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|The Bush Years: Farewell, Mr. President Mashup|
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Probably makes the list because I saw it on IMAX, high, and there's one really hilarious scene involving a little fat kid, his pet chimpanzee, and some ninjas that come out of nowhere. But other than seeing tons of flashing colors and lights, it wasn't great.
9. The Day the Earth Stood Still
On the list due to not actually watching many films this year (college). I genuinely enjoyed it though - Keanu is such a bad actor that he makes for a believable alien. Also the huge giant robot with little alien bugs coming out of it was sweet.
P.S. Jennifer Connelly is still stupid fly.
8. Tropic Thunder
Ben Stiller is a genius. Some slow parts and corny jokes, but the entire beginning will have you dying. Let's just say if you thought Zoolander was funny, you'll love this shit bro.
7. Pineapple Express
Stoner/action film with Seth Rogen and James Franco. Actually a hilarious movie for the most part, and not just because I saw it high. I mean, I wasn't even that high. That's how good it was.
6. Harold & Kumar 2
I know what you're thinking. And yes, I thought this movie was surprisingly hilarious too. Aside from that one weird scene that comes up in Harold & Kumar movies, it's golden. And you just can't beat Neil Patrick Harris getting shot in the back by an old hooker. Oops! Spoiler alert!
5. Step Brothers
Will Ferrell is a genius, and he and John C. Reilly make a great comedic duo. As far as Judd Apatow's films, I'd say this is second only to Superbad. As far as Will's, I'd say it's more funny than most of his others, but less funny than Anchorman or Talladega Nights.
Don't let the lame tagline fool you ("An Adventure Beyond the Ordinar-E"), this movie is universally acclaimed among critics and movie-goers. I'd say Pixar nailed this shit. It's safe to call it the Best Animated Film of the year, and it's been nominated for two Golden Globes and two Grammys.
3. Quantum of Solace
I don't care if the plot was a little lacking this time, Bond still blows shit up.
2. Iron Man
Robert Downey (I'm not gonna put Jr., it takes too long) was brilliant. I mean it's almost like he was born to play this role, partly because the character Tony Stark is an alcoholic too. Not much acting there.
1. The Dark Knight
Best Batman movie, best movie to watch in theaters, best movie to watch on blu-ray, best movie to watch if you like movies. Richard King won the Best Sound Editing oscar, and Heath Ledger posthumously won Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He really does steal the show as the Joker, I mean it's chilling. Don't bring your kids.
Monday, December 15, 2008
These two won Album of the Year, Best Group, and Best Breakthrough Band in their home country New Zealand's Music Awards. Their style has been classified as "Folk Parody Duo" as it is mostly written and performed by only two guys, Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie. I'd say the album is great anyway, but you would really love it if you also saw their HBO series.
4. Weezer - The Red Album (June 3)
This is different than their other albums in the sense that Rivers doesn't do all the songwriting and there's lead vocals from all of the band members. Brian Bell wrote and sang "Thought I Knew", Scott Shriner co-wrote and sang "Cold Dark World" and Pat Wilson wrote and sang "Automatic". If you are a hardcore blue-album Weezer fan I'd say you won't really like this change, but I love it. As usual the album ends with a bang, my favorite "The Angel and the One".
3. The Roots - Rising Down (April 29)
A lot of the repeat appearances from Game Theory like Malik B. and Dice Raw, and new emcees like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Common, Styles P and Saigon. ?uestlove called this album their "most incendiary, political album of our career to date". They also use more keyboards and synthesizers, giving it a more electric feel. Favorites are "Rising Down" and "The Show".
2. Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (Nov 24)
Electro tracks with tribal drums. He uses the 808 on every track. If you're looking for regular old Kanye, you're in for a surprise. But if you're looking for some real, broken, cold shit then this is for you. I mean you can feel his pain. I'd say "Welcome to Heartbreak" and "Heartless" are the best, but everyone seems to relate to different tracks. And they definitely get stuck in your head.
1. Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend (Jan 29)
The band is influenced by both African popular music and Western classical music, describing their genre of music as "Upper West Side Soweto". Bassist Chris Baio said "on some level there’s some punk, there’s some Afro-pop, some classical, some new wave." I don't know what that means, but it makes for some great indie rock. The guys met while attending Columbia University and then self-produced their first album after graduation while working full-time jobs. My favorites are "M79" and "A-Punk".
