Battle of the hipster phones -- WARNING: Cartoon characters use filthy language. You have been appropriately warned. And, I think I'm just sticking with my old, antiquated iPhone 3G.
Battle of the hipster phones -- WARNING: Cartoon characters use filthy language. You have been appropriately warned. And, I think I'm just sticking with my old, antiquated iPhone 3G.
As usual, Jon Stewart (and John Oliver here) have a great take on yesterday's amazing World Cup action:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|World Cup 2010: Into Africa - US Beats Algeria|
And yes, the "If Germany gives you guys any trouble, and you need America to swoop in and bail your asses out again, let us know!" is the winner here.
David's big fat head sort of gets in the way here, so to ensure you read it, it states:
ARE YOU A PRODUCER OR PARASITE? DEMOCRATS - PARTY OF PARASITES.
Wow, a bit harsh, David. Kind of a sweeping statement, isn't it? But hey, inflammatory as one might be, as long as you can walk the walk, I guess you're entitled to talk the -- what's that again?
The Raytown farmer who posted a sign on a semi-truck trailer accusing Democrats of being the “Party of Parasites” received more than $1 million in federal crop subsidies since 1995.
But David Jungerman says the payouts don’t contradict the sign he put up in a corn field in Bates County along U.S. 71 Highway.
“That’s just my money coming back to me,” Jungerman, 72, said Monday. “I pay a lot in taxes. I’m not a parasite.”
On a related note, David Jungerman, you are fucking welcome for your subsidy, which helped pay for your stupid sign. You see, I pay a lot of taxes too - I wish there wasn't as much governmental waste and that those dollars were stretched a lot better, but I don't complain about it because I understand that taxes are vital and important to keeping the country running. Part of that is the subsidy you get. Which put the money in your pocket for your insulting, ignorant sign.
If you are going to piss away that money so freely, at least be honest about it.
By now, you've heard about the amazing US victory in the 91st minute of their World Cup match against
Albania Algeria*. It really was incredible, and probably a pretty seminal moment in USA soccer.
* Honestly, I wanted it so badly to be Albania, and solely so I could have a reason for singing the "Albania, Albania, you border on the Adriatic...your land is mostly mountainous, and your chief export is chrome" song from 'Cheers' - sung by Coach as a memory trick to remembering facts for a geography class. But no, it was Algeria, and I have no songs for that. See the bottom for what I'm talking about...
I'm only writing it about here for two reasons -- one, after it happened, Twitter absolutely went down, for what seemed like a really, really long time. When it finally came back upped, I jokingly tweeted that Donovan had broken Twitter.
It turns out, I underestimated that one by quite a bit -- he almost broke the internet:
Just how breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly awesome was Landon Donovan’s 91st-minute goal in today’s win-or-go-home U.S.-Algeria World Cup game? It was definitely significant enough to temporarily overwhelm Twitter. And it just might have been the single biggest driver of Internet traffic ever.
Over at Mashable the editors were monitoring new traffic across the Web via Akamai’s Net Usage Index, a traffic meter that keeps real time tabs on how many visitors per minute are landing on more than 100 major news sites. In the minutes after Donovan’s game-clinching, elimination-defying goal during added stoppage time, Web traffic spiked to 11.2 million visitors per minute, eclipsing even the 2008 U.S. presidential election as measured by the viewers per minute metric
That's pretty crazy. But I'm really posting this now so that I can watch THIS over and over and over again:
Thanks to my man Will Brinson for the link as well.
Here's the Cheers video referred to above:
This borders on the awesome ... the website ThinkGeek specializes in, well ... I have no idea. But one thing they DO have are products based on pop culture like a Dharma Initiative Clock. So, they've received their share of cease-and-desist letters over the years. Some folks argue that these are not much more than lawyers pushing paper around just to earn some fees, and while that's undoubtedly NOT true in many cases, a lot of them are just useless.
And this one, they argue - and I have to agree - could and should be the best.
I'll let them take it from here:
First, it's 12 pages long and very well-researched (except on one point); it even includes screengrabs of the offending item from our site. And we know they're not messing around because they invested in the best and brightest legal minds.
But what makes this cease and desist so very, very special is that it's for a fake product we launched for April Fool's day.
.. the Canned Unicorn Meat.
In case you can't quite read that, the text says,
"Unicorns, as we all know, frolic all over the world, pooping rainbows and marshmallows wherever they go. What you don't know is that when unicorns reach the end of their lifespan, they are drawn to County Meath, Ireland. The Sisters at Radiant Farms have dedicated their lives to nursing these elegant creatures through their final days. Taking a cue from the Kobe beef industry, they massage each unicorn's coat with Guiness daily and fatten them on a diet comprised entirely of candy corn."
