Saturday, May 31, 2008

Guitar Heroes Redux: The Case for John Mayer

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Imagine if you would a casual radio listener whose only understanding of Eric Clapton's career was through the hits "Change the World" and "Tears in Heaven." Although he or she may be inspired by these radio-friendly samples from Clapton's catalogue, they would hardly comprehend his immense genius from such a minute repertoire. The same goes for the Bob Dylan 'fan' who rambles on endlessly about "Blowin' in the Wind's' message of peace without giving a nod to to his other excellent works. Or the Zeppelin fan who jives to "Fool in the Rain" without exploring Page and Plant's anthology from top to bottom. Or the Marley fanatic whose party mix begins and ends with "Jammin'." Musical legends simply cannot be judged superficially. If that were the case, Carlos Santana would only be measured via his Supernatural album, not the masterful body of work that spanned the 1970's. Furthermore, John Mayer's capabilities does not begin and end with "Your Body is a Wonderland;" rather, his abilities can be fathomed through his live performances. This is the same John Mayer that shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck on multiple occasions and was able to hold his own. The John Mayer that was classically trained at Berklee College of Music. The John Mayer whose take on the blues is refreshing and worth a listen (his tenure with the John Mayer Trio, who opened up for the Rolling Stones, wasn't half bad). By no means is John Mayer a legend on par with Santana, Clapton, or Page, but to neglect his guitar work is just plain wrong. Along with the likes of Tom Morello, John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Robert Randolph, Derek Trucks, and Kirk Hammett of Metallica, John Mayer has surfaced as one of the best guitarists of the past fifteen years. Although 31 years of age, Mayer is slowly building the reputation of a praiseworthy guitar player.

(If the videos don't work, run a YouTube search on John Mayer and neglect all the radio hit garbage that you'd truly be misled by).





Top 5 Reasons I Refuse to Fly: Oh Sh*t Aviation Moments

My wife thinks it's totally ludicris that I refuse to fly anywhere. I have a cousin who works for Continental and he tells me of the thousands of flights that enter and exit Newark airport daily. Statistics say that it is safer to fly than it is to drive in a car and yet I could care less. My fear might be irrational and unfounded, however allow me to explain further. It's not technical failure that scares me, it human error. People make mistakes, and I don't want it to be at my expense. The following images are the best the Internet can provide to convince you that while statistically it might be more dangerous to enter your automobile, I still prefer driving to flying the friendly skies any day.


5. That's not a runway genius!
















4. I don't know if this is real or not, but it's pretty freakin' scary!














3. Move B!t*h, get out the way, get out the way...

















2. Somebody in the tower is doing a terrible job.















1. With gas prices being what they are this guy is in for a real shocker on the next fill-up.




Friday, May 30, 2008

Incomprehensible Sports

Sports are a vital and necessary part of life. Humans are competitive creatures. At the very least, we like to play. But there are some sports that just make so little sense, it's frightening. Here are a few that bring home the gold in terms of the "huh? whaaaa?" factor.

5. Cricket
Granted, there are a lot of Europeans who don't understand the appeal or rules of baseball (lots of Americans, too), but I don't have the first clue as to why it takes more than a day to play a cricket match. Terms like "wicked googley" sound like a bad experiment on every one's favorite search engine. A wicket? A bowler? People three continents away will turn in for a sport which has a lexicon comparable to baby talk? Call me culturally insensitive, I don't get it.

4. Skeleton
With a name like "skeleton," it's gotta be sane! Not so much. Skeleton is headfirst luge...on a smaller sled...with NO STEERING OR BREAKING MECHANISMS ALLOWED. The other common name for this sport is deathwish. Skeletons can move as fast as 80 miles per hour. A little faster and you could shoot yourself back to the future. Call me a prude, I don't get it.

3. Auto Racing
I may take a lot of flack for this one, but I simply don't get the appeal of auto racing. Yes, there is plenty of skill involved. But I don't understand what's so exciting about sitting and watching cars drive in a big circle for hours on end. Further, in a fuel crisis, I don't understand burning millions of gallons of gas and stamping a carbon footprint the size of South America (what exactly is the carbon footprint of racing, I'd like to know...seriously). And don't tell me it's for the crashes, because that's grossly morbid and I'd hate to think we really haven't changed that much from the days of the Colosseum. I know this sport is the nation's most-watched and a billion dollar industry. But call me un-American, I don't get it.

