Sunday, March 24, 2013

Bargain Link Shopping, March 24, 2013

A few trinkets collected this past week:

D.C. Past has posted some seriously great photos of the capital dating back to the 1860s.  I mean, there's a shot of the crowd from Lincoln's second Inaugural!

This corgi dances for his food.

Ezra Klein and Chrystia Freeland try to unpack the psychology of why Wall Street hates Obama so much.

This video making it easier to understand income inequality in America has been making the rounds for a few weeks, but if you haven't watched it, take a look.

"What's Going On" screeched by Adam and the cast of He-Man:

h/t to Jessica on that one...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Mad Men Theory

A new preview of the upcoming sixth season of Mad Men is here.

So, my long-standing theory Mad Men is that the show's intro, with the guy falling down the side of a building, is one of the most blatant bits of foreshadowing in TV history.  The show's going to end with Don Draper committing suicide by jumping out of a building.  It's been right under our noses the whole time.

How sure am I?  Not at all, but it's one of those theories that kinda' feels like it might be right.  Guess we'll see in...what, at the end of season 7?  Have they announced that?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bargain Link Shopping 3/12/13

Today's best:

A Vanderbilt student asks Billy Joel during a Q&A if he can play "New York State of Mind" with him...and kills it.

Better evidence that Mars could have supported life.

Regrettable - "Bob Woodward has an unmatched skill for digging up information, but he doesn't know what to do with that information once he finds it."

Mila Kunis is cool.

Somehow the Timberwolves beat the best team in the NBA by 24, led by Ricky Rubio's first triple double since he's been with the team.  Dude is fun to watch.

And this cat should be a goalie (h/t to Ezra).

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bargain Link Shopping

Links for every occasion, budget, and cat impression!

Cow Crusher is a game that lets - no, demands that - you spray gore all over the machinery as you smash cows into burgers and steaks.  Lost points for smashing horses...

Need help deciding between Spotify and Pandora?  (Click graphic for large version...)

One of the worst graphs you'll ever see.

And, I'm liking the new (2012), synth-heavy Muse album.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Seinfeld Fix

First off, if you're a Seinfeld fan and haven't seen "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," you should.  Especially to hear Michael Richards reveal that he's an A-grade chess player and got destroyed in under two minutes by a homeless savant on an L.A. sidewalk.  I'm also happy to know what Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater 3000 is up to these days.

For something you probably haven't heard, here's Geoff Garlin with a great interview of Larry David for Geoff's podcast.  Larry reveals that his character in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is "an idealized version" of himself.

More Torment!

I am starting to love Kickstarter.  A few months ago the makers of one of my favorite computer games from childhood, Wasteland, put up a campaign on Kickstarter to raise money for a sequel.  The results kinda' blew people away as the game raised almost $3 million.  I played the original from dawn to dusk on my Commodore 64 at the lake during the summer of 1988 and am looking forward to Wasteland 2.

The same people raised the bar earlier this week, starting another campaign to make a "spiritual successor" to one of my top 5 all-time favorites, Planescape: Torment.  The original had maybe the deepest story anyone has ever seen in a computer game, reportedly with more dialogue written into the game than the Bible has words.  They raised over $1.5 million in their first day.  I know some of you have fond memories of the original or would be interested in something like this, so here's the link to Torment: Tides of Numenera if you are, and the project's intro video:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Literally Painful

All right America, you forced my hand on this post.  I am an admitted stickler on proper grammar and word usage, but I try to keep it to myself most of the time.  There is no reason for my mostly irrational annoyance to be transferred onto other people, and it's not as though I don't make mistakes myself.

But, can we at least try? When I find out that "literally" has been effectively sanctioned by some dictionaries to be used simply for emphasis, it's a bridge too far.  If somebody says "me" instead of "I" or puts an apostrophe in the wrong place, I don't really care because I know what you mean.  But if you, like a former colleague of mine, say to a co-worker, "I literally have nothing to do!" you need to realize that it is literally impossible for the sentence you just uttered to be true.

"Literally" is not a flavoring word.  It means that what you're saying is exactly, word-for-word, what you mean, with nothing figurative about it.  (The Oatmeal explained it very well and in a much funnier way than I could.)  If you say, "you literally couldn't make this stuff up," you're making the word mean the opposite of what it actually means, and now all of a sudden we do have a communication problem.  Worse, there is no other word that precisely means the same thing, so once everybody thinks it just means "very" or "really" then how is anyone supposed to communicate the concept of "literal" and expect it to be understood?

Almost every superlative in English now means "very" or "good," actually.  We feel like we have to describe everything as "incredible," "unbelievable," "ridiculous," "fabulous..."  Why do you think we had to invent the word "ginormous?"  Because all the other words like "huge" and "enormous" that used to mean "ginormous" lost their meaning so we couldn't get the point across anymore!  "Absolutely" just means "yes" now.  I do it myself and make myself cringe as it comes out of my mouth.  It's the triumph of marketing-speak, I guess.

So please, just stop it.  I don't ask for much, but I gotta' draw the line somewhere. Can we save this one word?  Don't make me take Randall Munroe's advice:

I'm not ready yet.

Middle Earth is a Mad World

Smeagol does Gary Jules doing Tears for Fears.  H/t to Andrew.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dinner and a Movie, 2012 Wrap Edition!

Nathan and I got together and did a nice little half hour on our favorite - and least favorite - films of the year. Take a moment, won't you?

Listen to internet radio with jschardin on Blog Talk Radio
Intro music by:
All Day (Girl Talk) / CC BY-NC 3.0