Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top 5 Best Star Trek: TNG Episodes

We've been watching every episode of every Star Trek series in reverse order (episodes in order, but series starting with Enterprise and ending with Kirk and his crew on the original Enterprise), and recently finished Star Trek: The Next Generation ("TNG").  TNG has some terrific episodes, and is difficult to narrow down to 5.  Our rough list--which already excluded a bunch of good ones--had 12 (counting two-parters as a single episode).  We narrowed it to the 5 below, but you can certainly disagree in the comments!

5: Cause and Effect - The teaser opening is the Enterprise blowing up and everybody dying.  After commercial, everything is back to normal--until things go horribly wrong and the ship blows up again.  And again.  And again.  Every time, resetting to hours before the explosion.  The crew eventually comes to realize they've been living out the same sequence over and over, and they devise a clever way for Data to signal himself and avoid the actions that lead to the time loop.  There are probably better stories and better episodes that didn't make this list, but this one has stuck with me since I first saw it decades ago--something about the idea of being stuck in a temporal loop makes my mind reel.

4: The Inner Light - Captain Picard is unconscious and lives a whole lifetime on another planet as a member of a dead civilization.  He also learns to play the flute.  This is a trippy episode, since Picard retains the memories of a full lifetime after coming back to his "present" reality.  DS9 did an episode like this with O'Brien called Hard Time, in which he has memories implanted (or some such thing) about serving a decades-long sentence for a crime he didn't commit.  He is stuck with these horrendous memories, including memories of awful things he did behind bars.  But that's a different series, so The Inner Light represents here.

3: Chain of Command 1 and 2 - "There are four lights."  Picard is taken captive and tortured.  His torturer shows him some lights and demands that Picard say there are 5 lights, though there are only 4.  It is the best treatment in all of TNG of the resilience of the human mind, and its breaking point.  There's an episode called Frame of Mind in which Riker is made to believe he is slowly going insane.  It's another well-done piece (and easily the best Riker episode), but Chain of Command is just a bit better, and gets on the list.  There's also one called Remember Me, in which people keep disappearing from the ship and Dr. Crusher is the only one left at the end.  We learn that she's basically trapped in her head and everyone is working on getting her to come out of it.  It's cool and nicely-done, and is Doc Crusher's best piece, but it's not as good as the two mentioned above.

2: Darmok - "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra."  The aliens speak only by metaphor, so the universal translator can translate some of their words, but the meaning is completely lost.  While the crew of the Enterprise work, unsuccessfully, on figuring out the language, and while we sit and wonder why the show Enterprise (set in the past) had a linguist as part of the crew but the current Enterprise doesn't, Picard us trapped on the planet with one of the aliens whom he befriends and eventually learns to understand.  He arrives back on the Enterprise after his alien friend dies, and speaks to the alien's shipmates just in time to prevent a catastrophic battle between the ships.  This episode reminded me a bit of Enemy Mine, one of my favorite movies, and has been cited by Russell T. Davies (of Doctor Who fame) as being an inspiration to him, though he's never seen the episode.

1: All Good Things - The finale; maybe the best sci-fi finale ever.  It involves Q, time travel, Guinan, and multiple Enterprises.  Retired Picard of the future is seeing visions (courtesy of Q), but everyone he tells thinks he's crazy (except Data).  They indulge the old man's fantasies, talking derogatorily about him behind his back--until he turns out to be right.  The best moment of the series is the end of this episode--the bridge officers are sitting around a card table for their regular game of poker.  Picard walks in, accepts an invitation to play for the first time in the series, looks at each of them and says, "I should have done this years ago."  He takes the cards to deal (after someone else was handling them and about to deal a game with a bunch of wild cards and crazy rules) and says, "So, five card stud, nothing's wild, and the sky's the limit."  Which is the perfect line to close the series.  A lot of the best episodes involved time travel, including two that didn't make the list but easily could have (Time's Arrow 1 and 2, and Yesterday's Enterprise), but this episode was perfect, so it's here, natch.

