My favorite dumb spring project the last couple years has been running a bracket pool celebrating the “accomplishments” of the nation’s 69th-148th best college basketball teams. It’s cynical and pointless and a little overcomplicated, and thus it’s perfect. If you’re interested, I’d love to have you play. Submit a bracket by 7pm tonight.
“A thing I wonder about 311 is exactly how many bodies singer Nick Hexum buried on his private island off of Florida before he sold it in 2011? And how many murders were ritual and how many were just spur-of-the-moment “I saw red and when I came to, nobody in the drum circle was breathing” killings? I’m guessing the breakdown is roughly 50/50. “One for Lolth, one for me, one for Lolth, one for me…””—Zachary Lipez > 311 - The Talkhouse
- THEY WERE NOT DRAG RACING!!!!! THEY WERE STREET RACING!!!! DRAG RACING IS DONE ON A DRAG STRIP, OFF OF PUBLIC ROADS!!!! IT’S A SPORT!!! STREET RACING, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS A SERIOUS & VERY DANGEROUS TRAFFIC VIOLATION!!!! IT’S A MISDEMEANOR HERE IN NEW YORK STATE, A CRIME, AND I’M SURE THAT ALL OTHER STATES TREAT IT AS SUCH!!!! BUT THE STUPID NEWS MEDIA INSISTS ON CALLING “STREET RACING” “DRAG RACING”!!!!! THAT MEANS THAT THE IDIOTIC PRESS CANNOT OR WILL NOT TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SPORT & A CRIMINAL OFFENSE!!!!!!
By the way, the polar vortex is a constant thing, it’s a center of circulating cold air over/near the North Pole (there’s one over the South Pole too). It in itself is not a weather event. This has been a cold front and an unstable jet stream (probably related to melting sea ice, and definitely related to unseasonably warm temperatures elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere).
Though I didn’t vote in Pazz and Jop, ballots are going around lately, which reminds me that I never got to my top 10 of 2013.
1. Paramore, Paramore 2. Bottomless Pit, Shade Perennial 3. Carcass, Surgical Steel 4. Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob 5. So So Glos, Blowout 6. Baptist Generals, Jackleg Devotional to the Heart 7. Weed, Deserve 8. Drake, Nothing was the Same 9. Kvelertak, Meir 10. Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt
1. Bunji Garlin, “Differentology” 2. 2 Chainz ft. Pharrell, “Feds Watching” 3. Margaret Berger, “I Feed You My Love” 4. Paramore, “Still Into You” 5. Radkey, “Cat & Mouse” 6. Selena Gomez, "Come & Get It" (Go-go Remix) 7. Mariah Carey ft. Miguel, “#Beautiful” 8. Ciara, “Body Party” 9. Daft Punk, “Giorgio by Moroder” 10. Dismemberment Plan, “White Collar White Trash”
“In 1997, high winds pushed the Cat in the Hat balloon into a lamppost. The falling debris struck a parade-goer, fracturing her skull and leaving her in a coma for a month. Size rules were implemented the next year, eliminating larger balloons like the Cat in the Hat. The same high winds also caused the New York City Police Department to stab and stomp down the Barney balloon over crowd concerns. They also stabbed a Pink Panther balloon for the same reason. Neither of the last two balloons actually caused any injuries.”—Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“When the clock read 00:00 and the Eagles had “won” 351-19, the Kevins marched on City Hall and captured it easily. The lawyering Kevins, for a brief window, diverted significant portions SEPTA revenues to small pubs in Philadelphia’s Old City, Beard/German Village, Cathedral Goiter, and Grumptown neighborhoods. Many pub owners received new carpeting, others drapes. No games have been played on Thanksgiving on the East Coast ever since.”—A secret history of Thanksgiving football - SBNation.com
LINGUISTICS ROUNDUP: the upcoming 2014 release of Unicode 7.0 will solve two of the most pressing issues relevant to my life.
1. U+1F595! Finally, a universal single-character replacement for the reliable ol’ ASCII middle finger. (My many letters petitioning for a Unicode entity of the “watch and ring” version have been thus far unanswered.)
2. Linear A! Finally, one can live the life of a minor character in a Donna Tartt novel by murdering a local dairy farmer easily expressing one’s Bacchanalian urges in a heretofore untranslated ancient Cretan writing system.
"[This] may be the first undeciphered writing system to be encoded in Unicode (depending upon whether the symbols on the Phaistos Disc, encoded in Unicode 5.1, represent writing or not)."
