Monday, October 31, 2011

World Of Warcraft Update (10-31-11)

The last 1.5 weeks I have re-devoted myself to my main. His name is Charlesifer and he is a Dranei Paladin on the Lightbringer server. If you still don't know what I'm talking about then you don't play World of Warcraft. And that's OK. It is a game that will get a hold of you and not let go if you are a person like me. But let's skip the issues regarding my lack of will power and get straight to the action:

After realizing that Valor Points are almost worthless once you get all the Valor Quartermaster's gear I am driving towards increasing my achievements raising my Archeology to it's zenith and getting more companion pets and mounts. The best way to get more pet companions is to raid the auction house. There are usually pets available for cheap that you probably didn't know existed. Anything lower than 500 gold that I have yet to attain I will simply buy it. After that it gets a bit more complicated.

I am going after Tol Barad Commendations right now so I can buy the Reins of the Spectral Steed. I already have the Rustberg Gull and the Reins of the Drake of the West Wind so this is the last pet or mount I can get from the Baradin Quartermaster. While I am in Tol Barad I usually kill as many Baradin Foxes as I can. They supposedly drop a Fox Kit pet. I say supposedly because I have killed about 340 and haven't gotten one. The drop rate is stated to be 1/200 so I should be close to my second one by now. Of course, anyone who knows anything about statistics knows that I don't have any better chance for one to drop now than I did on the first kill but I think Blizzard should work something into their game that will just drop something if you get to a certain threshold of kills. This would certainly make my life less painful and provide a "light at the end of the tunnel" for grinders that are getting no love from the evil computers.

I am also farming Netherwing reputation so I can eventually get the six different colored Netherwing Drakes. I'm 4-5 days away from getting exalted reputation and have had fun doing it. It's important to me to go back to the Burning Crusade expansion and enjoy all the fun writing and quest creation that went into the first expansion of World of Warcraft. I started playing during the third expansion (Wrath of the Lich King) so doing all of this is a totally new experience and informs my play in the newer content. I can see now where some of the inspiration for current quest-lines come from and it has opened my eyes.

I got to enjoy an entertaining (and very rep friendly) quest-line called Earning Your Wings. Just know that Wing Commander Mulverick and other parodies from the movie Top Gun make appearances and I even got an achievement (Skyshattered) to boot after defeating Captain Skybreaker. You basically have to stay close to NPCs as they zip around Netherwing island and throw projectiles that knock you back and can eventually knock you off your mount, effectively ending in a failure of the quest. There are six NPCs you have to defeat, ascending in difficulty. I had never seen this type of quest before in the new content so it was fun to try even though I got discouraged on the last two.

On another front I am farming Northrend for all the rep I can get. The Kalu'ak have three daily quests (about 1,500 rep per day total) that are distributed along the south of the continent and the Frenzyheart have three dailies in Scholazar Basin. These will take a while to get up to exalted but it will be worth the end result of a pet (Nurtured Penguin Egg) and epic fishing pole (Mastercraft Kalu'ak Fishing Pole) along with several different achieves.

The perfect thing to do when you are going back through old content is to do Archeology if you have yet to do so. I raised my Archeology professional skill to 525 from 0 in the last 1.5 weeks. This took a lot of work and honestly I would say it wasn't worth the work if it wasn't for the 3 companion pets I have picked up during that time: The Voodoo Figurine, The Clockwork Gnome and the Fossilized Hatchling. As far as Companions pets and Mounts I am still looking to unearth Pterrordax Hatchling, the Crawling Claw and the Fossilized Raptor so even when you raise your skills to max in this profession there will be things to go for and I am looking forward to the chase.

Doing all of this on a daily basis including doing the cooking dailies in both Dalaran and Stormwind goes through my allotted 25 daily quests and takes up a fair amount of time.

This is just a quick look at what I am doing on my main at the moment. If these are some things that you have yet to accomplish in the World of Warcraft I highly suggest you do so, especially if you got into the game on the later side, as I did. There's plenty more that I didn't go into detail on and I have loads of other characters just waiting for me to take more of a shine to them.

New Start

I haven't blogged for a while. Probably because it's hard to get things in my mind organized into a blog post. It might be because of my increasingly long list of interests. I envy those who know exactly what they want and have a focus in their lives. I lack that. My interests as of now not including the obvious (my family and friends):
  • Sports
  • Writing
  • The World of Warcraft
  • Starcraft II
  • Probably Diablo III in the near future
  • Healthcare (most recently relating to my torn ACL)
  • China
  • Social Media
  • Comic Books
  • Zombies
I will try to get to these things in more detail in the future. I love to write but don't do it enough. Hopefully this can be a sanctuary for me to grow and discover myself. No homo.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Abortion Argument

These people are crazy:



Ignorance is bliss I guess. Don't think about anything besides what is in front of you. Your cause. Your god. My religion is common sense and there doesn't seem to be any sense to their argument. Faith is no excuse for not doing your research.

Someone you don't know nows owns a part of you, you're most likely unaware of...

A new patent covering "music generated by decoding and transcribing genetic information within a DNA sequence into a music signal having melody and harmony," has just been enacted.

I find it highly disconcerting that someone now owns a the translation of my genome into music when they haven't even identified it yet. What would you say if someone bought the rights to the wavelength that you project your voice and if you ever said anything again you would get charged for it.

Is that so crazy? It's like patenting everyone's own personal genetic codes. I don't care if I never here the song that comes from my on DNA. It's mine. No one besides me owns it.

I think my DNA is singing the blues...

Chuck Norris Action Jeans


because... they "won't bind your legs"


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Knowledge Levels By News Source

Just thought everyone should see this:


It's from the Pew Research Center. You can get the full text of the report here and make your own conclusions. I'm just glad to see what I assumed all along: Daily Show/Colbert Report audiences are the smartest around. Notice where the Fox News Channel is...

A Night of Maniacle Information

Just watching this guy and his 600 RSS feeds has made him my idol.



I'm into bloglines and I have about 120 feeds. Many of the them are high traffic and this is one of the reasons I haven't been on to write in a while. Too much information is never enough for me but holding down a full time (and I mean FULL TIME) job can be difficult. I just have to cut down on sleep I guess. Especially is I aspire to these heights...

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Crown His Ass!

I live in China. I am working when most people are sleeping or just getting off work... So when Lebron James was carving an even deeper place for himself in the annals of NBA history I wasn't there to see it. I WASN'T a Witness... I didn't see the corenation of King James. And I'm jelious. Fortunatly I have youtube.



My favorite stuff is when he taking those off balance, off the dribble shots from 3-point range. Hard to describe the feeling a fan get's when he's watching an undeniable force on the court.

Links:

Simmons' Take

Broussard's Take

True Hoop's Take

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Hollowed Be Thy Name...

I'm so giddy about the Sonics getting the second pick in the draft I can't even say something clever about it... All I want to do is watch this video and think about the next Decade+ of Sonics basketball (Be it in Seattle, Oklahoma City or even if luck permits Los Vegas!)

Atheletes Behaving Badly #1

So Elijah Dukes threatened his wife in this story on ESPN.com. Here is an excerpt:

Tampa Bay rookie Elijah Dukes was held out of the lineup Wednesday night against Seattle following a published report that his estranged wife sought a restraining order after being threatened by the 22-year-old outfielder.

The St. Petersburg Times reported NiShea Gilbert filed for court protection after receiving a threatening message on her cell phone on May 2, as well as a text message that included a picture of a handgun.

That's a great use of mobile technology Elijah... Really cool... I don't think your soon to be a bit richer ex-wife was impressed. The Rae Carruth story should pop to mind for most sports fans and Dukes really should be trying to avoid being mentioned in the same breath. (Too late. I did it.... but he made me do it.)

Gilbert played a voice mail allegedly from Dukes for the newspaper. "Hey, dawg. It's on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain't even bulls-------. Your kids too, dawg. It don't even matter to me who is in the car with you. N-----, all I know is, n-----, when I see your m-----f------- a-- riding, dawg, it's on. As a matter of fact, I'm coming to your m-----f------ house."

Nice use of "dawg" here. Dukes gets major style points. (Blogger's Note: How do you categorize usage of "Dawg" as compared to "Dog"? ) Did you forget that they are your kids too? It's good to know that the allegations are not bothering Dukes too much. When asked about it, Dukes had this to say:

"I'm just going to play ball, that's it... I've got to go. I've got a video game to finish."

