What They're Missing & r & Every year, Merriam-Webster posts the 10 words most frequently looked up by its Web site's users. And every year, the list provides mini-reminders of current events. In 2003, "democracy," "quagmire" and "plagiarism" made the list; in 2004, "blog," "insurgent" and "peloton." So it is this year, with "tsunami," "filibuster" and "refugee." But the No. 1 word of 2005 -- "integrity" -- seems puzzling until you visualize Bush administration members, searching for incorruptibility at home the same way they looked for WMD in Iraq. And with about as much success.
Crystal Globes & r & The Golden Globe nominations seem to have given the greatest Oscar push to Good Night, and Good Luck (Edward R. Murrow vs. Joe McCarthy) and Brokeback Mountain (the gay cowboy movie). Spielberg's Munich seems to have been snubbed even before its premiere. But don't count out that big ape of a movie.
Teasing Chappelle & r & Season 3 on Comedy Central? Not exactly. What we'll get are online snippets of previously recorded shows, later broadcast in full "sometime in the first half of 2006" as if they made for an actual third season. Not getting our Rick James fix -- I'm tellin' ya, bitch, it's killing us softly.
Wait, Wait, Get Him a Map & r & Not even NPR can remember the Lilac City's name. On last week's edition of the radio news quiz Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me, host Peter Sagal asked panelist P.J. O'Rourke: "Because of his involvement in an Internet sex scandal, voters recalled the mayor of (blank)." O'Rourke's response proves we shouldn't let all the media attention go to our heads: "Oh, uh, oh lord, uh, uh, Pacific Northwest, is it, um ... Seattle?"
Sole on Ice & r & Say you own a convenience store. Customers are forever spitting out their chewing gum right there on the sidewalk. Now, you could just hire a minimum-wage teenager and give him a scraper -- or you could purchase the new Gum Removal Machine from AbsorbentsOnline.com. It doesn't just dispose of the gum, no, sir. Using a secret spray, it "dissipates" the gum, and with no unsightly mess. Of course, it also costs $8,000. And it doesn't even work on the underside of dining room tables.