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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: I ran a marathon

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If you follow this column, you know I am a runner. A little more than a year ago, I wrote about my first race, which was a half-marathon in Philadelphia. Later I wrote about my second race, with a focus on the business of these events. This weekend, I ran my first full marathon, which was the Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida. This was an experience like nothing else I have been through, and I would like to share it with you. I apologize for the delay in the publishing of this column, but I was in no condition to write on Sunday evening. [Read more →]

his & hersThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees a reduction in media message-sending

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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. 1/10: The Emperor is sympathetic to the historical subjugation of women; to the unfair treatment they have received (and still receive) at the hands of a male-dominated world. The Emperor also recognizes that attempts have been (and should have been) made in the arts and in media to paint women in a more dignified and empowered light. This should continue. But, in the interest of balancing things out as the obese ship of society rights itself, we think it would be okay to lighten up just a little with the message-sending. Therefore, henceforth, the Emperor decrees that, in a minimum of one-out-of-ten television commercials, the woman/wife/girlfriend in a couple must be depicted as the idiot, instead of the man/father/boyfriend. Just one out of ten, is all we ask. Also, one-out-of-ten female characters in action movies must NOT be a Kung Fu, sword-wielding, back-flipping, killing machine. Let the campaign for total sexual equality continue! Let’s continue to hurl the stones of social-conscience at the glass ceiling! — let’s just cut back the heavy-handedness by one-tenth. Let’s have the pendulum swing back, just a bit (if you will excuse the decidedly male-centric metaphor).

The Punishment: Violators will suffer the loss of one-out-of-ten toes. (Or of one pendulum — violator’s choice.)

Now, go forth and obey.

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

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports – Delayed until Tuesday morning

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I apologize for the changed schedule, but my column for the week will not post until Tuesday morning.  The column itself will explain why.  Thanks for reading!

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten Disneyland-Lucasfilm projects planned for the new year

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10. When You Wish Upon A Death Star

9. Snow White and the Seven Ewoks

8. The Lightsaber in the Stone

7. No Deposit, No Return of the Jedi

6. Raiders of the Lost Duck

5. The Princess Leia Diaries

4. Atlantis: The Lost Empire Strikes Back

3. Song of the Sith

2. Randy Quaid in The Wookiee

1. Dumb and Dumber starring Goofy and Jar Jar Binks
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

damned liesdiatribes

Gun rights, two amendments, and a lot of funerals

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The obituary of Robert H. Bork in The New York Times (Dec. 20 2012) notes that, “In a 1971 article in The Indiana Law Journal, [Bork] argued that the First Amendment’s protection of free speech had been wildly extrapolated beyond the intent of the Constitution’s framers. In a starkly narrow interpretation, he said free speech existed to perpetuate the process of self-government; therefore, he wrote, only explicitly political speech about governing was protected.” That is indeed a tortured reading. Explicitly political speech about governing could be construed as narrowly as speech about whether the Senate should change the filibuster rule. To Hell with freedom of speech about everything else. But there is a striking comparison between Bork’s First Amendment and the Second Amendment as it relates to the recently re-ignited gun-control debate. The Second Amendment has indeed been “wildly extrapolated” by the gun lobby beyond its original intent. The crucial difference is this: the limited original intent of the Second Amendment is clear, and is thrown into relief by the massive social and technological changes since it was written, whereas the narrow reading of the First Amendment is almost certainly not the intended one, nor is that amendment so antiquated.  [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmusic

Top ten names of rock bands, just before they picked their current names

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10. Silver Beatles

9. The Strolling Roans

8. Guns and Bayonets

7. The Windows

6. Little Head Todd and the Monsters

5. The What

4. Motley Crew

3. Flaming Eyeballs

2. U1

1. Ezra
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Battling through Jackson’s “The Hobbit”

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I grew up with hobbits and trolls thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien. So, although I had read and heard some polarizing views of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, I was eager to see it, which I did. I liked it a lot. [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads Redshirts by John Scalzi

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Redshirts may be the most fun I’ve had with a book this year. It made me laugh…and it made me go out and load my Kindle with other John Scalzi titles. I love the mix of humor and seriousness in the book, and I am looking forward to reading more of Scalzi’s work.

