Your Latest Facebook Obsession

You’ve seen it pop up in your Facebook feed a thousand times in the past week. “I’ll play!” it begins. “Here are 10 musical acts, 9 I’ve seen and 1 I haven’t.” You’re asked to guess in the comment section which band the poster hasn’t seen.

It doesn’t suggest that you cut and paste it to your own timeline, and yet most people do. And just like in that old shampoo commercial, your friends tell two friends, and they tell two friends… and so on and so on…


But why?

What is it about this particular Facebook post that has caught on like the proverbial wildfire, especially that it doesn’t include a funny meme or cats/puppies/babies doing something adorable or any of the other usual prerequisites for something to suddenly become popular on the social media platform. When a friend posted this morning, “Ugh, I’m sick of this 10 bands thing. Who cares?” we found ourselves realizing that a lot of people care… and wondering why?

After speaking to people who have posted the status update — asking them to really think about why this particular game got even people who don’t usually partake in such “Facebook silliness” to do exactly that — we found that the answer was sort of a variation on the old saying, “Life sucks and then you die.” Except in this case, it was more, “Life sucks, but this game allows us to focus on happier times.”

Our Favorite Things

It turns out that when we post about the bands we’ve seen in the past, it triggers a lot of happy memories. Ask someone what their favorite food is, and they might reply “pizza” without giving it too much thought. Ask people to list bands that they’ve seen, and they search their memories. And rarely does one attend a concert without their being something deeper attached to it. “We were in the front row at the Prince concert, and it was like he was singing to me,” we might recall. Or “Oh my God, remember how wasted we were at the Phish show?”

Sure, not all of those memories are going to be great. Maybe we got dumped at the Prince concert and were hospitalized for alcohol poisoning after the Phish performance. Yet there is still that emotional attachment, good or bad, to the event itself.

So that explains why we post. But why do others enjoy the guessing-game aspect? Perhaps because we all like to see just how well we know someone. Reading down their list of 10 bands, you stop and think, “Is that something they’d really go to?” And almost inevitably, there’s at least one group on the list that makes you stop and say, “Nope, no way. She would never go to see a Queen cover band!” And just as inevitably, when you post that to their page, the person shoots down your theory by saying that Loretta Lynn was the one they’ve always wanted to see, but never did.

What The Heck

So… now that we’ve gotten that out of the way. Here’s 10 musical acts, 9 of which we’ve seen, 1 we haven’t. Go for it!
1) Psychedelic Furs
2) Madonna
3) Pet Shop Boys
4) Cindi Lauper
5) Julee Cruise
6) Bronski Beat
7) Carrie Underwood
8) The Little River Band
9) Tennessee Ernie Ford
10) Howard Jones

Best. Mash-up. Ever.

It may be tough for us to ever top the awesomeness that we’re sharing with you today, because… well, it’s just that darn good. While we don’t know who YouTubers Joyo and AbsoluteDestiny are, we are willing to declare them our favorite people on the planet. After all, they had the brilliant idea of taking those ever-fumbling folks who live inside infomercials — you know, the ones who find it impossible to do simple, everyday tasks — and set their struggle to exist to “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths.

What more perfect tune for the residents of Infomercial Land, whose entire wardrobe should consist of nothing but shirts emblazoned with the motto, “I Can’t Even!”


Spray Takes A, Er, Stab At Charlie Brown!

You know how a lot of pop stars take themselves terribly seriously and want to talk all the time about their “art” and stuff? England’s Spray is, thank heavens, not like that.

The brother/sister act comprised of Ricardo Autobahn and Jenny McLaren seems to love sharing a good laugh as much as they enjoy having one. As such, their output has included songs with titles as amusing as “Squabble at the Rotary Club,” “Everything’s Better With Muppets” (which also just happens to be true and “You Eat One Lousy Foot, and You’re a Cannibal” (which probably is also true).

Frankly, how “Everything’s Better With Muppets” didn’t get picked up for that “Muppet Show” reboot is beyond us! See/hear for yourself below.

