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.
It’s been reported in several venues that Wal-Mart is seling T-shirts aimed at that rich, broad demographic known as Bronies, Equestria Daily notes that they didn’t quite get it right:
Perhaps because I have a young daughter, I can tell you what’s wrong with this. Wrong Ponies. Those are old, non-hip MLP design. The lettering is amusing; that’s the Iron Maiden font, which makes sense if they’re attempting to draw a line to the 80s MLP design, but there were no Bronies then. At least one can hope.
ADS This is cute, but man, it takes its time getting its point across.
Hats off to the owners of Angel Recording Studios in north London for allowing in 90 toddlers to play with assorted musical instruments and an audio recording kit during a two-day shoot for baby food company Cow & Gate. The end result, which broke in the U.K. on TV and online today, (October 9) is "Supergroup"--a commercial which, thanks to the supreme patience of its makers and judicious editing, is surely destined for both social and awards success (note: Watch the spot before reading further. You’ll appreciate the payoff a little more)
You may wince when the kid picks up the violin. But wait for it. The story regards this as having a “payoff,” but I think it may be the best argument against early childhood music lessons.
DOG This is starting to go viral, as they say of anything except viruses, thanks to a Reddit user. As the dyslexic skeptic said, can Dog make an object so large He cannot move it?
ART Short stories by Robert Bruce. Really short stories. Trust me: you can imagine a movie based on each sentence.
D’OH The Simpsons opening IRL. It’s a few months old, but it’s new to me. Am I just suffering an excess of morning coffee, or do you find yourself leaning forward, thinking: faster. Speed it up. FASTER.
COMICS This has to be the first time this has ever happened: in today's Strib Variety section, simultaneous side-by-side Easter Island references.
Zits, as usual, is better. It's a better-drawn strip, and usually funnier. (In the context of "comic page funny," anyway.) That Grimm thing has been going on for what, 40 years? Why did it start? Whats the point? We'll figure out the meaning of the Easter Island statues before that one's explained.
Have a find day; bundle up. See you around.
It’s freezing out there. That’s a sweater-wind out there. That’s the sharp breeze you get in September that says “oh, it’s over. It’s so over.” But let’s just pretend it’s an anomaly that has no portents for the future, and move along with some internet stuff. Short on content today; working on a column.
SCIENCE! This scrollable panorama of Mars is absolutely stunning, and I don’t use that word often. I hate how everything that looks good is “stunning.” This is stunning. The only problem: if I’m looking down on the lander and I don’t see a pole . . . where’s the camera? I’m sure people will seize on this to say the landing was fake. Yes, they wouldn’t have thought of that, if they’d faked it. Big whoops there in the set-design department.
C’mon. They’re don't have to fake anything when they are obviously capable of keeping it real.
LANCE LAWSON Here’s your mystery for today. Match wits with Minneapolis’ sharpest detective! Not only does he get a confession out of the guy in three panels without saying why he suspects the killer, the guy spills his motive. Downcast and abashed.As well he should be.
D’oh Yes, the second Simpsons post this week. It happens. It’s odd, since I stopped watching the show almost a decade ago, back when it lost its heart and started being “Homer chooses a new stupid thing to do, with guest star Elton John.” But Vulture notes:
According to the Simpsons Wikia, after 23 seasons there are now 1,612 characters in The Simpsons’ universe, from major to minor to celebrities just passing through for a voice cameo. When citing or quoting the show’s most memorable supporting figures, most fans tend to dwell on such iconic recurring Springfieldians as Comic Book Guy and Lenny and/or Carl, who have strutted (or, in the case of Disco Stu, danced) through the town on multiple occasions. But this gives short shrift to the more fleeting figures, those quick cameos who may have only been seen in one episode or even had just one line, but still made an impression on the show's obsessive fans.
Vulture polled current Simpsons writers to see which obscure characters they liked. I didn’t recognize the first three. The fourth is the security guard who busts Bart for getting the four-finger discount on what, Bonestorm? Was that the name of the game? Hard to believe that Bleeding Gums Murphy is a fleeting figure - he’s been in the credits since the show began, right? And while we all love Spider-Pig, c’mon. We only like him because of his song.