Are you a Star Trek fan? If you’ve ever watched the old episodes, it didn’t take long to notice that there was always some poor schmuck of an ensign in a red uniform shirt who ended up getting killed on the away missions. In fact, the term “redshirt” became a stock phrase in the sci-fi world, referring to a character who dies soon after being introduced. But what about those disposable characters? Don’t they have stories of their own — friends and family and ambitions? John Scalzi’s Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas pays homage to those characters while he pokes fun at science fiction conventions. [Read more →]

language & grammarThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees an end to E-stretching (especially before nine AM)

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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. 44444: The Emperor has big problems with affected pronunciations; therefore, so will you. Today, he puts a stop to all E-stretchers. Many is the person who has nearly sealed his or her bloody demise by greeting the Emperor (who is simply not a morning person) with a hearty, “Good morneeeeeeen!” This usually is the chosen pronunciation of the same people who say, “Think yeeeeew,” instead of, “Thank you.” (A variant on this is: “Think yeeeuwl” — which is also henceforth banned.) One can break one’s self of these affectations by watching less reality television; but, however one does it, one must. Please be aware: Morning is the province of ubiquitous cardboard cups of piping-hot coffee and the utterance of “Good morneeeeeen!” (to the wrong person) could result in a need for emergency plastic surgery. The Emperor says this out of love and concern for his minions, but also out of concern for his own nerves, which could realistically be envisioned as a line of dominoes teetering on a rowboat, especially before nine AM.

The Punishment: E-stretchers will be temporarily outfitted with a wooden ring, one inch in diameter. The offenders’ lips will be glued around the ring. After four weeks of being forced to say, “Goooo moooornoooo,” the offender should be sufficiently aware of his equally preposterous former speech tendency. The ring will be removed, painlessly, albeit reluctantly, after the prescribed period, by the Imperial Surgeon. The tangent benefit will be that many people will have been greeted with “Gooooo moooornoooo,” which will certainly have produced resultant pleasant belly laughs instead of a pulsing, screeching urge to maim others.

Now, go forth and obey.

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

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Governor Tom Corbett sues the NCAA on behalf of Penn State

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An amazing thing happened earlier this week. For the first time since last July, someone in a position of significance stood up for Penn State. Shockingly, it was Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Corbett, a member of the school’s Board of Trustees who had formerly appeared to be in support of the sanctions. On Wednesday, Corbett, on behalf of the commonwealth, filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, seeking to overturn the devastating sanctions that were levied against the school’s football program in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten signs your film won’t be nominated for an Academy Award

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10. It’s called The Life of Pie, starring Chris Christie

9. Tyler Perry’s in it, but he’s not wearing a dress

8. The title contains either the words ‘John’ or ‘Carter’

7. The opening and the closing credits meet in the middle

6. It was filmed in 1D

5. The jury at Cannes found you “Guilty as charged”

4. It’s based on a board game

3. Like last year’s winner, The Artist, it’s a silent film — but that’s due to a technical error

2. Adam Sandler is at his zaniest

1. Roger Ebert gave it two thumbs down and a middle finger up
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

announcementssports

Are Abbott and Costello writing for ESPN now?

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ESPN has published a report that Ray Lewis is close to signing a multi-year contract with ESPN according to a published report on ESPN. Unfortunately, ESPN was unable to reach ESPN to confirm the details of the ESPN report. The line was busy.

books & writing

Lisa reads Those in Peril by Wilbur Smith

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Oh hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.
— William Whiting, For Those in Peril on the Sea

I start off every book wanting to love it. You don’t choose books to review because you think they’ll be bad. But sometimes they are.

Wilbur Smith’s Those in Peril would make a pretty decent spy novel. The problem is, he tries to make it more than that. He tries to add a romance that just doesn’t work; his female characters are painful to read. And there should be a law: that he never writes another sex scene. The other problem for me was that this was an audiobook, and the reader, Rupert Degas, did not enhance the experience of this book.

The story centers around Hector Cross, owner of Crossbow Security and his boss, Hazel Bannock. Hazel is the head of Bannock Oil; Crossbow provides security for their oilfields, shipyards and personnel, in dangerous Middle East locations. Hector is tough and worldly-wise. Hazel is beautiful and tough, worth millions, and absolutely devoted to her daughter, Cayla. [Read more →]

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