Saturday, April 24, 2010

Is this the "*" in "WIN a FREE* IPOD"?

From State v. Newman, just decided by the Idaho Court of Appeals:

The police were met at the parking lot by the victim and her husband, who had called the police after responding to an online advertisement for a free iPod. The victim told police that she received e-mails from the person posting the ad directing her to come to the park after dark to retrieve the free iPod from a portable restroom.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

100 people who would make better replacements for Oprah than Rosie O'Donnell

1. Greg Gumbel
2. Michael Palin
3. Edie McClurg
4. James Lipton
5. Summer Sanders
6. Vladimir Putin
7. Cheri Oteri
8. Robert Smith (of the Cure)
9. Robert Smith (former NFL running back)
10. Robert Smith (NPR reporter)
11. Rowdy Roddy Piper
12. Bar Refaeli
13. Jim J. Bullock
14. Stephanie "Flo the Progressive Girl" Courtney
15. Linus Torvalds
16. Your dad's high-school girlfriend
17. Dr. Sue Johanson
18. Katee Sackhoff
19. Philip Glass
20. Alex Chiu
21. Snookie
22. "Spaceman" Bill Lee
23. Ezra Klein
24. Bernadette Peters
25. The ashes of Peter Tomarken, in a jar
26. Elena Kagan
27. Garrison Keillor
28. Mario Vargas Llosa
29. Aung San Soo Kyi
30. KCRG TV-9's Bruce Aune
31. Steve Perry
32. Delta Burke
33. George Clinton
34. Rev. Joyce Meyer
35. Rev. Jeremiah Wright
36. Dan Issel
37. Nigel Tufnel
38. Erin Moran
39. A glossy publicity still of Angelina Jolie
40. El Hijo de Santo
41. Gene Ray, The Wisest Human
42. Marina Sirtis
43. Alec Baldwin
44. Alec Baldwin, drunk
45. Jane Goodall
46. Roger Ailes
47. Knuckles the Echidna
48. Michael Bay
49. A Greek guy who trolls Turks on Wikipedia
50. Malinalxochitl, Aztec goddess of desert animals
51. Hayley Mills
52. Hank Paulson
53. Kim Basinger
54. Terry Tate, Office Linebacker
55. Carry A. Nation (via Ouija board)
56. Mary Lynn Rajskub
57. Tay "Chocolate Rain" Zonday
58. Helen MIrren
59. Fannie Flagg
60. Phil Hellmuth
61. Mr. Roush, my elementary school principal
62. Downtown Julie Brown
63. Snarf from "Thundercats"
64. Gordon Ramsay
65. Liza Minelli
66. Grignr
67. Kim Carnes
68. Rex Rammell
69. Sir David Attenborough
70. Dramatic Chipmunk
71. Xuxa
72. That androgynous kid who used to run around Iowa City wearing a jester hat, seriously what was with that
73. Gen. David Petraeus
74. Will Ferrell as Mugatu
75 & 76. England Dan and John Ford Coley
77. Morgan Fairchild
78. Jean Teasdale
79. The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight
80. Brian Blessed
81. Christo
82. Chairman Kaga
83. "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder
84. Jessica Pare
85. Marlee Matlin
86. The United States Marine Corps Band, performing the hits of John Philip Sousa
87. Claude Lemieux
88. Heather Mills McCartney
89. A bored teenager who rolls his eyes and makes the "you're a jackoff" hand motion when the guests talk
90. Dylan Moran
91. Peter Frampton
92. Tony Little
93. Oprah herself, sampled from previous episodes
94. Peyton Manning
95. Courtney Love
96. A man purporting to be Emperor Norton I
97. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
98. Alan Thicke
99. A mechanical fortune teller
100. All 99 people above, talking simultaneously

Monday, April 12, 2010

The tale of Nibru

Maybe you knew an art kid in high school. The kind of kid who spent most of his or her time drawing Big, Meaningful Art that was pretty good by high school standards, and whose Art usually expressed teen angst.

One such art kid produced Nibru:

Then the art kid decided to post Nibru on the Internet. Not to DeviantArt, the normal hugbox for teenage artists. No, the art kid posted Nibru at ConceptArt, an art site for aspiring professional artists.

Something about Nibru caught their attention, and soon some extremely talented illustrators (including guys who draw for Marvel Comics) were drawing their own versions of Nibru:

Go here for the whole Nibru story.

Monday, April 5, 2010

On teenagers

I was in the supermarket today and saw (in Us Magazine) that a 15-year-old exchange student in Massachusetts killed herself, and now the other students who bullied here are facing criminal charges.

Seeing this headline was like biting into the proverbial madeleine for me, as my own memories of junior high came rushing back, and I suddenly found myself in the place of an unhappy teenager (albeit one with a cart full of groceries).

So, thought the teenager, here are my options. I can continue with life as is, which is intolerable. I can tell the teachers or my parents or the police, who are well-meaning but ultimately unable to prevent my suffering. I can fight back, but there are always more of them than there are of me.

Or, there's a way by which I become famous, everyone will whitewash all the bad information about me,* all the bullies go to jail and are exposed in the national news as the evil little wretches they are, and maybe state legislators will get together to write "[Insert My Name Here]'s Law," and there'll be a movie about me on Lifetime wherein I'm portrayed by a very good looking young Canadian.

If you think the last option doesn't appeal to teenagers, then I recommend you do a study of Mary Sueism, the habit of immature authors to create infinitely powerful, infinitely wonderful author avatar characters… who frequently die heroically.

So what is the lesson to be learned here? The lesson is that there is no answer to bullying, and that teenage victims need to understand what Alexander was trying to teach them many years ago when he told them about his terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

*Yes, some kids do have it coming. Anyone who knew me before 10th grade or so can attest to how insufferable I was.