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Test Pattern: Multi-link Monday

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="290" border="0"><tbody><tr height="68"><td height="68" colspan="1" rowspan="1" width="290">Gael Fashingbauer Cooper offers her unique slant on the pop culture world, from TV commercials to the latest "American Idol" gossip,  in her entertainment blog</td></tr></tbody></table></p>

• Jan. 8, 2007 | 1 p.m. PT

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• Jan. 8, 2007 |

Multi-link Monday

Multi-link Monday has returned, with more job-distracting goodness.

• What kind of American accent do you have? Obviously, not applicable if you’re not American. I thought for sure I’d fall in the North Central (think “Fargo”) contingent, since I grew up in Minnesota, but says I don’t really have an accent. Ya, you betcha, dere.

• Retro chefs: You can buy (think Pop Rocks) and jazz it up to use in a recipe. ( turned them violet-flavored)The thought of Pop Rocks (or, uh, the generic version) being used in a recipe is so entertaining that I immediately sent this to my chef friend. Can’t you just see “Top Chef” making its contestants work with Pop Rocks? (Via .)

• I’m so sick of Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump’s . Snark at each other all you want, but I don’t want to hear about it. Game Show Network has set up a . Each fighter has a secret weapon – Rosie’s Tongue-Lasher and Donald’s Killer Comb-Over. The first rule of Rosie-Donald Fight Club is don’t talk about Rosie-Donald Fight Club.

• Getting ready for the Jan. 14 return of “24”? When the show comes back, print out and cover squares (or give yourself points, or take a shot, whatever) when these sure-to-occur events take place. My favorite “Jack disobeys a direct order.” Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. (Via )

• This is both addictive and frightening. Click on a facial feature at and you can change it … over and over and over and over again. It’s kind of like playing Mr. Potato Head, but with real images.

• Jan. 5, 2007 |

Reader movie mistakes

Good news: Test Pattern will soon be moving to a new format, and we'll have a more blog-like way to display comments. Once more, though we'll do it the old way, with me plucking your comments out of the email mailbag.

Here are some of your thoughts on .

THE AUTHOR SPEAKSThanks for the reference to my books! I’m starting a new one soon (probably called “Roman Soldiers Still Don’t Wear Watches.” I’ll be anxious to see what kind of flubs your readers spot!”    --Bill Givens, author “Roman Soldiers Don’t Wear Watches,” Los Angeles

“Seeing crew members in the reflections of car finish and windows is far more common than most people realize. I see these kinds of errors almost daily on TV and in movies. Next time you watch a movie notice how almost always the cars seem to have high gloss waxing, which makes reflections unavoidable. I recall a low budget film some years ago when a car battle scene had the car moving in circles with the camera at center rotating with the car. I know this because I could see the crew throughout the scene.”    --Scott

ADJUST THAT BELT, MARINE“A common “goof” in many recent films is that most WWII actors (including those in Pearl Harbor, Saving Private Ryan, etc.) who are dressed in uniform (both Navy and Marine), have their military issued belt showing the end of the belt tucked into the left belt loops or actually dangling down which would never pass any inspection! Any navy or marine veteran knows full well that the brass type of belts issued by the military have a “gig line”. A gig line is when the end of the belt fits into the buckle and aligns exactly with the left end of the buckle (as seen from the wearer).”    --Gregg

MAGIC BRA STRAP“The ‘mistake’ I noticed recently was in “The Holiday” with Cameron Diaz. She is in bed with Jude Law, wearing only a bra. When the camera shot is her face, bra strap is up. When the camera shot is from behind (showing Jude’s face), strap is down. Then she changes position and adjusts the strap. I kept thinking “This is going to be on all of those movie mistakes websites soon.” And voila, here it is!”    --Joanne

NAME GAME“This may be a little older than you wanted but I spotted a goof in Meet the Fockers. The part in the movie where Focker’s dad, played by Dustin Hoffman, lays down in front of the bus, and says something to Greg. Instead of calling him Greg or Gaylord, he calls him Ben, as in Ben Stiller.”    --Dani

BRIDGE TOO FAR“In Batman Begins, there is a seen in which there are cars driving over a bridge and they are driving in two directions, yet the bridge only has dashed lines and no solid lines, thus meaning that they used a one-way bridge and tried to play it off.”    --Allison

BOOM, BOOM“Okay, so I am not a very good observer of goofs either, but when I watched Stranger than Fiction, I was amazed to see the boom mic about six times!! I had never seen one before in any type of movie and then in many scenes, there it was! At first I was excited to join the “club” (my friend as seen them in Pirates and Lady in the Water), but then after the fifth time, it felt like I wasn’t watching a movie anymore. I felt like I was watching the rough cut of a movie....very strange.”    --Jen

SMILE“In the movie Apocalypto everyone has really rotten teeth except the female lead whose teeth look like they were made by one of today’s specialists!”    --Gregory

ROYAL GOOFSOne Night With the King—Queen Esther wears a necklace that is quite possibly one of the most symbolic and prevalent visual props in the movie. Near the end of the film, while Queen Esther is making her fervent pleas to the King and mere minutes before she rips the necklace from her throat to reveal a pivotal secret to the King, the necklace is strangely missing from her neck. One moment it is there, camera cuts to another character and then cuts back to the queen and the necklace is gone! Another cut to the other character and the necklace is back. I’m not even going to get into the B.C. Persian queen’s bikini tan lines... Makeup anyone? A little CG touchup? Would that be asking too much?”    --Nestra

• Jan. 3, 2006 |

Modern movie flubs

I admit: I'm not the world's most observant movie-goer. I never see boom mikes swinging through the background or . So when I actually catch a goof, it's got to be pretty obvious.

Over the holiday weekend, I saw the wonderful movie (which I highly recommend). I was entranced by the acting and the behind-the-scenes sneak peek into the lives of both the royal family and Tony Blair's family.

Now I may not be a movie geek, but I'm a bit of an Anglophile, so the scenes within the royal household felt real to me. Here's how much: In almost every non-state occasion photo of Queen Elizabeth II that I've seen, she's wearing the same style of earring: A small diamond perched on a larger pearl. When I saw "The Queen," Helen Mirren wore the same earrings when she wasn't dressed for a formal portrait. (You can see them in the .) That's good research.

So I was a little confused at a scene in which the queen coaxes two black dogs into her Land Rover, drives a short distance, then hops out and takes with her ... three black dogs? Was there a third dog already locked in the car? Do royal dogs mate quicker than commoner canines?

