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books & writing

The Complete History of Everything, by MC: Penis Affidavits; Muscle Shirts; Toe Socks; Parsifal; Kalmykian Ewoks; Howard the Duck; Famine; Societal Collapse; and Lotion Play

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Pedia Press is a pretty neat concept. It allows anyone to compile hand-picked Wikipedia pages and transform them into books that are instantly available for purchase. The super-simple process takes about 10 to 15 minutes. I’ve already produced a few volumes of my own. Each one, detailed below, has made the world a better place.

Inanimate Immortality. This baby retails for $33.04. It explores the world of taxidermy, androids, sex dolls and other items that mimic or commemorate life. Key sections include robot fetishismglove puppetry, and shrunken heads. My favorite passage is from the Icelandic Phallological Museum: “Although the museum does not yet have a Homo sapiens specimen, in the interest of advancing phallological knowledge, a patron (Páll Arason, born in 1915 and currently 94 years old) has donated, presumably posthumously, an affidavit for his penis.”

http://pediapress.com/books/show/inanimate-immortality-things-that-create/

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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: The agony of the walk-off grand slam

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It’s a moment that every baseball player dreams about. Tenth inning, game tied at one, bases loaded, two outs. Hero time, right? Kendry Morales, a young first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels, found himself in this exact situation on Saturday. Morales is a promising player who is in only his second full major league season. He stepped to the plate to face Brandon League, a reliever for the Seattle Mariners. What happened next boggles the mind. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

Top ten signs you have a bad commencement speaker

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10. She goes off on a rant about “the great left-wing liberal socialist conspiracy.”

9. His speech begins, “Hello, I’m Glenn Beck…”

8. Her speech is 90 minutes of “Knock Knock” jokes.

7. He’s Obama, just not the Obama.

6. His claim to fame: he’s the surviving member of Milli Vanilli.

5. He advises the females in the auditorium to take Home Economics ’cause “nummers is hard!

4. He’s a Goldman Sachs V.P. who claims he can triple your graduation gift money in three months.

3. First name: Kate. Last name: Gosselin.

2. After applying lipstick to the edges of his thumb and pointing finger, he lets the entire speech be delivered by Mr. Hand.

1. He’s wearing his cap, but forgot his gown.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & government

Sex & drugs & lots of dead oil workers

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An explosion kills a number of oil workers and BP is accused of causing the tragedy through a mix of indifference and incompetence. Sound familiar? It should, because this happened back in 2005, when a BP explosion killed 15 (the most most recent explosion only killed another 11, so by this measure their performance is improving). BP’s record is filled with incidents where they jeopardized the environment — see Prudhoe Bay — but the truly shocking thing is that they’ve caused so much human death in such a short time. How did they get away with this? As has happened so many times in recent years, props must be given to the Bush administration. [Read more →]

animalsmovies

Raising the bar on groin shots

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This week I am devoting my column to one amazing clip I saw from an upcoming movie.  Please allow me to explain.  Now that I am a dad, I am soon going to be suffering through movies made for kids.  And everyone knows the formula to a great kid’s movie- talking animals, dancing animals, sunglass-wearing animals, groin shots, and fart scenes.  This clip takes the beloved, always funny, always painful, and always crowd pleasing shot to the groin to a whole new level. [Read more →]

on thrillers and crime

Happy birthday to Ian Fleming

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Happy birthday to Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond thrillers.

Fleming was born on May 28, 1908. He died on August 12, 1964. 

You can read three of my On Crime & Thrillers columns that dealt with Ian Fleming here  

on thrillers and crime

On crime & thrillers: Boston Noir

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When I think of Boston I think of George V. Higgins’ The Friends of Eddie Coyle.

For more than a dozen years when I worked for a Defense Department command in Philadelphia, our regional headquarters was located in Boston. During that time I visited the city quite often.

Boston has fine bars and restaurants and fine historical and cultural scenes, and I’ve had some fine times there – yet to me Boston will always be first and foremost the home of The Friends of Eddie Coyle. 

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environment & naturepolitics & government

Hurricane Barry

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In 1979 it was decided that the decades-old practice of naming hurricanes after women was unfair. Whether it weighed down the moral standing of women to associate them with inchoate and uncontrollable mayhem or if it was man-kind who was shorted by being overlooked, we cannot say but we have long exercised gender-blindness using alternating male and female names alphabetically so it is no surprise that early in the storm season we should be battening hatches against Hurricane Barack. [Read more →]

advicefamily & parenting

Going Parental: Top 10 ways to make your husband a better wife

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A lot of my friends have been complaining to me about their husbands lately. The stories all sort of blur together and it seems as though most of them (the husbands in question) do the same dumb shit. Now — we all know I don’t have a husband. And for those of you who didn’t know that bit of information — now you do. So you may wonder what qualifies me to even create such a top ten. It’s simple — for all intents and purposes, I am a wife and I have a wife — I’m the perfect person for the job. [Read more →]

politics & governmentrace & culture

Where is the next George Washington?

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Sorry for exposing some of you to Glenn Beck. He is a bit fire and brimstone in a Paul Revere – Joe McCarthy sort of way. If you watched the first 10 minutes of Monday’s show you saw him imply that America is in deep peril, and that only a spiritually inspired revolution would revive America. He even asked, “where is our next George Washington,” referring to Peter Lillback’s Sacred Fire, a book about Washington’s faith and it how it seeded a nation.

However, in suggesting that someone (like Washignton) or something (like a religious awakening) needs to jumpstart American prosperity again, Beck perpetuates a misperception that he would probably prefer not to. This misperception is that Americans are the beneficiaries of America and its politics and not the other way around, and it has lead to American mediocreism over the last 20 years. [Read more →]

religion & philosophytelevision

Lost in myth: “The End”?

