Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl - GoDaddy

GoDaddy.com put all their marbles behind this ad, and two things happened:
1. They crashed their servers that Super Bowl Sunday
2. They made a gazillion sales the next day

Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Bowl - Doritos

Doritos sold a lot of chips the next day

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Bowl - PETA

NBC decided this was too hot to run this year -- no, seriously:

Super Bowl - Britney

Back before she became toxic:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Has Tom Brady Gone Soft?

Dan Shaughnessy, writing in today's Boston Globe, has spoken for hard-core football fans everywhere:

"I can't take it anymore. Aliens have overtaken Tom Brady's body. He's not the guy we thought we knew."

"Yesterday was the last straw."

"You know what I'm talking about. You opened your newspaper (or perhaps viewed online) and saw the photograph of Gisele Bundchen feeding Brady at poolside in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico."

"That did it. The tipping point. The coup de grace. The shark jumped."

"She was feeding him."

Super Bowl - Streaker

Probably the best beer commercial of all time:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tom Brady Rehabs in Puerto Vallarta


For all the Tom and Gisele fans on the Freeway, from boston.com:

"While the rest of us are huddled beneath a pile of blankets trying to survive another batch of frigid weather, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are busy catching some rays south of the border."

"On Sunday, the paparazzi snapped the Patriots signal-caller and his supermodel sweetheart snuggling in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico."

"While it's unclear if the couple is or isn't engaged, they sure look like lovebirds lounging poolside in their boardshorts and bikini."

Watch out for the lizards!

Super Bowl - Terry Tate

And today, we look back at Reebok's office efficiency expert, Terry Tate:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Super Bowl - Apple

Next, we look back at the 1984 introduction of the Macintosh computer:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Barbie Turns Fifty

"This March, Barbie Millicent Roberts will turn 50.

"We know her as the age-immune creature Barbie, 11 1/2 inches of plastic delivered by Mattel onto our cultural landscape in a zebra-striped bathing suit.

"She has been painted by Warhol, scrutinized by intellectuals, sabotaged by pranksters, pilloried by cultural critics and purchased more than a billion times.

"Margaux Lange figures she was about 4 or 5 when she got her first Barbie. “I remember very quickly becoming obsessed with collecting as many as I possibly could,” she says.

"Eventually she had around 50. 'I played with them, embarrassingly, until about seventh or eighth grade. In secret.'

"She’s 29 now and makes jewelry for a living; in her studio, along with her soldering torch and other standard tools of the trade, is a much larger Barbie collection.

"But these dolls are mostly in pieces, stored in stacked plastic boxes marked with phrases like “One Eye” or “Mouths With Teeth.”

Read more from today's New York Times Magazine.

Super Bowl - Pepsi

Today, it's 50+ years of Pepsi commercials in about 90 seconds:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Super Bowl - eTrade Baby

Today is the first in a series of memorable Super Bowl commercials -- often more memorable than the games themselves.

We begin with the eTrade baby, including some outtakes!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Stanford Tree Is In Trouble Again


I don't know what's more surprising -- that Stanford has cheerleaders, or that Stanford has a mascot.

And why is the mascot a tree?

In any case, reports Deadspin, The Stanford Tree is in trouble.

And apparently not for the first time.

Do You Know The Way To Titty Ho?

For those lucky few of you planning a vacation trip to England in the near future, this map contains some interesting desinations, photo ops and postmark opportunities.

"In the scale of embarrassing place names, Crapstone ranks pretty high. But Britain is full of them. Some are mostly amusing, like Ugley, Essex; East Breast, in western Scotland; North Piddle, in Worcestershire; and Spanker Lane, in Derbyshire.

"Others evoke images that may conflict with residents’ efforts to appear dignified when, for example, applying for jobs.

"These include Crotch Crescent, Oxford; Titty Ho, Northamptonshire; Wetwang, East Yorkshire; Slutshole Lane, Norfolk; and Thong, Kent. And, in a country that delights in lavatory humor, particularly if the word “bottom” is involved, there is Pratts Bottom, in Kent, doubly cursed because “prat” is slang for buffoon.

"As for Penistone, a thriving South Yorkshire town, just stop that sophomoric snickering.

“It’s pronounced ‘PENNIS-tun,’ ” Fiona Moran, manager of the Old Vicarage Hotel in Penistone, said over the telephone, rather sharply. When forced to spell her address for outsiders, she uses misdirection, separating the tricky section into two blameless parts: “p-e-n” — pause — “i-s-t-o-n-e.”

