Another day, another superhero “dies” for a year or two before we learn it happened in the alternate universe where Batman is actually named Bryce Wayne. The New York Post says:

Robin the Boy Wonder, Batman’s aide-de-camp, will be killed battling a brutal enemy in a comic book published Wednesday.

 The shocking demise of the Dark Knight’s sidekick will first appear in issue No. 8 of the offshoot title “Batman Incorporated,” but the aftermath of his death will ripple throughout the DC Comics universe, the publisher confirmed exclusively to The Post.

Just tell us where to send flowers. Here’s a picture of the current and soon-to-expire Robin:



DC comics



I had no idea Bruce Wayne cloned a sidekick using Cabbage Patch Kid DNA.


WANT SOME? NEIGH The European Horsemeat scandal widens again. The New York Times reports:

Swedish furniture giant Ikea was drawn into Europe's widening food labeling scandal Monday as authorities said they had detected horse meat in frozen meatballs labeled as beef and pork and sold in 13 countries across the continent.

It’s less than one percent - which, according to a Swedish National Food Agency official, means that the facility that made the meatballs “handled horsemeat at the same facility.” There will be a warning label in the future, just as with nuts. May contain trace amounts of horse.


CATCHING UP Former internet sensation Charlie Sheen was tweeting away during the Oscars. Same old cray-cray Chuck:




The photo:





His twitter feed has been uniquely incomprehensible lately.  


BUSINESS Recall the discussion a few weeks ago about Penneys, and how their bold new clean-store / one-price strategy resulted in horrible results? This WSJ story has more, and includes a note on the company culture the new boss had to fight:

They also decided that the headquarters had grown overstaffed and underproductive. During January 2012, the 4,800 employees in Plano had watched five million YouTube videos during work hours, said Michael Kramer, a former Apple executive brought in by Mr. Johnson as chief operating officer. Thirty-five percent of the bandwidth at headquarters was routinely used for such loafing off.

Well, that’s the relaxed, employee-friendly atmosphere that made people love to work there! The new bosses decided that changing the tone might actually reduce profitability.

Kidding. Reaper time:

"I hated the J.C. Penney culture," Mr. Kramer said. "It was pathetic."

Penney brought in Bain & Co. to assist with rounds of layoffs; there are now 1,600 fewer workers at headquarters.

All of whom, you can bet, spent office hours watching the Harlem Shake. In related news: Yahoo is now totally unreasonable, insisting that people who work from home come into the office. Reasons:

We spoke with a source familiar with Mayer's thought process on the matter. Here is what that person told us:

Yahoo has a huge number of people of who work remotely – people who just never come in.

Many of these people "weren't productive," says this source.

"A lot of people hid. There were all these employees [working remotely] and nobody knew they were still at Yahoo."

It’s a remarkable company when you have employees who are hiding from the people who give them money.


SCIENCE! The most overused word on the internet applies here: stunning 3d animated gifs of the cosmos.


APPS The most overused word on the internet does not apply to this. It’s a minimalist weather app. It’s nice. It is not stunning. No one reels back in astonishment, unable to gather words to respond. Please stop saying something is stunning unless it literally hits you on the head with a hammer.

That said, the app has a great response for people who pirate the app. They’ll probably complain, too. I didnt want to pay ninenty nine cents thats like twice what i wld pay but now i cant use this at all

While we’re at it: the URL of the page uses the common internet construction: the best(x) you’ll ever see, a variant on the best (x) you’ll see today. It’s a cousin to The best (x) you’ve never seen. Stop telling me what I will or will not or have not seen. Thank you.

Also, ease up on using “adorable” for everything. Your cooperation is appreciated.


BEST NEWS YOU’LL SEE TODAY Out of nowhere, this:


Achewood Television Trailer One "Hello, world" from therussians on Vimeo.


Achewood was a brilliant web comic that burned out and died a few years ago, was resurrected last summer and faded again. Its creator, Chris Onstead, said this on his blog today:

I’m flying to Los Angeles today to begin a week of network pitch meetings. If things go well, we’ll find a home for our show. Please cross your fingers for us, send us your good energy. And please, share this clip with your world. I’m very proud of what we’ve done. 

Hope it works out. Don’t know how the dialogue will translate from print to animation; seeing the words of Roast Beef, all flat and affectless, is different than hearing them. But I wish him luck.

WEB The mass suspension for doing the Harlem Shake seems extreme, especially if there was official adult supervision who were in on the joke. After seeing video of actual riots in local schools, this doesn’t rise to the level of an actual melee. It was a controlled, purposeful melee with intentional disorganization. And it almost forced me to abandon a goal I set a while ago: never see a Harlem Shake video.

It has nothing to do with any objection to the meme. Nothing about it sounded as stupid as planking or owling or picking up ice cream cones by grabbing the ice cream or any other witless attempt to “go viral” and land on Buzzfeed for 37 minutes, after which the rest of your life is a slow decrescendo. It was an experiment: could I avoid an internet craze entirely? Of course I could. I would have, too, but once I mentioned to my daughter that I was trying to avoid Harlem Shake videos, it became her objective to get me to watch one. This weekend I finally used my holdout status as a bargaining chip: if you do this, I will watch a Harlem Shake video.

That worked, of course. So I watched a Harlem Shake compilation. Okay, I get it. Guy in a helmet, twitching. Then everyone engages in spasmodic writhing. I really don’t feel like I was missing much. Point is, I failed to avoid an internet Thing, which makes me wonder if that's even possible these day. Or advisable. It doesn't matter whether the Craze is any good - people just hate to admit ignorance of it. Because then you can't be blase about it before everyone else. 0

Okay, I'm just rambling now. (Now? you say.) Enjoy your Monday, and remember: We're almost done with February. Spring's almost here. March is just a walk in the park. Granted, it's Central Park, and we're walking it south to north, but still.