Sunday, February 24, 2013

Porn parodies of Oscar-winning movies

In honor of the Academy Awards tonight, here’s a list of funny porn parody titles for Oscar-winning movies.

Actual porn parodies of Oscar-winning movies (and the titles they mock):

A Beautiful Behind (A Beautiful Mind)
American Booty (American Beauty)
Backside to the Future (Back to the Future)
Bitanic (Titanic)
Breast Side Story (West Side Story)
Bust Side Story (West Side Story)
Dances with Foxes (Dances with Wolves)
Diddle Her on the Roof (Fiddler on the Roof)
Dun-Her (Ben-Hur)
Forrest Hump (Forrest Gump)
Good Will Humping (Good Will Hunting)
My Bare Lady (My Fair Lady)
No Country for Old MILFs (No Country for Old Men)
On Golden Blonde (On Golden Pond)
Pump Fiction (Pulp Fiction)
Riding Miss Daisy (Driving Miss Daisy)
Saving Ryan’s Privates (Saving Private Ryan)
Whore of the Rings (The Lord of the Rings)

To help adult film studios get a jump on their upcoming parodies, here’s a list of suggested titles for porn parodies based on the best picture nominees for the 85th Academy Awards.

Linkin’ (Lincoln)
Lickin’ (Lincoln)
Breasts of the Southern Wild (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Beast with Two Backs of the Southern Wild
Life of Pie (Life of Pi)
Zero Dark Dirty (Zero Dark Thirty)
Zero Dark 13-Inches
Pink Linings Playbook (Silver Linings Playbook)
Argo Fuck Yerself (Argo)
Dong Unchained (Django Unchained)
Ah, More (Amour)
Lez Miserables (Les Misérables)

Phone books deserve to die

Who still uses phone books? Seriously.
Maybe older people still like the yellow pages and the white pages. But anyone younger than 50 has no use for them. When most people need the phone number of a business or person, they go online and search for it.
And yet new phone books keep getting printed year after year. Apparently there’s still advertising money to be made from those living fossils.
I’ve written about the pointlessness of phone books twice before, in 2009 and 2011. I guess every two years it really bugs me that they still exist.
It’s only a matter of time before phone books stop being printed. The sooner the better for the environment.
You can request that directory companies stop sending you phone books at the National Yellow Pages Consumer Choice & Opt-Out Site.

Related reading: 

Remember phone books? (Spine Out; Oct. 11, 2010)

Old Telephone Books: Possibly the world’s largest online collection of phone books.

Photos: Pile of phone books by Mental Floss; creative use of phone books from CollegeHumor.com.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Business cards becoming passe, replaced by LinkedIn

In years past, a business card was the best way to give someone your professional contact information.
But business cards quickly become dated. People change jobs, job titles, mailing addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Online businesses like Plaxo cropped up to store business card information and try to keep it updated. But they were supplanted by LinkedIn, which now leads the space. LinkedIn gives people a way to maintain their own professional face online with a lot more information than business cards can hold.
Business cards haven’t completely gone away, but the trend is clear. The next step is for people to hand out business cards that have only their names and LinkedIn addresses.
The demise of business cards will turn the paper IDs into collector’s items. Some old business cards from famous people already are. I’ve included a few here, including the first business card of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, up top. Below are cards from Albert Einstein, Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.


Websites for business cards of famous people:

Business Cards of 10 Famous People (Stock Logos; Sept. 5, 2011)

Business cards for Charles Lindbergh, John D. Rockefeller and Howard Hughes. (CharlesLindbergh.com; Feb. 1, 2002)

5 Business Cards That Changed the World (PsPrint; June 16, 2010)

Abraham Lincoln’s business card (America’s Library)

The Business Cards of Tech Giants (NextDayFlyers; Feb. 25, 2011)

First business card for Twitter creator and Square founder (Twitter; Jan. 25, 2012)




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

U.S. needs to stop printing $1 bills

The main reason $1 U.S. coins have failed is because the federal government hasn’t had the will to stop printing one-dollar bills.
Given a choice, most Americans will stick with what they know. One-dollar coins seem strange, but people would get used to them if that was their only option. Instead, they cling to their one-dollar paper currency.
The inability to make the tough decisions is perhaps the U.S. government’s biggest failing. Occasionally the federal government needs to take a hard stand on common sense issues, like it eventually did with the analog-to-digital TV transition. If they had more backbone, we’d be on the metric system like the rest of the world.
As recently as last November, Congress was considering whether to eliminate the $1 bill. Doing so could save taxpayers $4.4 billion over the next 30 years, the AP reported.
A $1 coin can stay in circulation for 30 years, while paper bills must be replaced every four or five years on average, the AP said.
The federal government needs to buckle down and make the change.