Lost in the shuffle is Lower Decks, and episode that follows some relatively unknown junior officers bucking for promotion.  It's really a fantastically emotionally-driven episode, but looking back, I don't have the same attachment to it as I do to the other episodes, probably because I didn't come to know and love the characters in the same way.  Anyway, that's the list--as usual, comments below and like us on Facebook!

Top 5 Commercials This Lady is In

Have you seen this woman?
Do you know who Gillian Vigman is?  I feel like I see her everywhere, but I've just now tracked down her name. Have you seen these commercials she is in?

5. Swiffer - In this one, her daughter is a just a jerk, but she remains so happy.  Acting!

4. Hanes -  Remember this one?  Her husband thinks dipping their kid's feet in paste is a great sock alternative.

3. DirectTV - This one's for the fellas; shower scene!

2. United card - I like that this commercial is a spin off of a previous commercial that the husband was a secondary character in.  Interesting.  (Don't know why this was the only video I could find, sorry!)

1. 1-800-Contacts - This is my favorite because I now like to say "look at me with your special eyes"

She sure seems to be typecast as "wife."  Or more specifically, "wife of an idiot."  I wonder if she ever gets to play a single lady on the town?  I guess it doesn't matter as long as it pays the bills.

Seen her anywhere else?  Are you Gillian Vigman?  Let us know in the comments below.  And make sure you look at (and "like") our Facebook page with your special eyes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Top 5 Fake Names from Fletch

Of the many, many hilarious movies Chevy Chase was involved in, Fletch is perhaps the funniest.  Throughout the film, he adopts various pseudonyms to cover his identity.  Here are some of our favorites.

5: Mr. Poon - His IRS agent pseudonym. "Sugar, Mr. Poon?" Asks the secretary. "No. Never, never."

4: John Coctostan - Immortalized as a name of a burrito at the Moes burrito chain. Also, the name Fletch uses when ordering a steak sandwich and a steak sandwich.

3: Dr. Rosenpenis - One of multiple doctor names used by Fletch in the same scene. This one just slips in...

2: Mr. Babar - Fletch, on how to spell the name:
Doctor: Two "b's"?
Fletch: One. B-A-B-A-R.
Doctor: That's two.
Fletch: Yeah, but not right next to each other. I thought that's what you meant.

1: Frieda's Boss - My favorite exchange in the movie. (Warning--it may not play in writing.)
Woman: I'm sorry; who are you again?
Fletch: Frieda's boss.
Woman: Who's Frieda?
Fletch: My secretary.

Note Fletch's name on the Lakers team ID in the promotional picture for the movie--Magic Christian.  The name never appeared in the film.  Any that we missed?  Want to hit us with the funniest from Fletch Lives?  Share in the comments below, and don't forget to like our Facebook page if you haven't already!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Top 5 Mustaches of 1970's Baseball Relievers

To succeed as a baseball relief pitcher in the 70's, you didn't need a cutter or a slider, you needed great facial hair.  Here are the best examples of facial hair on great baseball relievers of the 1970's.

5: Dan Quisenberry - From 1979 through 1990, he compiled 244 saves, leading the league 5 times.  He just makes the 1970's cutoff, and his facial hair is clearly the most 80's on the list.  Notice that his mustache is way out of balance though, so there's that.

4: Bruce Sutter - From 1976 through 1986, he racked up 300 saves and led the league 5 times.  This is the standard Fu Manchu, worn like a pro, by a pro.

3: Sparky Lyle - Lyle pitched from 1967 through 1982, compiling 238 saves and leading the league twice.  Here he is rocking his wild west gunfighter 'stache.

2: Goose Gossage - Gossage pitched from 1972 through 1994, knocking down 310 saves in his Hall of Fame career, and lead the league 3 times.  His gigantic horseshoe mustache was as renowned as his fastball.

