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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.