September 29, 2009

Another Glen Beck Post

Every time I post a Glen Beck video I get that guilty feeling that I get when I feed a troll on a message board. Part of me knows that by acknowledging the troll I'm just encouraging more insanity, but the other part of me can't help being flabbergasted by someone who's obviously a douche.

Anyway, Katie Couric does her best to get Mr. Beck to simply explain a quote which he doesn't deny or repudiate, but he won't even engage. I'm assuming this interview is part of some book tour for his new book, but why even take the interview if you're not going to answer even the most basic questions about the controversial public image that you've intentionally created.

Ok, I don't know why I ask questions whose answers I already know. By being interviewed by Couric and painting her simple questions as some kind of crazy lefty trap he plays to the crowd that thinks Couric was mean to Palin when she asked the then-candidate a few simple questions and got stupid answers.

Arghh! I'd like to say more, but this guy just gets me too riled up. Just watch the video. What a tool. Link.

Cool Videos

Here's a really sweet goal. In case you can't quite see it, he drops the puck down his left side, then shoots behind his legs to the right. Nice.

Second, auto-tuned Carl Sagan has a hot new jam.

What was Microsoft thinking? If feels like at any moment one of these people might pull out a chef's knife and stab everyone. Painful! Link.

Dunno if I ever got around to linking to it, but Auto-Tune the News #8 came out a few weeks ago. It's not their best, but it still bumps. Link.

September 28, 2009

Video Game Night: Week 5

Alright, any last minute messages for Video Game Night: Week 5 should go in the comments here. If you're planning on playing but are running later than 8pm Eastern, let us know. If you're new to gaming night and have any questions or perhaps don't think everyone has your Xbox Live handle, here's the place to tell us. Looks like Marvel Ultimate Alliance is on tap for tonight. I'll get new polls up tonight for this week.

It also looks like NHL 10 has won the poll for which NHL game we should pick up, so I'll start adding it to the weekly polls.

September 23, 2009

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Seriously, every time I think Glen Beck has revealed to us the full extent of his crazy, he finds a way to up the crazy one more time. At some point he's going to just murder some poor grandmother to make some insane point about death panels. Link.

September 21, 2009

NHL Game?

There's a poll up asking which NHL game we should get for Video Game Night. The group voted to have an NHL game as one of our core group of games, but we delayed specifying which version until the new batch was released. Well, the new NHL games are out, so which one do you guys think we should get? I'm not going to consider this a valid poll unless we get five or more votes, so even if you haven't been showing up for Video Game Night for some reason (I know we have a few broken 360s out there) make sure you vote in the poll.

Also, I hope more people start showing up for video game night. It'd be one thing if people were inconsistent, but there was quite a bit of interest in this back when it was proposed and we're seeing the same three people week in and week out. It'd be nice to get some larger groups from time to time.

Video Game Night: Week 4 - Epic Fail

Well, to be fair, I don't know that it was a totally epic failure. Drew and Jay may be able to attest to some fun. I wasn't able to play because they didn't change the major fault in the first game which didn't allow groups to play if they different amounts of downloadable content (Drew and Jay have the Juggernaut, I do not), and because Gamestop screwed up my preorder bonus (I was supposed to get Juggernaut, but didn't).

Anyway...annoying. Here's to putting this sad tale behind us and having better luck next week. Oh, and more than three people next week too!

September 19, 2009

Three Oh

So tomorrow is my 30th birthday. Time certainly seems to go faster the older I get, but it's still crazy to look back on my third decade and see how long it's really been. I was a sophomore in college when I turned 20, living in the non-freshman dorm. Since then I graduated college and law school, worked for a judge, and have been going in the current gig for a couple years. I had one serious girlfriend, broke up, had a long dry spell, got another serious girlfriend (a better one at that!) and now I'm engaged. I back packed across Europe with friends and moved across the country.

Despite ostensibly being an adult for this whole last decade, it feels like the person I am at 30 is no more like me at 20 than 20 year old me was like 10 year old me. Well, here's hoping that the next decade is as fun as this last one has been.

