June 25, 2008

State Dinosaurs

When I found out that States have Official Dinosaurs, I was quite pleased. I mean, how scratch is that? Then I found out that only 6 states (and D.C., for some reason) have bothered to get their own dinosaur.

Not scratch, people!

I think every state needs an official dinosaur. There are several states (like Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah) who have dinosaurs as their official fossils**, but no dinosaur. What are they waiting on? Then there's the sad sate of Arizona, which would have one, but the Arizona State Legislature couldn't get the bill passed. You know what they say; "Dinosaurs and Politicians make strange bedfellows."

**There is a simply staggering amount of "Official State _____." One could get cynical, but luckily for me, I get countless rankings ideas out of it.

Anyway, be there only seven Official State Dinosaurs, we still should rank them. Why? Because I are awesome, that's why! (Dinosaurs too.)



THE TOP SEVEN "OFFICIAL" STATE DINOSAURS



#7 Capitalsaurus (District of Columbia) – Like many dinosaurs (and don’t be shocked by this you neophytes), a full skeleton of a Capitalsaurus has never been found. In fact, only one part of one bone (part of a vertebrae) has EVER been found on this creature, leading some to believe it is not a different genus, but rather an undetermined theropod. I choose to find it ironic that they classified the official Dinosaur of D.C. by part of the backbone. How’d they even know what that looked like?



#6 Hadrosaurus (New Jersey) – Thought to be a hadrosaurid, even though no head has ever been found for one. That seems pretty fitting; New Jersey is forever running into trouble identifying bodies without a head.


#5 Pleurocoelus (Texas) – There is at least a 88% chance this is really an Astrodon (coming later), but I ranked this dude lower because in the picture I found he’s getting harrassed by the younger hungier dinosaur. That’s no way for a Texan to act!



#4 Hypsibema (Missouri) – to be honest, I’m not the world’s biggest fan of this thing, but I ranked it higher because of the possibility it was named after me. Another one of the “find a bone; create a genus” dubious dinos, I instead turn to the discoverer, Edward Drinker Cope. What a great name! Do you think his friends EVER stopped making fun of him? No wonder he invented dinosaurs.



#3 Stegosaurus (Colorado) – Most Steggies have been found in North America, but recently one skeleton was unearthed in Portugal, leading many scientists to conclude the Stegosaurus was in Europe too. However, I find it much more likely that the Stegosaurus—which may have had two brains—developed the use of small temporal Worm Holes for relatively short-range travel.



#2 Astrodon (Maryland) – Astro was an herbivore, so I’m not sure what he’s doing chomping on the other critter, there, but at 30 feet high and 60 feet long, he could pretty much do whatever he wanted. And since I have nothing else to add, wouldn’t it be cool if the Mafia came to Houston, and the guy in charge became known as the Astro Don, and this thing was his personal symbol? That’s not just organized crime, it’s entertainment!



#1 Triceratops (Wyoming) – Always Hyperion’s favorite dinosaurs growing up, and though in his teen years he was enticed with the cruelty of the giant meat-eaters, he never forgot his first love. Interestingly, recent experiments suggest (strongly) that the Triceratops would have found it impossible to “attack” with his three horns, as we were taught growing up. Instead, if attacked, the Tricey would likely stand his ground and use the tusks to gore, along with that cool-ass ridge thing he has. In actuality, the hornw were likely for courtship ritual. No wonder I liked him so much. Look how big and long those horns are! Beasts of a feather…..



June 23, 2008

35th Wedding Anniversary

Today is my parents' 35th Wedding Anniversary, a feat that sort of blows my mind. I tried to put this in perspective, by taking a look at the number 35. I found out that 35 is a Tetrahedral Number, and is the sum of the first five Triangular Numbers. Here, look:

0 + 1 = 1
0 + 1 + 2 = 3
0 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 6
0 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10
0 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15

1 + 3 + 6 + 10 + 15 = 35


Tada!

However, my mom might be reading this, and she hates math like she hates spicy food, so maybe numerology isn't the way to go.


Then I tried June 23rd. Obviously my parents' wedding is the most important event to ever happen on June 23, but other things happened too, right? Things like:

1661 - Marriage contract between Charles II of England & Catharina of Portugal.
1794 - Empress of Russia Catherine II grants Jews permission to settle in Kiev.
1888 - Frederick Douglass is the first African-American nominated for US president.
1969 - Warren E. Burger is sworn in as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court


Hmm. My family has always been pro Russian-Jews, and everyone likes a good burger, but by and large, not a momentous day before the wedding. This makes sense, actually, as June 23, 1972 was one of the fulfillments of prophecy, leading to my birth.

How, you ask? Well, with my parents' view on morality, without them getting married, I would have never been born. And we do all agree that my birth is the culmination of history, right?

Speaking of births, surely some interesting people were born on June 23, like:

47 BC - Pharaoh Ptolemy XV of Egypt
1373 - Queen Joan II of Naples
1456 - Margaret of Denmark, wife of James III of Scotland
1894 - Alfred Kinsey, American entomologist and sexologist
1927 - Bob Fosse, American choreographer
1929 - June Carter Cash, American singer
1948 - Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
1957 - Frances McDormand, American actress
1963 - Colin Montgomerie, Scottish golfer
1964 - Joss Whedon, American producer, director, and screenwriter
1972 - Selma Blair, American actress
1972 - Zinedine Zidane, French footballer
1977 - Jason Mraz, American singer and songwriter
1979 - LaDainian Tomlinson, American football player
1980 - Ramnaresh Sarwan, Guyanese cricketer

Not a total strike-out here. My parents were big fans of Joss Whedon's Firefly, and they live for Guyanese cricket, and Queen Joan II has always been like a grandmother to me, but still, nothing too earth shattering.

