The Reckoner!

Reckonaut Dan Koch
Dan Koch
Joined On:
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:50 p.m.
Give us the details on how you became a Reckonaut! Who'd play you in The Reckoner movie?

The Reckoner is my baby!  I just get all choked up when I see it walking on its own like this...  For more Reckoner-related content, you can also stop by the Working Dan blog!

Jimmy Cagney, by the way.

Given the circumstances, I'd say there are three key factors to the decision, in descending order of importance:

  1. Ability to find supplemental ammo.
  2. Ability to maintain the gun.
  3. Accuracy.

(1) and (2) are pretty close, and I could be convinced to swap them.  (3) I'd consider a distant third.  If you're shooting a zombie from long distance, chances are you're doing it for sport.  At close distances, either the differences between the AR-15 carbine and the AK-47 are too small to make an impact, or you're on the run and it's time to spray n' pray anyway.

For (2), the AK-47 has a clear advantage.  For (1), you've got the benefit of starting with a decent stockpile, but it won't last forever.  In my limited experience, I've seen more 7.62mm rounds floating around than the 5.56mm NATO stuff the AR-15 uses, so I think the AK-47 has the advantage there as well.

In other words, I'll be fighting those zombies exactly as I imagined -- like a Russian.

I got 'early casualty' in the ReckonLabs office pool.

Actually, I'm being unfair to the Super Bowl here in the sense that you can usually get away from the pageantry if you (a) tune into the broadcast about thirty seconds before the opening kickoff, (b) tune away from halftime, (c) don't go to a huge Super Bowl party, and (d) stay the hell away from ESPN.

(d) is probably a good idea any week of the year, come to think of it.

I actually wasn't introduced to this concept by Friends, but by a Joe Posnanski blog post that I can't seem to find at the moment.  

The key here is that you both have to have a list.  If one of you wants to joke around about it but the other person says "you're all I ever want, honey bear", you, my friend, are dead in the water on this whole 'list' business.

In a high performance car -- one with good tires on that is designed for this sort of thing -- I could see myself doing 110 or 115 without thinking much of it.  I'd probably have Kraftwerk's Autobahn playing quietly on the Blaupunkt while I was at it.  How often are you going to get the opportunity?

If I was in my Fit, probably not.  Mostly because it's got a short wheelbase,  and I really wouldn't trust it at 100 MPH+.  But we're in a high-performance German car here, so max it!

All of this material has generated an insane amount of money, and it must've done it on something besides momentum.  Right?

I'm intensely curious to see how well The Phantom Menace does on re-release.  Could this be the day of reckoning where Lucas is confronted with the fact that he has slowly, torturously wrung the neck of his golden goose?  Or is this the point at which he is finally proven right that the goose is immortal?

@Dan Lloyd

Yeah, it's really the video games that are the sticking point.  KoToR. Battlefront.  All of the Rogue Squadron games.  Most of the Dark Forces games.  Lego Star Wars.  Even The Force Unleashed.  As bad as the movies have been, their batting average with games has been pretty good.

As a dedicated 'no problem'-er, I've got to stand up and fight for what I believe in.  

I'm really not seeing a tremendous distinction between 'No Problem' and 'It Was Nothing' or 'De Nada' or the 'You're Welcome' equivalent of ninety-six other cultures. They all mean the same thing -- what you asked for wasn't an imposition and I was happy to do it.

What we can save the rage-faces for is the 'uh huh' brigade.  'Thanks!'... 'Uh huh.'  Their reckoning is coming soon enough.

My guess is that Inspector Lewis doesn't use the Oxford comma, but I bet his partner Detective Sergeant Hathaway does.

I am beyond shocked at how lopsided this one has been so far.  I would've assumed that this would turn into a dead heat.

Meh -- I try not to step in things, and I'm generally successful, so the heck with it.  Shoes on.  

One thing though: if you are in a shoes-on household, I strongly recommend to take the five second rule and shorten it to three.  It's the sanitary thing to do.

