Monday, November 24, 2008

Moved.

Ask Porkchop has finally followed the rest of The Gazette's blogs to an in-house blogging system. So, its new address is http://askporkchop.freedomblogging.com.

Were you expecting a joke or something?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Funny? Sad? Yes.

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

DEAR AMERICAN:

I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.

I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.

I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.

THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.

PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.

YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gettin' my boson

Is it yet passe to comment on the Large Hadron Collider? Probably. But it's still a really weird and fascinating thing, so too bad.

The UK's Telegraph reported over the weekend that the scientists are soliciting catchier names for the 17-mile-long device, which rams subatomic particles into each other really fast, and almost certainly won't cause the earth to be swallowed by an accidental black hole.

The Telegraph's commenters came up with some decidedly snappy ideas:

  • Mr. Smashy Pants
  • The Big Banger
  • The One Ring
  • Kabloomitron
  • Colliderscope
  • The Rectumizer
At least a dozen of the cheeky blighters thought they were the first to notice the hilarity that would ensue if you transposed a couple of letters in "hadron." Wrong! Evidently that honor goes to a copy editor at the New York times.

Still tiny after all these years

Porkchop has reported before on BBC's fixation on the world's smallest man. But whereas the last photo was creepy, this one is... well, it's still pretty much creepy. If they'd caught the little guy sneaking a peek, then we'd have something.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's official!

...we have awful, awful taste in music. As a nation, I mean.

-----

`The Twist' is top song of Billboard Hot 100 era
By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY, AP music writer

How's this for a twist: Of all the No. 1 songs in the 50 years of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, Chubby Checker's "The Twist" ranks as the most popular single.

Elvis and the Beatles didn't even make the top five.

Santana's "Smooth," featuring Rob Thomas, is the No. 2 most popular, followed by Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife," Leann Rimes' "How Do I Live" and "The Macarena" by Los Del Rio.

The Beatles did make the top 10, coming it at No. 8 with "Hey Jude." But Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" and Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" are ahead of that hit.

Rounding out the top 10: Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together" at No. 9 and Toni Braxton's "Un-break My Heart" at No. 10.

Burn it! Burn it with fire!


Getty Images shows us how Fairbanks, Alaska, consistently defends its title as The Creepiest Freaking Place On Earth.

For only a few minutes, I thought this "realistic" Kirby would be the skeeviest thing I saw today:


Sadly, no.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Robble robble.

Today's most spectacularly gorge-raising headline:


Yeah, I don't want to spoil the ending, but it turns out he might have a little bit of the ol' OCD.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Band name, anyone?

Readers of the UK's Bookseller magazine voted the 1996 book "Greek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers" the oddest title of the past 30 years. Which is no mean feat, considering the competition - here are the winners of the annual prize for the past 10 years:

1998: Development in Dairy Cow Breeding and Management: and New Opportunities to Widen the Uses of Straw
1999: Weeds in a Changing World
2000: High Performance Stiffened Structures
2001: Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service
2002: Living With Crazy Buttocks
2003: The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories
2004: Bombproof Your Horse
2005: People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It
2006: The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification
2007: If You Want Closure In Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs

In case you're curious just how intense the annual competitions are, behold these other 2006 nominees: "How Green Were the Nazis?", "D. Di Mascio’s Delicious Ice Cream: D. Di Mascio of Coventry: An Ice Cream Company of Repute, with an Interesting and Varied Fleet of Ice Cream Vans," "Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Daghestan," "Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Seaweed Symposium," and "Better Never To Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You, sir, are a poopypants

Sure, the presidential campaign is heating up, but at least we can always count on the press to keep a level head, deliver important information, and present us occasionally with careful, considered and respectful opinions.

I'm sorry, what were we talking about? Suddenly I got this odd feeling like I hate everyone.

Fun with wire photos

Presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain shared a heated exchange today, after Obama, evidently by accident, stepped on McCain's foot.

The Arizona senator later apologized for overreacting, going so far as to kiss the cheek of his Democratic rival.