2. Roller Derby
I have a close friend who's VERY into the derby. Perhaps more specifically, the derby girls (the sport is primarily female these days). I tried reading the rules on wikipedia but I just couldn't stick with it. So I'll just say I know there's a lot of circular skating, it can get kinda physical, and I remember a roller derby show in the late 80's and a huge jump at the end of the track! It seemed cool when I was age ten. Call me old, I don't get it.

1. Curling
Ice. Brooms. Stones. It's the wild and adventurous world of curling - a sport so fantastical it must be a Canadian favorite! Described as a mix of darts and shuffleboard on ice, this sport is simply hilarious to watch, as a team of people vigorously sweep the ice with brooms in an attempt to guide a large stone across the ice and into a target. Now, while this sport may seem very passive, I assure you it's anything but. Curlers, many times, are also world champion drinkers. I guess you would turn to the sauce if your sport resembled sweeping the apartment with a Roomba. Call me sober (or not), I don't get it.

But, with all of these, it's just me. I'm glad these sports can bring others joy. If you disagree with these, or if there are any other sports you simply don't get, feel free to add to the list.

Previews Galore!

I don't know about all of you, but I'm positive there are some other crazebos out there who get as wrapped up in movie trailers as I do. I'm talking, crying, laughing out loud, and mild convulsions caused by my in-depth appreciation of 1-3 minute commercials. But lately, my love of previews has been completely deserved of, thanks the many soul-stirring montages that have been recently circulating in the theatres, on the net, and on our own home televisions. I have to give love to apple trailers for their up-to-date and well-formatted preview-viewing set-up. Many of my night have been swallowed up by watching trailer after trailer, different editions of the same trailer, obscure and terrifying and wild. Previews make me forget about whatever movie I've paid to see, so much so that I am even disappointed when the feature presentation starts. If anyone out there can relate to my rapidly growing obsession, or even just appreciates the magic of editing that previews so well utilize, this list is for you! It's also for anyone who is excited about any of these awesome future nights at the theater.

5. Sex and the city



4. Baghead



3. The Strangers



2. Wall E



1. The Dark Knight

90's Fads R.I.P

While society generally looks back at the 90's as being an innovative decade, it certainly had it's cultural flaws. Historians will someday speak fondly of the decade in which the Internet blossomed, the economy boomed, and the president got busy in the oval office with somebody other than his wife. There are, however, some cultural faux pas that I am glad to say ended with Y2K. This list is dedicated to some of the worst Fads that we are happy did not make it into the new millennium.

5. The Macarena

There was a point where you couldn't turn on the radio or television without hearing this damn song by Los Del Rio. You knew this song had reached it's zenith when grandma was doing the Macarena at your cousin's wedding. Luckily the wedding circuit is about the only place one can find this piece of musical rubbish today. I also believe the United States intelligence department is using this song as a torture device in addition to water-boarding. Sounds pretty inhumane...
4. The Furby

Introduced in the late 90's, this was the real life version of the Chucky doll in many respects. I never owned a Furby, but my younger sister had two of them. They would come to life in the middle of the night speaking "furbish" and scare the living shit out of me. No matter how hard you tried, they never learned English, despite the rumors that if you talked to them they could learn how. I remember people talking to this thing for hours as only to get some gibberish reply. Much like the movie i-robot with Will Smith, I envision some junkyard in middle America where all the Furbies live together, waiting patiently to make their return and destroy mankind.
3. Wearing Overalls

For some reason, early in the 90's farmer couteur became all the rage and teenagers everywhere had to own a pair of overalls. I admit, I was guilty of buying in on this fad. The "cool" way to wear them was with one strap fastened, while the other dangled. Middle and high schools across America looked like an episode of Green Acres minus the livestock. While grunge may have been a bad fashion decision, overalls were downright ridiculous.