Even with ReckonLabs, I still generally wade through my taxes myself.  It's mostly just being a control freak -- I really want to know what's going under the hood of my tax standing, so crunching my end of year financials is as good a way to come to a day of reckoning as any.

Days like today make me wish that the internet had snow days.  But it doesn't.  Well, except for SOPA day.  That was basically a snow day.

@Michael Clem

I'm surprised that there's much snow down in Tulsa, although I know the weather can change on a dime there.  Do most folks cope with it well, or does it turn into drivers alternately panicing and ignoring the conditions as sometimes happens up here?

"Spit in somebody's gaspacho" is my new favorite phrase, bar none.

When it comes to tennis, I certainly think the new techonology has made the sport less interesting.  Nowadays, the rackets make rallying from the baseline the only tenable style of play, even on grass.  Watching a game from McEnroe's era is an awakening -- there's more strategy involved.  Different styles clashing.  I think that's part of why tennis was such a big deal in the 70s, and has been in slow retreat since then.

I don't, however, think it's made the athletes worse.  The athletes are definitely better, fitter, and stronger than they've ever been.  For McEnroe's statements, part of it is just old-athlete's syndrome, and part of it is that his serve-and-volley style of game would be really poorly suited to today's equipment.  He'd get his clock cleaned if somebody stuffed 22 year-old John McEnroe in a time machine and brought him to today.

I think it's a little of both -- athletes train harder and they train better than they did forty years ago.  This is probably more pronounced in tennis than some other sports because modern professional tennis only really started in the late 1960s, so the concept of what it took to be a top-flight professional was still evolving at the time.

For technique, the equipment influences what technique you focus on -- less practice on drop shots, more on service return, etc. -- but I think the net 'amount' of technique is the same.  I don't think players look at better equipment and think "now I can play sloppier and hit just as well."  They look at it and think "now if I play just as well, I'll hit even better."

Jan. 20, 2012, 5:59 p.m.

It's Friday Night on the I-95 corridor (how I've intuited this, I can't reveal).  Rush hour never really ends.  I say go for it, and make sure you pack plenty of podcasts (like The Reckoner! podcast, maybe?)

I imagine that many folks draw an equivalency between steroids use and gambling on baseball.  I don't.  Gambling on the game is worse, because it calls the very essence of the competition in question.

Nonetheless, this is still a tough question.  Pete's been in limbo now for more than twenty years over this.  I feel pretty confident that if he wasn't such a slimy guy, they'd already have forgiven him over it.  But I still say keep him out.  Rules 1 and 2 of baseball are "don't bet on baseball or we'll ban you for life."  It's on the wall of every locker room.  And there are good reasons for that policy.  He knew this.  He still did it.  He pays the penalty.

Jan. 20, 2012, 1:35 p.m.

Even though I was still going through puberty the last time Kodak was relevant, this still makes me sad.  There's something about the brand, the click of the camera, the smell of those little film canisters, that speaks to an idea of American life that is hard to give up.

Every time I see that clip, I just can't get my brain to believe the rulebook. It looked like not just any old fumble, but the fumble they'd lead off with in NFL Films' 100 Fumbles That Reflect the Platonic Ideal of Fumbling.

In a professional context, it's always those minute details that people pick up on.  It's all part of that magical first impression.

Back in the days when I wasn't working in a Hawaiian shirt here at Reckoner Central, I knew one thing held to be true:

  • The more botched my appearance was on any given morning, the more likely I'd have to do something high-profile in front of people that will notice.

Wear the fifth-starter in my pants rotation?  I'd end up giving an impromptu big presentation in front of half the senior-executives in my group.  Look like I combed my hair with a hatchet?  I'd run into the big chief in the elevator and end up talking for fifteen minutes.

Fortunately, I was usually in engineering situations where just the fact that I'd managed to avoid looking like Wally from Dilbert was enough. But wet hair is one of those things that seems like it shouldn't matter (and really, it shouldn't), but it does.  

