Stuff People Said

Here’s a list of random things people said on the Internet last week. Explanations available after the jump. Note that all grammar – spelling, punctuation, etc. – are copied verbatim from the original.

Let me know if you like this, and I’ll see about making it a regular feature!

– “The family I’m living with here in Thailand – nobody eats beef. I asked why, and they say ‘it tastes like cow’. I have no idea what that means.”

– “Well that was a really long-winded way of saying ‘look, everyone, someone who doesn’t understand marginal cost’.”

– “It’s like there are two universes here. Ours where we don’t ruin rib-eyes, and the other where Spock has a beard.”

– “So this is the car JFK was assassinated in? Let me call a buddy of mine who’s an expert on cars JFK was assassinated in.”

– “I can’t stream porn because Xbox live is taking all the Internet. I thought having a male roommate would make life easier”

– “Michio Kaku, the Al Sharpton of physics.”

– “imagine the sandwich you would get afterwards…”

– “I hate Bono but i assume the rest of Ireland is great.”

– “Really, dude? You liked chocolate as a kid? That’s amazing. And you still like it now? Gosh, you must really like chocolate. It’s so rare these days to hear of someone loving chocolate as a kid AND still liking it well into their adulthood. It’s a good thing you found this flowing chocolate slurry at Golden Corral so you can partake in this lifelong passion of yours unencumbered and free.”

– “At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate. To please his mother, who did not take kindly to his being a pirate, he briefly managed a mink farm, one of the few truly dull entries on his otherwise crackling résumé, which lately included a career as a professional gambler.”

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Top 10 Tunes

From the home office in London, here’s the Top 10 song chart for the week ending February 19, 2012:

1) Saint Etienne – “Tonight”
2) Marsheaux – “Thirteen/True”
3) Marsheaux – “Summer”
4) Cocteau Twins – “Lorelei”
5) Two Door Cinema Club – “Something Good Can Work”
6) Marsheaux – “Stand By”
7) Katy Perry – “Hot ‘N Cold (Marsheaux remix)”
8) The Essex Green – “Lazy May”
9) Thermostatic – “Close Your Eyes”
10) Marsheaux – “Play Boy”

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2012-02-19

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Weekend Update!

Oh look! A rare Saturday news update! Let’s get to it!

– A teacher at an elementary school in Raeford, North Carolina forced a student to eat a school-provided lunch instead of the lunch he (or she) brought from home because it “wasn’t healthy enough”. School officials admit that the teacher went too far, but the fact that this even happened in the first place tells you everything you need to know about our Nanny State.

– I recently posted about a study which found that schools serving “healthy options” actually had higher obesity rates than schools that served traditional items like pizza and tater tots. Researchers aren’t sure why this is, although the obvious answer would be that kids forced to eat salads and baked fish for lunch go home and gorge themselves on junk food, while kids who eat pizza for lunch are less likely to do so. Now there’s evidence that vending machines in schools don’t cause obesity, either.

– And you can thank Jamie Oliver for much of this hysteria. However, this is kind of cool: he’s opening a new restaurant inside a former bank in Manchester, and during renovations hundreds of safe deposit boxes were found. Since the bank had changed hands several times, it was “too difficult” to find the box owners, so the Bank of England got out the power tools and found at least £1.1 million worth of treasure inside the boxes… including master tapes from Joy Division and New Order!

– Back to the Nanny State: some researchers now want to regulate sugar like alcohol. You didn’t care when they went after drug dealers, because you don’t do drugs. You didn’t care when they stripped away civil rights for DUI suspects, because drunk drivers are bad. You didn’t care when they went after Big Tobacco, because you don’t smoke. When ARE you going to care?

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How to Watch (and Download) Any YouTube Video

If you’re outside the United States, you’ve probably seen this message on YouTube before:


As the error message says, it’s a geographic restriction, meaning that the Copyright Cops in one country don’t want people in your country watching the video. Although this could be for political reasons, it’s usually all about the Almighty Dollar… or, in my case, the Almighty Pound Sterling.

One of my favorite bands, Saint Etienne, is based in the UK. And just yesterday their record label released the video for their new single, “Tonight”. As you can see from the screen cap, the video was only available to British IP addresses (they have since lifted that restriction). So how can you watch these blocked videos? Is there a way you can save them to your local computer, so you don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops later?


This part is easy. You can click here to download a free program called UltraSurf. This is the easiest proxy server app I’ve ever seen. And I mean the easiest by a long shot. There’s no setup or installation routine: just download the app, unzip it, close Internet Explorer (if open) and double-click the unzipped EXE file. When you do that, you’ll see this on your screen:


UltraSurf hooks in to Internet Explorer and automatically opens a browser window for you. In most cases, you won’t need to do anything else, other than enter the URL of the video you want to watch into the address bar:


When you’ve finished watching your video(s), just click the “Exit” button in UltraSurf. The software will close all your IE windows. The next time you start IE, you’ll be back to your normal, proxy-free surfing!

