Wednesday, November 30, 2011

28 Days Of Christmas, 28 of the Best Christmas Songs, 3

Today in disturbing Christmas mash-ups, Batman beats up the Ghost of Christmas Future, thereby destroying time itself and leaving humanity trapped in limbo.

Well, no, but a man can dream, can't he? He can, at least until the Republicans win the White House next year and announce there's no money for dreaming because they've given it all to billionaires.

The other day, I proposed to Reader Of The Month Patrick Dilloway that he write "A Christmas Carol" featuring superheroes, and we debated via Twitter whether Batman, or a supervillain, would have to be Scrooge. Because my opinions are righter than yours, I was righter than he was when I said it had to be Batman - -and I said that even before I knew about Batman: Noel.

Or, as DC puts it,

This holiday season, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol gets the Gotham treatment. Inspired by the classic story, BATMAN: NOEL is an oversized, original graphic novel that offers a brand new twist on the tale of Scrooge and the ghosts who haunt him.

In BATMAN: NOEL, The Dark Knight must come to terms with the rogue gallery of his past, present and future.

USA Today offered a plot synopsis:

In Noël, Bob is a lower-class guy in Gotham City trying to keep a roof over the head of his boy. To make some extra money he starts working for the Joker. Batman shakes him down and decides to use Bob to lure his arch-nemesis into his Batarang-wielding clutches. Along the way, though, the Dark Knight is visited by an apparition of his dearly departed partner Robin. And instead of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, it's Catwoman, Superman and the Joker himself who help Batman see the situation in a different light.
I, for one, am glad to see that in lieu of original thought, writers can just continue to spew out 'new' 'versions' of A Christmas Carol, something I've lamented in the past, but which I will now embrace by offering the most meta version of A Christmas Carol ever:

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: Late on Christmas Eve, Charles Dickens, after a hard night of partying with his good friend Edward Bulwer-Lytton, returns home to his wife and children. But rather than spend the rest of the evening with them, Dickens retires to his study to pen a novel idea that came to him over some mead, or ale, or whatever they drank then. As he writes the opening lines of what will become the story A Christmas Carol, he dozes off, only to be awakened by the Ghost of Shakespeare, who points out to him that he's about to create an iconic story that will forever bind all writers to one, and only one Christmas story, hampering their creativity.

"With each poem or play I stole from other writers and claimed credit for in my life," Shakespeare (played by Roland Emmerich) intones, "I forged these chains."

"Awesome. I'm going to use that," declares Dickens, who then falls back asleep only to then be rousted by a series of ghosts -- whole crowds of ghosts, showing him Christmases past, and present, and alternate Christmases, and Christmases which for some reason feature Victoria's Secret 'fashion' shows on TV, but who's complaining, not me, until finally he is visited by The Ghost Of Christmas Future:

Ghost Of Christmas Future [played by Jesus]: "If you finish this story, my own story will eventually become secondary to this, and this story will supplant all other Christmas stories, and we will eventually have to watch a version of this tripe starring the Jersey Shore cast. Therefore, it is for the good of the world that I do this," and Jesus pulls a gun on Dickens, who immediately spin-kicks the gun out of Jesus' hand, and the two then engage in a wild hand-to-hand combat battle to the soundtrack of "Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You" by Billy Squier. The fight ends with Jesus being choked over Dickens' empty grave, nearly dead, until Dickens is hit on the head with a shovel and falls into the grave, dead.

Jesus looks up to see Tiny Tim holding the shovel.

"God bless us, every one!" Tiny Tim says.

Flash to: Dickens waking up in his bed, next to his wife. "Was it all a dream?" he says, and rushes to the window, throwing it open, and is about to shout to a passer-by when he is pulled from the window by his collar and thrown to the ground, breaking his neck.

"When Jesus kills you, YOU STAY DEAD," says Jesus, standing on the ledge outside Dickens' window.

Can you tell it's 5:40 a.m. as I'm writing this? Here's today's song, apropos of nothing: A Christmas Waltz, by She & Him.

Prior songs:

2. Don't Shoot Me, Santa, The Killers

1. Snoopy's Christmas, The Royal Guardsmen.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

28 days of Christmas, 28 of The Best Christmas Songs, 2

Just in case cool Christmas music alone doesn't get you in the mood for the holidays, over on Thinking The Lions, I'm going to give you $20 just for being a nice guy, so listen to some music, and then go do something nice for yourself and some others.

And then once you do, come back and spend a little time trying to figure out why I find "Don't Shoot Me, Santa" by The Killers to be a festive holiday song:

Creepily cheery, isn't it? There's a glimpse into my psyche that you probably didn't want or need.

Prior songs:

1. Snoopy's Christmas, The Royal Guardsmen.

Monday, November 28, 2011

28 Days Of Christmas, 28 Of The Best Christmas Songs, 1:

If you read my blogs regularly, you probably know that I always make a big deal about Christmas -- and this year I'm making a bigger deal than ever, because an existential crisis last year caused me to conclude that since I already Christmas-ize (it's a word!) my life, I need to SUPERXmas my life during the holidays.

As part of that, I'll be (hopefully?)*fingers crossed* *toes, too* *I can't actually cross my toes but my youngest son Mr Bunches can, which is kind of weird* posting every day between now and Christmas a great Christmas song that you should know about.

And here's the first: Snoopy's Christmas, by The Royal Guardsmen.

The Royal Guardsmen had only one top 40 hit that didn't involve Snoopy, which is the kind of trivia you can use to impress your boss at the Christmas party and get that raise, but only if I'm your boss. I guarantee you, if you come up to me at the Christmas party and give me that kind of information, you are getting a raise. That's the kind of people I want working for me.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I'm obligated to mention the Computer-A-Trons once per OPB post, or they'll slash my credit rating... more. (Down With OPB)

What's this about? Click here to find out.

I think it's no secret that we've all, at one point or another, dreamed of pooping in a Hall of Fame restroom.

I don't mean A restroom in some Hall of Fame somewhere. What good is that as a dream? I don't think anyone ever got elected Lord Of All The Western Lands by dreaming low like that. You've got to reach for the stars, because, as the old saying goes,

"Reach for the stars, because when you do, you'll realize that your arm is only, like, 3 feet long and those stars are billions of light years away, so you never had a chance of actually reaching them, and now you look like an idiot standing there in your backyard with your arms stretched up to the sky, plus, what were you going to do if you DID reach the stars? They're made of fire, or something. What are stars made of? Atoms, probably. Or do atoms still exist? Didn't that Large Hadron Collider recently prove that atoms don't exist? I know it was in the news for something. Maybe it's dating Jennifer Aniston."

