Saturday, December 31, 2011

Top 10 posts of the year

(and also all-time) for the B Long Blog:

10. Zach Galifianakis walks out on Conan (10/26)
9.  The Last of the Meheecans (10/10)
8.  This is what happens in college (5/10)
7. More new (unfortunately fake) Ben & Jerry's flavors (10/11)
6. Cool credit card art (8/31)
5. Adam Sandler Career Timeline (11/3)
4. 7 Insane Easter Eggs Hidden in Movies and TV Shows (5/25)
3. HUGE margarita (4/21)
2. Patrick Bateman says... (6/28)
and far and away the top post of the year, with 648 pageviews...

1. Where Are They Now? The Cast of Clarissa Explains It All (8/21)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Verizon does a quick 180 on convenience fee

Turns out less than 24 hours after announcing a $2 bullshit fee "convenience fee" for customers using debit or credit to pay their bills, Verizon has decided not to implement it due to tremendous customer backlash.  The policy was scheduled to go into effect mid-January, but shortly after the announcement yesterday petitions were started and Verizon was forced to comply.  Chalk one up for the consumers, but there are plenty of other unnecessary fees still in effect; not only for Verizon but other corporations such as Comcast and the like.  Let's see what the next fee will be...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Verizon sucks

Turns out my iPhone 4s ordered for Christmas has been waiting at the Verizon store for at least a day. You would think they'd be better at communication?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Zach Braff and Donald Faison want to wish you Happy Holidays

3 Eagles named Pro Bowl starters

Congrats to LeSean McCoy, Jason Peters, and Jason Babin, named Pro Bowl starters for the NFC as RB, T, and DE respectively.  At least we'll be able to watch some Eagles play football past January.

Also a congrats to 49ers Kicker David Akers for starting yet another Pro Bowl, and for breaking San Fran's single season points record as well as the NFL record for field goals made in a season.

Full NFC and AFC Pro Bowl rosters at CBS Sports.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Drinkin' beers and robbin' banks

They go hand in hand, right?  Apparently, according to Tampa Bay native John Robert Whittle.  Here's the sequence of events:
  1. Orders a beer from Hayloft Bar
  2. Take a sip or two
  3. Leaves bar
  4. Robs nearby Wells Fargo bank
  5. Returns to finish beer after 30 minutes
  6. Gets arrested 10 minutes later
Despite the man being an idiot, I have to give him some props for finishing the beer.  Never let one go to waste!

via Neatorama

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The 36 Worst Action Figures From Iconic Toy Lines brings you "The 36 Worst Action Figures From Iconic Toy Lines," and boy, there are some bad ones.  Personally, I only owned 1 (Pizzaface) so I ended up pretty lucky.  Series include, TMNT, He-Man, GI Joe, Batman, and Star Wars; check them out!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Henry's Kitchen: Pork Chops

Finally, after what seems like a year, the latest installment in the Henry's Kitchen series is now available! Watch Henry screw up pork chops below:

"Christmas Treat" reunion on SNL

Jimmy Fallon hosted last night's SNL, and Horatio's Christmas Treat made a return appearance. Horatio Sanz, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan, and of course Jimmy Fallon all returned for the skit. Tracy Morgan is definitely the star of the song.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jimmy Rollins is still a Phillie!

I'm sure other shortstops signing with teams this off-season had something to do with it, but Jimmy Rollins has re-signed with the Phillies for 3 years.  The contract is worth $33 million, with a vested option for a 4th year.  Good move by the Phils in my opinion, since they didn't cave in to the original 5 year offer.  Here's hoping J-Roll can produce more like his MVP season this year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Doritos Locos Tacos are coming!

I mentioned in a previous post that Taco Bell was test marketing Doritos Locos Tacos -essentially a hard shell taco with Doritos as the shell- and this now seems to be a reality.  The new item is beginning to be served nationwide at Taco Bell locations.  Keep your eyes peeled, this could be the next XXL Chalupa, which was the next Crunchwrap Supreme.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Texans are playoff bound!

With their impressive 20-19 comeback win over the Bengals today, the Texans clinched the AFC South title (and the first playoff berth in team history) and improved to 10-3.  Congrats to the Texans, and here's hoping they can get healthy and make a run in the post-season, or even a first round bye.  At least one of my favorite teams will play more than 16 games this year!