I checked the film's , always a hoot, and learned that I wasn't the only one who'd spotted the multiplying mutts. Of course I missed the more subtle goofs -- I didn't even see the crew member reflected in the queen's car window, and I certainly didn't recognize that Tony Blair uses a too-recent cell phone in one scene.

What are your favorite movie goofs? Let's stick to recent films, say 2006 or 2007 releases. I'd love to hear ones you spotted yourself, but if you want to cheat, here's the IMDB's list of its for recent flicks. And and are also fun sources to browse. You can use the email link below, and I've also .

MORE ENTERTAINMENT LINKS:• The Washington Post decrees that "America's Top Model" is out, but "Ugly Betty" is in. Check out the rest of . Link via •  , according to the New York Daily News, which spotted a mention of that month HBO's Web site. That mention has since been yanked, so some poor HBO staffer is likely getting an earful. Why the mystery, HBO? We'd earlier heard January, then March, but apparently Tony and crew can't be rushed.• I love how the Comics Curmudgeon on what would happen in the "For Better or For Worse" storyline about Michael and Deanna's apartment burning down. And naturally, five or six of these things did happen. Regular readers saw coming from a mile away.

• Dec. 28, 2006 |

From ads to gifts to mourning the TV dead

I'm back from vacation, and am still getting caught up, but wanted to share a batch of links that collected while I was gone.

Apply directly to the forehead!We took notice of our favorite and least favorite TV commercials this summer, in . Many of those same ads, including HeadOn, Dr. Z, and the Mac-PC ads, showed up in the . (Link from .) And you may have missed "Funniest Commercials of the Year," which aired last night on TBS, but you can still check out some of the funny ads at , or . And I can't remember if I linked to this before, but it's one blogger's choices for the . How come is only #4? He obviously should be in first place by default.

Leg Lamps 'R' UsAfter I published my list of my (and discussed it on CKLW radio), I realized I'd forgotten so very many goofy gifts. Here are just a few:• This should give "Wizard of Oz" fans a chuckle.• I personally would not spend $12 for a can of Campbell's soup, but I love the Andy Warhol tribute intended. Looks like Barneys sold out, but you can still see at Boing Boing.• If you're like me, you watched various parts of Jean Shepherd's classic "A Christmas Story" as it ran in 24-hour rotation during the holidays. Buy your own ! But be careful, it's ! It must be Italian!

Leftover holiday linksLike fruitcake, holiday links can sit around forever without going bad. Or maybe, like fruitcake, they're bad from the start. I've already linked to , the , the and more, but these links snuck in after Christmas.• , where you upload a photo of your face and magically transform into a dancing elf. I was more than a little freaked out when my sister sent me her boogying elf-costumed self. And from Office Max, the folks who run ElfYourself, similar sites include , , and .• I missed when it was actually Advent, but you can still go through and open up each day, and it's chockful of games and other goodies. I couldn't get all of them to work, but worked for me.• And is (audio link) ever sung? You decide. I personally enjoy the .

MORE ENTERTAINMENT LINKS• Donald Trump named . I'm shocked.• Here in Seattle, we are still recovering from our recent windstorm-caused power outage. Here's a book that's good to have for the next time that happens: (Thanks to Karen for the link!)• Sure, everyone can , but leave it to Entertainment Weekly to , from to .

• Dec. 14, 2006 |

Gifts for entertainment junkies

Inspired by my pal Alan Boyle’s , I wanted to offer up a short list of my own of fun pop-culture and entertainment-themed gifts. Entertainment, of course, is a very wide field. One person leans towards James Bond, another towards ballet. So this list is based on selective choices of what amused me.  If you know of another fun pop-culture gift idea, send it in. Also, I'm not meaning to promote any one online store over another. You can Google the name of the gift and buy from whatever store you find the best deal at — my links are just meant so you can see the product in question.

1) This cookie jar could actually be a diet aid, as one look at chubby ol' Homer may have folks eschewing cookies. When you open the jar, he says things like "D'oh!" and "Why don't you start your diet tomorrow?"

2)Remember the kid in “Stand By Me” who said if he could only have one food for the rest of his life, it would be cherry-flavored Pez? That kid is not me; I hate the taste of Pez. But I love how the dispensers look, and this “Star Wars” pack is especially awesome.

3) Those of us who grew up on the early days of “Sesame Street” will love this DVD pack more than our kids will. This set collects episodes from the very first five seasons of the show (1969-1974), as well as extras such as the original pitch for the program. (Rolf and a very early Kermit introduce sketches while a table of stuffed-shirt Muppets argue about whether they should call the show "The Itty Bitty Kiddy Show.")

4) Someone in our sports department owns this, and every so often I hear “Yesss!” or “Whatever I feel like I wanna do, GOSH!” come floating across the newsroom.

5) But before you buy these, better let the tell you if you’re in the right house. Maybe you really belong to Slytherin!

6) “Every one of the strips has been collected in this giant collection, which is beautiful, but not as comfortable to sprawl out with as the paperbacks. Still, it’s awesome to have them all, and Amazon is selling it for less than $100. (Don’t miss the various two-book sets of too.)

7) Sadly, Meredith and McDreamy’s dog, Doc, has been sent to Doggy Heaven on “Grey’s Anatomy” (a contract dispute? Did he insist on only certain-colored kibble in his dressing room?). But ABC is still selling a McDog food bowl and doggie placemat.

8) Don't forget to bring a towel!

