The original jimcofer.com FrontPage site used to have a “Fact of the Week” on the home page. I used to have a page on that site where I stored all the previous facts. This became the “Useless Facts” page on this site, but since I stopped updating the facts years ago, I decided to cut and paste the old page into a post and delete the original.
So here ya go:
– The Kid Loco remix of the Saint Etienne song “4:35 In The Morning” is exactly 4 minutes and 35 seconds long.
– The character “Fez” from That 70’s Show got his name from pre-production scripts, where he was referred to only as “Foreign Exchange Student” (abbreviated “FES”).
– Dennis Hopper really was inhaling nitrous oxide on the set of Blue Velvet.
– The scene at the beginning of Apocalypse Now when Martin Sheen put his hand through the mirror?? Also real.
– Every ten minutes, the National Security Agency destroys a stack of classified papers 6 feet wide, 8 feet tall and 60 feet long.
– The shortest war on record – between Britain and Zanzibar in 1896 – lasted just 38 minutes.
“A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
This list from the Old Stuff Archive. Per my post from the other day, I’m going through the archive and re-posting a bunch of old items that didn’t make the cut when I migrated this site from FrontPage to WordPress. Enjoy!
The following is a list of some of my favorite 80s films. When I originally wrote this article, it was a follow-up list of “Honorable Mentions” to this list of my 31 favorite 80s films. As such, the descriptions are much shorter and don’t include IMDB links or pictures.
Amazon Women on the Moon – A hilarious comedy from 1987. There’s no “plot” to this film; the movie is just made of bits and pieces that go back and forth, as if you were flipping through the dial trying to find something to watch. While the film is still funny, it’s extremely dated. And if you’re under the age of 30 you might miss much of the humor altogether since you weren’t around during the “VHS vs. Laserdisc”, “Celebrity Roast” and “The Late, Late Night Movie” era.
Back To The Future – A hugely popular trilogy of films in the 80s, starring Michael J. Fox as the time-traveling teenager that must go back and make sure his parents stick together. It’s still good family entertainment (although the quality of the films decreases at they go on), but I didn’t include it on my list since most of the action takes place in the 1950s.
Beetle Juice – Lots of people love this film. I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I just don’t like most Tim Burton movies. I’m sorry, make me hand in my “cool people’s card” if you will, but I just don’t care for them. This one’s pretty funny, though.
This list is from the Old Stuff Archive. Per my post from the other day, I’m going through the archive and re-posting a bunch of old items that didn’t make the cut when I migrated this site from FrontPage to WordPress back in 2007. Enjoy!
The following is a list of some of my favorite 80s films. It’s not a “best of” list. I originally got the idea for this from talking to a much younger friend of mine who’d only seen a couple of films on this list. And while it’s not a “best of” list, the films are listed in rough order of preference.
Also, keep in mind that this is a list of “80s films” and not a list of “films made in the 80s”. There were plenty of great films from that time that have nothing to do with 80s culture, like Amadeus and Chariots of Fire. This list isn’t about them. It’s about movies that capture what life was like – directly or indirectly – in the 1980s.
The links are to the IMDB page for each film.
#31Videodrome (1983) – Videodrome stars James Woods as Max Renn, the sleazy owner of a soft-core porn channel in New York City. Renn is always on the lookout for new material that’s both “cheap” and “edgy”, so when his chief engineer Harlan (Peter Dvorsky) finds a new program called Videodrome from Malaysia on the station’s pirate satellite dish, he’s excited. The program is simple: women are brought into a room, tied up, and are beaten until they die. There’s just something about the show that Renn cannot resist. He watches every second of it and comes in every morning begging Harlan for more.
Little does Renn know what’s really going on: an evil corporation called Spectacular Optical produces Videodrome, and embedded within the show’s transmission signal is another signal which causes brain damage in every person that watches it. This damage – which causes massive hallucinations – can then be manipulated by the company to get any person to do anything they wish. Spectacular Optical’s president, Barry Convex, and Harlan (who was working for Convex the whole time) “program” Max to kill his partners and give the company control over CIVIC-TV, Max’s station. Which Max does. After this, Max is “re-programmed” by Bianca O’blivion, the daughter of Brian O’Bilvion, a “nutcase” (or is he?) that only communicates through television itself. Max then takes on the leaders of Spectacular Optical with a single hand grenade, then later kills himself.
I initially watched this movie for Renn’s crazy hallucinations and the “trippiness” of the whole story. I recently saw it again and realized just how dated the “hallucinations” look now.
However, watching it again also made me think of what director David Cronenberg was trying to say. Is TV evil? Or do corporations have too much power over our lives? Or both? Are there really people in the government that would be willing to look the other way if a similar technology were used by a private company? These are the questions the film raises. New Wave fans will enjoy Debbie Harry, who stars as Nikki Brand, Renn’s masochistic lover. If you’re a fan of Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Ministry, or any of the “Wax Trax” bands, you should see this film immediately, as every single one of those acts sampled this movie in at least one of their songs!