Friday, November 14, 2008
AUSTRALIA'S mandatory internet filter is being primed to block 10,000 websites as part of a blacklist of unspecified "unwanted content", Communications Minister Stephen Conroy revealed in Federal Parliament.
The 10,000 blocked websites would include 1300 websites already blacklisted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
"The pilot will specifically test filtering against the ACMA blacklist of prohibited content, which is mostly child pornography, as well as filtering of other unwanted content," Senator Conroy told Parliament.
"While the ACMA blacklist is currently around 1300 URLs, the pilot will test against this list as well as filtering for a range of URLs to around 10,000 so that the impacts on network performance of a larger blacklist can be examined."
Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Colin Jacobs said large internet providers such as Telstra and Optus would find it difficult to participate, while mid-sized providers might take part in the trial simply to prove the technology "unfeasible".
"It is unclear how ACMA will scale up their blacklist to 10,000 websites and what will go on the list," he said.
The Australian Sex Party, with the slogan "we're serious about sex," launches at Melbourne Sexpo on November 20th and party convenor Fiona Patten is confident it will gain the 500 members required to register and contest state Upper House and Senate seats.
Ms. Patten, who is also the chief executive of the Eros Association - representing the adult retail and entertainment industry, said she and others were concerned about the Government's proposed internet filter, which is being tested over summer on about 10,000 sites to block "unwanted content".
"This really came out of 20 years of lobbying on sex and censorship and then... the latest being the compulsory internet filter, which will ... prohibit and blacklist adult material that is currently legal in magazines, books and film," she said.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
For the first eight months of the year, the economy lost an average of 75,000 jobs each month. September’s report more than doubled the pace.
"A lot of companies came to the realization that there was no momentum in the economy to pick them up in the second half of 2008," said Steve Drexel, chief executive of Corestaff Services, a staffing company in Houston. "They had been hanging on to people and hoping things would improve, but now a lot companies are just sort of retrenching."
The unemployment rate remained steady at 6.1 percent in September, but economists said that reflected how people who had given up looking for work were not counted. Over the last year, the unemployment rolls have swelled by 2.2 million, to 9.5 million. On Friday, Goldman Sachs forecast that the jobless rate would reach 8 percent by the end of next year, which would be the highest in 25 years.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
In the most outrageous display of speed to ever burn across the Olympic Games, Usain Bolt of Jamaica rocketed to gold in winning the men's 100m dash in 9.69 seconds -- not only a new world record but the first time in the history of human beings a man has run the distance under 9.7 seconds without a significant tailwind.
Incredibly, Usain "Lightning" Bolt, 21, could have gone faster.
With a full seven strides to go, he dropped his arms and let them fall outstretched to his sides, appearing almost to run sideways as he played to the sold-out crowd of 91,000 at the Bird's Nest. Just before the finish line, he started high-stepping and, for good measure, executed a chest-thump.
Richard Thompson of Trinidad & Tobago finished second, a full two-tenths of a second back, in 9.89. "Usain Bolt is just a great athlete," Thompson said. "He came in here and ran a phenomenal race."
Walter Dix of the United States took third, in 9.91.
Tyson Gay of the United States, who suffered a hamstring strain at the U.S. Olympic Trials in early July, failed to make it out of his semifinal heat.
Gay, the 2007 world champion at both the 100m and 200m, finished fifth of eight in his semifinal earlier Saturday night. Only the top four advance.
"It was kind of devastating," he said.
Gay ran a 9.77-second 100m in the quarterfinals of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. That's now the American record.
Then, in the Trials finals, Gay ran a wind-aided 9.68. It's not a world record, not even an American record because of the wind. But it is still - even after Saturday night - the fastest time recorded in history.
As for the 21-year-old Bolt -- he was, until this season, a 200m guy.
Including these Olympics, Bolt has run perhaps a dozen competitive 100m sprints in his entire life.
"You have people who are exceptions," said Stephen Francis, the coach of Bolt’s main Jamaican rival, Asafa Powell, the former 100 world-record holder. "You have Einstein. You have Isaac Newton. You have Beethoven. You have Usain Bolt. It’s not explainable how and what they do."
Unstoppable Bolt Breaks Record in 200-Meter, Too
Running hard through the finish, Bolt not only ran 19.30, breaking the world record by two-hundredths of a second less than two hours before his 22nd birthday, but he seemed to set new parameters on what humans can achieve.
