Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Russell Peters

Russell Peters is an Indian-Canadian comedian and actor. He began performing in Toronto in 1989 and has been nominated for four Gemini Awards.

Peters' popularity extends to several countries. In Canada, Peters became the first comedian to sell out Toronto's Air Canada Centre, and ended up selling over 30,000 tickets over the two-day sales period. In Sydney, Peters had a record breaking audience of 13,880, making the event the largest stand-up comedy show in Australian history.

Peters attributes his sudden widespread popularity to a stand-up performance he did on the Canadian TV comedy series Comedy Now! that was uploaded onto YouTube and became viral.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup

The two North American superpowers own the Gold Cup trophy. Except for Canada taking it north in 2000, the Mexicans and Americans have dominated the tournament, with El Tri parading with the hardware five times, the U.S. on four occasions.

Mexico is the only CONCACAF team that has beaten the U.S. in the knockout round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, beating the U.S. in the 1993, 1998 and 2009 tournaments. Brazil, playing as a guest team, eliminated the U.S. in the semifinals in 1996 and 2003. Colombia eliminated the U.S. in penalties in the quarterfinals of the 2000 event.

Five players on the Gold Cup roster earned their first cap after the World Cup:

  • Juan Agudelo and Tim Ream earned their first caps in the final match of 2010, a 2-1 win in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Nov. 17. in South Africa.
  • Chris Wondolowski is the most recent debutant, appearing for the first time on Jan. 22, 2011, against Chile.
  • Jermaine Jones made his long-awaited debut on Oct. 9, 2010, against Poland.
  • Eric Lichaj debuted on Oct. 12, 2010, against Colombia.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NBA Draft 2011

More information:
» Delaney Working Out with the Wizards on June 9th

"Life In A Day" Documentary

Explosions In The Sky - "Last Known Surroundings" (2011)

Explosions in the Sky is a post-rock band from Austin, Texas. The band has garnered popularity beyond the post-rock scene for their elaborately developed guitar work, narratively styled instrumentals, what they refer to as "cathartic mini-symphonies," and their enthusiastic and emotional live shows. They primarily play with three electric guitars and a drum kit, although band member Michael James will at times exchange his electric guitar for a bass guitar. The band's music is purely instrumental. Their songs have been featured in movies and TV shows like Friday Night Lights and One Tree Hill. But after 12 years and six albums, they've never had a music video of their own. Until now. The band just released a clip for "Last Known Surroundings," from their latest album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, via Wired magazine's blog. It's an eight-minute, computer-generated piece, courtesy of the band's pals at Austin design studio Ptarmak, that matches the song's ethereal, walking-on-the-moon vibe with geometric mapping and natural elements — sea creatures, vegetation, rivers -- flourishing in some deep-space world.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bruins Take Stanley Cup in Game 7

The 37-year-old Tim Thomas made 37 saves in the second shutout of his landmark finals performance, Patrice Bergeron and rookie Brad Marchand scored two goals apiece, and the Bruins beat the Canucks 4-0 Wednesday night to win their first NHL championship since 1972.

The Bruins are the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 three times in the same postseason, and Thomas became the first goalie in NHL history to win Game 7 with a shutout on the road.

The oldest Conn Smythe Trophy winner in NHL history stopped a jaw-dropping 238 of the Canucks' 246 shots in the finals for a .967 save percentage. That's even better than his .940 mark and 1.98 goals-against average for the entire postseason.

Thomas now owns the NHL record for most saves in the postseason (798) and a Stanley Cup Final (238) as well as most shots faced in a postseason (849).

"I think I went even further than I thought," Thomas said. "I was scared, I won't lie. I had nerves yesterday and today, and I faked it as best as I could, and I faked it all the way to the Stanley Cup."

Marchand finished his rookie season with a pair of goals and an assist in Game 7 while Bergeron beat Roberto Luongo twice, including once while Boston was shorthanded late in the second period. Marchand had 7 points in the series to give him 19 in his first NHL postseason. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg added a pair of assists.

Mark Recchi didn't fake anything after the game. Boston's 43-year-old forward announced his retirement on the ice during the Bruins' celebration.

Recchi went out in style, winning his third Stanley Cup in his home province, just 160 miles from his hometown of Kamloops, B.C. He also went out with an assist in Game 7, giving him 7 points in the Final and 14 in 25 playoff games.

