Friday, September 17th, 2010
8

"Pap Smear! Pap Smear!" Just Doesn't Have The Same Ring

A crisis pregnancy center in St. Cloud, Minn., has figured out a way to entice local students who might not otherwise appreciate their mix of sex education and religious lecturing (not to mention whoosh-filled videos): According to a coupon inside the most recent edition of the St. Cloud University annual agenda, the Pregnancy Resource Center of St. Cloud, Minn is packaging its STD, HIV, and Pap tests with a free cheese pizza at the local Little Caesars. (One pizza per person only, alas. Although given the religious bent of this place… if you're pregnant, does that mean you're eligible to eat for two?) [Via]

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10

Never Let It Be Said That Baseball Players Don't Have A Way With Words

"I'm not seeing a lack of (effort), I'm seeing a pathetic effort. These Cards fans deserve much better. That's just awful. They won't admit it, that they're quitters. If you can't put a better effort out there on the field, take 'em all out, back up the truck, ship 'em all out and get somebody in here that wants to play baseball. … We've got one team here [San Diego] going for the title and we've got our team going for the toilet. They've got poopy in their pants." -Former St. Louis Cardinal Jack Clark defends the honor of baseball's self-proclaimed "best fans" by going after the current crop [...]

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22

Florida's Cat Village: Not A Dream

Deep in the woods of northern Florida, there exists a sanctuary for felines who have been left behind by extreme circumstances and extreme people: Caboodle Ranch, located smack in the middle of a wildlife preserve, is 30 acres of land devoted to providing otherwise-homeless cats some sanctuary and companionship. Lots of companionship, actually; there are currently six hundred and sixty cats living in the village, which is also full of cat-sized buildings where the kitties are allowed to roam around. After the jump, a video of life on the ranch (if you can stand the adorableness, not to mention the sick guitar riffs that drop in at a [...]

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12

Be A Blog Writer, Or Just Dress Like One

"I think you'd have to have a pretty successful blog to be sporting a $132 dress as your blogging uniform." [Previously]

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2

Cee-Lo Green, "I Want You"

The followup to Cee-Lo Green's gleefully profane "Fuck You" is, perhaps out of necessity, a love song, albeit one that takes just as many sonic cues from the past as its predecessor. (A matched set! Aw, just like in real love.) The track is pleasant enough, with Cee-Lo's scratchy-sweater voice sounding quite fine over a seemingly endless loop of strings; the abrupt segue on this British radio rip actually makes me wonder if there's another minute or so to the track that got cut off by the overly excitable DJ who introduces the thing. [Via]

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11

Aliens Will Be Bestowed With Souls Before Taking Over Earth (But Only If They Ask Nicely)

"Only if they asked." —Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno on the likelihood of his baptizing an alien, a question that came up after he talked about his sci-fi-borne love of the stars and noted to reporters in the UK that "any entity — no matter how many tentacles it has — has a soul." It would seem that he's even including the "narrow group of creationist fundamentalists in America" that he railed against elsewhere in his Q&A session in that soul census, which reads like something of a relative olive branch.

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7

How Your Texting-While-Sexing Sausage Gets Made

The wire-service headline: "US Internet users staying connected during sex: study." (Lede: "Computer security firm PC Tools late Wednesday released a study showing that nearly a quarter of US residents think it is fine to be 'plugged in' to the Internet during sex.") The official release touting the poll: "More Americans believe it is acceptable to be 'plugged in' while honeymooning (29%) than during a wedding (6%) or a religious service (8%)"; a find-and-replace on the term "sex" only finds the word buried in the boring bit about the poll's methodology. Whew! (For now, at least.)

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18

Acid Hoaxer Sure Tried To Push A Lot Of Buttons During Her Fake-Out

Bethany Storro, the self-proclaimed "nice girl" from Vancouver, Wash., who claimed that she was accosted by a woman who called her "pretty girl" and offered her a drink — then threw a cup full of acid in her face, resulting in fairly severe chemical burns on her face and neck — has admitted that she made up the whole thing. "In many ways this is something that just got bigger than what she expected," a flack for the local police said. It sure did! And it sure makes certain details from the story originally recounting the attack stand out even more:

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5

Camille Paglia Has Yet To Write Her "Thunder Kiss '65"

Ann Powers takes on the Camille Paglia/Lady Gaga flap in the Los Angeles Times (as well as the always-present, always-thorny topic of sex in pop music), and here's part of the setup: "[Paglia's] prose style is bloody and lurid and sometimes effectively comical, like a Rob Zombie-directed horror movie; it's hard to turn away."

