Saturday, February 6, 2010

Win a $1 Million For Pitching a Perfect Game

You don't have to be a Major Leaguer to get the big bucks.  You don't even need to be an athlete.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Don't Mess With Texas

They don't play around in Texas, for sure.  140 years for one dude and 354 years for the leader.  That is crazy.  Really?  354 years?  Why that particular number?  The judge could've just sentenced him to a million years and it wouldn't have made a difference in the grand scheme of life expectancy.  

And the gang is called the Scarecrow Bandits.  Were they shedding straw all over the place?  Dressed in dungarees and old worn out flannel shirts?  Come to think of it, why are we still calling bank robbers "bandits"?

But sentenced to 354 years.  That is insane.  If I were a bank robber, maybe the "half-asian bandit", I would stay away from the state that has no qualms for frying the mentally challenged, for sure.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Superbowl Saturday?

Oh it's that time of year again, Super Bowl...Saturday? 

How great would it be if the Super Bowl was actually held on a Saturday instead of Sunday?  Yeah I know you have all those traditionalists who will argue.  But didn't we just hold the Pro Bowl in Miami, the week BEFORE the Super Bowl?  But I digress.

Super Bowl on Saturday makes sense in so many ways.  First you have the parties.  Who doesn't love a great party, especially one that involves beer and football?  The parties would be bigger and better because there's no need to end them.  What are you going to do the next morning, go to work? 

This brings up another point.  If you have a bigger party then you're going to be spending more money.  Hello, the economy needs us to spend, or so I've been told.  So not only are you doing a service for your fellow man and woman, you know they love a man in uniform, by throwing a kick ass party; you're helping out your country as well.

And if we don't have to work the following day, there's no need to call in sick to work and waste away one of your sick days.  It's been reported that about 5% of the work force calls in on the Monday after the Super Bowl.  Talk about no productivity.  Not to mention that the ones who do show up just end up complaining about how much they had to drink and how their head hurts...blah blah blah.  Get over it rookie.

Sure there are pros and cons to everything.  And there will be those who will argue that the Super Bowl should be left as is.  Those points are valid.  But I don't care.  These are my thoughts, my mindless ramblings and you can get over it.

Oh and GO COLTS!!!


Monday, February 1, 2010

The Death of Punk

Did you hear?  Punk has officially met its demise.  Murdered, so to speak.  I found out this last Sunday night via the Grammy’s.  I should preface that with the fact that I don’t actually care for the gratuitous self-congratulatory awards shows of that nature.  But the wife does and as I lazed on the couch, doing what I do, it was mere background noise to me.  That was until I heard about the demise of Punk.  Like a doctor announcing the time of death of a patient, the guest emcee announced Green Day performing a song from their upcoming Broadway musical.  Excuse me?  Did I hear that right?  Thanks to the modern marvel of a DVR I rewound.  Sure enough, I had heard right.  It was official.  Punk died January 31, 2010.

Sure the genre has been on life support for quite some time now.  But really?  Did we the have to pull the plug on it with a Broadway freaking musical??? 

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the life and times, shall we?

In the late 70s, defying the mainstream of Disco and the likes of Leo Slayer and Carly Simon, Punk exploded on the scene with three chord riffs and heart pounding beats.  I was oblivious to the sound due to the fact that I was still at the age of playing Star Wars figures.  But in the summer of ’86 I got my first skateboard and after that things took a different turn for me.  An older kid who we hung out dubbed me a copy of Bitchin’ Camaro by The Dead Milkmen. Although technically not Punk it was a far different sound that I was accustomed to and I could sense the angst and sarcasm in the lyrics.  It opened my ears to the fact there was another world out there. While other kids were listening to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, I was listening to the likes of Minor Threat, The Ramones and The Clash.  Soon my programmed nature of dressing to fit in was abandoned for spray-painted and ripped T-shirts and spiky hair.  To me Punk was rebellion.  Giving the finger to the fat cats of authority.

That is what was at the scarred heart of Punk.  Rebellion.  An anti-establishment mentality.  So what happened?  I guess at some point the machine won. Sid Vicious died.  Some traded in their raggedy threads for suits and decided that money trumped ideals.  Others still looked the part, but were just tourists in a pseudo-punk world.  In 1989 retailer Orv Madden incorporated a fledgling store called Hot Topic.  The store would give young suburban teens easier access to Punk by selling the fashion in malls of America, an absolute contradiction if there was ever one.  In 1996 the company went public and trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol HOTT.  Punk traded amongst the mutual funds and hedge funds of Wall Street America.  Yet another contradiction.