Because when people see you, their cerebral cortex says "oh, they just got out of the shower", but their lizard brain is thinking "man, they're sweating like crazy! What do they have to hide?!?"

Jan. 20, 2012, 9:11 a.m.

Great question. This one is as tough as nails.

One one hand, we all learned about how to deal with T-Rexes from Jurassic Park.  You stay extremely still, stay away from light sources, wait it out, and eventually it'll go away.  On the other hand, it's a freaking T-Rex, which means it's huge and can probably break open some of the smaller buildings like a fifth-grader cracking open a Cadbury Creme Egg.

Tigers are also lethal as all heck, but I wouldn't be too worried about one while I'm indoors.  On the other hand, you can always see the T-Rex coming, whereas a tiger is good at stalking and killing things silently.

I went with Tiger U, if anything because with a tiger, you don't have to be the fastest guy on campus to escape, you just have to be faster than one of the other guys next to you.  With a T Rex, if you run, and the guy next to you doesn't, you're probably the one who gets eaten.

Of course, the most dangerous animal of all is man.

No, who am I kidding, it's T-Rexes.

One positive about going to either school: an outstanding physical fitness program.  You are going to leave that place a lean, mean fighting machine (provided you leave it at all).

Jan. 19, 2012, 5:07 p.m.

You know what caused this whole disaster?  The sale of NBC/Universal by GE.  Yes, a butterfly flapped its wings in Jack Donaghy's boardroom, and a tsunami hit Entertainment Weekly.


  • Yes, Jay's ratings were poor, but there really weren't that much worse than what NBC was expecting.  The point was, Jay's show was cheap.  Even with Jay's salary, it was a heck of a lot cheaper for NBC to crank out five hours of the Jay Leno Show every week than five hours of narrative programming to run at 10 PM.  Remember that reality shows don't generally play at 10, that's usually where things like Law & Order go, and that's expensive.

    So great, despite bad ratings, the Jay Leno Show is reasonably profitable.


  • The local affiliates don't give a hoot that the Jay Leno Show is profitable for NBC, all they know is that the lead-in to their chief moneymaker, the 11 PM local news, is doing bad ratings 5 nights a week and submarining their station.

    Normally, the above point doesn't matter.  NBC typically has the affiliates over a barrel anyway, so who cares?  What are they going to do, switch to the Dumont network?


  • Because of GE selling NBC, suddenly the affiliates have TREMENDOUS POWER because they could potentially VETO THE DEAL.  That would be very bad.


  • Suddenly, NBC has to placate the affliates!  And what are they going to do?  They need to ditch the Jay Leno Show, they've got both Jay and Conan signed to huge contracts, and there's only one show for the both of them.


  • Screw it!  We'll jam them in the late-night slot together!  Conan's ratings stink (in part because the Leno lead-in has been really poor), so we'll cram Jay's show in at 11:35, push The Tonight Show to 12:05 and call it a day.


  • Conan, Harvard grad that he is, knows that he's really just being demoted back to the old Late Late Night slot he worked sixteen years to get out of, and decides to bail.

All because of that damn sale of NBC!

Anyway, Conan.

I'm a fuddy-duddy when it comes to alternate keyboard layouts.  I'm a reasonably fast touch-typist on a QWERTY rig (usually around 80-90 words per minute on your average typing test), so a 50% increase would mean that I'd probably start typing faster than I can think (which some might argue is already true based on my commenting history here).

I've always been curious about the genesis of the QWERTY keyboard.  So the scuttlebutt goes, it was designed to intentionally be slow to keep old-tyme mechanical typewriters from jamming.  I keep hearing this is apocryphal, and then hearing it's not apocryphal, so I'm not sure who to believe.  

In either case, if I was a slow typist, I'd be all over this, but as it is, I can always fall back on a secretarial career should this whole The Reckoner! thing fall through...

I'm a center-line guy, because while you can see everything that's coming from the opposing lane, things can dart out from the shoulder at any time. This is especially true in the city, where you're never more than a femtosecond away from somebody with earbuds on jaywalking to their peril right in front of you.

