February 28, 2010

Ok, that was pretty good

BigGame.jpg picture by DoctorX

I'm guessing they'll have a celebration of some kind in Canada.

Game preview

From The Globe and Mail:

"American skill against Canadian will; Canadian drive against American speed; and may the best team win in what is expected to become the most-watched hockey match in the history of the sport."

(link, Fark thread here)

The Molson's "I Am Canadian" hockey ads rated below:

February 26, 2010

Best Acoustic "Smoke on the Water"

After an exhaustive search, I'm going with this one:

More Night Music

One more from that era, three minutes of well-executed entertainment from the great George Fisher: 

That singer, Cavan O'Connor, was with us well into Clinton's second term, The Independent tells his story here.  Cavan had game, I really enjoy his stuffThe Rhythmic Eight are a story unto themselves...for another night, perhaps.

Also, as this has been a source of confusion, the George Fisher above is not to be confused with George Fisher, the lead singer for the death metal band Cannibal Corpse.  This may just be me, but I find their Rancid Amputation a little...dark.  Fortunately, the song has been rehabilitated in the right spirit, and we can all be grateful for that.

O'Connor's signature tune was "I'm Only a Strolling Vagabond".  I cannot find a performance by him on the Internets, so this excellent, though less-spirited version by the great Charles Kullman  will have to suffice.

Simple Question, Canada

Are you man enough?

February 25, 2010

Night Tunes

Dr. X posts this from a Bogart movie:

Damn, Year of the Cat sounds a lot better than I thought it would after 30 years.  Allmusic notes that Stewart's success was "very strange when one considers how far removed from the dominant late-'70s sounds of punk, disco, and new wave [his] music was." Yeah, now that you mention it...

Stewart lives in Marin County now.

As every schoolchild knows, Stewart got his start in the big skiffle craze, which was led by Lonnie Donegan, also known as The King of Skiffle.  Apart from his musicological significance, Lonnie Donegan is the hero to little boys everywhere because of this fine tune.  It's an older tune than you might think.

Ah, the power of music - it can transport us into the past, where people were very, very silly.

[Update: here's a 1981 interview with the wife of the composer, who was still getting checks from the song.

"You should see the royalties.  In Sweden, Holland, Germany, Japan...they loved that song."  (Her husband had passed just a month earlier.)  "You know, Ernie wrote beautiful ballads, too.  I don't know why they weren't successful.  He wrote Continental Nights, which bandleader Paul Whiteman used as his theme song.  I wish Ernie was here to play it," she says with her voice breaking.  "I'm always looking over to his bed.  You still do that," she says with a sad smile.

Something in my eye... ]

February 24, 2010

Back From the Brink

"Canada ended 50 years of Olympic hockey frustration against Russia, surging into the Olympic semifinals with a 7-3 romp over the world champions Wednesday behind a goal and two assists from Dan Boyle during a take-charge first period."

I like where this is going.

Brodeur would have shut them out, but whatever.

Update from Buffalo

The researcher said to have hired actors to portray his colleagues is mysteriously found dead.

February 22, 2010

Eisengeiste extends condolences to our Canadian neighbors

Can't we filibuster this guy, or something?

Bayh speaks.

I like this for several reasons. 

1)  He's right. 

2) Absolutely nothing bad that has happened is Obama's fault.  This leaves the question of who should be blamed. 

The Senate seems...convenient.

Blame and the Butterfly

Disgracing his nation and bringing disappointment to millions of Canadian children, Martin Brodeur, in the words of The Globe and Mail, failed to "provide the lights-out sensational net-minding that the Canadians saw at the other end of the rink - from Ryan Miller [of the U.S.] and before that, from Switzerland's Jonas Hiller."

Understood, and full credit to Canadians for caring about this.  The Canada-U.S. game was that rarest of events - an exciting sport, played at the highest level, for pride.  No one got paid a dime.  Both teams desperately wanted to win.  The fans cheered their lungs out and saw great hockey.  And, says The Globe and Mail, they saw Brodeur let them down.

Canada coach Mike Babcock blames Brodeur's hybrid style.  He's not getting low enough, you see, he stands too tall in the crease.  "[Replacement Roberto] Luongo is a great big butterfly goaltender.  With traffic and people in front of you a lot, sometimes just being in that big butterfly, things bump into you."