In a recurring theme of the campaign, supporters of Hillary Clinton (right, in a photo from earlier in the year) were offended by their candidate's apparent snub.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The saddest news ever

(CNN) -- Don LaFontaine, the voiceover king whose "In a world ..." phrase on movie trailers was much copied -- and much parodied -- has died, according to media reports. He was 68.

LaFontaine died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, according to ETOnline, "Entertainment Tonight's" Web site. He died from complications from pneumothorax, a collapsed lung that causes air to build in the pleural cavity, his agent, Vanessa Gilbert, told "ET."

LaFontaine, who was born in Duluth, Minnesota, began as a voice actor in the mid-1960s while working as a recording engineer, according to his Web site. His strong, slightly gravelly voice was featured on trailers for thousands of films, including "The Godfather," "Fatal Attraction" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." For a time in the late '70s, LaFontaine was the official voice of Paramount Pictures.

His favorite work was one he did for the 1980 film "The Elephant Man," he said in interviews, but whether the film was Oscar-caliber or a bomb waiting to blow, he handled every assignment equally.

"My philosophy is that you have to really believe what you're reading, even if you think the film's a piece of junk," he told Swindle magazine. "Even the worst picture is someone's favorite film, and that someone is the fan I am always talking to."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Knights Who Say (nomi-) Ni!

Joe Biden (left) and Barack Obama practice for the three-legged race,
which will determine the presidency in the event of an electoral college tie.


Speaking of Obama (and who isn't?), apparently the final musical performer of the evening is Michael McDonald. The unassailably cool Democratic nominee, who could have chosen just about any musician in America to play him onto the stage, picked Michael Freaking McDonald.


Don't get me wrong: seeing Michael McDonald on TV definitely makes me hungry for change. Just probably not the kind Obama had in mind. I hoped we had come farther than that in the 14 months since Celinegate.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Let's get dizzy

The website you go to when you click here is pretty much indescribable. And indescribably awesome. And it takes about 10 seconds to cycle through the whole thing. If you're sober. Why haven't you clicked yet?!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Caramel hell-planet

Last week Andy W. alerted me to the McSweeney's piece, Selections from H.P. Lovecraft's Brief Tenure as a Whitman's Sampler Copywriter. If the title alone didn't make you LOL, congratulations! You're not a geek. Anyway, here's a... uh, a sample:


-----
Caramel Chew

There is a dimension ruled by a blind caramel God-King who sits on a vast, cyclopean milk-chocolate throne while his mindless, gooey followers dance to the piping of crazed flutes. It is said that there are gateways in our world that lead to this caramel hell-planet. The delectable Caramel Chew may be one such portal.
-----

It reminded me of this old favorite chestnut from Stripcreator (you'll probably have to click it to read it):

Friday, August 22, 2008

...or maybe it's pudding.


Growing weary of waiting on tenterhooks for The Announcement, I cruised over to Time's list of the 13 worst vice presidents - and yes, Cheney's on there, thus confirming the media's liberal bias. Anyway, I learned that history is funny. Even when Ross Perot isn't in it. Check out this fact about Van Buren's #2, Richard M. Johnson:

-----

"While in office, he proposed an expedition to the North Pole so Americans could drill to the center of the Earth, believing the planet was hollow (his resolution was defeated). Evidently van Buren's experience with Johnson soured him on vice presidents altogether — when he ran for re-election he dropped Johnson from his ticket and didn't bother replacing him. Instead, he ran alone."

-----

At least, of course, he didn't murder the guy on the $10 bill.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let's see you do this, Phelps*


"About a year ago a YouTube poster uploaded a video of a glitch in Tiger Woods 08. He was able to get Tiger to stand on top of a lake and drive the ball into the hole. In response, EA just came out with this viral video to show that what the poster had claimed, is indeed true in real life."

That's how Kotaku describes this totally rad commercial for Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2009, available this fall for every system known to man (except, of course, my Super Nintendo).

*Just because Porkchop is a bit late to Everyone Talk About Phelps All The Time Week doesn't mean we can't play catchup, dammit.