• Dec. 13, 2006 |

Readers rave about ‘FoxTrot’

We don't yet have a commenting feature on Test Pattern (it's coming!), but I wanted to share some of your emails about Bill Amend's wonderful beginning at the end of this year. Some of you shared your own favorite strips, which is only fair since I listed my top five, and some of you just wanted to thank Amend for bringing Jason, Peter, Paige and crew to life. Here are some of your thoughts:

FAVORITE STRIPS“I had to chime in on my favorite “Fox Trot” strip. It involved Peter taking a physics test in class, only to have the problem turn into a work of art with pirates and cannons and explosions. The bell rings, as Peter, with his head down on his desk, simply says, 'Doodlers shouldn’t take physics.' " Just hilarious!”    --Clinton

“I’m so sad to hear that Fox Trot will only be showing up on Sundays. I’ve grown up reading and loving this strip. Jason is by far my favorite character. And the two strips I have loved most this year are the one where Jason makes his own Sudoku puzzle and you must solve the math equations first in order to get your clues and the one from just a few weeks ago where he’s giving himself a “Prison Break” tattoo just in case he’s sent to prison by the CIA. God bless Andy for still being sane after all these years!”    --Jenifer

“My favorite “FoxTrot” cartoons are Jason’s geeky takes on the standbys of Sunday comic strips. The classic example is the , which is still causing ripples in the space-time continuum: Another classic is (spoiler alert)”    --co-worker

“My favorite: January 1, 1999 strip... Roger and Andy are drinking coffee, reading the paper, no dialogue... and then in the last frame, Roger (or was it Andy?) says “Shouldn’t Martin Landau be on the moon right now or something?” and the other person says “Ssssssshhh...” A total reference to the 1970s show “Space: 1999”, of course. Classic.”    --Clay

“The series of panels (mid ‘90’s I think) during the first rerelease of the original “Star Wars” trilogy. Hilarious!! Jason is THRILLED to be Darth Vader’s evil second son and keeps telling Luke to quit his whining. “Shut up you baby! He’s talking to me!””    --Anonymous

“My favorite foxtrot was when Jason and Marcus were sitting behind their web consulting stand with a sign that showed the prices dropping and dropping until they were free and one of them comments...”what if we offer free lemonade?””    --Andrew

GENERAL THOUGHTS“I hate that we will be losing Foxtrot during the week. It is a witty and hilarious comic strip that I can only hope others strip writers learn from. The graveyard of truly great comic strips is filling fast, Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side are truly missed. While Foxtrot isn’t dead yet, it seems to be digging its grave.”    --Allen

“Oh man, this really sucks. Foxtrot is my all time favorite strips for all the reasons you gave and one additional one: it could even deal with real life issues without being too preachy OR losing the humor. (case in point, the weeklong run about Paige finding the used syringe on the beach) Even better, Bill Amend has been gracious enough to personally answer all four fanboy emails I’ve sent him over the course of the past six years. What other artist or writer would do that? This will be a huge loss.”    --Dexter

“I like Foxtrot as well as Zits. Didn’t Amend sort of rip off, I mean borrow from Bloom County? Put Jason and Marcus side by side Milo and his friend. You’ll see the similarities.”    --Anonymous

“And yet the San Diego Union Tribune continues to print “Mary Worth”, “Rex Morgan M.D.”, and “Judge Parker”, none of which have read for at least the last 73 years.”    --Les

“Calvin and Hobbes, the daily version of Bloom County, now Foxtrot. We are all doomed. Civilization has ended. The sun will not rise again. Where have you gone Joe Dimaggio?”    --K

• Dec. 12, 2006 |

‘FoxTrot’ trots off to Sundays

I mentioned earlier that the would be ending in the not-too-distant future. When it rains, it pours in the comic-strip world. Another of my favorite comic strips, Bill Amend's wonderful is switching to beginning the last day of 2006.

Although I kind of hate Sunday-only strips, it's hard to begrudge Amend his break — he's done such a demanding job so well for so many years. "FoxTrot" is truly one of those rare strips that's like pizza: Even when it's not great, it's still pretty good. I can't think of too many groaners in "FoxTrot." The strip maintained a constant smart attitude, kept up with the times, and its characters felt true to themselves and always believable. It was never offensive, always managing to stay family-friendly without dipping into saccharine "Family Circus" territory.

Dad Roger Fox is a thinner, slightly smarter Homer Simpson, but who, unlike Homer, is obsessed with making everyone play chess with him (he always loses). His wife, Andy, is a tolerant writer and stay-at-home mom who tries to force her family to eat healthy but can never seem to cook anything edible. Older son Peter is a wannabe jock who regularly pulls all-nighters in an attempt to survive high school, sister Paige is obsessed with the culture of beauty she sees in "Fourteen," her version of "Seventeen" magazine.

But it's youngest child Jason who absolutely makes the strip. He's brilliant and knows it, geeky and doesn't care who knows it. He torments Paige in the most crafty, infuriating younger-brother ways, often dragging best pal Marcus and iguana Quincy into the fray. (When "The Blair Witch Project" was out, Jason made his own version, interviewing friends and family about the creepy Paige Witch.) He's Bart Simpson meets Dennis the Menace for the computer age, and he's never met a computer he couldn't hack, a test he couldn't ace, or a girl he could tolerate. Once he freaks out for weeks over an extra-credit problem that stumps him, only to eventually learn, with great relief, that there was a typo in the equation.

I'm sad about "FoxTrot" losing its daily connection because it was there, in the drawn-out storylines, that you really get to know and love a comic-strip family. Over the course of a week or more, you watch them develop a plot, run into roadblocks, and in the case of Jason, scheme, scheme, scheme. On Sundays, the strip has to be a joke that works for regular fans as well as for random people who only buy one newspaper a week, and I fear it will make the strip simpler, less nuanced. Often I've noticed that Sunday-only strips have more trouble connecting to anything other than maybe the upcoming season or holiday, and if the gag doesn't work, it squashes flat as Silly Putty.

The "FoxTrot" news gave me the impetus to pull out some of my books collecting the strip, and here are my completely personal and unscientific choices for the five best "FoxTrot" strips ever.

1. Majoring in advanced "Melrose Place"Jason sits on the couch watching and proceeds to explain its elaborate sci-fi/fantasy plot to an uncaring Paige. She howls "Jason, that is the most ridiculous and unbelievable premise for a TV show that I've ever heard of! I can't believe you buy into this nonsense!" The scene later cuts to Paige watching HER show, with an uncaring Peter, and explaining "See, Billy and Allison were going to get married, but then Billy married Brooke and Allison married Brooke’s DAD." Complication, obviously, is in the eye of the beholder.

2. Where in the world?Paige's dim friend, Nicole, is asked to identify Iraq on a world map from which the country names have been removed. "OK, if this is America," she says "then Iraq must be here." Her tortured teacher, Ms. Porter, sighs "OK, let's back up to that 'if,' Nicole." And Nicole takes another stab at it, saying "OK, if THIS is America..."

3. But at least she has charisma pointsJason finally manages to convince Paige to play Dungeons and Dragons with him. She takes six hours to set up her characters, one of whom she names "Lisa Marie the Fashionplate," much to Jason's horror. Finally, she's ready to play, at which time Dungeon Master Jason immediately collapses "Jason Caverns" on top of her characters, killing them all. "Where's a real sword when you need one?" she moans.

