Monthly Archives: November 2006

You Might Be a College Basketball Fan…

Swish!College basketball season is upon us and non-conference schedules are in full swing. Of course, as has long been the case, many of the nation’s premier teams are located in the Deep South or Midwest, or at the very least, south of the Mason-Dixon Line. That being the case, it only seems appropriate to follow in the footsteps of the country’s greatest Redneck comedian, Jeff Foxworthy. Thus, The Voice of (un)Reason presents signs that you might be a college basketball fan…

Face PaintIf… You have ever owned face/body paint in the colors of your school… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… You have learned the lyrics to a fight song that does not belong to your school… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… You can’t think of anything you’d rather do for three hours than stand amidst a sea of the same colored t-shirts and jump up and down… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… All your recent favorite players are either out of basketball or on the bench in the pros because they’re getting beat out by some punks who went in straight out of high school and got pro experience while “your boys” were playing college ball… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… You hear the term “Fab Four” and think not of The Beatles, but instead think that somebody forget how many people were on the floor for the University of Michigan in the early ’90s… then you might be a college basketball fan.

Court Stomring Tar HeelsIf… You appreciate a good old-fashioned court storming… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… A player who transfers into your school from a rival can instantly be transformed from “that @*#&-ing trailer trash who we can’t stop” into “the one who will lead us to the promised land“… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… You realize that THE Bill RafteryBill Raftery is one of the greatest things to happen to basketball since Dr. Naismith hung a peach basket from the balcony of his local Y.M.C.A… then you might be a college basketball fan (“Send it in big fella!”… “With a little kiss!”).

If… You have become adept at spelling out your school’s name using only the parts of your own body… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… You know which whistles are going to bring media timeouts before anyone has actually signaled for them… then you might be a college basketball fan.

It’s awesome BAY-BEEE!If… You can understand and/or fluently speak the native language of Dick Vitale… then you might be a college basketball fan (“Hey America! This is Dickie V! These Froshers are some Diaper Dandies and some P-T-Per’s BAY-BEEE! Awesome with a capital A!”)

If… Upon hiring, you inform your employer that you will not be able to work the Thursday and Friday of the second full week of March every year… then you might be a college basketball fan.

If… You are more likely to end up toe-tapping or dancing to the music of a pep band than the music being played at the clubs… then you might be a college basketball fan.

And finally, if… You have ever found it in good taste to sing the following words to members of a rival school: “The wheels on your house go ’round and round, ’round and ’round, ’round and round”… then you might be a college basketball fan.

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Random news links from the last few days:

Male Birth Control Pill Could Be Available in Near Future – Very interesting. Should be a good alternative for couples worried about the long term effects of the female, hormone-based pills. Totally unnecessary cheap shot in the article though: “But if men can’t remember to take out the garbage, will they remember to take the birth control pill?” Lame.

Couple Finds Pasta Sauce in Camcorder Box – Oh, how I love the stories of holiday shopping.

Bomb-Sniffing Bees – Ummm… what?… definitely not a headline you come across every day. I’m not sure there’s really any practical use for this though. I can’t really see a bomb squad using a fleet of bees to search for explosives.

Leaning Back is Better Posture than Sitting Up Straight – Ah HA! Now THIS is some good news!

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Doublin’ Up

“Doubleheader”… Get it?What happens when you have a blog and you have nothing worthwhile to write about? Why, you look to what you are doing for inspiration, that’s what. On Sunday afternoon, Quinnipiac Basketball hosted a doubleheader. At noon, the Quinnipiac Women defeated Dartmouth, 77-70. Then, at 3:00, the Quinnipiac Men fell to New Hampshire, 64-59. Now, a doubleheader has both its pros and cons. On the plus side, it is an entire evening or afternoon revolving around sports. On the negative side, if your team(s) don’t show up to play, it can make for a long six hours or so. If you’re working a doubleheader (such as I was this afternoon) there’s more money than for a single game, but on the other hand, there’s that brain-dead feeling after seven hours of responsibility (which may explain the sheer lackluster-ness of this post). And thus, with the inspiration of a doubleheader, we take a look at the other doubles of the world, and their positives and negatives:

Double Jeopardy

  • Pro: Prevents you from being tried again for a crime you’ve already been committed of… double dollar value round on the TV show…
  • Con: Allows O.J. to start writing books about how he would have committed murders…

Daily Double!Daily Double

  • Pro: Sticking with the game show idea, a way to double your winnings and make up some ground or put the game away…
  • Con: Chance to look like an ass on national TV (somewhere out there, somebody’s screaming at their television with the correct answer)…

Dubble BubbleHigh Quantity, Low Quality

  • Pro: Three bucks will get you a giant bag with about 300 pieces in it…
  • Con: On average, each piece holds its flavor for about 3.7 seconds. The bag will only last you about 20 minutes…

Doublemint GumDoublemint Twins

  • Pro: The Doublemint Twins. “Double your pleasure, double your fun” indeed…
  • Con: Again, flavor gone within five minutes. If this stuff is double pleasure, I’d hate to know what single pleasure tastes like (probably tastes like Double Bubble)…

Double DareDouble Dare!