And apparently, at no point in creating a 12-page cease and desist letter, it occurred to nobody that this might, just might, be a joke. (Not even the fact that this was published on April 1st.)
ThinkGeek ends with a winner:
We'd like to publicly apologize to the NPB for the confusion over unicorn and pork--and for their awkward extended pause on the phone after we had explained our unicorn meat doesn't actually exist.
Go check out the whole thing, and drop a ducket or two over there if you so choose. And to the National Pork Board? Yeah, this one has to sting a bit.
And KFC sold this as a healthy selling point. God, I love advertising.
People threw up their arms in disgust, complained vociferously about how this was the perfect example of all that's wrong with the country and ... apparently bought them by the wheelbarrow.
they've released the Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt. Now, you might think I'm joking, but this is what it is:
It's a burger - and instead of the buns there are two grilled cheese sandwiches. Read that again, realize that this story is not from The Onion, and say a quiet prayer for the arteries of America.
From Consumerist.com, here is what eating one of these bad boys - and yes, I believe bad boys has never been more apt, will give you:
870 Fat Calories
79g Total Fat
38g Saturated Fat
9g Dietary Fiber
Hey, 54 grams of Protein ain't all bad.
You'll find no bigger fan of the Grilled Cheese sandwich. This makes me queasy just thinking about it. God help us all.
I've been hooked a bit by a band I personally just discovered, The Gaslight Anthem. As a nod to the fact that I'm an old, old man, it's by listening to their third release, American Slang. From what I can tell, no videos are out from that yet, though the entire album is exceptionally fun to listen to, and at least four songs standout as great for me. So, that's nice.
This one is from their last release, The '59 Sound, and it's the title track. They hail from New Jersey and clearly like Bruce Springsteen's lyrics, but also evoke The Replacements a lot, especially on their American Slang. That's a pretty solid combination.
What public figure recently said the following about marijuana? The drug that is illegal throughout the country, and has been prioritized in our drug enforcement as a "gateway drug." Efforts to legalize it or even reduce the extent of its criminality have been mocked by many, especially those on the right wing side of the political aisle.
So, what silly effete liberal Hollywood limousine liberal (oops, I said liberal twice) uttered the following poppycock?
“However I think we need to prioritize our law enforcement efforts. If somebody’s gonna to smoke a joint in their house and not do anybody any harm, then perhaps there are other things our cops should be looking at to engage in and try to clean up some of the other problems we have in society.”
Seriously? Who had the crazy idea that our country shouldn't be focusing on people smoking pot, but instead concentrating on more important stuff? What liberal weenie showed such a lack of understanding of keeping order, security and the dangers of drugs with our children to say such a thing?
Was it ...
|Liberal smarmy filmmaker Michael Moore|
|Pro Pot Comedian Doug Benson|
|Cavlin Broadus - aka Snoop Dogg|
|Uber-liberal Congressman Dennis Kucinich|
|Professed marijuana fan Ricky Williams|
All good options, yes?
Well, in fact, it was none other than the country's most famous half-governor, Sarah Palin.
Yes, that Sarah Palin.
But that's the other reason I'm posting this -- it is is by far, the most cogent, articulate string of sentences I've ever heard her utter. I'm being snarky - but also totally serious. What stuns me the most about Palin is that she's always tripping over herself in her speech. I know it's folksy, but it's genuinely insane that she generally doesn't utter a single structurally sound sentence when talking. And yes, I'm a weenie liberal living in Northern California, so this doesn't count ... but still.
Don't get me wrong - she still represents pretty much everything that's wrong with our political system today, and folks who actually want her to be President confuse and terrify me. But, at the least, I'm giving credit where credit is due.
Congressman Joe Barton (R-Dumbass-TX) took the opportunity of talking to BP to APOLOGIZE to BP for the fact that the White House has asked them to take responsibility for their actions. It's almost impossible to believe, but he's "ashamed" and thinks it's "a tragedy of the first proportion" that BP has to pay for its mismanagement and destruction of the Gulf of Mexico. In what I'm sure is TOTALLY unrelated, Barton has received more than $1,400,000 in donations from oil and gas companies over the years.
There is a legitimate argument that the White House sat on its hands too long before getting tough. I'm on board with that, and I think the White House is taking it on the chin for that relative inaction to start with. But now that they ARE doing what's right, Congressman Barton is ashamed? To be ASHAMED that the government is ensuring that the taxpayers don't have to pay for this debacle is shameful, Rep Barton.
You sir, are a disgrace.
