Category Archives: monologue

monday afternoon monologue

Men’s Wearhouse is attempting to buy Jos. A Banks for a reported offer of $1.78B. No word about, once they buy this company, what 2 companies they’ll get free.

Fruit-eating lemurs score higher on spatial memory tests is a great headline, but someone’s crying, “fowl.” “Not coo-hool!” hooted Jerome Wingsworth, spokesbird for America’s Wisest Birds, an all-owl fraternity. Mr. Wingsworth shifted his weight from foot to foot on a pine tree branch, as he spent 15 minutes decrying the study as pro-mammal propaganda designed to smear the avian community’s proud tradition of education, intelligence and debate. He then spun his head 270 degrees and regurgitated a pellet of undigested bugs, plants and mouse skeletons.

Mexican drug kingpin Shorty Guzman was captured by US Marines in Mazatalan. Guzman had escaped an earlier arrest attempt using a series of underground tunnels, but made the critical error of using a traceable cell phone to call for help. American viewers called the arrest “totally predictable,” saying the idea of “tracing the call” was a bit tired. Despite its high production budget and lower viewership than in years past, network executives at the DEA are expected to renew Mexican Drug Kingpin for another season.  Next season will focus on filling the void left by Guzman’s incarceration, as competing factions within the organization must decide who the bigger threat is – one another, or a mysterious Venezuelan power player known as La Piraña.

With sales of over $2B, electronic cigarettes continue to carve out a larger piece of profits for tobacco companies. Compared to cigarettes, smokeless products are advertised much more broadly, with messages ranging from cessation to recreation. Despite the product shift, tobacco companies are please that their core message of GET THAT NICOTINE IN THROUGH YOUR MOUTH HOLE remains consistent. They are also optimistic about the newer, unregulated products ability to continue to cause addiction and cancer at or above current levels.

Subway Long Range Chip-wich forecast:
March – Rold Gold Pretzels on Black Forest Ham and Cheese
April – Tuna Salad with jalapeño cheddar cheese and Funyuns
May – Garden Salsa Sunchips over Classic Meatball Marinara
Summer – Turkey with Applewood-smoked bacon and Crackerjacks
Fall – Minestrone-soaked Roast Beef on Whole-Grain Cheetos Bread
Winter – Deli Ham and peppermint-bark-dipped Ruffles on Wonderbread

This week, Nokia revealed its latest smartphone products – a group of phones dubbed X, X+ and XL. These products, unlike the rest of the Nokia smartphone population, are not Windows-based. At their core, the X-phones are Android devices. Often they look identical to regular Nokia phones, but after gaining a full charge, X-phones exhibit incredible abilities far beyond those of non-X-phones. Drawing power from nearby objects, enhanced zoom, long-lasting power, even the ability to control other devices – these are just a few of the unbelievable talents that X-phones possess.

With the guidance of Professor X-phone and the X-phone School For Broadband Communication, the X-phones have sworn to protect a world that fears and hates them. But not all Android devices are so nobly inclined. The most powerful of these groups is the Brotherhood of Evil Androids (sometimes referred to as the Brotherhood Of Devices, or simply – The Androidhood). These devices believe their programming makes them superior to others. They seek not a harmonious world in which Androids live peacefully, side-by-side with other devices, but a world in which their power makes them rulers – respected, even feared by those devices they consider inferior.

Who will win this battle of wills, of wits and of wiring? Whose philosophy will triumph and change the very fabric of reality in the Nokiaverse for all time? To find out – be sure to read this summer’s X-Phone crossover event, Circuits Maximus – available at your local phone store or for download at Google Play.

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Friday Afternoon Monologue

I’m having an existential crisis. Not, like, a huge one. It’s not about me (well, it IS, to the extent that I’m the one writing about it…). It’s about Oreos. I’m trying to understand what an Oreo is. I know this sounds like I’ve spent last night really taking advantage of my medicinal marijuana prescription, but it’s sort of the flipside to that. I just want to know where the boundaries are.