The record was 19.32 seconds, set by the American Michael Johnson in his possibility-altering moment at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Until Wednesday, no one other than Johnson had run faster than 19.62. Bolt’s previous best was 19.67.
Bolt became the first person since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win the 100 and the 200 in the same Olympics, and the first to do it while breaking both world records.
Bolt also ran the third leg of Jamaica's 4x100m relay, handing off to Asafa Powell, who brought it home for an easy gold.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Michael Phelps went a perfect 8-for-8 in Beijing, breaking Mark Spitz's single-Games record of seven gold medals. He swam 17 times over nine days and broke the world record in four of his five individual swims. His three relay teams also set world marks.
"It might be once in a century you see something like this," teammate Aaron Peirsol said. "He's not just winning, he's absolutely destroying everything. It's awesome to watch."
In his first final, on Aug. 10, Phelps won the 400m IM in 4:03.86, more than a second faster than the record he set a month earlier at Olympic Trials. The next day, Phelps and the U.S. team squeaked out a win in the 4x100m freestyle relay. Phelps' leadoff leg of 47.51 was an American record, but anchor Jason Lezak dove in with more than a half-second deficit. Lezak posted the fastest relay split in history, 46.06, to catch Frenchman Alain Bernard for the win, by just .08 of a second.
Phelps easily won the 200m free, for his third gold in Beijing and his record-tying ninth career gold. But he wasn't tied for long, as the next morning, Phelps won two more gold medals: first, in the 200m butterfly, where the race was tighter than expected. But the only race in the 4x200m freestyle relay was for second, as the U.S. men, with Phelps leading off, broke the record by more than four seconds and beat the field by more than five. Phelps won his sixth gold with a dominating performance in the 200m IM, lowering his world record to 1:54.23.
His seventh gold was by the absolute slimmest of margins, .01 in the 100m butterfly. Phelps (right) appeared to trail Milorad Cavic (left) but his half stroke beat out Cavic's glide to the wall by a nail.
Phelps swam the butterfly leg of the 4x100m medley relay in the final event of the Beijing Olympic swimming competition. He left the blocks with his team third but gave the lead to Jason Lezak, who closed out the victory.
At first glance, Phelps might look like a typical swimmer. But several of his physical characteristics seem genetically tailored for swimming. His 6-foot-7-inch wingspan is three inches longer than his height, providing him with unusual reach. His torso is long compared to his legs, enabling him to ride high on the water. And his flexible ankles, combined with size-14 feet, allow for a powerful kick. Add to that more than a decade of high-intensity training, and you get one of the fastest swimmers in history.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge called him simply "the icon of the games."
Phelps' feats have drawn banner headlines across the world, including in regions and countries where swimming normally gets scant attention, with newspapers and commentators tripping over each other for superlatives and nicknames:
Dubbed the "flying fish" or the "American superfish" by Chinese media.
"The barracuda from Baltimore," said Chile's largest newspaper, El Mercurio.
"The New Olympic Legend," blared Egypt's El Badeel.
"The American dolphin," wrote Spain's El Pais.
"The God of Olympia," intoned France's Nouvel Nouvel Observateur.
"The water man from another planet," hailed Denmark's Berligske Tidende.
"He doesn't swim - he flies," said the sports daily Ole in Argentina.
"The champion who swims in his own galaxy," wrote The Australian, a national broadsheet.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
2 Skinnee J's "Riot Nrrrd" from their 1998 album SuperMercado!:
MC Frontalot's "Bizarro Genius Baby" from his 2007 album Secrets From The Future:
Monday, August 4, 2008
Pro Football Hall of Fame Field, Fawcett Stadium
Washington kicked off the beginning of the NFL's preseason schedule and the Zorn era with a 30-16 victory over the Colts in front of 22,216.
Quarterback Jason Campbell had a touchdown pass to Randle El on the game's opening drive, rookie quarterback Colt Brennan impressed in rallying the Redskins to the victory with two touchdown passes in his first professional outing, and the Redskins -- most important -- appeared to make it through without major injuries.
In 10 attempts, Colt Brennan, drafted in the sixth round out of Hawaii, completed nine passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
With Portis out and Ladell Betts (thigh) sidelined, Cartwright and Marcus Mason split time in the backfield. Mason, who caught the go-ahead touchdown pass from Brennan in the fourth quarter, led the Redskins in rushing with 98 yards on 18 carries. Cartwright had 58 yards on 13 rushes.
