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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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The List of the Day Does Not Compute

Researchers from IBM Corp. this week claimed to have created a new computer chip that processes information like a human brain. What does this mean? Basically, it computes for a few minutes, then takes a break to get some more coffee, play a few rounds of Zynga Poker and discuss weekend plans with the computer chip directly to its right. Also, it’s more adaptable and responsive to external stimuli, able to run large processes simultaneously and more reliant on memory than existing computer hardware.

So how does the Ranker community respond to such a technological breakthrough, perhaps the most significant change to computing in decades? By making a Crowdranked list of the most awesome robots of all time, of course. Where you been, man?

I COULD keep going on with more insightful, accurate details about this computer chip…but I wouldn’t want to BORE you all…

Leading the All-Time Robot Awesomeness list right now is, naturally, Autobots commander-in-chief Optimus Prime, whose standing probably isn’t hurt by the fact that he has currently stars in a blockbuster movie franchise. #2, replicant Roy Batty from “Blade Runner,” would be a bit more surprising if the news hadn’t just hit this week that a prequel or sequel or reboot or something was likely in the works. (First, Ridley Scott revisits the “Alien” universe and now “Blade Runner”? Can a “White Squall” follow-up be far behind?)

Remember, this is a Crowdranked list, so if your favorite pop culture-bot didn’t yet make the list, there’s still time to add them! Can’t help but notice the Pink Robots from the Flaming Lips album of the same name weren’t on there yet. Possibly because they’re programmed to destroy us?

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If You Haven't Read the List of the Day, It's New to You!

It’s almost Fall again, which means it’s time for the networks to introduce their exciting slates of new TV shows, most of which will no longer be on the air by the time the actual season of Fall draws to a close. It’s expensive to mount a TV show, after all, so only the real winners – the best of the best – are worth keeping on for the long haul. You think “Gary Unmarried” getting renewed for a second season was an accident? OK, actually, that probably was an accident. But you see what I mean.

Jay Mohr explains how he got CBS to renew “Gary Unmarried” by threatening to start blowing up school buses. Hey, he’s a big “Die Hard With a Vengeance” fan…

On Ranker, the community today started discussing which new Fall 2011 shows they were anticipating, and which new concepts didn’t really work for them. The top two on the list are both crime thrillers with a gimmicky psychological twist.

“Unforgettable” follows a cop (Poppy Montgomery) who has perfect memory, and uses it to solve crimes. “Person of Interest” – from “Memento” writer Jonathan Nolan – stars Michael Emerson (Ben from “Lost”) as a billionaire who invents a machine that can identify people who will be involved in a crime. Unfortunately, he can’t tell if these people are the victims, the criminals or the witnesses. So he hires (still with me?) a former CIA agent (played by Jim Caviezel) to track these people down and stop the crime from happening. Sort of like “Minority Report” meets “Quantum Leap.” but will it work without Dean Stockwell?

Ziggy says “probably not,” Sam, but the guy is Christopher Nolan’s brother…I don’t know…

Also eagerly anticipated is Fox’s “Terra Nova,” about a group of time travelers who found a colony in prehistoric Earth. It stars Stephen Lang from “Avatar” as a character who looks a lot like Stephen Lang from “Avatar.”

I have a beard this time. Totally different.

And what show are Ranker-ites NOT terribly excited about? Here’s a hint!

Another adaptation of “Charlie’s Angels” from Drew Barrymore? What’s next, she’s going to turn it into a grand opera?

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You Are Now Free to Move About the List of the Day

For most Americans, it had probably been a while since they had reason to think about iconic French actor Gérard Depardieu. Sure, he’s made Stateside film appearances here and there. “Green Card.” “My Father, the Hero.” That ridiculous Ridley Scott debacle where he played Christopher Columbus. But he’s hardly a household name, and he’s focused largely on movies lately that… how shall I put this… have no chance of actually appealing to Americans in any way, shape or form, what with all them foreign-y words and lack of fighting space robots.

But today, today Depardieu’s name was on everyone’s lips, both in the US and abroad. For today, word spread that the actor – waiting an unbearably long time on the tarmac for a flight from Dublin to Paris – simply stood up and relieved himself right there in the airplane’s aisle.

Obviously, as Larry Flynt’s Hustler Airlines remains in the early planning stages, this sort of thing is universally frowned-upon in the air travel industry. (We should note as well that Depardieu disputes this specific version of events, and insists he was attempting to urinate in a bottle when, regrettably, “spillage” occurred. Which I think we can all agree is the least tasteful use of the term “spillage” since the Exxon Valdez disaster.)

Depardieu seen here in character as the French guy from that early “Simpsons” episode who put antifreeze in his wine.

The whole ugly incident (and I don’t use that term lightly) inspired Alby Thompson’s list of Celebrities Who Have Behaved Badly on Airplanes.

