The Computer Newspaper Asks Their Dads!

The Computer Newspaper co-founders T. Robert Lindner and J. Robert Tyrrell may come across as though they have the world all figured out, this could not be further from the truth. Desperate for wisdom and a good laugh, this week they e-mailed their Dads (Bob and Willy) three questions to see what kind of sage insights they could garner.

Question 1:  Watch this Sleigh Bells performance on Saturday Night Live.  What are your impressions?

Bob Tyrrell:  I did enjoy the Sony commercial in the SNL Sleigh Bells video. I also admire the hot pants (sorry for the 1960’s reference) the young lady wore. She reminded me so of Cher, I kept waiting for Sonny to come on stage and sing “I Got You, Babe.”  Well, even though he didn’t, I sang it. After watching the video 17 times, I have concluded my enjoyment would have been enhanced if there were more rear shots and if there were subtitles.

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Hey Famous Person, Impress Me: Johnny Depp

The Computer Newspaper is notorious for its impatience. In that spirit, we are starting a recurring segment called ‘Hey Famous Person, Impress Me’ …. This series will call out members of the entertainment industry who, of late, have been coasting through popular culture on reputation alone.

If we track Johnny Depp’s long and celebrated career (he’s about to be 50 next year), we see a likeable leading man blessed with good looks who spent the 1990s doing cult films and avoiding the mainstream. See this era’s notable films and their respective Rotten Tomatoes scores below.

1990 – Edward Scissorhands91%

1993 – Benny & Joon 75%

1993 – What’s Eating Gilbert Grape 89%

1994 – Ed Wood – 91%

1997 – Donnie Brasco87%

1998 – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – 51%

After his first decade of work, Depp had dug a specific niche. The American public seemed to respect him as a charming actor whose skill-set was more important than his pretty face. He spent a few more years taking on interesting projects such as Sleepy Hollow, Blow, and Chocolat.  By playing Hunter S. Thompson (essentially) in Fear and Loathing and cocaine magnate George Jung in Blow, he was a hero to the younger, drug demographic. His face was all over dorm room walls. There was an anti-establishment cool about him, exhibiting an attitude found more often in musicians than actors. He even went on Inside The Actor’s Studio in 2002 and rolled (and subsequently smoked) his own cigarettes while answering questions. Johnny Depp probably doesn’t take shit from anyone and is the kind of stoic guy at parties that is full of provocative wisdom about the world.

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Whatever, I Win Because Your Brain Sucks: Election 2012

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum–two men that most of us have never really considered as legitimate threats to Mitt Romney’s inevitable presidential candidacy–have officially conceded this past month. As a country, this means two things:

(1) We are no longer subject to lazy SNL impersonations of the lackluster Republican field
(2) General election season is here! Let’s all get pissed off, cynical, and polarized!

While The Computer Newspaper cannot promise thorough coverage of the actual issues at hand for Obama vs. Romney, we can guarantee nearly-bipartisan enthusiasm when it comes to skewering the transparent, oft-misguided campaign tactics that we voters get to enjoy only every four years.

The newest, and most irrelevant, discussion in the political world is essentially the following:  If you’re a Republican, your distorted worldview is the direct result of abnormal brain chemistry. Continue reading

NBA Playoffs: 1 2 3 4 Do it!

Even for dedicated fans like yours truly, it is an annual chore to maintain excitement for all six weeks of the NBA playoffs. The reasons for this inevitable fatigue are obvious: the first round should not be best-of-7, the NBA should cram more games into each night so the tournament lasts only a month, and the eventual champion tends not to inspire much fresh-blooded buzz.

This is the list of NBA champions in the post-Jordan era.

2011:  Dallas Mavericks
2010:  Los Angeles Lakers
2009:  Los Angeles Lakers
2008:  Boston Celtics
2007:  San Antonio Spurs
2006:  Miami Heat
2005:  San Antonio Spurs
2004:  Detroit Pistons
2003:  San Antonio Spurs
2002:  Los Angeles Lakers
2001:  Los Angeles Lakers
2000:  Los Angeles Lakers
1999:  San Antonio Spurs

A pretty drab list. Kobe Bryant has 5 rings, Shaq has 4, Tim Duncan has 4. If you hate the spoiled Lakers (as many do, few with the vigor that The Computer Newspaper does) or the flaccid Spurs, that means the NBA playoffs exit every year with a hopeless sigh. Contextualizing the accomplishments of guys like Duncan or Kobe is necessary for later debate for nerds and historians, but it hardly stimulates the casual viewer during the first week of June. Continue reading

One Foot In The Grave, One Foot Kicking Butt!

There was a lot that was made before the 2011-2012 season started about the challenge the condensed schedule would pose to the NBA’s older teams.  Because of the lockout, teams were asked to play 66 games in just four months, including 42 back-to-back-to-back sets, a challenge more commonly asked of baseball teams.  Pundits predicted the abbreviated schedule would cause more injuries, create a lesser product because of the lack of training camp and reduced practice time (this one might be true), and that older teams would struggle to keep their players on the floor, and therefore, have a harder time competing.  Now that the regular season has ended, we know who has made the playoffs and if you take a step back to consider how different the schedule was this year, it’s pretty remarkable how things have unfolded.

          Team:                                Average Age:                 Age Ranking (1=Oldest Team)

Eastern Conference:

  1. Chicago Bulls                     27.99                                         9
  2. Miami Heat                         28.63                                          6
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Quarterly Pop Culture Roundtable

To celebrate the first 25% of the year being complete, The Computer Newspaper did what it always does:  round up the biggest newsmakers in popular culture for a brief discussion.

