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The Entertation Index: October 17-21

The Entertation Index: October 17-21


Each week KSR’s Funkhouser collects the best of pop culture. The Entertation Index collects the best of the week for your consumption.

Crush, Candy — The overwhelming success of the iPhone and iPad game Candy Crush is unarguable; and now it’s proved such a hit that CBS is even developing the property into a live-action game show. It’ll be great until the last five minutes, which you have to pay ninety-nine cents to watch or beg your Facebook friends to send to you.

Link: CBS is Adapting Candy Crush into a Live-Action Game Show

Go, Pokemon — With popularity of the once-smash hit app Pokemon Go waning, here’s an article which analyzes what went south for the Nintendo property, prompting an overpopulation of bulbasaurs which has resulted in at least two deaths and a Minnesota neighborhood to legalize the hunting of squirtles.

Link: What Went Wrong with Pokemon Go?

Gun, Top — During a recent visit to Jimmy Kimmel’s show, Tom Cruise shared with the host his wildest story from the filming of the action classic Top Gun, which unfortunately only involved him vomiting on a plane and not, as I’d imagined, he and Val Kilmer accidentally killing a man and hiding his body from the authorities, trying not to panic as detectives question him as a cadaver keeps comically threatening to slide out of the wardrobe they have it propped up within.

Link: Tom Cruise Shares His Craziest “Top Gun” Story, 30 Years Later

Letterman, David — What’s David Letterman, once a king of late night television and one of the most influential comedy voices of the last fifty years, doing with his retirement these days? The New York Times looks into Dave’s daily life, what’s next (if anything), and his retrospective thoughts on his war with Leno. A good read.

Link: David Letterman (and his Beard) Shop at Target These Days


But who will save us when the fictitious characters of a space movie come to battle us with our weapons which don't actually exist?

But who will save us when the fictitious characters of a space movie come to battle us with our weapons which don’t actually exist?

Lightsabers — Lucasfilm, the company behind the Star Wars, has sued for copyright infringement against three organizations which use the franchise’s iconography to stage “lightsaber training schools.” The institutions being charged claimed to teach its students the “core principals” of wielding the fictional weaponry and I think it goes without saying that none of the three schools in question had a prom.

Link: Disney’s Lucasfilm Sues Academy That Gives Lightsaber Lessons


Things, Stranger — Outside of Alec Baldwin’s stellar Trump impression in the show’s always-reliable election year cold opens, Saturday Night Live has been pretty lackluster thus far this season — with the exception of this brilliant sketch which investigates where Lucas’ parents were during the events of the show. Plus, get a load of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Dustin impression. Good stuff.

Link: Stranger Things Sketch

Ward, Burt — Burt Ward, the 71 year-old actor and original television actor to play Batman’s Robin the Boy Wonder, has put out overtures to the creators of Fox’s Batman-based crime show Gotham that he’d be “happy to” appear on the hit show. The creators, upon hearing this, nodded accommodatingly and told him they’d keep that in mind before informing Ward that he’d forgotten their egg rolls.

Link: Burt Ward is Ready to Answer Gotham’s Bat Signal, if it Ever Goes Up


Nintendo Unveiled the “Nintendo Switch” This Morning

Nintendo Unveiled the “Nintendo Switch” This Morning


As someone who has owned nearly every Nintendo home console, save the GameCube (dorm-mates owned one), I try to keep my eye on what new things are happening in the world of Nintendo gaming.  I argue that there isn’t much better than a Mario platformer, a Zelda quest, or a lap around Yoshi Valley.  So, I was surprised to see what Nintendo had come up with when they announced yesterday that they would make an announcement about their secret project “Nintendo NX”.  There was talk of it being some sort of console/handheld hybrid, but I was not expecting what they delivered in a YouTube video this morning.  Meet the Nintendo Switch:

There are a lot of questions to ask about what we just saw there, but at the same time, I think Nintendo took a very straightforward approach to showing all of the different possible configurations of the Switch.  It does not seem as though the games will run via disc, but rather through an SD card of some sort.  The controllers on either side of the handheld screen can be separated and you can use them for two player games.  They look mighty small, but no smaller than playing a game vertically on your iPhone.  The tablet screen has its own kickstand, so you can take it on the go, and play with the controllers either combined or in the Wii controller/nunchuck variation.  I’m very intrigued about the possibilities of the Nintendo switch.  Also, I’m very excited to get my hands on that new Zelda game.

What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch after seeing the First Look trailer?

2016 Pop Culture Halloween Costumes – A-L

2016 Pop Culture Halloween Costumes – A-L



2016 seemed to take the Billy Mays approach to insane craziness. Every time you thought you had hit the peak of ridiculousness, pop culture would reply, “but wait! There’s more!” This means that 2016’s Halloween cast of characters will have more weirdos than usual. So, if you need costume inspiration, or if you are trying to guess why that man is dressed up as a gorilla with angel wings, here’s an alphabetical list of pop culture Halloween costumes for you.

aA is for “Anything from Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Items Needed:

-An assortment of khaki colored clothing

-The ability to put your hair in a trio of buns

-Maz Kanata’s awesome glasses

-Kylo Ren’s unnecessary three blade light saber

No matter which character you pick, there will be plenty of your “cast members” out on Halloween.   There is really unlimited POE-tential for a great costume here.

bB is for “Brazilian Ryan Lochte”

Items Needed:

-Platinum Blonde hair

-Gold Medals

-A nice watch, which you suspiciously still have

This news story is in the sweet spot for Halloween costume relevance.   It happened a few months ago, so everyone isn’t going to be dressed like the infamous fake robbery, but it is still relevant to 2016. Plus, you get to “Jeah!” all over the place.


cC is for “Creepy Murder Clowns”

Items Needed:

-One single balloon

-Crusty white face paint

-Squeaky red nose

-An oversized tie

Something about the single balloon makes a clown standing alone on the sidewalk even scarier. I wouldn’t advise anyone dressing up as a clown this year. It’s been a tough year for all the Bozos out there. Best of luck if you plan on this one!

dD is for “Dog Filter”

Items Needed:

-Dog Ear Headband

-Black Paint for you nose

-Abnormally large tongue

Ladies love the dog filter on snap chat.  Why not make it into the most low-stakes Halloween costume ever.




eE is for “Election Anything”

Items Needed:

-Make America Great Again Hat

-Orange Face Paint


-Overly demonstrative hand gestures

During an election year, this is the go-to costume. The downside is I wouldn’t want to encourage any conversation about the up-coming election. A good alternative would be to go as a “disenchanted voter,” running mascara and all.

fF is for “Fixer Upper

Items Needed:

-Plaid Shirt

-Cute Boots

-Leather Strip Earrings

-Freshly Baked Goods

-Mobile Reveal Sign

-Doting Husband

If Joanna Gaines has reached her tipping point, I don’t want to hear about it. Her effortless charm and consistent branding always makes me smile. There’s not much to this costume, be prepared for people to assume you are wearing Slim Jims on your ears. I suspect that Joanna is better at wearing those leather strip earrings than most.

gG is for “Galaxy Note 7”

Items Needed:

-Poster board


-Vape Pen

Everyone loves an interactive costume. Everyone also loves to make fun of people who enjoy a good vape. This costume combines them both. Just draw the outline of a Galaxy Note 7, freehand a few flames and vape to your heart’s content.

hH is for “Harambe”

Items Needed:

-Gorilla Suit


-Angel Wings

I know we are all tired of the RIP Harambe movement, but this will be his last hurrah. If you would prefer, an alternative H costume could be Hodor, which is somewhat similar. Both characters are nonverbal creatures who died saving a small child’s life.

