29 December 2010

A Year in Sports Media

I am a sucker for end-of-year lists, and I thought Richard Deitsch's column for SI was a great one. He makes some good points about the status of the business of sports reporting and the people involved in it.

You can read it here.

25 December 2010


Here is a last-minute Christmas gift, Popular Mechanics list of the best movie driving scenes.

Awesome Video Saturday CLV (¡Feliz Navidad!)

I hope this has been a wonderful Christmas Day for you and your loved ones. This is a nice message about the importance of true giving.

23 December 2010

Some Year in Review

Two things from the Wall Street Journal. Hopefully both are available to non subscribers-

1. Here is a review of Some of the best and worst advertisements of the year. I find little to argue with, especially in a year where the Super Bowl ads were so disappointing. In addition to the Snickers ad with Betty White, I also like the one with Aretha Franklin.

2. This is A video from tech columnist Walt Mossberg, on his favorite items reviewed over the past year.

22 December 2010

Save the Day

Pjil Jackson isn't happy that the NBA schedules games on Christmas day. I like his being outspoken on the issue. I wouldn't want to spend Christmas away from my family either, not to mention the actual religious significance of the holiday.

Still, I'll be watching Heat-Lakers. I guess that won't really help the situation.


This is an idea still in it's infancy, but a man has developed an app that is designed to land an airplane for you, should your small plane pilot become incapacitated. Popular Mechanicshas the story here.

Be Young or Go Home

That seems to be the trend in College football coaching, according to SI.com's Stewart Mandel.

The situation in West Virginia is especially distressing, and betrays expectations for success that seem a bit overblown.

21 December 2010

A Daily Dose

I have recently traveled by plane, and encountered no problems while going through security, even with our heavy-laden group. Still, I continue to find the processes and methods of the TSA to be humorous at best and ineffective and invasive at worst. This website shares the joy of the patdown with all of us.

The Daily Patdown

18 December 2010

Awesome Video Saturday CLIV

Inception was certainly one of this year's best movies, and one of the best in recent years. There are some concepts in the film, such as the dilation of time for a "dream within a dream" that are fascinating. That concept in particular has been depicted graphically in this compilation.

If you haven't seen the movie, don't watch this. Also, what is wrong with you?

17 December 2010

What You Love to Hate

I was born in Miami, FL. Since my birth I have been a Hurricane and a Dolphin. While not an avid NBA fan or MLB fan I do like the Marlins and the Heat. The city has been blessed with a lot of success over just a few decades which is cause for frustration in "cursed" cities like Cleveland.

I thought this article was a good analysis of the rooting habits of Miami sports fans, indifferent when other fans are rabid. when I started the article I was prepared to be a little defensive in favor if my birthplace, but I thought it was pretty fair. In defense of Miami, there are many more attractive options for your time and energy than you'd find in most other professional sports towns, especially in the winter months.

15 December 2010

Sliding Toward Dictatorship

For the first time in years, the opposition to Hugo Chavez gained a sizeable segment of the National Assembly. As a result, he is trying to get the outgoing legislature to grant him decree powers, according to this AP report.

This would allow him to bypass the Assembly to pass laws and follow a pattern similar to what he did in 2007. During an 18 month period he seized private enterprises and opposition media outlets, all without the sanction of elected representatives.

It is offensive to those who value liberty and private enterprise. It demonstrates a significant institutional weakness of the Venezuelan government and bodes very ill for representative democracy in the country.

There should be widespread international opposition to this effort, but it seems unlikely.

14 December 2010

Hire'em up

Andy Staples, of SI.com, explains why Miami and Florida both made good hires, even if one of them doesn't pan out. I'm inclined to agree with him.

13 December 2010

Punk Jets

My least favorite NFL team is the New York Jets. The behavior of the Jets strength and conditioning coach in last night's game doesn't help things. Jason Whitlock puts the blame on coach Rex Ryan, who's created a culture that seems to bring out the worst.

The Jets have suspended the man for the remainder of the season and fined him $25,000. I respect him for apologizing so quickly, but think their penalty was probably sufficient, given the good health of the player affected.

2 weeks of tough losses for the Jets is a delight to me. Especially if one comes from my underperforming Dolphins.

11 December 2010

Awesome Video Saturday CLIII

My friend Jason posted this great commercial starring Kevin Bacon.

10 December 2010

Sporting News

Hasta luego

Urban Meyer's departure seemed anticlimactic in light of what happened one year ago. It is interesting to me that Gator fans do not have a bigger sense of disappointment for a coaching tenure that seems short.

I don't know Urban Meyer or his family. I respect his choice to be with his family. I think that is always a good decision. I just expected more prolonged lamentation at his resignation. I suspect it will be difficult to replicate his success, especially winning two national championships over a six year span. In public Meyer was not endearing. In my only interaction with him I found him aloof, almost a little unfriendly. I understand the need to put up boundaries in a place like Gainesville, where every obsessed Gator fan wants to be the coach's friend and give their two cents. I think this may be part of why people are not more devastated at what seemed to be, last year a least, a premature end to his career at Florida. I wish him well, not that he needs my blessing.


