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health & medical

Marty Digs: The weighting is the hardest part

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Here in the Philadelphia region, we are up to our asses in snow, ice, and misery due to the poor weather. It’s had me cursing more than the lovable foul-mouthed 1980’s arcade legend Q-Bert. And as mentioned last week, I am also up to my ass in work, graduate school work, dirty diapers, and stress. And the ass of which I speak has been struggling to get into my wrinkle free pleated cotton Dockers lately. I can’t afford new pants, so it’s high time for me to get in shape! [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Football donor wants his money back from UConn

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The world of college sports walks a fine line between amateur athletics, with which it is intended to be associated, and professional sports, which it far more closely resembles. Football and basketball, in particular, seem to be in real danger of crossing that line on a regular basis. From players breaking rules by receiving various kinds of benefits from schools or program boosters, to the schools themselves committing recruiting violations, the environment is rife with problems. One of the areas that gets a bit less attention is fundraising. It is far more interesting to talk about the player who got a car from a local car dealer or the college that offered money to recruits than it is to talk about the long list of donors to a major college sports program. [Read more →]
Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten answers to the question, “How cold is it?”

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10. It’s so cold, Lady Gaga’s charbroiling her meat dress before putting it on

9. It’s so cold, opticians at LensCrafters are giving away free ice scrapers with every new pair of glasses

8. It’s so cold, TSA agents are required to put on mittens before fondling you

7. It’s so cold, the Statue of Liberty decided to hold her torch under her robe

6. It’s so cold, Miley Cyrus is lighting her bong just for the warmth

5. It’s so cold, Charlie Rangel was spotted with his hands in his own pockets

4. It’s so cold, yesterday I chipped a tooth on my Cup-a-Soup

3. It’s so cold, Al Gore recently came out in favor of global warming

2. It’s so cold, Glenn Beck has requested he be sent to Hell earlier than scheduled

1. It’s so cold, Brett Favre is just describing his junk to women
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & government

The internet kill switch

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Like many of you, I’ve been following the Egyptian uprising on The Drudge Report, Instapundit, and the major network websites like Fox News and CNN.  I’m totally in support of the populace to rise up and overthrow the existing government, if that’s what they so choose to do.  This is a basic American Ideal, laid out since the Declaration of Independence first offered up the words “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

What I find interesting though is not the political upheaval, but the response by the powers that be and its relation to current US policy.  Namely the idea that they tried to turn off the internet.

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politics & governmentterror & war

Egypt is Lectured by Iran

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I think the following statement from Iran’s Foreign Ministry, reported just a moment ago on CNN, is worthy of note:

“Iran expects Egyptian officials to listen to the voice of their Muslim people, respond to their rightful demands and refrain from exerting violence by security forces and police against an Islamic wave of awareness that has spread through the country in form of a popular movement.”

This statement by Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, as simple and plain-spoken as it may be, is nonetheless an inadvertent masterpiece of irony that, I think,  deserves to live on for all eternity in the annals of insincerity.

technologyvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Upgrade blues: The screenager vs. the teacher of argument

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One trait of being a “screenager” is the love of upgrades. In a bit-based world governed by the never-ending promise of Moore’s Law, they live for the next best device.  My daughter has been campaigning for a new cell phone to add to her growing list of devices, including a one-year old cell phone that she has lost… no, more on that in a moment. [Read more →]

ends & odd

This day – and tomorrow – in history

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Everyone has their routine stops – both actual and virtual – that they make in the course of the day. For me, the latter include a “This Day in History” feature prepared by the New York Times.

During TODAY’s stop I learned of a number of significant events, including one that had a special added note, due to an event that will appear on the feature TOMORROW.
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art & entertainmentpolitics & government

Special 3D post! The cynical genesis of Captain America and why the title of the new film “Captain America: The First Avenger” should be changed in every territory

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Here is what you call a “non-story:” The upcoming film “Captain America: The First Avenger,” will be dropping the “Captain America” part of the title when it is released in South Korea, Russia, and Ukraine.

The choice was made by Marvel, Paramount Pictures’ international team and distributors in those three countries based on market research results. Those involved in the decision are being careful to frame the move as a matter of brand management and consumer awareness and not as a decision tilted by cultural or political winds.

In private, Marvel insiders said that early on in the project’s planning there was talk that the title might need to be changed in numerous international markets but that there was a ”pleasant surprise” — the brand recognition of the comic-book superhero was so strong that it overrode those considerations in many places. That was not the case in Russia, South Korea and the Ukraine.

Most Americans don’t care what happens in any of those three countries, anyway. I’m not entirely sure that “Ukraine” is even a real place. Show it to me on a map. I’m waiting. [Read more →]

Change shows up vs change show downs

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I blogged in December, but I didn’t post it.

The blog was vague. I wanted to talk about something, but I didn’t want to jinx it. So, the blog didn’t really make any sense. It was likely pretty darn uninteresting, as well.

At the time, when I first wrote it, I was pregnant. I was trying to come to terms, in a happy way, with the idea that maybe I could go back to re-planning that whole “married with children” lifestyle. It would be a new version, of course, with my new cake husband, and certainly way better than the Bundy version. Not to mention way better than my previous version, one would hope. [Read more →]

Broadway Fred

Broadway Fred: How to Succeed….

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We’re coming up on the fiftieth anniversary of the fabulous Frank Loesser musical, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  To celebrate, Daniel Radcliffe will star as window washer turned business hotshot, Finch, along with John Larroquette as the big boss, J.B. Biggley.  I’m looking forward to this one, not only because of the dissonance of watching Harry Potter sing “Brotherhood of Man,” but because of my personal history with this play.  Yes, readers, a much younger Broadway Fred was one of the great Finches of his time, in one of the finest productions of the mighty Studio Y Players.

