Monthly Archives: May 2009

Google is Great! OR Google Will Ruin Us All

TED BERG: There was a time when I thought a Goo-ocracy sounded delicious, some heretofore unknown form of government entirely based on Twinkie filling. But in 2009, I know better. The coming Goo-ocracy will not be nearly so sweet or creamy, though it may be just as bad for us. Soon, the world will be run by Google. They’ll start with information control; check out the Google Books project, for example. Put every book up online, and all of a sudden we don’t need print copies anymore. Then, once the print copies are gone, Google can rock some Fahrenheit 451 shit. You only get the books Google deems appropriate. And that’s just the beginning. Jill, try to convince me that putting so much power and so mucn information in the hands of a private company can be a good thing.

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: Clearly, Google is benevolent, Ted. Are you scared of Amazon.com suggesting other books you might dig, based on previous purchases? Are you skeptical of your TiVo helpfully recording shows that it so considerately chose for you? Google is not to be feared, they’re just making life easier for us. Need a quick answer? Google. Want a free email account with a ginormous inbox? Gmail. Are you older than 17 and totally over AOL Instant Messenger? Gmail Chat. In fact, how are we corresponding? Via the aforementioned Google services. Google is not to be feared. Stop your conspiracy theories, take a sip of this Kool Aid and join me in Goo-topia. Continue reading

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Star Trek: A Multipart Review

STEVE MURPHY: Wow, Star Trek was fantastic. I don’t even know how long it was, I just know it went by way too fast. The film is shot beautifully, it’s well-acted, it’s a lot of fun and it has some plot points that will breathe new life into sequels.

AKIE BERMISS: I should say, first of all, that I loved it. I absolutely loved it. And I apologize for my lack of critical under-pinning (should I go off on an ecstatic rant about Star Trek in the next few paragraphs), but I love me some Star Trek. I really do. And I can honestly say, I don’t care which series it is. Continue reading

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SNL in Review: Justin Timberlake/Ciara

STEVE MURPHY: I won’t pretend I’m not excited to see Justin Timberlake host SNL again. He’s never disappointed before, let’s hope he keeps it up!

HOWARD MEGDAL: It occurred to me that our children will think of Justin Timberlake as someone who is funny and also sings. Clearly, he’s heading in that direction, right? Continue reading

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Early-Season Achiever Smackdown: Royals OR Mariners?

JESSICA BADER: The Royals’ current record is not a fluke. Through their first 32 games, they have a run differential of +27, behind only the Toronto Blue Jays (+50) in the AL, and their Pythagorean record is one game better than their actual record.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Instead of evaluating how real the wins and losses are, I like to see which stat lines are incongrous with what can be reasonably expected over the remainder of the season. By this standard, unfortunately, I think the Royals are due to fall well short of their early success, much as I hope I am wrong. It is the Seattle Mariners who have ample reason for optimism, building on a solid 16-16 start. Continue reading

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Two Views of Wolverine

EMILY SAIDEL: Oh, what could have been. A Reaction to Wolverine with SPOILERS

DAVID TOMAR: As a young child, the comic book’s themes of social isolation, self-loathing and genocide really resonated with me. I got sent home once for coming into school with sporks twined to my fingers. I was . . . a deeply disturbed child. Continue reading

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The Bugle: Longtime Appreciation OR First Listen

HOWARD MEGDAL: I discovered The Bugle quite by accident. As a longtime devotee of The Daily Show, I was nevertheless dissatisfied by the relatively small quantities of John Oliver I received on a weekly basis. Casting about for any John Oliver shows in the area, I found a just-started podcast called The Bugle. It quickly became the focus of my week, with family, work and other pleasures receding to window dressing as I contemplated the next issue.

AKIE BERMISS: I was told about The Bugle with Andy Zaltzman and Jon Oliver only this week and I thought to myself, ” Hey — that sounds kind of funny…” And here I am now, only a recent listener but an immediate convert.
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Swine Flu: Vegetarians Will Laugh Last vs. Smarten Up, Swine Flu

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: It’s entirely possible that pigs with pre-school level intelligence made this whole thing up.
MOLLY SCHOEMANN: This isn’t rocket science, it’s influenza!
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Bea Arthur: Two Views of One Great Lady

JILLIAN LOVEJOY LOWERY: Upon returning home from a weekend out of town (and out of the reach of media), my heart sank to hear of the passing of Bea Arthur, one of the most truly talented and revolutionary women in show business.

HOWARD MEGDAL: I was, and always will be, an unapologetic Bea Arthur fan. Continue reading

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The Beckhams: Why is London Calling? vs. It’s The Soccer, Stupid

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: They Like Us! They Really Like Us!

STEPHON JOHNSON: Victoria isn’t worth our time, but David was one of the very best. Continue reading

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Shaking Babies: Yeah, There’s an App for That

EMILY SAIDEL: If I didn’t want to shake babies, I’d have bought a Blackberry.
MOLLY SCHOEMANN: Is it Bad to Shake a Baby? I Used To Know. Continue reading

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