Super Bowl Ad of the Year: Matthew's Day Off
(With all due respect to Clint Eastwood...)
To celebrate the launch of the all-new 2012 CR-V, Honda brought Ferris Bueller's Day Off back in a big game commercial. We cast Matthew Broderick as himself, skipping out on a day of acting work and living it up in his all-new CR-V. Relive movie history with Honda's fresh twist and wonderful homage to this '80s classic.
Think you're a true fan of Ferris Bueller's Day Off? We hid over two dozen references to the movie throughout the commercial. Some are obvious, some are VERY subtle. See how many you can find. #dayoff
Who is the most desirable woman on the planet? According to www.AskMen.com, it's Sofia Vergara. Pretty hard to argue against:
Why is Sofia Vergara no. 1?
When it comes to Colombian imports, none are more in demand than Sofia Vergara these days. The jaw-dropping Modern Family star is one of our favorite things about one of our favorite comedies. Vergara shows off the best cleavage on network TV, and we've never been more jealous of Ed O'Neill. But despite her obvious assets, Vergara's also one very funny woman, lampooning stereotypes with her perfect timing. You don't have to pretend to laugh at her jokes, even if you do have to make a concerted effort to pay attention to them. And though you'd never think it to look at her, Vergara is mother to a 20-year-old.
"I am so honored to be AskMen’s most desired woman this year. A big thank you to all the men who desire me."
Full list of AskMen's 99 babes:
Robalini's Deep Philosophical Piece of the Week
Q: Are there cats & dogs in heaven?
A: If cats & dogs aren't there, how can it be called heaven?
Found: A mysterious object in the Baltic Sea, by deep-sea salvage company Ocean Explorer. According to the NY Daily News, "Through the use of side-scan sonar, the team discovered a disc-like object that measures nearly 200 feet in diameter and has generated out-of-this-world speculation." The coolest theory is that it's a UFO, one that suspiciously resembles Han Solo's spaceship The Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. Other theories, according to Benjamin Radford of the Skeptical Inquirer, are: Russian warships, Atlantis, a marine version of Stonehenge, or a plug to another world inside Earth. Radford, the pure skeptic to the end, doesn't buy any of these scenarios. Quit harshing our mellow, dude...
For more info:
Album of the Month: Born to Die
Never mind the haters. Lana Del Rey, aka "The Gangsta Nancy Sinatra" delivers the goods...
YouTube Video of the Week: Give Me All Your Luvin'
Madonna is back, with Nicki Minaj & M.I.A. (sans middle finger) dressed as cheerleaders. Winning!
The BlackBerry, Trying to Avoid the Hall of Fallen Giants
SAM GROBART and IAN AUSTEN
January 28, 2012
Research in Motion, maker of BlackBerry smartphones and tablets, sent its co-chief executives packing last week and replaced them with Thorsten Heins, who had been RIM’s chief operating officer. How would he characterize his employer?
“We make the best communications devices in the world,” said Mr. Heins, who met with editors and reporters from The New York Times on Friday.
Not everyone feels the same way. Over the last year, RIM’s share price has plunged 75 percent. The company once commanded more than half of the American smartphone market. Today it has 10 percent.
RIM has two, maybe three ways forward.
The first — the one that Mr. Heins is clearly aiming for — is a triumphant comeback after a near-death experience. Think Apple and its iMac. RIM is on the verge of upgrading its PlayBook operating system — now with, among other things, e-mail, a feature that the original PlayBook bafflingly lacked — and will release the BlackBerry 10 OS this year.
Behind Door No. 2 is a gradual decline and diminution as rivals like Apple, Google and Microsoft devour most of the market; to some degree, they already have. BlackBerry would keep the scraps — a small but dedicated following of corporate and government customers who want its proprietary messaging and security features.
Then there is the third option: oblivion. The road of progress is littered with the corpses of fallen titans. Objects that once seemed as indispensable as the companies that made them have been mercilessly superseded — as seen below. And RIM ought to know: with mobile devices like the BlackBerry 957, it helped to extinguish the pager era.
SONY WALKMAN (1979-2010) Before the Walkman, “personal audio” meant holding a transistor radio to your ear. Sony’s invention created an entire category of devices and helped make the company the technology leader of the 1980s. New models (Thinner! Auto-reverse!) were eagerly anticipated, the LP was relegated to the attic and tender moments spent listening to mix tapes from that certain someone proliferated across teenage bedrooms. Sony seemed incapable of putting a foot wrong. It successfully moved the brand into compact discs with the Discman, then bought record labels and movie studios to bring about that illusory marriage of technology and content. When the digital revolution hit, Sony was too beholden to its proprietary formats, as well as to the inertia inside its media companies. Enter Apple and the iPod.
