Entries Tagged as ''

sports

Peyton Manning: all that’s certain is the hurtin’ (and maybe the poopin’)

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There are many perks to playing in the NFL, ranging from untold riches to the right to pat other men on the butt whenever you want, no questions asked or judgments made. The downside is that, if you stick around long enough, your brain will be battered into goo and large guys will snap off your legs. (Ask Joe Theismann.) That’s why Peyton Manning is currently living the dream, for after a stretch of being hailed as a gridiron messiah wherever he went, he signed a five-year, $96-million deal with the Denver Broncos. Tragically, the actual season will soon begin and there suddenly will be a very real chance Ray Lewis will slam him to the ground repeatedly. And thus we are forced to think of the immortal words of Bartleby the Scrivener: “I would prefer Ray Lewis did not do that to me.” [Read more →]

travel & foreign lands

Day 3 at Sea: The Journey of Junior Steeler

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The first port o’ call on our cruise, bright and early on a Tuesday morning, was the city of Nassau, in the Bahamas. Our first port o’ call, but also the last stop on our journey for the fourth-and-a-half member of our company, Junior Steeler.
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politics & governmentrace & culture

Willard’s wingmen: Applied Crackology

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The Island Hopping Campaign has been a wild success. Romunist advances have swept through the distant outposts of Guam, the US Virgin Islands and American Samoa which were left undefended. Only Puerto Rico produced some mild resistance from Rickist forces, crushed with the tried strategy of Divide and Scavenge. It may be a hard sell to blame malign and invidious Division for Mitt’s seventy-five point blowout. After all, how could one possibly get three-fourths of anything without smoothing over existing rifts and gently sweeping together the available bits? Such objections assume that Mitt Romney follows the Geneva Conventions. Nothing of the kind. Mitt went nuclear. Rick, that dope, never had a chance. He played it straight, going off to Puerto Rico for the old elbow-rubbing style of politics that is standard from Dicksville Notch down to Eureka, California. Taking on one of the main questions for our fellow Americans in the territory of Puerto Rico, the pasty but Catholic candidate said that any admission of that territory into the Union was contingent on English becoming the primary language of governance. It is unlikely that Team Santorum could be ignorant of the controversy and its potential for blowback. It is a century old. Only a seventh of Puerto Rico is fluent in English. For Crackologists, no es bueno, especially when Romney took the opportunity to declare that he was a-okay with Spanish being the chief language of the 51st State. [Read more →]

travel & foreign lands

Day 2 at Sea: Seascapes and Sea Breezes

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Maybe it’s the years I’ve now spent away from the coast, but a broad ocean vista has a tremendous appeal for me, a fascination. Our ship will be entirely at sea today, en route from yesterday’s port to tomorrow’s. So from first light to last, there is nothing out there but the sea and the sky and the straight line dividing the two … and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
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family & parentingtrusted media & news

Are you frightened by the frighteningly commonplace Choking Game epidemic? You should be — just look at the numbers

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Today, Yahoo had a link on their main page to an alarming Time story about an alarming trend — actually, it’s more like an epidemic! — of children (who are our future and our most precious resource) asphyxiating themselves in an effort to achieve a “high,” to just feel something in this callously dull world. This deadly dangerous activity goes by many names, but the most alarming by far is “The Choking Game,” and only the most naive among you don’t believe it’s already infected your community.

Researchers at The Crime Victims’ Institute at Sam Houston State University surveyed 837 students at a Texas university and found that the behavior, which works by cutting off blood flow to the brain in order to induce a high, was frighteningly commonplace:

•16% of students said they’d played the game, and three-quarters more than once
•On average, students first played the game at age 14
•Males were more likely to have played than females
•90% of students who had played the game learned about it from friends, and most students said they first played in a group

16% of a group of 837 students at one Texas University might have choked or hyperventilated themselves at some point in the past. And three-quarters of those might have done it twice!

That is “frighteningly commonplace” (by the way, emphasis added, because, see below)! That’s practically everybody!

It turns out that The Choking Game is a crisis that media outlets have been trying to manufacture for some time. With limited success, because today was the first I’d ever heard of it — now, of course, I’m panicked. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Father assaults middle school basketball coach

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Watching your children play sports is fun. My girls did not spend a great deal of time playing sports, being more inclined toward the performing arts, but they did play basketball for several years when they were younger. They were never more than role players on their teams, but I used to love sitting and watching them play. I am a hot-headed sports fan, so my grumbling about bad calls was occasionally louder than it should have been, but I never went too far with it. I did once tell our coach, after listening to him tell me about bad officiating, that we would probably get better calls if his own daughter didn’t repeatedly mouth off to the referees and show up her teammates. [Read more →]

animalsBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Following the recent report that over half the dogs in the U.S. are overweight, top ten ways to tell if your dog is too fat

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10. He doesn’t chase cats so much as amble in their general direction

9. Instead of “Lassie” you’ve decided to call her “Assy”

8. Whenever he plays dead, he can’t get up again

7. He has to eat Lipitor-enhanced Friskies

6. His chew toy is a 12-pound ham

5. You finally realized he isn’t barking “Ruff Ruff Ruff” but “Stuffed Crust Pizza”

4. He spends half his time stuck in the doggie door

3. He answers to the name “Chris Christie”

2. Instead of a GPS chip, you just use Google Earth

1. In the evening, you don’t take your dog for a walk; you take him for a roll
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

travel & foreign lands

Day 1 at Sea: Safety First

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Each year, as we move into March, a common topic of discussion around the workplace and around town is some variation of … “so, you got plans for Spring Break?” This is usually followed by some analysis of what we are doing, what we could be doing, what we should be doing, and so on.

