Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Animal Odd Couples Review: So Cute You'll Probably Go Blind

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Animal Odd Couples is a PBS production that's currently streaming on Netflix. It examines the emerging field of cross-species relationships and highlights a handful of standouts. I watched it with Jess and, occasionally, our dog. Both are oddly infatuated with monkeys. It's 52 minutes long and is highly recommended whenever you need a reminder that life is okay sometimes. This is my review.

Segment 1: Dog and Cheetah

Details: Busch Gardens; Williamsburg, Virginia. Mtani is a rescued female retriever. Kasi is an orphaned male cheetah.

Review: 3 out of 4 breakdancing kittens

Summary: Dogs and cheetahs are apparently very close in their dispositions, social structures, and length of life. This inspired the pairing of a young cheetah and a puppy. The results have been inconclusive due to the fact that JUST KIDDING THEY ARE THE GREATEST FRIENDS EVER.

 

UPDATED REVIEW 7 out of 4 breakdancing kittens

I won't ruin the rest of it. Go watch when you need a boost.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Grown Ups 2: It exists, and it's all your fault

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Grown Ups (2010)

Grown Ups pulled in a 10% on Rotten Tomatoes in 2010. Out of 162 tallied critic reviews, 16 liked the movie. It also had a production budget of $80M and grossed $270M at the worldwide box office. Thanks to you, you idiot, we're getting a sequel and quite possibly the apocalypse.

How bad is Grown Ups 2? Here's the trailer.


Here's what some critics think.


But it doesn't matter because you'll see it anyway. Can't wait for Grown Ups 3!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One Millionth Car Crash! Big Winner!

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Dan Bardin sent this to me. He is a Facebook legend.

1993 Mets Win World Series? Part 1: Todd Hundley Roid Rage

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I am attempting to win the World Series in Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball with the 1993 New York Mets, who finished that season 59-103, worst in baseball. Griffey Baseball is one of my favorite video games ever. The gameplay holds up, but on top of that, it was released just before baseball changed forever. Consider the following:

1. There were 4 divisions with 7 teams each in 1993. Each division winner made the playoffs. There was no wild card playoff spot. When you start a season in this game, you can choose to align the league as it was in 1993, or you can select the "1994 proposed format." Amazing.

2. As a swan song to the old guard, the 1993 San Francisco Giants won 103 games in the NL West and did not make the playoffs. They had the MVP (Barry Bonds) and the manager of the year (Dusty Baker), but had the awful luck of finishing a game behind the Atlanta Braves. The Braves in the NL West! Adorable!

3. The very next year was the 1994 strike. On pace that year to meet in the World Series? The Chicago White Sox and the Montreal Expos. The Expos were absolutely stacked, with Pedro Martinez, Moises Alou, Larry Walker, and John Wetteland. I would argue the strike shattered a lot of the lore surrounding baseball and allowed the NFL to push ahead in the national spotlight.

4. Finally, this game was pre-steroids discussion. But steroids sent baseballs over the wall, put butts in the seats, and saved the game, so let's move on.

Game 1: San Diego Padres at New York Mets

Killer photography.

Dwight Gooden got off to a rocky start, allowing 2 runs in the first to the lowly Padres, but he settled down enough to scatter 3 runs and 9 hits over 8 innings. Even better news: I didn't see him do coke once! Way to go, Doc.

Todd Hundley went completely bananas, smashing 3 home runs, a double, and collecting 5 RBIs. TODD HUNDLEY IS ON STEROIDS.

Updates on my quest to make the 1993 Mets World Series champs will follow. To close, here's a little bit of personal history. When Griffey Baseball released in 1994, I was 11 years old. To keep me from wasting my life away, my parents housed the Super Nintendo at Grandma's house in Wheeling, IL. I have tons of memories of visiting G Unit and rattling off a handful of Griffey games (they take under a half hour to complete) before heading to the pool for the day.

Grandma died in April 2013. She was a voracious reader, a huge sports fan, and a dynamite lady. One of my favorite conversations with her:

Grandma: [sees Luke doctoring his coffee]
Grandma: You should drink black coffee.
Luke: ?
Grandma: I used to put cream and sugar in mine. Then I switched to black and all the boys wanted to date me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

4 Legendary Baseball Players: May 2013

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Disclaimer: The Legendary Players series cares next to nothing about fielding prowess, leadership ability, or clubhouse chemistry. It cares only about the guys who are mashing so hard, you'll probably go blind. Oh, and it only factors in the past 7 days of batting statistics.

First Base/DH: Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox

Mashing? Mashing. Past 6 games: .316 AVG, .500 OBP, .842 SLG, 3 HR, 6 RBI
Projected 162 game season: .316/.500/.842, 81 HR, 162 RBI
Know who doesn't care? Adam Dunn. "Oh, boo hoo, Adam Dunn sucks. All he does is mash." Knock it off. I didn't want to tell you this, but Adam Dunn is making $15M this season. That may be hard to comprehend, so let's put it this way: it's $92,590 per game. Does Adam Dunn care about his stats? He does not. 4 strikeouts today? $92K. 3 home runs today? $92K. Hating on Adam Dunn? Learn to mash, son.

