Some of the wonderful things rattling around in this full brain 'o mine. UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY (or at least twice a week)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

101 Greatest Simpsons Quotes

You know, running down through these quotes, it’s hilarious because I can still pretty much hear each one in my head, and for the most part, tell you which episodes they were from.

You know, I thought that the Simpsons Movie should have been made years ago…to take advantage of the huge popularity the show had in it’s first 6 or 7 seasons…now though, I think they did it the right way. Think about it, all those huge fans from 10 years ago, are older now…a lot of them have kids, that they’ll now take with them to the movie…that’s even MORE money that this movie will take in. I would have loved to have seen Harry Potter, Transformers, and the Simpsons open on the same weekend just to see who would take the cake. For my money, I think the Simpsons won’t beat Harry Potter’s opening weekend haul…but they’ll make a load of cash from this film.


Great quotes on here...

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

NBA Summer League and NBA Season Predictions

Weird off-season so far, definitely. Grant Hill walked to a contender for about 92mill less than his last contract. Rashard Lewis somehow became a max player. The draft was interesting. Randolph got traded from the TrailblazersI believe I called that one a while ago, but he didn’t go to the team I thought he would.

I actually got a chance to watch the Pistons Summer League team play on NBA TV. The kids look good. Afflalo looks to be very much in the Lindsey Hunter mode, and Stuckey looks great. I’m still concerned about that front-line for my Pistons though…oh well, I’m sure Joe will do something, or nothing…whatever.

Anyway, here’s my top 5 teams to watch next year (these being teams that won’t necessarily be good, but they’ll be fun to watch):
1. Portland Trailblazers: Oden’s going to be fun to watch along with the rest of a well put together team.
2. Memphis Grizzlies: Milicic will be good next to Gasol.
3. Toronto Raptors: The kids will just get better.
4. Boston Celtics: Allen’s going to help these kids grow up a little faster.
5. New York Knicks: Randolph and Curry in the same frontcourt….oh boy.


That being said, I’m predicting one of these following teams will win next year’s championship:
1. San Antonio Spurs: Did nothing, they don’t need to.
2. Dallas Mavericks: Still searching for Webber for Stevie Franchise…
3. Phoenix Suns: Adding G. Hill will solidify their locker-room.
4. Detroit Pistons: The kids will help the starters and push them enough.
5. Chicago Bulls: Another year of growing, Joe Smith helps.

Later Y’all! Time to look forward to college football season!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon interview with screenwriter!

This is a pretty decent interview with David J. Stieve, who wrote "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon." For those of you who haven't yet checked it out on DVD, it's the best horror film of the year. This interview gives good insight into where they're going next with the character, as well as how he got into screenwriting.

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I had to digg the interview with David J. Stieve, but I figured I’d couple it with a short review / recommendation for those of you out there who are horror fans.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon will go down as one of the most original, cool, and funny films of it’s genre…a very close second behind Scream. I have to admit, I didn’t really know much of anything about the film going in. It was out earlier this year, and played for all of one week at a local theater. I saw a banner ad on Aintitcool and thought it looked interesting, and I knew it was a more local product, so I wanted to check it out.

Well, it turned out to be one of the best surprises I’ve had watching films in a long time. You know what I’m talking about, one of those films that just catches you completely by surprised. Somehow you go into the film knowing next to nothing about it, and it ends up being so great that it sticks with you for a long time. I’ve had a couple of those in my lifetime: The Matrix, Equilibrium, Memento, and now Behind the Mask. These are movies that are so incredibly original and well-executed that I forever hold them close to my heart.

I’m not going to go in depth on Behind the Mask, for that would do it an injustice. Suffice to say that the synopsis is of a documentary crew following around a would be killer as he readies for his big night. Go in with nothing more than that, and enjoy the movie.

I would be remiss though not to mention the lead: Nathan Baesel. He hits all the greatest notes, as he seamlessly rolls from comedy to incredibly intense and intimidating. I couldn’t help but explain with joy during the films how many times the main character is just completely and utterly insane…but in a way that is entirely realistic and entertaining.

I give Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon a solid 5 out of 5 *’s. It’s one of the most entertaining and original horror films in years, and would be a solid addition to anyone’s DVD shelf.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Guy plays WoW on iPhone, Universe Explodes

Just a hack to see himself playing the game on his Iphone....but boy, I know some people who's heads would explode if this were real...Of course, a true gaming phone would be the next step in the evolutionary scale for personal devices.