Oh, Poor Richard's Almanac -- always with the pithy sayings! I had that whole motto tattooed on my right bicep.

Anyway, back to our collective dream of pooping in a bathroom that's so great it gets a spot in the Bathroom Hall of Fame, which, if the people in charge had any sense of humor, they would name The Louvre*

*Get it? Please please please tell me you get that.

The Bathroom Hall Of Fame being a real thing that really exists, at least on the Internet, where Cintas has annually since 2002 held an "America's Best Restroom Contest." (They held one for Canada, too, but until someone actually lives in Canada, we don't have to pay attention to it.)

Apparently, people with too little to do in real life can nominate restrooms for consideration in the contest, the criteria being "a restroom that's open to the public." The qualities considered are the amorphous-sounding "eligibility, style, comments from the nomination and cooperation with the process," the latter meaning, I guess, that if you're not the kind of person who takes kindly to having your bathroom nominated as "America's Best Restroom 20__," then screw you, Cintas will take their attentions elsewhere.

On that note, did you realize that you can be entered in this contest, provided that you don't mind your phone broadcasting the whereabouts and availability of your private bathroom in your home to every person within 3G-shouting distance? It's true: The new "CLOO'" app will let you notify complete strangers that your bathroom is available for them to come use. And make some money doing it, it seems -- CLOO' says that people can use your bathroom for "about the cost of a latte."

See, that's why people like you and me have to keep going into our jobs like suckers everyday: We never looked at our bathrooms and thought "I bet that could be a moneymaking venture, and also wouldn't it be great if serial killers** were able to get access to my decorative hand soaps?"

**In keeping with my upbringing, I must again remind you that my mom taught me, correctly, that all strangers are serial-killing rapists. Even you.
I, of course, did not look at my bathroom as a potential franchise***

***"Dream of starting your own business? Why not open a Pagel's Bathroom in your own house? Get access to the kind of top-notch bathrooming advice that marks a Pagel's Bathroom experience, with attention to detail like "how to haphazardly put any old towel on the towel rack, up to and including a kitchen hot pad if you're in kind of a hurry when Sweetie tells you to put them away" and decorative touches like "twenty-three separate spatulas and serving spoons that Mr F has brought into the bathtub at one point or another and which are now all completely ineligible to be used as kitchen utensils". All this and more will help you bring the Pagel's Bathroom experience to your friends, neighbors, and complete strangers who happen to stop by with extreme intestinal discomfort.

because I don't even like my own family using my own bathroom. I'm not even sure I approve of me using my bathroom. If I could, we'd all go to the neighbors and use their bathrooms so that we wouldn't have to do bathroom-y things in our own house, but, then, I'd never use somebody else's bathroom, either, because gross.

I'm really not cut out for society. That post-apocalyptic world would be looking better and better, if only I had even a single useful skill. Do you suppose puns will be in big demand in Post-Apocalyptic America?

Cintas named as this year's 2011 Best Bathroom in America the restrooms at The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, which means that it's the only winner of this award ever to also be featured in a story in which a portion of Chicago is accidentally teleported to Hell and dropped on a Revenant.

About the Field Museum restrooms, Cintas said:

With two large family-friendly restrooms on the ground floor, the Field Museum features sufficient stalls and sinks, as well as eco-friendly hand-dryers. The women's restroom has a special nursing room with a shut door, sink, and small sofa for new mothers. The women's restroom also has a large Tot Area with smaller toilets for our littlest guests. The restrooms are also right across a Nanny Caddy filled with diapers, band-aids, wipes, etc

You can just see the attention to detail this contest features: diapers, band-aides, wipes, etc .

In case you're wondering, I note that the original quote has no period after etc, so when I quoted the quote I left the area after etc blank and then put my own period a few spaces later, which raises the question: Does "etc" require a period?

Answer: Of course it does; it's an abbreviation. Sub-answer: unless you ask the generation that was raised with the Internet, which is composed of 90% words, but somehow still grew up illiterate, in which case you get this Wiki answer exchange:

Should there be a period after etc?

Yes, but that rule is not always followed in questions on this site because we are not supposed to use punctuation in questions, because the site isn't set up for us to use punctuation in questions. It is set up for us to be able to use punctuation in answers, though.
If the site isn't set up to use punctuation in questions, (a) why? and (b) then shouldn't you say "that rule is never followed in questions on this site"?

Here's the photos of the Field Museum's Hall-of-Fame worthy bathroom, so that you know what you're competing with when you open your bathroom to the public:

That looks more like a futuristic computer server center, doesn't it? That must be why the Computer-A-Trons picked up on this story.

Also, it's too bad that there is no real Louvre Bathroom Hall of Fame physically built, where they could re-create all these award-winning bathrooms and make it a real destination for people. Imagine the fun of driving your kids to the Bathroom Hall of Fame -- fun that would get only funner when you kept telling them "No, we can't stop to go to the bathroom! Don't you want to go in a replica of the 2002 Inaugural Best Bathroom In America, the Notre Dame main building facilities?"

And that is why I am Dad Of The Century.

Down With OPB: Intro and Table Of Contents

Down With OPB* is my homage to one of my favorite rap songs ever, and also to other people who think that they know what The Best of something or other might be. Whenever someone, somewhere, says something is The Best my Computer-A-Trons here in my TBOE Satellite Headquarters (which I lease on a very favorable rate from the old Justice League of America) will whir and clank into action (they are very old, steam-punk-esque Computer-A-Trons) and notify me, and I will then probably continue eating my leftover homemade Chex(TM) Snack Mix and eventually get around to posting something about something else entirely.

But when the Computer-A-Trons do get my attention, I'll post it on this site and list them all here.

Best Public Bathroom in America (2011)

*It stands for "Down with Other People's Best." But you got that, right?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweetie thinks it's just a screen saver, but she'd say anything for Jake From State Farm. (POP!Best: Overthinking Commercials)

Sweetie loves this commercial:

I do not.

And here's why:

Why is the guy talking to "Jake From State Farm" at 3 a.m.?

In his pajamas?

In the dark?

I get that people may need sometimes to call their insurer in the middle of the night.

But there didn't seem to be any emergency reason to call Jake From State Farm at 3 a.m. in his pajamas, standing in the dark.