4. The heat is onAs much as I loved "FoxTrot's" longer storylines, the strip could also pull off a quick three-or-four panel joke like no other. In one, we see Paige asking "Mom, can I turn up the heat?" She follows up with "Dad, can I turn up the heat?" She then cranks up the thermostat, crowing "Can't say I didn't ask." And Jason (or was it Peter?) dryly responds "Can't say they're home, either." (Another of my favorite Paige lines: When trying out for cheerleading, she chants "C'mon, team, make 'em fume and fuss, send 'em home losers in their loser pus -- I mean, bus!" I think I liked her first version better.)

5. The adventures of Captain GoofballIn a strip that seems especially fitting due to this recent news, Roger discovers that Andy has been asked to advise the editor of their local newspaper on which comic strips should be cut. The problem? She's lobbying for the paper to ditch "Captain Goofball," a hasn't-been-funny-for-decades strip about which Roger holds fond childhood memories. "I mean, that strip made me laugh my head off as a kid," he protests. "Well, maybe today's kids would like a chance to laugh THEIR heads off," she parries. He has one last weapon: "But today's kids don't even READ newspapers." And Andy responds, in one of those great "Fox Trot" instances where the reader is trusted to be smart enough to finish the character's thought, "Call this a hunch, but..."

• The New Yorker , including "Goodnight Moon."• Corporate logos visible from space: Was or first?• Confessions of a

• Dec. 11, 2006 |

Multi-link Monday: Penguin cam, more

A new batch of links to start the week off right.

• With that seemingly permanently entrenched at the top of the box office, may I suggest the , for those of you who just can't get enough of the tuxedoed cuties? You can tune in to feeding time — it's fun to watch them all crowd around for chow. In the cam's off-hours, they even replay footage from before. (Via .)

• Some of you love free online games, others, I know, skip right over them. I can take or leave 'em, but this one had me addicted. In , you spell out a certain word by grabbing letters in a very Mario Brothers way. I like the weird little cartoon guy, too. (Via )

• Also via Ultimate Insult: on the Japanese version of the Nintendo Wii. You may have seen this link before: My friend Alan sent it to his 16-year-old son, who sniffed at how "old" it was. But I still like how it seems to warn you not to feed shamrocks to your Wii, and that you should encourage your Wii not to take up smoking. It reminds me of . (Note: Some of the Airtoons are more risque than I remember them being.)

• Remember this summer, when you could go to a site promoting "Snakes on a Plane" and get a Samuel L. Jackson message "personalized" for yourself or a friend? (Obviously, Jackson had only recorded certain first names, so people like myself with uncommon names were out of luck.) Anyway, NBC is now doing something similar, only with

• This reader-submitted link, to a very good cause, may be pretty well-known. But it also seemed like a nice counterpart to the online wish list sites I offered up last week. Says Scott: "And for the anti-pop culture site of the season go to Buy some poor folks a flock of baby chicks for $20 or or a bee hive for $30 or a goat $120 or go all out and buy a heifer for $500."

• Dec. 7, 2006 |

Pearl Harbor remembered

Day that will live in infamyI can't type "December 7" without thinking of Pearl Harbor. When I worked at a newspaper, I was one of those who felt there should always be a mention of it on the front page every year on the anniversary. Not everyone agrees. Check your local paper and see.  The Naval Historical Society Web page has about the attack and the war, including some . And for some amazing reading about the war as it progressed, check out Indiana University's samples of . Pyle was killed by a Japanese machine gun at Okinawa, where my dad was also stationed during the war.

Update: has , including an of the attack as it developed. (Via )

Also, the Honolulu Advertiser has a of a new model of the USS Arizona being unveiled at the memorial to the sunken battleship.

Another link stolen from Romenesko: The New York Times is posting a series of stories about the attacks that was written just one year after Pearl Harbor, censored by the Navy and . Unbelievable that we get to read it now, so many decades after the event passed into history. Florida's Poynter Institute

Tom Brokaw who was present at both Pearl Harbor and at the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. Talk about

Very Merry TrioI mentioned last week that I can't stand that Hallmark commercial where the mom magically soothes a crabby airport crowd by . Some readers agreed, including Angie, who said "My thoughts exactly. The first time that Hallmark commercial aired I said to my husband, 'Those people would have bludgeoned that woman for that!' And did you notice, one of her kids was asleep or just about asleep when she started that nonsense. Good grief, let sleeping kids lie!" But others disagree. Said Bill: "I love that Hallmark commercial. That cabin fever must be getting you down." I whipped up a poll:

Konnichiwa, I'm a Mac
We've discussed the Mac-PC ads in our summer commercial contest: Apparently Japan is running , which you can watch here, along with some fascinating discussion about how the ads had to be tweaked for the Japanese market. My favorite line from recent versions of the ads comes from the one where the Mac is wearing a suit and PC snaps "What's with the big-boy clothes?"

LINKS FROM AROUND THE WEB• Best name for a holiday TV special so far this year: Yes, there's one of those in my neighborhood, too.• The "Sopranos" character who was killed with a pool cue wants to . Hey, you play the hand that's dealt you, so to speak.• Slate has a on receiving a signed baseball card in the mail 15 years after it was requested.

• Dec. 5, 2006 |

Managing your family's gift lists online

I shared reader Kim's question about a specific site. She said "I'm looking for a link that allows a group of people to post their Christmas wish lists and then for items to be "crossed off" anonymously as gifts are purchased. Any thoughts? Thanks."

I had a couple of feeble ideas, but readers had even better ones. Here's what we came up with. Kim, and anyone else, take your pick.

• "The site that we use is — this lets you link to any page — not just Amazon — and also lets you add things manually for things that aren’t found on Web pages.  The buyer can mark them as purchased so that you don’t get dupes.  You can password-protect your list so that only people you want to see it can see it.”    —Sandy

• "Online giftlist Web site — . Free. Create a list of items you want. Publish your list to anyone, whether they have a giftlist account or not. Add item ideas to others' lists. Add comments to items on any lists you can see. Items and comments can be hidden from the recipient, to keep them surprised! You can mark gifts as 'bought', which other users can see, but the recipient won't see. Enjoy."      —Erich

• "I've been using for several years.  You have to download and install an icon on your browser's toolbar.  Once that's done, you can go to any Web site, find something you want, then use the toolbar icon to add it to your wishlist (it pops up a box and fills in the details of the item as much as it can — you can add details, select a category, like "books", specify size/color/etc., and add any kind of details you want). You can even manually add entries for things that aren't online.  The wishlists are publicly accessible, and each item is hyperlinked to the website you selected it from. If the person buys it, they have to return to the site to check it off as purchased.  Unlike Amazon, it can't automatically recognize when an item is purchased.  An advantage to this is you can price-compare on different sites to find the best deal or buy at a store, you don't have to buy from the site the person linked to."    —Elaine

• "I Googled Christmas Lists today.  I found a couple of links that might work for Kim: and ."   —Leslie   [see above for Sandy's endorsement of the latter.]