Most surprising? Christian Slater got caught at New York’s JFK Airport trying to board a plane with an unlicensed gun in his luggage. I’ll repeat myself, because that is so ridiculously stupid, and I don’t trust you to go back and re-read the last sentence for comic effect. HE WAS TRYING TO BOARD A PLANE WITH AN UNLICENSED GUN IN HIS LUGGAGE. Bear in mind, though, this was a pre-9/11 world, where passengers frequently engaged in casual, spontaneous games of Russian Roulette to pass the time on trans-continental flights.

Maybe I’ll just keep the entire can of 7 Up. What are you gonna do about it, smart guy?

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Hey Girl, It's Today's List of the Day. Awww Yeah.

Some internet memes take very specific occurrences we face in life every day and bring attention to them in a hilarious manner using a cute animal or dumb looking person. This meme is just a series of science puns put together with sexual innuendos. It’s immature. 

And juvenile. Who thinks this is funny?

We do. Because these are amazing.

They also kind of remind Lon and I of one of the greatest sketches of all time, if not for just how sleezy all of these pickup lines sound. This is a clip from The State, one of the greatest sketch shows of all time (form the 90s). 

Get More: MTV2 Legit, MTV Shows

Amazing. Imagine that song playing whenever you read today’s list of the day The Very Best of the Pickup Line Scientist Meme (or The Big Bang Theory Meme), because we know you’re gonna come crawlin’ right back to the list next time you need a way to pickup a fine piece of lovin’ at your local internet cafe.

Uhnf.   

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Today's List of the Day is Killer

Have you ever seen a story about a complete psychopath, like someone who is completely off the deep end or someone you consider pretty much evil in every way that a person can be?  Of course you have! 

Now, what if you could spend a few minutes talking to that person asking them all the questions that your most morbid curiosity would want to uncover?

“Why did you do it?”

“What was it like?”

“What is your favorite color?”

So now, just because we here at Ranker like to absolutely terrify you, are 10 Chilling Interviews with Famous Killers

From Jeffrey Dahmer’s one hour interview with NBC

to famous Japanese cannibal Issei Sagawa’s detailed account of everything he did and why. 

Cannibal Superstar with bulgarian subtitles from on Vimeo.

Enjoy the rest of your day and have fun trying to sleep tonight. Happy Monday!

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The Bizarro Alternate Universe's List of the Week

According to the parallel universe (or “multiverse”) theory, our entire universe exists in a bubble, and all around (or possibly inside!) that bubble are other bubbles containing other universes. It’s been a theory among physicists for years, because those guys are WAY into magic mushrooms. And also because of math. Or something. What do I look like, a physicist?

Anyway, if you take this theory seriously, that could mean that there’s another universe out there with another version of you, reading another version of this very blog post (though, to be fair, he may have better things to do… Hey, you don’t know Alternate You. Whatever.)

At Ranker, this intrigued us. Not enough to actually go out and learn more about cosmology, physics, string theory and the elegant science behind universes. That sounds hard. But definitely enough to get interested in Autumn Spragg’s awesome look at pop culture alternate universes. Top of the list, naturally, is the Fox science-fiction show “Fringe,” which is largely about the combative relationship between our world and a parallel reality.

Wait, in an alternate reality, I’m a Harvard scientist? What’s a Harvard?

The 2012 presidential election was also in the news this week, as the Republicans held their annual straw poll in Ames, Iowa, which helps to determine some of the front-runners in the party’s primary election. The big loser this year was former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, who had been an early favorite among pundits but who came in a rather disappointing third place, and soon after dropped out of the election entirely.

What was his downfall? Perhaps these Tim Pawlenty Quotes from the campaign trail can shed some light on why Iowa voters failed to connect with him.

The big winner, by the way, was another Minnesotan, Michele Bachmann, who not only took first place in the straw poll but also contributed this photo to Internet culture:

And for that, we are forever in her debt.

On the movie front, following last week’s surprise success “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” expectations were high for a few big new releases. “The Help,” based on an already-popular novel, seemed to score with audiences despite some controversy over its handling of the civil rights movement. Less controversial, but almost assuredly more stupid, was the fifth entry in the “Final Destination” series, in which attractive young people cheat death only to end up temporarily delaying it. Which really irritates Death, who is fond of keeping to tight schedule and enforcing the rules, somewhat like a high school Vice-Principal, but less terrifying.

I said show me your hall pass or you can forget all about the Winter Formal, young lady! (Photo by Mario Valencia)

Finally this week, a petition spread around the Internet asking the Children’s Television Workshop to finally declare Bert and Ernie to be gay, and to hold a wedding for them on air. The CTW has denied that Bert and Ernie are lovers, arguing that they are puppets, and thus not capable of having a sexual orientation. But, come on… Kermit and Miss Piggy are clearly heterosexual, despite being puppets. Let’s have some consistency, Muppets!

Anyway, we at Ranker have no opinion about these singing roommates’ proclivities in the bedroom, but user Joanne has nevertheless written up a fairly compelling argument that Bert and Ernie are gay. (To be fair, most male roommates don’t spend too much time together while bathing but this is hardly conclusive evidence.) Read on and see if you’re convinced…

Not THAT kind of love. Like the love of a man for his pigeon. Get your head out of the gutter.

