Monday, April 28, 2008

Adwatch: Sobe Lizards Thriller Dance

I'm sick and tired of the dance from Thriller. It was fun when 13 Going On 30 did it, but when it got to a bunch of prisoners doing it in their yard, I knew the fad was out of hand. And then came this commercial.

The biggest problem I have with it is that it's a bunch of computer-generated lizards doing the dance from Thriller. Nothing more, nothing less. It has nothing to do with the drink, it's not really funny (except when one eats a cricket), and there's no real reason for doing it, other than the anniversary of the video (which Sobe had nothing to do with) and to capitalize on the popularity of the dance in viral video. Naomi Campbell's presence in the commercial makes even less sense. It's been years since anyone mentioned Campbell in any context, let alone a flattering one, so why they decided to intercut her into the video doing vague dance moves is beyond me. They should've had her throwing her cell phone at the lizards, killing them, and turning them into luggage.

Inexplicably, I discovered while researching this post that people actually loved the commercial, so much that there's a billboard featuring the Sobe Lizards in Times Square. No accounting for taste. But at least I'm not alone, thanks to Brandweek.

Friday, April 25, 2008

News Nuggets

United Airlines raised fuel surcharges ten to twenty dollars for round trip tickets. In a related story, anger and frustration among passengers raised by ten to twenty percent.

Texas Child Protective Services raided a Mormon fundamentalist polygamist compound and took over four hundred children into protective custody. The officials believed that the children were being physically and verbally abused, and exposed to inappropriate sexual activity. Early reports indicate the children were being cared for by Britney Spears.

NASA is going to be extending the mission of the Cassini spacecraft that's currently touring Saturn and its moons for two more years. NASA also added tour dates in London, New York, and Sydney, and an opening act by Green Day.

An environmental group found six million pounds of trash on the world's beaches. But they managed to get Rosie O'Donnell back into the water.

The EPA urged residents of the Great Lakes not to flush old medications down the toilet, where they could later contaminate water supplies. Instead, the EPA urged them to sell their old medications to teenagers for a substantial profit.

Scientists warned that a big earthquake is likely to hit California in the near future. California residents filed the warning in the same folder they put the last fifty years' worth of warnings by scientists about a big quake likely to hit California.

Tiger Woods' hopes of completing a grand slam by winning all four major golf tournaments this year were dashed when he failed to win the Masters. Some commentators are worried that Tiger's failed grand slam bid might lower TV ratings for the rest of the tournaments. But a bigger problem would be for viewers to realize there's nothing more boring than watching golf on television.

The Olympic torch was carried through San Francisco on its journey to Beijing. Residents were surprised by the massive protests to the flame, since California usually welcomes Tom Cruise.

See you next Tuesday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I H8 Wiggles

I always felt sympathy for people who had kids and had to endure the nightmare of Barney the Dinosaur and Teletubbies. At the same time, I did think "Cut them some slack." Of course, we don't like kids' stuff. It's for kids. You have to look at it through their eyes. That said, I hate the Wiggles.

It's not that they're annoying and simplistic and silly and repetitive. All kids' shows are like that, really. It's that the Wiggles are all those things, and nothing more. At least Barney had the dinosaur thing going. You could understand how kids could like that. And the Teletubbies are so surreal that even I find it hard to take my eyes off them. The Wiggles, on the other hand, are a bunch of ugly, middle-aged, Australian men who dress like crew members from the original Star Trek. That's it. I've seen two episodes and don't see anything more than that. They do have other characters like Captain Feathersword (weird), Dorothy the Dinosaur (a blatant Barney the Dinosaur rip-off), but that's it. And my kids love them. In doing research for this post, I discovered that the Wiggles incorporate child development research into their performance, which is kind of a relief. At least I understand now why kids find them so irresistible - they're designed to be. But I'm not going to the concerts. No way.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jokebook: Weight Limit

This blonde goes to the pediatrician because her baby keeps getting diaper rashes. The pediatrician asks, "How often do you change your baby?"

The blonde says, "Once a month."

The doctor yells, "What? Why do you only change him once a month?"

The blonde says, "Well, the box says 'good up until fifteen pounds.'"

Friday, April 18, 2008

Destroy Humanity: Pandemic Game

Ever have one of those days where you wanted to just wipe out ninety percent of Mankind, and leave the survivors bleeding from every orifice and facing the prospect of survival in a nightmarish post-Apocalyptic world where they wished they could join the dead? Well, now you can with the Flash game Pandemic. It's sort of a strategy game where you have to evolve (upgrade) your virus to spread as quickly as possible while killing as many as possible before Mankind manages to contain the spread. Some helpful hints:
  • The first few turns, it will look like nothing is happening. Don't worry about it. Just keep clicking to the next turn until people start dying.
  • In the beginning, focus on buying traits that will spread the disease quickly like waterborne contamination.
  • Remember, the quicker people notice your plague, the faster they'll start trying to contain it. So hold off on buying internal hemmoraging until it's already too late.
  • Once the infection has spread to all continents, crank up the lethality.
  • Germany is almost impossible to infiltrate if the pandemic didn't start there. I suspect the programmers are German.
  • This game will leave you feeling like scum. Enjoy it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

How Many Five Years Could You Take In a Fight

It's the age-old question that has perplexed Mankind for centuries, challenged the greatest minds of our age, and set the standards for bravery and physical endurance for our time: if you were attacked by a bunch of five-year olds in an enclosed basketball court with no weapons, how many could you take down? Well, now, thanks to the Internet, we have a simple, effective, and mathematically sound way of finding out without all the tedious rounding up five-year olds and beating them up. It's

And in case you're wondering, here's my score. Beat that. Oh, yeah, I'm bad-axe.


BONUS: Check out the forum post that inspired the widget. It's hysterical.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

5 Phrases That Don't Make Me Feel Better About Gas Prices

1. They pay more for gas in Europe...
Europe built their cities for foot traffic and horses, so everything's close together and you can take public transportation or walk. I can't do that in Phoenix. It takes me two hours to get to work on the bus, and it would take me three or four hours to walk (I'm assuming, I'm not even going to try walking in this heat...)

2. Gas is still cheaper than milk...
But I don't need to buy ten gallons of milk every week.

3. High gas prices will drive us towards alternative energy sources...
If I could buy a car that ran on carrot juice right now, I would. But I can't. I'm still stuck with my gas-guzzling car that runs on plain old unleaded, and will be for the foreseeable future.

4. Gas prices are higher in other parts of the country...
Then I feel sorry for those poor saps, but I still feel sorrier for myself.

5. If you factor for inflation, prices are lower today than they were fifty years ago...
Well, for that to be comforting, I'd have to have my income factored for inflation to match.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fun in a Call Center: A Girl Named William

I got a call from a woman named William. I cannot imagine what would possess someone to name their girl William. Maybe the parents wanted a boy or the father really wanted to name the child after himself. I also cannot imagine the nightmare William goes through on a daily basis. Is there anyone out there who would look at the name William and not assume it's a man? Everything she does would be affected. She goes to the drugstore and they ask her if she's picking up medication for her husband. She gets married, and people protest, thinking it's a gay marriage. People filling out forms for her accidentally set her gender to "male." People call her on the phone, and they start out calling her "sir." That would wear you down so fast.

Newswire: New Yuk Times Update

This just in from the New Yuk Times: Ugly and Poor Criticize Fashion of Rich and Beautiful