1: Rollie Fingers - From 1968 through 1985, Fingers saved 341 games and led the league three times.  If you give him a black top hat he'd be a perfect silent movie-era villain.

So build your time machine, grow a mean 'stache, and set your sights on the 70's and you too can become a relief pitcher (and give lots of very hairy mustache rides)!  And when you get back, get onto Facebook and like out page, share us with your friends, and leave a comment below!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 5 Depressing Things About the Female Gender

A woman I know recently told me how depressed her gender makes her feel.  She said it seemed like all the stereotypes are true.  Here are the five things that most depress her about her gender. [Not the opinions of Kooz!]

5: Scientists - Name one other than Marie Curie.  I know one female paleontologist and one research pharmacist, but that's it--and I am a science nerd!  Females are wildly and woefully under-represented in the sciences.

4: Female Stand-Up Comics - With a handful of exceptions, they are awful.

3: Women Watching Female Stand-Ups - They are laughing hysterically. Why?

2: Athletes - The best female basketball players are not in the NBA.  Nor are the best female baseball players in MLB, football players in the NFL, or hockey players in the NHL.  Sorry, men and women are different, and while women can become some amazing athletes,the haven't been able to break in with the big American sports.  (And if you think there's some bias by the teams, imagine the revenue from jersey sales alone for the team who hires the first woman player in a major sport.)

1: Drivers - Are women better or worse than men?  Men are more aggressive and prefer larger cars, which makes them feel invincible and take even more chances.  But it is women's caution, says men, that cause them to be bad drivers--driving is based on anticipation of the actions of others, and women are so cautious as to be unpredictable.  Or so I've heard.

I told my friend that she should write this, but she was afraid other women would rise up against her--poorly, she added.  Anyway, don't kill the messenger!  But do follow us on Facebook or leave us a comment below!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Top 5 Reasons We Lie

Who knew judges could be so funny?  In the recent decision of U.S. v. Alvarez, Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Kozinski gave 32 examples of times and reasons we lie.  Judge Kozinski said, "Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying."  The list provides amazing insight into one of our favorite federal judges.  We lie to:

5: to avoid embarrassment (“That wasn’t me”) - A fart joke?  Yep.

4: to maintain domestic tranquility (“She’s just a friend”) - Pretty benign until you remember these are examples of lies.  So she's not really just a friend, you dirty, dirty judge.

3: to duck an obligation (“I’ve got a headache”) - He's heard this before.  Maybe from his wife after he's told her some other chick is "just a friend"?

2: to avoid social stigma (“I just haven’t met the right woman”) - I'm not sure if this is supposed to be an implied example of closeted homosexuality, or just an old, single loser.

1: to defeat an objective (“I’m allergic to latex”) - Obviously told by surgeons who don't wish to wear gloves.  Obviously.

The Judge continued, "Of course, lies are often disbelieved or discovered, and that too is part of the pull and tug of social intercourse.  But it’s critical to leave such interactions in private hands, so that we can make choices about who we are.  How can you develop a reputation as a straight shooter if lying is not an option?"

Brilliant.  Let's hear your comments below, and don't forget to find and like us on Facebook!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Top 5 Background Characters in Star Wars (Who Aren’t Bounty Hunters)

Guest blogger Dan brings you today's top 5...

Yeah, I had to throw that last bit in, because everyone knows who the best background character of any series every is....  So, without saying his name, I shall continue....

Fact is, Star Wars is littered with background characters.  When the first toys came out, they got generic names.  I’ll always remember Squidface...  Anyway, through time, many many things happened to these background characters, for tons of various reasons.  Once, a friend of mine brought over a Star Wars Customizable Card Game (CCG).  Obviously based on Magic: The Gathering, and the Star Trek CCG, it was interesting because it used pictures of just about every character in the Star Wars movies and gave each a little background and story.  Some of that was based on writings of the producers; some was based on novels in the Extended Universe.  Either way, it was a huge catalyst for getting stories out about the background characters, and got me interested in knowing each one.

