The Washington Post

Travel through the annals of American culture with ‘The Office Time Machine’

The show may be over, but the time machine of cultural references made during its run has just begun. (NBC) The show may be over, but the time machine of cultural references made during its run has just begun. (NBC)

Proving the Internet is indeed a glorious place, one man spent a year-and-a-half combing through the entirety of the American version of “The Office” to chronicle all of its cultural references and post the super-cuts to Youtube. Plus, learn how not to accept a job (unless, of course, your goal is to have your offer rescinded) and compare apples to oranges, literally, in this daily edition of Blog Log, your one-stop spot for all things clickable on the Web.

“This Time Machine is intended to show how much we rely on culture. So let artists bang it out without fear of being sued. (…that’s what she said)” — Joe Sabia at describes his latest project, which is intended to be both entertaining and a political statement on copyright law. “The Office Time Machine” chronicles just about every cultural reference mentioned in the NBC sitcom “The Office” and presents them in a series of compilation videos.

“You’ve got to be a networker to get the job. … Once you get the job, though, you can help yourself to a warm glass of shut the hell up.” — Elie Mystal at gives law school students career advice, after telling a story about an employment situation gone bad. A Utah law firm rescinded an offer to a student who replied to an acceptance letter with an obnoxiously boastful note filled with questions. Mystal says the student should’ve simply replied, “Thank you! I accept!”

“You can even compare apples and oranges.” — Eliza Barclay at discovers Google’s nutrition comparison tool that allows people to see two foods laid out in a visually appealing chart. To compare apples and oranges, you just type “compare apples and oranges” into Google’s search bar and the two fruits will pop up. “Apples are slightly sweeter and have slightly more calories, in case you were wondering,” Barclay writes.

“Finger-tenting is thus the mustache-twirling of our time. It’s a piece of pantomime, largely untethered from the actual practice of real life; surely there are evil-doers who tent, but not all tenters are evil-doers.” — Mike Pesca at dissects the act of “finger-tenting,” a gesture made famous by no-goodniks like Mr. Burns of “The Simpsons.” In reality, however, researchers say the gesture doesn’t usually signify malevolence, but confidence. Ex-cell-ent.

“Those in search of a nice dose of nostalgic frustration … should look no further than Snake ’97.” — Zach Epstein at talks about a mobile app, “Snake ’97,” which recreates the classic Nokia game, “Snake.” The object of the game, which many will remember, is to get the snake to eat a ball of pixels without letting its head circle into its body or a wall. The app is free to download at Apple’s iOS App Store.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.



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Vicky Hallett · March 25, 2014