Brodeur couldn't be reached for comment, but, in his stead, allow me to offer the view that, had he been playing butterfly style, he could easily have bettered his career total of 23 playoff shutouts, and avoided the ignominy of have to share the record with Patrick Roy.

Unless, you know, this is an exercise in scapegoating by a coach who's not up to the job of pulling together the greatest hockey players in the world and welding them into an effective unit.

The [Toronto] Star isn't fooled.
None of this had to happen. Babcock could have announced in Calgary that it was time for the youngsters to take over and anointed Luongo and Fleury as the two goalies, with Brodeur in reserve.  Failing that, he could’ve made it clear once in Vancouver that Luongo would be the starter. Again, that would have been an entirely defensible strategy.  Instead, he dithered, and in so doing has made the country’s national goaltender the lightning rod for all criticism about the team.
Blame the goalie, blame the hybrid style - but it's a dangerous game.  The Star notes that "the last time Luongo had a chance to step forward and assert himself as Canada’s top netminder he coughed up the bit in the deciding game of last year’s playoffs for the Canucks and surrendered seven goals to the Chicago Blackhawks."  Moreover...
Anytime Babcock has had success—1997 world juniors, 2002 Stanley Cup final with Anaheim, 2008 and ’09 Cup finals with Detroit—he has identified a starting goalie and rode him hard.  He didn’t pull Marc Denis in ’97 when that team struggled, or J.S. Giguere in ’02, or Chris Osgood in either of the past two playoff season.  But with Team Canada, he’s gone to a different playbook. It better work.
 And if it doesn't...will he blame the butterfly?

February 19, 2010

Please review this carefully before making any more speed player posts

Let's pretend it is sane to even discuss having a robot army

Robot Army

What could go wrong?

Nerve? Or insanity?

I would love to know the rest of this story (which I excerpt since I don't know if you can get to the link):

New York state officials this week charged that a researcher from the University at Buffalo hired three actors to testify as peers—falsely—in his defense in a scientific misconduct investigation in 2004. That testimony led to a finding that William Fals-Stewart, an expert on addiction, was not guilty of fabricating data, according to a statement released this week by the New York Attorney General.

After the misconduct hearing, Fals-Stewart sued the university, claiming the investigation had done $4 million in damage to his career.

It's not that he hired actors (who claim to have believed they were involved in a mock court). It's that after pulling it off, he then sued the University. The ultimate nerve? Or the psychology of the aggrieved, which often excuses bad behavior? This could be equally entertaining as a Monty Python skit or a Frontline documentary.

The Seahawks Need About Three More Guys Like This

Dime a' Dozen

2:47 - Are you freakin' kidding me???


February 18, 2010

Hot Stove League - Seahawks Beat

As pitchers and catchers report, a few gridiron notes from my gin-stained typewriter:
  • Here is your coaching staff (go Kippy!).  Ken Norton Jr. at linebacker coach ensures 10th-level badassness on the defensive side of the ball, and should be a positive force in helping Aaron Curry develop into the insane mutant skullcrusher we all know he can be.
  • Kerney isn't quitting.
  • New punter...from USC.
  • DRAFT:  6th and 14th picks in the first round - may I suggest, oh, I don't know... left tackle and quarterback?  Walter Jones has retired.  Hasselbeck is a free agent in 2011.  Hasselbeck had disappointing performances in '08 and '09 after "comeback" 2007.  He's over 30 and been mediocre three of the past four years: it's time for change.
  • Rumor has it Carroll wants Leinart.  Leinart's salary triples to $7 mm a year in 2011 - if the Cardinals decide to keep him.  If they don't love him, that gives them seven million reasons to move on.  Carroll, who coached him at USC, thinks he can play.
  • And there's the Reggie Bush thing.
  • Pete Carroll is meeting NCAA investigators this week.  He doesn't have to.  But that's the kind of accountability he stands for.
  • And we can all breathe a sigh of relief that Lane Kiffin was able to hold together the recruiting class Carroll left behind.

BMX Bandits Find Someone They Can Beat

Enjoyable bit of fluff from Top Gear.  Features middle-aged hero James May and two of Angel Summoner's rejected partners.

Gordon Lightfoot is (Not) Dead

"I'm fine," says Canadian hit-maker.

Fark does a good job with these.

In Memoriam:

I have the day off - can you tell?