Also: no, I don't get that people need to call their insurer at 3 a.m. Why do they? Let's say you have a tree branch fall on a power line on your driveway in the middle of a snowstorm, as we once did... but that it happens at 3 a.m., instead of at 3 p.m., when ours happened. What's the insurance company going to do, at 3 a.m.? That they couldn't do at 9 a.m.?

And before you go thinking (a) I'm a perv for thinking Jake From State Farm is up to something creepy in that 3 a.m. phone call or (b) I'm stupid for not knowing a good reason for Jake From State Farm to be at work at 3 a.m., consider this:

Jake's computer isn't even on.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

If the NPR people need help figuring out Star Wars, they could PROBABLY find someone on the Internet to explain it to them.... (Star Wars References)

Google the phrase "Movies about mind control" and a couple of things happen:

First, you move up a notch or two on that list the federal government, with it's more than 1,000,000 people who have a "classified" or higher security clearance keeps of all of us and our search histories. I know all about that list, and I recommend throwing it off as much as possible. Here's what I do: For every real search I do, I do a fake search to keep my place on the list (which is not meant to measure how much of a threat a person is to the federal government but instead is used to manipulate zinc prices, zinc being where the power's at these days. Zinc is perhaps the single most valuable element in the entire universe. That's what they don't want you to know: zinc is what you should be thinking about. The Powers That Be (Major League Baseball, Bill Cosby, and a platypus that developed sentience) are so hellbent on you not knowing how important zinc is that they've made up all the other elements in the periodic table just to hide zinc in plain sight as it were. You didn't really think there was an element called Protactinium, did you? That's just the name of the acne medicine Sentient Platypus uses. Platypusses (Platypi?) have terrible acne.

Here's a sample of a search string I do to throw off Sentient Platypus and his henchmen:

search for "movies about mind control"

search for "That wasn't a real search I did about movies about mind control."

search for "Ways to convince the Powers That Be that I'm not really interested in movies about mind control."

search for "Is Demi Moore really a bisexual lust goddess? Because that's kind of hot."

Note: That last one was really just for my curiosity. But it does help throw off Bill Cosby, who gets distracted by stuff like that. Also, she is, according to Gawker.

That's result one. Result two of a search for "movies about mind control" is a list of sci-fi movies about mind control, only one of the top ten of which (got that?) was a Star Wars-based substance. The others, ranging from "Village of the Damned" to "Destroy All Monsters" -- a movie which... well, I'll let the description speak for itself:

a race of evil aliens known as Kilaaks... release the world's population of giant monsters from their quarantine on Monster Island, employing powerful mind-control devices on the monsters as part of their master plan for subjugating humanity. When the secret equipment used for this purpose is discovered beneath Mount Fuji and destroyed, the aliens make a last-ditch attempt at reclaiming their foothold by summoning three-headed Ghidorah from space -- but by then, Godzilla and the other city-stompers have rallied together to defend the Earth from the alien menace.

How has that never been nominated for an Academy Award? What does it take, Godzilla crying in the ocean and yelling "Wilsoooooooooooooon!"

And that, my friends, is how you do a movie reference that doesn't involve Star Wars, even a little.

Which is the point of this post, of course: I was able to find 10 movies about mind control on a quick Google search, so it's obvious that there have been many, many movies about mind control, which makes it all the more obvious that Star Wars has, indeed, become the only thing pop culture can reference, because with all those movies about mind control, when push comes to shove, even the best and brightest, as exemplified by NPR game show host Peter Sagal and his guests, can only come up with lame Star Wars references.

Here's what happened: On Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, on NPR, about two weeks ago, the opening quiz, "Who's Carl This Time?" touched on Herman Cain's not-at-all-derailing (in a good moment for the American public, though, Cain's chances appeared to be derailed by his complete inability to articulate even a single coherent policy) sexual harassment scandal, as follows:

SAGAL: Politico, the online journal that broke the story, they came to him and they said, you know, we've got this story, what is your reaction? And they tried this for ten days and they couldn't get a response.

[Guest Peter] GROSZ: And a reporter walked up to him and said, "Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?" And asked him over and over again, and Cain looked at the ground and he didn't speak. And then he looked at the guy and he said, "Have you ever been accused of sexual harassment?"


GROSZ: And then they were like, "no more questions."


GROSZ: So he's a Jedi.

Which isn't even what happened in the movie, not really: First of all, Obi Wan didn't say "No more questions." He said "These aren't the droids you're looking for."

And second of all, Herman Cain is clearly not a Jedi, he would be if anything a Sith Lord, but it's hard to imagine a Sith Lord being as clueless about the Space Rebellion as Cain was about the Libyan one:

NOTE: I have no idea what the picture on this post has to do with anything, but if you google "Herman Cain Star Wars," that's one of the images that comes up.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What It Takes To Be The "Sexiest Man Alive" (POP!Best!)

POP!Best! is my weekly attempt to write something about pop culture. Before you laugh, it's also how Ernest Hemingway got started, only his was more bull-fight-y.

This week People named the Sexiest Man Alive, 2011, and, as usual, the pick proved both controversial and completely not, depending on who you talked to and whether who you talked to had any sense whatsoever and/or was trying to simply beat a dead horse of an old joke.

By which I mean: Those people who every year make a joke about the naming of the Sexiest Man Alive and how "wasn't there a Sexiest Man Alive last year, and isn't he still alive, so shouldn't he be the sexiest man alive?"


People age, and what is deemed sexy once may not be deemed sexy later on, unless what is deemed sexy is Lucy Lawless, who looked like this way back when

and who looks like this now:

That is timeless.

Stephen Colbert, while theoretically making the same old tired joke about sexy once sexy always, actually appeared to be mocking it:

The fact that every year, most people react to the Sexiest Man Alive issue by making that same joke serves as yet another reason for me to hate people, and to buttress my belief that most people (a) think they could be in entertainment but (b) clearly could not be, a belief that is proven fact by listening to people call in to talk radio shows. Ever do that? Listen to people call in to talk radio shows and listen to them as they do so attempt to be funny, or witty, or smart. They're not. Such calls inevitably make some sort of inane, or incomprehensible, or both, joke at the outset, as a lead-in to their call, almost as if each caller thinks he needs a monologue. The calls always go something like this:

Host: Thanks, Previous Caller, for making that point about Obama once having eaten a kitten for breakfast. I didn't understand that at all. Let's go on to Jeff, who's calling in from Fresno.

Jeff From Fresno: Hi, Host! Boy, that guy before, he should have been kittened, am I right?

Host: Where'd I put that Xanax?

