Friday, April 29, 2016

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Academy Award Winners - Best Picture

Not sure what spurred this list but out of curiosity I took a look at the past Academy Award winners for Best Picture for the last 30-years. What I was curious about was what movies had I not seen and why and what movies had I seen that I would never watch again. So without further ado...

Movies that won Best Picture that I have not seen:
2015 - Spotlight - not interested in the subject matter
2013 - 12 Years a Slave - not interested in being depressed
2011 - The Artist -  let's be honest - 2011 was not a really good year for movies
2010 - The King's Speech - no excuse for not seeing this. Will probably watch at some point.
2008 - Slumdog Millionaire - meh.
2005 - Crash - my mind subconsciously reads "Crash" as "Crap"
2002 - Chicago - not a fan of musicals
1996 - The English Patient - no interest. Maybe if I was suffering from insomnia.
1989 - Driving Miss Daisy - no interest.

Movies that won Best Picture that I saw but would not watch again:
2014 - Birdman - would have to be high as fuck to sit through this movie again
1999 - American Beauty - do you know anyone who re-watches this flick?

So that's about a third of the movies that won Best Picture over the past 30-years that I've either not seen or would not watch again. I don't think the voters for the Oscars have the same definition of "Best Picture" that I do.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Don't want to comment on DeflateGate or listen to the pablum on sports talk radio. It all makes me ill.. Heh heh... The reason pay phones still exist is so people can use them to call people they don't like in the middle of the night just to wake them up anonymously... Classy move by the Reds... Another year and once again People Magazine has passed me by as their pick as The Sexiest Man Alive. One day they will learn the error of their ways... 10 things you might not know about Life Savers... If the Patriots don't pick a QB in the draft as insurance for Brady's 4-game suspension - I wouldn't be surprised if they brought Tim Tebow into camp. No - I am not kidding about this... Interesting - did the legendary embrace of Jackie Robinson by Pee Wee Reese ever actually happen?... So Mark Cuban says that Russell Westbrook is not a "superstar". Didn't he say the same thing about Steve Nash? How did that work out for Cuban?... Cool technology - replace your electrical outlets with a dual USB charger...

Monday, April 25, 2016

Waltzing Matilda and ANZAC Day

Today is ANZAC Day and that means The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. Perhaps the saddest and most poignant song my ears have ever heard.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Just a reminder - "Joe Biden" is an anagram for "I need a job"... I agree with Dan McLaughlin - replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 is not a bad thing... The Red Sox owe Pablo Sandoval $58 million after this season while the Yankees owe Jacoby Ellsbury $89 million. Advantage Red Sox...  I also agree with this... Still think Two and a Half Men should have replaced Charlie Sheen with Ellen Degeneres and pretended nothing happened. Just like when they switched Darren's on Bewitched... So is there a Plan B if the Olympics can't be held in Rio? Starting to look pretty bad down there... Heh heh - Deadpool knife block... If Alexander Hamilton were alive today - would he be a Yankees fan or a Mets fan?... If life gives you melons - you might be dyslexic...

In God We Trust

On this date in 1864 the U.S. Congress passed the Coinage Act which mandated that the inscription "In God We Trust" be placed on all coins minted as US currency. Part of the reasoning behind this was because the US Constitution does not talk about God while the Confederate constitution did. This was a measure in part to show that the Union wanted God on their side in the Civil War.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

RIP Prince

First let me confess that I wasn't that big a fan of Prince but it wasn't really anything to do with Prince or his music. It was just that back in high school when Prince ruled the charts - his biggest fans at my high school were mostly popped collar Izod polo wearing douches. I think that biased me.

With the passing of an American icon there were a number of notable tributes:

- From the Red Sox
- From NASA
- From the Minnesota Twins
- Even from PornHub

Rest in peace to a true Rock original.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Happy 4/20

Happy 4/20! If you don't know the significance of today's date here's a primer.

But today isn't all about weed - today is also the anniversary of Marie Curie discovering radium and also of Edgar Allen Poe releasing the world's first detective story Murder in the Rue Morgue. People are free to celebrate whatever they want today. Me? Today I choose to "celebrate my love for you". (Now I hope you have Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack stuck in your head all day).

