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Sound Smart at a Party for the Week of Feb. 4 – Feb. 10

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The smell of buffalo wings and disappointment are in the air, and that can mean only one thing—Super Bowl Sunday is almost here! Sure Big Blue has already lowered its collective golf handicaps by five strokes and Rex Ryan is so angry over Gang Green’s loss he’s flipping off any camera he sees; that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a Sunday of insane gluttony and corporate spending! Thirty-second ads for this year’s game are going for a whopping $2.6 million apiece, up $100,000 from last year and an all-time high. CBS, the station broadcasting the game, sold all of its allotted ad space, estimated between 50 and 60 clips. As tax-paying Americans, we couldn’t be happier to see Chrysler buying a 60-second ad with its bailout money. What? The pitchfork and torch in our hands and map to Detroit in our back pocket? Don’t mind those!

Let it be written: Love stories about blue people with tails are more valuable than ones about forbidden couples sailing across the ocean. Fox reported on Wednesday that James Cameron’s Avatar surpassed Titanic for the domestic box office record, earning $601.2 million. This completes its Triple Crown of movie-grossing achievements, after setting international (more than $1.3 billion) and worldwide (more than $2 billion) records. Meanwhile, The Hurt Locker, directed by Cameron’s ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow, made $12 million in its time in theaters. Both are up for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, which brings us to…


The 2010 Academy Awards nominees were announced, this being the first year 10 movies are up for the Best Picture award. Along with Avatar and The Hurt Locker, the other eight are: The Blind Side, Up in the Air, An Education, Up, District 9, Precious, A Serious Man and Inglourious Basterds. In addition to Best Pic, Bigelow and Cameron are up against each other in the Best Director category. A win for Bigelow would be the first time a female has ever won the category.

Miss Virginia Caressa Cameron reacts after being crowned Miss America by last year's winner, Katie Stam, on Jan. 30 in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

The next time someone is riding up your ass on the Northern State Parkway, don’t assume they’re tailgating—they might just drive a Toyota. The Japanese car maker’s massive recall for sticking accelerator pads has effected drivers the world over. The pedal pandemic caused Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to say before the House Appropriations subcommittee, “If anybody owns [one] of these vehicles, stop driving it and take it to a Toyota dealer,” a remark he later retracted. Maybe we should buy a Chrysler—wait, do they still make cars, or just buy $5.2-million advertisements?

M.D.-to-Michael-Jackson-turned-America’s-most-hated-man-by-red-leather-jacket-fanatics Conrad Murray will be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the days to come (it may have happened by the time we go to print!), according to reports from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. And if so, the doc is prepared to turn himself in. The charge carries a maximum sentence of four years.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow—six more weeks of winter, right? Not necessarily—according to the Stormfax Weather Almanac, which has kept records since 1887, Phil has only predicted an early spring 14 times, and has been correct 39 percent of the time. Sounds like better odds than Sam Champion and Al Roker combined!

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