PAGERS (BORN 1951) At first, pagers were attached to people who worked in fields where lives were on the line. That usually meant doctors, though the group expanded in the late 1980s to include drug dealers. Early beepers displayed only numbers, giving rise to a numerical lexicon that included codes like 911 (call me back immediately) and 07734, which resembles “hello” when read upside down. Pagers briefly gained fame in early 1990s hip-hop, showing up in songs like “Skypager,” by a Tribe Called Quest. The pager’s fall was attributable to the disruptive and destructive powers of another technology: the mobile phone. Why beep when you can talk? And a pager message is so tiny that it makes a tweet look like “The Iliad.” The beeper does live on, in limited circles: its network remains more reliable than cell networks, making it useful to E.M.S. and other rescue workers.
PALM PILOT (1997-2007) Filofax brought personal organizers to their analog apogee in the early ’90s, but Palm brought them into the digital age. Palm Pilots were dazzling when they first appeared: all of your contacts, calendars and notes in one slim, pocket-size device. A touch screen, which required a stylus, made navigation easy. And you could add software, bought through an online store. Want a Zagat guide to go along with your personal data? No problem. In later years, Palm even added telephone features, creating a compelling, all-in-one gadget. Despite boardroom dramas that affected the company’s name and its ownership, Palm’s reputation as a source of innovative hardware and software endured until Jan. 9, 2007. Why that date? That’s when Apple introduced the iPhone.
POLAROID INSTANT CAMERAS (1948-2008) Edwin Land’s invention of instant-developing film in 1948 put a darkroom inside a handheld camera. That achievement gave his Polaroid Corporation a distinct advantage over traditional film cameras. By 1980, Polaroid was selling 7.8 million cameras a year in the United States — more than half of all the 15 million cameras, instant and traditional, sold that year. In 1985, it won a major patent-infringement suit, forcing Kodak to abandon its own instant-camera efforts. The victory was short-lived. The late ’80s brought the rise of the digital camera. By 2000, digital cameras began appearing on cellphones, placing cameras in millions of pockets. Polaroid declared bankruptcy for the first time in 2001 and stopped making instant film in 2008. Kodak declared bankruptcy on Jan. 19.
ATARI 2600 (1977-c.1984) It wasn’t the first game console, but the Atari 2600 brought video games into the home and popular culture. Over its life span, more than 30 million were sold. Pong, Combat, Pitfall and Frogger soaked up children’s afternoons. Then came the PC, which could play games and do much more. Atari rushed out games, assuming that its customers would play whatever it released. They didn’t. Millions of unsold games and consoles were buried in a New Mexico landfill in 1983. Warner Communications, which bought Atari in 1976 for $28 million, sold it in 1984 for no cash.
A version of this article appeared in print on January 29, 2012, on page BU5 of the New York edition with the headline: The BlackBerry, Trying to Avoid the Hall of Fallen Giants..
Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?
Excerpted from: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
To Find out where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, answer each question True or False, choosing the one that applies to you more often than not.
1. ______ I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.
2. ______ I often prefer to express myself in writing.
3. ______ I enjoy solitude.
4. ______ I seem to care about wealth, fame, and status less than my peers.
5. ______ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me.
6. ______ People tell me that I'm a good listener.
7. ______ I'm not a big risk-taker.
8. ______ I enjoy work that allows me to "dive in" with few interruptions.
9. ______ I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members.
10. ______ People describe me as "soft-spoken" or "mellow."
11. ______ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it's ?nished.
12. ______ I dislike conflict.
13. ______ I do my best work on my own.
14. ______I tend to think before I speak.
15.______ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I've enjoyed myself.
16. ______I often let calls go through to voice mail.
17. ______If you had to choose, I'd prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled.
18. ______ I don't enjoy multitasking.
19. ______ I can concentrate easily
20. ______ In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars.
The more often you answered True, the more introverted you are. This is an informal quiz, not a scientifically validated personality test. The questions were formulated based on characteristics of introversion often accepted by contemporary researchers.
Underground Movie of the Week: Kill List
Director: Ben Wheatley
Love it or hate it, “Kill List” is a definite widescreen cinematic experience loaded with delicious details, from the hotel clerk who holds a conversation without really listening to the sound of someone getting his brains beaten out against a concrete wall. He’s like a faux-Cockney Quentin Tarantino, passionate about the things he loves and also dedicated to the Anglo-Saxon tradition of “taking the piss” — and believe it or not, I mean that as a compliment.
A clever British horror-thriller nods to Tarantino
Thursday, Feb 2, 2012
TV Show of the Week: Comic Book Men
AMC's new series takes place in Kevin Smith's Secret Stash comic store in Red Bank, New Jersey. It's like Pawn Stars for comic book fans:
“From our beginning, in hindsight at least, our social direction is clear. We have moved to become one people out of many. At intervals, men or groups, through fear of people or the desire to use them, have tried to change our direction, to arrest our growth, or to stampede the Americans. This will happen again and again. The impulses which for a time enforced the Alien and Sedition Laws, which have used fear and illicit emotion to interfere with and put a stop to our continuing revolution, will rise again, and they will serve us in the future as they have in the past to clarify and to strengthen our process. We have failed sometimes, taken wrong paths, paused for renewal, filled our bellies and licked our wounds; but we have never slipped back - never."
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath.
"Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid."
"The more I know about people, the better I like my dog."