iI is for “Ice T at a Lemonade Stand”

Items Needed: 

-Lemonade Sign

-Black Hat

-Cool Sunglasses

-Varsity Sweater Jacket

As Ice T would say, “What’s with these people? Read the sign.” Clearly you are dressed as Ice T at a lemonade stand. It might be a too specific costume for Halloween, but at least you’ll get to say “delicious” a lot during the evening, just like Ice T.

jJ is for “James Corden Carpool Karaoke”

Items Needed:



-Special Celebirty Guest

-Tunes to belt out

I’ve never watched a carpool karaoke that I didn’t like. I love admiring Adele’s way-too-long nails. I love that Corden drove Michelle Obama around in circles in front of the White House for an hour. It is perfection. This costume allows you to channel all of the fun James Corden has in his Land Rover and sing as loud as you want, for as long as you want. It’s part of your costume after all.

kK is for “Kimmy Schmidt”

Items Needed:

-Purple Jansport Backpack

-Pink Pants

-Yellow Cardigan

-An Unbreakable Spirit

Sadly, this is one of those costumes that are for redheads only. Those Halloween wigs always look tragic on non-gingers.  I would also like to advocate for people to dressup as Titus Andromedon, especially as his failed version of The Lion King Musical.

lL is for “Lemonade Beyonce”

Items Needed: 

-Baseball bat

-Roberto Cavalli Mustard Chiffon Ruffled Dress (or your closest approximation)

-Hot sauce in your bag

No one makes looking jealous or crazy better than Beyonce. All of her iconic outfits from Lemonade would slay on Halloween.


I’ll have the last half of the alphabet next week. If you need me, I’ll be trying to figure out a costume for XYZ.

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe

Eenie Meenie Miney Moe


So this Sunday is the day Walking Dead fans have been waiting for.  Who is on the receiving end of Negan’s barbed wired bat, Lucille?  I have my suspicions on who the victim will be but before we get to that, let’s recap where things stand.  As you probably guessed the following will contain spoilers for TWD comic and television show.  Do not read further if you are not caught up.

When season six ended we had a large part of Rick’s group lined up as captives with the new big bad, Negan, trying to choose who would be beaten to death as a lesson for messing with his group.  The list of potential victims is this: Rick, Carl, Daryl, Michonne, Abraham, Glenn, Maggie, Rosita, Sasha, Aaron, and Eugene.  The season six finale ended with a first person shot of the victim as Lucille came crashing down on their face.  TWD producers and actors have done their best to keep people guessing over the summer.  The show allegedly filmed death scenes for the majority of the actors while locking down filming and production to prevent spoilers from leaking out.  There are a ton of theories and smoke screens floating around, but thanks to some good old fashioned deduction and logic I believe I have narrowed down the potential list of victims to three.  Rather than explain why I think everybody else is safe, I will break down the three I think are most likely to get it, and why.



Of the three this is the one I think has the longest odds.  I simply refer to this as the curse of Rick’s girlfriend.  We saw what happened with Rick’s previous love interests Lori and Jessie.  Didn’t end so well.  Of course, Rick and Michonne’s relationship hasn’t lasted long, but that didn’t save Jessie who only got half a season as a love interest.  There are others on this list that are far more likely targets, but the show needs to go big to make the cliffhanger worth it.



Of course Glenn is on this list.  He gets Lucille’d in the comic and quite frankly should already be dead after the crap the writers pulled early in season six.  The only thing keeping him from being the target of Negan’s batting practice is that it would completely make the whole dumpster thing really pointless.  The writers did everything they could to make Glenn seem dead only to pull the wool over viewers eyes.  Could it have been to gauge the response to his death?  Possibly.  I’m of the opinion that season six ended the way it did because they hadn’t decided who to kill.  Glenn’s death would be one of the most traumatic deaths the show could have as he is one of the most beloved characters.  He doesn’t command the same fan loyalty as Rick or Daryl, which means his death would be meaningful but not as detrimental to fan support.



I thought long and hard about putting Eugene on the list, but ultimately decided he wasn’t a big enough death.  Abraham is the most threatening to Negan in the group outside of Daryl and Rick, both of whom I think are untouchable.  He’s former military, physically imposing, and dead in the comics.  When Denise took the arrow to the eye, Abraham’s fate in the comic, I thought of two reasons for keeping Abraham around: save him for Negan or line him up as Daryl’s replacement after Negan kills Daryl.  As you probably guessed, this spot almost went to Daryl as well, but ultimately Abraham’s name is the title of this section.  What tipped this from Daryl to Abraham was the star power involved.  TWD fans are nuts and they want blood, but not Daryl’s blood.  Dary’s death would have a serious backlash, while Abraham would satisfy the bloodlust but ultimately be acceptable for most people.

 There is one other option being bandied about online that I’m a fan of.  That theory is that Negan gets a two-fer.  Just before he starts his beat down he tells everyone that if they try to interfere they will be killed.  If the show does go for a big time kill then it is definitely in the realm of possible that someone will lash out.  For the three listed above I think the pairings for the and-one are this: Michonne-Daryl, Glenn-Maggie, Abraham-Eugene.  What do you think will happen on the season seven premiere?  Sound off in the comments below!

Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’ Packs a Culturally Relevant Punch

Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’ Packs a Culturally Relevant Punch


They say this cat Luke Cage is a bad mutha…SHUT YOUR MOUTH!  I’m talking ‘bout Power Man.  I can dig it!

I’m gonna keep it real for a moment—like me—you probably didn’t know a damn thing about Luke Cage until Netflix dropped an entirely new series based after the titular superhero on September 30th.  This isn’t the first Marvel collaboration to hit the streaming network, Daredevil and Jessica Jones preceded Cage and were both well-received, and yet neither one appealed to me in the slightest.  Despite my ignorance on the nearly 45 year-old character, there was something about Luke Cage that peaked my interest, therefore I—along with everyone else it seems—spent a vast amount of time binge-watching the entire series this past week.  The show isn’t without it’s flaws—which I’ll discuss later—however, from its earliest moments, the show is immediately engrossing and entertaining.  More importantly though, Luke Cage features an ensemble of incredibly gifted African-American actors and actresses, along with narratives that address relevant, contemporary social, political and cultural issues which could leave audiences feeling uncomfortable—and that’s a good thing.  Having a superhero, in this case, a bulletproof black man, in light of the victims of police shootings and subsequently the Black Lives Matter movement isn’t lost on audiences.  Which is one reason why the show is garnering such praise and earning the dubious distinction of being “the most woke show on television”.

Luke Cage wasn’t the first black superhero, and he won’t be the last.  In fact, prior to Cage’s creation in 1972, there were a few other well-known African-American superheroes that existed in the MCU which grew from the Civil Rights era, namely:  Black Panther (1966), Falcon (1969), and John Stewart, The Green Lantern (1971).  The rise of the widely popular Blaxploitation genre of the early seventies, primarily due to the film Shaft (1971) served as the genesis for the newest African-American superhero, and thus Carl Lucas, also known as Luke Cage, and to a lesser extent, Power Man, was born.  Despite being an incurably, seemingly indestructible force of nature—Cage, a crime- fighting, hero for hire—part Captain America, part Juggernaut, part Muhammad Ali—never really took off and whatever popularity he garnered in that time, was relatively short-lived.  Although he experienced a small resurgence when he teamed up with another character, named Iron Fist—who has his own series coming to Netflix—during the height of the subsequent, martial arts craze that swept the nation, ultimately it wasn’t enough to save Cage, and he vanished into relative obscurity.  While on hiatus, Marvel continued to reconstruct his character, and in doing so, the MCU saw the rise of a number of other great African-American heroes including:  Storm, of X-Men fame (1975), War Machine (1979), Bishop (1991), and Blade (1998).  Nevertheless, seemingly forgotten heroes always have a way of being reborn, the lure of nostalgia is an undeniable power.  Never has the time been more right for Luke Cage to re-emerge, and in doing so Netflix has positioned him to be the hero for the new millennium.


