Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Michael Caine

I thought of this lost classic from the 80's today for some reason. Michael Caine by Madness (a very under-rated UK band)
The Arrowhead Walker Case

The FBI and another big federal bureaucratic behemoth raid dozens of homes of unsuspecting citizens thinking they are actors in a Indiana Jones meets John Grisham novel where the bad guys are running an extensive black-market network dealing with American Indian antiquities. Of course it was all was based on what looks like the fantasy of one man:

All 24 of the government's cases hinged on the work of Gardiner, an artifacts dealer who secretly recorded more than $335,000 in purchases over two years from people later accused of digging, collecting, selling or trafficking in artifacts taken from federal and tribal lands.

In March 2010, three weeks before the 52-year-old Gardiner was scheduled to testify, he committed suicide at his home near Salt Lake City.

You would think that at least one adult at the FBI or the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) would have said "Maybe we should have more than just the word of a former substance abuser with a history of mental health issues who needed a government paycheck before we commit lots of government resources and raid the homes of prominent local citizens." But maybe asking any government official to think like a responsible adult is asking too much these days.
Climate Change

I bring this up because I heard a reporter ask a Republican Presidential candidate if they agreed that global warming was "settled science". I missed the response and can't even remember who was asked the question because the question bugged me so much.

There was a time when it was "settled science" that the world was flat. There was a time when it was "settled science" that the sun revolved around the Earth. There was a time that the laws of Issac Newton were immutable. Copernicus, Einstein and Edwin Hubble changed all that.

If you picked any field of science you would find that the consensus is that we have barely scratched the surface in that field. We have identified only 5% of the material that makes up our universe and we probably only "know" about 5% in any given field. To talk about anything being "settled science" is just ignorant.

The magnetic pole of the planet right now is North but it is in the process of changing to South. I know that sounds strange but it is true. Over the history of the planet the North and South magnetic poles have swapped places a number of times. Scientists aren't exactly sure why. Scientists are sure that it is the magnetic field of the Earth that keeps out much of the harmful cosmic rays and that any disruption in the magnetic field is bound to have repercussions as far as climate is concerned.

We may think ancient people were at best naive when they would make a human sacrifice to appease angry weather gods. Throwing a virgin in a volcano in retrospect is both horrifying and ignorant. But to the natives back then it was simply "settled science".

Monday, August 29, 2011

Red Sox Magic Number - 30

The Red Sox magic number to clinch the AL East is now just 30 (their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is just 22).

The Los Angeles Angels (aka California Angels) retired the number 30 to honor Nolan Ryan (whose number 34 was also retired by the Astros and Rangers). Nobody like Nolan Ryan has ever worn the number 30 for the Red Sox. Boston has had to settle for people like Matt Clement (for who the phrase "don't trust anyone over 30" really did apply) and current occupant of the number 30 - Andrew Miller.

Miller is an interesting case. He was the 6th pick of the 2006 MLB draft with players like Clayton Kershaw (7th) and Tim Lincecum (10th) taken after Miller (that was how prized his talents were at the time). He went to North Carolina so he has the support of alum Peter Gammons and Tarheel teammate Daniel Bard. The guy is 6'7" and a lefty - plus the Red Sox didn't give up anything to get him. You would think it would be all upside.

The problem with Miller is he just hasn't been that great. Sure he's 6-1 but his ERA of 4.42 is just OK. The other problem is when Clay Buccholtz is healthy then the last starter slot comes down to Miller and fan favorite Tim Wakefield. Many fans are torn between the more predictable Miller and the knuckleballer Wakefield. Myself included.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I remember watching this game live on TV. I laughed when I saw this then and I've laughed every time after... It is a proven fact that the categorization of hurricanes is controlled by Big Water and the bottled water industry. Every time inventories of bottled water get too high - Big Water sends the call goes out to Dick Cheney and his weather control machine... Seven successful people who survived bankruptcy... The Whale don't hesitate. You know what I'm talking about - right Coco?... "Ruptcy" is such an underused suffix. Everyone understands "bankruptcy" which is the state of being completely lacking in money. I think the words "Whiskeyruptcy" and "brownieruptcy" among others should get more play in everyday vernacular... I wasn't aware there was a food feud brewing at the Travel Channel. I was aware, however, how stupid it is to put daily nutritional value information on processed foods like Twinkies. Another example of society just being bereft of common sense... In my will I plan to leave half my worldly belongings to any person who deletes my browsing history before my family or the authorities have a chance to check it... The Great Moon Hoax of 1835. Great piece of American history... Checked Emma Stone's IMDB page and it doesn't mention that she's been cast to play lead in the Lindsay Lohan story yet. Must be an oversight... Cool - celebrity libraries... Who knew? Both Donald Rumsfeld and Ernest Hemingway liked to work standing up at chest high desks...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Justin Verlander