Alec Baldwin's perfect response to American Airlines

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pet Peeve #1

I cannot stand people who don't drive the speed limit. It's fine if you don't want to go 10-15 mph over the limit, but 5-10 UNDER is absolutely ridiculous.

Note: This happened to me on 3 consecutive car rides, and then a couple of other times since this post. unbelievable.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys among inductees in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Two of my favorite bands, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys, have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Joining them this year will be Guns N' Roses, The Faces, Laura Nyro, and Donovan.  Congrats!  Now where's Rush?

P.S. 400th post!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blowfish: The FDA approved hangover tablet

This only exists because I couldn't find a way to market a combination of Rockstar Recovery, ibuprofen, Gatorade, and mac & cheese.
Blowfish claims to cure hangovers in just 15 minutes after drinking the dissolvable, effervescent tablets.  It's FDA approved, which means it should be available soon in stores.  It runs for $1 a tablet, in 12 or 50 counts (2 tablets per hangover).  Each tablet contains a mix of caffeine, aspirin, and stomach soothers.  I might try it out after a regrettable night, my hopes are high.

via Buzzfeed

Dubstep to "Pumped Up Kicks"

Monday, December 5, 2011

RIP SpongeBob

via Uproxx

Man gets stranded, survives on frozen beer

How do you survive the cold Alaskan wild for 3 days with no food?  Frozen Coors Light of course!  52 year old Clifton Vial found himself stranded off-road after driving into a snow drift in Nome, Alaska.  He only had a nearly empty tank of gas in his pick-up truck, and a $30 jacket he got from Sears.  And the frozen beer, naturally. He occasionally turned on his truck for heat and radio, as he was far too stuck to dig out.  The beer was the only "food" he ate the whole time, and Clifton remarkably survived without any frostbite (losing 16 pounds in the process).

via Neatorama

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Batman: Arkham City review

Finally getting around to writing a little review for Batman: Arkham City on Xbox 360 (it's December 19th).  I don't think I'm spoiling anything here, but you probably are reading this if you already played the game anyway, or are at least in the process of playing.

First off, the game deserves all the praise it has gotten so far.  And yes, it's even better than Batman: Arkham Asylum.  The map is expansive, and something like 3 times larger than that in Asylum which gives you plenty of places to explore, and plenty of gameplay.  I was only 58% complete when I "beat" the main game.

A few key differences that improve the game are updates to the fighting system, new Bat gadgets, the addition of side missions, and new gameplay modes.  The fighting system was made easier in my opinion, but that could be due to me beating Asylum just prior to playing City.  Batman does have more combos in his arsenal this time, with several of them only being available with an 8x multiplier or when enemies are in specific situations.  Free-Flow Focus is amazing, as you can literally glide across the screen from enemy to enemy.  If you time it right, your multiplier increases by 2x instead of 1x, which really adds up quickly.  I ended up getting a 100x multiplier at one point, easily getting the achievement for a 50x combo.

When you press the D-pad to access Batman's gadgets, you'll see a full arsenal at your disposal.  All 8 directions of the D-pad are utilized, and even 4 more locations beyond up, down, left, and right.  Some of the gadgets are similar, as there are several batarangs and ice grenades, but all serve a purpose in the game.  You start out with a lot of the gadgets from Asylum, but again have to progress through the game to attain the others.  Mastering the multitude of quick fire gadgets is not too difficult, but key for becoming adept at combat.  One of my favorite was definitely the long range detonator, as you could deactivate an enemy's weapon without their knowledge.

The only real side missions in Arkham Asylum were collecting all the Riddler trophies, but nothing to stray from the main storyline.  Arkham City, however, contains 12 side missions (if I remember correctly) that all are separate from the main storyline.  Several of these were fun to complete, and a few were challenging at times.  Most of them revolved around enemies that didn't share the spotlight with the big guys: Joker, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, and Two-Face (which bring me to another point later).  Characters like Bane, and Zsasz make returns in the side missions, and new characters like Deadshot and the Mad Hatter debut.  These added missions give you something to do after you beat the main game, and are a good distraction during it.  And, of course, the Riddler returns with his trophies, and even his own side mission.  There are more trophies to obtain, with a page of them being combat based.  There aren't too many really easy trophies, and most require some sort of puzzle to get.  A couple of them are pretty difficult, and required multiple tries.  I even had to look up how to get 2 or 3 of them online.  One feature I loved was the ability to "tag" trophies using Batman's scanner.  This would leave a "?" on the map where the trophy was, allowing you to come back to it later.  Once accesing the map, you could even set a custom route to the trophy which made finding them much simpler.  Even beating certain Riddler informant enemies would place a "?" on the map for trophies that weren't yet tagged.

