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Fri, February 29

Stick it to me—2:20 PM

I'm normally dead-set against bumper stickers. For one thing, people forget they have them on their cars, so it does me no good to sideswipe some stupid bitch with a Bush '04 sticker on her Escalade because she won't know why I'm doing it.

Also, it's just sad to me the things people think need to be expressed adhesively on their cars. I've said for some time, the one bumper sticker I'd actually display would be: "Everything I need to know about you, I can tell from your bumper sticker."

Well, add another to that list. Today in traffic I saw "Is it 8002 yet?" and I wanted to weep with joy. 2008 promises to be no picnic, but by 8002 things will probably have blown over. We might even have science again.

It's cute, it's funny, and it makes fun of people who groan that everything will get better overnight once Bush is out of office. (One thing will, but most things won't.) But most of all, I just like the idea of it: nobody anywhere is thinking about 8002, and they should be.

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Thu, February 21

Unit 2: Sub-Alliances and Sub-Sub-Alliances

Usually, it seems that Survivor contestants aren't trying hard enough to come up with viable strategies. Now it becomes clear that the alternative is much, much worse. (Read more.)

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Wed, February 20

Labels, Baby!

Let's take a tour of the fictional grocery store! (Read more.)

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Mon, February 18

Oscar Picks 2008!

It's a blissfully confusing year in Oscar-predicting. I feel confident about very few picks, but I had a lot more fun watching nominated movies this year. (Read more.)

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Mon, February 11

Unit 1: Vote Out the Swing Vote!

Spring 2008 (2 units): Basic analysis of tactics and dynamics in the game of Survivor. Students will be introduced to flawed strategic reasoning, unstable social behavior, and an unholy number of balance beams. (Read more.)


Fri, February 8

PAF!—11:25 AM

Check out this banner ad for Disney Vacations, and tell me it wouldn't make the Nine Old Men spin in their graves.

It reminded me of the following sketch from Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston's masterwork, Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life, in the chapter devoted to basic character drawing techniques. The point is, too much symmetry makes a character look flat and lifeless.

Am I crazy? Leaving aside the eyes and the change of clothes, does the Mickey in the banner ad not look exactly like the "don't" version of Carson Osten's sketch?

This is day one Mickey-drawing stuff, guys. I'm dumping my Disney stock.

1 comment with related links and photos

Thu, February 7

Driven—10:16 AM

Has everyone seen the new Lincoln car advertisements featuring Sarah Reinertsen, of Amazing Race fame?

She's the one who raced with her shitty boyfriend Peter who thought of himself as a god for being patient and resilient enough to race alongside her even though she's missing her left leg. When, in fact, she was carrying him for most of the race. Probably the best moment from that season was their post-elimination interview with Phil, when she made it pretty clear she was dumping his ass for good.

Anyway, she popped up in a magazine ad, and I thought, "Wow" and "Cool." Then, "I wonder if she can get OnStar with Peter's voice bellowing, 'You can do it, sa-RAH!' whenever she makes a turn." To really capture him, it needs to sound sincerely supportive at first, but then with repetition that condescending edge comes out, where it's really all about him: "Look what a fantastic human I am for pretending this freak is capable of being a person."

Ah, Peter. Where has he been? What ads is he in? He'd make a great pitchman for match.com, from a "You can do better" standpoint.


Mon, February 4

John Connor and the Real Girl

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is fun, but the fun has little to do with the Terminator franchise and more to do with a sexy killbot. (Read more.)

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Fri, February 1

20,000 Leagues Later...—11:58 AM

As we approach Super Bowl Sunday (or, as I call it, Superb Owl Sunday), I have just one question for the universe: why the fuck do we still have the "chains" (which are actually cables these days) to measure whether a first down has been achieved?

I understand why it makes sense to place the little neon doormat on the sidelines: until the RoboCop/Minority Report future when the amazing yellow first-down line from our TV can be in the players' helmets and/or eyeballs, they need a visual reference on the field. Of course. And I suppose it makes sense to keep that Dial-A-Down sign there, in case anyone forgets.

But why run out with this 10-yard length of cable to measure potential first downs? Can't we trust the guy who painted the lines on the field? (If not, that's something we should work out first.) Can't we admit that the particular inch where the ball has been spotted is fairly arbitrary (and was for the previous first down as well) so measuring to the inch is exceedingly precise? If they spotted it about halfway between the 36-yard line and the 37-yard line last time, and at the end of the play, the ball is spotted at least halfway between the 46-yard line and the 47, just call it a god damn first down and get on with it. There's no need for all this pageantry around a result that is nowhere near as exact as it's meant to seem.


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