November 2007 Archives

Oh my, this is astounding

Technology is fantastic.

We don't have NFL Network here, so I'm watching a most wonderful feed from Denmark. It's in Danish, but you can understand a lot of English phrases. One of the commentators just called Terrell Owens a "Gangsta." Plus, there's no commercials -- they send it back to the studio for every break. I have no idea how these guys keep coming up with stuff to talk about. Plus, it's 3:30 in the morning there, so they appear to be a bit soused and/or groggy. With grog. Or perhaps Glögg.

"Pass Interference" doesn't translate to Danish, apparently. Who knew?

My head asplode: Tay Zonday is a household name

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He was no one. Then, hackers on steroids saw the lulz (a corruption of lol). It was a torrent of chocolate rain... but I cannot even come up with words to describe this.

I don't know if I want to stab myself or go on an /i/nvasion. The VH1 Summer Break thing was weird enough; Carson Daly's Rickrolling was weird enough. This is... troubling.

Hackers on steroids are not the Web's coolseekers. They are quite the opposite. Lest it be forgotten, kingmakers can also be revolutionaries, and I weep for the future of the Internet if this is how things are going.

If none of this made any sense to you, I apologize. I'm just in shock, and it's been 12 hours now.

i still get them

i done got myself a time machine

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The Grapefruit Gal took a photo of me this weekend that somehow sent me back in time to 1975.

Hugs not drugs, people.

music returns

It's Thanksgiving, and you know what that means.

The recording process for Holiday EP 2007 has begun. Note I said "process," and not "recording."

That's Track #1 you're looking at right there. If you missed the past few years of Holiday EPs, you can find them here.

hooray

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Well, I am now officially a Doctoral Candidate.

I'd show you a picture of what one looks like, but it appears Photo Booth in Leopard no longer works (?) and I can't seem to find a fix anywhere online.

100grrrrrrr

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Sometime over the weekend, this blog had its 100,000th visitor. So whomever you were, thank you, and thank you all. If my logs are any sign, my 100,000th visitor came here after googling one of the following:

"ron oester"
"creation museum slideshow"
"starter jackets"
"celtics cheerleaders"

or

"ross mckeon"
"gta back to future 2015 police car location"
"furnace on china november"
"james dungy death homosexual"
"the soilders that looked after the napaleon on saint helena during the war is there name list"
"drunk girls pooping on the street"
"throwing distance catcher to 2nd base math" -- glad to be of help
"mission statement for ballreich's potato chips"

and if it was you who googled one of these, no thanks to you at all

"my parents are aliens"
"ass napkin ed"
"guys on guys porn sports"
"gothic girl holding hands with guy"
"corruption of lol"
"ohio hooter girls in pantyhose"

This should just about clear it up for you

If you haven't figured out who to support in the TV writers' strike that is crippling late-night TV, this feature from the writers of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart should help clarify things for you:

(HT: Wil.)

Incidentally, that video also makes it pretty clear that Jon Stewart gets far too much credit for the humor on his show. In the same vein, it's nice to see people using formal logic syllogisms to state their claims:

Viacom: "Content online has value."
Writers: "We write content that you put online."
Thus,

Writers make content that has value and for which they're not paid.

The Wal-Marts are all the same

A couple years ago, I wrote about a weekend at home that featured a trip to Wal-Mart:

We walked inside. Immediately, my eyes took in an interesting coincidence: every man in the store was wearing a tank top. (I am trying to get away from the usage of the obloquy "wifebeater" for while I appreciate the negative light it casts upon the article of clothing, I find the term rather misogynistic.) Most had hairy backs and deformed, twisted tattoos that used to resemble something on their flabby arms. All wore mesh trucker's caps and several were accompanied by homely, obese wives and unruly children with either fittingly unruly hair or a mohawk-in-the-making.

This is my hometown the place where my parents live.

Flash Warner found not much has changed, and they're really excitable about shoplifters:

"I headed to Wal-Mart... There are times when my desperation knows no bounds."

