bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Jameis Winston shoplifts seafood

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What an amazing thing it must be to be a world class athlete. I grew up imagining myself out on a football field or a baseball field in front of thousands and thousands of people, making big plays and hearing the cheers. The fact that I had no special skill in either sport did not really enter into my thought process, of course. It seemed to me that every kid had the same dreams, and I imagine that many of them did. This is why I find it so unfathomable that so many of the guys who not only have the skill to get them to the pros but are actually good enough to be superstars are so willing to screw up and risk it all. Florida State quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston is one of these guys.

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingsports

Top ten excuses of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling

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10. “I’m no racist! My basketball team is well over half black!”

9. “Poor people and middle-class people are racists; billionaires are just eccentric.”

8. “I’m no more racist than my good buddy, Cliven Bundy.”
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recipes & foodThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that waiters shall no longer act like guides to the mysteries of the universe

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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. 31-B: What’s with this new trend in restaurants – of the server coming out and introducing himself or herself and then asking, “Have you ever been here before?” as if we are on the precipice of a great leap into the unknown? It’s not physics. It’s not a philosophy seminar. It’s ordering in a restaurant. Restaurant owners: The server  is not raising the perceived value of your food and drinks by acting as the Virgil to our Dante. He really is not, just so you know. The process is quite simple: I tell you what I want; you bring it out to me. I eat it. I pay. I wobble out the door merrily patting the sides of my distended paunch. That’s it. So, quit it with the pretenses.

The Punishment: Minions of the Empire are commanded to order, as usual, upon hearing this ridiculous question, but they are to order soup. Piping hot soup. They are then to pour the soup over the waiter’s head, while apologizing: “Oh! I am sorry. I have never eaten soup here before. Is this not the right way?”

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: Donald Sterling, NBA owner and racist, needs to go

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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is a disaster. He has presided over a terrible franchise since 1981, and is currently the longest-tenured owner in the NBA. His team has been miserably bad for most of those years. Now that they are finally good, he has found another way to embarrass his team and his city. Known to be a racist for many years by a number of people, Sterling left no doubt about it this week when a tape surfaced of him making racial comments to his girlfriend.

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingtravel & foreign lands

Top ten reasons the Putins got divorced

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10. They were married for 30 years. Enough is enough!

9. Mrs. Putin was hoping, in the divorce settlement, she’d get half of Russia.

8. Edward Snowden leaked some photos of Vladimir in flagrante delicto with Russia gymnast Alina Kabaeva.
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bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Kansas State prevents player from transferring after coach is fired

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There are many ridiculous rules involving college sports, and I have laid some of them out here in this space in the past. The one thing that seems pretty clear is that the rules are rarely for the benefit of the “student-athlete.” Just about everything the NCAA does these days is coming under heavy scrutiny, and with good reason. One area that should be closely examined is the way transfers are handled for these kids. [Read more →]

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Just a story of a student at Bartram High

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If you’re from the Philly area, you’ve likely heard about Bartram High in the news: fights, violence, staff being attacked. That’s likely all you know of Bartram. So read this Inquirer piece by Kristen Graham about Gionna Hawkins, a 14-year-old Bartram student described as doing her best not just to make it through but thrive.

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adviceBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten driving tips

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10. DON’T KEEP SWITCHING LANES. Research has shown that changing lanes rarely gets you there faster in the long run, and so many accidents happen from changing lanes, especially if you’re all the way over to the left and want to move to the right, and there’s some guy to your right like half a car-length back, right in your blind spot.

9. WATCH OUT FOR THE OTHER GUY. if you’re that driver to the right of Driver #1, keep out of his blind spot as much as possible, but if you’re passing (and why are you passing on the left?) and are momentarily in his blind spot, be ready to tap on your brakes, swerve a little to the right, and maybe honk all at the same time!

