Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Magazine That Backs up What I've Been Telling People

So, the Washington Monthly (or "the liberal Washington Monthly" as it was called in one article that linked to this information) has put out its own list of the top universities in the country. They're apparently kinda-sorta trying to compete with U.S. News and World Report's rankings, but they decided on different criteria. Their big categories are social mobility, research, and service. It's meant to be "a guide not just to what colleges can do for you, but what colleges are doing for the country."

The upshot: guess who's number one with these "meaurements that matter"?

Oh, that's right. One Texas A&M University, that's who.
Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hypothetical Headlines

Considering dumb headlines I've seen before, I will not be at all surprised when these someday surface:

"Few unhappy with US follow through on threatened Canada move"

"Smoking still considered unhealthy"

"Researchers say teenagers, toddlers prone to misbehavior"

"Watching sports, drinking beer often correlated"

"Pope Catholic, study finds"
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Monday, August 13, 2007


There's at least one thing in this post that contains a HARRY POTTER SPOILER. But c'mon. Shouldn't you be done reading by now?

A while back, I posted a great picture that I had found on Facebook. Well, thanks to Nancy, I now know where it came from: Potterpuffs.

This girl is both very talented and super hardcore about Harry Potter. You can tell from her details and the cool things she choses to depict:

I really like this one with Scrimgeour and Fudge. Such good details!

And then there's this supercute Tonks:

But what's best is that she makes Powerpuff versions of my very favorite scenes in the whole series, to wit--

Snape's Worst Memory:

Hermione birding Ron:

And Neville being BEYOND AWESOME:

(And she even made Voldemort cute. How does that work?)

If you go to her site (linking again for emphasis), her commentary is also pretty funny, especially when she talks about her mom having found her work. (It also proves, again, that Alan Rickman groupies are by no means a rare breed.)
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Another Stupid Headline

Gmail just supplied me with another SHOCKING FACT:

Kids justify illegal downloads, study finds

Who pays for these studies?!?
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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just Because

For no good reason (other than, as previously discussed, his awesomeness) I bring you a couple YouTube Alan Rickman things.

First, a recording of Alan Rickman reading a Shakespearian sonnet set to an Alan Rickman photo montage, with subtitles in English and an Asian language I shall not venture to guess the identity of. (If you're wondering--no, I don't know why this exists.)

And, inevitably, a montage of Alan Rickman to "I'm Too Sexy." Now, I know what you're thinking, but it's actually better done and less salacious than many Alan Rickman tributes out there. (Go ahead, disbelieve me--if you dare.)

Click here to read more . . .

Friday, August 10, 2007

Four Things I Love about College Football

With only a little over three weeks to go, I bring you three plus one highlights of the college football season, in no particular order.

The nationally famous . . . Fightin' Texas Aggie Band.

The name John David Booty [tee hee] (especially in John David Booty's Louisiana accent [tee hee])

Jim Tressel's sweater vests!

(So adorable!)

And of course, li'l Stevie McGee.

Check out all his moxie:

Football rules!
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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Let Me Tell You about Snood

I don't mean to brag, but I can waste time with the best of them. And perhaps no single activity, besides of course my good friend television, has been to helpful to me in the pure wasting of time (that is, time which is by no accounts productive--it does not include, for example, doing the dishes when you ought to be doing homework or doing something rewarding like talking on the phone to friends or reading for pleasure) than Snood.

When you want to do something completely mindless, Snood is a great candidate. It requires less thought than computer card games and is brighter and more cheerful than Minesweeper. It's the whole package.

You see, you have this board full of Snoods

And you try to clear them all away by shooting like-colored Snoods at them, like so:

You can download Snood for yourselves if you want to, but--as much mindless joy-like emotion as I personally derive from it--I don't recommend it. First of all, there is the addictiveness that I have alluded to, and then of course there's the fact that it isn't free. Oh, of course, it's free to begin with, but like all good drug dealers, the Snood guys make you pay after you've played so many rounds. Sad to say, I did go ahead and get the deluxe version. . . . I had to see the cool features.

You see, with the super deluxe non-free version, you don't have to use those regular Snood shapes if you don't want to. They have others, like dinosaurs and presidents. (You know without me telling you that it was the promise of presidential Snoods that lured me in, don't you?) But frankly, they're lame. The dinosaurs looks stupid, and the presidents are all in shades of tan, making it well nigh impossible to see what you're doing. But.

You can make your own Snoods.

Yes, that's right, I made British monarch Snoods.

