Hobbies, Stupid Bets, Naming Conventions and Terrible Movies
The other day, citing a long-standing partiality for indoor racquet sports, Mangesh casually mentioned he'd signed up for squash lessons. This bold move has inspired me to consider a new hobby of my own. I'll never follow through, but it's still fun to ponder. So far, my top three choices are the harmonica, Wii Bowling, and coming up with better hobby options. A two-part first question:
1a) What's your hobby?
1b) If time were no object, what new hobby would you pursue?
2) What's the strangest thing on which you've wagered? My friend Josh won big money when Cardinal Ratzinger was named Pope. Another friend stands to win his "death pool" if Chemical Ali reaches the gallows. And I once won a bet over whether "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits was originally a Bruce Springsteen song. (It was not.)
3) Here's one for the parents out there: How'd you name your kids? After a friend or relative? Historical figure? Fictional character? If you don't have kids but still want to play, where'd your name come from?
4) Yesterday, I received this passionate email:
Recently, I was on a forum discussing our favorite "worst movies." Somebody came in and brought up "Head," and said that Mental Floss had declared it the Worst Film Ever.
Nonsense! "Head" may not be "Citizen Kane" or "The Godfather" or what-have-you, but it's certainly not the worst film ever. Countless Italian zombie movies have to be worse. "Mystery Science Theater 3000" showed much worse.
Even in the category of oddball acid-trip movies, "Head" isn't the worst. (In fact, it's probably one of the better ones.) When your competition is stuff like "Skidoo" (see Carol Channing in her bra and panties!) or "Myra Breckinridge" (Rex Reed gets a sex change and becomes Raquel Welch!), you've really got to suck to be the worst.
So, I'd like to correct you: "Head" is nowhere near the worst film ever.
Now, I don't remember any formal mental_floss discussion of the worst movies ever, and I've never seen Head. Not sure exactly where in the horrible movie rankings it belongs. So I'll toss the question out here: What deserves the title of Worst Film Ever?
5) One last question, from reader Sumner in Hattiesburg, Mississippi:
Dear Smart People:
I am about to join a girls roller derby team and I need your help. A roller derby name at its best should to be tough, somewhat promiscuous, and witty (this is where you come in.) I have racked my brain trying to come up with a suitable alter-ego name for my shy, everyday self. I have played a little with Joan of Arc, Molly Ringwald, Annie Hall (Annie Maul) and even the great Mary Tyler Moore. I would appreciate any input, throw in some new ones! I thought if there was anyone to do it, it would be you lovely people. Thanks!
Can we help her out?