Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Where were you when they shot the fake orangatun?

These dramatic images were taken at the Tama Zoo in Tokyo and are clearly destined to be honored by World Press Photo next year.

The photographer watched the entire scene unfold as a planned drill goes awry. Apparently the man dressed in the monkey suit is simulating an escaped ape but no one decided to tell the zoo patrons that it was only a drill. From the time the man "escaped" his pen he began frightening school groups and dozens of people watched in horror as he grabbed a zoo worker and was eventually "tranquilized" by zoo officials.

Personally, I'm not even sure if this is the weirdest thing to hit Tokyo zoos this week.

In a bizarre good luck ritual crowds of people surrounded the gorillas and pelted them with soya beans while chanting incantations.
"We threw beans at the gorillas so they can live healthy and long lives and that the females and males get along better in order that they produce more gorillas," gorilla handler Ryo Imanishi said.

Umm...ok. I think if I'm ever in Japan I'm just going to steer clear of any zoos. Oh, and anything that has to do with anime.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Worldwide Beer Shortage on the Horizon

I don't mean to scare anyone but beer is about to become a lot more expensive. My suggestion is to start hoarding it now before the Great Beer Wars begin in a few years.

OK, maybe things aren't that severe but it is a good way to draw attention to the unintended consequences of the recent push towards more biofuels. The effects of this can be seen from declining acreage of barley, skyrocketing tortilla prices in Mexico, and the price of land in the Midwest.

First, the beer.
The rapid expansion of biofuel production may be welcome news for environmentalists but for the world’s beer drinkers it could be a different story.

Strong demand for biofuel feedstocks such as corn, soyabeans and rapeseed is encouraging farmers to plant these crops instead of grains like barley, driving up prices.

Jean-François van Boxmeer, chief executive of Heineken the Dutch brewer, warned last week that the expansion of the biofuel sector was beginning to cause a “structural shift” in European and US agricultural markets.

One consequence, he said, could be a long-term shift upwards in the price of beer. Barley and hops account for about 7-8 per cent of brewing costs.

The article states that the US barley crop was the smallest since 1935 and the amount of land planted in barley was the lowest since records began in 1855. Meanwhile, the corn crop has set a new record three years in a row and is still projected to fall 2 billion bushels short of what the ethanol market will require. That is the same amount of the increase in corn used for ethanol between 2002 and 2006. Clearly demand is only going to increase as 70 new ethanol plants are scheduled to go online by 2008 adding to the 100 that are already operating.

With these shortages come increased corn prices and with increased corn prices come increased food prices. Right now the average price of corn is around $4.08/bushel. At this time last year it was $2.22. The cost of poultry and dairy products have already seen an increase due to the cost of the feeding the animals and pork and cattle won't be far behind. The US has had amazingly cheap food compared to many other industrialized countries so it might not be the worst thing in the world as long as some of the benefit is passed onto farmers. But this isn't always the case (there's less than a penny's worth of corn in a box of corn flakes) and the higher prices will have a major impact on poorer nations.

In Mexico thousands have protested in the streets over the rising costs of tortillas. With half of the country subsisting on less than $4 per day tortillas were always a reliable, cheap way to get proper nutrition. Mexico has been associated with corn since it was first domesticated in that area many thousands of years ago but problems with their own production and the high cost partially driven by an increase in ethanol is making it difficult to afford for many there. Unfortunately this will do nothing to help the United States if more are forced to choose between poverty and hunger in Mexico and a dangerous trip north. Of course, as is typical in the relationship, US corporations benefit either way. See ADM, one of the largest ag conglomerations, has used its influence in the Mexican government to obtain advantages in their corn markets. They're the largest US maker of ethanol and also happen to own a 27% stake in the largest Mexican tortilla maker so this is really working out great for them as they get to cash in on both ends.

As mentioned before the high prices are causing more and more farmers to turn their talk to corn production (and then everyone knows the talk turns to Mycogen seeds). I hesitate to get too farm wonkish on here but essentially it's a really bad deal to try to grow corn on the same land two years in a row. It sucks a lot of nitrogen out of the soil which is why it's often rotated with soybeans since that actually puts nitrogen back in. If farmers are trying to use their land with continuous corn they're going to have to add more chemical nutrients into the soil and use more pesticides since their effectiveness decreases with continuous use as well.