OOPS So you’re heading into choppy economic waters with an outdated business model, nimble competition and technological change that’s demolishing the very existence of your core product, what do you do? Why, load yourself up with debt, of course. You’ll have to hit the link to see which industry I mean.
LANCE SOLUTION Had the rope broken when he was pulling on it, the victim would have been hurled away from the bale!
Enjoy the rest of your day. And bundle up.
Happy Friday to all. Have you earned it? Did you feel like this long slog through the slough of travail will be justly rewarded when the whistle blows and you slide down the dino’s tale, or has this been a smooth skate? Either way, you’ll take it. Friday is my favorite day of the week, because nothing is due tomorrow. Period. This is why I did not become an OB-GYN.
POLICE BLOTTER This seems unwise:
Drunken driving. Two drunken men were riding a scooter in the Life Time Fitness parking lot, 2100 Northdale Blvd. NW., and trying to start fights with people. Officers arrested a 21-year-old man for drunken driving and an 18-year-old man for underage consumption.
Yes, that’s the best place to pick fights: outside a gym. More here, including my favorite recurring crime: meat theft. Always someone trying to boost meat from Cub.
INTERNETS Ran across this site about Vintage Disney, which I enjoyed because I like vintage, and Disney. But of course anyone could do a vintage Disney site. This one is devoted to vintage Disney tickets. Narrowcasting: the web’s secret weapon.
Then again, big deal! I have vintage Disney tickets. Here:
That’s right. Uh huh. I got swag. First day tickets from the opening of Disneyworld. Serial number is F000001: the very first series of tickets. I’ll bet they’re worth something. Or would be, if they weren’t a replica that came with a book of reproduced Disney ephemera.
Worth1000.comhas an ongoing contest on vintage ads. Some of the ads just swap out the original sponsor for Viagra or some other drug, ha ha. It’s remarkable how the patrons of the site, masters of Photoshop, can’t get the “retro” feel. It’s as if they’ve only seen parodies. They confuse the styles of various eras, mashes them up into old-timey vivisections, where 20s types are grafted onto 50s images, and so on.
Here’s one that gets it right, more or less:
Double apostrophe fail and a lousy font use. Lots more, here.
WISDOM: I am not making up the fact that Dave Barry gave an interview about his lifetime achievement award. You know, it’s probably been ten years since he used that line. Mention it to his face and he’ll smile politely. He’s a very polite guy, even when talking about what really hurt the newspaper industry. (English majors.) (AHEM.)
“Man plunges off cliff while texting” about how he shouldn’t text while driving, or he might have an accident. Well, yes. Six months later he’s here to tell us not to text.
If you get the Priceline ad, no, I don’t know what’s going on there. Like most “funny” ads it features people who are hideous exaggerations of actual personality types, amplified for comic effect.
Off to write the Sunday column. No idea what it'll be. But it'll be something. Have a great weekend; see you around.
Monday's piece on writing in the digital era reminded me of something I found last week while milking Bessie, the paper's ancient fiche-reader. It's a pulse-pounding piece of pulpy printed prose from 1940, straight out of James Ellroy's "Hush-Hush" magazine style writing. Incessant alliteration and a jangly, jokey style. "Habitually hatching homicidal hooliganism, devilish deviser of dire developments." Good. Lord. Me, I love this stuff; I'm going to find as much stuff by this guy as I can, if only to see how long he kept it up.
Apologies for the small & grainy image, but it's as big as I can post here.
The movie's listed in imdb as "The Dark Eyes of London," by the way. Selah!
Would you see this in a newspaper today? I think not:
Love the smug "radical." In a suit. With a hanky. Why yes, I do have all the answers to pressing political and economic matters.
Here's the text that solves these matters once and for all. Couldn't clean them up very well, but at least you have an idea how hideous these things are before they're fixed. How the New York Times kept their fiche so well-maintained, I've no idea.