The point being: you're probably not funny. Or clever. Or witty. That's why you, Jeff from Fresno, are not hosting a radio show, but are instead calling in to that radio show. It's like Jerry Seinfeld said about most people: Most people are not hot. And most people are not funny. So just do whatever it is you do (probably dentistry) and forget the jokes.

Unless whatever it is you do, of course, is something even stupider than dumb jokes about the Sexiest Man Alive. Like, say, a conspiracy theory about how the Sexiest Man Alive got to be named the Sexiest Man Alive. From the site "hot Goss," (capitalization in the original) comes this story, which I imagined was being read in a breathless-but-pluckily-upbeat manner:

People magazine exclusively broke the news that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lopez force be an item in September, after exposure that the pair had a romantic dinner at Per Se in New York. The magazine fanned the relationship flames in October by publishing exclusive photographs of the stars on a Saturday afternoon jaunt. Wednesday, they named Bradley Cooper their Sexiest Man Alive. In April, they named Jennifer Lopez the most gorgeous woman in the world. Their two sexiest stars of 2011 in a relationship that People just happens to always have the inside track on? Is a touch fishy going on? “JLo and Bradley are obvious choices for most sexiest, but the extra bonus of coupledom will not be lost on the editors and publicists of People magazine,” Sarah Ivens, the former Editor in Chief of OK! Magazine said about the thought process magazine editors use when deciding who to place on their covers, and what tales to run. “I always plotted covers with the equation that one A-lister plus another A-lister makes three era the sales. The combo is more intriguing for the reader and this would have really played a part in them both being named winners.”
I didn't doctor that quote at all, so make what you will of "Is a touch fishy going on?" When you're reporting on something as important as SexyGate -- the SEXIEST SCANDAL EVER!-- you've got no time to proofread.*
*Yes, I know that this site is never very well proof-read and often filled with terrible grammar and obvious misspellings and once I posted a picture of William Howard Taft and labeled it "pizza," but in my defense, I hate proofreading but I like making fun of others, so what can you do?

Naming CoopPez -- see why that trend of combining last names of celebrity couples died out before it should have? -- as the Simultaneously Sexiest People Alive Who Are Also Dating didn't just fan America's conspiracy flames, which, let's face it, never really die out -- Americans are always only 1 degree of separation from a conspiracy, and I include myself in that, because every single day that I get stuck in traffic I conclude that it's because the people who run Madison are anti-car and have deliberately set up the traffic flow so that it's less convenient to get around by car than by any other means of transportation, and also I secretly blame them for that time I got stung by all those bees -- but the naming of Bradley Cooper also caused other fallout, like the fact that Americans proved they're always willing to go beyond wild conspiracy theories and take to the streets to protest something completely inane.

Yes, in the grand tradition of people who built on our forefathers' noble revolutionary instincts by completely watering them down, turning "We hold these truths to be self-evident" into "Goddam Netflix raises my price a dollar? I'll show them," protestors took to the streets about the Sexiest Man Alive, as reported by Uproxx:

There are those who will say they were joking, that they were poking fun at the #occupy protests and having a laugh, as it were, and then there are those (me) who will say "This is a country where nobody worries that one of the major parties, the one that controls 1/2 of Congress, has seriously put forth a plan in which they want to balance the budget by taxing the poorest people in the country, a plan which, if put into effect, could take 100% of the money from the poor and would still not close the budget deficit, and yet a plan which somehow enjoys inexplicably wide support" and the people like me, who know those things, worry that "Occupy Wall Street" will get conflated with "Occupy Ryan Gosling's Abs" and you know it will and by doing that, the Occupy Ryan people have just helped kill the Occupy movements.

Also: They spent money and time and effort not on, say, volunteering at a soup kitchen, but on protesting Ryan Gosling's lack of Sexiest Man-Ism, and by my rules, they now owe an equal amount of time to humanity. My rule is that whatever money/time you spend frivolously, you have a moral obligation to donate an equal amount of money/time to a worthy cause. Get a one-hour massage for $100, and you owe $100 and an hour to humanity. It's a good rule, because it lets you enjoy the nicer things in life while also giving something back.**

**I do this. I frequently donate money -- this month it was to political causes -- and I volunteer my time for the Autism Society of Greater Madison and every year I do a stint of bell ringing at the outset of my couple of days off for Christmas, and I volunteer at the local foreclosure clinic. You should try it. It really makes life better and then I don't feel guilty owning a Kindle.

Anyway, all the Conspiracy Nuts and Ryan Gosling Supporters/Society Wreckers ought to relax a little and do science, like I did, because there's no big secret behind how someone gets to be the Sexiest Man Alive. If you look at the history of the Sexiest Man Alive, a history that dates all the way back to the halcyon, now-faded-sunlight-tinged days of 1985, you can review all the Sexiest Mans Alive and see, statistically speaking, what it takes to be Sexiest, and once you understand that, you will be able to rest easily, knowing that in this one area of life, at least, there is not a massive complex conspiracy aimed at keeping you down and miserable.

That conspiracy exists everywhere else in life.

But not in the Sexiest Man Alive.

I reviewed the list of what it takes to be the Sexiest Man Alive, and I compiled a set of statistics about that list, and using those statistics, we can examine, scientifically, as it were, what goes in to the Sexiest Man Alive, and, doing that, we can then also see who the Hypothetical Sexiest Man EVER Alive would be.

Let's get to the stats! Always exciting, those stats!

First, you have to be white. There's been only one non-white Sexiest Man Alive, ever: Denzel Washington, in 1996.

It also helps to be 39 years old. That's the average age of all the winners over time, including the few who have won more than once. Tom Cruise was the youngest when he won (28); the oldest was Sean Connery at 59 when he was named.

Of course, averages aren't all that much help when determining reality -- the average of 1 and 100 is 50.5, which tells you nothing, and the only winner who was actually 39 when he was named was Patrick Swayze.

It would probably be more helpful, if you wanted to be the Sexiest Man Alive, to be 36; that was the most common age at naming, 4 of 26 of the winners being 36 years old at the time.

You of course have to be an actor -- only one non-actor, John F. Kennedy, Jr., -- ever won the award, but more importantly, you have to be a movie actor -- Mark Harmon and Harry Hamlin are probably better known for their TV roles than their film roles, but they were named decades ago, when people (or PeopleTM) still thought this whole "TV" thing had a chance of competing with films for public attention. We know how crazy that idea looks, now!

