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When I was a kid my mom used to send me to school with a thermos full of SpaghettiOs. Even though I lost the thermos a few times, mom kept replacing it and making sure I had a hot meal at school. So I have a soft spot for the little pasta and meatballs. Naturally I was a little upset to read that Donald Goerke, the man at Campbells who came up with the pseudo-Italian pasta-in-a-can, died last Sunday. He was 83.

Campbells tapped Goerke to come up with a kid-friendly pasta, and after trying shapes like cowboys, spacemen, stars, and sports shapes, he chose the simple O. He obviously chose wisely; SpaghettiOs sell over 150 million cans per year and are a staple with kids everywhere. In addition to creating SpaghettiOs, Goerke was also behind the ever-popular Chunky soup, a product that has provided extra income to NFL players for years.

Well this is a sad day indeed. Curtis Allina, the man responsible for creating the mighty Pez Dispenser and sharing its joy with the world, died at age 87. His invention brought joy to children and a creepy, obsessive hobby to many adults desperate to cling to the last vestiges of the pure bliss of childhood.

To celebrate Allina’s legacy, here are a few fun Pez facts:

  • The name “Pez” is derived from the German word for “peppermint”, “Pfefferminze”
  • It was originally marketed to adults
  • Allina added the cool dispenser in 1955 and they started marketing them to kids
  • A Tweety Bird Pez dispenser was at the center of one of the best episodes of Seinfeld EVER
  • The most expensive Pez dispenser is from the 1982 World’s Fair, and it sold on eBay in 2006 for over $32,000. Seriously.

Farewell Curtis, and either thank you for bringing joy to children across the world, or screw you for unleashing an incredibly irritating hobby on the world.

Quentin Tarantino

Now that he’s gotten Inglourious Basterds out of the way, people have started speculating about what Quentin Tarantino is going to do next. Well, if you believe what he said on an Italian talk show, his future holds a sequel: Kill Bill vol. 3. But it’s not likely to be his next project. He’s saying that “the Bride will fight again”, but his next movie will likely either be a western or a gangster film. Whatever it is, I’m sure it will be interesting.

Most of the fall TV shows are back already, but there’s been one notable exception: 30 Rock. That’s all about to change, as the premiere of season four is set for October 15th. This season promises to continue the show’s award-winning tradition, and help it stay one of the funniest on TV. NBC has put together a preview of the season, along with some behind-the-scenes stuff, to get us ready for the new season. From what they show the season should be a good one, starting off with Lemon looking to add a cast member to the show, and a guest appearance by news anchor Brian Williams. Can’t wait!

Good Eats is the best cooking show in the history of television. Host Alton Brown does a great job explaining the whys of cooking as much as the hows. And he manages to make learning fun. Incredibly the show is celebrating 10 years on the air, and Brown went on an Atlanta radio station to promote the live shows they put on for the anniversary. While he was there he gave the lowdown on his fellow Food Network chefs, with his typical wit:

Finally, you may remember that Frightened Rabbit’s Midnight Organ Fight was my favorite album of last year. Well the Scots are back, streaming two new songs on their label’s site. The songs are from the band’s upcoming single, Swim Until You Can’t See Land, due out November 16th. They’re prepping for a full-length album release in Spring of next year. Awesome.

In case you missed it when I posted it before, here’s Scott from FR performing “Swim Until You Can’t See Land” all by his lonesome:

Bacon is Good for Me!

This video inspires so many emotions: joy, loathing, fear, hunger. We all know bacon is glorious. And we all know at least on obnoxious kid. So I think we can all relate. Plus it contains two things I love: bacon and cheese in a can. So, aside from the fact that this kid is a symbol of the stereotypical fat, spoiled American child, what’s not to love?

The US Postal Service announces Simpsons stamps

After 20+ years on the air The Simpsons are finally getting some recognition. The Postal Service announced Simpsons stamps this week. Fans of the show can go to the USPS site and vote for their favorite stamp. Oh, and the release of the stamps in May happens to correspond with the price of stamps going up 2 cents. D’oh!