5: Oola - Yeah, that’s the dancer that Jabba had before he got Leia into the most famous bikini of all time.   There are various reasons for the rest of this list, but there are a couple of interesting points about Oola.  Mainly, she was just in the movie as a plot setup for the Rancor.  This was emphasized by the fact that they had the exact same actress come back and play her for a pick up scene for the Special Editions.  That in itself is amazing, because the new scene was filmed a well over a decade later...  On top of that, she’s a teenager favorite because during her dance scene, she actually popped a boob out, which is probably the first “nip slip” most young kids will see in their life (without realizing it)...

4: Sebulba - To me, he was the best character in the entire prequel trilogy.   I know many people would argue this, but Darth Maul and E.T. don’t count, and I’d still argue for Sebulba.  He's from the Dug race, and you had to love how he walked on his hands, and used his feet as hands.  He was a dastardly evil creature and a perfect pod racer.  He was a great antagonist, who survived the movie.  His story continues that he went on to purchase the exact speeder that Anakin used to beat him, and continued pod racing.  On top of that, his grandson, Pugwis continues the Podracing tradition.  People can argue whatever they want about the pod race scene, but it was inspired, fun, and it inspired Star Wars: Racer, arguably one of the best Star Wars games of all time.

3: Mon Mothma - Here’s where we really start getting into some stories.  Fact is, Star Wars expanded far beyond the movies, which is one of the reasons for its fame.  It was deep, and continues to get deeper.  Through video games and books, we get to see the same characters from the movies carrying on the roles.  Mon Mothma is the leader character for the Rebellion and the New Republic.  She co-founded the entire Rebel Alliance, and if there was a heart to the Rebellion at all, it would be hers.

2: Admiral Ackbar - Here’s where Kooz is going to roll some eyes.  In a comment I left about Ackbar here, Kooz was amazed that someone actually liked this character, as Ackbar has really been reduced to the “It’s a Trap!” meme.  But Ackbar meant a lot to me from the movies.  First off, he was a really freaky looking alien in a position of authority.  The Empire had no aliens what-so-ever in its ranks, which obviously was put there to show a bit of racism.  Ackbar shines as an example that no matter what you look like, you can be important.  His life extended way beyond the movies, and started in the video games.  Most gamers that played PC games while the Genesis and SNES were going at each other will remember the games X-Wing and Tie Fighter.  Probably the 2nd best space flight games ever made (the first being Wing Commander).  They were fun, and had a spectacular story.  I distinctly remember saving Ackbar from slavery, and him creating the B-Wing, which was an amazing bomber in the game.  I even had the toy, which was quite fun.

1: Wedge Antilles - Wedge is my favorite Star Wars character, period.  And this one is going to draw some controversy.  Here’s a fact, I hate 95% of all the Star Wars novels.  They are not well-written, and most rely on a heavy set of coincidences to keep going.  I will say I haven’t read any of the newer books, where Luke is training the Jedi Order.   I will argue with anyone, that even the Zahn trilogy wasn’t very good.  The characters in it were good, but the best Star Wars novels ever were the X-Wing series by Michael A Stackpole and Aaron Allston.  Wedge was the only non-main character who was in all 3 of the original movies, which is more than can be said for Yoda, Lando, or Boba Fett (dangit, said his name...*sigh*).  He went on to star in the best Star Wars books and comics along side the rest of Rogue Squadron.  He continued on to claim an admiralship himself, and command a refurbished Super Star Destroyer.  He had loves, losses, and his own amazing antagonists, such as Baron Fel (which subsequently had his own Tie Interceptor toy in Toys 'R Us once upon a time).  I can tell you more about Wedge’s life and times than I can of Han Solo’s or Luke Skywalker’s.  He was the character I most wanted to meet when I played Star Wars Galaxies, and I have a few screen shots of my character with him.  Personally, I think a TV show based on Rogue Squadron would be a huge success.