Brilliant... I'm beginning to wonder about his maturity level...

Here is more background on Dukes from this St. Petersberg Times story by Gary Shelton. When you read this it's hard to fathom that's he's only 22... Here are some excerpts in case you are lazy like me.

In 2003, Gilbert accused Dukes of throwing a remote control at her. In April 2004, she accused him of harassing phone calls. Later that year, she said he hit her with a soda can, threw a glass candy bowl and ripped a phone cord out of the wall when she tried to call 911. In August 2006, deputies arrested Gilbert, accusing her of scratching her husband's back during an argument. The charge was dropped in September.

Four women have gone to court seeking child support from Dukes. In all four cases, the court found Dukes was the father, meaning he has at least five children by four women. Two of those women were pregnant at the same time, giving birth in 2003 within eight days of each other.

At this rate he'll have Shawn Kemp beat by a mile in the race to father more children by more different women. He's about halfway there unless my figures on Kemp are out of date.

The Devil Rays really should cut ties with him. But they shouldn't just drop him as Rob Neyer suggests. Although it makes a statement dropping the supremely talented yet obviously troubled Dukes, there is always someone willing to pay for great talent even if it is damaged goods.

I'm just angry that he has sullied all the great 'Dukes' that came before him like this guy. Spelling differences be damned.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Slideshare Has Made Me An Offer I Can't Refuse: Knowledge

There is a very cool website called slideshare. It's your basic online sharing community but the main wares are Power Point Presentations!! Awesome right?! I thought so too until I remembered I look at these all day at work. Upon closer inspection many of the presentations are quite good and Slideshare recently decided to have a contest to decide which were the best. I've included my favorites here.

This is a stylization of a slideshow originally created by Karl Fisch, examining globalization and America’s future in the 21st century. It is designed to stand alone, without having to be presented in person. Enjoy!




Blogger's Note #1: Did you know that that in the year 2036 extrapolation on most of these subjects will become so difficult that researchers will be resigned to quantify things as just "very, very, very large"

Blogger's Note #2: I find slides 60 - 62 very disconcerting... I mean, you know what happens once we reach that point? Imagine phalanxes of governators roaming the earth. This stuff is straight out of the Terminator Series... (just 1 and 2 though. 3 was crap...)

On to my other favorite:


A compilation of 25 basic styles of blogging including tips on how often to use each and potential to create buzz and blog traffic by using each.




Blogger's Note #3: I think they forgot the "Chicken Running Around With His Head Cut Off Blogger". For an example of this go here.

Scientists cure cancer, but no one takes notice

Here is a little story from a little while back some of you might not have noticed. Looks legit but I have been around for a while and it always seems like they are making breakthroughs in the field of cancer prevention. So take this with whatever grain of salt you find. I just hope somebody rich finds this post and decides to give a lot of money to the researchers working on this project. Hope is priceless.

Scientists cure cancer, but no one takes notice

By: David McRaney

Posted: 1/23/07

EDITORS NOTE:

Since the original publication of this article we have been inundated with responses from the public at all walks of life. It is important to note that research is ongoing with DCA, and not everyone is convinced it will turn out to be a miracle drug. There have been many therapies that were promising in vitro and in animal models that did not work for one reason or another in humans. To provide false hope is not our intention. There is a lot of information on DCA available on the web, and this column is but one opinion on the topic. We hope you will do your own research into the situation. So, we have added links to resources at the end of this column. If you are arriving here form a linking website like Fark, then those links will not appear because they tend to grab only the text. For those visitors, here is a link to the original research: www.depmed.ualberta.ca/dca

END NOTE

Scientists may have cured cancer last week.

Yep.

So, why haven't the media picked up on it?

Here's the deal. Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada found a cheap and easy to produce drug that kills almost all cancers. The drug is dichloroacetate, and since it is already used to treat metabolic disorders, we know it should be no problem to use it for other purposes.

Doesn't this sound like the kind of news you see on the front page of every paper?

The drug also has no patent, which means it could be produced for bargain basement prices in comparison to what drug companies research and develop.

Scientists tested DCA on human cells cultured outside the body where it killed lung, breast and brain cancer cells, but left healthy cells alone. Rats plump with tumors shrank when they were fed water supplemented with DCA.

Again, this seems like it should be at the top of the nightly news, right?

Cancer cells don't use the little power stations found in most human cells - the mitochondria. Instead, they use glycolysis, which is less effective and more wasteful.

Doctors have long believed the reason for this is because the mitochondria were damaged somehow. But, it turns out the mitochondria were just dormant, and DCA starts them back up again.

The side effect of this is it also reactivates a process called apoptosis. You see, mitochondria contain an all-too-important self-destruct button that can't be pressed in cancer cells. Without it, tumors grow larger as cells refuse to be extinguished. Fully functioning mitochondria, thanks to DCA, can once again die.

With glycolysis turned off, the body produces less lactic acid, so the bad tissue around cancer cells doesn't break down and seed new tumors.

Here's the big catch. Pharmaceutical companies probably won't invest in research into DCA because they won't profit from it. It's easy to make, unpatented and could be added to drinking water. Imagine, Gatorade with cancer control.

So, the groundwork will have to be done at universities and independently funded laboratories. But, how are they supposed to drum up support if the media aren't even talking about it?

All I can do is write this and hope Google News picks it up. In the meantime, tell everyone you know and do your own research.

PLEASE READ THE EDITOR'S NOTE AT THE TOP OF THIS COLUMN, AND PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINKS TO OTHER DCA RESOURCES LISTED DIRECTLY UNDER THIS COLUMN.

This is a column of opinion written by Printz Executive Editor David McRaney. Comments can be sent to printz@usm.edu


© Copyright 2007 Student Printz

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

This isn't war, people... It's baseball

This is an article in it's entirety from baseballamerica.com.

It caught my eye for one thing because one of the main players in the story shares a name with one of my good friends here.

The other thing that caught my eye was not an errant throw but the fact that the manager for the offending player condones this. Sure if you stray from the on-deck circle you are somewhat fairgame but this is what can happen...

Molina settles with Christensen

By Jim Callis
February 5, 2002

Anthony Molina reached an out-of-court settlement with Cubs pitching prospect Ben Christensen, who beaned him while warming up before a 1999 college game, on Tuesday, according to Christensen's agent, Steve Canter.

Canter said both sides agreed to keep the terms of the settlement confidential.

Molina was a junior second baseman and the leadoff hitter for Evansville in an April 23, 1999 game at Wichita State. Christensen was the junior ace of the Shockers. When Molina ventured out of the on-deck circle and within 20 feet of home plate, Christensen fired a warmup pitch at him. The ball struck Molina above his left eye, breaking bones and permanently damaging his vision. At the time, Wichita State pitching coach Brent Kemnitz was quoted as saying that he taught his pitchers to brush back hitters in that situation.

Though Molina returned for his senior season in 2000, he batted just .266 and any chance he had for a professional career effectively had ended. He played two games in the independent Frontier League in 2000, going 1-for-3 with two strikeouts. He now works as a rental agent for Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Henderson, Ky.

Canter characterized the incident as an accident and said that Christensen had no intention of hurting Molina.

"No one felt worse about Anthony Molina's injury than Ben Christensen," Canter said. "Ben was inconsolable for hours after the accident. If Ben were a bad guy, he wouldn't have been so upset. Ben is a bright, articulate, warm individual.

"Now he can focus on getting ready for the season and helping the Cubs. At the same time, he hopes Anthony can move on with his life and be successful too."

Molina's attorney, Rand Wonio, couldn't be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Per the terms of the settlement, Molina withdrew a suit in Kansas state court that charged Christensen with battery and sought punitive damages for committing an intentional act. That case was to have gone to court Tuesday in Wichita.

Christensen also was removed from a pending federal suit in Kansas City, Kan., that has been stuck in appeals. Molina also sued Christensen for battery and continues to sue Kemnitz and Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson for negligence in that case.

Christensen, who was suspended for the remainder of the 1999 college season, was drafted 26th overall that June by the Cubs and signed for $1,062,500. He reached Double-A within a year after turning pro, but was hampered by shoulder tendinitis in 2000 and required shoulder surgery to repair some fraying and tighten the capsule last year. Canter said that Christensen threw off a mound last week in Arizona and said he was 100 percent.


