Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Name of the day

KIERAN SUCKLING, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity

Hoo boy. That is unfortunate.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Smackdown!: Swine flu vs. monkey pox

Swine flu

PROS: Makes it easier to book a room in Cancun.

CONS: No staff in hotel, as they're all staying home with masks over their mouths. Has killed something like 150 people so far.

Monkey pox

PROS: Most adorable plague ever.

CONS: "The illness begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, a general feeling of discomfort, and exhaustion. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a papular rash i.e., raised bumps, often first on the face but sometimes initially on other parts of the body." --Wikipedia

WINNER: Was there really any doubt? Monkey pox. It's adorable.

NOTE: My disease preferences haven't changed much over the years.

UPDATE: From (who else?) God Is My Codependent:

Oh, give me a pox
That The Velvet Blog mocks
As it posts monkey pictures galore
But leave out swine flu
It's a horrible view
Because frankly a pig is a boar

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Those who claim that there is no rhyme for the word "orange" ...

... have obviously forgotten about "schmorange."

UPDATE: From concerned reader God Is My Codependent:

It is a shame
But those who claim
There is no rhyme for orange
Have all, no doubt
Forgot about
That handy coinage "Schmorange"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Please, no more -- I'll tell you anything

I have been sitting in the waiting room of my Saturn dealership for the last two hours. The entire time, Pat Buchanan has been screaming at me, justifying torture from the TV on the wall.

How does this not fall under the Geneva Conventions?

Make it stop...

P.S.: Yes, Conventions -- plural. And someone tell Jon Stewart, because whenever I hear him say "Geneva Convention," I get annoyed.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Recent Google searches that stranded visitors on The Velvet Blog, with commentary

pros und cons für kitesurfen
Kites are fun.

characteristics of joan rivers
Plasticy. Botoxy. Ear-hurtingy.

dead jellyfish touch yes or no?
Do not touch the jellyfish.

how tall are the baldwin brothers
How tall do you want them to be?

estoy con estupido tshirt
No, mi estoy con estupido.

i miss you danananana i need you
You had me at "danananana."

how much do a pound of banana weigh?
Someone else want to take this one?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Velvet Blog gives in to the dark side

Decided to try running ads.

Just watch the pennies roll in!

UPDATE: Just wanted to point that I was inspired to try running ads by this pretty much unbelievable column, which claims 452,000 Americans use blogging as their primary source of income. Really? Well, not so much.

Anyway, since adding AdSense to my blog this morning, I've earned 99 cents.

Now, pardon me as I go blow all of my earnings at the racetrack.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Well, that didn't take long

As I heard about the apparent suicide of Freddie Mac's CFO this morning, the first thing I thought was: "How sad." The second was: "How long before some right-wing nutjob blogger accuses Obama of being involved and invokes the names of Vincent Foster and the Clintons?"

But a quick Google search confirms that, of course, this has already happened. (No, I won't link, but this took me approx. 30 seconds to find.)

A taste:
Could it be the start of a new Washington illness called "Barackacide"? Is it the '90's all over again with the Clinton trail of dead bodies all over the landscape of people who dared to tread to close to the Slick and the Skank?

Wingnuts are far too predictable.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ha! (I think) (Now fortified with updates and minerals!)

Sometimes, things make me laugh and I can't put the reasons why into words. Like Firesign Theatre during its heyday -- the troupe doesn't tell what I'd call "jokes," per se, but Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him and How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All crack me up. Is it the sheer oddness? Well, partially ... but it's more than that. Later albums, which have the exactly the same form, hardly make me laugh at all. What's the difference? I have no idea. If I played you one of Firesign's best albums and you didn't laugh, I'd be hard pressed to convince you that you should.

I was the only person laughing during a screening of Joe Versus the Volcano on its original run (though it's turned into a cult fave since then). This is one of my favorite scenes. Does this even make you break a smile? I think it's a classic. "I know he can get the job, but can he do the job?" Hahahahaha. But it's just the same line repeated over and over. Why is that funny? I don't know. But go ahead -- put this in your Netflix queue.

You know what else makes me laugh? The Wikipedia entry for Pop-Tarts.

You might wonder why I was even looking at the Wikipedia entry for Pop-Tarts. Fair enough. They were mentioned in a column I was editing, and I wanted to check the spelling. (Yes, "Pop-Tarts" is hyphenated, and yes, that's the kind of job I have.)

This is so wonderfully, beautifully deadpan that it simply makes me laugh out loud:
Pop-Tarts is the brand for a flat, rectangular, pre-baked toaster pastry made by the Kellogg Company. Pop-Tarts have a sugary filling sealed inside two layers of rectangular, thin pastry crust. Most varieties are frosted. They can be eaten without being warmed, but are often warmed inside a toaster. They are usually sold in pairs inside foil packages, and do not require refrigeration.

Is it just me, or is that funny? It's like they're explaining breakfast junk food to a Martian.

I'll open this up to discussion. What makes you laugh but you can't explain why, exactly?

UPDATE: Concerned reader God Is My Codependent points out that there seems to be a growing Pop-Tart cult. Try clicking around the Wikipedia links and you'll find some really odd info. Like this, from a BBC-hosted wiki (I think):
In 1971, Milton the Toaster arrived on TV screens across the USA. Milton was square, white and huggable, and was often seen toasting Pop-Tarts right up until his advertising campaign was cancelled in 1973 due to fears that children might hurt themselves by hugging hot toasters.

Is this true? Oh, who the hell cares. It's on the Web, and it's funny!