So how did Tendulkar become, as a former South African cricketer phrased it, “Maradona and Pele put together”? In India, we have arrived at a kind of retrofitted narrative to explain why he came to loom so large in our obsessions. He burst into cricket just as the country began to reinvent its economy and its spirit, and Tendulkar was already everything that India had started to dream of being: competitive, assured, hungry, world-beating. The delights and disappointments of his career can be overlaid almost perfectly upon India’s: the golden promise of the early nineteen-nineties, the soaring successes later that decade and early in the two-thousands, the consolidation and the insecurities thereafter, and the distressing wane of faculties in the past few years. Tendulkar was not so much an athlete as a projection of his country’s psyche.
This narrative sounds all right, but I’ve come to dislike it. It makes too little of the fact that in sport, and in life, we often give our hearts in mysterious ways that don’t reward profound analysis. It also shrinks Tendulkar’s mastery over his game, a timeless expertise that should evoke a sense of amazement in any country and any era. My favorite genre of Tendulkar anecdote involves other top-drawer cricketers talking about him, recounting instances of his consummate skill, expressing baffled awe about how he did what he did. How he had eons more time—some microseconds—to play the ball than any other batsman. How he could read a bowler’s mind. How he seemed faultlessly engineered to bat. Every sport seems basic in the range of its mechanics, requiring only that you hit a ball hard, or kick it accurately, or run really fast. You wonder how much better something so basic could possibly be done, until Tendulkar or Roger Federer or Usain Bolt shows you, and then you feel nothing but comprehension and gratitude.
“I admire Big Papi’s plunging mid-cheek parenthesis, which has been there for many seasons, of course, and now feels as familiar and locally reassuring as a statue by Daniel Chester French. I also offer praise for the angle-iron jawline wool sported by tonight’s Boston starter, Jon Lester: an aesthetic so clearly modelled on Gunnar Björnstrand’s trimmed-down growth while he portrayed Fredrik Egerman in Bergman’s “Smiles of a Summer Night.””—Red Sox and Cardinals: World Series Game Four and Those Beards : The New Yorker
What books and authors have your three children introduced you to?
Like most bipedal parents, we all discovered Harry Potter together, reading the books aloud to our kids. But one of my favorite children’s authors was introduced to us by our youngest son. When he was in kindergarten he brought home some books by Mo Willems, who has one of the most remarkable comedic voices I’ve ever read. His sense of humanity — of heart and generosity — is staggering. I was so blown away, I got his number from his agent and called him. I was essentially a sycophant, expressing what a deep fan of his I am, how I would love to work together one day. He was quiet on the phone, almost monosyllabic, disinterested. Frankly it was a bit of an odd reaction. It wasn’t until the next day that I discovered that I had, in error, called Mo Williams of the Portland Trail Blazers.
“I’ma keep it real. It is small. There are no windows and it does not have a closet. That’s why the rent is so dern cheap. It DOES, however, have one frosty glass wall that lets light from the kitchen/hallway in, but you can’t see through it. Mary-Jean (the current roomie who lives in the room) has a piece of fabric that she puts over it when she wants it to be super dark if we have the light on in the kitchen.”—
Lantgrave Wilhelm of Kassel in Germany, with whom Tycho Brahe had an extensive mail correspondence and astronomical discussions, asked Tycho in a letter 1591 about an animal he had heard about called “Rix”, which was faster than a deer, but with smaller horns. Tycho replied that such an animal did not exist, but maybe he meant the norwegian animal called reindeer. Tycho wrote that he would check further details about such animals and if he could perhaps send one. He wrote that he had a young moose, that he could send if the Lantgrave would like. The Lantgrave replied that he had owned reindeers before but they had died of the heat, he also had a moose, which was tame and followed him like a dog. He would gladly accept a tame moose from Tycho, and would in such case reward Tycho with a riding horse for the trouble.
Tycho replies that he would order additional moose, and he would have sent his tame one, had it not died shortly before. It had been transported to the castle of Landskrona, a city close to Hven, to entertain a nobleman there. But it had happened that during the dinner, the moose had ascended the castle stairs and drunk of the beer in such amounts, that it had fallen down the stairs, and broken a leg. Despite the best care, the moose had died shortly thereafter.
“It isn’t only a matter of having a better candidate and strategy in 2016, when what we had would have won if not for the cheating in 2012 even if it wasn’t the best campaign, candidate, and strategy employed.”—
Matthew Hayden said it was “beyond chaos” when Tendulkar came out to the crease, calling it “a frantic appeal by a nation to one man”. The late Peter Roebuck told a story of being on a train between Shimla and Delhi which stopped at a station simply because Tendulkar was on 98. “Everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This genius can stop time in India!”