Update: Ben Christensen never made the majors. He ended up moving to Beijing and living happily ever after.

Wow. This is Xtreme...

... not so much.



I think the narrator is on heroin or something. Has anything so "xtreme" ever sounded so mundane??

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

While I Was Away...

So I'm returning from a very relaxing vacation. I went to the MIDI festival for a couple of the days. That was fun. The best part was people watching. Who knew that kids wear their hair like this in China too?! OK I did already...

I have also been playing with my Sony Ericsson K610i, which is super cool (Love the 2.0 mega pixel camera). One of these days I'm going to figure out how to blog with it. I'm going to be more connected than a... than those little circular peices that you play connect four with! Ha! Thought I wouldn't be able to think of anything, huh? Showed you.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

"Is everyone taking crazy pills?!" (i.e. crack)

So I'm going through my RSS feeds and I run across this post from Debbie Schlussel (I enjoy reading the conservative perspective. I think it keeps me "fair and balanced" unlike Fox News). Anyways...

It starts off like this:



"Remember how Gary Busey, last year, starred in "Kurtlar Vadisi-Irak" ("Valley of the Wolves-Iraq"), an anti-American, anti-Semitic movie produced by the Islamist government in Turkey?"


Actually no... Sounds interesting.



"Remember how Busey played a Jewish U.S. Army doctor who harvests the organs of innocent Muslims in order to sell them to Orthodox Jews in New York, London, and Tel Aviv?"


Um... no. I guess I should have considering my interest has been piqued.




"Remember how Gary Busey issued no apology for his defamation of Jews and American Army doctors (including my Dad, who was a U.S. Army doctor)?"


Huh?



"Remember how that same movie portrayed U.S. soldiers--including star Billy Zane--as blood-thirsty murderers, who deliberately murdered participants and guests at Islamic weddings in Iraq, for sport?"

Alright already!

I don't care about her agenda. All I care about is what came next:



How much crack do you think it took for him to lose 40 pounds? I feel like it couldn't have taken him more than a week or two..

Anyway, if you are interested in the movie click here and here. I know I need to give it a look.

I'm out.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ron Mexico Needs to Ron MexiGo and Get His Damn Act Together and Stop Acting a Fool

I am sick and tired of athletes getting paid oodles of money and making these types of mistakes.

On December 23, 2004, Micheal Vick signed a 10-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons worth $130 million with a $37m signing bonus, making him the highest paid player in NFL history. Yet he still need to have over 60 pitbulls on his Virginia residence for the purpose of fighting each other to the death, in what must be a lucrative endeavor. The cost to feed them alone would be about 3 grand a month. Think about that. What I really want to know is how much money are you going to bring in to make something like this worth it (I know, I know it's never gonna be worth it because of the cruel nature of the activity. I just want to know how much money is needed for a guy like Mike Vick, obviously set for life, to justify this to himself.)

"I'm never at the house," Vick said, according to ajc.com. "I left the house with my family members and my cousin. They just haven't been doing the right thing."

Most likely he knew all about it and this was just something he backed so that he could create a revenue stream to provide for his friends and family . You're telling me that's the best thing Vick could think of to make money? Try franchising a McDonalds for goodness sake! I know it's only a little less morally appalling but I'm just saying there are literally billions of other ways to make money, without inhumanely killing cute lil' doggies. (I know I've left myself open to questions regarding the inhumane nature of the meat-packing industry but I'll get into the ethics of fast-food in a later post)

This is from deadspin:

Frankly, [if animals on his property are found to have been neglected or used for fighting, releasing him from the team] seems a bit much to us: If athletes aren't going to be kicked off their teams for neglecting their children, you can't exactly kick them off for neglecting their dogs. (For full post click here)

I must disagree deadspin. Unfortunately the neglecting children IS NOT a felony unless deemed so by the courts. When Vick starts beating his children give me a call and I will tell you that his ass should go straight to jail, without passing go and with collecting $200 (like he needs it). Hosting dog fights IS a felony. He is obviously responsible to a certain extent and if Adam "Pacman" Jones and Chris Henry are going to have the book thrown at them by my new favorite commissioner Roger Goodell then I think Vick deserves nothing less. You can find a couple reasons why this won't happen here.

Michael Vick is sitting on the best contract in Football history and he has continually been under the proverbial gun of controversy. Football contracts, by necessity, are always non-guaranteed and Vick is doing his darndest to unguarantee this one. Deadspin.com has kept extremly good tabs on Mike "Ron Mexico" Vick, and to a lesser (although possibly more controversial) extent, little brother Marcus "New Mexico" Vick. I suggest you read through it just to get an idea of what great people the Vicks are. I'm not even going to get into the head case that is the Vicks' second cousin Aaron Brooks...

It says here on Mike Vick's official bio on the Atlanta Falcon's Website that Mike's mother, Brenda Boddie, is a strong positive influence in his life.

Looks like it's time he sat down with is mother and talked things out with her. Seems like he hasn't done that in a long time.

Friday, April 27, 2007

"I am shocked to hear members of my congregation praying this blaspemous prayer.... and yet I can't help but concur..."

One of my favorite sketches of all time. The State had a profound effect on my life and I hope one day we will have them all on DVD. Please go here to sign an online petition to get The State released on VHS and DVD.



Update: While doing research for this post I ran across news that The State is releasing another movie called The Ten (If you have not seen their last movie Wet Hot American Summer do yourself a favor and watch it).

The Ten will be ten stories, each based on one of the ten commandments and if it's anything like their "blasphemous" work above, I really can't wait. Who am I kidding? Let's just say I won't be able to wait period.

With 10 of the 11 original cast members along with such names as Winona Ryder, Jessica Alba, Famke Janssen, Oliver Platt (who went to my Highschool in Japan but was kicked out for drug use so the myth goes), Liev Schreiber, Paul Rudd, Janeane Garofalo, Ron Silver, this could be brilliant! Unfortunatly for me this is not one of those blockbusters that will make it to Beijing through piracy or legal means... And no, we don't have Spiderman III here!!

Facebook Infomercial

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.



Without Youtube living in Beijing would totally rob me of any of the current events which I truly care about, such as celebrities falling on their asses and American Idol. Facebook furthers my descent into this new media network. Combine the two and you get as close as you are going to get to perfection. Just practicing my hyperbole here...

America's Next Top President

So I haven't posted in over a year. So sue me. Just thought this was rather interesting. It won't be long until we vote for our president via text message. I for one welcome our new reality TV based overlords...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

Gambling News

Here's some more great gambling tidbits from Darren Rovell's sports Business Blog on the eve of what should be a Great Tournament. I love this stuff.

Careers publisher Vault Inc. says that 67 percent of employees admit to taking part in office betting pools for March Madness. That number, the company says, is up 6 percent from last year. According to its survey, which included 328 employees from organizations across the country, 80.5 percent of people aren't bothered by the fact that office pools are technically illegal, while 86 percent of offices did not specifically have a company policy against betting pools.

Workplace productivity: Every year, workplace consultant Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. predicts how much will be lost in workplace productivity because of the tournament. This year's number is $3.8 billion, and chief executive John Challenger says that could be a conservative estimate now that CBS will show the games online for free this year. I think people might be less productive at work, but I'm not sure it's this bad. Why? Because this assumes that people are productive in their 9-5 jobs anyway, which is not even close to true. For those people at Challenger, Gray & Christmas who don't believe me, come to Bristol and I'll show you when people are hitting up our site. In Vault Inc.'s survey, 73.5 percent of people said they spent only 5-10 minutes at the office making their picks and saved further research for when they're at home. Then factor in this: Tournament games are only being played over four work days.



How much is bet? So many people want to know these days exactly how much is gambled on the NCAA Tournament. It's impossible to know because online gambling and office pools are obviously not reported in the way Las Vegas is. The latest estimates I've seen from industry pundits is that about $3.5 billion to $4 billion is bet on the tournament, with a nice chunk of that coming from online. The 180 or so sports books in Las Vegas only take in about $90 million in bets, while estimates have online bookmakers taking in more than $1.2 billion, which would about double the money taken in online on this year's Super Bowl. One of the reasons why the money online continues to go up is because, on some sites, bettors can risk a tremendous amount on one game. Sites like PinnacleSports.com will take up to $30,000 on one game.



