PODCAST | Whenever Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter get together (Wet Hot American Summer, The State, Stella) magic happens. Their podcast TOPICS is no exception, at least once you buy into the Mikes' absurd premise for the show — they talk about serious issues, but do so entirely out of their asses. The faux-intellectual air they bring to Topics is a perfect satire of an overbearingly wonky public radio show. In the episode entitled "Paranormal Activity," for example, the two discussed the minutia of goats rather than ghosts and devoted a full 10 minutes complimenting each others' use of adjectives.
STORY | Journalist Michael Finkel was once fired for lying in a New York Times article, so you'd be forgiven for wondering how his latest story about a hermit living in rural Maine could possibly be real. Finkel's account of the capture of Christopher Knight, better known as the North Pond Hermit, in this month's GQ is too crazy for anyone to fabricate. In "THE STRANGE & CURIOUS TALE OF THE LAST TRUE HERMIT" we learn that Knight spent almost 30 years living in the woods, surviving by stealing supplies from nearby cabins. Knight says he never spoke to anyone during that entire time, never received dental or medical treatment and never made a fire. He did, however, create a ton of thefts, including more than 50 break-ins at one home alone.
FOOTBALL | As Seahawk mania continues in the region, even with the guys off this week, you've heard a lot about Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. They get the headlines, and deservedly so. But lost in the Seahawks' rise to Super Bowl champion is the work of punter JON RYAN. The Canadian-born Ryan has, without much fanfare, kept Seattle in excellent field position ever since coming to the club in 2008. This year, he's been otherworldly, averaging 48 yards a punt, and in Sunday's tightly contested win over the Broncos, consistently pinned Denver inside the 20-yard line. The guy has earned some respect.