2. The Fanny Pack
Now considered a major no-no, the fanny pack used to be a must have when on-the-go. Men and women kept everything is those suckers. Making matters even worse, they made those things in neon colors (also a late 80's early 90's fad)? When people went out to theme parks like Disney and Six Flags, it looked more like a fanny pack convention where you could see all the latest styles and colors. You can still catch a person every now and again wearing one in public who didn't seem to get the memo that fanny packs are socially unacceptable nowadays. I would recommend politely tapping the person on the shoulder and give them the hint that the 90's called and they want their fanny pack back.

1. The Reebok Pump

I understand Reebok recently attempted to bring these pieces of trash back, but don't buy into it. I recall simply having to own a pair of Reebok pumps when I was a teenager. They were going to be the most amazing shoe ever! You put them on your feet, pump the little piece of plastic in the shoe tongue and then "wham!" you can jump to the moon. Then I got a pair and reality set in. You put them on your feet, pump them up, and your foot felt like it was placed in a vice grip. The only thing one gained from the Pump was extreme pressure on the sides and top of one's feet. The "euphoria" that accompanied the shoe came when you hit the release tab and your feet went back to normal. I used to pump them up just so that my mother and father didn't beat me over the head for making them buy me something that I secretly hated. I still have not forgiven Reebok, as this was the last pair of their shoes I ever bought. To this day I curse those shoes and all the anguish they brought my feet.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Iconic Film Deaths

It there too much violence in the media? Certainly not. Everybody loves a creative movie death sequence and these "V" list choices will not disappoint. These death rattles have withstood the test of time and are as vivid in our minds as the first time we saw them on the Silver Screen. While there are many untimely demises that have been omitted and are deserving, these five film sequences are forever etched in cinematic stone. The "V" List presents the most iconic deaths in Hollywood history:

5. The Demise of the Black Night (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)


4. Don't Drop the Soap. The Shower Scene (Psycho)


3. Major Kong rides the bomb (Dr. Strangelove)


2. Santino forgets to pay his toll (The Godfather)


1. Say Hello to My Little Friend (Scarface)


Any movie deaths that deserve to be on the list? Drop a comment.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There Goes the Planet: Best Apocalypse Films

We need more films that destroy the earth in creative ways. I mean how unoriginal is Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth? It doesn't take much imagination to think that human beings' greed and obsession with carbon based energy will destroy the earth. Seriously, while Al Gore may have won a Nobel Prize, imagine how entertaining the documentary would have been if Carbon based emissions resulted in giant lizards coming back to life to destroy major metropolitan areas. I smell a summer blockbuster. Here's a list of films that thought of way more creative ways that the earth and its inhabitants nearly met their demise.

5. Mars Attacks

While an Alien attack on earth from Martian based spacecrafts is as old as America's radio days, this film satirized the sci-fi genre to the max. Tim Burton's cast is a virtual who's who of Hollywood, including Jack Nicholson, Annette Bening, Glen Close, Jack Black, Pierce Brosnan, and a young Natalie Portman to name just a few. This film didn't break any new ground in the department of blowing up the earth. It did, however, do so in such an outlandish manner that you couldn't help but laugh as the Martians ran riot around the globe only to succumb to annoying country music. While some film critics and fans may disagree with my choice here, I think it's refreshing that a film about the end of the earth can make you laugh at the same time. Why so serious, it's only humanity's fate we're talking about here.

4. Terminator

When I was a child the Terminator scared the crap out of me. I personally cannot wait to see the next installment of the Terminator series whereby the world has been overrun with Machines. This could possibly be one of the only Apocalypse series that didn't suck as it progressed through each installment in the series. Terminator 2 was even better than the original an d the third film, while lacking in some departments tied together all three films and set the stage for the war with the machines. In addition to being action packed, the Terminator films provided us with AHHHNOLD and some of the best one liners of the late 80's and 90's.
3. The Omega Man (I am Legend)



While I am Legend provided some polish to its predecessor The Omega Man, you have to give the nod to the film that came first. While most of today's moviegoers would laugh at the special effects of Omega Man, remember that it was created in an awkward time for cinema. Many of the icons presented in I am Legend pay homage to this film, including Will Smith's whip in the opening sequence. There are so many zombie movies out there, but this one was so interesting because you had the last man on earth trying to scavenging a desolate metropolis (Los Angeles) for supplies during the day to bunker down night after night. While there are many zombie movies out there, I would argue there is only one Omega Man. Honorable mention goes out to Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, and the zombie parody Shaun of the Dead.


