Donkey Kong Kill Screen, August 20

Here's a brief look at some of the items America is desperate to learn about today:

Donkey Kong Kill Screen The documentary King of Kong has just opened in select cities and it’s set off something of an Internet buzz about the nearly impossible to achieve Donkey Kong kill screen, which appears when the game’s maximum score has been achieved and the machine simply runs out of memory and quits. The film follows the rivalry between two contenders vying for the crown of world’s greatest Donkey Kong player (and, apparently, Biggest.Dork.Ever). This quote from director Seth Gordon, taken from this MSNBC story, sums it better than I ever could: “I think it’s sort of wonderful that Billy (Mitchell) and Steve (Wiebe) are the best in the world at something — and they hate each other. They’re like Salieri and Mozart on Donkey Kong.”

Leona Helmsley The billionaire hotelier and the so-called “queen of mean,” is dead at age 87. She gained notoriety after her tax-evasion trial in 1989, where allegations of tyrannical behavior toward her staff earned her the dubious distinction of “queen.” She was perhaps most famous for allegedly saying “Only little people pay taxes,” a line she may have later regretted after serving 21 months for tax evasion. No word on whether she thought “only little people die,” but if she did, she was just as wrong on that score. The ever-popular motorsport of repeatedly turning left at high speed is riding high in the search rankings. While I find it continually surprising that such a patently ridiculous sport holds a fascination for so many people, I don’t find it surprising that the legions of redneck fans are too dumb to realize that you don’t have to type into Google to find

Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg That name sound familiar? No? He was the leader of a failed military coup to kill Adolf Hitler. And what did it take to push his name into the top of Google’s search rankings? Just a news item about an accident on the set of the Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie. Getting Americans interested in vital historical events and figures is easy: just put any A-List actor into a popcorn epic about the guy, and voila! Hopefully next summer we can learn something about the founding of our country when Michael Bay adapts Founding Brothers into a tale of revenge against the redcoats and ludicrous slow-motion explosions starring Nic Cage as John Adams.

Aerogel A new miracle material also known as “frozen smoke.” It’s the lightest solid known to man, it can soak up toxins, withstand explosive forces and blowtorch heat. I’m not positive, but I think it also stays crunchy in milk and I’m pretty sure it’s what Flash Gordon’s underwear is made out of. Isn’t it cool to live in the future?

– Cory Casciato