There are two of each because the Snoods kind of blink and move, so we have:

Charles II, regular/winking at some fine ladies

Charles I, not decapitated/decapitated

Henry VII, glaring/smiling with pound signs for eyes

Henry VIII, pious and grumpy/heathen and happy

Elizabeth I, benevolent/yelling

Richard III, regular Joe/crazy evil hunchback

James I, with/without kicky feather in his cap

and, in place of skulls in the original set, the ghosts of the Princes in the Tower.

Man, I'm a nerd.

Click here to read more . . .

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Women in Art

I really have no commentary on this, besides the fact that it's pretty wicked cool, that it confuses my brain if I try to think too hard about what I'm seeing at individual moments, and that big props go out to Chanda for forwarding it to me. Check it:

Click here to read more . . .

1 for 6

As usual, I got turned down to donate blood today. My "iron" was too "low" or something. I'm sorry my 11.8 hemoglobin level doesn't meet your "standards," American Red Cross.

As most of you know, this is the latest in my string of failures to share the gift of life.* Had I not successfully emptied myself of a bag of blood that one time a couple years ago, I would be just about ready to give up by now.

The moral of the story: eat more steak.

(I love it when stories have delicious morals.)

*Once because I wasn't sure what I weighed, once because my heart rate was two beats per minute too fast, once because I wasn't absolutely sure that I weighed enough--without shoes, and now twice because of the dumb old iron thing. And this doesn't even count all the honorary failures when I didn't even bother to try because of the weight deal. Discrimination, I tell ya.
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Monday, August 6, 2007

Planet Unicorn #05 (Whoop!)

Shannon learns an important lesson. About pie.

(And in case you've missed them:

Planet Unicorn #1
#4 )
(Also, Feathers is totally my favorite.)
Click here to read more . . .

Me a la The Simpsons

I went to SimpsonizeMe.Com the other day, and this is what it came up with:

Does that look like me? I'm just too close to me to tell.

(Also, as a warning: if you want to get Simpsonized, prepare to be very very patient. It's a persnickety process.)

Click here to read more . . .

Real Life and Television: Not the Same

But what if they were?

Pro: We would all be much more attractive

Con: but we would be totally incapable of forming and maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships.

Pro: We would have exciting careers, at which we would all be the very best in the world

Con: but we would get shot at a lot. And possibly our cars would explode on a regular basis.

Pro: We would always be able to come up with immediate witty retorts

Con: but we would nearly always be in the midst of elaborate yet flimsy lies, in lieu of having adult conversations.

Pro: We would all live way beyond our possible means

Con: but our friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, bosses, exes, long-lost high school pals, acquaintances, enemies, dogwalkers, and deliverymen would barge in (to our lavish apartments) at all times of day and night.

Pro: We would constantly have people to date, with whom we get a lot of action with no chance whatsoever of getting horrible diseases (and little chance of pregnancy, unless the child were due to be born during May [or, less frequently, November or February]. In an elevator).

Con: but we would in all likelihood, at some point in our lives, be left at the altar.

I'm sure there are more, but to tell you the truth, I know which one I'd choose. I mean, being able to come up with witty repartee in real time? TV-life, I'm sold!
Click here to read more . . .

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Most Played Songs on My iTunes

For no particular reason, I bring you my top ten most played songs on iTunes. This is of course skewed toward songs I've downloaded since I've gotten this computer, because when I first get a song, I listen to it over and over and over. It's also skewed toward the 1776 soundtrack. (What can I say? I just never get tired of that show. So good.)

10. "Ain't No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera (62 times). What? It's good! Shut up!

9. "Yours Yours Yours" from the 1776 soundtrack (65). So sad. John and Abigail can't be together because of the fight for freedom and duty and responsibility and stuff. But they're so in love!

8. "Only Want to Be with You" by Dusty Springfield (67). NOT to be confused with the similarly titled song by Hootie and the Blowfish. No sir.

7. "But, Mr. Adams" from the 1776 soundtrack (69). It's my favorite part of the show, because it's hilarious when the rest of the Declaration Committee marvels that John Adams, too, misses--ahem--his wife.

6. "Love Child" by the Supremes (70). Fantastic.

5. "Is Anybody There?" sung by William Daniels, from the 1776 soundtrack (74). This one is great for when you feel like the world is against you, but are you going to give up? No! Just like John Adams.

4. "I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues" by Elton John (92). My favorite part is how the song title gets sung more emphatically each time it comes up.

3. "If You Really Love Me" by Stevie Wonder (108). Man, I love Stevie Wonder.

2. "We Can Work it Out" by Stevie Wonder (122). Yes, it's a Stevie Wonder cover of the Beatles song. It's not only good and fun in that lovely Stevie Wonder way, but it's also interesting to marvel at how different it is from the original.