Anyway, as an added bonus, beneath the duo’s cheekery, they match melodies that you’ll never get out of your head (even if you try) with electro-synth productions that percolate as appealingly as brewing coffee.

Spray’s latest album, Enforced Fun (giddily reviewed here by My Fizzy Pop!!), includes a deliriously deadpan introductory monologue by actress-singer Jane Badler (the hamster-eating villainess from TV’s “V” and man-eating vamp from music videos like “Four Corners to My Bed”). Their latest single, “It’s the Night of the Long Knives, Charlie Brown,” includes lines as memorably nonsensical as “It’s a million o’clock” and “I’m running low on acceptable pants.” You can check out the video — complete with headography — below.

And if you prefer to sing along, they’ve also created an eye-popping lyric video.

Full disclosure: Spray are pals of ours. They’ve even helped with a lot of the music for our elaborate home movies — and by “helped,” we mean “made it sound like music rather than what we and our relatives would sound like left to our/their own devices.” For instance, imagine our “smash soundtrack hit” “Idiot” without their professional intervention.

But that in no way diminishes Spray’s genius. If you doubt it, you may review further evidence via their animated — yes, animated! — video for “Manga Eyes.”


The “Science” Of Binge-Watching

Feeling guilty because you locked yourself away from the world like a curmudgeonly hermit in order to binge Stranger Things so you could discover the awesomeness that is Barb for yourself? Worried about the impact of watching 18 straight hours of The Big Bang Theory? Well, worry no more, because no less a luminary than Bill Nye — formerly known as The Science Guy, but for the purposes of today’s discussion using the totally not trademark infringing Science Man — says binging is great for you!

If binging really does give you the ability to crush things with your mind, we should be rulers of the universe any day now. In the meantime, if Nye’s “go ahead and binge” appeal has you looking for something to watch, we heartily endorse the following…

Stranger Things
Netflix’s sci-fi/horror mash-up is as much a love letter to innocence at it is to the era in which it’s set (the ’80s)

The Big Bang Theory
If you’re a latecomer to the geekfest, go back to the beginning and see what life for the guys was like when Penny was the only girl they knew!

Law & Order
If you can’t find a marathon airing somewhere that you can DVR, pretty much any day of the week, you’re not trying hard enough.


OJ: Made In America
ESPN’s incredible 10-hour Simpson documentary was overshadowed by FX’s splashier (and shallower) series.

NBC Sports commentator and former professional football player O.J. Simpson sits with a group of servicemen to watch a Thanksgiving Day football game.  Simpson is visiting U.S. troops who are in the region for Operation Desert Shield.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If Ellie Kemper’s irrepressible alter ego taught us anything, it’s that we can survive anything for 10 seconds, and that “anonymous quotes are never funny… except when you write ‘wash me’ on a car. That’s just funny, ’cause it’s like, ‘Is the car saying it?'”


What’s the last show you binged… and what’s next on your list?

Disney Coaster “Cures” Kidney Stones!

Looking for another reason to head to Walt Disney World? A new study suggests that Big Thunder Railroad, the runaway mine train-style roller coaster located in the resort’s Magic Kingdom, might cure what ails you… if what ails you is kidney stones!

No, Seriously!

According to the results of a new study published in <i>The Journal Of The American Osteopathic Association</i>, Dr. David Wartinger initiated the study after “a series of patients reported passing kidney stones after riding” Big Thunder Mountain. A press release goes on to say that “in one case, a patient said he passed one kidney stone after each of three consecutive rides on the roller coaster.”


How They Proved It!

Dr. Wartinger and the studies co-author, Marc A. Mitchell, used 3D printing to create a silicone model of a patient’s kidney that was then filled with urine and three kidney stones of various sizes. Then, with permission of the folks at Disney, the researchers boarded Big Thunder Mountain with a backpack containing their faux kidney and… well, went for a whole lotta rides!

“Preliminary study findings support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones,” Wartinger said. “Passing a kidney stone before it reaches an obstructive size can prevent surgeries and emergency room visits. ”

Oh, and if you’re gonna attempt this particular form of treatment? Make sure to request a seat at the rear of the coaster. The study indicated that sitting in the back resulted in a passage rate of about 64 percent, while those in the front seat only passed the stone about 17 percent of the time.