Let me say off the top that I'm not a supporter of Justin Verlander for AL MVP. I think Adrian Gonzalez is the best choice right now (though there's still a lot of games to play). I did want to comment on the idea that Verlander shouldn't get support because he's not a "everyday player". I think that argument is nonsense. And here's why.

The so called "everyday player" can play offense and can play defense. That's it. In regards to defense - there's a stat called put-outs (PO) to measure how many "outs" the player is "responsible" for (sorry for all the "scare" quotes - I can't help myself). Jacoby Ellsbury has 315 PO, Curtis Granderson has 287 PO and Dustin Pedroia has 231 PO. Of course Adrian Gonzalez has as of this morning exactly 1,000 PO on the season. His PO total is more than Ellsbury, Granderson and Pedroia combined but that's because Gonzo plays 1st base. It would be silly to say that even the worst fielding 1st baseman is more valuable than a Gold Glove caliber outfielder like Ellsbury or a Gold Glove winning 2nd baseman like Pedroia simply because the stone hands 1st baseman has more PO and is thus more involved with the defense. That would be like arguing that a pitcher shouldn't be an MVP because he's not as involved as an "everyday player".

Actually the point I was trying to make was the fact that Justin Verlander has 212 strikeouts plus 10 PO. That means he has been directly "responsible" for 222 outs this season on defense which would be fairly close to Pedroia's number of PO. So it can be argued that a dominating strikeout pitcher is almost as involved overall as any "everyday" player. So what about offense?

Well the argument against a pitcher for the MVP is usually that the pitcher is not as involved in a team's success as an everyday player. That he's only a factor every fifth game (which would be 20% of the time in a 5-man rotation). But if you think about it - on offense no matter who the player is they only get to be a factor once every nine at-bats (or about 11% of the time). The rest of the time the player is just watching from the bench or from the on-deck circle having just as much impact as the pitcher who started the game before and is hanging out on the bench. A player at the top of the order will naturally get more plate appearances than a guy batting ninth but even if he accounts for 15% of the team's plate appearances - how is that more important than a starting pitcher who is starting 20% of the games?

OK - you may argue that a starting pitcher may start a game but that doesn't mean he finishes a game and that point is fair enough. However, consider that the Tigers have played 131 games with a total of 1161 innings. Justin Verlander has accounted for 209.67 of those 1161 innings -which equates to 18% of all the team's innings pitched. Not even the best leadoff man is going to equate to 18% of the team's plate appearances.

So tell me again - why is a guy like Verlander less valuable to his team than a "everyday" player?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Red Sox Magic Number - 36

The Red Sox are in Texas to play the Rangers. Lyndon Johnson was was from Texas and he was the 36th President of the United States but he only became President because of the death of John Kennedy who along with the rest of the Kennedy's are as identified with Boston as the Red Sox. The Kennedy's in general did not get along with Lyndon Johnson or Texas and the Red Sox likewise have issues with the Rangers. It is hot as hell at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington during summer. If you add up the sum of the integers between 1 and 36 - you would have 666 which is the mark of the beast. Tonight's game is on ESPN which is also the mark of the beast. The number 36 is the atomic number of krypton. The Rangers have been like kryptonite to the Red Sox. Coincidences? So many omens - not all of them good.

I'm scared. Hold me.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder - just because Rep. Paul Ryan has decided not to run for President does not mean that he cannot be added to the Republican ticket as Vice President later on... Modern money - the ransoms paid to free King Richard the Lionheart would be worth a little over $2 billion in today's dollars (34 tons of gold)... This study about alcohol and memory may be wrong but why take chances?... I cannot believe that the NFL is still using pagers for official review. Is the guy in the booth doing the review via VCR as well?... "Brittunculi" was the derogatory term used by Romans to describe the locals in England as "nasty little Britons". I guess that could make "Americunculi" the modern equivalent in the USA... When JD Drew comes off the DL - what are the chances Josh Reddick comes down with a mystery ailment like a sore hammy?... On April 13th - the Baltimore Orioles were 6-3. That was the last time AJ Burnett beat an AL team with a winning record. One of the side benefits of AJ's suckitude is the fact that fans no longer have to watch his stupid after game shaving cream in the face antics. I wonder if his teammates told him to "f*ckoff" about that or whether he stopped it on his own ... The word "hemorrhagic" is perhaps the nastiest adjective of all. Precede any word with it and that word automatically becomes nasty. For example hemorrhagic pancakes, hemorrhagic nipples, etc... If you think of it - Lazarus could be considered the world's first zombie.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Interesting short video about cholesterol and fats. I'm convinced about trans fats and would have been much more convinced about cholesterol if it wasn't for the cat at the end

