Friday, January 15, 2010

Top Ten Firday Night: Back on the Wagon

We're branching out a bit and I think I have a better spread of lists this week, from a larger range of sources.  Of course this is the first real one I have done since I started contributing to Gunaxin.  So I will be drawing from then each week.

100. The 15 Best Cartoon Leaders.  Not everything there is gold.  Although he is right about being bald and leading.

Challenge of the Go-Bots
gobotsRegardless of the fact that this show was a pretty crappy version of the Transformers by all rights, I always thought the bald leader of the Go Bots was pretty cool. I had a few of these toys and this guy was solid and rakish even as a stiff-limbed, barely-changeable, jet. Oh Leader-1, you scalawag.
Leadership Capabilities: I think throughout history it has been proven that the balder you are, the more respect you command. Possibly.

98.  MLB Stadium Rankings.  By people that are obviously dumb and don't like baseball.  Really, neither Wrigley nor Fenway are in the top 5.  And Tropicanna is 16?  Tropicana field is a dump, the biggest excuse people give for not attending games there is the location.  Yet someone these adwizards thought it had a good location.   Look at what was tied for #2, and you can understand how FAIL this list is.

2(t). Texas Rangers, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

FANFARE Score: 32
What we liked: Return on Investment- “Rangers tickets are among the most cost effective in baseball. Good seats are available for as little as $25 and the nose-bleed sections are closer to the action than most stadiums. Win or lose, Rangers fans always have a good time at the ballpark.”
What we didn’t like: The Neighborhood- “The current neighborhood around Rangers Ballpark is the only disappointment at the moment. There are a few options for before and after the game, but not a lot of them.”

2(t). Atlanta Braves, Turner Field

FANFARE Score: 32
What we liked: Atmosphere- “The Braves organization is the longest continuously running franchise in baseball history and you can feel the history when you walk into the stadium.”
What we didn’t like: The Neighborhood- “There is not much around the stadium as far as food goes.”

96.  21 Gum Salute.  A countdown of gums.  Well worth the trip down memory lane.

Hubba Bubba
And finally, of the Big Three, this gum had the coolest commercials! How could you not remember those cowboy guys!

81.  Top 10 Web Based RSS Readers.  I'm Google Reader guy myself, but I don't take full advantage of my friends using it, so maybe I should shop around.


Organizing a long list of feeds can be difficult, but Collected makes it easier. You can take RSS feeds and merge them into collections through the site, letting you read all the coverage for certain blogs or certain topics in one go. You can organize collections around anything: topics, a specific person, groups and more.

77.  7 Books that would have change history had they not been lost.  No really.  Holy Book of Eli moment.  No, this list did not suck.  These books, and what we know about them sound really interesting and finding them has been added to my ever expanding list of things to do with a time machine.

The Rest of the Epic Cycle, by Various

What is it:
The rest of the epic saga of Troy which Iliad and Odyssey are sandwiched between. It turns out the whole story of Troy's fall and Odysseus' journey home covered a total eight books, and the Greek poet Homer only authored two of them. The remaining six fleshed out all the gaping holes in its plot, such as the death of Achilles, the extent of Paris' douchebaggery, the Trojan Horse and the spellbinding conclusion to the vast saga. *SPOILERS* Odysseus dies at the end! *END SPOILERS*

Why it's Awesome:
Ever heard of that Coen Brothers movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? What about James Joyce's Ulysses? Or Cold Mountain? Or 2001: A Space Odyssey? Or William Shakespeare or Bob Dylan? They were all influenced by The Iliad and The Odyssey, and we could easily go on. The impact these stories had on literature, movies and music is, for lack of a better word, epic. The Battle of Troy is probably the most famous non-religious story in history (unless science proves that Zeus is the real deal), and knowing that we've only heard part of the story is just the biggest cocktease ever.

Why You'll Never Read It:
All we have about the saga are bits and pieces of information, and we're lucky to have that. The only reason we know the books exist at all is that other books from the time reference them (including some Cliffs Notes-style summaries) but that's it. If some guy has copies in his basement, he isn't talking about it.
Maybe it's for the best. Iliad and Odyssey are pretty badass; we could have been stuck with the Hellenistic equivalent of Star Wars: Episode I.

76.  10 Technologies we were promised but never got.  Look, I'll give up my flying car complaint because the iPhone is just that good.  But dammit I always wanted to live in an underwater colony!

Undersea Colonies
By the 1960s, engineers had figured out how to economically harvest the oil and other mineral wealth of the deep seas. Some thought that this would inevitably lead to the creation of underwater Gold Rush towns, communities that would at first house miners and, eventually, their families. A proposed, corollary innovation was the creation of artificial gills that would have enabled residents of these aquatic metropolises to breathe underwater without bulky gear. In 1964, at the second World's Fair held in New York City, General Motors sponsored an exhibit depicting these undersea homes which, of course, had "sea cars" parked in their underwater driveways.

69.  100 Geeky Quotes you should know by heart.  I disagree with most of these, but I respect the effort and the intent, and you know how obsessed I am lists involving big round numbers.  I pulled 76-68 for this quote

“Redrum.” Danny, The Shining
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” - announcer, The Shadow radio drama
“We’re going to need a bigger boat.” - Chief Brody, Jaws
“Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and screaming.” - Ian Malcolm, The Lost World: Jurassic Park
“Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.” Criswell, Plan 9 from Outer Space
“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!” - President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove
“These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.” - Obi-Wan, Star Wars
“Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” - Taylor, Planet of the Apes
“You maniacs! You blew it up! Oh, damn you! Damn you all to hell!” - Taylor, Planet of the Apes

60.  17 things to know about your Cat.  The Oatmeal is an amazing site.  Hopefully I got this added before the feeders ate it.

