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The saga drags on.

Even as Bill Zwecker and others were reporting that the producers of "Two and a Half Men" were eying Rob Lowe as a potential replacement for Charlie Sheen, Sheen himself was ramping up to respond to his dismissal.

Taking to his personal airwaves on Ustream, Sheen is promising to address the decision to release him from the show on his livestreaming video stream of consciousness.


The world is rapidly dissolving into two camps: Those who can't get enough #tigerblood and those who want Sheen to disappear. But with control of his own personal broadcast network, the proponent of #winning and troll bashing shows no signs of slowing down. Next installment promised for 9 p.m. Central time.

And do beware before watching, there is salty language in the Korner. Plan better.


Before you read anything else here, make a note to visit FloatingSheep, the brilliant blog that details all manner of entertaining - and even usable - stats via mapping. Hours of your life will be spent poring over fascinating facts and figures - like the fact that we like booze more than food.

OK, rampant oversimplification alert. But still, from their research, you can infer that it's easier to find a tap around these parts than an aisle full of pre-packaged food.

us_bars_groceries_100122.jpgAccording to one of their latest forays into forensics, the Midwest likes a good drink. And salty bar snacks aside, food may only be a secondary concern. Check out the map to the right for a look at just how much we like our pubs. The spaces marked in yellow show the spots in the U.S. where grocery stores outnumber bars. In red, the bars rule the day.

The bloggers, who use various data from the Census, Google and other sources, explain their findings:

We had expected that grocery stores would outnumber bars and for most parts of North America that is the case. But we could also clearly see the "beer belly of America" peeking out through the "t-shirt of data".

Starting in Illinois, the beer belly expands up into Wisconsin and first spreads westward through Iowa/Minnesota and then engulfs Nebraska, and the Dakotas before petering out (like a pair of love handles) in Wyoming and Montana.

This is probably no surprise to those of us who slog through long, cold, sloppy winters in our Midwest wonderland. Socialization is fine, but bars are warm and welcoming. And have beer. Grocery stores only offer the cold comfort of food - and not in the form of a delicious midnight tamales served right at the stool.

The rest of the country, clearly, has a skewed sense of the important things in life. Preferring to roll through the offerings of the local Shop-More than enjoy knocking the cold ones back with the mates. Illinois and Wisconsin, in particular, barely have groceries according to the explosion of red here.

As the folks at Chicagoist point out, though, it's hardly a surprise. Wisconsin is Wisconsin, after all. And Milwaukee is the country's drinkingest city. Chicago, um, weighs in at No. 6.

Bottoms up, friends and neighbors in the region. And don't forget to pick up some bread on the way home - if you can find a store.

WARNING: If you've never watched cable TV, there may be some offensive language - or beats - in this video.

Mel Gibson was chatting with WGN entertainment reporter Dean Richards the other day when he decided that "Edge of Darkness" was an abt description for the probing questioner he was made to endure.

So, after a bunch of "dudes" and a quick gulp of Starbucks, the actor known for flowing locks, epic productions and a whole raft of crazy in recent years snapped off an errant "asshole" on a hot mic. Hardly the first time it's happened to a reporter, but seldom do you get a dance mix from cursing a scribe.

But this is the YouTube age and nothing goes by for more than a day or two without being remixed. The Internet, as always, making our lives richer.

Or you can watch the original here and make your own version of the mix.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In case you have been in the tanning bed or selling t-shirts or have a life, you have surely hear of the newest MTV craze, "Jersey Shore." Italian-Americans hate it. People with good taste hate it. Many New Jersey residents hate it.

Needless to say, it's a raging success.

The show centers on a lovable cast of average Jersey Guidos and Guidettes living on the Shore for the summer, "working" at a seaside t-shirt shack and living with eachother in the boss' house while hooking up, talking about hooking up, partying and generally living the dream.

But oh how quickly the dream turns into a nightmare.

Here's the situation (no, not The Situation): micro-sized castmate Snookie got punched in the face during filming for episode 4. Seems she was arguing with some tool about a possibly stolen drink and he clocked her in the face.

Snookie's bio on the cast page, by the way:

Nicole is looking to meet the man of her dreams. When she goes to the gym, she goes in full makeup, hoping to make a splash with all the toned men. Her height has been as much of a strength as it has been an obstacle, and it will color her summer at the Shore in a big way.