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Miami Scandal II

"We were going to introduce Frank Haith and at some point Nevin said, 'Can I have the mic I'd like to say something,'" Elias said. "So he grabbed the mic and literally, spontaneously said 'I'm going to make a donation for what I think was $50,000.'

"We were all stunned. It's funny when you look at the picture, Donna is looking down at the check smiling because I think she was stunned. So naturally, you see the picture and we were all smiling. When you're trying to fundraise and get a check like that, it was a huge success. But I just think the way this picture has been talked about in articles, it demonizes her. And that couldn't be further than the truth."

I think you are going to many holes poked into the Yahoo! Sports story before it is all said and done. (PS - I have no idea why some of my text is being shaded)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Want You

Today in 1969, The Beatles recorded together for the last time, adding finishing touches to "I want you (she's so heavy)"

I happened upon this engrossing article from 1999 by Richard Preston about smallpox and I couldn't stop reading. The article details both the history of the virus and also the danger it poses to the human population today. I don't think people like myself who have lived their life blissfully unaware of the real-life dangers of such a virus can truly grasp the horror of such a virus if it were to have an outbreak.

Even though smallpox was responsible for a number of deaths in the 20th century that would be equal to about the entire current population of the United States - I truly do think that the word smallpox has any meaning to the modern mind. The word smallpox has as much meaning to the modern mind as the word codpiece.

Richard Preston is the master of virus outbreak stories. His book The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story remains the scariest book I ever read. Stephen King has nothing to compare with the horror Preston describes. The phrase "crashing and bleeding out" still gives me the shivers. I heartily recommend both the article linked above and the book Hot Zone.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Based upon Tom Brady's numbers last night - how soon will we see articles about him breaking his own TD's in a season mark? Personally I really wouldn't be surprised to see him surpass 50 TD's. Seriously - would that surprise you?... Nana said that?... I have to agree with the opinion that Roger Goodell's ruling on Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor is nothing less than proof that the NCAA is a defacto professional minor league system for the NFL. Somebody explain to me why NCAA revenues should not be taxed?... Yesterday was the anniversary of back in 1920 when the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. That reminded me of this classic Man Show bit... "So Dark the Con of Shapiro" What Dan Brown would have named the Miami Hurricanes story if he wrote for Yahoo! Sports... Former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas has his own Big Hurt beer... Many believe that George H. W. Bush lost his chance at rel-election when he declined to remove Dan Quayle from the ticket as VP. What are the chances that as his opinion polls continue to drop that Obama decides to replace Joe Biden as VP with Hillary Clinton? It's not like Delaware is crucial to re-election. He has to do something... Your anagram for the day: Mark Sanchez New York Jets = Throws A Jerk Enzyme Snack... About one in every 4 million lobsters is born with a rare genetic defect that turns it blue. One in every 30 million is yellow. About one in every 100 million is born a Rock Lobster.
Miami Scandal

Something bothered me from the moment I first read the reporting on Nevin Shapiro and the U of Miami scandal. The Yahoo! article talks about Shapiro paying for an abortion on behalf of a player:
In one instance, Shapiro described taking a player to the Pink Pony strip club and paying for a dancer to engage in sex with the athlete. In the ensuing weeks, Shapiro said the dancer called one of his security providers and informed him that the player had gotten her pregnant during the incident. Shapiro said he gave the dancer $500 to have an abortion performed, without notifying the player of the incident.

“I was doing him a favor,” the booster said. “That idiot might have wanted to keep [the baby].”

