Eaglie's Aviary

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Internet Broke

When Google breaks, so breaks the Internet. For 55 minutes.

I shiver to think when Facebook goes down and millions of college students, older men, and webcam girls are left to fiddle with themselves. Or when YouTube stops giving us sexy word tutorials and skateboarding accidents. Or when Wikipedia goes down, and professors across the globe become important again, only for people to realize professors don't know a thing without Wikipedia.

Perhaps we HAVE become too reliant on silly uses of technology.


Dusting off Pat Quinn

Pride is a Deadly Sin, often the first. And now-Governor Pat Quinn began his term in office with a statement on this: "One day a peacock. The next day a feather duster."

So, what I heard is, Rod Blagojevich is a peacock-feather duster. I like that.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

Blago's Finished!

It's unanimous: Governor Rod Blagojevich is now ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich! (59-0, that's, like, eight touchdowns and a field goal.)

EDIT: The Illinois Senate is pronouncing the death penalty on the former gov. Whoa, death penalty?

OH! It's just them barring Blago from statewide office for eternity. I was thinking the jail metaphors in my last post were hitting too close to home now.

In the words of one state senator to the question of yeah or nay to imposing that death penalty, "Absolutely!" (Exclamation point his emphasis.)


Impeachment Day!

Blago's already impeached, so it's not "Impeachment Day" so much as "Removal from Office Day." And I'm excited to have a new governor! Not that Pat Quinn's much more hones... well, I guess he's miles more honest than Blago at this point. However, I will be sad to see the media blitz go, and I was TRULY hoping to see a governor get locked in a real jail cell. Instead, he'll be a FORMER governor clad in orange and on suicide watch, and what's new about that for us Illinoisans?


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Laziness and Dave at the Inaugural

While I'm off doing SUPER-SECRET STUFF, read the latest Dave Barry, a report from the inauguration.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How Often Do We Get to Celebrate the Year of the Ox?

Every 12 years, Andy and I celebrate with beef fried rice (beef is like ox...) and a Chinese-themed movie. Last time, we watched Temple of Doom in our flannel Yoda jammies. This time, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor had to suffice. And I got the Sesame Chicken student special (with more kind-of-ox fried rice). So far, Brendan Frasier has had upwards of three slapstick incidents and keeps blinking.

Whoops, that was Blagojevich.

Anyway, happy new year to my Eastern readers!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Blago Appeals... to Larry and the Girls

Two places of pity in one day for the embattled Illinois governor. Blago appeared on both Larry King and on The View today. The last weeks have been a media blitz by civil rights martyrs: all himself. But apparently he's a cowboy, a Gandhi, and a black guy. And again, he's only fighting for health care for Illinoisans.

He is currently on Larry King, by the way, and he blinked 15 times in 10 seconds. I stopped counting the 60 seconds because the next 10 seconds was beyond my counting speed. I'll inform you all if I get my question through.

"Mr. Governor, if you were a Whopper, would you sell yourself for a buck?"

I have yet to count the eyelash batting from The View, but I'm excited to get to that next.


Better than the NCAA Office Pool

The Oscar nominations were announced a few days ago, and I've been prepping my pool guide for you guys. As a note, I have seen very few of these films (at this point) and I am betting based on instinct and the amount of talk I keep hearing. Personally, this has gotten me a lot of Super Bowl picks and free hot dogs, so I'm sticking with this method. Remember: when it comes to the Academy Awards, performance quality often does not matter. (That gets you the Golden Globe well enough.) No, you need BUZZ, PITY, and/or a TOTAL DISREGARD FOR WHAT PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO WATCH.

Best Supporting Actor:
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Guessing this one's a joke. Robert Downey, Jr, awesome nomination. Complete with the irony of the role's nomination for an award. But Heath Ledger blew him and everyone else out of the water (note the past tense).

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

I love "One-Movie, Two-Actress, One-Catfight" situations, especially in a young nun-laden category. But as a rule of thumb (also great for nuns), I go with the person with the least chance of being nominated again, and that would be Penelope Cruz.

Best Actor:
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke (see Penelope Cruz).

Best Actress:
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Most of the buzz at the moment is going to Kate Winslet, but I'm going out on a limb and handing the award to Anne Hathaway. Mostly because she hasn't won any Oscars yet, and, if you count earlier times, she matches Winslet's bust buzz. And, no, I don't expect the Norbit effect to occur, in reference to Miss Hathaway's militant feminist biopic, Bride Wars. (Still, I worry.)

Skipping the effects Oscars...

And the sounds...

And the documentaries...