2. The Matrix

While I included the many films in the Terminator series as remarkable Apocalypse films, let me be clear that there is only one film in the Matrix trilogy that deserves praise, the original. The second Matrix film was overly complex and preachy, and there was barely even a "Matrix" in the final installment. I remember knowing nothing about the Matrix before somebody suggested it to me in college. I watched the first hour of the film thinking I was watching an entirely different movie and then BAM we took the Red pill. From that point on the movie was visually stunning and the concept put a radical spin on artificial intelligence gone wild. Much like there is no third Godfather installment, in my opinion the other two Matrix films were never created.

1. Planet of the Apes
Nothing says ap ocalypse like "Damn dirty Apes". When you see the Statue of Liberty all crunked you're like Damn, the world got blowed up! You have been watching an apocalypse movie and you didn't even know it. While Tim Burton's remake had some redeeming qualities to it, nothing can compare with the original. Plus this gives me opportunity to mention my favorite Simpson's parody of all time: Planet of the Apes, the musical.



video

Follow-Up: Guitar Hero DS

Now that Brian has schooled us on the guitar masters, learn how you can shred it with Guitar Hero for the Nintendo DS. This may be one of the greatest mini commercials ever. Totally ridiculous...and far superior to the GH ads that played during the American Idol finale with Davids Cook and Archuleta.

Not Even "Expert Mode" on Guitar Hero Could Stop These Guys

Their killer licks will melt your face off. Their inspired riffs and solos brought fans to the arena in droves. These were the performers Harmonix had in mind with the development of the Guitar Hero series. Only thing is, gamers nationwide can only aspire to be half as good as these legends of rock. Prepare yourself for the coverage of some killer axe grinders, brought to you in part by The V-List.

5. Eddie Van Halen

Before hip-hoppers Kriss Kross were prompting you to, “Jump, Jump,” David Lee Roth and his axe mate Eddie Van Halen got their fans to, “Go ahead and jump!” While Crystal Pepsi adopted “Right Now” for use in a television ad, a scene in the film Superbad was invigorated by the tune “Panama,” Olmedo Saenz’s introductory song when coming to the plate for the Los Angeles Dodgers. All of these songs were accentuated by the phenomenal guitar work of Mr. Van Halen himself, whose mastery of the axe was lost in a decade dominated by glam rock (Poison, Warrant, Motley Crue, and the like). While Van Halen were constantly changing lead singers, Eddie remained the band's mainstay, simply because his guitar work could not be denied.

4. Eric Clapton

The Yardbirds. Cream. Derek and the Dominoes. These bands succeeded largely because of Eric Clapton’s legendary stage performance. Working with blues phenom B.B. King on the album “Ridin’ with the King,” Clapton fused his influence with King’s to concoct a memorable collection of tracks. Just as Keith Richards has his “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” riff, Clapton has the ever-impressionable opening riff to “Layla,” a song Goodfellas used to encapsulate popular music from the 1970’s. Of all the guitarists presented on this list, Clapton is the one with the most staying power, having contributed stellar compositions for the past five decades. As Clapton proved, his songs rocked just as hard acoustically, as fans were dazzled by his renowned MTV Unplugged performance.

3. Jimmy Page

For every contribution the Beatles made in popular music, Led Zeppelin worked that much harder to shape the hard rock/alternative music scene of today. As part of the band that brought you John Bonham and Robert Plant, Jimmy Page revolutionized guitar playing through the iconic solo that crescendos throughout the epic closing sequence of “Stairway to Heaven” (how Guitar Hero has not incorporated this song into its catalogue is beyond me--it is a tune that encompasses everything good about Zeppelin’s edgy and unique sound). Robert Plant’s shrieking moans and wails on vocals was the perfect complement to Page’s otherworldly flair with the guitar, an instrument he once innovatively ‘strummed’ on-stage using a violin bow.