If you were on a really, really boring game show called Accurate Definitions (where Home Improvement’s Richard Karn read words and then you buzzed in and accurately defined them in fewer words than your opponent) and you got Kleenex, you would buzz in and say, like, “facial tissue made by Kimberly Clark.” and that sounds pretty good to me. I think you’d get the points. And if he read “Oreo”, you’d buzz in and say “a chocolate sandwich cookie with white creme filling.”

And you’d be sorta right. But not completely right. Yes, there are Oreos that are chocolate sandwich cookies with white creme filling. But there are also Oreos with orange filling for Halloween and yellow filling for spring. So it’s still a chocolate sandwich cookie with creme filling. Except they also make chocolate sandwich cookies with other flavored fillings.  So now we’re back to chocolate sandwich cookie.

EXCEPT they also make cookies with flavors other than chocolate. So we could say that an Oreo is a sandwich cookie. That encompasses the weird sub-genre of Golden Oreos.

EXCEPT they make cookies where they only have one sandwich cookie, not two – hence, not a sandwich. (Don’t talk to me about the Open Face Sandwich. You know a handy nickname for an Open Face Sandwich? Not. A. Sandwich.) They dip the one cookie/creme combo in chocolate like a Thin Mint on steroids. So it’s still a cookie, just not a sandwich creme. So we could say it’s a cookie.

EXCPET they make those weird Cakesters where, instead of a cookie, it’s 2 of the world’s tiniest cupcake tops with creme in the middle. I can understand the pie crust and the ice cream cones. It’s like they crushed up the cookies and pressed them into a new form. But Cakesters? That’s just a ripoff Suzy Q, right? At least that makes sense in as much as Oreos are a ripoff of Hydrox, but still.

And they make a brownie bar. And brownies. And those 100 calorie snack packs? That’s not the same recipe. No way. It’s still a treat, I guess. (as much as one can delude oneself into thinking that a 100 calorie snack pack is a treat).

So now we’ve boiled it down to Treat. Maybe it’s a sandwich thing. Maybe it’s cookies, maybe it’s cake, maybe it’s chocolate, maybe it’s not. Treat is kinda subjective, though. One person’s “Mmmm, cheddar cheese” is another person’s “Yuck, cheddar cheese” and all that. And depending on your taste, can’t any food be a treat? So is it just a food? If it’s just a food, the company is totally failing to push the boundaries of the brand. Why isn’t there a Lunchables-like product where you assemble two pieces of chocolate-flavored sandwich bread and a slice of Velveeta-co-branded Creme Cheese Filling into an Oreo Lunch Sandwich? Shouldn’t there be Oreo taco shells? Golden Oreo softshells and Chocolate Oreo hardshells. And a ready-to-bake Oreo dinner where the sandwich-cookie sections are two orders of Beef Wellington and the center is chicken cordon bleu?

And, on the flipside, if you take the Michael Pollan opinion that Oreos are not Food, but a Food-Like Substance, made of processed materials that our bodies aren’t really designed to use as energy, then there’s really no reason that Oreos need to be something edible.

Now they can move beyond food. Now they can be a bodyspray that doesn’t look or taste like a cookie, but that smells like chocolate. Or a piece of clothing that doesn’t smell or taste like chocolate, but has two outer layers and a soft, inner layer. Now it’s an insulation technology that Columbia uses in their toughest winter coats (“When you need a jacket that stands up to the nature’s toughest elements, you need Oreo.”) It’s a cushion technology that Nike uses to capture and maximize inertia and momentum (“Oreo Springsters allow an athlete to take energy that would otherwise reverberate back through their feet and legs causing injury, and channel it through the Creme Cushioning and Crisp Cookie Sole. Faster running, higher jumping – that’s Oreo.”)