Oh, and don’t think we don’t hear you saying, “If it works that well on Big Thunder Mountain, then Space Mountain must propel those things outta the body like a rocket!” But before you run off to get a Fastpass for Space Mountain, it looks like the researchers considered that Tomorrowland attraction, but eventually determined that Frontierland’s mountain range was the one to ride for best results.

Meanwhile, if you thought this whole post was little more than for us to post pictures from our last trip to Walt Disney World… you are 100 percent accurate!

Art Exhibit Goes To The Dogs!

There are few things in life that we find more awesome than puppies. So when one of our friends over at Sweatpants And Coffee told us about an art exhibit specifically designed for our four-legged friends, we couldn’t wait to find out more about it.


As it turns out, there is both good news and bad news where the exhibit is concerned. The bad is that the gallery — sponsored by the folks at More Than insurance as part of their #PlayMore compaign to encourage pet owners to spend more time with their furry companions — is no longer open. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of photos and videos capturing the sheer joy felt by the dogs who got to experience it!

“Play helps stimulate [pets] physically and mentally, ” the company explained on their website, “and we believe happy pets are healthy pets.”  With that in mind, they reached out to designer Dominic Wilcox to oversee the exhibition.


The selected paintings — all displayed at a dog’s eye level — were all works done in the blue-yellow-gray color spectrum which the pooch’s actually see in. But the real highlight was the interactive elements, which featured water “dancing” from one dog bowl to another, a 10-foot dog bowl filled with balls designed to look like dog food, and faux car windows outside which sat giant fans blowing meat-scented breezes for the pups to enjoy!


“Contemporary art has long been an important source of inspiration and fascination for humans,” Wilcox explained, “but never before has it been created with a view to drawing the same kind of emotionsl out of animals instead.”


Why Zeke Has Already Won Survivor!

We may only be one episode into the 33nd season of SURVIVOR, but we’re ready to proclaim mustachioed millennial Zeke Smith a winner. Because whether or not the guy walks away from the show as <i>the</i> winner, he’s proven to himself — and viewers at home — that what you see is most definitely not always what you get.

In the season premiere, Smith stood out from his teammates from the get-go. “I’m not dressed for the youth parade,” he said in comparing himself to his younger, hipper tribemates. “I’m dressed for the singles mixer at the Miami retirement center!”

Yet it was the Twitter-despising, fellow-millennials mocking asset manager who essentially provided his tribe with shelter and fire. “Against all odds,” said Smith, seeming as shocked as we frankly were, “I have become the leader of the camp.”

It was at this point we realized that Smith perfectly represents what SURVIVOR can be for participants. “I never think of myself as, like, the person who feels adept out here in the outdoors,” he admitted. “I’m not that kind of person. But I’m very intrigued by the idea of proving how tough I am. And so in a weird way, SURVIVOR is helping me rise to my potential. I never in a million years thought I was going to be the guy who makes fire without flint! I feel like a milestone has been reached in my life, that I’ve become a new man!”

The joy on his face, arising not so much from the acceptance he received for having proved his worth, but rather from what he was discovering within himself, was contagious. “I feel like I’m growing as a person out here,” he declared, “and I’m proud of myself!”

It’s impossible to say where the remaining 36 days will take Zeke, but in our books, he’s already proven himself to be not only awesome, but a winner.

Below Deck Recap: A Dog’s Life

This week on Below Deck, Trevor got wasted (again), Ben and Kate fought (again), and Kelly reminded us that it’s been 5 months since he’s had sex (again). Miss any of the high-seas fun? Then read on for our complete recap!

The Morning After
The action picked up as the crew of the Valor woke up and shared war stories about the previous nights battles with Trevor. They only stopped wagging their tongues when Trevor finally wandered into the galley, at which point the most awkward of awkward silences settled over the room. Emily compares Trevor to a cat on a hot tin roof, which has got to be the first time Tennessee Williams has ever been referenced on a reality show. Lauren continued bonding with Nico, insisting he was probably the kind to roll with the punches until it was time to flat-out punch. But methinks Lauren may be giving Nico way more credit in the macho department than he’s shown any signs of having earned.

