Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup Lists (2 of 4): Players with Long Names

It looked like the Greek national team had a profound advantage in yesterday's knock-out round game with Costa Rica, until the game ended in a 1-1 tie, even after two extra 15 minute sessions, and was determined by penalty kicks.

But, Greece leaves us with plenty of long difficult names to play with, as does Russia, Iran and Bosnia.

Here are 11 of them:

1. Sokratis Papastathopoulous. 26.  Greece (scored the tying goal versus Costa Rica yesterday,pict. center). Club team: Borussia Dortmund (Germany)

2. Giannis Fetafatzidis. 27. Greece. Bologna (Italy)

3. Maksim Kannunnikov. 22. Russia. Rubin Kazan (Russia)

4. Sergei Igmanashevich. 34. Russia. CSKA Moscow (Russia)

5. Liassine Cadamurco-Bentaiba. 26. Algeria. Mallorca (Spain)

6. Haris Mendunjanin. 29. Bosnia (pict. bottom). Gaziantepspor (Turkey)

7. Reza Ghoochannejhad. 26. Iran. Charlton Athletic (England, second div.)

8. Andranik Teymourian. 31. Iran. Esteghal (Iran). An ethnic Armenian, he is the first Christian to ever captain an Iranian national team.

9. Mario Gauranovic. 24. Switzerland. (pictured top) Zurich.

10. Benjamin Moukandjo. 25. Cameroon. Nancy (France)

11. Cesar Azpilicueta. 24. Spain. Chelsea.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The World Cup Lists (1 of 4): The Captains

Greetings to our readers in Bangladesh, Turkey and Peru, where assuredly folks are still depressed because their respective nations are not competing in the World Cup, but we are here to cheer you up.

Well, actually, this list may not help_may not help at all in fact.

We begin our long overdue World Cup coverage with a list of 11 players who are captains of their team. Of course, just because one is a captain does not he is the best player. The disgraced soccer version of Bela Lugosi, Uruguay's Luis Suarez, one of the best players in the world, was not the captain for Team Uruguay which will try to defeat Colombia today without him.

Here is our list, good luck to everyone in Brazil:

1) Thiago Silva. Brazil. Age 29. Paris Saint-Germaine (France; pictured top).

2) Giorgis Karagounis. Greece. Age 37. Fulham (England; pictured center)

3) Clint Dempsey. USA. Age 31. Seattle Sounders (MLS/USA; pictured bottom)

4) Robin van Persie. Netherlands. Age 30. Manchester United (England)

5) Hugo Lloris. France. 27. Tottenham Hotspur (England, he plays goal-keeper)

6) Lionel Messi. Argentina. 27. Barcelona (Spain)

7) Vincent Kompany. Belgium. 28. Manchester City (England)

8) Gokhan Inler. Switzerland. 29. Napoli (Italy; he is the son of immigrants from Turkey)

9) Claudio Bravo. Chile. 31. Barcelona (Spain, the player is a goal-keeper)

10) Philipp Lahm. Germany. 30. Bayern Munich (Germany)

11) Mario Yepes. Colombia. 38. Atalanta (Italy)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Top Sunday Comics from the Sunday, June 22nd Washington Post

We suggested to political reporter Chris Cillizza of "The Washington Post" who runs a weekly column of Sunday called Worst Week in Washington that the dubious honor should go Ambassador Ramon Gil-Casares of Spain his country performed very badly at the World Cup in Brazil though they went out with a win over Australia. Cillizza chose President Barack Obama instead.

But, in the comics section, there was very little politics except for "Doonesbury,"which poked fun of global warming denialists, and surprisingly only comic strip "Knight Life" from Keith Knight, who is a great and wonderful person (yeah, I am partially saying that so he will base a character on me) mentioned the World Cup.

"The Argyle Sweater" was our overall top choice as the comic strip did a take on what the Three Bears would think if Goldilocks had come into the family bathroom. "Lio" was our second favorite strip of the week as the title character gave a map of the stars to an alien visiting his home. And, "Rhymes with Orange" was our third favorite strip as a woman is horrified to learn that the whole class will be using Twister yoga mats.

We also enjoyed "Dustin," which illustrated what can happen if a senior citizen mixes up the words tweeting and twerking; yes, we thought about Miley Cyrus too!

