Thursday, April 26, 2007

Vintage videos

Surely anyone of my generation will enjoy browsing this user's videos on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Random Celebrity Resemblances

I think the recently deceased Boris Yeltsin somewhat resembles an older version of former Late Night sidekick Andy Richter.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Among all the human beings who have ever lived:

1. Who has been photographed the most?

2. Who has been caricatured the most by cartoonists?

3. Who has been on television for the greatest number of hours?

4. Who has been physically seen in person by the greatest number of people?

Obviously, it might be difficult or impossible to give precise definitive answers to these questions, but here's what some folks have claimed:

1. Princess Diana

2. Richard Nixon

3. Regis Philbin

4. Pope John Paul II

I have a hard time believing Regis beat out Johnny Carson, but apparently in August 2004 the Guinness Records people officially recognized Reege for "most hours on camera".

As for #2, probably George W. Bush is giving Tricky Dick a run for his money. For #4, I imagine Queen Elizabeth II puts up some respectable numbers -- and come to think of it, so would any entertainment personality with a long career performing in front of very large crowds -- e.g. Bono, Elton John, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, etc.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Mashups, get your mashups

In the mood to hear some genre-jumping mashups built out of pieces of disparate popular songs? Well, here you can find quite a few by Smash-Up Derby, and a bunch more by Party Ben.

One of Smash-Up Derby's that I've been digging on is She Sells White Weddings, and, for the sake of singling out one by Party Ben that I like, check out Somebody Rock Me.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Go Kermit!

Watch the 20th century's most famous frog sing:

Once In A Lifetime as performed by Talking Heads

Creep as performed by Radiohead

Hurt as performed by Johnny Cash

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pandora Internet Radio

It's possible that I'm behind the curve on this one, but I've just recently found out about Pandora Internet Radio. Basically, this site allows you to customize your own user-created "internet radio station" -- if you suggest artists or songs that you like, then the site will play songs from its database that are supposed to be similar to what you suggested. The idea, of course, is that you can discover new (to you) performers with similarities to those you already like.

Having only discovered Pandora this weekend, I haven't spent much time learning all its features, but it looks like over time you can "tweak" your user-created stations by giving either a thumbs up or thumbs down to the different tracks that come up.

I started one customized station based on the band Ween, and two of the tracks that the website chose to play for me were by a guy from Vermont who I'd never heard of before, James Kochalka. The two of his songs that Pandora played for me were "Bad Astronaut" and "Magic Finger". I found them very entertaining. His compositions struck me as funny, tightly crafted, and indicative of an offbeat sense of humour mixing the adult and the childlike.

On Youtube, you can watch videos for the James Kochalka songs Monkey vs. Robot and Wash Your Ass.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"Skull turf"

If you're reading this, then I suppose you must be either a real-life acquaintance or a through-the-internet acquaintance. And if you're in the latter category, there's a good chance you know me through my many comments over at Josh Fruhlinger's Comics Curmudgeon site, where the daily newspaper funnies are mocked, praised, critiqued, and deconstructed in the most thorough and humorous way one could ask for.

Whichever of those two categories of acquaintances you belong to, you may be wondering where the name "Skullturf Q. Beavispants" came from. Well, I got "Skull turf" from a daily comic strip called They'll Do It Every Time that debuted in 1929 and is now on its third author, Bronx native Al Scaduto who lives in Milford, Connecticut. Curious readers can find out more about this strip at the appropriate entries in Wikipedia or Toonopedia. You can even see a few panels from the 1930s and 1940s here.

I consumed newspaper comics religiously as a child, and continue to do so today. TDIET, as the comics cognoscenti abbreviate it, didn't appear in the local paper where I grew up, so I only discovered that strip as an adult. These days, my morning routine starts with coffee, oatmeal, and the ridiculously complete Houston Chronicle comics page.

All comic strips have their good points and their bad points, their on days and their off days. My fellow Curmudgeonites like to mock TDIET for being anachronistic, but I suspect the mocking is largely affectionate. It certainly is in my case -- and in fact, lately while reflecting on the topic, I realized that among all the Houston Chronicle's strips, TDIET may be the one I look forward to most each morning! I just find something so appealing about the offbeat language and the level of background detail.

I'm also fascinated in general with anything "old-timey American", to borrow a phrase colleagues use to describe Simpsons writer John Swartzwelder. For instance, I absolutely adore that sort of nasal stacatto accent you hear in movies from the 1920s and 1930s. Where did that accent go? Sometime in the twentieth century, we stopped sounding like Abbott & Costello and started sounding like Val Kilmer.

If you want to see some more old-timey comic strips, you can check out this selection of 1940s and 1950s slang from Mister Kitty's Stupid Comics pages, as well as a selection of installments of The Outbursts of Everett True, dating from the 1900s and 1910s, at Barnacle Press. Great entertainment, if you're at all like me.

So, in conclusion, what about the expression "Skull turf"? Where did it come from exactly? Well, it came from the TDIET of September 25, 2006, and it just means "hair".

Friday, April 6, 2007

My new blog

I used to have two blogs, and then I stopped updating them. Since September, I've been too busy for this kind of thing, but now I have some free time again.

The main purpose of this blog is to discuss random crap.