Can somebody please whack President Logan on "24" already? His continued existence has been keeping me up at night. Anyway, here are the links for the day:
1) American Brandstand 2005 (Top Brand References in Hip-Hop) – A full analysis of brand references in hip-hop songs from last year. Mercedes-Benz was by far #1 on the list with Nike in the #2 position. Interestingly enough, Hennessy beat out Cristal in the liquor category, which initially surprised me, but then I instantly remembered that rappers have been talking up the cognac for ages. The first time I ever even heard of Hennessy was in Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance" – "I drink up all the Hennessy ya got on ya shelf, so just let me introduce myself". By the way, don't ever ask me if you need someone that remembers birthdays, but if you want the lyrics to the "Humpty Dance" immediately, I'm your man.
2) Tom: Katie's a Scientologist, Too – Diane Sawyer confirmed that the Church of Scientology is right: Tom Cruise is indeed an alien.
3) The Worst Franchise in Sports – ESPN is looking for a new holder of this title in the wake of the Clippers making the playoffs (20/20 hindsight: Elton Brand straight-up for Tyson Chandler??? The Cubs must have taken over Bulls management that day). The real-time vote count as of Tuesday morning doesn't reflect what everyone ought to know is the truth: there's no franchise in sports worse than the Chicago Blackhawks. As I've promised before, I'll present a full-scale diatribe on this subject in the near future. In the meantime, check out George Johnson's piece on the Hawks as an appetizer.
4) I'm O.K., You're Biased – A Harvard psychologist's conclusion: the average person believes that he/she is more objective than he/she really is and overestimates the influence of biases in other people's decisions.
5) Juror Replacement is Key to Challenge – If you live in Illinois, just ignore the blanket media coverage today of former Governor George Ryan's conviction. Nothing matters until the inevitable appeals process is completed (and with all the wackiness surrounding the jury deliberations, there will be a lot of issues put into question). Talk to me in two or three years when we finally get some real closure on this story.