UPDATE UPDATE: Unreliable information on the Internet? Impossible! This YouTube entry claims to be from 1975-1976 and shows Milton the Toaster alive and well.

The mystery deepens.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Postcard of the day

Aug. 13, 2:30 PM, 1951 [?]

Dear Nannie

I finally decided to take the trip to New York to meet Phoebe. The Queen Elizabeth should have landed yesterday 1 PM. On account of the fog, it only landed this morning 8 AM. I went to the pier but going through the Customs was too long for me to wait so I am at the Hotel waiting. Hope to see you soon. Love J.B.

Still to be determined: Why won't they tell us who is buried in Grant's tomb already? What are they trying to hide???

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quotation of the day

"We advise them not to eat a 138-year-old piece of cake," said Amy Kiernan, a spokeswoman for the fair.

Ideas for antisocial love songs

--"Let's Not Get It On"
--"You Take My Breath Away (Give It Back)"
--"Baby, Your Way Leaves Me Ambivalent at Best"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cliche watch: Reports of the death of "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated" have been greatly exaggerated

I've been seeing this one way too much lately. Please join me in helping to stamp this out:

Television: Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Reports of radio's death are greatly exaggerated

Reports of the death of record stores have been greatly exaggerated

Reports of Sarah Palin Career Death Greatly Exaggerated

Reports of the Death of the Episcopal Church are Greatly Exaggerated

Reports of investment banking's death seem greatly exaggerated

Rumors of Glenda's demise had been greatly exaggerated

Reports of Blockbuster's death are (somewhat) exaggerated (At least there's a minor twist.)

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of the death of journalism have been greatly exaggerated

The death of Miley Cyrus' "Hannah Montana" career have been greatly exaggerated

News of economy’s death greatly exaggerated

Turns out the reports of the play's demise were greatly exaggerated

Reports of the Croatian doc's demise were greatly exaggerated

Any reports of the death of roars around Augusta National are highly exaggerated

The death of the small town has been widely exaggerated

Somehow I think the reports of the end of the American newspaper have been greatly exaggerated too

Reports of the death of the Internet have been greatly exaggerated*

*An oldie, from a previous post. It was the third time I noticed this old saw used in as many days, and triggered this post. Once I started looking, it was everywhere. Rounded up w/ the help of a Google News search.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Woody Harrelson and Zombies

I cannot believe I missed this breaking zombie news:
Woody Harrelson's explanation for an alleged tussle with a TMZ photographer at New York City's La Guardia Airport Wednesday night is Method acting. "I wrapped a movie called Zombieland, in which I was constantly under assault by zombies, then flew to New York, still very much in character," Harrelson said in a statement issued by his publicist and obtained by CNN. "With my daughter at the airport I was startled by a paparazzo, who I quite understandably mistook for a zombie." --Entertainment Weekly

Makes sense to me.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ideas for new Peanuts specials

--Screw You, Charlie Brown
--The Universe Is Laughing Behind Your Back, Charlie Brown
--You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, But You Will Die Alone and Unloved in a Swirling Vortex of Angst and Ennui

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Song of the day

Katy Perry's "Hot 'N' Cold," as reconceived by the Ukranian group Los Colorados:

This better be real.

(Via $99 Music Videos.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Get out your black armbands

Did you know that the Internet is about to keel over? It's true! In preparation for an as-yet-to-gestate post, I discovered this story in The New York Times on the Net's imminent death:
The Internet death watch is in full dirge. According to the latest morbidity reports, national networks ... are crashing with increasing severity, packets of your precious bits are being scattered and lost throughout cyberspace, popular sites on the World Wide Web are being choked ... and overall service is degrading as hordes of tourists pile onto the Internet. ...

Even Wired magazine, known for panegyrics to the new information order, is hanging digital crepe these days. "Over the coming six to 12 months, computer users around the planet are likely to experience the Internet equivalent of the Great Blackout ...," the magazine reports in its current issue.

"These slowdowns will be more than a minor annoyance: they will challenge the future of the network," the article adds. "Businesses that depend on the Internet will find themselves cut off from their branch offices, their suppliers and their customers."

What will I do when the Internet crashes? How will I buy books when I can't reach Amazon? How will I keep up with Martha Stewart's Twitter posts? How will I remain in contact via Facebook with people I only dimly remember from high school? How will I ...

What? That Times story about the death of the Internet is from 1996? Really? The Internet is OK?

Whew! All right, then, back to work.

Brainy reading

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

Yes, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (previously discussed here) arrived in my mailbox the other day. I started it last night, and I have to say it's pretty damned funny.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Oh, good Lord, what was THAT?

I have not been watching ABC's Life on Mars, but because I knew last night was the final episode and that the concept of the series was kind of cool (modern-day policeman somehow winds up in 1973 and wants to get home--is he crazy? in a coma? something else?) I watched the last 15 minutes to see how they'd conclude it.

The series was meant to be open-ended, but when ABC canceled it for low ratings, the producers were given enough time to wrap things up, in a different way than the British version on which it was based.

Holy crap! It's like they put a copy of every Philip K. Dick novel in a Cuisinart and pushed the "Pulverize" button. I can't decide if it was stupid-brilliant or the biggest-ever F.U. to a network and its viewers in the history of television (or, at least, since the last episode of St. Elsewhere). Maybe both. Why didn't they just have the entire cast wake up in bed with Suzanne Pleshette?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Velvet Blog would like to point out that your shoelaces are untied

The Velvet Blog also wonders if your refrigerator is running and whether you have Prince Albert in a can.

And, last, The Velvet Blog would like to offer you this can of delicious mixed nuts.

Note: Yes, a rerun.