Second Base: Omar Infante, Detroit Tigers

lol huh? I'm serious. Past 7 games: .440 AVG, .840 SLG, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 SB
Projected 162: .440/.840, 46 HR, 116 RBI, 23 SB
Doesn't he hit 9th? Yes. To be fair, this could be because Jim Leyland doesn't know you can change lineups now. What an age we live in! You know who should be hitting 9th in Detroit? Victor Martinez.

Catcher: Russell Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates

How hard is he mashing? Past 6 games: .346 AVG, .885 SLG, 4 HR, 7 RBI
Projected 162: 108 HR, 189 RBI
More on the best catcher of all time: Russell Martin is the guy you'd love to bring home to meet your daughter if you weren't so afraid he'd mash her into oblivion. You see that .346 AVG in the last 6 games? You know what else is .346 in that span? His on base percentage. YOU DO NOT WALK RUSSELL MARTIN. HE WILL SWING AT BALL FOUR AS MANY TIMES AS HE WANTS. TRY TO WALK HIM. DO IT.

Outfield: Nate McLouth, Baltimore Orioles

What? Past 6: .522 AVG, .913 SLG, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 11 R, like 80 SBs
Projected 162: .522/.913, 54 HR, 189 RBI, 297 R, like 2,160 SBs
Does he start against lefties? No.
Why not? Look, he killed a lefty in the minor leagues. He doesn't like to talk about it, but JUST KIDDING HE WILL TOTALLY TALK ABOUT IT.
Fun Fact: That GIF doesn't tell the whole story. McLouth apologized for not throwing the ball out of the stadium as he intended.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

5 Bad Baseball Players - April 2013

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Disclaimer: This series is only concerned with fantasy baseball categories spanning the past two weeks of play.

5th Most Bad: Victor Martinez - C, Detroit Tigers

Numbers: .158 AVG, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R, 0 SB .425 OPS

4th Most Bad: Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Miami Marlins

Face: Intense. Shoulder Status: Ouchie Boo Boo Times.
Numbers: .154 AVG, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 R, 0 SB, 11 K in 26 AB

Why So Bad? Stanton has been battling a shoulder injury, which has apparently been restrictive enough that the guy who hits 500 foot bombs is currently being praised for hitting balls to the warning track. Even worse? His terrible numbers are all pre-shoulder injury. Worst of all? He plays for Miami, a team that's drawing 19,000 fans per game. (2nd worst in MLB) Gonna be a rough year. I want no part of any Marlins this season. Stanton included.

3rd Most Bad: Matt Cain - SP, San Francisco Giants

Numbers: 0 W, 1 L, 8 K, 9.28 ERA, 1.69 WHIP

2nd Most Bad: Josh Johnson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Here you go, Victor!
Numbers: 0 W, 1 L, 7 K, 11.05 ERA, 2.73 WHIP

Why So Bad? Johnson has a quality start under his belt and is still the hot deuce in April. Not easy to do. But when you allow 6 earned in just over an inning to Victor Martinez and company, welcome to the list. His average fastball is getting closer and closer to dipping under 92 MPH. He's projected to throw around 150 innings and win 7 games this year. Injury prone AND decreasing velocity? Where do I sign??

1st Most Bad: Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians

Numbers: .125 AVG, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R, 0 SB, .390 OPS
Yes, I just embedded my own tweet. On a related note, follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We need to talk about this Carhartt commercial

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Conflicting Feelings I Get When Watching This Commercial

1. I want to build enduring structures, then immediately tear them down.

How badly do you want to go destroy something right now? I'm so jacked up, I can't even see straight. I just tried to rip my Equaline Instant Hand Sanitizer in half, but plastic is pretty strong. I might stand up and find some scissors later to finish the job.

I don't just want to destroy things. Oddly enough, I'm now filled with an intense desire to take a bunch of materials and use them to make one larger material. What is this feeling? Is my brain bleeding? This is not normal.

By the way, when it says THIS SHIRT HAS TO BUILD STADIUMS, NOT PLAY IN THEM the one guy with the arms is swinging the sledgehammer like a baseball bat. Wonderful editing.

2. I like girls and am married to one, but that one guy with the arms seems nice.

Look at that guy and his arms. I want to be friends with him and them. I want him to drop that sledgehammer and carry me away to safety. I shouldn't be in this crumbling structure that you're so capably destroying! Save me!

