The Best Comedy Movie of the 2000's is...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and...Dodge.

Thanks to all who voted.

The final list, from 1-64 (ties broken using a combination of voting results and original seeding):

1. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
2. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
3. Zoolander
4. Hot Fuzz
5. The Hangover
6. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
7. Elf
8. The Simpsons Movie
9. Shaun of the Dead
10. The School of Rock
11. Wedding Crashers
12. Napoleon Dynamite
13. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
14. Meet the Parents
15. Knocked Up
16. Kung Fu Panda
17. Stranger Than Fiction
18. Shrek
19. Super Troopers
20. Old School
21. The 40 Year Old Virgin
22. Hitch
23. Thank You for Smoking
24. 50 First Dates
25. Bruce Almighty
26. Little Miss Sunshine
27. The Royal Tenenbaums
28. Juno
29. The Replacements
30. Starsky & Hutch
31. The Emperor's New Groove
32. Shanghai Noon
33. Step Brothers
34. Get Smart
35. Tropic Thunder
36. Role Models
37. Monsters, Inc.
38. Accepted
39. I Love You, Man
40. Anger Management
41. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
42. Superbad
43. Click
44. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
45. Dan in Real Life
46. The Longest Yard
47. Ratatouille
48. Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
49. Blades of Glory
50. Meet the Fockers
51. Be Cool
52. You, Me, and Dupree
53. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
54. Fun with Dick and Jane
55. Analyze That
56. Sideways
57. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
58. Finding Nemo
59. Pineapple Express
60. The Benchwarmers
61. Jackass Number Two
62. Orange County
63. Clerks II
64. Shanghai Knights

The Entire Bracket

Round 1

Round 2

Sweet 16

Elite 8

Final 4

Championship Round

The Comedy Movie of the Decade Final (Finally)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It comes down to this: two hyphenated titles that were released three weeks apart in 2004. Your finalists:

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

The Entire Bracket

Round 1

Round 2

Sweet 16

Elite 8

Final 4

Comedy Bracket: The Final Four

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Final Four:

The Entire Bracket

Round 1

Round 2

Sweet 16

Elite 8

Comedy Bracket: Elite Eight

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My apologies for waiting so long to get this up. We're in the middle of a longer-than-we-ever-imagined move, so it's been kind of tough to get around to this. If you've missed any of this, here's a quick review:

Round 1

Round 2

Sweet 16

Here are the results from the last round of voting. This is your Elite Eight bracket (click to enlarge):

Finally, the new poll. Deadline is next weekend-ish - unless I'm actually moving stuff into our new house, in which case it will take longer.

8 Reasons Pro Football is Better Than College Football

8 - Loyalty to conference?

The bizarre ranking system (#3) and lack of a playoff (#2) means that your chosen team looks better if the other teams in the same conference perform better. This sets up some bizarre rooting situations. Fans end up cheering for their hated rivals when they play against teams from neighboring conferences. Last week I observed two fans cheering for Oklahoma State against Georgia. One fan was dressed head to toe in Oklahoma apparel while the other sported Texas A&M gear. They weren't rooting for Oklahoma State so much as against the hated SEC. But in what sport is it okay to cheer for a conference or division rival?

7 - The NCAA's ridiculous rules

Recently my alma mater was forced to vacate its wins from the 2007 season because of recruiting and amateur status violations. The crime? Allowing a student to take an admissions test on a computer in the athletics department. Apparently not going to the library was reason enough to erase a playoff season (this is Division 2). The sad part is, you're probably reading this and saying, "That's nothing. My school wasn't allowed to go to any bowl games for 5 years because our coach spent too much time on the phone with a kid." And that's ridiculous. I understand that the amateur status of student-athletes needs to be protected, but the NCAA ends up picking on small schools and letting others get away with highway robbery. The rules are not enforced evenly because some schools have boosters and money and all kinds of influence. Which leads us to...

6 - Student-athletes at big-time football schools are not really amateurs

This is the biggest open secret in college football. Once in a while, somebody like Rhett Bomar or Reggie Bush gets caught. The NCAA was forced to act on Bomar because he still had time to play, but in Bush's case, they basically left well enough alone. Meanwhile, small schools like mine (#10) are punished for minor violations. Neither USC nor Oklahoma had to vacate wins. The fact is, football factories use boosters like politicians do PACs - funnel the money somewhere else, and if something goes wrong, there's no accountability to the parties that are actually responsible.

5 - 1 foot vs. 2 foot, down when touched

Let's get to some on-the-field stuff. Some of the rules that make college football "distinctive" from the pros are simply ridiculous. Exhibit A is the rule that once your knee hits the ground, you are down. It doesn't matter if you were tackled or if there's nobody within 20 yards. If this is the case, why not call an incomplete pass if you bobble the ball before securing it? Exhibit B is the one foot inbounds for a completed catch rule. You cannot argue that this makes the college game more exciting. Inaccurate passes and lazy receiving is rewarded in this system.

4 - Parity

As I type this, I have a choice of watching 4 football games. Not one of them holds any interest to me, because the teams are so unevenly matched. I flipped to the Florida-Troy game to see how it was going, and Florida was winning by 32 points in the second quarter. You don't attend or watch that game expecting to see an actual competition. You watch it because (1) You went to one of the two schools, (2) You want to be watching in case Troy pulls off the impossible, or (3) You have money on the game. The gambling line for this game was -37. The biggest line in the NFL this week? -13.5, a game that involves the only winless team in NFL history, the Detroit Lions. The worst team in the NFL has a legit shot at winning every week. You cannot say the same for many teams in college football. Another way to say that is you can turn into any pro game and expect a fairly evenly-matched game. Of the 4 games I mentioned earlier, only 1 is what you might call competitive.

3 - Rankings & Schedule

It's hard to separate this from the lack of a playoff system (#2), but let me try with a hypothetical.

Let's say Prestigious Team A is ranked #8 in the preseason poll. Less Prestigious Team B is ranked #19 in the same poll. In Week 1, Prestigious Team A loses to Very Prestigious Team C (#5) by a small margin while Less Prestigious Team B beats Less Prestigious Team D (unranked) comfortably, but not in a blowout. In the Week 1 poll, Prestigious Team A drops to #13, while Less Prestigious Team B jumps up to #14. Both teams win out, and at the end of the year, Prestigious Team A remains ranked above Less Prestigious Team B, despite Team B having a better record. The reason? The teams never played each other, nor did they have any common opponents, meaning even computer formulas were useless and relied on things like margin of victory, which is code for running up the score. The entire season for both of these teams hinged how they were ranked in the preseason, before anybody settled anything on the field.

