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Scientists Reveal Our Presidents’ Favorite Websites

By scientist, I mean me, of course. And following that logic, by discovered, I mean pulled completely out of my ass. But anyway, knowing what I know about our US Presidents (California public school graduate thankyouverymuch) I can safely determine EXACTLY which website would be the online hangout of choice for all of them. My favorites are below.

 

George Washington

AOL

Washington

Keyword: ICameInLikeAWreckingBallHessians

George Washington was our first President. It’s only fitting to give him the first successful social network, the one that really showed America (and American businesses) how the internet could be exploited to gather new customers and marketing eyeballs. George really wasn’t our best President. He was just the man everyone wanted, because no one really knew who else to pick. And that’s how millions upon millions of AOL customers started too. They got a disk in the mail, said “Why the hell not?” and pulled the trigger. FFS, my mother still has an AOL.com email. So here’s to our founding father, with the founding social network.

 

Thomas Jefferson

Amazon

JeffersonHast any of thou seenest mine Kindle? I haven’tst read the last Harry Potter yet.

When the British invaded and sacked Washington DC, Thomas Jefferson and 300 Spartans bravely stood their ground at the Library of Congress and defeated king Xerxes of York in the War of 1812. Or something like that. Public school grad, remember? No, in truth, the British managed to trash DC pretty severely, including destroying the nation’s first book repository, the Library of Congress. Jefferson was an avid reader, and had one of the largest private collection of books in the Western Hemisphere. He sold as many as 3000 of his books to the US to help them rebuild their destroyed collection when the war was over. If he were alive today, you can bet your sweet Southfarthing Leaf he’d not only be a huge Amazon fan, he’d probably be on their Board of Directors. And really, really old.

 

Calvin Coolidge

Twitter

coolidge

 

Calvin Coolidge was a man of few words. Excruciatingly few words. Take the exact opposite of any of today’s airbags, and you have Coolidge. A man once came up to Coolidge and said “I bet my wife I could make you say three words.” Coolidge stared at the man for just a second, then said “You lose.” Knowing this delight at short messages that are straight to the point it is no surprise that Coolidge’s social media of choice is Twitter. Twitter (in case you live under a rock) only allows 140 characters at any one time. And that includes the person’s name you might be talking to. Which explains why @JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt doesn’t get a lot of follows.

 

George W. Bush

ICanHas.Cheezburger

BushThis one’s making fun of a guy named Shrub. He’s funny.

I like George W. Bush. He’s not a great President, but he did his best to help unite the country and focus us on a common goal when tragedy struck during his administration. But you get the feeling he’s the kind of guy who had really hoped his entire presidency would have been opportunities to look at funny cat pictures. Cheezburger is one of the oldest and most prestigious collection of silly pictures. I think GW would have spent a long, long time here. It’s possible he actually did. He might be on Cheezburger RIGHT NOW.

 

 

Bill Clinton

AdultFriendFinder

clinton

I did not have sexual relations with that woman. These women? Hell yeah. I wrecked these ones.

The only scandal anyone will ever remember about Bill Clinton’s presidency is the one that got him in hot water with Congress the worstest: the sex scandal with Monica Lewinski. See, despite everyone knowing that Bill had been sleeping around with every girl who’d drop trou at the phrase “Hey, I’m the governor/President/King of America,” no one knew knew until Paula Tripp and Monica Lewinski stepped into the picture. Ok, maybe Bill didn’t use Adult Friend Finder when he was in office, but I bet that’s only because he didn’t need to. These days, who knows how much time he spends logged in there?

 

Barack Obama

All the Internets

obama

“We’ve hooked up every computer ever created on earth to your newsfeed, Mr. President.”
“Excellent. Now set up my Tivo so it will record it all.”
“Um… All?””
“All of it. Or I find a way to regulate the internet, too.”