Due to the sensitivity of the allegation, Yahoo! Sports has chosen not to name the player allegedly involved.
The logic here immediately bothered me. A prostitute tells Shapiro that she's pregnant in the "ensuing weeks" and Shapiro just takes it for granted that the baby belonged to the player? My BS meter went off at this. The baby - if there ever was a pregnancy - could have belonged to whoever was screwing the "dancer". Don't try to tell me that she only had sex with just that one guy. Don't try to tell me that she knew she was pregnant and that the baby belonged to the player after just a couple of weeks passing. Don't tell me that Shapiro just gave her $500 without insuring the procedure was actually performed. Don't tell me that Yahoo! printed this most inflammatory and scurrilous of accusations without more evidence than Shapiro's word that it happened.

Almost every retelling of the U of Miami scandal includes the flabbergasted phrase "HE EVEN PAID FOR AN ABORTION". Well what if Shapiro didn't pay for an abortion but instead was simply scammed out of $500 by a whore? If this accusation falls apart what about the rest of the story? I think when all is said and done there may be more smoke to this story than fire.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Obama as Truman

Michael Barone has an article that posits that maybe the right comparison to Barack Obama isn't Jimmy Carter but Harry Truman instead.

The article misses an important angle though. I was reminded how Jimmy the Greek bet $10,000 on the 1948 election between Thomas Dewey and Harry Truman - picking Truman to win because Thomas Dewey had a mustache and the Greek's informal polling showed that American women didn't trust men with a mustache. I don't recall what odds the Greek got but the bet paid off handsomely.

I am assuming that the Republicans won't run a candidate in 2012 who has a mustache so Obama won't have the some dynamics working for him.

Einstein: His Life and Universe

I originally picked up Walter Isaacson's Einstein: His Life and Universemonth's ago. I read halfway through the book and then put it down because life had interrupted and I became engrossed in the A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One saga. A few days ago I picked back up the Einstein bio and I am really glad I did.

Walter Isaacson does a fantastic job detailing the life of one of the most important men of the 20th century. You get to know not just Einstein the person but also get to better understand Einstein's discoveries and his struggle trying to find a unified theory and why he had such issues with quantum mechanics.

Reading the book and learning of Einstein's issues with "spookiness at a distance" I kept thinking of how science understands how water goes through it's different states and how rain clouds work but cannot track individual water molecules to effectively predict how even a small cloud will form and act. Some day science will have this knowledge but until then in my mind when I hear "next up the Weather report" I keep hearing "next up the spookiness at a distance report".

Isaacson's book is good all the way through. In fact on the final page came the nugget that probably knocked my socks off more then any other passage in the book:
For some people, miracles serve as evidence of God's existence. For Einstein it was the absence of miracles that reflected divine providence. The fact that the cosmos is comprehensible, that it follows laws, is worthy of awe. This is the defining quality of a "God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists."
Wow! Just noodle on that for a bit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pedophiles in Hollywood

This story about Corey Feldman's assertion that pedophilia is rampant in Hollywood made me think of something I discussed before on this blog.

A while ago I compared Roman Polanski to Mario Puzo's character Jack Woltz from The Godfather. Now I wonder if Puzo could have just been drawing on a known Hollywood stereotype.

It is both sad and sick to think that this behavior is protected and has been for decades.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Queens of the Stone Age

Just felt like hearing this tonight. Never noticed Dave Grohl on drums before.
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Red Sox and Yankees are in a virtual tie for the AL East. The big difference is in the remaining schedule - the Red Sox will have 6 more home games than the Yankees. That I think will make all the difference between winning the Division versus getting the Wild Card birth.... Heh - “The Democratic Party in power is a standing menace to the prosperity of the country” Republican motto from 1888 election... "Witches' broomsticks were really hallucinogenic dildos". On a related note - Hallucinogenic Dildos is now the name of one of my fantasy football teams... People forget that Joe DiMaggio was also a power hitter with 7 seasons of 30+ HR and 2 seasons where he lead the AL in HR. Most just picture him as a smooth fielding, graceful hitter but few remember his power... When Albert Einstein lived in Princeton he had a 17-foot wooden boat he named the Tinef - which is the Yiddish word for piece of junk... Johnny Dickshot - porn star or baseball player?... People with those "coexist" bumper stickers are normally the worst drivers. How about learning to coexist with other traffic and then you can make your political statements... I can't believe Redbull hasn't signed Dustin Pedroia to be their spokesman. Perfect match between product and player... May be a little early for nicknames but some are suggesting Bledsoe 2.0 for Patriots QB Ryan Mallett. I like that.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Four Reasons Jorge Posada Won't Be Elected to HOF

I keep hearing people refer to Jorge Posada as a future member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. I disagree. I just don't see it. Here's four reasons that help explain why I don't think Jorge Posada will be elected to the Hall of Fame.

