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Things I've Found 61 (Kellie Pickler May Not Sing as Well as Kelly Clarkson But She's as Funny as Emmett Kelly)—6/14/2006

by Mark Rose

Teen heartthrob and middle-aged guy heartthrob Kellie Pickler, the blonde gamine from American Idol, comes across in different ways to different people. Some people believe she is the ultra-naive and innocent songstress, others believe she knows perfectly well what she’s doing, is very self aware and completely manipulative. Maybe. If the latter, she is also one of the funniest people alive. If you didn’t catch her performance on the Jay Leno show as a red carpet reporter at the MTV Movie Awards, then you must watch this clip: http://www.gofish.com/userVideoPlayer.gfp?gfid=30-1037194. True brilliance sometimes comes in very sexy packages. And she’s at least as funny as Emmett Kelly: http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/collections/cushman/screen/P04504.jpg.

Did you know that if you do backyard birding for just 20 minutes a day the University of Cornell would like to talk to you? Their new ebird site (http://www.ebird.org/content/) has all the details. They collate reports from backyard birders over long periods of time to determine population levels and migratory patterns. See, now you can add "Contribute on a regular basis to scientific environmental projects" to your resume when you go for that Microsoft interview.

Potential Microsoft Employees, take note. When you go to an interview at Microsoft, you are always asked some stupid-ass puzzle question like "How Would You Move Mount Fuji?" The idea is to get to see your thinking process. Of course if you completely think out of the box they ding you. But if you want that job, then go here: http://techinterview.org/. Because this guy has literally written the book on the Microsoft-style puzzle question. Interesting puzzles in here for those who like to think that way.

James Lileks' "Gallery of Regrettable Food" (http://www.lileks.com/institute/gallery/index.html) is perhaps the funniest writing about questionable recipes found in cookbooks.

But CandyBoots' writing on dietetic recipe cards comes a very close second: http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards.html. Shudder in the face of "Rosy Perfection Salad" (http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards/rosyperfection.html), and I dare you to make and eat a serving of "Jellied Tomato Refresher" (http://www.candyboots.com/wwcards/jelliedtomatorefresh.html). Horrifying and hilarious all at the same time. Start at the first URL and work your way forward. At least until you get to Mackerelly.

What you can do with Diet Coke and Mentos mints: http://videos.humpingfrog.com/14704/2006/06/mentos-and-diet-coke-show.html

Let’s Meet a Real Hero: Dr. Charles Kupchella, President of the University of North Dakota. Why, you say? Because with very little fanfare, he is taking on the evil, arrogant, over-the-top NCAA. We’ve discussed in these pages before that the NCAA wants to stop all use of sports team nicknames that are related in any way to Native Americans. Apparently, they feel that completely ignoring and forgetting about Native Americans is far better than celebrating their virtues. Huh, go figure, it’s academia, where rules don’t apply. Anyway, Dr. Kupchella, proud President of the very proud University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux, is pissed off, and I mean REALLY PISSED OFF at the NCAA and chose to share his sentiments in public. It’s a long piece, but has impeccable logic, and shows up the NCAA for what they really are – and I don’t want to say what they are in a family publication. Go Doc Go, and Go UND Fighting Sioux! http://www.universityrelations.und.edu/logoappeal/openletter_6-07-06.html.

Awwwwww. Lover’s Cups. Yep. Now you can get wirelessly-connected tumblers in sets of two. Each lover takes a tumbler and gets away from the other. Then, when one person picks up their cup to take a drink, the other person’s cup lights up! You can sip wine together even though separated. Supposedly, this encourages emotional interaction. Wouldn’t it be easier to stay in the same room? http://web.media.mit.edu/~jackylee/cups.htm. A similar project is Eric Paulos’ Connexus, a device that intimately connects two people even though they may be far apart. Check the site: http://berkeley.intel-research.net/paulos/research/connexus/index.htm and take a look at the scenario (Scene 2 is especially hilarious since the subject feels a "gentile" tapping – now that would be quite an accomplishment if his device can figure that out).

Stupid Criminals. They’re what Jay Leno loves. You have to love this one too. 18-year-old boy attempts to steal drugs...that were facsimile drugs...that were in a display case...that were displayed at a mall...with hundreds of people nearby...who had stopped by to attend an annual Police Exposition. http://www.dailyrecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060424/COMMUNITIES/604240305/1203. Really, shouldn’t we put this man to the death penalty just to get his genes out of the pool?

Obligatory Political Ranting Blah Blah Blah Opinion Section (Ladies and Gentlemen, please move along to the Obligatory Au Revoir Section if you’re not interested)

When people say how dangerous America is, remind them that London’s crime rates are about seven times (7X!) that of New York’s. Why? Well, you can thank Mr. No Broken Windows Rudy Giuliani, but since most people won’t thank him because...shhh, don’t tell anyone, he’s a Republican, you can just let London go to hell in a handbasket. Which it apparently is itching to do. http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=9641. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad. I don’t even want to bring up the numerous cases of homeowners who have defended themselves and then been arrested and sued (by the criminals) for daring to do so. Yep, I think I’ll stay in good ol’ violent America. It’s a lot safer here.

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth may be more than inconvenient for Al Gore. Regardless of what Mr. Gore purports to claim in his PowerPoint deck of a movie, we still don’t know as much as some people think we do about global warming: http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris061206.htm. Look, I’m all for reducing our emission pollutants, but it’s simply hard for me to give Gore and his Army of Alarmists(TM) much credibility. Sorry. Now you may disagree and that’s totally cool; but please pick a more credible spokesman, enlist sober and sane scientists who have real plans to reduce emissions (no, Virginia, the Kyoto Protocol doesn’t count because of its obscene carbon-trading rules and its willful destruction of thriving economic systems, e.g., yours), and in the short term at least, avoid the press because they will completely distort what you have to say. Get the scientists on board first, then announce to the press. If you do it the other way around, you’re screwed. Ask those Cold Fusion guys, they know about that stuff.

[Ed. Note: Mark, I took a look at the article you cite, and its position struck me as far outside the consensus of climatologists, despite its protestations to the contrary. I mentioned it to our mutual friend Keith, who laughed and said it had been brought up on SlashDot and the scientists quoted in it exposed as largely unqualifed (these guys are geologists) and probably paid Exxon hacks: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/14/209235 (takes awhile to load, even with broadband -- check out el_cepi's and doc_ruby's posts). By the way, the article does not confront the fact that even if global warming were not an issue, the acidification of the oceans due to CO2 is still a pressing concern. As with the "controversy" over, say, the theory of evolution, it seems the controversy here is predominantly on the side of those with a strong vested interest in disinformation, but the SlashDot threads do show that, indeed, a lot is still not known. Lots of interesting links in there. --Bob]

Obligatory Au Revoir Section: I know, I know, this is a short Things I’ve Found. One of the things I’ve found is that having a job cuts into my writing and browsing time. And then there’s watching reality TV. And baseball. And video games. And...damn it, now I’m late for the next edition of Things I’ve Found! Well, click away like the little monkeys you are on what we have here and I’ll find more, honest.