snap culture: July 2007

  1. everything, and i mean everything ben, 7/31/2007 0 comments
  2. 99-mile runners need not apply ben, 7/30/2007 0 comments
  3. define "local" ben, 7/28/2007 0 comments
  4. Can it get any worse? ben, 7/24/2007 0 comments
  5. it was only a matter of time ben, 7/23/2007 0 comments
  6. let the hagiography of the Simpsons commence! ben, 7/23/2007 0 comments
  7. feel like losing at checkers? ben, 7/20/2007 0 comments
  8. best aptonym ever? ben, 7/19/2007 0 comments
  9. ESPN's interoffice memo William, 7/18/2007 1 comments
  10. throw it back! ben, 7/18/2007 5 comments
  11. Major link dump William, 7/12/2007 0 comments
  12. genius ben, 7/12/2007 1 comments
  13. videos you should see ben, 7/11/2007 0 comments
  14. Will loses ben, 7/10/2007 1 comments
  15. if you're gonna spew, spew in this ben, 7/10/2007 0 comments
  16. the lesson, as always ben, 7/10/2007 0 comments
  17. 40% of independents can't be wrong ben, 7/08/2007 0 comments
  18. Two funny things.... William, 7/05/2007 0 comments
  19. name the presidents in 10 minutes ben, 7/05/2007 0 comments
  20. Celebreality William, 7/05/2007 0 comments
  21. stringer for the stars ben, 7/01/2007 0 comments
  22. Booty Call! ben, 7/01/2007 0 comments

7/31/2007 Add a comment

you ever wanted to know about bonobos, in this week's New Yorker. ben

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7/30/2007 Add a comment

The Badwater 135-mile Ultramarathon was held last week, starting in Death Valley and going all the way to Mount Whitney (though not to the very top). The people who compete in this race are insane. You have to have completed a 100-mile race just to be considered for the ultramarathon, and they turn away tons of people.

Here's the recap from this year's race. The fastest men's time of 22 hours and 51 minutes comes out to running 135 ten-minute miles. I can't imagine you'd be up for a pizza party after running for 24 straight hours. ben

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7/28/2007 Add a comment

In the "Local News" section of CNN's website, I usually get my weather forecast and an array of dull news about area power outages (my power was out for 5 hours yesterday), city council meetings, or high school events.

Today's story, Wind Could Hamper Mars Experiments doesn't have that same local feel to it. Neither does the source of the story, the Kazakstan Information Website. I'm not sure why CNN.com (via Topix.com) would troll through the KazInform website looking for news about Ann Arbor, but they did. ben

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7/24/2007 Add a comment

These are dark days for professional sports. First, there's Tim Donaghy, the NBA ref who is accused of gambling on games in which he was the referee. These federal probes are almost never handed down unless the person is 99% guilty, and all the evidence seems to suggest that this guy is a total jerk and mixed up with the mob, among other things. Unless he goes into witness protection soon and names names, I don't like his chances of survival, let alone staying out of prison. Here's a link to Deadspin's live-blog of David Stern's press conference today.

Then we have Mike Vick, who will never play professional football again thanks to the dogfighting charges. Similar to Donaghy, he could try to plea-bargain his way out, but I don't think it will matter enough for the league to accept him back. Others agree. Sorry, Falcons fans, you're looking at Joey Harrington as your starting QB come September.

Next there's Barry Bonds, who will break Hank Aaron's record later this week. It seems like a lot of people are resigned to accept the record as legit and let bygones be bygones. At the same time, lots of people, myself included, are trying to ignore it and pretend it's not happening. I'm sure that Barry's ex-mistress's upcoming playboy interview and pictorial will rile up a lot of people again.

Now we find out pre-race favorite Alexandre Vinokourov failed a blood-doping test, and his team pulled out of the Tour de France. With all the rampant drug use there, the Tour has become not worth watching. You don't know if half the riders you're watching are going to be kicked out the next day.

Gary Player even claimed last week that there was steroid use in golf!

What's left? Hockey, tennis, and competitive eating, I suppose. I guess I picked the right month to stop watching ESPN...and the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. I couldn't take any more of their "Who's Now" bullcrap. I'm doing my best to get my sports news elsewhere (Deadspin, CNNSI), and I've been watching the Today show in the morning, just like I used to before I had cable. The only thing that's the same is Al Roker. That guy is like a rock, only with folds of excess skin. ben

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7/23/2007 Add a comment


until someone gave the icanhascheezburger treatment (which I posted about here) to sports. Enter LOLjocks. This is my favorite caption so far. ben

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7/23/2007 Add a comment

With the movie coming out on Friday, everyone seems to be remembering that the Simpsons used to be funny. I'm not sure why they ever forgot, as you can watch two or three episodes a day in syndication. But either way, the hype machine revs up for the film version that's 14 years too late.

Vanity Fair has an in-depth feature, including an interview with Conan O'Brien and a top 10 episodes list. The Trib does their poetic waxing alphabet-style, while Cracked highlights some of the phrases and words that the Simpsons has added to our pop-culture lexicon. And apparently the whole week is dedicated to the Simpsons over at the AV Club, which starts with a list of 15 Simpsons Moments That Perfectly Captured Their Eras. More to come, I'm sure... ben

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7/20/2007 Add a comment

Because now you can, any time you want. Checkers has officially been solved, all 500 billion billion board positions, taking over 18 years of computing time. Here's the story from the Times. ben

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7/19/2007 Add a comment

here's a really not safe for work and inappropriate criminal that i can't resist posting about. you can't make this stuff up, people. ben

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7/18/2007 Add a comment

From Deadspin, this wonderful look into ESPN corporate culture.