Washington played Denver when it was last in the Hall of Fame game, in 2004. In the first preseason game of former coach Joe Gibbs's second stint with the team, Washington defeated the Broncos, 20-17. Tackle Jon Jansen suffered a season-ending knee injury on the first series.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
CANTON, Ohio -- The Hall of Fame induction ceremony turned Hog wild Saturday.
Darrell Green and Art Monk walked across the stage waving their arms and urged thousands of Washington Redskins fans to give them one more salute. Emmitt Thomas, the former Chiefs player and Redskins coach, simply waved back.
And they applauded the three other inductees without Washington ties - Fred Dean, Andre Tippett and Gary Zimmerman - knowing they would have fit in with the Redskins' blue-collar reputation.
Green, the oldest cornerback in league history (42) when he retired in 2002, spoke of the deaths of two close friends from his childhood days and the deaths last year of two former teammates - Kevin Mitchell and Sean Taylor.
As usual, Green did his own thing though. The only player in the '08 class selected in his first year of eligibility was also the only one to cry, and he was proud of it.
Teams: Washington Redskins
Years: 1983 to 2002
Honors and achievements:
• First-round pick in 1983 draft
• Had at least one INT in 19 straight seasons
• Selected to seven Pro Bowls
"Can I tell you today, at the expense of sounding real self-righteous, I belong here? I belong here. I belong here because I know what to do with it. I know what to do with God's fame, with God's dollars, with God's visibility, God's influence and relationships. I know what to do with it."
Position: Wide receiver
Years: 1980 to 1995
Honors and achievements:
• First-round pick in 1980 draft
• Had at least one catch in 164 straight games
• Had five 1,000-yard receiving season
What I've tried to convey to those who were upset about the process was that I was okay with it. But in all due respect, that as great as this honor is, it's not what really defines who I am or the things that I've been able to accomplish in my life. I'll always be known as a Redskin."
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Saturday's decision was almost a formality after Pettigrew gave up his gold medal in June. He admitted in court in May that he used EPO and human growth hormone from 1997 to 2003.
Five of Pettigrew's teammates also lost their medals: Michael Johnson and twins Alvin and Calvin Harrison ran in the final, while Jerome Young and Angelo Taylor featured in the preliminaries.
It was Johnson's fifth gold medal of his stellar career. He has already said he was giving it back because he felt "cheated, betrayed and let down" by Pettigrew's testimony. Johnson still holds world records in the 200m and 400m.
Three of the four runners from the relay final have been tainted by drugs.Alvin Harrison accepted a four-year ban in 2004 after admitting he used performance-enhancers, while his brother Calvin tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2003 and was suspended for two years. Young was banned for life for doping violations.
Three gold and two bronze were previously removed after Marion Jones confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs. Jones said she took the steroid known as "the clear"- also known as THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone- for two years beginning in 1999, according to a letter Jones sent to close family and friends.
Saturday's move came four months after the IOC stripped the gold from the U.S. women's 1,600m relay team and bronze from the women's 400m relay squad because of doping by Jones. She admitted last year that she used drugs at the time and returned her five medals, including gold in the 100m and 200m and bronze in the long jump.
The sprinter Justin Gatlin had his doping ban reduced, but not by enough to make him eligible to defend his Olympic 100-meter title this year.
The three-member panel unanimously ruled that Gatlin, 25, committed a doping offense when he tested positive for excessive testosterone in April 2006, but his first doping offense in 2001 troubled the group.
Gatlin, the gold medalist in the 100 meters at the 2004 Athens Games, is serving a four-year suspension for doping violations that expires in May 2010.
The ruling means Gatlin will have no immediate chance to regain his world record in the 100 meters. He shared the record of 9.77 seconds with Asafa Powell of Jamaica. Powell has improved the record, finishing in 9.74 seconds last September.
Gatlin has said he does not know how steroids got into his system before the April 2006 test....
Meanwhile, swimmer Jessica Hardy withdrew from the U.S. Olympic team on Friday, four weeks after testing positive for a low level of clenbuterol, a prohibited anabolic agent, at the Olympic trials on July 4.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Merriweather Post Pavilion
Me and Ali got there at like 5pm, so I guess you could say we missed most of the acts. But we didn't miss the biggest. I was pissed that Immortal Technique had finished like two hours before though. First off, we saw Method Man & Redman. Not a huge fan but they put on a good show because they act so crazy. Method Man even did a flip into the crowd at one point. Plus they said they're shooting How High 2 at the end of this year, and coming out with a new album sometime soon.