• Well, my ideas look pretty bad after that. It reminds me of the "Peanuts" cartoon where Linus describes the elaborate scenarios he sees in the clouds, and Charlie Brown says something like "I was going to say I saw a ducky and a horsey but I changed my mind." That said, is an online list and task manager, lets you clip items you saw online and keep them in a file, and is a neat way to share your calendar and other facts online. The Web amazes me: It's really not all porn, no matter what that song in says.

• I liked this about receiving a signed baseball card back 15 years after it was sent to the player. (Via .)• wants to be the "American Idol" of online music-video competitions. Good luck with that. Entering is free now, but will cost you $25 after Jan. 1.• With the new airline regulations limiting how much of certain toiletries you can bring on board, , is beginning to look ingenious.

• Dec. 4, 2006 |

Multi-link Monday

Welcome to December! Hope you're staying warm. Before we get to the links, a reader named Kim has a question. She says "I know we're supposed to send you links but I need some help finding one, please. I'm looking for a link that allows a group of people to post their Christmas wish lists and then for items to be "crossed off" anonymously as gifts are purchased. Any thoughts? Thanks."

Hmm, if your people all make wish lists, that happens there, but obviously the products must be purchased at Amazon. If you have a little blog savvy, you could start a group Weblog at, give only your participants the password, and log in and cross off the gifts as you buy them. That's all I can think of. If anyone has a site that more specifically answers Kim's question, .

Let's start December off right with our quintet of random linkage fun.

•.Want to buy a present for the person who has everything? Try -- they're a bit pricey, but might make a fun party snack. Just remember: You're paying several times more than you would for regular M&Ms, and the minimum order is 4 7-ounce bags at $11.50 each.

• The UK arm of Penguin Publishing is releasing certain classic books with plain covers and letting the book purchasers . Fun idea, but I am in no way artistic enough to make a cover that isn't embarrassing. (Via .)

• For those who love addictive online games: Try this . Sure, it's easy as pie at first, but keep at it and see how you do. (Via .)

• My pal Will over at borrowed the from me last week. I'll return the favor by snitching one of his: Merriam-Webster is asking readers to . Past words that made their top 10 lists included "tsunami" and "levee" in 2005 and "blog" and "cicada" in 2004.

• Reader-submitted link: Kelly F. says "This is a fun site for the holidays if somewhat unconventional: ." Click on the different topics ("head," "legs," etc) in the left margin and keep clicking to see that item change. Kinda like dressing The Sims!

• Nov. 29, 2006 |

Commercials, campy culture, and costumes

I'm currently iced in (in Seattle, of all places) and getting a little bit of cabin fever. And I've heard more than I want to about Michael Richards, O.J., and Britney and her newfound buddy, Paris. So this update is blessedly free of any mention of the four of them, just so you know.

Checking in with the commercialsNo, it's not time yet for our , but I have to mention one that won't still be airing by next June. Have you seen the one for Hallmark where people are stuck in an airport while planes are being delayed left and right? Everyone's crabby as anything until a mom gets the bright idea to pull out the , an ornament-toy thing that lights up while penguins and a snowman flap around and dance and the whole thing plays "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"? It immediately works its soothing magic, and suddenly the entire D concourse is like family! Now I have as much holiday spirit as the next person, but seriously, can you think of any planet upon which someone's annoying and noisy toy would actually not tip an already-edgy and tense airport crowd over the line to completely insane? Maybe it's just me. (I started a , by the way.)

Putting the ‘culture’ in ‘pop culture’ — maybeWorld travel just got a bit loopier. Sweden is opening an in 2008, and China is planning a to open in three years. Bruce Lee is , though for some reason that giant red grave marker shown in the photo was completely invisible to us and we searched all around and never found it. I'd have to say the freakiest pop-culture landmark I've visited was , a kind of Hello Kitty indoor theme park in Tokyo. Highlights included a Hello Kitty-shaped popcorn machine, a restaurant called Yum-Yum Corner, and a gift shop selling everything from Kitty kimonos to Kitty ramen. Meow!

Number-one in the 'hood, GHalloween's over for this year, but start working now on your Aqua Teen Hunger Force costumes if you hope to beat out , who dressed up as an eerily accurate replica of the Aqua Teen's mouthy neighbor, Carl. (Link via .) Oh, there's more: Someone else was (the Mooninites sometimes know him as "Cup"). (Here's , complete with straw.) In 2004, this guy made an awesome . And here's someone who got a big group of pals and went as the .

LINKS FROM ALL OVER:• Seattle's is retiring. Watch the -- it scares the heck out of me still.• : Darth Vader builds the Death Star out of snow. Awww.• "Twin Peaks" fan visits a number of the real-life, Washington-state locations from that classic cult show and of how they look now.

• Nov. 27, 2006 |

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. I did, and I learned one thing: When they tell you your flight is delayed and the mechanic isn't sure what's wrong with the plane, you'll indeed be giving thanks early when the airline gives up and moves you to another plane. No one likes being late for a family holiday, but it's a better feeling than sitting on a plane wondering if there really was enough time to fix the mysterious issue. And now, on to Monday's linkage.

• Reader-submitted link: Valerie says: " to put everyone in the true Christmas spirit.  You can create your own snowflakes and help the Salvation Army.  The more snowflakes that are made, the greater the donation."

• Valerie's link reminded me of another fun winter link, , a neat online snowball-fight game. This is adorable, but I am so bad at it. If it were real, I'd be a snow-covered popsicle by now.

• In Test Pattern's summer , we talk a lot about music in commercials, and sometimes I receive email from readers wondering if I can help them identify a song in a movie or TV show as well. Looks like will be a good resource for me to use in the future. I recently discovered the band because their song "I Hate Everyone" was played on an episode of so I can relate.