I do remember once when I was in The Official DC Friend of The Reckoner's Ford Festiva in high school, a Fuso-brand commercial truck crossed into our lane and passed close enough to lift us off of our shocks through sheer air pressure.  That's why I remember exactly the brand of the truck. When something like that happens, time goes a little slower to notice details.

@Bryan Hunter

'Cylon'-like sweeping -- by goodness, you're absolutely right.  I do the same thing.  I imagine that Cylons are pretty good drivers, on the whole.

It embarrasses me slightly to say this as a technologist, but I think I'd take the past.  I've got a few things going for me on this trip:

  • I can prepare for a trip to the past.  I know exactly what I'm getting into, and can take the necessary precautions.
  • I'm a white, Northern European looking guy, so there are a lot of historical places that I can blend into that would be shitty and callous to most people.
  • I'm not Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse Five, so I'm already going into the future every day of my life.
  • I can see Bobby Thomson hit the Shot Heard Round the World

Maybe I wouldn't use this priceless historical opportunity to see a baseball game at the Polo Grounds, but maybe I would.  Hard to say. 

If it's down to The Official Significant Other of The Reckoner or me getting in that lifeboat, it's her, all the way.

In the general sense, though?  Sorry ladies, we're all in this together now. The whole 'ladies first' thing is creepy ol' fashioned paternalism in action, so lifeboats get divvied out in a case-by-case basis.  If you're a single mom?  Go for it.  If you're a single dad?  Same dibs.  If you're just a single person?  Better get in line early.

Boxing is a brutal grind of a sport, and it scrambles the eggs of just about everyone who does it (except for George Foreman, who must have some sort of Homer Simpsonish buffer in his brain), but it also produces transcendant moments like this that no other sport can really achieve.  I hate it, yet I miss it.

I'm pretty sure 'Dramatic Murray' is going to get rocked in this one, but I do genuinely enjoy all of his dramatic movies.  Lost in Translation has taken a critical beating since the initial hype of its release, but I still really, really like it, and I'm somewhat saddened by the backlash.  

Yes, Sofia Coppola only seems capable of telling one kind of story, but she tells that one particularly well, and it has Bill Murray, Master of Alienation, in Japan, Kingdom of Alienation.  I love it.

@Michael Clem

Wow!  I thought I was the only person on Earth who had heard of The Razor's Edge, let alone liked it!  It's quietly a very good adaptation of a great Maugham book.

Has anybody ever written a book that's as much rollicking fun as The Brothers Karamazov?  No.  I feel comfortable in saying that that book is the most fun you can possibly have without taking your pants off.

Embarassingly enough, I stink at driving manual-drive cars.  I'm so petrified at frying the clutch (or the engine) that I end up frying the clutch (or the engine).  That's the thing about driving stick-shift -- if you don't have confidence in it, it makes you tentative, which means that your lack of confidence is well-founded.

Jan. 18, 2012, 11:07 a.m.

In my case, I live in a small enough apartment that a baseball bat is probably a better home-defense option than a gun.  In quarters this close, it usually ends up a melee battle, and I've got a Cal Ripken League sized bat that I can swing with one hand to brain anybody trying to get in.

As far as guns for home defense go, the problem is escalation.  If you bring a gun downstairs to investigate a bump in the night, you'd better be prepared to shoot dead whatever -- or whomever -- you find.  In most burglaries, that's just going to escalate a situation into a deadly one, and is it really worth it to protect your XBox?

In Cold Blood style home invasions, on the other hand, are really, really honking rare.  And I'd suspect again you're more likely to accidentally shoot yourself than to successfully defend your house in one of these cases.

@Leo Yeager

In defense of Jason's point, there was this study published in the New Scientist about how carrying a gun increases the likelihood of your being shot by a significant percentage:

Now, part of it is that somebody who carries a gun is a lot more likely to be in a situation where they're going to get shot at (especially since the study took place in Philadelphia -- my hometown), but I do believe that if you're in an altercation and you've got a gun, the odds of somebody getting shot go way up.  It may not be with your gun, but it'll be with somebody's gun.