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Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: Miles Davis’ Kill Whitey Academy of Jazz All-Stars, Part II

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Today’s post continues last week’s meditation on Miles DavisTony Williams, and incontinence among jazz musicians.

A quick recap:  Recall that Absurdity and Despair govern our world. Recall further that these overlapping magisteria often surface in the realm of jazz music, particularly whenever someone conjures the words “Miles” and “Davis.”

Last week I discussed this phenomenon in the context of a performance by the late, great Tony Williams. This week, we move from a surly drummer to a no-nonsense bass player.

Enter Richard...

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Gail sees a movie

Gail sees a movie: No Strings Attached

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Mega producer Ivan Reitman has been producing and directing comedies for over 30 years. He directs and produces a standard romantic comedy here, and that is not such a bad thing. No Strings Attached is amusing, even if it is predicable. But Natalie Portman and a remarkable cast of supporting actors give this unremarkable comedy added laughs and energy. [Read more →]

politics & government

Did Obama break the law when delivering the SOTU

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Many of you may accuse me of hasty floccinaucinihilipilification for this, and claim that I’m being harsh, but…

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artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzoeducation

“Fact” vs. “fancy”: Still an issue in the real world

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Remember Dickens’s Thomas Gradgrind, with his meaty, square-ended finger pile-driving into his lectern as he tells the kids in his classroom that the world has no room for “fancy”? — that “fact” is all that matters? Well, he is alive and well. There are people walking around who think that imagination and creativity are extraneous human endeavors. Of course, they probably think this because they often witness artistic idiots skipping around and scattering rose petals up to the harsh winds of reality. It is a cultural snake that eats itself, really. [Read more →]

sciencethat's what he said, by Frank Wilson

Unsettled science — knowledge and certainty

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Mark Vernon recently posted three quotations on his excellent blog Philosophy & Life.

The first was from physicist Carlo Rovelli: “The notion of ‘scientifically proven’. Nearly an oxymoron. The very foundation of science is to keep the door open to doubt.” [Read more →]

ends & oddtravel & foreign lands

Things Coca Cola has taught me

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On Monday, I helped an 88-year-old man move a Coca-Cola vending machine from the floor of an industrial warehouse to the back of his pick-up truck. He was buying it for the employees at his scrap metal business in Houston. The owner of the vending machine was out of town, and I had agreed to meet the old man and help.

Alas, I wasn’t much use. I soon discovered that even if I pushed the vending machine very, very hard with my shoulder, it wouldn’t move. Fortunately there was a man across the street with a forklift truck. If he hadn’t been there, the Coke machine would still be standing in the original spot, or perhaps the 88-year-old man and I would be lying under it, two bloody smears on the warehouse floor.

And so the week began with a new discovery: VENDING MACHINES ARE INCREDIBLY HEAVY. Reflecting upon this, I wondered what other things I had learned from Coca-Cola which, like the air we breathe, is a ubiquitous part of modern life.

So: what else has Coke taught me? [Read more →]

art & entertainmentmusic

Marty Digs:The Goo Goo Dolls

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This week I am teetering closer and closer to my first nervous breakdown. I am knee deep in graduate school work, we have an uninvited “mouseguest” problem, and my little boy bounces off the walls until midnight every night. My sleep is messed up, I’m out of shape, unmotivated, and out of sorts. The realization of my problems came to a head last night when I hazily sat through 1/4th of the movie “You’ve Got Mail” with my girlfriend and was actually getting into the storyline. My cure-all for this is time traveling in my mind back to the glorious mid-90s. The band joining me on this journey is the much misunderstood band The Goo Goo Dolls.     [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Kobe Bryant calls fans stupid for booing Carmelo Anthony. He’s wrong.

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Some athletes just don’t get it. I guess it’s because of how far removed their lives are from those of the average fans. When you make millions of dollars a year for playing a game, it must be easy to lose sight of what it’s like to have to save to take your family to a game. That’s the only way I can explain comments like those made by Kobe Bryant this week, discussing the fact that Carmelo Anthony is being booed by his home fans in Denver. Bryant called the fans of the Nuggets “stupid” for daring to boo Anthony, the team’s star player who is trying to force a trade to the New York Knicks. Apparently, those fans should stay quiet about the giant middle-finger that Anthony is sending their way. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten new programs on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

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10. “Oprahsourced”

9. “Gayle King and I”

8. “Saturday Night Oprah”

7. “America’s Got Oprah”

6. “Extreme Makeoprah: Home Edition”

5. “Dr. Phil’s Crap-a-Thon”

4. “$#*! Oprah Says”

3. “The Bold and the Oprah”

2. “The Stedman from Atlantis”

1. “The Story of O”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & government

Screw civility in political discourse

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So I’ve had a very hard time trying to write about politics for the last two weeks.  The whole response to the Gifford’s shooting has really ticked me off.  The left’s attacks on conservatives are, in my mind, an effort at the censorship of free political speech, and I don’t see the assault on a conservative’s right to say what he/she thinks coming to a stop anytime soon.

This upsets me because we have large problems to deal with in this country, problems like the nation’s debt, a struggling economy, the Federal Reserve dropping depth charges on the value of the dollar, why, I could write for a month solid on all the things we’re not getting done because we’re having to defend ourselves against trumped up accusations of murder.

I think the best piece I’ve read so far on the subject comes from Don Surber at Daily Mail.com, which I found thanks to Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit.com.  It’s entitled “I do not want civil discourse”.

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