2. Stevie Ray Vaughan

Much like Page and Van Halen, Vaughan is far more celebrated for his guitar work than any contribution he may have made penning lyrics. PBS’s Austin City Limits was one of Vaughan’s most prominent forums, a live concert series he has dominated on several occasions. Along the same vein as Clapton, Vaughan was vaunted for his ability to fuse rock with blues guitar, perhaps redefining the genre better than Clapton had. Having captivated Jackson Browne and David Bowie with his raw ability, Vaughan was featured on Bowie's track "Let's Dance." During this time, Vaughan drove a delivery truck to make ends meet, in addition to leading his own band, Double Trouble. Nefariously, Vaughan was connected to Clapton, in that he shared the same doctor, Victor Bloom, during his rehabilitation from cocaine and whiskey abuse.


1. Jimi Hendrix


Just as Bob Dylan made history with his song “All Along the Watchtower,” Hendrix masterfully articulated the track into his own vibrant creation. Hendrix’s reworking of “Watchtower” is the standard by which all cover songs cannot possibly live up to. In combination with “Watchtower,” Hendrix contributed “Hey Joe,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” and “Purple Haze,” tracks that have withstood the test of time. Do not be fooled by Hendrix’s age: although he is the youngest on the list (tragically, he only lived to the age of 27), Jimi played the hell out of his guitar, capping off his Woodstock performance with a poignant version of the “Star Spangled Banner.”



Honorable Mentions
All hail the rock gods that did not make the top five: U2’s The Edge, Duane Allman of The Allman Brothers Band, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Chuck Berry, B.B. King, Joe Satriani, John Mayer (yes, that John Mayer), Trey Anastasio of Phish, the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, and Carlos Santana.

Top Five Fantasy Apple Devices


June 9th, Apple will hold it's developers conference, often a place for Steve Jobs to talk about the latest and greatest Apple goodies. After it's resurgence, I was a leading-edge Apple follower and still am, while I have no inner ties to the company, I like to fantasize about the future Apple inventions...here are the Top Five.

#5. iMute

So your significant other just won't shut up. You're trying to read the paper, sleep, do your nails, whatever, and there they are...why did you spend so much on beer? Why's the kitchen a mess? Did I tell you what that stupid cow said to me at work today? Blah, blah, blah, well what if Apple invented a small digital music player that could cancel out your SO's blather with favorite playlist? Say hello to iMute.

#4. iWrap

Ladies and gentlemen, for the sake of safe sex, and the prevention unwanted pregnancy the v list recommends the use of an old friend, the condom. But we recognize the mechanics of using them sometimes get in the way of the fun. That's where Steve Jobs comes in (not literally, that's creepy). This latest version of the iPod dispenses, and straps on Trojan Man's first, last and only line of defense for you while you and your lady keep the windshield steamy. Don't ask how it works, just trust Apple, you know like you do with your entire music library.

#3. iDrink

Not what you think folks. Bosses, lovers, friends, family members all have a capacity to make us pissed. Ever get a little tanked and then head to the phone or the computer to send out that sloshed txt or email? Well iDrink software would detect the drunken gibberish and rather than actually deliver the message it will hold it in a special hang over account. There, under the bright light of a sobering sun, you can examine your messages before you send them out. iDrink, the ultimate social safety net.

#2. iSuck

Again, not what you think. We all do this- spend countless hours creating playlists in iTunes that are specifically designed to remove all of the embarrassing tunes from a shuffle so your friends and co-workers won't laugh at the cheese balls of your collection. Well Apple has taken the effort out of staying cool, but creating the iSuck playlist, this will scan your iTunes library for sucky tunes that you happen to love (see: Ricky Martin, ABBA, Barry Manilow, et. all), and sequester them to a special private only list. The kicker-at the sign of a second heartbeat in the room iSuck will automatically switch to your publicly approved tunes.