The Pharcyde came on and did the two songs I know by him "Runnin'" and "Passin' Me By" and some other stuff, it was only ok, so we went to go get some beer.
By the way, Mos Def is ridiculous live. He's just good. He played some shit from '99s Black On Both Sides, like "Hip Hop" and "Umi Says", and I remember "Undeniable" from True Magic and some parts from Black Star ("1,2,3, Mos Def and Talib Kweliiiii").
Before Nas we got up to go to the bathroom, and I happened to see Immortal Technique just standing there taking pictures with girls, with his two bodyguards behind him. I was not about to pass up this opportunity, so I went up and said "Hey man can I get a picture with you if I admit that you're the best rapper alive?" He just smiled and laughed a little, and Ali got a cell phone pic.
The night kept getting better and better. Nas first came out playing "Hip Hop Is Dead" but asked everybody if he could kick it old school and started playing stuff from '94s Illmatic. Then he just kept switching it up, pretty much doing like one verse from a song and then onto a new one, sometimes yelling up at DJ Scratch. He did "Street Dreams", "The Message", "If I Ruled The World", "Nastradamus", "Hate Me Now", "One Mic", "Made You Look", and more.
Last up was A Tribe Called Quest. Q-Tip did some new solo songs first, and Mos came out and grabbed the mic to spit a little. But when Phife Dawg and Jarobi White came out it got 10x better. They played everything I knew by them ("Vivrant Thing", "Check The Rhime", "Award Tour", "Buggin' Out", "Bonita Applebum", and when the drums came in on "Can I Kick It?" everybody was jumping up and down, Yes you can!). They did "Oh My God", "Lyrics To Go", and basically ripped the shit up. Good music.
Look out for Q-Tip's album The Renaissance (TBA 2008), Method & Red's Blackout! 2 - The Next Generation (summer 2008), and Mos Def's The Ecstatic (fall 2008).
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Why is it called Bluetooth?
In 1998, a special interest group (SIG) was formed to develop and promote the technology. The SIG took the name from Harald II "Bluetooth" King of Denmark who was born in the 10th century. Bluetooth peacefully unified Denmark and Norway.
What is the Bluetooth SIG?
The Bluetooth SIG was formed as a group of companies working together to define, develop and promote an open, royalty-free specification for seamless wireless connectivity and cable replacement for a wide variety of mobility-enhancing devices.
Who are the members of the SIG?
The founding SIG members are Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Nokia, and Toshiba. Since then over 2000 adopter companies have joined including HP, Lucent, Motorola, and 3Com.
How does Bluetooth work?
Bluetooth uses a frequency hopping spread spectrum technique. Spectrum spreading is accomplished by frequency hopping up to 1600 hops per second on 79 channels between 2.402 GHz and 2.480 GHz.
Bluetooth radio modules avoid interference from other signals by hopping to a new frequency after transmitting or receiving a data packet. The sophisticated mode of transmission adopted in the Bluetooth specification ensures protection from interference and seeks to insure the security of the data.
In what frequency range do Bluetooth devices operate?
Bluetooth operates in the 2.4 GHz range referred to as the Instrumentation, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band. This band provides license-free operation in the United States, Europe, Japan, and most industrialized nations worldwide.
The gross data rate of Bluetooth 1.1 is 1 Mbps. The protocol splits that bandwidth to support both voice and data communication. Bluetooth can support an asynchronous data channel, up to three simultaneous synchronous voice channels, or a channel, which simultaneously supports asynchronous data and synchronous voice. Each voice channel supports a 64 Kbps synchronous (voice) link. The asynchronous data channel can support an asymmetric link of up to 721 Kbps in either direction, while permitting 57.6 Kbps in the return direction or a symmetric link up to 432.6 Kbps.
The gross data rate of Bluetooth 2.0, the EDR version (Enhanced Data Rate), is up to 3Mbps.
What is the range of Bluetooth?
The link range is up to 10 meters using a 0 dBm radio. The range is extended up to 100 meters using a +20 dBm radio.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
For the $35 gate fee, I got a free PETA cd, two free cheap sunglasses, a poster that was lying on the ground, and oh yeah!, an entire day of drinkin' and rockin', mostly at the same time. Also Cmo got Tatania DeMaria, the singer/songwriter for the London band TAT, to sign his chest.