Best bet? Around this time of year I always have people asking me if there's anything new and different on the betting scene around tournament time. One of the coolest things I've seen this year is PicksPal.com. The site allows players to wager points on over/unders and props. Once you register (registration is free and not cumbersome), you go to the bracket. Say you click on the first-round matchup of Memphis vs. Oral Roberts. You can pick the game, but you will also see props such as:



Will R. Carney be the game's leading scorer?


Which team's starters will score more points?


In which half will Memphis score more points?



The site also promises to have live in-game picks for fans to make. The fan with the highest point total at the end of each round will win an iPod, while the overall winner will win a 42-inch flat plasma HDTV.



Did the players really know the spread? Justin Wolfers, an economist at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks his data shows they do. The New York Times recently profiled Wolfers, who has collected the results of almost every college basketball game over the past 16 years. Wolfers' data shows that smaller favorites -- teams favored by 12 or fewer points -- beat the spread about 50 percent of the time, while heavy favorites cover in only 47 percent of their games. According to the New York Times, given the volume of data that Wolfers has collected, he surmises that the difference is significant and that players on top teams might be shaving points. Wolfers contends that the players are aware of the spreads based on the fact that there are too many games where favorites either barely cover by one or two points or don't cover by the same margin. It's hard to tell how much the players know, but I don't think a majority of them have the spread in mind when they are on the court.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Red Vs. Blue

You should check this out if you get bored. There are something like 78 episodes on these guys' website and most of them are on Youtube as well. I thought it was funny at least and I played the hell out of Halo so it’s funny to see the drama unfold amongst these characters. Then again I am a pretty unique individual with tastes that range far and wide. I like to think of myself as a modern day renaissance man, but without all the painting or production of anything of value.

Thoughts for the day:

1) I have a love hate relationship with the NCAAs. It's just a lot of pouring over stats and game logs and match-ups that never seem to help me in the end. That being said; I can't wait for them to start.

2) I'll have you know he was a ball hog... The voice-over is the best part... no wait the fact that it's real and you can buy it is the best part.

3) The Playstation 3 has been delayed again, this time till November, causing Sony shares to plunge about 2 percent on the Tokyo Stock exchange. Not cool guys. Even the great Sony can't afford to piss off their fans THIS much, by repeatedly pushing back their products. I guess we should all know better considering it's a common occurrence. I just have one comment to direct to Sony: You made me look like a jerk the other day when I said the PS3 was coming out on a certain date and it wasn't. Jerks.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Best Prank Ever

So I was wandering around the internet one day and I ran across this story. It is a story of the most successful subterfuge in sportsfan history and it demands a place in the echelons of time, as the benchmark of what people in stands can do to (non-violently) affect the outcome of a game.

Here is a blogger who got the main facts down and got 'em down well,

And here is the story in the Chicago Tribune, via the Los Angeles Times.

Pruitt backs it up Big Time Thursday night Baby!

Reaction: It shouldn't have taken a genius to come up with this evil plan but apparently it helps as was the case with these Berkeley fans.

Other things I'm thinking about:
1) Fantasy baseball is in full swing and I am going crazy studying up. Do you know who Erik Bedard is? I do. Take THAT!

2) At the same time work is ridiculous because we have the China Business Summit coming up. I stayed at work till 1am last night editing and what not. I'm about to fall over.

3) Just started reading this comic book called Berserk. Good stuff. You should try it sometime. They need to make more of the Anime though. It ends right in the middle of the story. If you want to make a difference go to here to petition the re-starting of the anime series.

4) Culpepper to Miami for a second round draft pick... I can't believe the Vikes have traded away their 2 best players in the last two years and they have virtually nothing to show for it. Troy Williamson and a 2006 second round pick don't compare favorably to Moss and Culpepper...

5) March Madness is coming up and I havn't even really looked at a bracket yet. I'm just bidding my time until I can see the National Bracket on ESPN. It's usually better than 90% of indiviual brackets. If you need more proof that groups are smarter than the individual, check out The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki.

6) From the department of Predictable happenings: Mark Prior is feeling pain in his throwing arm. I almost drafted him in my pay league this year because it's not often you can pick up a pitcher of his caliber (even an oft injured one) in the 8th round. I'm glad I didn't.

7) Alex Rodriguez is on a tear at the World Baseball Classic. I think we need to start calling him Mr. March.

8) And finally, I don't want to hear anything more about Barry Bonds, unless it's about him hitting a Homerun. If you didn't already know he was taking steroids then you are naive. Thank you and goodnight.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Stealers

I'm too late. These guys stole my idea to make a movie about this kid, as seen in Darren Rovell's Sports Business Blog. Are they going to work into the movie the fact that no one was guarding him because the other team couldn't give a care? How about the fact that he is a narcissistic ball-hog. You guys can have the feel good story of the year. Give me "Jason McElwain: True Rochester Story." I'm not jealous, I just consider it my job to take people down a peg.

Too good to be true?
Most of you have seen the story of senior Jason McElwain, an autistic high school senior who was put into a basketball game for a feel-good moment.

Well, unlike most of these stories, McElwain -- who is the manager who had never played in a game -- went off. He scored 20 points in a little more than four minutes and was carried off the court as the game's the leading scorer.

If you expected Hollywood companies to be calling, they are. McElwain's father told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle that he has received about 25 inquiries from movie production companies interested in buying the rights to his son's story. Congratulations Jason, you already have 24,600 hits on Google!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Damn My Cold, Black Heart

Watch this -->



Now, I'm not a totally insensitive guy. I even might have shed a tear after seeing this video. Great story. Great kid. Great movie material. But it only took me a couple of minutes to ponder whether the meticulous nature of an autistic person would translate into success in a sport that requires more practice and habit formation than that of basketball. Yes, I'm talking about baseball.

Don't get me wrong, the compulsive tendencies of a person with autism might help in basketball. God knows that to have any kind of a shot you have to throw up hundreds of shots a day. But basketball is a fluid game where the most creative have success. Baseball is all about the bodies ability to remember form. The greatest pitchers ever to play the game have had stretches where their mechanics failed them. Hitters go into slumps because of the smallest change to their swing.

I really am just rambling. I shouldn't have even wrote anything for this post. I should have just shut-up and basked in this touching moment (right after trying to get the movie rights).

The Awful Results of Years and Years of Steroid Abuse.



Some Observations:

- The enlarged breasts and neck.

- "Roid Rage" is evident when opinion is confronted.

- After seeing that, Paula Abdul now seems a lot hotter.

- Over inflated sense of self worth.

- This was the first time we saw Bonds act this way to any degree. It was also the first day of coverage for the camera crew that will follow him all season in pursuit of HR records. Playing for the camera maybe...

- Bon Jovi officially sets the record for the most horrible attempts to have song covered, a title formerly held by Queen.

- Rob Schnieder is still alive... damn.

You Just Got Brokebacked!!

So "Brokeback" is the Hollywood word of the year. If you are too lazy to read the article it said that "The nonprofit group Global Language Monitor placed "Brokeback" -- as in the film title "Brokeback Mountain" -- at the top of its list of Hollywood words and phrases that captured attention this year. Overall, a Google search shows more than 38 million references to the film, although only about 10 million people saw the movie." Wow! What does "Brokeback" win? I'd like to see it receive the honor of becoming a verb as so many other nouns have(e.g. partied). This would open up a proverbial treasure chest of possibilities.

"Brokebacked" could mean a myriad of different things, from simply being sodomized by a cowboy to just getting screwed over in general. Speaking of which, I know I should have brought this up a long time ago but the creators of South Park, Trey Stone and Matt Parker, actually came up with the premise years before the Ang Lee directed film came out. Here is a quote from the immortal Cartman lamenting the rise of Indy films: "No dude, independent films are those black and white hippie movies. They're always about gay cowboys eating pudding." Amazing but true.

...Not That There's Anything Wrong With That

I'm sorry but this is very funny...

Monday, February 20, 2006

I'm going to be the best father EVOR

I knew all those hours of playing RPGs (role playing games for the uninitiated) would amount to something. If only a baby came with a +7 tome of sleep, then parents would be set.

The irony is I don't want my kids (if I am to have any) to play video games so dungeons and dragons will have to do. Maybe I'll have to think about this one further.