2 - Playoffs

I realize this is a contentious subject, but let me say this: I cannot respect college football as a viable competitive sport until it finds a better way to determine its champion. I probably don't need to make the case for a playoff system - that's been done numerous times. If you believe that the BCS is the best system for postseason play, you are either (A) a college president, (B) a retard, or (C) both.

I will say this: Less prestigious schools that continue to be forced out of the national championship discussion should form their own league or division.

1 - Logic

If I had only argument for the superiority of the pro game to the college game, it's this simple point: the pro game features the best athletes playing against the best athletes. Not many people argue that minor league baseball is better than the major leagues, and that's essentially what college football is: a glorified minor league system. At least in minor league baseball, the teams are fairly evenly matched!

4 Reasons I can see the other point of view:

4 - Overtime

Pro overtime is flawed. Each offense should get a shot at scoring. I like college overtime a lot, but there is one change I would make: move the starting position back from the 25 yard line. I think teams ought to have to work to get into field goal territory.

3 - The option

This is one of the most exciting plays in football, in my opinion, and you rarely see it in the pro game. The reason points back to my earlier point (pro players aren't fooled by the option), but I would like to see more innovation in the pro game like we see in college.

2 - Greed of the Shield

It is well documented that the NFL is a greedy league. Proponents of college football can point to NFL blackout restrictions, and I have no answer for that.

1 - Fans/Atmosphere at games

This is the number 1 argument I hear from people who "don't know anything about the NFL because I don't watch it." Seriously, is there anything more annoying than that? Except for Apple fanboys, of course.

Anyway, it's hard to argue against a college atmosphere, especially when some NFL teams have lame, gimmicky fanbases. I'm looking at you, Oakland, Washington, and New York (Jets). I suppose my response is that the product on the field is inferior.

Comedy Bracket Voting Extended

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Due to embarassingly low voter "turnout" this week, I am extending the voting period for the Sweet 16 round by an entire week. You may vote right here. I emphasize once again that you may vote as many times as you want.

Universal Health Care: A POV from an ER Doc

Monday, August 10, 2009

Note: I did not write this. It was written by Dr. Jeremy Spinks, who used to work in the Emergency Room at Parkland Hospital (where Jodi currently works) here in Dallas, and I have reposted it with permission. I find it to be a very articulate argument for universal health care. I don't consider this to be the final word, but a start to healthy and reasonable discussion. Let me know what you think.

A striking phenomenon occurred in the emergency department at Parkland Hospital every morning around 6AM: about twenty to thirty patients with kidney failure would show up at the emergency department, would have their blood drawn and EKG checked, and each person would hope that he was sicker than the other, because only a lucky few would be selected to receive emergent dialysis that day. Patients with insurance who have kidney failure normally receive dialysis three times a week; without it, fluid builds up in their lungs, making them feel like they are drowning; nitrogen levels build up in their bloodstream, causing severe abdominal cramps and muscle aches; their blood pressure becomes drastically elevated, causing intractable headaches and putting them at risk for a brain hemorrhage; and their potassium levels grow unchecked putting them at risk for sudden death. The swarms of uninsured kidney failure patients that would come to the emergency department every morning were lucky if they were chosen to receive dialysis once every few weeks. The “lucky” ones in this scenario were the people whose potassium levels were the most elevated, the ones who might die from a heart rhythm abnormality at any moment. I once had one of these patients go into cardiac arrest while waiting to be seen in the ER. We rushed her into a resuscitation room, performed CPR and defibrillated her, and we were fortunately able to get her back, after which she quickly received the life-saving dialysis treatment that she needed. I later found out from her that she had consumed numerous bananas and soft drinks that morning in a deliberate attempt to elevate her potassium level so that she would be chosen to receive dialysis. That’s why her heart stopped. This is how desperate she was to get the treatment she needed, and the only way she knew how to do it.

This is the situation that millions of Americans face today – access to health care only when their situation has become so grave that they are knocking on death’s door. And what I came to discover very quickly in my training as an Emergency Medicine physician is this: the vast majority of people who do not have health insurance are hard-working, good people who simply cannot afford it. And because they cannot afford health insurance, they receive no preventative or maintenance health care, which leads to worsening of their illnesses. They are then forced to visit the emergency department where thousands of dollars are spent to deal with the complications and consequences of their untreated illnesses that could have been prevented if only these people had received access to regular, basic, and much cheaper health care from a primary care physician. The system, as it stands today, refuses to provide basic services to persons who need those services the most, but then is forced to provide far more expensive services to these same people when it is already too late.

When I finished my residency and started working at a private community hospital in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., I was eager to see what it would be like to work in a system in which the majority of patients have health insurance and good access to health care. I’ve been here for two years, and I am still eager to see what that would be like. In talking to numerous colleagues that practice emergency medicine in a variety of settings, the consensus I get is that the situation is the same at all emergency departments across this country – a very large percentage of the patients seen have no health insurance and no decent access to health care once they leave the emergency department. I’ve seen far too many patients come to the ER in very difficult situations that shouldn’t be allowed to occur, like the gentleman who comes in with an arm splint that he has been wearing for months, originally placed for a broken bone. This splint should have been taken off and replaced with a cast a few days after his injury, and now his broken bone will never be able to heal properly, and he can no longer function in his job. But no orthopedist is willing to see this patient and provide this very basic service because the patient doesn’t have health insurance. And more and more, specialists are refusing to take call for emergency departments because they know that they will wind up having to care for numerous patients without health insurance. This results in a dangerous situation for emergency department patients because the expert help required for certain emergencies is no longer available. I often have to transfer patients who have a very treatable problem to other facilities because I have no specialist on-call to treat the patient. These transfers result in dangerous delays to patient care and are extremely expensive, putting a drain on the health care system’s valuable resources, and so the cycle of inefficiency continues.