The bands we saw were in order were Angels and Airwaves, Reel Big Fish, 3oh!3, Protest The Hero, TAT, Devil Wears Prada, Cobra Starship, and Gym Class Heroes.
I remember hearing "The Adventure" from Angels and Airwaves. Reel Big Fish was great, and I remember trying to take sips of my Bud Light while jumping and being pushed around to "Sell Out", "Where Have You Been", and some others. I was really hoping for "Beer". Cobra Starship played "Snakes On a Plane" which was tight. Since I already saw Reel Big Fish at college, Gym Class Heroes was by far my favorite of the day.
They played "Cupid's Chokehold", "Viva La White Girl", part of "Taxi Driver", then a hardcore cover that was better than all the other hardcore bands I saw. Travis McCoy even brought out a Guitar Hero guitar to jam, that shit was hilarious. They played two new singles ("Cookie Jar" and "Peace Sign/Index Down") from their album The Quilt coming out in September.
The only downside was that by the time we got there by 3:45, we had missed Every Time I Die, As I Lay Dying, Norma Jean, and The Bronx which are all bands we really wanted to check out yesterday.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Rafael Nadal snapped Roger Federer's 65-game winning streak on grass, topping the five-time Wimbledon champion in five sets. Nadal captured his first Wimbledon title and fifth Grand Slam championship. It was the longest men's championship match in Wimbledon history (at 4 hours, 48 minutes).
The No. 2-ranked Nadal ended No. 1 Federer’s five-title run at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament by the slimmest of margins, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7, Sunday night.
Nadal is the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win Wimbledon and the French Open in the same season. He is also the first Spanish man to triumph at the All England Club since Manolo Santana in 1966.
“Probably my hardest loss, by far,” said Federer, who was trying to become the first man to claim six consecutive Wimbledon championships since the 1880s.
“But Rafa keeps you thinking, and that’s what the best players do to each other in the end,” Federer said. “That’s what we both do to each other.”
Sunday, July 6, 2008
While my night wasn't "as big as the Texas sky" or "as wild as a rattlesnake", I did manage to escape another Independence Day without my fingers being lit on fire. The day started with fishing on Lake Brittle, which lasted maybe 20 minutes because it starting storming on Alex, Arthur, and me. Since we were trapped in the car under a downpour, we went to see Wall-E, which I can't really remember. At about 9pm I went to see the Manassas fireworks with my girl, only to be rained on again before the finale. At 10 we went to Cmo's friend's farm, downed my bottle of Albariño and a little schnapps, watched some Jackass the Movie, took a dip in the pool, and lit off my fireworks from Tennessee in the street. The highlight for me was lighting both of my Texas Rattlesnakes at the same time - and probably waking up the neighborhood at around 3am.
And since I always plan ahead, remember to add these to the repertoire for 2009:
Red, White & Blue Salute (24 shots, $30)
Pyrosplash (16 shots, $30, gold willow bursts, alternating color tips)
Purple Haze (16 shots, $15, loud crackling purple starbursts)
Pure Party (19 shots, $30, gold spider palms, strobes, stars)
Red Hot & Blue (16 shots, $25, crackling stars, faster and faster)
Funky Fantasy (16 shots, $15, loud bursts of green and gold)
Magical Barrage (100 shots)
Break Out (only $7)
On the night of July 5th, we lit off a lot of Kpax's extra fireworks, mostly in my street after seeing a cop pull up to the Stonewall field we started on. Good thing we had just laid some smoke bombs before we ran back to our cars.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Nice guys knew it, now two studies have confirmed it: bad boys get the most girls. The finding may help explain why a nasty suite of antisocial personality traits known as the "dark triad" persists in the human population, despite their potentially grave cultural costs.
The traits are the self-obsession of narcissism; the impulsive, thrill-seeking and callous behaviour of psychopaths; and the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism. At their extreme, these traits would be highly detrimental for life in traditional human societies. People with these personalities risk being shunned by others and shut out of relationships, leaving them without a mate, hungry and vulnerable to predators.
But being just slightly evil could have an upside: a prolific sex life, says Peter Jonason at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. "We have some evidence that the three traits are really the same thing and may represent a successful evolutionary strategy."
