Friday, January 30, 2009

Darwin Awards

I know I'm a little late to the party, but it's never a bad time to take a look at Darwin Award finalists for 2008.

You know the Darwin Awards, right? Each year they honor the stupidest deaths from across the globe, or as they put it...

"Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it."

Without further ado, here are the two finalists for 2008:

Runner-up: July 16, 2008, Italy) Ivece Plattner, 68, was queued at a traffic light in his Porsche Cayenne sportscar. Before one reaches the light, there is a railroad crossing. As you might imagine, given Murphy's law, a train was coming.

The man did not let the queue progress forward far enough before he crossed the railroad. The safety bars came down, leaving the Porsche trapped on the rails. It took the driver awhile to realize he was stuck, according to witnesses. Finally, he jumped from the car and started to run -- toward the oncoming train, waving his arms in an attempt to save his car!

The attempt was successful. The car received less damage than its owner. He was pushed hard enough to land 30 meters away, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

WINNER: In homage to Larry's Chair Larry's aerial adventure, a Catholic priest recently ascended towards heaven on a host of helium party balloons. Adelir Antonio de Carli, 41, was attempting to set the world record for clustered balloon flight to publicize his plan to build a spiritual rest stop for truckers*.

The priest took numerous safety precautions, including wearing a survival suit, selecting a buoyant chair, and packing a satellite phone and a GPS. However, the late Adelir Antonio made a fatal mistake. He did not know how to use the GPS.

The winds changed, as winds do, and he was blown inexorably toward open sea. He could have parachuted to safety while over land, but chose not to. When the voyager was perilously lost at sea, he prudently phoned for help. But rescuers were unable to reach him since he could not use his GPS! He struggled with the control panel as the charge on the satellite phone dwindled.

Instead of a GPS, the priest let God be his guide, and God guided him straight to heaven. Bits of balloons began appearing on mountains and beaches. Ultimately the priest's body surfaced, confirming that he, like Elvis, had left the building.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Media Day

Embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich made the rounds yesterday, doing interviews on Good Morning America, The View, and Larry King Live.

I don't blame him for skipping the impeachment hearings -- the green rooms are much better at the talk shows.

One of Blagojevich's statements yesterday is making some minor waves today, the revelation that he considered Oprah Winfrey for the open Senate seat.

She must not have been willing to pay up.

Blagojevich said yesterday he was concerned that such an offer could have come across as a gimmick, and he didn't think the talk show host would have accepted the position.

Oprah confirmed as much while speaking to her best friend Gayle King on the latter's satellite radio show -- there's a show I never miss -- saying she was surprised and amused by Blagojevich's comments, adding, quote, "I think I could be a senator, but I'm not interested."

Can you imagine Oprah as a senator?

"Helllllooooooooo fellow Senatorrrrrrrrrrrrrs!"

"If you vote for my bill...everyone here today gets a brand new car!!!!!"

"I will give you my vote on this bill in a moment. But, first, let me introduce to you...Tom Cruuuuuuuuuuuise"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Get "Lost"

I'm really looking forward to the return of Lost tonight on ABC.

It's been about eight months since the last new episode aired, so you may need a refresher course on what's happened up until now.

Therefore, I present for you the following recap that comes from the A List Of Things Thrown Five Minutes Ago blog, written by Isaac Spaceman.

Very funny stuff.

PILOT: So, we have a little time and the auto-pilot’s on. How ‘bout you tell me about the island?

JACK: Well, we lived on the beach, mostly, except for the time we lived in the cave with the skeletons and the time we lived in the secret underground bunker with the lending library and the time we lived in the village built by the scientists that the people who don’t age gassed to death with the help of their leader, my third nemesis, the nebbishy con man with spine cancer, which we took over when the freighter people came to kill everybody. We ate wild boar and fish, and then the supplies stashed in the storeroom of the bunker, and then the scientists who the people who don’t age gassed to death were nice enough to replenish our food by airdrop, but only once, but that was okay, because the people who don’t age had some agriculture that we completely ignored while we stood in front of their refrigerators with the doors open. And I saw my dead dad just hanging around on the island, which I didn’t think too much about because I was preoccupied with the smoke monster and the baby stealing and the mind games with the nebbishy guy and my TOTALLY AWESOME tattoo which got my ass kicked in Thailand and the power struggle with my second nemesis, the formerly paralyzed bald survivalist mystic, who was, frankly, nuts.

PILOT: Nuts, you say?

JACK: Yeah, man of faith, thought the bunker wanted you to punch Hurley’s lotto numbers into the computer every few hours, and I was like, it’s a GAME, you lose, sucker.


JACK: So he finally came around after the shipwrecked sailor who lived in the bunker for two years told him that you had to punch the numbers, which obviously meant you didn’t have to punch the numbers. Which, come to think of it, I guess he was right in the first place. Missed the numbers, cratered the whole freaking bunker, knocked the guy who used to live there right into last Tuesday. Literally.

Oh, I forgot to mention that my dead father came back and kidnapped my secret sister.

PILOT: Um, okay. So … happy to be getting back?

JACK: Yeah, you know, I’m looking forward to having the time to grow a beard.

PILOT: How about you, freckles?

KATE: Don’t call me that.

PILOT: Sorry.

KATE: You know, I’m a convict. I didn’t even want to get off the island. I killed my boyfriend.

PILOT: So what was so good about the island?

KATE: Well, when my boyfriend and I …

PILOT: The dead guy?

