30 September 2010

Bad News Tarheels

There was a really interesting piece today from Yahoo! Sports about the ties between a former UNC coach, a suspended player, and a prominent sports agent. The article is very detailed, and it means big trouble for North Carolina. It seems reasonable to expect that they will receive sanctions more severe than those received by USC a few months ago.

Another piece from Yahoo! Sports (getting it done today!) talks about why the investigation is important. It is emblematic of a sport rife with violations. It's not surprising given the huge sums of money at play.

I've respected Butch Davis ever since he rescued the Hurricanes from their own NCAA penalties through solid recruiting and high quality (low trouble) players. It will be hard for him to keep his job if the allegations prove true.

28 September 2010

Cambio es bueno

The democratic process seems to be working for the benefit of the Venezuelan people. In recent parliamentary elections Hugo Chavez lost his 2/3 majority. That is the percentage required to pass legislation unilaterally. It is not all smooth sailing for the anti-Chavistas:

The electoral results set the stage for intense debate over Mr. Chávez's policies in and out of congress. Some analysts say Mr. Chávez may not relinquish his grip on the legislature easily. He might rule by decree, for example. A new congress won't be seated until January, meaning Mr. Chávez could push important legislative changes before then.
Mr. Chávez hasn't sat idle in the past when opponents have won. Two years ago, when an opposition politician was elected mayor of Caracas, Mr. Chávez stripped the office of its power. That same year Mr. Ocariz won the mayoral election in Petare, a vast slum on the Caracas outskirts. Mr. Chávez stripped the district of 16 garbage pickup trucks the very next day, he said.

Chavez doesn't play fair, and he still has a lot of power. This will be something to watch.

25 September 2010

Awesome Video Saturday CXLIV

I am a huge Clint Eastwood fan (who isn't?). This is a trailer for his new film and it looks very intriguing.

24 September 2010

SPOTD #165

Back on the bus.

Today's Phrase:
This Arabic proverb provides a needed lesson for fractious times.

Tu buen humor es un regalo que haces a los demás.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Too bwain oo-more ess oon ray-gah-low kay ah-says ah lows day-mas.

Translation (roughly)
Your good humor is a gift you give to others.

I watched The Fantastic Mr. Fox a few months ago. I thought it was an extremely entertaining movie, with really superb stop-motion animation. I am big fan of the genre, dating back as far as I can remember. This is a pretty cool behind-the-scenes shot of the Badger and the actor who did the voice work- Bill Murray.

Putting in the Time
This is an interesting article about one of the workhorses of the NFL, New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson. He was released and resigned at the start of the season, to the consternation of some people who consider him one of the “good” guys in the NFL.

Cougar Pride
Max Hall was the quarterback of the (my) BYU Cougars for 3 years. He had a great college career, and although he would sometimes drive me crazy in big games he was always fired up to play. He has been signed by the Arizona Cardinals and is now their back-up QB. Read more about it here.

The Real Charlie Chan
Charlie Chan was based on an actual detective who worked in Honolulu around the turn of the century. This is an article about the book written about him, the Cantonese detective Chang Apana.

Serious Care
This guy really likes to take care of his jeans. It is an entertaining look at “optimal jean care.”

A Caper
Can be a delicious addition to many meals. Lacy has enjoyed making a really delicious salmon with lemon and capers. She got the recipe from my sister. Here is a place for some other caper-related recipes.

Vacations for the Apocalypse
This is an amusing look at some places that might be ideal destinations if the world comes to an end.

Link of the Day
This is a fascinating article about the use of linen “armor” in the ancient world. Well worth a look.

23 September 2010

Doing Good at the U

Win or lose, Randy Shannon is making a positive impact at the University of Miami. I hope we win though, and I think we will tonight against Pitt.

Read this article for more on the good things happening in Coral Gables.

18 September 2010

Awesome Video Saturday CXLIII

Got this video from #EricDSnider. It's a hilarious re-dub of the Inception trailer.

You will like it!

16 September 2010


I was actually a little surprised by this article from the Gainesville Sun's Pat Dooley. In the past I have felt he was a little too forgiving of the rather poor law enforcment experience of the Gators in recent years. For some reason the Gators have had a large number of players arrested for felony or misdemeanor crimes. I don't think Urban Meyer is a bad guy, but there may be an institutional failing in the recruiting process employed by the Gators (and other schools with similar issues).

On a separate note, NCAA enforcement (humanized somewhat by Stewart Mandel in this piece) is confronting a challenging environment with agents and the many others who also work in that field. This is not a high point for the sport from this perspective, as many prominent programs have seen their players face eligibility issues.

On a lighter note I really enjoyed this article by Pat Forde about the University of Texas.

13 September 2010

After-action Report

This was an important weekend, and not because of football, although football played a role.

As everyone is aware, it was the 9th anniversary of 9/11/2001. I'm sure none of us will forget where we were or who we were with that day. As the years have passed, the pain from the day seems to have faded. At least it seems that way sometimes

During the broadcast of the BYU-Air Force game, one member each from the NYPD and NYFD were invited to the game. The fireman had lost two of his brothers in the Towers. It was an important reminder that some things simply matter more. The officer and fireman expressed their gratitude for the commitment and effort of the airmen at the game and the work of our entire armed forces. In my small way I want to echo that. It certainly matters more than the outcome of a football game.