I'm spending a lot of time discussing the negatives of this but there are some positives, especially for the farmers and rural communities that have seen some really rough times recently. It really is true that when a bumper crop comes in everyone in the area benefits whether they're a farmer or not. Millions of dollars are pumped into communities as farmers spend the money they've made on implements or anything else they've had to put off buying in the past.

Unfortunately, I'm worried about tying too much into something like this that could cause another farm crisis if it collapses. Land prices also skyrocket with increased profits making it more difficult for the traditional family farmer to survive which will also trickle down into the communities. There will certainly be a few boom years before the costs catch up to the benefits but when they do it could mean trouble.

So, what should we do? I'm not sold at all on ethanol as a solution to our nation's energy problems. The oil used in the high intensity farming it takes to raise enough corn to make any sort of appreciable difference in our oil consumption almost wipes out those very same benefits. What this country truly needs is to cut our consumption. I've heard the arguments that compared to what the Chinese and Indians will use will dwarf what the US could save but that's not a legitimate reason NOT to do our part. Imagine the benefits the US could have in the global economy if we could find ways to keep our production similar to what it is now but doing that with 40% less oil. With oil prices so high it would force others to change as well and soon it would be detrimental to use oil. There's a serious market in the business world for green technologies and we shouldn't limit ourselves to half-hearted measures like using our food for our fuel.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"He deserves censure if not ridicule"

I've been wasting some time lately on the soccer blog, 101 Great Goals. It's a ridiculously great site for me since, as an American, I have pretty much no way to watch soccer without paying a bunch of money. So, this site links to video of all the highlights and goals of that day. Amazing site and because of it I came across this video.

The Italians are ridiculous. Unfortunately Celtic only managed a draw and have to head to San Siro for the return leg of the Champions League matchup. Come on you hoops!

Liverpool beat Barca 2-1 including goals from Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise who were in the news all week after Bellamy went after Riise with a golf club after an argument over karaoke. Hey, don't show up another man on the karaoke stage and you don't have to worry about it. Bellamy celebrated his goal by taking a golf swing. Very Terrell Owens-esque. Or perhaps inspired by his teammate Robbie Fowler responding to allegations of drug use by snorting the goalline.

While watching videos I came across the British version of "American Gladiators". Here they're hosting an international competition and it's US vs. Australia in the Eliminator. My favorite part is the ref's Scottish accent. And with that I've gotta get some shit done with my life. Good grief, fucking internet...

Save the Last Dance

Or please get rid of it once and for all.

There's been a lot of talk recently about the decision of the University of Illinois to officially get rid of their Chief Illiniwek mascot. Chief Illiniwek dances up in a bunch of stereotypical Indian garb and runs around the court or field at halftime of football and basketball games doing a bunch of exaggerated dance moves based more in fantasy than reality. Watch the video here.

This has obviously caused controversy for years and the NCAA finally stepped in recently and said that schools with mascots deemed "hostile and offensive" could no longer host NCAA postseason events, etc. The pressure finally forced Illinois to end this tradition they claim is "one of the most dramatic and dignified traditions in college athletics." No, they actually say that when he runs out onto the field. Hmm, they seem pretty intent on telling you exactly how "dignified" they think this tradition is. Well, last night was his final dance and the people they showed on TV were embarrassing. I mean, I was really embarrassed not only for them but the fact that I could somehow be associated with those people that were bawling like their grandma just dies. First, they showed this little kid crying and I thought, "yeah, right, that kid doesn't even know what's going on except everyone is making a big deal out of it." Then they showed this college age female with "Chief" written on her face in blue paint and tears streaming down her face. Jeez, get a grip. Supposedly they even had a candlelight vigil on campus. UGH...STOP! There are so many issues that deserve attention besides this!

I understand this mascot and dance means a lot to people that are associated with the University but the fact is that it is incredibly offensive to a lot of people. How is it acceptable to have crowds of people gathering around a kid performing a fake American Indian dance in fake American Indian clothes with blue and orange facepaint covering his white face? Would this type of display be acceptable for other races? Hell no, it wouldn't and for good reason.