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In fact, I don’t know why this hasn’t been a bigger and more sought after idea from phone companies, what with the success of the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP for their short-range WiFi connection capabilities to play games against friends across a network. With the iPhone’s computing power, and once it gets on a better and faster network, you could literally play games like World of Warcraft everywhere you could get a signal. That would effectively end the lives of some people I know, but it would definitely provide a boost to whomever manufactured said phone.

Of course, maybe iPhone should just focus on making the best iPhone they can make before we start taking quantum steps to including everything on a phone including gaming, camera, video camera, blogger, drink cooler, making julien fries, dish cleaner, NES emulator, and such...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Transformers – Another failed opportunity…

You know, I didn’t know what to expect going into Transformers the movie. I wouldn’t call myself a die-hard fan of the original cartoon or anything. I know some of the mythology. I loved the toys though. That was the draw…at least for me. I like Michael Bay’s movies…for the most part. I just…really didn’t know what to expect from him crossing over into fanboy range though…

Well, I went on Tuesday night. The Girlfriend was nice enough to stop on her way home from work and get tickets for us and a bunch of her work friends to a 7pm show on the IMAX screen no less. Not to say that Transformers is an IMAX movie, but for larger “event” movies, they’ll take it and show some shows on the IMAX screen. The sound is just as good, if not better. And even though it doesn’t up-convert any of the images, in fact if anything it makes the movie look worse (because it looks like the shutter belt is going to break any second), it’s still on this gigantic screen. I thought it’d be cool.

I’m not going to do a review. I’m going to point you to a review that I mostly agree with. If I had to nail it down to a rating, I’d rate it 2 *’s out of a possible 5. It’s one of those movies you should only go see if you’re a fan of the original source material…although if you ARE a fan of that original source material you’re probably going to find enough to annoy you into liking it less than me. Make sense?

Anyway, I’m going to quote some particular parts of a review from Aintitcool, in particular Vern’s review. For those of you who don’t know who Vern is…here’s his site…it’s got a lot of good reading so take the time and check it out.

Here are the parts of his reviews that hit home after I saw the film….

‘Three words for you about TRANSFORMERS: Ho. Lee. Shit. Not as in "Holy shit, I was blown away, it was a blast as well as AWESOME!" but as in "Holy shit, society really is on the brink of collapse."’ - With this, I get where he’s coming from. Most reviews had Transformers pegged as the best movie of the summer…at worst some had it pegged on par with Spider-man 3…which yes I didn’t love, but liked.


“This painful first hour shows that the movie's main problem is the same one as BAD BOYS 2: constant, embarrassingly unfunny jokes.”Yes, there are far far too many grown worthy lines…even excluding Optimus’ “My Bad.”


“For a movie produced by Spielberg it's surprisingly low on awe. People are supposed to be surprised to see robots, but they always turn it into jokes. There's not one second in the movie where you believe people are really reacting to seeing robots.”Yes, 100% yes. I kept hearing before I saw the film that Shia Lebeouf was to Transformers like Jeff Goldblum was to Jurassic Park….no F’n way. Shia was trying, you could tell he was…but he was too hampered by the script and directing.


“but it's bad in a more fascinating way, like a $200 million version of that tv show "Power Rangers." After a good hour fifteen of failed jokes, the probably-meant-to-be-serious introduction of the good guy Transformers is finally laugh out loud hilarious. They just look so fucking silly posing and saying their names and they talk in voices just like the old cartoons, so it almost seems like one of those meta-ironical type movies like FAT ALBERT or THE BRADY BUNCH where TV characters come to life in the "real" world to show how goofy they are. And this is one of the great "did I really just see that?" moments when one of the robots says something along the lines of "Yo yo yo wussssUUUUUUPPPP Autobots REPRESENT!" and I don't think he was eating robotic chicken or watermelon but I swear to you on my mother's grave that he started breakdancing.”I swear to God, I cheered inside when Megatron ripped Jazz apart. He was useless. Most of the Autobots outside of Prime and Bumblebee were. They could have killed every single one leaving just Prime and Bumblebee and I wouldn’t have cared one iota.