Related reading:
Wikipedia entry on United States one-dollar bill.

Photo: U.S. $1 bill by Wikimedia Commons

Monday, February 18, 2013

Time is running out for the U.S. penny

Americans are finally realizing that it no longer makes sense for the U.S. to make pennies.
The cost to manufacture a penny is double its monetary worth. Common sense dictates that the U.S. should discontinue the penny. But sentimentalists are clinging to the idea of the penny and could prolong its life. But they’re delaying the inevitable.
During a Google+ Hangout interview on Feb. 14, the most popular question posed to President Barack Obama was why the U.S. has not stopped making pennies, according to Townhall.com.
“I don’t know,” he said. “This is not going to be a huge savings for government, but any time we’re spending money on something people aren’t going to use, it’s not necessary.” Obama said. But Americans might be too attached to pennies, he said.
Cutting the penny out of U.S. currency would save the government $100 million over a decade. The cost to mint a penny is 2 cents, as of 2012.
The public policy website PolicyMic has a good list of pros and cons for eliminating the penny. The arguments for getting rid of the one-cent coin greatly outweigh the arguments in favor of keeping it.
In short, pennies are a waste of resources, a drag on productivity and a hazard to children and pets if swallowed.
The only entities that benefit from the existence of pennies are metal producers and Coinstar, which makes a business of redeeming pennies and other coins.
Some businesses already have stopped taking pennies or opted to round bills to the nearest nickel. They include some outlets of Chipotle Mexican Grill (see New York Times and NJ.com articles) and Dunkin’ Donuts (see article by Minyanville).
U.S. businesses and governments still will account for cents, only the penny would go away. You’ll still see odd-number cents show up on your statements and for electronic payments and those cents can add up. But with financial transactions going increasingly to electronic payment options, the penny is becoming irrelevant.

Related reading: Wikipedia entry on the U.S. penny.

Photo: Pennies from Wikimedia Commons.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The 12 best LFL players

The official blog of the LFL women’s football league recently posted a list of the best players in the Legends Football League, formerly the Lingerie Football League. Unfortunately they didn’t include any photos or weblinks. I’m here to rectify that.
LFL 360 picked three quarterbacks, three wide receivers, three running backs and three defensive players for its best players list.

Best quarterbacks

Ashley Salerno of the Los Angeles Temptation

Nikki Johnson of the Las Vegas Sin

Anne Erler of the Green Bay Chill
  • Player stats
  • Anne Erler on Facebook
  • Anne Erler LFL fan page on Facebook


Best wide receivers

Jessica Hopkins of the Seattle Mist
  • Player stats
  • Jessica Hopkins on Facebook
  • Jessica Hopkins LFL fan page on Facebook

Melissa Margulies of the Los Angeles Temptation
  • Player stats 
  • Melissa Margulies on Facebook 
  • Melissa Margulies on Twitter 

Theresa Petruziello of the Cleveland Crush
  • Player stats 
  • Theresa Petruziello on Facebook 
  • Theresa Petruziello LFL fan page on Facebook 
  • Theresa Petruziello on Twitter 


Best running backs

Marirose Roach of the Philadelphia Passion
  • Player stats
  • Marirose Roach on Facebook
  • Marirose Roach LFL fan page on Facebook
  • Marirose Roach on Twitter

Tamar Fennell of the Cleveland Crush
  • Player stats 
  • Tamar Fennell on Facebook 

ChrisDell Harris of the Chicago Bliss

Best defensive players 

Liz Gorman, who played last season with the Tampa Breeze and is currently a free agent. (See top photo.)
  • Player stats 
  • Liz Gorman on Facebook 
  • Liz Gorman on Twitter 

Lauran Ziegler, who played last season with the Orlando Fantasy. LFL 360 lists her as now playing for the Jacksonville Breeze.

Shanae’ Thomas, who played last season for the Philadelphia Passion. LFL 360 lists her as now playing for the Atlanta Steam.
  • Player stats 
  • Shanae’ Thomas LFL fan page on Facebook 
  • Shanae’ Thomas on Twitter 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mail boxes, stamp collecting threatened by Post Office demise

The eventual extinction of the Post Office threatens a lot of things. Some of those things already are moving to digital alternatives, such as personal letters and cards, bills, magazines and catalogs.
Other things will become museum pieces and anachronisms.
Here’s a list of 10 things that will go away or be dramatically changed by the end of the U.S. Postal Service:

Mail collection boxes

When the U.S. Postal Service inevitably recedes from the American way of life, so will those ubiquitous blue metal mail collection boxes on street corners.


