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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.

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All the Lists of the Week That's Fit to…Um, Post

Another week has come and gone, and with it, another crop of timely Ranker lists. The Ranker community doesn’t just keep up with the news…They re-imagine it in list form.

Here were some of the stories we covered this week…

Whitey Bulger Captured!

On Wednesday afternoon, 81-year-old Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger was apprehended by the FBI in Santa Monica, California, where he had apparently been hiding out for some time. (The last known sighting of Bulger was in London in 2002.) Bulger had been on the run since 1994, and was wanted in connection with over 20 murders! He is also said to be a major inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in the Martin Scorsese movie “The Departed.”

For Bulger’s sake, let’s hope the animal print robes were just artistic license…

That was considered menacing enough to earn Bulger a spot on Ranker’s list of 13 Notorious Irish Gangsters. Interestingly, a lot of other gangsters on the list went on to inspire film characters, including John Looney – who became Paul Newman’s character John Rooney in “Road to Perdition” – and James Burke – known as “Jimmy Conway” when Robert DeNiro portrayed him in the crime classic “Goodfellas.”

The lesson? Crime doesn’t pay exactly but it can turn into a movie deal if you live through it.

George Clooney Continues Breaking Hearts

Shocking news from the world of entertainment this week as international bon vivant and occasional stop-motion animated fox voicer George Clooney broke up with his non-unattractive Italian actress girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis. Here is a photo of her that, were you to show it to George Clooney, would likely earn you a knowing half-smirk:

This is Wikipedia’s file image of Elisabetta Canalis. I swear. That’s totally why I picked it. No other reason.

Having some trouble keeping all of The Cloon’s exes straight? You’re not the only one. Thankfully, Ranker can help, with our definitive guide to All Former George Clooney Loves (including rumored ones and hookups!) And if that’s not quite judgmental enough for you, there’s also a VoteRanked list of all of George’s former flames ordered by hotness. Go ahead and vote for your favorites!

Ron Artest is now Metta World Peace

Once-notorious NBA small forward Ron Artest has changed his ways of late, and now plans to change his name to match his new outlook. The new handle: Metta World Peace. (“Metta” is the buddhist concept of “loving-kindness.” Duh.)

Ranker is home to a lot of Artest fans (we’re located in Los Angeles, after all), so the site’s had a running tally of memorable Ron Artest Moments going for some time. Clearly, this name change made the cut. Also, this weird song he did about his workout routine:

New Summer Movies!

Two big new summer movies hit theaters this week.

First up, Cameron Diaz stars in Jake Kasdan’s comedy “Bad Teacher.” It’s about a bad teacher who tries to become a somewhat better teacher in order to score breast implants. Finally, Hollywood is starting a serious conversation about education reform!

There’s Something About Geometry…

Next up, Pixar prepares to sell enough car-themed merchandise to create the trash-consumed “WALL-E” dystopia they always dreamed of with the release of “Cars 2.” All your favorites are back from the first “Cars” movie, like…that one that sounds like Larry the Cable Guy…and that Italian stereotype one…and, um…

The new film does feature the voices of Eddie Izzard and Michael Caine, so it can’t be all bad. Plus, Pixar!

Why would a world built by cars for cars have skyscrapers in it? I DEMAND ANSWERS, LASSETER!

In other movie news, this week saw the limited release of the documentary “Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop,” about the comedian’s stage tour following his split from NBC’s “Tonight Show.” Hopefully it will be opening everywhere soon! Until then, tide yourself over with these classic Conan O’Brien quotes and quips.

RIP Ryan Dunn and Peter Falk

Ryan Dunn, one of the core members of the team behind the “Jackass” TV show and films, died after driving off a road in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania. He was 34 years old.  The circumstances behind Dunn’s demise became somewhat controversial. He was allegedly intoxicated at the time, and was traveling at dangerous speeds, as observed by many on social media within the hours after the accident (including film critic Roger Ebert, no stranger to controversy). What was never in doubt was that Dunn left his fans with a plethora of outrageous skits, pranks and stunts. Ranker’s Angie Marie collected some of them in a Ryan Dunn Memorial list.

Just one more thing…Also leaving us this week was legendary actor Peter Falk. Though perhaps best known as TV’s Lt. Columbo, the highlights of Falk’s filmography are too numerous to even list here. For the curious, we recommend: “The In-Laws,” any of Falk’s collaborations with director John Cassavetes, “The Princess Bride,” Jon Favreau’s “Made” and Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire.” The Peter Falk tribute list has more recommendations, not to mention videos of a lot of great Peter Falk memories.