Best Animated Feature Film:
Kung Fu Panda

I'd have skipped this category, but I had to say good luck to Bolt and Kung Fu Panda, since they'll need it against Pixar's best, WALL-E.

Best Original Screenplay:
Frozen River - Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky - Mike Leigh
In Bruges - Martin McDonagh
Milk - Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E - Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

Best Original Screenplay is always the way the Academy gives dark horses an Oscar, and often is how they give a mildly popular film an award without disrupting the rest of the voting. (Think Juno and Little Miss Sunshine.) WALL-E had note-perfect writing (no talking for a half-hour into a film, plus an adorable cockroach) and got shoved into the animated category to demolish kiddie fare in its treads, and it should win a big boy's award. In fact, it should take Best Picture, in my opinion. Alas, my opinion is not in the Academy, partly because I haven't apologized for the plumbing incident yet.

I do love this category though: In Bruges was nominated, and it was my favorite non-Batman/non-robot film of the year. The Academy will feck that one away though, and it likely will give this to... uh, damn, there really isn't a dark horse here. Except Happy-Go-Lucky, but a feeling deep inside of me (the plumbing?) makes me think "no."

Maybe Milk. Milk is very likely to be snubbed for just about every other category, and that increases the odds to take what a lot of the Academy considers a pity Oscar.

Best Director:
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Gus Van Sant, Milk
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire

Best Picture:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

I combined these as this year's top categories are a dogfight [sic/pun] between Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button. Which means they'll likely split them. I'll probably have to change my picks as we seesaw to the finish line, but, as of right now: David Fincher of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button will take the director's Oscar, pissing off a billion Indians, and Slumdog Millionaire will win Best Picture, pissing off a billion Indians.

Another rundown of my picks:
Best Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Best Director: David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Best Original Screenplay: Milk - Dustin Lance Black
Best Animated Feature Film: WALL-E
Best Actress: Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Best Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

(List compiled from Ain't It Cool News.)


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Britannica Has No More Scoff Left

Encyclopedia Britannica once laughed when they saw Wikipedia. Now, they bow to them, at least kind of.

The New Media marches on, even in this economy.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Learn Something (from Amy Sedaris and a Ton of People Like Me, Only Less Feathery)

PBS is doing a history of comedy every Wednesday, 7-9, for the next few weeks. Of course, I watch it online to avoid the phone donation brigades.

(Embedded from here.)

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Day 1 1/2

And we already have a few CNN flubs.

Another flub: CNN reported (on cable TV, which still doesn't make it good) that the reviewing stand had never had so many "people of color." Which is true, but the country is also not stuck in 1959. That poor reporter's going to be stuck at a desk for the next four to eight years.

(Link from Dave Barry's blog.)


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Solid Solo

Did President Obama knock it out of the park? Hmmm. In the words of Guitar Hero, it was a Solid Solo. (Well, probably better than that.) And like all great speaking presidents, he found a stride somewhere close to the end. I'll leave it to the pundits to criticize and coo further.

Anyway, you notice I said "President"? Yay! We have a new commander-in-chief! As of 11 a.m. here in Chicago, our man became such.

Now, to go do something productive for today. I close the VoteNest Inaugural Special: AlreadyVotedNest 2009! Go enjoy the balls and dances and drinking until 6 in the morning (if you're in D.C.).


John Roberts, You Asshole

Didn't give the man any slack: Barack had to recite the oath paragraph by paragraph, and he obviously didn't have a cheat sheet. Next, speech!

Edit: Chief Justice Roberts is apparently at fault, as Pres. Obama knew all the words. Roberts is the one that mixed up the word, "faithfully." Way to go.


Opening Prayer: Check. Aretha Franklin: Check.

Rev. Warren gave a nice, minority-inclusive prayer, and Aretha gave a nice, tone-inclusive song. We're almost there!

Edit: there's also Yo-Yo Ma and a few others playing a song arranged by John Williams! I want some trumpets and cymbal crashes, though.


Epic Speech or Epic Fail

So this speech of his better be beyond epic. Or else it's an Episode One-like failure: some say the speech was good for the first few days, some call for heads to roll, and by week's end, everyone will agree: Obama is a one-termer.

I await the answer within the hour.


Quite a Morning!

Okay, CNN will show a shot of the Washington Mall from space. This is very much like the hologram incident: in fact, the two seem quite related. However, Soledad O'brien can convince me ANYTHING is necessary.

Dick Cheney is in a wheelchair for the inauguration, which isn't unexpected. However, I lost a few bets that he'd make it at all.