It's strange to see gamers growing up and becoming adults, because as a kid I felt adults would never "get" the video game craze. I was right until we all grew up and became adults ourselves. Now we are still gamers but we don't want the same content. This is where Nintendo has gone wrong but that's a thought for another time.

Hypocrite Warning

I have a couple of questions for you:

Why do people watch movies like "Pearl Harbor"?

How is it that a Childrens' book such as the Harry Potter series have such widespread appeal?

And finally, how does a self professed music connoisseur, such as myself become enamored with such an asinine song like "My Humps" by the Black Eyed Peas?

A recent study by Columbia University researchers may have discovered the tip of the answers iceberg by looking at the listening habits of 14,341 participants drawn from a teen-interest Web site. The conclusions of the study show that we make our music purchases based partly on our perceived preferences of others.

I don't want to hear anything about the diversity (or lack there of) of the sample groups. Most likely they were impressionable youngsters who just wanted to fit in. Well I think we all can guess what marketers consider their most important demographic.

In an increasingly complex world (with more choices than you can shake a stick at) we might be relying too heavily on the influence of others in our choices. I have another question: What else is new? Advertising is a business predicated on this very same social condition, and it seems to be working out just fine for them.

Good news for marketers. Bad news for the possible emergence of anything of substance in the face of huge budgets. At least I know my mind hasn't been invaded. Now excuse me. I have to go listen to "My Hump", on my Apple I-pod, while reading the newest edition of Harry Potter. "Pearl Harbor", however, is where I draw the line.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Madden Odds

This comes from Darren Rovell's Sports Business Blog on ESPN.com. Seriously, it's not as boring as it sounds. I promise. Maybe I should have hedged my bets by putting some money down on something like this:

Madden Odds

The people at Pinnacle Sports apparently know what they are talking about. On the second play of Seattle's second drive, ABC announcer John Madden said this: "Kimo Von Oelhoffen has a heck of a club." Why did the people at the sports gambling outfit care? Because they predicted that, out of a list of Maddenisms, he would use that one first. Here were the odds on a proposition bet Pinnacle put out before the game that asked fans to wager on what Madden would say first after kickoff: "Heck of a" (6/5), "Big time," (7/2), "Horsecollar" (7/1), "Boom!" (7/1), "Manhandled" (9/1), "Wham!" (15/1). PinnacleSports.com reported that about 150 people won $6 for every $5 they bet by predicting that "Heck of a" would come first. John Madden did not place a bet himself.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Super Bowl My Ass (or how I learned to stop caring and love the whine)

As you might or might not know, I am a Seahawks fan. It's been rough and I'm sorry to admit that over the years my interest in the team has waned because of their constant letdowns and overall mediocrity... This is what you sign up for as a Seahawk fan (or any fan in general unless you are very lucky), and it is a well known rule that to give up on your team or to not put everything you have behind them in every situation is equivalent to sin. I consider this post to be a sort of confessional for me to vent just a little and show where my allegiances lie. Now on with the show:

This was the first time since '96 that I have been able to enjoy one of my teams in a Championship Game (in '96 the Supes lost to Michael Jordan and the Bulls who were beginning their second Threepeat), and I was more than moderately excited. I wasn't concerned that the Steelers were 4 point favorites heading in or that approximately 256,365 Steeler fans showed up compared to Seattle's 7.

As the game wore on I could tell this team was not only beatable but likely to be beaten even with the missed chances the Seahawks were amassing through an assortment of drive killing penalties and dropped passes. We were holding up the Steeler's blitzburg packages that had been talked about all week with relative ease and this was the brightest sign of the night.

When Seattle took the field for their final drive of the first half I started to have my doubts especially when D-jack's TD was called out of bounds (much more on this later). We ended up with nothing, missing a 50 yard field goal as time expired. No worries right. I certainly wasn't worried at that point. Maybe I should have...

I'm not going to talk about the officiating too much because it's already been dissected by everyone in the "real" media (that's right, I am a self-proclaimed member of the "fake" media). One drive that stands out was in the fourth quarter right before Hasselbeck's costly INT during which there was a Horse collar tackle not called, a phantom holding penalty, and a block below the waist called on Hasselbeck while he was making a tackle. Seriously... how can you call it a block when the player is on D? It seems a little counterproductive to be blocking someone on D.

Here is a list of partisan grippers that I feel adequately put the debacle into perspective:

1) Micheal Smith - "Here's what referee Bill Leavy's crew did, point blank: It robbed Seattle."

2) Skip Bayless (who had been killing us in the media for weeks on end for being undeserving) - "On this night, the Steelers had their own version of [the Seahawk's] 12th Man. He wore a striped shirt and a whistle. He threw a flag."

3) Gene Wojciechowski (just so I can say I'm presenting both sides of the argument) - "Enough already with the whining. The Seahawks had their chances. Plenty of them to overcome the Steelers and, if they insist, the refs, too."

OK I lied... More gripping about the refs along with indisputable video evidence showing Seattle got jobbed (at least for one touchdown). Did I mention I had a three-way $100 bet on this game? FUCK!



How is this not a Touchdown? It's a documented rule that if you touch the pylon while still in-bounds it's a touchdown. D. Jackson caught the ball, his left foot hits in-bounds then his right foot hits the pylon - TD right?!?! In the rulebooks yes but not at this Superbowl.

"A player no longer can be ruled out of bounds when he touches a pylon unless he already touched the boundary line." Straight from the NFL site, ruled changes made in March of 2002!

In fact John Clayton wrote about this exact rule change on ESPN as well: "A player will be ruled in bounds if he touches the pylon at the goal line before going out of bounds. For example, a pass would be considered complete if one foot touches the pylon and the other foot is in bounds". Which happened exactly as the rule is written to the letter. Unreal.

But since it was inside 2 min mark Sea couldn't challenge it (why is that anyway?), and the replay official didn't even stop play to review it. AND Pit called a timeout to stop the clock. Which gave them plenty of time to call for a review. WTF?

And the NFL has the audacity to support the officiating by saying it was 'properly officiated'. The ESPN poll asking readers whether or not they agreed with the NFL on this issue shows that (at the time of this post's publishing) out of 32,778 people polled 78.4% disagreed with this assessment. Of course I did vote about 24,834 times so maybe I skewed the data a bit. Now you must please excuse me while I go rip my eyeballs from my skull with my bare hands...

Enough about officiating. Moving on to the walrus...

What was Holmgren thinking, down by 11 at the 50 yard line, punting on 4th and about 12 with 6:30 to go in the game? Doesn’t he know that the only thing Pittsburgh has been able to do all season is run the clock out? Predictably the punt sails deep into the end zone for a touchback.

In conclusion I don't blame the refs, even though I should. The game was very winnable, but in-game coaching blunders (especially at the end of the halves) doomed the Seahawks when they still had at least a chance to come back. However, you can be damn sure I'm going to be bitter about this game for a long time.

Thailand

So I have a couple of pictures of Thailand I would like to share (I've been there for the last 11 days or so and it's the reason I haven't been blogging. I know what you are thinking... "There are plenty of Internet Cafes there, why didn't you just blog from there." Well I'd rather spend my time in the sun and stuff so there.)

Ben in the back of truck on the way to KaiBei Beach. The roads were wicked curvy but we would go out and rent motorbikes all the same. Heck for five dollars a day it was the best entertainment we could find... That is until it got dark. We would have a bi-nightly cocktail hour with this fruity Thai rum and fresh pineapple juice... Good Stuff

Me trying to look cool on our first night on Ko Chang. Not a cocktail night as we hadn't discovered the wonderful nectar but a good night all the same. We drank many Chang beers and when we were feeling a little saucy we would have ourselves some Singhas. That first night we put down a whole lot of food. Later this night we ran into...

Our Beach Soccer Friends, we sang songs and were first introduced to the sweet rum of the islands. From then on we were hooked even though they liked to drink it with water, which was not quite as good as the pineapple juice. My feet were beat to hell after the beach soccer game, because we played at low tide on the compacted sea bed.

Beach Breakfast - a favorite morning hangout on KaiBei Beach: beautiful views and all the fresh fruit you could eat. The Islands in the distance are about 45 minutes of hard kayaking away and we made the trip one day. They looked much closer than they seemed so by the time we left it was dark and we made our way back over the dark and silent sea.

