Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Oscar Nominations

John Young is spot-on with his Oscar nomination predictions, with the only differences stemming from his precautionary assumption that the Academy would do some overlooking. I'm sure he feels a little better about Hollywood now. He's becoming a very insightful observer.

9 Out of 10 Doctors Hate Participating In Such Surveys

Every commercial or endorsement for health products/medicine seems to carry with it a hearty recommendation from "doctors"--specifically 9 of them.

"9 out of 10 dentists recommend flossing your teeth."

Well what does the 10th guy recommend? Flossing your teeth with a candy cane? Who is this quack? And more importantly, I should point out that this 10th doctor is actually the crux of the whole recommendation system. Without him/her the other 9 really have no bearing on the outcome of a medicinal purchase. It takes that one dissenting voice amid the chaos of the drugstore to rise above the fray and give us something to consider, if only for a moment.

"Wow, 9 out of 10 dentists recommend toothpaste! Hm, but there's one who thinks it may not be necessary..."

Of course, no product could ever claim "ALL DOCTORS RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT" as if the decision were handed down to them by God on a stone Tagamet HB, er tablet. Who knows how far these statistical gymnastics can go! It may very well be the case that 9 out of 1200 doctors prefer Crest over Colgate, but Crest simply says "9 out of 10," a technically true statement, but a misleading one at that. I think this example is used in intro statistics classes to warn students about the dangers of numbers in general. I think numbers are generally involved in more crimes than words; at least in free societies. How did Al Capone finally get reeled in by the FBI? Tax evasion. Numbers.

Thus, I propose that we eliminate numbers from endorsements and say something else along the lines of "Given a handful of doctors, a good many of them will likely support your purchase of Crest for the purposes of cavity prevention. We're pretty sure about that. Fairly certain. kthnxbye."

Backlight Burnout Forces Nomadic Posting Effort

Alright, the backlight on my laptop has resigned in protest over a perceived lack of compassion in recent weeks. While understandably saddened and hurt by the incident, I respect the backlight's decision and wish him well as he finds his way to the bottom of a fine trash compactor.

As a result of these newly transpired events, you might see a slowdown in posting over the next few days, as I'll only be able to access a computer from the cluster here at ND. Of course, the last time I said that, I overcompensated and started posting every hour.

If Simon starts showing up at the office, I have NO DOUBT that he will FILL IN and really HELP ME OUT until I get my computer back. End transmission.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Fallujah Marlboro Man Now Home

His picture became iconic--read about him here. He's only 21 years old.

The Monday Morning Slam

A number of reports have been flying across the desk this morning. Some of them could change the course of history. Some could literally destroy it. Please review the following and report back to your life with a heightened sense of what is important in the world:

USA Today just says NO to changing start times for sleepy high schoolers

Most important trait in a mate? For guys it's a matter of her catching his eye. For girls......?

The hunt is on for the Malaysian "Bigfoot"

Tie your shoes before walking near Qing vases

Sunday, January 29, 2006

No Quaffing Matter: Spanish Coca-Cola

Brian, Caught on the Bound's Barcelona Bureau Chief, reports:

During my last few months here in beautiful Barcelona, Spain - Catalunyan capital of Jazz fusion, separatist pride, and trippy modernist architecture - I've noticed a startling phenomenon. Coke cans are weightier in Europe. At first, I was startled: "Wait! Can this be all there is!? Have I truly
caroused all the nectarous magic of this one soft drink??" Please, do not mistake my shock for an ill-construed quaffing disaster. I do not quaff. I sip, pause, enjoy, let the pure goodness flow down my throat and through my veins until an all-consuming energy rattles the depths of my bones. There is no quaffing in this apartment.

