Saturday, February 22, 2014

SO LONG, FAREWELL:  The last surviving child among the von Trapp family singers, Maria, has passed away at the age of 99 at her home in Vermont. It was her childhood suffering from scarlet fever which prompted her father, Captain Georg von Trapp, to hire a governess for the family (also named Maria), and you pretty much know the rest of the real story.

Friday, February 21, 2014

BY ODIN'S BEARD!  Unrated/extended/alternate cuts on DVD are pretty common nowadays, but Anchorman 2 is taking it to a whole different level, with a new cut that's the same plot, but entirely new (and R-rated) jokes.  I'm not sure that it will be any good or have any narrative continuity, but let's be honest--one doesn't see Anchorman films for their dense plotting and clever narrative twists.
YELLOW, ORANGE, GREEN, AND BLUE:  A list of courses and topics which I recall having in middle school but which are not, apparently, going to be part of Lucy's grades 6-8 curriculum at her "vibrant learning community":

  • home economics, including sewing and cooking
  • wood shop
  • metal shop
  • (was there another shop?)
  • "keyboarding" class taught on electric typewriters
  • "consumer education"
  • regular health classes, including a unit on Those Magical Changes You're Experiencing. (Apparently, we have to teach this ourselves. Yikes.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

HOTEL, MOTEL, HOLIDAY INN:  Who rapped it better: Brian Williams f/Lester Holt, or reigning delightful rapper champion The Hon. Michael Nutter, Mayor of Philadelphia?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SUOMI:  Russia's home-ice loss in today's Olympic men's ice hockey quarterfinals is the most humiliating home loss in international competition since ... the United States' three losses in Indianapolis at the 2002 FIBA World basketball competition?
ROLLO TAMASI:  The Dissolve's Mike D'Angelo reviews the Best Actor competition of 1997, in which Jack Nicholson took his third statue for As Good As It Gets over Robert Duvall in The Apostle, Peter Fonda in crossword-staple Ulee's Gold, Matt Damon's breakthrough in Good Will Hunting, and the how-the-hell-did-they-not-nominate Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights or either male lead in L.A. Confidential.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

LONDINIUM CALLING:  Fangraphs forecasts this upcoming MLB season, as expressed via a map of the Roman Empire circa 200 A.D. in which each team's relative distance from Rome in travel days is roughly equivalent to the chance each team has of making the playoffs in 2014
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING A LOT OF DUDES:  Look, we're long past dismissing Jimmy Fallon as a "dime-store mimbo," and there was a lot of charming material during his Tonight Show hosting debut last night (and man,did the Top of the Rock look great at sunset), but ... (1) it was a pretty complete sausage-fest, with women serving only as cameos during the "$100 bet" bit -- I don't even think there were any jokes about female athletes during the Olympic superlatives; and (2) yes, okay, first show and all, but it was still a bit too much on the tell-not-show on how Fallon wants himself and his show to be seen as being a warm and unthreatening place. Trust your own charisma, trust that what you've already built is going to be welcoming of and enjoyed by a broader audience.

Still: if anyone can save this format, and restore The Tonight Show as the late night comedy-variety show where everyone feels comfortable (both guests and viewers), it's probably Fallon, and I hope his reign is long and enjoyable.

added: James Poniewozik disagrees with me on the second point:

Monday, February 17, 2014

NO PARTY AT GROUND ZERO:  Next time Fishbone's Angelo Moore gets sued by a "predator" (his term, not mine) for causing terrible injuries from his stage-diving into a crowd, he might want to consider encouraging his lawyer to make an appearance and fight the suit, because once you forfeit the ability to argue assumption of risk that assessment of damages number is not going to be pretty, and I'm guessing those "Jamaican Ska" royalties are no more.