originally published October 5, 2012
Once again it’s time to take out the trash. Today I’m going to sift through the slop-bucket of unfinished ideas and unexplored topics I’ve been served by Ms. Wiki’s fickle tray of barely edible morsels of factual (I hope) consumption.
These are hits on Wikipedia’s wild wheel of randomness that don’t have quite enough meat on their bones to qualify as an entrée, but which combined should serve up a tasty dim sum sampling of trivia and cheap jokes.
For starters we have a lovely section of Tanzanian beach-front property. There are resorts nearby (and more under construction), but this place looks truly majestic. The spot is called Nunge. It’s the along the northern part of the Bagamoyo beach, just a short drive away from Dar es Salaam.
In Swahili, the name ‘Nunge’ translates to ‘globefish’, that brilliant, puffy, often spiky aquatic creature. In English, ‘Nunge’ translates to ‘leper colony’. So make your vacation plans with care.
I really wanted to do a full kilograph on these guys, but there just wasn’t enough to say. But when people talk about bands that have been together forever, nobody ever mentions the CBS Orchestra. Sure, Doc Severinsen ran Johnny Carson’s band for decades, but how many of those members remained constant? Seriously, I have no idea, nor do I feel like looking it up.
Paul Shaffer was David Letterman’s bandleader from his first show in 1982. He and bassist Will Lee were pioneer members of the World’s Most Dangerous Band, a title which was deemed a trademark of NBC, and therefore didn’t carry over when Letterman’s show moved to CBS. Guitarist Sid McGinnis and drummer Anton Fig rounded out the band by 1986.
That’s twenty-six years this band has been together. And they’ve had a regular gig all this time, playing for millions of people, four nights every week. They’ve added a few new members to beef up the sound, but I would argue that this is one of the most successful bands in history, at least in terms of how many people have seen them play.
Speaking of outlandish success, there’s this guy:
Not only does he sport a fantastic Geraldo-stache; not only did he win the silver medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics in the 5000 meter race; not only has he proven himself to be a successful politician on the Manukau (New Zealand) city council; this guy’s name is Dick Quax.
That is the single greatest politician name ever, except maybe for Congressman Dick Armey, who helped to create the Department of Homeland Security. That’s all. I just like the name.
Alright, alright. I’m dedicating this next section to my daughter Abbey, who won’t read it because she’ll be spending the day exploring the streets of New York City on a school trip while her father sadly spends the long weekend alone. Well, alone with lots of beer, an Xbox, and 3000 words to write.
One thing I’ll say about Abbey, she has fairly decent taste in music. Unlike others in her generation, she has forsaken the Biebers, the Minajs, and the One Directions for good music: Weezer, Ben Folds, Elvis Costello. So when I saw her listening to Drake Bell, whom I only knew of from one of those Nickelodeon shows I’ve seen her watch, I was worried. But this kid (this 26-year-old ‘kid’) has some talent.
He’s been busy too. He appeared in the greatest TV show of the 90’s (a bit part in “The Frogger” episode of Seinfeld), played a young John Cusack in High Fidelity, and received his first guitar lessons from Roger Daltrey. His music is apparently influenced by the likes of the Beatles, Beach Boys and Buddy Holly, but in his case that’s not just a line of spouted crap to add a desperate sheen to a bunch of glossy, slightly-melodic pop fluff.
So well done, Abbey. You impress me yet again. Now if I could just pry your ears off that moody emo crap you play every so often, I’d be happy.
And speaking of impressive… have you ever heard of Kia Silverbrook? Of course you haven’t, unless you’re a regular subscriber to Inventors Monthly magazine. Not long ago I wrote an article which highlighted a group of inventors who have made our weekends more full and complete by satiating our yearning for laziness and convenience. Kia Silverbrook didn’t quite make the list, though in retrospect, maybe he should have.
Kia is an Australian inventor, known to be the most prolific inventor in the history of making stuff. He holds over 4400 patents in the US, and almost 10,000 patents or applications registered with the international patent document database. This guy is hairline-deep in technology, inventing stuff for smartphones, printers, LCD screens, organic chemistry, polymers and nonotechnology.
Kia Silverbrook doesn’t appear to sleep. Why haven’t we put him on the flying car project?
I was thinking of saving this for one of my articles on The Worst TV Shows, but I’m feeling a little impatient. I remember this abomination; it seemed sleazy then and it seems sleazy now.
In case you were fortunate enough to have missed it, Fox barfed up a putrid reality show back in 2001 called Temptation Island. On this show, couples lived separately with members of the opposite sex in order to test the strength of their relationships, or their willingness to do anything to be on television. It was all about watching hot people to see when they’ll cheat with other hot people.
The host was Mark L. Walberg – not at all related to that guy who used to be Marky Mark and is now a be-sixpacked actor. This particular Walberg (which is spelled without Marky Mark’s distinctive silent ‘h’) is one of several hosts who have allowed their legacies to be shamed by getting involved with this show. He hosted all three seasons (THREE SEASONS??? Thanks, America!) on Fox, but the show was duplicated in fifteen other countries.
The most recent of these hell-spawn series – the French one – ended in 2010. I’m hoping this means we can put this show into the vault of human self-degradation and keep it there forever.
Oh, and the host of the Belgian Temptation Island was the lady pictured above. Her name is Veronique De Kock. I think she should team up with Dick Quax for a hot new cop series: Quax / De Kock, where she’ll play a rookie detective and Dick plays the crusty old loose cannon that just can’t be tamed.
Maybe Fox could put that one on the air. You know, to atone for their craptacular sins.