Bubble Wrap: “Pop” Culture Appreciation

Today is the 12th Annual Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, held on the last Monday in January.

Whether packing boxes for moving, or using bubble wrap to protect gifts, few can resist the allure of the “pop.”  Many people pop for fun, and many more pop to de-stress. In fact, 70% of American workers would take a pay cut to ensure that they would never be stressed out on the job again.

Bubble wrap is easier to pop than to make. First, you need the right kind of film, and then suction is applied to a drum-covered layer of film with holes punched in. The film is then laminated to that the holes stick together and air bubbles are trapped. Bubble wrap was originally intended for use as a form of texturized wallpaper.

Kelton Research discovered that 1 minute of bubble-popping provides stress relief equal to a 33-minute massage.

Pop away! It’s good for you!

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Trump Fairway to Heaven?

Donald Trump is considering building a private cemetery next  to his golf club in northern New Jersey.

The Donald will reportedly be seeking state approval to put a 1.5 acre burial ground next to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ.  Club members pay as much as $300,000 in membership fees.

The final resting place would be available to late members, with a section set aside for Trump and his kin. Members would also have the option of spreading their ashes on the course, with a permanent memorial placed in the cemetery.

Trump first considered the cemetery in 2007, but opted not to pursue the building of a family mausoleum.

Should this plan go through, these exclusive golfers will never have to leave the greens.

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The Best Bromances in Film, TV and Hollywood

Whether it’s on the big screen, the small screen or the streets of Hollywood, guy-love is everywhere these days. Sure, it’s great to catch up on which celebrities are dating, but just as much fun to see who they’re hanging out with and how well they’re getting along.

Yes, we’re talking about the bromance. The term may be relatively new, but the sentiment isn’t. For decades, the entertainment industry has provided us with these intense and unique depictions of male friendship.

Now, we’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of some of the best and most memorable bromances that we could find on any medium. If you can hardly say one name without thinking of the other, well, that’s a pretty good way to narrow down the list.

Corey Haim & Corey Feldman

There have been several Coreys we have gotten to know, but if you mention “The 2 Coreys” there is only one. Corey Feldman appeared in “Gremlins”, “The Goonies”, “Stand By Me” and countless TV shows before he met his hetero soul-mate Corey Haim, teaming with him in the classic ‘Lost Boys” in 1987.

They later appeared together in “License To Drive”, “Dream a Little Dream” and 19 episodes of “The Two Coreys” in 2007/8. The television show only solidified what fans of the pair already knew; these two were best friends no matter what. Corey Haim’s sudden death in 2010 shocked fans, and the lack of inclusion in the Oscars ‘In Memoriam’ segment was a slap in the face to the troubled star’s memory.


Brad Pitt & George Clooney

When someone like Meredith Vieira asks you about your bromance during an interview, you know things are serious.

Arguably one of the most attractive bromances of all time, these two beautiful, critically acclaimed actors are not just friends on set of the many, many movies they’ve done together, but in real life. Through the good and the bad, the pranks and the more pranks.



Ben Affleck & Matt Damon

It’s hard enough to stay close to your childhood friends when faced with things like further education and growing up (and potentially apart), but imagine keeping a childhood friendship alive under the heavy lights of Hollywood?

Ben and Matt, who played little league together, were able to just that while also starring in and writing award winning movies together. And even now that they’re both married in normal romances, they still keep their bromance alive.



Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

Martin and Lewis started their successful pairing in 1946, Dean Martin was the suave leading man and Jerry Lewis the comic foil. They started on stage, The Ed Sullivan Show, and eventually films. Their close friendship made the act more real than most comedy duos.

At one point, in 1956, Dean left the successful team, due to, in no small part, Jerry’s comedic silliness becoming a major part of the act. They did not speak again for nearly 30 years, in 1987, shortly after the funeral of Dean’s son, except for a brief appearance together during the 1976 Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, instigated by Frank Sinatra. Jerry later wrote a book – Dean and Me — A Love Story in 2005.


Cory Matthews & Shawn Hunter

It’s hard to imagine a closer relationship than that of Cory and Shawn from Boy Meets World. Growing up can be hard, but with a friend by your side that can save you from as much trouble as he can get you into, you’re going to make it out okay.

When times got hard, these two were never above a serious heart-to-heart. Even Topanga, the love of Cory’s life, couldn’t come between the two. Seriously, no kid watching that show didn’t want a friendship like that.


