Celebrities on Twitter

So I signed up for Twitter a couple of months ago, mostly just to give you readers one more way to stay in touch with me. I installed a WordPress plugin called Twitter Tools that automagically adds a tweet any time a new post is added here, so people using iPhones or Blackberries with Twitter apps will be able to use it like an RSS feed.

Other than that, though, I don’t personally use Twitter all that much. I use ping.fm to add tweets and to update my statuses on Facebook and MySpace… and I also satisfy my voyeur impulses by occasionally checking out what celebrities are up to on Twitter.

As you might know, dozens of celebrities use Twitter, and almost anyone can add them to their “Twitter contact list” (or “follow them”, in Tweetspeak).

Some celebrities, like Al Gore, use Twitter mainly to disseminate information; most of his posts simply say “read this article” or “watch this video”. Other celebs, like Richard Branson, user Twitter as a marketing tool (typical tweet: “get 50% off fares to Miami this week on Virgin Atlantic!”). Other celebs – like Lost and Fringe creator JJ Abrams – set up accounts ages ago and never seem to update them. Still others, like Britney Spears, farm out tweeting to assistants, and it’s blatantly obvious that it’s not the actual celebrity doing the tweeting there.

Below is a list of the celebrities I follow on Twitter. In most cases, these are the actual celebrities themselves (and not assistants). They’re also people that post interesting stuff (unlike, say, Al Gore, whose feed is not much more than a link farm, really):

Jamie Oliver – British celebrity chef.

Dexter Fletcher – British actor, best known as “Soap” in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but also Hotel Babylon and Band of Brothers.

Sarah Silverman – Comedienne and actress.

Mindy Kaling – Writer, producer and actress (“Kelly Kapur”) from The Office.

Rainn Wilson – “Dwight Schrute” from The Office.

Stephen Fry – English actor, writer, comedian, author, television personality and film director.

Continue reading “Celebrities on Twitter”

Bill Targets Bandwidth Caps

Good news from the broadband front:

Proposed legislation would require large broadband providers to submit volume usage pricing schemes to the Federal Trade Commission for approval. If the FTC determines a pricing plan is imposing rates, terms, and conditions that are unreasonable or discriminatory the agency would be given authority to can the plan.

Prompted by the grassroots support for his opposition to Time Warner’s proposed broadband cap plan pricing scheme, U.S. Rep. Eric Massa introduced June 17 the Broadband Internet Fairness Act (H.R. 2902) to require the phone and cable companies to disclose their pricing plans to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).

Continue reading “Bill Targets Bandwidth Caps”

Random Consumer News

I’ve been letting these consumer interest stories pile up for a while now, so let’s get right through these, shall we?

– The FDA is urging consumers not to use Zicam Nasal Gel or Zicam Nasal Swabs, as there have been “more than 130” reports of people losing their sense of smell (sometimes permanently!) after using the product. I reported on this a year or two ago, but the FDA’s “official report” urging consumers not to use the product only came out recently.

– The people that run Molson, Canada’s version of Budweiser, are just jerks! For ages, the company has had a policy of giving three free cases of beer per month to their retirees. But now the company is discontinuing that policy, in hopes of saving a lousy $900,000 a year. What cockgobblers! Couldn’t they just not run commercials during one sporting event and pay for that program all year?

– Microsoft is discontinuing Microsoft Money, the company’s popular personal finance software. No reason was given for the announcement.

Continue reading “Random Consumer News”


Topix is a website that hosts discussion groups for tens of thousands of cities and small towns all across America. They even have a forum for Belmont, North Carolina, and I check it around once a week or so just to see what’s going on there.

I recently saw a thread there praising the H&M Deli in nearby Cramerton. What really got my attention was that everyone seemed to like it, something rare at the Topix board. I decided to check the place out a couple of weeks ago.

(Apologies for the “shaky cam” pictures. I hadn’t planned to do a review of the place and so I only had my cell phone handy!)

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in is that H&M isn’t just a deli. They’re a full-blown specialty store with wines, beer, cheeses, spices, and other food products from around the world:


The second thing you’ll notice is that these items are frightfully expensive, and not just because most of them are top-shelf quality. Allow me to use Sriracha hot sauce as an example. My local Walmart sells the 17oz. bottle for $1.99. Local Harris Teeter stores sell it for $4.99. H&M sell it for $5.99 $5.09, which is just a rip-off.  (Helpful tip: Asian Market on Wilkinson Blvd. in Belmont sells the 28oz. bottle for $3.99). Having said all that, H&M just might be the only place in Gaston County where you can buy Hawai’ian black sea salt, so if you’ve just gotta have some, it’s probably better to take the 10 minute drive to H&M and pay $15.99 than drive all the hell way over to South Park just to save $4.