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No Running Near Today's List of the Day

Remember all those seemingly-obvious, stupid signs you’d always see as a kid that made you think “why the hell do they even need that sign?” 

Well, the people in today’s list of the day are the reason why these signs exist.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

So here, on this wonderful summer day, as if you’re not already insecure/terrified enough in your swimming trunks, are the 25 Greatest Pool FAILs of All Time.

What is it about swimming areas that makes people into daredevils? Why is it that, all of a sudden, when some people are surrounded by water and people they want to bang, they think that they can pull off moves that professional stuntmen would charge extra for? I think we can all agree with user Robert Wabash: movies are most likely to blame. 

Not all of us can be Golden Gods.

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It's the List of the Day's Moment

So, not sure if you’re keeping up with all the latest news on the Internet, but it seems YouTube darling and expert day-identifier Rebecca Black has come to the difficult decision to run for the Republican presidential nomination. NO! Where did that even come from? She’s actually leaving her Anaheim, CA, high school early, and will continue her studies at home under the careful tutelage of her mother.

Why? Probably because getting to high school took so long! (She could never decide which seat to take. Hey-o! See what I did there?)

Guh, that joke’s practically older than ME at this point. Although, to be fair, so is 90% of the food in your refrigerator.

In all seriousness, though, Black has partially blamed excessive bullying from her classmates for her early departure from high school. And I quote:

“When I walk by they’ll start singing ‘Friday’ in a really nasally voice,” she told Nightline. “Or, you know, they’ll be like, ‘Oh hey, Rebecca, guess what day it is?’”

Bastards!

Anyway, the Rebecca Black incident brings to mind all of the myriad other Internet and YouTube celebrities who have been bullied over the years. Like everyone’s favorite troubled online soul, the Star Wars Kid, or Britney Spears fanboy-turned-pornstar Chris Crocker.

Or, for that matter, the mysterious and alluring Boxxy, who was essentially forced off the Internet after developing such an intense following on message boards like 4Chan.

            Don’t worry, we don’t really get it either.

For most of these individuals, there was light at the end of the tunnel, and the bullying eventually gave way to a kind of grudging Internet respect. So take heart, Rebecca! Oh, and please stop recording horrible, horrible songs. That’s not bullying. Just honestly.

[DISCLAIMER: Obviously, we at Ranker do not endorse bullying, or even cyberbullying for that matter. I mean… Come on… Grow up.]

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Es La Lista De La Semana!

Yes, it’s that time once again. For the swallows to return to Capistrano. And for Ranker’s blog post about the timely lists that were made on the site this week. That swallows thing is weird, though. Where are they going? Why go back to San Juan Capistrano when, seriously, Newport Beach is not that far up the coast and has better restaurants? These are just some of nature’s mysteries.

It’s no mystery whey Ranker has so many great, timely lists, though. Because they’re so fun and easy to make. (Segue!)

For example, earlier this week, the FBI announced there may be a break in the long-standing D.B. Cooper hijacking and disappearance case. (For those of you who aren’t up on your relatively obscure ’70s cultural memes: Cooper hijacked a plane and received a $200,000 ransom before parachuting out and essentially vanishing.) It was only a few hours after the news broke that we had a great Ranker list of Criminals Who Vanished Mysteriously. Some of these guys, like “Whitey” Bulger, have since been captured, but a few remain at large, including three guy who escaped Alcatraz.

Pretty sure this one’s being held at the Castle Brunwald on the Austrian-German border.

Or there was that interview Mila Kunis gave about her new movie “Friends with Benefits” that included her telling off a reporter in her native Russian:

You insult Kunis during an interview? STRAIGHT TO SIBERIA!

Kunis doesn’t play that. Should have known by now.

Anyway, this inspired Ranker user Calistyle to take a look at amazingly bilingual celebrities, some of whom you may not even have realized could speak multiple languages. (And no, before you ask, Pauly Shore is not speaking another language… That’s just gibberish.)

Finally, another week means a raft of new big anticipated summer movies, and even though it’s August, Hollywood is still going strong. The most anticipated movie this weekend was, of course, the new prequel to Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco as the human who explains why our species deserves to be wiped out. (Which, I suppose, means he’s playing himself.)

Listen, smart guy, if you don’t want your hyper-intelligent chimp to lead a monkey revolution against your civilization, maybe don’t call him CAESAR. Asking for trouble. Also, NAPOLEON would be a good one to avoid, particularly if you have a pig farm.

While we’re on the subject of movies, by the by… You should really check out Ranker’s in-depth statistical analysis of our Worst Movies Ever list, if you missed it the other day. We get Medieval on our Crowdranked guide to the Worst Movies Ever Made, using high-level mathematics to split the worst movies into groups and look at what they have in common. Using this research, scientists may one day be able to create the ultimate Terrible Movie, that is equally displeasing to everyone who sees it. Well, that’s the dream, anyway…

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