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ApocaList of the Week

7-17-11

We have been holed up in the Ranker offices on Wilshire in Los Angeles for 3 days now, waiting out Carmageddon, hoping and praying that some other people are left out there…alive. We have little water left, and are subsisting on a thin gruel made of coffee grinds and old “Best of 2008” lists. (Best song: Rihanna and T.I.’s “Live Your Life”? What were you thinking, people of 3 years ago?)

Last night, it got really quiet, and Brian thought he could make a break for it, but he was only about 20 feet out the door when one of the cars got him. He made it back inside and seemed okay, but he’s…different somehow. Changed. This morning, I thought I caught him sipping on motor oil and making “vroom” noises, but it could just be the stress getting to me. I haven’t been sleeping.

We’re going to continue to wait, for as long as we can last. In the meantime, Ranker users outside of LA, who managed to escape this dys-autopian nightmare have made some lists about other stuff that happened this week. Check ‘em out.

Spotification

This week’s hot new music startup was Spotify, the subscription music service that’s already been a big hit in Europe and has FINALLY landed on American shores after working out deals with all the record labels. Users can stream music to their computers for free (with ads), pay $5 a month to dump the ads or $10 a month to stream music to their mobile devices.

The library is pretty amazing, but before you dive in and start collecting your favorite post-pop-emocore-abilly songs into a playlist, check out these Spotify Tips, Tricks and Hints to make sure you’re, you know, doing it right. Can you imagine if you were sharing that Best Reggae Jams playlist publicly, and accidentally had left some Rocksteady in there? Shock! Horror!

Always good advice.

PS: Still can’t get in to Spotify? We also have some thoughts on Turntable.fm. Which is open to everyone!

Gluttony: A Celebration

Good news, everyone! New Jersey resident and soon-to-be-national hero Donna Simpson, who currently weighs in at a solid 700 pounds, has announced her intention to gain the additional 300 pounds needed to secure the world record! Plus she’s promised to do most of the actual required eating in front of a webcam, so all of us amateur gluttons can enjoy her achievements vicariously.

If this all sounds vaguely familiar, it’s probably because Homer Simpson (no relation…probably…) hatched a similar scheme back in the ’90s, with somewhat disappointing results.

Still waiting for his special dialing wand

To commemorate Donna’s historic attempt to eat a metric ton of bacon, Ranker user Barbara Gaston threw together this list of Great Historical Gluttons. Hey, she’s sharing a list with Elvis Presley! The King! It’s a compliment!

New Movie Trailers

Tons of new movie trailers debuted this week, in part because a new “Harry Potter” film opened, so they know a lot of people will be in theaters waiting to see if the kids get back to the Shire. (That’s what it’s about, yes?) They’re all on our 2011 Movie Trailer list, including this new spot for Martin Scorsese’s 3D adventure story “Hugo.” LET’S WATCH!

Sacha Baron Cohen’s 3D nude wrestling scene, I predict, will cause some controversy…

Happy Birthday Twitter

5 years ago this week, Twitter (then called Twittr) was introduced to the public. Hard to believe it’s been that long! Before then, if you wanted to know what someone had had for lunch, and if it was delicious, you’d have to actually call them up and ask them! Not that anyone ever did that. Because, really, let’s be honest, who cares? But still…Twitter…woooo!

There are, after all, lots of historic, awesome, funny and important tweets worth remembering. Like that time Ice T insulted singer Aimee Mann with language we would not dream of repeating on a corporate-type blog.

Aimee Mann can eat a hot bowl of…oh, hey, kids, stay in school!

O K, that provided a few moments of distraction from the horrorscape that is post-Carmageddon Los Angeles. (Thinking we should start calling it “New Los Angeles.” Sounds more post-Carmageddon-y.)

I’ll send word if I can. Hopefully the US government still exists and the military can get some tanks through to us. Also, please, if you see my wife, tell her… oh God… I hear engines revving… I think they’re in the building… I… Oh no…

[End Transmission]

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Two Points for Gryffindor's List of the Day!

This weekend marks the end of one of the biggest film, book and pop culture phenomenons of the last decade. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 came out today, and with it, all the Muggles obsessed with the franchise are out in the streets, in full form. Waiting in line, in costumes and drinking butter beer.

And while most of them aren’t as crazy as this

or this (she creepily asks to touch his face — this entire video is gold)…

.. they(we) did manage to break some records. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 made more money in ticket sales at one midnight showing across the United States than most movies do in their entire opening weekend. $44 Million for a midnight screening, baby! (For more Crazy Harry Potter Fans check out Mark’s list of The 13 Craziest Harry Potter Fans Moments of All Time). 