I read an awesome book a few years ago by Russell Means called "Where White People Fear to Tread" about his life and starting the American Indian Movement. It really opened up my eyes to the continued overt racism that American Indians face today and the effect that these continued stereotypes have on people. It's time to get rid of the "Chief Wahoos" and "Redskins".

Something I've thought a lot about is reconciling my own Chiefs fandom with my beliefs. On the one hand they don't have depictions of American Indians on their logo or have a human mascot but I cringe a lot whenever I see some idiot dressed with a bunch of arrows sticking out of him or wearing a headdress. Of course, the thought of what crappy nickname they'd come up with if they ever changed it makes me a little hesitant. Fortunately the Houston Texans stole their original name so I won't have to deal with the Kansas City Texans playing in Missouri.

But, in closing, to the people that are crying and threatening to never donate money to the University again, stop and think about where your loyalty lies. Is it to your school and your team or some dumb mascot? Is it worth keeping a "tradition" alive when it's offensive to so many who struggle to hold onto their traditions that stretch beyond not only the University, but the presence of Europeans on this continent?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Terrorists love themselves some Republicans

Despite all of the smears that terrorists want Democrats to win it now appears (shockingly) that might not be true.

Consider the case of a New York businessman indicted on charges of providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to terrorist groups. But, that wasn't his only donation. He has also given over $15,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee since 2002. In fact, he says he "was made a life member of the NRCC's "Inner Circle" and was named New York State Businessman of the Year by the group in 2003 and 2004."

Hmm, how odd. Who would have guessed that two groups that attempt to install theocracies and seem to be tailor-made for getting support for each other could find common ground?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Area Man Hits it Big

So, my local newspaper had one of those "Local Kid Does Good" stories and this time it's about a guy I went to high school with. He was in the grade below me and although we weren't great friends when you're in Inman you end up hanging out with quite a few people at one point or another. Especially if you drink and we both certainly did.

Anyway, he moved out to LA and has since been featured in that MTV show where they take regular people and dress them up to act out their favorite video (it's supposed to be your "favorite" band but I'm pretty sure whatever crappy boyband member it was wasn't actually his), allegedly modeled for the Abercrombie catalog, and is now lead singer of a band that is about to hit it big.

Despite the pretentiousness oozing from the spelling of their name (The Colour) to the pictures on their MySpace page (does that picture look like they flew to South America just to walk around the streets?) I actually enjoy a lot of their music. I would describe it as a lot of White Stripes/Black Keys mixed in with some of the Strokes. The reason I'm posting all of this is because they're going to be on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight and they're on a midwest tour that's coming to YOUR town. So here's your chance to see my apparent brush with greatness up close and personal.

There are a lot of stories I could tell about this guy. We were in an out of control German class together and he insisted that his German name be pronounced Christof-f-f-f-f-f-f. And our dumbass teacher actually did. My other good story that I remember about him is during one Christmas break a few years ago a bunch of people from our town went to some of the skanky bars in Hutch (are there any other kind?) and ended up singing karaoke at one of them. He was always a dead ringer for Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison and sort of played up that persona so he got up there and sang a Doors song. Except he didn't actually sing many of the actual lyrics but did do a lot of screaming, jumping up on tables, and running all over the bar. If it wasn't for the fact that central Kansas karaoke is more like Inhibited Karaoke Party they might have realized what just happened and cut him off but instead the fatties and recovering meth addicts were in a state of shock.

Oh, and in the newspaper story he lied if he said he never did drama in high school because I saw him in a play with my sister once. But, whatever, no biggie. I just can't wait to turn up at his show in Lawrence and act like we were best friends back in the day while he blows me off with that rockstar attitude. It's going to be great because I'm just going to have to be really drunk or something.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Trouble at the Elephant Polo World Cup

GALLE, Sri Lanka (Reuters) -- Eighteen-year-old Abey is unpredictable, has a temper and let his side down badly on Thursday when he lost focus on his polo game in southern Sri Lanka and hospitalized two of his teammates.

The four-tonne elephant threw off his mahout and American rider as the island's sixth annual elephant polo tournament got under way, rampaging off the pitch and crushing the Spanish team's minibus with his head.

"It's not quite what we were expecting," said boutique hotelier Geoffrey Dobbs, who organized the annual Ceylon Elephant Polo Association Bowl to help boost upmarket tourism and elephant conservation, as trainers tried to calm the animal.

