snap culture: August 2007

  1. Slate's version... William, 8/29/2007 0 comments
  2. Fall TV Preview ben, 8/29/2007 0 comments
  3. Can indie music save soccer in the U.S.? William, 8/28/2007 0 comments
  4. The Puppy That Lost Its Way ben, 8/28/2007 0 comments
  5. underway at the Open ben, 8/27/2007 0 comments
  6. Bring on Flushing! ben, 8/24/2007 0 comments
  7. The Vice Lords are now wearing yellow jackets ben, 8/22/2007 0 comments
  8. I'm waiting patiently ben, 8/22/2007 1 comments
  9. come again? ben, 8/21/2007 0 comments
  10. kids, say no to drugs...TICAL! ben, 8/20/2007 0 comments
  11. what a pose ben, 8/17/2007 0 comments
  12. subprime mortgage meltdown ben, 8/17/2007 0 comments
  13. don't look now ben, 8/15/2007 1 comments
  14. on the road with the steelers ben, 8/14/2007 0 comments
  15. Two great links William, 8/09/2007 0 comments
  16. Kanye, you ignorant slut ben, 8/08/2007 0 comments
  17. Greg Oden William, 8/07/2007 0 comments
  18. used by more than just Zoroastrians named Vilma ben, 8/06/2007 0 comments
  19. what do you think? ben, 8/03/2007 0 comments
  20. top 10 unnamed Simpsons characters ben, 8/02/2007 1 comments
  21. tie a tie? check. lose weight? check. levitate? ben, 8/01/2007 0 comments

8/29/2007 Add a comment

of a conversation I had at a party last night. Oh, Larry Craig. You so crazy!

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William

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8/29/2007 Add a comment

I don't know about you, but after reading the Onion's Fall TV Preview, Why is this on the air? I think I'll watch none of the above, and Netflix. ben

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8/28/2007 Add a comment

First it was Beckham, now it's the likes of OK Go and the Polyphonic Spree, who are being enlisted by MLS to create soccer anthems. Honestly, they should just import some anthems from England, Scotland, and Ireland.

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William

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8/28/2007 Add a comment


"Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul." (Thanks, John!) ben

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8/27/2007 Add a comment

here's a preview from the Times, with articles on Venus, Nadal, Djokovic, and of course Federer. Donald Young has already won today. There's almost no chance we'll see him play on Friday, because most of the matches will be at the tail-end of the 2nd round, whereas he'll play at the beginning of the next round as well. You can track the scores at USopen.org. ben

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8/24/2007 Add a comment

I have a ton of work to get done between now and then, but I am getting very excited for next Friday, when I'm spending the day at Windswept Fields, er, Flushing Meadows watching the U.S. Open. Here's my favorite tennis columnist, Jon Wertheim, with his take on the men's and women's draws. We have grounds passes with no access to Arthur Ashe Stadium, so I won't be watching Federer or Sharapova on the center court. But here's a list of players I'm hoping to watch on the outer courts:
Donald Young (if he's still playing)
John Isner (if still playing)
Marat Safin
Mikhail Youhzny
Marcos Baghdatis
Venus Williams (likely on court 2)
Dinara Safina (Marat's sister)
Martina Hingis (she'll probably be on an outer court)

If you could all join me by doing anti-rain dances for next friday in NYC, it would be much appreciated. ben

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8/22/2007 Add a comment

as real estate agents. Okay, not quite, but this great story from NPR talks about how gang members are learning all about mortgage fraud from their white-collar criminal peers while in jail. And now the gangs of Chicago are committing mortgage fraud left and right, even setting up fake businesses in the process. Who says you don't get an education while in prison anymore? And though the usual story is that prison "hardens" you, it's interesting that their new crimes are less violent than the old.

I forgot to mention it last week, but we finished watching season 3 of The Wire. This is the best drama on tv ever. Yes, even better than the Sopranos, although I haven't seen any Sopranos episodes after roughly season 4.

Anyway, if I haven't hyped The Wire in this space, it's the story of the drug trade in Baltimore and the cops who are trying to bring it down. You have to start with season 1, episode 1: in the first episode they introduce about 20 characters, some from the gangs, some from the cops, some from the neighborhood, all of whom are multidimensional and believable. By the end of the episode you'll be hooked. If you're on Netflix, put season 1 on your queue. Or go out and rent the first DVD, and you won't be disappointed. /end{proselytizing} ben

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8/22/2007 Add a comment

for the list: "When you see the [steroid] list, it's going to blow your mind," says someone familiar with the details of the case that George Mitchell is building, based on testimony of the guy who supplied a ton of players 'roids for a decade. The final report isn't coming out until after the season, which is sometime in November, last I checked, and it's already cost the league $15 million for God knows what. But it's going to be a big deal, whenever that list is leaked. ben

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  1. Blogger Luke S.: And to add icing to what looks to be a delicious cake, one of the people playing Dylan is a black child. 8/25/2007  

8/21/2007 Add a comment

Let me get this straight: A biopic of Bob Dylan starring Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Christian Bale, all as Dylan? Sounds insane, and a lot of fun. It's called I'm Not There, and I am so there when it comes out in November. They're opening it on only two screens (one in NYC, one in LA), but hopefully it will make it to flyover-country quickly. Of course, I made the same mistake rushing out to see Masked and Anonymous, but this time Dylan's not the star, just the subject. ben

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8/20/2007 Add a comment

In what will surely be the least convincing "Say No to Drugs" speeches ever, Method Man was ordered to speak at 15 NYC high schools about the "dangers" of "drugs." What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall.
(Thanks for the link, Meghan) ben

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8/17/2007 Add a comment

When a picture like this comes along,

there's no choice but to photoshop it...here's the full page and here are the highlights. ben

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8/17/2007 Add a comment

I usually avoid talking about my research on this blog, but this survey I conducted is too good not to share:















Okay, maybe the Onion did it, not me. ben

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8/15/2007 Add a comment

Will, but your Cardinals are only 4 1/2 games out of first place in the NL central, and play the Brewers twice more this week and then the Cubs four times.