  • Pro: Fantastic game show from the glory days of Nickelodeon… a phrase which back in elementary school was guaranteed to get anybody to do anything (and could only be topped by the “double dog dare,” whatever the hell that actually meant)…
  • Con: Physical challenges often involved pies ending up in your pants… There would be absolutely no chance of getting through the show without being completely covered in some form of slime… “Legends of the Hidden Temple” was where all the glory was anyway…

Double Trouble

  • Pro: Entertaining board game from back in the day. As I recall, the main purpose of this game was to get all the way around the board before your opponents. Mainly popular because you popped the dice in the little bubble instead of rolling them…
  • Con: Goodness was that popping noise from the bubble ever annoying…

Double DribbleDouble Dribble

  • Pro: Classic Nintendo video game from the late 1980s, made by Konami (the same fine folks who brought you “Blades of Steel,” “Contra,” and the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “The Simpson’s” arcade games. One of the first video games to use cut-scenes to enhance the game’s graphics…
  • Con: In real basketball, all a double dribble will do is get you a turnover and a seat on the bench…

Double Down

  • Pro: The wise blackjack player can make a ton of cash off of this secondary bet…
  • Con: The unwise blackjack player can lose a ton of cash off of this secondary bet… Also, the term just sounds like a bad white guy dance move…

Double

  • Pro: Two-base hit in baseball… Boosts the slugging percentage a little… Either sets the table for your teammates to drive in runs or possibly picks you up some RBIs yourself…
  • Con: If someone like David Ortiz or Cecil Fielder is on first base when you hit a double; sorry, you just aren’t going to pick up a RBI…

Double Dip

  • Pro: If you’re the double-dipper, it’s all positive. You get dip on each bite of chip and nobody else is going to try to take any of the dip… If you’re alone, a perfectly acceptable practice…
  • Con: If you’re not the double-dipper, and were hoping to share the dip, it’s just disgusting…

Double Date

  • Pro: Can ease the tension a little bit and make everyone a little more comfortable…
  • Con: Double the opportunity for awkwardness…

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm… Chocolate…Double Chocolate Anything

  • Pro: Quite obvious; there’s double the chocolate…
  • Con: Unless you’re allergic to chocolate or a dog, I can’t think of any…

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The Random News Links of the Last Few Days:

Employees Take Zambonis on Fast-Food Run – Oh man, these guys are my new heroes. (Credit: Kyle Dorau first pointed me in the direction of this one. Jocelyn Schwartz pointed it out a couple days later. A couple days after that, I stumbled across it somewhere else on my own. The link posted is the one Kyle gave me.)

Teenager Drops Marijuana in Courtroom – This is one of those stories that just makes you scratch your head. Some of the quotes from the boy’s mother are just phenomenal. Example: “His brain is glued together with Silly Putty. He can’t think his way out of a paper bag, but he can do physics.” Priceless.

Woman Found Dead Trapped Behind Bookcase – Wait… what? They lived in the house with her for 11 days and never found her? Doesn’t sound like they were looking very thoroughly. Didn’t she yell for help or anything? Seems to me like this is a death that could have been avoided. Then again, she did get stuck behind a bookcase trying to adjust her television. Maybe Darwin was on to something.

Man Kills Friend With Shotgun Over Football Bet – Yeah, some “friend.” Shoot your buddy in the chest over twenty bucks. Classy.

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Who Needs Pilgrims When You’ve Got Football?

Football TurkeyThanksgiving: the day we celebrate our ancestry by eating foods and celebrating in a way that actually has nothing to do with the Pilgrims who are generally associated with the holiday. But that’s no reason not to watch a parade, stuff your face, and then pass out on the couch watching football. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we give you the best reasons to watch football all day today:

The only time all year the Lions will be in the spotlight – Unless you live in the Detroit area, this is going to be one of only a few chances you get this year to see Matt Millen’s ineptitude at running a professional football franchise. Millen has done a spectacular job of running the once-proud Lions into the ground, making poor draft picks, bad trades, and awful personnel decisions. He has enraged the entire fan-base (look for the “Fire Millen” signs in the crowd at Ford Field this afternoon) and yet has managed to keep his job and continually receive contract extensions from team owner William Ford. Enjoy the poor management skills firsthand today, and while you’re at it, also soak up the ineptitude of…

… the Miami Dolphins annual collapse – Granted, the Dolphins never really got off to a good enough start to collapse this year, but it’s that time of year nonetheless. Today’s early game is bound to be a battle to see who really wants to lose this game more.

Bill Parcells – The Tuna is always entertaining and almost always ornery. If the Cowboys fall behind, you’ll get a glimpse at some faces that will make that turkey do flips in your stomach. Heck, even if they’re playing well, there’s always a chance for a sideline shot of Parcells flipping out. I think football has aged him to the point where he’s already senile.

Last chance to jump on the Tony Romo/Cowboys bandwagon – The Cowboys are 6-4 and tied for the lead in the NFC East. With a win today, their bandwagon is going to be off at runaway train speeds. If you’re interested, this is your last chance to hop on it without looking like a complete band-wagoner later. Of course, it’s also your chance to take the other side and be there laughing and saying “I told you so” when Romo gets exposed for the inexperienced quarterback he is sometime in the stretch run. When it happens, it’s going to be a spectacular spectacle of exploding Tuna.

Sleepiness lessens the annoying factor of Joe Buck – When that 4:00 game rolls around and you’re already in a half-asleep fog thanks to all the food you’ve ingested, Joe Buck won’t seem anywhere near as annoying as he generally does. Keeping this in mind, I think next year I’m going to have to start feasting during the baseball playoffs. Then again, the amount of food it would take to lessen the effects of both him and Tim McCarver would probably lead to massive weight gain and a Jared, pre-Subway-like appearance.

Bryant Gumbel and Chris Collinsworth – If you happen to have the NFL Network, the Thanksgiving nightcap should be the debut of the season’s best commentating team. Gumbel is a consummate professional on the play-by-play side of things, and Collinsworth is one of the most underrated color commentators around. After three hours of listening to Buck and Troy Aikman, the late game will be a welcome breath of fresh air. Too bad the NFL Network isn’t on basic cable yet. Hopefully that will change soon.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Enjoy the links and enjoy the food and football.

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Robot Employees in Japan – Interesting, I suppose. Although, it seems to me you could hire several (or more) competent human beings for the price (or less) of one of these robots. Though I suppose the novelty will make them effective with consumers seeing them for the first time.

