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The Final Countdown: January 29th Edition

Let's face it:  All the people at this iPad release party are way cooler than you. They know things like what SEO stands for and their self-edited home movies are really f’n clever. Plus, they’re all rocking really sweet black turtlenecks. You? You're a wreck; sweating through your lame “touch screen” t-shirt and making played jokes about feminine hygiene. But all that can change! Your real friends at Culture Blues have put together a weekly rundown of worthwhile topics for you to wow these snotty techies with, maybe even gain back some self respect. Your social redemption starts here.

State of the Mars Union, bitch!

(11) RIP: In a move out of an interstellar Life Alert commercial, the Mars Spirit Rover has fallen and can't get up. After more than five years of noble yet isolated work exploring the surface of our neighboring planet, the poor little guy has damaged two of its right wheels and is reportedly stuck in a sandy rut. Originally slated to only be a ninety day operation, The Rover has been on the quest for water and interesting soil samples for far longer than NASA ever expected, it even became a popular member of the Twitter community achieving seven figure followers at the height of its popularity. NASA hopes to still be able to make some use of The Rover and is currently at the proverbial drawing board. By the way, if you needed a quick reason to be mad at our governments priorities allow us to point out that the aforementioned broken/stuck robot in space cost 900 million dollars to make. Think about that when your tax return rolls in.

(10) JD Salinger died this week at the ripe old age of 91. Mere moments after the death rattle, it has been reported that his publishers, literary agents, and anyone else that stands to make bank off the Salinger inheritance erupted in spontaneous orgasm. Despite living much of the last four decades in isolation, Salinger never actually stopped writing. What works may lurk in Salinger’s musty vault is of great curiosity to readers the world over. Frankly, we can’t wait to get our grubby hands on the twelve volume Holden Caulfield Mysteries, where the angsty prep schooler transitions into life as a private detective. And don’t even get us started on Franny & Zooey:  Nights.

My dick is tiny!

(9) Do you think it keeps Oliver Stone up at night knowing that Wall Street, which he intended as a scathing social commentary (or at least a limp-dicked satire) has been misinterpreted by generations of douchebag investment banker types as something akin to a Bible? That his flick is frequently screened as background noise at Boiler Room style coke parties where packs of jacked up brokers rip lines off dog-eared copies of Atlas Shrugged? Considering that he’s puking out a sequel, for which the trailer dropped this week, probably not. We guess greed really is good.

(8) We are big fans of mind blowing fan theories about our favorite fictions, as you will know from our fascination with the Tommy Westphall Universe. So we were really happy to see that Cracked has a whole list dedicated to similar theories. While many boil down to “this all happened in a character’s head,” there’s nothing better than the idea that James Bond and 007 are just codenames passed between agents.

Why yes, 3D would be highly profitable.

(7) Last week it was dumb ass George Lucas, but this week things got serious. They are considering making a new Gremlins movie in 3D. IF they do this right, we are all for it. Giving Joe Dante, the director of both Gremlins and Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the keys to a big budget 3D move will most likely result in the craziest goddamn thing you have ever seen.

(6) The world’s original gangster of fashion, Christian Dior, would have celebrated his 105th birthday this week, if he hadn’t choked on that fishbone and died back in the 50s. Dior revolutionized how ladies wear dresses. Eh, we don’t really care. This whole bit is just here so we could link to this awesome Morrissey B-side we’ve been listening to lately.

(5) IT HAS ARRIVED! Nerd prayers the world over were finally answered this week as the LONG awaited tech-dream known as the Apple tablet was finally released. Dubbed the iPad (could they have chosen a worse name?), Apple's newest money making magic machine boasts a 9.7 inch LED screen, multi-touch functionality, Wi-Fi, 3G, as well as all the standard iPhone features (Safari, iTunes, etc.). The euphoria experienced by Apple acolytes and geeks on this plane of existence could only be matched by a Lord of the Rings/Star Wars mash-up or perhaps the sight a real life boob. All is not perfect though, Apple is still in bed with AT&T, the iPad has no multi-app functionality, no camera, and abysmal connectivity options, yet the most egregious offense is the iPad's lack of Flash support! WTF?! How on earth can we watch porn on this without Flash? Oh, and Youtube.

Say it ain't so, ghost dog!

(4) Forest Whitaker has retired from acting. We’d like to wish him a peaceful and relaxing retirement. Oh don’t worry though, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to see Mr. Whitaker anymore, it just means he won’t be doing any “acting.” But he will appear in a Criminal Minds spin off on CBS.

(3) In a major coup for the network that will likely thrill history buffs everywhere, The History Channel announced this week that they’re giving a show to Larry the Cable Guy. While this might seem like an article from The Onion, it’s actually a well thought out decision made by a classy network. Because if market research has told us anything, it’s that fans of bumbling retard “comedians” a tier below Dane Cook are really into learning about stuff. Git r done.

(2) Southern California’s Menifee Union school district (aka the dumbest fucking organization ever) has banned the dictionary from use in its fourth and fifth grade classes. Again, a school district has banned the FUCKING DICTIONARY. That thing that teaches you what words mean. The reference book. All because their kids can use it to find out that “oral sex” means “oral stimulation of the genitals” which is, by far, the least offensive definition of “oral sex” ever. Listen here, prudes. You can’t protect your kids from oral sex, or anal sex, or any other sex. If your child has been out of your sight since it was birthed, it’s already had sex. Probably more times than you have. No matter how old it is. Times have changed. Deal with it.

What happens without guys like George Tiller

(1) Taking the stand in his own defense, murderer Scott Roeder admitted to killing late-term abortion doctor George Tiller. Apparently someone should have explained to Roeder how the justice system works, and that those things in ladies’ stomachs aren’t “babies.” Babies are the annoying things on the subway. Unfortunately for Roeder, the judge has ruled that the jury cannot consider the charge of Voluntary Manslaughter, so it’s simply Murder In the First (starring Christian Slater) or not guilty. SPOILER ALERT: It’s Murrrrder.

Jeremiah White, Jeff Hart, and Giovanny Caquias contributed to this Countdown.

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