• sells almost everything now it seems, including some groceries. Some wisecracking readers have been taking advantage of Amazon's reader-review option and leaving hilariously over-the-top reviews of these staples, including . There are more than 800 now, and the ones I've read are all delightfully insane. I like the one that connects Tuscan brand milk to the Tusken Raiders of "Star Wars." (Link via an old edition of .)

• Random, but also semi-related to the milk post above: , including Yosemite Sam as a gladiator hawking Cheerios. This page is short, but it's just part of a much larger site, , which is also fun to surf.

• Nov. 20, 2006 |

Multi-link Monday: Elvis treats, more

Thanksgiving, already? I'm not ready, are you? Here are five Monday links to surf while you procrastinate planning the menu.

• Love this tender: In honor of Elvis Presley's famed love for peanut butter and banana sammiches, Reese's is incorporating banana cream into . The King, with his well-known love for junk food, would have approved. I haven't seen these in my local stores yet, but I'm looking.

• Entertainment Weekly found someone who hadn't seen any of the "Star Wars" movies (not that tough, I guess -- I don't think either of my parents have seen them) and had him watch all six, in order, during the Cinemax marathon, and . Short version: The films sucked him in, but he also noted their excruciatingly awful dialogue in some spots.

• This is only for those who surf Web companies a lot: See if you can ID the correct logo for places such as Google and Amazon when presented with the correct one hidden in a batch of very, very similar options. I can't. (Via

• Starting holiday shopping early? I love the items in this , but I'd never buy the that look like cookies with bites out of them. I can take the bites myself for free. The is pretty funny, though.

• When you were a kid, did you ever think you could dig a hole to China? Not sure why we always said "China," but lets you pick a location and then discover where your backyard hole actually would end up. I started at my childhood home in Minnesota and ended up somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Glug! Good thing I never had the discipline to dig for long. (Via .)

• Nov. 15, 2006 |

For Better or For Worse’ to end? Or morph? Or something?

Till death do us part?My favorite comic strip, bar none, is Lynn Johnston's family saga, Not as funny as "Fox Trot," not as political as "Doonesbury," not as lasagna-filled as "Garfield," but still a daily satisfying story about a Canadian family growing up. Johnston, unlike the wonderful late Charles Schulz, a friend of hers, allows her characters to age and change. Sometimes that frustrates we comic fans: Mike's portrayal as the Perfect Father and Journalist is a little trying, and Liz's recycled boyfriends (Anthony! Don't get me started...) can be annoying. But the strip manages to be both family-friendly, interesting, and sometimes even funny.

Johnston's been dropping hints for years that she'll end the strip soon, and now there's a report that the clock has started ticking: As of the fall of 2007, the Patterson family will stop aging.

This is not quite clear as to whether the strip will end, go on hiatus, or what. Sounds to me like the strip will end at least for a while, possibly to  return in some format -- I'm just guessing here, but maybe via occasional Web updates, or a TV show or a Sunday-only strip? (nooo! Learn from "Outland" and "Opus"!)? In any case, the characters will freeze in time as of next fall.

There've been rumors aplenty that the final strip will be a wedding, and its last words will be the title of the strip (probably spoken by Patterson daughter Liz, since Michael is already married and April is too young).

This rumor might be too cliched and predictable to actually happen, but realistically, it would be fine by me, as long as the groom is someone worthy of her. Paul, the cop from northern Ontario, a.k.a. "Mr Wright"? OK! Warren, the helicopter pilot who hasn't been heard from in a while? OK! Some new guy? Possibly OK! But Johnston had Michael Patterson marry the girl next door, childhood crush Deanna, and I from the way recent plotlines have gone, it would seem she likes Liz with her own childhood beau, squirmy Anthony, a recently divorced dad who convinced his wife to get pregnant even though she'd told him she didn't want kids.

Run, Liz, run! He's definitely on the For Worse end of the spectrum.

• The “FBOFW” official site offers with extra info that's not in the strips• , hilarious and irreverent site dissecting "FBOFW" every day• The Josh dissects the good, the bad, and the ugly of daily comics• Ever read a comic and wonder if everyone but you is in on the joke? The can relate.

• Nov. 13, 2006 |

Multi-link Monday

Now that I've been turning Test Pattern back into more of a traditional Weblog, with multiple short topics each update, Multi-link Monday may seem superfluous. It's not. I still think of it as the place for those fun links, often including online games or quizzes, that are less about news of the moment and more about a quick distraction when you need it. Not that any of us ever surf the Web from work, of course. With that said, here are the latest five. Remember, you too can

• The had an impressive resume, but I'll always remember him most fondly for hosting "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" in the 1980s. That wonderfully serious, yet somehow creepy voice delivered just the perfect narration for that show. chock full of unbelievable goodness, too.

• It can be hard to find online games for kids that are both classy and fun. , with everything from MadLibs to photo quizzes to virtual pets.

. So awesome. The author's great comments add so much. For a game called "Twin Eagle: Revenge Joe's Brother," he notes "It's bad enough to name a helicopter Revenge Joe, but it's even worse when you claim it has a brother. And it's doubly worse when you consider that this is actually the first Twin Eagle game. Revenge for what?" (Via .)

• Everyone looks for recipes online, but if you're ever hunting for a recipe that's decades older than you, check out , sorted helpfully by decade. ? ? ? I'll stick to modern food, thanks.

• Reader-submitted link: Haley in Indiana writes "Ever wonder ? There they are, right up to Nixon. I live in territory capital W.H. Harrison governed. We get a kick out of his short-lived term. (We're morbidly punny, too.)" McKinley's death is the most interesting, in that it appears he easily could have been saved, had his doctors been at all on the ball.

Meet the Seven Dwarves, including Burpy and Chesty

Here's my quick take on a few topics that have been in the news lately.

Burpy? Chesty? Biggo Ego?
Author Neal Gabler has written a new biography of Walt Disney out, and the page about the book shares . My favorite lists rejected names for the Seven Dwarves, including Deafy, Dirty, Awful, Blabby, Burpy, Gabby, Puffy and Stuffy. Give a little thanks that he came up with Doc, Sneezy, Happy and the rest instead.

I'm a PC! But I'm not a Mac!
We love to in this Weblog, and one of the most ad campaigns this summer was Apple Computers "I'm a Mac! And I'm a PC" ad series. The ads are funny and smart, but many readers wrote in to say they found the Mac actor, Justin Long, to be the embodiment of all the worst stereotypes of Mac devotees — slackery and braggy, or, in the words of , "a smug little twit." The PC actor, uber-talented author John Hodgman, may look like a chubby, chumpy Bill Gates, but he's just hilarious, most of you felt. Anyway, according to Radar Online, Mac portrayer Long in upcoming ads. Mac ads without the Mac guy? What is our world coming to? (.)

