After 30 votes, unprecedented write-in votes because you begged me to consider honorable mention entries for the winnner – and the CLOSEST VOTE EVER – we have a winner in the Seventh Annual Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™!
UPDATE: Last chance to vote! Voting closes at noon ET on Halloween Day!
Amazing response once again to this year’s Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest!
We got a record 42 entries! All entries are shown below, but for the purposes of picking a winner, I whittled the full list down to 15 finalists. And here are the 15 finalists, in alphabetical order, with the name of the person or people who suggested each. So many great entries this year, and now it’s time for YOU to pick the winner!
Review the list below, then vote using the Sexy Ballot below. Whoever gets the most votes is our winner for 2023!
The voting deadline is tomrrrow, Halloween Day, at noon ET. Results will be announced here on the blog at 3 PM ET!
And here are this year’s finalists:
Suggested by Margaret Kosmala and Erin Purcell
After so many Sexy Bee costumes for Halloween, why not see what life is like on the other side?
And who knows, if there are enough Sexy Bees at your Halloween gathering, you might be able to collect some honey!
Sexy Donald Trump
Suggested by John London
To be fair, lots of people think that Donald Trump is inherently sexy. I don’t see it, but whatever builds your wall.
Suggested by David Dudich
This one definitely wins for “best nightmare fuel.”
Suggested by Theresa Moody
Unlike some of the non-copyright-infringing entries below, this one is actually called “Sexy Hamburglar” in the catalog. Did McDonalds agree to this? Is hamburgling sexy?
For all those times you want to take over the world, but you just can’t do it alone. Time to recruit new followers!
Sexy Non-Copyright-Infringing Superhero Italian Plumber
Suggested by Andrew Rivera and Kim Nies
Mama Mia! It’s a-me, the Non-Copyright-Infringing Superhero Italian Plumber!
Also available in Sexy Non-Copyright-Infringing Superhero Italian Plumber’s brother (really, see the full list of suggestions below).
Suggested by Kim Nies
OH GOD NO. PLEASE DO NOT WEAR THIS COSTUME!
Sexy Pumpkin Man
Suggested by Mike Lowe
Dudes shouldn’t feel left out of the fall-themed Halloween costumes either! Decorate it any way you please!
Suggested by Jackie Bowman
Try not to get stepped on!
Sexy Ronald Dion DeSantis
Suggested by Tim Christopher
The “Governor” of “Florida” won’t let K-12 students have nicknames, so he doesn’t get to be called “Ron.” But he does get an AI-generated sparkly dress! Now he’s not allowed in schools or public venues.
Suggested by Brandi Silver
The gang tries to solve the mystery of who could possibly find Scooby-Doo sexy!
Suggested by Mary Jo Richards
Until Next Halloween!
Suggested by Dave Fishman
This costume can really help you come out of your shell!
Sexy Venus Flytrap
Suggested by Matt Brashears
Looking to make a catch at this year’s Halloween party? Want to invite someone out for a bite to eat? This costume meets all your needs as a growing organism!
Suggested by Anna Routly
AKA Sexy Wally in the United Kingdom
Upside: distitnctive and sexy costume
Downside: no one can find you
And now it’s time to vote for your favorite costume! Choose a radio button below to select your favorite costume, then click Submit. Results will be announced tomorrow – Halloween Day – at 3 PM ET!
Honorably Sexy Mention
Although I could only choose 15 finalists, I carefully considered all 42 submissions. Here are the others:
You know it, you love it, it’s that time of year again!
Welcome to the 2023 Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™!
A wise Internet Person once said: your brand is the thing that makes people think of you. In which case: my brand is… sexy Halloween costumes?
Welcome back to what is inexplicably my most popular blog topic ever: the announcement of this year’s long-awaited What is the Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™.
What is the Best Sexy [Thing That Is Inherently Not Sexy] Halloween Costume Contest™, you ask? It’s an annual event on my social media, now entering its seventh year, celebrating (?) the weirdness that is Halloween as celebrated on Earth (especially as celebrated in the United States) Specifically, the weirdness of Halloween costumes.
What is so weird about Halloween Costumes?
Imagine that you are a woman (easy for about 50% of you) and that your favorite animal is a moose (easy for me and hopefully at least one other person in the world). You want nothing more than to go out with your friends and celebrate the majestic moose.
Behold, the ONLY women’s moose costume I could find on the Internet:
And there is the problem: for just about any costume idea you can imagine, there are no normal costumes available in women’s sizes for that idea – instead, there are just SEXY costumes. And Sexy Moose is not even in the Top 100 weirdest.
And so in 2015, I decided to take the moose by the antlers and sponsor a contest. I invite you to suggest the best, weirdest, most WTF examples of sexy Halloween costumes. In particular, I invite you to suggest costumes that bring sexy to things that are totally, completely, Inherently Not Sexy.