Netflix’s Luke Cage at its core is an origin story played out in a series of flashbacks during the first four episodes.  The entire show is an African-American history lesson, paying homage to the genre that conceived the character and exploring many of the same themes:  race, sexuality and masculinity, but in a more nuanced and diverse way, while escaping many of the negative stereotypes associated with the films of the past.  While Cage and Shaft share many qualities:  both feature African-American protagonists, both are set to bad-ass musical scores, there are some glaring differences.  Namely, how the writers of the series address African-American machismo.  Cage is no longer a stereotypical, jive-talking, rage-filled, punch your way out of trouble hero.  Instead, he’s more complex, garnering strength and respect through stoicism and charisma, portrayed perfectly by actor Mike Colter.  He’s gone from being a caricature, to being a fully flushed out character.  We see a different kind of black community portrayed in the show also.  Cage, is a reluctant hero, forced to defend and protect his community against his adversaries, who have differing values and modus operandi on ways to make their community better.  Despite not being in the title role, the many women of Cage are just as powerful and strongalbeit not gifted with superpowersspecifically, Simone Cook, who plays Detective Misty Knight, shines throughout the series.  Likewise, no gritty, impecunious backdrops here, Cage’s community, set in New York’s, historic Harlem neighborhood is experiencing a modern day renaissance, due to the gentrification phenomenon.  That’s not to say many of the issues that plague African-American communities, such as:  racial profiling, black anti-intellectualism, police brutality, mass incarceration, and a corrupt justice system, aren’t there—they are, it’s just that Cage brings awareness of the issues to the forefront, yet without offering any solutions to the problems.  Reality is, even a superhero, a man who’s as physically and mentally gifted as Cage, can’t save the day and fix complex and pressing issues alone.


Gone too are days of the original outfit: two gaudy, silver bracelets, complete with an upside-down tiara, a low-cut silky, yellow shirt with a butterfly collar, with matching boots, tight blue pants, and a big chained belt.  “Sweet Christmas!”  Like every superhero, Cage’s costume had to be updated to reflect a more contemporary look, complete with jeans, a simple t-shirt, and a sweatshirt.  If you were hoping to see the archetypal getup, you’re in luck because if you look closely in the fourth episode, entitled “Step In The Arena”, Cage after a daring escape, dons the storied attire—albeit briefly.  Upon catching a glimpse of himself in the makeshift garb, Cage exclaims, “I look like a damn fool”, before quickly changing into his newer vogue.  Not all heroes wear capes, some wear hoodies.

Despite its strong cast, led by Colter, Netflix’s Cage has two main problems—one that’s increasingly frustrating over the entire series, and the other that may be purposeful in its intent.  First off, the series struggles with pacing—it’s an incredibly slow show.  Each episode is an hour long, and at times you feel as if you’ve been watching it for days.  Cage has the luxury of retelling an origin story over thirteen episodes, while the MCU movie franchise has to do it in under an hour.  Similarly, as strong as the show is from the onset, the story arcs, falter in the second half of the series, leaving audiences shaking their heads.  However these things can be easily resolved, if and when it’s renewed for a second season.  The later, is one that has plagued the character since his earliest creation:  his adversaries.  Cage’s villains have always been D-List at best, two-bit gangster types—merely mortals.  Despite strong performances by Mahershala Ali who plays Cottonmouth, and Shades, played by Theo Rossi, even they know they’re woefully outmatched against the superhero.  A powerful and storied character such as Cage, has always been deserving of an equally powerful foe—and maybe that’s the point—he already has some.  While Iron Man and the Avengers are battling otherworldly threats to save humanity against aliens and demigods hell-bent on conquering and destroying our world, Cage battles more exigent, societal threats, like racism and gun violence which have been, and continue to remain, something our world needs saving from.

RIP Mike the Tiger; and Other Mascot Obituaries

RIP Mike the Tiger; and Other Mascot Obituaries


Hello, Friends. With news breaking earlier this week that Louisiana State University’s own beloved Mike the Tiger passed earlier this week, we at Kentucky Sports Radio felt and respected the sadness around the SEC whenever a majestic creature like Mike passes.

Unfortunately, Mike wasn’t the only NCAA Mascot who left us this past week. It’s truly been a hard week for mascots, and we’d like to pay the same respects to Mike’s NCAA brethren as was paid to him throughout the week in a memorial post to the other NCAA mascots who left us this week, the week of October 7-14.



Revered Tennessee Volunteers representative Smokey, the bluetick coonhound who has so faithfully represented the university for many years, was struck by a passing garbage truck on Tuesday despite repeated warnings to return to the porch. He was a good boy. A good, good boy.
Mr. C
Distinguished British Royal Navy officer Mr. C passed as a result of injuries from the sinking of his ship on Monday. Mr. C, who made his fortune in shipping and once commandeered a formidable task force of vessels, had reportedly been living inside a meager lifestyle inside a fiberglass pirate ship at the Kids & Karts miniature golf course off I-24. As unspoken maritime law dictates, the Commodore went down with his ship, whereupon he struck his head on a cement T-rex and could not be revived.
riar Dom
Reclusive hermit and Providence College icon Friar Dom was beaten to death by a terrified mob Wednesday evening while on a walk in the woods on the outskirts of the city despite frantic hand motions that he meant no harm. Authorities are still investigating the incident, which they are calling a result of “natural human fear.”
Purdue Pete
Purdue University employee Purdue Peter, 43, died as a result of a malfunctioning boiler explosion Thursday morning. The longtime university maintenance worker was making standard repairs when his head was caught between two closely placed beams, making it impossible for him to escape. Donations may be made to the Cerebral Gigantism Research Society of West Lafayette.
Unofficial Stanford University mascot The Tree was bulldozed early Monday morning as part of developments for the Poplar Branch Crossings Shopping Center. It is survived by a Panda Express.
James Edward WuShock, 29, was harvested on Tuesday afternoon in preparation of Wichita State University’s upcoming Parents’ Weekend Brunch Pastry Buffet. Those wishing to pay their respects can do so between the bagels and the donuts, about halfway down. If you reach the danishes you’ve gone too far. As per his family’s wishes, he will be toasted.
Sammy the Slug
University of California Santa Cruz representative and anthropomorphic banana slug Samuel “Sammy” the Slug was found dried up behind the Chemistry Building early Wednesday morning. He is expected to be replaced as soon as the university can locate another banana slug. According to a UCSB press release, Sammy “served the university well. He will be missed and left in the yard.”

PopSugar Reading Challenge: Part Three

PopSugar Reading Challenge: Part Three


The last half of the 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge is painful.  I’ve picked all of the low hanging fruit.  Now, I’m working my way through the more difficult requirements.  It’s like running uphill. Fulfilling the 600 page requirement took a week of my life, but it all doesn’t count if I don’t put it on the internet.  So, just to make it official, here is the third installment of my 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge.  

A Book You Haven’t Read Since High School: To Kill a Mockingbird-5 out of 5 🍗🍗🍗🍗🍗

20161010_192047Every year, with my students, I read To Kill a Mockingbird and every year, I fall more in love with the novel.  I look forward to Burris Ewell calling Miss Caroline a “snot-nosed slut of teacher.” I look forward to the grotesque description of Mrs. Dubose’s spittle.   I find new things each year.   I especially love the moment when kids figure out that Scout is a girl.  It truly is the gift that keeps giving.




