Saturday, January 16, 2010

Not a terribly interesting story, but this picture is awesome:

Caption: An A. P. Moeller-Maersk vessel in the port of Algeciras, Spain. A tenth of the world's container ships are estimated to be idle.
Completely Unexplained: Where is that dude going?

So excited about this:

(CNN) – Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum confirmed to his supporters Friday what pundits have been speculating for months - the conservative Republican is actively considering a run for president in 2012. In an e-mail and letter to supporters of his Political Action Committee, America’s Foundation, Santorum writes, "After talking it over with my wife Karen and our kids – I am considering putting my name in for the 2012 presidential race."
Palin/Santorum 2012: the thinking-Republican's ticket. They may as well go ahead and start planning their transition now. (I cannot wait until Glenn Beck is our Secretary of State.)

Friday, January 15, 2010

I seriously cannot understand how this video only has 100,000 views.

Makes a fellow want to go see In the Heights. (Here's another bit of Lin-Manuel Miranda, if you're not convinced.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Here's an idea worth applauding:

The A.F.L.-C.I.O., the main umbrella group for the nation’s labor unions, announced on Thursday that it was joining with the National Labor College and the Princeton Review to create an online college for the federation’s 11.5 million members and their families.
The tentatively-named "College for Working Families" will charge community college rates -- $100-$150 per credit, versus $500-$600 per credit at most brick-and-mortar[-board] [ha!] schools -- in an effort to "expand job opportunities for [AFL-CIO] members by providing education and retraining in a way that’s affordable and accessible." Way to be, AFL-CIO.

Fun fact: the college will be partly run by a subsidiary of the Princeton Review called Penn Foster, which first provided correspondence courses to coal miners in 1890 (!).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Now, watch this Jenga."

That's one of my favorite Daily Show lines of all time, and one that I've quoted with a fair amount of regularity. But I was discussing it with my brother the other day and realized that couldn't remember who had said it. My first instinct was Ed Helms, but then I thought maybe it was Steve Carell (and my brother was pretty sure I'd told him in the past that it was Stephen Colbert). So I did a quick Google search for "Now watch this Jenga," and was startled -- nay, shocked -- to discover that there was a grand total of one reference to that line on the entire Internet. And it's in some bizarre comic strip from 2004; unless you remembered that specific Daily Show episode, you wouldn't even know it was a quote. So now I'm flummoxed. Was I inventing the whole thing? I'd been quoting it for years; perhaps it'd morphed in my head? Thank God for the folks at Comedy Central.

I tracked down the classic Bush quote on which the Daily Show quip was based.

His business out of the way, Bush barely paused for breath before saying, "Thank you. Now watch this drive."
Date of the quote: August 4, 2002.*

So I clicked over to the Daily Show archives, and skipped to the show from August 5, 2002 (which, by some mercy, exists online). Lo and behold: the line does exist, it was Ed Helms, and it's just as hilarious as I remember it.

So anyway, there you go. I am providing this post as a public service. The next time someone Googles, "Now watch this Jenga," they won't have to start doubting their memory. You're welcome, world.

* - I even found an article about the Daily Show from the Toronto Globe & Mail that mentions the Daily Show's use of that particular Bush quote, and quotes Jon Stewart, "That was the best clip we've ever gotten of [Bush]." And even that article didn't contain a reference to "Now watch this Jenga."

Monday, January 11, 2010

I had cause to revisit the Pomegranate Phone this afternoon, and appreciated anew just how awesome it is. As I've said before: that is web design at its very finest.

(Be sure to click "Release Date" in the upper-right-hand corner once you've finished playing with the rest of the phone's features. Very nicely done, Nova Scotia.)

Two thoughts that I saved-as-drafts a year or so ago but never got around to posting:

  • I'm currently watching (and enjoying) Ken Burns's "Civil War," but I thought I should stop long enough to point out that it should actually have been called "[How George McClellan Tried to Lose the] Civil War." That would have been a more accurate title. Because that dude was spectacularly bad at being a general.
  • "Playing politics" is almost always a tediously stupid thing to accuse a professional politician of, but its tedious stupidity rises to new heights in the case of people who accuse Arlen Specter of "playing politics" because he chose to switch parties. Of course he's playing politics. That's like cheering for Michael Phelps as he swims the length of the pool in one direction, but then immediately beginning to boo him once he makes the turn and heads back the way he came.

Mark Halperin and John Heilemann are really, really fond of the Edwardseses:

Edwards aides, Mr. Heilemann and Mr. Halperin write, felt that their boss had become increasingly megalomaniacal and narcissistic over the years, and that while the aides had sympathy for Mrs. Edwards’s struggle with cancer, they regarded her as a badgering, often irrational presence on the campaign. "The nearly universal assessment among them," Mr. Halperin and Mr. Heilemann write of the Edwards aides, "was that there was no one on the national stage for whom the disparity between public image and private reality was vaster or more disturbing. What the world saw in Elizabeth: a valiant, determined, heroic everywoman. What the Edwards insiders saw: an abusive, intrusive, paranoid, condescending crazywoman."
Emphasis added, because, I mean... good heavens.