"I've been playing for seven years and it has never happened before," he added. "He got confused. Elephants are quite short-sighted, and if there are sudden movements in front of them, they can sometimes be unpredictable."

Spectators rushed out of the enclosure next to the ramparts of a historic 17th Century Dutch Fort in the southern port town of Galle as Abey repeatedly butted the minibus, breaking its windows and wrecking its bodywork.

A vet clutched a tranquilizer dart rifle nearby as trainers tried to control him with sharp sticks and stones.

A couple of thoughts.

How did the Spanish team make it to Sri Lanka in a minibus? Why did the vet not use the tranquilizer gun when trainers are trying to fight this mad beast off with pointed sticks? Why'd you choke out there that day, elephant? I had a lot riding on that match. Personally and financially.

Oh Yeeeah!

Check out the video of this dad flipping out and tearing through his 11 year old son's wrestling match like he's Randy Pofo or something. My favorite part is when he points to the camera and yells after he sends the poor tyke flying while the ref is an inept as confused as a real WWE ref. "Huh???"

Oh, and what's up with the sappy commercial before the video? Are we supposed to care about this Ken Speake guy, Twin Citians? He looks like the same type of human interest reporter that every news channel has.

"Joe Banks... 82 years young has come to this pond every day for the past 17 years, to feed the ducks. But last month, Joe made a discovery... the ducks... were gone! Some say the ducks went to Canada, others say Toronto. And some people think, that Joe used to sit down there, near those ducks. But it could be, that there is just no room in this modern world, for an old man... and... his ducks... "

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Night in Hipster Heaven

I went to see the Shins at Liberty Hall tonight which means the hipsters of Lawrence were out in full effect. Always a good time.

It was my first show at Liberty Hall and I thought it was an awesome venue for the most part. We ended up probably 2/3 up in the balcony and still had an amazing view of the stage. The biggest problem was that the rows were absolutely the closest together of any I've ever seen in my life. In what time period were midgets actually that short that someone thought a human could concievably fit comfortably in those things? Because even the shortest people I know would be packed into those things. It's impossible to do it justice unless you've actually sat in them but even with my leg slightly twisted my shin, my calf, and the front of my foot were all touching a seat at the same time.

Watching a hipster/indie crowd is usually good for a laugh for me because you're not going to get much more than a headbob out of anybody except for the spastic guy jumping up and down in the middle of the crowd. Apparently he took a wrong turn at Cameron Indoor and ended up here.

The lead singer lived in Manhattan, KS at one point in his life and was talking about that. Some people in the crowd booed and he laughed and said, "yeah, because, it's like I knew what the fuck you guys are playing about." Kind of funny.

I thought they put on a good show. There was a time when it dragged just a little bit but they finished strong. The highlight was probably when Zach Braff and Natalie Portman came out to sing backup on "New Slang." Pretty cool and not much of a stretch to say that it changed my life.

Malpractice on the fat guy

I read the headline ND's Weis claims malpractice in obesity surgery and I thought he was suing them because he's still a fat toad.

But, it's actually because he was bleeding internally for a while or something like that. In the course of reading the article it said that 1 in 200 people that get the surgery die and 10 percent have serious complications. Seriously? You're going to take a 1 in 200 chance of dying just so you won't be a Mangino clone anymore? Aren't there better ways to go about that?

World Press Photo Awards

The winners of the annual World Press Photo contest were announced and as usual there were a lot of completely amazing shots. I can't post them here but thought I'd link some of my favorites.

Here is a link to all of the winners and I would definitely suggest looking through as many as you can but I'll link some of my favorites.

The overall winner was a group of young Lebanese driving in a red convertible looking at damage from the war with Israel. At first I wasn't a huge fan but the contrasts of their looks of curiousity and disgust or horror or something behind their trendy sunglasses and the damage surrounding them grew more striking. Some of that appeal comes from the fact that it was in the Daily Life category.

This won an honoroble mention in the spot news single but it really made me think about the role of journalists and the way that suffering can be used in a political way. Does it make the suffering any less valid to use the baby in this way if it helps to end the conflict?

What is going through this man's mind right now? What's his story? Is he thinking about the circumstances that led him there or just about the beating he probably just took?

Standing against the entire world...

This one looks straight out of Cuba. Is that Che in the background?

