February 06, 2007
Shaun Mullen at Kiko's House marks what would have been the 62nd birthday of Bob Marley with an in-depth look at his life and discography, including the news, to me, that the Jamaican reggae great once lived in Wilmington, Del., and worked a shift at the Chrysler plant.
"At 9 a.m. EST, officially it was 13 degrees colder at Philadelphia International Airport than it was in Anchorage, Alaska." This news comes from Tony Wood, Inquirer Renaissance man and climatic connoisseur, who has started a new site called Weather or Not.
Suburban Guerrilla asks (or tells) why newspapers and their Web sites devoted so much space to Super Bowl ads this year: "First of all, it’s an absolute filler story with very little of import attached to it. Second, it’s easy to do - throw in some opinions, add an online poll, and bake at no heat for 24 hours. So we get the “every news organization is doing this story” approach everywhere, from CNN to the Faribault Daily News, and news users all have to wade through it." I'm guilty as charged. Why? It's one of the few times during the year when everybody is paying attention to the same thing, which provides an opportunity to start a friendly food fight.
Attytood breaks a little news about the Inquirer. Coming Sundays in the Currents section: conservative big talker Michael Smerconish.
Overheard in Philly has new ownership and ears. Which means we can eavesdrop on more pearls like this:
Drunk chick to friend: Miller Lite is the White Zinfandel of beers.
Overheard by Beersnob
January 29, 2007
Bits & Parts
Guitar World picked the greatest solos of all time. City Rag found video of the top 20. (via Clicked.) Pretty lame version of "Layla," essential Hendrix, and Jimmy Page on "Heartbreaker" makes me wish for a Led Zeppelin reunion.
Get paid to read blogs, hear podcasts. A Washington Post piece on a media company that scours the Web to track what people are saying about their clients.
January 02, 2007
While We Were Unplugged ...
Philafoodie's sit-down with Pa. Liquor Control Board chairman Jonathan Newman, in which the man who has made state stores sexy explains why he's so opposed to the $150,000 CEO job created for former state Sen. Joe Conti - and wonders if he'll stick around to make any more chairman's selections.
The left lobes of the blogosphere suffered more than Whiskey Bar's closing. Suzy Madrak is giving up control of Suburban Guerrilla to become a city operator. She's got a gig as press secretary to Democratic mayoral candidate Tom Knox. Madrak, 52, a recovered suburban newspaper journo, will hand over the keys to some hand-picked guest guerrillas until the primary or general election, depending on how well the boss does. She writes by e-mail that the new writers include Maya Dexter, of South Jersey and Dr. S. of Bucks County, who is a former newspaper editor from some other city. Two more people - local activists - are lined up to post occasionally, she says. She may still drop a line or two.
I love the idea that a site that gathers eavesdroppings has market value - but how much? Wanna buy Overheard in Philadelphia? It's for sale.
Philadelphia Will Do picked its person of the year - someone who was a Blinq favorite - and it took a lot to beat a beloved hoofer, a disgraced City Councilman, a man-on-dog foe, and an indicted mayoral brother, but Sal Fasano brought a lot to the game, himself.
Dem Golden Whizzers. (Hat tip, The 700 Level)
The wiseacres at Teenage Kicks reprised their roles and semi-live-blogged WXPN's Top 50 CDs of the Year countdown, dissing Alexi Murdoch, praising rockist obscurities and getting off lines like this about the Eric Clapton/JJ Cale project, "The Road to Escondido:" The Road to Boredom.
Reversing its cellar finish in last year's Philadelphia Weather blog's winter forecast challenge, NBC10 has tied for the lead so far this year in predicting snowfall. It helps that there hasn't been any snow.
Placeblogger launched Jan 1, gathering a handful of Philadelphia blogs as part of its effort to feature 650 sites from around the world listed by location. Lisa Williams, a Watertown, Mass., blogger runs it, and explained her site lets one discover, browse and subscribe to local blogs. They're hyper-local sites, she writes, and by clicking the Philadelphia LiveJournal community I learned this: "Approximately 10 cop cars both regular and undercover just went racing Eastbound around Fitzwater and Bainbridge." Think of Placeblogger as a social police scanner. Prof. Jay Rosen wrote about it here.