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William

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  1. Blogger ben: Keith Clinkscales has to be a fake name...it's too awesome to be true. Better than Rock Strongo. Though probably not as good as Lance Uppercut. 7/19/2007  

7/18/2007 Add a comment

The NYT has an article on the eternal debate: to throw it back or not to throw it back? Fans at Wrigley always throw back home run balls hit by opposing players, but the guys on the streets behind the stadium (Waveland, Sheffield), referenced here as "ballhawks," keep them as souvenirs or try to sell them.

Me? If I were in the bleachers and caught number 756, I'd throw it back. Seriously. I've never caught a home run ball out there, but I'd do it without a second thought. No fake ball in the pocket to throw back, either. My identity as a Cubs fan is more valuable to me than the money I'd make from selling it. ben

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  1. Blogger William: Wait till you have a mortgage. Then you might rethink things. 7/18/2007  
  2. Blogger Luke S.: You should probably keep the ball and sell it. That way you'll at least get something out of being a Cubs fan. 7/18/2007  
  3. Blogger Luke S.: I apologize for that last comment. It was made out of jealousy. 7/20/2007  
  4. Blogger ben: i'm confused, are you jealous of me catching the home run ball? 7/24/2007  
  5. Blogger Luke S.: No, I'm jealous that your Chicago team is winning. 7/24/2007  

7/12/2007 Add a comment

Brazil's baseball team features 16 of 20 players with Japanese ancestry, and the team also used Japanese baseball terms. Turns out Brazil is the country with the largest population of Japanese descendants. Who knew?

The ESPYs swag bag.

Of all things, a Chinese newspaper tells Yi Jianlian to grow a pair and join the Milwaukee Bucks already: "Yi, stand up and speak for yourself," China Daily said, citing an article in the Beijing Evening Post. "Don't hesitate anymore and don't let anybody control your life."

An LA Times profile of David Beckham's childhood in advance of his joining the hometown Galaxy.

Also in the LAT, a story about a college student who inherited Paris Hilton's cell phone number.

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William

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7/12/2007 Add a comment

ben

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  1. Blogger William: Hilarious! 7/12/2007  

7/11/2007 Add a comment

these aren't new, but they were sitting in my RSS feed for a while and I finally got around to watching them:

1. Stephon Marbury in a truly inexplicable interview. Be sure to watch all 9 minutes. It goes from him not knowing what a "dime" is (it's an assist, he's a "point guard"), having his cell phone ring and checking his phone, talking about kissing his sister, and ends with him saying "I want to see the spit in your mouth." I have no idea what that means, but it's the perfect ending.

2. A "too inappropriate for tv" Rolling Rock commercial. Perfectly safe for work. Seems appropriate enough for me. But maybe that's because I'm wearing my cup right now.

3. A poor journalist has to cover the re-opening of Wembley Stadium in London. His report doesn't go very well.

(I found these on deadspin and withleather) ben

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7/10/2007 Add a comment

Sorry, the vote was damn close, but the Simpsons' premiere will be held in tiny Springfield, Vermont, in their 100-seat movie theater. HA-HA! ben

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  1. Blogger William: Shit. 7/10/2007  

7/10/2007 Add a comment


A sad day for Wayne's World fans, Berwyn fans, and weird sculpture fans: They're tearing down the 8 car pile-up sculpture in the parking lot of a Berwyn, IL, shopping mall. ben

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7/10/2007 Add a comment

is to not take advice from tv shows. One of my favorite Homer Simpson quotes:
Getting out of jury duty is easy. The trick is to say you're prejudiced against all races.
We'll, that's exactly what this guy tried in a Massachusetts court, and it landed him in jail for the night, facing perjury charges. How are they going to prove he's not a racist homophobic habitual liar? ben

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7/08/2007 Add a comment

That's right, 40% of independents favor impeachment of Bush. In fact, more people support impeaching Bush now than were in favor of impeaching Clinton while Clinton was being impeached!

For your weekend reading, try the Times editorial from today saying we should get out of Iraq, Frank Rich's NYT column on Bush's cowardice (Times Select, but I found it for free here), and Keith Olbermann's special comment on the Libby commutation. ben

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7/05/2007 Add a comment

...about this article. One, that a Prius can go 100 (I'm glad that he isn't so rebellious that he's driving a Hummer). Two, the last line in the story, which completely cracked me up. William

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7/05/2007 Add a comment

I missed 5...I won't say who, but I'm not happy I missed them. Although they're some of the most frequently missed so I don't feel so bad. Try it here. My only hint is that you will do well to remember the Simpsons' episode with the Presidents' Day Pageant, especially the song "The Mediocre Presidents." ben

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7/05/2007 Add a comment

The always excellent Virginia Heffernan has a piece in today's NYT that uses "Hey Paula," the show chronicling Paula Abdul's tough, tough life, to talk more broadly about the "celebreality" genre of shows. My one disappointment in the piece: she didn't talk about Lisa Kudrow's excellent, short-lived HBO show, "The Comeback," which was a perfect satire of exactly this type of entertainment. Or, rather, "entertainment."

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William

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7/01/2007 Add a comment

Most of you probably won't give a crap, but here's a story about the guys who string the rackets of the best tennis players in the world. I'm a sucker for the "guy behind the guy" stories, as well as anything about tennis, so this is a perfect fit. ben

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7/01/2007 Add a comment

Oh, wait, make that booty recall. Veggie Booty recall, that is. I like the Pirate's Booty w/caramel, so no salmonella risk for me... ben

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