Speaking of things that are overdue, every Beatles album is getting remastered and re-released. The new editions will be out on September 9th, corresponding with the release of the Rock Band Beatles edition. Truthfully I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, the mix on the current batch of Beatles CDs isn’t great, so it would be nice to get an upgrade. On the other hand, the vast majority of music these days is mixed WAY too loud, to the point where it eliminates the dynamics and clips damn near everything. Don’t want to see that happen to The Beatles. We’ll just have to wait and see how these turn out.

a Lego model of the Japanese Battleship YamotoAre we getting to the point where Lego is a legitimate artistic medium for sculpture? Or at least as a serious model making medium? Seeing this recreation of the Japanese Battleship Yamoto in Lego I would have to say yes. The artist’s site has more pictures of this amazing creation.

Eastbound and Down is coming back for a second season. If you didn’t catch the first season on HBO you don’t know what you’ve missed. Danny McBride, who you may recognize from Pineapple Express or Tropic Thunder, plays a former major league relief pitcher whose arm gave out. He returns to his hometown and teaches gym while he works on his comeback. The show’s not for the faint of heart though. McBride’s character, Kenny Powers, is a racist, egocentric redneck. His catchphrase as a pitcher was “You’re Fuckin’ Out!”. In short, if you’re easily offended, maybe this isn’t the show for you.

Speaking of coming back, The Rentals have a set of new EPs on the way. They’re calling the series Songs About Time, and there will be one release every three months through the end of the year. You can pre-order the set now, plus purchase or stream the four songs from the first installment, The Story of a Thousand Seasons Past, at their site.

Peeps Lip Balm:  the unholiest of the unholiesThis is just unholy: Peeps Lip Balm.

Google and Univeral Music have decided to play nicely. In order to appease Universal’s concerns about their music videos on YouTube, the two companies will launch Vevo, a site dedicated to videos from Universal artists. I feel like as a music fan and internet junkie I should have an opinion on this, but oddly I don’t.

Finally, a group of film students in England have started what I hope will be the next big internet trend: Films in One Minute, One Take. They’re remaking big Hollywood movies, but in one continuous take that lasts one minute. Since they’re made on a very low budget, props are homemade. They’ve put together two so far, Forest Gump in One Minute, One Take and Kill Bill 1 & 2 in One Minute, One Take. Both are brilliant, but I’m partial to Kill Bill. Check it out:

VH1 is bringing back Behind the Music

VH1 is bringing back Behind the Music. This seems like it should be a good idea, but then I got to thinking: what bands from the last decade would they do? And would any of them be interesting? I can’t imagine any scenario where I’d want to watch a Nickleback epidode of Behind the Music

The SciFi Channel changing its name to Syfy. Must be Klingon for “watched by dorks who speak Klingon”. I’m not sure I understand this move. Geeks are notorious for resisting change. And you have to think SciFi’s core audience is geeks. So why change the name? Smells like desperation to me.

David Prowse with Darth VaderMore bad news for geeks: Darth Vader has cancer. David Prowse, the man in the Darth Vader costume, is battling prostate cancer.

Here’s a little something to keep our geeky friends going though: The International Society of Supervillains.

Jim Carrey’s new prison comedy is too gay for American audiences. This is a change from most of his recent movies, which weren’t funny enough for any audience…

A pig made out of porkNow THAT’S a proper way to pay tribute to a pig: Take bacon, sausage links, ham, and ground sausage, form it into the shape of a pig, add some chili peppers for a ears and a tail, and worship at a porcine shrine.

Jason Segal’s script for The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time is apparently shaping up nicely.

poster for Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things AreThe first poster for Spike Jonze’s adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are is out, and it’s good. Really good. Click the picture to see the full thing. The wild thing itself looks particularly good. The first trailer should be out shortly, and I’m hoping it will build on the test footage that leaked out last year. The movie is currently set to hit theaters October 16th.

Finally, in light of all the controversy about the male full-frontal nudity in Watchmen, check out this fake NES game starring Watchmen‘s Dr Manhattan and his big blue schlong:

Weekend at Bernies, with a twist<-- This is really, really wrong. But I laughed. You've probably been asking yourself this question for years: How would Frank Miller interpret Charlie Brown?

Like Tetris? Wonder what it would be like to play it in HD? Here you go. Be warned: it’s quite possibly the most irritating/boring game ever constructed.

Behold the McGangBangI just don’t have the balls to walk into a McDonalds and order a McGangBang. No, I’m not making it up.

There’s gotta be a reaaaallly good story behind this. I mean, how do you even go about getting the lion in the sidecar?

Elton John’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” was the number 1 song in the US when I was born. This saddens me deeply.