More on Second Life – In this post, I referenced this story about the internet community Second Life. Here’s a more in-depth look at it. Both very interesting and more than a little weird at the same time.

Holiday Toilets in Times Square – Very cool project done by Charmin to benefit holiday shoppers in Manhattan.

World’s Oldest College Graduate – Awesome story.

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Road Rage 101

Road RageThis time of year we begin to enter the holiday travel season. Over the next week and, on a larger scale, the next month and a half, everyone will be taking to the highways and the byways for their holiday travel. Everyone from the east coast to the west coast will be on that Dixie Highway back home, because this is our country (Oops, sorry… slipped into Mellencamp mode for a second). So, in honor of the holiday travel season, The Voice of (un)Reason presents ten of the most annoying groups of drivers out there on the road (additions of groups I may have overlooked are more than welcome):

People Who Change Lanes Without Signaling – What? Are the rest of us supposed to read your mind? The damned lever is six inches from your left hand. You don’t even have to push it all the way until it clicks when you’re driving on the highway. All you need to do is just hold the lever up or down for three and a half seconds while you slide over a lane. It’s one thing if you’re all alone on a deserted road, that pretty much falls under the “If a tree falls in the forest…” theory. But in traffic, use the freakin’ blinker. Equally annoying as the no-signalers are their close relatives…

… People Who Leave the Signal on and Don’t Change Lanes – These folks are the ticking time bombs of the interstate. They’re either clipping along doing 80 in the left lane with the right blinker on, or putzing along at 50 in the right lane with the left blinker on, or even worse yet, cruising down the middle lane with either blinker on. These guys in the middle are the worst. At least if the constant blinker is in an outside lane, you know which way they’re going to go if they go anywhere. However, if this person is in the middle, you have no idea. They could go in the direction their blinker says they will, but will it be now or seven miles down the road. They could go the other way, with or without changing the signal to that direction first. Or they could just keep cruising down the middle with the blinker on. Again, the lever is six inches from your right hand and there’s a blinking green light on the dashboard that shows your blinker is on. If you aren’t changing lanes, turn the blinker off.

Motorcyclists Who Drive in Between Lanes to Slice Through a Traffic Jam – Hey. Just because your vehicle is small enough to rip down the dotted white line between lanes does not give you the right to not sit in traffic like the rest of us mere mortals. I get the urge to just open my door in the middle of the highway to bring these guys to an abrupt stop, but I’m guessing it isn’t worth the manslaughter charges.

People Who Use the Breakdown Lane in a Traffic Jam – I’m convinced these people must be motorcycle drivers temporarily stuck in normal vehicles, because they seem to feel they shouldn’t have to sit in traffic like the rest of us. Whenever I find myself in the right lane of a traffic jam, I like to edge my car halfway into the breakdown lane. That does a pretty good job of stopping these people. Although someday I’ll probably get in the way of someone who decides barreling through my car is better than sitting in traffic. Meh, you win some, you lose some.

People Who Tailgate People Who Have No Place to Go – When you’re in the left lane and actively passing people in the middle lane, I think you should be free from pressure from behind. Can’t they wait the ten seconds until you finish the pass and slide over before they whiz on down the highway. I mean, if I’m out in the left lane with nobody in the middle and you come up behind me without me noticing, feel free to get right up behind me and flash the lights, it’ll get my attention and I’ll get out of the way. But, if I’ve got nowhere to go to get out of your way, back off and chill out for a few seconds, will you? (Note for honesty: I very often am a member of this group myself, especially if I’m running late. I’m not making this list as an attempt to put myself on a pedestal above other drivers. I’m prone to driving like an ass sometimes myself.)

People Who Tailgate People When There’s Plenty of Space to Pass – Along the same lines as the last group, I think this one is actually the worse form of tailgating. If someone in the middle lane is driving with no one on either side of them, and you are driving faster than them, just go left or right (preferably left) and pass them. There is absolutely no need to tailgate someone when there is plenty of room to pass them, and yet, it still happens.

People Who Drive in Someone Else’s Blind Spot – This one happened to me this morning, actually. I went to shift a lane to the right. I checked the mirror, flicked my blinker on, started to edge over, looked over my shoulder to check the blind spot, and woah, there was another car there. No need to panic, touched the brakes, and slid back into line. Shit happens, no harm no foul, and it’s my fault for not checking the blind spot first. But then, the person proceeds to continue to drive in my blind spot for the next THREE MILES! If someone just almost switched lanes into your car, don’t you think you’d make the effort to get somewhere where they could see you as soon as possible? Again, I’m not debating that an accident (had one occurred) would have been my fault. In the end, it is my responsibility to be aware of what’s around my car. But, driving in other people’s blind spots for an extended period of time is just an accident waiting to happen.

That Person Doing 50 in the Middle Lane – To me, this person is even more dangerous than the person doing about 90 and weaving through traffic. At least the speeder you can usually see coming from behind and get out of the way, or at least be ready for. The problem with the slow driver is that in the distance (and especially at night) they look as though they’re relatively normal drivers. Then suddenly you’re right behind them, the space is closing fast, and you need to quickly check the mirrors, asses the risks, and make a quick left-or-right, on-the-fly decision. I think I’m far more likely to get in an accident because I get clobbered while changing lanes around a slow driver than I am going to get in one because I get run off the road by a speeder.

People Who Speed Through Work Zones – This is probably the worst group out there. As I admitted above, I do have a tendency to drive aggressively sometimes (or oftentimes, if I’m late) and I’m certainly not the world’s most perfect driver. However, that said, I very much subscribe to the “Let ’em Work, Let ’em Live” school of thought. These men and women are out there in very unglamourous jobs maintaining and improving our roadways; slow down a bit and let them do their jobs without worrying about being run over by some maniacal driver. If you go through a work zone doing 75, you’re an ass. End of story.