#1. iClone

It's about damn time. about 95% of most people's days are spent doing stuff they don't want to be doing. Apple has finally created the iClone. A software algorithm that can cut down on the nonsense you don't want to be present for...tasks include email correspondance, laundry, listening to your boss, watching Sex in the City, and paying the bills. iClone will learn your behaviors and replicate them, freeing you up for more time with your significant other and maybe even iWrap.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Same Differences!

Have you ever been in a debate/discussion over something that people tell you is practically the same regardless of branding? Even though these items are made from the same stuff, when you taste them, buy them, or use them you begin to notice that some are far superior than others. Here's a "V" list dedicated to those products which are not created equally, despite society's attempts to convince you otherwise.

5. Pepsi and Coke
This is an obvious choice for our number five spot. Believe me, there are still people on this earth who will say that there is no difference between the two brands. My reply, you do not drink enough cola. Much to my gastrointestinal tract's chagrin, I have become somewhat of a cola connoisseur. I can tell you that if given a taste test, I can pick Coke and Pepsi out 100% of the time. They are not the same, and if you even bring that ghetto drink RC Cola into the conversation then I will stab you in the jaw.

4. Designer Handbags (Courtesy of Ms. V)
My wife and the majority of women can tell you that not all handbags are the same. We guys might like to believe that they are all just bags meant to hold crap, this is not true. Dooney & Bourke, Coach, Prada, and Louis Vuitton are not even close to being similar. "They are vastly different," according to the author's wife. So gentlemen, when you see a closet full of purses, understand that each one serves a completely different purpose. Given the social event, season, or even one's mood, a purse and its design can greatly impact the outcome of an evening. The closest I can come to explaining this is when your girlfriend and/or wife tells you that all video games are the same. Not true.

3. Pasta
Self respecting Italians are feeling me on this one. Individuals outside of the Italian American cultural hearth cannot possibly understand that fusilli and ziti do not taste the same. Yes, you are correct in your assumption that they are both pasta, but when immersed in water and salt the end result is significantly different. Why do you think those wily Italians make so many varieties? I bet you thought it was just to give you fun shapes to play with in your dish. Don't believe me, visit Ilovepasta.org, they'll set the record straight.



2. Pens

When the majority of your profession centers around writing, you begin to develop an affinity for certain brands of pens. I prefer the Pilot G2 gel ink pen, which I have long considered to be "the Cadillac" of pens. I find people's personalities are reflected in the type of pen they prefer. Simple, easy going individuals prefer the Bic Ballpoint, while flashy individuals prefer the gel writing, top of the line, $8 for a three pack of pens. While there is no right or wrong choice in this department, one thing is certain, they are not all the same.

1. Water

Chemically it's two Hydrogen atoms and one Oxygen, but my pallet tells me that despite water's chemical equality, some brands of bottled water are not up to par. I became a firm believer in water's inequality when I bought a wonky batch of Aquafina and took the time to read the label. I found out more about water in my next shopping trip than I ever wanted to know. After that day I embarked on a journey to find an acceptable bottled water to suit my hydration needs. I personally settled on Dasani water after sampling nearly ten bottled waters from Fiji to Poland Spring. While all the aforementioned beverages quench your thirst, they remain uniquely different.

Did I miss anything? Hit us up with an email at thevlist10@yahoo.com

Ice Cream!

It's the first really hot day of the Spring/Summer season in the Northeast. Makes you crave...ice cream! Here's The V List of delicious shops where you can go get a killer cone or dish!

5. Carvel
Soft serve ice cream is what Carvel is all about - especially when you put it into cake form! Carvel ice cream cakes were and are the epitome of birthday party heaven. The cherubic master of this otherworldly delight: Fudgie The Whale. His whale song of chocolate deliciousness is simply beyond words.

4. Tasti D-Lite
Who says frozen treats have to be bad for you? Tasti D is the king of the frozen yogurt, and for good reason. And with different specialty flavors every day, there's always something new from the D.






3. Mister Softee

When you hear that music, it can only mean one thing...ice cream man! When in need, Mister Softee is always there on the corner to rescue you with a Spider-Man or Snoopy bar...a rocketpop...or a standard soft-serve cone. No jaunt through the city is complete without a friendly hello from the Softee.

