February 18, 2010

Up, up and away

Maybe I'm missing something, but I think my not-quite-favorite online news source could have removed the word "apparent" from the phrase "apparent stowaway" in the headline for this article.

Usually, it's a safe bet the passenger has not bought himself a ticket when he's (1) a passenger on a cargo jet and (2) trying to fly in the wheel well.

February 15, 2010

PC squared: Phil Collins and the evolution of politcal correctness

Occasionally - usually while I'm supposed to be doing something productive - I wonder whether we're all way, way, way more politically correct than we were when I was a kid or it's that I've just been listening to Bill Maher too much.

This afternoon, I think I answered my own question, thanks to, of all people, Phil Collins. (Well, Phil Collins and the other guys who were in Genesis after Peter Gabriel left.)

Mike, Phil and Tony in matching sombreros.

And I'm pretty sure my answer is, that, Yes, PC has reached levels we couldn't have imagined in 1983, which is the year Genesis released a song called Illegal Alien. Because today, it's equally impossible to imagine a Top 40 music act recording a song and appearing in a video, complete with sombreros and tequila and vaguely Mexican facial hair, like this one. Or, if they did those things, not getting absolutely slammed for it.

A slightly related thought: I wonder if California could find a way to use this song as a PSA.

February 10, 2010

Easy answer

Joanne Herring: Why is Congress saying one thing and doing nothing?
Charlie Wilson: Well, tradition mostly.

- portrayed by Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks
Charlie Wilson's War, 2007

R.I.P., Congressman Charlie Wilson (1933-2010).

February 5, 2010

If eating you is wrong, I don't want to be right

Perhaps I have a very very very very subtle death wish. But any time I see a list of "worst foods" or "unhealthiest meals" or "snacks that will kill you dead as soon as you take your first bite," I immediately want to eat most of the foods on that list.

When I saw the latest such countdown of the worst artery-clogging, blood-pressure-spiking cuisine, courtesy of Yahoo! and Men's Health, I also felt a sense of pride. Because I'm pretty sure that during my 13 years in Chicago, I ate about 794 Jimmy John's Italian Night Club subs (oh, the bread!), also known as Number 8 on the list.

So, let's see: 794 sandwiches* times 2,165 grams of sodium means I might have consumed something north of 1.7 million grams of sodium during that part of my life. That sense of pride has just ballooned. Kind of like a cardiac catheter.

* It's possible it was somewhat less like, say, 780 sandwiches.