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Lost is dead. Long live Lost. And so it ends, in much the same way it began: with a close-up of Jack’s eye, staring straight up past the tall stalks of bamboo that circled the sky above. This time however, that eye would close, and with it, our six-season journey that took us right back to where we started — with questions about a mysterious show that seemed to parallel the mysteries of life. For some, the journey was far more compelling than the destination. For others, it was the perfect resolution and they can walk away feeling fulfilled. Whatever you thought about the conclusion, the one thing most viewers can agree on is that the show challenged us to think in ways we might not have otherwise. In short, Lost was a real trip. And what a long, strange trip it’s been.

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Fred's dreams

Glass

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May 9, 2010
I dream I am sitting in my old house in the middle of the night with Daniel and Bobbi. I cut up a long vegetable, but I can’t tell if it’s a cucumber or a zucchini. Daniel is sure it’s a cucumber and Bobbi thinks it’s an eggplant, but I assure her that an eggplant has never entered our house. I consider this further and go downstairs and discover that the burglar alarm is not on and that the back door is open and sitting in my basement are three people I don’t know. There is a large glass shard from a bottle, so I brandish it and tell them to get the fuck out of my house. My voice, however, sounds like that of a comic drunkard, so they don’t take me seriously. I start stabbing them lightly, but still they don’t leave. I stab all of them, including a little old lady, but to them I seem to be a nuisance and not a threat.

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Gail sees a moviemovies

Gail sees a movie: Iron Man 2

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I enjoyed the first Iron Man so much that I was really looking forward to Iron Man 2. I should have known better. I would watch Robert Downey Jr. in anything and Tony Stark is a compelling character, but Iron Man 2 falters under the weight of Justin Theroux’s bloated screenplay.  Even able director Jon Favreau cannot recreate the magic of the first film.  [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads: The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno by Ellen Bryson

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What makes someone a freak?

It’s the question at the heart of The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno by Ellen Bryson.  The story revolves around P.T. Barnum’s American Museum and the “freaks” who entertained the masses there.  There were midgets and fat ladies, savages from exotic lands, musclemen and other oddities.  But what made them freaks, and what would they choose, if they could choose another fate? [Read more →]

religion & philosophythat's what he said, by Frank Wilson

You can’t think your way to truth

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I began this column on May 12, the same date on which in 1895 J. Krishnamurti was born. I had chosen a quote from him for the “Thought for the Day” feature on my blog: “A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.”

I thought I might take that as my point of departure for the column I was planning for last Tuesday. But then I started looking at some other things Krishnamurti had said. I came upon a talk he gave in Bombay in 1948 in which he said that “ideas create only further ideas.” Later in that same talk, he says, “When do you have creative moments, a sense of joy and beauty? Only when the thinker is absent, when the thought process comes to an end. Then, in the interval between two thoughts, is creative joy.”

In other words, you can’t think your way to truth. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Floyd Landis is a cheater and should be treated as such

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The sordid story of Floyd Landis took a revealing turn this week. After years of denying the doping allegations that caused him to be stripped of his Tour de France win from 2006, Landis has now admitted having cheated throughout his career. On top of the admission, Landis has taken this opportunity to accuse a number of other riders of the same thing, including seven-time champ Lance Armstrong. [Read more →]

adviceBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten signs you’re not going to graduate

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10. You answered every question on your History final with, “Hey, I wasn’t even alive then!”

9. You’ve been in the eighth grade since the Clinton Administration.

8. Your term paper in music class compared the vocal stylings of Lady Gaga and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

7. Because of new carpeting, you’ve worn all the hair off your knuckles.

6. The only word you learned in Spanish class was “No.”

5. When you tried to sell your textbooks, you were told you might want to hang onto them for a bit longer.

4. On your Geography final, you said the English Channel was the BBC.

3. That stuff you cooked up in Chemistry class attracted six busloads of DEA agents.

2. Your combined score on the SAT: 4.

1. Your teacher suggests you could use that ten bucks for better things than a cap and gown rental.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

terror & war

Deliberate distortions still obscure understanding of the Vietnam War

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The Vietnam War remains in the news and the public debate thanks in part to the Connecticut attorney general, who was caught lying about serving in the war.

Historynet.com has reprinted an interesting piece from an 1989 issue of Vietnam Magazine by the then-editor, Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr.

The late Colonel Summers wrote that deliberate distortions still obscure understanding of this very complex war.

politics & governmentrace & culture

The dire effects of over-marketing, PR, and identity politics

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I’m sick and tired of reading about liberals attacking Rand Paul as a racist ( 1, 2, and 3 ) when his views could just as easily be seen as advocating for the freedom and the rights of Morehouse College, and other historically black colleges and universities, to serve whomever they wish to serve. It’s the kind of hypocritical political nonsense I think we’ve all come to expect from the Two Main Parties. It really makes me want to vomit.

So I’m going to discuss some thoughts I had that were generated by a quote from a book that came up in conversation. It’s from Edward “Father of PR” Bernays’s Propaganda (1928).

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized.

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politics & government

Mark Souder and Bribery

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I know Mark Souder and have two distinct memories of the former congressman. In the late eighties, when Senator Dan Coats was the only other senator to stand up with Jesse Helms the day he launched the culture wars with his denunciation of the National Endowment for the Arts, Souder was Coat’s chief of staff. As President of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, I was visiting D.C. and stopped by Coats’ office for a social visit. As we were chatting, a sweaty Souder in shirtsleeves came in and handed Coats a newspaper clipping. The look on Souder’s face was glum and vindictive. [Read more →]

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