Presenting the winners from previous years, and the people who suggested them:
2015: Sexy Orca
2016: Sexy Scrabble
2017: Sexy Green Poo
2018: Sexy Marcel Duchamp Art Gallery Urinal
2019: Sexy Mr. Rogers
[Skipped a couple years there but]
2022: Sexy Tardigrade
Can anyone stop Elliot’s two-year winning streak! Can anyone possibly suggest anything more insane than Sexy Tardigrade? Now is the time to find out! Send me your suggestions!
Comment here with links – or if you know me in real life, contact me in any of the ways you know how to contact me in real life. Let’s make this the Sexiest Year Ever!
It’s hard to even imagine the devastation visited on the city of Derna, Libya this week by flooding and resulting dam burst. This report from the BBC includes some drone footage that might hint at what people there are going through:
The upper estimate for the number of people killed in the dam burst catastrophe in Derna, Libya is 20,000 people. For comparison, that’s about the size of Westminster, Maryland or Maitland, Florida.
Imagine Westminster or Maitland suddenly wiped off the map, washed out to sea by a hundred-foot wall of water.
Postscript: some other places with a population of approximately 20,000 that you might be more familiar with:
Time to give out my awards for the just-completed Men’s World Cup of soccerfootball! This has been the most controversial, most entertaining, and downright weirdest World Cup since I started following men’s soccerfootball World Cups twenty-eight years ago, so giving out awards should be extra fun this time.
Today, I’ll review the tournament, and the USA’s performance in it, and give out some team and individual awards. With video links to some match highlights and some key moments in the matches! Wednesday, I’ll review some of the moments that made this World Cup a classic.
On to the awards!
Best team: Argentina, who won the World Cup final in a penalty kick shootout against defending champions France. The final was the most exciting game of soccerfootball I remember. See below for more about that.
Worst team: The host country, Qatar. The country hosting the World Cup automatically qualifies for the tournament, even if they wouldn’t have qualified otherwise and have no business being there. Qatar played bravely and didn’t embarrass themselves, but they were obviously outclassed and became the first country ever to lose all three of their group stage games, scoring just one goal and giving up seven.
Most disappointing team: Sigh, my Sainted Spouse‘s homeland of Belgium. The “Red Devils” crashed out of the first round after scoring only one goal against last-placed Canada. Germany and Mexico also disappointed by falling out in the first round, but at least they scored multiple goals along the way.
Most entertaining team: Morocco, who became the first African country ever to make the World Cup semifinals. Their second-round game against their former colonial overlords Spain was the best display of defense I have ever seen. The game ended 0-0 after overtime, and Spain’s weaksauce penalty shots helped Moroccan goalkeeper Bono (yes, his nickname really is Bono) save all three. Morocco won 0(3) to 0(0). Watch the highlights of that game below under “Best Game That Wasn’t the Final”:
Morocco then repeated the solid defensive performance, but scored a goal too, as they beat Portugal 1-0 in the quarterfinals. Amazingly, up to that point they had gone five full games, 330+ minutes, without allowing a single opposition goal (the one goal they gave up to Canada was an own goal). And then it took one of the best goals of the tournament, by France’s Theo Hernandez, to break the drought (that link, sadly still available only in the USA, goes directly to Hernandez’s goal. Morocco lost that game 2-0, and then went on to lose the third place game 2-1 to Croatia. The real World Cup championship was the friends they made along the way (including me, I was cheering wildly for Morocco all through the France game).
Best game: The final. Argentina led 2-0 at halftime after dominating the first half so much that I posted this dead horse meme with labeled the horse “France.” Hahahahaha that seemed like a good idea at the time.
But then France came back in the second half, culminating with Kylian Mbappé scoring two goals within a one-minute span in the last 10 minutes. Argentina scored in overtime, but then then Mbappé added a penalty kick goal for France to make it 3-3 at the end of overtime.
A tied game after overtime meant penalty kicks to decide the World Cup. France missed one and had one saved by Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez, and Argentina made all theirs. Argentina won by the final score (the second number is successful penalties) of Argentina 3(4) France 3(2).
If you haven’t watched highlights of the final, watch them right now in the video below. Unfortunately, this video, and all the other videos I have embedded or linked to here in this post, are available only to computers in the United States. But here are links to highlights of the final that you can watch from Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Australia. (I’ll go back and add equivalent links to other highlights as time permits. If you would like a link for your country, email me at email@example.com.
If you’re not a soccerfootball fan, you will be after you see this game.
Worst game: Uruguay and South Korea, two teams with successful recent histories in the World Cup, somehow combine for only one shot on target in a spectacularly boring 0-0 in the first match in Group H. I’m not linking to highlights of this one, because why would anyone want to see that?
Craziest game: Saudi Arabia 2 Argentina 1, maybe the craziest game and biggest upset in World Cup history. After an early penalty gave Argentina a 1-0 lead, the Argentines had three first-half apparent goals called back due to offside. Saudi Arabia had two goals early in the second half off of shots that were objectively unwise, but with some luck and skill made it into the back of the net. In particular, the second goal, scored by Salem Al-Dasawri, was beautiful. And that’s it, those were the Saudis’ only shots on goal for the game, and both went in. The Saudis then held on to the win thanks to two amazing saves from goalkeeper Mohammed Al-Owais.
