Feb 232007

You know how as the Super Bowl (TM) approaches each year, you see all manner of advertisements and contests referring to “The Big Game?” If so, you’ve surely deduced the reason for that: Anyone referring to the Super Bowl (TM) without offering up prime cashola to the National Football League gets a friendly letter from a bunch of lawyers.

So, American citizens, already used to a country where waiters aren’t allowed to sing “Happy Birthday” as they bring the cake to the table, have learned to accept “The Big Game” as a royalty-free synonym for “The Super Bowl (TM)”.

Guess what the NFL is doing now.

Bonus fact from Coyote Blog: Basketball coach Pat Riley owns the trademark to the word “Three-peat.”

Feb 232007

I’d like to believe this photo was taken just as he raised the binoculars to his eyes, and right before he realized he was blind. Surely, surely, he didn’t stand there for ten or fifteen minutes looking at nothing. Right?

The photographer said Peretz gazed through the capped binoculars three times, nodding as Ashkenazi explained what he was looking at, the British Broadcasting Corp. said.


Feb 232007

So let’s see what search terms people are using to arrive here…

flatworm jokes

chimp with sunglasses

sudoku ruined my life

how many different brand names for pencils

medication restrictions dubai

the unsolvable bible puzzle

sudoku for piano

chewy chewy entendre

transparency is something which is invisible to eyes

And once again the clue “Argonaut who slew Castor” appeared in a NY Times crossword —¬†whenever that happens, Googlers storm in. That phrase and variants of it accounted for 60% (!) of my search-based traffic this month.

My favorite variant on that phrase: “argonaut who slew castro.”

Feb 232007

Amen to this. Pity it won’t happen in my lifetime:

The national disgrace of gerrymandering has created a system in which the vast majority of House seats are safe for one of the two parties. As a result, the real action is in the primaries, which tend to be dominated by activists. As a result, we see the polarization of Congress, as GOP candidates tend hard right to win their primaries and vice-versa for the Democrats…

The solution seems obvious. A national system of nonpartisan redistricting designed to maximize the number of truly competitive seats. In such a system, candidates would succeed by appealing to the center rather than the extremes, which in turn would reduce the destructive influence of the rabid partisans on both sides of the net.

Feb 222007

The inventor of the Electric Slide is suing people who dare to YouTube themselves performing the dance. Amusingly, he is focused only on the people who dance it badly:

[O]n the YouTube page Silver himself posted showing the Electric Slide, he wrote, “Any video that shows my choreography being done incorrectly is being removed. I don’t want future generations having to learn it wrong and then relearn it as I am being faced with now because of certain sites and (people) that have been teaching it incorrectly and without my permission. That’s the reason I (copyrighted) it in the first place.”

Raise your hands if you knew you lived in a world where the Electric Slide could be protected by copyright. Isn’t this the dance that’s just walking back and forth, and then side to side, occasionally interspersed with clapping one’s hands? Jeez.

(Via Overlawyered.)

Feb 222007

Let’s compare today’s news stories.

The first:

Google (GOOG) is getting serious about taking on Microsoft (MSFT).

Today, it introduces Google Apps Premium Edition, a software suite for companies that provides e-mail, instant messaging, calendar, word processing and spreadsheets. The cost is $50 per worker per year vs. about $500-$600 for Microsoft Office.

“The price point is unbelievable,” says Erica Driver, an analyst at market tracker Forrester Research.

The second:

Yahoo Inc. is hoping a quirky take on the news will strike a chord as its next original programming effort.

The Web giant confirmed Wednesday that it will launch a video project before the end of this quarter that will feature a journalist-cum-crooner who will sing the news.

“This project will create an entirely new kind of news beat, so stay tuned,” Moore said. “All I can say for now is that this reporter will leave you tapping your feet.”