2. Cold Stone
Ever wanted to create an ice cream flavor with coffee ice cream, chocolate chips, whip cream, gummy bears, Kit-Kats, Reese's and maraschino cherries? Well, now you can! Cold Stone is the ice cream shop that's taken the nation by storm be allowing people to create and flavor ice cream sundae, right before their eyes. And, as if that's not entertaining enough, the staff will sing for you while you wait! Now, that's service!

1. Dairy Queen
There is no dethroning ice cream royalty. Not as long as the DQ has The Blizzard in its arsenal of icy treats. No matter where you where, where you go, you can always rely on this frozen dame to bring the flavor.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Advantage: Tennis Endorsements!

With all the huge basketball, baseball and football endorsements, it's easy to forget how much frickin' money tennis stars get to become the face of a brand. Not to mention how incredibly great their ads are. Here are some of the cream of the crop.

5. Rafael Nadal for Kia
What happens when Rafael Nadal's impeccable biceps harness the power of Voltron to fight an alien? Check it out...



4. John McEnroe for American Express
If AMEX can resolve disputes, so can Johnny Mac.



3. Maria Sharapova for Nike
She feels pretty. Oh, so pretty. But her return is just plain nasty.



2.Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi for Nike
One of the greatest tennis rivalries of all time takes it to the streets.



1. Andre Agassi for Canon
He is the rebel. The master of the 90's mullet. Stop taking snapshots and start taking photgraphs. Image is everything.

Things You Learned in School That You Will Never Use Again...

With the end of another school year approaching the "V" List would like to take this time to congratulate all the teachers and students for their hard work. For those of you still sitting inside a classroom, I don't have to explain how hard it is given this time of year to stay focused on reading, writing, and 'rithmatic. For graduating seniors who will soon spread their wings and fly, here is a brief list dedicated to you. For thirteen years the American educational system has crammed tons of information inside of your heads, and while most of what you have gained throughout the course of your years of study might prove useful in the "real world", here is a list of things we can say you will rarely use (if ever). The "V" List presents crap you learned in high school that you will never use again:

5. The Quadratic Formula

Most of use can recite the quadratic formula without use of a cheat sheet. For those far removed from school is goes something like this : x equals minus b, plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4ac over 2a. I cannot tell you how many times I plugged numbers into that damn equation and was told how important it would be in my life. I guess if you sit around crunching numbers all day, this might prove useful, but I can say without a doubt that my checkbook and bank account can remain balanced without ever having to use this damn formula. I hope to say at some point in my natural life I will forget these meaningless numbers and variables, but they are forever etched in my brain for no apparent reason. Thank you Algebra for ruining my life!

4. Random introductory foreign language dialogues:

Let me say that foreign languages are indeed very useful, especially if you are a world traveler, or live in an area of this country that is bilingual. There are some components of foreign language that we were told to memorize, however, that will be of very little value in the real world. For example, why do I have to memorize in French the fact that I am studying for a math test, which I will take in five minutes? Or, that Juan is in the library? Perhaps the best parody of this useless information can be found in the movie Bedazzled whereby the main character speaks Spanish fluently and repeats the rote dialogues he learned in school. It's so funny because the dialogues are so useless. You can survive with these three phrases: Where is the bathroom? Where is the bus station? Where is the nearest restaurant? Aside from that: I don't need any other basic dialogue options burned into my brain Senora.

3. Learning the Presidents in chronological order

Aside from competing on Jeopardy this is the most useless piece of knowledge ever given to elementary students. Why in the hell do you need to know who the seventeenth president of the United States was? The answer is that you DO NOT. Unless you are stuck in a MacGuyver like deathtrap which will unlock only if you press the correct presidents in sequential order, then this piece of knowledge will do nothing for you in the workplace.