Going To The Dogs
The second charter included two couples – one a same-sex pairing – and a puppy named Scupper, listed on his paperwork as being the “guest of Robert and Douglas.” The sheet also listed his favorite foods as chicken thighs, ground up red meet and lamb, and indicated he had no preferred liquor. Now, if I have learned one thing over the years, it’s that when someone says they have “no preference” where booze is concerned, it means they’ll drink anything. Then again, we’re talking about a dog, so maybe that rule really doesn’t apply. Anyhow…

BELOW DECK -- "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" Episode 311 -- Pictured: Ben Robinson -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/Bravo)

Sierra continues to prove to be something of a disaster, burning a sheet because she forgot to turn the iron off. She utters a line that comes painfully close to one uttered, unironically, in my all-time favorite ad. In the ad for some birth control product or another, a woman looks at us, twists up her face and says, “It’s not that it’s difficult to remember… it’s just that it’s so easy to forget!” Which of course makes no sense whatsoever! And yet, I can totally see Sierra using it as her excuse.

At long last, Kelley pulls Trevor aside for a chat and a demotion. Trevor tells us that Kelley can demote him, but he can’t “deplete his knowledge of his position.” And that’s a pretty clear indicator that his alcohol intake has been depleting his knowledge of the English language.

Tears Of A Clown
Remember how last week, Kate said that Sierra has resting happy face? Well, it’s proven to be fact this week when Sierra opens up about the death of her father… smiling even as she tells us how grief tore her family apart. Up on the bridge, Captain Lee gives Kelley a compliment. No, really. Go back and read that again. Captain Lee says something nice to one of the crew, and he seems sincere! Apparently, the Grinch’s heart grew 10 sizes that day, even if only temporarily.

Having clearly watched past seasons, one of the guests insists that there should be “no stress” on Ben, while Kate is pretty bitter about the high-life being lived by Scupper, who has his tuxedo pressed and then pukes on the poop deck. Which is probably better than pooping on the puke deck. Kate’s day doesn’t improve when yet again, she and Ben butt heads over the fact that she didn’t call the guests’ 4:30 beachside clambake “an early dinner,” meaning they asked to be fed again later that night. Now, as cruisers, we’re clearly gonna side with Kate, who tells Ben, “I don’t think if I called it the last meal of your life, that would prevent them from becoming hungry later!” After all, we wanna eat when we wanna eat, which is pretty much every three or four hours!

Dinner And A Show
At this point, Kate and Ben do something we’d never allow: They fight within earshot of the guests. And once everybody’s back on board, the Bickersons keep pushing one another’s buttons, with Trevor and Kelley doing some headbutting as well. At this point, it becomes clear that these guests are the most laid back people on the planet, because when one of them asks for a gin and tonic, Sierra asks, “Did you want alcohol?” And God bless the guest, he simply replies, “That would be the gin part.” I can assure you that my response would have been more… pointed. Ben makes an incredible dinner, the highlight of which (for me) is the crabcake topped with turkey bacon.

The next day, while Scupper is taking a constitutional on the beach, Ben tries to call a ceasefire with Kate, admitting that she’s better at the whole fighting thing that he is. Why? “If I wind her up, she won’t show it,” he says, which only winds him up more! Speaking of wound up, Trevor decides that the best way for him to relax is to invite himself to do shots with the guests. “What’s one shot of liquor going to do?” he asks. And he’s right, one shot has no impact on him. The numerous drinks he slams later that night, however, most certainly do. Ben perhaps puts it best when he tells Trevor that when he drinks, he becomes “a total tosser.” And let’s face it: When even Ben, lover of underdogs, is fed up with you, chances are good there’s big trouble ahead…

Do you think Nico and Lauren will actually hook-up? Should Trevor be booted from the yacht? Sound off in the comments below!

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