It wouldn't hurt to have played James Bond -- two of the past winners have portrayed the Master Spy Who Nobody Cares About Anymore on film -- and lately, you're better off having blond or light-colored hair; 10 of the past winners have dark hair but they weren't recent winners.

A secret hidden indicator? It helps to have won before: Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Richard Gere each have two awards, so in 26 years there have been only 22 winners.

It goes without saying that Americans are sexier
; 5 of 22 of the winners have come from outside The Only Country Blessed By God, but four of those have come in the past decade, so this may be a precursor of the end of The American Century. Are Americans getting less sexy?

Hard to say.

You could've figured all that stuff on your own, though, I'm sure. A blond, American film actor who's 34 years old? Of course that's sexy. If I read those words to Sweetie, she'd probably swoon, because people still swoon.

But here's more hidden indicators, like start your last name with a C -- four winners have last names starting with a C -- or at least with a letter in the early part of the alphabet. 6 winners have last names starting with letters A-D.

If Americans are sexier -- notwithstanding that picture-- which Americans, exactly, are the Sexier-est? People from the Texas area, it seems: Two winners were born in Texas, one in Nebraska, and one in Oklahoma. That'll stop, I'm sure, now that Rick Perry has turned Texas into a for(his)-profit toxic waste dump. Unless "Sexy" changes in such a way that we like people with hideous melted faces.

Miss Texas 2023

Improbably, two of the Sexiest Men Alive (Clooney and Depp) were born in Kentucky. Three were born in California, though, so as with every other single thing in life, you're better off living in California than Kentucky.

Smart isn't sexy; at least 12 of the Sexiest Men Alive never finished college. Sexy takes at least 9 years -- Tom Cruise has the shortest time span between his first onscreen role and winning Sexiest Man Alive (9 years); the longest time span belongs to Harrison Ford, who edged out Sean Connery by 2 years: it took Han Solo 34 years of acting to be deemed sexy.

It actually doesn't help to be good at acting; the only black Sexiest Man ever is also the only one with an Academy Award for best acting -- Denzel Washington (so he may have the last laugh, as actors who win an Academy Award may live longer than actors who don't.)(Denzel's also the only one who ever starred as "Grape" in Fruit of the Loom commercials.)

Also: It can't hurt to date someone hot -- as the conspiracy theorists noted, Bradley Cooper was linked with Jennifer Lopez this year, and won. Previous winners who were dating someone considered hot include Richard Gere (who won Sexiest Couple while dating Cindy Crawford before winning on his own), Brad Pitt (who was married to Jennifer Aniston when he won the award the second time). More importantly, it can't hurt to date Jennifer Lopez; Ben Affleck also dated her and he won.

With all this science, you might wonder: How do they actually pick the Sexiest Man Alive?

The actual methods are shrouded in secrecy***

***You just know that there is a glass of wine and perhaps a lip-synch to Ain't No Mountain High Enough involved, though, don't you?

at least judging by this research I did to determine the methods:

Me: How do they pick the Sexiest Man Alive?

Sweetie: I'm not sure.
But PeopleTM Magazine says that this year's choice was made by looking at

A combination of box office appeal (who hasn't seen The Hangover movies?), undeniable good looks and the lengths he'll go to for romance. Asked the sexiest thing he's done to woo a woman, Cooper tells PEOPLE, "Getting on a plane to go get them."
, from that we can conclude that "Sexy" means "Making a lot of money," and then "being willing to spend that money on a woman," as at least 2/3 of the combination of sexy, which means it's true: Women really aren't all that hung up on looks.

They're hung up on money.

With all that sexy science under my belt, it's time to apply that knowledge and make a BOLD AND SEXY PREDICTION for next year's Sexiest Man Alive 2012, and I'm serious about this: I predict that Sexiest Man Alive 2012 will be:

Daniel Craig.

Daniel Craig hits almost all the marks: He had three movies come out this year (counting Girl With The Dragon Tattoo later on this year) and he's played James Bond and will do so again next year in Skyfall. He's blond. While he graduated from college, it was drama school and he only went for 3 years, so that's obviously some weird English thing. He's recently married Rachel Weisz, who people (me) consider hot. He's of Welsh decent, and that's pretty much the only part of the British Isles not yet represented by People's Sexiest Men populace.

Science never lies: Daniel Craig, congratulations on being the Sexiest Man Alive, 2012.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Best Ideas I've Ever Had For Stuff (Also, All The Ideas I've Ever Had For Stuff)(UPDATE!)

The explanation for how this came about is down below...

Over on Thinking The Lions today, I came up with my latest bajillionaire idea, so I thought it would be good to update this list.

New Ideas:

6. Scream 5: Everybody's The Killer:
What's better than my idea about a murder in which the person investigating the murder is the murderer but doesn't know it and didn't do it while suffering from amnesia or under the influence of drugs? Well, nothing, really, but this comes close: In Scream 5, as I plotted it out, every single person in the movie is a murderer. It begins with a kid deciding to commit a murder to copycat the Scream murders. When his friend finds out he did it, he kills the murderer in a copycat murder, only to then set off a string of further murders in which all of the people murder other people, until, at the end, all the main characters are standing in a room ready for the big reveal, and they all realize that they're all the killers, and Neve Campbell (who finally gets to kill someone) says "So we're all the killers?" and they all nod, and then each of them drops their weapons and slowly walks away, separately, and the movie ends.




And you know it.

(Not previously mentioned, except to Sweetie after we watched Scream 4.)

5. Happy Ninja Clams:
I didn't flesh this out, but I'm imagining that it would be something like these clams, and they're ninjas, and they're also happy. And they fight... things. Now that I think about it, they're not so different than Ninja Turtles, though, are they? Back to the drawing board with this one. (First mentioned here.)

4. Shattered Earths
(Book series?)(First seen here) Who wants to live on a shattered planet, made up of little fragments of Earth blown apart but still orbiting more or less synchronously, with each fragment developing its own culture and weapons and identities, until one day, a hero rises to try to unite the various pieces into one planet... plus, at least one of the fragments has dinosaurs, because why not?

5. Lady Etc (celebrity impersonator)(First seen here) Would be a great name for a Lady GaGa cover artist.

Whew! I'm full of awesome ideas today, like that one, and like this idea I just had: "

6. The origin of the curveball (Miscellaneous)(First seen here) ...In a tiny unheated room of his parent's cottage in 1872, a young Alexander Graham Bell huddled over a fire built with a mixture of myrrh and polonium dust, communicating with the ghost of Lord Alfred Tennyson. Bell had been chosen as the pitcher in the Firste Annuale Worlde SeriesE starting the next day, but his arm was possessed by demons, according to a doctor who had considered diagnosing him with "muscle spasms" but had rejected that because this is 1872 and "muscles" haven't been discovered yet...