I love Firefox 4, but one thing I don’t like about it is having the download manager as a separate window. I can’t stand Google Chrome; believe it or not, IE 9 has replaced Chrome as my “second choice browser”. But one thing I do like about Chrome is the way the download manager appears as just another tab.
You don’t need an extension to replicate Chrome’s behavior in Firefox. In fact, setting Firefox up to do this is pretty easy:
1) Click on the Firefox button in the upper left corner of the browser window and select Options > Options. On the “General” tab, uncheck the box next to “Show the Downloads window when downloading a file”. Click “OK” to exit the Options screen.
2) Cut and paste the following address into the address bar:
This will open the download manager in a tab.
3) Right-click the downloads tab and select “Pin as App Tab”.
The download tab will then appear to the left of your active tabs:
I watched NBC’s Parks and Recreation when it first came on the air, but didn’t keep up with it, as it seemed too much like a clone of The Office. But the dudes over at A Hamburger Today tipped me off to the most recent episode, in which burgers played a central role. And man… that episode was funny!
April hands Ron Swanson a phone message.
Ron: “Did you get his number?”
Ron crumples the message up and tosses it in the trash can.
Ron: “That’s my girl…”
Ron goes to the health food store with co-worker Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe):
Ron: “I came here for the same reason people go to the zoo… [looks at white man in dreadlocks scooping some type of grain from a barrel] Shhhh! Look at that thing! Nature is amazing!”
“Zerts are what I call desserts. Tray-trays are entrees. I call sandwiches sammies, sandoozles, or Adam Sandlers. Air conditioners are cool blasterz with a ‘z.’ I don’t know where that came from. I call cakes big ol’ cookies. I call noodles long-ass rice. Fried chicken is fry-fry chicky-chick. Chicken parm is chicky-chicky parm parm. Chicken cacciatore: chicky catch. I call eggs pre-birds or future birds. Root beer is super water. Tortillas are bean blankies. And I call forks…food rakes!”
– Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford
Asked why he was getting samples of vegetarian bacon and immediately throwing them into the trash can:
Ron: “I’m saving anyone from eating this!”
And the highlight of the episode… the burger cook-off:
Chris: “I humbly place before you my ‘East meets West’ patented Traeger turkey burger, an Asian fusion burger made with Willow Farms organic turkey, a toasted Taleggio cheese crisp, papaya chutney, black truffle aioli and microgreens on a gluten-free brioche bun. Enjoy!”
Ron: “Here’s mine. It’s a hamburger… made out of meat… on a bun… with nothing. Add ketchup if you want. I couldn’t care less.”
– Congratulations Pittsburgh! Not only do you guys have the best local ratings of any NFL team and the most female fans of any NFL team, you guys also officially have the best local ratings in the NHL! Pittsburgh might be the NHL’s 22nd largest market, but the total number of average viewers per game – 101,000 homes – crushes larger cities like Chicago (96,000 homes) and Boston (77,000 homes).
– If Pittsburgh is the highest rated NHL market, who is the worst? Miami. Despite south Florida being home to millions of transplanted Yankees, the average Florida Panthers game is watched by a pitiful 3,000 homes. The Atlanta Thrashers come in next to last, with a paltry 6,000 homes per game… which amuses me greatly. I’ve never forgiven the Thrashers for running the Atlanta Knights out of town, and to me this is just karma being a bitch.
– More sports ratings news: the Charlotte Bobcats drew an average of 12,000 households viewers per game. It’s astonishing to think that there might actually be fewer people watching Bobcats games at home than could actually fit inside the arena! However, although the Cats have the fewest total viewers, they only come in third to last in actual ratings: the Clippers and Nets actually have lower ratings than the Bobcats.
– In the United States, most sports leagues strive for “parity”. This means that, among other things, revenues are shared equally between big market and small market teams and that player drafts are structured in a “worst to first” format that gives bad teams a leg up. The Europeans don’t give a shit about any of that. The continent that gave us socialized medicine, paid maternity leave, the 35-hour workweek and human rights courts is strangely hyper-capitalistic when it comes to their football (soccer) clubs. As a result, the Portuguese league title has been won by either Benfica or Porto for the past 8 years. Scotland’s national title has gone to either Rangers or Celtic over the same time frame. In England, all but one Premier League title has been won by either Manchester United, Arsenal, or Chelsea since the league was founded in 1992. And in Spain, either Real Madrid or F.C. Barcelona has won the title every year for the past 51 years. Here’s an interesting article from Slate about how America’s sports leagues create great games and how Europe’s leagues create great plays. Click the link, read up, and decide which is better.
– Lastly… ummm… uhhhhh… you, uh, might know that long distance runners often have… bowel problems while, uh, running great distances. If you know that, you probably don’t want to look at this picture. Seriously… why do people do this to themselves?
“Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I can find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find until after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.”