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17 posts from October 2009

Basically, People Magazine's Pet Website Needs an Ombudsman

I believe I have mentioned here before that I think People Pets is the most ridiculous site on the entire Internet.  The site is notable because, even in a category that is already ridiculous--dog and cat news--it is extra inane.  Take today, for example; amid such major stories as "Larry the 70-Year-Old Lobster Will Not Be Eaten" and "Pious Pooch Attends Church Twice a Week," the site boldly featured a slide show entitled, "Pets That Look Like Vanna White!"

Now, it might just be me, but I think that if you are going to feature something as absurd as a gallery of pets looking like Vanna White, you should really deliver on the premise.  Sadly, the slide show in question does not.  Let's take a closer look at why.

These are the two photos that start off the slideshow.  You'll note that the resemblance here is not uncanny, but it's not terrible.  I would think that if Vanna White were a dog, she would be a smiley retriever-type like this.  So there is, at the very least, enough integrity in the first comparison that you go into the second slide with your hopes up.  But then . . . 

. . . You see this.  A picture of Vanna White holding an umbrella next to a picture of a black cat THAT LOOKS NOTHING WHATSOEVER LIKE VANNA WHITE, also under an umbrella.  Evidently the fact that the two images share the presence of an umbrella is supposed to be enough to sustain the theme of the slideshow, but come ON--the umbrellas don't even look like each other.  We are at the second photo, and already this slide show is phoning it in in a major way.

It gets worse with the third slide, and this crocheting cat.  People Pet's editors clearly had to go back 20 years to find a picture of Vanna to include in comparison, and she's not even crocheting--she's knitting.  At this point, the credibility of the slide show has already eroded beyond repair.
This slide is clearly the best since No. 1, due to such factors as the angle of the photograph, inclusion of sunglasses, and the slightly similar bangs Vanna and the dog seem to be rocking.  It constitutes the second valid inclusion in the entire slideshow, though it is in no way enough to redeem it.

Another photo, another complete erosion of the premise of the slide show.  Notice the caption: "'One-year-old Puppy flips on his back and sticks his paws up like a little bunny,' shares mom Judith Ohanian of Sunrise, Fla."  Which means that even Judith of Sunrise, Fla., who is stupid enough to send a photo of her dog into People Pets, is not stupid enough to compare said dog with Vanna White.  A bunny, yes; Vanna, no.  EVEN THOUGH THEY BOTH, AT ONE TIME IN THEIR LIVES, POINTED TOWARDS A CAMERA.
This is the photo I am presuming sparked the idea for this entire godawful photo gallery.  Somewhere in a stack of photo submissions, someone saw this dog pointing at a TV playing Wheel of Fortune and thought, "Well, we have a million photos of dogs and cats.  There are also probably a million photos of Vanna White out there, because she's been on TV for the past 20 years. Clearly, according to the 'Enough Monkeys and Enough Typewriters' Rule, there has got to be enough material out there to cobble together a slideshow comparing them." 

Guess what?
That was an incorrect assumption.

In conclusion, People Pets' slideshow of pets that look like Vanna White contains two pets that kind of look like Vanna White, one pet that is kind of acting like Vanna White, and FOUR pets that fail to demonstrate anything more than the weakest notional resemblance to being like Vanna White, or in the same room as something she was once also in the same room as.  This, to me, does not constitute grounds for a slide show; rather, it indicates the need for much greater accountability at the highest levels of the People Pets editorial structure.

Some Awkward for Your Monday

Possibly my favorite awkward moments are the ones that come as a result of situations that didn't really need to be happening in the first place.  And when you're talking about situations that didn't need to happen in the first place, I think "making fruit look like it is wearing clothing" is about as high up on the list as you can reasonably get.

(via The Soup -- having problems embedding the clip, so you may want to watch it over there.)

This Week in Internet: The Links My Immune System Didn't Want You to See

Despite my shoddy immune system's best efforts at keeping me out all week, I did manage to catch up on a little Internet today.  But just a little.  Here we go.

Quick!  Think of a name for the upcoming Jodie Sweetin memoir.  Is this what you picked?

Incredible dissolving plastic packaging.  The future is now o' clock!

Best job in America?