Anybody With a Florida License Plate – I don’t think I even need to explain this one. The entire state can’t drive. It’s really an incredible phenomenon.

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A few links I found interesting over the last few days:

Submarine Full of Cocaine Seized Off of Coasta Rican Coast – 3.5 million tons of cocaine?!?! Goodness. Though, the primitive submarine they were using sounds pretty neat.

Alabama School Bus Plunges Off of Highway Overpass – Certainly not entertaining, but bizarre to say the least. Three are dead, and 30 more are hospitalized.

Neighbors of Clintons Forced Off Road and Shot – More bizarre news, but a few things don’t add up here. The guy was driving in a SUV and was forced off the road by a car? It’s a SUV! just keep driving. He was stopped long enough for the gunman to get out of the car and get into the SUV? Once the other car stops, if it isn’t a cop, start driving again! Run the gunman over with your SUV if you need to. On another note: why are the Clintons news in this story beyond the fact that they live on the same street? Did the Associated Press really need to contact the Clintons looking for a comment? The news is that an innocent couple was forced off the road and shot, not that the Clintons live down the street from them.

Stern’s Listeners Haven’t Followed Him to Sirius – Does anyone else really, really enjoy watching Howard grasp at straws now that people have just stopped listening to it. I think it’s really hurting his massively inflated ego, which I, in turn, find very amusing.

U.S. Mint to Begin Producing Presidential Dollar Coins – Didn’t we try this a few years back with the Sacajewea golden dollars? Didn’t that fail miserably? Has anyone even seen a Sacajewea coin in the last like four years?

Animal Fidelity – Really interesting read about how fidelity and sexual behavior varies amongst different animal species. Some very interesting stuff, and some very weird stuff as well. Definitely have a read through this one.

News Corp. Cancels O.J. Simpson’s Book and Television Appearance – Well, that sure didn’t take long.

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‘Carve it in Stone’: Ohio State vs. Michigan

Michigan vs. Ohio StateYou may have heard about this game. Perhaps you’ve heard them talking about it. That is, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month. The upcoming match-up of undefeateds has recieved a hype and buildup like no other. Saturday at 3:30, The Ohio State University Buckeyes will host the University of Michigan Wolverines at “The Horshoe” in Columbus, Ohio. The winner will have an inside track to the BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona on January 8. And you won’t forget any of that, because if you do, someone from the ABC/ESPN family of networks will remind you in the next 5.7 seconds. Brent Mussberger will tell you during every commercial break for the rest of today and anytime before kickoff tomorrow to “Carve it in stone,” because this is the best college football game the year/decade/century/millenium/existence has to offer. I’m excited for this game and all, but come on, this has gotten out of hand. The only way the promotional campaign for this game could get any more annoying is if Mussberger were singing John Mellencamp’s “This is Our Country” over a montage of Ohio State and Michigan highlights. Terrifying though, isn’t it?

But anyway, in preperation for the mammoth clash of gridiron titans on Saturday (oh geez, we’re slipping into promo-speak ourselves), “The Voice of (un)Reason” offers a few off-the-cuff predictions for things you might see or feel on gameday or during the aftermath:

  • You will probably be sick of this game by the time noon rolls around if you watch ESPN’s “College GameDay: Presented by the Home Depot” in the morning. Starting at 10:00 AM this season, GameDay offers 120 minutes of preview for the upcoming Saturday of college football. I fully expect a solid 75-90 minutes of the show this week to revolve around Ohio State vs. Michigan, effectively sweeping everyone else under the rug.
  • GameDay will offer at least one celebrity insight on the game. With Kirk Herbstreit already on the panel representing Ohio State, and former Buckeye Chris Spielman also on the ESPN payroll, expect someone with Michigan ties to pop up during Saturday’s broadcast. Perhaps Tom Brady live via satellite? Rod Woodson?
  • Sticking with GameDay, I pretty much expect Lee Corso to pick the Wolverines and don some Michigan headgear as the show closes at noon, if for no reason other than him wanting to incite the ire of the assembled crowd in Columbus. After host Chris Fowler offers his non-partisan insight of the game, Herbstriet will proceed to tell us the keys to the game for Ohio State. This will be immediately followed by Corso exclaiming “Not so fast!”, putting on some Michigan headgear, and turning around to taunt the crowd while yelling incoherently. Carve it in stone.
  • If the game itself lives up to all the hype and is decided by a touchdown or less, we will be subjected to more hype for the next three weeks, as everone and their mother will begin to tell us how these two teams should meet again in Arizona for the National Championship Game in January. This will happen despite the fact that as a result of this game, one of these two teams will not even have won their own conference.
  • On the other hand, if the game becomes a blowout and doesn’t live up to the hype, we will hear for the next three weeks about how the game was such a dud. Also, in the event of a dud, expect the media to immediately begin to profess their love for the Notre Dame vs. USC game, the Big XII Championship, and the SEC Championship. Between those four games (including Ohio State vs. Michigan) they’re bound to stumble across one premier contest of the college football season.
  • Either way, if you weren’t already sick of Michigan vs. Ohio State by its opening kickoff, you will be sick of the aftermath by December 9 (if not sooner). Carve it is stone.
  • Should Ohio State fall to the Wolverines, you will hear countless pundits say that they saw it coming (or that we all should have seen it coming) because of the Buckeyes schedule. Expect multiple references to the Wolverines’ rout of Notre Dame on the road, while Ohio State did not play a single quality opponent outside the BigTen. As such, Ohio State was clearly and obviously unprepared for this game (though oddly, nobody will mention this before the game).
  • If nothing else, you can watch some classic laundry on the field, as these teams sport two of the best uniforms in college football. For Ohio State, it is red jerseys with white numbers and stripes, silver pants with red striping, and shining silver helmets adorned with stickers of buckeye leaves awarded for good plays. For Michigan, it is white jerseys with blue numbering, maize pants, and the classic blue helmets with maize wings. Both teams uniforms are pure classic, having gone unchanged in pretty much forever. So if nothing else, this game is going to look very cool.