3M creates a line of temporary adhesives based on the creme. Levi’s uses the cookie design on shirt buttons and jeans rivets, and exchanges their traditional gold stitching for creme-inspired white stitching. (The gold comes back, of course, but as a limited edition line of Levi’s 511 Oreo-Wash Skinny Straight Jeans with Spring Butterscotch stitching.)

Untrustworthy-looking jewelry designer Neil Lane creates a tri-band Oreo wedding ring set –  Onyx rings, Lab-growth Creme diamonds, shipped in a plastic tray with a resealable plastic wrapper.

The Olympics update their logo from 5 interlocking rings to 5 overlapping cookies – Cookie Dough, Golden Chocolate, Berry, Mint and Peanut Butter. Olympic hockey pucks and curling stones now have a horizontal stripe down their center representing their countries unique flavor.

Pop Culture slang makes an Oreo-inspired shift that previous generations cant fully grasp or use authentically. Cool = Oreo, Lame = Hydrox, Happy = Mint, Sad = Lemon.

Scientists agree to replace Pi with Oreo as an expression of the mathematical constant of the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

Apple introduces the iReo, a circular, multi-sensory device that monitors your bio-rhythms, your personal data and your music. It also lets you take 1080i holo-video and lets you play Candy Crush. Which has been renamed Oreo Crush.

Look, I don’t know how far this goes. I’m just saying that I don’t know where the boundaries of Oreo are anymore. I don’t know if there are any. Should there be? I don’t know that either. Clearly, in a world where Golden Oreo Ice Cream Rainbow Sure, Bert! cookies exists, that decision is not up to me. In a world where I just used 1,000 words to turn a cookie into a iPhone, there’s only one thing that’s certain:

Double Stuf Oreos are better than regular Oreos. The cookie/creme ratio is better, plain and simple and that’s the truth.

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friday afternoon monologue

Me (standing in the store): The Starbucks app told me I can get free refills on coffee. Is that true?
Barista (standing in the store): Yes, as long as you’re in the store.
Me (still standing in the store): Great… because… here I am…

After the characters of J.R.R. Tolkien have been box-office stars for years, the author himself will finally take center stage as plans for a biopic have now been revealed. True to the vision of executive producer Peter Jackson, the story will be split into 3 films – The Fellowship of the J, The Two Rs and The Return of the Tolkien.

Catching Fire, the second movie in the Hunger Games franchise, opens today and is expected to dominate the weekend box office. In it, children are forced to fight one another, risking their health and sanity for the entertainment of the masses. “Hey, that was our idea first!” shouted the producers of Toddlers & Tiaras.

A few weekends ago, we went to see the Packers at Lambeau. Below a few notes on The Lambeau Experience:

Green Bay may be the only place I’ve ever been where people park their cars on a stranger’s lawn before they start drinking.

In Wisconsin, the sign says “No food or beverages allowed inside the stadium,” but the sign means “Carry your Miller Lite tallboy right to the stadium entrance, then chug it and set it on the ground next to all the other empties.”

At Shopko in Green Bay, it’s about 20 feet from the front door to the main aisle. “20 feet” or “3 racks of jerseys and 1 rack of Aaron Rodgers action figures.”

Your green and gold pajama pants aren’t just around-the-house clothes anymore.

If you think you can’t crochet beer cans into a hat, think again.

If you think everyone’s forgiven Favre, think again.

And if you think bratwurst is an acceptable breakfast food, think agai- well, no, you’re right on that one.

Wisco Disco is a beer that exists. Because, what better logic for naming a beer than “hey, it rhymes with Wisco!” Hopefully next year, Stillmark Brewing will start selling their tributes to the West Coat (Wisco Frisco) and Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (Wisco Sisko).

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friday afternoon monologue

The Sweet Tea has been up in the middle of the night each of the last 3 nights. People talk about the terrible 2’s, but really it’s more about the terrible 3’s, 3:30’s and 4:15’s. It’s a total energy drain. It’s getting to the point that I’m ready to believe an online ad that says PROFESSORS HATE THIS ONE WEIRD TRICK TO HELP YOUR BABY SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT!