“Imagine you took apart a whole bunch of cars, mixed the parts up and welded them all together into a giant ball maybe 15 or 20 feet in diameter, then rolled it down a hill. Shoot that in closeup and you got every fight scene in this movie. I'm sure the Michael Bay style is a huge contributing factor, but I'm pretty sure you could've shot these fights with a stationary camera like a boxing match and I still would have no clue what the fuck was going on. I am no expert on robotics but to my untrained eye, these robots look like shit. Their designs are so overly complicated you can't tell which part is which. One robot (I think a bad guy robot, but not sure) goes flipping through the air in slow motion and while staring at it I was not entirely sure which end was up. There are scenes that are close on Optimus's face while he's talking where I could not even make out a face. I never knew which robot was which or who was a good guy or bad guy or what vehicle was what robot. Luckily Optimus has a shiny blue part on him, occasionally I would see shiny blue and know that hey, that's Optimus! I spotted one!”Here is my main problem with the movie. They spent millions of dollars on ILM doing effects for this movie. They, above all else, wanted realism in the designs…well, in doing so they made everything so overly complicated that’s it’s ridiculous. Seriously. I mean, we’re already there to see friggin robots that turn into vehicles…simplifying the designs a little bit to make them a little easier to see on all the high-speed action would have helped so incredibly much, it’s not even funny. The only good scenes involving the robots are the ones where they show them from far enough away that you can actually tell what they are doing. Unfortunately, I can only think of 5 or so scenes where that actually happens, and the rest of the time I feel like I’m watching fight scenes from Batman Begins, and the Bourne film series…everything is shot as if you’re directly right in the middle of it, thus making it so you can ultimately see nothing. They would have been better off showing the robots tumbling behind buildings, and going completely with sound effects to represent almost every fight in here, and it would have been better.


“The best "characters" in the movie are the robots during the 5 or 10 minutes when they're trying to be serious, and those scenes come off campier than SHOWGIRLS.”Unfortunately this is too true.


To sum up:
The movie’s unnecessarily long, it’s boring for some of it, there are some scenes of pure gold, but just like Ghost Rider, two or three good scenes do not balance out an entire film of missed opportunities. This film is laugh out loud funny, but not in a good way. Like I said in the beginning, this film is pretty much made for those die-hard fans, but Bay has included enough “F U’s” in it that it should effectively alienate most of them same rabid fans ala Batman and Robin.

Go read Vern’s review up now at Aintitcool. Please for the love of all things 80’s, do yourself a favor and don’t go see this movie. I’m sure it’ll do great opening weekend business, but after that it should die down. Someone’s got to get across to the studios that stuff like this ISN’T ok when dealing with our fanboy mythology. Keep in mind Voltron and Thundercats are just down the road. Do you want them messed up as bad as this?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

7-Elevens become Simpsons "Kwik-E-Marts"

Over the weekend, 7-Eleven Inc. turned a dozen stores into Kwik-E-Marts, the fictional convenience stores of "The Simpsons" fame, in the latest example of marketers making life imitate art. Now you can get Buzz Cola, KrustyO's and Squishees.

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With my un-abashed love of movie marketing, I had to put these articles up….

This one, and then this one. Both from digg.

I was going to go see the Simpson’s movie anyway when it came out, but now it looks like I’ll have to take the girlfriend and make a trip to visit her friend in Burbank so’s we can seek out this fabled Kwik-E-Mart and take some serious pictures.

“The U.S. locations where a 7-Eleven store was transformed into a Kwik-E-Mart are New York City; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Burbank, Calif.; Los Angeles; Henderson, Nev.; Orlando, Fla.; Mountain View, Calif.; Seattle; and Bladensburg, Md.”

The only thing that would be better would be if the “Sunny Mart’s” around Kalamazoo, already packed with Apu-type employees would also join in the fun…

7-Eleven = Kwik-E-Marts!!! (GREAT PICS)

It's all part of a campaign to hype the July 27 opening of "The Simpsons Movie"

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Benoit's Death Posted to Wikipedia 14 Hours Before Bodies Found !!!!!!

An anonymous user operating a computer traced to Stamford, Conn. — home to World Wrestling Entertainment — posted an entry to pro wrestler Chris Benoit's Wikipedia.com biography announcing the death of his wife Nancy more than 14 hours before police in suburban Atlanta said they found her body.

