C'mon everyone loves a good list, don't they? This is the place to find links and commentaries on lists of all sizes and merit.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Bon Journo
Seeing as we’re big in Italy now, we thought we ought to do some of that list stuff, per our mandate…

Good Heavens Miss Sakamoto...
Scientific posts seem to be the new black, so we felt compelled to report that Bert Vogelstein is No. 1 on the list of the 50 most influential scientists of the last two decades, based a formula that takes into account citations. And you budding scientists hoping to unseat the Voger, well, "It will be some time before anyone catches up with Vogelstein, however. Since 1983 his name has appeared on 361 scientific papers which have been cited by other scientists 106,401 times. His closest competitor has a mere 68,889 citations."

Geez, I'm Goin' Crazy out There at the Lake
A survey commissioned by a board game company has determined that Minneapolis is the nation’s most fun city. "At first blush, it seems a little surprising that Minneapolis is that place. But when you realize that it's home to Mary Tyler Moore, four professional sports teams and the largest shopping mall in the U.S., it's almost a no-brainer," said Richard Tait, Cranium's Grand Poo-Bah and CEO. So Minneapolis is more fun than New York (home to countless fictional TV characters, nine pro sports teams, and plenty of shopping), Chicago (yes, yes, and yes), and hell, even Detroit has "Home Improvement," the requisite four teams (well, the Tigers play in the professional leagues), and there’s a decent little fudge shop in Trapper’s Alley.
What does Minneapolis have over those and the other cities? Well only in the Twin Cities do you run the risk of having your Sunday football watching interrupted by royalty. (The last link was originally found on Throwing Things)

I’m Shootin’ Here
We reported before on the NRA’s enemies list (Oct. 14, to be precise, but we can’t figure out why our permalinks don’t work). It turns out that many celebrities not included on the original list, including Dustin Hoffman (who I once spent a good hour railing about how pathetic his career has been since "Rain Man"--and really that movie in unwatchable, so go back to "Tootsie"—only to see him on the street in Park City 15 minutes later, which gave me weird feelings of guilt, like I had been talking badly about someone I knew), are offended not to be included among the NRA’s enemies. Luckily for Hoffman or anyone else who might have the crazy idea that guns are a bad thing, you can petition here to make the list.


Thursday, October 30, 2003

Is It Just Me?
Did anyone else at first glance misread the middle panel from today's Boondocks?>
A Plea
Does anyone know where I can get a tape of this week's season premiere of "24"? Is F/X replaying the episodes this year? My Tivo accidentally did not record it on Tuesday. Help! Leave any thoughts and/or suggestions in the comments field.>

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Yet More Costume Ideas
The Steve Bartman halloween costume hits keep coming, alarming me further that an army of Cubs-hat wearing clones will be roaming the streets Friday. Perhaps if you're wedded to going as Bartman, you can go the extra step and cleverly combine your Bartman costume with one of these, creating a costume that's sure to require a pained explanation that in the end probably still won't make sense:
1. Former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Steve Bartkowski
2. Former "Lucas Tanner, M.D." star David Hartman
3. Loveable South Park scamp Eric Cartman
4. Howard Stern alter-ego Fartman
5. An Art Van furniture salesman.>
Ay Carumba
Everyone's coming here looking for information on Steve Bartman costumes, telling us that people desperately need some unique ideas for their Halloween costumes--something beyond donning a Cubs hat, glasses, headphones, a turtleneck and sweatshirt. Here then are five other costume ideas ripped from the headlines that are sure to make you the hit of your party.
1. Rod Roddy.
2. The exhumed corpse of Nixon's dog, Checkers.
3. Political satirist Mark Russell.
4. Michelle Branch's stolen IPod.
5. Controversial L.A. Lakers guard Gary Payton.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Nothing to Be Done
No sooner do we say we're listless, than one drops in our laps. In this case, it's a list from the Washington Post's Thomas Boswell of baseball's top 10 moments from the past month. (Did you catch the reference in this entry’s title?)

Meanwhile, do you think Jack McKeon’s coaching belongs on the list of top 10 coaching performances of all time?