The looks on the faces of families like these always fascinate me. The kids range from oblivious to worried to excited while the parents wonder what will happen next.

They also have winners for stories that are really good such as this one of tourists at a Spanish beach helping African immigrants who have washed up on the shore. I see it as almost a metaphor for the struggles of the rest of the world almost literally coming to the shores of North America and Europe.

Fortunately they aren't all of war and suffering. There's a sports category too. This is an amazing shot. This guy has some sick shots. And of course this was your winning story. Unfortunately even war can invade this category.

This was the winner of the portraits category, an Iraqi War veteran and his wife at their wedding. The variety of thoughts and emotions that can be drawn from the image was amazing to me. It's a pretty interesting story as well.

Some wild shots of Parisian street dancers.

And there's also some good ones in the Nature category.

So, those are some of the ones that I found interesting but there are plenty more to look at if anyone actually made it this far. And also if you're as into it as I am here are all of the overall winners since 1955. It's a depressing mix of war and starvation but those show the power of photojournalism to tell a story and there are a lot of iconic images, as well as some that I hadn't see before, and a few recent ones that are still powerful. Plus, there's even a sports one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


I still haven't seen the movie "Idiotacracy" although it was recommended this weekend but I'm pretty sure we are already living in a world where stupid people are rewarded. I've got a lot of politics and a little entertainment at the end. Feel free to scroll down if you must but be aware you'll be missing some good Republican bashing.

We'll start with extreme asshat William Kristol. He's one of the founding neo-cons who championed the Iraq War incessantly then sort of tried to back off once it went to shit by basically saying, "well, the idea is still great but it was implented wrong." No, the idea sucked too and your policies have failed. Jon Stewart raked him over the coals when Kristol was on the Daily Show a few months ago.

Anyway, Kristol was on Fox News saying that Barack Obama would have been supporting slavery prior to the Civil War. Ugh, think about how dumb that is on so many levels. His logic? Barack gave a "can't we all get along" speech and wants to appease terrorists like Stephen Douglas wanted to appease slaveholders.
If I can go back to Obama and Lincoln for just one second, Lincoln’s “house divided” speech in 1858 was a speech saying we cannot live as a house divided on slavery. And he implicitly says we’ll have to fight a civil war if necessary on this.

Obama’s speech is a “can’t we get along” speech — sort of the opposite of Lincoln. He would have been with Stephen Douglas in 1858. Let’s paper over these differences, rise above politics and all get along. That’s not Giuliani’s mode. And I think in a war context, social conservatives want to win the war against Islamic jihadism.

No, dumbass conservatives like you would have been trying to appease slaveholders while progressives like Obama would have been fighting it. And are we seriously still trying to act like anyone that isn't on board with your war plans wants to surrender to the "Islamic jihadists" that are apparently massing an invading army on our borders? Give me a break. You've been nothing but wrong your entire career and I'm sick to death of the fact that you get to go on TV every week and say stupid crap like that. Just go away.

I would also like for Australian prime minister John Howard to leave with him. Here's what he had to say about Obama and the Dems.
"I think that will just encourage those who want to completely destabilize and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and a victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for an Obama victory," Howard said on Nine Network television.

"If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats."

Yeah, because they really suffered when the Republicans were in charge. I mean, it's not like terrorist attacks have skyrocketed in the last 6 years or anything.

Then there's the Republican presidential candidates who seem to feel that their best chance at winning the office is to hitch their wagon to the least popular president since Nixon, at best.

Rudy Giuliani:
"(Lincoln) was able to say, 'I know my people are frustrated, and I know my people are angry at me.' " But after weighing public opinion, Lincoln had "that ability that a leader has — a leader like George Bush, a leader like Ronald Reagan — to look into the future," Giuliani said.

Presidents have to make decisions and move the country forward, and that's the kind of president that I would like to be, a president who makes decisions."

Yes, that's exactly what this country needs. Another president who makes decisions. I just hope we find one that actually makes a good one once in a while but good luck comparing yourself to Bush. I'm sure that's going to go over well.

And I'm sick of everyone comparing an unpopular president to Lincoln. There's probably way more unpopular decisions that continued to suck instead of the one unpopular one that worked. Let's look at some of Herbert Hoover's decisions and see how great he was for sticking to his guns.