Continue reading “REVIEW: H&M Deli”

Cool Video: SRB Separation

I’m just fascinated by this video of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) separating from the space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-115. Not only do you see the entire separation all the way to splashdown, someone at NASA thought to include a microphone with the camera, so you can hear the rockets moaning and groaning as they tumble through the upper atmosphere. It’s really cool… check it out:

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-14

  • I don't care how "gay" it sounds… Stephen Fry is a big British teddy bear! #
  • Now that I'm back from vacation, I'll say it: "Go Penguins!!!" #
  • 20 minutes left… Pens up 2-0… let's go guys!!! Bring the Stanley Cup to Pittsburgh along with the Lombardi!!! #
  • Pens win! Pens win! Pens win! Pens win! Pens win! #
  • The best part about the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup: the Detroit Red Wings NOT winning the Stanley Cup! #

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Saturday Fun: Lewis Black

Hehehehe… I just love this routine:

When from behind me, a woman of 25 uttered the dumbest thing I’d ever heard in my life … She said, ‘If it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.’

I’ll repeat that. I’ll repeat that because that’s the kind of sentence that when you hear it, your brain comes to a screeching halt. And the left hand side of the brain looks at the right hand side and goes, ‘It’s dark in here, and we may die.’ She said, ‘If it weren’t for my horse…’ as in, giddy up, giddy up, let’s go – ‘I wouldn’t have spent that year in college,’ a degree-granting institution.

Don’t! Don’t think about that sentence for more than three minutes, or blood’ll shoot out your nose. The American medical profession doesn’t know why we get an aneurysm. It’s when a blood vessel bursts in our head for no apparent reason. There’s a reason.

You’re at the mall one day, and somebody over there says the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard and it goes in your ear. So you turn around to see if your friends heard it, cause if your friends heard it, and you can talk about what the jackass said, then it’ll be gone. But your friends are over here, pretending they’re gonna buy a cellular phone, and they’re not gonna buy a cellular phone, because they don’t even understand how the rate structure works. So you turn back, to find the person who said it, because if you can ask ’em a question like, ‘WHAT THE @*#! ARE YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT?!’ then it’ll go away. But they’re gone.

And now those words are in your head. And those words don’t go away. Cause the way I see it, 7% of our brains functions all the time, because 99% of everything that happens is the same old stuff. We get it. All right. Move on. Get it. Right.

But every so often, somethin’ like that happens: ‘If it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.’ So your brain goes, ‘LET’S FIGURE IT OUT! Son of a bitch! I wonder what that’s about!’ I wonder, was she riding the horse to school? No, she wouldn’t be riding the horse to school. Maybe it was a polo pony; she had a polo pony scholarship. Maybe she sold the horse and that’s how she – she was betting on the horse! WHAT THE @*#! ?!! And then you realize that anybody who went to college would never say anything that stupid in public. And as soon as you have that thought, your eyes close and the next morning they find you dead in your bathroom.

The Strangest Gift Shop In The World

I’ve been to 133 different cities in 6 different countries on 3 different continents. I’ve seen the Great Barrier Reef. I’ve seen Hampton Court Palace. I’ve seen Leopoldskron Castle. I’ve seen the Malecón. But none of this could prepare me for what I saw at the Gay Dolphin!

The Gay Dolphin
(photo via tripadvisor.com)

I recently went to Myrtle Beach for the first time, and like a lot of resort towns, the city has a ton of gift shops selling key chains, shot glasses, snow globes, airbrushed license plates, tacky t-shirts, and other assorted knickknacks and trinkets with the city’s name on them… and, in the case of Myrtle Beach, Confederate flags, too.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I bought a Steelers koozie, a Steelers beach towel (only $9.99 with coupon!) and a $7.99 Myrtle Beach t-shirt from a shop called “Bargain Beachwear” (which boasts 13 locations, 12 of which are on the same stretch of Highway 17).

But as the trip went on, there were more and more calls from my crowd to visit the “Gay Dolphin”. The Gay Dolphin is either “The Nation’s Largest Gift Shop”, “The East Coast’s Largest Gift Shop” or “Myrtle Beach’s Largest Gift Shop”, depending on which billboard you see. But any way you look at it… it’s just… something.

We were staying in Cherry Grove in North Myrtle, so it was a 35-40 minute drive to the Gay Dolphin. That alone would make me cranky, but it was raining, and Lisa and I were in one car, following a car with our fellow vacationers. After being in the car for what seemed like hours, I blurted out: “this damn gift shop had better be worth it!’

And oh, how it was… but not for the reasons you might expect.

You see, the Gay Dolphin has typical tourist “gak” like Myrtle Beach t-shirts, bottle openers and kitchen magnets. But what the Gay Dolphin truly specializes in is collectibles. Miles and miles and miles of collectibles. The kind of junk your grandmother collects. Shelf after shelf after shelf after shelf of dusty and unwanted clown figurines, firefighter figurines, “lone wolf” figurines, American Indian figurines, Precious Moments figurines, and knockoff Precious Moments figurines. There were figurines of Winston Churchill with a bulldog. There were  figurines of Winston Churchill as a bulldog. They have figurines that are clearly Martin Luther King, Jr., and figurines that are supposed to be Martin Luther King, Jr. , but which actually look like Steve Harvey. There had lighthouse figurines in various sizes from “thimble” to “almost life-size”. Really, Gay Dolphin has any kind of figurine you can imagine.

Continue reading “The Strangest Gift Shop In The World”