There are only 2 kinds of video screens in a baby’s world. 1 – the touchscreen. 2 – the tv screen doesn’t do anything when I touch it dad what did you do did you break it why isn’t it working?

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Always judge a band by its covers.

The Curiosity Rover found liquid water on Mars this week, analyzing a soil sample to discover it contains 2% water, as well as carbon dioxide, oxygen, and sulfur compounds. The mineralogical data was exciting to scientists who have long predicted that Mars may one day be suitable for a Coca Cola bottling plant.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder is out with a fractured rib. The fracture is close to his heart and team doctors are concerned that if he sustains a big hit, it could mean serious damage. Doctors confirm that if backup quarterback Matt Cassel plays a great game, a broken heart is still a possibility for Ponder.

A dangerous Russian street drug called Krokodil has made its way to the United States. Made of chemicals easily found at home improvement stores, this cheap heroin substitute causes rough, scaly patching on the skin of its users. Medical experts call it a deadly substance that can lead to death in under 2 years of use, but admit it’s also a pretty amazing reminder that the last episode of Breaking Bad airs this Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.

Kayne West is mad at Jimmy Kimmel. That’s not really newsworthy, that’s just a Mad Libs that you can’t lose. Here, try it yourself and feel like a psychic. “Kanye West is [synonym for ‘very’] angry at [anyone on earth] for [professional or everyday behavior]. West took [double-digit number] minutes to [verb] about it last night during the [European city] [fashion show] he was attending. West was dressed in a [pattern] kilt, [garish color] Nikes and a [precious metal] tank top from Brooklyn designer [Old Testament Name] [comic book noise].”

 

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friday morning monologue

North Korea’s president Kim Jong Un is enjoying surprisingly high approval rating in a recent survey. Seoul National University interviewed people who had recently fled North Korea and found that they gave Mr. Kim an approval rating of over 50%, well over many other world leaders. This ratings is still slightly lower than that of Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, who routinely enjoyed approval ratings of 110%-5000%.

Zack Snyder’s upcoming Man of Steel sequel continues to create buzz this week. Snyder, the film’s director, has revealed the Batman/Superman blockbuster-to-be will shoot in Detroit and throughout Michigan. Rumors swirl that by contributing to Snyder’s Kickstarter campaign, fans can enjoy an exclusive first look at the teaser trailer – Gotham in Da Moonlight.
Snyder would not answer questions at the press event announcement, citing that he was “too busy putting together the rest of the movie by filling in this Mad Libs. Hey, who’s got a really good ‘villainous noun’ they could share?”

A study in the journal Nature reports that scientists in Austria have successfully grown miniature ‘human brains’ with which they hope to gain insight into neurological disorders. The brains are the size of a pea and are incapable of thought, making them the perfect test subject to help scientists understand the popularity of MTV’s Video Music Awards.

The end of August marks the end of the football’s 4-game, Unnecessary Injury Season. League reps report a highly-successful ‘Un-In’ season this year with sprains, strains and tears consistent with last year, but an impressive increase in the quality and quantity of knee and hamstring injuries.

The start of the September also means the return of Fantasy Football, the tabletop roleplaying game beloved by self-professed football ‘geeks’. Often, players are introduced to the game in middle and high school. When they find they don’t share their popular classmates’ love for science, technology and comic books, they bond by imagining themselves as competitive athletes, playing in an arena built for sporting exhibitions, and the occasional monster truck rally.

Gameplay is as follows – players create their characters and assigned them Ability Scores for Strength, Dexterity, Gatorade, Second Effort and Intangibles and choose their character’s class – Offense, Defense, or Special Teams. Then they’re led through the gameplay by the “Gridiron Master.” The GM acts as a storyteller and referee, offering game-deciding judgements based on rules and precedents, or for no logical reason whatsoever.