My Badass Bungalow on White Sands Beach: I loved this thing. It had a window that opened up to the sun rise and I would get up super early (almost) everyday to eat breakfast and get some early sun. I'd take a break at mid-day and go to an internet cafe, so as not to take in the rough sun, then go back for more (I know you can't tell from looking at me)

Angry Bryan at White Sands: I don't know what he was angry about... maybe the fish weren't biting that day or something. Anyways, those are some cool glassed huh? Can you tell I'm just typing stuff so that I can put all the text relating to this picture right next to it? You see I haven't figured out all the functions so that's what I do.

Our Swedish Friends who we met on White Sands Beach. They were very impressed that I could sing the "one elephant went out to play, upon a spider's web one day" song in Swedish. If not for my Swedish friends from ASIJ this would not be possible. Big Ups to my long time bro Fred Kumlin or making this communication a reality!

So that's my vacation in a nutshell. Overall it was very sandy and filled with adventure and danger. In conclusion I must say that it's a good idea to wear shoes when motorbiking, not getting too wasted and don't wrestle on the beach unless you feel like having sand in every crevase for the next 3 weeks. If you have questions please do ask.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

google.cn

Google the world powerhouse of search engines has decided today to bow down to the powers that be in China so as to have more access to their more than 111 million internet users. Whether this is a good business decision or a cop out is irrelevant (for me at least) considering you can access the America version of google here as easily as it is to make fun of Paris Hilton (Something I have surprisingly stayed away from in this space so maybe this isn't a good metaphor...).

Google agreed to omit Web content that the country's government finds objectionable, and Google will base its censorship decisions on guidance provided by Chinese government officials. Even the most idealistic person can see that there was really no other choice if the company was going to continue it's battle with yahoo. Maybe Sergey Brin and Larry Page need to change their corporate policy from "Don't Be Evil" to, "to make an omlette you need to break a few eggs."

It's entirely possible that somewhere down the road, China will lift it's restrictions on the complete dissemination of information, but by then, if Google hadn't had made a move there would have been no move to make. That being said, I don't applaud Google for it's actions, but I can't really blame them either. It also needs to be mentioned that Google denied US authorities in their attempts to subpoena the searches of millions of Americans just last week, one of only 4 companies to do so. You must say that where they have the ability to make a difference they try to do so.

The Fact that they are not offering the gmail or blog applications in China show a foresight that may have prevented a major PR blunder if Google was eventually asked to give up information from individual users. Both Yahoo and Microsoft were either forced to give up information or shutdown sites the government was opposed to. If gone unappeased China would most likely boot whoever was not giving them what they want out of the country.

In the end China is only doing what the Bush white house would be doing if they had the power which doesn't exactly instill confidence in my already shaky opinion of 'Dubya'. This can be seen in Bush's secret wire tapping of phones that he didn't have the right to tap as well as the aforementioned subpoenaing of search results. Maybe we, as Americans should be looking closer to home before nailing China to a cross for their censorship laws. China is far from perfect but America is sneaking up on them faster than we think.

The Imaculate Detention

Here is something that will shock and amaze. Well not too much considering he was an evil Steelers fan. Hopefully this will put karma on the Seahawks' side.

Cut Me! (a break)


You have to love this even if you aren't a fan of the movies. They aren't calling it Rocky VI most likely because the producers don't want to acknowledge Rocky V ever happened, so the movie is going to be called Rocky Balboa: Return From Irrelevance. Don't forget to check out the Rocky Balboa Blog. And in other Sylvester Stallone movie news you are going to have to see this to believe it. Yes, Rambo IV is in production, but one has to wonder why it isn't being called First Blood IV?. When Stallone originally conceived the idea around 2002, the plot involved Rambo going into Afghanistan to battle terrorists. Brilliant!

Just For The Hell Of It: Scarlett Johansson

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kobe's Sick Night

OK here is John Hollinger's great article on Kobe's downright sick night on Sunday:

It seems at first glance that Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point night in 1962 is far superior to Kobe Bryant's 81-point game Sunday. After all, Bryant still needed 19 more points -- roughly Pau Gasol's average -- just to catch the Dipper.

But if you stack the two games side by side, you'll come to the startling realization that Bryant's performance was actually far superior. Breaking the two games down by the numbers, it quickly becomes apparent what a dominant night Kobe had. Consider the facts:


Wilt scored 100 of his team's 169 points in the 1962 game.
Bryant was more efficient. Bryant needed 46 shot attempts and 20 free throws to get 81 points. Chamberlain needed 63 field-goal attempts and 32 free-throw tries to get his 100. Bryant's true shooting percentage for the night was 73.9 percent; Chamberlain's was only 63.9 percent.

Bryant's performance was more real. In Chamberlain's game, the Warriors intentionally fouled the Knicks in the final minute of play to get the ball back for another Chamberlain try at the century mark. Only on his third try did he get to 100. At the time, his team was comfortably ahead, as it was for the entire second half, and it won 169-147. Bryant, on the other hand, got almost all his points when they were desperately needed, as his team trailed by 18 early in the third quarter.

Bryant needed fewer minutes. If you want to really be amazed, consider the fact that Kobe sat out for six minutes in the second quarter. So Bryant scored his 81 points in only 42 minutes, while Wilt played the full 48 in his 100-point effort. Had he played for an additional six minutes and scored at the same rate (hardly an unreasonable assumption, given how much gas he appeared to have at the end), Kobe would have finished with 93 points. Yes, 93.

The game was different. Of all the differences between Bryant's game and Chamberlain's, this one is perhaps the biggest. Chamberlain's game ended up 169-147, Bryant's 122-104. Obviously, there was a huge difference in the speed of play, and that meant Chamberlain had far more opportunities to score than Bryant did.

Chamberlain's game featured 233 field-goal attempts versus 164 for Bryant's, and 93 free-throw attempts to 60 for Bryant's. We have no data on turnovers and offensive rebounds for Chamberlain's game, but based on the numbers I just mentioned, we can estimate there were 46 percent more possessions in the Chamberlain game than in the Kobe game.

If that's the case, we need to inflate Kobe's numbers by 46 percent to get an accurate idea of what it equates to in Chamberlain's era. The answer? An unbelievable 118 points. And if we add in six extra minutes for Bryant, we end up with the mind-boggling total of 135. By one player. In one game.

Another way to look at it is by deflating Chamberlain's numbers by a similar amount. If we change his currency into "2006 points," so to speak, the Stilt ends up with 68 points -- still an awesome performance, but clearly not on a level with Kobe's 81-point outburst. And once you adjust for the 48 minutes Chamberlain played vs. Kobe's 42, you end up with 60 points for Wilt -- or just a bit more than Kobe rang up in the second half.

So when our Marc Stein says this is the most amazing performance ever, believe it. Once you adjust for the differences in pace between the two eras and the fact that Bryant sat out for six minutes, even Chamberlain's monumental 100-point game pales by comparison. For basketball historians, Bryant's effort is now the scoring effort against which all others should be measured.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Young Chuck Norris

From the people who brought you "Lazy Sunday," comes.... "Young Chuck Norris". Hopefully this means that SNL is checking the blogosphere and listening to what everyone is saying. It would certainly be a good thing if they could lift themselves out of the doldrums of mediocrity, and listening to the people who watch their show is a good first step.

Johjima, Seahawks, etc...

You've heard so much about him! Women want him and men want to be him! Now he's coming to America for the first time, humble and just looking to do whatever he can for the team!

Seriously though, I like the additions the mariners are making this year (not to mention some of the subtractions; Ryan Franklin ring any bells). Johjima and Washburn are two guys that won't knock your socks off but are perfectly capable of putting up good numbers at Safeco.

Throw in the maturation of one of the most heralded pitching prospects in recent memory (i.e. Felix Hernandez), the continued production of Sexson from the four spot and the possible uncrappification of Adrian Beltre and you are looking at a team that could improve mightily from their disappointing season last year.

I'm looking at a team right now that if they catch some breaks, could get above the .500 mark quite easily. However, the American League West is always pretty tough so we can't count on it.