And the ceremony begins...


Monday, January 19, 2009

Dead Duck Walkerin'

We are looking at the last few hours of the Bush presidency and possibly the last few hours of The Daily Show being funny. (Just kidding, John-o!)

But seriously, when you wake up, little Johnnie, there will be a black man swearing on a Bible, and probably putting us all to work in mines, including mercury, lead, arsenic... all pretty useless to collect en masse, but Pres.-elect Obama wants it anyway, I'm sure. Well, maybe he'll turn out to be a moderate... he's been so happy to listen to all the country music they played for him in between the R&B, rock, and folk at his inaugural concert.

But this is my goodbye to Pres. George W. Bush, as per the new bylaws. Besides, it'll be uncool to bash him. So I'll just thank him for my formative years. The Clinton years... the Bush years... sixteen nearly uninterrupted years of comedy! What happens next, besides mining things? We'll have Bill Clinton married into the Cabinet (Sec. of State-in-Law to Pres. Obama?), and Vice Pres. Biden is from Delaware (hilarious!). So I think it'll be exciting! What do I make fun of? What do I uncover? What is rotting in the White(ish) House? Will conservatives become funny again?

Well, to start, I guess I have to take down that dartboard:

It's a sad day when we have to switch targets.

See you guys bright and early on a new day!


No Rest, Even When He Isn't President

One, he better get going on all those promises TODAY.

Two, he better be fixing that speech up to be PERFECT. I mean, this IS the speech for most presidents.

So the Tribune wishes to help.

(Truth Meter spotted on Change of Subject by Eric Zorn.)


Gee! Forgetful Me!

I keep forgetting to check Fox's coverage of the liberal, black president!


AlreadyVotedNest Needs a Drink

Harry Belafonte is now on CNN.


Continuing AlreadyVotedNest Coverage

Yeah. That's right. "AlreadyVotedNest." 'cause that's what this is.

CNN is playing up the Dr. King and Civil Rights' Movement references. It is also using clips of John Mayer's "Waiting on the World to Change" before commercials. Note the tinge of irony in reference to Dr. King and the Civil Rights' Movement.

But it fits for all the people sitting around the Mall right now.

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Kick-Out-Bush Two-Day Extravaganza!

Actually, it only takes one day for a president to leave office and another to swear in (more like an hour), but for some reason this year's inauguration seems much longer.

Expect more updates!


Saturday, January 17, 2009

About That Crash...

I would like to give a statement, in light of the new facts available about a few bad eggs knocking down that plane:

They were geese that caused that crash. Do not blame all birds. I mean, everyone loves birds right now. I mean, Philadelphia, Arizona, Baltimore, me... we're all friendly and total winners, so please, don't scapegoat us. Scapegoat the geese and President Bush. (C'mon, you only have three days left for the latter. Make use of it.)


Friday, January 16, 2009

Best News All Day

In a change of pace, a plane crashed, leaving 155 people unharmed. The actions of the pilot and crew allowed a splash into the Hudson River and everyone to make it out, without so much as hypothermia from the winter-cold waters. (Jeez, there wasn't even ICE on the river where they landed!)

To quote the article's key witness: "Not that I'm an expert in plane crashes, it being my first one, but it went fairly smoothly."

Suck it up, Aviarians, that's the cheeriest news you're going to get in 2009.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Europeans, So Easy to Troll

The continent of Europe got trolled! Czech artist David Cerny, to commemorate the rise of his home to the EU presidency, was commissioned to create a piece called Entropa with 26 other artists, one from each European nation. Like any good poor satirist, he decided to forget the money and make a whole lot of funny entries with his friends, including a Dracula theme park in Romania and an IKEA box in Sweden. Ah, kindred spirits...

Britain and France are currently my favorites, and here: Wikipedia is hard at work for us Americans, documenting this historical event with a list of the nations.

The main message I get is, I want to see this. Please, Europe, don't burn this. Keep it, and put it on display.

(From Troll Watchdog, Pacman.)

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Our Own Snowbowl 2009

A few tail feathers cracked off this morning, the night after me and Andy, like morons, playing in the snow. At night. Serves me right for thinking I could trap that long pass from Dubs of "The Monster Raving Looney Rantings of Dubs." I also feel like I'm coughing a frozen lung out of my gizzard, which I didn't expect to be physically possible.

All anyone can talk about in Chicago is this weather. There's a foot and a half of snow out, another blizzard touched just north of us, and the mercury's not getting to zero today. So, no more going outside! I'm booting up video games, possibly a few maps set in deserts and tropical areas: I plan to keep all my tail feathers for another day. I've got a while 'til I molt and gain those back.