Going up? Donning a hard hat, Phillyskyline's Brad Maule offered a rare photographic tour of the towering Comcast Center.
Nielsen BuzzMetrics discovered the top of the blogosphere is a clubby place. Only 18 bloggers were responsible for the 100 most-popular posts of the year.
Speaking of end-of-year lists, all you'll ever need can be found at WFMU's Beware of the Blog, where Mark Allen has compiled his Renewable, Cross-Referenced, Self-Mutating Top Ten List of the Most Popular Top Ten Lists of the Top Ten Best Top Tens of 2006 and Beyond Swirling Forever Into an Infinite Black Hole. Enjoy.
December 15, 2006
Best Lists of the Year
As good for you as transfat, second-hand smoke and watching Sixers games, it's Blinq's first annual, when-does-vacation-start, end-of-year, list of lists!
The 10 Most Dangerous Toys of all Time. From Radar Magazine. Lawn darts!
50 Coldest People In Hollywood. By Film Threat. Yo, Mel!
Best Collection of Music Bloggers' Best-of Lists. By Largehearted Boy. Many with downloadable links.
Best Albums of 2006. By Metacritic. Ali Farka Toure takes it.
The 15 Best Wastes of Time on the Web. From PC Magazine.
Best Book Covers. By Bookslut.
Best Blogs Of 2006 that You (Maybe) Aren't Reading. By Fimoculous. History of the Button Blog? Yup.
Best Inventions of the Year. By Time Magazine.
The World's Best Hotels, Spas, Cruises, Cities. By Travel & Leisure.
The Grooviest Gadgets of 2006. By CrunchGear. Like a $15,000 laser turntable.
Best Cars and Trucks. From Money Magazine.
Words of the Year. By Merriam-Webster. Go "Truthiness."
Five Most-Unintentionally Funny Albums of 2006. By Cracked.
Movies of The Year. By the American Film Institute. Niice.
Books of the Year. By The Guardian.
50 Marketing Break-Thrus. By Ad Age.
Hottest Cookbooks. By Epicurious
December 14, 2006
St. David's War on Santa
St. David's Square's holiday decorations are supposed to be snow drifts festooning the roof of the building - or icicles. We don't know. But one reader, who sent this photograph our way, wondered if some of those designs - especially that middle one - wasn't a little angry at the season.
December 13, 2006
Bits and Drabs
Swing & A Miss weighs in on the AI swap meet:
1995 Bentley sedan. Driven hard. Never garaged. Entered in over 100 off-road races; finished in 98. Body compromised in too many places to list here. Involved in three known accidents. Driver-side door does not open. Last known oil change ca. the new millennium. $59,900 or BO. Contact: Billy King, Philadelphia 76ers.
The Sport Guy, meanwhile, asks if Iverson presents the basketball Bargain of the Decade. Sue the team for negligence, he counsels.
The ten funniest political quotes of 2006. From Extreme Mortman.
Charlie Brown Christmas, as performed by the cast of Scrubs. (via Clicked) Inspired.
Why Sylvester Stallone does want to be mayor of Philadelphia. (via The Clog) Left his guard down.
The year in media corrections. From Regret the Error. Look for the Pennsylvania beef panties.
Dollars and Sense, according to The Dude. A Fortune/CNN profile of ex-Phillie Lenny Dykstra and his surprising market saavy.
The coed who got between Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston. Allentown's Mallory Lane tells some to her local paper.
December 12, 2006
Boycott Rocky Balboa, argues the Publications Office, a blog by
Haverford collegiatesFairmount dilittantes:
First, the things that the movies stand for, brutal, gladiatorial violence, unrealistic optimism, machismo, stupidity, ridiculing the brain damaged, are not positive activities. These stigmata have become what our fair city is most recognized for.
Worse, the blogger anticipates a skull-numbing string of sequels in which the Rock matches up with Satan, Mel Gibson and the Super Shredder.
Blonde Sagacity thanks her stars that Philadelphia doesn't have a Heart Attack Grill - yet - -or she might never see her man. She links to the Tempe, Ariz. spot "where you can drink beer, smoke all you want and order a 'triple bypass burger' that will be served by a waitress in a very skimpy nurse costume...making Hooters look like Sesame Place." Not sure which would go over better here, Alpha Male Mondays or Sponge Bath Saturdays.