The Voice of (un)Reason’s final prediction: Michigan – 24, Ohio State – 17, Brent Mussberger – annoying

… Carve it in stone.

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A few links I found interesting over the last few days:

NCAA Defends Tax-Exempt Status – What a joke. This organization makes millions from the exploitation of student-athletes, and doesn’t even have to pay taxes on it. Lame.

O.J. Pens Book About How He Would Have Committed Murders – I fail to see how this is a wise PR move for “The Juice.” Is he really this desperate for cash. I mean, it’s not like he ever actually paid up on that civil suit he lost.

Kidnapper Shoots Himself in the Groin – Bright guy.

German Doctor Has to Pay Child Support for Botching Birth Control Implant – Very interesting case in Germany. The German media is apparently up in arms about the court’s ruling, calling it “scandalous.”

University of Connecticut Ranked #36 on CollegeHumor.com’s 2006 Power Rankings – CollegeHumor recently ranked the Top 50 colleges and universities in the nation at “having the maximum amount of fun while putting forward the least amount of effort.” Michigan State led the way with a “perfect” score. The University of Connecticut checked in at #36. Link to full rankings at CollegeHumor.com.

Woman Uses One-Sided Counterfeit $20 Bill – Another real bright criminal here. (Credit: found the link to this one over at LMNOP).

Cat Possibly Gives Birth to Puppies – If it’s true, then this is a pretty interesting story. I’m guessing there’s probably a more logical solution though, such as the one mentioned in the story’s last paragraph.

Netherlands Considering a Ban on Burqas – And they’re trying to do it in the name of national security. Yikes.

Man Who Was Supposed to Be on Lidle Flight Dies in California Plane Crash – Creepy Coincidence.

Kansas City Secret Santa Identity Revealed – Good story about a very generous man who unfortunately has been struck with cancer.

Flavored Golf Tees; See the Colonel from Outer Space – Flavored golf tees seem like a good idea. I would enjoy those if I still played at all (some day I’ll get back to it). On the other hand, the idea of marketing that can be seen from outer space seems to set a precedent for a whole new era of corporate signage. Great.

‘Nurse-In’ to Support Woman Kicked Off Plane – In my last post, I linked to the story of a woman who was kicked off a plane for breast-feeding a baby. On Wednesday, 30 parents protested at the counter of the airline on which the incident occured.

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Quinnipiac Basketball A-Z

QU BasketballQuinnipiac Women’s Basketball held their home-opener tonight (a 72-69 season-opening victory over Holy Cross), and Quinnipiac Men’s Basketball will hold their home-opener tomorrow night against Concordia. With the new season upon us, it’s time to take a look at 26 things to watch in 2006-2007 at the Burt Kahn Court (and starting on January 27, the TD BankNorth Sports Center). Here’s a look at the Bobcats, from A through Z:

Akinyanu, Victor and Anderson, Karl – They are the big men down low for the Quinnipiac men’s squad. Akinyanju and Anderson will be key for the Bobcats to see success in the NEC this year. Both are forces on the floor, but in the past it has been keeping them on the floor that has been the problem. Staying out of foul trouble will be key, and if both can avoid the injury troubles that have plagued their careers, the Bobcats could be in for big things this winter. When on the floor, they will either score bucketloads of points, or else occupy the opposing defense, creating open space for Van Crafton, Etienne Labrecque, DeMario Anderson, and Casey Cosgrove to create offense and find open looks. Whether or not it always shows up in the box score, Quinnipiac will go just as far as their big men can carry them.

Boomer – The lovable, furry Bobcat mascot is always present and always entertaining. Whether it’s visiting with the little ones, high-fiving students, being interviewed on TV, or vexing an opponents free throw, Boomer is sure to be doing his best to lead the Bobcats to victory.

Central Connecticut State – Mark your calendars now: January 29. The Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils come calling on a Monday night at the sparkling new TD BankNorth Sports Center for a clash between the two schools’ arch-rival men’s basketball teams. DeMario Anderson transfered from Central Connecticut to Quinnipiac, citing a strong dislike for Blue Devils bench boss Howie Dickemann. One of Anderson’s goals for the season is to light up his former team, so look for him to have a big night. The atmosphere is sure to be electric, and if there’s any truth to the pre-season coaches’ polls, this match-up could figure big in deciding who can earn a home game in the conference tournament.

DeSantis, Joe – The head coach of the Quinnipiac men’s team may use as much energy coaching his team as his team does playing the game. It is not unusual to look up as a timeout is called and see DeSantis 10 or 15 feet out on the floor. Also prone to hopping up and down throughout the coaches’ box (and often outside of it) and having animated discussions with the officials, DeSantis is always sure to entertain, and is also one of the nicest guys in the game off the court. Keep an eye on the coach’s suit jacket as well. He’ll wear one out of the locker room and onto the bench, but it’s almost always off within the first minute (or less) of play.

ESPNU – The Bobcats extended their media footprint last year when they began broadcasting basketball and hockey games on the New England Sports Network (NESN). This year Quinnipiac looks for a little national exposure as they get some games on ESPNU, the all-collegiate network of The Worldwide Leader. Sure, nobody actually gets it in their cable package, but it is available nationwide.

Fabbri, Tricia – The bench boss of the Quinnipiac women’s team. Generally less animated than her counterpart on the men’s side (though she has her moments), coach Fabbri simply knows how to get the best out of her players. Watch her during a timeout: always teaching, always imparting that last bit of knowledge into her players and milking out the last bit of effort. Also watch for her husband, sure to be sitting in the stands in the opposite corner of the building from the Quinnipiac bench: he’ll do his share of “coaching” from up there as well.