But still! How can this 33 mL aluminum can have emptied so quickly? My instincts told me something was awry. This can . . . this can CANNOT be a normal can. In an effort to uncover the mystery at hand, I was led to the one, the only strategy that would bring justice to a soda-deprived world: the scientific method. It never fails. EVER. It was a task of the ages, well worth the pain, effort, and extra calories. Was it just Coca Cola that led to such flurried disenchantment? What about Fanta?
¿¿Naranja y limón?? The Brazilian cherry wonder Guarana Antarctica? Spanish beer Estrella Damm? After excessive experimenting and a quick siesta, I concluded that, indeed, cans here are heavier, and all weigh basically the same.

But Oh, the disillusionment!!! -- the chagrin of drinking so many cans of soda, and with each one hoping that there remain a few more drops, only to be left with a profound bitterness in my pit stomach. I'm not sure if I'll ever truly become accustomed to this new, strange world . . . one where the Spanish language is loathed, where stores close from 2pm to 5pm every day, and where drinking a soda leaves me always hoping for una gota más.

Soy Brian, Agarrado en el Brinco correspondiente de Barcelona, despidiéndose.

Saturday, January 28, 2006


I would like to apologize for an error that recently appeared on the site. The A-B-C-Disintegrating article from yesterday inaccurately credited CNN Money with the list when, in fact, it was put out by Business 2.0 but appears online under CNN Money (where it is properly credited). Caught on the Bound apologizes for the oversight and thanks Business 2.0 for pointing this out. I may joke around a lot on this site, but I also want to properly cite and give credit where it is due for each link or reference. Onward!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Simon Will Say

ANN ARBOR, MI (Caught on the Bound Newswire) - Popular genius and IKWITA Webmaster Simon Roberts was hired earlier today by Caught on the Bound and will be serving in a number of "executive capacities" which will include staff writing, marketing, and community service. Roberts is also expected to represent the storied blog at international conferences and in the House of Commons later this year. The 5-year $4 million contract is the highest-paying in blog history, we think (and hope).

Widely-read and broadly-written about, Simon has emerged as an icon of journalistic integrity in the post-dotcom fallout. Where others started endeavors and lost millions, Simon didn't and in the end out-earned most of those failed entrepreneurs. He now sits at the Caught on the Bound conference table ready to forge ahead to brighter horizons, and to shoot down any of Kevin's ideas that deperately need it. Godspeed and Buddhapeace.

Return of the ...Simon?

Uh-oh. I'm back.
More news to come.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Overused Word #3 - Vertically-challenged

During class the other day, my professor, in the course of his lecture said, "Now for those of you who are vertically-challenged...."

A wave of mental anguish overcame me at that point and rendered the rest of the sentence unworthy of hearing. Such is the power of this week's OVERUSED WORD, "vertically-challenged."

Vertically-challenged is one of those words, or hyphenated phrases perhaps, that used to be a hip, witty means of saying "short," but because it is now so institutionalized and engrained into the common vernacular, all of that has now faded. The word appears to be, at its root, some kind of politically-correct euphemism to counteract the sting of the word "short." Would it really hurt people to say "not tall" instead? Or maybe we could find another trendy way of saying short, like "concentrated height" or "of managable length."

Ex: "What's the matter, Charlie? Are you too concentrated in height to reach that cookie jar?"

Ex: "So I met this really CUUUUTE guy today! He's of managable length, has thick black hair...."

On second thought, maybe "concentrated height" would serve the purpose better.

What about "vertically-constrained" or "horizontally-directed?" Is there anything wrong with calling a short person "limbo-able" or "jockey statured?"

DO YOU KNOW OF AN OVERUSED WORD? Email kcurran1 nd edu and launch another pointless investigation.

They're A-B-C Disintegrating!

From CNN Money's 101 Dumbest Moments in Business:

82. Go d thi g we h te A pha-B ts, anyw y.
Attempting to reformulate Alpha-Bits into a healthier cereal made with 75 percent whole grains and no sugar, Kraft Foods runs into "letter integrity" issues: The whole-oat flour yields an edible alphabet that's too chunky to read, while the elimination of the sugar coating causes the floating font to break apart more readily. Adding insult to injury, a dining reporter for the New York Times soon weighs in, saying the less-legible cereal "tastes like wet cardboard."
"Letter integrity" issues sound like something this site would cover. As Andrew Sullivan said of the incident: "Will someone please think of the children?"