MTV won't air the beatdown on the show, but kindly released the video clip so we can drool over it all weekend leading into the new episode. Convenient.

Anyway, the repeated showing in this clip is just begging for some sort of mashup remix. That's likely coming up by Sunday, so keep the eyes out.

Asian Carp.jpgAsian carp. Can't live with 'em, can't poison 'em.

Illinois just popped $3 million in desperation money to kill off some Sanitary and Ship Canal carp getting dangerously close to the Chicago locks leading to Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes beyond. They end result? One dead Asian carp, perhaps killed as a sacrifice by his fellow fish.

This kid equals that total with a modern variation on an ancient weapon for the price of some boat motor fuel and fishing line.

Part of the reason for the carp hunt - the poison one, not the bow one - was the fear that the carp had spread further than previously believed, based on a find of fish DNA

"If there aren't any Asian carp we still believe it was an essential operation," John Rogner, assistant director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said before the lone fish was found.

Well, it turns out there really weren't any carp found, at least near the DNA site. But that's OK. It's still a battle against this fast moving, all-encompassing species that has to be fought and won to preserve the Great Lakes ecosystem and billion-dollar fishing and recreation industry.

And yes, the $3 million pricetag was about more that carp killing. It was meant to provide time for repairs and maintenance to the electric fence keeping these beasts at bay from Lake Michigan as well. Still, could we have done the job cheaper? Say, just paid these guys - in a much more action-filled clip, with a brawny, metalish soundtrack and some cool flaming arrows - with $100 worth of beer and some Chinese buffet?:

Of course, as a last-ditch effort, we could always bring these geniuses in on the job. A quick trip to Northwest Indiana for a couple bags of stuff that blows up and the Great Lakes will never have to worry about anything undesirable getting in. Fishwise, that is.

Fishing With Dynamite - Watch more Funny Videos

The Scottish swillers at BrewDog Brewery have made a reputation for doing the unexpected when it comes to beer. Irreverence is the only thing predictable about their marketing, brewing and daily business. And the introduction of the latest brew from the award-winning house is a perfect case in point.

Meet the Tactical Nuclear Penguin. But be respectful when you meet it - it's a 32 percent alcohol beer. Yes, 32 percent. In case you're wondering, beer in the U.S. clocks in at a paltry 3 percent to 12 percent.

In fact, up until this monster brew was bottled, the strongest beer currently available on the world market was Samuel Adams Utopias which came in at a paltry 25 percent firewater.

Is this a beer you crack open a six-pack with when the game's on? Hells no. It's sipping brew, as the penguin herders will tell you:

Beer has a terrible reputation in Britain, it's ignorant to assume that a beer can't be enjoyed responsibly like a nice dram or a glass of fine wine. A beer like Tactical Nuclear Penguin should be enjoyed in spirit sized measures. It pairs fantastically with vanilla bean white chocolate it really brings out the complexity of the beer and complements the powerful, smoky and cocoa flavours.

A warning on the label states: This is an extremely strong beer, it should be enjoyed in small servings and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance. In exactly the same manner that you would enjoy a fine whisky, a Frank Zappa album or a visit from a friendly yet anxious ghost.

So shotgunning is right out - though you might be able to sneak in a game of beer pong on the way to the emergency room for stomach pumping.

Of course, in a country like Britain sensitive to the perils of alcohol abuse, the beer is creating a firestorm of controversy. A report in The Guardian showcases the argument being made that Penguin is a beer made simply to get people smashed on their wat to a hooligan party. It's an assertion rejected outright by the brewery, which points to its high pricepoint and relatively exclusive distribution in saying that theirs is a brew made for sipping, not slamming:

Jack Law, chief executive of the campaign group Alcohol Focus Scotland, said BrewDog was guilty of "childlike attention-seeking" by releasing the beer on the day the alcohol bill was published.

"The fact they have achieved a new world record is not admirable, that's for sure," he said. "It is a product with a lot of alcohol in it, that's all. To dress it up as anything else is cynical."

BrewDog has a history with the quest for strong beers and pushing boundaries. They came out with the 18.2 percent Tokyo, an oak-aged stout, much to the chagrin of a British watchdog, the Portman Group, that has petitioned the country's pubs and bars to steer clear of the brew in just the latest dustup between the two adversaries.

