Let me say publicly that DonBoy’s answer exudes a combination of intuitive genius and confidence that make me think DonBoy is going to do big things in his life. -- Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics blog)
Monday, September 18, 2006
Trouble in the Control Room

Monday Night Football's move to cable hasn't hurt the production at all, right?

Saturday, September 16, 2006
Be a Guinea Pig for the Pentagon

From the AP, 9/12:
Official Touts Nonlethal Weapons for Use
And by "use", they mean on you:
Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before they are used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

Domestic use would make it easier to avoid questions in the international community over any possible safety concerns, said Secretary Michael Wynne.

''If we're not willing to use it here against our fellow citizens, then we should not be willing to use it in a wartime situation,'' said Wynne. ''(Because) if I hit somebody with a nonlethal weapon and they claim that it injured them in a way that was not intended, I think that I would be vilified in the world press.''
The chutzpahmeter just redlined. Maybe the next time there's an antiwar rally (what with those mullahs looking particularly mad recently) the arrestees will be waterboarded, as a show of our nation's good faith.

Via, via.

UPDATE: I suppose it's possible that this is an anti-trial balloon, since I was wondering what the Secretary of the Air Force is doing talking about something like this.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Republican Subtlety, 1949

Via Orcinus:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Babies of All Sorts

Via, home of the New Yorker Cartoon Anti-Caption Contest, a look, from Jeff Lange posting at Jim Hill Media, at the prevelant marketing meme of baby-ifying the franchise, including:

To quote Lange:
Before you ask: No, this is not fan art or some "Saturday Night Live" spoof.

Sunday, September 10, 2006
Stuff I Read On Slate This Week

Crazy for "Crazy":
By now there can be little doubt that the song of 2006 is Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." Actually, this uncannily catchy single has been kicking around since late 2005, when it first leaked on the Internet and was picked up by radio stations in the United Kingdom, which put the record in heavy rotation months before its official release in March of this year. In Britain, "Crazy" made history. It was the first song to top the charts on the strength of online download sales alone, and it remained at No. 1 for nine weeks—the biggest U.K. hit in more than a dozen years. Finally, Gnarls Barkley—the rapper/singer Cee-Lo Green and the producer/DJ Danger Mouse—decided to pull the single from the U.K. market, fearing it had become so overplayed that it would not be remembered fondly. Meanwhile, "Crazy" made the Top 10 in more than 15 other countries and held the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven consecutive weeks.
And I've never heard of it.

Tell me you wouldn't click this:


Kith Of Death

I love her, but she doesn't know I killed her father.

I always wondered this:

101 101

How did intro classes get their trademark number?

The Village Voice has fired music critic legend Robert Christgau. His archive is browsable here.

Gregg Easterbrook proposes a Fifth Argument for the Elimination of Television: it might cause autism. Then again, it might not.
Levels of Reality, Beer Ad Division, Or: What's This "YouTube" Thing I Keep Hearing About?

Coors Light is running a couple of NFL-keyed ads with ""fake"" press conferences, and the number of quote marks I used there is deliberate. Here's one of the ads, with ex-coach Dick Vermeil:

So what are we seeing? The first-level response is one that you eliminated instantly, that it's a press conference with Dick Vermeil answering questions about a Coors Light promotion. The second-level response is that it's questions about a Coors Light promotion, humorously intercut with answers from a post-game press conference. The questions and answers obviously don't match up, both in the recording medium (film vs. video, although it's a little hard to tell here from all the processing done in the capture and uploading), and in the camera angles -- Vermeil's not looking where he should be (he looks both left and right, but there's only one bunch of "questioners"). The overall effect is like some old novelty records, none of which come to mind at the moment.

But that's not what it is either! Vermeil is sitting in front of a backdrop of Coors Light logos, and he's obviously been paid by them. So the questions aren't really matched up with real press conference answers after the fact; the whole thing is scripted, but edited to look like a clumsy fake, instead of a slick fake. If there's such a thing as a fake fake, this is it.

UPDATE: Another:

FURTHER REVIEW: Commenters at the YouTube videos add the observation that if these were "real", you'd expect Vermeil to change his clothes from bit to bit. Also, the Bill Walsh series, which I intend to cap next week, show him as he is now, not as he was when last he coached over a decade ago.

Friday, September 08, 2006
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the OMG NOOOOOOOO!

I just saw a TV ad for the Rockettes Christmas Show. (In Boston? Really? Yup.)
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Fast Company on Lewis Black:
Still, despite his hypercritical shtick, he's empathetic; he closed his act for years by instructing the audience to generously tip the waitresses.
Mr. Black also pioneered the recommendation of the veal, and cared enough for his audiences to plead with them to drive safely on the way home.

(Unless he's the actual first guy to tell the audience to tip the waitresses, in which case it's nice to know the ur-source.)

via Evanier, what a shock.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Notes From the Real Estate Bubble, Post-Peak

On adjacent channels last night: Flip This House and Flip That House.

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