8. LOOK AT THINGS HOLISTICALLY. If you’re to the right of Driver #2 while he’s passing Driver #1, be aware that he may suddenly swerve a little to the right.
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religion & philosophy

Warning: Spirituality can be hazardous to your health & wealth

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Ah, the enlightened life! A life where the superficial trappings of the material world have lost their luster. Where greasy, fried, and fatty foods are no longer tempting. Where meditation, sharing, and an appreciation of the beauty of nature provide all the fulfillment one needs for true happiness. And yet, considering how healthy, content, and self-fulfilled spiritual people claim to be, why are they plagued with so many health, wealth, and happiness issues? Is poverty a requirement of enlightenment? Is self-indulgence selfish? Is self-love a sign of an inflated ego? The irony is that most spiritual people are just as egotistical as materialistic people—perhaps even more so since they believe themselves to be so far above everyone else. Sacrifice and ascetic behavior do not make one spiritual. Denying the material for the sake of the spirit misses the big picture. To be truly fulfilled, one needs to embrace both of these worlds, creating more than a holy life, but a wholly life. [Read more →]

getting olderThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that age is not “just a number”

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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. 70: Age simply is not “just a number.” Age is, after, say, twenty-one, the irreversible decline of the mind and body, the ultimate result of which is, in the best of all possible situations, an uncomplicated and peaceful death. But age is, most often, a slow ride on a dirty bus, with sticky floors, among a bunch of stinking strangers to soap, at the end of which we find ourselves befuddled, boxed off from the things and people we love through the loss of vision and hearing and terrified (if we are blessed with the mental capacity to be terrified) by the question of whether our beliefs in an afterlife will prove to have been even remotely true. Age is the arduous road to either oblivion or paradise, but it is not just a number. Age is a walking journey, each step pf which leaves us weaker, more filled with existential anxiety, and looking — if I am being honest — less and less attractive at the waypoint of each birthday. Age is a journey from which there is no return. Age is the turning of the padlock on a cage that will be dropped into an ocean. Age is doom, in the most Anglo-Saxon sense of the word.

Oh, please.  I’m doing you a favor. You can’t rage against “a number. “

The Punishment: Users of the phrase are doomed to learn the truth. This is punishment enough.

Now, go forth and obey.

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

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Fans should not be part of the show

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I constantly realize that I am not the typical sports fan. There are just so many things I see and hear fans do that I just wouldn’t do. I have had seats at a baseball game that were right up against the fence that separates the stands from the field, and yet I have never felt the need to interfere with a player in any way at all, whether that be physical interference of any kind of even verbal interference. There were a couple of interesting examples of those things happening this week, though. I was not involved, of course. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten ways the new hip progressive Pope Francis is celebrating Easter Sunday

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10. Instead of blessing everyone from his balcony, he’s doing his monologue from ground level, like Leno.

9. He’s inviting Benedict XVI over for an afternoon showing of Philomena.

8. He’s holding an Easter Egg Roll – not that kind – he’s just calling his local Chinese to order 3,000 egg rolls!

7. He’s starting his own Easter papal ‘white smoke’ tradition (wink wink), followed by a Council of the Cardinals discussion of how current Theological thinking fits in with today’s debate between String Theory and Loop Quantum Gravity.
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educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

The new SAT: No more mandatory writing

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Part 8 (of 874) in an occasional series about how standardized tests are destroying education.

The redesigned SAT, debuting in 2015, will feature new approaches to language skills, and the writing test will be optional. We’ll return to the old 1600-point scale that we all knew so well. With the College Board admitting/recognizing that the writing test, which was introduced in 2005, is flawed, some are wondering if this presents an opportunity to reassess all mechanized writing tests, to now see them all for the education-draining entities that they are. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Daniel Murphy has the nerve to use his paternity leave

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Being a parent is one of the central roles in most peoples lives. Whether you are a professional athlete, an accountant, or a cashier, there is a better than fair chance that you will become a parent at some point. For regular people, it is a natural thing to take a few days off when a child is born. For people who get paid large sums of money to play games, though, the same act often leads to a great deal of consternation among fans and the media. This week, Daniel Murphy, the second baseman for the New York Mets, left the team for a couple of days to be with his wife as she gave birth to their baby. Some people were not pleased.

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Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten lines from a joke you have until April 20 to memorize, so you can recite it at Easter Dinner

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10. Tom, Dick, and Harry are in a VW when they have a head-on collision with a Mack truck.