They're playing great baseball right now while both teams ahead of them struggle (the Cubs are 3-7 in their last ten, the Brew Crew 4-6). It seems like they're heating up at just the right time. They could be in first place by the end of the weekend!

(jinx jinx jinx jinx)
(Pronunciation guide) ben

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  1. Blogger William: If anyone can reverse your jinx, it's Rick Ankiel. Also, I love how when you click on the pronunciation guide link, in the top left corner it says "World Champion St. Louis Cardinals." Just something about that puts a smile on my face. 8/15/2007  

8/14/2007 Add a comment

The Smoking Gun provides the steelers hotel requirements...all 17 pages. Prayer services before meals are available. The food spreads are massive, and the team does bed-checks at 11 pm. and no phone calls after 11 either, boys. It's like organizing a big sleepover camp...with filet mignon for breakfast. (Thanks, Meghan!) ben

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8/09/2007 Add a comment

from USA Today's Pop Candy blog:

One, a site that show's peoples' work spaces in all their idiosyncratic glory.

And two, a slideshow of t-shirts seen at Lollapalooza this year.

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William

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8/08/2007 Add a comment

A bigger showdown than the Joey Chestnut / Kobayashi rematch-that-must-happen:

Kanye West to debate 50 Cent on BET.

I learned about it from the AV Club (where else?). I wish the moderator was Jim Lehrer. Instead it's going to be 106 & Park hosts Terrance J. and Rocsi. Close enough. ben

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8/07/2007 Add a comment

Greg Oden is going to be great. Not just as a basketball player, but as a sports personality. This profile from a few days back shows how he's just a nice guy, and he's got a little sense of humor. Of course, he's had 35 years or so to hone his personality.

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William

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8/06/2007 Add a comment

One of my favorite columns in the New York Times magazine is "Consumed" by Rob Walker, who also writes a blog called murketing. This week's entry is about the bodygroom razor, made by Phillips Norelco, which has sold them like hot cakes via an internet advertising campaign at shaveeverywhere.com. If you enjoy a frank discussion of hairy body parts, tactfully bleeped out, then you'll find the clips on there pretty funny (especially the one about the beach). It reminds of me of the last line of Dr. Evil's "The details of my life are inconsequential" famed monologue. I'm surprised they haven't used that speech as an advertising gimmick...yet. ben

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8/03/2007 Add a comment

The backstory behind the pictures used in the Onion's daily American Voices "man on the street" feature. I wish they'd also tell me who the people were in the old black-and-white pictures they used to use. ben

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8/02/2007 Add a comment

With all the hoopla about the Simpsons, I decided to try to come up with a list of the top 10 unnamed Simpsons characters ever. Sadly, the internet has made making this list all too easy, and a bunch of these characters have names, but no one uses them. I just found a wikipedia article which has few bonus details, so technically I'm cheating, if you want to be a jerk about it. Let me know what you think, in the comments:

10) Sarcastic guy - Calls everyone "Boy-o". Has a mustache. And thanks to the power of nerds, here's a list of every episode he's appeared in.

9) Pimple-faced, crackly voiced teenager - Works at all the fast-food places. After dropping Krusty's taco in the deep fryer: "But this comes out of my salary! If I had a girlfriend, she’d kill me!

8) Giant hand man - "I am sick and tired of the jokes about my giant hand. The first incident occurred in..."

7) Rich Texan guy - Usually shooting in the air, shouting "Yee-haw!"

6) Very tall man - Has a very small car, forces Nelson to walk around with his pants around his ankles while people laugh. Apparently based on Ian Maxtone-Graham.

5) Crazy old man - Bald, nearly toothless star of the "Crazy Old Man Dancers", who sing "the old gray mare, she ain't what she used to be." Also has his pants around his ankles.

4) Hot dog vendor - When he shows up at the cemetery, Marge asks, "Do you just follow my husband around town?" He replies, "Lady, he's putting my kids through college!"

3) Comic book guy - Apparently they revealed his name in 2005, but I don't care. I'm concerned that he's changed his stripes. When about to die in an earlier episode, after talking to Aquaman about marrying someone on land, he says, "Oh, I've wasted my life." But in the movie, in the same situation, he hugs his comic books and says it's been a life "well spent." Worst. About-face. Ever.

2) Sea Captain - (Yes, he too apparently has a name) "Our precious cargo!" "You mean the hot pants?" "Aye, the hot pants."

1) Bumblebee man - "Ay ay ay, no me gusta!" ben

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  1. Blogger William: I love very tall man. He's got a funny voice. Also, crazy old man is great, and I think I've seen him in episodes more frequently lately.

    What about crazy cat lady? She probably has a name, and I know she used to be normal.
    8/02/2007  

8/01/2007 Add a comment

i can't seem to figure out how "how to levitate" made in to the top 10 'how to' internet searches over a four-week period. Was there a big upsurge in David Blaine-related internet activity? Is this a Harry Potter tie-in?

A search for "how to levitate" on google turns up levitation.org, and numerous references to David Blaine and Criss Angel, who has a magic-based show on A&E.

And here's how it's done. ben

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