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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Instant replay should produce better calls, shouldn’t it?

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I have always been a proponent of the use of instant replay in sports officiating. Since the technology exists, it would be a total waste to not take advantage of it in order to get more calls correct. Football is using it extensively, and baseball has been expanding its use over the last couple of years, with more sure to come. Game officials have a very difficult job, despite what you might hear from many fans. It is far easier to make a call when watching on television than to make it from field level at full speed. The thing I just don’t get is how the replay officials manage to get it wrong so often, as they have the advantage of technology that the officials on the field do not have. The two games that meant the most to me this weekend, Penn State against Nebraska and the Philadelphia Eagles against the Dallas Cowboys, each included a call that was massively botched by replay officials. [Read more →]

art & entertainmentBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten upcoming David Blaine stunts

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10. Being entombed for a week in a giant plastic coffin filled with lime Jello

9. Extricating himself from a pair of extra-tight skinny jeans

8. Being continually electrocuted by people rubbing their feet on shag carpeting

7. Eating a pound of cut-rate sushi, then riding a Tilt-A-Whirl for 10 hours

6. Being encased in a truckload of frozen Snicker bars

5. Surviving for 48 hour without food or water hanging above a downtown New York street, suspended only by his pubic hair

4. Breaking the Guinness World Record of “Most Successive Publicity Stunts”

3. Holding his breath until he literally turns blue

2. Levitating his pants

1. Watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, without a break or taking any drugs
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

moviesreligion & philosophy

The solution to every major mystery on earth

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The ancient world has left us with lots of mysteries that have been baffling mankind for millennia. Mysteries like the Great Pyramid of Giza, Stonehenge, the Crystal Skulls, the Nazca Lines, and many more. In addition, our history is filled with unanswered questions about who we are, what inspired the stories of our gods, what all this extra DNA is doing in our genes, and so on. What if I told you that all of these seemingly unrelated mysteries all share the exact same explanation—and that this explanation will completely change life on earth as we know it?  Oh, and the epiphany for this explanation hit me while I was watching a horror movie that came out earlier this year. This movie’s tagline was, “You think you know the story. Think again.” The same can be said of this edition of “Answers to Everything.” [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads The Carnival of Death by L. Ron Hubbard

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When I received the offer from the folks at Galaxy Press, I was a little reluctant. Great writing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name L. Ron Hubbard. But the audiobooks sounded like fun and I love old science fiction, so I figured I would give it a try.

The books are a hoot! This is cheesy, old-school adventure writing. The characters and dialogue are so old-fashioned and over-the-top that the stories are unintentionally hilarious. Add in some dramatic music and sound effects, and you’ve got the audiobook equivalent of those Saturday afternoon movie shows. The writing is so florid, it should be printed on purple paper: [Read more →]

religion & philosophyThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that ye will stop labeling small acts of kindness as proof of the hope for humanity

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 449328: A guy winds up being lucky enough to have power right after Hurricane Sandy hits New York City and he drapes an extension cord over the fence and tapes a sign next to it that reads: WE HAVE POWER. FEEL FREE TO CHARGE YOUR CELL PHONE. Seconds later, a picture of this is all over the Imperial Internet on happy, smiley, I’m-so-happy-about-life-I-poop-a-little-every-three-minutes sites and people post it on Facebook and they tweet it with comments like: “See! There is hope for mankind.” Was it nice of this guy to do this? Perhaps. But it looks more (to this Munificent Dictator) like an act common human decency. The Emperor finds it a little sad that our standards have dropped so much that what might once have been seen as an act of simple obligation to one’s fellow humans is now regarded as a sign of hope for the entire human species. Give the person credit for some electric-cord altruism? Sure. Mark it as a sign of hope for the future? Not. Subjects of the Empire need to do a little better than that — and they do. Let’s praise truly selfless deeds because they are exceptional and let’s not get all tingly-pants because of a neat little viral photo of some nonchalantly-kind gesture. If a firefighter making a one-way trip into a burning high-rise shows the best part of humanity, then Emperor refuses to beatify a guy for dangling a cord and going in to have a sandwich and watch Dr. Phil.

The Punishment: Over-praisers of the commonly-kind gesture will be starved for a week-and-a-half and, then, when fed, will be beaten with an electric cord (that is, if they are not effusive enough in their thanks for the food).