Happy 4/20!

Conor McGregor

So Conor McGregor "announced" his "retirement" on Twitter yesterday. It was an immediate "Wait - what?" moment.

Then Dana White announced that McGregor is indeed out of the July 9th UFC 200 in Las Vegas. This changed UFC 200 from a must see event to a "let's see what else is going on that night" type event. The overall financial impact of McGregor not being part of card will be huge.

Then came the report that the reason for the "retirement" was that McGregor asked for $10 million for the July 9th rematch against Nate Diaz and Dana White said no. The company message seems to be that no one fighter is bigger than the UFC. But the thing is - the UFC is basically Dana White. And if the reason many people would be buying the pay-per-view would be to watch Conor McGregor - shouldn't he be fairly compensated for his drawing power?

This story is far from over. It will be interesting to watch to see what Conor McGregor's next move will be.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Linky Links

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

- RIP Doris Roberts - Ken Levine has a nice remembrance

- Philip Roth on how to take a nap

- You learn something new every day - the Battles of Lexington and Concord were mainly fought in Arlington?

- Heh heh - Florida man changes name to Bruce Jenner to preserve name's heterosexual roots

- Heh heh - wait what?

Top 5 Marian's (or Marion's of all-time)

Here's my list of the Top 5 Marian's or Marion's of all-time.

1. Maid Marian - from Robin Hood fame 
2. John Wayne (real name Marion Michael Morrison) 
3. Marion Cunningham - Richie's mom on Happy Days (played by Marion Ross) 
4. Marion Berry (crack addict mayor of DC) 
5. (tie) Marion Jones - track star/ steroids user and (tie) Francis Marion - Revolutionary War hero and basis of Mel Gibson's character in The Patriot

Monday, April 18, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I have a hunch that every Spring Joe Biden, being the older white guy that he is, gets an overwhelming urge to power-wash the outside of the White House... The perfect Bernie T-shirt. If you wore this shirt then people who support Bernie would give you a thumbs up while people on the right would get the joke... Who knew? Tilapia are thought to be the fish that fed multitudes in the Bible... Fantastic long read article on Yellowstone National Park from National Geographic... Is "thin air" some special sort of air? Every time someone appears or disappears out of nowhere it is always into "thin air"... Undigested Korn would be a good name for a cover band... Another language anomaly - how come people can call someone a "big galoot" but you never hear anyone called a "little galoot"? If it's a single size description why not just say "galoot"?...  Happy Patriots Day!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The New Patriots Day?

April 16th really should be a holiday in the New England states. The date is both the anniversary of Tom Brady being drafted by the Patriots in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft and Bill Belichick's birthday (today's his 64th). Easily could be a holiday.

Problem is Patriots' Day is already a holiday in Massachusetts which is celebrated since 1969 on the third Monday in April. The holiday is supposed to celebrate the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord but that anniversary is technically the 19th of April. Locally this holiday is more known as Marathon Monday as it is the day the Boston Marathon is run (and the Red Sox play a morning game at Fenway).

There should be a way to incorporate Brady and Belichick especially since every once and a while the existing holiday will fall on the 16th anyway.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I think political debates would be much more interesting if A: only the microphone of the person who is supposed to be speaking is on and B: if they took place inside giant Faraday cages with giant electric bolts being fired when a speaker goes over their allotted time... What a hero looks like... Who knew? They are looking to re-make the movie Death Wish with Bruce Willis playing the Charles Bronson role... I'd vote for Tim Tebow if he was running for Congress in my District... Speaking of politics - I think if the names Frank Castle or Matt Murdock were put on the ballot in the election of New York mayor there's a good chance they'd win. Or maybe I'm still in my Daredevil Season 2 refractory period... Louis CK will definitely make a profit (eventually) off the critically acclaimed Horace and Pete... All New England Dunkin Donuts should be sent a picture of Pablo Sandoval with the instructions "Do not sell this man donuts!"... The Internet was built specifically for things like this... Hairy Toilet would be a good name for a punk band... Robots were developed specifically for tasks like this... Internet fact of the day - Alaska is so big it could fit the State of New Jersey into it 75 times...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kobe Bryant and John Havlicek

[With Kobe Bryant playing his final game last night - I wanted to update and repost something about Kobe and John Havlicek I wrote last December.]