Fail, indeed


I've been remiss in not mentioning Failblog (from the folks who brought us ICHC), which I've added to my rotation of blogs to check regularly. A lot of the stuff is old and repurposed, but it's almost all irresponsibly hilarious.
The post that picture came from isn't so much funny as scary, though it certainly counts as an epic fail. Bonus: Watch until after 1:10, when the dude gets out to inspect the hole.

Arf, arf, arf.


Michael Phelps returns to his tank at Sea World

A funny, if perfunctory, Onion story in the classic pile-on-the-jokes style - because God forbid anyone should be successful in a sport.

Oh - and what's that you ask? You would like to see an unrelated Gazette photo that I doctored in MS Paint a year and a half ago and rediscovered just now because of its alphabetical approximation to "Phelps"? Well, OK!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Olympics story I'd like to read

Yes, Michael Phelps may now wear more gold around his neck than Mark Spitz, but the world record holder, who is quite safe, has yet to be mentioned in all the press I've read:




I pity the journalistic fool who doesn't give Mr. T his propers.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dog mistakes tree for other tree

The makers of "Swing Vote" quickly agreed to an arrangement whereby Blakeman would receive 10 percent of the movie's profits. As a result, Blakeman now owes them $2 million.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

As promised...


...luchador goodness. At the risk of blowing my own (air) horn, damn that's hot.

What I didn't promise, because I didn't yet know about it, was this video featuring Bill and me. I'm the big quiet one.

Vive le resistance!

As the proud new owner of a Super Nintendo, I couldn't not pass on this video from College Humor, about the limitations of Mario villains.

As someone who's been playing Mario 3 for the last week, I don't necessarily agree with their conclusion. If the baddies were intelligent, that game would be practically impossible. Dag!
ps. This year's college freshmen were born in 1990, one year before the SNES. Which means you're old, is I guess what I'm saying.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Regrettable


I was just revisiting an old (old) favorite, the Gallery of Regrettable Food, which produced the marvel above. Worth spending a bit of time with - there's a lot of hilarious stuff there.

In other news, in today's Gazette you can read my review of a useful but spastic-looking shlepping tool, and tomorrow you can see me in a luchador mask, in some very prominent location (quite possibly A1). I'm quickly becoming the paper's go-to guy for shamelessness.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'll take three


Thomas Kinkade + NASCAR = best thing ever. I had to go to the Web site just because I figured it was a misinterpreted Onion fake.

Next, I hope Kinkade will move on to a series of Calvin peeing on things.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Her heart will go on... a lot of worst-ever lists

Boy, am I glad I've never heard that.
The brief story is worth reading if only because they did such a good job of picking the five best covers. I'd probably sub in Jeff Buckley's "Hallelujah" for the Muse thing - especially if I were the editor of a guitar magazine - but what are you gonna do?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

British understatement

I must decrease "robust"


I just read the word "robust" for exactly the number of times I needed to complain about it. Here are the definitions of the word provided by Merriam-Webster Unabridged. If you don't mean one of them, and you probably don't, then use another word. If you do mean one of them, please choose a synonym, because this word is becoming untenably obnoxious.

Without further ado...

-----
1 a : having or exhibiting strength or vigorous health : POWERFUL, MUSCULAR, VIGOROUS
b : firm and assured in purpose, opinion, or outlook
c : exceptionally sound : FLOURISHING
d : strongly formed or constructed : STURDY>
2 : ROUGH, RUDE
3 : requiring strength or vigor
4 : FULL-BODIED, STRONG
-----

On the bright side, earlier this week I heard the circumstances leading to the impending spike in corn prices referred to as a "perfect storm." Since one of those circumstances was in fact a literal storm, I enjoyed the almost certainly unintentional wordplay. Good on ya, "Today Show."

Friday, June 6, 2008

Buffy the Leghorn Slayer

This story's lede hinges on the notion that it's surprising that an academic conference would center on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which it's not at all:



What is surprising is that they're having an academic conference in Arkansas. In a town called "Arkadelphia." About which Wikipedia says "The city's name Arkadelphia was likely formed by combining Ark- from the state's name Arkansas and adelphia as in Philadelphia." Which makes me wonder if those were the same visionaries who gave us Texarkana.