U.S. Mail trucks

Also going bye-bye will be those cute white U.S. Mail trucks with blue and red trim.

‘Mailbox baseball’

Gradually homes won’t need mail boxes either. So vandals who like to play “mailbox baseball” will have to find a new target for their aggression.

Stamp collecting

Stamp collecting will continue, but as a rich person’s hobby, not as a pastime for average Americans. Children won’t be starting new collections because there won’t be any new stamps produced. And artists won’t have the Postal Service as an outlet for their work.


Postcards

When the Post Office goes away, so will postcards. Picture postcards from vacation spots like Las Vegas, Hollywood, Miami and New York City will become simply collector’s items.

The expression ‘going postal’

Someday we’ll have to explain to our kids what the expression “going postal” means. Maybe some other location will get a reputation for workplace violence and get its own expression.

Computer icons of letter envelopes and mail boxes

In the near future, it won’t make sense to use icons like letter envelopes and mail boxes for email programs. They will make about as much sense as using an LP record player as an icon for music application.

Netflix DVDs by mail

Netflix sees the writing on the wall. It knows that the future of its business is in streaming video, not DVDs by mail. It has stopped advertising its U.S.-only DVD service in favor of streaming. The number of DVD subscribers has plummeted in the last two years. Changes at the post office, such as stopping Saturday delivery and raising postage prices, will only accelerate this decline.


Letter-sized envelopes

If people no longer send letters, there can’t be much of a market for letter-sized envelopes.

Post Offices as objects of civic pride

Getting a post office in your small town used to be a sign that your village had arrived. Soon many of those rural post offices will be shut down to save money.

Photos: U.S. Mail truck from Wikimedia Commons; U.S. Postal Service mail boxes from Wikimedia Commons; Stamp collecting stamp photo from Encyclopedia Britannica Blog; Netflix mail envelopes from Netflix PR.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Wrestling dropped from the Olympics; Here are some replacement ideas

The International Olympic Committee on Tuesday dropped wrestling from the Olympic program, starting with the 2020 games.
Removing one of the oldest Olympic sports was a bold decision. Wrestling, which includes freestyle and Greco-Roman events, has been around since the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.
The committee made its decision after analyzing criteria such as television ratings, ticket sales, global participation and popularity.
Eliminating wrestling from the program allows the IOC to add a new sport later this year. The current program for the summer games includes 26 sports.
Wrestling now joins seven other sports vying for a single opening in 2020, the Associated Press reported. The others are a combined bid from baseball and softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.
Baseball and softball were removed from the Olympics after the 2008 Beijing games. I think they should stay off the program. I’m not a fan of large team sports at the Olympics, especially ones with healthy professional leagues like baseball. As such, I support removing basketball, soccer and tennis from the summer games, too.
I’ve previously written that the Olympics should clean house and dump other sports as well. I’d toss out badminton, table tennis and the equestrian events.
The IOC should free up some more spots for new and interesting sports like sport climbing, wakeboarding and perhaps even pole dancing.
One sport on the bubble with Olympic organizers is modern pentathlon, which has been on the Olympic program since the 1912 games. It combines fencing, horse riding, swimming, running and shooting – the five skills required of a 19th century cavalry officer. That doesn’t sound too “modern” to me.
I say it’s time to update that sport for the 21st century. Replace fencing with mixed martial arts, swap out horse riding for Motocross and substitute running with parkour. You can keep swimming and shooting in the mix.

Related reading:

The Summer Olympic Sports of the Future (The Atlantic; Aug. 13, 2012)


Photos: Michelle Stanek, United States Pole Dance Champion 2012 (top); and sport climber Johanna Ernst.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

U.S. Postal Service funnies

The U.S. Postal Service is a joke. To humor writers, at least.
The financially struggling organization has lost its relevance with the rise of the Internet. Last week, it announced plans to stop Saturday mail deliveries to save money.
Comedians, cartoonists and other funny people took the occasion to mock the independent government agency.
Investor’s Business Daily political cartoonist Michael Ramirez portrayed the USPS as a dinosaur in a Feb. 8 comic.
Cartoonist Marshall Ramsey mocked the postal service’s “forever stamps” as “non-forever stamps” given the many post office closings.
Humor website The Onion piled on with a bunch of articles, including a list of measures the Post Office is taking to balance its budget (“Now accepting pipe bombs and anthrax for regular delivery”). The Onion also did its regular man-on-the-street interview piece on the subject.
On Feb. 6, it ran a satire article titled, “Postal Service: ‘And Wait Until You Cocksuckers See What We Do With Wednesdays.’”
College Humor tweeted, “Gonna be hard to tell my kids that mail once came on Saturdays, what with also having to explain concepts like mail, literacy, the US govt.”
But making fun of the Post Office is nothing new. Here are some gems from 2011 and 2012.