Jonason and his colleagues subjected 200 college students to personality tests designed to rank them for each of the dark triad traits. They also asked about their attitudes to sexual relationships and about their sex lives, including how many partners they'd had and whether they were seeking brief affairs.The study found that those who scored higher on the dark triad personality traits tended to have more partners and more desire for short-term relationships, Jonason reported at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan, earlier this month. But the correlation only held in males.
James Bond epitomises this set of traits, Jonason says. "He's clearly disagreeable, very extroverted and likes trying new things - killing people, new women." Just as Bond seduces woman after woman, people with dark triad traits may be more successful with a quantity-style or shotgun approach to reproduction, even if they don't stick around for parenting. "The strategy seems to have worked. We still have these traits," Jonason says.
This observation seems to hold across cultures. David Schmitt of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, presented preliminary results at the same meeting from a survey of more than 35,000 people in 57 countries. He found a similar link between the dark triad and reproductive success in men. "It is universal across cultures for high dark triad scorers to be more active in short-term mating," Schmitt says. "They are more likely to try and poach other people's partners for a brief affair."
Barbara Oakley of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, says that the studies "verify something a lot of people have conjectured about."
Christopher von Rueden of the University of California at Santa Barbara says that the studies are important because they confirm that personality variation has direct fitness consequences.
"They still have to explain why it hasn't spread to everyone," says Matthew Keller of the University of Colorado in Boulder. "There must be some cost of the traits." One possibility, both Keller and Jonason suggest, is that the strategy is most successful when dark triad personalities are rare. Otherwise, others would become more wary and guarded.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Nationals Park will strive to become the first major stadium in the United States accredited as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ certified ballpark. The new ballpark will pay particular attention to issues affecting the health of the Anacostia River, such as stormwater management and minimization of water pollution.
This is all good. But visitors to the new park have also seen a lot that is decidedly "ungreen." The most dominant advertiser at the park is controversial oil giant ExxonMobil, a bigger contributor to global warming than any other company in the world. The entire left field outfield wall, in fact, is plastered with the ExxonMobil logo. And the 7th inning stretch is announced as "the ExxonMobil 7th inning stretch," with the company's ads dominating the huge scoreboard as parents and children sing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game." Several concerned organizations now plan to publicly protest Exxon's presence at Nationals Park. So if you plan on going to a game in the near future, expect to see protestors in polar bear suits. According to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network:
This will be followed by the presence of volunteers - including lots of folks in polar bear suits -- distributing literature and broadcasting anti-Exxon messages at EVERY remaining home game in 2008 until the advertising stops. Our goal is to get fans to boo loudly during the ExxonMobil 7th inning stretch. Our goal is tag the company as highly controversial from the opening press conference forward so that we end this practice.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Ovechkin named MVP, Boudreau Coach of the Year
Caps left wing Alex Ovechkin captured the Hart Trophy and the Lester B. Pearson Award, beating out Calgary's Jarome Iginla and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin for both honors at the NHL Awards Show in Toronto. He's the first Capital to win either award. Ovechkin produced NHL highs with 65 goals and 112 points, and was also the first player to score 60 goals since Mario Lemieux in 1996. He joined Sergei Fedorov (1994) as the only Russian-born players to win the Hart and the Pearson.
Coach Bruce Boudreau won the Jack Adams, beating out Montreal's Guy Carbonneau and Detroit's Mike Babcock. Boudreau has gone from riding the buses in the minors to being the NHL's coach of the year in the span of seven months (leading the Caps to the Southeast Division title).
The only disappointment for the Capitals was that Nicklas Backstrom did not win the Calder Trophy as the top rookie, leaving the team one award short of becoming the first to win player, coach and rookie of the year. Backstrom, who was named to the all-rookie team, was runner-up to Chicago's Patrick Kane.
- Was also named a First Team All-Star for the third straight year, becoming the first to do that in his first three seasons since Terry Sawchuk (1950-53)
- Led the Capitals to the playoffs for the first time since 2003
- Signed a new 13-year contract with Washington on Jan. 10
- Is the first Washington, D.C. MVP in a league considered the best in the world (NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB) since the Washington Redskins’ Joe Theismann in 1983. He received the key to the city Friday in Washington from Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. "Today is a big day," said Ovechkin, standing on the front steps of city hall. "I have a key for the city. And I'm the president this day in the city, so everybody have fun — and no speed limit!"