****The Explanation For How This Came About,****
And Previously-Listed Ideas!

While writing the explanation for why I posted a picture of Mariska Hargitay alongside my original poem "The Secret Identities Of Colors", I came up with the idea for Law & Order: Super Heroes, which would, of course, be a Law & Order type show but would feature superheroes in it so that instead of Sam Waterston blatantly violating someone's rights in court, we'd get Matt Murdock, and Lenny and Big wouldn't be questioning people, it'd be, say, The Thing and Red Tornado.

It's genius, of course, as all my ideas are, and I then began to realize that holy crap, I post a lot of things that I say ought to be written or someday I'm going to write or that I just sort of think up and then never go back to again, and so then I thought: I should have a list of all of those things because...

...well, that's as far as I thought. But from here on out, when I come up with those crazy ideas, I'm going to post them on this ongoing list and link to where you can find them.

And, for good measure -- I'll share. See an idea you like? Email me and I'll think about giving it to you.

1. Callsign Vampire: (TV Show.) young Australian guy (played by whoever girls think is really hot in a nonthreatening kind of way) runs away from his family after a fight with his dad -- the dad being continuously harsh on the boy as he grows up, repeatedly saying things like "You'll never be the man I was." To prove his dad wrong, the guy lies about his age and enlists in the Army, finding himself part of a shadowy brigade that goes by the insignia Callsign Vampire. Led by a sexy slightly older woman sergeant (played by someone who will at least get guys to talk about this show), this unit turns out to be made up of actual vampires; Sergeant Sexy repeatedly tries to seduce Young Guy into becoming a vampire too, but she can't force him to do so -- she has to have his consent. (First proposed here.)

2. The Day the River Jumped Back: In The Year The River Jumped Back, the author recounts a year he spent in the antebellum confines of a small southern town ravaged by poverty and the loss of industry. Tasked by an unknown mentor to write a best seller book, and given the means to do that, the writer sets out to try to live up to the dying directives his "uncle" gave him, but in doing so, ends up recreating an experience that hearkens back to and recreates Leopold Bloom's day in James Joyce's Ulysses, a day that, in Pagel's hands, and minds, stretches beyond the confines of 24 hours to overshadow his entire year spent on the banks of a river that was no longer there... until it came back. Features an actual harmonica sold with the book. (Novel)(First proposed here.)

3. Instant Memoirs: (memoir): Need an idea to write a pseudo-memoir about something and get a movie made? Try these:

Writing to Ace: My letters to Ace Frehley, and the songs I wrote about the lack of response.

Bare Foot, Bare Soul: The year I decided to go shoeless.

I-Haul: One Man's Attempt To Live In A Rental Van For An Entire Year.

"99% Perspiration: The Year I Spent Trying To Think Of Things To Do For A Year."

(First proposed here.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I'm not even gonna ruin this with words. Much. (My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad)

Recently, the cast of Community posed for pictures recreating iconic scenes from high school movies. Alison Brie wore the red bikini from Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but said that she could never compare to Phoebe Cates.

I never saw Fast Times. But I have seen Alison Brie.

Here's the evidence:

Winner of "The Best Girl In A Red Bikini": Alison Brie.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

All I Really Need To Know I Learned From People Talking About Kim Kardashian's Divorce. (POP!Best!)

POP!Best! is a weekly look back at the week that just happened. In case you forgot. Or were in a coma or something. Or maybe you were just busy. Who am I to judge? But I do judge. Oh, how I judge.

Back in the fabled time we now think of as "the 80s," every assumes that life was all feathered hair, popped collars, and guys cutting the fingers off of their gloves

for no real reason, and that life was simpler and easier back then, what with Reagan being still 75% alive and Bill Cosby having not gotten all old and bitter.

But people forget that the unenlightened denizens of that darker time didn't have all the answers, like we do today, and frequently forgot all the important things in life, which is why they needed reminding of the things they needed to know to live via the awe-inspiring idea "All I Really Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten."

That simple idea -- that in kindergarten we'd learned everything we'd ever need to get by in the world -- took the 1980s by storm, even though it was published in 1988 and therefore was a little too late to do anything about all the bad ideas that had already been spawned by the 1980s:

But, late as it was, it's fair to say that Robert Fulghum's simple poem inspired the world, and for decades after the publication of his book of essays, we no longer sought out excesses, we no longer were mean to each other, we did not wage unjust wars or help trample the dreams of millions to enrich ourselves.

Which is why we were, until this week, living in a veritable paradise where people shared, and ate warm cookies and cold milk, and flushed, but then, this week, as we all know, the entire equilibrium of this and every other universe (yes, even that one where everything rhymes with orange) was upset when the unthinkable happened and a celebrity marriage turned out to not be based on romantic notions of love at all!

Never mind that, by my count, 99.9% of all marriages are based not on love but on other emotions, less fanciful, less poetic emotions like "She was the first and only person who would sleep with me more than once" or "I'll show my sister who can get married first," (both of which are lesser-recognized emotions in the pantheon but are still valid): whatever the standards we set for our own marriages (low, judging by the fact that Mexico now thinks 2 years is about how long anyone can stand to be married), celebrity marriages are something different. Something beautiful. Something for us to aspire to. Something for Americans to watch since we foolishly gave up having our own real royalty over 200 years ago and now live empty dreary lives.

Celebrity marriages are more than just a way for someone who stored bat guano in her house to legitimize our view of her and somehow become a U.N. ambassador and "role model" in spite of all evidence to the contrary; celebrity marriages are how we, as a people, made sure that traditional values of love, and romance, and four-hour TV specials, were still respected, here in the United States and probably everywhere else in the world but who cares about them because we now have forty-nine different states where it's totally legal to go into an elementary school carrying a concealed shotgun. (USA! USA! USA!)

Until this week, that is.

Past celebrity marriages never failed to live up to our standards and ideals. People like Britney Spears and Jennifer Aniston and...

