Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catching up with the column train

Some self-promoter I am. I've fallen shamefully behind in posting my recent columns, so my apologies to those of you who have been waiting for them (primarily relatives and shut-ins). Let's catch up now:

Life lessons from Charlie Brown? Good grief!

There’s a particular type of person who relates to Charlie Brown. And if you’ve ever seen me try to kick a football, you know why I’m that type of person.

That’s not the only reason, of course. I’ve also suffered from an inability to talk to more than my share of little red-haired girls. And while I was never knocked flat on my back on a pitcher’s mound in my underwear, there certainly have been times when it felt like I was — like, say, my entire freshman year of high school.

Plus, my latest from GOODlife magazine, "Dad doesn't feel like a tool":

It’s always a slippery slope when one of your young children asks you what you want for Father’s Day. You can’t tell them what you really want, because it would probably deviate from the pre-approved list of fatherly gift items, made up almost entirely of things that will enable you to better fulfill your duties as man of the house. All that 72-inch wall-mounted television would do is make you into even more of a slacker than you are right now.
There you go, so you can stop sending me those letters of complaint. I'm talking to you, shut-ins.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Column: Things in space are getting ugly

There are certain things we simply do not yet know about interstellar space travel. For instance, once scientists finally invent warp drive, will it really look like the lasers in a Pink Floyd planetarium show? It’s just too soon to tell, although if it doesn’t turn out to look like that, somebody will have not earned his grant money.

But one thing we’ve always been able to say with relative certainty is that most space travelers will be — and I mean this in a completely dispassionate, scientific way — better looking than you. No offense intended, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned it’s that it’s very difficult to be taken seriously in space unless you look like Harrison Ford or Sigourney Weaver, especially in your underwear.

This is why new information from astrobiologist Dr. Lewis Dartnell is so shocking. According to the Telegraph of London, Dartnell says the effects of long-term interstellar space travel will actually leave astronauts looking short, fat and bald. No word on what Dr. Dartnell looks like, but I can’t help but wonder if he’s just jealous of the better-looking space travelers who got to make time with Leeta, the sexy Bajoran woman from episode 131 of “Star Trek: DS9.” Um … you, know, generally.

[Read the rest of AT LARGE by Peter Chianca here.]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

At Large Wednesday Night Link Roundup

And finally, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Literal Videos may be the best pop culture trend since .... well, ever:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Column: Psst ... What does a yellow light mean?

I recently got an e-mail from someone at GMAC Insurance who asked the question, “If licensed Massachusetts residents had to take a written drivers test today, would they pass?” According to the e-mail, “that answer is up for debate,” by which I presume they mean, “not in a million, trillion years.”

Not because people from Massachusetts never really learn how to drive — it’s because the circumstances of driving here actually force you to forget. If you wind up being the only driver on the road who knows when not to pass, who has the right of way in a rotary and how to drive in the snow without panicking, the other drivers will all talk about you. Usually at the top of their lungs, with their middle fingers bobbing in the air like little flesh-colored danger buoys.

According to GMAC, Massachusetts placed 45th out of 50 states when re-taking the written test. Of course, the results might be slightly skewed, given that its primary respondents were probably shut-ins who found it on the Internet — had more actual drivers taken the exam, the National Guard would already be here forcibly shutting down our roads.

[For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.]

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

At Large Tuesday Night Link Roundup

It's been a while, so here's an extra-long list of satire stories and real news stories you're going to wish were satire. See if you can tell them apart.

I want one! "New iPhone App Lets Users Talk To Each Other"

"Spanish study shows cocaine in the air in 2 cities." Hmm ... Has anyone tested Miami lately?
This is why I love Joe Biden: "Biden Reveals Location of Secret VP Bunker." "Come on in and get me, I dare ya!"

It was bound to happen eventually: "America's 6-Year-Olds Denounce The Wiggles."

More to the Iran Facebook story than meets the eye: "Iran Bans Facebook After No One Friends Prez." Poor Mahmoud.

Well, if this doesn't make the price increase worth it, nothing will: "Newsweek To Go All-Obama, All The Time."

Exhibit A as to why you should never eat something that's a color that doesn't occur in nature.

At least he was selling them, not assembling them in his basement: "Mortician sentenced to 5 years for stealing body parts."

Was Joe Biden somehow involved? "U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally."