Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why We Can't Cite Wikipedia

So I just typed in the search phrase "Bossy" into Wikipedia, expecting to be taken to a page about the song "Bossy" by Kelis, and here's the result I got (click for bigger):

Uhh... I'm not sure at all what to make of this. At the top, under Bossy, it says: "Bossy People Can Be People Who Can Not Find Duty They Get What They Want And They Always Blame Other People If Your A Bossy Porson I Will Turn You Into An Enormas Blueberry Bubble And My Pet Ooompers Loompers Will Roll You Round And Its Happening Right Now If You Are." Whoa. I would hate to be an enormas blueberry bubble being rolled by oomper loompers. That's followed by a few Wiki links, and then, a list of names of people who will be turned into a bubble. Among what appears to be names of people, we find Barry Manilow (and little-known sibling Locky Manilow) and Violet Beauregard.

This is bizarre. I promise I didn't do it. But the fact that this sort of wackiness is still happening on a site as established as Wikipedia is kind of mind-blowing.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

A Geographical Plurality Agrees: It's Pop

Here's a neat map for all of you who make fun of those who refer to carbonated beverages as pop (click for bigger):

That's right - almost all of the northern U.S. (which I'm pretty sure we can all agree is the best part) calls it pop. You'll just have to deal, soda snobs.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Not Top Carl... Top Carla!

So I have to admit, this season of Top Chef has been a little bit lackluster for me. Most of the remaining chefs seem to be unlikable (Stefan, Jamie), not all that talented (Jeff), or a very special combination of both (Leah. God I hate Leah.), but one of the remaining chefs has kept it interesting for me:


I looooooove Carla. Why?

1.) She says some ridiculous shit. At first, Carla sort of annoyed me when she said crazy things like "And the most important ingredient? Love!" but then I came to realize that she really believes this stuff. She very genuinely feels that if she's smiling when she's cooking, it affects the output, and don't you dare question it or she will get FIRED UP. Also, my favorite moment of the season might be when she got separated from her teammates and wandered around Whole Foods shouting "Hooty!" (Apparently, this is a Marco Polo-esque system used by her and her husband - the other is supposed to respond "Hoo!") She puts it all out there, which is what makes a truly great reality TV character.

2.) She makes crazy faces. Unfortunately, Bravo doesn't have any great pics of Carla's fantastic facial expressions, but I assure you: with her mouth agape, she manages to look even more like an extraterrestrial bird than she already does. And it's awesome.

3.) She seems entirely genuine. This sort of falls in with the first category, but Carla seems to have no pretense or inhibitions, and seems to truly care about her fellow cheftestants. For example, in the first episode when Ariane almost bit the dust and said it should've been her, Carla immediately began to offer support and comfort, saying she deserved to be there as much as anyone else. She didn't have to say anything, given they all had known each other for about two days, but instead, she was incredibly sweet without being condescending.

4.) She's from Washington, DC. This one's kinda selfish. The reason this is a plus is because I am totally going to be best friends with Carla when I move to DC. She will make me desserts and we will go to public places and shout "Hooty!" at each other and I will tell her how terrific she is. It'll be perfect.

I'm not optimistic about her chances of making it to the end, but here's hoping she stays on my TV for a long time.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Inauguration Benediction

I'd like to point out my favorite part of the inauguration ceremony yesterday: Dr. Joseph Lowery's benediction. He gave a wonderful and thoughtful speech/prayer about the need to be aware of the continuing injustices in our country, capped off by this delightful section, which apparently some ridiculous people are calling racist:

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. Let all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen. And Amen.

I Amen-ed at my TV screen. Watch it here:

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hail to the Chief

I know millions of blog posts will be written today, and I know that mine won't add anything special or unique to the rest, but I feel the need to get my (moderately cliched) thoughts down.

I'm ridiculously optimistic right now. This feeling will likely become more tempered as the days and weeks go on, but right now, I'm caught up in the euphoric wave of it all. For my entire adult life, George W. Bush has been president. Although I remember championing Bill Clinton in elementary school, I've never been in a position to truly feel good about the person who is running my country. I was devastated in 2004, when in the first presidential election I could vote, I saw America endorse another four years of division and ignorance. But now, it seems like we're in a position where we can start turning things around.