Finally I turned to the Anniversary Gift Guide. You've heard of this: year wedding anniversary has a "traditional" gift. Like 1 year is paper, 2 years is cotton, 3 years is a leather whip and so on.

35 year has two of them (It's a greedy year): Coral and Jade. Now, obviously I have no money, and what money I do come across goes for starving children. However, I managed to come up with two lists, gifts made out of Coral and Jade, that I WOULD buy my parents, if I could. (There are 5 coral gifts and 7 jade gifts, because 5x7 = 35! I am such a nerd)


THE TOP FIVE CORAL GIFTS THAT HYPERION WOULD HAVE GIVEN HIS PARENTS ON THEIR 35TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY, WERE HIS READERS TO EVER ACTUALLY PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE FOR THE WONDERFUL BOUNTY THAT IS THE HYPERION INSTITUTE (NOT THAT HE'S BITTER)



#5 CORAL CANDLE - How cool is this? Now, if I could only change my parents' anniversary to September of last year, and their names to Andrew and Marjorie I would be all set.


#4 CORAL DOG - I admit, he's sort of ugly, but how can you not love him?


#3 CORAL STATUE - If you look closely, you will see that the dude loves his heavy metal.


#2 CORAL RING - Talk about "my precious"! You just know someone is important when they wear a ring like that.


#1 CORAL BEAR - Now more than ever, the world needs Coral Bears. Besides making a great band name, I bet they could totally protect you from Murderous Amethyst Pumas.



THE TOP SEVEN JADE GIFTS HYPERION WOULD HAVE GIVEN HIS PARENTS FOR THEIR 35TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY (SEE ABOVE FOR OUTRAGE)



#7 JADE OLMEC - There's a reason Olmec has been around for 3000 years. Because he's cool, that's why!



#6 JADE THINGY - I really have no idea what this is, but I could look at it for hours.



#5 JADE HIPPO - My dad really likes hippos for some reason. Can't pass this one up.



#4 JADE TEAPOT - Dude, you know you're rollin' large when you can serve tea in a jade teapot! Look at those cups!



#3 JADE DRAGON - No jade collection would be complete without a dragon. It brings class and prestige to any home.



#2 JADE JESUS - I didn't even know there was such a thing as white jade. I'm reminded of the words of St. Manny: "The Savior never looks more loving than when carved out of precious stone." Deep, huh?



#1 JADE ELEPHANT - I thought it would be impossible to top Jade Jesus, but just look at that thing! It looks like it's 6000 years old. (Ooh, maybe it's from the Garden of Eden!) Everyone who makes it to 35 years deserves a Jade Elephant; at least, that's what I say!


And I say Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

June 17, 2008

'80s Redux (Redux)

back in July 2005, I wrote a ranking of '80s shows they should remake. This is an updated version of that, with pictures and a few extra ideas.







I was watching Night Court the other day, and thought to myself, "They should remake this show." It would play absolutely perfectly to our crude society today, right? Night Court had a lot of risque humor THEN. Imagine what they could come up with NOW?

I started getting excited about the idea, and thinking I should do a top ten list of shows that should be remade. Then, I started thinking, "Wait, maybe I already did!"

Sure enough. From three years ago, I found this list. Two of my wishes have already come true! (Yay me.) I added pictures this time around.




THE TOP TEN '80 SHOWS THEY SHOULD REMAKE





#10 KNIGHT RIDER - When you go back and look at it, Knight Rider doesn't hold up very well. However, with today's Artificial Intelligence, I think this has a possibility of being a pretty cool Sci-Fi kind of show, while still piling on plenty of action. Plus, plenty of Hasselhoff cameos!



#9 THE EQUALIZER - Call him the Perry Mason of hit men. The Equalizer would only help those in desperate straits, by "neutralizing" the enemy. And if you had it on FX, the possibilities are enticing. Truly an underrated show.



#8 ALF - For sheer perversity [guilty confession: I just read all the Alf Quotes, and laughed myself sick. ]



#7 KIDS INCORPORATED - They go to school and get to sing and dance? What's not to love?



#6 THE SMURFS - If he ever became a rapper, I think he could go by "Big Papa Smurf." [For a hilarious comparison between the Smurfs and Karl Marx, click here. It's under 7/4]



#5 YOU CAN'T DO THAT ON TELEVISION - Now more than ever, we need to see people get covered in slime. This show was ahead of its time.



#4 THE A-TEAM - Here's my cast: B.A.: Ving Rhames; Face: Ewan McGreggor; Murdock: Jim Carey; and the immortal Hanibal Smith: John Mahoney. "I love it when a show comes together!"



#3 THE COSBY SHOW - If only so the world could see that a Black Sitcom didn't have to be criminally stupid. Plus, Lisa Bonet was hot, and I miss all the sweaters.



#2 AIRWOLF - I would watch for the theme song alone

and....



#1 G. I. JOE - My friends; the time has come once again, to kick COBRA'S ass.

[see the original post, along with the original comments]


PS

If I were making this list today, besides Night Court, I would probably remake Magnum P.I., maybe The Wonder Years (but set in '88 instead of '68), and without a doubt I would remake Moonlighting.

However, the two shows that I most egregiously left off the list were:

Misfits of Science (which would be AWSOME now), and could even have Courtney Cox in the old woman role




and Golden Girls. The original is STILL funny. You wanna tell me with everyone getting older they couldn't make this now? The only question is who would play who?


If you have any suggestions for the roles of Blance, Dorothy, Rose and Stella, leave 'em in the comments.

Selah.



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