Speaking of more birds playing football, this one's abandoning us.

P.S. Totally burned Andy. Frozen wings over frozen boots and ankles, any day!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Heck, Forget CNN, I'm Gonna Fly over to Metropolis or Stella's Coffee Right Now!

Chicago is number three on the "most caffeinated cities of the US" list, which is news I prefer to Israel and Gaza death reports. Seattle beat Chicago, as they would with Starbucks still holding a 65 percent stake in the city council.

The surprise winner is Tampa, a town that I never expected to be in this conflict. I mean, Seattle is the coffee capital, and Chicago is just a city of really big shoulders that droop in the morning before that first cup o' joe. But why Tampa? Tampa doesn't even register, being off in the east and by the Gulf. This "nation" of coffee drinkers and caffeine worshipers is surprisingly calm about the situation:

"Despite Tampa being the most caffeinated, respondents in Tampa rank number one in saying they're least likely to be addicted to caffeine."

As with all addicts, they deny and believe that this is the appropriate response. Even with the sheer stockpile of caffeinated products that they consume--coffee, chocolate, tea, pills, Apaches helicopters--Tampa remains defiant. One can only hope that we can help them in time, before it's too late.

This is Eaglie, reporting on Tampa, from Jerusalem.


Monday, January 12, 2009

"Into the Sunset" as the BBC Called It

Fresh off of becoming the only four-time winner of the Four Horsemen Aviary awards, President George W. Bush held his last press conference just as the sun was rising today. The BBC likened it to being a cowboy, as the British tend to do to Americans, even Yale-educated ones.

He was asked about the "burden of office," and he said it wasn't that much of a burden... sure it's soul-crushingly hard to be a president constantly watching approval ratings drop amid crises and recessions...

He heaped praise and well wishes on President-elect Barack Obama, especially his family. Then he went through questions that were giving me and him horrible flashbacks. It was a recap of his ENTIRE TIME IN OFFICE. Bailouts, the Credit Crisis, Katrina, Reelection, Iraq, Afghanistan, 9/11, Day One. Boomboomboom, in an hour or so. It was an efficient history lesson.

In the end, his most important point was that history will vindicate him, but he didn't say that with tons of conviction. It was very humble defiance.

And Mr. Bush plans to write a book. I hope he illustrates it as well. (Remember, my no-jokes-about Dubbya Double-U Amendment hasn't gone into effect yet.)


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Good Day to Be a Bird

It's a good day to be a bird in football: three of the four teams left in the NFL playoffs are the Ravens, Eagles, and Cardinals. All three were supposed to lose in the first round or not even make it, and now, at least one of the teams will make the Super Bowl!

One might expect me to root for the Eagles, but that is very untrue. I usually base my picks on the city each team is from, and Philadelphia (a terrible sports town--not for the quality of the fans but for the quality of their teams) has recently become much BETTER quality. SO much better, in fact, that they need to crash and burn. No city, especially places like Boston and Philadelphia, should win more than one major sports championship in a year. Baseball's Phillies already took the World Series: they absolutely cannot win the Super Bowl (I doubt the Phillies could win a football game anyway).

Of course, it's never a good day to be a Blagojevich, as we found out Friday. He probably needs to pick up a new defensive coordinator in the offseason.


Friday, January 09, 2009

LOL Should Be a Proper Noun

This guide to LOLing, ROFLing, and haha-ing is pretty accurate.

(Spotted at Emo Snal's LJ.)

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

Everyone's Already Done the Stimulus Joke

The Blogosphere is not lacking in dirty puns about this, except the Huffington Post, but we always knew she was a prude anyway. Of course, I kid you, Ariana. We know you didn't write that anyway.

The struggling porn industry... actually, it's the struggling satirical magazines featuring porn industry... has asked for a bailout. (Well, that's one of them. The other's the guy who makes all the commercials.)

No, the industry hasn't just asked: they have DEMANDED it, and it will not take a no with their pretty please for an answer. Internet porn has been just GIVING it away (the sluts they are... ogods, the puns!). And I'm guessing they won't get it, but at least it'll make a great story and a great movie starring David Duchovny as Larry Flynt.

While they're at it, the Blogosphere could use a bailout movie deal, too.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009


While disappointed in the results of the hottest nerd contest (Felicia Day is not way up there?! Rosario Dawson isn't either?!?! Not even the top ten?!?!?! I am so not using enough interrobangs to describe this!!!), I am a little pleasantly surprised at the same time. Great feeling, being disappointed and pleasantly surprised: I'd make a great game show host.