The Computer Newspaper:  First of all, welcome everybody, I know you have busy schedules… well, probably not as busy as they were a month or two ago, but hey, that’s celebrity these days, amirite?

Jennifer Lawrence:  I shouldn’t be here, I’m an Oscar-caliber actress. I’m not some Youtube video with a definitive shelf-life.

TCN:  Jennifer, first of all, you are here so that we can look at you. Maybe even ask you out for a wine tasting, take the edge off you a bit. Second of all, The Hunger Games is all the rage and the truth is, we would have rather had Stanley Tucci be here to represent the film but he has a pending lawsuit against The Computer Newspaper for our “The Tooch is Loose” bumper stickers.

Lawrence:  If I show you my breasts for a few minutes, can I afterwards leave?

Sh*t Girls Say:  That is so something a girl would say to an online periodical. Continue reading

The Google Instant Game

The premise behind Google Instant is simple and not altogether innovative as it was offered, in some capacity, on other search engines before Google introduced it in September of 2010.  By offering suggested results as the user types their word or phrase into the search bar, Google estimates that it saves users 2 to 5 seconds in every search,  which adds up to a collective 11 million seconds per hour.  There’s been a great deal of discussion about what people plan to do with all the time they save through all these emerging technological time-savers, but we’re not all that interested in that; we’ve got things to do.  What’s more interesting to us, at The Computer Newspaper, is the insight this feature provides into the peculiarities of our collective curiosities.

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I Blame Leslie Nielsen For Virtually Everything

Let it be said that criticizing originality in Hollywood is as natural as second-guessing referees at sporting events. There is some vague entity out there, a faceless ‘they’ in the film industry, that has ‘run out of ideas,’ reduced to just releasing sequels and re-makes. Every year, The American Public sits in movie theaters, during the coming attractions, rolling their collective eye at trailers for another comic book movie (including head-scratching re-dos like Hulk or Spider-Man) or an apparently-still-open-ended saga like Pirates of the Caribbean or Men In Black. What is largely misunderstood, however, is that these unsolicited, big-budget movies are a threat to the art of film itself. In reality, the kind of movie (hint: not Inception) that typically earns a sequel is mindless fare, anyway, so making four or six Fast and Furious flicks is ultimately harmless. What I cannot support, as a general rule, is the misguided notion that a great hit comedy deserves a sequel.

Comedy, in film, is a medium of freshness. The movies that resonate with the largest audiences, the ones that become ‘must-see’ phenomena, succeed because they entail variations we, as hungry consumers, have not seen before. In this sense, comedy is a cousin to music; jokes become outdated as fast as bands do.

[Comedy, on television, conversely, relies on familiarity–anticipating what dunce shoe-shiner Andy will say in Parks and Recreation or how Charlie will react to a situation in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creates the biggest laughs. Kramer enters a room and the studio audience cheers because week after week, he fulfills our expectations (in the program Seinfeld…do you know it?). Television has this inherent advantage over movies. Not enough time lapses between episodes for these indelible characters to become stale. When there is too much of a hiatus, the audience loses interest. Napoleon Dynamite, the recent animated version on Fox, was dead-in-the-water from Day 1 because the show was released seven years after the movie was popular. Shows like Family Guy and Arrested Development are examples of what an extended absence can do–they both peaked via word-of-mouth after they were cancelled, only to return (presumably for Arrested) to network television with diminishing returns. There is a reason (let’s be honest, there are several) why Dave Chappelle still doesn’t call Comedy Central back.] Continue reading

Rotten Potatoes: Trust Me, SportsCenter, I Know How Sports Work

SportsCenter has decided that I am dumb.  I don’t appreciate this lack of confidence in my ability to follow the action in a simple play.   They have come up with a superfluous technological advance to let me “in on the action” being that I am such a layman.  This “technology” (kind of) is in the form of a floor-to-ceiling halo around the important person in the upcoming highlight.  This abomination is used in various unnecessary circumstances that insult the sports enthusiast’s credibility and knowledge of sports.

This trend hit an all-time low last week after Kentucky beat Kansas for the NCAA title. In this highlight, they have decided to put the shower curtain around the on-ball defender, Kidd-Gilchrist. Where else would I be looking, SportsCenter?  They follow Kidd-Gilchrist around the court to make sure that even when he is done affecting the play, I am affixed to his mega spotlight.  I know how the game is played, I think. Continue reading

Greatness In Gainesville: 2007 P.I.E. Tribute

On the toes of another Final Four, and in accordance with The Computer Newspaper’s P.I.E. retrospective for the year 2007, now feels like the right time to look back five years at the back-to-back champion Florida Gators– the most important college basketball team of the past twenty years.

[It is not that brash of a statement. Two decades ago, in 1992, Duke was winning their second of back-to-back championships and the Fab Five, culturally speaking, was at the peak of their powers. Since then, Florida is the only other repeat champion (and smart money is on that trend continuing), and well, there cannot be another Fab Five.]

So the question is:  should you really give a shit about this?

Lucky for you, I have the right personal dichotomy to answer that question. On the one hand, I was raised on sports and can recite trivia like it’s scripture. However, as an adult, I understand there is more to the world than, say, the Pro Bowl, and like everyone else, loathe the state of 24/7 sports media where superlatives and debate become either redundant or unfounded. I come to you sagacious, but jaded (isn’t that always the case); in this spirit, give me a chance. Continue reading