Friday, March 31, 2017

Speaking of Christopher Walken

Christopher Walken reads Where the Wild Things Are.

Top 5 - Christopher Walken Movies

Happy 74th birthday to Christopher Walken. My favorite Walken movies:

1. The Dead Zone
2. Pulp Fiction
3. Suicide Kings
4. Biloxi Blues
5. The Deer Hunter 

His role in the 2002 Man on Fire almost makes the list just for the fact that the last thing he says in the movie is "I have nothing else to say." He meant that he had no more lines in the script but the director left it in the final cut. 

Rene Descartes

On this day in 1596 Rene Descartes was born. There aren't many Rene Descartes jokes but this is my favorite:
Rene Descartes walks into a bar. The bartender asks, "Can I get you a drink?" Descartes replies, "I think not" and disappears.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Importance of a Single Vote

On this date in 1867 the United States purchased Alaska from Russia for the price of $7 million which worked out to about $.02 per acre. This purchase was known at the time as Seward's Folly after Secretary of State William Seward who arranged the purchase. Seward was also in charge of trying to get the Senate to ratify the treaty authorizing the purchase. The treaty was ratified on April 9th but it passed by a single vote. 

Think of that. If one person changed their vote from yes to no - Alaska might not be part of the US today.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Iwo Jima

On this day in History in 1945, US Marines repel a last ditch 200-300 man Japanese suicide attack on Iwo Jima and the battle for the island is over.

Men like Jacklyn Lucas and those who raised the flag in the most iconic World War II photo shown above should be well known names in America. Unfortunately they are mostly forgotten.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Heh Heh

- These portraits are unreal (or to be more precise - amazingly real)

- How NASA's photo of the "Pillars of Creation" came to be

- A year after Garry Shandling's death - Kevin Nealon looks back

- Something sadly overlooked at the White House yesterday - 25 Medal of Honor winners were honored

- Arnold is the best!

- Heh Heh

Friday, March 24, 2017

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

It was bad for Pat Kelsey to leave UMass at the altar for both Kelsey and UMass. My guess is word came to Kelsey that another higher profile opportunity with interest in him will be surfacing after the tournament... Faster please!... I think the word "disseminate" should refer to when a man jerks off to climax... I love these stories (I would have loved a Bruins win last night just as much)... If another job isn't handed to Kelsey after the tournament then you can be sure that AD's across the country will long remember what he did to UMass... If Disturbed can cover Sound of Silence - why not have Metallica cover Dianna Ross' Do You Know (Where You're Going To)... Therapeutic Cunnilingus would be a good name for a band... If the Saints need a CB so badly - wouldn't it have been better for them to have signed Stephon Gilmore? Trying to work a deal with the Patriots for Malcolm Butler will end up costing them much more...  Try our new grandma (she's delicious!)... Who knew? Ulysses S. Grant is the only person on regularly used US currency that actually graduated from college... Heh heh - train don't give a damn... I also think the word "orgasm" should be replaced with the word "culminate"...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Birthday to Bobby Orr

Happy 69th birthday to #4 Bobby Orr. Not only one of the 3 greatest hockey players in history but arguable the greatest MAN to play hockey.

Here's a reminder of the type of person Robert Gordon Orr is.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! Here are my Top 5 Songs for celebrating Saint Patrick's Day (because Oh Danny Boy is shite).

1. Rocky Road to Dublin

2. If I Should Fall From Grace with God - The Pogues

3. Four Green Fields - Makem & Clancy

4. The Foggy Dew - Sinead O'Connor and the Chieftains

5. I'm Shipping Up to Boston - Dropkick Murphy's

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- I know I'm surprised as well.

- Mark Sisson the pied piper of Paleo

- Here's a quote I need today

- Interesting - Why Americans pay triple the world price for sugar

- Seems about right

Saint Cornelius of Ireland

Though not widely remembered today - at one point Saint Cornelius of Ireland (not to be confused with Saint Cornelius of Antioch) was second in popularity on the Emerald Isle only to Saint Patrick. 

Saint Patrick is remembered for driving the snakes out of Ireland. Saint Cornelius was said to have driven the squirrels out of Ireland. This "miracle" of Saint Cornelius later proved to be his undoing. During the Great Potato Famine starving Irishmen and women wished they had tasty squirrel meat to eat and they cursed Saint Cornelius for driving out the furry rodents. In response to this outrage - Pope Pius IX removed Cornelius from the roll of official Catholic Saints.

Albert Einstein

Today is Albert Einstein's birthday. Just a reminder that even though E=MC2 is perhaps the most famous scientific equation in history - Einstein never received the Nobel Prize for coming up with it. The reasons for this slight were mostly because Einstein was Jewish. The committee eventually gave Einstein the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his 1905 explanation of the photoelectric effect but that was really too little too late.

As smart as Einstein was it makes me chuckle to remember that when Einstein graduated from our equivalent of high school - he finished second in his class. The name of the person who was valedictorian is lost to history but I couldn't help but think of someone back then saying something like, "Yeah Einstein was pretty smart in high school but you should have seen this other guy!"

Also when Albert Einstein first visited the US in 1921 - the US Senate saw fit to debate the validity of the Theory of Relativity - seriously. The Theory of Relativity just turned 101 years old. In this video uber biographer Walter Isaacson explains the Theory of Relativity in under 3 minutes.

Random Albert Einstein trivia; when Einstein lived in Princeton he had a small 17-foot sailboat he named Tinef which is Yiddish for "piece of junk". I find that endearing.