Poe(m) of the Day

OK, the last few posts have been kind of ridiculous, so let's center ourselves with a touch of enlightenment:

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

--Edgar Allen Poe

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Black Hole Puts Dent In Universe; God Awaits Estimate on Repairs

It looks like a wayward black hole has put a dent in the very fabric of spacetime. I'm sure distancevelocity and accelerationmomentum, among other forcibly compounded words in the science world, are safe.

Whenver I come across these articles about black holes or the universe in general, I'm always caught a little offguard by the simple elegance of the wording. How can something so vast and incomprehensible be made almost tangible by a word like "dent" or "fabric"? With all of the accomplishments in physics, astronomy and cosmology this century, credit must given to those scientists who managed to reach out to the general populace with illustrative words that bring the haziest of ideas about the universe into the consideration of the ordinary person's mind.

(Photo: the black hole as it appeared moments after the denting)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bryant Scores 81: Looking for A New Challenge?

LOS ANGELES (Caught on the Bound) - Kobe Bryant came within a mere 19 points of tying Wilt Chamberlain's record 100-point game on Sunday night. The remarkable feat only underscored what many have known now for some time: Kobe is bored with the NBA.

"He couldn't be stopped tonight," Raptors guard Mike James said. "He basically beat us by himself."

Lakers coach Phil Jackson thought the effort eclipsed anything Michael Jordan ever did on a single night. "That was something to behold -- it was another level," Jackson said. "At halftime we were disturbed about the way we were playing. We came out and Kobe just found a way to do everything."

In the eyes of many, Bryant still trails Jordan in some accomplishments, which is why he is very likely to set his sights on something he has never before attempted: NCAA basketball. "He's a terrific player," noted Jackson. "Sometimes it's just time to go and I think for Kobe, that time is now." Insiders expect Bryant to receive a number of scholarship offers from the nation's top programs. "We could use a player with his attack and passion" said Kansas head coach Bill Self.

Bryant has yet to make any formal announcement of his decision, but those close to him say he is leaning toward a college career. "It may mean a significant pay-cut, but Kobe has never been about money. He wants a Final Four appearance now" said long-time friend and close advisor Shaquille O'Neal.

Bryant may be in good company during the process, though. Another L.A. star athlete, Reggie Bush, is also stepping up to a new challenge after dominating at his current level. "I can understand where Kobe is at right now. I'd tell him the same thing I told Reggie: 'It's time to move on'" said Bush's stepfather LaMar Griffin.

"After 81 points, the guy is clearly ready for something fresh. Let's see him do that with only 40 minutes a game!" cracked a face-painted Tar Heel fan.

Site Tracking: The Hits Keep....Doing Weird Things

You're probably asking yourself: "What's the deal with that red counter on the right side there?" Well, here's the untold story behind the little clicker. Yesterday saw a record number of hits and first-time vistors to the site. I have no idea why. So it only follows that today is the record low in hits and first-time visitors (and by record I mean "since this site started a month ago"). Our statisticians cite a relatively jumpy approval rating and busy schedules as the main culprits behind the zig-zagging data.

Also worth noting: visitors to Caught on the Bound have come from Singapore, Malaysia, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia, Mexico, and even the mysterious enchanted land of "Canada." The United States is well-represented of course, with visitors from California, Michigan, Washington, Tennessee, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Florida, Alabama, Arizona, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Minnesota, and there was even a hit from Alaska.

I don't even know people in a lot of these states, so I'm chalking that up to random hits on Blogspot, because we're sure as heck not on Google.....yet. So that's the story. Write your own ending.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Every Ball Begins With A Single Band

The results of a laborious Saturday afternoon over break. It's growing up so fast!

Whatever Happened to.....The Beets?

In the fall of 1991, Nickelodeon launched its first three Nicktoons: Doug, Rugrats, and Ren & Stimpy. Doug somehow found a way to carve out its own loyal following, even though Rugrats and Ren & Stimpy seemed to grab a lot of the attention.