Update: Apparently, the GOP overall is not tone deaf, and some are calling for Barton to resign his chairmanship of the Energy and Commerce Committee. And no, I didn't realize this twit was the chairman of said committee. I seriously doubt there will be much repercussion to his inanity, but at least the entire right wing of the aisle isn't as clueless as Barton.
The Golden State Warriors have so many problems, it would be easy to argue that they shouldn't be spending an iota of time redesigning their logo. Of course, "they" is a squishy term here, since the team is for sale, but one imagines the marketing department is going to hang around for awhile. And given their 'new' logo, that looks appropriate:
Can you feel the awesome? It's perfectly retro, and calls back the old "CITY" logos from when they played in San Francisco. (Which, of course, is a rumor to happen after ownership changes. Hmmm...)
Feel the awesome.
When people need to kick back, have fun, and party, I will be there, unlike your pathetic fonts. While Gotham is at the science fair, I'm banging the prom queen behind the woodshop. While Avenir is practicing the clarinet, I'm shredding "Reign In Blood" on my double-necked Stratocaster. While Univers is refilling his allergy prescriptions, I'm racing my tricked-out, nitrous-laden Honda Civic against Tokyo gangsters who'll kill me if I don't cross the finish line first. I am a sans serif Superman and my only kryptonite is pretentious buzzkills like you.Read the whole thing here.
It doesn't even matter what you think. You know why, jagoff? Cause I'm famous. I am on every major operating system since Microsoft fucking Bob. I'm in your signs. I'm in your browsers. I'm in your instant messengers. I'm not just a font. I am a force of motherfucking nature and I will not rest until every uptight armchair typographer cock-hat like you is surrounded by my lovable, comic-book inspired, sans-serif badassery.
Courtesy of Alan Sepinwall, I just found this image and I can't stop laughing. Yes, that's Nick Swanson from Parks & Recreation, a show I didn't much like at first but now really enjoy quite a bit.
It's just a textbook pratfall, made even funnier if you know the character.
Yes, that was an exciting match vs England on Saturday (the New York Post headline: "US beats England in 1-1 Tie" somewhat says it all), but as with so many things, the Simpsons says it best as to why I remain unconvinced that this will be the catalyst to finally have soccer breakout as an American sport:
Note, too, that the score they boast about is 1-1. Those guys really ARE good. (Thanks to The New Republic's Jonathan Chait for pointing out this one.)
Over in Chicago, the White Sox are playing the Cubs and someone came up with what I actually think is a great idea - playing for the "Crosstown Cup," something the winner gets for bragging rights purposes, much like college football rivalries have.
The problem? It's sponsored by BP. That's right, folks, the most loathed corporation in the world will be giving out products stamped with their logo.
In a three-year deal announced April 26, less than a week after the deep-sea leak began with the explosion of an oil rig leased by BP, the oil giant agreed to sponsor the trophy that will go to the winner of the series each season. With BP's problems in the Gulf having been front-page news for weeks, the Cubs and the White Sox are introducing the BP Cup with much less pomp and circumstance than they might have originally planned, even though it is the only sponsored cup of its kind in Major League Baseball.
|Come for the game! Stay for the oil!|
But seriously, this is painful. Can anyone think of a worse potential sponsorship?
The Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities Yankees-Mets series?
The Tom DeLay Albo Pest Control Astros-Rangers series?
The Tiger Woods Celibacy Project Marlins-Rays series?
Bring it on, folks.
That being said, I did not know this -- teams are NOT allowed to trade draft picks. This story on Yahoo Sports shows some famous examples from other sports - the Herschel Walker trade in the NFL, John Elway being drafted by the Colts, Kobe Bryant by the Charlotte Hornets (something I'd forgotten - though I did remember that Scottie Pippen was drafted by the Sonics, not the Bulls).
In baseball, you not only can't trade the pick, you can't trade a drafted player for a year after they were picked.
Why? Nobody seems to know. And it's this quote from Richard Thaler (economist from my MBA alma mater, the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business) that really makes you go, "Hmmm..."
“I cannot think of any good reason why MLB would have such a rule, unless it is worried that the teams with the highest picks are not capable of making good decisions...It has to help the teams with the top picks to have the option of trading them for additional picks.”Yeah, that sort of has the ring of truth to it, doesn't it?
I see this as problematic; what about you?
Just a check-in on the offensive players Brian Sabean and management have spent on recently and how they're doing this year.
There are a lot of Brian Sabean apologists in the Bay Area, most of them are sports writers who want access to the team. What I hear a lot of them saying - and Sabean said this too in his interview with Ralph Barbieri on KNBR a week or so ago - is that such criticism is at least slightly misdirected because:
- Sabean isn't the only one making decisions. It seems like former owner Peter Magowan was the one cuckoo for Barry Zito and Aaron Rowand, not Sabean. Sabes is just a good soldier and won't say so. Obviously, there's no way to check this, but it seems more than a bit convenient, and doesn't excuse a lot of other, horrid trades that are solely the fault of Sabean.