News and Notes: The Seahawks are heading to their first Superbowl ever and all I am talking about is our new catcher who might or might not be any good. I have issues. Maybe it's just that I don't want to put myself out there so that I can get burned once again. I will try to get my take on the up coming Superbowl down in this space sometime before the game but I can't promise anything considering I'm taking off for Thailand at the end of the week. They do have internet cafes there in abundance but where do you think I would rather be? In a stuffy room looking at a screen or on the beach sipping a drink with a little umbrella in it? That's what I thought.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Silent Hill - The Movie

Me and Graham Nelson (one of the Holy Trinity and friend to all) used to play this game and we would shit our pants with FEAR! FEAR! FEAR! And the thing is, as good as this was as a video game, it always looked like it would make a better movie than a game. We can only hope that they a do a good job with it, but judging by the Trailer it looks like it could be very creepy. Plus Sean Bean (Boromir from Lord Of The Rings) is in it and this looks like a good vehicle for him to show his leading man chops. Hopefully it's better than Viggo Mortensen's post LOTRs flop Hidalgo.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Really Simple Syndication

I know that all my super internet literate friends who read this know what an RSS is but here's some information on them. I like the words of warning at the end, telling people not to get trapped in their own little bubble, and I honestly don't know what is so hard about using bookmarks but if it's the wave of the future and more people are going to be doing it then it's important to everyone.

Friday, January 20, 2006

From the, "that's very interesting and almost scary because it makes sense in a conspiracy type of way but I'm not actually saying that..." Department

Most of the world's supply of [Shikimic acid] comes from the seed of the star anise, the fruit of a tree grown in China. As demand for Tamiflu has soared, the price of shikimic acid from that source has spiked from $45 a kilogram to over $600 in the last year. There are also persistent fears the Chinese government will ban export of the element in order to secure its own supplies.

Shikimic acid is used to make the synthetic element oseltamivir, marketed by global pharmaceutical megafirm Roche Laboratories Inc. as Tamiflu.


Here's a link to the full article.

So the trouble started in China, and most of the world's supply of the only thing that really can stop the bird flu is in China... Forget I said anything.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

News Flash: Microsoft Trying To Take Over The World

Imagine you're watching a show in which you can click on any product therein and it takes you directly to the product's website where you can purchase said product. This isn't exactly a new idea. We've all been hearing about it for years but it looks like Microsoft is looking to make this a reality. Here's the link to the article in the Seattle Post-Intellegencer

Monday, January 16, 2006

Conan O'Brien Rules Finnish Politics








You be the Judge. Seperated at birth?

It's Official: I'm a Bill Simmons Wannabe...

I first noticed it when I started to quote His Playoff Gambling Manfesto. Then came the unending viewings of "The Karate Kid". Now I've taken the next step: Welcome to my Running Diary of the Patriot-Broncos playoff game on 01/14/06. Once again I will preface this post with the statment, "it is crap." Now on with the Diary (which by the way even though it's posted a little late I my thought processes hasn't changed and this is all what was originally written down in my notebook):

9:14 - Holy Shit, there's the alarm.

9:16 - Just put on my patriots 2001 AFC Champions t-shirt. Since I have owned this shirt they have won 3 of 4 Superbowls and have not lost a playoff game. Think it will be enough to beat the broncos by 4? (I told you didn't I? I'm turning into Simmons with all his superstition. Next thing you know I'll be talking about how "The Shawshank Redemption" is one of the greatest movies ever made... OK probably not).

9:20 - Called my buddies to see if they are coming over as promised. No answer. I'm sure a-dawg (yes giving my friends stupid nicknames. Another Simmons calling card) is afraid considering he already lost money to me by betting Denver would gain 250 rushing yards against Oakland earlier in the year. I took that bet pretty quickly and they barely topped 100. Here's something that should be on everyone's gambling manifesto: Don't bet while shit-faced!

9:36 - Patriots marching. Looks like they have this Denver D on the ropes but John Lynch is looking like a monster on the blitz and is disrupting everything. 3 hurries in the first 2 New England drives, with the last one disrupting Brady on a 4th and 1 leading to the turnover on downs.

9:41 - My mom just walked in. ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!?!?

9:55 - Announcer: "And the Broncos have their deepest penetration of the night" (insert own joke here... pun intended) I'm so mature.

10:18 - Asante Samuel is having the game of his life. His INT keeps the Broncos out of the points again. The Broncos look like the stronger team but the Patriots are playing their game (bending but not breaking) and it is at this point when the Patriots usually turn the tide and start making backbreaking plays...

10:19 - I swear to god. 51 yard pass by Brady over the middle.

10:23 - Broncos are putting a lot of pressure on Brady and they seem to be stuffing up drives right when the patriots start getting on a roll. Brady's ability to handle the rush is what makes him great though (It's not a man crush, I promise... but the guy does have 3 superbowl rings...)

10:27 - Vinateri is an animal in the playoffs. Pats up 3-0.

10:31 - Quick 3 and out for Denver followed by Todd Sauerbrun coming in for the punt. At this point I'm thinking, "Isn't that the same guy who was taking steroids prescribed by his doctor when he was with the Carolina Panthers --> Answer is Yes.

10:35 - Faulk fumbles and Carolina scores and Da Crew enters.

10:50 - OK it's halftime and I need time to digest the turn of events... The Patriots just had two fumbles within 18 seconds of each other, both after the 2 minutes warning and in their own territory. I think I see the four horsemen of the apocalypse riding onto the field but then I clean my glasses and realize... the broncos just converted the turnovers into 10 points while gaining a total of 8 yards (not to mention a defensive pass interference call on Asante Samuel for 39 yards, who by the way is having the worst game of his career (and in an amazing show of writing ability I am going to use the double parenthesis and say that, that call was not only horribly wrong but inexcusably late)). The icing on the cake is the fact that the second fumble was caused by the immortal Todd Sauerbrun (guess "the program" really helped him out) At this point I'm beginning to wonder if this isn't the Pats night...

11:21 - As the teams battle for field position I can't help but think about how much the Broncos are disrespecting the TWO TIME DEFENDING WORLD CHAMPIONS. I mean how dare they take the lead in a playoff game against any team that Tom Brady is quarterback for? And how dare they disrespect the Pats offense so that they only score 3 points in a half. It's absolutely ridiculous!

11:34 - Two words for you: Champ Bailey. Too bad he was a bitch and slowed down before getting the touchdown. Ben Watson came from virtually the total opposite corner and knocked the ball away at the one yard line. I had visions of Leon Lett and Don Beebe dancing in my head after this play. Too bad Watson couldn't force the touchback like Beebe did because Mike Anderson walks it in on the next play after a long timeout for the New England challenge. Count with me now: 9 yards gained on broncos scoring drives for 17 points!!!

11:46 - The Pats are dinking and dunking down the field, really playing how they want to be playing but as usual in this game their drive is stalled. What are you going to do? Take the 43 yard field goal right? Automatic right? Vinetieri missed it wide right. Hmmm.

11:57 - Willie McGinest just shoved a teammate on the sideline.... I've never seen these Patriots play a game like this.

12:03 - A-Dawg just asked a good question: "How many fights do you think Ashley Lelie got into as a kid with a name like that?" Now that I've had time to form an adequate comeback: "depends on when he had his growth spurt." OH SNAP!

12:04 - Vince Wilford just tried to get into it with one of the Broncos players after a false start on an extra point attempt. Do I even have to say anything? Oh yeah Broncos 24 Patriots 6.

Nothing else really to say about this... Denver added another field goal. Brady threw another interception. Pats ended up turning the ball over 5 times and most of them were on their own side of the field. 8 penalties for 82 yards isn't horrible but it's just not a recipe for success on the road. You know what though? As lucky and blessed as the Patriots have been the last 5 years, I wouldn't doubt that the Superbowl is going to be bombed or something and going to the Superbowl would have actually been a bad idea. I guess we'll never know (the whole butterfly flaps its wings in Beijing thing). OK maybe that's not the best thing to be writing on the internet. If I don't post in a while I'm probably in prison. They better have a TV there that shows my Seahawks winning the Superbowl.

Sunday, January 15, 2006



You would worship him as a god too if he got you 3 super bowl titles in 4 years. Can't wait for the games tomorrow. Being in China I can't get the games at a decent hour. 9:30 tomorrow morning is as decent as it gets. My picks are Seattle, Indy, Chicago, New England, all against the spread. I love this game.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I often feel that I can't express myself clearly. Part of the reason that I started this Blog was to (besides becoming rich and famous) develop my external voice. I work enough on the internal one so I don't need any help with that thank you very much. I often wonder why I am the way that I am, as do I'm sure everyone. I think I've reached a good point in my quest for clarity. I'm no longer ashamed of people reading what I have to say in this space. Maybe it's true that blogging is a form of therapy. I do feel better already...