Easy, everyone, easy.  Who knew that gun ownership was such a contentious topic?


Alright, alright, you got me.  This is generally why I try to keep political questions off of the Reckoner, so as Abraham Lincoln famously said in his San Dimas High School Address -- let's be most excellent to one another.

@Jason Bissey

Hear, hear.  I know there are quite a few congressional races I'll be taking special interest in this year.

I learned on Turner Classic Movies that Alex Trebek's favorite movie is Wuthering Heights with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon.  Turns out he's a big ol' softee behind that bristly moustache.  Also: secret Canadian.

Incidentally, I had a friend win a pickup truck and a sizable amount of cash on Wheel.  They don't apparently let you drive the truck out of the studio.  That's was a letdown to learn.

One of the things I'd like to do (to earn a Nobel Prize in Economics, of course) is to design an inflation index that relates to the rise and fall of vowel prices.  I believe that they're still at $250, which suggests that there has been zero inflation since 1988.  I stand by it.

@Dan Lloyd

That always bothered me too.  There are only three spaces out of twenty-five where anything bad can happen to you, so spin the dang wheel and keep going.  Why play so conservatively?  Wheel of Fortune is a game for people with guts.

@Michael Clem

That's the thing about Wheel versus Jeopardy -- Wheel actually has some spectacle to it.  If you're not playing along with Jeopardy at home, there's not a tremendous amount of interest in it, so it really demands full attention or none at all.

Maybe it's the networking-event-sponsored libations talking, but I went with The Incredible Hulk, and here's why:

The Incredible Hulk may seem to have terrestrial-scale powers whereas The Silver Surfer has galactic-scale powers, but The Hulk has that infinity symbol on the end of his anger.  He conceivably just gets stronger the more you piss him off.  And what would piss him off more than threatening the destruction of the solar system?  

Someone once ate my lunch out of the break-room fridge, and that provided me with an infinite amount of anger, so I can only imagine what that would do to somebody with gamma-ray infused blood.  Why, he'd be stronger than Beowulf!  And Beowulf had the hand-strength of ten men!

Yeah, I clicked the wrong button.

Actually, in looking it up, the new Twin Galaxies Donkey Kong champ is a guy named Hank Chien, a plastic surgeon out of Mount Sinai Medical School who broke Wiebe's record back in February 27th of last year.

As for the original movie, it's Wiebe all the way.  That documentary does not do Billy Mitchell any favors, although it did make me want to play a lot of Donkey Kong.

Also, for the record, my personal best Donkey Kong score is 46,400.  If I can just edge that up by 1,054,000 points, that record is mine!

The thing about the Golden Globes is that it's the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that votes on them, and they're a lot more likely to approach awards shows from the fan's point of view.  

Most of the Hollywood Foreign Press members are pure Hollywood outsiders, so they still have fresh eyes for the business and get a kick out of the entire concept of 'movie magic'.  They seem to still actually like movies.  They also typically vote for whichever stars are most likely to hang out with them drunkenly after the show, but I can't say that's a problem either.

The only part I actually like about the Oscars are the film montages.  Everything else is a grind of self-seriousness.  The voting itself is perplexing, but it makes more sense when you think about who is in the Academy.  Crash winning Best Picture isn't a mystery when you consider that everyone who votes on it lives in LA and likes to imagine LA as being exactly like Crash

Family Ties, all the way. They both stink, naturally, but Family Ties always stunk in a way that I found more endearing. Plus, Michael J. Fox kicks Kirk Cameron's ass every day of the week, and twice on Sunday (since that's Kirk Cameron's day of rest).

Also, let me leave you with this tidbit:


One thing I do love about Fight Club is that it introduced concept of calling certain apartment buildings a 'filing cabinet for people'.  Yep, I know the type.  They even tend to look like filing cabinets from the outside.  Thanks, 1960s Brutalist Architecture! 

