Friday, February 27, 2009

80's Movie Line of the Week

In Back to the Future Part 2, Doc makes a statement I can identify with:

Doc: The time-traveling is just too dangerous. Better that I devote myself to study the other great mystery of the universe: women!

Transformative Change

Got it here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This Ice Cream Tastes Like... just keeps printing funny stuff. Today it's a quote from John Calipari:

"Most of these kids, they think they poop ice cream. But kids come here because they want to be coached and they want to be challenged," Memphis coach John Calipari said. "I get emotional. I'm hard. I say tough things and I tell the truth on the fly and they know that."
It would be great if you actually did poop ice cream. It would be terrible if you only thought you did.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What about Alan Jackson?

Funny headline on today:

Brooks, Dunn done in Tampa Bay
It's rough out there for the veterans. Teams are always bringing in young guys like Big & Rich (yes, I did have to do a little research to find the name of a country duo for this sentence. what of it?)

By the way, in researching this post I learned that the first name of Brooks from Brooks and Dunn is Kix. How did he not end up in an eighties hair band?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Corporate Barbecue Take 2

Apparently, Power & Light is a viable place to run a barbecue joint afterall.

Less than two months after it closed in the Kansas City Power & Light District, Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que will return.

The operation, at 131 E. 14th St., wanted to convert to an Old Chicago and had already started remodeling.

But a deal couldn’t be worked out with landlord, the Cordish Co.
For the record, Famous Dave's isn't good, but it's a better than Old Chicago. On the other hand, if they can put the Peachtree in down there, why couldn't a local barbecue joint work?

This Power & Light venture does not seem destined for greatness.

Black Cab Sessions

Those of you who are more Internet savvy than me may have already found this, but Black Cab Sessions is one of the best sites I've been introduced to in quite awhile.

It's all of your favorite indie bands crammed in the back of British cabs playing as they ride around. Doesn't get much more hipster than that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Popularity Contest

Gallup has a new poll out showing that Obama's approval ratings have dropped a bit since he took office. As always, the devil is in the details.

So, Obama gaining approval among everyone who isn't a Republican. Republicans like him less. Probably means he's doing the right thing.

Via Matt Yglesias.

People Playing People 2009

The Oscars continued the impressive streak of handing out awards to people playing real people. Sean Penn's award for Harvey Milk was pretty much a lock once Josh Brolin didn't win the supporting category for the same movie.

However, this is the second year in a row that only one of the acting categories has gone to an impersonator. It could stay that way for awhile too. Jobless people have a lot of time to write scripts...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Palin Still Awesome

I know the campaign is over. I know we should allow Sarah to fade into obscurity. But this just cries out to be seen.

A couple of weeks before the Alaska legislature began this year's session, a bipartisan group of state senators on a retreat a few hours from here invited Gov. Sarah Palin to join them. Accompanied by a retinue of advisers, she took a seat at one end of a conference table and listened passively as Gary Stevens, the president of the Alaska Senate, a former college history professor and a low-key Republican with a reputation for congeniality, expressed delight at her presence.

Would the governor, a smiling Stevens asked, like to share some of her plans and proposals for the coming legislative session?

Palin looked around the room and paused, according to several senators present. "I feel like you guys are always trying to put me on the spot," she said finally, as the room became silent.
She is in charge of an entire state. She could have been in charge of our country. The Republican Party, taking government seriously!

Via Kevin Drum.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Building Wealth

We aren't:

Last week the Federal Reserve released the results of the latest Survey of Consumer Finances, a triennial report on the assets and liabilities of American households. The bottom line is that there has been basically no wealth creation at all since the turn of the millennium: the net worth of the average American household, adjusted for inflation, is lower now than it was in 2001.
Perhaps this is a contributing factor to the broad support for the economic stimulus package, no matter what conservative knuckleheads say.

And passing the stimulus package probably has something to do with Congressional approval ratings shooting upwards. That is what happens when you address what is happening in the actual world that people live in.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Librarians Are Important

If you can find everything online, do we still need librarians? In a word, yes. The NY Times has a great story demonstrating why.

A group of fifth graders huddled around laptop computers in the school library overseen by Ms. Rosalia and scanned, a Web site that, unbeknownst to the children, was intentionally peppered with false facts.

Ms. Rosalia, the school librarian at Public School 225, a combined elementary and middle school in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, urged caution. “Don’t answer your questions with the first piece of information that you find,” she warned.

Most of the students ignored her, as she knew they would. But Nozimakon Omonullaeva, 11, noticed something odd on a page about Christopher Columbus.

“It says the Indians enjoyed the cellphones and computers brought by Columbus!” Nozimakon exclaimed, pointing at the screen. “That’s wrong.”

...Soon Ms. Rosalia progressed to teaching students how to ask more sophisticated questions during research projects, how to decode Internet addresses and how to assess the authors and biases of a Web site’s content.

Even teachers find that they learn from Ms. Rosalia. “I was aware that not everything on the Internet is believable,” said Joanna Messina, who began taking her fifth-grade classes to the library this year. “But I wouldn’t go as far as to evaluate the whole site or look at the authors.”

