* Zoos are now using animal mating calls to get their critters in the mood to mate. Here's something they're playing for the cheetahs...
* If you were in the IOC, wouldn't you want to get the hell out of here as soon as possible? "Try to ignore the 50 mph winds and horizontal slush storm, everybody. We swear Chicago's really nice in winter!"
Could they have picked a worse week to visit? The city looks pretty with a blanket of fresh snow. But this stuff looks like an infant just vomited baby food all over the streets. This makes me wonder why they're visiting the candidate cities in April. Shouldn't you visit the potential sites for the summer games... in summer? What if Rio is 170 degrees in the shade this summer? You wouldn't know if they're visiting now. Weird.
* Iraq is opening a Saddam Hussein Museum. Remember how he collected all those creepy "Dungeons & Dragons"-style paintings of semi-nude maidens and serpents? I really hope they have an entire wing dedicated to that. And I hope that from an aerial view, the entire museum is shaped like his 'stache.
* The more goofy names, made-up terms, and covert requests for sex a couple uses, the happier they are. And the fact that my parents haven't smiled since 1989 is probably a bad sign. (Yay! Two Christmases!)
* I'm not the only one depressed since the end of "Battlestar Galactica." President Obama is pretty glum about it, too. Don't worry, Mr. President. We'll get through this together.
* Scientists, bored out of their minds, discover why scratching stops an itch. Seriously? Have we discovered everything else? Some dude's wasting a decade on itch research?
* Tomorrow is my annual performance review. I'm pretty stoked. I imagine it'll go something like this...
Boss: "Dude, you are, like, amazing."
Me: "Oh, it's nothing." (False modesty.)
Boss: "No, for real. Here, take this giant sack of money. You earned it."
Me: "Really? Isn't our company in dire financial straits?"
Boss: "Totally. But I just fired 27 people so I could put their salaries in this giant sack of money. It's yours. Take it."
Boss: "One more thing..."
Boss: "Can I get your autograph?"
Me: "Sure. Who do I make this out to?"
Boss: "You don't know my name?"
Me: (Pause) "I'll just put, 'Best wishes.'"
Boss: "Cool. Thanks, Mr. Bowman."
Me: "You're welcome. And hey..."
Me: "Keep up the good work."
* For those of you who want a full-body Snuggie, consider the Selk Bag. If I saw someone wearing this, I would point and laugh. And I would keep laughing until the wearer tried to chase me. And seeing them run in that thing would make me laugh more. Ridiculousness.
* Here's the recipe for Red Lobster's cheesy biscuits. I have never eaten at Red Lobster, but these sound a-ma-zing. I love biscuits. I love cheese. I love butter and I love garlic. That's like telling me someone baked a cookie that tasted like the hotness of Megan Fox mixed with the awesomeness of a Red Wings Stanley Cup victory and served it to me in the middle of my best improv show ever.
* Do not fart during a penalty shot in a soccer game. You will get a yellow card.
* Wanna have a nightmare? Look at this creepy robot child, designed to learn like a baby.
* I will be rooting incredibly hard for the Michigan State Spartans to defeat the Tarheels tonight. My entire home state is having its butt handed to it. Michigan ranks 51st out of 50 states (including D.C.) in unemployment. There is nothing to live for there... except the Spartans. Let me tell you how bleak things are in Michigan: That victory over UConn Saturday? That was the first victory by a "home team" at Ford Field since 2007. Because the Lions are a joke.
I hate North Carolina. All their fans are bandwagon jumpers. All their players are, too. "Oooo, Michael Jordan came here. I want to come here. I want to be Michael Jordan!" Every year, there has to be at least a dozen fistfights over who gets to wear #23. UNC is the USC of basketball. They get all the recruits. They're supposed to win. And that's why I want them to lose.
If you need another reason to hate UNC, listen to their idiot coach, Roy Williams: "If you would tell me that if Michigan State wins, it's gonna satisfy the nation's economy, then I'd say, 'Hell, let's stay poor for a little while longer.'"
Easy for you to say, Roy. You're a millionaire. Let's go, Spartans. Give Michigan something to live for.
* Here's what you cat wants you to know. ("Mommy, if you take my picture and turn me into one of those stupid LOLCats, I will bite you in your sleep.")
* 25% of British teachers have been attacked by a pupil. A woman who worked here last year left to be a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. During her interview, she was asked, "Can you fight?" True story.
* Hospitals can save money by doing less. Great idea! Start by cutting out all those pricy sick people. That's what HMOs do.
* This is the kind of alarmist story news producers love because they can tease the hell out of them: Naps kill old people! Tune in tonight! Your very life may be at stake. You don't want to DIE, do you?
* I really hate movies where actresses play strippers but they remain fully clothed. (Ahem, Jessica Biel.) That's like playing an Olympic swimmer without getting in the water.
To comment, click the blog title and scroll to the bottom. E-mail: ben.bowman(AT)nbcuni.com
See Ben perform with Whiskey Rebellion this Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the iO Theater (3541 N Clark). Tickets are FREE.