But… ever since the rise in popularity of the Harry Potter franchise, fans have been trying to make the wizarding world of Harry Potter into something real. Like, really real. 

I mean, take this guy. In this world (California, of course), there’s a real human being who honestly believes in magic who went ahead and created a real school for wizards. Where he teaches magic. To kids.  

No, really. 

So with this and some other awe-inspiring stories, here’s the list of the day.

7 Strange Ways Harry Potter Has Become a Reality

And now that it’s all ended, we can all finally say goodbye to the franchise, and this guy (actually, coincidentally, named Harry Potter) can finally stop complaining. 

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Lists of the Day of the Week. No, That's No Good…

What an eventful, crazy week of things happening that was, right? I mean, things happen every week, but this week…things REALLY happened. And Ranker users were right there, the whole time, making lists about it. Except for when they had to race to the fridge for a Diet Mountain Dew refill. Cause it was hot out there. (That’s not product placement, either. We at Ranker are just big fans of Diet Mountain Dew. Don’t judge.)

Here’s just some of the things that got listed this week…

RIP Betty Ford

One of America’s most outspoken and admired First Ladies, Betty Ford, passed away this week at the age of 93. Though historically significant for the bold feminist stances she made during her husband Gerald Ford’s relatively brief tenure as president, Ford is perhaps best remembered as the founder of the rehabilitation clinic, The Betty Ford Center.

The Center was forever memorialized in “The Simpsons” episode where Marge and Lisa take in a stage production called “Kickin’ It: A Musical Journey to the Betty Ford Center.” Observe:

The Simpsons…is there a single American organization they haven’t joked about at this point?

Anyway, for these achievements and more, it wasn’t a tough decision to add the late Ms. Ford to Ranker’s list of political wives who’ve overshadowed their husbands. I mean, President Ford was only president for 3 years! That hardly even counts! (Just kidding, Ford fans.)

Google Plus

By now, most of the Internet’s enthusiastic early adopters have flooded in to search giant Google’s new social network, Google+. What are the advantages of Google +, the new platform, over Facebook, the system everyone’s already been using for years, you may ask? Well…um…there’s circles for your friends! And…it’s not Facebook!

Not pleased…

If you’re one of the millions who’s giving The Plus a try for the first time this weekend, may we humbly recommend Ranker’s ultimate guide to Google Plus tips and tricks for navigating the site? It covers most of the big questions n00bz will have upon logging in for the first time (“what’re these roundy things with the faces in ‘em?”), and also has some more high-level suggestions like hotkeys for navigating a bit faster, and options for importing your Facebook buddies.

Carmageddon Approaches!

For those of you who don’t live in Southern California, allow me to explain. Traffic is already very, very, very bad here. And next weekend, the city is planning to blow up the side of a mountain (!) and will have to shut down the 405 freeway for 2 full days. This will have roughly the same amount of impact on Los Angeles traffic as a series of nuclear bombs going off at random intervals city-wide. Just with more potential fatalities. (Also, no one steal that screenplay idea!)

What do you do, hotshot? What do you do?

To help brace us all for the impact, Ranker’s Ariel Kana looked back in horror at the worst traffic jams of all time. I’ll admit, it made me feel a bit better. (In an odd coincidence, Ms. Kana was NOT the only Ariel to make a big splash on Ranker this week…)

Take It Bachmann!

Minnesota Representative and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is no stranger to controversy. She once proposed that someone investigate Congress to root out individuals with anti-American views, and she kind of implied that Obama might be responsible for the swine flu. As one does.

This week was no different, with Bachmann (and presidential hopeful Rick Santorum) making headlines for signing a document called “The Marriage Vow – A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family.” A passage near the beginning of the two-page paper caused some degree of uproar. It read:

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

Both Bachmann and Santorum responded by explaining that they were signing the “candidate vow” portion of the paper only, which pledges to, among other things, ban all forms of pornography. The group behind the document also removed the controversial passage later in the week.

New Movies!

We’re still in the height of summer, so a bevy of new releases continue to hit cineplexes every weekend. This week saw the opening of not one but two new comedies – the dark workplace satire “Horrible Bosses” and the slapstick Kevin Jame vehicle “Zookeeper.”

This doesn’t seem TOO horrible…unless she’s really biting down hard, in which case I’m fairly certain you can press charges.

We linked it a few days ago, but if you missed it…here’s Ranker’s guide to the most hilarious takedowns of “Zookeeper,” surely one of the year’s worst-reviewed films.