This year, though, our announced plans to take a cruise are followed by some analysis of safety issues, whether we are concerned about going out to sea, and the difficulties that could arise therefrom.
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black helicopter watchpolitics & government

No real beauty, no center, just sadness

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CORRECTION: IN MY ORIGINAL PIECE, I REFERRED TO MR. ZIMMERMAN AS A “WHITE GUY.” MR. ZIMMERMAN IS BEING DEFENDED AS BEING OF MIXED DESCENT, WITH BOTH HISPANIC AND ANGLO PARENTS. ACTUALLY, GIVEN THE CONTEXT, I FIND THAT EVEN MORE TRAGIC AND DON’T THINK IT CHANGES THAT MUCH. WHILE READING SOME MORE OF THE COVERAGE, IT BECAME OBVIOUS THAT WHAT LOOK LIKE PUBLIC STREETS EITHER AREN’T IN GATED COMMUNITIES OR IT’S NOW OK FOR LOCAL TWITS TO DRIVE AROUND LIKE THE GUY WITH NO SHIRT IN TRAILER PARK BOYS AND BUG PEOPLE, FOLLOWED BY SHOOTING THEM WHICH IS A STRETCH THAT JC TREMBLAY HADN’T QUITE REACHED. YET…

I HAVE met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

That woman’s days were spent
In ignorant good-will,
Her nights in argument
Until her voice grew shrill.
What voice more sweet than hers
When, young and beautiful,
She rode to harriers?
This man had kept a school
And rode our winged horse;
This other his helper and friend
Was coming into his force;
He might have won fame in the end,
So sensitive his nature seemed,
So daring and sweet his thought.
This other man I had dreamed
A drunken, vainglorious lout.
He had done most bitter wrong
To some who are near my heart,
Yet I number him in the song;
He, too, has resigned his part
In the casual comedy;
He, too, has been changed in his turn,
Transformed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Hearts with one purpose alone
Through summer and winter seem
Enchanted to a stone
To trouble the living stream.
The horse that comes from the road.
The rider, the birds that range
From cloud to tumbling cloud,
Minute by minute they change;
A shadow of cloud on the stream
Changes minute by minute;
A horse-hoof slides on the brim,
And a horse plashes within it;
The long-legged moor-hens dive,
And hens to moor-cocks call;
Minute by minute they live:
The stone’s in the midst of all.

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.
O when may it suffice?
That is Heaven’s part, our part
To murmur name upon name,
As a mother names her child
When sleep at last has come
On limbs that had run wild.
What is it but nightfall?
No, no, not night but death;
Was it needless death after all?
For England may keep faith
For all that is done and said.
We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead;
And what if excess of love
Bewildered them till they died?
I write it out in a verse –
MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.     –WB Yeats

When did Florida become Ulster or Pretoria 20 years ago?

When I say the name Trayvon Martin, does it mean anything to you?” Melissa Harris-Perry asked her MSNBC audience on Saturday. “If it doesn’t, it should.”

Harris-Perry then took some time to explain who Trayvon Martin is: a 17-year-old, unarmed black teenager who wasallegedly shot and killed by a man in Florida in late February, after the man saw him walking down a street and thought he looked suspicious. The case has attracted substantial attention, in part because the man, George Zimmerman, has admitted to shooting Martin but has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

I enjoy listening to Melissa’s work and discussions with her guests. I’m not sure why she was denied promotion to full professor at Princeton – They have a quota on attractive women, Black, Liberal Political Scientists who get opinion gigs on MSNBC and PBS? They still have investments in slavery? Paul Krugman scares them – but their loss is Tulane’s, the nation’s, and MSNBC’s gain. I was steaming over the Trayvon Martin situation anyway, and her commentary pushed a lot of buttons.

Usually at this time of year, I’m writing something about the Irish, or Ireland or Catholicism.  I’ve been following An Problacht, (The Republic) and watching Rugby on both BBC and The Rugby Channel. Caught a brief bit of  Young Cassidy last night on the way out to a very non-Gaelic supper that did include roast beef and cabbage. I wore a dark green  t-shirt, a tweed jacket and a plaid scarf. I looked something like Rod Taylor in the damn movie. I saw some wild pictures of Shane McGowan looking like a punch-drunk old man and heard a bit of the Rocky Road to Dublin. I’ve got a copy of  Fox Crow on  my kindle that seems to be  set in a cross between the Land of the 7 Kingdoms and Donegal. I’ve been getting primed, but what the hell, what for?

watch?v=fUM9J2idxbE

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art & entertainmentmovies

The Sound of Movie

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Too often, the best thing about a movie is the music. It is almost impossible to imagine a great film without the music. The closest thing to ‘classical music’ being written today is for the movies. Those three thoughts have occurred to me so many times through the years that I am surprised at myself for never having thought to construct a list of my favorite movie music until now. But then again, until recently, I did not have access to Spotify. [Read more →]

politics & government

Cowardice, thy name is Kos

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I found something extremely nauseating at the Daily Kos Web site yesterday.