1. "Colors" by Amos Lee (123). Has anybody else heard of this song? I only discovered it because it plays over the end of an episode of House. It's simple and sweet and sad and I apparently like it a whole lot.
Click here to read more . . .

Saturday, August 4, 2007

A Little More Weird Al

For your viewing pleasure, Al "interviewing":

Paul McCartney

and Ozzy Osbourne (if you're anything like me, you're going to notice HOW MUCH BETTER Weird Al has aged than Ozzy has. Wow. Testament to clean living, right there.)

And you've watched the "White and Nerdy" video, right? Well, watching it four or seven more times will be good for you.

Click here to read more . . .

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Magical Green Bay Trip, Part 2

"Your Lambeau Field pictures were awfully neat-o, Rachel," I can hear you saying (you sound like The Beaver today, for some reason) "but why did you go to Green Bay?"

Only, gentle readers, for one of the best reasons EVER!


Yes, that's right. My gentleman caller escorted me to the Oneida Casino in Green Bay so we could take in a concert of that excellent showman, "Weird Al" Yankovic.

(Side note: the casino gave us each a $5 gambling voucher. When we went up to the cash place [I'm not very casino-savvy], we discovered that this meant they just handed us a $5 bill. Neal and I each played $2 worth of slot machines, and I won $2, meaning that together we came out $8 ahead. That's a victory, baby!)

As usual, Weird Al put on a great show. Some of my personal favorite highlights were:

. . . the medley, which is always great. This time, there was only one song in there that was completely new to me (only because he hasn't released it at all, of course), but it was hilarious enough that I'm not complaining. You know that song "I'm N Luv (Wit a Stripper)"? No? Well, there is one. (Don't worry, it's as unintentionally humorous as you're hoping.) For the appropriately curious, Al's version starts at the 3:20 mark in this 10-minute long clip (which is only one glorious half of the medley).

(In Green Bay, the version of "Headline News" he follows with was about Paris Hilton, not Britney Spears.)

. . . "You're Pitiful." Not only is the song really funny to begin with, he performed a many-layered version of it. (I'm pretty sure I made a really, really weak pun right there.) The video clip below doesn't have the whole song, but it does catch the part that most catered to those of us who knew the backstory on the song.

(I hope you could read that first shirt [bizarrely, pirated concert footage on YouTube doesn't have the best picture quality]; if not, it's "Atlantic Records Sucks." It got a big crowd reaction, I tell you what.)

. . . the encore. Now, I got pretty scared about an hour and fifteen minutes into the concert. Why? Because Al's keyboardist, Ruben Valtierra, came out in his Emperor Palpatine robes. "Oh no!" I thought, "is Al sick? Does his voice hurt, so he's wrapping up the show early? Does he hate Green Bay? Why is this happening? Why, God, why?" Or something to that effect.

You see, at my previous four Weird Al concerts, his two Star Wars songs ("The Saga Begins" and "Yoda") served as his encore. They always closed the show for good. But then I realized that Al hadn't even sung "White and Nerdy" yet, and clearly, even if he was going to shorten the show for some apocalyptic reason, he would have kept in his latest, most successful song.

So then, after the Star Wars songs had been done and the concert continued on its merry way, the question in the back of my mind was, what would the encore be?

Now to set up the joke. (Man, this is really involved.) So, during Al's numerous costume changes, he shows clips from all kinds of stuff--his cameo in The Naked Gun, "educational" film strips from The Weird Al Show, etc.

One of the bits he showed started at about the one minute mark (and ends at about the two) of his AlTV "interview" with Michael Stipe:

I was fairly delighted at this, because that was the AlTV I watched over and over and over and over, and I really liked that song. Not two weeks ago was I singing it to myself in the shower, in fact. (He also showed the "truck backing up" part, which is irrelevant. But still funny.)

So, after he had fake-closed the show with "Fat" (as usual) he comes back out and does this shtick:

I had heard of this joke before; in the example I had heard of, Al had pretended he was going to sing a particular song the crowd really wanted to hear, but then he launched into his all-time so-awful-it-comes-back-around-to-kind-of-awesome non-hit "Mr. Frump in the Iron Lung," and I briefly thought (before he busted into "Cell Phones") that that's what he was going to play. I was excited at this prospect. However, I had only remembered the setup--buildup for a lame song--without remembering the payoff. You see, dear friends, the example I had read about of him doing this? Was at a concert he played in Albuquerque. So the song the crowd had wanted to hear? Was "Albuquerque."

Never had I truly believed I would ever be so lucky as to hear Weird Al play "Albuquerque" in concert. But I was! I totally was!

In conclusion, WEIRD AL RULES!

Click here to read more . . .