Board Now


Pie is a tradition of the season.

Jason Segel holding poster board of a Venn diagram of two circles labeled 'People Who Are Breaking My Heart' and 'People Who Are Shaking My Confidence Daily' with the shaded intersection reading 'Cecilia'

Okay, I know that's actually a Venn diagram, not a pie chart, but it passes on account
of being laugh-out-loud, pause-the-video-to-catch-your-breath funny. It's from How I Met Your Mother Episode 4.22, wherein Marshall develops an addiction to poster-board visual aids: "This is a pie chart describing my favorite bars. And this is a bar graph describing my favorite pies." You're welcome.



Related: The Mother Load Brew Ha-Ha See You Next B'ak'tun!

Teenage Daydreams


Archie's head from nose up, large, with images of Betty and Veronica as young kids, middle-schoolers, and teenage girls, hearts and a question mark in-between them
Cover to Archie #606 © 2010 Archie. Pencils, Inks, Colors: Dan Parent.

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Midnight Rambling


Title cards or logos to 'The Late Show with David Letterman', 'Saturday Night Live', and 'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson'

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This Is the Title of This Blogpost


I was reminded yesterday of David Moser's delightful "This Is the Title of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself".

While I first encountered it in the form of some unattributed, photocopied pages enthusiastically foisted on me by a friend, I discovered not long after that it was published in Douglas R. Hofstadter's Metamagical Themas, which became one of my favorite and most frequently re-read books. It collects installments of Hofstadter's column of the same name for the magazine Scientific American, a column that succeeded — and was named by rearranging the letters to the title of — the venerable Martin Gardner's column, Mathematical Games. Hofstadter is best known for his opus Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, winner of the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. Gardner is the editor/curator of another of my favorite and most frequently re-read books, The Annotated Alice; he has written many more, the latest of which is an essay collection titled When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish: And Other Speculations About This and That, published two weeks before the author's 95th birthday. My grandfather hit the same landmark three weeks before Gardner, and I hope that my mind is as fresh as either gentleman's at that age.

NCC-1701-DVD


DVD box of 2009 'Star Trek' with the face of Chris Pine as Kirk seen through the letters of the title

J.J. Abrams' Star Trek was released on home video this past Tuesday.

I look forward to sitting down on a cold, dark night during the post-sweeps/holiday
lull in new television and digging into its special features. The Abrams commentaries
on the pilot episodes of Lost and Fringe — the latter with Trek screenwriting duo Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci — were top-notch. I'm almost glad that I don't have a Blu-Ray player since the regular 2-disc edition looks just right in terms of my level of interest in extras.

SNL, &c.


I was glad to see a relaxed but not too relaxed Vice-President Joe Biden on The Daily Show last night.

The VP was articulate, knowledgable, and good-humored, a far cry from the gruff-voiced, gaffe-prone parody in the cold open of Saturday Night Live three evenings prior. Biden has made his share of painfully inartful statements, for sure, and it's fine to razz him for his tendencies to speak too long or say too much. He's smart, though, and Jason Sudeikis' impression of him as a gravelly loudmouth sounds nothing like Biden — to me, a fatal error, because good impressions are far more about the voice than the visual. I'm thinking of Dan Aykroyd's unlikely evocation of Jimmy Carter even with a mustache on early SNL, Gary Cole nailing Robert Reed's tone as Mike Brady in the big-screen Brady Bunch flicks, or Frank Caliendo's quick changes from John Madden to Charles Barkley to George W. Bush when visiting David Letterman on The Late Show. (Caliendo is better at stand-up than he was on his short-lived cable series.)

Sudeikis has been charming as Liz Lemon's boyfriend on 30 Rock and handy as a utility player at 30 Rock, but when it comes to playing real people he most often seems to do little more than wear a wig. One exception is his recent turn as Glenn Beck, and he did a fine Jimmy Stewart this past weekend; then again, everyone can do Jimmy Stewart, and the less said about the rest of that sketch the better.



Related: Midnight Rambling Sing-Off, &c. My Other Saturday Notes

Before Six


Cover to 'Finding 'Lost': The Unofficial Guide, Season Five' with a floating compass behind title

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P Funk


The New York Yankees' stylized NY icon next to Phillies' stylized P icon, with rightward arrow design

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