P.S. I think Ovi and Michael Strahan should really get together and do a Gap commercial.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The band appears to be in a highly productive mood, as, in a cover story of the June 2008 issue of Spin Magazine, it was revealed that a tentative date of November 2009 was set for another new Weezer album, their seventh, and the album will be produced by Jacknife Lee. This would mark the second time in Weezer's career that they released an album one year after the other (The Green Album in 2001, followed by Maladroit in 2002). It deserves to be noted, however, that following the release of Maladroit, the band pushed to release another album that same year. While this request was eventually granted by their label, Make Believe did not come to fruition until three years later.
Monday, June 2, 2008
News: Burma Cyclone Aid Report
Avaaz Members from 124 Countries Donate $2,000,000 to the Burmese People
Cool: Six Degrees of Wikipedia
Please resist the urge to see how many clicks away "penis" and "vagina" are. I couldn't.
Game: How Well Do You Know Your World?
I gotta admit, this shit gets pretty tough. Even for you cocky geography majors. Bastards.
Chris Onstad is a genius. Click if you are over 18, or better yet 21. Sometimes there's alcohol.
Music: The Hype Machine
They follow tons of music blogs around the world and you get to listen
Video: Human Giant
An interview goes horribly wrong, but still has a happy ending.
Aight that's all I feel like putting up right now. But now you know what I've been checking out lately. I hope at least one tickled your fancy. Wow that saying sounds gay. Anyway look for the second edition sometime soon. I am unemployed after all.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Flooding on nearby roads led to major traffic delays and prevented some ticket holders from reaching the sold-out venue, adding to the legend of local Radiohead rainouts. In 2001, the band canceled two shows at Bull Run Park in Centreville because of flooding, and in 1998, Radiohead was on the bill of the massive Tibetan Freedom Concert when lightning struck RFK Stadium, forcing promoters to suspend the show. (Radiohead performed the following day.)
A statement on the Radiohead Web site noted the band's run of bad luck with the elements here: "We've had floods [at Bull Run Park], lightning at the RFK stadium, so there must be some kind of Biblical fix between us and DC. Frogs next time?"
All I Need (In Rainbows)
Fake Plastic Trees (The Bends)
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Alexander the Great has a contract worthy of his nickname -- the first $100 million deal in NHL history.
Alexander Ovechkin signed a $124 million, 13-year contract extension Thursday with the Washington Capitals, a handsome reward for the charismastic 22-year-old Russian who has been a nonstop goal-scorer since coming to the NHL in 2005.
"I'm happy I stay here," Ovechkin said. "It's my second home. I like the fans. I like the team. I like everything here."
It's not the longest deal in NHL history -- Rick DiPietro signed for 15 years with the New York Islanders -- and it didn't break the record for largest average salary, but it is the league's first contract to guarantee nine digits of income.
"I'm a risk-taker," said owner Ted Leonsis, who has made Ovechkin the cornerstone of a rebuilding plan to restore the Capitals as a perennial playoff team. "And if you're going to make a long-term investment, who else would you do it with? This takes away any of the issues of how committed we are to winning a Cup, how committed we are to keeping a team together."
The contract will pay Ovechkin $9 million per year for the first six years and $10 million per year for the following seven. A limited-movement clause kicks in after several years that will allow Ovechkin to select a handful of teams at the beginning of each season to which he cannot be traded.
And he won't have to pay an agent a dime. Ovechkin worked out the details himself in negotiations with Leonsis and general manager George McPhee. His parents, Tatiana and Mikhail, were also in town for the final round of talks for a deal that runs through the 2020-21 season.
Even so, Ovechkin was carefree when asked about the gaudy numbers.
"Hockey is my life," he said, shrugging, "and money is money. ... If you think about money, you stop playing hockey."
Asked what he plans to buy with his new riches, he said: "I feel I have everything."
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 draft, Ovechkin was in the final season of a three-year, entry-level deal. His salary-cap number for this season, taking into account bonuses, is $3.83 million.
Leonsis said he was initially skittish about the length of the deal, having been burned by the eight-year, $88 million contract he gave Jaromir Jagr in 2001. The owner noted, however, that other contracts will surpass Ovechkin's in years to come, and that "in 10 years the deal might look really attractive."
Ovechkin has 130 goals in his 2½ seasons, tied with Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for most among all NHL players over that span. Ovechkin had 52 goals and 54 assists in 2005-06, when he edged Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby in the voting for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie. Ovechkin followed that up with 46 goals and 46 assists last season.