- Signing Zito to that preposterously large contract hasn't prevented the team from signing a marquee hitter ... because they don't want to sign here. Um, WHAT? Isn't it at least partially a GM's job to sell the team to potential free agents? Why wouldn't they want to sign here? Because San Francisco is a pit? (No.) Because it's a "pitchers park?" (Maybe. But there are plenty of examples of folks who DO hit here; if Sabean can't argue out of this, he's hopeless.) Because the park is too beautiful? Seriously, a player here and there (like Lance Berkman, for example) may not want to sign in San Francisco for personal reasons (in his case, being a backwards hick who is scared of folks not exactly like him) but it's not an excuse for Sabean that great players don't want to play here, it's an indictment. Also, if you threw $25,000,000 a year at Matt Holliday
Ya hear me, Andrew Baggarly?
OK, so let's check in on the big offensive signings over the last few years:
|Aaron Rowand||CF||$13,600,000||.228 BA,.259 OBP, 5HR, 20 RBI,18 R, 0 SB||Egregiously bad. Look at the OBP, and remember that Bochy has tried for years to convince us this guy is a leadoff hitter.|
|Edgar Renteria||SS||$10,000,000||(Currently on the DL) .326 BA,.395 OBP, 1HR, 11 RBI, 9 R, 3 SB||Adequate, until you realize this has all been downhill since the first few weeks of the year. He's played in 23 games this year and despite the Giants mess right now, NOBODY is clamoring for his return. That says something.|
|Bengie Molina||C||$4,500,00||.250 BA, .313 OBP, 2HR, 11 RBI, 15 R, 0 SB||A simple waste of money, given the needs of the team. Molina has averaged an RBI every fourth GAME, and he hits cleanup. Enough said. (Right?)|
|Freddy Sanchez||2B||$6,000,000||I've written a lot about Sanchez, and I'm not a believer. But he's been good since he returned. In limited play, he has the following: .326 BA,.391 OBP, 0HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 0 SB||Folks love him here, but is the above (in 13 games) really worth the second best pitching prospect in the Giants organization? Time will tell.|
|Juan Uribe||2B/SS/3B||$3,250,000||.274 BA,.342 OBP, 7HR, 29 RBI, 23 R, 1 SB||Uribe leads the team in RBI, more of an indictment of folks like Pablo than a reflection of Uribe. He's overperformed, and thank goodness for that. Signed only because nobody else wanted him, this has been a bright spot.|
|Aubrey Huff||1B/OF||$3,000,000||.297 BA,.382 OBP, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 26 R, 1 SB||At last, a solid signing. Huff has been better than advertised and his positional flexibility helped find a slot for Buster Posey. Again, nobody else wanted Huff, but props for filling a gap with someone who had something left.|
.194 BA,.279 OBP, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 0 SB
|Coming off wrist surgery, DeRosa has played in all of 19 games, and is possibly going to undergo MORE surgery, which could jeopardize his season. HUGE miss, even if it's just an unlucky one.|
* Note: All stats are through Tuesday's game, even though this will post on Wednesday.
Let the record show that I'm being exceptionally generous by giving Uribe, Sanchez and Huff neutral or positive grades. Let's put it another way - how many teams out there would trade their starters at 1B, 2B and SS for Huff, Sanchez or Uribe? I'm sure Sanchez would get some attention, but after that? Meh.
I could go on about how useless these signings have been, but I think their numbers speak for themselves. Look, Sabean isn't the only one in the organization making mistakes, and I'll give him/them credit for the Posey pick and Pablo Sandoval, even with Sandoval slumping as he has. But for a guy like Sabean to have his job after this many whiffs?
Something just ain't right, folks.
It's really hard to grok how big the BP Oil Spill is, except to understand that it's enormous and devastating and awful.
Thanks to IfItWasMyHome.com, we can now get a better - and more horrifying - sense of the size of the spill. Just type in a zip code, or city or whatever, and the spill will show up on top of the map to scale. Here is what it would look like if the spill occured near Pinecrest, CA near Yosemite National Park:
Yes, that gives a better sense of how unbelievably big this mess is. Let's just award BP, and their management team, Douche Nozzle of the Year already, shall we?
It's relatively safe to say that things won't ever be the same in the Gulf of Mexico for a long time, perhaps ever.
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- Friday Tunage: The Gaslight Anthem
- Would You Like To Play A Game?
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- A Great First Step
- Comic Sans Strikes Back!
- Ron Effing Swanson!
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