Michael Wilbon is now writing for ESPN.com. I think this is very good for ESPN, and I'm more likely to read his column than when he was writing for The Washington Post. Here is his first column. I like what he has to say about Michael Jordan. I agree that no current player will surpass him, though people like Kobe are, and Lebron may be, very, very good.

06 December 2010

Doing it Right

Randy Shannon's firing as coach at the University of Miami was unfortunate, especially because he has been linked to that program for so much of his athletic and professional career. His interest in the program went beyond a job. He truly cared about the players and he could understand where they came from, because that is where HE was from.

This post from the Miami Herald's Eye on the U blog highlights a perfect example of Shannon's concern for his players. He left notes for many of them, if not all. A classy gesture.

05 December 2010

A Funny Conversation

Joseph found an old temporary Star Wars tattoo and asked me to put in on his arm. After I was done I had this conversation with Millie.

Millie: Why did you put on his tattoo?

Daddy: Because he asked me to.

M: Was it magic?

D: No, it was science.

M: Science?!?

D: Do you believe in science?

M: No.

D: What do you believe in?

M: Dancing.

We all start somewhere.

04 December 2010

Awesome Video Saturday CLII

I think that this guy does an excellent impression of Denzel Washington-

03 December 2010


There is nothing wrong with being partisan, at least in the moral sense. It doesnt lead to the best political outcomes, but like my post yesterday indicated, it can have some benefit. Fanaticism is a whole other matter.

Most of us do not have jobs that make us the target of violent threats by fanatics. UCLA researcher J. David Jentsch does. He does neurological research on primates and enjoys the protection of armed security guards at his home.

Those who have threatened him are no different than the people who target abortion doctors. They are practicing terrorism in the name of animal rights. I admire Jentsch's conviction.

02 December 2010

Don't Toe the Line

An old college friend of mine, Chris, posted this column the other day. It is from the New York Times' Ross Douthat, and deals with the potency of partisan perceptions. It is exceedingly even-handed. An excerpt:

This tendency is vividly illustrated by our national security debates. In the 1990s, many Democrats embraced Bill Clinton’s wars of choice in the Balkans and accepted his encroachments on civil liberties following the Oklahoma City bombing, while many Republicans tilted noninterventionist and libertarian.
If Al Gore had been president on 9/11, this pattern might have persisted, with conservatives resisting the Patriot Act the way they’ve rallied against the T.S.A.’s Rapiscan technology, and Vice President Joe Lieberman prodding his fellow Democrats in a more Cheney-esque direction on detainee policy.But because a Republican was president instead, conservative partisans suppressed their libertarian impulses and accepted the logic of an open-ended war on terror, while Democratic partisans took turns accusing the Bush administration of shredding the Constitution.
It is a short piece and worth reading. I especially like the ending. I've seen the partisan mindset manifested in economic perceptions especially, which is unfortunate, as that tends to have a self-fulfilling effect.

01 December 2010

SPOTD #166 (and my 1000th Post)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. We did. Here is the 166th SPOTD e-mail, the 1000th post on the SPOTD blog.

Today's Phrase:
I don’t know if there is an author for today’s phrase, but it may be the key to success.

La perseverancia marca la diferencia entre el fracaso y el éxito.

Phonetic with emphasis on bold syllable
Lah pare-sair-vare-ahn-see-ah mar-kah lah dee-fair-aince-ee-ah ain-tray ell frah-ca-so ee ell ex-ee-toe.

Translation (roughly)
Perserverance is the difference between failure and success.

Unstoppable: I thought it was great. The pace was consistent, the action was constant, and it was a fun movie.
Tangled: We took the kids and they loved it, and we did too. It doesn't break any new ground in the fairy tale genre, but it was fun and the vocal performances were great.
Alice in Wonderland (2010): I was watching it via Netflix streaming and fell asleep. What I saw didn't make me anxious to give it a second try, despite my consistent enjoyment of Tim Burton's work.

Getting There
With the holidays upon us, you may need to ship some precious cargo. Popular Mechanics has a rundown of which shipping option provides the smoothest ride.

Stories from the Naked City
I like that line from the Jay-Z song, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to the Charmin-sponsored public restrooms in New York City. I’m sure you are dying to know what they are like, so here goes.

This is an interesting interview with Patrick Stewart, a Shakespearean actor who did not find success until he was cast as Captain Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Lost & Found
This is an article about an original print of the 1933 King Kong, found hidden in London.

Smooth Sailing
There is a snake that is able to glide through the air by actively manipulating the shape of its body. As cool as that is, there are some, such as the Pentagon, that would like to adapt the design to suit various purposes.

False Destiny
I think anyone that feels deeply about a team that has enjoyed great success has a hard time contemplating the end of that success. I think about Miami after the 2002 Fiesta Bowl as my personal example. Here in Gainesville, the Gators have experienced a huge letdown after 2 dominant years. Here is a rundown of a few other teams that had moments of greatness but failed to truly capture their full potential, as measured in championships.

Link of the Day
I put this video on the blog a few weeks ago, but I think it is clever enough to merit a repeat.