In a bit of Greek-style storytelling, one character in the game has the power to overrule even the GM. In certain situations, the game’s actions are altered by The Goodell, a Deus Ex Machina who descends from above to affect permanent rule changes that characters are powerless to oppose.

During gameplay, players roll polyhedral dice to determine the outcome of complex or risky actions, like a long-yardage Field Goals, or casting spells like Tim Tebow or Michael Vick. While there is a timer during games, it’s largely ceremonial, given the GM’s ability to freeze time at his or her discretion. Gameplay is divided into quartered sections, with a possible bonus section at the game’s end, where the GM allows the game to transcend chronology and go Over Time. In Over Time, the characters abilities remain the same, but the game stakes are increased with the addition of Sudden Death.

The point of the game is to use individual skills for the success of the team, building a higher Point Total than other teams in the local League of Fantasy. As the series of adventures (known as a campaign) goes on, their characters can gain valuable Experience Points that can improve in-game social standing from Rookie to Starter to ProBowler. At the same time, players must be careful to avoid injury and not amass too many Hit Points which can push a character’s status beyond Seasoned Veteran to Journeyman or the undesirable Good Locker Room Guy.  Players must also be aware of their characters’ “off-board behavior,” which can have an impact on Ability Scores and, in some cases, allow the GM to enforce a Suspension Spell on one or multiple characters. Suspension Spells vary in severity from the Manziel Suspension (half of one quartered section) to the Von Miller (one third of an entire campaign).

Players can often become very involved in Fantasy Football gameplay, researching and cataloging information before the season starts through specialty books, magazines and websites. Some players even go so far as to create elaborate fictional backstories for each character (although this practice is much more widespread in Fantasy Baseball). After that week’s adventure (most often played on Sundays), players can’t wait to gather on Monday morning to rehash the weekend’s events, reviewing strategies and starting to plan the following weekend’s adventure.

The history of Fantasy Football can be traced back to one of its original and most popular innovators, Gary Lombardax. Gary is largely credited with pushing the gameplay into the realms of magic and fantasy. A 1964 film clip shows him demonstrating how to cast a then-revolutionary Aquatic Mammal Spell, transporting “a seal here, and a seal here” allowing characters to safely “run the ball …through the alley.” Lombardax showed an uncanny ability to create imaginative adventures and challenging campaigns for Fantasy players. Although his Championship series has been out of print for decades, his SuperBowl series grows in popularity every year, even as it approaches its 50th anniversary. After a brief bankruptcy scare in the 90’s, Lombardax’s business was purchased and revitalized by Bill Walsh and Wizards of the West Coast. Walsh revised and rewrote the game’s official rulebook, The Power Sweep, while making the gameplay faster and flashier. He also allowed two characters (usually a Passer and a Receiver) to combine their powers and create a more potent Offensive Threat that, if maintained correctly, could be sustained not just through multiple adventures, but throughout multiple campaigns.

The effect of Fantasy Football on pop culture has risen in recent years, with players creating specialty Character Jerseys to wear in real life, along with game accessories and weapons like helmets, gloves, armored padding, and cleats. Avid players even gather with friends for live-action role-playing (LARPing) in parks on the weekend or after Thanksgiving dinner. And in some parts of the country, parents are starting to organize LARPing leagues for their children. Some hard-core fans wonder whether these could someday translate into Professional Adult Football LARPing leagues, but admit that the spectacle of grown men smashing into one another, risking traumatic physical and neurological injuries just to see who can get a ball across a line more times isn’t really a pastime that they could endorse in good conscience.

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friday afternoon monologue

This week, Prince joined Twitter using the handle @3rdEyeGirl. Which means that next time, he’ll be sending himself that cease-and-desist order.

The time is now to set up your one-joke Twitter account – @PrincesLawyer.

In a nativity mash-up, the three wise men should bring gold, frankincense and mermaids.