Anyways, this is my list, and I’m sticking to it.  I had to play it out a bit, because the entire top five could have been Wedge Antilles, Hobbie Klivan, Wes Janson, Boba Fett, and IG-88.  Star Wars is made far more interesting by the Expanded Universe, and its wonderful that the story exists outside the movies. That’s why I find it far more interesting than Star Trek.  Anyways, I’m Dan Bonser, and I write for A Brainless Nod.

Alright nerds, you know what to do--show Dan some love in the comments below and let him know what you think of his list!  Also, be sure to find us on Facebook and like our page!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Top 5 Brutal Questions for Guy Fieri from the Meanest Restaurant Review Ever

A little over two years ago, Guy Fieri was the subject of a New York Times article titled: "Guy Fieri, Chef-Dude, Is in the House."  Like the lame title suggests, the article raved about Guy's ability to connect with people of all stripes.  But, oh how the mighty have fallen.  On Tuesday, the NY Times' Pete Wells set out to do a restaurant review of Guy's new joint (Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square), but decided to take a big shit on the Food Network star instead.  His review, composed entirely of questions, is the most scathing restaurant review we've ever read.  Here are the five most brutal questions--aimed at Guy--from the review.

5: What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy's Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy's, in any meaningful sense?

4: How ... did Rhode Island's supremely unhealthy and awesomely good fried calamari--dressed with garlic butter and pickled hot peppers--end up in your restaurant as a plate of pale, unsalted squid rings next to a dish of mayonnaise with a distant rumor of spice?

3: When you saw the burger described as "Guy's Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche," did your mind touch the void for a minute?

2: Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?

1: Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table?

It gets worse for Guy.  The Times' review brought back to light a New York Observer review from early October in which Fieri is called a villain and accused of crimes against humanity.  I don't rank him among my most hated chefs, but obviously there's some contempt for this guy (get it?  "guy"!).  What do you think?  Let us know below, and find us on Facebook for more good stuff!

THIS JUST IN: Guy strikes back.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Top 5 Laws for When I Rule the World

Jes here, back with another string of thoughts...  Seriously...even if I never rule the world someone should try and enact these laws.

5. Since I'm only human and can't do everything there will still be minor political offices.  However they will not be allowed to run attack ads.  Instead, political candidates will only be allowed to talk about what they are going to do and how they are going to do it.  Anyone caught bad mouthing their opponent will be forced to withdraw from the race and publicly vote for the opponent they bad mouthed.

4. There will be no mention/advertising of any holiday prior to the completion of the holiday that immediately precedes it.  EXAMPLE: No Thanksgiving until after Halloween, no Christmas until after Thanksgiving, no Easter until after Valentine's Day...  The only exception to this rule will be that New Years can be mentioned prior to Christmas, however, not before December 1st.

3. All retailers with more than 5 employees will be required to be closed from 12:01 a.m. Thanksgiving morning until 11:59 p.m. Thanksgiving night.  EXAMPLE: Walmart would not be allowed to start its Black Friday sale until Friday instead of 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.  As if they weren't already guilty of treating their employees like crap this is the new low they have sunk to.  The only exception to this rule shall be gas stations, and they must close between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. unless it is the owner working.

2. Hollywood must wait at least 50 years before they can remake a movie.  EXAMPLE: The Twilight series cannot be remade until 2058.  Lets be honest, remakes that happen less than 50 years after the first movie are just lacking.  Except for Ocean's 11.  I will say having seen both of that the George Clooney/Brad Pitt one is better.  But there are 41 years between versions...