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning. 

politics & government

The real reason why Obama might actually win

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The national polls are tied and President Obama has a lead in Ohio. Mitt Romney needs Ohio to win the Electoral College and consequently the election. Therefore, it looks like the President might just pull off the unthinkable – an incumbent victory marred by scandal (Benghazi and Fast & Furious), an unpopular war (Afghanistan), high unemployment (7.9%), record debt ($16 trillion), and a struggling economy (2% GDP growth).

In any other election during any other time, it would be absolutely impossible for the incumbent to retain power. But in the United States today, there are 3 prominent political factors in masking the President’s incompetence that might give him an unlikely second term. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Indecision was the wrong decision for the New York City Marathon

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Since I last wrote, the East Coast took quite a shot from Hurricane Sandy. My family was far more fortunate than most, as we only lost power for 24 hours, and we had no damage to our home or property at all. Many people along the Jersey shore and in New York City were not nearly so fortunate. There are still many without power, and as it gets colder, the problem will be even more magnified. In the middle of all of this, the New York City Marathon was scheduled to happen on Sunday. On Tuesday, as the storm was just clearing out, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the marathon would go forward as planned. After several days of backlash about that decision, he reversed field and called off the race on Friday. [Read more →]

technologyvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Friends and “Friends”

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“Friend” is a suggestive word, loaded as it is with warmth, intimacy, harmlessness. Having a friend is always a good thing. The word was a shrewd choice to represent Facebook connections, because the word itself lulls you past any critical perspective about the relationships you clickably create.

[Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten reasons to vote for Obama tomorrow

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10. Once he doesn’t have to worry about getting re-elected anymore, he can cut loose

9. If you’re proud about electing the first Black President, limiting him to one term will imply he was a failure: “Let’s not do that again!”

8. His opponent’s claim of job experience involved vile business practices that bankrupted companies and put people out of work. Plus every businessman who has been President (Hoover, Carter, Bush II) has wrecked the economy, because they try to rule from the top down (like in a kingdom) where a consensus is needed (where being something like a community organizer comes in handy). Romney’s an entitled bully who likes to hold down gay guys and cut their hair. And he’s also a pathological liar who will say anything to get elected, so if you believe him, you’re a sucker

7. Under Obama, we’ve had 22 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has surged 60%

6. Obama is not part of the War on Women. And if you’re a woman who says, “Well, the recession is more important to me right now than women’s issues,” trickle down and spending cuts have only ever worsened a recession. Plus you shouldn’t reward Republican Congressmen’s cynical thwarting of Obama’s stimulus plans stemming from their belief that defeating Obama is more important than helping the American people.

5. One gets the feeling Obama loves people and uses money; Romney has proven beyond any doubt he loves money and uses people

4. If you decide not to vote because you think Obama has it in the bag, Romney might steal the election through all those voter suppression scams

3. Obama got bin Laden

2. He passed Health Care Reform, the Stimulus, Wall Street Reform, and credit card reforms; recapitalized banks; repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; saved the car industry; and vastly improved America’s image abroad

1. Einstein defined ‘insanity’ as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If you think Romney’s economic plans, which are the same as Bush’s were, will help the economy, you’re certifiable
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

diatribespolitics & government

It would serve them right

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It would serve them right.

Republicans, who have done everything in their power to tilt this and recent elections by denying people access to the polls based on fraudulent claims of voter fraud, richly deserve to lose this one. (Admittedly, in forty years I have voted for a Republican only once, when the Democrat was under indictment.) I suspect that on Tuesday President Obama will win a popular majority nationwide as well as in the Electoral College. But there’s a more than slim chance that the President will lose the popular vote but win in the Electoral College. And after the national disgrace of the 2000 election – and the ongoing disgrace of Republican voter suppression efforts – it would serve them right. [Read more →]

politics & government

Where’s Kanye West?

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Still a lot of people suffering. But where’s Kanye West? Makes you think.

 

Staten Island, New York

New Jersey

Connecticut

Ohio

“President Barack Obama doesn’t care about white people.”

 

art & entertainmentmovies

A disturbance in the force

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books & writing

Lisa reads Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfeld

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I think I’m over the whole “novel told in stories” idea. I tried not to let that influence me when I read Triburbia by Karl Taro Greenfeld. It’s a decent novel. It meanders a bit, tells the stories of the lives of a group of Tribeca residents. The stories are identified by address, with a lot of overlap and some surprising revelations about their residents.

The novel starts with a group of fathers, an informal breakfast club that meets after walking their kids to school. There has been a incident involving a young girl and a child molester, and one of the fathers feels singled out. The police sketch looks a bit like him, if you squint the right way, and suddenly people are staring. They’re too polite to come right out and say anything, but he is certain of what they’re thinking. [Read more →]

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