Guegbelet vs. Lee – That’s Gabriella Guegbelet, a 6’0″ senior forward at Central Connecticut, against Monique Lee, Quinnipiac’s 5’11” junior forward. Both were First-Team All-NEC selections a year ago. However, Geugbelet was a unanimous selection for the all-conference pre-season team this year, while Lee was left off. The two will square off twice this season: on January 24 at the Burt Kahn Court and on February 10 at Central Connecticut, and all eyes will be on the two of them on both occaisions. Last year they met twice, with Lee’s Bobcats taking the upper edge both times. In the first meeting they pretty much cancelled each other out: 18 points and seven rebounds for Lee against 17 points and 12 rebounds for Guegbelet. Lee dominated the second meeting on February 1, dumping in 20 points to go with nine rebounds against Guegbelet’s 11 points and 13 rebounds. That said, if the Blue Devils key too much on Lee, look for the Bobcats guards to shoot the lights out.

Heavin’ it Up – Playing in a conference like the NEC, some bad shots are a given. It is limiting these poor looks that will seperate the good teams from the bad ones. Both the men’s and women’s teams must be paitient enough on offense to ensure that they are taking shots which they have a good look at. There is nothing wrong with mid- to long-range jumpers so long as they are open looks. It’s when the guards start forcing jumpers over their defender or even a double-team that gets teams in trouble. Both the Quinnipiac Men and Women move the ball fairly well, especially by NEC standards. They need to utilize this to make sure they get open looks.

Inflatable Bobcat – Purchased last year, the inflatable bobcat has become a staple at Quinnipiac Basketball games and various other campus events. Seriously, what’s not to love about this thing?

John Winchester is Gone – And he probably doesn’t leave a minute to soon for the Quinnipiac Men’s team. The highly touted transfer from the University of Tennessee lasted only one season in Hamden before leaving the team. While Winchester provided a few highlight reel plays, expect the Bobcats to play a much more balanced and a much more team-oriented game now that he’s gone. Also look for Quinnipiac to finish a handful of spots higher in the standings without him.

Kerner, Erin – The point-guard on the women’s team took the NEC by storm in her freshman campaign, collecting the conference’s Rookie of the Year award and Second-Team All-NEC honors last season, in addition to being named to this year’s pre-season all-conference team. Look for more electric play from the Erie, Pa. native who finished top-ten in the NEC in seven statistical categories last year and set a Quinnipiac Division I single season record with 2.6 steals per game. Kerner picked up the NEC’s Rookie of the Week award four times last season; look for her to pick up some Player of the Week awards this time around.

Little Things – In the end, it always comes down to the little things. Both Bobcat teams must be sure to execute well in even the simplest parts of the game. This means setting picks for teammates, communicating on the floor (especially on the defensive end), playing hard-nosed defense, positioning themselves for rebounds, hitting free throws, and limiting turnovers. All these things seem obvious enough, but the teams that do these things well are almost always the ones left standing at the end.

Monique Lee – Mentioned above, Lee is the power down low for the Quinnipiac women’s team. Lee was a NEC Player of the Year candidate last season (losing out to Sacred Heart’s Amanda Pape) and will certainly be a contender for the award again this year. A First-Team All-NEC pick last season, Lee should feel slighted that she was left off of the all-conference pre-season team. However, Coach Fabbri has in the past criticized Lee for taking plays or series off, but hopefully an extra year of experience will help cut down on the lapses. Lee bore an awful heavy load as a sophomore, and should be that much more able to deal with it as a junior, in addition to having a supporting cast that is now a year more mature all around. Much like Anderson and Akinyanju with the men, Lee can be a force even if she isn’t piling in the points if she can manage to draw some attention and create some open looks for the Bobcats’ guards.

Not in Our House – The two Bobcats basketball programs went a combined 20-8 at the Burt Kahn Court last season, and 13-5 in the NEC at home. With a sparkling new building set to open in January, look for Quinnipiac’s home-court advantage to continue.

Obie Nwadike – Nwadike is a 6’4″, 224 lb. senior forward at Central Connecticut. One of the league’s premier big men, Nwadike was a member of the pre-season all-conference team and piled 16 points and 13 rebounds on the Bobcats in a February meeting in Hamden last season. The matchup down low between Nwadike and Akinyanju/Anderson is going to be one of the more intriguing match-ups of the year.

Point Men/Women – Both Bobcat teams like to run the floor and run it often, and that means added pressure and focus on the point guards, who need to be able to read the floor, make moves, and distribute the ball at a very quick pace. Kerner showed last year as a freshman that she can handle it, and looks to continue to shine as a sophomore. On the men’s side, new-comer Casey Cosgrove has looked good in early exhibitions and against Connecticut, and is trying to put together a strong freshman campaign of his own.

Quinnipiac Student Body – Student support is always key. Nothing charges up a team quite like looking around and seeing their own peers trying to pull them to victory. After some down times, the student presence at Bobcats sporting events has slowly been on the rise the last couple of years. If a new freshman class embraces the Athletic Department, and if the students continue to come in droves to the new building even after it has been open for a couple weeks, Quinnipiac can become an even less fun place for opponents to have to play.

Relax – Both teams have a number of freshmen who are going to see plenty of playing time. Somewhere along the line, it is likely that these freshmen will run into troubles on the court. It is important for the youngsters to not panic, take a second to chill out, gather themselves, and continue to play the basketball they know how to play. It’s also important for the veterans that are around to do everything they can to ease the transition period for the young guns.

Sparkling New Building – Construction of the TD BankNorth Sports Center is on schedule and the building will open with a hoops doubleheader on Saturday, January 27. If you can’t get excited for this place, you need to check yourself for a pulse.