And since so many (that being more than one) of you are coming here looking for info on Steve Bartman halloween costumes, here's the skinny: Metrosexual Richard Roeper says you're not as clever as you think you are, while the Chicago Tribune (reg. req.) reports on how the youth baseball team Bartman coached is cashing in on the phenomenon.
The fates and some reticent athletes are conspiring against us today, so taking a cue from one of our favorite new discoveries (in much the same way Columbus "discovered" America), Low Culture, here's a frosted mini wheat; you know, one side has the crunchy wheat, while the other is nicely sweet. (Sorry, it seemed clever.)>

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Drama Debate
Over at Throwing Things, they're mulling over a list of the best episodes of a one-hour drama in the last decade or so. To the debate, we like to add this or this or this.>
Grateful Dead
While Elvis tops the list, Jerry Garcia sneaks in at No. 19 to bring up the rear on Forbes.com's list of the Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. (To be included, your estate must have earned at least $5 million in the past year.) Please note, however, the list does not take into account any uncashed checks from Hollywood Is Calling that may have been found in Fred Berry's glove box.>
Blame Lieber
The Marlins stunning victory in the World Series had nothing to do with Josh Beckett's heroic pitching or the wisdom of Jack McKeon. Rather it simply came down to a force of nature exponentially more powerful than the curses of the Bambino, the goat, and Steve Bartman combined: the Ex-Cub Factor.>

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Please Let It Be John Travolta
Who will be the next actor who starred in a late ’70s ABC prime-time sitcom to join the growing list of the dearly departed? First there was Robert Urich ("Soap") in April, followed by the recent deaths of John Ritter ("Three's Company") and Fred Berry ("What's Happening"). And now comes the news that character actress Florence Stanley, who played Abe Vigoda's wife, Bernice, on both "Barney Miller" and "Fish" has been cancelled. >
Finally a Way to Spend My Spun.com Credit
The track list for the five-disc Johnny Cash "Unearthed" box set has been announced. At this point, a box set of Cash singing the phone book would probably pique my interest, but I can't wait to hear him do "Redemption Song" with Joe Strummer and "Father and Son" with Nick Cave. >
Hey (sob), Hey (sob), Hey (sob)
While contemplating whether there is a "What's Happening" curse, these are five things we learned while reading about the death of Fred Berry.
1. His salary for "What's Happening Now" was a robust $500 an episode.
2. Berry officially changed his middle name to "Rerun."
3. "What's Happening" is actually loosely based on the 1975 "Cooley High," emphasis on the loose since the latter is set in the mid-'60s in Chicago. As an aside, the director of "High," Michael Schultz, later went on to helm both "Krush Groove" and "Disorderlies."
4. Berry was married six times to four women.
5. Until his death, you could hire Berry to call you for just $19.95 ($29.95 for a customized call). Now you'll have to settle for Todd Bridges.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Help Me Get Her out of My Heart
Here's one that's guaranteed to win you a bar bet. Which nation do you think ranks first on the list of countries with the highest proportion of female members of parliament?>

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

"I Must Be out, or I'd Pick up the Phone..."
No less an authority than the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, weighs in on the Top 25 TV theme songs. Before you click on the link, pull out a piece of paper and guess which 25 the paper picked. I bet you get at least 20 of the 25, which pretty much says it all. >

Monday, October 20, 2003

No Wonder It's Been Taking Us 47 Minutes...
...We had baseball on our mind for too long. But now that we have come to peace with the Cubs season, it came to us much too late that this is the 100th anniversary of the World Series. At first we were surprised more wasn't being made of this, and then we realized that while this is the 100th anniversary, it is not the 100th World Series, thanks to John McGraw refusing to play the AL champs in 1904 and the owners and players deciding the sport was way too popular and needed to shed some of those meddlesome fans in 1994.

Still, its an anniversary nonetheless, and that means lists. ESPN predictably plays up the angle by ranking all 98 World Series matches, with 1991's Braves-Twins tussle coming in first and 1989's Earthquake series coming in the rear. Peter Gammons also has a list of his Top Five Series Moments and Rob Neyer has an All-Time Series Team.

Meanwhile, in other Fox news, "Joe Millionaire" is back tonight, but fortunately I have no time or interest in reality programming, which is more a byproduct of having to put kids to sleep and having a Tivo constipated with episodic programs from last season than an aesthetic judgment. (Memo to self: Clear space before "24" begins.) Still, in honor of "Joe," here's a list of TV's top butlers, though we'd like to see some mention of the Seinfeld pilot that Jerry and George created.


Thursday, October 16, 2003

Rainy Days and Blowing 3-1 Series Leads...
I'm a little down today, owing to both the Cubs latest chapter in futility, which I had the privilege of witnessing with my own eyes, and the self-loathing that comes with the realization that I have been wasting my time buying my porn down at the local convenience store, when it was sitting here all along on my computer, so, today's list comes courtesy ye olde reliable Onion.