February 16, 2010

The Fate of Nature, Now Dependent on Human Nature

"Therein lies my audacious purpose in writing: to prod this unseen organism of collective belief. I’ve started the book by asking what we are—what makes a person? The answer also tells why the lives and freedom of other animals should matter to us. After that exploration, The Fate of Nature follows the varied ways cultures and ideologies relate to nature. It happens that I live in a place of sublime beauty and biological wealth where conflicting worldviews have repeatedly collided and reshaped the ecosystem. The vital ferocity of the Gulf of Alaska coast seems untamable, but even these waters have been poisoned with oil and chemicals and the foodweb has been torn and weakened. With such damaging marks, invaders wrote of their supremacy, questionable certainties penned on the land and under the water, and engraved as generational grief upon people living along the shore."

February 15, 2010

FSL have you seen...

Holmes of the Humbert? (link)  Sample here...

Googling Your Way to Successful Stupidity

February 13, 2010

Givin' Himmler The Stare

Farewell to a badass.

Resistance is futile

February 12, 2010


February 11, 2010

Anchorage cultural scene

Here's a heartwarming story of a boy beating the crap out of a guy in a cage match, and the mother who loves him.

Angie Enz fortified herself with a few beers before watching her son climb in the octagon.

"She had to get a couple in her before she watched me," Andy said. "But afterwards I've never seen her so happy or more proud of me."

February 10, 2010

Angel Summoner and the BMX Bandit

February 09, 2010

Another B-17 story


February 08, 2010

Dazzle camouflage

Dazzle camouflage


I think: America is the glorious detritus of human liberation. 
I think: our pulsing life is not meant for glass screens and gray cubicles. 
I think: Capital lays waste to kindness, the font of all virtue. 
I think: fundamentalists in all religions share a refusal to recognize the supremacy of love. 
I think: fools all, we murder laughing the good living earth. 
I think: this room, absent you, is a wooden hole.

Submitted without comment

February 06, 2010

A Note to the Florida Family Policy Council of Orlando

Outrage of the day here, ended well, no harm done.

The judge remarked,  "the only testimony elicited today was that [the 1-year-old] is loved by these parents more than they even thought that someone could be loved."

I wish to draw to the attention of the Florida Family Policy Council of Orlando a brief excerpt from the scripture:
If I have all the eloquence of men or of angels, but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing. If I have the gift of prophecy, understanding all the mysteries there are, and knowing everything, and if I have faith in all its fullness, to move mountains, but without love, then I am nothing at all. If I give away all that I possess, piece by piece, and if I even let them take my body to burn it, but am without love, it will do me no good whatever.

Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.

Love does not come to an end. But if there are gifts of prophecy, the time will come when they must fail; or the gift of languages, it will not continue for ever; and knowledge – for this, too, the time will come when it must fail. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but once perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear.

When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and think like a child, and argue like a child, but now I am a man, all childish ways are put behind me. Now we are seeing a dim reflection in a mirror; but then we shall be seeing face to face. The knowledge that I have now is imperfect; but then I shall know as fully as I am known.

In short, there are three things that last: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love.

I think that's true, so I'm not going to put a joke at the end.

Where to try terrorists

David Rees makes the case for trying Khalid Sheikh Muhammed at the Dollar Store in Newburgh, NY:
A dollar store? Hell yeah. He’ll be like, “What is this? Some kind of special courtroom where you only try the toughest bad-asses?” And we’re like, “No, it’s a goddamn dollar store, you goof. Look, do you want a wack-ass, stinky-smelling spatula from China that’s like 3/4 the size of a normal spatula? I’ll buy it for you because it ONLY COSTS A DOLLAR.”

Another "WTF" Moment

After a decade of WTF moments, this seems strangely normal.

February 02, 2010

History's Baddest

Several years ago The Front gave me a copy of By the Sword: A History Gladiators, Musketeers, Samurai, Swashbucklers, and Olympic Champions by Richard Cohen. To me, the most memorable passage in the book was this footnote regarding the fencing master Donald McBane:

McBane penned a remarkable book of memoirs, The Expert Sword-man's Companion, or the True Art of Self-Defence. Published in 1728, it remains the only fencing book written by a master who had also been a serving soldier; in all, he took part in sixteen battles and fifty-two sieges. Toward the end of his career he kept an alehouse and fencing school in London and fought thirty-seven prized in the Bear Garden; but it is extraordinary that he survived that long.