... and other celebrities who got married*

*I'm kind of the wrong person to ask about this, in that I don't really know who celebrities are. I'm far more likely to remember the name of Jaggers' clerk (Wemmick) than I am to remember the name of the girl who played in those vampire/werewolf movies (Kate Beckinsale, whose name I only know now because it came up, improbably, in a work meeting yesterday). My go-to celebrity informant is Sweetie, who knows everything there is to know about celebrities, including, importantly, who they are. I asked her on the spur of the moment to name famous celebrities who got married famously and she gave me "Britney Spears to that Jason guy who lasted a day; Prince William and Kate; Khloe Kardashian, Brad and Jennifer, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise..." before petering out, which, in retrospect, is kind of a disappointing performance from Sweetie.**

**After a few minutes she added "Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore. And also I realized that Brad Pitt and Angelina never got married, but I'm not going to go back and change the post at this point. It's too late for that. We march onward! USA! USA! USA!

invariably served not just as conduits for our own frustrated emotions (Why can't I get paid $20 million just to run around on a movie set and fight Jonathan Rhys Meyers? Besides the fact that I can't act and am out of shape to the point where I look like I might be kind of melting, I mean?) but also as symbols of our highest ideals ($600,000 on a dress? USA! USA! USA!), but all that changed this week when America -- and, probably the world, but, again, who cares? Let them deal with Greece, we've got our own crisis going on right here! OCCUPY WHEREVER IT IS THE KARDASHIANS LIVE! -- began to feel that perhaps it had been duped by a celebrity marriage.

And we were duped, and that outrage you feel is not just regular ol' outrage, but a white-hot-burning kind of outrage that can only be inspired when Americans really truly really honestly have something to be mad about, like Netflix increasing their price by about twenty bucks a year, or Kim Kardashian making more money off people who can't understand why it was so dumb to let her make any money in the first place.

What happened this week was more important, I'd say, than every other thing that ever happened in the world, combined, judging by the outrage and talk and sheer amount of time I'm assuming The View spent talking about the Kim Kardashian divorce, and you're probably expecting me to make some point about how weird/stupid it is that people could devote so much energy to talking about the Kardashivorce when there are serious things going on in the world, like whatever it is Greece is up to, but I'm not because I, perhaps alone among people, understand that this is more than just Ewoks blinking, which, important as that was to denounce, wasn't quite as Earths-shattering as the news was this week.

The Kardashivorce (TM), as I said, upset the equilibrium of the multiverse, an equilibrium that had been established back in 1988 when, after exactly 1,988 years since God created the world, we'd finally learned how to live. Now, we stare bleakly into exactly the kind of post-apocalyptic world we've always dreaded and imagined, albeit one that admittedly has fewer zombies than recent pop culture would lead one to expect, but a post-apocalyptic world nonetheless, a world in which the rules have changed and nobody is sure how to proceed.

What should we look up to? What ideals will hold true in this new world? Will there still be Oreos?

Those are the questions that all week long, humanity was afraid to ask and nobody had the answers to... until now, when I have painstakingly pored over all of the coverage I could bear to read about the Kardashivorce, and gleaned from it a new set of rules for us to live by in this Brave New World*4

*4: Suck it, Aldous Huxley. You can't copyright a title. USA! USA! USA!

that we are about to march into. And I have put them together into a little poem I call:
All I Really Need To Know I Learned From People Talking About Kim Kardashian's Divorce.*5

*5: See footnote 4, Robert Fulghum.
Always make sure your marriage outlasts the engagement. It's more embarrassing to get divorced after six weeks than it is to get married after 10 months.

By the same token, it is irrelevant which lasted longer, the most important commitment you can ever make, or a stint on Dancing With The Stars.

No matter what happens to you in life, the biggest problem you will face is what to do with the gifts people gave you.

Australia won't shelter you from criticism.

Neither will Las Vegas.

Television is no longer a reliable source for moral instruction.

Nobody likes an "Indian giver."

It's apparently okay to use the phrase "Indian giver."

Follow your manager's advice when marrying; follow your intuition when divorcing.

There is no right or wrong
. (That's a relief.)

Above all, do no harm to your brand identity.

Listening to the hoopla will only hurt the ones who post on Twitter about how supportive they are of you.

If you promise to give stuff to charity to get people off your back, you totally never have to go through with it.

Make sure that your heart is living where your mind builds its dreams, or some nonsense like that.

Angelina Jolie's poop smells like papaya.

The best way to avoid lots of attention is to go on television.

A gentleman does not neglect his abs during times of stress.

It's okay to take advantage of your children if you mention that you feel awkward about doing so.

What famous people do should affect your every waking moment.

And, in the end, never despair, because no matter what you do, you will always be better than Paris Hilton.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The question I didn't ask: Was Nirvana the Stalin of rock music? (Indie Book Review)

The Indie Book Review's second installment; click here for an explanation.

One day, Tom is just a guy running a general store, until a bunch of local thugs kidnap the woman he's in love with, leaving him with a corpse, an errand, and an entry way into a world he doesn't really seem to believe exists.

That's the set-up for A Dead God's Wrath, by Rusty Webb, which itself is a set-up to what promises to be a longer book (or, series of books? *fingers crossed*) but which as a stand-alone story does just fine, too.

The story begins at breakneck pace, almost literally, as Tom is in a hurry to get to the Market House; with little ado, we learn that Tom's taking a body to an old building downtown in the old-timey southeastern city where he's set up shop, and that he's doing so because Mary, a friend of his who Tom wants to be more than friends with, told him if anything bad ever happens -- without specifying what bad might be -- he should do that.

After dumping the body into the muck of the house, Tom bumps into a mysterious man waiting in the shadows, and a bit of a flashback sets up what happened: Mary's been kidnapped by local thugs and Tom has to come up with $1000 to ransom her. The stranger agrees to help and shortly thereafter things get even weirder, with Tom bravely standing up to the thugs only to find out that there are forces at work he doesn't even begin to comprehend.

A Dead God's Wrath felt to me a lot like a Western (although, setting-wise, it's actually a southeastern) but what I liked about it (since I don't like westerns) was that the entire book felt permeated with a sense of magic and dread, as well as speed; it might be a carryover from the opening scene but this book rips through its story quickly, which isn't a bad thing: Webb provides details of the scenes and backgrounds to flesh out the imagination (the description of the stranger's face, for one, is horrifyingly vivid) while keeping the pace up. It's the first sci-fi/fantasy-ish western I ever read, and I'm glad I did, because it brought a fresh spin to both those genres.

A Dead God's Wrath is available on Amazon and the Kindle; I read it on the Kindle. is intended to set up more story, and Webb's writing makes me want to read the rest of that story. But, at the risk of slowing down the publication of the book that'll finish up the story, I asked him if he wouldn't mind answering

10 1/2 questions for an Indie Author:
The format, as always, being 3 questions about the book, 3 about the author, 3 I want to ask, and then one unsolveable problem, plus the half a question...