Doug had its memorable moments, and most of them seemed to involve the songs that were written for the show. Doug's "Bangin' on a Trashcan" can still be heard in the humming of wayward college students from time to time: "Bangin on a trashcan, drummin on a streetlight, strummin on my banjo, one little voice is calling me calling me"

Doug and his best friend, Skeeter Valentine ("honk honk!"), were hardcore fans of a Beatlesque/The Who-type band that appeared from time to time on the show called The Beets. (Interestingly, their final album was appropriately entitled "Let it Beet"). This was just one of many abnormal references to the vegetable on the show. Anyways, whatever happened to The Beets?

Well, it turns out they're alive and well! They have their own myspace account and believe it or don't, they have three of their hit songs available to listen to: "Killer Tofu" "I Need More Allowance" and "Shout Your Lungs Out"

Check them out, and let them know you're still a fan. If you're not a fan, you probably will be. Even Doug's archnemesis Roger Klotz was a fan. So round out, you squares.

The Regulars

Like it or not, I believe this site is beginning to develop a few regulars, kind of like Norm and Cliff at Cheers. Let's look at what we have so far:

-Overused Words
-Semi-bi-fortnightly Press Conference
-Email of the Day (not everyday, but when there's a good one)
and coming soon...
-Whatever Happened to....? (A nostalgiac or contemptuous look at something we all cared deeply about but for whatever reason it fell off the radar and now exists as an enigmatic recollection of past joy or lost anguish buried in the sands of time and kept locked away by the hands of a ticking clock)

What a big parenthetical waste of time that was. Anyways, if you have a suggestion for a "Whatever Happened to....?" or anything else, email away to kcurran1(at)nd(dot)edu

I type it that way so weird spambots don't harvest my address from this site and use it for evil. It's kind of akin to having your soul sucked out of you and forcing it to view ads for "CARABEAN GETAWAYSS!!!!" Unlike "Cheers," email is not a good situation where everybody should know your name. (But I'm sure they're always glad you came.)

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Backlight Burnout

There's going to be a little bit of a slowdown here with the posting until the backlight to the "office" can be restored to full power. I don't even know how this happened. Why do somewhat annoying things happen to average people?! It just isn't fair!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why not?

"You look at the world as it is and ask 'why?' while I look at the world as I want it to be and ask 'why not?'"

Anyone know who said this first? I can't find it.

Email of the Day

One reader's response to the recently concluded ramen noodle survey:

I was shocked to find that Maruchan Instant Lunch won by such a large margin. Not only do Cup Noodles have more peas-per-CUPita, they also have a penchant for the supernatural. Last year, while enjoying a steaming cup of the stuff, I chanced upon what appeared to be a face in the noodles. This face was that of Rod Stewart. I don't care if you're a Rod Stewart fan or not--any food with that capability is a winner.
I might consider overturning the results if it sang. Might. IF it sang!

SEND AN EMAIL TO CAUGHT ON THE BOUND! kcurran1 (at) nd (dot) edu

Press Conference - 1/19

OK, shoot.

"Although this site has been up and running for a few weeks now, it has yet to reveal any decisive focus or purpose. How do you respond to this charge?"

Caught on the Bound is meant to be an observation of the world, both through first-hand accounts and other contributing sources. This is a very approximate way of saying "we're going to do whatever it takes to get enough hits to generate some advertising revenue." Yes, you over there with the monocle and top hat.

"Em yessss, while I certainly enjoy the robust contextual....."
I'm going to cut you off here. We spent way too much time looking up the correct spelling of monocle just a few sentences ago. Yeah, you.

"Hi, I'm a long-time reader, first time-press conference questioner. A lot of us here are still wondering if that blurry jelly bean picture is really a Magic Eye. I say it isn't, but my friend says...."
Alright, it's not a Magic Eye. I was trying to make the best of an awkward, blurry situation. Yes, the teenie bopper in back.