The winner of the ladies' side is the creator of Hot For Words, a busty look at etymology and other wordy enterprises. In honor of the contest, she made this video:

Philip DeFranco is the men's winner, and what's so special about him? He likes hockey?

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Monday, January 05, 2009

Sounds Like a Bad Turtledove Book--You Know, If Any of His Books Weren't Bad

How unlikely is this Apocalyptic political prediction? The (Kinda) Midwest becomes a part of Canada? Is this an insult? The Carolinas stick with the East Coast? California swallows up Idaho, Arizona, and the West Coast? (Okay, maybe.)

This "scientist" has not done his geographical and historical homework on the United States. I think the Carolinas would DIE before joining the northern remnants of the union. And if anything, the Midwesterners, overly polite people, would scare the Canadians, even more overly polite people, into submission.

(From io9.)


Sunday, January 04, 2009

Horsemen of 2008!

In a year that made us long for September 2001's economy, we felt the hope and need to change, perhaps a few diapers, but many of us had to clean those diapers and reuse them, because we couldn't afford any new ones. That is just the environment we are in. And it is just right for:


2008 was full to the hexagon with potential Horsemen (that's a reference to a short story by Jorge Luis Borges--yes, I read literature). There were all the signs... it seemed certain that it was gonna happen! Of course, then the Cubs lost, and I still didn't have a Horseman.

We DID see a black man elected the next president of the United States over an angry woman with blond hair, an angry old white man, and a sexy older librarian with only one book. But neither the black man nor his opponents do I deem worthy of being counted among this year's Horsemen. It's not like I'm working on government quotas, anyway.

Vladimir Putin, having recently left his post as the most powerful man in Russia, still invaded Georgia (the other one) (by himself) while everyone else was winning gold medals in China (and by everyone, I mean Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt). Yet all those medals still couldn't save our economy: former chairman of the Fed Alan Greenspan admitted that in the zeal of deregulation, he "made a mistake." Alan, have you ever heard the parable of the tax collector and the bank-and-auto bailout? It'll be popular in 2000 years.

And if you were worried about that black man's election from the state that sleeps with the fishes and bribes them, too, Illinois' place as the most insane state in the most insane union of the most insane universe was set straight when its governor managed to out-scandal three other Illinois governors of the past 50 years and a New York governor who hoarded all the state's prostitutes for himself.

Yet still not a Horseman in sight! We need a War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death?!?! I mean, this is starting to sound like we need all the souls in Hell to scapegoat. But we're lucky to have just one: the embodiment of the American frustration, the focus of the crazy-as-hell election we just had, and the place where all fingers and rifles will point this hunting season: that wounded man waddling out the door, President George W. Bush (I told you I didn't have any quotas to fill).

This is a tough decision: even I'm tired of bashing him. It's gimmicky, even, to just give him the whole choking enchilada. But it's like when Return of the King won Best Picture: maybe it wasn't the best or the Academy's favorite, but it was the last chance to give a trilogy the Oscar! You've got to vote for it!

Account for your choice, Eags, you might say! Well, in the past eight years, the man had a War on Terror (could've happened to anyone) and a war on Iraq (okay, he's a Bush). Americans are now distrusted across the globe, including by our allies that aren't the French (anything could've caused that). A hurricane flattened New Orleans (that wasn't his fault). And the economy fell apart (again, not Bush's fault). All on his watch. That's what it takes to be a herald of the Apocalypse--he who watched it botched it. I can find that passage in the Bible, I'm sure.

Our little junior herald even had a movie made about him this year, one of those letter-bearing Oliver Stoners about a president and a conspiracy founded at a keg party. And it takes quite some chutzpah to get a movie made during the time you are still (relatively) relevant.

And I know, I know, the choice is gimmicky. We established that already, and that is why I will place this at the end in bold:

The Double-U Amendment: I, Eaglie, hereby declare that no more on this blog will one man or organization clean up all Four Horsemen awards. The awards would all just sit around getting dusty anyway. I also officially remove the search engine-bombing link "Miserable Failure" from this website here, and will lay off the guy. All of this will go into effect as of January 20, 2008.

There are children in the Middle East who would kill for a taste of one of these awards, all starving from current oil prices, so you better appreciate all four, Mr. Bush. Happy New Year!

Only a few more days! Or, if you're reading this in the future, only a few more standard rotational movements were left!


Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy Late(-ish) New Year!

Even with that extra second in 2008, I'm still late on my Horsemen!

ETA: tomorrow night. Plus one second.