I haven't seen the monument in-person yet, but it looks pretty good from the pictures.  Their website could use some work, though.

I really don't care.  The Statue of Liberty was done by the French, but nobody remembers that, and nobody will remember about this either.

I actually just wished they'd positioned him so that he was staring down Jefferson at the Jefferson memorial.  It'd be as if he was saying: "Hey buddy.  Remember when you said 'All men are created equal"?  I actually meant it."

What may influence this question is the fact that we've seen zombie-bound people defend a mall twice between two Day of the Dead movies, and in both cases, things seem to go well until the folks inside go bonkers and screw it up.

At the same time, that's part of the calculation -- perhaps the hospital folks will be less likely to let internal dissention get the best of them?

Yeah, the entertainment at the mall is way better.  Plus, with enough time on your hands, you could reenact the climax to the movie Mallrats.

That's right!  Pubs usually have that rifle above the bar.  Plus you can live on crisps and beer!

That's a good point about the mall -- they usually have layouts where once the zombies get in, you'll never be able to establish a defensive bulkhead in the building.  It's basically game over.

Hopsitals are floor-by-floor, so if it hits the fan on the first floor, you could conceivably retreat.  If you can somehow knock out the stairwell, you're basically golden until you run out of provisions.

As somebody who went to an Ivy League school, I can attest to the following:

  • You will meet a lot of great people.
  • Your education will probably be fine.
  • You get out of it what you put into it.

As somebody who knows quite a few people who went to state schools, including Rutgers, I can attest that their experiences were as follows:

  • They met a lot of great people.
  • Their education was, on the whole, fine.
  • They got out of it what they put into it.

I just leave this set of parallel statements out there for conclusions to be drawn.

@Anthony Coombs

Alright, you got me! ;)  I went with 'State College'.

Jan. 16, 2012, 6:44 p.m.

I say pop 'em!  

That's what I do, and it's a surprisingly satisfying experience.  I generally don't get that many pimples, but those I do I dispatch on my own.  The key is to do as clean a pop as possible -- wait until that sucker is ready, squeeze the life out of it, and make sure you scrub down the area once you're done.

That's what I do, and I don't generally end up with breakouts.  To heck with the beauty experts -- generally, their advice will naturally gravitate to whatever solution involves buying the most products.  That's where their bread is buttered, and why they got into the industry in the first place.

Daft Punk did their part -- their soundtrack to Tron: Legacy is about the only good thing to come out of that hazmat site of a movie.  It also suckered me into the theater.  Thanks guys.

I think movie soundtracks aren't going anywhere.  The tough part is that the marginalization of the album versus the single does them no favors.  Most movie soundtracks are generally composed of the three or four songs that you want, plus nine incidental tracks that provide mood and ambience,  but don't stand up well in the absence of the movie itself.  If you can just buy those tracks, why spring for the whole soundtrack?

I think they'll survive because people secretly like orchestral music, and they like it most when it's played big and melodic to underscore emotions. What's the only real medium for that kind of thing?  Soundtracks.

Are there any joys greater than a furtive sneak of illicit delciousness right out of the carton?  None.  None greater.  

What's even better is that, nutritionally, it doesn't even count if you eat it straight out of the carton.  And that's a scientific fact!

The thing with refrigerators is that they've made vast leaps in efficiency over the past couple of decades, so in many cases, there are significant savings you'll see on your electrical bill if you buy new.  That also means that if you buy an expensive fridge with the intent of keeping it longer, you'll likely end up replacing it on the same schedule anyway, since it'll still be really inefficient 15 years from now when all of our refrigerators are powered by GE-brand Mr. Fusion Domestic Cold Fusion units.