A Book That’s Under 150 Pages: Best State Ever – 4 out of 5 👙👙👙👙

20161008_112433Fun Fact: I accidentally requested the large print version of this text and just assumed that is is under 150 pages.  Well, it’s not. But it was a quick read so I’m going to make it count.  Best State Ever is Dave Berry’s attempt to rehab America’s perception of Florida.  He describes Florida as the place where all the “dumb rats” of America get stuck in the peninsula. It’s a fun read, but he does get in some low blows for Kentucky, but luckily Illinois gets the most of his ire.



A Book That’s Becoming A Movie This Year – The Light Between Oceans – 4 out of 5 👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼👶🏼

20161010_192004I’m afraid to watch the film adaptation of this movie because I liked it so much.  The story follows Tom and Isabel as they live on a remote island on the tip of Australia.  Isabel wants a child desperately and miraculously one washes up on shore.  Tom and Isabel have to decide what to do with their “gift from God.” Hopefully, I’ll get to see the movie soon.  I hear the sweaters and tights are amazing, what more could you want?  



A Book Recommended By Someone You Just Met The Girls – 2 out of ✌️✌️

20161010_192103-3I didn’t technically meet this person, but a stranger did recommend this book to me. Reese Witherspoon has a book club and she stays instagramming pictures of her latest read.  Since I liked Wild, I figured Witherspoon could be trusted. In reality, however, I’m a little disappointed.  The Girls is about Evie, a teenager in the 1960s who joins a cult (sortof.)  I’m still unsure if I didn’t like the book or I didn’t like Evie.  Odds are, this book will be made into a movie and I will have an visual depiction to help me decide.


A Self-Improvement Book – The Energy Bus – 3 out of 5 🚌🚌🚌

20161008_112450Self-improvement books can be cheesy.  The Energy Bus was as cheesy as a big yellow school bus is yellow but, that doesn’t make it unreadable.  The book is helpful identifying ways to channel your positive energy and rid your life of “energy vampires.” It is a nice reminder of how negative thinking can slow you down.  




A Book that’s More Than 600 pages – Gone with the Wind – 5 out of 5 👗👗👗👗👗

20161008_112400Nobody warned me.  I’m so upset.  I read hundreds and hundreds of pages waiting for Scarlett to have something nice happen to her. Poor girl, all she got was a bunch of kiddos and an ambiguous ending.  I’m so salty.  

Here’s a thought: HBO needs to turn the book into a limited series so that they can spends tons of money on elaborate costumes.  I’m sure once Baz Luhrmann is done with The Get Down, he would be the perfect fit as director.



A Book Written By A Comedian – Grunt – 4 out of 5 😷😷😷😷

20161010_192103-2I know Mary Roach isn’t technically a comedian, but her writing makes me laugh more than anyone.  I love her perspective.   I just imagine that her day-to-day job is going on quirky field trips for whimsical writing experiences.  She is living the dream.  For example, in Grunt she investigates the science of humans at war.  She hangs out with maggots, smells terrible smells and talks A LOT about diarrhea.  Once again, Mary Roach is living the feces-smelling dream.




A Book From The Library Dispatches from Pluto – 4 out of 5 🍗🍗🍗🍗

20161008_112154Richard Grant moved from his tiny apartment in New York City to live in the Mississippi Delta.  In Dispatches from Pluto, he helps describe the disconnect between two cultures. I wish I could assign the chapter about the education system in Mississippi as required reading to everyone.  America has broken pieces and we first have to stop ignoring them before we can fix them.   I appreciate that Grant mires himself in a different culture to help explain and understand the differences. Dispatches from Pluto covers distressing content, but because its goal is to connect, it doesn’t feel so soul-crushingly insurmountable. 



A Book About A Road Trip Utopia Drive – 3 out of 5 🚗🚗🚗


For this book, Erik Reece hopped into his pick-up truck and visited ten different attempts at “Utopian communities.”  Each different community has its own perspective on what it means to live in the perfect place.  Since I had Reece as a professor, there were moments during the reading where I felt like I needed to take notes on the material.  The book made me want to write an essay, just so I could incorporate this quote in the perfect introductory paragraph, “Americans live in a world we are too ready to accept.   We acquiesce too easily to the inevitability of the way things are.” Goodness, that kind of literary fire is going to melt some poor freshman’s mind.



A Romance Set In The Future – First Comes Love – 2 out of 5 💜💜

20161008_112249-2This requirement is an evil, evil joke from the masterminds at the Popsugar reading challenge headquarters.  I can’t think of any romance stories that are set in the future.  Online, I did see some suggestions for the Divergent series, but I’m just going to assume that I’m better than that.

I have noticed a lot of ads for this book.  First Comes Love is about a family who is reeling from a distant tragedy.  Sisters, Josie and Meredith are extremely different and can never see eye-to-eye.  I kept waiting for the romance part of the story to kick in, but in the future, I’ll just steer clear of Emily Giffin’s writing.


Part Two 

Part One

29 books down, 11 to go!

Westworld: “Chestnut” Review

Westworld: “Chestnut” Review


I rarely enjoy Presidential Debates, but Sunday night’s debate was great for one reason…it caused HBO to release episode two of Westworld a day early!  Coming off a great premiere, Westworld continued to peel back some layers of what is quickly becoming a complex and multifaceted story.  Episode two, “Chestnut” shifts focus from the primary leads in the first episode to a Maeve (Thandie Newton) and two new character, William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes).  In addition to the new focus on these characters, episode two also furthers the journey of Ed Harris’ Man in Black as he looks to go unlock the secrets of Westworld while the programming team behind the fantasy world continues looking into the glitch from episode one.

Though “Chestnut” was a little toned down from the premiere it still packed a solid punch.  The best part of the episode was the Man in Black’s hunt through Westworld for the entrance to “the maze”.  We don’t have any idea what the maze is but it’s obviously a vital part to solving the mysteries behind Westworld and I’m looking forward to finding out more.  The Man in Black’s method for finding out about the maze was pretty good too.  After shooting most of Lawerance’s (his captive) cousins, the Man in Black gets to the heart of finding out who people are, by getting them down to their most basic emotion.  Through this method he uncovers the location of the maze and sets off to find it.

Finding out who someone is was a prominent theme in “Chestnut”.  Whereas the primary robot in episode one was Delores, episode two focused more on Maeve, the robot woman who runs the prostitution business out of the saloon.  Throughout the episode Maeve experiences several memories, or leftover information from previous iterations, much like Delores did.  The programming techs are concerned that these memories are interfering with her ability to function properly, which prompts a recall.  During her repair session, though, she comes out of sleep mode and we see her wonder around the Westworld complex outside of the fantasy world.  During this she comes across a room where many of the robot units are being worked on and fixed.  If this is a memory she retains then that would be two robots, her and Delores, which show signs of sentience and self-awareness.


Speaking of Delores, her private meetings with the lead programmer, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright), indicate that there is probably some tinkering going on at the programming level.  This interaction along with Dr. Ford’s loner romps through Sugartown lend to the idea that the new issues with the robots may not be merely glitches, but part of a different plan altogether.  Late in the episode the smarmy story creator Lee Sizemore pitches a new story idea to Ford and other Westworld executives.  The story is complete with mystery, acts of heroism, and self-cannibalism but is ultimately rejected by Ford.  His reason was that the story didn’t address what the visitors were most looking for, and that it in fact was more indicative of the type of person Sizemore was.  There was a pretty clear schism in the company in episode one, but now the battle lines are looking more clear.