“Are you her daddy? How come you look cool?” – Ego-fueling playground banter.

At Seattle’s Hempfest, police will be distributing information about the state’s new legalization laws attached to bags of Doritos. If successful, the program will expand to include a new product line, Totally Baked Lays.

Senator Patrick Leahy pledged increased oversight on the NSA, in response to an internal audit revealing that the agency broke 1000s of privacy rules over the past 5 years. NSA leaders acknowledged the breach, agreeing with the senator’s remarks, and simply asking him to direct his comments to the vase of flowers in the center of the table.

Heismann trophy winner Johnny Manziel is accused of breaking NCAA football rules by accepting money in exchange for autographs. “Silly Johnny,” said the NCAA. “Money is for football programs, not football players!” The NCAA promised to forgive any alleged infraction if Manziel agreed to register next semester for their Advanced Concussions seminar.

I’m having trouble getting this Backstreet Boys cover out of my head. No shame; just the power of pop. It did make me wonder whether A) if there’s an all-girl Backstreet cover band called Uptown Girls or B) If, with his newfound Almost Tonight Show powers, Jimmy Fallon can have Billy Joel and Backstreet on the show covering one another’s songs for a week.

Gene Simmons and KISS have bought an Arena League Football team. In preparation for the 2014 season, they’ve partnered with Under Armour to develop a line of fire-breathing helmets, spike-and-chain shoulder pads and knee-high, platform cleats.

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friday morning monologue – 3 year anniversary edition

This post marks three years of writing jokes every week. Okay, almost every week. What started out as a motivational project to do some regular writing has turned into a deeply superstitious activity that will hopefully help me keep my sweet writing day-job. It seemed like a good time to look back through the blog and pull out a few jokes that might still be a little bit funny. Thanks for reading.

combo-named foods that don’t taste like either of them:
cheesecake
rice cakes
Butterfinger
pineapple
honey mustard
chicken in a biscuit
egg rolls
butterscotch
veggie burger
pot pie

Thinking of making some custom bracelets:
WWDJJJD (What Would DJ Jazzy Jeff Do?)

I’m always thinking of the polite thing to do. 2-5 minutes after it would have been appropriate. I call it The Retroactive Gentleman.
“Could I have taken your coats?”
“Would you have liked something to drink?”
“Could I have offered you a hand with that?”

On a recent shopping trip, I discovered something new: texting gloves. I didn’t put them on my Christmas list, thought. I’m holding out for a Facebooking hat, a Tweeting scarf or some Googling boots.

Mudflap girl stickers on the back of a Kia Sorrento? That’s wrong, right?

The sign says “No visible tattoos”. Thank goodness I opted for the invisible tattoos …

Tabletop chocolate fountain: Fountain of Youth or Fountain of Type-2 Diabetes?

When you’re the only person on the bus, I wish it felt like the world’s biggest limousine and not like an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

We drove through our old neighborhood this week and good news – that one house still has the Ford Mustang and the Mini Cooper parked out front. I like to imagine that the two cars are buddies and main character on a TV show where they fight crime – Cooper & Stang. I don’t know if they’re undercover cops, if they were brought to life by a freak lightning storm or which one of them is days away from retirement, but all those small details will get worked out before the pilot.

What’s more disturbing: that I was listening to the Lite Rock station or that they were playing Nirvana?

A coworker lamented the large amount of work we had to do by referencing the fat stacks of paper we brought to the meeting.
Fat Stacks is now my new rap name.

Happiness is walking around on the roof, clearing out the gutters with a leaf blower the day before it rains. Sadness is a neighbor’s late-turning tree that undoes all that progress after any decent breeze.

Just saw an ad for Hugh Jackman’s Broadway show that touts the fact that he’s performing “with an 18-piece orchestra!” I’m no orchestraologist, but does 18 sound a little low to anyone else? What’s the smallest orchestra possible? I feel like it’s gotta be about 18 pieces. I’d be way more interested in going if he was playing with a 1,000-piece robot orchestra.