1. Reality TV will be limited to one show per concept.  EXAMPLE: Top Chef vs. The Next Iron Chef; both shows have 10-15 chefs competing for who is the best chef.  Since Top Chef was first there will be no Next Iron Chef.  The Voice, X-Factor, American Idol... all these shows are about singers trying to win a record contract.  It's overkill.  Only one will be allowed to be broadcast.  Finally, Real Housewives... how many versions of this show are there?  For real...dear god, half the women on these shows aren't even housewives--they're single moms or unmarried.  It's absolutely ridiculous.

Follow these guidelines and you'll do just fine when I'm in charge.  In the meantime, find and like us on Facebook, and drop us a note below.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top 5 Best Star Trek: The Next Generation Characters

Star Trek: The Next Generation lasted 7 seasons and 178 episodes, and couldn't have done do without some fantastic actors and characters.  Here's our take on the best characters from TNG.   Get ready to nerd up.

In the future, the blind will be able to see using banana hair clips from preteen girls.
5: Geordie La Forge - I remember LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow, but you may remember him from Roots (and you should, really).  On TNG, he played the ship's helmsman and later the chief engineer, and was the only character who was really able to mentally keep up with the android Data.  Burton brought both a likability and a vulnerability to the show--a combination that is hard to come by (ask anyone on Star Trek: Voyager or Enterprise).

"Yeah, this is what everyone will be wearing in the future.  Wait...  Why am I the only one wearing it?"
4: Guinan - I was never a big Whoopi Goldberg fan until I heard an interview she gave to Neil deGrasse Tyson about why she joined the show (check it out here).  Regardless, her mysterious character is the ship's bartender, has been alive for hundreds of years traveling and listening to interesting individuals from around the universe (including some time on Earth with Mark Twain in the 1800's), and even freaks out the Q Continuum to some degree.  These attributes make her interesting; her irregular appearances on the show, made every appearance impactful.  A lot of time had been racked up by nerds wondering about her and her race of listeners.

"We do like our fancy hats here in the Star Trek universe."
3: Q - The omnipotent Q is the prime antagonist in both the series' pilot and finale, with guest appearances sprinkled throughout the seven seasons.  Played (mostly) by John de Lancie, Q is widely thought (by fans) to be the most powerful being in the Trek universe.  What gets him on this list is the on-screen chemistry de Lancie has with Patrick Stewart, and the humor he injects into every episode he's in.

"I only use conjunctions some of the time.  And never intentionally."
2: Data - Brent Spiner plays the role of artificial man perfectly.  His character's quest for his own humanity provides fodder for numerous episodes, and Spiner gets s lot of chances to exercise his versatility, as the emotion-free Data has an evil "brother" and a "father" (maker), both portrayed by Spiner, as well as multiple one-off characters.  Data was initially a Mr. Spock for a new generation, but developed into his own very quickly and distinguished himself as one of the most interesting characters in the Trek universe.

"Sit on this, Shatner, you prick."
1: Jean Luc Picard - There is some back-and-forth among Trekkers about the best Captain in the Trek universe, but for our money, there's no question--Picard.  Patrick Stewart brings the role of captain dignity and gravitas, both missing from Bill Shatner's portrayal of Captain Kirk.  Plus, he's probably the best actor to play a regular character in any Trek series.

Any Trekkers or Trekkies out there?  We want to hear what you think in the comments below.  Go ahead, tell us why we're crazy...  And for the rest of you, visit us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Boston Sucks

In Connecticut, where I currently sit, people are either in love with Boston or in love with NYC.  Each also tends to dislike the other.  For the rest of the country (and world), this doesn't matter at all.  But since I caucus with New York, here are the top 5 reasons Boston sucks.

5: Boston Baked Beans - These are not candy; they're an insult to candy.

4: "The Hopper" commercials - The product, which has something to go with television shows and watching them in multiple locations, or something like that, might be the best thing on Earth.  I'd never know since the "Boston" commercials make me actively avoid The Hopper.

3: Boston Rob - This guy has found his way on to so many reality shows.  Between shows, he serves as the bag that holds the liquid for unmentionable body cavity irrigation.  (Come on, work it out...)