While all of the intrigue plays out in and around the fantasy world, the two newcomers provide another perception at how the park works.  Last week we got a high level overview of what Westworld was and how visitors participated in it.  This week viewers are able to experience through the lens of first time visitor William.  You get to see everything from how to enter the park to what it’s like the first you go from the real world to being in a saloon where it’s ok for you to just stab somebody in the hand if they’re annoying you.  There is a definite assimilation curve for first time visitors that wasn’t evident in the first episode, but is more prevalent through William’s experience.  When they first view the western landscape from the train, Logan explains to William that Westworld is the place where you discover “who you really are.”


Overall “Chestnut” kept the momentum going from the premiere.  Despite not having a signature moment like the shootout in the first episode, Westworld continues to develop multiple intriguing plotlines without falling into a convoluted mess.  At least so far.


One Month Away From Funkhouser’s Extra Life Charity Gaming Marathons to Support Kentucky Children’s Hospital

One Month Away From Funkhouser’s Extra Life Charity Gaming Marathons to Support Kentucky Children’s Hospital


We’re one month away from Funkhouser’s 2016 Extra Life Gaming Marathons to raise money for Kentucky Children’s Hospital.  Our event in 2015 raised $2,000 for KCH, and in 2016 we are shooting for a goal of $3,000!  And we can’t raise that money without your help.

Click Here to Donate

Our 2016 Gaming Marathons will take place over two days, spanning 12 hours over those two days:

Saturday, November 12 – Richmond, KY – Cafe Meeples – 10am-10pm (Link)
Sunday, November 13 – Lexington, KY – Legendary Games – 11am-10pm (Link)

We’ve got some fun things planned so far for the two days of events.  On Saturday, we will have the UK/Tennessee game on the big screen at Cafe Meeples, so you can come watch the Cats continue their quest for a bowl bid, while rolling dice and playing games.  We will also have a series of games with us that have been (or should have been) featured on popular gaming podcast “Flip The Table”.  The Flip The Table podcast looks at “the other side” of board games, which usually includes terrible games with popular movie, tv or product branding. These games include The McDonald’s Game, Breaker 19: The CB Trucker Game, and Star Trek: The VCR Game.


The McDonald’s Game, Breaker 19 and others will be auctioned off (along with some KSR gear) after the event, as well, to help raise our donation total for Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

Extra Life started in 2008 as a way to honor a young lady named Victoria Enmon, who was battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  A gaming community was inspired by her story, and after she passed, created a 24-hour gaming marathon to raise money for Enmon’s hospital who helped her fight. Seven years later, Extra Life raised 8.3 Million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 2015 alone, and this year we’re going to do our part to help again.

If you would like to help us in our efforts to raise money for Kentucky Children’s Hospital through this fun event, there are a few ways you can do so:

  • Click Here to go to our donation page and make a donation to the Funkhouser KSR Team and Kentucky Children’s Hospital.  Any donation would be greatly appreciated.
  • If you would like to reach out to your friends to donate and help raise money on your own, you can Join Our Team and any money you raise will be added to the Funkhouser team total.
  • Make a donation ($5 minimum) at the Extra Life Event on November 12 at Cafe Meeples in Richmond -or- November 13 at Legendary Games Lexington and come play with us.  You can stay the full 12 hours if you want, or you can drop-in and drop-out over the course of the day if you would like.

NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 25:  The Wildcat, mascot for the Kentucky Wildcats, performs during the east regional semifinal of the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Prudential Center on March 25, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Email Responses to UK’s Call for a New Wildcat Mascot


From: Harvey, Brad
Re: Mascot Auditions  
To whom it may concern,I’d like to be considered in your current search for a new Wildcat mascot. I have previous experience as the mascot for my high school team in Western Kentucky and have been active in both cheerleading and gymnastics for over eight years. I’d be happy to submit more credentials if requested. Thanks for your time. Sincerely, Brad Harvey.


From: Larson, Kyle
Re: Mascot
Hello! I’m Kyle and I’d like to be UK’s new Wildcat mascot. I think I bring quite a bit to the table. I currently own an American flag tuxedo with tails and matching top hat, several sequined vests of varying color, overalls, oversized Zubaz pants and all of my headbands are two feet in diameter. I’d be happy to provide photos on request. Thanks.


From: Nardin, Gerry
Re: New Wildcat
Hello, my name is Gerry , I’m 48 years old and I’m interested in auditioning to be your next Wildcat mascot. Also, I was wondering if, during away games, sometimes the men and women cheerleaders have to change clothes together. I know this would be a problem for some people but I assure you I do not want to make waves or cause trouble in case there are not two changing rooms. I would understand the situation and be okay with it. Attached you will find my application and I hope to hear from you.


From: Borden, Helen
Re: Kitty Mascot
I saw you are looking for a new mascot to represent your school and would like to know when I can bring my cat Jingles by to meet you. He is a silly cat! Look at him! He’s such a big silly boy! What a good kitty! Who likes to snuggle? Jingles, that’s who! Jingles likes to snuggle. Please let me know the exact time you’d like me to bring him by because I have to give him a tranquilizer pill exactly two hours before we get in the car. Thanks.


From: Godwin, Steven
Re: Your New Mascot
I noticed on KSR today that you are seeking a new mascot. Look no further! For the past two years I have lived almost my full life as a cat. I have a custom costume which I wear around my house and sleep in and, although the bank where I work will not permit me to be a cat during my work hours, I think you will find that I have all the qualities you seek. I currently weigh in excess of 270 pounds so climbing stairs or pushups may be problematic but I’m working on it. Looking forward to meeting you.


From: backwardshatcat@netmail
Re: Better Than Scratch
Hello, I’m writing today about auditions for your Wildcat mascot. The Wildcat has always been a special figure to the fans for years. You know who I hate? Scratch. He’s the worst, right? So lame. Scratch is just terrible. But you know what? Whoever that guy is in side the Scratch costume is really good at being a mascot. He dances the best and he jumps and he gets people really excited. I bet he’d make a great Wildcat mascot. He’d probably be even better at being the Wildcat than he already is as Scratch. If you want let me know and I’ll tell him to stop by and talk to you. He’s probably a super cool guy too. Let me know what you think and I’ll call him. Thanks.

Amazon Reviews For The Girl On The Train

Amazon Reviews For The Girl On The Train


The Girl on the Train comes out in theatres this Thursday.  There’s not much that I can reveal about the plot of the novel without giving away spoilers.  The book follows one woman who is fascinated by a family that she sees on her daily commute. (Spoiler alert, she rides a train.) I enjoyed the book for what it is, a thriller with many interconnected pieces.  Amazon reviewers, however, felt a little differently.  Below, you will find some of the problems that thousands of Amazon reviewers had with the book.  Some of the criticisms are more valid than others, but at least they can help you decide if you want to spend your money on a movie ticket.

Bringing the facts

Many reviewers turned to science and statistics to make their case as to why the book was a piece of “hot garbage.” Although many of their numbers might not check out, they feel strongly about their claims.

“This book was such a disappointment. 80% of the book was a page turner written by a gifted writer.” – Janice Heath

“According to my Kindle I managed 32% before I gave up” – Amazon Customer

The main narrator, Rachel, is the main narrator through approximately 80% of the book and her character is the worst. She’s an overweight, depressed, jobless, alcoholic who manages to say “I’m sorry” about every 3 minutes.” -Slopeside1

“I hated the book. How much?… I read about 45%” – David Smith

The Go-to Gone Girl Comparison

What I loved most about reading all 2,792 reviews (and sadly I read all 2,792 reviews) was how the Amazon book critic community is torn between debating whether Gone Girl is reputable or a turd sandwich. Seeing the customers waffle between their two strong opinions, makes me proud to be an American.