52.  20 movies you should avoid if you are claustrophobic.  I am glad I am not claustrophobic, but I think there is a bit of it inside all of us, and that's why so many of these movies worked so well.

Cube (1997)
Vincenzo Natali
A Canadian film that managed to achieve cult status, Cube finds several strangers trapped in a life sized box with no explanation as to why they’re there or what it is. Talk about a claustrophobic nightmare; trying to find a way out of something that doesn’t appear to have one using some complicated math equations ought to induce schizophrenia. Cube is a complex film, one that could leave you trapped inside your own head trying to figure it out. Not for those with a fear of enclosure.

47.  Top 9 Epic Auto Fails.  I love message boards.  I only really post in one.  But man, message boards are the heart of the internet.   Go click some links and prepare for some long time reading about funny idiots.

34.  15 greatest all-time Dystopian Movies.   Such a good list with one exception: The MAtrix.  Fuck I wish I could back in time and kill the Wachowski siblings to make sure that piece of crap movie was never made.  But other than that, a great list.

8. Akira

This ground breaking anime remains a seminal work in the field, and is visually arresting and thematically engaging. The end battle between the hideously mutated Tetsuo and his once best friend Kaneda is terrifying to this day. Set in post-WWIII Japan, Akira’s cast of psychically boosted Government guinea pigs in a decaying crime-ridden Neo-Tokyo retains its power no matter how often it’s watched. The city is filled with rioting citizens, corrupt officials, rampaging street gangs, and shudders in fear over the name “Akira”. Watching it now, it’s a bit easy to forget just how influential and grounbreaking it was when it debuted, but the story retains its impressive strength of purpose. If you have the time and money, try tracking down the multi-volume manga, which deals with the plot in far more detail.

28. Top 85 Reasons to be thankful for Librarians.  Honestly who does not like librarians, besides school bullies.

70. Libraries are still a cornerstone for free speech and open access to information.
71. When dictators like Hitler and Mao Zedong set out to eliminate a country’s culture or history, they started by shutting down the public libraries.
72. A library still provides a neutral environment for the free exchange of ideas.
73. Public libraries are surprisingly cheap to maintain, but benefit everyone in the community.
74. If you’re a comic book lover, you can probably find plenty at your local library.
75. They might even have some of those expensive indie graphic novels available.
76. We’re still an incredibly long ways away from a paperless world.
77. You might as well use the library, since you’re already paying for it through taxes or tuition.
78. There’s less risk of getting carpal tunnel syndrome from reading books.
79. A library is a great excuse to get out of the house (seriously, why would anyone argue with you about it?).
80. Books are very portable and never need recharging.

21. 10 Most Destructive Fictional Weapons.  Yes.  This list is awesome.  I cannot wait for the Starblazers movie, sorry the Space Battleship Yamamoto movie.

The Wave Motion Gun
Star Blazers

The Wave Motion Gun is the “trump card” of the space-battleship ‘Yamato’. The Gun functions by connecting the Wave Motion Engine to the enormous firing gate at the ship’s bow, enabling the power of the engine to be fired in a stream directly forwards. Enormously powerful, it can vaporize a fleet of enemy ships with one shot; however, it takes a brief but critical period to charge before firing. The recoil, a bitch, needs an absorption mechanism that can be manually deactivated with a lever; this was used to save the ship on one occasion.

19.  13 Webbiest Papercraft toys.  Quick explanation: Papercraft is not origami.  In fact all it has in common with origami is paper.  Papercraft is the using of paper to build a model.  It involves the tools of model building, glue, tape, decals, paint, and exact-o-knives.  To know more, click the links on this list, because papercraft is by it's very nature open source.  The plans are almost always made publicly available by the designer  Just print and go!

2. Ceiling Cat

Oh god, if you make this cat and tape it to your ceiling, please don't tell us what it's watching you do.

1.  Top 5 Eunuchs that have more balls than you do!  A great list from the depths of history.  these guys made the most of life, despite being denied one of the best parts of it.

Judar Pasha

Unless your name happens to be Judar Pasha. Judar was born in Spain, captured as a baby, and made a eunuch. This, of course, fully qualified him for military service, so Sultan Ahmad I made him a pasha, gave him about five thousand guys, pointed over a hill and said “Hey, over there’s the Songhai Empire. Could you maybe do me a solid and subjugate them under my rule?
Oh, did we mention that the Songhai Empire was the largest empire on the African continent at the time? Or that he had to march his 5,000 soldiers across the Sahara to get there?
Needless to say, outmatched, exhausted, in a strange land with no maps or guides, Judar proceeded to work the Songhai like a speed-bag. Probably the most humiliating battle for them was when he approached their capital city of Gao, and they sent out 40,000 men, eight times his army. Unfortunately for them, Judar had had the foresight to bring guns, and the Songhai never heard about what happens when you bring a knife to a gunfight. They showed up with spears and left feet-first.
Of course, unlike Narses, Judar ended up getting the shaft: he was executed by Ahmad I’s successor, possibly because he knew his real huevos couldn’t match Judar’s long-removed ones.

That is it for this week.  Feel free to email me any links you may find.
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