It's worth the read.

Stranger things have happened

Fark Headlines were a category on last night's Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions episode. I DVRed it, shot the HD feed to my MacBook, and uploaded it to YouTube.

Now I'm winning "Honors" for "most watched" and "most favorited."

Honors. For a video. That I recorded off TV.

My, how far Fark has come from the days we screwed around in people's backyards and basements doing vaguely illegal things.

The NCAA has a blog | Athletes aren't stupid

Somehow I missed this development, but the NCAA has started a blog, one that while a production of the NCAA, seems to be fairly independent in its observations and is almost serving, so far, as an ombudsman of sorts for the college athletics organization.

I am no fan of the NCAA, finding them to be hypocritical at best and criminal at worst, but this seems to be a great move. So far, the Double-A Zone has covered the possibility of a DI-A playoff (citing none other than SportsProf, which has been linked to from this blog since its inception), Division II basketball, and perhaps coolest of all, the site is featuring player blogs, including one from North Carolina-Greensboro communication major (and SoCon basketball POY) Kyle Hines (thanks to Whelliston for that head's up) -- certainly a point of pride for my colleague and UNCG alum Antoine Hardy.

I love athletes who share a love for the game and their own education. Devil Rays minor league outfielder Fernando Perez has a great player journal on the MiLB.com site where he provides terrific insight into baseball, learning, and life -- that's not hyperbole. Perez majored in cultural studies (holla!) and creative writing at Columbia, so I suppose it's not a surprise that he can elucidate about sports in a way we're not accustomed to:

In this way I see baseball as an 'anti-modernity.' It feels as though the men who play and stay in the game indulge in a counter culture, the lifestyle in which all you have to do each day is play. It's rustic. These are reasons why I'm here.

It's no wonder that baseball is the sport that's written about the most. There's something about it that strikes a chord with people who have the patience to understand it. [...] If I had to point to something, I'd say that aesthetes are drawn to the way that it's played with calculated civility. The national pastime might be all about passing time outside. It can't do just to say that it's because of its history. I hate to use the pretentious superlative that it "transcends sport," although I believe it has some merit.

That's just a snippet. Perez' post is really beautiful writing, and I encourage you to click the link above and read it in its entirety -- and his previous entries. I'm sorry to hear that he won't be writing about baseball anymore, but I hope he starts his own non-baseball blog somewhere because he writes beautifully and is a tremendous autoethnographer.

John Scalzi visits the Creation Museum

John Scalzi is one of the best bloggers (and science fiction novelists) out there [disclaimer: the dude did send me an autographed copy of his book on writing] but this post on his visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky is truly amazing -- or just skip to the annotated slideshow (I encourage you to maximize your browser and turn on the captions). It's funny and kind of scary.

I believe in God, sure, but Creationists are just crazy.

People who are hilarious

You know how I feel about Kyle Whelliston's Mid-Majority (I've been writing about it here for nearly three years) but today's Bally comic is just priceless.

Bobcat and Bull basketball seasons both start Friday night. I haven't had the basketball conversation with the Grapefruit Gal. I hope she understands.

Oh, yes, we have a new primary category of basketball! You didn't notice? I'm not surprised; 90% of you are reading via the RSS feed.

Did I mention there's this, too?

It's gonna be a good season. See you in March. Or earlier, probably.

Welcome home, Discovery

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Space Shuttle Discovery is home after a 15-day mission considered one of the most challenging and heroic in NASA's history.

It's exciting to read the observations of individuals who were able to experience Commander Pam Melroy's ship return to Earth, either visually or sonically and sometimes not even knowing why.

That's the mystery, and that's what makes the space program so amazing. Contemplate for a while the magic of an essentially unpowered vessel being piloted from orbit across North America and landing perfectly in Florida.