The Post Office Is Getting Desperate (College Humor; Feb. 12, 2012)

The U.S. Postal Service Has a Hip and Cool Ad (Conan; Sept. 8, 2011)

10 Stamps We’d Like To See Before The Postal Service Closes (Huffington Post; Sept. 15, 2011)

Colbert unveils ‘Farewell to Postage’ stamp (Federal Times; Sept. 16, 2011)


Thursday, February 7, 2013

U.S. Postal Service is going away – Deal with it

The U.S. Postal Service has been dying a slow death for years. But you can tell the end is near.
This week, the postal service announced that it will stop delivering mail on Saturdays in a cost-saving move, starting in August. It will continue to deliver packages on Saturdays, but not regular mail. Congress could still step in and force the post office to deliver mail on Saturdays though, but they’d be missing the point.
The U.S. Postal Service is no longer needed. It’s been replaced by the Internet for many uses. Email has replaced letters and online payments have replaced paper bills. Magazines and DVDs by mail are being replaced by digital alternatives. And UPS and FedEx have taken up the businesses of package and express delivery. What’s left is a lot of junk mail.
The U.S. Postal Service won’t go away overnight. But if it did, Americans would get by. They’d adapt. Still, legislators will prop it up for years to come to get the votes of nostalgic voters and postal workers.
A poll on Yahoo News today showed that most online readers (81%) wouldn’t be upset if the postal service stopped Saturday delivery. They see the writing on the wall. The postal service lost $15.9 billion last year. It will have to make drastic changes to survive, including closing thousands of post office branches nationwide.

Related reading:

U.S. Post Office Plans to Stop Saturday Mail Deliveries (Bloomberg; Feb. 7, 2013)

Goodbye Saturday Mail? Postal Service Plans Cuts (AP, ABC News; Feb. 6, 2013)

Photo: Mail delivery trucks by photographer Kristoffer Tripplaar. He’s made a hobby out of taking pictures of old post offices. He posts them on his webpage for the Post Office Project.
Tripplaar told the New York Times that he’s drawn to the “modern-day ruin” of the postal service. “I’ve always been fascinated with broken-down things that are fading away,” he said. “It’s slowly dying.” 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

LFL trading cards in the works

Nearly two years ago, the former Lingerie Football League floated the idea of issuing player trading cards in a post on its MySpace page.
The LFL said the cards were “coming soon,” but that turned out not to be the case. The women’s football league never issued any cards, much to the dismay of red-blooded American men everywhere.
I recently brought up the idea of trading cards on the league’s Facebook page. I asked, “Whatever happened to plans to produce LFL trading cards?”
The league responded, “We are in the process ...”
Hopefully it will happen this time.
The LFL, now known as Legends Football League, kicks off its fourth season on March 30.
While the LFL hasn’t produced trading cards, its predecessor, the annual Lingerie Bowl, did.
Up top is a photo of a 2006 Lingerie Bowl card from Benchwarmer featuring Jen Johnson. Below is a photo of a Lingerie Bowl card from the same set showing Vilayna LaSalle.
Sellers on eBay are offering Lingerie Bowl cards from the 2004, 2005 and 2006 games.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Good TV shows that lasted just one or two seasons

TV viewers often complain that their favorite shows get canceled too early. But what’s worse are TV shows that stay on well past their expiration date.
It’s much better to go out being remembered as a high-quality TV show than one that faded and died.
British television often airs limited-run TV series, designed to last two or three seasons. But in the U.S., producers prefer shows that go on indefinitely.
Shows like “MASH,” “Miami Vice,” “The X-Files” and “House” would have been better served by having fewer seasons. Their legacies were tarnished by the diminished quality of the later seasons.
AMC recently announced plans to bring back “The Killing,” which had a very satisfying two-season run. The presumed finale answered the big question, “Who Killed Rosie Larsen?” Now it’s got to start up with some new mystery for season three.
It could work. But why bother? Few people remember what happened on “Twin Peaks” after the Laura Palmer murder was solved. Ratings for “The Killing” are only going to slide because the novelty and appeal of the show have ebbed.
NBC’s “Smash” is coming back for a second season soon. But the first-season finale seemed like a good place to end it.
And ABC’s “Don’t Trust the B---- In Apartment 23” was just canceled midway through its second season. It’s probably better that it was. The producers had taken the premise about as far as they could and it was starting to feel strained. The first season was edgier. “Don’t Trust the B” will be remembered as a short-lived cult TV show.