It was a stunning upset at the time, and even more shocking now that we know that Argentina went on to win the World Cup.
Best game that wasn’t the final: As mentioned above under Most Entertaining Team, the second round game between Morocco and Spain, which ended on penalty kicks with the final score Morocco 0(3) Spain 0(0). Watch the highlights below.
“Best” Clemsoning: Brazil was the pre-tournament favorite, and dominated all their group stage matches (even including their final 1-0 loss to Cameroon by essentially their B team, after they had already guaranteed qualification to the second round). Then, back to their full-strength starting 11, they dominated South Korea 4-1 in a game that was not even as close as the score indicated. In the quarterfinals, after a scoreless regulation, they led Croatia 1-0 – and gave up a soft goal to Bruno Petković with just five minutes left to send the game to a penalty shootout.
That’s definitely some serious attempted Clemsoning right there, but they’re still in it… and they’re still Brazil, right? Then this happens (the embed is to the Clemson moment, make sure you play this video with the sound on, the doink off the post is epic):
With that doink by Marquinhos, Croatia won 1(4) to 1(2) and advanced to the semifinals.
Golden Boot (most goals scored): Kylian Mpabbé (France), with eight. In fact, it was the most goals scored in a World Cup since Ronaldo (the Brazilian one) scored eight in 2002.
Golden Boot when you don’t count penalties, which are bullshit: Still Kylian Mbappé, with six.
Best player, I’m cheating by picking two: Lionel Messi (Argentina) and Kylian Mbappé (France). They were the two leading scorers of the tournament, by far. Mpabbé scored eight goals, including three in the final. Messi scored seven, including two in the final, and dominated possession, creating plenty of scoring chances throughout the tournament. Seventy-nine minutes into the final, I was convinced that I was giving the award to Messi.
Then Mbappé scored on a penalty kick in the 80th minute, then tied the score with this beauty (link goes directly to the goal). OK, maybe Mbappé is tournament MVP?
Then Messi scores with 12 minutes left in overtime. OK, the best player comes up big in the biggest moments, so Messi gets the nod.
Then Argentina gets a penalty called for a handball in the box with just four minutes left, leading to Mbappé setting up for the highest-pressure moment any player could ever face. He calmly converts, making the score 3-3 and sending the game to decisive penalty kicks. Mbappé converts the first penalty kick of the shootout, and Messi the second. Everything from that point was not, and could not, involve them.
So no matter who went on to win the final (belated spoiler: it was Argentina), both players played well enough that I’m giving them both a co-award.
It’s not that I couldn’t decide, it’s that both of them were so equally good that I have to give the award to both.
Best “Hi Mom, I’m Playing in the World Cup”: Brazil’s third-string goalkeeper Weverton, from Brazilian Wyoming (the state of Acre), came on in the 80th minute against South Korea, and did not face a single shot. It was Weverton’s first minutes in the World Cup, and at age 34 likely his last. He touched the ball twice – but he made his contribution, and he’ll always get to say he played for Brazil in the World Cup.
American Exceptionalism Awards for American Americans in America
How did the United States Men’s National Team do?: About as expected. The USMNT dominated possession in the first game against Wales and led 1-0 after a goal by Tim Weah, but Walker Zimmerman gave up a dumb penalty that Gareth Bale converted for disappointing a 1-1 tie that . They then played an even game with former colonial overlord England, ending in a moderately entertaining 0-0 tie. That left the USMNT needing a win in the final group stage game against Iran. Late in the first half, star forward Christian Pulisic scored while getting kneed in the abdomen – watch the replay below!
The USA held on to win 1-0, finish second in their group, and advance to a second round matchup with the Netherlands – where they promptly forgot how to playdefense in a 3-1 loss.
Like I said, it’s about where the USA was expected – and deserved – to finish. We are definitely one of the 16 best men’s national teams in the world, and definitely not one of the top 8.
USAMVP: Defender Sergiño Dest, who created the most chances all tournament, including an assist on Pulisic’s decisive goal against Iran.
It gives us all a chance to reflect on what we are thankful for. I have so many things to be grateful for, including this blog, and you the reader. And I’m grateful for the skills I have developed in data science.
I love the idea that there is truth hidden in plain sight, if only we have the patience to look for it.
And now we have two fun data science problems to work on. First, we are near the end of the vote counting for the 118th U.S. House of Representatives. Just three seats remain! Republicans now hold a 220-212 edge – enough for majority control, but far short of their expectations.
Colorado-3: Pueblo, Grand Junction, and the rural western third of the state
And I now have a Data Challenge from a random person on the Internet. He claims that there was no excess mortality in Europe in 2020, but there has been excess mortality in 2022. (Excess mortality is defined as the number of annual deaths above the baseline for the previous several years.) Since there was a global pandemic in 2020 that has abated by 2022, that seems crazy – but I can test the idea myself. I’m now getting the data from the European Mortality Monitoring program (EuroMOMO) of the European Centers for Disease Control.
I’ll let you know what I find.
Thanks for reading, and here’s to many more years of gratitude!