I’ve been fortunate to experience health care in our country from many angles – as a resident training in a county hospital that serves the poor, as an attending physician working in a private, community based hospital, and as a patient who must fend for himself in the private health insurance system. The issue has become very dear to me – every day I see numerous patients that deserve so much more than what we as a country give to them. It is wrong to have to prescribe a man an inferior antibiotic for his pneumonia because he can’t afford the more expensive antibiotic that he really needs. (By the way, he will later come back to the Emergency Department and require admission for his pneumonia.) It is wrong to tell a patient to follow up with an endocrinologist to manage her thyroid condition when I know the endocrinologist will refuse to see her because she can’t afford his fees without health insurance. (She’ll be back, too.) It is wrong to have to intubate a patient who has a brain hemorrhage caused by uncontrolled high blood pressure that existed simply because the patient couldn’t afford to see a primary care physician. It is wrong to have to send that same patient by helicopter to another facility, dangerously delaying the patient’s care, because my hospital can’t convince a neurosurgeon to take call for the emergency department because he doesn’t want to have to deal with uninsured patients. Day in and day out, the inadequacies of our current system force me to do things as a physician that are not in the best interest of my patients.

I used to believe that healthcare was a privilege, but what I have come to discover is that when healthcare is treated as a privilege, only the privileged receive it. I now fervently believe that health care is a fundamental human right. It is morally wrong for a society to have the basic resources that are necessary to save lives and prevent suffering and to distribute those resources in a fashion that favors the lucky few and ignores the millions of people who need those resources the most. Furthermore, denying millions of uninsured and under-insured persons access to basic healthcare results in a system that is appallingly inefficient, costly, and impotent; it costs us more as a country to persist in restricting access to healthcare than it would cost us to provide that care. And health care, much like education, a police force, and a military, is something that is so crucial to the welfare of our society that it cannot and should not be relegated solely to a for-profit system whose goal is not the welfare of the public but the financial profit that can be made at the expense of the public. Every day that I work in my emergency department and see patients coming in whose needs I cannot meet because of the inadequacies of our system, I become more steadfast in my belief that it is our duty as citizens of this country and as members of the human race to work quickly towards finding a system in which we all have access to basic health care, a fundamental human right.

(If you agree, please contact your district's representative and more importantly both of your state's senators and let them know! Specifically, let them know that you support a public health insurance option as an alternative to compete with private health insurance. Here's a website where you can get your senators' and representative's contact information - just click on "contact elected officials": )

Comedy Movie of the Decade - Sweet 16

In case you missed it:

Round 1

Round 2

The results for Round 2 are in. Check out the bracket.

For the second week in a row, we had one unanimous decision. In Round 1, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy took home the honors, while Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story came away with the prize in Round 2. We sure do love those hyphenated movies.

We have one double-digit seed still alive, and that Cinderella is one Kung Fu Panda. It faces a tough opponent this week, going against #1 seed Anchorman. Just about every matchup this time around has some sort of intrigue, but there are 3 that particularly catch my eye. Two films that feature Will Ferrell, Wedding Crashers and Elf, face off against each other, while Simon Pegg fans will have to choose between Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Meanwhile, Zoolander and Napoleon Dynamite come together in a battle of mentally challenged lead characters.

This week, I've asked two other committee members to list their favorite moments from each of the remaining movies. I haven't received their submissions yet, but once I do, I'll update the post, so check back. For now, I'll just include my own. Note: I've included links to video clips when available. Some clips may contain language you find unsuitable.

(1)Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
RB:Dodgeball is packed with memorable scenes and quotable quotes, but the best part for my money is the scene in the bar where Average Joe’s celebrates after defeating the Girl Scout Troop to qualify for the national tournament. The full scene isn’t on the internet as far as I can tell, but here’s a partial.

(5)Talladega Nights
RB:I don’t think anybody really prayed to Baby Jesus before Ricky Bobby came out. Now, I imagine there may be one or two people that actually do.

(3)The Simpsons Movie
RB:Don’t tell me you don’t know this song.

(7)Meet the Parents
RB:Sorry if this seems obvious, but the funniest part of MTP is when Gaylord first meets the parents – and then they share dinner. Greg’s prayer alone makes the movie, but there’s also a hilarious exchange about milking a cat…

(1)Shaun of the Dead
RB:Listen, I love zombie movies (no, really), but anything that spoofs one is automatically funny. Probably the best part, though, is when Shaun and Ed finally figure out what’s going on, then go about learning how to actually kill the zombies. Couldn’t find the clip, sorry.

(4)Hot Fuzz
RB:This clip contains major spoilers. The death at 3:10, in context, made me laugh so hard I had to pause the movie.

(3)Wedding Crashers
RB:Vince Vaughn’s delivery in this scene is spot-on: “I felt like Jodie Foster in ‘The Accused’ last night.”

RB:Every time I pass “Santa” in the mall, I get the itch to expose him a la Buddy the Elf.

(1)Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
RB:I don’t like this movie as much as a lot of people I know, but Jack Black’s cameo will always be hilarious to me.

(13)Kung Fu Panda
RB:The Kung Fu Panda is awesome – and attractive. Lucky for us, there’s no charge for such things.

(6)Knocked Up
RB:Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen do mushrooms in Vegas and talk about chairs in a hotel room. Hilarity ensues. Unfortunately, I could not find a clip anywhere.

(2)The Hangover
RB:There’s a lot of good material to choose from here, from Stu’s song about Mike Tyson's tiger to the tazing in the police station to the naked man jumping out the trunk, but when I think of The Hangover, the scene that immediately comes to mind is Alan’s speech on the rooftop.

RB:The walk-off.

(5)Napoleon Dynamite
RB:Even if you haven’t seen this movie, you probably know it because everybody (myself included) does a really bad impression of the title character. All of that quotable quote stuff is great, but Napoleon Dynamite is not the same without the dance scene.

(3)The School of Rock
RB:TSOR is about the songs, and this is the best one.

(2)Forgetting Sarah Marshall
RB:Russell Brand’s ludicrous portrayal of a douchebag rocker takes the cake in this one. Sodomize intolerance!

EDIT: I just figured out that you could embed the poll. Happy voting!

Deadline is Sunday, August 16 at 11:59 pm.

The Comedy Movie Bracket, Round 2

Monday, August 3, 2009

In case you missed it, here is the Introduction & Round 1.

Let's get to it.