In honor of TMFTML's literary aspirations, not to mention DBC Pierre winning the Booker and adding his name to a long list of authors who have "spent nine years in a drug haze, on a rampage of cocaine, heroin, anything I could get" or as the Guardian politely puts it "writers who shunned the middle road" and the list of National Book Award finalists, here are the Onion's Top 5 Novel Dedications.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The Goat, or Who Is Bartman?
You can just as easily blame the Cubs collapse last night in the eighth inning on the Chicago premiere of Edward Albee's Tony-Award winning play at the Goodman with a title that for Cubs fans is evocative of 58 years of frustration as you can on the headphone-wearing patsy who reached out and took away the foul ball from Moises Alou that would have been the second out of the inning. But that hasn't kept Cubs nation from vilifying the guy. While many media outlets are going out of their way to cloak the fan's identity, leave it to the Sun-Times to not only out him, but to put three reporters on the story.

Meanwhile, the Tribune deserves credit for the best game-story headline: "THE MITT HITS THE FAN"

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Joe Randa Hates Guns
It's not surprising that the NRA has an enemies list. It's not surprising that Michael Moore and Barbra Streisand are on it. It's a little surprising that the list is 19 pages long and contains other celebs like Britney Spears, Jerry Seinfeld, and Julia Roberts. But the Kansas City Royals? How did the scrappy, overachieving Royals run afoul of the Second Amendment literalists? Did they cancel Concealed Weapon Night? Somewhere--well, actually a rehab center--former Royals employee Rush Limbaugh is weeping.

Monday, October 13, 2003

In My Defense, Darth Vader Never Had No Cereal Named After Him
I haven't had much use for Halloween costumes for a long time, which is probably due to the traumatic memory of being a husky nine-year-old during the height of Star Wars mania and not yet aware of the slimming qualities of a nice black Darth Vader ensemble, choosing a form-fitting C3PO costume for the annual Halloween parade. Still, this page highlighting the so-called worst costumes of all time, has me thinking I just might try to track down one of those Vicki the robot girl costumes to wear when I take my kids around this year.

Link via Chromewaves.>

Friday, October 10, 2003

I Guess That Was Your Long-Snapper in the Wood Chipper
Off-topic, but perhaps relevant to yesterday's rant about Ray Guy and punters. Guy never missed a game in his NFL career, while All-Pro Jacksonville punter Chris Hanson will miss the rest of the season after injuring his non-kicking leg in a wood-chopping incident. The kicker is that the axe and log were in the Jags' locker room as a literal representation of coach Jack Del Rio's motivational mantra imploring the struggling team to "keep chopping wood."

And as if this incident isn't embarrassing enough to Hanson, "In June 2002, Hanson, his wife and former Jaguars kicker Jaret Holmes were severely burned while they were making fondue at Hanson's house, and the fondue pot overturned.">
Fear of a Black Chart
For the first time in the history of the Billboard singles charts, the entire top 10 is comprised of black artists. Asked for comment, a spokesman for Rush Limbaugh (who was rehabbing at the William Bennett Clinic for Hypocrisy) released the following statement: "I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the music industry. The media has been very desirous that black artists do well. There is a little hope invested in Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Nelly, and they got a lot of credit for their performances that they didn't deserve."

And speaking of charts, if you haven't already, check out both Tom Ewing's Popular and
Mike Daddino's American Hot Wax. Each is attempting to review every song to hit No. 1 since the birth of the charts in the '50s. (Popular is tackling the British charts, American is doing the same for the U.S.)

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Canton Races
With nearly as many names as a California Recall Ballot, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its list of 67(!) preliminary nominees for the class of 2004.

Among those eligible for the first time are two shoo-ins, Barry Sanders and John Elway. What's really compelling is the fact that so many great players from the Â?70s and Â?80s are still not in the Hall. Of the four major sports, football might be the hardest to compare players, but in my impression there seem to be about 30 deserving guys on this list. They should have just elected the Steel Curtain and Purple People Eaters as a whole years ago. And last I checked, the punter is part of the team, so how in the hell is Ray Guy, the only punter any kid ever knew growing up other than the one on their home team, not enshrined?

(By the way, there's a Ray Guy Award, which is given each year to college football's best punter. Here's a list of the 37 punters competing for the 2003 award.)

Another fun thing to do with this list is trying to picture the later-day careers of iconic players like Ken Stabler in a Saints uniform, Carl Eller as a Seahawk, and Joe Klecko as Colt.