Seriously, good luck with that book-learnin', guys.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Nothing will be funnier today...

...than A statement from Detroit Pistons general manager Joe Dumars at New Republic. An excerpt:

-----

Yes, Boston has won four games and Detroit only two. But it's hard to imagine a more arbitrary and undemocratic way to determine this series’s outcome than "games won." It is, after all, a bedrock value of the game of basketball that all points must be counted. But how can that be the case when every point beyond the winning point is ignored? There are literally dozens of layups, jumpers, free throws, and (yes, even) dunks that our opponents want to say don't count for anything at all. We call on the NBA to do the right thing and fully count all of the baskets that were made throughout the course of this series.

Once you abandon the artificial four-games-to-two framework that the media has tried to impose on the series, a very different picture emerges, with the Celtics leading by a mere 549 points to 539. Yes that’s right, the margin between the two teams is less than one percent—a tie, for all intents and purposes. This is probably the closest Conference Finals in NBA history, though I will thank you not to check on that.

Monday, June 2, 2008

This will get me in trouble with old people

Bo Diddley was probably known for other things, but if you, like me, are approximately 29 years old, you need know only this:



Anyone who can talk like that to the best guy from Tecmo Bowl must be a badass. RIP, Bo.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Take me out to the temple, take me out to the doom.


So, right now at the Rockies Web site, there's a picture of Indiana Jones in the middle of their May schedule. You can't click on it, and no explanation is given; he just seems to be saying "I see you like the Rockies. Well, so do I. I like the Rockies so much, in fact, that I spend all of my spare time hanging out on their calendar."

Yes, the picture is on the day that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull comes out - also the day that I spend a lot of time whistling that theme song - but if this is supposed to be an advertisement, I hereby declare that it sucks pretty bad. Not as bad as when they put Spider-Man on the bases, mind you, but pretty bad nonetheless.

By the way - wondering why he's off-center like that? Some teams, like the Astros, have games scheduled for that day:


What a dire scheduling conflict that'll be.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yee-haw indeed.

With yet another Primary To End All Primaries, fresh talk of elitism, and yesterday's utterly incomprehensible WWE news item, I've been reminded of one of my favorite Onion opinion pieces (click through for the whole column):

-----

BY DUANE BICKELS

Well, damn, man, it's pretty soon gonna be president election time again, and that means we gotta start thinkin' about who's gonna be the one we want to be president. That's some important stuff, who's president, because whoever's president will be in charge of the whole dang shootin' match. And, if y'all are like me, you know America's president needs to be the kind of old boy who, in the first place, kicks him some damn ass, and in the second place, don't listen to all that bitchin' about how he shouldn't be kickin' so much ass. And, if you ain't like me, guess what? My vote cancels out y'all's!

Now, you probably waste a whole lotta good-fishin' Saturdays readin' yourself the papers, watchin' all the talk on the TV, and sittin' around thinkin' real hard about which way you gonna vote. Well, it's a real shame, then, ain't it, that all that time you spend in real careful considerin' don't count for nothin', once my vote runs y'all's right off the road.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nothing about this is OK

Kinda cool in theory, but anything that results in driving wrestling fans to the polls is... uh, what's the opposite of good?:

-----
Clinton, Obama and McCain on WWE's `Monday Night Raw'
Monday, April 21, 2008 4:42:11 PM
By DERRIK J. LANG

A smackdown among presidential candidates?

Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain will appear on World Wrestling Entertainment's live "Monday Night Raw" (8-11 p.m. EST on cable's USA network) but instead of smacking each other down, they separately will deliver some wrestling-themed stumping in taped messages before Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.

"Tonight, in honor of the WWE, you can call me Hillrod," Clinton says in her message. "This election is starting to feel a lot like `King of the Ring.' The only difference? The last man standing may just be a woman."

Obama borrows The Rock's famous catchphrase during his appearance.