So a 37-year old NBA legend announces his intention to retire at the end of the season and it sets off a big farewell tour. All the NBA cities who will be seeing him play for the last time make a big production of it. You might think I am speaking of Kobe Bryant but actually I was referring to Celtics legend John Havlicek's 1977-78 season.

The similarities between the two players is pretty pronounced. Start with the size - Bryant 6'6" and 212 pounds vs Havlicek's 6'5" and 203 pounds. Kobe went into the NBA right from high school so has the benefit of 4 more NBA seasons. Havlicek meanwhile went to college and is also a legend at Ohio State. In Havlicek's final season he averaged 16.1 points plus 4 assists and 4 rebounds per game. Kobe averaged 17.6 points along with 2.8 assists and 5.2 rebounds [Stats updated].

If you take away the points from Kobe's first 4 seasons and factor in that the 3-pointer wasn't around in Havlicek's day - the Black Mamba would still be the better scorer but only by the slightest of margins (27,479 points to 26,395). The rebounds favor Havlicek  (8,007 to 5,993) while Hondo finished with a slight advantage in assists averaging 4.8 career per game to Kobe's 4.7 (Kobe was leading in comparison going into the season but his 2.8 APG this season dipped him lower).  These two guys are statistically almost mirror images. {Stats updated]

Havlicek was a 13-time NBA All-Star while Kobe went to 18-All-Star games. It is a big deal that Kobe also won 5 NBA Championships with the Lakers but let's not forget that Havlicek owns 8 Championship rings from his career with the Celtics.

The whole point of this isn't to take anything away from Kobe but just that it saddens me that Havlicek seems completely forgotten and the two were almost identical. Even as a Celtics fan I'll admit that Kobe was the better player but the difference wasn't as great as some would have you believe.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


I grew up Catholic and I have to confess that most of my time at mass was spent reviewing the Boston Red Sox roster in my head. First I would try to recall each player on the 25 and 40-man rosters. Then I would start thinking about if certain players at Pawtucket would be upgrades. This would get me to about the time the priest was giving his homily. At that point I was most likely starting to go through next year's free agent class and wondering which of those players would be a good fit in Boston.

When it was time for communion - I would stop thinking about the Red Sox roster and start thinking about which women in the receiving line I would like to have sex with (but that is a different confession).

I am thinking about starting to attend church again. I think it might help with my fantasy baseball skills.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Not sure what this says about the sport but of all the Muppets I think Beaker would be the most likely to golf and follow the Masters at Augusta National... Have to admit - the idea of President Gary Johnson is growing on me... If I had an advertising agency - I would run a series of  "not people - real actors" commercials... Guy lives out of his truck by choice. He also seems to have decided to be single for the rest of his life. The two decisions seem to go hand in hand. "Hey baby do you to come back to my truck?"... One of the greatest T-shirts of all-time... Chuck Norris Action Jeans would be a good name for a band or for a fantasy baseball team... This is a fantastic story - imagine having to ask your boss if you could have time off to play the Masters...

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Donald Trump is the Albino from The Princess Bride

Holy crap! Have you seen this Boing Boing photoshop of what Donald Trump would look like without his "weird orange tan"?

Tell me that doesn't look like the Albino from The Princess Bride but with hair dye and a spray tan!

(The part where the Albino complains when someone mentions his stubby fingers must have been cut from the film.)

Knicks Insanity

As a Celtics fan I think it is great that Phil Jackson wants the New York Knicks to give Kurt Rambis a multi-year deal to coach the team. If I were a Knicks fan - I would think this idea is insane.

Why is it insane? Take a look at this coaching comparison:

Kurt Rambis - 64 Wins / 161 Losses / .284 Winning Percentage
ML Carr -        48 Wins / 116 Losses / .293 Winning Percentage

Keep in mind that Rambis' record includes a 24-13 record with the 1998-99 Lakers when he stepped in for Del Harris in the lock-out shortened season. That Lakers team had both Kobe and Shaq. ML Carr, on the other hand, was totally trying to lose with the Celtics in main part to increase Boston's chances at landing Tim Duncan in the 1997 NBA Draft. Let me repeat that - ML Carr was TRYING TO LOSE and he still has a higher career winning percentage than the guy Phil Jackson wants to give a multi-year contract!