"OMG!!! like y havnt u said NEthing about reese witherspoon wearing the same dress as kirsten dunst did in 2003 to a golden globes after-party???"
Are you suggesting that I actually did see the article about that in the news and PURPOSELY skipped it? That's correct. Now if there's nothing else for today, I would like to get back to the good life. It's time I got back, you know.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Garfield Randomizer

Think you could do a better job than Jim Davis? Well, join the club.

Overused Word #2 - Definitely


adv : without question and beyond doubt

"I'm so definitely there."
"I definitely just ate an entire bag of pork rinds."
"He's definitely not coming to the paper mache costume party."

In a world of continuous upheaval and rare certainty, this word is definitely used too much. See? However, it is likely because of this uncertainty that so many choose to employ the word. Let's try to fix this up a little bit to express the same meaning, but without the definitely.

"I'm so emphatically there!"
"I can affirm with unwavering confidence that I just consumed an entire package of Super Bowl delectables."
"He is decidedly and unquestionably not coming to the paper mache costume party because no one wants that much paste on his or her skin."

Much better. Maybe. You know what? I don't care. Use "definitely". Just don't spell it "definately". It's like spelling "God" as "Gawd".

Do you know of a word that is unquestionably being overused? Email the central bureau here at kcurran1 (at) nd (dot) edu to report. Gawdspeed.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Going in Reverse

You've always wanted to try it, now you can! Play some classic rock songs backwards and see what the devil this is all about.


"Lucrative Finances Situation!!"

I would like that you treat this email with all seriousness; I work with a bank in
South Korea. I am the head investment department. I am presently in charge of the
government account/investment.
I have discovered that some of the account are dormant with a lot of money in the
account on further investigation I found out that one particular account belong to
the former president of south Koreans MR PARK CHUNG HEE, who ruled south Koreans
from 1963-1979 and this particular account has a deposit of $40m in stocks and bonds.

And thus began another encounter with the Nigerian scam. When this came across our desks earlier today, we immediately assumed that the greatest riches South Korea has to offer would soon be ours! After some consultation with accountants and attorneys, we also realized that we were being cheated out of additional money due to inflation since 1979. Since $40 million is just pocket change to Caught on the Bound, we decided to pass on this one. In fact, we passed it on to the government task force set up to take these guys down: The Federal Trade Commission

Now if only that guy in Dubai would get our initial $10,000 payment back to us for the transfer of his "very distinguish person leader's vast fortune wealth" into our account, we'll be merrily on our way!

Maruchan Runs Away With Noodle Title

Which ramen is the preferred brand? We surveyed over 70 individuals from every walk (and run and crawl) of life to find the answer. The results:

Maruchan Instant Lunch -

Nissin Cup Noodles - 32%

So what can we make of these results? Apparently, a very quick lunch. Thanks to everyone who participated. We're very proud to bring arbitrary information into homes across the country.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Office Relocation

We will be going into posting-silence for the next 24 hours while Caught on the Bound's cozy southern California offices are vacated with the intention of relocating somewhere in the midwest. Like Notre Dame. The ramen count is done and will be published on Monday. You'll probably see it in several major journals over the course of the next few months. Thanks to all who participated!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Driving the Wedge - The Survey Continues

The great ramen survey is still underway. Thanks to everyone who has participated so far. Just to clarify, the Maruchan Instant Lunch comes in a cup form in addition to the packs. This has been a point of confusion, anger, and great contention. Well, I better get back to the vote tabulating. The staff has been working overtime to settle this great issue once and for all!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pointless Undertaking: Maruchan Instant Lunch vs. Nissin Cup Noodles

We live in a polarized world today don't we? Blue states, red states. Liberal, conservative. Pro-choice, pro-life. Soft-shell taco, crunchy taco. Coca-Cola, Pepsi. Well, let's drive the wedge a little further! Over the next few days, Caught on the Bound will be launching an investigative survey and report on ramen noodles. Which is the more popular brand? Why? These questions have plagued the inquiring soul since the dawn of the space age, when the instant ramen noodle was first pioneered. I think. Stay tuned for details on how YOU can participate!