About Your Book:

1. What is the deal with the Market House where Thomas takes the corpse? Are we going to find out more about that in the next book?

I generally set any story I write in Knoxville, Tennessee or a surrounding area. I'm a huge local history buff. The real Market House in Knoxville was torn down decades before I was born, but for a century it was the center of the universe for anyone living near the city. If you wanted to buy or sell anything you wanted to be as close to the Market House as you could.

But the history of the place is bizarre, its founder died in a shootout with a bank president during the middle of a business day. The place served as a munitions depot and barracks for Union soldiers a decade after it was opened. The locals hated the place as much as they needed it. The stench of farm animals had a tendency to drive away the customers that came for other goods. The original Market House wasn't built well and was an eyesore. It was torn down and rebuilt just before the end of the 19th century, but that original House was by all accounts, odd.

I thought the Market House would serve as a notable meeting point for any traveler coming to town, and it gave me an excuse to explore a bit more of my local history. Beyond that, I have no plans to incorporate it into any future stories.

2. There's just the barest hint of actual magic occurring in your book: the coin, for example. But the whole novella seems charged with a weird kind of energy. Did you deliberately downplay the use of magic, and if so, why? (I'm using "magic" to mean "otherwordly occurrences.")

Suspension of disbelief if a real problem for me. As a reader, when wizards are throwing around city destroying magic bolts or turning desk lamps into rabbits I'm scratching my head and trying to figure out how something like that could be possible. The only way I can make sense of any story that contains magic is if I can, at least conceptually, understand that the laws of thermodynamics are being obeyed.

I take Arthur C Clarke's statement that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic to heart though. So, within the larger mythos of my story world, we've got groups of people that are using advanced hand-me-down technology that is thousands of years old, no one has the ability to manufacture or repair any of these items, so they behave almost like magic in the context of the story. Since our viewpoint is Tom, a bright man, but still of his time, he doesn't have the tools to interpret what he's seeing as anything but witchcraft.

The brain is a fickle thing, it sees what it expects to, not what is actually there.

So, to answer your question directly, instead of dancing around it, I did downplay the overt magical/otherworldly elements. The story takes place in a world much like ours, where truly, undeniably alien events just don't happen. I wanted there to be some ambiguousness to what Tom was experiencing for as long as possible.

3. Which character did you think up first for this book?

Tom, he's me. Or at least a version of me. I can't really write from viewpoints that are too foreign to what I know. That isn't to say I haven't tried, I've just not been very successful at it. So far, everything I've ever written has had a central character that is more or less me, perhaps slightly more heroic that the real me, thrust into some predicament.

About You:

4. Your blog is called The Blutonian Death Egg. I tried googling that and could only find references to your blog. Explain the title.

I like the sound of it. I make up words all the time in conversations. I like the cadence, the sound, the meter of something. So a string of syllables that I liked turned into The Blutonian Death Egg.

Also, it's what I named the Mcguffin that everyone in my first (still unpublished) novel is after.

5. You blame (or credit?) Nirvana for destroying your rock-and-roll dreams: What kind of musician were you, and what did Nirvana do?

I was a guitar player, specializing in those 8 minute solos that were relatively technical, but not the most pleasing thing in the world to listen to. I wore pirate shirts, had long hair, and preferred to hear male singers crone in their best falsetto...

Nirvana came along and didn't bother with the more theatrical aspect of music, and went for simpler, more primal type of rock.

Almost overnight the world recognized how corny the 80's rock had become and it crashed hard and fast. My dreams died within a month of Nirvana getting debuted on MTV.

6. What photo of yours is in the Smithsonian? Did you ever go look at it? If so, did you stand near the photo and say "My god, this photographer is a genius!"

I'm sure it's gone now, but I took a photo of my son and nephew playing and thought it was pretty good. I got wind of a photography competition sponsored by the Smithsonian mag. I submitted, won, or at least was a runner up, and they published it and put it up as part of a photography exhibit in their museum.

I did go to see it in person, I didn't have to say a word, as my son told everyone that visited the museum that day that yes, that was his photo on the wall, and no, he wouldn't be signing autographs.

photo (24).JPG

Stuff I Feel Like Asking You About:

7. So far, M&Ms have had chocolate, peanuts, almonds, and pretzels in them. What should be the next M&M filling, and why?

When I was a kid I heard that E.T., from the classic Spielberg movie, was supposed to have wanted M&M's, but the fine folks running the candy conglomerate thought it was a horrible idea and wanted no part of it. So Reece's got the opportunity instead. I don't know if that's true or not, but based solely on that 30 year old rumor, I hope M&M's burn in hell.

Oh, you had a question. I think they should use Reece's Pieces as a filling. Because that would make me like them better. And again, E.T. gets the last laugh.

8. True or False: Will Ferrell's role as "Young Man" in the 1995 TV movie "A Bucket Of Blood" represented the high point of his career.

False - I would have gone with True there had he not starred in Zoolander. Zoolander trumps everything for everyone.

9. What's the worst letter in the English alphabet?

Q - It's redundant. I can use a K, or even a C to get the same point across. Hell, don't get me started with the whole, "there needs to be a 'U' with it" thing either. That letter is ridiculous.

The Unsolvable Question:

10. The Gettier Problem: Plato defined knowledge as "true belief justified by facts." Edmund Gettier in 1963 pointed to instances where someone had a belief that was in actuality true, but the person was not aware of the facts supporting his position, thereby disproving Plato's definition of knowledge. Define "knowledge," using less than 20 words.

True belief based on and justified by facts.

And the final half-question: Finish, then answer, this question: One person I...

... think was worse than Hitler?

Stalin. The guy was wicked in a way I have a hard time comprehending. He may have been directly responsible for more deaths than any individual in history. Why don't politicians compare more members of an opposing party to Stalin? Seems more appropriate really, since his atrocities were mostly done to his own people and not the world in general. Voted to spend money on Parks for dogs? Stalin. Voted for Healthcare? Stalin. Voted for tax increases on the rich? Stalin.


Again, you can buy A Dead God's Wrath on Amazon/Kindle. It looks like you can get it on Smashwords, too. Rusty Webb also contributed stories to the anthology Jackson & Central, which likewise is available on Amazon, so why not make it a twofer?


Want your own indie book featured here? I'll buy your book, read it, review it, and you get your own crack at fame, fortune, and that unsolveable question. Just Email me by clicking here and put "Indie book review" or some such in the subject line.