9. Suddenly, they find themselves walking across these white billowy clouds towards there pearly gates.

8. As they start running towards the gates, St. Peter swoops in and says, “Wait a second, you can’t just come buzzing in here like you own the place!…”
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art & entertainmentbooks & writing

Book Review: Retroworld (plus, why I hate Star Trek)

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I’ve never been much of a Star Trek fan. It’s not because I don’t like Science Fiction-Star Wars and alien invasion B-movies were a big part of my childhood, I grew up reading the British comic 2000AD, and I wrote my thesis on Philip K. Dick before it was fashionable to do such things. No, I hate Star Trek because it’s so utterly dishonest about human nature and the universe we live in.

Star Trek: The Next Generation is especially egregious. It’s essentially a soap opera about UN diplomats in space, only instead of standing by impotently while alien races are massacred by enemy species, or dispatching squads of blue space-helmeted peacekeepers on alien rape missions, the dull inhabitants of the Starship Enterprise  [Read more →]

books & writingThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that tripping and falling can no longer be used to enhance a story’s plot

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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 4815162342: We’ll have no more of it. Figure something else out. Life’s suspense and life’s problems come from myriad places. Tripping and twisting one’s ankle is not the only way find oneself in danger. It is not the only way for the pursuing ax-murderer to gain ground. Mine the depths, writers.  Oh, and while we are at it, no more using “cuts like knife” and “what is this place?” How about “cuts like a father’s disappointment” or a simple but much more effective: “where the hell are we?” We can’t take it anymore. It will cease, or there will be no more writing. You hear us? Don’t ruin it for the rest of the minions.

The Punishment: Anyone guilty of these writing infractions will be placed on a treadmill and forced to run at 7 miles per hour. The Imperial Exercise Minister will sit with a remote control and he will press the DEAD STOP button, again and again, while the offender is running at speed.  When the runner can no longer calculate simple addition  problems, he or she will be released.

Now, go forth and obey.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning, unless he decides not to, because, after all, he is the Emperor and can do whatever he wants.

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Why, 76ers, why?

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Every once in a while, a sports fan is faced with a strange dilemma. It sometimes becomes evident that it would be much more beneficial for a team to lose than to win. This is because of the nature of the draft, particularly in football and basketball. Sure, baseball and hockey have drafts too, and the draft orders for those sports are determined in such a way that the worst teams get the earlier picks, just like in football and basketball, but because baseball and hockey have robust minor league systems, players in those sports generally take a lot longer to get to the major league level and picks are far more speculative in nature. If you root for a bad team, you often realize that late-season wins may actually be hurting the cause of making the team better. In the spirit of that philosophy, this week’s big Bad Sports story to me was the Philadelphia 76ers’ win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingreligion & philosophy

Top ten people going to hell

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10. People who say, “No offence, but…” and then keep on talking.

9. Telemarketers/robocallers.

8. People who prove every day that there really is such a thing as a dumb question.

7. Any dentist who tries to carry on a conversation while your mouth is chockfull of Novocain and metal torture instruments.

6. Most of the One Percent (the gang under the Koch Brothers will have their own wing!).

5. That guy in the car in front of me who’s texting so he doesn’t notice the light has turned green, and I can’t honk because it’s the city and this guy could be packin’, and when he finally realizes that the light’s green, there’s just enough time for one car to make it though: his.

4. People who say “Spoiler Alert”, then spoil the movie or show or game or whatever-it-is before you have a chance to stop them.

3. People who remember all of an endless involved joke…except the punchline.

2. Women who wear so much perfume/cologne, if they stand too long in one place, they leave a puddle.

1. Fred Phelps – the recently-deceased head of the Westboro Baptist Church who was always conducting those anti-gay protests at military funerals, as if one had anything to do with the other, not to mention the mental anguish they caused – Oh, wait…He’s already there.

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

A new, redesigned SAT is on the way

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Part 7 (of 874) in an occasional series about how standardized tests are destroying education.

The SAT is going through a redesign. For those of you who mentally autofilled the start of the previous statement with “The SAT is going … away,” I’m sorry to disappoint you. It’s not going away. It’s going through changes that will do/attempt to do a variety of things. But the SAT will still be around. There’s been an active dialogue, as you might expect, about this redesign.

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