language & grammarThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that ye may not use “genius” as an adjective

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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. 4528: No, he didn’t quit. You can’t quit being Emperor — the Universe makes you Emperor. We were just….Emperoring. None of your concern. Just continue to obey. For instance: We’ll say this only one more time. “Genius” is a noun, not an adjective. One can not have a “genius idea.” One can have an “ingenious idea.” Someone went to all the trouble to create the distinguishing prefix and that extra “o”. Use them. You sound like a dip when you say “genius idea.” Yes you do. Don’t argue with me. I’m the Emperor.

The Punishment: Those who “adjectivize” the word “genius” will be fed dictionaries for a week. Ketchup will be allowed, as the Emperor is feeling munificent this morning.

Now, go forth and obey.

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

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten complaints of Danielle Davies, a 39-year-old New Jersey woman who is dating a life-size cardboard cutout of Bradley Cooper

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10. “The police still won’t let me use the car pool lane.”

9. “Every time we go to dinner, it always winds up being my treat!

8. “My Robert Downey Jr. cutout is always getting jealous.”
[Read more →]

virtual children by Scott Warnock

A license to text

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With extensive apologies to my many Ayn Rand-loving, small government-promoting friends, it’s pretty clear to me that the textual communications associated with cell phones have to come under the government eye. Something must be done. We need, quite simply, age-based and perhaps behavior-based texting control: A Texting License. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: On vacation plus links

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Hey there, loyal readers. I am on vacation this week and have not had time to put together my usual brilliance to share with you. I will return next week with something sure to astound. In the meantime, here are a few links with stories of interest from this week.

Bad:

1) Two University of Miami football players arrested for rape.

2) Idiot baseball fan sleeps and then sues.

3) Jan Segura’s infant son dies.

4) Brazil collapses at the end of the World Cup.

5) You know that World Cup trophy you won, Germany? It’s not yours.

Good:

1) LeBron James goes home to Cleveland.

2) Pitcher Madison Bumgarner hits his second grand slam of the season.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

 

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten suggested new slogans for GM

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10. Our Cars Switch Off Randomly – Saving You Gas!

9. Igniting Excitement!

8. Our Cars Are Captivating! (Not Decapitating)
[Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Daytona is a big mess once again

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For the third time this season, NASCAR foisted the joke that is restrictor plate racing onto its fanbase. Everything about this race was bad, although not all of that was the governing body’s fault. The summer race at Daytona has been going on for a very long time, and this year’s edition was just a mess from start to finish. I guess it is my own fault for paying attention. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingsports

Top ten nicknames for Uruguayan soccer star Luis Suarez

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10. The Hungry Hungry Hippo

9. Chewbacca

8. Great Bitten
[Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: There’s no biting in soccer! Oh wait…there is?

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OK, I have watched a bit of the World Cup. Not much, but I have watched the U.S. matches. Actually, I shouldn’t even say I watched…I actually was listening to the match against Germany in my car, and found it engrossing enough that when I got out of my car to go run, I actually found an internet radio station that was broadcasting the game and listened to it during my run. I am not totally anti-soccer, even if it sometimes seems like it. However, there are some bizarre things about this sport and the behavior of the athletes who play it, and that was very much on display during the match between Uruguay and Italy on Tuesday. Luis Suarez, a striker for Uruguay, actually bit Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during the match. You did not misread that. [Read more →]

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Reading for the good life

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Summer has arrived, and many households have begun an annual, time-worn struggle: Parents trying to get kids to read. Despite (and perhaps because of) the vast numbers of lists available nowadays, summer is a time of often fierce reading wars, featuring lots of passive-aggressive behavior by both sides. The proliferation of screens hasn’t made things easier. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingrecipes & food

Top ten things you don’t want to hear at Friday’s Fourth of July barbecue

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10. “I knew it was a bad idea to leave the fireworks in the trunk on a day this hot!”

9. “Who invited Eric Cantor? He’s gonna bring everybody down!”

8. “These burgers are actually made with Shmeat — you know, those shamburgers grown in a test tube.”
[Read more →]

moviesreligion & philosophy

The long lost instruction book to the game of life

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When you’ve seen as many movies as I have, you begin to see that they all follow a certain pattern. This is true not just of movies, but of all great stories ranging from those found in classic mythology and literature to modern TV series and video games. Joseph Campbell called it the monomyth or hero’s journey. It’s basically a series of steps that the protagonist must go through during the course of his or her adventure. In addition to this, there are also a number of spiritual principles that often find their way into storytelling. By combining these principles with the monomyth, you can pretty much figure out where just about any story is headed. While this skill has proven to be incredibly annoying to my wife, it’s come in very handy for me. Not because I’ve continually annoyed her with my usually correct movie and TV show predictions, but because I’ve noticed that these storytelling rules apply to more than just fictitious stories. They also apply to real life. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: The sports world loses Tony Gwynn to cancer