Ooh, this next one gives me great pleasure because I get to rip on the "maverick" McCain. McCain hasn't been a maverick since 2000 when he started licking Bush's boots for the last 8 years. For evidence see this WaPo piece on how he's using the very same fundraising tactics he sought to eliminate just a few short years ago. He must be getting desperate but I guess that's bound to happen when you're 130 years old.
McCain the reformer relentlessly argued that six- and seven-figure "soft money" checks that corporations, wealthy individuals and unions were giving to political parties to influence elections were corrupting American politics. "The voices of average Americans have been drowned out by the deafening racket of campaign cash," he warned just a few years ago.

McCain the candidate has enlisted some of the same GOP fundraising giants who created and flourished in the soft-money system, including Bush's fundraising "Pioneers" and "Rangers," who earned their designations by raising at least $100,000 or $200,000 for his campaigns.

For his part McCain called it "worst hit job that has ever been done in my entire political career." Yeah, that pretty much sucks when people call you on your hypocritical BS.

Oh, and the final piece of evidence? Eddie Murphy's Norbit made $33 million this weekend. Haha, see, it's funny because he wears a fat suit and plays a lot of different characters. I liked it better when it was called Big Momma's House or Big Momma's House II or the Nutty Professor or Madea's Family Reunion or Dr. Doolittle or Madea Goes to Jail or, ah, hell, all those movies look the same to me.

I wonder if this is the worst movie ever released by an actor that was nominated for an Oscar at the same time. You have to love the not-so-subtle cover art at EW. Hmm, a giant picture of Eddie Murphy next to a teaser for "The 25 Most Shameless, Money Grubbing Movie Roles Ever"...interesting. Shockingly, none of his movies made the list.

And an update on life in the ghetto the trees are still blocking the sidewalk and the "Walk/Don't Walk" lights are still flashing towards the ground. Lawrence doesn't care about ghetto people.

Breaking news! Dipshits in the ghetto

It's not often I'm able to break a story here in the Basement but I believe I'll be the first outlet to report on this one.

I'd just gone to bed for the night when I heard a lot of sirens and saw some lights through my window. I heard the screeching of tires and had that moment of sick anticipation where you're wondering if there's going to be a crash at the end of it or not. Well, there was. And it was way louder than I thought it was going to be and I still heard more sirens coming. So, I go to my window and see a ton of cop cars out front. After I got my shoes and my coat I went to take a look and figured out that some dude had tried to take the turn too fast or something and slammed into two giant trees right outside my apartment. In fact, he hit it so hard that he sheared off boht of them and his SUV was underneath. He was in handcuffs already standing there completely calm while his mouth was bleeding.

The images are a little tough to see since the cops wouldn't let anyone get close enough to get a good picture but it should give you an idea of what it's like here in the ghetto.

Oh, and after they pulled the car out I saw that he sheared off the fire hydrant too. Fortunately it wasn't spraying water 50 feet into the air like it does in the movies. But, either way, a lot of Lawrence city workers are going to have a cold Sunday cleaning up this mess.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

dos a cero

My favorite parts of the video:
1. The announcer. Especially on the second goal. He sounds like he wants to hang himself but he still goes for his "goooooooooool gol gol gol gol"
2. The classes Mexican goalie trying to cheap shot Eddie Johnson during the celebration. Watch closely with about 2 seconds left. Most of you know that I'm a very liberal guy but the Mexican soccer team makes me want to turn into a Lou Dobbs clone or something. They are 0-7-1 in their last 8 on US soil since 2000 and have been outscored 13-0 in those games but after every single one they refuse to congratulate the US or shake their hands. They are constantly referring to how "unlucky" they are. 7 years of bad luck? Maybe they broke a mirror or something. Losers. [/minuteman]
3. Landon Donovan actually scored another international goal. Perhaps John Amaechi inspired him.
4. The score was dos a cero again which gives the US fans another reason to chant that next time they play. (That was also the score of the 2004 World Cup game and the one that clinched a berth in the 2008 WC).

That's it...I'm done

How can I possibly go on in a world where people say stuff like this. Courtesy of Rush Limbaugh:
The media, the sports media, has got social concerns that they are first and foremost interested in, and they're dumping on this guy -- Rex Grossman -- for one reason, folks, and that's because he is a white quarterback.