Personally, when it comes to refrigerators, unless you're going really high-end (i.e. Sub-Zero or somesuch), the difference in price between models isn't worth the features that get added.  What do you get for buying a more expensive fridge?  A better ice-maker.  Maybe a slightly better distribution of temperature inside the unit.  A better vegetable crisper.  This has never seemed worth it to me for the extra $400 that marks the difference between a cheapo unit and a mid-grade one.

So, in other words, buy new.

Somehow, I managed to go until today without hearing about this whole capsized cruise ship issue.  Apparently, the captain deviated from his set course so he could wave at a friend onshore.  That's more something Captain Ron would do, not an actual captain on an actual cruise ship.

The top-heavy quotient really didn't occur to me until now, although in looking at it, they do have a lot going on above the waterline.  That actually still holds true for the Costa Concordia, it's just that what's going on above the waterline has changed a little bit from when it started.

I think it's safe to say that if I'm not taking my car in for free repairs for a factory recall, then I'm probably not doing this either.  If I still lived within ten miles of the garage of The Official Father of The Reckoner?  Sure.  But it's a 70 mile drive, which is kind of a hike to get an air filter replaced.

That's a pretty good run for a Focus!  It's sad to see a car go at that age to a collision, it's almost as if it deserves the dignity to die in its sleep (meaning for its clutch to go).

Very true!  But Brazil has a scene where a man is eaten alive -- I mean literally eaten alive -- by paperwork.  As in, there was a man there, then suddenly he was covered by paperwork, and then the paperwork blew away and he was gone.  That's not how I want to go (and incidentally, was almost how I did go).

It's pretty much the only reason to give a hoot about the Golden Globes, which otherwise is the NIT to the Oscar's NCAA Tournament.

Getting mocked is part of the job description of being a Hollywood actor.  You get the money in part because of the value you deliver by being a public figure, and part of that value includes being a target for entertaining derision.  You can either roll with the punches, or let the punches roll you.  So roll with 'em.

Actually, I do have to admit, I do want to punch him right in the face when he shows up on Louie.  But I've got to think that's intentional.

In many cases, I actually prefer B&W.  It's hard to imagine a film like Twelve Angry Men or Touch of Evil or The Third Man in color -- it would just completely destroy them.  Or Doctor Strangelove.  Or Paths of Glory.  Or The Killers.  Or Double Indemnity.  Or The Hustler.  Or Ace in the Hole.  Or Stalag 17.  Or M.  Or Key Largo.  Or Night of The Hunter.  Or White Heat.  Or The Maltese Falcon.  Or The Big Sleep.  Or Psycho.

Actually, we don't even have to treat that last one as a hypothetical.  We know what Psycho would look like in color.  It stinks.

The ideal situation is like what we had from about 1950-1965, where color was readily available and used frequently, but filmmakers could use black and white without immediately tarnishing their own film's commercial prospects.

I'm telling you one thing, folks, I could've used a coffee machine this morning. Could still use one right now. Can probably still use one a couple of hours from now.

Wait, the Miss America pageant was yesterday? And they ran it against the NFL Playoffs?  Against Tim Tebow?  What are they, insane?

There are quite a lot of people in this country who care about beauty pageants, but I'm definitely not one of them.  I'd just as soon can it.  But where would we find moments like this one without them?  That was on national television.

Much of this really depends on whether you think Tebow is going to remain an NFL starter for a while.  If he flames out and gets benched in 2013, never to emerge again, I suspect there will be a lot of head-scratching when this phenomenon gets recounted.

One group of people for whom this will never be true: Gator fans.

The reason why the 'About to Sneeze' feeling isn't that bad on its own is because you get the catharsis of actually sneezing.  I actually don't like to catch my sneezes for this reason, and feel a little disappointed when I do -- sometimes it's fun to get a good roaring sneeze out (provided you're not in the middle of an Off-Broadway play or somesuch).

Feeling that way perpetuallywithout getting the catharsis of actually sneezing?  No thanks.  No sir.  I can eventually learn to deal with an itch (provided it's in the same spot).  I've been bitten by enough South Jersey-brand mosquitos to deal with it.  Not that sneeze feeling, though.

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