Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Thoughts

Some random thoughts to consider for the weekend.

- A girl (who happens to be cute AND a huge sports fan) at work was wondering aloud how to watch last night’s Sox – Angels game without losing too much sleep over it. I offered ‘That’s what SportsCenter is for. You stay up as late as you can, then watch the highlights the next morning of whatever you missed’. We both pause for a minute before she says ‘You’re jaded’. To which I added ‘And old. Don’t forget old’.

- I did manage to make it to the fifth inning of last night’s Sox game before calling it a night. Had two impressions. 1: Lester looked good, but he still manages to get himself into jams when he should just go after guys. He needs to trust his stuff more and be aggressive. 2: The umps last night sucked. I really hope this is just playoff jitters, but there were two calls that weren’t even close they got wrong. Let’s just chalk it up to a bad night.

- How awful does Matt Holliday feel this morning? Not only does he start a game winning rally by muffing a line drive, but he took the line drive off his crotch. Double ouch. I’m tempted to say this series is over, but if the Cardinals can win the next game they throw out Carpenter and Wainwright for the last two. I can see them coming back.

- Since Yankee hating is in my blood stream I can’t figure out if I’m just nitpicking this, but I thought it was kind of a dick move for them to wait until the very last minute to tell everyone which series schedule they were going to take. Thus leaving the Twins to scramble to make travel arrangements to get to New York after playing an epic, 12 inning, season deciding game. Well done, Yanks. Way to show sportsmanship. Assholes.

- Remember my pet – and highly uneducated - theory that global warming may be partly due to the Earth warming back up to it’s original climate? If not, quick recap: Millions, perhaps billions, of years ago creatures that were basically big lizards roamed in a tropical forest climate. That we’ve found fossils of dinosaurs in North Dakota tells us that region was once warm and humid. Then some big ass meteor hits, blocks out the sun, ushers in the last Ice Age (not the cartoon movie version) and wipes out most of life on our planet. That’s the most accepted theory, anyway.

My theory is that the Earth is recovering from that cataclysmic event and is still gradually warming back to it’s original climate. That is, like a tropical rainforest.

Well, before I was just bullshitting my way through it. Now I have fucking proof. Aradhna Tripati, an assistant professor at UCLA in the department of Earth and Space Sciences, has used ice samples to analyze ancient air bubbles trapped in the Arctic Ice to come to some surprising conclusions:

1: The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high was 15 million years ago.

2: At that approximately that same time, sea levels were 75 to 120 feet higher than they are now.

3: Average temperatures were 5-10 degrees warmer than they are now.

4: There was no ice shelf in the Arctic Ocean and relatively little ice on Greenland or Antarctica.

Obviously this doesn’t mean we should ignore global warming; eliminating emissions and pollution is a good idea regardless of the final outcome. Plus, there is still a very good chance our shit is accelerating the warming process. But, it seems more and more likely that this warming trend may be - at the very least - partially a natural cycle.

- Apparently being black is a double edged sword for Obama. On one side he’s got white, southern dipshits attacking him for telling kids to stay in school and work hard and on the other he has people handing him awards like the Nobel Peace Prize. Not to be cynical, but let me ask what I asked about Ted Kennedy: What has Obama ever done to deserve this? For fuck sake he can’t even get his own legislation passed when his party controls both the Senate and The House. Maybe there is some long term result we haven’t seen as the result of his actions, but it strikes me that Obama basically got this because he’s black and got elected President. Nothing he has done in or out of office certainly deserves one of the highest honors in the world.

- For anyone who enjoys Robert Randolph (Hammen and crew, I mean you), check out Tinsley Ellis’ new release ‘Speak No Evil’. He’s not as upbeat and rocking as the Family Band, but he’s a great blues guitarist/singer who has shades of Hendrix, Vaughn, and BB King throughout his songs.

- Ever notice how the covers of some books look alike? Check this out. Turns out the same pictures are used for different covers. I’m convinced it’s done to trick people out of their money.

- Since it’s time to get in the Halloween spirit here are some new horror movies I’ve watched recently.

Halloween: This is Rob Zombie’s remake which was much better than I was expecting. I figured putting a human face to Michael Myers was going to be a mistake, but instead it makes his killing spree that much more disturbing. Yeah, it’s gruesome, but there are truly frightening moments scattered throughout. Still, that Myers being a regular dude doesn’t explain how he does some of the things he does. That would include surviving multiple gun shots, knife wounds and breaking out of handcuffs like Superman.

Feast: Put simply this was one of the most entertaining gore fests I’ve seen in a while. Starts off by creatively introducing each character with their strengths and life expectancy captioned below their faces. My favorite being ‘Dies horrible death in 70 minutes’. Then, of course, it flips those expectations on their heads in the first 10 minutes. Funny, gross, and paced like lightning.

Clive Barker’s The Plague: I’m a huge Barker fan (‘WeaveWorld’ is still in my top 10 for favorite books and ‘Night Breed’ is one of the more underrated horror movies of the last 30 years). He doesn’t direct this and I’m not sure what his association is (did he write it? Produce it?), but it’s an effectively creepy movie considering it’s low budget. Children all over the world contract some mysterious virus and go into comas for 10 years only to wake unexpectedly and start killing all the adults. A few frightening scenes (all the kids suddenly turning their heads to look at the nurse being the most memorable) make this worth it. In typical Barker fashion, the ending is a bit obscure and things aren’t fully explained but that’s why I tend to enjoy his work.

- I’m already bracing myself for another beating in fantasy this Sunday. Brees, Colston, and Vincent Jackson are all off this week. But my real problem is at running back. Willie Parker is hurt, Kevin Smith is still banged up and going against the Steelers, and my backups are Jonathan Stewart and Donald Brown. I’m actually considering starting both Marion Barber AND Tashard Choice because they’re facing the Chiefs. Now there is an indication your football team is truly horrible - that starting both running backs against them is looking like a good idea.

- Lastly, anyone interested in diverse, challenging, experimental rock music needs to pick up ‘The Incident’ by Porcupine Tree. Not sure quite how to describe it, but you can listen to a few of the tracks here and judge for yourself. If pushed, I’d have to say they’re a cross between Tool, Pink Floyd, and whatever weird band you can think of. Flaming Lips, maybe?

Today’s distraction: Boston Globe’s list of scariest movies ever made. This list actually tries to discredit itself by including the original Willie Wonka movie. Totally agree with number 1 on this list.

Enjoy your weekends!


thepowerof10 said...

I'm SO glad someone outside of Minnesota noticed that the Yankees did what they did with the playoff schedule. They had the option to play game one on Thursday, but they couldn't miss out on an opportunity to make the Twins hop a midnight flight to New York, get in at 3 AM, and play a game that afternoon ... After having to play 12 emotional, draining innings and going through half of their pitching staff the night before against the Tigers. Totally classless if you ask me.

Hammen said...

Checked out some Tinsley Ellis. Definitely the shit, good recommendation.

I think The Shining might be my scariest movie of all time. The Ring did it for me too.

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

Porcupine Tree are pretty damn good. Anything off of roadrunner records lately has been pretty great.