KATE: What? No, Jack. My boyfriend and I had a good thing going on the beach and in the cave and in the bunker, except for everybody dying and the smoke monster. And then our friend led us into a trap, even though we knew it was a trap, but it was okay, because while we were captured I got it on with my boyfriend in a cage …

PILOT: With Jack?

KATE: What? No, Sawyer. Jack was watching, though. Anyway, I got back together again with Jack, kind of, but he was really into this doctor that the gassy people kidnapped from Oregon, and then I got back together again with Sawyer, and then I left him for Jack. I forgot to mention that I had a nice proper date with a new dress and dinner on the beach …

PILOT: With Jack or Sawyer?

KATE: What? No, with the nebbishy spine cancer con man who loves me – KEEP UP. But it didn’t go well, which is why I ended up having sex in the cage in the zoo.

PILOT: There was a zoo on the island?

KATE: What? No, different island. The polar bears on our island were free-range.

PILOT: Well, at least I understand how you have a baby.

KATE: What? No, he’s not mine. The island is actually a contraceptive, THANK GOD.

PILOT: Okay, forget it. You, what’s your story?

SUN: Pretty simple, really. I was trying to run away from my emotionally abusive hit-man husband, but he was on the plane with me when we crashed. So I pretended not to speak English for a while, and then I got pregnant and he’s really just a sweetheart, really. Just my luck, though, he missed the helicopter when he and our friend who killed our other friends and later went undercover on the murder-freighter on behalf of the nebbishy guy took too long unsuccessfully trying to defuse the giant bomb. So I’m going home to buy my jerk dad’s conglomerate with funding from the guy responsible for blowing up my beloved ex-soon-to-be-ex-husband, the father of the long-lost lover of our time-traveling sailor friend who was living in the secret bunker.

PILOT: Is this a joke?

HURLEY: No, all of the jokes around here are mine.

PILOT: Oh, great, tell me a good one.

HURLEY: What has two thumbs and is dead?

PILOT: I give up.

HURLEY: My girlfriend and my best friend and the French paramilitary lady and her daughter and Arzt. Wait, that’s eight-to-ten thumbs.

PILOT: Ouch.

HURLEY: But at least I got to hotwire a 20-years-abandoned VW bus, because 1970s VW electrical systems never go bad when untended in humid weather, and drove it over Big Tom, the murderous teleporting gay non-aging gasser who sometimes wears a fake beard and wool cap that he keeps in a locker in the abandoned medical and child-care bunker.

PILOT: Okay, last guy. What’s your story?

SAYID: I tortured a boatload of people.

PILOT: I meant on the island.

SAYID: I tortured a boatload of people.

PILOT: That all?

SAYID: Got tortured.

PILOT: Well, new day, and all that. What are you going to do now?

SAYID: Go to work for a guy I tortured.

PILOT: Doing what?

SAYID: Torturing, mostly.

PILOT: Say, look at the time, gotta get back and check on the autopilot.

JACK: Wait, what did we miss when we were on the island for a flexible length of time?

PILOT: Every financial institution you’ve ever heard of is out of business, America fell in love with a gay cowboy movie, and we elected a Black college professor President instead of a war hero.

JACK: We find your story implausible.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let The Good Times (Barack) Roll

*** An exclusive here on the blog. We have the opening 1:31 of Barack Obama's inauguration speech.

It should certainly be entertaining.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Go Flyers!

After the Phillies won the World Series in October, I really felt that their championship -- which ended a 25-year, 100 combined seasons long streak of futility for the city -- would enable me to better handle future losses.

If a Philly team came up short in their quest for a title, that would be okay, because at least the Phils won a championship, something we can savor for a very long time.

Well, that theory is crap.

Yesterday sucked just as much as it would have had the Phillies not won the World Series.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Philly Passes New York - Again

As much fun as last week was, yesterday was just plain fantastic. Anytime a Philly team can knock off a New York team -- in the playoffs, no less -- it's going to be a good day.

The Eagles, left for dead by many people a couple of months ago -- myself included -- are now one win away from the Super Bowl.

Just like during the baseball season, the New York team (Mets) that was getting all of the attention, and all of the expectations, has come up short to their rivals from Philadelphia.

While the baseball seasons in both '08 and '07 were more satisfying -- because of the length of the year, the epic-ness of the Mets' collapses, and the subsequent title for the Phillies -- yesterday's win was might nice, too.

I remember sitting at a Buffalo Wild Wings last month watching the Eagles win at the Meadowlands 20-14, and increasing their still slim playoff hopes. After that game I thought, "Ok, maybe they have a shot here."

Of course, they later laid a major egg with that crap defeat in Washington, but after they survived three "gotta have happens" just to get into the playoffs, my feeling was, "Why not them?"

Nobody in the NFL this season is invincible, as these playoffs have demonstrated.

And, as a 6-seed, there were no expectations for this Eagles team. No good ones at least.

So, to go back to New york and eliminate the number one seed in fairly convincing fashion was very satisfying.

With only Arizona (a team the Eagles thrashed earlier this season, although they are playing better now), and with no New England in the AFC, could this possibly be the year the Eagles take the title?

Could Philly possibly own the World Series title, and the Lombardi trophy at the same time?

"Hi, is this Jose Reyes?

Jose, this is Donovan McNabb.

Fine, thanks.

Great, actually. We're in the middle of knocking off the Giants at the Meadowlands, and I wanted to call you to say that you guys are no longer the only chokers in New York now."