This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

Scooby-Doo, pyramids, coffee, and neon.

Posted by: James Lileks under Outstate, Praise, Technology Updated: August 14, 2012 - 12:00 PM

Welcome. Headline says it all; we’re all over the map today. 

DARK & STORMY NIGHT RISES The annual bad writing awards are out. The winner:

As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting.

Is it just me, or have these become more tiresome every year? They lack the blinded self-assurance of true bad writing. They try too hard. Authentic bad writing has an earnest quality these parodies never capture.

EUREKA Using Google Earth, someone with a lot of time may have discovered two pyramid complexes everyone forgot about. The tallest is 400 feet tall. How do you lose track of pyramids? I’m guessing that the sand didn’t completely cover them up, and if if the tallest was buried up to the tip, someone would stub his toe on it eventually.

HA HA The 14 most annoying people on twitter. There’s this guy:

 

The rest are here. It’s spot-on. Note to Esquire: in the list of 14 most annoying things in web design, “Slideshows” are up there in the top five.

 

AH HA! This will be obscure for a lot of people, and that’s a pity. Everyone knows Ricky Gervais, right? The funny tubby British guy from “The Office,” where he played the epitome of cluelessness and self-regard. But before David Brent there was Alan Partridge, a TV presenter played by Steve Coogan.

 

He had several series in England - a chat show called “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” followed by two seasons of “I’m Alan Partridge,” a brilliant show that followed his downward trajectory from big-network talk-show host to an early-morning DJ in a small media market. It’s on Netflix.

After that came a webseries commissioned by Fosters, called “Mid-Morning Matters,” which has Alan doing a show in North Norfolk. A sample:

 

 

You can see the entire series on YouTube starting here

Now, the good news: Coogan has reupped for another six episodes. After that? A movie.

By the way, Coogan is better than Gervais. Just saying.

REBOOTY DOO Sorry I just wrote that. But I don’t know what else to say. First of all, there’s this line:

I’d always been partial to A Pup Named Scooby Doo,

. . . which you’d think would disqualify the author from being taken seriously about anything, ever, but A) it’s Jerry Beck at Cartoon Brew, and he knows his stuff. B) there’s the rest:

I’d always been partial to A Pup Named Scooby Doo, but there’s something odd – and cool – about this latest take on the series. First off, there’s now a story arc for the entire show, Scooby apparently has more “dialogue”, Jonny Quest and Yogi Bear make cameos, Harlan Ellison (!!) plays himself (see clip below), Shaggy gets a crewcut (and it takes several episodes to grow back!), the characters poke fun at their personalities, yet stay true to the original series — and dammit, it’s fun!

They reimagined Scooby Doo? Really. It might be fun, but there’s no way I will spend a second on it; I wasted too much of my life as a kid watching H-B crap. Up to and including Scooby-Doo and the Harlem Globetrotters.

 

FROM HERE TO THERE This infographic has a list of the most caffinated professions. Who pounds the most joe? “Scientist / Lab Technician.” Writers / editors are fourth on the list. Food preparers are 7th. As the blog notes, it’s odd that IT people aren’t on the list, and I agree; they can work and drink coffee. Food preparers have to stop working to drink coffee.

The stats are from Dunkin’ Donuts, and I don’t know the methodology. I was poking through their blog to see if there’s anything to add to the survey, and discovered this: Broadway legend Hal Prince complained about the static Dunkin’ Donuts sign. Everything else in Times Square is leaping and twitching; what were they thinking?

You can watch this if you want, but it’s not very interesting.

 

 

 This is more like it: a time-lapse video of the 72-hour creation of an enormous DD mural for Times Square. 

 

 

As things usually happen when you’re clicking around with no specific objective other than the consumption of time, that led to this -

  

 

A small video of Artkraft Times Square signs from the 20s on. The Joan of Arc neon sign is quite astonishing, when you consider that it was made for the premier of a movie, and would be taken down at the end of the run. The decline of Times Square seems to start with the Canadian Club / Admiral signs, which were big, boxy and dull; the old days of Wrigley Fish and running Dutch Girls were almost over.

Or perhaps that’s not fair. Artkraft’s own site says:

The Canadian Club spectacular was a long running marvel. It featured twenty eight initial animating effects, including writing on writing off of the lettering, and a gold neon background that could perform all kinds of tricks. Here, it simulates a checkerboard.

I’d love to see it, not to mention embed it, but their page requires a plug-in I don’t have. Possibly a RealPlayer plugin, which I will never install again, anywhere, for whatever reason. I don’t care if NASA requires it to stream a live shot of the discovery of life on Mars. I’ll wait for someone to encode it.

Where I was? Oh, right. Nowhere in particular. Enjoy your lunch. 

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