The results for Round 1 are published. You can see the bracket here:

Best Comedy Movies of the 2000's

Out of the 32 first round matchups, there were only 5 upsets, two of them being 9 seeds. The lower-seeded movies moving on are Starsky & Hutch, Shanghai Noon, The Emperor's New Groove, Kung Fu Panda, and Juno. I find several interesting matchups in Round 2. In the Vince Vaughn Region, Dodgeball and Starsky & Hutch face off in a battle of Ben Stiller movies that were released in the Summer of 2004. The 2-7 matchup features one movie that is already considered a classic in The Royal Tenenbaums going against recent success The Hangover. Meanwhile, there's a chance that Owen Wilson movies Shanghai Noon and Meet the Parents could meet in the Sweet 16. In any case, there are some good movies that will not advance to the next round. Which will survive? Vote here:

Round 2

Voting ends on Sunday, August 9 at 11:59 pm.

The Quest to Find the Best Comedy Movies of the Decade - Part 1

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I know it's been awhile since I've last posted, and I'm sor - you know what? I'm not apologizing. Since my last post on April 27, a lot has happened in our lives. Most importantly for myself, I interviewed for (3 times!), accepted, and started a new job. I'm now a bona fide youth minister. Hooray for using my degree! To be honest with you, a lot of what I was doing for a while was for my sanity. I needed to know that I did indeed still have a brain and was capable of using it for more than customer service and kitchen know-how. I don't have that problem anymore! Anyway, I say all that to tell you that things will be different around here. The Weekly Links feature, which I had just gotten the way I wanted it, is no more. It was very time-consuming, and I don't need those kind of pursuits to distract me.

Having said that, however, I would like to introduce to you a project that, yes, took me some time to put together. I have set out to determine the best comedy movie of the last decade. I don't remember anymore how this whole thing started, but I do remember how I decided to settle it. There's a new local radio show in Dallas called "The Ben & Skin Show." It's a sports show, but they actually spend at least half of their time shooting the bull, and it's their opinion that any open-ended debate is best settled using a 64-team bracket, NCAA tournament style. I happen to agree. I think you know where this is going.

Before I reveal the bracket to you, I think it's important that you know that a lot of hard work and serious thought went into this. To start, I formed a rather large committee that was eventually whittled down to four people because of the amount of work involved. Each person created their own Top 75 list, which was averaged to determine the seeding in the bracket. The only requirements for candidacy were that it was a full-length feature released from January 1, 2000 until now. The original ballot had almost 200 movies to choose from, and even though there were only 4 lists of 75 movies submitted, a total of 137 movies were listed. (Fun fact: The movie ranked #137 was "Dude, Where's My Car?") From there, the bracket was created. This is where you come in: Each round will be determined by popular vote, and anybody who wants to vote is welcome to do so. There are some weaknesses to the system: admittedly, the committee is a pretty homogeneous group. We're all middle-class white males who have a lot of the same tastes in movies (although the submitted ballots varied widely). So if your movie is left off, it's probably not you, it's us. You're more than welcome to go make your own bracket. But as far as I'm concerned, this will settle the question, "What is the best comedy movie of the 2000's?"

I tried to take an image of the bracket, but it's too big to fit on this page, so here's the link:

Best Comedy Movies of the 2000's

You'll notice that if you click on each movie's name, you will be taken to its IMDB page.

And here's how you vote:

Round 1 Ballot

Round 1 voting ends on Sunday, August 1 at 11:59 pm. Vote as often as you want, discuss it in the comments, and please tell other people. Happy voting!

I've Been Thinking, Hobbes...

Monday, April 27, 2009

This feature story, like the people in it, is conflicted. Sure, Christians are supposed to forgive, but to what extent? Also, are you a profiteer if you're a convicted murderer and you use your testimony to draw people to your mega-church?

One spring evening about two years ago in Clyde, Texas, I found myself in a very scary situation. I was umpiring a little league game, and a comebacker up the middle hit the pitcher square in the chest. It was a solid 10 seconds (or was it? The way time moves in these situations, it was hard to tell) before the kid caught his breath. I had heard all kinds of arguments against children using metal bats, but had never before been forced to deal with it on a personal level. We used metal bats as kids, and nothing ever happened to any of us. My experience as an umpire forced me to reevaluate my stance. These bat companies are increasingly making metal bats more dangerous for anybody of any age to use - better for performance, yes, but also more dangerous. The issue is examined more deeply here. A couple days after finding that article, I came across one that makes a similar case against maple bats in the MLB.

Some thoughts about literature and baseball. A great read if you love either. Lots of stuff for Rangers fans in there.

A no-frills (some might argue no-substance) preview of this summer's upcoming movies.

Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse (the creators and head writers of Lost) answer questions about the direction of the show. Lindelof: "I think our hope is that looking back on the entire run of the show, that people remember the EXPERIENCE of watching it — what it actually felt like to be mystified and frustrated and surprised — as opposed to just where it landed storywise." Um, Damon? I'm worried about where it ends up storywise.

The Written Word
Walter Benn Michaels apparently espouses a fairly narrow-minded view about setting in contemporary fiction. Still, it sparks an interesting debate.

This tone matrix doesn't fit the technical definition of "game," but it's fun to play with, so it counts.

Jason Kottke weighs in on the ever-growing Twitter debate. If you've decided to side with Jason, here's how to get started.

The New York Times profiles a team that's trying to beat the land speed record. Pretty cool.

The new Parkland is going to be green.

Rick Perry started a controversy a couple of weeks ago when he "asserted Texas' right to secede." (Aside: Two years ago, Perry was calling Bush-haters "unpatriotic." Really?) Turns out, he was wrong.

U.S. Politics
It's kind of hard to believe, but the waterboarding debate has resurfaced. I don't see how anybody can say this is not torture. The act suffocates the detainee and simulates drowning. Nevertheless, there is a contingent that supports the use of it in the name of national security. I don't understand this. If another nation violated the Geneva Convention so blatantly and then tried to justify it by redefining the act through dubious memos, we would probably carpet bomb that nation anyway. Lest we get too serious, here is a light-hearted (or perhaps heavily sarcastic? Let's opt for that) look at a recent DOJ memo:

We can't separate pain and suffering? The justification machine is running on all cylinders.

Sean Hannity has offered to be waterboarded to prove that it's not torture. The Huffington Post says here that Keith Olbermann has "called his bluff" and offered to pay $1000 to charity for each second he can last. I wouldn't go as far as HuffPo goes in its praise of Olbermann - this is just one blowhard trying to outshout another blowhard - but he raises a good point. This debate is serious, and it sure seems like one side is just trying to justify it so their former leader won't look so bad. Lost in all this is the fact that neither one of them has actually done what they say they're willing to do. These days, I guess it takes a Playboy reporter to do the real journalism. This clip has some language, but power through. It's worth it.