“When it began to sound like Gone Girl, I quit.”– Lynn Kirk Hunter

“I thought Gone Girl was highly over-rated, but it’s a work of literary genius compared to Girl on Train!”  – Mara Freeman

“This book desperately wants to be Gone Girl, and it ends up being nothing much at all.” – Desertrat

“Gone Girl was quality literature.” – CS

“How anyone can say that this is the next “Gone Girl” is delusional.”  – Joe G

“Worst book I have read since gone girl” – Wally Wortendyke

“I greatly enjoyed “Gone Girl” but this book pales in comparison.” – VALERIE H.

“The book felt so amateurish that I really question what has happened to the reading public that books like this and Gone Girl, another poorly written and over-hyped mess, are so popular.” – S. Carpenter

Confused Comparisons

Some of the reviews take a weird turn. Reviewers were talking about flimsy infants and famous TV shows. Sometimes the criticisms are more exciting to read than the actual book.

“I took you to read on my last long journey, tried reading but everytime, the train stalled.” – Nagi

“I would gladly give someone rosary beads before recommedning this nonsense.” – Amazon Customer

“Rachel was a weak baby” –Amazon Customer

“It feels like warching an episode of Murder she wrote after sitting through a year of soap operas” – Amazon Customer

It was like reading one of those CSI dramas on TV” – Amazon Customer

Things Readers Would Rather Do:

The best way to write a sick burn about how terrible a book was is to explain all the things you would “rather do.” This lets the reader know that you are a busy, productive person who wouldn’t spend a minute of their time wasting it on some stupid, poorly-crafted novel. You really make good use of your time when you spend it writing Amazon reviews.

“I’d rather read a cereal box.” – Amazon Customer

“I’d rather read a book from the viewpoint of a zombie” – Amazon Customer


As for me, I’d rather watch the movie than read any more reviews.

Funkhouser Reviews: “Westworld”

Funkhouser Reviews: “Westworld”


“Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?”  This question is repeated a couple of times and serves as the foundation for the first episode of HBO’s newest show, Westworld.  You’ve probably seen or heard about the premiere through it’s nearly-obnoxious advertising and hype build-up, but the premiere finally arrived this past Sunday and it definitely delivered.  There are a lot of layers to Westworld, which is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name written and directed by Michael Crichton (author of Jurassic Park), so let’s tackle this step by step.

What is Westworld?

The quick answer: HBO’s attempt to create a new Game of Thrones for when GoT ends in a couple years.  That’s an overly simplistic answer, but given the huge budget, ensemble cast, and timing it’s probably a fair answer.  Network hopes notwithstanding, Westworld is a lot of things.  The basic premise is that Westworld is a park.  People pay a lot of money to go to the Old West town Sweetwater, which is inhabited by incredibly lifelike robots.  Guests are able to purchase experiences which allow them to actually live out Old West fantasies.  Imagine those saloon-style photos you take when you’re in Gatlinburg and it’s essentially that times 1000.  The town is equipped with shootouts, saloons, bandits, and all the essential tropes of the Old West.

The show is centered around the robots, particularly Delores (Evan Rachel Wood) and Teddy (James Marsden), and the people who run Westworld.  The robots (called “hosts”) are programmed to perform specific roles and ensure the guests get the experience they paid for.  In this first episode certain hosts start deviating from the script and the programmers can’t quite figure out what is going on.  Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), a high ranking official for Westworld, accurately sums up the issue in this way: “The hosts are supposed to stay within their loops, stick to their scripts, with minor improvisations.  These are not minor improvisations, this is a f—–g s–t storm.”  Reality, for the robots, programmers, and even the guests, is now being questioned.


Deadwood meets Battlestar Galactica

With a hint of Jurassic Park.  The obvious connections are mostly aesthetic.  The fantasy town, Sweetwater, is like every fantasy town you’ve seen from Deadwood to any John Wayne movie.  Then you throw in the robots and the question of robot sentience which is just like Battlestar Galactica.  Top that off with an adventure park where the attractions start to go off script and the fact that Crichton wrote the original Westworld almost twenty years before he wrote Jurassic Park and you can see the parallels.  Even though there’s only been one episode the seeds of familiar themes from those other titles started to sprout ever so slightly.  There’s the question of order and chaos in the nature of controlling the robots versus them being autonomous.  Robot sentience and at what point, if any, does a robot become human are other themes the show appears poised to tackle.  There are a lot of philosophical tangents Westworld can take and I’m curious to see which ones they follow.

Of course it’s violent

It’s HBO, it’s a Sci-Fi/Western/Thriller mash-up, it’s the heir apparent to GoT, so yes there is a lot of gratuitous violence.  There is also some sex, but not as much through one episode as you might expect.  In other words, it has all the makings of a hit HBO show!  The pacing of the show was done really well, especially for an episode spanning 68 minutes.  The show jumps between Sweetwater and the real world, intermittently giving us a gun fight here and there.  The mix between action and build up makes the episode move along smoothly.  The climactic shootout between the townsfolk and the the head bandit’s gang (scored with a really cool instrumental of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black”) gives a glimpse at the action sequences this show is capable of.

Did I mention J.J. Abrams is an executive producer?

As far as I am concerned anything with Abrams (Lost, Star Trek, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) attached to it gets a shot from me.  Abrams aside, this cast and crew for Westworld  is great.  Another executive producer, and director of the first two episodes, is Jonathan Nolan (writer: The Dark KnightInterstellar).  The music for the show is done by Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones, Iron Man), and his fingerprints were all over the first episode with some great musical moments.  Joining this top notch crew is an ensemble cast which features Wood and Marsden alongside Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris (who needs to play psychopaths all the time), Jeffrey Wright, and Luke Hemsworth (because there are as many Hemsworths as Plumlees apparently).  Though it’s only been one episode the casting seems spot on.


Should you watch it?

Absolutely.  Will it become the next GoT?  I doubt it, but that’s an awfully high bar to set.  Westworld has all the makings of a great show and seems like it could easily put together a solid run.  It combines intrigue and mystery with the fun aspects of the western and sci-fi genres.  It has some pretty obvious parallels to other titles, but the unique way it draws these aspects together lends an air of originality.  This is a pleasant surprise, especially for something which is a reboot.  If the first episode is any indication, Westworld should be a fun ride.



2016 National Toy Hall of Fame Nominees Ranked by KSR

2016 National Toy Hall of Fame Nominees Ranked by KSR


Every Year in September, The Strong National Museum of Play releases its 12 finalists for the National Toy Hall of Fame.  Since 1998, the The Strong’s National Toy Hall of Fame “recognizes toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed popularity over a sustained period.”  Selections to the hall are made on the advice of “historians, educators, and other individuals who exemplify learning, creativity and discovery through their lives and careers.”  I think that last part should read, “adults who still plays with toys,” which covers most of us here at Funkhouser.

These “historians” have inducted 59 toys to the Hall of fame since 1998, including the Atari 2600, Crayola Crayons, Lincoln Logs, LEGO, Mr. Potato Head, Play-Doh, roller skates, and most recently in 2015, Puppet, Super Soaker & Twister.  Also, three times in the history of The Hall, an item that wasn’t a “finalist” earned admittance into the Hall of Fame: Cardboard Box (2005), Blanket (2011), and Stick (2008).