1. The Start of His Career - Posada wasn't the starter at catcher in his own right until the 2000 season when he was 28-years old. Prior to that he platooned with Joe Girardi. Can you name me another Hall of Fame catcher who started off as a platoon player? First impressions mean a lot and when Posada came up the impression wasn't "hey this guy is a future Hall of Famer" it was "hey this guy would make a good platoon partner."

2. The End of His Career - because of his big contract ($13 million) and his Yankee legacy Posada is basically still playing because the Yankees have to play him. He is standing in the way of the Yankees improving the team by using his roster spot for a more deserving player. This small difference may end up being the difference between New York winning the Division versus getting the Wild Card and having to start the playoffs on the road. If the Yankees lose in the first round of the playoffs then Posada will become a scapegoat of sorts. All in all - Posada is not exactly writing a storybook ending to his career. Voters will remember that and their votes will be biased against him because of it.

3. The Pudge Rodriguez Factor - Pudge Rodriguez is a contemporary to Jorge Posada and I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who thought that Posada was the better catcher. Ivan owns 13 Gold Gloves and an MVP Award but Pudge has also been suspected of using PED's. This suspicion may cost Rodriguez election to the Hall of Fame and you can be sure that some supporters of Pudge will withhold support for Posada until their guy gets elected first.

4. The DH Factor - The basis for most cases FOR Posada and the HOF hinge on Posada's offensive output and rely largely on advanced statistical metrics. Let's make a player comparison:

Player A - .312 BA/ 309 HR/ 1261 RBI/ .933 OPS/ 147 OPS+/ 67.2 WAR
Player B - .274 BA/ 271 HR/ 1058 RBI/ .849 OPS/ 121 OPS+/ 44.9 WAR
Player C - .282 BA/ 373 HR/ 1249 RBI/ .921 OPS/ 136 OPS+/ 33.1 WAR

Many people have suggested that Jorge Posada is basically a DH playing catcher. Well then lets compare him to a couple of DH's. Player A is Edgar Martinez, Player B is Jorge Posada and Player C is David Ortiz. I don't think you'd get anyone to argue that defensively Posada wasn't a liability. And compared to guys like Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz his offensive output looks - well - puny. Edgar Martinez will probably come up short in his bid for the HOF and that will leave many of his supporters saying that Edgar deserves enshrinement before Posada and this will probably cost Jorge even more support.

Tell me again why Jorge Posada will be a Hall of Fame player?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Red Sox Magic Number - 44

Last night's Red Sox win coupled with the Yankees' loss makes the Red Sox magic number now 44. The number 44 may be significant in other baseball towns (Reggie Jackson wore 44 for the Yankees and Hank Aaron wore 44 for the Braves) but not so much for the Red Sox. Sure Jason Bay brought some luster back to 44 in his brief tenure with the Sox but not enough to erase the stink of people like Kevin Kennedy wearing the number during his stint as manager for Boston.

I think most Boston sports fans probably think of Danny Ainge when you mention the number 44. Even though Ainge was excellent with those great Celtics teams of the 80's and equally excellent in his current tenure running the team - when I think of Danny Ainge I still think of him knocking out of the NCAA tourney the best basketball team Notre Dame ever had with an end to end dash as time ran out back in 1981.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Happy 49th birthday to Mad Men star and Red Sox fan John Slattery. I can't wait until the new season of Mad men actually airs... What Does a Poet Laureate Actually Do?... Joe Posnanski mentions a very interesting stat. During Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, he hit .408 while Ted Williams hit .414 over that exact same period... The razor commercial of divers shaving in a shark cage is stupid. Now a tampon commercial in a shark cage would make more sense... Who knew? The Cookie Monster's first name is Sid...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Ray Guy's Super Bowl rings sell for nearly $100K at bankruptcy auction. My first reaction was to feel bad for Ray Guy but some of the comments made me wonder if my sympathy is misplaced

- A picture of Shaq and his girlfriend presented without comment

- Ouch - "Obama is still saying, 'Yes, we can.' But he never explains why we haven't."

- How to improve WIFI signal with a beer can. Information in Spanish but pictures are pretty self-explanatory.

- 4 Regular People Who Negotiated High-Profile Surrenders. The first guy had balls of steel.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Red Sox magic Number - 46

With the win over the Twins last night coupled with the Yankees loss - the Red Sox magic number now stands at 46.