Some Allen Iverson links as we await word...
What If Iverson Winds Up On Your Team? A cautionary tale.
What If You Let NBA 2K7 or NBA Live 07 Make The Trade? I don't think Kobe's available.
True Hoop's Henry Abbott: "I wouldn't want to get him on my team, but if I had him, I wouldn't want to lose him either."
The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan: "A case can be made that he is the most gifted 6-footish player who has ever lived. He maxes out on sheer athleticism, for openers, and he outmaxes the maxing out in both competitiveness and toughness. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he has played more games that no one else could possibly have played than any player in the history of the game. Allen Iverson is Brett Favre's alter ego. So what's the problem? Or problems? When you boil it all down, there really are only two: 1. He thinks Paul Anka wrote "My Way" for him, not Sinatra. 2. He's not exactly easy to play with."
Sports Illustrated's highlights and lowlights of Iverson's career. A timeline.
CBS Sportsline columnist Ray Ratto's "Iverson merits better than the road to nowhere he's on."
The BM Rants ranks and links his favorite songs of the year. Can't get "Roscoe" out of my head.
December 06, 2006
I bet someone could make cute little holiday ornaments of Milton Street and his lawn jockey. NPR's having an online decoration contest - it wants listener/reader submissions of homemade items for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. And Melody Joy Kramer, a Cherry Hill gal who helped cook up the idea, worried by e-mail that no one from Philly has sent in anything that's obviously from Philly. There has got to be something someone can make from a John's Roast Pork sandwich. Maybe not a menorah. She writes: "A Geno's cheesesteak/make your order in English" menorah might just take my breath away."
Fimoculous (a tiny organism that feeds on its own waste) picks the best blogs of 2006 that you may not know about. And, truthfully advertised, it's an obscure and good list, from Starbucks Gossip to Indexed.
The most-emailed story on Boston.com Wednesday morning was about a plane that was forced to land due to flatulence. And, no, it did not run out of gas.
David Bowie asked the musical question: Is there life on Mars? New NASA pictures suggest water flowed with in the past seven years. Misunderestimation explains: "Life i n the sense of single-celled micro-organisms, not the little green kind with bad dispositions. More importantly, this news could confirm a long-held belief that Mars has water and could support human life. Having water on Mars means we don’t have to bring as much with us when we go there."
This is going around. It made me lose fluids out of my nose and 15 minutes of my day. It's about Kelly and her shoes. Kelly likes shoes. It is not safe for work - not unless you work in some totally odd place with Hello Kitty phones and Howard Stern playing for the customers. Click the original 'Shoes" video. Then the "Text-Message Break-up" video. Who is this genius? Don't go there if you are offended by the occasional swear word or people in drag.
And via Phillyburbs, this photo gallery from South Florida.com, which has gathered an impressive collection on Scary St. Nick snapshots, some reaching back decades into black and white times, to deliver moments when store Santas frightened the hell of some nice boys and girls. Only No. 44 seems to get even. But how did they miss Nazi Santa?
(Mel Gibson menorah by Avie Schneider of NPR)
December 04, 2006
Monday Morning Matters
Could blogs and wikis prevent the next 9/11? A New York Times piece by Clive Thompson asks if CIA analysts could tap the technology of teens to securely share information about terrorist activities.
Should the new Inquirer and Daily News have their mojo working? A Washington Post piece explores the Gannett chain's online and hyper-local strategies and the mobile journalists they're relying on.
Christmaslapooza - a quick holiday quip from Anonymous Rowhouse.
Asked to name the Sportman of the Year, Chester County-based Sports Illustrated scribe Franz Lidz nominates Barbaro's doc, Dean Richardson,, who's also done wonders for Lidz's llama.
Are podcasting's 15 minutes up?
But not YouTube's. We present, the user-generated site's 10 most-popular videos. No 1, with 36 million views, is an "inspirational comedian's" dance routine. Curious, but bald guys can dance.