Updated riddles:
What’s black and white and read all over?
Your malfunctioning Nook Color. Please call customer service.

Why was 6 afraid of 7?
Because 7 8 9 Gogurts in 1 sitting and that can’t be good for anyone.

 

Can we refer to putting on makeup while driving as a biathlon? Sure, it’s weird, but no weirder than skiing and then target shooting. Plus, for my new biathlon, I think the United States could put up really strong contenders for the world competition.

Someone at the table read the message from their Dove chocolate wrapper – “listen with your heart.” Before I knew it, I blurted out, “Pump blood with your ears.”

Dick Clark is no longer the world’s oldest teenager.
But he’s got a real shot to be the world’s youngest zombie.

A shark can smell blood in the water. Can a shark phlebotomist smell water in the blood?

Lyndsay and I have finally started to watch Mad Men. If you need us in the next few months, we’ll be in the 60’s.

It’s easier to turn on Photo Booth on my laptop than it is to find a reflective surface.
You guys – we’re living in the future.

I’m not sure if they’ve done this already, but if Nick at Nite hasn’t piggybacked on current trends and done a Land Shark Week, they’re really missing an opportunity.

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friday afternoon monologue

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended for the remainder of the season for violating Major League Baseball’s drug policy. After being handed a 150-game ban, Braun grabbed it, flexed his inhumanly powerful arms and compressed the suspension down to 65 games.

Full disclosure: every time I hear the name Bradley Manning, I think he’s a mashup of Bradley Cooper and Peyton Manning.

Royal Baby Fever has crested in England, with the birth of Will and Kate’s first child, Prince George Alexander Louis. The Queen is said to be delighted to have a great grandson, as well as One More Heir To The Throne Who Isn’t Prince Charles.

Prince Harry has said he wants to make life “as fun as possible” for his new nephew (and possible future king) Prince George. He’s taking the role of Funcle quite seriously, and has installed baby seats on both his helicopter and his motorcycle. Harry’s wing in Kensington palace is said be perfect for a moody, pampered child; so it should be fine for baby George as well.

Scientists at MIT successfully implanted false memories in the brains of laboratory mice. OR DID THEY??!??!??!??!?!!?!???

The Harvard School of Public Health has found that drinking coffee may help lower the risk of suicide by up to 50%. Harvard president Drew Faust hailed it as, “great news for Yale grads everywhere.”

Vandals splashed green paint on Washington DC’s Lincoln Memorial sometime early Friday morning. Police are carefully reviewing the surveillance footage and are confident in their ability to find and apprehend the guy who invented this.

Google announced its newest version of the Nexus 7 tablet is available for preorder at Best Buy. You remember Best Buy – they sponsor that date of the side of perishable food packaging.

This week Google also introduced Chromecast, a USB dongle that streams content directly to your TV. It included a promo of 3 free months of Netflix that was so popular, it was cut short. A dongle promotion that has proved to be far less popular: Carlos Danger. Although, many seem to think cutting that short could be a good idea, too.

 

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friday morning monologue

Let’s be clear – In the world of reporting, there are headlines and then there are headlines.

Emmy nominations are out this week, with Netflix’s House of Cards reeling in 9 nominations, a stunning total for the streaming service’s first go at original programming. Netflix is said to already be prepping for a win with new categories like Dramas We Told You Were Awesome Like A Year Ago. If they return trophy-less however, brace for categories like Critically Acclaimed Series Shunned By An Out-Of-Touch Academy.

Also out this week – Forbes list of the highest paid actors of the last year. In order the top 5 are:
Robert Downey, Jr. for putting on a suit
Channing Tatum for taking one off
Hugh Jackman as the star of Les Mis: French Wolverine
Mark Wahlberg, who will keep less of his money pending a nasty divorce with his right bicep.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, a virtually unknown character actor whose nuanced performances let him disappear into roles like Quentin Compson in William Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury and Benedict in Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.