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Look At The Inaugural Speech

I'm not a regular viewer of "The Daily Show," so thanks to my friend Donna for sending this video, and snapping me back to reality (wait a second or two for it to load).

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So I Guess Size Really Does Matter

The London Times reports that:

"Scientists have found that the pleasure women get from making love is directly linked to the size of their partner’s bank balance.

"The study is certain to prove controversial, suggesting that women are inherently programmed to be gold-diggers.

"However, it fits into a wider body of research known as evolutionary psychology which suggests that both men and women are genetically predisposed to ruthlessly exploit each other to achieve the best chances of survival for their genes.

"The female orgasm is the focus of much research because it appears to have no reproductive purpose. Women can become pregnant whatever their pleasure levels.

"Pollet, and Professor Daniel Nettle, his co-author, believed, however, that the female orgasm is an evolutionary adaptation that drives women to choose and retain high-quality partners."

I guess, in the case of Donald Trump, it's all about the meaning of "high quality."

And in the case of Pamela Anderson, well, whatever...

1/21/09 - After The Ball Was Over

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1/20/09

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

"Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations."

"Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake."

"And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more."

"We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

(Click here for the full text of the Inaugural Address)

Smaller Than Life


"We like our failed presidents to be Shakespearean, or at least large enough to inspire Oscar-worthy performances from magnificent tragedians like Frank Langella ["Nixon and Frost"].

"So here, too, George W. Bush has let us down.

"Even the banality of evil is too grandiose a concept for 43. He is not a memorable villain so much as a sometimes affable second banana whom Josh Brolin and Will Ferrell can nail without breaking a sweat.

"He’s the reckless Yalie Tom Buchanan, not Gatsby.

"He is smaller than life."
--Frank Rich

Monday, January 19, 2009

Big Love Season Three

I haven't watched "Big Love" as regularly as Mad Men" or "Weeds", but I've set the DVR to record new episodes of Season Three, which debuted on HBO last night.

This has as much to do with the end of the NFL Playoffs, and the awful hiatus before the baseball season starts, as it does with the show itself.

But what I've seen of "Big Love" has been interesting, in the way that science fiction is interesting as it deals with alternate universes -- a notion reinforced by the endless coverage of the Texas polygamy community last year.

I'll let you know whether I'm able to stick with the show when Spring finally arrives.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cabin Fever

One of our resident felines has been unable to go outside for several days, due to the cold and snowy weather.

He has become unhinged:
video

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Little Big Town - "Boondocks"

We saw them last year in Boston when they opened for for Martina McBride.

Don't miss them if they play anywhere near you:

Jennifer Love Hewitt

When I was a kid, "Paint-By-Numbers" kits were all the rage, and I thought I was on my way to becoming an artist because I could fill in the colors between the lines.

Then in college I met my wife-to-be, discovered how a real artist works, and got busy finding more practical things to do with my life. But I've stayed interested in the creative process.

I don't know whether this is art, but it sure is fun to watch:



Speed painting by Nico Di Mattia

Friday, January 16, 2009

Virginity Auction Now At $3.8 Million

Click here for an update to the following post from September

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 22-year-old woman in the United States is publicly auctioning her virginity to pay for her college education, sparking a heated online debate about sex and morality.

The student from San Diego, California, who is using the pseudonym Natalie Dylan for "safety reasons," said she had no moral dilemma with her decision and found it "empowering".

"I don't think auctioning my virginity will solve all my problems," she told celebrity television show The Insider on Wednesday. "But it will create some financial stability. I'm ready for the controversy, I know it will come along. I'm ready to do this. We live in a capitalist society. Why shouldn't I be allowed to capitalize on my virginity?" she added.

The woman, who has earned a bachelor degree in women's studies and now wants to start a master's degree in marriage and family therapy, is hoping the bidding will hit $1 million. The online auction site eBay turned her down so the auction will take place at a Nevada brothel, the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, where her sister is working to pay off her college debts. The date for the auction was not immediately available.

In a flurry of media interviews and appearances, she admitted that her mother, a fourth grade teacher, does not agree with her decision.

(Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy)
© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mad World

The original, by Gary Jules:

Team Of Vipers: Bob Woodward On W

Some pretty interesting stuff in the Washington Post, from our best political journalist.

Here's a sample:

"Presidents set the tone. Don't be passive or tolerate virulent divisions."

"In the fall of 2002, Bush personally witnessed a startling face-off between National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld in the White House Situation Room after Rumsfeld had briefed the National Security Council on the Iraq war plan.

"Rice wanted to hold onto a copy of the Pentagon briefing slides, code-named Polo Step.