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49

NFL Gives Viewers Good Reason For Super Bowl Halftime Bathroom Break

Good news: The NFL has reportedly decided to book a relatively current musical act for its halftime show for the first time since the Super Bowl XXXVIII Nipple Flash! Bad news: That act is apparently the exactingly safe hip-pop collective the Black Eyed Peas. Mitigating factor: Maybe this means we won't see will.i.am during every other commercial break? [Via]

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8

PJ Harvey, "The Last Living Rose"

Nestled in the extremely heartening announcement that Polly Jean Harvey could be releasing a follow-up to 2007's White Chalk early next year was a clip of "The Last Living Rose," a new song that she premiered live last year at the Camp Bestival fest. Why it took so long for a new PJ Harvey song to make its way to someone who considers herself a pretty big fan of the performer in question is a matter that will likely be part of my endless ruminations about the unwieldy nature of "keeping up" in an era where there is simply too much media, and how the resulting glut leads to [...]

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1

Waiting For The End of The (Site Marketing The Movie About The) Affair

I guess in the era of AshleyMadison.com offering to name the Meadowlands' new football stadium a "viral" site mimicking a blog dedicated to giving the married advice on how to approach their "freebie" — that is, their one-night-only chance to Get Out Of Cheating-Partner Jail Free — should not surprise. And yet. There is something about the way that Untie The Knot (Tagline: "Just Another WordPress Site") blends the ineptly marketing-oriented and the semi-servicey that makes me sort of ill. Also, I suspect that a, the movie will be pretty bad, and b, it's only a matter of time before AshleyMadison makes a "content play" for the mismosh [...]

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6

DJ Kitty: The Rally Monkey Of 2010, Complete With Video Game Tie-In

After staring down Derek Jeter's dramatics and holding on to beat the Yankees last night, the Tampa Bay Rays have edged into first place in the American League East — although their on-field performance might not be reflected by the anemic attendance numbers put up at their cavernous home, Tropicana Field. Perhaps that lack of in-person support is why the team has decided to employ a time-tested method of getting people to look up and say "awww" in its general online direction: Cats!

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7

Oprah Picks Franzen (Again)

Those of you who thought that Oprah Winfrey would celebrate her final year by extending the Olive Branch Of Harpo Productions in the direction of former book-club-scorner Jonathan Franzen can pat yourselves on the back: The Big O has decided to pick Franzen's much-discussed tome Freedom as her final Oprah's Book Club selection. The announcement will reportedly take place on tomorrow's episode, so be sure to bookmark the Faces Of The Last Season Of Oprah Tumblr before then.

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11

Will The Cosmos Inexplicably Decide To Give Us Another Planet To Ruin?

Astronomers are predicting that the first Earth-like planet orbiting another star will be discovered sometime around next May, if recent trends in discovering extrasolar planets keep up:

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32

Father Gives Daughter Birthday Gift Of Resentment-Based Vegetarianism

"Happy birthday, Autumn. I love you, and I hope you enjoy your Chick-fil-A." — Montgomery, Ill., resident Ron Hubbard, who skipped out on his daughter's birthday in order to wait out in a parking lot and score a year's supply of chicken, biscuits, and other fixins from a freshly opened Chik-fil-A in nearby Aurora. The newest outpost of the closed-on-Sundays fast-food emporium is the first in Chicagoland proper; it opened at 6 a.m. CT today.

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8

Wincing Along With Adrian Grenier

"'What you got there, a little hobby or something?' Jay-Z asked [Adrian] Grenier. Mr. Grenier smiled big. 'You have a great night, man,' the rapper added. 'You too,' said Mr. Grenier. 'Good luck. I know you don't need it. Confidence! You've got it.' Jay-Z looked at him through his sunglasses. 'I was going to say the same thing to you,' he said. He turned away and strolled into the room with the mannequins."

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5

Is Your TV News Broadcast An Infomercial In Sheep's Clothing?

Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey sheds a little bit of light on people who appear on many of this country's local newscasts pitching toys — yes, toys! is nothing sacred? — and who are paid by the companies that produce the products being touted. Unfortunately, the people in the newsrooms that chase these stories don't exactly subscribe to the old journalistic maxim of "If your source says she really really really loves a toy and mysteriously is able to travel around the country with nothing but this particular message in mind, check her income stream out":

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23

Enjoy That Cheeseburger, Because It Could Be Your Last

Above, a new pro-vegetarian spot from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine that's making explicit the link between fast-food consumption and heart disease. Like, really explicit: The corpse at the center the ad died gettin' his burger on, as evidenced by the Big Mac Of Death that remains in his hand while a woman weeps over his lifeless body.

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7

A Milestone That Forever Changed The Landscape Of Rite-Aid's Musical Offerings

Clear your calendars now: Next year, we can all gather at a monument in South Carolina ("about 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and at least 12 feet tall") to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hootie & The Blowfish.

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