Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Giant banana over Texas, where they invented the hamburger

It's Tuesday, so that means it's time for our weekly look around the world to see what's going on.

  1. The Yankees get another All-Star
  2. Fidel Castro is rumored to be dying. Again.
  3. Barak Obama is apparently running for President.
In other words, nothing new is going on.

This week's theme:

Maybe somewhere in the next few weeks, I'll throw in an actual "This week's theme." Until then, you'll just have to make due with more "I Love the 90s". The way I figure it, you'd feel guilty sitting down and watching all ten episodes in a row. Now, you can spread it out over a few months but not really miss anything. Aren't I nice? Part III and Part IV of 1991.

Additionally, it's Tuesday, so we take a look at our video pick of the year for 1991. This year's video of choice is "Voices That Care" by just about everyone who was on an easy listening station at the time. Ever since Band Aid did "Do They Know It's Christmas Time?" it's a guarantee that when a major event happens (or if it's Christmas again), a bunch of artists will get together and do one of these "one for all" songs. For those of you too young to remember it, this song was dedicated to all the troops who were in Desert Storm. And now, a trip back to 90s nostalgia with our Where's Waldo checklist. Hardcore readers of my blog may instead prefer the "Where Are They Now?" version. Actually, as the writer of this blog, I prefer that one.

  1. Leading off for the singers, Ralph Tresvant? (Remember that Jeremy Giambi too was once a leadoff hitter)
  2. Cousin Celine Dion! (She's my eleventh cousin, once-removed. Seriously. My father is an amateur genealogist.)
  3. Check out the listing of the people in the choir.
  4. Peter Cetera. Five years after this: same turtle neck, same facial expression, same "vaguely looks like he's made of plastic" appearance. And now a Chicago reference: Long Live Demon Dogs!
  5. Who the heck is Brenda Russell?
  6. What was the point of superimposing Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson (who may or may not have any singing talent) pretending that they were singing background vocals to Luther Vandross (who clearly does)?
  7. You are witnessing the high point of Kathy Mattea's career. She got to sing five seconds of duet with Garth Brooks.
  8. Nelson. Actually finding them now would be a real "Where's Waldo?"
  9. Why does a man with long blonde hair wear an ill-fitting black suit?
  10. Will Smiff!
  11. William Shatner and Mike Tyson shown within about half a second of each other within the same montage. I have to wonder about some of the conversations that were had that day.
  12. Was it necessary for Cousin Celine to do that?
  13. Fred Savage!
  14. Warren Wiebe, the bald guy who sings the last two lines... and was never heard from again.
I believe the only thing I can say at this point is

On to the news:

Texas and Connecticut are arguing over who invented the hamburger.
(Today's winner in our "need something better to do" contest.)

Romanian snowboarders protest lack of snow
(I heart global warming. I just wish Chicago was part of the globe)

Female considers male too heavy to be sexually attractive
(I believe I just made some subtle social commentary...)

Polar bear has root canal?
(I know that polar bears are endangered, but...)

But today's top prize goes to this story:

A Montreal artist wants to construct an enormous banana that would float over Texas, but critics say the project isn't worth government funding. Cesar Saez conceived the project, called "Geostationary Banana Over Texas," and prefers to let the art speak for itself.

When asked why he would want a helium-inflated 300-metre banana to hover above Texas for a month, he simply told CTV Montreal: "Texas is as symbolic as the banana." Then he added: "The banana has a lot of symbolism: phallic, humour, and political, too."

But some people were less than amused by the idea, considering both the federal and Quebec governments have already spent thousands of dollars for Saez's research and planning.

"I'm paying $65,000 to send a banana to space?" one woman balked. Another said the money should have been spent on solving Montreal's homelessness problem instead.

The Canada Council for the Arts has defended the project, arguing Saez is an established artist and his proposal was chosen by a jury of his peers. "The project was eligible and went to a committee, and the committee felt that the project had merit according to the criteria of the programme," said the council's Claude Schryer.

Beatrice Pepper, of the Quebec Council for Arts and Letters, said the attention focused on "Geostationary Banana Over Texas" can only benefit Quebec culture, because most contemporary artists are ignored.

"It's a big, big, big day today for visual arts in Quebec," she said. "For probably one of the first times, a piece of visual art is getting the attention that it never gets from the media." The project will likely require a total of $1 million before Texans see the giant banana sailing above their heads.

Bright, shiny objects:

I believe we have a new internet celebrity
(Funny accent + naive looking person + odd topic = instant celebrity.)

Come on, it's a cat brushing his teeth...
(What's the word I'm looking for here?)

Today's random "next blog":

To Have and To Hold
(Apparently a married couple. I couldn't find a theme. Sounds like a good blog!)

Today's strange anniversary:

January 16, 1920 -- The 18th Amendment, Prohibition, goes into effect; It was repealed in 1933. So, if you need a reason to drink today...

Fun fact of the day:

The ridges on the sides of coins are called reeding.

And finally:

Today's my "long" day. I get to teach statistics tonight for three hours. Oh joy!

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