"To the special interests who've been setting the agenda in Washington for too long and to all the forces of division and distraction that has stopped us from making progress, for the American people, I've got one question: Do you smell what Barack is cooking?" Obama says before flashing a smile.

McCain, meanwhile, looked to Hulkamania for inspiration for his message.

"Looks like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to celebrate their differences in the ring," McCain says. "Well, that's fine with me, but let me tell you: If you want to be the man, you have to beat the man. Come November, it'll be game over. And whatcha gonna do when John McCain and all his McCainiacs run wild on you?"

The candidate appearances will be used to promote "Smackdown Your Vote!" -- the WWE's voter registration drive.

Monday, April 14, 2008

What is wrong with New Yorkers?

The New York Post has confirmed the existence of a Marilyn Monroe sex tape, recently unearthed and sold to an anonymous New York businessman for $1.5 million. Which should be criminal, incidentally, considering that pictures of JLo's kids went for four freaking times as much - I guess the economy really is in the toilet.

But I digress. The real point of this is that the buyer of the tape "wants to keep this unseemly part of Monroe's past buried," according to the story, and will not release it.

In other news, New York-area hardware stores reported a huge jump in torch and pitchfork sales today.

(link via Newspeak)

Parse-happy Monday

Just saw this headline on cnn.com:

Boy killer loses appeal

Yeah. I used to like that boy killer, until he totally sold out. Just for fun, let's try some different punctuation:

"Boy-killer loses appeal." Well yeah, watching him kill boys would get old.
"Boy, killer loses appeal." Does he ever! I can hardly stand to look at him now.
"Boy/killer loses appeal." I grow weary of this mild-mannered young man by day, cold-hearted murderer by night.
"Boy killer loses. Appeal?" The game-over screen on a defense attorney video game.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Too cold.

OK, so domestic violence is never funny, but sometimes it gets damned close. Consider this story:

-----

Vanilla Ice was held without bond Friday following his arrest on a charge of simple domestic battery after an alleged argument with his wife at their South Florida home.

The 39-year-old rapper's wife called the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Thursday night, saying he had kicked and hit her. She later told deputies he had only pushed her, the arrest report said.

The report said Vanilla Ice denied pushing her.

-----

What nearly pushes this over the top into the "funny" category? The reporter's insistence on referring to the accused by his stage name. Also, the opportunity it affords us to wonder what kind of person would marry Vanilla Ice (answer: her name is Laura, and they have two kids named Dusti Rain and Keelee Breeze, which is fantastic).

But the moral of the story is simple: if you want to keep your marriage violence-free, you must remember to stop, collaborate and listen. Good night everybody!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Today in Simpsons news


Way to prioritize, Venezuela. Also, Pixeloo's second foray into de-tooning cartoon characters (after creepy-uncle Mario) looks like this:


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

One week late

Sometimes, I work hard for the funny. Other times, people e-mail me press releases with headlines like:


Toby Keith Joins Wayman Tisdale on Barry White Remake


To reinforce this sign of the apocalypse, some visual aids:


Toby Keith


is collaborating with Wayman Tisdale:

on a cover of a song by Barry White:

OK, so they can all be referred to in some sense as "musicians," so they have that in common, but I guess what I'm getting at is that only one of the three has been on television saying "This truck is the big dog daddy." And it wasn't Barry White. Or Wayman Tisdale.

It was Toby Keith, is what I'm saying.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Suffrage succotash

Here's a fun video, wherein a guy goes to a prestigious prep school with a petition to end women's suffrage. Don't wanna spoil it, but it turns out we may need more dictionaries in our schools.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pugnacious penultimate purloiner

Apparently Gazette columnist David Ramsey just met Lou Brock, Baseball Hall of Famer and all-time no. 2 base-stealer, and learned that he often challenges strangers to fights, sometimes scaring them pretty badly, as a joke.

My new goal: to get famous enough to do that and have it be funny.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Welcome back, haters

A BBC report says that 35% of non-Americans view the U.S. as a positive influence, up from 31% last time they checked. Woo!