2. The Periodic Table
No subject is going untouched in this list, and science teachers all over the United States cram this garbage into everybody's head. Once again, if you are in this field of study, I'm sure that you require a knowledge of electrons, protons, and mass of each atom, however for the majority of us living in the real world, it is utterly pointless. When was the last time you went to the supermarket and said, I would buy this food, but I'm worried about the molecules that go into it's composition. How many oxygen atoms does this contain again? Shenanigans!
1. MLA / APA Citations

If you're a college students you may disagree with me, but beyond college, chances are you will never have to cite your crap ever again. For those interested, the "V" list used for this article the following source: Valentine, Marc C. Online interview. 26 May 2008. Outside of academia, parenthetical citations have no use. The works cited page is one of the most tedious and useless exercises in the history of American education. It's so terrible I would like to thank Jesus for amazing websites like www.easybib.com, which take the pain out of this activity for every student in America. I wish that I had a site like this when I was doing my Turabian style footnotes for my senior seminar paper in college. Turabian is even worse than APA/MLA by the way. It's something that history professors use so they can speak in code to each other. Next year when I file my taxes I might create a works cited page for my accountant just so I feel like I got some use out of that good ol' high school diploma again.

Congrats Seniors, I feel your pain. Good luck in college! If there was anything that belongs on the list, shout back at us in a comment.

Top 5 Reasons Why Weezer Rocks


You and I both know it: Weezer has provided the soundtrack to many poignant moments in your life, especially the 'all-defining' chronicles of your high school years. Upon discovering their songs' incorporation into the Rock Band catalogue, it brought you tremendous joy. Their deliciously infectious tunes are a perfect complement to a Jersey shore trip, windows rolled down, the summer vibes enhanced by outlandish lyrics and three-chord goodness. Cue up any Weezer album and you'll find yourself happily singing along to the lyrical stylings of Rivers Cuomo and Company. Of all forms of alternative rock to rise from the 90's, Weezer provided the most feel-good vibe of them all. Without further ado, five prime reasons why Weezer rocks:

5. The 'Say It Ain't So' Video, the Anthem to Incite High School Nostalgia




4. The 'Beverly Hills' Video, starring Hugh Hefner and the Playboy Mansion




3. The 'Keep Fishin'' Video, starring the cast of The Muppets




2. The 'Pork and Beans' Video, starring Viral YouTube Fads




1. The 'Buddy Holly' Video, starring the cast of Happy Days


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Big Pimpin'

They're bad guys. Really bad guys. But somehow they've been put on a pedestal higher than the hooker with a heart of gold. I'm talkin' about the P.I.M.P.s, yo. Here are our favorite hustlers of known for big pimipin' on the big and smalls screens.

5. DJay - Hustle & Flow
He didn't just tell us "it's hard out there for a pimp..." he rapped it. DJay is the ultimate good-hearted pimp. Er...sorta. In any case, he and his rag-tag crew in Hustle and Flow made us root for the underdog - even if the underdog is workin' the corner to pay the rent.









4. Guido - Risky Business
The pimp that launched the man that jumped the couch. Joey Pants turns in a twisted an comedic turn as Guido "The Killer Pimp" in Tom Cruise's first superstar movie. He also proves that Joe Pesci doesn't own the market for small, evil and incredibly entertaining little Italians.



3. Sport Matthew - Taxi Driver
Harvey Keitel has biceps like you wouldn't believe and pimps out Jodie Foster in killer fashion in this Scorcese classic. Sure, this is Deniro's tour de force, but you can't help but acknowledge the pimpness of Keitel...nor contain your laughter at the hair, the hat and the guns.



2. Drexl Spivey - True Romance
There is nothing Gary Oldman can't do - including play a white gangsta pimp who thinks he's a black Jamaican in this Tarantino-scripted classic. One of the strangest characters of the 90s, Drexl is the dirtiest of the pimps on this list...but he's also the one I'd be most afraid of. Creep-y. Creepy.







1. Cosmo Kramer - Seinfeld
Was he really slingin' Elaine on the side? No. But Cosmo Kramer in full pimp guard is about the most memorable pimp I can recall. So out of place. So crazy. So hilarious and entertaining. If only the actor who portrayed him wasn't such a nutbag. To see Kramer in full pimp-out glory, check out this video.