In science the number 46 is probably mainly associated with the number of human chromosomes. Many Patriots and football fans in general associate 46 with the great 46 defense the Chicago Bears used with beat New England in Super Bowl XX. However when I think of 46 and football - I think of John Lynch but that's because of personal surname bias.

Before Jonathan Papelbon - the Red Sox all-time saves leader was Bob Stanley who wore - you guessed it - number 46.

The number 46 seems to be a little cursed in terms of the Red Sox. Bob Stanley had a very successful career with the Red Sox. He's a nice guy and still lives in the area. You would think he'd be more embraced by Red Sox Nation but he's not. He's viewed with indifference (at best). Since the Steamer retired the number 46 has been worn by 18 different players - mostly for a single year or less. It's like the number 46 is the Harry Potter equivalent of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position. It's understandable why both Jacoby Ellsbury and Josh Reddick switched out from number 46 to uniform numbers more suiting.

Perhaps the Red Sox issues with the number 46 stem from the 1946 Red Sox who lost the World Series 4 games to 3 to the St. Louis Cardinals. That was Ted Williams only World Series and his batting just .200 always seem to haunt him. Just like the number 46 haunts the Red Sox.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Today is JaMarcus Russell's 26th birthday. I think it speaks volumes to just how big of an NFL bust he was to the fact that you don't even see a sniff of a rumor of any team having interest in him... 10 Incredibly Cool Staircases... I wonder how much money California could save if it passed a law saying no public employee can be paid more than President of US? The President is paid $400,000 a year and I really can't see a justification for any public employee being paid more than that... Betty Boop turns 81 today. She looks great for 81... Who knew? Red Sox third base coach Tim Bogar is actually three months younger than Tim Wakefield... Happy 83rd birthday to Boston Celtics and NBA legend Bob Cousy... 16 Sequels Nobody Has Ever Heard Of... Interesting stat from ESPN's Gordon Edes; "If either Sox and Yanks play .500 ball rest of way, they'll have 94 wins. Angels would have to go 32-16, a .667 clip, to tie for wild card"... It was 23-years ago today that Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the LA Kings... Tweet of the day from @_otis_
Brazilians use the same word for "thank you" & "congratulations," which I think would make for some really interesting pillow talk.
I think languages that use the same word for both "Thank you" and "You're welcome" have the same issue after climax.

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Chronicles of Reddick

In honor of Josh Reddick's walk off hit against the Yankees last night.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Greg Doyel is Wrong About Tim Tebow

Greg Doyel has what some will probably think of as a controversial take on Tim Tebow and his beliefs. I just think of it as wrong.

The underlying premise to Doyel's piece is that Tebow thinks he will be a successful NFL starter "for the Bible tells him so." Doyel likes that angle so much that he repeats it. The problem is Tebow NEVER SAID THAT.

If you look at what Tebow actually says, like his famous "Promise Speech" - Tebow doesn't say that it's God's will that he succeed. Tebow relies on his own strength of will. A refuse to lose chip on his shoulder that is normally a prerequisite for great players no matter what their faith.

And if I can take the same liberty with reading into things that Doyel does then I have to wonder if this column is the result of a green-eyed monster poking up its jealous head:
I've spent years in church, praying to the same God. I've shuffled to the front of the church in tears a time or two when pastor Guy Melton in Florida or Steve Larson in North Carolina made a call for us sinners.
So Doyel wants to be good but if he had Tebow's will and faith then why would there be a need for a second or third trip to the front of the church in tears? The impetus of this column may not be Tebow's success as a quarterback but Doyel's failure to live up to the Christian example set by people like Tim Tebow.

After reading the article I felt bad for Greg Doyel - not Tim Tebow. But the person I felt worst about was Brady Quinn. He was drafted about the same position as Tebow but now seems to be a complete after-thought in Denver's plan.