I guess the world has noticed that the U.S. is starting to get its act together. It has a new job and an apartment, and has stopped staying out God-knows-where until all hours of the night, at least most of the time. The nation is also thinking of going to church next week. This time we can really change, baby, we know that. Just give us a chance.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Today in Foolery

Behold, Porkchop's soon-to-be-annual list of favorite April Fools jokes on the interweb, updated all day (note, most of these links won't work on April 2):

Lord of the Rings Online: Battle of Amon Hen

D20 punks the Gazette

Kaketaku

Super Pii Pii Brothers

Virgin and Google team up to colonize Mars

YouTube rickrolls absolutely everyone

Microsoft unveils new XBox accessories we'd actually love to have

Collegehumor.com bought by 17-year-old

GMail introduces custom time stamps

Belated






We were sorely remiss, kings of self-congratulation as we are, in not marking the first birthday of this blog on March 29... but it's never too late to point out just what an awesome birthday that is.

  • Jennifer Capriati
  • Coca-Cola
  • Perry Farrell
  • Eric Idle
  • The Knights of Columbus
  • Christopher Lambert
  • Lucy Lawless
  • Elle MacPherson
  • John Popper
  • The Royal Albert Hall
  • Amy Sedaris
  • Vangelis
  • Sam Walton
  • Wrestlemania III
  • Cy Young
Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were convicted on March 29, 1951 (lame), but the last U.S. soldiers left Vietnam on 3/29/73 (yay!).

Friday, March 28, 2008

What's Elvish for "duh"?



McKellen then went on for several minutes enumerating the things he might buy with the proceeds, which include a dozen cars, at least three islands, and Sean Astin.

Regularly scheduled program

I was prepared to extend the mini-hiatus indefinitely while I continued to lock horns with FreeRice, but yesterday at lunch I finally tasted level 50, and now I can die happy (or at least go back to posting). Suffer!
Next week, look for more funny and less geeky. Scout's honor.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Learn words, donate food

A Spin magazine feature turned me on to FreeRice.com, a Web vocabulary game hosted by poverty.com. For each word you correctly match with its definition, you donate 20 grains of rice to a food bank, paid for by the banner advertisers.

This blogger has attained level 46 out of a possible 55, so bring it! Post your scores in the comments.

Eeeeewwwwwww.

There seems to be a perfectly valid explanation for it, but I would still submit that there are few finer how-do-you-dos than this headline:

Atty: Male DNA Found in NY Broker's Sink

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The nature of genius (or, sorry about all this)

I'm a geek. You know that, right? That whole genius thing in the last post - it didn't give me its methodology, and so I could not accept it at face value, especially when other blogs I read and enjoy got much lower scores. In fact, Porkchop was the only one to get the Genius tag.

I mean, I could just say that this is the smartest blog ever - but you already know that in your heart, though I don't have the data to back it up, and we don't abide truthiness here.

So, I went to readability.info and got a bunch of different readability grades, and explanations thereof. It was fascinating (see note on geekdom above). On the school-grade scales, we got:

  • Kincaid, 5.8
  • ARI, 6.0
  • Coleman-Liau, 9.0
  • Fog, 8.9
  • Lix, <5*
  • SMOG, 8.7

*Bite me, Lix.

That's a pretty wide range right there, which makes me glad I don't write standardized tests. I furthermore learned that we had started 2 of the 20 sentences on the front page with subordinating conjunctions, which is surprising, considering our irascible insubordinant spirit. (Did I convince you that I know what a "subordinating conjunction" is? Good.)

This Web site gave me a Flesch-Kincaid score, and apparently Flesch thinks much more highly of our writing than his colleague - together, they gave us a 10. So eat that, 5.8th-graders.

But I think my favorite index is SMOG. Sure, it gave us a middle-of-the-road score, but it has a deliciously one-factored formula: sqrt (((words<=3 syllables)/sentences)*30) + 3. So if I told you to "fornicate vigorously fortnightly with a truculent velvety wolverine," SMOG says you'd need to be midway through Grade 20 to understand it.

Then, you'd probably giggle.