Combining new literacy with the old, Ms. Rosalia invites students to write book reviews that she posts in the library’s online catalog. She helped a math teacher design a class blog. She urges students to use electronic databases linked from the library’s home page.
Librarians are as crucial as ever. Their jobs have changed a little, but they are still the best resource out there to help you find the answer. That's a pretty important job.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

How to Introduce Yourself

Kevin Durant is 5th in the NBA in scoring. He rebounds, scores, and hits really big shots for his team. He's also only 20 years old. Maybe that is why he didn't make the all-star team.

Fortunately, the NBA has approximately 127 other activities during all-star weekend. Two of them gave Durant the chance to show everyone why this will probably be the last year he isn't in the game.

On Friday night, Durant took home the MVP trophy from the Rookie-Sophomore game. He did so by scoring 46 points on 68% shooting and grabbing 7 rebounds. The point total broke the previous record for the game by 10.

On Saturday, Durant participated in the inaugural HORSE game (actually it was a game of GEICO) with O.J. Mayo and Joe Johnson. Durant fell behind four letters to two to none, and was looking particularly bad doing so. He missed what seemed like every shot for the first 30 minutes.

Suddenly, he made a three. Then he made another. Then he made a shot from about 35 feet. I think he missed once the rest of the way and came back to win the contest.

Kevin Durant is a scoring machine. He may be the skinniest great player on the planet right now, but a great player is what he is. Hopefully, we'll see him in the game with all the other great players next year.

Friday, February 13, 2009

80's Movie Line of the Week

Good Morning Vietnam makes a comment on both sanity and taste.

Edward Garlick: No, Phil, he's not all right. A man does not refer to Pat Boone as a beautiful genius if things are all right.

And There Was Much Rejoicing

Is there an upside to our economic woes?

While car purchases plummeted and designer clothes mostly stayed on the racks, sales of condoms in the U.S. rose 5% in the fourth quarter of 2008, and 6% in January vs. the same time periods the previous year, The Nielsen Co. reports.
Yeah for us!

Via Slate.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

History Isn't About Dates

Republicans have been running around for awhile now trying to blame the country's economic problems on Obama despite the fact that he has been president for a fraction of their existence. Perhaps the argument is that our collective intuition that he would become president set this downturn in motion.

But he is in good company. Apparently, FDR also had the ability to cause financial ruin preemptively. At least that's what Republican Representative Steve Austria said.

“When (President Franklin) Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression,” Austria said. “He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That’s just history.”

Most historians date the beginning of the Great Depression at or shortly after the stock-market crash of 1929; Roosevelt took office in 1933.
This seems like a pretty significant power that Democratic presidents have. You would think they might find a better use for it than ruining the economy. On the other hand, they do hate America so...

Via Matt Yglesias.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is It Time Yet?

Have we crossed the threshold? Is it officially time to become excited about the Missouri Tigers' prospects for some postseason success? I think maybe it is. After beating Kansas Monday night, it looks like the Tigers have the #3 seed in the Big 12 tournament wrapped up. Depending on what KU and the Tigers do down the stretch, they might be able to climb to #2.

Or it could all implode at any moment. That seems to be how it is watching these Tigers. They are wild fun, but thoroughly infuriating. Of course, that is kind of the point. That is how games will be in the Mike Anderson system. And it's fine with me. I was happy when MU hired Anderson because, if nothing else, I knew we would be entertained.

That is certainly happening now. And the Tigers have entertained their way to #17 in the RPI. If they can finish with no more than 1 or 2 losses the rest of the way, they can earn at least a 5 seed in the NCAA tourney, and would have a shot at a 3 or 4 seed if things go better. That is quite a turnaround from a team that was mostly just infuriating last year.

So, I'm on the bandwagon. I think there may be some good things ahead. The Tigers have now won a couple of close games with good opponents which will serve them well down the road. We may see another 16 point half before the end of the season, but we'll definitely see the effort that lead to the furious second half rally as well. No matter what, it'll be fun to watch.

Monday, February 9, 2009

How Bad Is It?

Pretty bad. Barring an amazing turnaround, it looks like the Depression may get a run for its money. Republicans might want to take note.

Via Kevin Drum.

Friday, February 6, 2009

80's Movie Line of the Week

Good advice on living from Teen Wolf.

Coach Finstock: There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Awesome Kid

They gave him the good stuff.

New Phones

I got a new phone yesterday. It's an interesting experience getting a new phone because it is the tool most integral in your daily life (or mine anyway). Getting rid of an old phone means purging texts and call logs and a bunch of other stuff that represent good times, bad times and every other kind of time.

So a new phone is a fresh start, a fresh start with a new partner. If you go by the contract you sign, you've just acquired your sidekick for the next two years.

Your new relationship with your phone is like any other new relationship. It takes some time to figure out the new partner, and even more time to get comfortable with the differences between this relationship and all those previous. And like every partner in life, this one will deliver both joy and misery, irritate the hell out of you sometimes and wear out when you won't just shut up.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The New York Experience in Legos

As a kid, I loved Legos. I would say probably better than 2/3 of my time playing with toys involved Legos. My sister and I would build towns, spaceships and just about anything else you could imagine.

We never though about a project like though. Artist Christopher Niemann imagines New York through Legos. These are three of my favorites, but there are quite a few if you follow the link.


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