoid of context for us modern readers. A whole bunch of Watterson's comics appear to have been scanned by a classmate. I really wonder who the laconically michevious Asian kid in the photograph is. He looks almost almost put-upon.]

*I know someone is going to make me regret this earnest, yet self-aggrandizing comparison later.

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The Rutgers Mess

Thank God this New York Times editorial is coming days before Thanksgiving, when all of us have to hear about Rutgers football from relatives who, frankly, no nothing of the insane waste of resources behind our team's non-meteoric, "You didn't even get what you paid for" rise in the rankings:
Rutgers, the biggest and most important public university in New Jersey, has spent millions of dollars furthering its ambition to become a major football power that might otherwise have been devoted to academics. It has done so during a period of rising tuition and budgetary cutbacks in academic departments, and, worse, without any real oversight from the university’s president, Richard McCormick, and its Board of Governors.

A review committee appointed by Mr. McCormick has now issued a scathing report accusing him of being “too passive in exercising his authority” over the athletic department and football program. The report suggests that he and the board turned a blind eye while the university’s athletic director, Robert Mulcahy, signed the football coach to multimillion-dollar contracts and employed a sports marketing firm that once hired Mr. Mulcahy’s son. It also criticizes a secret side deal engineered by Mr. Mulcahy in which the marketing firm paid the football coach an extra $250,000.

[...] But while Mr. McCormick did not create the mess, he did nothing to clean it up. If he knew what was going on with the football program, he was negligent by not stepping in; if he didn’t know, he should have. This leaves him a choice: put the brakes on the stadium project and immediately clean house at the athletics department or resign and make way for someone who will.
[Thanks, Marcus!]

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Andy Rooney Game

Everyone already knows about this, but me.

Here's the original!

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Obama Gonna Unleash The Wax

[via tpm]:
Here's another wrinkle to consider in the wake of Henry Waxman's stunning ascent to the chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

Congressional insiders point out that Barack Obama, in a little-noticed move a few days ago, appointed as the top White House liason to Congress one Philip Schiliro, who has spent many of his past 25 years on the Hill working for (you guessed it) Waxman.

In the wake of Waxman's victory, this is significant. It means Waxman will be closer to the center of the action and will have a direct line into the White House. Congressional insiders also point out that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is an ally of Waxman -- and hence, of Obama's liason to Congress [...] It's another sign that Obama is extremely well positioned to make big things happen rather quickly once he takes power.

Here Is My Kevin Smith Component For The Year

Learn from my mistake: Don't go see Zack and Miri!

Film's rubbish, mate.

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Dude Be A Caricature

Remember that scene from the first episode of Nathan Barley wherein some "urban lifestyle magazine" goons defend the hipness of a crass "rock/paper/scissors" ripoff by saying (paraphrase): "Idiots think it's cool because it's rude, when actually it's cool because it looks like it's cool because it's rude"? (Here it is at minute 2:43 if you missed it.)

Well Gavin McInnes, formerly of Vice Magazine, just did something like that stupid, but for real.

(Of course, I still check this site regularly, so I really shouldn't complain)

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"The Disease Was Life Itself"

Fiction author and Rolling Stone contributing editor David Lipsky chronicles David Foster Wallace's life-long battle with depression in this harrowing feature for the aforementioned publication.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Tom Scharpling Live Karaoke "Born To Run"

Making The Snoopy Merchandising Model Work For Cat Owners

Slate's 2004 defense of Jim Davis's soulless merchandising empire (Basically, "He never wanted it to be art and achieved what he was going for.") highlights everything I hate about both Slate and Garfield:
Davis's genius is that he's created the most widely syndicated comic strip in history—with the attendant profusion of plush toys, T-shirts, and themed Caribbean cruises—and yet, through careful brand management, he's largely managed to deflate the naturally occurring cultural counterattack.


Davis makes no attempt to conceal the crass commercial motivations behind his creation of Garfield. Davis has the soul of an adman—his first job after dropping out of Ball State, where he majored in business and art, was in advertising—and he carefully studied the marketplace when developing Garfield. The genesis of the strip was "a conscious effort to come up with a good, marketable character," Davis told Walter Shapiro in a 1982 interview in the Washington Post. "And primarily an animal. … Snoopy is very popular in licensing. Charlie Brown is not." So, Davis looked around and noticed that dogs were popular in the funny papers, but there wasn't a strip for the nation's 15 million cat owners. Then, he consciously developed a stable of recurring, repetitive jokes for the cat. He hates Mondays. He loves lasagna. He sure is fat.
Please remember that Slate is a publication that loves capitalism so much they (incorrectly) believed In Trade betting would be an accurate predictor of the presidential primaries (an event that provided a few excuses, but little soul searching).


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"Schooled me to the game, now I know my duty"

Strange Maps Asks, "Did Black People In the South Vote For Obama?"

This map is an overlay of voting patterns in the 2008 election by county ("blue" for Dem., "red" for Rep.) and cotton production in 1860 (the dotted areas). [Via Strange Maps Via Pin the Tail]

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ira Glass On Yeoman Work

Jerk Behavior, Explosion-Related, Oil Companies

With the past few years of record profits, you'd expect oil firms to be able to responsibly deal with massive explosions that ruin people's homes. The fact that your instincts are so totally, flagrantly wrong is why no one pays you the big bucks:
[Via Josh Spear. Found on BeepBoop.] Nearly three years ago, Ian Silverstein, one of my dear friends and guest contributors to this site was simply minding his own business, asleep, when his home and everything in it was destroyed by Britain’s largest peacetime explosion.

His life would never be the same.

It’s now known as the Buncefield Depot explosion, and little has been done to remedy the situation for the people affected by this massive incident. Ian lost everything, his beautiful home, all of his belongings, and years later he suffers from symptoms caused by the blast. Frankly, he’s lucky to be alive– and he knows it, but deserves closure and help from the companies that caused it.

Literally, nothing has been done to help him with his situation — or anybody for that matter. The local authorities have failed him, the governments have failed him, insurance has failed him, and the companies that operated the facilities — Total and Chevron — have ducked blame entirely. The massive companies made more than £18 billion in cash last year, but can’t help a few people out when a leak in their tanks caused massive and catastrophic damage to dozens of people’s lives.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Hot Dog In A Bun

CNN's holograms not really holograms

[Via CBC]
The CNN anchors were not really speaking to three-dimensional projected images, but rather empty space, [Hans Jürgen Kreuzer, a professor of theoretical physics at Dalhousie University and an expert on holography] said. The images were simply added to what viewers saw on their screens at home, in much the same way computer-generated special effects are added to movies.

Kreuzer said the images were tomograms, which are images that are captured from all sides, reconstructed by computers, then displayed on screen.

Holograms, on the other hand, are projected into space.

CNN officials could not be reached for comment.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

The People Have Spoken, As You Well Know

Monday, November 03, 2008

Zinger Makers: David Simon On Colbert

After dutifully acknowledging each of Stephen Colbert's witticisms (in a style familiar to anyone who has ever talked to or been a generous, self-important know-it-all), David Simon landed a reasonably solid joke on The Colbert Report last wedndesday:

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