Monday, May 30, 2005

My favorite part of Revenge of the Sith

I'm such a nerd. I went to see Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith on Saturday night (which isn't the part that makes me a nerd, but is surely worth extra credit), and I was thrilled to pieces when I read the opening crawl. It said this:
Episode III

War! The Republic is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Sith Lord, Count Dooku. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.

In a stunning move, the fiendish droid leader, General Grievous, has swept into the Republic capital and kidnapped Chancellor Palpatine, leader of the Galactic Senate.

As the Separatist Droid Army attempts to flee the besieged capital with their valuable hostage, two Jedi Knights lead a desperate mission to rescue the captive Chancellor....
Why was I so delighted? Because the final sentence ended with four dots -- a period followed by three ellipsis dots -- rather than with a mere three-dot ellipsis, just as section 10.55 of the Chicago Manual of Style advocates should be done with a sentence that is grammatically complete but trails off. I took it as a good omen that the rest of the movie would be marked with a similar commitment to quality and attention to detail.

It was okay, I guess. I couldn't really enjoy it after it dawned on me what a nerd I am.

Bonus: I also rather enjoy the new Liam Lynch/Darth Vader duet "My United States of NOOOOOOOOOOO!" Download it and listen!

Demonstrably Incorrect Connections in Sports History

On April 8, 1974, Wayne Gretzky scored record-setting goal #802 on Vancouver Canucks goalie Kirk McLean. Oddly enough, exactly twenty years earlier, Hank Aaron had hit record-setting home run #715 off a pitch thrown by Vancouver Canucks goalie Kirk McLean.

Solipsistic Connections in Sports History

Hank Aaron hit home run #715 to break Babe Ruth's career record on the day I was born, April 8, 1974. Exactly two decades later, Wayne Gretzky scored goal #802 to break Gordie Howe's career record on the twentieth anniversary of my birth, April 8, 1994.

Ron Hextall, eat your heart out.

It took a Jackie Robinson to break the colour barrier in baseball. Sheer talent demands respect. Now I think that Dartmouth lacrosse goalie Andrew Goldstein is poised to break the gay barrier in pro sports. Seriously, somebody in the NLL ought to sign this guy up.

Just watch this shit. It is insane.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Ha, ha, Mr. Jokes.

This ill-advised article on practical joking in the workplace from today's Metro doesn't seem like a good team-building or morale-boosting idea. It seems more like Exhibit A in a future workplace harassment lawsuit. Although if I caught this smarmy ass pouring salt in my coffee, the only human resources action involved would be his taking advantage of his dental coverage after I caved in his face. I would murder this asshole.

I like a practical joke as much as anyone, but there are two things you absolutely do not do: You do not victimize me in my sleep, and you do not poison my food or drink. These are shitty moves and they are grounds for an old-school ass-whipping.

[Bonus Metro content: Check out the surprisingly subtle commentary on page 8 of today's issue. There's a little bit there about how tiny North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il wears elevator shoes. Now check out Bono's footwear in the unrelated full-body photo of the diminutive U2 frontman meeting Condoleezza Rice. In a word, "Elevation".]

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mr. President, meet Miss Manners

If you've been following 24 this season, you know that former president David Palmer has returned and is helping out the current commander in chief in an advisory role. In last night's episode, the two of them put on a little act designed to let the ambitious secretary of state know who was in charge. It went more or less like this:

Secretary of State: Mr. Palmer, with all due respect, this is up to the Cabinet.
Palmer: That's Mr. President.
President: With all due respect, that's a courtesy title, not a functional one.

And with that, their point was proved and the president got to look like a big man in front of the secretary of state.

However, this brings up one of my many pet peeves: "Mr. President" is not, in fact, the correct courtesy title for an ex-president of the United States. Although the proper etiquette has been increasingly ignored in recent times by the general public, by the writers of 24 -- even by presidents themselves -- it was established long ago, in the early days of the Republic.

Quoth Miss Manners:

... we suffer from title inflation. Our Founding Fathers, including the ones to whom this question applied, established American protocol to be simple and unpretentious -- and thus antithetical to the modern taste.

Nevertheless, the rule is that titles pertaining to an office that only one person occupies at a time are not used after retirement. A former president can use a previously held, non-unique title, as the first one did by reverting to Gen. Washington in retirement, or the plain citizen's title of "Mr." The third president preferred to be known as Mr. Jefferson rather than Gov. Jefferson.

So it was in fact entirely correct for the secretary of state to call our hero "Mr. Palmer". If that didn't do it for him, "Senator Palmer" would have been fine as well. He's not entitled to be called "Mr. President", though. If he really wanted that -- assuming if wasn't all part of his act of being an overweening prig -- he should have sought re-election at the end of last season.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Steve Nash Story

In testament to Canada's own Steve Nash winning the NBA Most Valuable Player award this weekend, I think it prudent to once again point you to Braden Deane's Living and Loving: The Steve Nash Story, the acclaimed series of cartoons from the Ryerson Eyesore. Or Eyeopener. Whichever. Judging by some of the other cartoons, it's the first. But not judging by the Steve Nash cartoons, though. They're crudely drawn, but have a certain primitive beauty. And they delight me greatly.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Swiss Army Ridiculousness

This is the Victorinox SwissChamp XXLT, the largest and most ludicrous Swiss Army knife in the manufacturer's product line. It looks to be about as wide as a stick of deodorant. You couldn't use it for anything; you could just keep it in a case and show it to your friends. I showed these pictures to a friend and he burst out laughing. So despite the fact that they claim it has no less than 72 functions, I think its main purpose is astonishing people.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Paula Abdul's affairs through the years

1984 -- Jackie Jackson

1989 -- Arsenio Hall

1989 -- MC Skat Kat

1992 -- Emilio Estevez

1996 -- Brad Beckerman

2003 -- Corey Clark

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