I’m not going to spend much time dissecting it because the author is clearly a piece of dog sh#t.

But I want to bring it up because it’s one of the most extreme examples of hyper-partisan groupthink I’ve seen in some time.

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environment & naturetechnology

Powering a flat earth

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Thank you, Mr President. You put the case fairly and well although if you really want to impress you might find an audience a bit more seasoned and a bit less willing to roll over and have their tummies rubbed. You have split your hand and doubled down on Green Alternative Energy so you must be holding at least twenty. Now it’s time to turn all the cards. I hope the White House searchbots have been comprehensive and found the odd moments when I Hoped to Believe in the Change you have promised but on the big question of how we power our modern world, yes, I have been a detractor. Your well documented expertise in engineering and physics should have given me caution but let my indictment show that I have also been fair, once in a while. Once in a very great while. [Read more →]

politics & governmenttechnology

How many bureaucrats does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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books & writing

Lisa reads This Burns My Heart by Samuel Parks

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Contemplating this review, I started off thinking that This Burns My Heart has all the hallmarks of great historical fiction. It takes place in an exotic location (South Korea) in an interesting time period (1960s). It has an ambitious female protagonist, Soo-Ja Choi, who wants to do great things. There is plenty of conflict for Soo-Ja — with her parents, her culture, her husband. The world outside South Korea is changing rapidly, while her culture seems mired in the past, smothering her. But after three attempts to read the book and 175 pages, I just found myself asking, “so what?” [Read more →]

Michael Cade's audio files

Audio files: If we can’t hear people screaming in agony, how can we hear at all?

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So I’ve been reading The Air-Conditioned Nightmare by Henry Miller, which has an entire chapter devoted to French-born composer Edgard Varese. And it’s some great music writing.

“Some men, and Varese is one of them,” writes Miller, “are like dynamite. That alone, I suppose, is sufficient to explain why they are handled with such caution and shyness.”

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diatribestelevision

Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad

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One look at me, and it’s obvious that food is a big – perhaps TOO big – part of my enjoyment of life. That includes my time on the move, traveling, which I’m preparing to do later this month. Looking at our itinerary, I’m already looking forward to making a couple of stops at places I’ve seen on the Travel Channel.

TC has three shows on their prime time lineup devoted largely to food at various locations around the country and around the world. Two of them – Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” – are really, REALLY good, and encourage me to set my feet and my palate along the paths they have followed. Then there’s then there’s Adam Richman’s “Man vs. Food” … oh, well – two outta three ain’t bad.
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politics & government

I heart Rastafarian spirit dude Jah

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It’s been about one year since Madison, Wisconsin exploded with protests against Scott WalkerBushHitler and his Satanic, union-killing friends.

And this video is still JAHSOME.

religion & philosophythat's what he said, by Frank Wilson

Why Catholic novelists are so good

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I don’t know if many Americans these days are familiar with Charles Péguy. He was one of those strange figures that seemed more common around the turn of the last century, a time of considerable intellectual and social turmoil. Looking back, the ideas being debated at the time — anarchism, neo-scholasticism, spiritualism, among many others — seem less interesting than how idiosyncratically they were regarded by those debating them. [Read more →]

drugs & alcoholrace & culture

Elegy for Marcus Jones

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Mister Jones wore a jumpsuit with thermals and waistcuffs. He smiled and waved, as best he could, to his family in the gallery. Three generations of Jones women attended; his mother, grandmother and sister. Also attending was a handful of ladies from the Brown family including Tyairr Brown, quite a normal looking toddler except that she did not toddle. She sat in a special pram with a thick foam harness that held her upright as her spinal chord has been severed at the ninth thoracic, right around the height of her elbows. Today was Judgement Day for Mister Jones. His most recent crimes and my peripheral role in them, you already know. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Lenny Dykstra and the dilemma of the disappointed fan

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A big part of being sports fans is the way we idolize the athletes. A lot of lip-service is paid to the idea that we should not set these guys up as role models, particularly for children, but in reality, we can’t help ourselves. I challenge any of you to find yourself in the presence of a player you like and not become a goofy fanboy. If we really thought of them as regular guys who play a game, we would have a different reaction. At the same time, we can find real hatred for players on other teams, despite the fact that they may be totally decent, admirable human beings. The real dilemma is presented when a player we hate starts to play for the home team and plays well. Sometimes, we hang on to the dislike, while more often, that hatred is quickly left behind. There is no sports-related passion quite like the one we have for a guy we used to hate but now love. For me, Lenny Dykstra was one of these guys. [Read more →]

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