by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

The List of the Day Off

It’s Labor Day once again! For those of you reading this outside of the US, a bit of background. Labor Day was originally a celebration held by labor unions in September 5, 1882. (It was made a national holiday in 1894 as an olive branch to unions, following the deaths of workers during the Pullman Strike.)

Today, it is largely recognized in the US by giving employees a Monday off. Even employees who may not actually deserve a day off, like these nearly unemployable video game characters.

Think we’re being too hard on Mario? Consider this: He knows all these pipes are broken, and are warping him to another dimension instead of carrying water and sewage where they’re supposed to go, but he never bothers to fix them. Yet he still seems to have a lot of time left over for parties and go-kart rides…

Labor Day is also universally recognized as the end of the “summer” season, and therefore the last time you can acceptably leave the house in white pants until May of the following year.

NOTE: Wearing a sport coat over a futuristic jumpsuit is acceptable only on April Fool’s Day, Halloween and for a few hours on Yom Kippur.

On Ranker, Americans recognized the holiday much as they did in real life. First, by voting on their favorite places to eat barbecue. (This list has actually become a real nail-biter with some later additions rocketing up the charts. Will Murphysboro, Illinois’ 17th Street Bar and Grill overtake Moe’s Original Bar B Que?)

The weekend also saw a lot of activity on the Best Tasting Light Beers list (Less Filling!), in which 27 nominated brews are duking it out. This was particularly surprising, as none of us at Ranker were aware that light beer had a taste.

Yes, there’s nothing more satisfying on a hot day than a tall, frothy mug of Hop Water.

As this weekend also marks the symbolic end of Summer 2011, Ranker users also enjoyed taking a look back at some of the season’s hottest hit songs. Adele’s holding strong in the top spot with “Rolling in the Deep,” which has as-of-today received not a single downvote.

The next 5 items on the list? Smarmy, winking, ironic hipster covers of “Rolling in the Deep.”

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

Strange Things Are Afoot on the List of the Day

For those of you not ’80s and awesome enough to catch the reference…


RIP George Carlin, we miss you!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The glorious anniversary of the birth of actor Keanu Reeves. Though initially dismissed early in his career as something of a doofus (perhaps owing to the remarkable popularity and continuing influence of his work in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”), Reeves experienced something of a career renaissance in the 00s. This, of course, was prompted by his starring role in a little sci-fi action film called “The Matrix,” but extended to acclaimed turns in other films as well, such as “The Gift” and the animated “A Scanner Darkly.”

But it’s not just in the movies where Reeves has become staggeringly popular in recent years. A photo of him enjoying a sandwich on a park bench ended up inspiring the beloved and widely circulated “Sad Keanu” meme as well:

Left out again, just like that ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’ wrap party…

But the guy’s turning 47 today (!), so we come not to mock him, but to CELEBRATE him. Hence, Ranker’s publication of The 7 Greatest True Keanu Reeves Stories. These are absolutely 100% verified facts about Keanu’s long and storied life, including…

– Details about his wrestling match with Alice Cooper

– The shocking truth about his multiple motorcycle and hockey-related accidents

– His sideline in paranormal investigations

and much, much more. It’s enough to make you re-evaluate your entire impression of Keanu Reeves, the actor, as well as Keanu Reeves, the man. Or, if nothing else, enough to make you go “Whoa!”

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

Today's List of the Day Isn't Funny Anymore

Watch this video clip:

This is the moment when the “Happy”ness of “Happy Days” died for the audience. 

It was so bad, in fact, that it coined an entire term based on the scene above. And this term was “jumping the shark”. 

According to Wikipedia, foremost authority on stuff, Jumping the Shark is an idiom, employed to describe a moment in the evolution of a television show when it begins a decline in quality that is beyond recovery. 

Although this term was originally used primarily for television, nowadays anything can jump the shark. And in today’s list of the day, internet memes jump the shark

Case in Point: The Double Rainbow Guy

In case you lived under a rock in 2010, a guy with the username Hungrybear9562 uploaded a video of what he thought was the most amazing thing in the world (probably while on shrooms). Here’s the original video:

After it went viral, people started using “full on”, “all the way across the sky” and making “what does this mean?” jokes all over the internet. There was even a popular and (warning!) catchy song that was made to commemorate Hungrybear’s excitement. 