Tempo – Both of these teams love to run an up-tempo, fast-paced offense, and love to run the floor anytime they are given a chance. Especially on the men’s side with a freshman point guard, it is imperative that the Bobcats don’t run so fast that they can’t keep up with themselves. That said, the fast tempo does benefit both the men’s and women’s teams, and so long as they keep it under control, both are at their best when they are able to dictate the tempo and control the flow of the game.

Upperclassmen – On the women’s side their aren’t many of them who will see regular playing time: Nicole Duperron (junior), Monique Lee (junior), Hanalee Pervan (junior), and Charmaine Steele (sixth year). On the men’s side, there’s plenty: Victor Akinyanju (senior), DeMario Anderson (junior), Karl Anderson (junior), Van Crafton (senior), Adam Gonzalez (senior), Dale Meinbresse (senior) and Chris Wehye (senior). Oviously the leadership of these veterans will be key to the success of the Bobcats’ basketball teams.

Versatility – If everyone stays healthy and out of foul trouble, both Quinnipiac teams are built to play pretty solidly all around. For the men, Anderson and Akinyanju are the primary front-court threats, while Meinbresse and Wehye can play down low some too, and they have a whole host of three-point threats. For the women, Lee and Pervan will work down low, while many others are threats to shoot or drive with dribble for a layup or a drive-and-dish. This versatility will be key for the Bobcats. If one part of their game gets shut down, they need to adjust and try another aspect of it to see if they can find something that works, because there are plenty of options to go to.

Welcome Aboard – For the men, frehsmen Cosgrove and Labrecque figure to get playing time immediately and often. On the women’s side, the same goes for Megan Barnum, Courtney Kaminski, and Sarah McGowan. If the more established players for the Bobcats do their job, it will allow the coaches to let these players find themselves and their style on the court, and allow them to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. If things break down, it will be a big test for these youngsters to deal with the pressure of trying to right a ship they’ve just boarded.

X-Rays (Hopefully Not Many of Them) – One thing that can surely derail the Bobcats is injury. Kathleen Neyens for the women, and Labrecque for the men went down before the season even started, and it is unclear when either will return (though most signs point to a redshirt year for Neyens). Hopefully the injury bug stays away from Hamden this winter.

Yesterday Means Nothing – For the men, it’s a matter of forgetting the last few years. The Bobcats have perennially underachieved for the last three years, but if the pre-season hype means anything, DeMario Anderson, Cosgrove, and Labrecque could be the pieces that have been missing from the puzzle. It is important for the men to forget about what has happened in the past and focus on the season in front of them, because they have a chance to improve by leaps and bounds. For the women, they cannot let the successes of last year go to their head. They need to not think they can cruise through the league after a second place finish and a NEC Championship appearence last March. The Bobcat women will need to stick with what got them there and continue to work hard all season.

Zebras – The officials in use in NEC contests are far from the NCAA’s best, and sometimes it can affect the quality of play. Look for better games on weeknights, when less games are being played nationwide. On the weekends, when seemingly every team is playing, look for the better officials to get swooped away by bigger conferences while inexperienced and perhaps ineffective officials are left for the NEC contests.

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A few links I found interesting over the last few days:

Online Embargo on Newspaper Content – An opinion article from the San Francisco Chronicle. Yes, newspaper circulation is going down the tubes, but somehow I don’t think withholding the news is the solution.

Public Ownership Proposed for the Los Angeles Times – Interesting article in the Los Angeles Times promoting an ownership method similar to that of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, where many local citizens own a portion of the franchise.

Mayor Candidate Gets Zero Votes – A mayorial candidate in Waldenburg, Ark. got no votes in the recent election, despite his insistance that he in fact voted for himself on Tuesday. An investigation is underway.

Giuliani Exploring 2008 Presidential Candidacy – This could be exactly what this country needs; one of the nation’s great leaders in office, as opposed to whatever shmucks both sides currently plan on putting on the ballot.

Voting Underway to Determine New Seven Wonders of the World – Very, very cool idea.

Woman Kicked Off Plane for Breast-Feeding Baby – You just can’t make this stuff up. The lady has filed a discrimination complaint with the airline.

Turkey Disrupts Triborough Bridge Traffic – A wild turkey wandered into the bridge’s toll plaza and messed things up just before rush hour on Tuesday.

Katie Holmes Spends $3000 on Wedding Lingerie – This begs the question: did she really need to spend that much for something that’s just going to end up on Tom Cruise’s floor.

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50 Minutes of Boredom

May Induce SleepinessEvery Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 11:00 to 11:50 AM, I sit in Room 220 of Quinnipiac University’s College of Liberal Arts, Building 1 and endure the most painfully boring 50 minutes of my day. The class is Media Law, featuring such enthralling material as “actual malice,” “previous restraint,” and “qualified immunity.” The professor is Grace Levine, who speaks with the pace of Bill Lumbergh and the personality of Al Gore. Thus, I often find myself sitting in the back row wondering how in the world I can make this class be somewhat interesting, or at the very least, pass more quickly. Often I bring my computer and surf the internet to pass the time while casually keeping an ear tuned into the conversation of the class. So, with the computer already there, I figure why not keep a running diary of the events. Here it is, Monday, November 13, 2006 in Media Law:

10:55 AM: Computer is up and running, internet is functional, all seems well and good. Time to give the e-mail a quick check before class starts.

10:58: Not much of interest there. Tuesday’s “Tailgate Madness” meeting can’t be held in Athletics and needs alternate site, and a couple news alerts from various places. Morning e-mails are so boring. Nothing of consequence ever happens until at least noon.

10:59: Normal pre-class bitching about Professor Levine taking place. Plenty of people upset with their grade on the last test, the timing of the next test, and the general boredom and sheer pointlessness of the class. All this comes to a sudden stop at…

11:00: In walks Professor Levine. There’s a big downer to the day.