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The Queen of America

My Queen
(click to embiggen)

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen:
Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious,
Long to reign over us:
God save the Queen.

Sigh. She’s so beautiful! Katy Perry is America, and America is Katy Perry. I mean, can’t you just imagine this beautiful countenance on our currency, the same way Elizabeth II appears on British money? I know I can.

Let the haters hate. They’re just jealous.

Amazing Coincidences

History is chock-full of odd and amazing coincidences. It’s not entirely surprising. After all, if you examine the history of millions of people over thousands of years, you’re certainly going to find some coincidences here and there. But that doesn’t make them any less amazing when they actually happen. Here are a few good examples:

– Late one night in 1863, a group of passengers gathered on a platform at a train station in Jersey City, New Jersey. A conductor walked up to sell tickets for the sleeping berths, and since it was late and everyone was tired, the crowd became quite excited. Few noticed a well-dressed young man in his twenties at the edge of the crowd, and even fewer noticed when the crowd accidentally pushed the man into the gap between the train and the platform. The man fell, and just at that moment the train started moving. The young man tried to lift himself back up to the platform, but found his arms pinned to his side. Just as the young man started to panic, he felt hands on either side of his collar. A pair of strong arms lifted the young man out of the gap and gently put him down on the platform. It took the young man a few seconds to recover, but when he did he noticed that the man who saved him was one of the most famous actors in the country (think Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt level famous). The young man was Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln. The famous actor who saved his life was Edwin Booth, older brother of John Wilkes Booth. More incredibly, Booth was traveling to Richmond, Virginia with… John T. Ford, owner of Ford’s Theatre… where Booth’s younger brother would shoot Lincoln’s father a couple of years in the future.

– Speaking of the Civil War, at the start of the conflict, both sides expected the war to be over in a matter of months. The Battle of First Manassas changed everyone’s mind. It was a huge victory for the Confederate Army, in large part due to the military acumen of Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard. At the start of the battle, Beauregard needed a building for his headquarters, and staff members found the house of Wilmer McLean perfect for the job. This, of course, made McLean’s house a giant target for Union gunners, and soon the Federals began shelling the house without mercy. After the battle, McLean decided that living directly between the US capital (Washington DC) and the Confederate capital (Richmond, Virginia) probably wasn’t the smartest place to be, so he decided to move somewhere out of the way. He couldn’t, however, make up his mind where to move, and in the meantime, The Battle of Second Manassas broke out in his back yard. McLean finally decided that enough was enough, so he moved his family to a small town called Clover Hill, Virginia. But guess what the town is known as today? Appomattox Court House. Yep, the place where the Battle of Appomattox Court House was fought on April 9, 1865. It was the last battle between the armies of Lee and Grant… and Lee signed his surrender in the parlor of the home belonging to… Wilmer McLean. McLean said that “the war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor.” And he was right!

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My Top 10 Simpsons Episodes

I’ve watched The Simpsons for over twenty years now. True, I’ve really scaled back on watching new episodes for the past couple of seasons, and I’ve also managed to almost completely stop using Simpsons references in everyday conversation.


But I still think Simpsons references. Whenever someone says they love something, I mentally add “… like I love Fresca!” Whenever someone talks about an odd food combo, I’m thinking “Nuts and Gum: Together at Last!” Whenever someone spazzes out, I wonder if they need to be put on Repressitol. Whenever someone mentions a bad movie, I think “Hi, I’m Troy McClure. You may remember me from such films as Twilight and Bad Teacher.” Any time I have to enter my name into a video game, I have to fight, truly fight, the childlike urge to enter “THRILLHO”. And dammit… when am I gonna be able to buy a sixer of Skittlebräu?

Which is why I found it strange the other day when I realized that I rarely mention the show on this site. So let’s fix that! Without further Apu [groan!] here are my top 10 Simpsons episodes, in no particular order:

“Lisa the Greek”

Lisa the Greek

(Season 3, episode 14)

Plot: Lisa complains to Marge that Homer never spends time with her, so Marge suggests that she take an interest in something her Dad likes. Homer, who has lost scads of money on betting hotlines, asks Lisa to pick his games for him. Using her hippy-dippy logic, she picks winners almost constantly. Homer decides that every Sunday is “Daddy-Daughter Day”, and the two of them bond during football season. However, as the Super Bowl approaches, Lisa figures out that Homer’s only spending time with her for her picks. As soon as football’s over, Homer realizes the error of his ways and cancels plans to bowl with Barney so he can take Lisa hiking. Meanwhile, Marge dresses Bart up like a nerd, and he gets beaten up by the local bullies.

My Take: It seems odd, leading off with a “Lisa episode”. After all, Lisa episodes are known (and generally reviled by Simpsons fans) for being schmaltzy and preachy. But this is one of the good ones – the football bits had me in stitches, and the ending was sweet without being saccharine. In fact, this is the way all heartfelt episodes of The Simpsons should end.

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