Miami and BYU both lost their games. Here is a rundown of facts and information on the Cougs. I guess if we have to lose, why not to Air Force on 9/11? They certainly earned the win.

I felt like Miami's loss was less frustrating given who they were playing, but still disappointing given the history. Here is some post-game analysis from Manny Navarro at the Miami Herald.

I went to the Gator Game for the first half. We left as it was brutally hot and the Gators looked terrible while we were there. It will be an interesting season.

11 September 2010

Awesome Video Saturday CXLII

The first video is not-so-Awesome. For some reason the Disney Channel thinks it is necessary to pervert classic cartoons by adding some kind of annoying commentary. See below.

The following is a parody in the style of the mess shown above.

Leave the good stuff alone. Terrible tv movies are bad enough.

10 September 2010


The last time Miami played Ohio State marked one of the worst nights of my life as a fan of college football. There are some other key games in that pathetic pantheon, but the 2002 Fiest Bowl has special place in my heart. I was engaged to my wife at the time, and her being there may have ensured that household objects avoided breakage.

Terrible outcome to an exciting game, a game that signaled Ohio State's renewed power and Miami's eventual decline from national powerhouse status.

The two teams meet tomorrow. I am worried about the game, but Miami certainly has a chance to win. The play of quarterback Jacory Harris will depend on the strength of his offensive line. The ability of Miami's defense to pressure Terrell Pryor and stop the Ohio State run game will also be critical. I hope it goes our way.

BYU also has a potentially difficult matchup, but I believe that we will be able to win that one handily.

I'm going to the Gator game with Joseph, so this will be a good day for Football, and hopefully a good day for me!

08 September 2010


Much has been made about the upcoming, planned Koran burning, set to occur here in Gainesville on Saturday, September 11th.

It is an unfortunate chapter for this fair town, once known for football, Gatorade, and the murder of 5 college students by a serial killer in 1990. I find the epsiode unfortunate for several reasons.

1. This is a small church of about 50 members. The pastor's influence is likely somewhat larger owing to his web presence. I feel comfortable making the assumption that just about any city of more than 100 thousand people has someone like this guy. It just so happens that our local crackpot is now the most well-known nut job in America.

2. The desire to demonstrate rejection of this church's plan has resulted in much wider exposure for their cause. The threats and negative reaction to their plan has been well-documented, but I bet that they have some new adherents who were unaware of them before a few weeks ago. They don't deserve this kind of spotlight. Media time is so hard to come by for GOOD causes, yet we devote hours of discussion to them?

I don't know anybody who has expressed support for this church or it's plan. A multi faith prayer meeting was held today to express unity and opposition to the plan. Are there people out there who support them? Of course, but they are a tiny fraction of the local populace and the nation at large.

My preferred method of handling this would have been to deny then the forum they are obviously seeking. Too late for that I guess.

06 September 2010

SPOTD #164

It has been 7 months since the last SPOTD. I intended to put more things on the blog and stop doing this, but there are a lot of quick things that are better laid out on the SPOTD. I’ll try to do this once or twice a month.

I also changed the recipient list, eliminating anyone that I wasn’t actually acquainted with who had signed up on my old website. If any of you want to be removed from the list, just let me know.

Today's Phrase:
Football season has started. It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A hopeful time, when none of our nascent dreams have been dashed. From Samuel Johnson-

Donde la esperanza no existe, no puede existir el esfuerzo.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Done-day lah ace-pay-rahn-zah no ache-zee-stay, no pway-day ache-zee-steer ell ace-fware-so.

Translation (roughly)
Where there is no hope there can be no endeavor.

Beautiful Architecture
I love this house. I don’t know if I would live there, but I love its minimalist look. Mind you, it is $35 million worth of minimalism.

This is, without a doubt, one of the saddest articles that I have ever read. To tell you more would spoil it.

Do You Remember the Time?
Now that Egyptian-themed video with Magic Johnson makes more sense.

How It All Ends
5 ways that we could all go adios, courtesy of the cosmos.

Thorium? More like bore-ium!
Seriously though, thorium may provide an alternative to uranium and plutonium-based nuclear reactors. According to this article from the Telegraph (U.K.), thorium reactors would be clean-burning with little-to-no waste, and thorium is extremely plentiful. What are we waiting for?

I’m Going Fast
This is a great article about the world’s fastest electric land-vehicle.

Link of the Day
This is from a series written by Eric Snider, Eric’s Bad Movies. This is one of my all-time favorites, written about the 2009 Canadian film, Gooby. Read and enjoy.

05 September 2010

On Moderate Islam

I thought this was a great bit from the WSJ. 6 thinkers are asked to explain what they think moderate Islam is.

There are some interesting thoughts.

01 September 2010

La Independencia

BYU is now an independent football school. I am glad that they made the move.

Here are some links to pertinent articles:

Wouldn't you rather go to Portland than Laramie?