2: Red Sox Nation - Ever wonder who the most annoying sports fans are? They live in and around Boston and love baseball.  They waited forever to win a championship (so long that entire lifetimes were lived in the gap between World Series wins), yet they act like they are entitled to win every year (unlike the Yankees, who are entitled to win every year, and frustratingly just don't).

1: Public Transportation - Taxis are too expensive(more so than in NYC), and the Subway system is the first in the nation (and looks it).  Also, though I understand it's completed, the Big Dig was the most expensive public works project in history (measured in the billions of dollars), and created enormous traffic problems for decades.

So to be honest, I really like Boston as a city (it's not like Detroit, which we've railed on before).  It's got a rich history, a bunch of great bars, and I have some friends who live there.  But for the rivalry, can anyone seriously think Boston is better than new York City?  Come on.  Share your thoughts below, and check us out on Facebook to like (or unlike) our page!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Top 5 Restaurant Pre-Meal Freebies

Do you love the free food brought to your table while you are reviewing the menu?  And don't you hate places that DON'T bring you something?  I mean, how on earth are you to survive until your order is brought to the table?  It's nearly impossible.  So kudos to the restaurants that pony up, and boo to those that don't.  You know who you are, and we want our carbs.  Here are our top 5 choices, by restaurant type.

5: Chinese - fried noodles and duck sauce

4: American - rolls and butter

3: Indian - pappadam and sauce

2: Mexican - tortillas and salsa

1: Italian - bread and dipping oil

Well I'm hungry now; you?

Any standards we left off?  Do you think pickles and coleslaw should count?  Have you indulged in any amazing unusual offerings?  We admit those Red Lobster biscuits are delicious!  And we've heard rumors of popovers and gougeres at some places.  Share the wealth in the comments below.  Details, please!  And why don't you... pop on over (see what we did there?) to Facebook and give us a like.  If we were a restaurant, we'd totally hook you up with some bread.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Top 5 Musical Name Changers

Lots of bands and music artists change their names.  Here are the top 5 in out opinion.  Top 5 best or top 5 worst, you ask?  Your call...

5: Prince Rogers Nelson / Prince / [some ridiculous symbol] / The Artist Formerly Known as Prince / The Artist - Two things you need to know about this admittedly amazing musician: (1) his given birth name is Prince, and (2) he's used stage names including those above and Jamie Starr, Christopher Alexander Nevermind, and Joey Coco, but everyone just calls him Prince.

4: John Mellencamp / Johnny (or John) Cougar / John Cougar Mellencamp - He had to replace the Mellencamp with Cougar to achieve some success, then forced his label to add Mellencamp back after he became successful, then finally dumped the Cougar in 1991, and went to using his real name.  This is the reverse of the other artists on the list.

3: Jefferson Airplane / Jefferson Starship / Starship - Okay the latter two were successor bands to Jefferson Airplane, but to anybody who didn't grow up in the 70's, it's a distinction without a difference--all of them sang We Built This City as far as we're concerned.

2: Sean John Combs / Puff Daddy / P. Diddy / Diddy - Whatever.  The producer and rapper whose goofy stage name just keeps getting goofier.

1: Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr. / Snoop Doggy Dogg / Snoop Dogg / Snoop / The Doggfather / Snoop Lion - Okay, he's long held the title for coolest guy on the planet (in fact, by this post, I'm creating and awarding him this 2011 "Miles Davis Award") and nobody calls him Calvin, but I can't get on board with calling him Snoop Lion no matter what kind of spiritual awakening he had in Jamaica.

For anyone who read the post's title and was expecting something about Istanbul (was Constantinople), we apologize--we took it in a different direction.  Comments below and like us on Facebook, yada yada yada.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Top 5 Last Minute Voting Tips

Okay, it's time to pick our next President.  Excited?  I'll bet you are.  You're the person who's been filling up my Facebook feed with witty attacks on Romney/Obama and clever out-of-context verbal juxtapositions to make the candidates appear to hold views that we all know they don't hold.  After today, it's back to clogging my feed with pictures of cats, but for now, you're getting ready to vote!  Here are some last minute helpful tips for beginners and old-timers alike!