September 16, 2009

Five Ways To Improve Max Baucus' Bill

So, Max Baucus' health insurance reform bill was released today, and as expected it's not great. It does have a few surprisingly good areas, but there are also horribly bad ideas in there, so Ezra's got five things you could do to improve the bill. Honestly, from what I'm reading about the bill, I think it wouldn't be half bad if you followed Ezra's recommendations, including a triggered strong public option.

September 15, 2009

Will Joe Wilson Win Reelection In 2010?

There's the new poll up, now bring the discussion here! Joe Wilson embarrassed himself at President Obama's address to the joint session of Congress with his infamous "You lie!" outburst. Then he apologized after universal condemnation. Then conservatives decided he was awesome and he essentially took his apology back. In the mean time, money has been flooding into both his and his opponent's campaign funds. Will this be his "macaca" moment, or is he still safe?

September 14, 2009

Doctors Want Government Healthcare

Ezra reports on a promising poll for healthcare reformers where doctors overwhelmingly support some kind of government option in healthcare reform. Link.


I don't really care about real Kanye, but this is pretty good. Link.

Update: Man, now that I'm actually thinking about it, and having watched the actual clip, that really seems staged to me.

September 13, 2009

Video Game Night: Week 3

Ok, you guys know how this works by now. Use the comments to this post to discuss anything about tomorrow's Video Game Night. If you're not going to be able to play at 8 Eastern, post when you'll be arriving. If you voted "Other" in the poll, let us know what game you wanted to vote for. Ideas for the Week 4 poll are also appropriate, though in all likelihood I suspect we'll be playing Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, since it is getting released on Tuesday.

Also, the reviews for NHL 10 are starting to be released, with more probably being published tomorrow in anticipation of its release. Since "an NHL game" won a spot as a core game in that initial poll, we should talk about which version people think we should get. NHL 10 will have all the newest features and refinements (I think First Person Fighting is one of the big bullet points for this edition), but once it's released NHL 09 will probably drop to around $20. So read some reviews and let us know what you think we should do.

September 10, 2009

Dungeons & Dragons Online

Dungeons & Dragons Online, the massively multiplayer online game based on the Dungeons & Dragons table top game (specifically the Eberron setting), has just moved to a "freemium" model. That's where the game itself is free and there's no monthly fee, but small things here and there throughout the world cost nominal fees. For instance, four races are available from the start, but you've got to pay to get two other races. Some weapons (though evidently not the best weapons available) are available to purchase. You can also buy adventure modules that contain a new adventure for your party to play. The idea is that players will come for the free game, and spend enough on buying doodads for their characters that the publisher still pulls out a profit.

Well, I'd love to hear from people that have played it. I've downloaded the client and created my first character (Majeek Castabulous the Cleric) on some server that starts with a "C". I'm not exactly oozing extra time here, but I'll try to check it out a bit and report to you guys how it looks.

September 09, 2009

Obama Addresses Congress

So, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress regarding healthcare reform. How'd he do? Vote in the poll and tell us your thoughts in the comments here!

September 07, 2009

Video Game Night: Week 2

Ok, it looks like "The Orange Box" is going to be our game for this week, unless there's a flurry of new votes. Use this post for anything related to Video Game Night: scheduling issues, nominations for the Week 3 poll, Xbox Live handles if you aren't sure if people know you.

September 04, 2009

Wedding Songs

Oh, and as long as I'm on the music tip, I'm taking suggestions for wedding music. I'm trying to avoid, to the extent that I'm allowed, cliched wedding tunes. No "Shout." No "Sweet Caroline." Normally ok, but there are some songs that just crop up at weddings too damn much.

So give me suggestions! I'm talking slow songs, fast songs, whatever. The only obvious requirement is that you have to be able to dance to it.

Getting Verklempt

Cruising around You Tube, I ran across "I'm Going To Go Back There Some Day" from "The Muppet Movie." Yeah, big nerd, but this song always gets me a little misty. Anyone else have a song that always gets them, even if it's not your typical "emotional" song?

September 01, 2009

Disney Acquires Marvel Entertainment

Christopher asks, in a story about lunatic anti-science run wild, "Ben, any comment on Disney buying Marvel?" Ah, but my audience knows my wheelhouse.