I might need to make one of these ASAP.  After all, it's almost crocheting season.  And who doesn't love tentacles?

What cats do all day.  I should have been a cat.

Behold, the hundred oldest domain names.  We should totally time travel to March 14, 1985 and buy ALL OF THEM. 

Nickelodeon buys the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  I was totally just thinking about Krang last week for some reason.  Spent some time on his Wikipedia page, catching up ("Every plan Krang conceives is either aimed at that goal, or towards the short-term objective of powering-up the Technodrome.").  "Krang" would be a great cat name.

It's Been a Raspy Couple of Days

So, I've been knocked out by a case of the Gross Nasty Whatevers since Monday and am just now coming out from underneath my blankets and cough drop wrappers.  Hellllo, world!  Were your lights always so bright?

Missing three days of e-mail, blog, and Twitter activity has me basically feeling like I have been alone on an international space station for a year, but I'll see what I can do to catch up.  In the meantime, I would like to thank the full-time medical staff at my house for giving me such excellent round-the-clock care:

Thanks, docs!

The Best Business Idea Since Jetpack Acres

Today I heard about this website, which allows you to sign up for something called a "Sockscription" program in which new socks are sent to you every couple of months.  For example, according to the pricing page, you can register to have three deliveries of men's calf socks (each delivery consisting of three pairs of socks) sent to you in a year.  The site even includes this helpful graphic to really spell out the concept:

Now, I am pretty scatterbrained.  Basic activities like grocery shopping can sometimes overwhelm me in ways a normal person would not believe.  But even I have never thought to myself, "Man--you know what?  I just cannot keep up with the demand of needing to buy new socks every six months or so.  It's like a landslide.  Just when you think you are set in the socks department, it could be as soon as half a year before you need more!"

So my questions are:

  1. Who is actually using this Sockscription service?
  2. What else can I try and sell these people?

The answer to question #1 is obviously "rich men with feet who are unable to cope with life."  As for question #2, I am currently brainstorming ideas for other things to sell to this market.  I think the first product I will launch is "Q-tipscription," a service that sends new boxes of Q-tips to subscribers every 18 months.  I will charge just $49.99 per year for this service, which is a small price to pay for the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly when your next box of cotton swabs is coming.  It could change the world.


Potential investors may contact Cathy Addison-Weemer for more information.

This Week in Internet: Cornflakes, Kites, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar misses Jeopardy! question about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

A kite-powered generator.  KiteGen Research might be the best business name ever.

This site ranks world leaders by hotness.  There is not a lot of hotness to work with.

Here's a bunch of Germans trying to pronounce "Massachusetts." 

An enjoyable list of ridiculous patents--well, some of them (looking at you, gerbil vest) actually seem extremely useful, if you ask me. (thx, Em)

Dragon made out of plastic utensils!

A brief history of gummy bears.

Laser-etched cornflakes were bound to exist at some point, right?

Retirement Planning

It came to my attention today that my projected early retirement date is May 18, 2043, a.k.a. INFINITY YEARS AWAY.  (Thank you, company HR system, for providing this mind-boggling information.)  Time to start planning!

Things I Can Maybe Do When I Stop Working in 2043

  1. Retire to jetpack community in Florida
  2. Spend more time with grand-bots
  3. Take up knitting . . . WITH MY MIND
  4. See parts of the country that have not fallen into the ocean
  5. Learn to play shuffleborg
  6. Quietly bide my time (approx. 15 minutes) till the Apocalypse

 Jetpack acres

Did I forget anything?  Let me know, because clearly I need to figure this out ASAP.

Another Year, Another Trip to the Renaissance Festival

We went to the Maryland Renaissance Festival this weekend, mainly to eat fried macaroni and cheese on a stick because we loved it so much last year.  And it did not disappoint.  Many macaronis on many sticks were consumed:

Fried macaroni and cheese on a stick

The best $3.50 you can spend

More fried macaroni and cheese on a stick

Other highlights included Cassie shooting this tiny crossbow--

Don't mess with her

--and Emily and Cassie getting awfully close to this man, who was wearing a dead frog around his neck.  It may have been real.  Not sure.  Wouldn't be surprised if it was.

This guy was hot

More pictures here.