5: Vodka makes choosing easier.  Be honest with yourself, you didn't take the time to really inform yourself about the issues.  You watched one debate for a few minutes, and you read a lot of tweets about how bad Romney and Obama are.  You've heard Biden's laugh.  You know Obamacare is a thing, and you've heard about global warming and tax returns, but you have no real clue what's going on.  Drink vodka.  You'll have a much clearer picture of what to do when you get into the voting booth.  Booze has a way of demystifying the process.  And think back, when have you ever made a bad decision while drunk?

4: Read the ballot.  If you are in a state that doesn't realize the world is digital, and you need to punch a hole in a ballot, read the damn ballot.  If there's an arrow pointing from a person's name to a "chad," and that's the person you want to vote for, then that's the chad you punch out.  And don't leave it hangin,' bro!

3: Your vote counts!  In a handful of states...

2: You can bring your toddlers into the voting booth with you.  Seriously, it's a law--don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  Though it's generally frowned upon to allow your toddler to do the voting.

1: Don't vote!  We in the U.S. are privileged to live in a country where we are free to exercise our freedoms, including our right to vote.  Yes, men and women have died fighting for that right and protecting that right, but as long as this country remains free, you are free to sit on your ass all day and choose not to exercise your right to vote.  But, be prepared for attacks from people who think you're un-American for not voting, and tell you that if you don't vote, you can't complain (and who thereby miss the point of freedom entirely).  They are wrong.

I'll be voting for...  Well, I'll keep that to myself.  If you have any questions regarding voting, please call the non-profit, non-partisan Election Protection at 866-OUR-VOTE.  They can help with questions you have or issues you've come across.  Let us know your thoughts on voting or the election below, and don't forget to find us on Facebook and like our page!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Top 5: QUIZ - 80's TV Theme Songs, by Lyric

Here's the most obscure lyric we could think of for these popular, but no longer running, television shows. How many can you guess? One more thing, to mix it up, we threw in one song from a 70's show. Good luck!

5: ...we gotta be the luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin'...

4: ...oh, it's like I started breathing on the night we kissed.

3: ...you take a chance and face the wind.

2: She's a miracle, and I'll grant you, she'll enchant you with her sight.

1: ...hangin' in a chow line...

Remember, share your best guesses in the comments below, and don't cheat!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

Top 5 Fake Frankenstorm Sandy Photos

The East Coast of the U.S. was just ravaged by the record setting hurricane Sandy.  Our thoughts and hearts are with everyone who has lost so much.  If you want to help, please donate.

That said, while Sandy was beating down on New York, Twitter was atwitter with pictures of what was going on.  Many, however, were fakes.  These are our favorite bullshit Frankenstorm photos.

5: The SCUBA subway picture is pretty cool looking.  Two problems, first, the Times Square station was never this far under water.  Second, this pic predates the storm by quite some time.

4: Here's a nice image of the storm closing in on the Statue of Liberty.  This is the first fake I saw of the storm.  It was so obviously fake, I couldn't believe it was getting spread as much as it was, then I remembered, people are very, very easily fooled.

3: The Statue of Liberty was indeed pummeled with waves in a scene like this--in fact, exactly like this, in The Day After Tomorrow.  This image is a still from the movie with an actual news graphic superimposed over it.

2: The storm over Manhattan never looked like this.  The entire sky was gray and nothing was this clear.  It's beautiful though.

1: Sharks at the bottom of a NYC subway escalator?  Sure.  Entirely unbelievable, but a pretty cool picture.

The subways were flooded, and massive waves did crash into the NYC coastline, but next time, visit Snopes.com.  And visit us too, on Facebook, or leave us a comment below!