And this was awesome, funny and really illustrated how the entire internet is one huge international world community, making each other laugh.

And then the mainstream media ruined it by wearing out the joke waaayyy after it was popular, driving it into the ground and reminding us that the joke was, unfortunately, over. Permanently. 

The list of the day chronicles the Top 9 Worst Times Internet Memes Jumped the Shark: When the Laughter Died. 

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

The Quite Possibly Fatal List of the Day

One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is getting a chance to sample the strange, exotic cuisine of other places. Whether it’s heading out for Texas BBQ, attending your first Hawaiian Luau or combing Tokyo for the ultimate Shabu Shabu spot, often a vacation will be organized around opportunities to try different, enticing foods.

But if you’re going to any of the places highlighted in Ranker’s list of the World’s Most Dangerous Restaurants, it might not be the most relaxing trip ever. These are places you should only go if your idea of a good time is hanging off of a sheer cliff face, hoping that you get to enjoy your mint tea and cookies before plummeting to your certain doom on the craggy rocks below. (Well, when you put it like that, it does sound kind of fun…)

The good news is, if you navigate this pass before 7 pm, they have half-price mozzarella sticks.

Included in the list are:

– A Chinese tea house located in a converted Taoist temple high atop Huayin, China’s Mt. Huashan. (That’s where the above photo was taken.)

– A Belgian dining room-like apparatus that can be suspended 50 feet in the air from a massive crane

– A Japanese restaurant in New York City staffed entirely by ninjas. (Trust us, leave a nice tip!)

– A Tokyo restaurant themed simultaneously as a hospital and prison and staffed by the cast of a ’70s pinky violence exploitation film.

One waitress helpfully shows you where you can redeem your Groupon.

Bon appetit!

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

The List of the Week Was Born This Way

Put your paws in the air, list fans! It’s an All-Music List of the Week post!

Lady Gaga opened the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards with a very peculiar 4-minute monologue in character as her new awesome, fascinating, not-at-all-manufactured alter-ego. His name is Jo Calderone, and he’s basically like Andrew Dice Clay + Frank Rizzo from “The Jerky Boys” mixed with a cheesy greaser from an old ’50s B-movie. So “Calderone” started the show by discussing his long, complicated relationship with… who else… Lady Gaga!

Hickory dickory dock… oooohhhhhhh!!!

It was just the latest in a long series of Strange Lady Gaga Fashion Choices. And hey, at least dogs won’t chase her around the neighborhood on her way home this time.

In other music news this week, Internet comedy troupe and occasional rock band OK Go have released their latest sure-to-go-viral YouTube clip. This time, it’s in support of their (honestly? kind of unbearable) cover of The Muppet Show theme. And it co-stars those lovable rapscallions, The Muppets! Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!

If you missed it, that “yaaaaaaayyyyyy!” is supposed to be like when Kermit the Frog throws his head back and says “Yay!” It’s not just me being lame. I’m sorry for putting a little thing called SUBTEXT in these posts!

Can’t get enough of shenanigans designed to keep you entertained through 3-4 minutes of OK Go music? Then do yourself a favor and check out (and even vote!) on our guide to the Very Best OK Go Videos. I know, I know, I haven’t done the best sales job on this one, but please click through anyway. I only get to eat if we get a certain number of visits.

The Electric Mayhem didn’t need fancy-pants viral videos to sell records. It used to be about the MUSIC, man!

Finally, this past Saturday – August 27th – marked the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam’s landmark “Ten” album. And let me tell you, that thing totally holds up. And I say that not just as a person for whom 1991 was a formative year. I also say it as an old person for whom contemporary music is strange and frightening.

That’s right, it’s a video of Pearl Jam playing “Evenflow.” Top that with your Kreayshawns and your Tylers the Creator. You can’t, pipsqueak!

Now you can relive the relatively antiquated hard rock stylings of Seattle’s second-favorite songs (third if you’re one of those Mudhoney people…) by voting on The Greatest Pearl Jam Albums. And can I just humbly request that more people give “Binaural” another listen? Seriously seriously underrated, you guys. Seriously.