"You won't be needing that," Rumsfeld said, reaching across the table and snatching the Top Secret packet away from Rice -- in front of the president.

"I'll let you two work it out," Bush said, then turned and walked out. Rice had to send an aide to the Pentagon to get a bootlegged copy from the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"Bush should never have put up with Rumsfeld's power play. Instead of a team of rivals, Bush wound up with a team of back-stabbers with long-running, poisonous disagreements about foreign policy fundamentals."

Happiness Is A Warm Snowblower

Greetings from Planet Frigia!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"I Am Not A Number -- I Am A Free Man!"

Number Six has died.

Botox For Eyelashes

The lead for this news item today doesn't really come as a surprise:

"First it was frozen foreheads. Now it’s Betty Boop eyelashes."


"Allergan, the company that turned an obscure muscle paralyzer for eyelid spasms, Botox, into a blockbuster wrinkle smoother, hopes to perform cosmetic alchemy yet again.

"At the end of the month, the company plans to introduce Latisse, the first federally approved prescription drug for growing longer, lusher lashes."

Speaking as a guy with a wife who doesn't need this crap to stay beautiful, the surprising thing is buried further down in the article:

An Allergan spokesman said that "many women would not blink at spending $120 for a one-month, three-milliliter supply of the drug. He compared the cost of longer lashes to a daily cup of coffee.

“If you think about it in terms of luxury, it’s four dollars a day,” he said. “We think this is fairly acceptable to a large segment of people even in these times.”

"But one analyst...said the expense of Latisse and the inconvenience of obtaining a doctor’s prescription might deter many women from trying it. Health insurance does not typically cover such cosmetic treatments.

"[He] said Latisse might have more value to Allergan as a gateway drug that brings new patients to cosmetic medicine and leads them to try Botox.

"Indeed, Jennifer Nobriga, one of a pair of stay-at-home mothers behind the Web site beautyinreallife.blogspot.com, said she intends to stick with plain old mascara rather than splurge on the eyelash drug.

“It would not be at the top of my list,” said Ms. Nobriga of Woodbridge, Va. “I would rather spend the money on a good under-eye cream.”

The $120 per month doesn't surprise me either.

What does surprise me is the casual use of the phrase "gateway drug" in the article, in referring to Latisse.

That's scary, just like an earlier Botox post on the Freeway.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

United States Of Tara

We watched the first episode of "United States of Tara" on Showtime OnDemand tonight (the formal premiere will be on Sunday night).

It's even better than advertised.

In this episode, we meet two of Tara's four "alters," and Toni Collette is astonishing.

If you like "Weeds" and "Californication," you'll love "United States of Tara."

Here's a little preview:

Andromeda: Trance Gemini

"I am the avatar of a sun, a star.

All things come from me.

You are elements of the sun.

As I make you, I am able to destroy you.

As I destroy you, I am able to create.

Awareness is where we travel.

No path.

I am all gravity, and we exist in all universes and those in between.

What destroys you in this universe will deliver you to the next."
--Trance Gemini

Here's everything else you need to know about Trance Gemini.

And here's how to become Trance Gemini:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Red Carpet At The Golden Globes

Most of the bling was left home to prevent a "Let Them Eat Awards" vibe at The Golden Globes last night

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"William Zanzinger Killed Poor Hattie Carroll"

William Zantzinger died on January 3, at age 69.

Bob Dylan told us about the murder on "The Steve Allen Show" back in 1964 -- at a time when having Dylan as a guest took a lot of courage on Steve Allen's part:

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bonnie Raitt - Love Me Like A Man

I saw Chris Smither at the gym recently; here's one of his best songs:

RIP, Led Zeppelin

According to Rolling Stone, there will be no reunion tour.

Obama's Mother-in-Law To Move Into White House

Like he doesn't have enough stress already...


But she is younger than John McCain.

(From today's New York Times)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama's BlackBerry


From today's New York Times:

"Of all the fights facing Mr. Obama as he prepares for the White House, one of the most maddening for him is the prospect of losing the BlackBerry that has been attached to his belt for years.

"It is, he has vigorously argued, an essential link to keeping him apprised of events outside his ever-tightening cocoon."

I love my BlackBerry too, and would miss it. But I'm guessing that many people interpret this as missing the ability to read emails, or to text friends on-demand.

But those are not the primary reasons.

I would hate to lose access to my personal calendar and contacts, and to all of the instant connections I have to media, sports, and other things I'm interested in, through the various BB apps I've installed.

That's the stuff I'd really miss. And I think he will miss them, too.