A Rolling Stone article suggests you might want to stop by Wolfgang's Vault sooner than later if you want to hear Springsteen from Winterland in 1978, as well as classic shows by the Who, Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Clash Jefferson Airplane etc... Some of the artists wonder whether they should be paid when the Vault streams their work. The music comes from more than 500 soundboard recordings the late Bill Graham had made at concerts he promoted. (Will add link to the article when I find it.)
Making a Christmas music CD? Check The Cool Wax has done some work for you. Pee Wee's Christmas Special, a holiday greeting from Arnold Schwartzenegger, Charo? He dumpster dives so we don't have to.
An Adam Nagourney piece in the New York Times today quotes Republican campaign adviser Mark McKinnon saying of Barack Obama, "He's a walking, talking hope machine, and he may reshape American politics."
November 30, 2006
First the news: The New York Times this morning reports that the Iraq Study Group is recommending a pullback of combat troops. This is the James. A. Baker and Lee Hamilton-led, 10 person, bipartisan panel. It's not setting a timetable, but calling for a gradual pullback of the 15 brigades over there.
Now the commentary:
Atrios says it's not going to happen.
The lefty from Philly writes:
Barring tremendous political leadership by, well, our political leaders we aren't leaving. Leaving is losing. Bush has made this clear.
Texas Hold 'Em writes:
Let me get this straight: many of the same people who screwed up the Gulf War in the early 1990s by leaving before the job was finished, encouraging the Iraqi people to finish it and then bailing on them now want us to do the exact same thing again.
And from the middle, the Moderate Voice writes:
You can already tell that some on the right will dismiss the report as not allowing enough latitude to win. And some on the left will say it doesn't set deadlines. But it's clear that the members of the commission aren't endorsing a policy status quo: if next year is not marked by troop withdrawals, the administration is likely to face a "pile on" of bad news cycles where it's under fire from some former commission members and Democrats, who want a speedier timetable. Plus, the already marked differences between members of Bush 41 Administration and Bush 43 Administration become even more marked and, most likely, public.
Not sure whether to file this under sports or education, but Freddie Mitchell apparently went from 4th and 26 to Saved by the Bell. The spotlight-if-not-football grabbing former Eagle receiver wound up in a Deadspin reader exclusive regarding his previously unheralded role teaching Indiana teens this summer. The report alleges Fred-Ex spent a bit of time trying to get the 411 of young lady fans before being dismissed.
This goes under sports: Swing & a Miss writes how this is the magic moment for the Phillies; they're poised to win the hearts of long-suffering Philadelphia sports fans. It's sunny for Philadelphia: "The Eagles, Flyers and Sixers are all down and out, a cheerless mixture of aging veterans, disappointing rookies, front office upheavals and questionable coaching. The Phillies, on the other hand, have a nucleus of bright young stars who seem poised for greatness. All that’s missing are a few pieces to propel them into the playoffs. Well, maybe there are several missing pieces, but the core of young stars is in place."
Speaking of it always being sunny in Philadelphia, anyone watch Danny DeVito's never-ending night? Only problem: it was the next morning. On "The View."
Now for a pair of lifestyle blog entries. Help this man find his true love; he thinks he met his match in line at Macy's in Center City last Saturday. He was with his kids, waiting to see Dickens' Village. She was with her kids. Forget classifieds - he's turned to blogs to find her. He writes:
While in line, the most beautiful women I have ever seen began to talk to me. When I turned to look at her and into her beautiful eyes my mind immediately went blank. I thought I was frozen in time and I suppose I was. I couldn’t think of anything to say, not even anything stupid or meaningless. I just stood there, smiled and stared at her. I’m in my mid forty’s now and I felt like a teenager again. For the first time in quite a while I smiled at someone from the bottom of my broken heart. The same heart I thought I had lost. Today, I knew it was still there because it was beating fast, really fast.
And as a counterpoint, help this nice young woman slip this Facebook stalker.
"Hey, Pal. Do you like steak?" Philly detective "Wyatt Earp" goes to the Lowe's to buy some topseed. Runs into a scruffy character selling meat out of truck. Which is my cheesy transition into the Cops Writing Cops blog, a national place to let off a little steam. Which we're all for. We recommend the Dicks of the Month feature.
Finally, for now, what took them so long?