Federation for the Debunking of PCness

Here is a cool link that sources Malcolm Gladwell to the comparisons being made between Larry Bird and Adam Morrison. In today's "PC" society it's almost impossible to say anything anymore without worrying about the racial implications and I think this article helps to break down some of these ridiculous barriers in both a scientific and logical way. I'm going to have to pick up a Chuck Klosterman book sometime. <--(mental note in blog form)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I Feel Smart

Linking to things like this make me feel smart and it's also pertinent to the where I am right now. Thank goodness I get paid In RMB and my student loans are in US dollars. It's all Bush's fucking fault anyways! If not for the war in Iraq and it's projected 2 Trillion dollar price tag, this might not be happening... Of course I can't kid myself. We were on the way down before the war... BUT NOT BEFORE BUSH!!!! Does anyone wonder why I felt like leaving the country?

What Was He Thinking?!?!

The Following is from Darren Rovel's Sports business blog on ESPN.com.

On Monday, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Damon Jones was scheduled to hold a news conference in the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton Hotel to announce that he's the first NBA player to endorse Chinese shoe brand Li-Ning. There is supposedly going to be an advertising campaign in China featuring Jones, though I'm not sure the Chinese are as familiar with Jones as they are with his teammate LeBron James. "I'm an icon. I'm global," Jones told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "If I was on the All-Star ballot, I'd have a million votes in China. And none here, because everybody thinks I'm arrogant." You've also only started three of 31 games this year and you're shooting 5-for-32 (15.6 percent) in your last seven games played.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Idiots At Large

Sorry I skipped December. I was hibernating with my supply of sweet, sweet honey. Just wanted ya'll to check out this interesting article. It shows how out of touch the masses are (not going to say Midwestern Americans because I know them and love them on a non-macro level), and how afraid they are of the scare of the day. I know anyone who has seen "Bowling for Columbine" will think I'm just spouting recycled left-wing rhetoric, but hear me out. Just because annoying people who think they know what they are talking about because they have seen one movie that says people are just frightened into submission, doesn't mean it's not true. With that I give you Idiots at Large:


Sauerkraut sales soar after bird flu report
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
By CAROLINA BOLADO
HERALD NEWS

After scientists at Seoul National University in South Korea discovered that one type of fermented cabbage helped cure infected chickens of the avian flu, Americans flocked to grocery stores and picked up this country's favorite version of fermented cabbage: sauerkraut.

According to Chris Smith, vice president of marketing for Frank's Sauerkraut, sales have skyrocketed for several weeks, spiking as high as 850 percent at one Midwestern store. Sales in the Twin Cities area were up, on average, 77 percent.

"We saw movement up a little bit, and we were curious to see what was causing it," Smith said.

The company attributed the sharp increase to a report on a local television station in Minneapolis about the South Korean researcher Professor Kang Sa-ouk, whose team found that an extract of kimchi – a popular Korean pickle made of fermented cabbage with radishes, garlic, ginger and peppers – helped infected chickens recover from the flu. Scientists are experimenting on the theory that the culture fluid produced during the fermentation process has antibacterial qualities. Sauerkraut, which is sliced cabbage fermented with salt for at least a month, produces the same fluid.

"We're just amazed at the reaction of people when they hear about the Korean study," Smith said. "They're scared of this pandemic, so they're looking for anything to potentially protect themselves."

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It is called the mariner...

The Seattle Mariners have just signed a Catcher from the Japan leagues and it has people all up in a huff. Will he be able to communicate with teammates and run the team effectively?

Now correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the most communicative player on the field usually the catcher? Doesn't he have to develop a rapport with pitchers that can only be achieved by being able to talk with them on more than a basic level.

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong!

Can someone please tell me where the Chiba Lotte Marines play. Can someone also tell who coaches them. Can someone tell me if that person can speak Japanese... Point is Bobby Valentine has been managing in Japan and won a championship there recently. He is not fluent in Japanese. See what I'm saying here? Besides, I hear this new catcher's English isn't horrible... unlike this post.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fight Club

My favorite scene from that movie (OK I would say this about any scene from this movie) is when Ed Norton is fading in and out of consciousness as Tyler Durden tell him about the world he envisions:

"In the world I see - you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway."

Every time I hear this line, I can't help but wonder if this world would be a better place.
away from all the bullshit of everyday life.

Comforts forgotten on the swirling winds of some winter, unhindered by central heating
the keeping of the beating of ones heart,
the only art that keeps the attention of men and women, is that of the aforementioned
don't forget where you came from...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Big Ups

Congrats to me and my school, University of Oregon for finishing 10-1 with a 56-14 buttwhupin' of our in state rivals the Beavs. Our only loss is to #1 USC and we've played through losing our starting quarterback, Kellen Clemens, for the season. We havn't won 10 games since we finished 11-1 and ranked #2 in the nation in 2001. We were led by Joey Harrington, the clutch quarterback, who decided not to play in the NFL so as not to sully his legacy (I wish).

Here's their ESPN website: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/clubhouse?teamId=2483

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Question of the Day

Are these NBA Hall of Fame numbers?

16 years
Games: 1134
Games Started: 979
Minutes: 33,838
FGM-FGA: 5,205-10,510
3PA-3PM: 100-426
FTM-FTA: 2,888-4,176
OFF REB: 2,881
DEF REB: 6,445
TOT REB: 9,326
AST: 3,541
STL: 1,288
BLK: 1,631
TO: 2,470
PF: 3,609
PTS: 13,398

Golblet of Crap...

I was just trying to get a rise out of you... So I just got back from the new Harry Potter and I have to say it was OK. I've never been to a theater in China so that was a new experience. I just felt like I needed to see a good copy of the movie to evaluate it properly. The sound quality is horrible in the theaters here so they try to make up for it by putting the volume up to "ear bleeding" levels. And it cost 70 RMB, which is about 9 dollars. Surprising considering most things in China are cheaper than their American counterpart. I was feeling truly American after having lunch at McDonald's so I didn't mind much.... besides, it's Harry Potter for god's sake!

So the movie is alright until I realize that I'm 23 and alone in a theater full of Kids and their parents. I spend the rest of the movie thinking about what this means. A couple of quick thoughts on the movie that I had between pondering my life:

1) Love Voldemort. Fiennes was and is going to be good in this role. I want to know if they pushed his nose down using makeup or they just used CGI.

2) Not enough time to cover everything. Minor characters are given the backseat to harry and his crew which is good and bad. Good in that it's the only way the movie stays 2 hours 20 min or so, but bad in that what's great about the books is the many characters and the virtual world that Rowlands weaves.

3) What's with moaning mertle hitting on potter when he's taking a bath? That was a little disturbing... pretty soon they are just going to go all out with sex scenes and an NC-17 rating. Mark my words.

4) Why doesn't harry just conjure up his broom for the third task like he did in the first. I mean he did have his wand didn't he... and he was allowed to use it...

5) since when was "Bloody Hell" considered not a curse and something Children should be subjected to numerous times? Think about it... and then think about what this world is coming too. And no I'm not 80 years old.

6) I say we need a new Harry Potter. Daniel Radcliffe has lost his edge. (I'm just saying this to incite discussion amongst my readers... yes readers)

7) is anyone else excited for the day the 7th movie comes out on DVD so as to facilitate the worlds most magical marathon ever? If you didn't already know, I am a major dork.

8) I also can't wait for the scene in the near future when the entire Griffindor House has an intervention for Neville Longbottom to confront him about his weight loss, punctuated by Hermine's line "Bloody hell! you need to lay off the Blow you git!"

9) Why is Harry continually amazed by magic? At the beginning of the movie he walks into a smallish sized tent and the inside is huge. It's takes him a couple minutes to get over this and all he can utter is "I love Magic." Get over it Harry. You've been a wizard in training for too long to let your jaw hang agap over magic.

I give the movie props for moving in a darker direction but it was something that was called for so not too many props (should I say "much" here... is props plural or not? Maybe if I was black I would know this...). The movies have become a little to cookie-cutter to me if you know what I mean. Maybe a little too fast paced but all and all I think they did a good job on it. Will be looking forward to the next one because I really can't stop now. Everybody is doing it, is another one of my excuses. The End.