I found what the soldier said interesting - waterboarding isn't torture because it "invokes an existing fear of drowning." I have a fear of being whipped to death. If you whip me almost to the point of death, is that torture?

Finally, this story just came out about a soldier who killed herself after refusing to participate in torture in Iraq.

Switching gears: The Hurricane Katrina flooding trial against the Army Corps of Engineers has begun.

World News
Front page photos rarely startle me, but this one from Friday made me look twice for some reason:

The U.S. has declared a public health emergency. Three cases have been identified (sort of) in Dallas.

The Economy
Some time last week, the front page of the Dallas Morning News started to look a little bit more optimistic. Headlines wondered aloud if the economy could be starting to turn. Not so fast, says The Economist. Recommend that you skip this if you're already the slightest bit depressed.

I've always been dissatisfied with the idea that Paper covers Rock. Following a very lame flip of a "coin" to make a decision this morning, Ira, Jodi, and I spent some significant (read: way too much) time trying to unpack exactly what kind of covering Paper is doing that defeats Rock so. Unable to come up with a satisfactory explanation, we turned to Wikipedia. The official answer? Um, nobody knows. Finding this to be a terrible oversight (who decided on these three "weapons," anyway?), we have now begun a quest to find the perfect rochambeau. Luckily, the same Wikipedia page is a great starting point. Jodi is partial to the "cat-tinfoil-microwave" variation, while I want to further explore the "earwig-human-elephant" variant. Also contained within the article is a hilarious idea that fire and water be added to the original three, with the caveat that "a player may only throw (fire) once in his entire lifetime." What say you, readers? Any good RPS alternatives?

Video of the Week

One of the best of these kind of videos I've seen.

Movie Trailer of the Week

I haven't seen Earth yet, but I'm already pumped for Oceans. Release date: Earth Day 2010.

Image of the Week

Check out this heart-breaking gallery.

I've Been Thinking, Hobbes...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I know I'm about a week late on this, but Slate (!) ran an opinion piece on passion plays during Easter week.

The Dallas Morning News profiled the Cowboy Church movement.

On Thursday, Ian Kinsler of the Rangers hit for the cycle and collected 6 hits at the same time, becoming the first player in the modern era to do so. He was a triple and home run away from the "bicycle." The next day, the Rangers got themselves beat down by the Kansas City Royals. Evan Grant says Ron Washington surrendered the game, and all but called for his firing. Consider me on that bandwagon.

2015 is still six years away, but apparently we're close enough to evaluate predictions made in Back to the Future, Part II.
What it got right and
What it got wrong
No examination of the $50 Pepsi can. I call shenanigans.

I just discovered this pretty cool site that aggregates rankings from social networks, music blogs, etc.

The Written Word
Someone has resurrected an essay from the February 1960 issue of Harpers about billboards. The author, Howard Gossage, argues that billboards are an invasion of privacy. This is a fascinating read, and the style kind of reminds me of the giant video boards of Fahrenheit 451.

Also, I just stumbled across an on-going feature from The Guardian: Digested Classics, which is just what it sounds like. Beloved literary works are retold in 700 words or less. Here is one of my favorite books, Lord of the Flies.

After I received my new computer, it wasn't long before I found my way to Minesweeper. I was surprised to see that the design had changed, and my curiosity about it led me to Wikipedia. What I found was a whole bunch of theory on how to play. Minesweeper is supposed to be mindless fun, people!

Speaking of Back to the Future, apparently we're not really that much closer on the flying cars, either.

The war between Dallas and Arlington continues as the two cities find themselves outbidding each other for a museum that hasn't even announced a desire to relocate: The College Football Hall of Fame.

Politics/World News
I don't usually condone paying attention to idiots on the internet, but take a look at the comments on this story. (Read the story while you're at it.) The response reminds me of several tragedies throughout history, perhaps most notably the internment of Japanese people during World War II. Disgusting.

The Texas Senate has rejected Rick Perry's attempt to play politics with money that could be helping people that need it. Good for them.

The Economy
So we all know by now that the housing bubble caused this whole crisis, whatever that means. So why didn't the technology bubble do the same thing?

Last week's story had to do with flatulence. Why mess with a good thing? Also, this is creepy.

This is the worst thing I've ever seen. (Okay, that's an exaggeration.) Most of these kind of videos look staged, but the best man's horror is anything but manufactured.

Movie Trailers of the Week
Our first trailer reminds me of both 2001 and Solaris. I have high hopes for this. Release date: June 12.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince looks epic. This is my favorite book in the series and the only one of the movies I've been excited about seeing. Release date: July 17.

Image of the Week
I've mentioned before that I think The Big Picture is the best site on the internet. It's now got competition: Life has opened their photo galleries.

This week's image is much sillier than all that. Blow this image up and post it in your time machine. As always, click to enlarge.

Workout Playlist Update

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You may remember that a short time ago I asked for your help in compiling The Ultimate Aerobic Workout Playlist. When it's finally all said and done, I hope to post a list that you can scan through, complete with streaming music. Here's how it's going so far:

After taking suggestions and doing some research, I created a playlist of 133 songs I already own, and I've been taking my iPod with me to the gym to try them out. I still have about 200 songs that I'm slowly downloading and adding to that playlist. I'm still very early in the process, and I've found 7 songs that have a chance to make it into the final rotation. I'll use iTunes Genius and Pandora Radio to then generate similar songs and try those out. As you can see, this could end up being a very cyclical process that could take a while.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want to give you another opportunity to share the songs that work for you. Also, I want to give you a taste of what I've got so far. Right now, it's just a list - no music.

Bowling for Soup - "Ohio (Come Back to Texas)"
Smashing Pumpkins - "1979"
Deep Purple - "Highway Star"
Black Eyed Peas - "Let's Get Retarded"
Eminem - "Lose Yourself"
U2 - "All Because of You"
Soft Cell - "Tainted Love"

I've Been Thinking, Hobbes...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A reflection on Easter.

We've started posting short recaps of every Rangers game on Odd Man Rush.

The Simpsons are getting their own stamps.

*Ahem* U2 will be playing at the new Cowboys stadium on October 12. Tickets go on sale on April 20, and will likely sell out that same day.

The Written Word
Roger Ebert thinks about Twitter culture.