@$#%!It's going to be interesting to see how newspapers and TV programs around the country print the title of . Some are using "The F-Word," some the letter "F" followed by asterisks, some are just taking out the "u." This reminds me of when the band the Butthole Surfers were touring and certain newspapers refused to print their name, either. If I'm remembering it correctly, one paper just decided to make up a new name for them, calling them the "Buttonhole Surfers." My favorite way to reproduce a swear word is use the symbols above the number keys, like comic strips do. Drop an anvil on your foot? @#$%! Get lousy advice from ? @#$%! And I also like the swear used by innocent little in "South Park"" "Aw, hamburgers!"

‘In Cold Blood’ house
This is really quite chilling to me: The Clutter family home in Holcomb, Kansas, where an entire innocent family was murdered in 1959, inspiring Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood," is . I don't see mention of the crime in the real-estate listing, but I don't know how anyone could not think of it if they even considered buying the home. It looks just like the normal, comfortable home it was up until Perry Smith and Dick Hickock turned it into hell on earth. I don't believe in ghosts, but that doesn't mean I don't shiver just a little looking at the photos of the rooms where the murders happened. (Zelda gets credit for the link.)

• Nov. 7, 2006 |

Doogie, Britney, ‘Borat,’ Tim Gunn

What a crazy week or so it's been in entertainment: Britney files for divorce, "Borat" makes glorious moviefilm for box-office craziness, Doogie Howser comes out as gay.

Here's a batch of related links from around the Web, on those and other topics:

Doogie Howser goes to White CastlePersonally I'm hardly shocked that Neil Patrick Harris, a.k.a. "Doogie Howser," is gay. But the news did make me go hunt up his in which Harris, playing himself, unleashes a fairly filthy rant about how Kumar and Roldy need to ditch their burger quest and find him a woman, and soon. (Warning: Language is not for the sensitive.) Harris also inspires Harold to almost, but not quite, quote a similar film's title when he asks "Doog, where's my car?"

Oops, Britney did it againHere's Britney Spears' Day-Timer for the last few years. January 2004: Get married. January 2004: Get marriage annulled. September 2004: Get married again, to man whose girlfriend is quite pregnant with their second child. September 2005: Give birth to first son with that man. September 2006: Give birth to second son with that man. November 2006: File for divorce. There's been plenty written about Britney and Kevin Federline's split, including , but anyone wanting some 20/20 hindsight should read . Best line, from Spears on Federline: 'He’s very simple.  ... He’s so simple.  His simplicity and just he’s like a boy.  He just, you know, and he cares.  He cares so much and his—his heart is awesome."

And while Federline's new CD, "Playing With Fire," received a decent review from the AP, he's getting trashed almost everywhere else. My favorite reviews of Federline's music come from . I feel completely comfortable in saying that people put more work into their creative reviews of the album than K-Fed quite possibly put into making it.

One rhyming review begins: "This former back-up dancer / Now known as Mr. Spears / Has brought us the worst album / To be released in years."

Another review begins "Relative to a pool of vomit, this album is pretty solid. I'd rather have this album thrown at me at high speeds than a chainsaw." (Thanks to Anne for the link!)

Glorious moviefilm for benefit of AmericaThe surprise for me out of this weekend's box-office results wasn't that "Borat" won. It was that all the wire stories reporting on that victory . Apparently, box office analysts had expected Tim Allen's "Santa Clause 3" to win the weekend. Did you know there was a "Santa Clause 3" coming out? Did you even know there was a "Santa Clause 2"? If there is a lesson to come out of this, it should be that Americans are not ready for Christmas decorations or movies when there's not even snow on the ground in most places. And also that Tim Allen is really, really not funny.

Ever wonder how the real people who end up looking like jerks in Borat's bits feel about themselves after their appearance is made public? One friend of a Borat subject saying that his pal feels like his life is ruined after he appeared as a drunken, nasty frat boy in "Borat." Note that when the question was first posted back in early October, at least one person responded with "I suspect that this isn't exactly a "#1 at the box office" type of movie." That guy probably saw "Santa Clause 3" this weekend. (Newsweek has more on )

Tim Gunn mania
Don't get me wrong, I love the "Project Runway" mentor as much as the next person -- he's the kind of teacher you rarely find and always remember. But is he getting a bit too much media attention? The New York Times has an article highlighting his hobby of creating miniature buildings. Check it out! He ! Also: The on why Tim thinks Michael lost "Project Runway," and am I the last person to know that judge Nina Garcia is pregnant at 41? (Thanks to Andy for the NYT link.)

• Nov. 6, 2006 |

How old are you on Mars?

Some of us are still recovering from the last week. Maybe today's random linkage will soothe the pain. Remember, you too can

• Sure, you know how old you are on Earth, but how old are you on Saturn or Mercury? Enter your Earth birthdate and you can get that information, plus look ahead and mark your calendar for the exact date you'll turn 20,000 hours old, or figure out how many days left until you'd be 30 on Mars.

• Those fancy Madame Alexander dolls now have Yes, they depict Janet Leigh in the shower in "Psycho" and Tippi Hedren in "The Birds." I think these would frighten the other dolls on the shelf.

• We've all seen those giant RVs with colorful maps on the back, where the owners mark off states they've been to. Here's a , either with countries or with states. Hmm, when I do countries, it looks like I've barely been anywhere. I've been to Japan, but it's so small it doesn't really show up.

• Can you , acted out with office products?

• Reader Elizabeth sends in this . Just like all those old sitcom sketches where a psychiatrist is asking you to name the first word that comes to your mind, only it's online.

• Nov. 1, 2006 |

Readers' scariest moments

Sure, Halloween's over now, but I still wanted to publish a selection of your nominations for scariest things in the world, . Spooky!