In the meantime, don't head off to the corner liquor store for a case while you're buying lottery tickets and smokes. This Penguin likely won't be making it to U.S. shores anytime soon. Between restrictive import issues and the small, regional nature of the brewery, if you want to go nuclear, you'll have to buy a ticket to Scotland.

At roughly $70 a bottle - or you can pay $500 and also receive a share of the company in an interesting sales strategy - this is no cheap buzz. And speaking of buzz, deman has quickly outstripped supply. So don't bother asking Santa for a shiny bottle under the tree, as this message on the BewDog site indicates:

Due to unforeseen demand and interest in the beer, the initial bottling of Tactical Nuclear Penguin has now sold out. The good news however, is that the 2nd instalment is almost good to go. We will be bottling this batch on the 17th of December.

Picture 10.png

If the highlight of the last seven days for you is watching drunken Ewoks hump Al Roker's leg on live TV, well, err ... OK, there's nothing wrong with that. But beyond the obvious fun with bestiality angles involved, it's been a busy week in the Star Wars universe.

Then the continuing saga of Londoner Andrew Ainsworth, an original costumer for the Star Wars films accused of going to the Dark Side for making Storm Trooper uniform reproductions (what, those things produced under a no-bid, exclusive contract or something?) as the case returned to court Tuesday.

Now this, an unearthed photo of Carrie Fisher in full Princess Leia slavegirl garb catching some rays on the set of "Return of the Jedi" - seemingly on Jabba's barge - next to her stunt double, Tracy Eddon. The photo has been around fleetingly, but reappeared in wider circulation for some reason today. And across the world an entire generation of men who were 13 in 1983 suddenly stopped as if there were a great disturbance in the Force.

Perhaps not as great a disturbance as there was when Fisher finally got her wish to have an interesting costume:

"I remember that iron bikini I wore in Episode VI: what supermodels will eventually wear in the seventh ring of hell."

Just how big a deal was this brass masterpiece? There's an entire Wookipedia page on her barb and at least one Web site dedicate entirely to Fisher's metal bikini, which contains this disclaimer: This website is dedicated to the costume worn by Princess Leia following her capture by the crimelord, Jabba the Hutt, in Star Wars, Episode VI : Return of the Jedi.


There doesn't seem to be a backstory - yet - as to who took it or why it's showing up now. But sometimes it's best to just let the Force work in its own way. And just thank your stars that there was no corresponding Luke-in-a-Speedo moment to match.

Oh, and how 'bout those ewoks one more time ...


In this Oct. 23, 2009, police mug photo provided by the Carroll, Iowa, Police Department, Joey Lee Miller, 20, and Matthew Allan McNelly sport their ingenious disguises used in an alleged apartment burglary attempt. (AP Photo/Carroll Police Department)

If you're searching desperately for a last-second Halloween costume idea, Iowans Joey Miller and Matthew McNelly have come to the rescue. Here's a list of what you'll need to pull together the look:

A Sharpie.

A look of complete befuddlement (confusion or a generic dazed expression with do in a pinch).

Miller and McNelly were busted last week in Iowa for allegedly trying to break into an apartment - throw a DUI charge in for good measure - prompting local cops to dub the pair "dumb and dumber."

Local police chief Jeff Cayler had some choice comments about the permanent marker criminal minds in an interview with CNN:

"We're very skilled investigators and the black faces gave them right away,"Cayler said. "[They were] being dumb and combine that with alcohol and it was the perfect storm.

"I've been chief here almost 25 years, been with the department 28½ years and I've seen a lot of things that make me laugh and weird things but this was probably the best combination of the two - strangely weird and hilariously funny all at the same time."

A little lesson on appreciation on Guinness' special day:

And a clever ad on the evolution of the wait for the settle:

And, of course, some fun facts for hanging with your friends down the pub.

There's nothing like an inbound CTA/Metra ride to make one think of drinking - at least that's what Budweiser is banking on in a new video ad spot.

The twist? It's a spot running in the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of a campaign for the beer's licensed brewer, Diageo Ireland.