This site poses the question, "What if Criterion released video games?"

As I noted before, the Dallas police officer that stopped Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats received some national attention for his lack of professionalism during the stop. Here's a positive story about an officer that ran last week.

Politics/World News
The Economist has a report on the gap between the rich and the poor. An interesting read, especially in light of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

A soccer player was given a yellow card for, um, distracting a shooter.

I've never noticed this before, but of course I've never paid THAT much attention to Disney movies.

Movie Trailer of the Week
Two adaptations of children's books I have fond memories of are coming out soon. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs drops on September 18, and Where the Wild Things Are will be released on October 16.

Image of the Week

(click to enlarge)

President Obama hosted a traditional Seder dinner in the White House on Thursday night.

Arkansas Recap

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My brother-in-law Bret has been posting day by day recaps of our trip to Arkansas. I have three videos and 1 photo from Day 3, although the photo belongs to Part 2, which has yet to appear.

New Project: I Need Your Help

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My new computer comes in on Thursday (hooray!), so I am just about ready to start a new collaborative project that I've been thinking about for a while: I am on a quest to create the ultimate aerobic workout playlist(s). I have compiled over 100 songs into a playlist that I have placed on my iPod and I have been taking it with me to the gym to try them out. I picked them in a fairly arbitrary fashion, although I did reference this article and a couple of others. As you can imagine, some of them work pretty well, but others turn out to be duds. My problem is that I have a limited knowledge of music. That's why I need your help. What are the songs that you like to work out to? I want songs with a good rhythm and that I don't mind having to listen to. Songs from every genre, from rock to country to rap to Christian, are welcome. If there are enough songs that I like, I may make multiple lists, and perhaps some based on genre. Leave your submissions in the comments, and I'll download the ones I don't have onto my brand new computer and go try them out on the bike. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

MLB Preview 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I posted this on Odd Man Rush as well.

Opening Day is here!

Predicted Standings for 2009

First number in parentheses is predicted # of wins, following number is differential from 2008.

AL East
New York (98, +8)
Tampa Bay (Wild Card) (94, –3)
Boston (90, –5)
Toronto (84, –2)
Baltimore (67, –1)

AL Central
Chicago (91, +2)
Minnesota (89, +1)
Kansas City (80, +5)
Cleveland (77, –4)
Detroit (76, +2)

AL West
Los Angeles of Anaheim (91, –9)
Texas (83, +4)
Oakland (79, +4)
Seattle (66, +5)

NL East
New York (94, +5)
Philadelphia (Wild Card) (92, +/-0)
Florida (81, –3)
Atlanta (75, +3)
Washington (58, –1)

NL Central
Chicago (95, –2)
Cincinnati (88, +14)
St. Louis (84, –2)
Milwaukee (80, –10)
Houston (73, –13)
Pittsburgh (66, –1)

NL West
Los Angeles (95, +11)
Arizona (86, +4)
San Francisco (78, +6)
Colorado (62, –12)
San Diego (60, –3)

Preseason Power Rankings

1. Tampa Bay Rays
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Chicago Cubs
4. New York Yankees
5. New York Mets
6. Philadelphia Phillies
7. Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Chicago White Sox
9. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
10. Minnesota Twins
11. St. Louis Cardinals
12. Toronto Blue Jays
13. Cincinnati Reds
14. Arizona Diamondbacks
15. Texas Rangers
16. Oakland Athletics
17. Florida Marlins
18. Milwaukee Brewers
19. Cleveland Indians
20. San Francisco Giants
21. Atlanta Braves
22. Kansas City Royals
23. Detroit Tigers
24. Colorado Rockies
25. Houston Astros
26. Baltimore Orioles
27. Seattle Mariners
28. Pittsburgh Pirates
29. San Diego Padres
30. Washington Nationals

Individual Awards – American League

The top vote-getters are listed in order for voting awards, and in statistical order for other awards.

MVP: Mark Teixeira, Grady Sizemore, Josh Hamilton
Cy Young: Roy Halladay, Jon Lester, Joe Nathan
Rookie of the Year: Matt LaPorta, Matt Wieters, David Price
Comeback Player of the Year: Francisco Liriano, David Ortiz, Andruw Jones
Batting Champ: Ian Kinsler, Nick Markakis, Dustin Pedroia
Home Run Champ: Grady Sizemore, Evan Longoria, Jermaine Dye
RBI Champ: Josh Hamilton, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youkilis
ERA Champ: Roy Halladay, Jon Lester, CC Sabathia
Wins Champ: Roy Halladay, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Andy Sonnanstine
Strikeout Champ: CC Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Zack Greinke
Saves Champ: Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, David Price

Individual Awards – National League

The top vote-getters are listed in order for voting awards, and in statistical order for other awards.

MVP: Albert Pujols, David Wright, Aramis Ramirez
Cy Young: Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels, Brandon Webb
Rookie of the Year: Cameron Maybin, Andrew McCutchen, Jason Motte
Comeback Player of the Year: Aaron Harang, Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Carpenter
Batting Champ: Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Ryan Theriot
Home Run Champ: Ryan Braun, Albert Pujols, David Wright
RBI Champ: David Wright, Aramis Ramirez, Albert Pujols
ERA Champ: Tim Lincecum, Rich Harden, Johan Santana
Wins Champ: Brandon Webb, Cole Hamels, Chad Billingsley
Strikeout Champ: Tim Lincecum, Cole Hamels, Dan Haren
Saves Champ: Brad Lidge, Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Broxton

I've Been Thinking, Hobbes...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thank you to everyone who checked up on me following my camping trip in Arkansas. It was great, but I'm glad to be back. This week's IBTH is abbreviated as a result.

Did you know that there's a site where you can watch every episode of The Simpsons ever made? I just wasted a whole lot of time...

I never would have heard of this had I not gone back through the Dallas Morning News archive after returning home, but apparently this story gained national attention last week:

NFL Running Back Ryan Moats, who grew up in Oak Cliff, was involved in a controversial altercation with Dallas Police Officer Robert Powell. Moats was on his way to attend to his dying mother-in-law at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano when he ran a red light, prompting a chase by Powell, who then proceeded to be the world's biggest jerk, despite Moats' repeated pleas to let him simply go inside the hospital. The entire altercation was caught on Powell's in-dash camera, which is shown unedited here. Probably the most appalling part of the video (and there's plenty there to choose from) is when the nurse comes outside and informs the officer of the situation. His reaction is to snap back, "I'm almost finished here." Powell has since apologized, but apparently public backlash hasn't waned. This editorial lauds Moats' reaction, and I have to agree. It would have been easy for him to lose his cool, but he didn't raise his voice, curse, or act insubordinate in any way. Hopefully Ryan can transform his new-found (unwanted) fame into something positive, and I'm sure he will.