Editor-in-Chief Under Fire for "Lazy Posting Effort"

MISSION VIEJO, CA--Having already been criticized for his questionable journalistic integrity by various candy companies and animation studios, Caught on the Bound editor-in-chief Kevin Curran has caught some considerable flak the past few days for what sworn enemies have called a "lazy posting effort" with the site. Curran, who is wintering at his family's Orange County home was not available for immediate comment. Caught on the Bound publicists assured the media that the site will continue normal functions in the coming days. "After the resignation of our Helsinki Bureau Chief yesterday, things just haven't been right around here" said one senior staff member on condition of anonymity. Also under attack by critics are the site's pseudo-news reports and press conferences.

Right: Curran, contesting a move during an imaginary chess game

Monday, January 09, 2006

Overused Word #1 - Procrastination


This word is used entirely too much. Don't get me wrong, though, I really enjoy it. It lets me get all of my study breaks out of the way up front. The problem, though, is that people just throw this word around without thinking about the emotional and psychological toll it takes on a person.

Nobody ever wants to start a project too early. It just doesn't make any sense. You can't write that final paper until you've finished the course, you can't start your homework that's due next week until next week because the teacher will likely push the due date back anyways, screwing you and saving the rest of the slacker class! You can't write a paper on current events too soon because it won't be current when you turn it in.

Procrastinating takes too much skill to just have the word thrown around. Procrastinators do their best to keep their work and their world current, efficient and up-to-the-minute, yet must contend with the inevitable stress. Just look at the journalists. They can't write about Pope John Paul II's death until he's actually dead! Otherwise they look like, really bad and stuff.

Procrastinators break out in cold sweat as the deadline approaches. Diets change. Moods swing. Shoes don't get worn. Coffee is consumed to the point of ineffectiveness. Sleep takes a backseat while determination and true grit drive the body into the abysmal void of completion. Every day we search the skies for heroes, unaware that they are typing amongst us. They work while we sleep. They toil while we revel. And what kind of gratitude do we give them? We use that word entirely too much. So save the word for the true procrastinators. The rest are just using Facebook.

Press Conference - 1/9/05

Alright, let's get going with this, I don't have all day. I need to do some relaxing later on. OK, let's start with you,

"Hi there, Alex Miller with the Oregonian. Why is your Jelly Belly picture so grainy?"
That's a complicated issue, Alex. You need to ask yourself this: is it the picture that's grainy or are the jelly beans themselves grainy? The answer may surprise you. Yes, in back there...

"OK, does this site have any real focus or is it just a spewing ground for wastes of time?"

"You're a student at Notre Dame. Does this mean that the content on this site is pre-approved by the Vatican?"
Oh totally. Every morning I pick up the phone and say "Give me the Vatican!" And then the guy on the other end says "If you want it, come and get it!" As of yet, I still do not got it. Yeah, you with the Uzi...

"Much speculation has been made about your rumored addiction to Coca-Cola. Have you sought treatment or made any progress in your recovery?"
Absolutely. Just the other day I took a Coke from the fridge when I really wanted 2 Cokes. Uh yes, Alex from the Oregonian again...

"No seriously, why is that Jelly Belly picture grainy?"
It's really a Magic Eye.


When I'm not sitting here pouring Coca-Cola on my pants, I'm often poring over the recent news making its way to the front pages of internet news sites. I always look forward to mandatory end of the year "best words" pieces that have a panel of writers, journalists, professors or auto workers vote for the year's best "made-up" word.