Set to the tune of the Beatles' "All Together Now," the spot almost makes you forget you're watching an ad - and almost makes the schlep downtown something to look forward to for the work-a-day drones stuck on the various "L" and Metra lines used in the piece.

Sliding by scenes both famous and simply familiar, it's not the usual glamour shoot you'd see from a Chicago-shot ad campaign, but rather an insider's view to the city. There's the usual skyscraper footage and the like, but no ballparks. No lakeshore. No Michigan Avenue.

Irish blogger Darragh Doyle touched on some of the Chicago-centric aspects of the ad in a post in July. Here's what Doyle had on the city - and its people - as star:

Written by Dave Henderson and Richard Denney, and shot by award winning Director Chris Palmer, it was shot over 5 days from an actual train on the metro-rail as it tracked around the city of Chicago.

All in all, the film and crew were on the train for 50 hrs over a 5 day period in temperatures that were often below freezing. All of the actors were outside for up to 10 hrs a day in the freezing temperatures, often in costumes that provided little warmth. As such there was almost an entire crew of people dedicated to keeping the actors warm with blankets, thermoses and portable heaters.

The people of Chicago were brilliant as well and invited actors into their homes and offered them some respite from the bitter weather during shoot down time glorious stuff.

The band playing the Beatles cover is The Hours, a London-based duo.

The work for the "Lyrics" was written and conceived by DDB London and during a blogger release party for the spot, DDB's Matt Delahunty tells what it took to get the add off the ground - a 17-month process. It's an interesting look behind the scenes:

Delahunty talks about not only the technical challenges of getting the shoot timed perfectly, but his surprise at the freezing Chicago weather that surprised him on his first trip to the States.

You can find much more on the making of the video - behind the scenes and concept work, as well as upload your own video clips - here, though you'll need to be 21 - or at least tell the site you are - to get through the age wall. Some very cool insights to be found.

In the end it is just an ad campaign for a mediocre beer, but any Chicagoan can appreciate the glimpses into our city. And anybody who appreciates the creative process will find the explanations behind the work a treat for sure.

Hat tip to the Windy Citizen for finding this Chicago gem. Stop by and give it a vote up if you're so inclined.

With Bike to Work Week set to start Saturday, it seems like the appropriate time to remind everyone that while you may want to take the Beer Bike in, it's probably a better idea to take it home.

Unfortunately you would have to work in Amsterdam to take advantage, anyway. And now it seems like that fine city may not be able to enjoy a 10-seater bike built around a bar.

Various outlets are reporting that Hans Gerson, the city counselor responsible for squashing fun, is mad that drunks get to peddle through the city center for some reason:

"This beer bike is completely legal, but he (Gerson) is not very enthusiastic about this idea of people drinking while being amongst traffic," a spokeswoman said.

Surely a knee-jerk reaction over what? A couple of accidents with the keg-speed since April?

Just goes to show you, you try to help the environment AND enjoy liquid refreshment and you get in trouble. No good 10-speed deed goes unpunished.

Hey, at least these rolling punters weren't on their cell phones (though, as with all good drunks, they really should be wearing helmets).


Scott Stewart-Sun-Times

In case you missed the splendor of the second Windy City Snuggie Pub Crawl Saturday, you can relive it in photo form here. And remember, it was a 70-degree day. Moist conditions in those Snuggies, my friends.

Thumbnail image for vintage-beer-cans.jpg

Friday night seems like the appropriate time for this soothing photo. It comes to us courtesy of Louisville, Ky.-based, graphic artist Lance Wilson. There's loads more of his vintage beer can collection available on his Flickr stream if you're interested. In fact, according to this post at the package design blog, Wilson and his classmate, Dan Wilson, have about 2,000 of the things spanning 70 years of pop-top glory.

Here's to you, fellas!

Oh, and cheers to Oregon tweeter @jessefelder for sending an item on this.


Denver's Falling Rock Tap House might not brew it, but they pour it on if it is brewed in the region.

Over at the blog Sloshspot they put together a handy reference so you can find breweries throughout the country. In Chicago, we like to think of ourselves as a tippling town, and MillerCoors and Pabst offerings aside, we have some excellent local craft beer from Goose Island, Three Floyd's, Piece Brewery and the like. But we're pitifully dry compared to some of the rest of the country.

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