Son of a Scottish farmer and publican, McBane enlisted in the Scots army in 1687. Five years later he won his first duel, against an army paymaster who had swindled him. Three years after that, he took part in the siege of Namur, where he was shot three times and bayonetted six. In 1697 he went home to Inverness but soon reenlisted, fought a further duel in Perth, leaving his opponent for dead, and fled to Ireland, where he set up a fencing school. Still a common soldier, he found himself consigned to Holland, where he met the man whom he thought he had killed in Perth. They became friends and set up a new academy together. On learning that four fellow practitioners ran a brothel and gaming house, he decided to take a share and fought all four until the last suddenly produced a pistol from his cocked hat and fired. The ball missed, and McBane ran him through the buttocks. The masters then agreed to cut their conqueror in, and from 1700 to 1702 he lived comfortably off the earnings.

At the battle of "Nemegen" (Nijmegen) McBane's regiment lost all its baggage, leaving him penniless. He borrowed money but lost it all in a card game, robbed the winner, was set upon by seven men, wounded five, and escaped. After sundry other vicissitudes, including being blown up by a grenade, he set up as a master a third time, simultaneously keeping a brothel with sixteen girls who doubled as his concubines. One day, exhausted after preparations for a forced march, he fell asleep and was left behind by his regiment. "Up comes a French dragoon seeking plunder and took me prisoner, [and] drove me before him until he came to a wood where he wanted to ease nature. When his breeches were down, I mounted his horse and rode for it."

A year later he was marching with the Duke of Marlborough and in one engagement took three bayonet thrusts as well as receiving "a brace of balls that lies in my thigh to this day." None of this seemed to quench his spirit, and he was soon setting up tents for sixty "campaign ladies" as well as sixteen "professors of the sword." This was evidently insufficient, for he led a raiding party on his Dutch allies and carried off fourteen of their women. The next day to dozen Dutch swordsmen came to retrieve them. The two sides drank together, then fought until eleven Dutch and seven of McBane's band lay dead.

In 1706 he took part in a campaign that swept the French out of Flanders, in one siege hurling grenades for eight hours while receiving a ball in the head "which will mind me of it while I live." The following year he fought with a Gascon mercenary who had already killed five men. "I bound his sword and made a half thrust at his breast, he timed me and wounded me in the mouth; we took another turn, I took a little better care and gave him a thrust in the body, which made him very angry; some of the spectators cryed stand your ground, I wished them in my place, then I gave him a thrust in the belly, he then darted his sword at me, I parried it, he went and lay down on his coat and spoke none."

His next misadventure followed yet another dispute over money: he was severely beaten, thrown into a well, and left for dead, fortunately in less than a foot of water. In 1708, during one more siege of yet another town, he was knocked to the ground by the head of a comrade torn off by a cannon blast. "All his brains came round my head. I being half senseless put up my hand to my head and finding the brains cryed to my neighbour that all my brains had been knocked out; he said were they your brains out you could not speak."

In 1711, now forty-seven, McBane quarreled with two Dutch soldiers; the ensuing brawl left both men dying. Once again he was compelled to flee, only this time he was captured by the French and drafted into their ranks. It didn't take him long to kill two of his new comrades -- another argument over pay -- and he was arrested. The following day a drum major from Marlborough's army arrived to exchange prisoners. "Take him," the French general pleaded, "for if he stays he will kill all my men."

By 1712 the Flanders wars -- in which both Cyrano de Bergerac and Guy Fawkes had fought in their day -- were drifting to an end, and McBane returned to Britain, to a new marriage and a career with James Figg and his companions. He reenlisted once more, in 1715 against the Jacobite rebellion, and served until discharged because his many old wounds were troubling him. In 1726 "I fought a clean young man at Edinburgh. I gave him seven wounds and broke his arm with the fauchion. This I did at the request of several noblemen and gentlemen. But now being sixty-three years of age, resolve never to fight any more, but repent of my former wickedness."

February 01, 2010

Watterson speaks


FSL have you seen...

I thought it was a joke.  It is not a joke:  "One Nation Under God" (annotated)

A...modified...version can be found here.  (Credit, I think to Farker Okami36.)

Video game tactics

Seems like modern players are learning moves from video game simulations.


Being a Rolling Stone isn't worth it