For example, some of 2005's new words:

Katrinagate - obvious enough
truthiness - truthy, but not facty
podcast - those iPod programs, though "experts" say the term is much older
jump the couch

"Jump the couch" refers to the way in which Tom Cruise went certifiably nuts on Oprah over Katie Holmes, but its roots delve so much deeper. "Jump the couch" is a play on "jump the shark" which is a term used for when a TV show gets ridiculous and the plots get more outlandish. The example embodied in the phrase is taken from "Happy Days," which in 1982, had a plot that consisted of Fonzie jumping over a shark while water-skiing WITH his leather jacket still firmly affixed to his body. Since then, "jumping the shark" refers to the point of ridiculousness from which there is no return for a TV show. This is your history/pop culture lesson for the day. Please try to forget it as soon as you can and learn something that could change the world for the better.

Top 10 or So Movies of 2005

Conor and John strike again with the best films of 2005. I should point out that John is "very satisfied" with his list. Conor was unavailable for comment at the time of this posting.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Food! What is it good for?

I think Jelly Belly jelly beans might be a signal that the end of food is approaching. A lot of candies come in different flavors, but I think Jelly Belly's are the only candies that come in different foods. Chocolate pudding, buttered popcorn, A&W Root Beer (ok, drink), watermelon, toasted marshmallow. Yes, toasted marshmallow! How do they do that?! Marshmallow is perfectly understandable right? You just squish a marshmallow and hold it over a funnel over the jelly bean machine I guess, but how do you get that toasted flavor? Or that buttered popcorn flavor? Do they dust the marshmallow with a little ash? Buttered popcorn is kind of pushing it a bit too. If I wanted something that would taste like buttered popcorn in the palm of my hand I would probably make some buttered popcorn. I can't even begin to explain how hurt and confused I am by all of this.

So I'll skip the beginning of the explanation and jump right into the far-reaching implications of these polished little purgatories between food and candy; between the business of nutrition and the free-wheeling fun of a good sugar crash.

Remember the Jetsons? Well, they were fictional. But their show was real. It was a show about the far future that aired in the past, so naturally, it should make a lot of, well, sense. One thing that always stood out to me, other than George's inability to turn that crazy thing off, was the portrayal of food. It came in little capsules. Like cottage cheese capsules or pork loin capsules. I look down in my hand at these capsules of buttered popcorn and cappuccino and wonder: "Just how much longer will it be? Will I be able to order my steak capsule medium rare? Or will they all be the same?" Why must the joyous diversity and free-flowing expression of food be reduced to rigid conformity? Why must I keep asking rhetorical questions about candy?!

I'll be fine for now, but if I ever end up taking a tour of the Jelly Belly factory, I might seriously consider turning that crazy thing off.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Top 10 Albums of 2005

Two good friends, Conor Barrett and John Young give their takes on the Top 10 of 2005!

Interestingly, Bloc Party's Silent Alarm is the consensus #2 album of the year despite their slightly different tastes. Caught on the Bound decrees this to be a spiffy merging of consciousness (SMOC). This is not the last time you will hear this term.

These sites are really fun to look at side by side. Also worth noting: Conor found 2005 to be a bad year for movies, while John called it a triumph! The perfect counterpoint of it all!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Wanted: Dead or Alive

One site takes a stand in the muddled aftermath of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince! (Hat-tip: Brian)

Dental Wars II: The Hygienist Pokes Back

The flurry of Thursday power posts continues! For those of you who read IKWITA, the site I was previously affiliated with, you might remember my triumphant dental appointment a year ago when I effectively stuck it to the dental man:

"Never Say "Gag me!" To A Dentist

Well, tooth and metal locked horns again as I made my regular visit to the dentist. I always seem to have an experience instead of an appointment. Once again, I encountered the problem that all of us seem to have faced. You know what problem I'm talking about. The dentist asks "So! How's school/education/whatever the hell it is you do now?" With a wide-open, chock full mouth you say "Ughh hugghh". "SUPER!" says the dentist. Yeah, in the words of my brother, Kyle, it's "no dice". So, I decided to fight back! If the dentist and his legion of hygienists are going to ask me questions when I can't talk...I'll ask them right back!