Here is our survey, our top ten comic strips from "The Roanoke Times" can be seen on our sister blog

1. "The Argyle Sweater"

2. "Lio"

3. "Rhymes with Orange"

4. "Sherman's Lagoon"

5. "Pearls Before Swine"

6. "Dustin"

7. "Doonesbury"

8. "Speed Bump"

9. "Knight Life"

10. "Prickly City"

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Comics Gran Slam (4 of 4): Bleeker Wins the Overall Sweepstakes

Greetings from Charlotte, NC, where we have been hanging out at Heroes Con with Mark Hamill, ok, that is not where we have been this weekend, and we have no idea if the actor who once portrayed Luke Skywalker was in the Queen City, but nonetheless, we needed to get your attention.

Similarly, Shawn Johnson, the American gold medalist gymnast from Iowa, Cuneyt Cakir, the Turkish soccer referee who worked the Brazil-Mexico match at the World Cup, and Yogi Bear, really have nothing to do with his blog entry, but we are competing with thousands of other blogs to win over teenagers in South Korea who are taking a break from playing Donkey Kong (or whatever kids play these days) for 72 straight hours (we hope with bathroom breaks).

So, here are our top 20 comic strips from last Sunday's funny papers. Alas, we are posting them as the world gets to see the latest installment of "Garfield," our apologies to Jim Davis, but his strip about a 38-year-old house cat, did not make the grade.

Here is the list:

1) Bleeker: The Rechargeable Dog 8.6

2) The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee 8.5

3) WUMO 8.4

4) Pardon the Planet 8.3

5) Tundra 8.3

6) Retail 8.3

7) The Argyle Sweater 8.3

8) Speed Bump 8.2

9) Arctic Circle 8.2

10) Tom Tomorrow 8.1

11) Dustin 8.1

12) Zippy the Pinhead 8.0

13) Reply All 8.0

14) Tina's Groove 8.0

15) Brewster Rockit: Space Guy 8.0

16) Knight Life 8.0

17) Mother Goose and Grimm 8.0

18) Sherman's Lagoon 7.9

19) Lio 7.8

20) Doonesbury 7.8


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Comics Grand Slam (3 of 4): Khomeini the Wizard

Today, we are citing comic strips from last Sunday's edition of "The News & Record," which is the local daily newspaper for Greensboro, NC. This is not a newspaper in our immediate local area, though some libraries here in my part of Virginia carried the newspaper until just very recently_ one of the latest casualties of modern technology.

Assuredly some of you in Singapore or Dubai might be asking :"Why does he have an image of the American astronaut Buzz Aldrin the late Iranian mullah Ayatollah Khomeini. The reason is that the comic strip "Brewster Rockit" revolves around astronauts and Khomeini is a substation for Merlin the Wizard, since "The Wizard of Id" made our survey,  and we could not find an image of Merlin that would work out here. Well, if Merlin and the late Ayatollah have one thing in common, it is long white beards!

"WUMO," a comic strip which originated in Denmark_ of all places is the top comic strip of the week, and it revolved around animal rights activists at a picnic; no one wanted to kill the army ants (pictured top).

Yes, after this series, we will get to the World Cup and talk about the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but many people now think blogs have gone the way of the pay phone as it is.

Here are our top ten favorite comic strips from this particular newspaper:


2) Brewster Rockit

3) Doonesbury

4) Foxtrot

5) Dilbert

6) Ziggy

7) Garfield

8) Judge Parker

9) The Wizard of Id

10) Pearls Before Swine



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sunday Comics Grand Slam (2 of 4): Superman's Vacation

Superman taking a vacation. The new era of over-protective parenting. A beach trip with a family dog. Optimism in the workplace. A 36-year old family cat coming to terms with aging. A mother and young daughter waltzing past punk rockers on a sunny afternoon. A little league baseball manager using "The Bad News Bears" as inspiration for a pep talk.

These were among the Sunday comic strips from the June 15th issue of "The Roanoke Times," which serves Roanoke, Va, and southwest Virginia communities, including the college town of Blacksburg, the rural hamlet of Rocky Mount and the high school football is everything 'round here town of Buena Vista.

