Surf's up -
Kanye West is redefining the art of the apology, and it's far, far beyond anything Emily Post might ever have imagined. On this week's web tour, we'll show you how to issue the very public, celeb-heavy, humility-free apology.
We'll also find ways of getting a real human voice at your nearest customer service line, a site for sports-minded dads, and a game that's irresistible. (You've been warned.)
Kanye West Apology Generator
In case you can't get enough of Kanye West's never-ending apologies, you can make your own. Select some celebrities, a few nouns, a verb or two - and as many exclamation points as you can tolerate - and, voila, an apology that looks like Kanye blogged it himself.
Dial A Human
Does anyone, really, like talking to an automated phone machine when you phone for customer service? I highly doubt it. The key feature of Dial A Human is the trick of how to get a real person on the line at many prominent companies, from Air Canada to Wal-Mart. You can often get those instructions from the answering recording; here, you're given which buttons to push, in which order. Most of the companies here are based in the U.S., but it's a handy one to keep in mind.
All Pro Dad
I'm willing to bet that dads who are football fans take a little heat on the weekend. After all, game time often coincides with family time, and it can be trying to keep up with parenting obligations while relaxing with your favourite sport. The NFL is one of the supporters of All Pro Dad, which uses a sporting template to help fathers improve their parenting skills. The site has taken on a community feel, with plenty to read and consider.
Here's how 20-odd minutes slipped away from me this weekend. I sampled this Flash-based game for this column and found myself returning to it later when I was between phone calls. One time, though, I didn't get back to ordinary work for much longer than I would have thought. That's how absorbing this game is. You have 14 rows, as many columns, six colours, and 30 choices to "drench" the board with the same colour. Start in the upper-left corner; you'll figure the rest out in no time.
100 to Blame
The economic meltdown has been so enormous and so vast, it would be difficult to itemize exactly who's to blame. But that is precisely what Vanity Fair writer Bruce Feirstein set out to do with this surprisingly entertaining list of how everything went very, very wrong.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
SMBC, as it is also known, is one of the best-known web-based comics, and also one of the oldest, running daily for more than seven years. Creator Zach Weiner is known for a punchline contained in a single frame, and a fairly accessible style. For past work, you can go through every day's entry since 2002, although it's more fun to keep clicking on the "random" button.
All Things 'Law & Order'
"Law & Order" moves into "Gunsmoke" territory this month, starting its 20th season, which is enough to tie the old western as the longest-running drama on television. The show may not have the fan base it once did, but I'm still a fan, particularly of the "Criminal Intent" spinoff. ("Special Victims Unit" is too creepy for my wife, so I don't watch it much.) And then there's the promising U.K. spinoff, which didn't so much use "ripped from the headlines" plots as scripts ripped from the archives. This blog is a great way to keep up with one of the very best franchises on television.
Here's a comic with a twist: a boy, a bathtub and a rubber duckie. Or is it?
John Gushue is a writer in St. John's. Blog: johngushue.typepad.com. Twitter: twitter.com/JohnGushue.