That's insane!

Stem Cell Therapies

We are at the dawn of a great new age in medical treatment - the age of stem cell therapies.

Here's a good article describing how researchers are "reprogramming" adult bone and fat cells into stem cells. One thing that I would have liked to have see elaborated on is why embryonic stem cells "cannot be used to treat damaged tissues because of their tumour forming capacity." Back in the day embryonic stem cells were the big controversy about stem cell therapies. Now it turns out they can't be used anyway?

Here's another article on how stem cell therapies have impacted heart disease treatments. In the future heart transplants will be greatly reduced or eliminated thanks to treatments that repair or regenerate the existing heart tissue.

Awesome! As Glenn Reynolds would say "Faster please!"

Origin of the Term "Stool Pigeon"

The phrase “stool pigeon” comes from the fact that “marks” or victims of con men are called pigeons. In the old days – when operating rigged games such as Monte or Banco (which was so prevalent that the police started to have special squads to deal with them – squads that soon were known as “bunco” squads” because the Irish brogue of many cops confused reporters) – the con man would employ someone who would work for him and who the con man would allow to win. This person sitting on a stool would then help draw others into the game to be fleeced by the con man. When the pair were caught – the cops would press the “stool” “pigeon” to confess and promise a reduced sentence in exchange. Because the guy running the game made most of the money but the stool pigeon would get the same punishment – they often took the deal and provided evidence against the con man running the game. Soon – people forgot the origin of “stool pigeon” and just started to use it to mean anyone who would inform on their friends or associates.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Linky Links

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

- Heh heh

- The things you learn on the Internet - Bill Burr opens up about his cancer

- Nice profile of Red Sox ace David Price

- Rift developing among Navy SEAL community over some cashing in on the "name brand"

- Ben Franklin was always ahead of his time

- Interesting - a look at the food in JRR Tolkien's Hobbit.

- Fantastic oral history of Comedy Central. A must-read for any fan of comedy.

Theo Epstein

Fantastic profile of Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein.

I learned a lot in the article including how Theo has a twin brother Paul (never knew that) and Epstein's regular guy approach to getting his law degree at the University of San Diego.

The Cubs are poised to be a monster both this year and for the foreseeable future. And it is all Theo Epstein's doing.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Red Sox Opening Day

Today is the Red Sox Opening Day (assuming their game in Cleveland doesn't get postponed). Boston's Magic Number to clinch the AL East now stands at just 163!

Here's a nice remembrance by Gordon Edes of one of my favorite Red Sox Opening Day memories.

Just saying but every Opening Day I wish for two things - a Red Sox victory and for Dan Shaughnessy to get explosive diarrhea. Let's hope my wishes go two-for-two today!

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Unveils Model 3 from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.

Very cool! (But still over a year away.)

Never saw so many middle-age white guys in a crowd outside of a Rush concert.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

What a horrible Final Four aesthetically. Blowout games plus a court and camera angles that literally hurt the eyes... The science of why you should spend your money on experiences not things... North Carolina opened as a 1.5 point favorite over Villanova. I like the points... JayWrightsSuits - what a great Twitter handle... How about this for a trade - Red Sox send Pablo Sandoval and Steven Wright to the Padres for James Shields. Let's get it done!...  Excellent video breakdown of the Celtics win Friday night over the Warriors... Just for the heck of it I'm going to start calling people "Sugar Biscuits". "Hey Sugar Biscuits - how's it going?" It's the little things that amuse me... Disappointed that nobody has compared the D'Angelo Russell situation with the Lakers to the Wade Boggs' "Delta Force" situation back in the day with the Red Sox... Rob Gronkowski is the best!... So one of the athletes named in that Al Jazeera report just got suspended 80 games for PED's. The HGH allegations against Peyton Manning are going to stick in people's minds... Win a $650,000 bet but almost kill yourself? No thank you...