Shawn Spencer & Burton “Gus” Guster

Psych is one of the wittiest shows to ever come to TV and it all revolves entirely around Shawn and Gus’ unbeatable friendship and dynamic.

When Shawn has his psychic revelations, Gus is literally oftentimes the only one who can make sense of them or catch every pop culture reference and, of course, react so perfectly to a name change or Shawn’s “I have a clue face.” No matter what trouble faces them each week, these two are in it for the long haul together.


Christopher Turk & John “JD” Dorian


Surgeon Christopher Duncan Turk, played by Donald Faison and John Michael ‘J.D.’ Dorian, M.D., played by Zach Braff, were probably the best-known TV Bromance couple of the last decade. On the NBC show ‘Scrubs’, any and everyone who encountered the pair often questioned the closeness of the heterosexual friends, who met in college. They often finished each other’s sentences, and sometimes even seemed to know their bromantic partner’s thoughts. The codependent relationship was apparent whenever one of them was not under the same roof – the disorientation and anxiety of one without the other was often a theme of the show.


Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

Although the term “Bromance” didn’t come into the modern lexicon until the 1990s, Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) & the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford) illustrated the prototype of the modern bromance.  They worked together as bad guy train robbers and as good guy payroll guards. In many ways they shared Sundance’s girlfriend, Etta Place.

One of the most famous stunt scenes in a western movie had the pair juming off a ledge into a river with non-swimmer Sundance trusting that his partner would not let him drown. They later moved to Bolivia and died together, in a blaze-of-glory gunfight. Like brothers. Or desperate lovers. Bromance, like romance, is often filled with fiery passion.


Jay & Silent Bob

Perhaps the most inseparable friends on this list, these two are rarely seen without the other by their side. Six movies is no small feat for any duo and yet they remain the perfect complement to one another and the perfect duo to make us laugh. They may express an interest in the ladies, but it’s pretty clear who ranks most important in their lives: each other.



Sherlock Holmes & Dr. John Watson

Holmes and Watson are complete opposites on the surface. Holmes is an anti-social eccentric genius with no regard for cultural constructs whereas Watson is a brilliant well-adjusted gentleman and doctor. But each completes the other by providing what is missing in the other’s life. Holmes needs stability, and Watson needs adventure.

“One could not survive without the other, and they know it. Whether it is completing each other’s sentences or risking their live’s for the other’s safety, these two are the best of example of brothers-in-arms and perhaps my favorite bromance,” said PCM writer Lena. We should all be so lucky to have one friend like that in a lifetime.


Johnny Depp & Tim Burton

Two of the hottest names in Hollywood right now, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp have one of the most well-known bromances in the world. Depp is often cast as the main protagonist in Burton’s films, as well as Helena Bonham Carter-Burton’s girlfriend. In interviews together they speak as though they were twins, coming from the same family, background and life experiences.

Depp and Burton have made several unforgettable films within the past two decades which have included “Edward Scissorhands”,  “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,  “Ed Wood” and “Alice in Wonderland”.

Both Burton and Depp are the godfathers to each other’s children. As Johhny said, “He is a brother, a friend, my godson’s father. He is a unique and brave soul,  someone that I would go to the ends of the earth for, and I know, full and well,  he would do the same for me. ”



Honorable Mentions:

In Music –

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry
John Lennon and Paul McCartney

In TV –

Supernatural’s Dean and Castiel
The Vampire Diaries’ Damon and Alaric
The OC’s Seth and Ryan
Kenan and Kel
Beavis and Butt-head

Other –

Wayne’s World’s Wayne and Garth
Scooby Doo’s Scooby and Shaggy
Star Wars’ Han Solo and Chewbacca

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The Evolution of Sherlock Holmes in Pop Culture Part III (TV and Film)


According to The Guinness Book of World Records, Sherlock Holmes is the most portrayed literary character in film, the most portrayed detective, and one of the top 10 most portrayed characters in film, period.

It is in the classic films of Holmes that the phrase, “Elementary my dear Watson” was coined (Fun Fact: this line is never actually said in the stories. The closest any dialogue comes to is Watson, “’Excellent,’ I cried. ‘Elementary,’ said he”) Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce not only did the famed radio stories together but they also did 14 movies from 1939-1946. Bruce was a consistent Watson, playing him as a good natured, bumbering oafish Santa Clause, though Rathbone eventually passed the role of Holmes onto Tom Conway.