And while us Northwestern fans are suffering through another losing season, we can take solace in the fact that two Wildcatat alums, Chris Hinton and Steve Tasker, made the list. >

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

A Supersize Bummer
Off-topic, well-written, and incredibly depressing, this article from Saturday's Washington Post details the life of 58-year-old Patsy Sechrest, who works 50+ hours a week at Hardee's so she can afford to pay her medical bills. I'm sure there are thousands, if not millions, or stories similar to this one out there, and probably more about people in ever more dire situations, but I'm hoping some samaritan reaches out and gives Patsy a hand. In fact, it would be a huge PR coup if Hardee's itself did something for Patsy, who after 28(!) years with the chain makes $8.50 an hour.

Link via PCJM.>
Todd Richard Lewis in 2006!
Sure it's astounding that Arnold--despite the sexual harassing, Nazi sympathizing, and "Twins"--won the governship yesterday. And it's astounding that over 15,000+ people left their homes to cast a vote for Larry Flynt. Ditto for the 12,000+ who pulled the level for Gary Coleman. But I think the most astounding thing to come from yesterday's election results is the fact that this doofus, Todd Richard Lewis, who finished last among the 135 candidates, was able to get 171 votes. >

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

This Had to Be No. 9
In a Media Bistro interview, The Washington Post's Peter Carlson picks his List of Eight Great (Sort Of) Magazines Nobody's Ever Heard Of.

Carlson also had this to say about the proliferation of list stories in magazines:
"They keep on coming. Editors perceive—and they may be right—that the attention span of readers is shorter than it used to be, and it's a very easy way for a writer to package information. Instead of an essay in which you describe the 19 most fascinating coming-of-age novels, you just list them and have a paragraph on each. You get your point across very fast. It's great for lazy writers, and it's great for lazy editors, and it's great for lazy readers, so I don't think it's going to go away anytime soon. And some of them are great. But there's an awful lot of them.


Sunday, October 05, 2003

Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius
Damn, and I thought this was my year.>

Friday, October 03, 2003

Sports Week Continues
According to Forbes, squash is No. 1 on the list of the healthiest sports, but of more interest to us was Bunsen's list of the 10 unhealthiest sports.>

Thursday, October 02, 2003

It Might Be...It Could Be...
Always good for a list during a slow week, the folks at ESPN's Page 2 have come up with The 100 Greatest Home Runs of All Time, but as a Cubs fan there are two huge omissions on the list:

1. Back when NBC's Game of the Week meant something (June 23, 1984, precisely), the Cubs were down a run to the hated Cards at Wrigley, when Ryne Sandberg came up in the ninth to face the most-feared reliever in the league, former Cub Bruce Sutter. Ryno deposited the ball over the fence to tie the game, and then in the 10th he came back to the plate for an encore against Sutter and promptly sent another pitch into the bleachers to once again tie the game. The Cubs go on to win 12-11 in the 11thm with Sandberg going 5-6 with 7 RBI. Largely on the basis of this game, Sandberg wins the MVP and the Cubs go on to win the division, bringing postseason baseball to Wrigley for the first time since 1945.

2. The year before, the White Sox made it to the postseason, breaking a Chicagoless playoff streak that dated back to 1959. With Baltimore ahead 2 games to 1, Game 4 is an epic pitcher's duel between the Orioles Storm Davis and the Sox Britt Burns. With the game tied 0-0 in the 10th, the Sox keep Burns in the game an inning too long, as on the 150th pitch of his outing, Tito Landrum hits a home run to left, knocking the Sox out of the playoffs. Any home run that breaks the hearts of Sox fans is worth including. And if not for the Orioles getting to the Series, we might never had the joy of watching that guy dance on the dugout to "Thank God I'm a Country Boy."
And if you are looking for No. 101, how about the third of Tuffy Rhodes' three dingers on opening day 1993?
Reason No. 51: "Junior"
It's a little scary that's it's gotten to the point where the fine people of California need it, but just in case, AlterNet has Fifty Reasons Not to Vote for Arnold.
I would think just looking over this list would provide enough fodder to make any reasonable voter cast a write-in for Dana Plato.

Link via In Apprehension, your No. 1 source for Oliver Cromwell political comics.>

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Doggy Style
No. 1 on the list of America's most-hated sports is...
dog fighting.

Perhaps this poll was commissioned by NBC Sports in another attempt to find suitable programming to fill the void left by losing the NBA and NFL. And good for the brave 19% of those surveyed who weren't afraid to say proudly that nothing beats fun at the ol' dog fight. >
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