Politics/World News
In 2003, the Republican Party in Texas, led by Tom DeLay and Rick Perry, gerrymandered US Congressional Districts in a move that ranks among the worst abuses of political power in recent memory. Among many other things, the Abilene area (historically bipartisan) was lumped in with ultra-conservative Lubbock. As a result, Charlie Stenholm, a conservative Democrat who wasn't afraid to reach across the aisle, lost his seat in 2004. Stenholm served 13 terms as Representative from the Abilene area, and he was on several influential committees. He was replaced by Randy Neugebauer, a rookie who has since voted with the Republican delegation 98% of the time. Stenholm wasn't the only one to lose his seat.

Now, the Texas Senate has approved a measure that ensures that any future redistricting will be handled by a bi-partisan committee. The measure passed 19-12, with the only "no" votes coming from Republicans. The bill now has to go through the incredibly partisan House of Representatives. If there is any justice, it will pass, but I am not holding my breath.

A pub in London was recently evacuated after a replica "Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch" was mistaken for a real explosive device.

Fans of Arrested Development should recognize this face:

Weekend Links: Week 12, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

There will be no Weekend Links next weekend, or any posts at all for the the next week. I leave for Arkansas tomorrow. We'll be kayaking the Buffalo River and backpacking along various trails along the way. I'll take pictures when I can and post a recap sometime next week. Enjoy this week's entry.

Kudos to the Christian Book Expo, which ends today in Dallas, for reaching out to those with different viewpoints. These types of authentic discussions are what the Church should be about.

I heard about this on the radio this morning: If the Texas Rangers win their first 4 regular season games and the New York Yankees lose their first 4, every Honda bought at Vandergriff Honda in Arlington within a certain timeframe (the radio ad said the deadline was today, this article says differently) will be paid off by the dealership. Quite a gamble. The Rangers play 3 at home against the Indians, then travel to Detroit to face the Tigers. I'll be at the opener. Meanwhile, the Yankees play four on the road, but the opponents are cupcakes: The Orioles and Royals. I think the odds are stacked in the dealership's favor.

If you didn't watch the series premiere of Kings last Sunday (and based on the ratings, you probably didn't), you should. It's an hour and half long on Hulu, but totally worth the time investment. The show is a modern retelling of the Biblical story of David and Saul, and it is very intelligent and well-acted. Watch it, tell everyone you know, and then watch the second episode tomorrow night. This show needs to air, but there are already rumors of cancellation if the numbers don't improve.

A medley of hip hop songs that sounds like it comes from an NES game.

The Written Word
The Seattle Public Library is hosting a debate today that's sure to cause (or reveal?) all kinds of teen angst: Which is better: Harry Potter or Twilight? Luckily, they're talking about the book series, not the movies.

You think you're good at Tetris? See how long it takes you to fill a single line in this mega-size Tetris game. I left it running - with the spacebar pressed down, which makes the pieces move superfast - and it still took 1 hour, 20 minutes, and 18 seconds for the board to fill up. (Click on image to enlarge)

The Hard Rock Cafe is returning to Dallas, this time in Victory Park.

Politics/World News
My major complaint about the Anti-Gay Marriage Crowd is that the same people who claim to be defenders of the sanctity of marriage don't have a lot to say about divorce. It's become an accepted part of society, a necessary evil. Well, Texas State Representative Warren Chisum of Pampa has proposed some legislation that will make it harder to obtain a divorce. I wonder about the logistics though: the proposal essentially places a $150 tax on divorce, which may be an obstacle for poor people in abusive relationships. I still feel uncomfortable about legislating morality. Marriage is an institution where the line between church and state has been obliterated, which makes this legislation still seem hypocritical - if you want to deny marriage to homosexuals on religious grounds, shouldn't you also want to ban divorce altogether? And just what is the role of government in marriage anyway?

This portrait featuring Sean Connery - sort of - is more bizarre and creepy than humorous (though it is that). So many questions come to mind, but the most important one may be "Why?"

A cool graphic representation of the metamorphosis of the Batman logo over time.

Movie Trailer of the Week
Another selection from the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. Lymelife will show on Monday, March 30 at 10:15 pm at Landmark's Magnolia. If you'll be in Dallas the week of the festival, I'd love to have you join me at some of these movies. I've written a note on Facebook with all the details.

Image of the Week

(Click on image to enlarge)
This week's image is taken from a Big Picture post about the recession. The newspaper stand graveyard is a metaphor not only for the state of the economy, but the impending death of the print media.

Weekend Links: Week 11, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Three notes before we dive in:

1. I stated that a clever name for this weekly feature is coming. I've come up with a few, but they're just a little too...inadequate. Until I come up with one I'm really satisfied with, we'll stick with the vanilla title. If you have any suggestions, please share them in the comments.
2. I changed "Books" to "The Written Word." This gives me flexibility to link to items such as the one featured this week.
3. I fully realize that the links posts are the only items I've produced for this site recently. This will likely continue to be the case until I get a new computer to replace my poor, poor laptop.

Michael Spencer of the Christian Science Monitor, an evangelical, posits that the evangelical community is on the verge of a "major collapse." Rod Dreher, apparently an orthodox blogger on conservative politics and religion (his little logo makes me sick to my stomach), responds.

I'll simply pull a couple of interesting quotes from Spencer's article, with the caveat that I want to explore this thesis more thoroughly in its own independent post. (Or in the comments - come on guys.)

1. "Evangelicals have identified their movement with the culture war and with political conservatism. This will prove to be a very costly mistake...We fell for the trap of believing in a cause more than a faith."

2. "Expect evangelicalism to look more like the pragmatic, therapeutic, church-growth oriented megachurches that have defined success. Emphasis will shift from doctrine to relevance, motivation, and personal success – resulting in churches further compromised and weakened in their ability to pass on the faith."

