Archive for September, 2009

The internet was created over 20 years ago, providing a canvas for millions of websites and billions of pages. In its history, there was one thing you could always count on with 100% certainty– absolute truth and accuracy.

That may no longer be the case!

Sir Reginald Highphatt, a British scientist, recently made a startling discovery: a fact that was in fact not a fact. “I was chagrined,” said the esteemed learned man, “I was simply astounded and, dare I say, flabbergasted to discover an inaccuracy.”

What was the falsehood? An alleged playlist from Sir Winston Churchill’s iPod.

Was he really into Wham, Steppenwolf and Jay-Z?

Was he really into Wham, Steppenwolf and Jay-Z?

“When I first encountered this, I thought it seemed rather suspect, after all, Churchill was hardly a music lover. He once attended an orchestra performance and had all its members slaughtered to, I quote, ‘stop the infernal caterwonking!’ But what really titillated my investigatory senses was the first three choices on the Prime Minister’s alleged playlist: ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’ by Wham, ‘The Pusher’ by Steppenwolf and ‘Run This Town’ by Jay-Z. I had a hard time believing Churchill could be into Steppenwolf, and especially not ‘The Pusher’— ‘Magic Carpet Ride’, maybe, but the extended play of ‘The Pusher’ is for the most ardent of fans only.”

And so, Sir Highphatt began some extensive research and discovered a few startling things:
1. Churchill died before the invention of the iPod
2. See above
3. Ditto

“As much as it pains me to say,” the downcast scientist said, “I’m afraid we will no longer have 100% assurance that everything you read on the internet is the God’s honest truth and beyond reproach. Pity, that. I use it as research tool for all my papers and books.”

Be aware: some things on the internet may not be true!
Yipes!

Outspoken Libyan discloses love of sloppy joes!

Outspoken Libyan discloses love of sloppy joes!

In a stunning 96 minute speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi criticized Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for “having a name that looks like a bad Scrabble tray.”

He also disclosed that the Iranian leader’s complex name makes it impossible for him to stay on Gadhafi’s Christmas card list. “Look,” said an exasperated Gadhafi, “I get headaches trying to think about spelling that name. Mahmoud, give me a break here? Would it kill you to change your name to ‘Chip Clark’ or something a bit easier to spell? C’mon, dude, cut me some slack here!”

A visibly upset Ahmadinejad slyly rubbed his face, popping the speaker ‘the bird.’

Gadhafi also made the following startling announcements: “My favorite color is blue, but it hasn’t always been. I used to be all about red, but now red just seems like it’s trying too hard. No more. I’m chill. Now I am blue!”

“My favorite Beatle was George. I know, I know, an unexpected choice, but Paul and John seemed so played out, you know. And I mean, come on, who could pick Ringo? To tell the truth, though, I prefer the Stones.”

“I like a good sloppy joe, I do. Seriously– on a kaiser roll with some chips and a dill pickle spear on the side, that is a great lunch to me. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.”

“Betty or Veronica? I go Veronica. Ah, but Ginger or Mary Ann? I go Ginger all day long. Pretty interesting, huh?”

And so it went for 96 full minutes…

Dan Brown’s blockbuster new book The Lost Symbol was recently released and the human race can’t stop its collective heart from racing like a thoroughbred on a greased track with wind machines at its back! Here’s my early review.

The Book That's Got The World (And Those Kooky Masons) Reading

The Book That's Got The World (And Those Kooky Masons) Reading

This time around, hero Tom Hanks (played in the book by Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon) is in Washington, D.C. trying to unravel all sorts of ominous shenanigans, probably involving ancient Masonic stuff like secret handshakes, bare-ass paddling, the art on U.S. currency with eyeballs over pyramids and what-have-you, and grown men whispering to each other in scotch and cigar breath… that sort of thing.

It’s all some sort of plot that probably leads to a passel of no goodniks. Not unlike modern day tea baggers running amok searching for monsters in every shadow and shouting paranoid stuff.

SPOILER ALERT: Langdon probably solves the mystery and lives!

2nd SPOILER ALERT: His attractive female sidekick will probably fall for him along the way.

3rd SPOILER ALERT: There’s probably no talking dragon, dancing elk, evil Pope, dude with a mullet smoking a hookah or reference to Roberto Clemente’s podiatrist.

The Lost Symbol is probably a taut thriller that I’ll probably read some day, just so I can go to the movie version of it and be majorly disappointed.

Thanks, Opie Cunningham. Thanks a lot.

Last week, Kanye West caused a stir at the MTV Music Video Awards when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to declare, “Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time.” This week he did it again, interrupting every single acceptance speech at The 61st Primetime Emmys with his energized pleas for recognition of Beyoncé’s video.

Kanye worked the refs hard at The Emmys

Kanye worked the refs hard at The Emmys

Some of the various outbursts included tackling Alec Baldwin as he accepted his Emmy for 30 Rock, grabbing the mike and screaming, “30 Rock’s funny, no lie, but I’m tellin y’all, Beyoncé’s got one of the best videos ever!”