Yes, the media always wants black quarterbacks like Peyton Manning to succeed over white ones like Grossman...right?

Come on! Manning's like the whitest guy on the planet and media loves him! Ugh, this is the best ad ever for not getting hooked on Oxycontin.

Let's not forget that ESPN once HIRED THIS MAN TO ANALYZE FOOTBALL FOR THEIR NETWORK! Well, he's still better than Sean Salisbury.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Quote of the week

Blogging is really easy when I let Deadspin do all the work for me but I really wanted to throw this quote on there. The scene is a Bears fan who lost a bet on the Super Bowl and has to legally change his name to "Peyton Manning." Ouch.

Here's what he had to say:
I think I kind of represent all Bears fans," he said. "Not that I'm saying they're all idiots like me, but I represent their passion because I really care about my team, you know?"

Haha, yes, you are an idiot.

On a sidenote tonight is an excellent television night. It's "ESPN puts a bunch of matchups together and calls it Rivalry Week Week". Duke-UNC is on and I don't even give a shit about it because the Sunflower Showdown between KU and K-State actually might mean something now that Thuggins is at KSU. But, the biggest rivalry of the night is USA-Mexico soccer "friendly" in Arizona. The Mexican fans think it's ok to lob urine bombs on the field and the US fans think it's ok to make overtly racist chants about the respective economic differences between the two countries. Then, in a non-sports event Lost is back, one of the very few shows I actually make an effort to watch. That doesn't really have much to do with a rivalry so, umm, yeah, that's it.


Only good things will happen when you combine hardcore fans with foreign soccer fans.

As evidenced by this video found on Deadspin. According to the unintentionally hilarious riot narration this band was playing a show in Chile and gave a shoutout to the wrong soccer team. Riot ensues.

My favorite line is "in the middle of the fracas a fan takes a swan dive back into the crowd." Uhh, yeah, "swan dive" is what they call it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Case for Derrick Thomas

Maybe JoePo should present Derrick Thomas' case to the voters instead of Bob "Froggy" Gretz. This should be required reading for my friends, with whom I argued over this very same topic this weekend. Maybe the voters are too busy making jokes about him dying to see him for the player he was as well.

Personally, I'd just make them play a season of Tecmo Super Bowl with the Chiefs. That just might get Okoye in the Hall too.

I was thinking about what an awesome player he was to watch and I can still remember the 7 sack game against Seattle and the time he called his shot against the Raiders. On first down he raised his arms calling for the safety and then ran around and got it on the very next play. He was just a total badass and was an absolute nightmare for anyone to block for his entire career. It's too bad the voters can't see that.

It was at that point when I looked at my life and knew I needed to change

Like most people, I enjoy a little schadenfreude from time to time. This is the same part of my brain that makes me watch some crappy reality show if it is on or smile a little bit whenever I think of Nick Nolte's mug shot. I especially love those stories about the bumbling criminal that stumbles through an attempted crime making error after error until they're forced to just sit there until the police come to rescue them.

A lot of me is thinking about how I feel sorry for that person because they obviously need some sort of help and maybe laughing about them isn't really the nicest thing I could do. Then, I do it anyway.

Take the case of the astronaut that was in the news today. Part of me says, this woman needs professional help badly. And the other part of me just has to laugh at the absurdity of the whole thing.

Nowak had been having an affair with another astronaut but apparently felt threatened enough by another woman (some Air Force captain or something. These astronauts get around...) that she drove from Houston to Orlando to confront this woman. Once there the second woman noticed someone following her. I'm not sure how she discovered this as her stalker was elegantly disguised under a wig and a trench coat. Brilliant. I mean, when I think of places where everyone wears trench coats usually London and Orlando top my list. No word on if she had the Groucho Marx glasses and nose as well.

Once she had her target cornered she tried to get the woman to get out of the car and talk to her because she couldn't hear her through the window. Once the window was rolled down she blasted the woman with mace. When police asked Nowak "wouldn't that make it kind of hard to talk to her?" she said "yeah, that was a really dumb thing to do."

Possibly my favorite part of the story is how she wore diapers for the drive because she didn't want to stop for any bathroom breaks. I guess she was in a bit of a hurry or something. I think it would be at the point when police arrested me as I attempted to attack a woman while dressed in diapers and a trench coat that I might start to wonder where it all went wrong for me.