3. "A small band will work hard to rescue the movement from its demise through theological renewal. This is an attractive, innovative, and tireless community with outstanding media, publishing, and leadership development...We can rejoice that in the ruins, new forms of Christian vitality and ministry will be born. I expect to see a vital and growing house church movement"

4. Despite all of these challenges, it is impossible not to be hopeful. As one commenter has already said, "Christianity loves a crumbling empire."

Fighting has come under fire recently in hockey. Mike Heika, who covers the Stars for the Dallas Morning News, takes a look at the honor code that players follow when fighting. Take a look at this video after you read the story.

Now comes news that the NHL is thinking about adding ten-minute game misconduct penalties for "staged fights" - fights that occur immediately after face-offs, like in the video above. Scott Burnside, who writes this opinion piece, thinks that this won't be much of a deterrent to staged fighting, but I think that, if passed, we will see reduced fighting as a result of this rule. Coaches can get fined if too many game misconduct penalties are assessed or if they happen at the wrong time. I hope to write a more in-depth post about fighting in hockey at a later point.

The New Yorker profiles screenwriter Tony Gilroy, who wrote and directed the upcoming Duplicity. The piece is supposed to be flattering, and it is in parts, but I think Gilroy comes out looking like an arrogant jerk. Most notably, Gilroy, who wrote all three movies in the Bourne Trilogy, completely trashes the Robert Ludlum novels on which the films are based, as well as the readers who have enjoyed them over the years. Note to Tony: I loved your movies, but they were nowhere near as good as the books. Gilroy still remains compelling for me, however, and I now have a desire to see Duplicity that I didn't have before.

The A.V. Club takes a look back at Johnny Cash's American Recordings. Contains audio.

The Written Word
It is my humble opinion that Calvin and Hobbes is by far the best comic strip ever produced. Bill Watterson stopped writing it much too early, in 1995. Calvin was perpetually 6 years old throughout the life of the strip, and some artists have imagined what a teenage Calvin would look like. At the bottom of the page you can find a fictional final strip that reveals the end of Calvin's and Hobbes' relationship as we know it. The actual final strip was full of optimism, and it is the image at the top of this post.

Leonardo Notarbartolo is being released from prison this week. The April issue of Wired details his exploits as mastermind behind the World's Biggest Diamond Heist. How many screenwriters do you think have taken notice of this story?

A follow-up to last week's post about the DART: Now they're talking about raising rates. Yeah, because the people who need to be shouldering the financial burden right now are the ones who depend on public transportation. What about the stimulus package? Incidentally, if the DART is going to start raking in some extra dough, how about figuring out a way to provide transportation to the Ballpark in Arlington?

Politics/World News
Texas Governor Rick Perry is trying to reject $556 million of the $16 billion dollars Texas is due to receive from the stimulus package. At best, this irresponsible, and at worst, it is a grave injustice to jobless people. More than likely, it is a publicity stunt designed to give Perry ammo against KBH in the 2010 governor's race. Governor Perry, Texans pay taxes too. You may be against the stimulus package, but it has passed. Do not give our tax dollars to California.

It appears that a Japanese baseball team may have shaken its own unique curse involving Colonel Sanders. You can't make this stuff up.

And now, something completely silly.

Movie Trailer of the Week
This week's trailer comes from a movie that will be shown at AFI Dallas International Film Festival on Wednesday, April 1. Sugar is the story of a 19 year-old Dominican baseball player trying to break into the big leagues.

Weekend Links: Week 10, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

This week I deleted the "Internet" category and added "Games." I also split "Humor" into "Humor" and "Youtube." Don't forget to set your clocks forward!

A perspective on Lent from someone who used to be in the Church of Christ.

The World Baseball Classic has started! I'm starting to get excited for the "real" baseball season, but until then, there's always the US to cheer for. Schedule

This theory on "Lost" has been around a while, but it's recently gained credibility due to the events of recent episodes. There are only 26 episodes left in the whole series, so expect more and more theories like this to pop up as time goes on (See what I did there?), although I'm sure something will happen at the end of Season 5 to throw everybody off track.

Not only is Guitar Hero: Metallica coming out on March 29, but the band recently announced that they'll be releasing a 163-track digital box set on iTunes two days later. I guess Metallica will be making a lot of money that week. Oh yeah: they get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4 as well.

Mike Sacks announced this week that he's releasing "And Here's The Kicker" in July. The book contains interviews with 21 humor writers about their craft.

Rock Band announced that they're basing a game around the Beatles, similar to what Guitar Hero has done with Aerosmith and Metallica. The release date? 09/09/09. I can just see the commercials now: Number 9, Number 9, Number 9...

The DART is looking to expand. Plans call for a "Green Line," which runs northwest to southeast along I-35E, and an "Orange Line," which will wind its way from Union Station and other downtown stops to the DFW Airport. However, recent developments about a $45 million shortfall, followed by news about receiving Stimulus Package money, and now some possible reneging by transportation officials who asked for this in the first place have thrown everything in to question. Everything, that is, except for the Green Line, which is now confirmed to open in September, just in time for the State Fair.

Politics/World News
I don't want to pile on the Bush Presidency, but...well, here we go. We all know the Bush Administration used 9/11 to justify all kinds of things that would have never flied before. On Monday, the Obama Administration, as part of the initiative to bring more transparency to government, released 9 memos detailing just how far Bush and company tried to go. Chilling.

A quote from the AP article: "Too often over the past decade, the fight against terrorism has been viewed as a zero-sum battle with our civil liberties," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech as the documents were being prepared for release. "Not only is that school of thought misguided, I fear that in actuality it does more harm than good."

A quote from Benjamin Franklin: "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."

Nerd Humor Alert!

Somebody went and found a bunch of videos of people playing instruments on Youtube and remixed them to form 7 different songs. This is a lot better than you think, and it's actually pretty fun if you've ever come across any of the originals before. The guy that looks like Dirk with a backwards hat in the first song does some pretty cool instructional videos for acoustic guitar.

Movie Trailer of the Week
The trailer for Public Enemies was released this week. PE stars Johnny Depp and Christian Bale and reminds me of Catch Me If You Can in some ways.

No Line On The Horizon

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I mentioned this before, but U2 released their album today. It's available from the Amazon MP3 Store for $3.99. The band is playing on The Late Show with David Letterman all week long. Here is the video from last night's performance:

In other late night news, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon debuted last night. Here is the funniest segment, in my opinion:

Happiness For Blessing. 2008 One Winged Angel.Bloggerized by : GosuBlogger