3. I want one of these shirts but am not allowed to have one.

Carhartt's checkout process requires you to kill a forest-dwelling mammal and to get one tattoo on your arm and one on your calf. Oh and speaking of calfs, I thought it was a little odd when I was told (just after entering my billing information) that before my shirt would be shipped, I had to nurse a calf to adulthood and then, and I quote, "consume it." Slightly offputting.

One final note: The line

YOU CAN LEAVE THE CITY WHEN IT GETS HOT
WE'RE GOING TO STAY AND BUILD IT.

is so, so good.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Carlos Marmol Trade Watch: Opening Day and All is Lost

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I play fantasy baseball. It sucks. I have Carlos Marmol on my team. He sucks. Dan Bardin has Kyuji Fujikawa on his team. He's okay. This is the ongoing saga of a surely futile endeavor to make a trade happen.

April 1, 2013. The Chicago Cubs recently secured an Opening Day victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The final score was 3-1. Anthony Rizzo did great things. The Cubs are undefeated. But it doesn't matter because CARLOS MARMOL IS RUINING MY LIFE A THIRD OF AN INNING AT A TIME.

He started the 9th and tried to lock up the save. LOL at that. I wasn't watching because MLB TV blacks out local games (classy!), but I assume he was throwing left handed in an effort to lower his trade value even further. He got one man out, allowed one run across, and left two on base when he departed.

Kyuji Fujikawa got the save instead. Of course he did. Dan Bardin: let's make a deal.

carlos marmol trade
DAN BARDIN: ACCEPT THIS TRADE PROPOSAL. HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Killer dolphins! Volcano lightning! (Today on Flipboard)

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There's a mobile app called Flipboard that pulls in stories from around the world in a visually stunning way. You should download it. Here are some stories that were on my board today. My opinions do not reflect anyone else's because I am an idiot.

STORY NUMERO UNO

Ukraine Might Have Trained 'Killer' Dolphins That Might Have Escaped
Might have trained? Might have escaped? Pffff. I am not scared.

STORY NUMERO DOS

Trained Soviet Attack Dolphins With Head-Mounted Guns Are On The Loose
killer dolphin has gun
QUICKSCOPE
You now have my attention. It should be said that the ambiguity in story numero uno is for good reason. It's not clear if the Ukraine trained killer dolphins. And if they did, it's not clear if the dolphins were armed when they escaped.

Regardless, I think it's great that Ukraine uses Treehouse of Horror episodes of The Simpsons as a national defense strategy. If you're a Ukrainian groundskeeper named Willie, you should probably flee. Your death is imminent.

STORY NUMERO TRES

Terrifying Volcanic Lightning Photographed by Martin Rietze
Just look at those photos.

VIDEO NUMERO UNO

Here's Ricky Rubio doing Ricky Rubio things. Derrick Rose and whoever is influencing him to stay off the court should pay attention here. Remember when Rubio first came back from his ACL injury? He looked bad. Not himself. Yesterday? First career triple double, and that silky smooth double-behind-the-back hesitation move on top of it.

The next step in Rose's rehab is to play games. He's not going to get to 100% by doing nothing but practicing. He needs to get on the court. End of Chicago rant.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mississippi to keep its children fat and stupid

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anti bloomberg
Here are some facts about The Hospitality State.

Its nickname is The Hospitality State. I ruined that surprise. My bad.
Its state flag is wonderfully Confederate.
Its state bird is the mockingbird.
Its capital city is Jackson.
It is the fattest state in the country, and it's a bottom-five place to educate your kids.

You can thank the state's priorities for the education fact. South Dakota is the only state that pays its teachers less than the $40,000 Mississippi teachers get per year. But rest assured, Mississippians! Your kids will be chubby and lethargic while they're receiving their schooling.

It all started with Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York City. His plan to limit the size of soft drinks was pooped upon by a judge and a gavel. Mississippi politicians, evidently feeling the reverberations of the Bloomberg Bill in their fat little cankles, moved as quickly as their 110 BPM resting heart rates would allow.

The Anti-Bloomberg Bill (not making it up; that's seriously its name) bars counties and towns from passing legislation requiring restaurants to post calorie counts. It also bars caps on portion sizes. You know, because it's not like obesity is a bigger health crisis than hunger or anything.

The Anti-Bloomberg Bill is expected to be signed by Governor Phil Bryant after waddling through the Mississippi House to the tune of a 50 to 1 vote. The lone naysayer, by the way, was executed and eaten.

My favorite quote comes from one Representative Gregory Holloway.

"Rep. Gregory Holloway, a Democrat, ushered the popular bill through the state House. He says the goal is to create consistency in nutrition laws across the state. "We don't want local municipalities experimenting with labeling of foods and any organic agenda. We want that authority to rest with the legislature," Holloway says."

Organic agenda.

You can practically see him giving an under-the-table to ADM and Cargill. Mayor Bloomberg, keep your hands off this man's processed foods.

Rep. Holloway can be emailed at gholloway@house.ms.gov