Sunday, September 27, 2009

The coolest people in the world, by year, since 1903 (2 of 5)

1924: George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue is first performed
1925: F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby is published
1926: Robert Goddard – Launches the first liquid-fuelled rocket after suffering years of ridicule and criticism
1927: Charles Lindbergh – Makes the first solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight
1928: Alexander Fleming – Discovers Penicillin
1929: Leon Trotsky – Exiled from the Soviet Union
1930: David Chrisman, William Sweets, and Harry Engman Charlot – Create the radio (and later many other media types) pulp hero, The Shadow
1931: Eliot Ness – After years of investigation, accumulates enough evidence to build a case against Al Capone, who is charged with tax evasion
1932: Franklin D. Roosevelt – Elected President of the United States in a landslide
1933: Three unknown members of the Harvard Lampoon – Steal the Sacred Cod of Massachusetts from the State House
1934: Fredi Washington and Louise Beavers – Appear in the groundbreaking film adaptation of Imitation of Life, a movie that dealt explicitly with race issues
1935: James Braddock – Becomes heavyweight champion of the world after winning as a 10-to-1 underdog
1936: Jesse Owens – Wins the 100 meter dash at the Berlin Olympics
1937: Howard Hughes – Sets a new record for his transcontinental flight from New York to Los Angeles
1938: Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster – National Allied Publications publishes Action Comics #1, which features Siegel and Schuster’s creation, Superman
1939: Lou Gehrig – Gives his last public speech, stating, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
1940: Winston Churchill – Elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1941: Orson Welles – Releases Citizen Kane, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in
1942: Enrico Fermi – Initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction
1943: Humphrey Bogart – Casablanca is given a wide release, vaulting its star into the public image
1944: Oskar Schindler – Bribes and negotiates with Nazi officials, saving the lives of hundreds of Jews

Monday, September 21, 2009

The coolest people in the world, by year, since 1903 (1 of 5)

1903: The Wright Brothers – The first men to successfully design and fly a plane
1904: J.M. Barrie – His play Peter Pan is first performed on stage
1905: Albert Einstein –Theory of Special Relativity is first proposed in a paper
1906: Theodore Roosevelt – Wins Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating peace in Russo-Japanese War, and becomes the first sitting President to make a trip outside America
1907: Maria Montessori – Establishes her first school using the education system bearing her name
1908: Henry Ford – Model T first produced
1909: Theodore Roosevelt – Just 19 days after leaving the White House, goes on safari to Africa
1910: Theodore Roosevelt – Becomes the first president to ride in an airplane, less than seven years after its invention
1911: Hiram Bingham – Rediscovers Machu Picchu
1912: Harry Houdini – First escapes the Chinese water torture cell
1913: Pancho Villa – Returns from self-imposed exile in America to lead the Mexican Revolution
1914: Rasputin – Survives an assassination attempt that left his guts hanging from his abdomen
1915: John McCrae – Writes In Flanders Field during the Second Battle of Ypres
1916: James Joyce – Publishes A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
1917: Vladimir Lenin – Leads the Bolshevik Party in the Russian Revolution
1918: Woodrow Wilson – Delivers his Fourteen Points speech
1919: Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht – Murdered following a failed communist revolution
1920: Babe Ruth – Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees
1921: Mohandas Gandhi – Becomes leader of the Indian National Congress, promoting Indian independence
1922: Benito Mussolini – Seizes power in Italy under the banner of his National Fascist Party
1923: T.S. Eliot – The Waste Land first published in book form

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

5 strong candidates for the Male Hall of Fame

* The guy who invented beer in a bottle
* The guy who popularized women shaving their legs
* The guy who matched cheese to nachos
* The guy who first stuck a radio in a car
* The guy who decided to put meat on a grill

Friday, September 11, 2009

My all-90s all-star mix

1. OMC - How Bizarre
2. Chumbawumba - Tubthumping
3. Haddaway - What is Love?
4. Right Said Fred - I'm Too Sexy
5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
6. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
7. The Fresh Prince - Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire theme song
8. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - The Impression that I Get
9. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
10. Foo Fighters - Everlong
11. Weezer - Buddy Holly
12. Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
13. Blink-182 - What's My Age Again?
14. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
15. Eagle-Eye Cherry - Save Tonight
16. The Offspring - Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)
17. Lenny Kravitz - American Woman
18. No Doubt - Don't Speak
19. Nirvana - All Apologies
20. Eve 6 - Here's to the Night

Monday, September 7, 2009

The ten best videos of the decade

The Loved Ones play a house party. Hijinx ensue.

The Strokes - Someday

See, the Strokes are normal people, just like you and me!

The late 70s must have been a good time for parties.

What hasn't been said about this one?

Outkast - Hey Ya! (Official Music Video) - Funny video clips are a click away

It's funny, because during the first half of the decade, Outkast did seem to be as popular as the Beatles.

I guess it is possible to be cool in Chicago after all.

Ah, the Epic Video. So commonly attempted, so rarely done as well as here.

Neat concept. Neat Mick Jagger impersonation.

Has the tone of a video ever matched the tone of a song as well as this?

Hats off to Flight of the Conchords for bringing attention to this important issue.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The best musical acts ever, at this specific moment for me

1. The Rolling Stones
2. The Replacements
3. The Strokes
4. Leonard Cohen
5. Elvis Costello
6. The Hold Steady
7. Brand New
8. Tom Waits
9. Every Time I Die
10. Glassjaw

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ten awful actors

* Orlando Bloom
* Frank Sinatra
* Kevin Costner
* Mark Hamill
* Charles Bronson
* Jimmy Fallon
* Sylvester Stallone
* Seann William Scott
* Ben Affleck
* Ashton Kutcher