List of good TV shows that lasted two seasons or less:

One season:

The Prisoner (U.K., 1967-68)
Kolchak: The Night Stalker (ABC, 1974-75)
Police Squad! (ABC, 1982)
Dark Shadows (NBC, 1991)
The Ben Stiller Show (Fox, 1992-93)
The Dana Carvey Show (ABC, 1996)
Brimstone (Fox, 1998-99)
Cupid (ABC, 1998-99)
Freaks and Geeks (NBC, 1999-2000)
Undeclared (Fox, 2001-02)
Firefly (Fox, 2002)
Robbery Homicide Division (CBS, 2002-03)
Karen Sisco (ABC, 2003)
Miss Match (NBC, 2003)
Blade: The Series (Spike, 2006)
New Amsterdam (Fox, 2008)
Cupid (ABC, 2009)
FlashForward (ABC, 2009-10)
The Gates (ABC, 2010)
The Event (NBC, 2010-11)
No Ordinary Family (ABC, 2010-11)
Awake (NBC, 2012)
The River (ABC, 2012)
666 Park Avenue (ABC, 2012)

Two seasons:

Harry O (ABC, 1974-76)
Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990-91)
The Office (U.K., 2001-03)
Life On Mars (U.K., 2006-07)
Reaper (CW, 2007-09)
Dollhouse (Fox, 2009-10)
Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 (ABC, 2012-13)

Note: This list is highly subjective since it only includes shows that I’ve watched and personally enjoyed.

Photos: Krysten Ritter as Chloe on “Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23” (top), poster from the AMC show “The Killing.” 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tumblr needs to fix its handling of alleged copyright violations

At Tumblr, you’re guilty until proven innocent of copyright violations.
If the blogging service gets a violation notice from a copyright holder, they will take down the entire post not just the copyrighted material in question. It happened to me recently.
Let me explain.
I’ve created a Tumblr blog that aggregates photos of LFL wardrobe malfunctions. The blog is meant to draw attention to the absurdity of the LFL’s skimpy uniforms.
For the uninitiated, the LFL is a women’s football league where players wear bikini tops and bottoms. Wardrobe malfunctions have occurred in many games. Last month, the LFL changed its formal name from the Lingerie Football League to the Legends Football League. They also modified their uniforms – hopefully to make them more functional. We’ll see about that.
When aggregating the LFL wardrobe malfunction photos from around the web, I’ve tried to be a good netizen. I credit the photographers whenever possible and provide links back to the websites where I found the photos.
Ironically this is the reason why I got flagged for copyright violations for two photos. (Although Tumblr actually took down three posts.) By trying to do right, I got busted for technically doing wrong.
I’ve often wondered why so many websites, especially user-generated content and meme sites, do such a poor job crediting the original photographers and artists. Now I know. They don’t want to get busted for copyright violations. It is much safer and easier to give no credit or weblinks when posting images. It’s harder to search for images than it is for names. And content owners also can track where web traffic is coming from.
Most photographers and artists don’t mind if you sample a photo or two from a large collection to draw attention to their work. But some don’t understand publicity in the digital age.
In my recent run-in with the copyright police at Tumblr, the photographer wanted none of his photos to be used on my blog. I had given him full credit for the photos, left his large logo on the photos and provided a link back to his website, which contained dozens more excellent photographs for web surfers to enjoy.
Anyway, he found out about the use of his LFL photos and contacted Tumblr to take them down. Tumblr staff members were happy to oblige.
But they not only took down the photos, they also deleted my research. That research included information about the players involved, the game, date and location, as well as weblinks back to the original photo sets and more. That information was mine and wasn’t subject to a copyright takedown. In fact, it was a violation of my free speech rights.
I don’t understand why Tumblr didn’t just block the photos. Better still, they should have given me an opportunity to state my case or at least save my other work first.
Given a choice, I would have let the posts run without the photos because I think the information alone is valuable.
I have contacted Tumblr and asked them to change their policy with regard to copyright violations to be more respectful of the Tumblr user. We’ll see where that gets us.

Photo: When Tumblr sends you a copyright violation notice, it includes a link to the offending blog post. Unfortunately there’s nothing to see, because they’ve already deleted it.
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