With the smooth sounds of outdated elevator music providing an unwelcome background, I put my plan into action. "I'll bet it's cold back there in Indiana! Ha ha! Oh man!" said the dentist. "Yeff! Ish cogogh ike oo udder blgagdh! Ish dkf godfggle de sks *spit* *choke*?" The dentist briefly pulled his weird unnecessarily pointy instrument away from my mouth gaping in what I can only describe as horrified astonishment. I had done what few dared to even dream. I asked the dentist a question with a full mouth! This guy brought at least his A- game though. He changed the subject to something he knew about in an effort to silence me: "See, your incisor here is recovering nicely from that pit removal therapy." But I'm no fool. I did my homework on this thing back in the summer. "Og yesh! Bushsd it wash a bicuzshpid ngot an enzizor dijhf *gag*" After that, it was over. As I swished and spat for the last time that day, I realized what I had done. The walk from the chair to the door was never more satisfying. I acknowledged the desk staff with a slight nod and pointed back to the hygienist. It was a victory for dental patients everywhere. "Excuse me! You forgot your toothbrush!" cried one of the ladies behind the desk. I gave a look that resembled the words "Seriously now..." and strolled out victoriously. Now I need to go buy a toothbrush."

Well, the saga continues. I went in for my regular appointment today and promptly lost the edge. The hygienist immediately started the scraping and before I even knew what was going on, she asked her first question. After finding out minimal background about me, she proceeded to tell me about a trend in which American college students studying Japanese go to Japan to become ministers, as they are in high demand for "American-style" weddings.

I couldn't even get a word in. She started talking about how my Catholic high school background might exclude me from being a "minister" among other things. By the time it was over, it was too late. I had lost my composure and failed to even remember what record I needed to set straight. I grudgingly accepted my toothbrush and knew that somehow, someway, next time would be different. MARK MY WORDS: NEXT TIME WILL BE DIFFERENT.


Guestbook Controversy Swirls; House Rules in Effect

One "Elizabeth" has recently suggested in her guestbook signing that I am the signee behind the first signature. This is a lie. I refuse to sign my own guestbook. To even suggest that possibility is flirting with libel! The scandal! The horror! The character assassination! It would be like walking into my own house and asking myself if I should take my shoes off.

Speaking of which, did you ever notice or pay close attention to the little rules and eccentricities people have about their homes? Some people demand that your shoes come off before even setting foot in the house. This one I can understand. The Japanese caught on to that waaaay back. Carpets deserve to be spared the wear and tear of rubber-soled horror.

Customs vary about being a guest in someone's house. When asked about this topic, I learned of some interesting opinions. Several people I know would find it perfectly normal for a person to help themselves to a glass of milk without asking in someone's house, including clattering through the cabinets to find a glass. Others said this was barbaric and bordering on glassware anarchy (I don't really know what that would be like, but I imagine you couldn't walk around barefoot).

A lot of people refuse to allow guests into certain chambers of their house. Keeping guests out of private bedrooms or an upstairs floor or office seems reasonable, but one interviewee remembers being told to avoid the kitchen, the very heart of any hospitable establishment. I mean, kitchens are major. I feel like whenever I end up in a friend's kitchen, I usually get offered some kind of cookies or brownies (thanks! by the way). Maybe cookies are the host's way of saying, "listen, you can't go upstairs with your shoes on, but by God, you can have something to eat!" It's one bright spot of hope in a society of suffering, greed and sorrow I suppose. But I think I'll hold off on asking for a glass of milk.

Google Goes Silly

Why order one plastic egg of Silly Putty when you're worth billions and can order well, a lot more?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Guestbook Signed; CotB Headquarters Uncorks Champagne

LOS ANGELES -- It was a night to remember for the staff at upstart definition-defying website Caught on the Bound. After a rough week of staff shake-ups, fumbled words and a devastating typo on the front page, the group celebrated its first guestbook signing.

"Words can't describe" started senior staff writer Kevin Curran, "the absolute and undying joy that comes with that first guestbook signing."

Caught on the Bound was created in the blustery autumn of 2005 with the intention of giving ridiculous ideas a safe home. "A guestbook signed is the first step toward that rather vague and idiotic goal" said Curran.