Recently, The Strong put out the list of 12 finalists for induction into the Hall of Fame in 2014: Bubble Wrap, Care Bears, Clue, Coloring Book, Dungeons and Dragons, Fisher-Price Little People, Nerf, Pinball, Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots, Swing, Transformers, Uno.  The expert committee will help select just “two or three” of the 12 toys to enter the hall on the following criteria:

  • Icon-status: The toy is widely recognized, respected, and remembered
  • Longevity: The toy is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over multiple generations
  • Discovery: The toy fosters learning, creativity, or discovery through play
  • Innovation: The toy profoundly changed play or toy design. A toy may be inducted on the basis of this criterion without necessarily having met all of the first three.

While the newest inductees won’t be added to the hall until November 10th, we at Funkhouser thought we’d go ahead and make our vote for who we thought should get in.  Our “expert committee” included the entire Funkhouser staff along with Drew Franklin, Shannon The Dude, Tyler Thompson, Maria and Ryan Lemond.  Votes were tabulated on a 3-2-1 points system to find our definitive inductees.

#12 Care Bears (0 Points)


It can be definitively be said that no one involved in our panel of experts cares about the Care Bears, receiving nary a single vote from our panel.  The Care Bears began as a greeting card line in the early 1980s, but became a phenomenon in the mid-1980s.  The bears (brand) went on to have success in TV, Movies, Games and literally everything you could possibly license.  However, in the Funkhouser Toy Rankings of 2016, the Care Bears find little to no success… that includes you Share Bear!

#10 Fisher-Price Little People (1 Point – Tie)


Name one kid you knew growing up that didn’t have this Fisher-Price Little People farm in their house.  Fisher-Price started the Little People in 1959 with the Safety School Bus.  Originally made of wood, then later plastic, these toys have been a staple in homes around the country, and have covered schools, airports, zoos and the farm above.  This has a decent shot to get in the Hall of Fame (after also having been a finalist seven times since 2003), but it doesn’t make the Funkhouser Hall of Fame.  You’ll get your year sometime, Little People.

#10 Dungeons and Dragons (1 Point – Tie)


D&D received just one third place vote in our poll, but the tabletop roleplaying game is having a bit of a resurgence in this decade.  Thanks to the world of YouTube and Podcasting, content creators have started their own D&D campaigns for others to listen to or watch.  HarmonQuest (Dan Harmon), Nerd Poker (Brian Posehn), Board with Life, Critical Role (Geek and Sundry), are all popular D&D programming online currently.  Many celebrities have a penchant for rolling the d20, especially Vin Diesel.  But in a modern age, especially in this poll, DM now has a different meaning, thanks to Twitter, and D&D takes a critical hit with a 10th place finish.

#9 Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots (2 Points)


Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots just celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2015.  In this game, two players control opposing robots, who box by using a pair of buttons.  The left controls the left hand, and the right button controls the right hand.  The goal is to punch your opponent’s robot so the head pops off its shoulders.  The mechanic isn’t perfect, as you could conceivably punch your opponent 30 times in the face, but they get one weird shot on you and your head pops off.  The ultimate button masher before video-games arrived on the scene.  You could argue that Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots inspired the movie Real Steel, a movie Matt & Shannon never saw because they couldn’t say the title to purchase their tickets.

#8 Bubble Wrap (3 Points – 1 First Place Vote)


Just the sight of the above image makes you go into some sort of nervous fit, either in a good or bad way.  Bubble Wrap falls under the category of unconventional toys, ones that weren’t necessarily meant to be toys, but oh how fun they were.  Any time someone got a package with bubble wrap, it was a fight to see who got to pop every single bubble, before a parent took it away out of sheer insanity.  Bubble Wrap was accidentally invented in 1957 by two guys trying to make wallpaper.  No matter what age you are, you know when you get Bubble Wrap in the mail, you still have to pop at least one.  It’s impossible not to.

#6 Coloring Book (5 Points – 1 First Place Vote – Tie)


Talk about a toy that has had a resurgence.  Coloring Books are one of the hottest things going right now at book stores.  Seriously.  The “Adult Coloring Book” craze swept the nation last year with book and craft stores having to dedicate whole sections to the books and color pencils.  It is marketed right now as a way to relax by coloring intricate designs.  To be fair, there are also Adult Coloring Books for Sherlock, Doctor Who and Fill Bill, a Bill Murray coloring book.  When we were kids, they were a good way to get us to be quiet in the back seat, and cover the fridge with things we didn’t draw, but colored (mostly) within the lines.

#6 Pinball (5 Points – 1 First Place Vote – Tie)


Pinball dates back to the 18th-century as a parlor table game.  Over time however, pinball has become a very fast pace, whizzing sound and light show, along with a game of skill.  In the last 60 years, pinball has not only been an arcade game, it has been a unique way for brands to put their characters and programs in a unique arcade experience.  Pinball machines are finding their way back into bars and restaurants thanks to the nostalgic feel of the arcade machines, including 16-bit, an arcade bar in Cincinnati, OH which has a bank of pinball machines in the back of the bar.  Pinball has even found mobile popularity, with Zen Pinball, brands are able to create their own tables for properties such as Marvel, South Park and more.

#5 Transformers (6 Points – 2 First Place Votes)


One would say that Transformers are ‘More Than Meets The Eye’.  The toys debuted in the 1980s as robots that could change their shape into other objects.  As many a toy property in the 80s, Transformers were greeted with a back-story which was supported by cartoons, movies, video games, cereals, you name it.  The Autobots rolled out to be one of the most popular toys of their decade, and as almost everything today, were rebooted with a blockbuster movie franchise, with another movie slated to appear next year.

#4 Swing (7 Points – 1 First Place Vote)


(The above image is clearly after some kid has jumped off said swing).  The swing has been around for quite some time.  According to the Toy Hall of Fame announcement: “Ancient cave drawings in Europe, carved figures from Crete, and ceramic vases from Greece depict humans on swings.” So there.  Swings take a certain amount of coordination which is perfect for children who are around the right age to be on a swing set.  Pumping your legs so you can get as high in the air as possible, so high that the chains buckle a little bit and jerk you back to earth.  However, when you’re an adult, you have the coordination to make a swing work, you just have to make sure you don’t jam you legs into the ground on each pass of the downswing.

#3 Uno (8 Points – 1 First Place Vote)


Uno hit the scene in 1971 as a game where players try to get every card out of their hand before the other players are able to do so. Play cards to the stack that either match the number or color to rid cards from your hand.  The game also saw itself as a way to make children angry at one another, as a game that taught the “Take That” mechanic of board and card games.  How many times have you played UNO when the same person hit you with four “Draw Four” cards in a row. Also, the key component to the game was that when you were down to one card, you had to say UNO, and if someone said it before you could, you had to draw five cards. Sometimes you can’t get UNO out fast enough before someone jumps all over you.  Despite all the bickering this game causes, it is an easy game to learn and teach to kids, and a game they will want to play over and over again.  Congrats to UNO, for making it into the Funkhouser Toy Hall of Fame.

