They Play Football at Duke?

August 5, 2008

A couple of quick-shots as you watch your favorite baseball team fall further and further from contention. (So this is what it feels like, Joe?)

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Ignore Always

May 23, 2008

I just sent off an e-mail containing the elegant construction “Oh no [pronoun] di’n’t!” and was stopped by the spell checker. Now, I can only imagine the cringing you are doing reading that dead, beaten horse of a catch phrase, but when I was presented with the options of “Ignore,” “Ignore All,” or “Add” I had to think for a moment. After all, I’m pretty sure that “di’n’t” is the clearest way of expressing the non-word I intended, so in the future I might want my spell-checker to recognize it. On the other hand, it’s absolutely not a word so I really can’t see adding it. Therefore, I suggest a feature for those of us with grammatical neuroses — “Ignore Always.” That way, we don’t have to validate a word in any way when the spell checker runs. Of course, not using such words is unthinkable…

Anyways, the news is reporting that Read the rest of this entry »


The 2008 SXSW Torrent

March 13, 2008

For the past few years, the South by Southwest Music and Film Festival has released a (free, legal) BitTorrent of one mp3 from each band performing there. It’s hit-and-miss, mostly miss, but now you can get some help wading through this year’s batch. Paul Ford at The Morning News offers six-word reviews, plus five-star ratings, for each song in the torrent. (Thanks to Marilyn for the heads-up.)


The Rivarly!

February 6, 2008

Tonight the talented and handsome Duke Blue Devils take on the thuggish and not-good-looking Tar Heels from the school down the road. ESPN is hyping the game even more than usual for the #2 vs. #3 matchup. Though historically these teams haven’t needed top rankings to play amazing games against each other, I got to wondering how often they have faced off with such lofty admirations from the press.

In the last 30 years, Duke-UNC have played 30 games with both teams in the AP top 10, 9 with both teams in the top 5, and 4 with higher rankings than today (twice 1 vs. 3 and twice 1 vs. 2). Anyone who has taken part in attending these games can attest to the fact that you might as well throw the rankings out, but it’s remarkable how often this rivalry game has also been a big part of the national picture.

This is the only game I ever painted any part of myself for. I’m sure my fellow bloggers have similar fond memories.

Blue Beard

Hard to Resist…

January 30, 2008

No, not Riley Skinner, but rather I have had trouble resisting posting about this Forbe’s piece ranking college “champion factories.”  While I don’t think that anyone wants their alma mater to be considered a factory of any sort, since they decided to rank Michigan number one I simply can’t resist.

Michigan comes in #1 overall, but Miami is #1 in football. Not surprisingly, dear old Duke is #1 in basketball.  My guess is that the list’s inclusion of ice hockey greatly helped Michigan and its exclusion of baseball hurt (though Michigan allegedly had some Major Leaguers).


The 50 Best TV Episodes of 2007

January 11, 2008

The Futon CriticThe folks over at TheFutonCritic.com compile a list every year of the 50 best individual television episodes of the year. I always find it very close to my own ranking, although I don’t watch many of the shows they rank. Today, they completed their recap of 2007. (NOTE: Under each entry is a sentence that contains major spoilers! If you just want a list, I’ll put it after the jump.)

I still say that the last ten minutes of the latest season of Battlestar Galactica is one of my favorite moments in television all-time, but since they gave the show its #1 spot last year, I suppose I can’t be too upset with them putting it at #2, especially considering who it lost out to. One big surprise: I figured #15 would be much higher than it ended up.

Read the rest of this entry »


Coaches Poll Ballots

December 5, 2007

I’m not sure what I find more interesting: knowing how all of the coaches who voted in this weekend’s BCS-impacting coaches poll, or this super cool presentation of the information by USA Today (who have displayed it similarly for the last couple of years). Say what you want about USA Today’s editorial content (and I will), their design work can be awesome.

At any rate, the most interesting thing to me is that Michigan State and San Jose State’s coaches thought that Missouri was a mere #12. Former Michigan savior Les Miles put them at #11.

Coaches poll results have only been public since the 2004 season, when several coaches ranked California, Berkeley bizarrely low in what was construed as an effort to get in Texas into the Rose Bowl. Of course, nothing was as embarrassing as the mess back in 2001 which ultimately led to Nebraska getting owned by Miami in the only Rose Bowl without the Big Ten or Pac Ten since WWII.