While covering the World Cup in 2011 I watched, rapt, as he scored 120 against England in Bengaluru. It is just another among the many great centuries he made, but for me it stands out as one of the precious occasions when I got to sit in court with a king, a moment akin to watching Roger Federer on Centre Court, Usain Bolt at the Olympic Stadium, or Michael Phelps in the Olympic pool. There was a banner in the ground, a copy of one which had been seen at the SCG years earlier. “Commit your crimes when Sachin is batting,” it said. “They will go unnoticed, because even the Lord is watching.”
“When Smart and the Outlaws played divisional rival Los Angeles Xtreme, two Xtreme players put “I Hate He” and “I Hate He Too” on the back of their jerseys to express their disdain for Smart. In a later game between those two teams, those two players changed their nicknames to “Still Hate He” and “Still Hate He Too”. The curious maxim also caught the eye of American audiences (as well as Smart’s future Carolina Panthers teammate Jake Delhomme, who named one of his thoroughbreds, “She Hate Me”).”—Rod Smart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The story begins in December 2001. WWE Chairman Vince McMahon meets with old aide Phil Thomson, a government official. Thomson proposes to Vince the creation of a covert group consisting of McMahon’s most refined wrestlers, knowing their exaggerated, constantly touring lifestyle will provide excellent cover. McMahon accepts the deal, and recruits John Cena, Triple H, Dave Batista, Chavo Guerrero, Torrie Wilson, and finally himself as leader.
By March 2006, the team has formed a tight unit, and is given its latest assignment, to break into a methyl-amphetamine development lab that is financially supporting terrorists in the European regions. When one of their own is taken prisoner, the wrestlers must stage a rescue which could endanger their careers and their lives.
About two and a half years ago, Covucci, a longtime Arlington resident, got a girl’s number on the Metro. He subsequently launched a blog called Meeting Girls on Metro and blogged about his life—which, as it turns out, has little to do with the Metro or meeting girls on the Metro. The blog took off and now Covucci is leaving his desk job at a trade association in Farragut to be an editor in New York City at Brobible.com, which describes itself as the “ultimate destination for Bros.”
Covucci says he didn’t consider getting a tattoo of the more common D.C. flag as a tribute to his time in the region because he’s an Arlington man and everyone gets the flag. “I’m a contrarian at heart,” he says.
A visit to a Gristedes grocery store—most Manhattanites, at least, have had the experience—explains something about both Catsimatidis’ campaign and its advertising. The stores are lit like the sequels to The Matrix and crowded with marked-down items hours from their expiration dates; higher-end items are marked up punitively, mid-range items marked up only slightly less so, and lower-end items appear to have been kicked all the way from warehouse to shelf.
Cashiers text. Lines stagnate as managers try to reason with elderly customers wielding expired coupons. Someone has opened a jar of Ba-Tempte pickles, eaten a few, then re-screwed the top and put it back on the shelf. (I’ve seen it.)
The night before Hurricane Sandy last fall, I - idiotically, and brand-new to New York, and not knowing where the nearest grocery store of any size even was - wound up at a downtown Gristedes near my corporate apartment, fighting my way through crowds of freaked-out Financial District residents for whatever was left on the shelves. (Stuff to make an expensive - though pretty good! - pot roast, it’d turn out, and a few cans of Chef Boyardee Beefaroni, which I’d eat cold during the blackout.)
Until you’ve seen a leathery Gordon Gekko lookalike methodically swipe an entire shelf of Greek yogurt into his basket - as though the stuff stood a puncher’s chance when the lights went out - I guess you haven’t reckoned with the awesome power of the would-be Catsimatidis voter.
“Should you buy the Galaxy Gear? Nah, wait for the next one. Or Apple’s smartwatch. That’s what I’m going to do. A Pebble is good enough for me until then. But I still want this one. Well done, Samsung.”—
I came across this article on Tech Crunch yesterday (why do I read Tech Crunch) and it made me laugh, cringe, wince, and just about turn my head inside out with incredulity at the author’s inability to keep a through line of thought or reason across like ten paragraphs.
The above is the final paragraph. The author really likes the new Samsung watch because he read some ambivalent things about its features and likes how the product concept photos look. Should you buy it? No. “Well done, Samsung.”
All the arguments and anecdotes of the piece concede that Samsung makes terrible products. At one point, the author says, “Apple will likely follow its tradition of waiting until its smartwatch is ready.” Oh, a company should have a "tradition" of waiting until its products are "ready" before they’re released? Amazing analysis.