So here we go. This really isn't that interesting.

Really though. A big company is bought by a bigger company. Yes, Disney is generally a "family friendly" (read: conservative) company. I mean, they're not conservative like Mike Huckabee, but they're certainly careful not to step on the toes of the sensitive among us. But really, has being owned by Time Warner stopped DC from publishing their often graphic Vertigo line? No. The devil is in the details, as "they" say. It remains unclear what, if any, impact ownership by Disney will have on Marvel Comics. What seems clear to me is that Disney is a multi-national, multi-billion dollar company who saw a lot of value in Spider-Man (seriously, don't let anyone tell you there's no hyphen) (also, seriously, the three movies grossed over $2.5 billion...that's value, and that's only the movies) and wanted to bring that profit in-house.

Look, I love the idea of Marvel as an "independent" publisher, but they've been considered the bigger of the "Big Two" in comics publishing for years. They're a huge corporate giant that already owned such disparate subsidiaries as Tops. They were the definition of corporate comics, with characters that were owned by the publisher and which couldn't be allowed to change in any substantive way, at least not unless it was temporary, and where comics creators broke into the big time but owned nothing. Marvel's great, but they're no Santa Maria.

So what does this mean for comics fans? My guess is probably good things. Marvel recently started a movie production studio to make all of their characters come to feature film life in-house. The problem was that they'd leased their biggest characters out to studios like Sony before realizing what kind of money could be made by a good super hero movie. Now, when all those deals expire, all the characters will safely reside under one roof, where they can make feature films, cartoons, etc. and the characters will be free to interact because they're all owned by one corporate giant. On the publishing side, it's not clear what, if any, interference Disney will have in Marvel Comics, particularly in the more graphic "Max" line. Frankly, there's so little (comparative) money in the publishing end that I doubt Disney has much interest in meddling. Joe Quesada might worry about his job now, but he's been pretty successful as EiC, so he's probably safe.

The last thing I have to say is that when this broke, I read someone's post in a comments section that said "Which Marvel character do you now want Pixar to make a movie about, and which Disney character should Brian Michael Bendis write." That shit got me thinking, but hard.

Summer Girls

First, let me say how grateful I am that I have no memory of this song from when it was "popular". Still, MattY has declared it the worst summer song of all time, and without really tabulating a list, I have to agree. Alyssa Rosenberg lists a few reasons why it sucks. Maybe I'm just thinking too hard about this, but what bugs me the most is trying to figure out in what year this story takes place. I mean, it's a summer with Home Alone ( Christmas 1990, or November 1992 if you go Home Alone 2), Abercrombie & Fitch is popular (frankly, I'm nowhere near cool, but I don't remember that store being popular until the late 90s or later), Michael J. Fox is playing Alex P. Keaton on Family Ties (September 1982-May 1989), and New Kids On The Block had "lots of hits" (debut album in '86 (wow), mega hit "Hangin' Tough" followup in '88, "Step By Step" in '90). If you throw in the fact that the band members were born in the mid-70s, which would make them mid-teens in turn of the 80s to 90s, and I'm mega confused.

Now look, I was a nerdy kid. Hell, I'm a nerdy adult. Still, is it really "cool" to be pining for the summer when you were 15? I mean, again, nerdy teen here, but the summer of my fifteenth year was nothing compared to the summer of my 20th year. And really, the continuity is just all over the place. Alex P. Keaton simply cannot have been a major summer topic in the same year that Home Alone was big. And seriously, supposedly "cool" kids were talking about Home Alone enough for it to have been a factor? I mean, yeah, I like Home Alone, but I was 11 when it came out and I'm not in a supposedly cool boy band. That I also like Home Alone 2 is surely not to my credit.

Evolution-themed Shirt Banned In Missouri School

It's like every mind-blowingly stupid statement is followed but an even stupider statement. Still, I probably have to go with this one as the best/worst of the lot, from a parent and teacher in the district: "I don't think evolution should be associated with our school." Every once in a while I get depressed because it seems impossible to combat the staggering level of ignorance in the world. This is one of those times.

Thanks (?) MattY.