There was a cat fight at America’s Next Top Model. If they end up putting this in the show I might actually consider watching it. Well, probably not. But it’s still cool.

My last post about random stuff seemed to work out pretty well, so let’s give it another shot. It’s been an odd week, so there’s lots of strange stuff to go over.

the super-stuffed oreoBehold the Mega Double Stuf Oreo. This, and more tastiness signs of the culinary apocalypse at This is Why You’re Fat, including a Corn Dog Pizza, a 60lb Rice Krispy treat, and a seven pound breakfast burrito. Most of the stuff on the site looks disgusting, but I’m ashamed to admit there are a couple of tasty-looking treats.

Watch out Titanic! The Dark Knight officially broke the $1 billion mark. I don’t know if that completely makes up for not being nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, but I’m sure the folks at Warner Bros won’t complain.

Mario finally accomplished what Shredder never could. Bebop and Rocksteady couldn’t be reached for comment.

Shaq uses Twitter. A lot. To connect with fans. In a diner. Shaq is a huge dork cool.

Robbert BobbertApples in Stereo frontman Robert Schneider’s getting a kids show. Schneider’s cartoon alter-ego Robbert Bobbert is coming to TV via the folks behind the incredibly trippy Yo Gabba Gabba. Bobbert’s also got a whole CD of kids music coming out.

Mike Myers and Paris Hilton are WINNERS!. Well, kind of. They each “won” three awards at last night’s Razzies, the anti-Oscars. Myers’ three awards, Worst Actor, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Picture, were all tied to his participation in The Love Guru. Hilton snagged three awards for two different movies, The Hottie and the Nottie and Repo! The Genetic Opera. Congratulations to both!

What’s the next step in the evolution of Lolcats? In Soviet Russia Lolcats use better grammar

Uber-douche Michael Bay is finally getting an Oscar. Not!


There’s a bunch of stuff I’ve run across recently that I want to comment on, but none of it is really newsworthy or interesting enough for a whole post. Here we go:

michael_bayBravo to Entertainment Weekly for summing up Micheal Bay’s Transformers debacle

U2 is playing Letterman for a whole week. Is this a good idea? Oh, maybe if that means no of Paul Schaffer for the whole week…

Speaking of U2, the title track from No Line on the Horizon leaked, and was quickly pulled from every imaginable place. So no idea how good or bad it is.

It's Always Sunny in PhiladelphiaI spent the weekend watching the first three seasons of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and it’s ridiculously goddamn funny. About the time the gang tried to put a baby in a tanning booth I realized they were on a different level of twisted than any other show on television. Fittingly, I was in Philadelphia today, and it was very sunny.

A new Decemberists’ song, “Hazards of Love 1”, is available for streaming from their MySpace. It’s very Decemberists. So if you like that sort of thing check it out. I’m officially really excited for their new album.

Pepsi is introducing Pepsi Throwback and Mountain Dew Throwback in April, with real sugar. I find this mildly interesting for some reason, even though I don’t completely buy into the anti-high-fructose-corn-syrup hype.

House was awesome last night, despite what TV Squad has to say. Give me House, an atheist priest, and a toe falling off and I’m happy.

There’s more to The Simpsons new opening than you probably noticed.

Madonna’s officially really, really creepy.

Axl Rose sues Dr. Pepper
I’ve been under the assumption for years that Axl Rose is batshit crazy. And I don’t think you can blame me. He’s been known to cause riots. He spent millions of dollars and over a decade on a mediocre (at best) album. He wore a Nazi officer’s hat in the video for “Paradise City”. Not the actions of a sane man. But…

Axl is sane enough to look out for his fans and his image. When Dr. Pepper announced that they would give everyone in the US a free soda if Axl released Chinese Democracy this year he embraced it. When they completely botched the execution of the offer he got pissed. And now he’s suing them.

If you didn’t actually try to get your free Dr. Pepper you may not know all the ways the company screwed up the process. First they gave people a 24-hour window to get their coupon, which would arrive in 6 weeks. Then they failed to plan for the amount of people who would try to get a coupon, and their site was down for pretty much that whole day. This naturally caused a backlash from GNR fans (and people who just wanted a free refreshing beverage). And that pissed Axl off. So he’s suing the company that makes Dr. Pepper. Rock on!

Thanks Axl. You may have made a sometimes-terrible album, but at least you’ve got our back.

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