I'm going to try not to get too swept up in this rush - we have to remain critical and aware, even if we have what seems like an ally in office. (Related note: My school had a little viewing party for the inauguration, and it was really cute to be in a room full of people who also felt moved to applaud at mentions of science and the depletion of natural resources.) In my arena, I hope the environmental groups remain vigilant and don't get co-opted into rubber stamping this administration's policies. I hope that new attention is drawn to human aspects of environmental issues as well - now's the time to start getting serious about environmental justice, which we have a largely unenforced Executive Order for already.

But for now, I'm going to bask and smile, and for maybe the first time in my adult life, be truly proud to be an American.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Next Up: War on Humanities

As if you needed an excuse to be happy about the end of the Bush administration, here's an interesting piece from Chris Mooney at Slate about Bush's so-called "war on science" and what scientists need to do to prevent another flareup. Although I don't really consider myself a scientist (despite currently working toward an M.S. I would only really identify as a social scientist, and only when trying to sound high-falutin'), I certainly rely heavily on scientific data, so I found this especially prescient. Woooooo science.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In the South, In the North

Here's another poem borrowed from The Writer's Almanac. It makes me nostalgic about New Orleans (despite the fact that I've never actually been there.)

In the South, In the North
by Peg Lauber

The grass here is strange paradise to northern feet.
Stiff, it explodes into green when we aren't expecting it
remembering it as greening up much later.
All over town they turn the fountains on again.

If there's one thing they've got enough of,
it's water. Dig down a foot and you have it,
even though brackish, and in the summer
no cold water comes out of the tap no matter
how long you run it. In every yard there's another
explosion in January, camellias, pink, deep red,
white, and we not a month past Christmas.

But up north the frigid season crawls on, takes its time;
even in April and May it's still snowing and sleeting,
then comes hail as winter turns to summer
in one day: 90 degrees. Here, however, people eat sack
lunches on the dull green trolley with red touches still
bearing Christmas garlands over the controls at each end.
The riders open the windows to put their elbows out
while they take the long ride to the end of the line
returning to Lee Circle and Canal Street,
the trolley car whistling and dinging.

Soon St. Charles Avenue, the regular route, will be filled
with high school bands and marching feet, arms waving,
voices crying, "Throw me something, mister," to those
on the floats, as the lines and trees above are decorated
with gold, purple, and green beads, the royal colors of Rex,
against the blue void we call sky.

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Deal With It, Cate Blanchett!

Did you watch the Golden Globes last night? If not, you missed out on some good (Ricky Gervais should have presented everything) and some bad (Kate Winslet wins Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress? What the hell?), but mostly, you missed this awesome speech by Tracy Morgan, who accepted the win for 30 Rock as Best Comedy. (My taste continues to be validated. Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin also won Best Actor and Best Actress in a Comedy for 30 Rock, and unrelatedly, my much-beloved Vicky Christina Barcelona won Best Comedy.) The quality here sucks (it appears to have been filmed off a slightly out-of-sync pocket television), but you can still hear the awesomeness that comes out of his mouth. He is the face of post-racial America!

(Update: So that video got taken down, but if you go to the official NBC clip, you can see it after a short ad.)

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Got You Pegged

This might be a difficult post for some of you to read, but I've made an important discovery that I have to share. It is both juvenile and somewhat explicit, so consider yourself warned.

Usher likes it in the butt.

Now now, before anyone gets all fired up, I'm not saying he's gay. I'm just saying that he enjoys the practice of pegging, in which the woman in a heterosexual pairing dons a strap-on and... yeah. How do I know this? Well, Usher told me! In fact, he tells us all in his new song, "Trading Places."

Give it a listen:

If you still don't agree, I'll show you what I mean.

I'm always on the top
tonight I'm on the bottom
Cuz we trading places

Now, I know a man can be on the bottom without necessarily engaging in the aforementioned sex act, but view Exhibit B:

Now put it on me baby till I say Oooo weee
And tell me to shut up before the neighbors hear me
This is how it feels when you do it like me

See what I mean? He's not even trying to be coy here. This shit is blatant. A bit after these fine lyrics, we get a good thirty seconds of Usher moaning and screaming in ecstasy/agony, followed by this classy conclusion:

Stay tuned for part 2
You been me I been you
But we gonna switch this thing back
Ima put it on your...

Cute, eh? But he pretty much admits it here - I mean, he says he's "been" her, and really, what's the opposite of him "putting it on her (The song cuts off, but I assume the word is ass - what else fits here?)"

I rest my case.

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