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

It's The List of The Day's First Day of School

Summer is coming to a (social) end. And by this I mean, of course, that it’s back to school time. The summer is by no means over, we’re still going to have awesome beach weather for a little while longer (and in LA, it’ll continue until we’re very well close to Christmas). But as far as the younguns are concerned, summer is basically over. The summer retail jobs are ending, video games are being finished and teenage summer romances are reaching their awkward “how the hell do I get out of this?” stage (unless they creepily follow you back to the high school you attend)

 

“So, uh, yeah, I’ll give you a call sometime…”

For those of you starting college in this fine fall season of 2011 (the class of 2015), there are some sage words of advice the internet has to give you. And those words of advice is “learn from our mistakes”, “don’t be an idiot” and “don’t fall for the oldest tricks in the book”.

So, thankfully, this generation has a meme looking out for them. It’s a meme that gives them great advice by ruthlessly mocking all the dumbest, most cliche, idiotic or just plain naive things we all did as college freshmen. 

We present to you, the College Freshman Meme — chronicling the best in what everybody does (or thinks) as a young, dumb college freshman. 

Have fun, make the most of it, study but don’t study too hard, and most importantly, meet as many attractive people that like you as you possibly can. They’ll come in handy later… ifyouknowwhatimsayin.

The Very Best of the College Freshman Meme 

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

Today's List of the Day is Full of Band Geeks

Remember that movie Drumline and how unmistakingly badass it made marching bands look?

Yeah, neither do we. 

BUT, turns out that a lot of the band geeks you might have picked on in high school may actually turn out to be quite the famous celebrities, so watch who you pick on.

Please.

This comes from experience. Being a band geek wasn’t like in Glee. One assembly didn’t lead to people singing along with you, a huge fanfare and you somehow getting the girl/guy; it most often led to your parents buying you some ice cream on the way home before you tried to fit in as much Nintendo as you could before bed. 

No, this is not the way of marching band nowadays. Geeks are taking over the world and everything that used to be weird or nerdy is now okay and downright cool. So if you were in marching band, you were most likely missing out. Although it seems lately that we’ve gone from this…

to this…

although nowadays you do get a fair amount of this…

So, just to prove that people in band CAN be cool, here’s a list of celebrities that, at some point in their school careers, were in marching band. From Halle Berry, Gwen Stefani and Woody Allen, to Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg and even Bill Clinton.

Wear your band geekdom proud today, nerds, and let your flag fly (and please, try not to drop it).

30 Famous People Who Were Once in Marching Band

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

Today's Earth-Shattering List of the Day

Sometimes, a natural disaster hits and it brings us all together. Nothing could be more true for the West Coast when on August 23, 2011, the East coast felt a 5.9 earthquake from Virginia to Toronto and went into a fit of panic. Since the West Coast usually sleeps through earthquakes of this size, the West Coast got together (San Francisco, LA, Portland, Seattle, all working in perfect harmony) to relentlessly make fun of the East Coast “Earthquake Virgins” for about 12 hours. Because nothing happened.

The Devastation Was Horrifying…

Twitter then erupted with a barrage of snarky Tweets from funny people…

and the rest of the internet, including Reddit, didn’t hold back either. 

Today’s list of the day is a round-up by the hilarious Ranker user Robert Wabash, chronicling the best of the West Coast making fun of the East Coast for being at all worried about an earthquake. 

So, here’s an earth-shatteringly hilarious list about something that shook up quite a bit of the East Coast. 

The Funniest Internet Reactions to the East Coast Earthquake of 2011

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists

Part of This Nutritious List of the Day

We like to talk on the Ranker blog about all the IMPORTANT lists being written on the site. Lists discussing political and world events. Lists that teach you facts about science, nature and history. Lists that try to help you choose the next movie, TV show, music or book that you’re going to love. And, yes, lists that attempt to determine – scientifically, of course – which actresses on “Entourage” are the hottest.

But Ranker’s also just about having fun listing your favorite STUFF, even if it’s kind of silly. And everyone – well, everyone without severe sensitivities to gluten – loves cereal. So why not have a vote on our massive Crowdranked list of the All-Time Best Breakfast Cereals?

Follow my nose! Which, now that I think about it, is attached to the rest of my body. So, just, um, follow me, I guess!