Grace Kelly

The photo is more than fifty years old; the look is timeless

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others...


...One of these things just isn't the same

Can you guess which one just doesn't belong here?

Now it's time to play our game

Time to play our game.


Your choices are (left to right, so to speak): 41, 44, 43, 42, and 39

Post your answer in Comments

(Brought to you by the letters "W," "T," and "F")

BCS Championship Game in 3-D!


If you're one of those hard-core college football fans who opts to pay $18-$22 at your local Cinemaplex Thursday night to watch Oklahoma-Florida in 3-D (the NFL tried it in November), I'd really love it if you would post a comment here to let us know what it was like.

Maybe, You Know, She Wouldn't Be Too Bad After All...


There is something compelling about Maureen Dowd's advocacy of Caroline Kennedy in today's NYT:

"Ask not, you know, what your country can, like, do for you. Ask what you, um, can, you know, do for your country.

"After a lifetime of shying away from the public spotlight, Caroline Kennedy asked herself what she could do for her country.

"Her soft-spoken answer — to follow her father and two uncles and serve in the Senate — got her ripped to shreds in the, you know, press.

"I know about 'you knows.' I use that verbal crutch myself, a bad habit that develops from shyness and reticence about public speaking."

"People complain that the 51-year-old Harvard and Columbia Law School grad and author is not a glib, professional pol who knows how to artfully market herself, and is someone who hasn’t spent her life glad-handing, backstabbing and logrolling.

"I say, thank God."

Tom Brady Brings Home The Bacon in LA


West Coast news about Tom and Giselle, for their fans here on the Freeway:

"Apparently now that the season’s really o-vah, Tommy’s going to be livin’ la vida loca with Gi (and doggie Vida) on the Left Coast, where he can hang with little son Jack,and work on the megamanse the celeb sweeties are building on an $11-million parcel in Brentwood."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Green Wonderbra

Recycling news from the Wall Street Journal:

"Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch, an artist in Massachusetts, looks for Coke cans and washing-machine-hose clamps, weaving pieces into garters. The red and silver garter is one of 13 items in her line of trashy lingerie, which also employs old dryer vents and, in her homage to the Wonderbra, welded steel."

"The recycling bin at the Springdale Tavern across the street from Chris Tymoshuk's studio in Oregon's Multnomah County is a treasure chest she is mining with particular diligence. Thanks to holiday revelers at the bar -- and fewer profit-minded scavengers looking for cans to redeem -- she has a lot more inventory to choose from.

"I like a long, slender can," she said, preferring #10 orange- and cranberry-juice cans she burns with an oxyacetylene torch and renders into garden sculpture, candle holders and lanterns.

"The availability of so much excess trash has the 47-year-old Minnesota native dreaming of new media to work with. A charter member of Oregon's "Cracked Pots" art-show group -- a loose community of artists who work almost entirely in recycled trash -- Ms. Tymoshuk has been inspired to try her hand with milk jugs and Styrofoam.

I wonder if Ingrid lives in Cambridge?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Bonnie and Delaney

Delaney Bramlett died the other day.

In case you've never heard of him, here's a little video from 1969 that demonstrates why I'll never forget seeing Delaney and Bonnie live:



And yes, that is Eric Clapton.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's All HGTV's Fault!!

"That's right. The cable network HGTV is the real villain of the economic meltdown."

Finally! The root cause of the economic crisis has been exposed!

All this time, I thought it was just me shouting at the television as I watched whining Yuppies blather on about granite countertops.

"'How much money can these people possibly make?'" I shout at my wife before wrestling the remote from her hand and switching it to the nearest sports program. 'The guy can barely string together two sentences!'"

"And yet on episode after episode for this entire irrational decade, HGTV pumped up the housing bubble by parading the most mediocre, unworthy-looking homeowners into our living rooms to watch while they put their tacky, run-of-the-mill tract homes on the market for twice what they paid and then went out and bought houses with price tags too obscene to repeat."

"You couldn't watch these shows without concluding that you must be an idiot and a loser if you lived in a house you could actually afford."

(Photo: Kendra Todd, host of "My House is Worth What?")

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winner Takes It All

Live ABBA, 1980

Chains


The sideline chains used in all NFL games are a little more tricked-out with color and plastic coverings, but they are essentially identical to the ones used when I played high school football fifty years ago.

In the extreme high tech world of the NFL, this analog anomaly is still around because nothing has been found to improve on it.

“There must be a better way,” said Pat Summerall, the longtime N.F.L. player and broadcaster. “Because games are decided, careers are decided, on those measurements.”