#2 Clue (10 Points – 1 First Place Vote)


According to the Toy Hall of Fame, a retired solicitor’s clerk developed Clue during World War II, patenting it under the name ‘Cluedo’ in 1947.  In Europe, the game still goes by the name Cluedo.  In Clue, players are trying to deduce who murdered Mr. Boddy, based on three cards (person, location, weapon) that are secretly placed in an envelope in the middle of the board. Players must then traverse the mansion to make accusations on who they think did it. If someone is holding a card of something or someone they accused, that person can secretly show the accuser that card, and they’re one step closer to solving the mystery.  Clue is an outstanding game of deduction and conjecture, and spawned a cult-classic movie featuring a fantastic cast. One note, Mrs. White was recently replaced in 2016 by the games first character of color (skin) by Dr. Orchid.  So goodbye to you Mrs. White, but hello to Clue in the Funkhouser Toy Hall of Fame

#1 Nerf (12 Points – 2 First Place Votes)


Nerf was produced in the 1960s as “The World’s First Indoor Ball”. Over time, the Nerf ball was transformed into indoor balls for almost every sport. There are many a kid who will be in Commonwealth Stadium parking lot this Saturday tossing around a Nerf football I’m sure.  With the Nerf basketball goals, kids recreated their favorite UK Basketball moments, including Tayshaun Prince three pointers from down the hall three rooms away.  The Nerf brand in 2016 is overwhelmed with the nerf blasters, which shoot foam darts at one another, but at the heart of Nerf, which I think this panel grasped on to, are the Nerf Footballs, Basketballs and sports toys that made us relive some of our favorite moments by our favorite athletes.  Oh, and don’t forget about the Nerf Vortex Football.  Jared Lorenzen isn’t the only person who can throw 70 yards from one knee once you get that into a kid’s hands. I mean, John Elway threw it out of the stadium. For all of those reasons, Nerf is the top choice by KSR for the 2016 Toy Hall of Fame!

What would your vote be of these 12 to be named to the National Toy Hall of Fame?

Three Grievances with the Entertainment Industry I Must Get Off My Chest

My job is sports.  When I’m not doing my job, it’s nice to get away by consuming pop culture that is not sports.  Lately, I’ve been disappointed more times than not.


I understand that it’s difficult to discover original ideas.  Almost everything has already been done in some form or fashion.  We should be able to take something that’s been done before, and creatively tweak it to make something new.  However, it’s starting to get out of hand.

First, it was the sequel 10-20 years after the fact.  Dumb and Dumber, Zoolander and Anchorman were all fine as is, they didn’t need another worse version of the same story.  Those are bad, but they’re not the worst.

An American Werewolf in London was a fantastic horror/comedy, a one of a kind idea that gave people something they’d never seen before.  They’re remaking the movie and it will not be able to recapture that same feeling.  Top Gun is the most 80s movie EVER, yet they think it’ll work again?  Give me a break.  The same applies to WarGames.  And why do they think we need another Scarface?  Pacino was the perfect Miami drug lord.

Using member-berries is an uncreative way to make as much money as possible and I hate it.

Movies Adapted to TV

Instead of rebooting a movie, TV executives are taking it one step farther, two steps too far.  There are so many examples that I don’t know what is worse.  Limitless, Rush Hour, Lethal Weapon are probably the worst, but the most disgraceful is Mike Epps as a black Uncle Buck.  John Candy created magic with John Hughes in 1989.  ABC tried to shove the new series down our throats, but luckily nobody bit, and it’s already been canceled.

Executives may think that creating a new version will get parents to share the nostalgia with their children, but they’re wrong.  The best way to share that nostalgia is to watch the movie, not a cheap TV show.

Current Event Movies

Nothing is more despicable than creating a movie “based on true events” where they turn fact into fiction.  It’s not something that’s new, they’re just getting much, much lazier.

The best sports movies ever made are “based on a true story” — Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights, Hoosiers, Rudy, etc.  All are based on inspiring events, with some liberties taken, but they stick to the heart of the story, adding some drama for entertainment purposes.  That is acceptable and enjoyable.

In recent years, films are used to make complex events easier to digest for the masses.

Most remember where they were when President Obama announced Osama bin Laden had been killed.  Zero Dark Thirty helped explain the long process.  Most Americans were affected by the 2007 financial crisis, the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, but few knew exactly what happened and why.  The Big Short explained it simply and added humor to help us understand.  Edward Snowden has been a big name in the news, but I don’t think many will truly understand why until they see Joseph Gordon-Levitt portray him in the upcoming film Snowden.

Unfortunately, shit is getting out of hand.

Michael Bay, the same guy who created a series of robot exploding blockbusters, made a movie about Benghazi.  When 60 Minutes, the most reputable TV news magazine in the world, tried to deliver the truth behind the divisive story, Lara Logan was suspended for not properly vetting sources.  Do you think Michael Bay could figure out what happened in Benghazi when 60 Minutes couldn’t?  Give me a break.

Deep Water Horizon could potentially be worse, inserting Mark Wahlberg as a hero while his loving wife Kate Hudson prays for his safety on shore.  Instead of showing the world the terrible consequences of the worst manmade ecological disaster in this century, movie executives are romanticizing the oil spill.

These movies are egregiously selling falsehoods to the public, misinforming an audience that already can’t tell the difference between real and fake news on Facebook.

The Good News

At least there’s Netflix.  If entertainment executives want some good ideas, they should follow the footsteps of Netflix.

Instead of remaking E.T., Stranger Things captivated audiences with sci-fi nostalgia from the era to tell a new story.  It was the most talked about series of the summer because it invoked familiar emotions with a compelling story and interesting characters.

Maybe things will change, but for now all I can do is hope for the best and expect the worst…or stick to Netflix.

Game of Tents: A Song of Flasks and Pizza

Game of Tents: A Song of Flasks and Pizza


Wyverne of Paducah and Steve of Barbourville looked out among the vast expanse of rayon and nylon. Some day soon, thought Wyverne, all of this will be gone. Possibly Friday. 

“If we are to make it to Coliseum Liquors by nightfall,” said Wyverne, “we will need to embark now.”

“It won’t be easy,” said Steve, knowing that to reach Qdoba alone meant finding safe passage through the Knott Countians, who were mean, throwing things and calling travelers by cruel names. “We might find a warm meal at Bangkok House to soothe our loins.”

“If we make it that far,” responded Wyverne. The Houses of Richmond and Frankfort were united when Carla hooked up with Gary last night, which made them a powerful and formidable threat, and they didn’t want to meet the same fate as the party from Harrodsburg, who hadn’t been heard from in at least four hours.

“If today be our day to die, so be it,” said Steve, glinting into the setting sun. “Hand me those Fritos. We have a long forty minutes ahead of us.”


Sir Keith lay on the ground, screaming in agony as the viscous, scarlet blood left his knee, spilling onto the yellow curb. “I knew I couldn’t do it.” Too much drink had both emboldened his bravado and dulled his practicality, and as such he failed in his attempts to leap the hydrant.

“Come,” said Larry. “We must breech the courts, where Sascha Killeya-Jones waits with pizza and merriment. If we tarry it will be gone.”

But Sir Keith could go no further, the throbbing pain in his manhood growing from striking the crown of the hydrant in his ill-advised folly. “Go without me,” said Keith, his stomach filling with a dull ache. “I’ll meet you at the Coca-Cola Stage at dusk, where you can regale me with your tale,” he said. “Man, my junk hurts so bad. I await your return. Also, grab me a Sprite.”


Suddenly, as if the spectacle were from the sky itself, a gale of sound swept in from the roadways as Major Lazer blared from a vivid, vibrating yellow Pontiac Vibe pulling alongside the street. A figure stepped out of the automobile, her bright golden hair blinding in the dimming orange glow of the September sun.

She stepped up to the line of people awaiting tickets.

“I am known as Crystal Shothammerer, of House Chinoe Pub, of the old blood of O’Shea’s,” she said confidently. “And I swear to you on this day that those who suffer in the back of the line will rise to meet your new dawn.”

She fiercely ordered those who were in the middle of the line to swell as if an army to overtake those at the line’s head. Those further back in line joined together to take their new places in line, but then security told them they couldn’t move to the front of the line because these people had already been waiting there for a long time.

“Get out of here,” they told her. “Who are you, even?”

And with that she asked who would give her a cigarette, broke a heel and fell to the ground, her silhouette against a darkening sky, furiously screaming at everyone to stop looking at her.