There have even been movies of what Holmes might have been like as a youngster. The classics with Buster Keaton called Sherlock Jr. and one in particular called Young Sherlock Holmes by Steven Spielberg is one of my personal favorites, and even some animated films have been made. He is the inspiration for several TV shows such as House and Monk, House even living at the same address as Holmes (221B).

Now of course we cannot forget Holmes’s own country and her additions to the Holmes legacy; BBC currently has a series, Sherlock, which sets Doyle’s stories in the modern day. Folks, I am not writing reviews here, I know, but I must take a pause from our stroll down Entertainment Blvd in the town of History to say a few words on BBC’s show… It. Is. Gold. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Holmes with Martin Freeman (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) co-staring as Dr Watson, with writing by Martin Gatiss and Steven Moffat (Doctor Who). And if you’ve never seen any of these peoples’ prior work, let this be the first!… ok and we’re back; the use o f modern technology in this show is amazing. Instead of writing for a magazine, Watson has a blog. In keeping with his anti social behavior, Holmes prefers to text people rather than actually talk to them. Even the use of modern language for classic lines like, “The game’s a-foot!” is now “The game is on!” and after Holmes tells Watson the way he deduced his army history, his family, and his psychosomatic limp all from his face and his phone:

 Watson: That was amazing.

Holmes: You think so?

Watson: Of course it was extraordinary, quite extraordinary.

Holmes: That’s not what people usually say.

Watson: What do people usually say?

Holmes: “Piss off”

 It’s quirky, funny, fast paced, and brilliant. And most importantly the best part is not solving the crime, it’s finding out how Holmes solves the crime.

 And last but not least we have the new Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law, (as if Holmes and Watson couldn’t get any better, now they are sexy).

Something that both these movies and BBC’s Sherlock have in common is they bring the characters back to the basics. As wonderful and as priceless as the classic movies and even the radio dramas are, they take some liberties with the characters, like the deerstalker hat so associated with Holmes, and the bumbling sidekick of Watson. I feel these recent adaptations of Doyle’s stories are the most faithful to the original characters. Watson was very popular with the ladies, not a player, just a real catch. Holmes has a drug addiction, not exactly proper for cinema back in the day. The classic movies have him as a gentleman but new ones remind us that he is a man.

 Obviously there is something about Holmes that has endeared him to so many generations and spanned over every popular form of entertainment. Why do we love him so much? My dear old dad believes, and I happen to agree, that we love him because there is a Holmes in all of us.

 “Wait, what?” you might be saying, “I’m no detective, I am not anti-social, and I don’t have a drug addiction, etc” (or you do, I don’t know) but Holmes is deeper than that. He’s all the things that make a super hero, just without the radio active spider; the observation skills that he developed over time seem almost psychic (um Psych much?), he has a wealth of information that makes him an almost living encyclopedia/internet, he is even skilled in several fighting styles and can manage just about any disguise that a situation might call for, and let us not forget he has a loyal friend and side kick who goes on his adventures with him.

At the same time Holmes is just a man, flesh and bone, a mirror to us of our vices that inhibit our better parts from winning out sometimes; Holmes is irritable, quirky, struggles with drug addiction, has hermitic tendencies and sometimes neglects his personal hygiene. But he is us. He is ours. Larger than life. Powerful enough to take over his creator’s life so as to continue living on after both of their deaths.

So there you have it! Sherlock Holmes’s journey through time and entertainment. What Throwback shall we explore next week? Leave a suggestion in the comments! I’d love to hear your suggestion!

Logo photo by Justine Impressions http://www.justineimpressions.com/

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Happy Chinese New Year!

2012 is the Year of the Dragon, and will arrive on February 4, 2012. The Chinese New Year Day is January 23, 2012, the Lunar New Year of the Water Dragon, a once-in-a-60-yr occurance.

The Year of the Dragon is considered to be the luckiest in the Chinese Zodiac. In contrast to the European dragon, the Chinese dragon symbolized power, strength and good luck. The dragon also has power over water, such as rainfall, hurricanes, etc. It is the only Chinese Zodiac sign that is a legendary animal.

The dragon has been a symbol for the Emperor in many Chinese Dynasties, and the Imperial Throne was often referred to as the Dragon Throne.

Kung Hei Fat Choi: may prosperity be with you!


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