The results so far, after nearly 50 voters, are intriguing. Sugary or sweet cereals obviously took off to an early lead – 4 of the Top 5 are traditionally thought of as “kids cereals,” and only Raisin Bran appears to really be holding it down for the grown-ups. But I don’t think anyone, high fructose corn syrup or no, expected to see Corn Pops so high up the list. Corn Pops more popular than Corn Flakes? Than Golden Grahams? Lucky Charms? Surely you jest…

And what of Trix? Easily one of the most iconic, recognizable advertising campaigns in breakfast history, and it can’t even make it into the Top 25 favorite cereals?

Silly rabbit, Trix are for… well, not too many people, as it turns out.

Go ahead and vote for your favorites to help switch around the order. And if we’ve missed any of your favorite morning snacks, make your own list and nominate some more cereals. You surely can’t be the only one who likes Mueslix… right?

by   Ranker
Staff
in Popular Lists, Trends

The List of the Wee-Week

It’s impossible to write a weekly wrap-up post for this past week that DOESN’T acknowledge French actor Gerard Depardieu urinating on a plane. Anderson Cooper is probably still laughing about it. So let’s just get that out of the way here up front…

OK, everyone got the giggles out? Can we get on with the lists that MATTERED this week? Anderson?

No, no, it’s okay, I’ll wait…

OK. Glad we could all get that out of our system, because lots of other stories happened this week, too, and Ranker even had lists that were made about some of them.

Like the FBI detaining a 17-year-old Tampa high school student who had planned to set off a bomb on the first day of school. (The first day! Talk about not having a restful summer vacation…)

A fascinating tidbit from the story was the student mentioning that he had seen a Wifi signal called “FBI_SURVEILLANCE_VAN” in his neighborhood in the days before the arrest. The sheer, breathtaking stupidity of law enforcement agents identifying themselves to a target int his way, inspired Autumn Spragg’s Biggest FBI FAILs collection. Other notable G-man goofs include leaving behind important internal documents while searching a suspect’s home, putting a wire on an informant incorrectly (thus returning no useful information) and investigating the murder of a corpse that turned out to be Trent Reznor making a music video. (Really! That happened!)

He’s not dead. He’s resting.

Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann was in the news this week after making not one but two kind of silly public mistakes. First, she encouraged a crowd at a South Carolina rally to help her celebrate Elvis Presley’s birthday on August 16th, which actually – it turns out – is the anniversary of his death. (Hey, nothing a couple peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches can’t fix!)

Then, two days later, Bachmann said that Americans are concerned about the rise of the Soviet Union. Which, considering that it hasn’t existed in about 2 decades, is not really all that great of a concern. It’s fair to say that Americans as of this week were genuinely more concerned about the rise of the Planet of the Apes than the Soviet Union.

OK, so I may not have known much about Russia just because it’s geographically close to part of Alaska, but at least I know it’s not still the Soviet Union. Now who’s dangerously under-qualified?

These flubs were added to Ranker user PilgrimsProgressive’s ongoing list of Michele Bachmann Slip-Ups and Errors. Two date, it has 9 entries, most of them from some point in the 2011 campaign thus far.

And finally, the NFL’s pre-season games have started this week, kicking off anticipation not only for the 2011-2012 football season but also the forthcoming update to the long-running “Madden NFL” franchise from EA Games. The new edition – “Madden NFL 12” – comes out August 30th, and will feature running back Peyton Hillis of the Cleveland Browns on the cover.

At Ranker HQ, we discussed the validity of the long-rumored “Madden NFL cover curse,” alleging that players featured on the cover would incur a run of bad luck afterwards, most frequently occurring in the same season that they appeared on the game.

Does this theory actually hold any water? I’d tell you if I knew anything at all about football, other than that the term “pigskin” is sometimes substituted for football, which is extremely unpleasant. But you can test it out for yourself by checking out Arthur Roderick’s guide to All the Madden NFL Cover Athletes. It even includes the franchise’s namesake, John Madden, who is on the cover not in his original “football player” incarnation but his more recent “TV presenter constantly doodling like a 4th grader all over the screen” persona.

They told me to stand here holding this football looking like I was explaining something and BOOM!, this is what I came up with.

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