MOVIE VISUAL“Scariest movie visual: Definitely when the girl crawls out of the TV set in “The Ring.”  --Laura

“The scene that creeps me out after 30 plus years is in “The Haunting”. The young girl is laying in bed when she hears terrible noises. You “hear” her thoughts. She is saying, “oh I am so scared, thank God I can hold your hand” the noises stop and she turns to thank her roommate for the support and there is no one there! ok...I gotta go turn on all the lights now.”    --Robyn

“I think you need to add “Wait Until Dark” as Scariest Movie Moment - when Audrey Hepburn had knocked out all the lights, but didn’t consider the light from the fridge & the killer jumped out of nowhere at her - I (and many others) jumped right up out of my seat.”    --Sheila

MOVIE DILEMMA“Scariest movie dilemma: I would say “The Blair Witch Project”, knowing your being followed by something you cant see, AND being totally lost.”    --Laura

FUNNIEST TWISTSFunniest twist on a horror-movie staple: “Scary Movie 2”, the beginning the spoof on “The Exorcist”, she starts throwing up, then the priest starts throwing up back on her.”    --Laura

“For funniest twist on a horror movie, I have to go with The Simpsons “The Shinning” which was the spoof on The Shining. Best part: “No tv and no beer make Homer go crazy”…”    --Andrea

SHORT STORY“I heard a twist on the scariest short story: The last man on earth sat in a room. There was a lock on the door. I have not seen the entire movie but scenes from the Grudge are definitely creepy.”    --Bill

“Scariest short story: Again, by Stephen King, his short story “The Mist”. The military tear a hole into another dimension (hell?) and all kinds of awful creatures come through and trap a man and his son in a grocery store. They escape with another person, but is unable to get back home to his wife, so they drive trying to find an end to the mist. They never do.”    --Laura

“Scariest short story, I’m thinking “The Raven”.....although probably technically considered a poem.”    --Andrea

MOVIES“Movie: Nosferatu, the original silent version starring Max Schreck. With no sound, that was creepy as hell! Runner Up: The Birds. I still look at a flock of pigeons with a leery gaze.   –G.M.

“Scariest movie: When A Stranger Calls Back. This not very well known sequel gives me chills whenever I think about. The plot is similar to the first one, a babysitter is alone watching kids and they get stolen. But this guy really screws with her mind, the kids-stealing is only the first fifteen minutes. The rest of the film is my nightmare. He breaks into her apartment and moves things around. He sets her alarm for 3 in the morning. I don’t want to give the end away, but it’s so horrifyingly amazing. Not gory - but a thriller - I highly recommend it! But don’t blame me for the nightmares!”    --Emily

“How about the old black and white classic “The Uninvited.” No one actually dies during the whole movie and no blood at all but it can still make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”    --Terry

“The scariest movie ever is The Exorcist! I am 34 yrs old and I still have nightmares of that levitating bed and head rotating. I was so traumatized that I slept in my parent’s room for a month after. I was convinced that my little brother would become possessed that I would stand over him while he was sleeping with a cross. No movie has come close to scaring me like that since.”    --Anonymous

TVNight Gallery. That was a scary TV show. The early episodes. Got weak later on.”   –G.M.

BOOKS:“For creepy and scary, there’s nothing better than Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The entire novel is written as entries to various character’s diaries. Very unusual because the reader may know what’s going on, but the characters usually do not. Stoker must have had a terrific imagination to come up with it.”    --Phil

“Scariest book: for me it was “It” by Stephen King. Forget the silly TV movie, the book totally creeped me out, but I couldn’t put it down. I still look at sink drains and storm drains funny. THe creepiest part, for me, was at the beginning where the brother of the main character is sailing a parrifin coated paper boat in the rain swollen gutters. You know something bad is going to happen, and then a balloon appears. My best friend dressed as Pennywise (she made the costume based on the description in the book and made a button that says “we all float back here”) for Halloween when we worked at McDonald’s and one of the drive thru customers saw her and looked a little freaked out. The book “It” was on her passenger seat.”    --Toni

MISC“The scariest thing about Halloween this year are the . My daughter is very conservative and was dismayed at the over abundance of “scanky” female costumes this year.”    --Tina

• Oct. 31, 2006 |

Scariest things in the world, according to me

I've long been a fan of the scary and the creepy. In honor of Halloween, here's my own personal "Fear Factor," a very subjective list of the scariest pop-culture choices in the land.

Scariest TV show: Showtime's featuring one-hour movies by some of the genre's most famed directors — John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, and Dario Argento among them. The stories feature a creepy ice-cream man, a cursed black cat, the dancing undead and more. One of the episodes, Japanese director Takashi Miike's "Imprint," was judged too disturbing to air, and so will be released only on DVD.

Scariest movie visual: Everyone has his or her favorite (), but for me it comes in the Japanese version of where the main character is riding in an elevator with a partially see-through door. She's oblivious, but the audience can see that the famed creepy little boy who meows like a cat is huddled outside the elevator on every single floor.

Scariest movie dilemma: In a super-creepy demon (who's taken over the body of a character's mother) is finally trapped in the cellar of a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Then and only then do the characters discover that the book they need to recite the spells to put things back to normal is down in the cellar with the demon.

Scariest book (recent): This summer's by Scott Smith, had me almost wanting to abandon plans for a vacation. Smith's characters think they're going to relax and have fun in Cancun but once things start to go wrong, they go wrong stunningly, horribly fast. As in Smith's first book "A Simple Plan," the characters face a problem by trying to do A, which seems perfectly understandable at the time. But A somehow leads to B, which runs face-first into C, and all hell's broken loose by D. A wonderfully creepy read.

Scariest book (classic): If you've seen the movie version of but haven't read the Stephen King book it was based on, you're in for a keep-the-lights-on-for-weeks treat.

Scariest short story: It's an oldie, but a goodie: "The last man on earth sat in a room. There came a knock on the door."

Funniest twist on a horror-movie staple: In a , the boys test the old urban legend in which saying "Bloody Mary" three times into a mirror summons a face-scratching demon. But instead, they say "Biggie Smalls," and the dead rapper shows up looking to pop a cap in the kids for preventing him from going to Satan's big "My Super Sweet 16"-style Halloween party. As Butters would say: "Aw, hamburgers!"

Have your own favorite scares? Send them in.

MORE ENTERTAINMENT LINKS• The late Steve Irwin is such a hot costume this Halloween that at least one zoo gift shop has been . (Via .)• Paul Stanley of KISS has a , and its title track, "Live to Win," was memorably used in the montage scene of the "World of Warcraft" episode on "South Park."• Best Halloween line on a TV show goes to for a scene in which an investigator is told "Nice Halloween costume, but you spelled 'CSI' wrong on your hats."• How did I miss this for ? (Thanks to Molly for the link!)