Kool Websites: Free Stuff & Great Deals Edition
The following list of sites is courtesy of Yahoo Shine:
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Eat Free On Your Birthday
Where kids AND adults eat free of their birthday...
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 5,019 groups with 8,910,022 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers (them's good people). Membership is free...
House Party makes it easy to have a party in your own home and get exclusive access to awesome products for you and your friends. We provide the fun, you provide food, your friends and feedback and promise to have an amazing time. Our parties are sponsored by the brands you love. By hosting, you and your guests get to try their products and receive an incredible Party Pack chock full of goodies! You don’t pay anything or sell anything. It’s a no-pressure party. Just tell us what you and your guests think...
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Don Cornelius, Soul Train creator & host
Angelo Dundee, veteran boxing trainer, most famously for Muhammad Ali
Actor Ben Gazzara
Film writer-director-producer Zalman King
Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter
L.A. artist Mike Kelley
Last but definitely not least, RIP Whitney Houston, the greatest vocalist of the MTV era. Here's Dave Zirin on the passing of Ms. Houston:
Whitney Houston: My Love Is Your Love
February 13, 2012
I’m a sports writer and don’t pretend to know anything about music. I listen almost exclusively to hip hop that stopped being recorded fifteen years ago (Organized Konfusion, Tim Dog) or whatever my seven-year-old daughter is into this week (please don’t ask.) I also don’t pretend to know anything about the addictions and demons that plagued Whitney Houston. But I know how it feels to hear that Whitney Houston is dead and I’m trying to come to grips with why I can’t stop thinking about her voice.
Maybe it’s because Whitney lent that singular vocal instrument to two of the most iconic collisions of music and sports. There was Whitney’s National Anthem performance, all confident volume, at the 1991 Super Bowl, which was the forward-marching soundtrack of the Persian Gulf War. I’ve found that people’s opinions of her anthem tend to reflect their opinions on the war itself. Those who favored Operation Desert Storm see it as a patriotic tour de force. Those who stood against the war remember it as a bombastic sonic eardrum buster with the subtlety of a blowtorch. Whitney also recorded the 1988 Olympic anthem One Moment in Time, essentially an adult contemporary version of Eminem’s Lose Yourself. In other words, you’d need to be comatose to not feel an involuntary goosebump.
But the real reason I’m writing this isn’t because of some sports tie-in or because I think I have anything to say about Whitney’s musical contribution. It’s that her remarkable voice was always there during some of the most intense moments of my younger life. Every junior high dance was punctuated by Whitney. She accompanied those moments of sublime adolescent intensity where a dance, the touch of a hand, a smile or a scrawled phone number, made being a teenager fleetingly bearable. 1980s school dances in New York City meant Run DMC, Bon Jovi, Roger Troutman, Michael Jackson, Bananarama, Springsteen, Lisa Lisa, Joan Jett, Prince, the Beastie Boys, Talking Heads and at least three Whitney songs, with I Wanna Dance with Somebody or How Will I Know always in rotation. You could rely on Whitney for that flirty fast song, and for the slow dance to end the night, with Where Do Broken Hearts Go the favorite.
Whitney was part of a mosaic of 1980s music that was more musically inclusive and less segmented by the crude race-based marketing that dominated the 1990s. A portion of this inclusivity, certainly with Whitney and Michael, was because record execs were trying to "whiten" their look and sound in the 80s for max appeal. But both (as well as Quincy Jones) were talented and transgressive enough to not let industry pressures swamp their sound. The result was a crossover that led, before the industry figured out how to package, market and segregate it, to a burst of rare creativity when commerce comfortably danced with art. Now the fame industry has claimed another life. It was hard to watch the Grammys last night and not wonder where all these painted, praying, preying, people were when Whitney was spiraling down. Bruce Springsteen started last night's Grammy show singing his new single, We Take Care of our Own. He was singing to the wrong collection of people.
This is an industry that tends to people’s talent and not to the people themselves. It’s an industry that claimed Billie Holiday and Whitney Houston before they reached fifty. Its body count transcends musical categories and includes Tupac, Biggie, Kurt, Marvin, Amy, Jimi, Janis and too many others to name. For those who lay all these deaths at the altar of their “personal responsibility” need to explain how so many, from young starlets to Ol’ Dirty Bastards, have been left for dead. I’ve wondered before what it says about our country that the people who in theory should be healthiest among us, professional athletes, tend to die crippled and young. I wonder today how we can look at the music industry as anything other than what it is: a parasite feeding on the very people it should nurture. Of course, many survive its clutches, but Whitney didn’t. Now every memory I have of those dances in darkened church basements, wearing my shell-toe Adidas with fat laces and Coca Cola t-shirts, swaying to Whitney’s voice, is interrupted by the reality that my joy fed the same machine that eventually claimed her life. I don’t know anything about music. But I know that Whitney, like Lady Day, didn’t live to see fifty. That’s a shame and a sin, and in a sane world it wouldn’t be theirs to bear alone.
Dave Zirin is the author of “The John Carlos Story” (Haymarket) and just made the new documentary “Not Just a Game.” Receive his column every week by emailing email@example.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.