"It's the end for me," said Recchi, who received the Stanley Cup first from Bruins' captain Zdeno Chara. "I'm going out on top and I couldn't happier with this group of guys. Regardless of what happened, this was going to be one of the best groups I have ever played with. We're fortunate to win and we're going to enjoy this."

Boston dropped the first two games in Vancouver, but became just the third team since 1966 to overcome that finals deficit.

On the flip side, Roberto Luongo, who had been spectacular at home in the Final and dreadful on the road, was only average Wednesday after giving up three goals on eight shots in just 8:35 of work in Boston on Monday.

He was beaten by a Bergeron's one-timer in the first period, a Marchand wraparound 12:13 into the second and Bergeron's sliding shorthanded goal a little more than five minutes later.

The Canucks were the best team in the regular season for 82 games, and after a near-monumental collapse in the first round against Chicago, they rolled through Nashville and San Jose to get to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1994.

A Canadian club still hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1993.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Phish at Merriweather Post Pavilion 6/11/11

Bands That Jam:
COLUMBIA, MD – Saturday night the boys from Vermont braved the sweltering heat to kick off their two night stint at Merriweather Post Pavilion with a cool rendition of fan favorite, and tour rarity 'Daniel Saw the Stone'. Quite the launching pad, and quite a high bar to set, but over the next couple of hours, the band played with a seemingly limitless amount of energy and didn’t let up for a second.

Powering through two muscular sets, highlighted by a ripping 'AC/DC Bag', a gorgeous 'Reba' and an absolutely mind warping 'Sand', this newer/stronger/better Phish (we can rebuild them!) is playing tighter than they have in years. The jams are noticeably shorter this time around but there seems to be more finesse involved. Before, especially in the early 2000′s the band could head off into uncharted musical territory and sometimes just never come back. It still sounded great but it wasn’t as filling as one might have liked. Phish 3.0 on other hand seem to be all meat and no fat. Sure, you can still get lost in the middle of a giant 'Antelope' or an equally monstrous 'Tweezer', but the band now seems to be just plain better at bringing the audience back down to Earth in time to get ready for their next blastoff into outer space.

This is simply a much smarter Phish we’ve ever seen, and it lights a beacon of hope for what may be coming from them in the future. All in all, the band raged it, and raged it hard Saturday night, and that seems to be the theme of this entire tour so far.

Set 1: Daniel Saw the Stone, AC/DC Bag > Ocelot, Access Me, Vultures, Wilson > Sand, Roses Are Free (Ween cover) > Reba, On Your Way Down (Allen Toussaint cover) > Run Like an Antelope

Set 2: Birds of a Feather > Tweezer > The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Waves > Chalk Dust Torture, Rock and Roll (The Velvet Underground cover) > Albuquerque (Neil Young cover) > Piper > Wading in the Velvet Sea > Also Sprach Zarathustra (Deodato cover) > Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan > Suzy Greenberg

Encore: Show of Life > Tweezer Reprise

Notes: Daniel Saw The Stone was played for the first time since August 3, 2003 (137 shows). Reba did not contain the whistling ending. Antelope included an On Your Way Down tease from Trey. Chalk Dust included a Birds Of A Feather tease.

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

More information:
» "Wilson" > "Sand" Official Video
» June 11, 2011 Setlist.fm
» June 12, 2011 Setlist.fm

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Shaquille "The Big AARP" O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal, the man with four rings and scores of nicknames, has finally decided to call it quits after 19 seasons, ending one of the most colorful careers in NBA history that will surely culminate with a Hall of Fame induction.

"I'm going to miss the competition. I'm going to miss, you know, the chase for the ring. You know, I'm actually going to miss everything," O'Neal said on "SportsCenter" on Wednesday.

He added: "Father Time has caught up with Shaquille O'Neal."

O'Neal, 39, retires fifth all-time with 28,596 points, 12th with 13,099 rebounds and second only to Artis Gilmore among players with more than 2,000 baskets with a .582 field goal percentage.

O'Neal will be remembered as one of the most dominant, recognizable and controversial figures in the game, whose body of work included rap records, movies, a lengthy business portfolio and an even lengthier history of philanthropic deeds.