Oh come on. You had to know I was headed here. Right? The TSA knew. :(

Wild Speculation About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

(Originally posted 6/26/2012)

 

As you all know, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is scheduled to air at the end of this year (171 days from today, at publication time). It will make up most of — or maybe even more than — a half of the events of the book, The Hobbit. The second half of that film including several scenes that were alluded to by Tolkien but never detailed, will be shown in the second film, coming out around Christmas next year.

Peter Jackson, who helmed the Lord of the Rings films has shown a steady and brilliant hand in choosing what to add upon in the cinematic versions of Tolkien’s works. My only real disagreement with his choices are how he handled the army of the dead. But one of the most poignant scenes in the Fellowship of the Ring is the dramatic climax where Boromir sacrifices his life in an attempt to atone for the wrong he has recently committed upon Frodo. That battle is fantastic. It’s also nowhere in the books. Tolkien mentions it in passing, once by Boromir as he dies, and once by Pippin as he recalls it for Denethor.

For this reason, I give Jackson every benefit of the doubt for new scenes and materials being added to The Hobbit movies.

Near the end of the second movie, if you’re not familiar, there will be a big-ass fight called “The Battle of Five Armies.” I won’t give anything away here so you won’t be spoiled if you haven’t read the books. But part of that fight includes elves and another part involves orcs and goblins on wargs (big ugly hyper-wolves. You saw them first near the middle of The Two Towers). I thought to myself, how would Jackson film this?

The elvish army we saw in The Lord of the Rings was of high-elven descent. Gil-Galad’s army. You know them. Fancy swords that they swing with an up-cut. But the elves in The Hobbit are Legolas’ kin. Wood elves. How will Jackson array a force like that in battle? I don’t know. But I want to know.

I even tried to picture it with my little painted LOTR figurines! Here’s the action scene:

I am the mighty elf! Hear my barbaric yawp!

Oh noes! A fierce warg!

Die, foul beast!

The warg leaps!

Who will win this epic duel?!

The Day I Introduced Sean Astin to Samwise Gamgee

Peter Jackson's Icon Signature
In February 2002, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyen and Sean Astin made a stop at Bretano’s in Los Angeles, making the rounds and doing book signings and publicity events for the Lord of the Rings. My friend Robert and I skipped out of work and made our way down there, waiting in line for quite some time waiting to meet them.

The highlight for me was that I had picked a book that was a little different than the posters and copies of LOTR that most people brought. I had the instructions to the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game (the Fellowship of the Ring edition had just been released). Sean was first at the table, and I flipped the book right to his page: the character description and stats for Samwise Gamgee, a hero of the free peoples.

Sean and Peter endorse Sam's Stats
Sean looked surprised and interested. “Wow, what is this?” He asked. “I haven’t seen this before. This is cool!” I explained very briefly, but the line was long and the security guards foreboding, so we had no more time than that, and I moved on to Peter, who signed that page too. I laughed and nervously asked if he’d sign the cover too, which he did. Fran and Philippa were gracious and friendly too, and signed the inside cover, perhaps grumbling, because certainly in spite all the writing they had done for the films, this book had exactly zero words they themselves had written.

Fran and Phillipa's signatures
In LA you get chances to brush up against celebrities all the time (case in point, those of us in line saw Jodi Foster taking her daughter to the bookstore that day). Sometimes those moments turn out to be pretty damned cool.

I’m sure Sean’s forgotten this by now. As he may or may not remember shouting out that there’s still some good in this world and it’s worth fighting for at the TheOneRing.Net’s Two Towers Oscar Party a year later (the second time I met him). He’s a pretty cool dude, at least in this humble fan’s opinion. It’s why I created Spamwise Hamgee in LOTRO to begin with, and how the seeds of this comic began. He brought the character of Sam to life in ways far superior to the bumbling buffoon of the Rankin Bass cartoon. I have no qualms whatsoever in saying that if I were prone to man-crushes, I’d probably put Sean Astin on that list.

Thanks for signing that book, Sean. You’re a class act. :)

Oh, and if you’re interested in seeing what he’s up to, check out his twitter feed. He tweets through @SeanAstin

Big Picture