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Tony Gwynn died last week. For those who are not familiar with him, he was a baseball player who played for twenty seasons in the majors, all with the same team, which is something that is a rarity anymore. Fans of the San Diego Padres got to call him their own from 1982 through the 2001 season, and he was probably the best hitter I ever had the pleasure of watching. His death was caused by cancer of the salivary glands. He spent many years chewing tobacco, and it seems pretty clear that the habit led to his death. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmusic

Top ten songs in the new Rob Ford musical, premiering at Toronto’s Factory Theatre this September

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10. Baby Got Crack

9. I’m a Boozer

8. Michael Row the Bloat Ashore
[Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: San Antonio Spurs win it all and do it the right way

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So much of sports is glitz. Highlights. SportsCenter. Kids grow up watching the “plays of the week” shows, and rarely do those shows focus on teamwork or fundamentals. A young football player wants to spike the ball over the crossbar. A young basketball player wants to dunk or shoot a three-pointer. Blocking and free throw shooting just don’t have the same appeal. The thing is that these things go a lot further toward winning championships than their eye-popping counterparts. Superstars can do great things for a team, especially when it comes to selling tickets and merchandise, but a cohesive team that works together is the smartest bet nearly every time. That point was proven this week by the San Antonio Spurs, who dominated the star-laden Miami Heat to win the NBA championship, the team’s fifth in the last sixteen years. [Read more →]

books & writingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees there will be no more dream sequences in novels

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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. 10PM: Dream sequences in novels must stop. We get it. We really do. Authors think they are, by giving us a glimpse into the character’s subconscious, increasing the depth of said character. But consider real life, writers. (More authors should, by the way.) Did you ever listen to someone recounting a dream? Did you LIKE it? Consider:

Oh, so I was in the mall but it was really my house and everyone behind the counters was a giant chicken with a PhD in Metaphysics (not sure how I knew that but, you know, in a dream you just know stuff)), but, this one chicken was actually my uncle, Fred, even though he looked like a chicken and he looked at me like he was disappointed when I told him I wanted a cheeseburger with no pickles and the next thing you know I was in a harem (but full of guys instead of women) somewhere in the Middle East, back in the 1800’s, but I was dressed in a baseball uniform except no one noticed and I, for some reason, really wanted to kill this blue camel that was tied to a palm tree next to a cobblestone road, except the cobblestones were actually hot dogs, but when I stabbed him my knife turned into a shoe and for some reason I was really mad — not because it wasn’t working to kill  the camel but because the laces were untied — isn’t that weird? — and….and…

So, no, you really don’t give us “character depth” with dream sequences. At best, you manage to bruise our brains with the mallet of heavy-handed symbolism while we try to scan the pages for where the actual story starts up again.

The Punishment: Those who ignore this decree will only be released from the Imperial Dungeons after writing a complete novel  with a quill; with water for ink and with old-fashioned “overhead projector” transparencies for paper.

Now, go forth and obey.

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

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtelevision

Top ten new shows on The Cat Network

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10. The King James Persian

9. Here and Meow

8. Paper Tiger
[Read more →]

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

What just might really happen at college for your kid

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We’re coming out of that fast-paced, manic season of high competition, painful watching-and-waiting, brightly-colored sweatshirts, and intense travel. No, I’m not marking the end of youth sports spring seasons — I’m talking about college admission season (well, really, this is just the end of high admissions season. Like youth sports, college admissions is a year-round and even life-round activity nowadays). Most students know now where they’re going to college. Parents have written placeholder checks. Car adornments have been purchased. Parties are planned. It’s exciting. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Another year without a Triple Crown winner

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The Belmont Stakes was run on Sunday in New York, 147 years after the first one. It was an eventful race, as California Chrome was attempting to become the first horse to win horse racing’s Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978. He fell short, finishing in a dead heat for fourth, a couple of lengths back of winner Tonalist. California Chrome’s owner, Steve Coburn, was unhappy with the result and he made it known very publicly. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

Top ten least popular prom themes

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10. One Night on a Carnival Cruise!

9. Donald Sterling’s Plantation Hoedown

8. Journey to the Center of My Pants
[Read more →]

family & parenting

Two Year Old Conversation

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That title may be misleading. I’m not talking about a conversation that has been going on for two years, but rather the conversation that occurs between myself and my two year old.

Most of the really intricate ones take place in the car or at night just before bed. In the car she asks lots of questions. Right before bed she often tells on herself, her brother, or her father. For instance, today she wanted me to know that daddy said the pizzeria at Great Explorations did not have real pizza that you could eat. She wanted me to say he was wrong, and that she should have been allowed to eat the pizza, which I’m pretty sure is made of felt. Had to side with Daddy on that one. [Read more →]