One of the stunners this week was that "Pearls Before Swine," almost always one of our favorites, surprisingly tanked, while "For Better or For Worse" and "Sally Forth," two comic strips which have never made our top ten were surprisingly good.

We are using the image of Turkish Superman (the late actor Tayfun Demir) for "Speed Bump," the strip about the Man of Steel taking a getaway, the image of "Happy Days" for the "Doonesbury" strip on over-parenting and a lavish Jimmy Choo handbag for "For Better or For Worse," the strip where a stroll downtown leads to an encounter with tweenagers who look like The Ramones.

Here are our top ten comic strips from "The Roanoke Times," for our list of top ten comic strips from "The Washington Post" (same date), go to our sister blog:

1. "Speed Bump"

2. "Doonesbury"

3. "Funky Winkerbean" (which dealt with the beach trip with the family dog)

4. "Dilbert"

5. "Get Fuzzy"

6. "Garfield"

7. "For Better or For Worse"

8. "Sally Forth"

9. "Zits"

10. "Agnes"

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sunday Comics Grand Slam (1 of 4)

Greetings to those of you in Poland, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, thanks for tuning in, and we regret your respective countries not being in the World Cup.

And, greetings to our readers in Belgium, Italy and Chile, and kudos for making it to the World Cup!

We are a week behind, so bear with us. We begin with a look at our favorite comic strips from the June 8th "Washington Post," be sure to go to our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time" for a look at our favorite comic strips from the June 8 issue of "The Roanoke Times."

Also, since we have a slight center-left political bias here at "The Daily Vampire," we wanted to mention that we are amused (for the moment) that Cong. Eric Cantor (R-Va) lost his Congressional seat due to a Republican Party primary which was won by tea party extremist David Brat, who will face Democrat Jack Trammell in November.

Two weeks ago, while in Richmond, Va., we saw 18 signs for Cantor and one for Brat, whom we mistook for a Democrat!

Cantor was also given the dubious Worst Week in Washington title by political reporter Chris Cillizza of "The Washington Post."

We personally think if there was a Best Week in Washington title that it should go to the Dutch ambassador Rudolf Bekink as The Netherlands shocked Spain 5-1 in World Cup play in Brazil.

Last week, our favorite strip from the Post belonged to "Dustin," a King Features strip which had a great take on the agony of remembering all 42 passwords for our respective Internet/social media sites. We are using an image of Sean Connery playing James Bond because we presume JamesBond007 is one of the worst passwords to use.

"Foxtrot" also delighted with us as the kids took in lots of ice cream, so much so that one of them actually wore a winter coat! Thus, we give the strip second place.

The bronze medal goes to "Prickly City," a strip which some times shows a conservative tilt, but this week cartoonist Scott Stantis had a great take on how cyber deities whose name we won't mention (Google, Facebook, Twitter) are inclined to watch us these days!

Here is our top ten list:

1) Dustin

2) Foxtrot

3) Prickly City

4) Doonesbury

5) Pearls Before Swine

6) Brewster Rockit

7) Lio

8) Sherman's Lagoon

9) Judge Parker

10) WUMO

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Highlights from Our Top 50 Things To Do List: Don't Forget to Call Bob

1. Call Bob (that's the reason we have an image of Bob Hope; yes, we know Bob Hope is dead)

2. Research for Novel (It takes place in South Carolina)

3. Work-out (but, I'm not sure we'll do pilates)

4. Go to local art museum (Our residence is Hartford, Conn., well, not really)

5. Put comics and records in antique shop

6. Read "Interview with a Vampire" by Anne Rice

7. Make a social events calendar

8. Wash car

9. Laundry

10. Recycle (lots of Zevia cola cans!)

NOTE: It's odd how American copyright laws work. One may assume the folks at Zevia in Culver City, Calif., would happy with us for promoting their product with an image of one of their sodas, but they are perhaps more likely to say we have violated their copyright and ask us to remove the image. Ya' just can't win!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

We Are Suffering from Blogger's Block..............

Yes, I imagined this never happened to Albert Camus, Leo Tolstoy, Aziz Nesin*, Arthur Miller, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Miles Davis, Andy Warhol or Lee Falk, but it has happened to me!

*-He is a famous deceased Turkish writer