Finally - 10 Myths about Albert Einstein debunked

Monday, March 13, 2017

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Daylight Savings

If I were elected President, one of the first things I'd do is put a bill in front of Congress to repeal Daylight Savings. It is a stupid idea and nobody likes it. My approval rating would go through the roof on both sides of the aisle.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

I wonder if this new technology could also be used on football helmets?

Floyd Mayweather comes out of retirement and calls for June fight with Conor McGregor. I know that this could turn out to a one-sided stunt but I also know I will watch it

- Heh heh - good advice indeed!

Fuck Nancy Pelosi.

Heh heh

- Holy crap - man crosses the Atlantic on a freaking high tech paddle board.

I Love Things Like This

A little girl gives coins to a street performer and gets the best surprise in return. Like I said - I love things like this.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Brexit Explained by Hooliganism

I recently read Bill Buford's fascinating 1990 book Among the Thugs. The book is a captivating look at the 8 years Buford spent learning the behavior and motivations of the world of English football (soccer) hooliganism. Three of the main motivations for acts of violence by club supporters were loyalty, patriotism and helplessness. On page 301 Buford writes:

Many things fell into place. This chant [England! England! England!]; it was the only one I had heard in a day otherwise characterized by its enforced sullen silence. And now: this declaration for England. It was such a simple but enormous thought: these fools, despised at home, ridiculed in the press, incapable of being contained by any act of impulsive legislation that the government had devised, wanted an England to defend. They didn't want Europe: they didn't understand Europe and didn't want to. They wanted a war. They wanted a nation to belong to and fight for, even if the fight was this absurd piece of street theater with the local Italian police.

That single paragraph helps in large part to explain why the Brexit vote was so successful.

Pick up the book if you have a chance. It's worth the read.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Sir Bors

In Arthurian Legend Sir Bors (aka Bohort), Sir Galahad, and Percival go on to achieve the Holy Grail and accompany it to a mystical island in the Middle East called Sarras. Both Galahad and Percival die on the island while Bors is the only one to return. Thus Sir Bors is the lone survivor of the Grail Quest.

In the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Sir Bors is played by Terry Gilliam and is the first knight to fall victim to the killer rabbit.

Worst Part of St. Patrick's Day (Beside the Hangover)

Maybe the worst part of Saint Patrick's Day is the fat guy in a kilt - you run into one every year. You know the guy who talks about the "breeze" no matter the weather and of "dangling shillelaghs" all in an attempt to get you to ask if the guy is wearing any underwear. You know the guy.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Top 5 - J. Geils Band Songs

Today is Peter Wolf's 71st birthday. In his honor here are what I consider the top songs from the J. Geils band.

1. (Ain't Nothin' But a) Houseparty
2. Must Have Got Lost (best song into ever!)
3. Hard Drivin' Man 
4. Detroit Breakdown
5. (tie) Whammer Jammer (tie) Give It To Me

Of course you have to have the live versions of these songs because J. Geils was one of those bands that were just so much better live than in the studio. And if you think Centerfold or Freeze Frame should be on the list - I say that you really don't know the J. Geils Band. It also goes without saying that the J. Geils band was the best band ever out of Worcester.

As an aside - when J. Geils was playing at the Centrum on New Year's Eve - there was no better place to be on the planet.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Consistent Colon

I had my first prostrate exam a few years ago. It was an uncomfortable moment to say the least but the strangest thing was my doctor telling me that my colon had a "good consistency." Wait - what? Saying my colon had a good consistency might have been a throw-away line for my doctor but it's stuck with me.

"Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency." - Dwayne Johnson. Isn't that special. The Rock thinks my colon is successful.

"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative." - Oscar Wilde. Well not sure about you Oscar but my brain and my imagination are in my head - not my ass.

"True consistency, that of the prudent and the wise, is to act in conformity with circumstances and not to act always the same way under a change of circumstances." John C. Calhoun. Was the former VP of the US speaking of diet and bowel movements? Because that's what I think of now when consistency is mentioned.

Maybe having read this post, when you hear the words "consistent" or "consistency" - you'll think of my ass.

As an aside Consistent Colon would be a good name for a band or fantasy football team. Or maybe not.

Parachute - Chris Stapleton

Another song that's new to me but really sticks with you.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

YouTube TV

YouTube announced a new ~40 channel TV package and unlimited DVR storage. The package is priced at $35 and comes with up to six accounts. My first two initial thoughts upon reading the announcement:

1. Being in New England it would have to include both NESN (Red Sox and Bruins) and CCSNE (Celtics) for it to be worthwhile for me. YouTube does say it includes ESPN, Fox Sports and Comcast SportsNet but for me specifically it would have to include NESN and specifically CCSNE.

2. Welcome to the sharing economy! The package includes six accounts. That would work for a family with 4 kids or.... I could use 3 accounts (TV, iPhone, iPad) and give the other 3 accounts to friends who in return might give me their pass-code info for say Netflix or HBO Go. It's a win-win! If one account covered all three of my devices - even better!

By sharing if for $35 you could get YouTube TV, Netflix and HBO Go - why would anyone keep their existing cable or satellite package? This could be the death knell for smaller cable channels who aren't being included in the various packages like SlingTV, DirecTV Now, Playstation Vue or the upcoming offering from Hulu.

Goodbye MSNBC - it's been nice knowing you.

Amnesia - Pousette Dart Band

Another one of those seemingly forgotten songs that always puts a smile on my face.