So, the demise of Punk has been a long time coming.  It really shouldn’t be a surprise to me or the rest of the lost generation weaned from The Sex Pistols and The MC5 that the day would come when we would have to eulogize Punk.  But a freaking musical?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Teaching robots to hunt is probably not the wisest idea...

Evidently, scientists do not watch sci-fi movies.  Developing robots to have adaptive artificial intelligence and programming them to hunt is not the wisest idea.  Hello, people!  Terminator.  HAL. Yul Brenner in Westworld.  All prime examples of this.  Not all robots are Wall-E or Twiki.

7 Great Videogames Of The Last Decade

Closing out our Best Of The Decade lists are 7 Great Videogames:

Grand Theft Auto III-  Some might argue that Grand Theft Auto III is the reason that videogames get a bad wrap.  And they got a legitimate case, there.  But how fun it is to try and outrun the cops and feds after going on a rampage in Liberty City while trying to lose your 5 wanted stars.  Or picking up a hooker for the sole reason to replenish your health… really… that’s the only reason.  There have been a few copycats since the inception of this anti-hero story came out, but none live up to it.

Rock Band- Guitar Hero started off the whole pseudo-rockstar platform.  But it wasn’t until Rock Band came along that everyone’s dreams of being a lead singer, drummer or even bassist came to fruition.  And the music really rocked… in the beginning that is (now every time I hear Weezer’s Say It Ain’t So, I start hitting phantom green, blue, yellow notes like some sick Pavlov’s dog experiment gone wrong.  And though the whole rhythm genre of games seems a bit over-saturated these days, Rock Band created many living room 35-year-old rock gods.

Bioshock- You are Jack, the lone survivor of a plane crash, who has discovered the underwater city of Rapture.  Work your way through the game fighting off Splicers and use your stealth to get past the security systems.  Modify your body with Plasmids and upgrade your weapons by creating your own ammo.  And watch out for Big Daddy, the protector of the Little Sister.  There are a few different endings to this game and they all depend on your decisions on what to do with the Little Sisters.  Save them all and be the savior of Rapture, or harvest them and bring certain doom to this once beautiful city.

Grand Theft Auto IV-  Niko Bellic just got off the boat and landed at Liberty City, fleeing his bleak existence from eastern Europe in hopes of starting over in the U.S.  But he quickly finds out that no matter how far he’s travelled, the life he left back home still haunts him.  Forced to do the immoral biddings of the Mafia, Feds and other scrupulous characters he encounters, Niko roams the streets of Liberty City in search of vengeance and the American Dream.  That’s the story of GTA IV, latest installment in the GTA series.  Not only is the story mode the caliber that we’ve come to expect from the series, we’re also introduced to a multiplayer mode in this installment.  It offered hours of entertainment for a party of friends to traipse across the city like a gang of thugs in search of the next score.  Can’t wait to see what the guys at Rockstar have in store next.

Fallout 3- A nuclear war has destroyed the country and civilization as we know it.  The dust has settled and all that is left is the Fallout.  Your character, which was born in the bomb shelter Vault 101, must leave the sanctuary of home in search of your father.  The landscape that you encounter is full of mutants, raiders, feral ghouls and people in need of help.  The story is full and in depth and really gets under your skin.  The moment I realized how powerful this game was I had to turn it off because I knew I was too invested in it.  It happened while I was walking across the bleak landscape and I came across a S.O.S, radio broadcast of a man asking for help for himself and his sick son.  I quickly canvassed the area until I found a hidden entry into the sewer system.  It was there that I found the radio that was broadcasting the signal and skeletal remains of the man and his son, who obviously had died quite a long time ago.  The radio signal was just a ghost and I obviously was too into this game.  Great storytelling.

Skate- For years Tony Hawk has ruled the skateboard videogame niche, with no real challengers on the landscape.  Then along came Skate.  The control system abandoned the button smashing combo play that everyone was so acquainted with and focused on utilizing the control sticks for a more fluid, natural feel.  The physics of the game also felt more realistic.  No skater could do a 50-foot ollie or grind a bus.  Now learning a trick was similar to what a real skater does… practice.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II- There were and will always be plenty of first person shooters set against the backdrop of war, but COD:MWII puts you right in the middle of the adrenaline fueled action and blows the competition out of the water with a frag grenade.  The story mode has a full realistic tale colored by the blood and consequences of war.  And then there’s the videogame industry’s most controversial and morally, ambiguous level.  The level is so controversial that the developers at Infinity Ward had to implement the option for gamers to skip it during gameplay. And then there’s the multiplayer mode.  There’s hour upon hours of online action available for leveling up.  Take it from us, we can’t take ourselves away from it.