We've become somewhat desensitized to the magic of space flight, even in the shadow of Challenger and Columbia. STS-120 completed some pretty amazing things: a stunning repair spacewalk, the installation of a new ISS module, and the return to Earth of a man who lived half a year in space.

No, we don't have permanent living modules on the moon. No, we haven't been to Mars. Yet to consider what we do with what we have, in the course of human history on this planet, it's pretty badass. And I'm still caught up in the mystery.

Ross McKeon is an idiot

Ross McKeon of Yahoo.com Sports is a chapter chairman of the Pro Hockey Writers Association, and yet he seems to know nothing about hockey.

In his most recent article, a feature on the front page of the Yahoo portal, he highlights the decline in attendance at Detroit Red Wings games and claims that Detroit is "no longer Hockeytown, USA." He then presents arguments for why other cities are worthy of the title. The problem, of course, is that his criteria are entirely arbitrary (despite being predicated on home attendance). And get this:

Pretty darn good, in their own way: Dallas, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose
Nice try, but this doesn't really work: Tampa Bay

Let's look at average attendance figures from the past three years, shall we?

2005-2006

Tampa Bay: 20,509 (103.8% capacity)
Dallas: 17,828 (96.2%)
San Jose: 16,831 (96.2%)
Pittsburgh: 15,804 (93.2%)
St. Louis: 14,213 (74.7%)

2006-2007

Tampa Bay: 19,876 (100.6%)
Dallas: 17,914 (96.7%)
San Jose: 17,422 (99.6%)
Pittsburgh: 16,424 (96.9%)
St. Louis: 12,520 (59.6% -- last in the NHL)

2007-2008

Tampa Bay: 19,172 (97%)
San Jose: 17,496 (100%)
St. Louis: 17,492 (83.3%)
Dallas: 17,193 (92.8%)
Pittsburgh: 17,058 (100.6%)

As you can see, hockey clearly doesn't work in Tampa. Feel free to provide Ross some feedback on his misguided assertions.

Say it ain't so, Martina

I've been a tennis fan since, well, I was born. While I was cursed with an utter lack of athletic ability, my father's tutelage led me to at least become competent in the sport, and my favorite players ranged from Stefan Edberg in the 80's to Andre Agassi in the early 90's until somewhere around my senior year of high school, when I realized the women's game was more exciting and a better exhibition of fundamentals.

I quickly became a fan of Martina Hingis. While my friends in college all followed the flashier, allegedly prettier Anna Kournikova, I latched onto Martina as my favorite. She was better, after all, than anyone in the world, and I came to find her pretty hot on her own means.

Eventually Martina retired, and moved to Wesley Chapel, Florida -- where I lived for two years before moving here to Clearwater. I actually saw her around town, twice; both times she was driving in her yellow Lamborghini. If I'd seen her in person I probably would have turned to stone. When she announced her comeback, I was ecstatic. Now she's retiring again. Why?

Martina Hingis is a crackhead.

Now, I have been around the internets long enough that nothing fazes me. But cocaine? That's Jennifer Capriati's domain. Maybe she was just really sleepy, I dunno, but I wasn't aware Euros enjoyed the nose candy. Then again, she's been living in Florida a long time. Wesley Chapel is a strange place, an amalgam of meth-head rednecks and super-rich athletes holed up at Saddlebrook. I'm sad Martina is retiring, but I'm more sad that she's apparently joined the illustrious ranks of David Crosby and Stephen King. (Totally had King pegged for angel dust.)

In light of her final retirement, let us linger upon some of Martina Hingis' greatest quotations. She embodied a true paradox of sport: both great- and bad-ass. (Google Image Search the former if you don't believe me.)

When asked in 1999 about her rivalry with Anna Kournikova: "What rivalry? I win all the matches."

Why she terminated her doubles partnership with former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna: "She's old and slow."

Why she didn't enter mixed doubles at the 1997 Australian Open, after having won singles and women's doubles: "I need to give someone else a chance to win an event."

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    This page is an archive of entries from November 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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