Guest Post: Top 10 Cooks, an alternate take

Editor’s Note: My recent post listing the definitive, authoritative list of the Top 5 Cooks from Too Many Cooks spurred my friend Evan Habeeb to submit his own list of the Top 10 Cooks. Without further adieu, Evan’s list of the Top 10 cooks, including commentary:

10. James White

I want those reports on my desk by 5pm or you’re off the force!


9. Tara Ochs

She just can’t get anything right — even the cookies!!




8. Will Dove

The well-intentioned pervert.



7. John Crow

Perpetually confused but still trying.



6. Truman Orr as Taylor Cook

The best helper!


5. Matthew Kody Foster as “Coat”

Under-appreciated, valued cook.



4. Ken DeLozier

“You’re so out of touch, dad!”



3. Josh Lowder

#7 most wanted criminal, #1 in our hearts.



2. Jennifer Giles

Always on watch, defending us from B.R.o.t.H.



1. Smarf

He died to save us all.




Top 5 Cooks

If you haven’t seen Too Many Cooks, the recent NSFW “Informercial” on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, find 10 minutes and watch. Yes, it’s long, but it’s the rare video that’s definitely worth it.

Then, come back here for the definitive list of the Top 5 cooks:

5. Will Dove

Will Dove

4. Ali Froid

Ali Froid

3. Ken DeLozier

Ken DeLozier

2. Katie Adkins

Katie Adkins

1. Smarf



From February 2006, Sir Ken Robinson talks about how our educational system strips the creativity from students. The video is thanks to the TED conference and their excellent policy of making their conference sessions available online. This is a must-watch.

In significant ways, Fred Thompson video challenges the status quo

Many blogs have already noted Tuesday’s amazingly quick, and quick-witted, video response by Senator Fred Thompson to the re-surfaced Michael Moore’s open letter.

Senator Fred Thompson vs. Michael Moore

Fred Thompson answers Michael Moore.

Blogger Bob Krumm said it best when he argued that Senator Thompson’s response speed could be a powerful factor should he decide to run, particularly compared to lumbering campaign operations like Senator Hillary Clinton’s.

The video, though, is also important from another perspective. Let’s examine Michael Moore’s pathetically predictable modus operandi. He’s got a movie coming out at Cannes in a few weeks. Despite being publicly silent for two years, he breaks into the news last week with a manufactured controversy, which is immediately lapped up by the media. If you think this is a genuine turn of events, you weren’t watching closely enough in 2004, when Moore manufactured a fake controversy just prior to the release of his last film, Fahrenheit 9/11. While there were folks who were watching and responding to Moore (myself included), the mainstream media did the entirely expected: they parroted Moore’s talking points, helping him to a $100 million-plus box office take.

So here’s why Senator Thompson’s video is important. While critics of Moore like myself and many other bloggers are typically viewed by the media as conservative cranks at best, the gravitas that Senator Thompson lends to a critique of Moore simply cannot be ignored, and will only grow more watchable to as the campaign season goes on. Particularly if all his responses- to Moore and other public idiots- are as clever and as devastating as his retort this week.

Others with stature and media oxygen have wisely chosen to ignore Michael Moore, a position I commend and support. At the same time, I am grateful to see somebody taking another approach, and facing Moore head-on. It’s a battle of wits Moore frequently baits people to engage in, if only for his own rewards, and he often chooses poorly. This time, a man who severely outmatches him has chosen to flick him away, in 30 seconds or less, for the world to see and share. I’m looking forward to the next time Moore, or somebody of his ilk, challenges Senator Thompson.

NBC to enhance its online video offerings

Good news for the continuing un-harnesing of network television: NBC has announced it will both expand its online video platform, and in a big finally! move, it will make its video player embeddable.

This move is a big step for a major network…it turns the tide from complaining against services like YouTube, and begins challenging them head-on.

2006 Best Tools of the Web

Following up on last year’s post, here are my picks for top 5 websites, tools, and/or services of 2006:

5. Dreamhost I switched to this highly regarded web host in February, and haven’t looked back since, despite a series of public troubles during the summer. But if the measure of a company is how it deals with customers during adversity, Dreamhost rose to the challenge and then some with is transparent and extremely honest chronicling of its own troubles via its status blog. Combine that with insane bandwidth, disk space, immensely handy one-click installs, and a set of power features that can’t be matched, Dreamhost is the ideal backbone for anybody working on the web.

4. Google Docs & Spreadsheets If I could find a suitable online PowerPoint solution, I would uninstall Microsoft Office in a heartbeat thanks primarily to Google’s excellent Docs & Spreadsheet solution. While the product needs to improve its import and formatting tools, you can’t beat the convenience and ease of a centralized, tag-based repository for your documents. A shout-out to Writely, the word processing tool purchased by Google and adapted into Docs & Spreadsheets.

3. Google Calendar -AND- 30Boxes – Yep, it’s another Google tool on the list. Although I started out a devout Yahoo! user this year, I had to break away after experiencing 30Boxes excellent, game-changing calendar solution. And while I loved 30Boxes and their commitment to RSS and an open web, I ultimately made the switch to Google Calendar. It’s not the product that 30Boxes cal is, but I expect the product to improve in some great ways in 2007.

2. YouTube What else can you say about YouTube, other than the fact that it helped to usher in the video evolution, made embedded video the standard, further encouraged the open, sharing nature of the web, and played nice with both corporate producers and independent voices? It’s a nostalgia factory, a citizen’s media platform, and a distribution model, and then some, and although many other video sharing sites are out there, YouTube’s cultural influence makes it the clear leader of the pack, and an easy #2.

1. Mozilla Firefox 2.0 #2 on my list last year has risen to #1 with the release of its version 2.0. Firefox 2 adds some excellent features- notably a spell check and tighter RSS integration- and with the advent of the Web 0S thanks to Google and others, maintains its significant role at the very center of the human side of the web.

My entry into ‘The Office’ promo contest

NBC and YouTube are holding an open compeition for people to submit :20 promos for “The Office“, recently nominated for 3 Emmys including Best Comedy. Up to 10 winners will have their promos aired on NBC this fall.

I’m a huge Office fan, so with the help of my brother-in-law and my wife, I submitted a promo to the competition. Technically, the entries are supposed to be kept private on YouTube (which mine is), but I’m also posting it here.

The rules of the contest are pretty strict: Original footage only, no clips from The Office, and only one NBC-supplied graphic, as well as The Office theme song, were the only stock provided.

With that in mind, here’s my entry- just click the “play” button on the video to watch it (you must have Flash, and you’ll want the sound on). If you want to submit your own, go here.

UPDATE: The video is now available. Please feel free to send me comments, suggestions, hatemail. Shoot…it appears the video won’t work because it’s currently set to private within YouTube, per the rules of the contest. So I’ll have to wait until tomorrow, when the contest ends, and then I’ll make it public and show it here. Sorry!