This article is one of the goofier examples of the weird critical disconnect between the way people consider Apple’s smartphones and Samsung’s smartphones (full disclosure: I own one of each! I’m that guy!) that reminds me of the way people used to talk about bookshelf stereos in the mid-90’s: if you want flashy lights and wacky speaker grilles, sure, buy an Aiwa. But if you want to listen to your copy of “Razorblade Suitcase” and not feel like a fucking asshole about it, get a Sony, dog.
Does this make the Pebble this generation’s, uh, KOSS?
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — This week, Yoo-hoo Chocolate drink and Kevin Martin (former lead singer of Candlebox) and his new band the HiWatts, unveiled the next big thing in online file sharing. On the heels of lawsuits from major record labels against those who download and file share, Yoo-hoo is providing a new way to think about how the Internet can satisfy music fans and musicians simultaneously. The program has been dubbed “Yoo-Play We Pay.” With financial backing from Yoo-hoo, fans will be able to download and share five brand new MP3s from Kevin Martin and the HiWatts for free via the global file sharing community, or, if they wish, off the Yoo-Play.com website (www.yoo-play.com ).
Together with Jun Group, Inc. the deal was created through a proprietary method of reaching the global file sharing community so that users of Kazaa, Bearshare, Limewire and other software packages can get the music in the manner in which they’re accustomed. A patent is pending that will allow Yoo-hoo to continue to distribute free music to millions of fans around the world via the global file sharing community.
"Our faithful Yoo-hoo fans are passionate about their music and it’s an understatement that their recent inability to freely download and file share has been a buzz kill to them," said Kristin Krumpe, Yoo-hoo’s Top Guru and Director of Marketing, Yoo-hoo Chocolate Beverage Corp. "We’ve provided an innovative solution for an unconventional cyber world by developing a new way to support the file sharing community and the independent musicians at the same time."
And the results have been off the charts. In the first seven days, more than 1,000,000 consumers have downloaded Yoo-hoo’s music. “That’s a whole lot of happy fans,” said Mitchell Reichgut of Jun Group, Inc. “For most musicians, it’s not about record deals and CD sales that often show no profit, rather it’s about getting heard, developing a following and doing what they love to do best — playing music.”
Not to mention, yoo too can be the next artist or band that is featured on Yoo-Play.com. “For our consumers it’s not all about celebrity,” added Krumpe. “The Yoo-hoo world is about being a participant in the things that are important, like music.”
This weekend I saw a grip of Yoo-Hoo in a vending machine at the Islip airport, wondered aloud who still drank Yoo-Hoo in this day and age, and accidentally discovered the wonderful goldmine that is Yoo-Hoo’s early-naughts press release archive.
Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink and Aggressive Skaters Association To Create ‘Extreme Assemblies’
PR Newswire, 2002-09-17
Hitting seven key markets across the country, from September to November, top professional skateboarders, bikers, and inline skaters will visit schools in Philadelphia, Cleveland, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Los Angeles, promoting tobacco prevention through the coolness of extreme sports.
"The ASA High School Tour is a great way to get the message out to students that tobacco isn’t cool, isn’t necessary, and certainly isn’t the way to go," said Kristin Krumpe, Director of Communications at Yoo-hoo. "We’re thrilled to be sponsoring this event and work with ASA to reach kids in a way that isn’t preachy and doesn’t talk down to them, "Krumpe added.
"For years, Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink has never pulled any punches — we’re honest about who and what we are, and promote ourselves with that same honesty," she continued. "Yoo-hoo drinkers know that they don’t need tobacco to be the superstars that they are. Yoo-hoo drinkers are honest with themselves, and excel by being who they are, be it extreme skaters, punk rockers, or simply average, everyday kids. Working with ASA highlights that," she added.
Also showing up at this event will be Josh and Nathan, Yoo-hoo’s two spokes-dudes. Fresh off the Yoo-hoo Stinkin’ Summer Tour where they followed Blink 182, Green Day, and the Warped Tour around the country, Josh and Nathan will show up with tons of Yoo-hoo product, as well as special prizes and gifts.
“Yoo-hoo found someone who speaks to their dual target: blue-collar Bubbas and teens and kids who watch Discovery Channel," BRZoom Principal Jordan Bochanis said. "We called him and said, ‘You’re a great fit for the brand’ and he said, ‘Let’s see what we can do together.’”—Yoo-hoo Rides with Jesse James for Summer | Chief Marketer