Obtaining all the Riddler trophies can't be done without the addition of one of the new gameplay modes: Catwoman's own storyline.  She has 40 trophies of her own to collect, which Batman can't touch.  Unfortunately she can't tag Batman's Riddler trophies, but can collect them if her skills allow her to.  Catwoman's story revolves first around Poison Ivy (who isn't in Batman's story) and then around collecting her loot from Two-Face (which is fitting since Two-Face is in both stories).  Something I found kind of neat but some people found annoying was the integration of Catwoman's story with Batman's.  At key points in Batman's stories the screen fades to black and then next thing you know you're playing as Catwoman.  Once you progress through her story, you'll come back as the Dark Knight.  I won't spoil anything, but late in the game one of these crossover points is quite important to the main storyline.  Aside from Catwoman's story (which you can replay), there are even more combat and predator challenges, this time called Riddler's Challenges.  I haven't played too much of these yet, but they provide much more gameplay than in Asylum.  New Game + is a new mode in City, allowing you to replay the game with all your gadgets.  The catch?  The enemies are tougher and there is no counter icon.  To beat this, you have to use all your Bat gadgets to perfection, and have a handle on the combat system.  There are plenty of challenge maps to complete as I said before, and these can be played as Batman, Catwoman, Robin, and Nightwing (which provides additional gameplay).  For those achievement whores out there, some of these characters are required for a perfection 1,000 Gamerscore.  This is not an easy game to 100%, and will take some time.  After beating the main game and the side missions, I'm somewhere around 80% complete.

As I mentioned before, several characters make return appearances.  The Joker is the star again, but he plays a more behind the scenes role this time, which sets up a great twist/ending at the conclusion of the game.  Despite hints at the end of Asylum, Killer Croc and Scarecrow do not return  in City (Bane returns in a diminshed role) but are referenced.  Penguin, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, and Hugo Strange take their place in the sequel.  I was glad to see some characters return, but also glad to see the addition of so many more.  It was a great balance, and I never felt like there were too many enemies in the game.  I will say Batman's interactions with his enemies provided some great storylines and really developed his character.  As the old saying goes, keep your friends close but your enemies closer.  Speaking of friends, Alfred and Oracle return, and even Robin make a cameo appearance.

I think that just about wraps up my review of Batman: Arkham City.  It's a great experience for any gamer, especially a fellow fan of the Dark Knight.  Even at full price, the game is worth it.  You absolutely get what you pay for, as the game will keep you playing for hours on end trying to inch closer to that elusive 100%.  Sure, you can beat the main game and call it a day, but what's the fun in that?  10/10

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Easily the best gingerbread "house"

via Neatorama

South Park: The Game press release

THQ today announced that they are collaborating with South Park Digital Studios LLC, the joint venture between "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker and Viacom Media Networks and Obsidian Entertainment, Inc. to develop the next chapter in South Park entertainment: "South Park: The Game."

"South Park: The Game" is an epic role-playing adventure that will allow the user to befriend Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny and explore the quiet little mountain town like never before.

"Our goal is simple: to put creative talent first," said Danny Bilson, EVP Core Games, THQ. "Matt and Trey are arguably two of the most important comedic talents of their generation. Bringing their vision of South Park to the interactive space is a dream-come-true."

The first details of "South Park: The Game" will be revealed in the exclusive cover story in Game Informers January issue, shipping to subscribers in early December 2011.

"South Park: The Game" is scheduled to be available for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and Windows PC in the second half of calendar 2012.
 From SPS

Friday, December 2, 2011

BASEketball came close to guessing the new Marlins uniforms

I also posted this at my BASEketball blog, check it out!

‘BASEketball’ almost predicted the Marlins uniforms in 1998
Miami Marlins on the left, Miami Dealers on the right

Link here, with props to my friend Warren for finding it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's a long way to the top

If Svedka is the number 1 vodka of 2033, does that mean they think it will 20+ years to get to the top? Seems like it would take much shorter honestly.