"Hmm, I used to be an astronaut. I've flown the space shuttle yet here I am trying to kidnap this woman in my diapers. I really need to make some changes here."
Although it does kind of make me feel better about my life.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

And how much is it to connect the Clone Cone machine directly to my veins?

I'm headed north to Ames this weekend for one of the annual reunions with my old West Larch crew. I'm looking forward most to the Clone Cones and Hilton Magic along with checking out the Welch Ave scene. Unfortunately, I think living in Kansas again has made me a huge wuss because I'm looking at Saturday's high temperature of 1 degree and wondering why anyone chooses to live in that. If past gatherings are any indication I might not be too worried about the temperature.

It pretty much sucks here and it gets up in the 20's every day. I'm having flashbacks to that week or two every year when it would never get above 5 degrees and I'd have to walk into that galeforce wind howling down from Canada. Is there any valid reason why you haven't turned the steam tunnels into underground passageways? I blame Jischke.

Anyway, it should be an interesting weekend to say the least (for a variety of reasons). Hopefully I'll have some good stories to recount when I get back.

But....TV doesn't lie to me

I found this amazing commercial on lozo's blog.

Apparently this ran during the 2000 Super Bowl. Unfortunately, the commercial turned out to be a huge liar which is probably why this company doesn't exist anymore or something. I was thinking about what went wrong and it became pretty obvious. Duh! It's clearly Bush's fault.

If he had never been installed by the Supreme Court AIDS and cancer would be gone and Christopher Reeves would be here watching one of the thousands of televisions that have apparently been erected to distract us from the fact that our world looks strangely dystopian. Oh, and Reeves would be WALKING instead of just being dead somewhere like he is now. I'm not sure why exactly all of that was supposed to make me invest in their company but it makes it even less likely since Bush destroyed all of their great plans.

Here's my predictions for this year. "In the year 2009 everyone realized that Super Bowl commercials have pretty much sucked for the last several years because companies with way too much money blow it all trying to make some epic statement about how they are going to change the world and it isn't nearly as funny as the Bud frogs seemed to be. People revolt and demand the return of Bud Bowl."

I miss the days when beer marketed their products to impressionable kids like me by utilizing cute animals with catch phrases that we could all say on the playground. "Bud...weis...err"
"Hahaha...that's great, I can't until I'm old enough to be in high school and get some irresponsible adult to buy us beer. Let's go to the State Fair and try to win a stuffed Red Dog!"

More on Boston pissing itself in the face of LED attacks

The above image was found at this blog which also has pictures of the actual devices. Go look at them and see if this screams bomb to you. Apparently a few resistors, a bunch of LEDs, and a couple of batteries are enough to shut down an entire city for the day. It's getting to be pretty easy to be a terrorist these days when everyone's freaking terrorized all the time over nothing!

As Paul mentioned in the comments below the two guys who put up the signs have been arrested. They are apparently artists who were also employed by the ad agency and have been charged with "placing a hoax device in a way that results in panic" and disorderly conduct. I'm just stunned by this. How can it be a "hoax device" if it looks nothing like a bomb??? It's a bunch of lights showing a cartoon character shooting the bird! But, oh, wait, according to the state attorney general, "It had a very sinister appearance. It had a battery behind it, and wires." Hmm...sinister appearance, battery behind it, and....wires. LOOK OUT! THERE'S A BOMB ON MY WALL!

Wait, that's my clock. But those birds on the face were giving me the evil eye...

For a reasonable response see what they said in Seattle:
"To us, they're so obviously not suspicious," said King County sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart. "They're not suspicious devices or packages. We don't consider them dangerous. I haven't actually seen them; I don't know how many there are or where they were found. I just know they're lighted cartoon figures. This is a joke."

I agree, this is a joke. Shouldn't they have to show evidence that these guys thought they would be mistaken for bombs before they're convicted of something like this? If I'm driving my car past a building and someone thinks it looks like I'm thinking about setting off a car bomb will I be arrested for that or just if they panic and call the police?

What kind of a country are we living in? That question can partially be answered by the online coverage I saw from one of the Boston TV stations that had actually blurred out the middle finger on the sign. Won't someone please think of the children!