11:01: The class tries unsuccessfully to get Friday’s test moved to the Monday after Thanksgiving. Levine’s only reason for not moving it is that our class’ schedule is “packed.” However, it seems to me that we spend a great deal of time doing pretty much nothing. I would argue this point, but I think I’d rather get the test out of the way on Friday. No sense having a test to worry about over Thanksgiving break.

11:04: The climate in this classroom simply is not conducive to learning. It’s always 10 degrees warmer in Room 220 than it is in the rest of the building. Makes me want to curl up and go to sleep in an already boring class. Add in the lack of sleep this weekend, and less than five minutes into class I’m ready to rest my head up against the wall (big plus to the back row seat) and nod off. I’ll fight through it though.

11:07: Current events alert! Levine’s got a newspaper clipping and is telling us that some university (University of Alabama, I think, wasn’t really paying attention at the start) is suing a painter for using the school’s colors in an artistic rendering of one of the school’s football games. This is actually a semi-interesting topic. How much more uptight can college athletics get about copyright infringement? Across the internet, the NCAA is constantly cracking down on people using institutional logos without consent, regardless of whether the user is seeking to gain any benefit through it. But, trying to sue over the use of the colors? Please. I hope Quinnipiac doesn’t sue me for using blue and gold text in the header of this blog. “The NCAA 1906-2006: Exploiting the Student-Athlete for 100 Years.”

11:15: As per usual, the discussion of this issue has gone on entirely too long. Eight minutes later, and we’re still on the same issue, but now she’s applying it to all sorts of other situations and circumstances which have absolutely no bearing on the issue we began with. In some twisted way, we’ve gone from a university suing an artist, to Tiger Woods, to Penn State alumni, and on to how consenting to publication affects a libel case. Somehow, in her head, the transition from one to the other made sense. Of course, this is the same class which spent darned near two weeks on the syllabus, so nothing is really surprising anymore.

11:20: The issue finally deteriorates into 35 seperate side conversations taken place as everyone realizes that Levine has no idea where she’s going with this…

11:21: Levine brings order back my making the switch to… media members riding along with police officers. It’s a good thing nobody’s riding along with this class. They’d be getting carsick from all the sudden and rapid changes in direction.

11:22: Minor and welcome distraction from the issues at hand, as a classmate comes in on crutches. Never good to have injuries, but anything that takes attention away from the front of the room and stops the mind-numbing for even a few seconds is a plus. Thanks for taking one for the team.

11:25: A quick check of The Hartford Courant reveals that Connecticut is among thetop 15 states in the union in drunken-driving fatalaties (ugggh), Yale is being sued (always a plus), and if you’re not satisfied with real life, you can always make a fake one. The fact that this last one is leading to $600,000 of real money being spent in a day is more than a little bit disturbing. To each is own, I guess.

11:31: Back to class, and we’ve got our first awkward silence of the day. Levine asks a question… and nobody answers. This happens at least once per class, and is a source of great amusement for me. I laugh quietly to myself while Levine searches the room for anybody to throw her a bone. Aly saves the day by saying something that gets her to move on.

11:35: I first notice that the words “qualified immunity” have been written up on the white board with a red marker. I wonder how long they’ve been up there, and if I should be paying more attention in case there’s some sort of explanation as to why they’re up there. In the end, I decide I’ll just pick it up on my own from the book before Friday’s test. I probably wouldn’t get much out of Levine’s explanation of it anyway. Our textbook makes much more sense than she does.

11:40: Pop culture alert! Apparently we’re comparing “Cops” to some show which creeps around trying to find people cheating on their spouses. I’ve never seen, nor heard of this show, but it sounds like it could very well be entertaining television. Probably a little low-brow, but entertaining nontheless. For the record, the two shows were being compared on grounds of invasion of privacy.

11:42: We’re on the home stretch now. Less than 10 minutes remaining. That is, unless Levine rambles on past the scheduled 11:50 conclusion of class (which is an entirely too common occurance).

11:45: Awkward silence Number Two. This one doesn’t last very long. Levine realize she isn’t going to get a response rather quickly and just plows on to the next part of the subject matter. Kind of like a pitcher who guts it out and plows through one more inning because there’s just nobody left in the bullpen (only Levine doesn’t have nearly as much heart as the pitcher, nor will endear herself to the fanbase for her display).

11:48: Everyone’s starting to get a little antsy. Notebooks are going away. Jackets are being put on. Feet are being shuffled. The end is near.

11:50: Ooooh. An Elian Gonzalez reference. There’s a blast from the past. No idea where that came from or what relevence it has, but the name caught my ear.

11:51: Kobs calls me and makes my cell phone just about rattle off the desk (where it had been so I could use the clock to mark the times for this blog). Not a great job, Kobs. At the same time, Aly asks a question which draws class out more. I’m going to kill her after class.

11:53: Freedom! She’s done! Time to click “publish” on this blog entry and go get lunch. Enjoy the random news links.

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A few links I found interesting over the past few days:

Man’s World War II Dog Tags Find Their Way Home 60 Years Later – Pretty neat Veterans Day article from the Hartford Courant. A New Britain man lost is Army-issued dog tags during World War II, and they were finally returned to him this week.

Judge Declares a Burrito is Not a Sandwich – Good to see our courts are being tied up with such imporant matters. Panera Bread Co. sued a Worcester, Mass. mall for violations of the “sandwich-exclusivity” clause in their contract after a mexican grill opened in the same mall. Needless to say, Panera lost the case.

Get the Internet in Your Car – Very expensive, but very, very cool technology.

Navy Called in to Free World War II Aircraft Carrier From Mud – Another Veterans Day piece, this one from MSNBC.com. A World War II aircraft carrier which currently serves as a museum in Manhattan was being moved to drydock for maintenance and upkeep. However, after being towed 16 feet by civilian barges, the carrier’s propellers got stuck in the mud. The Navy has been called in for a $3 million extrication project.

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