Ideas have come and gone, but "inventors like Alan Amron, a 60-year-old from Long Island, plan their extinction."

"In 2003, with the help of Summerall, Amron presented a sophisticated laser system to the competition committee."

"Using lasers permanently mounted into stadium lights, a green line — visible to players, coaches and fans in the stadium, and to television viewers — would be projected onto the field to mark the line for a first down."

"Amron said it would be accurate to within a sixteenth of an inch."

I'm sure we will soon see a digital alternative to chains, but the game will lose one of its most dramatic rituals:

"[An] official protectively holds the ball against the ground, because precision is suddenly important. The chains arrive from the sideline. An official slowly pulls the chain taut. Breaths are held."

“When we measure, we make sure the players are clear so that TV can get a good shot of the actual measurement,” [Mike] Pereira [Director of NFL Officials] said."

"Suspense would be lost if every first down were determined instantly."

Friday, January 2, 2009

From Sylar to Spock


Zachary Quinto discusses inhabiting the character of Spock in the new Star Trek Movie:

What kind of things did Leonard Nimoy tell you about Spock to help you understand him?

It's been such an indelible mark on his life and he's metabolized it so gracefully.
We spent some time watching episodes but it was an all encompassing experience. We'd go to his house. We'd meet sometimes at Paramount. I'm seeing him before the holidays. He's an advanced mind and heart and I want to hang out with him as much as possible.

Jennifer Aniston On Mad Men


Jennifer Aniston's comment that she'd love to be on Mad Men has sent the Mad Men bulletin board into overdrive with script ideas on how to cast her in Season Three.

For example:

"I could see Jennifer Aniston coming in as the phone operator that replaces - Flo, the Progressive Girl (can't remember her real name).

Jennifer manages to squeeze her way through the metal bars in the phone dungeon and becomes Don Draper's new secretary.

Lois is furious, but then again, she can't go back to being Don's secretary right? Lois is still convinced that Sal is in love with her and decides to take lessons from Joan.

Joan brushes off the red dress and gives it to Lois. Joan proceeds to show Lois how to shake her hips so hard it causes earthquakes at Sterling Cooper. Joan advises Lois to throw her chest out so far that her breasts knock down anything in her path.

Joan has decided to learn a lesson from Jane and tell Lois to leave at least one or two buttons undone whenever possible. This should reel in any men who missed the hip shaking or cleavage plow.

Lois starts getting noticed by more men than Sal. Jennifer Aniston will get a little threatened and we will see a showdown at high noon between the two."

Sounds like there are a lot of closeted screenwriters out there!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

So A Lady And A Horse Walk Into A Bar...

On vacation recently, it seemed like we ran into an awful lot of people in airports, hotel elevators and restaurants accompanied by small animals.

"ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT IN A SUBURB of Albany, a group of children dressed as vampires and witches ran past a middle-aged woman in plain clothes.

"She gripped a leather harness — like the kind used for Seeing Eye dogs — which was attached to a small, fuzzy black-and-white horse barely tall enough to reach the woman’s hip.

“Cool costume,” one of the kids said, nodding toward her.

"But she wasn’t dressed up. The woman, Ann Edie, was simply blind and out for an evening walk with Panda, her guide miniature horse."

OK, but "a growing number of people believe the world of service animals has gotten out of control: first it was guide dogs for the blind; now it’s monkeys for quadriplegia and agoraphobia, guide miniature horses, a goat for muscular dystrophy, a parrot for psychosis and any number of animals for anxiety, including cats, ferrets, pigs, at least one iguana and a duck.

"They’re all showing up in stores and in restaurants, which is perfectly legal because the Americans With Disabilities Act (A.D.A.) requires that service animals be allowed wherever their owners want to go."

And while "some people enjoy running into an occasional primate or farm animal while shopping, many others don’t.

"This has resulted in a growing debate over how to handle these animals, as well as widespread suspicion that people are abusing the law to get special privileges for their pets.

"Increasingly, business owners, landlords and city officials are challenging the legitimacy of noncanine service animals and refusing to accommodate them. Animal owners are responding with lawsuits and complaints to the Department of Justice.

"This August, the Arizona Game and Fish Department ordered a woman to get rid of her chimpanzee, claiming that she brought it into the state illegally — she disputed this and sued for discrimination, arguing that it was a diabetes-assistance chimp trained to fetch sugar during hypoglycemic episodes."

I don't know; I guess I understand.

But whenever I see that lady out walking her llama along Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington, I just can't help but ask:

"WTF?"