A startled Jon Stewart was smacked in the head by the Emmy he’d won as Kanye shouted, “You people aren’t hearing what I’m talking about here– got to check out Beyoncé’s video. It’s the full package, yo!”

Kristin Chenoweth, who won an Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy series for Pushing Daisies was pushed aside by Kanye as he grabbed her Emmy and screamed, “We all gotta give every award in the land to Beyoncé for that killer video she made! You feel me, people?”

And so it went the entire evening as every Emmy Award recipient was knocked over, shoved aside or pushed off stage by Kanye as he made his impassioned pleas that included: “You don’t deserve this award. Beyoncé made that awesome video, man, she deserves this!”
“We should all sell our worldly possessions and give it all to Beyoncé. She made that video! All hail Beyoncé!”
“Why you getting this award, punk? You ain’t Beyoncé! She made the greatest video of all time– get outta here!”

By the end of the ceremony, host Neil Patrick Harris was brushed aside by an exhausted Kanye as he finally collapsed with dozens of tranquilizer darts and taser electrodes protruding from his body. In a last gasp he said, “Y’all got to give it up for Beyoncé, I mean come on, man– she made that amazing videoooo…”

As usual, it was a very long evening with the Emmy Awards.

Many people are shocked to learn that in a recent test, 77% of Oklahoma high school students could not name the first president of these United States.

It’s obvious we are failing our children by expecting them to know way too much intellectual stuff, so I propose a slight modification to the design of our one dollar bill to assist education.

My re-designed $1 bill will help kids learn.

My re-designed $1 bill will help kids learn. I hope.

What do you think? Any ideas on how to help the 90% of students who didn’t know how many Supreme Court justices there are?

We need ideas, people– it’s takes a village to ensure we don’t raise village idiots.

The world is abuzz, aflutter, a-something, with the recent release of the entire recorded catalog of The Beatles, meticulously digitally remastered.

While many will wrestle with the decision of paying almost $300 for the remastered set, you should know some of the hidden gems unearthed by these incredible technological wonders.

Oh, you saucy lads-- let's rock again, shall we? Yes, let's do!!!

Oh, you saucy lads-- let's rock again, shall we? Yes, let's do! Play that funky music, white boys!

1. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is restored with the missing Gregorian chant track featuring The Monks of the Benedictine Abbey Road. While producer George Martin thought the background vocals dragged the pace of the song down, they do lend an interesting texture and depressing patina that sells the intense yearning for holding ‘your hand.’

2. The re-mix on “I Feel Fine” reveals the previously hidden lyrics: “I’m in love with her and I feel fine/ well, actually I’m a bit congested and have some flu-like symptoms/ best to get to a chemist’s shoppe after this session/ got no time to get sick/ hope I’m not coming down with something…”

3. A refreshed, revitalized“Eleanor Rigby” unearths a hidden track of Marcel Marceau pantomiming the sorrow that Eleanor feels throughout the song. Although one must strain to hear the masterful mime at work– frowning, pretending to wring his sopping hankie of tears and walking against the wind to go to her grave in the cemetery– the impact is felt deeply. The song achieves new poignancy, sadness, depth, and announces to the world “It truly sucks to be Eleanor Rigby.”

4. McCartney’s classic song “Yesterday” enjoys a new day in the sun with the alternate lyrics mixed in: “Yesterday/ saw a movie starring Danny Kaye/ it was good, I have to say/ oh, I really love my Danny Kaye.” Although McCartney has long denied an infatuation for Danny Kaye, these lyrics prove otherwise.

5. While you probably know Eric Clapton plays the guitar solo on George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” you’ve never heard it like this. The re-mastered version allows you to hear Clapton’s stomach growling during his performance. Following his solo, you can clearly hear Clapton’s voice off-mike asking “What’s a fellow have to do for a sandwich, some chips, a kidney pie, or something? A bowl of gruel, a bite of something, please. I’m starving here!”

6. Despite the long time rumor that at the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever”, John says, “I buried Paul”, the newly re-mastered version clearly has Lennon saying, “I cremated Paul.”

7. The stories of the rifts among The Beatles comes to clear audio life with some of the re-mastered songs. In the revised “Yellow Submarine” you can hear Ringo call McCartney “an overbearing codger” and Paul responding “shut up, you gormless git!” In the re-engineered “Long And Winding Road”, one can actually hear a fistfight break out between Lennon and McCartney, along with the sound of Yoko Ono being thrown through the air and crashing onto an amp, cursing McCartney and knocking over Ringo’s drum kit while accidentally stepping on a cat and dragging her nails across a chalkboard and tripping a fire alarm.

8. On Lennon’s “Revolution 9” track from The White Album, the re-mastered version reveals the following previously unheard lyric, “mumbler mime” instead of “number nine.” Apparently, this was an insulting reference to Marcel Marceau who was a notorious low talker. When Marceau heard about the snide insult, he pretended to punch Lennon. John decked him.

There are many more audio gems to be discovered in this digital dive. Grab your wallets and go!