Maybe Doyel can write a column about how Brady Quinn's lack of faith is hurting his NFL chances?
Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Erik Bedard went 19-21 in his time with Seattle but his real legacy for the Mariners will be determined by whether Trayvon Robinson (the main player they got for trading him away) ends up better than Adam Jones (the main player they traded away to get him)... The History of English in Ten Minutes. An amusing yet educational way to spend ten minutes on a Sunday morning... When Albert Einstein first visited the US in 1921 - the US Senate saw fit to debate the validity of the Theory of Relativity - seriously.... I think I would try Butterfinger Blast ice cream but this flavor? Not so much... The Red Sox have Kevin Youkilis under contract for 2012 and hold an option for the 2013 season. Assuming they pick up the option what I'm trying to figure out is whether during the 2013 season Kevin Youkilis becomes a 10/5 guy with the no-trade protection that comes with that designation. I'd love for Youk to finish his career with Boston but I have a gut feeling that he may be on the trading block at the 2013 trade deadline... Sprint wants me to give a crap about the Phillies... Jacoby Ellsbury now leads Adrian Gonzalez in home runs - 19-18. If before the season I said that in early August Ellsbury would have more HR than Gonzalez you would probably have thought that was because Gonzalez missed most of the year with injury... Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the World Wide Web becoming available to the public. Thank you Tim Berners-Lee!... Why is the Drinking Age 21?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The Humanitarian Bowl has become "The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl." It saddens me that I'll no longer be amused by thoughts of the Human Fund sponsoring the Humanitarian Bowl but that is more than made up for by the hope that someday I'll get to hear Brent Musberger say, "This is for all the Potatoes!"... What were the biggest tactical mistakes that Stringer Bell made in Seasons 2 and 3 of The Wire? Why did he make these mistakes?... How is it possible that Adrian Gonzalez has a stolen base? I hope the catcher who gave that up never lives it down... Very interesting. You really can't argue with their logic. Why Van Halen had brown M&Ms contractually removed... Just occurred to me - if Every Flavor Beans include things like earwax, do you think they have a vagina flavored one?... 11 Bizarre or Shocking TV Deaths... I'm still ticked that Derek Jeter skipped All-Star Game. He could have gone and just tipped his cap (sarcasm)... Barack Obama is turning out to be as badly cast in the role as President as Robert DeNiro was in his role as Fearless Leader in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Would be great to have had those two flip flopped just so I can hear Obama say "Squirrel and moose!"

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting and thought I'd share.

- Smaller males make females moan more! Seriously - it's science!

- Michigan couple (and others) games the Massachusetts state lottery. Really putting math skills to work!

- The science of feminine hygiene, and why the vagina should not smell like flowers. Interesting picture of chestnuts as well.

- Men Robbed ATM Using Dunkin' Donuts Cards. The security holes in the new digital economy are pretty scary.

- This is funny but I can definitely see where it wouldn't be if you were a person fooled by it. Not exactly the best way to say "Merry Christmas"

- 5 Artists Reportedly Held at Gunpoint by Phil Spector
Johnny Cash - Rusty Cage

Some days you just need to be reminded what a real man sounds like.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Was not a fan of Erik Bedard but with the news that Clay Buchholz has a stress fracture and will be out for season it becomes very clear that Red Sox had to obtain a starter. There are worse things than getting a guy with a career 3.69 ERA to be your 4th starter... Stealthy Bastards. I would so drive around like that for hours at a time... Excellent run down of the prospects involved from the Red Sox perspective. The key to understand is that there was no room on the Red Sox 40-man roster for the guys they traded. There was a good chance the players could have been lost with no return in the Rule 5 draft anyway... Best protest sign at the Capitol... Of the players the Red Sox traded away - catcher Tim Federowicz had the best chance to actually be in the Red Sox long term plans. However, with Jarrod Saltalamaccia blossoming and Ryan Lavarnway being a total monster at AAA Pawtucket (.352 BA, .428 OBP, 1.113 OPS with 13 HR) there just wasn't room for him... I've seen a number of people who wonder why the Rockies were so willing to part with Ubaldo Jimenez as if that created a buyer beware situation. But couldn't the same be said of the Indians and their prospects? Why would the Indians part with stud pitching prospects? Maybe Jimenez really is "just" a #2 starter but how many top prospects ever even develop to that level?... Heh heh - Forty Fords. I can identify about half... Macro-economists have successfully predicted 9 of the last 5 recessions... Love stuff like this - Americanisms... Speaking of Harrison Ford movies - yesterday I realized that the actress who played the IRA girl in Patriot Games - Polly Walker - went on to be Attia of the Julii in Rome. I will never be able to watch Patriot Games the same ever again... Very cool timelapse video of the fog in a San Francisco neighborhood... One final Trade Deadline note - how funny is it that Baseball-reference.com lists Ubaldo Jimenez as the most similar pitcher to Erik Bedard? This about that for a while.