O'Neal embraced social networking, amassing more than 3.8 million followers on his Twitter account and keeping them informed on his "random acts of Shaqness" -- like sitting in Harvard Square, pretending to be a statue, or going out in drag on Halloween.

"I tried to make people happy," O'Neal said, "and I tried to have fun. I think I did both."

O'Neal was a franchise-saver when the Orlando Magic made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 1992 draft. He took them from the lottery to the playoffs in two years, and then led them to the NBA Finals in his third year before they were swept by the Houston Rockets.

O'Neal then signed with the Lakers in 1996 and had his greatest success there, winning three titles alongside Kobe Bryant and coach Phil Jackson. But amid tension between O'Neal and Bryant over credit for the team's success, O'Neal was traded to the Heat in the summer of 2004, fresh off a loss to the Detroit Pistons in the Finals. The Lakers plan to honor O'Neal by raising his No. 34 jersey to the rafters.

After 3½ years in Miami, a tenure that included his fourth NBA championship, O'Neal became a veteran-for-hire, moving to Phoenix and then Cleveland and finally Boston. But he couldn't deliver another title for Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire with the Suns, with James with the Cavaliers or with the Celtics.

He signed a two-year contract with the Boston Celtics last summer but a persistent Achilles injury will prevent him from fulfilling the terms of the deal. O'Neal first injured his right Achilles on Christmas Day and was able to play in only two of the final 35 games of the regular season.

At each stop, he endeared himself to the fans and his new teammates with his effervescent smile and playful attitude, including the habit of adopting a new nickname he felt embodied his role with his new team. In Phoenix he was the "Big Shaqtus"; in Boston, the "Big Shamroq."

Here's a look back at his career:

• 15-time NBA All-Star
• 28,596 career points (5th all-time)
• 2000 NBA MVP
• 3-time NBA Finals MVP (2000-02)
• 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year
• 13 seasons with 20 PPG and 10 RPG (most in NBA)
• 5,250 postseason points (4th all-time in NBA)
• 216 postseason games played (3rd all-time in NBA)
• Notable nicknames: The Diesel, Shaq Fu, Superman, The Big Daddy, The Big Shaqtus, The Big Shamrock

More information:
» Shaq's Press Conference
» Michael Wilbon: "Shaq as Showman; Shaq as Superstar"

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rafa Wins Sixth French Open Title

By winning his 6th Roland-Garros title (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), Rafael Nadal became the player with the most French Open wins alongside Bjorn Borg (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981).

In one of the great French Open finals, Rafael Nadal called on every ounce of his talent, athleticism and courage to down Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 and equal Bjorn Borg's record of six Roland Garros titles.

Rafael Nadal fully deserves to take his place alongside the great Bjorn Borg, and now, with a total of ten majors to his name, can surely look forward to more titles. Just 25, the genial Majorcan has Federer's record of 16 Grand Slam titles in his sights, and should cement his own legend as one of the great tennis players of all time, on all surfaces and not just on clay.

Federer, meanwhile, can have no regrets. Super Roger gave it absolutely everything on a surface that is least suited to his game, and pushed Nadal far harder than he did in four previous encounters at Roland Garros.

In an epic encounter that you could not take your eyes off for a minute, Nadal staged a fabulous first set comeback, held off a storming fight-back in the second, conceded the third to an astounding Swiss turnaround, before sealing victory in the fourth.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

RATM - "Sleep Now In The Fire" (2000)

"Sleep Now in the Fire" is the fifth track from the 1999 album The Battle of Los Angeles by Rage Against the Machine.

The shoot for the music video on January 26, 2000, caused the doors of the New York Stock Exchange to be closed. In fact the Stock Exchange locked its doors mid-day in response to fears of crowds gathering to watch the filming. This was not recorded as a closure as trading on the exchange floor continued uninterrupted.

"We decided to shoot this video in the belly of the beast", said director Michael Moore, who was detained by police for an hour and threatened with arrest during the shooting of the video, as the band had a permit that allowed them on the premises, but did not have a sound permit. The band was escorted from the site by security, after band members attempted to gain entry into the Exchange.

The video was nominated at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Rock Video but lost to Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff", causing the infamous incident where bassist Tim Commerford climbed a large piece of the award show set in protest of losing to Limp Bizkit.