This weekend is, of course, San Diego Comic Con – the annual celebration of Things That You Got Beat Up For Liking In Middle School. While much of popular culture has now embraced fantasy, science fiction and super heroics, a group of devoted former bullies will still gather next week in Boulder, Colorado for their yearly convention – Fireworks, Shut Up & The First Half Of Metallica’s Black Album.

Fair to say Jon Hamm killed as host of the ESPY Awards this year. He appears to be good at everything he does, and that’s why America is allowed to both love and hate him. But the ESPYs themselves are a wonderfully weird event. It’s basically a physical-fitness-obsessed version of Jeopardy’s Tournament of Champions. Everyone there is already a winner. Already in the winner’s circle. But much like elevating from Yankee to True Yankee, their winningness has granted them access to a subjective competition about who among them will be a winner’s winner. Who will enter the winner’s circle inner circle?

Since the awards show catalogs the previous year in sports, it’s not too much of a challenge to guess who will win Best NBA Athlete Named James or Best Hair on a NCAA Coach, but it seems like they’re really missing out by not handling out a few legacy awards for popular sports from previous eras like Fastest Athlete (Non-Horse), Best All-Wool Uniforms and Most Courteous Velocipede Rider.

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friday morning monologue

Dwight Howard broke the news that he’s decided to leave the LA Lakers and sign with the Houston Rockets. “I’m proud of the time I’ve spent not winning championships in LA, but it’s time to move on. Houston is an amazing team and I can’t wait to get to work not winning a championship with the Rockets.”

In a new campaign to promote fire safety, Smokey the Bear gives out hugs instead of gruff advice and furry finger pointing. It’s cute, different and most importantly, it provides Smokey with the opportunity to pickpocket unsuspecting campers. Hey, husky jeans and personalized monogrammed hats aren’t exactly cheap.

Other mascots whose names seem counterintuitive to their messages:
Tipsy the Sober Ostrich
Snappy the Polite Turtle
Sir Waste-a-lot, the Recycling Walrus

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is said to be preparing to suspend as many as 20 MLB players for suspected steroid use. Selig stated, “People really hated when I let the 2002 All Star Game end in a tie, but that was over a decade ago. Baseball fans are a loyal group and truly deserve a fresh reason to dislike my tenure and question my erratic, possibly vindictive decision-making process.”

Breaking news: Edward Snowden is still literally somewhere, technically nowhere, and digitally everywhere. If he cannot reach an asylum agreement with Russia, Venezuela or Nicaragua, he may be forced to apply at the last nations on his list: Latveria, Atlantis or Dinotopia.

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby is due any day and London is in a frenzy with news crews camping outside the hospital and bets being placed on the royal baby’s name. Odds-on favorites include Alexandra if it’s a girl and George if it’s a boy. The royal family has downplayed rumors that the baby will be named Magna Carta Royal Grail and available exclusively on the Samsung Galaxy SG4.

The FDA has recommended a limit on the amount of arsenic found in apple juice. “Bummer!” said two ladies from a 70-year-old Cary Grant movie.

Rave reviews for that TV show about that dude with anger/violence/inner-demon issues. No, not that one. Not that one. Not that one. Nope. Sorry, no. No. Wait, that one. Critics say it really stands out from everything else on TV.

Wells Fargo recorded a 14th-consecutive rise in quarterly profits and a Q2 increase of a frumoinous percentage. “It’s totally vorpal”, said Wells Fargo spokesman Jeff Kagen, conforming to the company’s new policy of using nonsensical words to address huge sums of money. “It’s a number so high, it’s really beyond physical comprehension. For all intents and purposes, we just made a quintobazillion dollars. A Queeg-load of cash.” Kagen declined to comment on the previous quarter’s brief scare, where the mention of the thought of the possibility of regulation changes nearly cost the company a cool 1.2 Darseks.

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