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I haven’t decided whether or not to write anything up about Benoit yet…for those who don’t know, he was my favorite wrestler of all time…but this newest wrinkle coming out following up on the story of his and his family’s death is just…disturbing. Click here to see the wikipedia page in question. Benoit was always seen as the ultimate underdog, but it seems he had far more problems outside of the squared circle than anyone knew. I’ll choose to remember him more as the wrestling icon I grew up with, than what he ultimately became at the end…

Thursday, June 21, 2007

AICN EXCLUSIVE! Guess Who’s Shooting His IRON MAN Role Today!! - Sam Jackson - Ultimate Nick Fury!!!

From Aintitcoolnews.com Okay. This is a pretty big tidbit, and as far as I can tell, this is an exclusive. I haven’t seen any mention of this anywhere online, but it’s exciting news, and I have to share it with you guys.

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Have to admit, I love this move, and I’m extremely excited about this actually moving forward. From AICN:

“Okay. This is a pretty big tidbit, and as far as I can tell, this is an exclusive. I haven’t seen any mention of this anywhere online, but it’s exciting news, and I have to share it with you guys.
Right now, if I had to wager on whether or not IRON MAN was going to be one of next summer’s big films, I’d say it will be. It seems like Jon Favreau has done everything right so far, and I’m hearing really exciting things about the action sequences and the casting, and I’ve been sold on Robert Downey Jr. since the moment he was announced.
Today, though, he’s shooting scenes featuring an actor who is a set-up for a larger Marvel continuity, and it’s exciting because I’m hoping this character can start showing up in other films, and we’ll start seeing Marvel Studios creating a larger world, one that exists outside the frames of the individual movies. This is a major step towards making that AVENGERS movie we’ve been hearing about. So who’s the actor? Who’s the character?
Sam Jackson. Nick Fury.
Count on it.”

For those who don’t know:

Nick Fury is the head of SHIELD in the marvel universe...think of it as the CIA/FBI on crack, they basically handle security for the US, especially in Superhuman affairs...well, in the Ultimate Universe, Nick Fury is the one who recruits and creates the Avengers, a superhero team employed and deployed by the government. The Avengers include:

Iron Man (2008 release)
Captain America (2009 release)
The Hulk (2008 release)
Thor (2009 release)
Giant Man (a scientist who creates the technology to grow or shrink)
The Wasp (a mutant who can shrink down to bug size, fly, and zap people).

I heard that they were working up to an Ultimate Avengers movie....this would officially be the first step in that direction.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lego Millenium Falcon Stop Motion

Animated Lego pieces putting together the Millenium Falcon in stop motion!Required: loads of free time, dedication, planning and ingenuity. Result: Priceless.



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Spurs NBA Champs, How to fix the NBA Playoffs?

Have to admit, I knew San Antonio was a better team, but I didn't think they'd sweep. But, I'm glad they did. Being a huge basketball fan, I watched every game I could even though my beloved Pistons weren't part of the finals, but besides me and some people in San Antonio, I don't think anyone else really watched the Finals. That begs the question, what can the NBA do to make the Playoffs more entertaining and a bigger draw to all the markets?


First, the obvious answer: Reseed the teams in each conference after each round.
The reason they would want to do this is that it would mostly solve the problem of the best two teams in the conference playing each other before the conference finals. Think about it, in the West, after the first round, you had the following seeds playing each other: 3 vs. 2 and 5 vs. 8.
Hence San Antonio's domination in the Conference Finals over a promising Utah team. But, if they reseeded after each round, you would have had the Suns vs. the Warriors (WHO WOULDN'T WANT TO SEE THAT?) and the Spurs vs. Utah, with the promise of Spurs/Suns to come. It would have provided a much larger stage for the league to screw the Suns with, that's for sure. But it also would have helped build things up a bit better. In the East you had 1 vs. 4, and 2 vs. 6. At the very least, a Detroit/New Jersey warmup to the winner of the Bulls/Cavs would have been great, and I'm sure the conference finals would have been much better with the correct buildup. Reseeding each conference after each round would also make the regular season that much more important. The top teams will be beating the crap out of each other that much more to get the easiest path to the conference or NBA finals.

Here's another answer that would never happen, and I'm sure I'll get flamed all over again (see my Pistons wishlist), but it's something that would create instant intrigue in the league because no one else does it:


Do away with the conferences, and reseed after each round.
Think of it...they're trying to get to be a more global league anyway. Do away with Eastern vs. Western Conference. Let everyone play everyone. Playoffs would include the top 16 teams after an 82 game season, regardless of zip code. Sure, it would enrage those in the Eastern conference, just like it would have enraged the Western Conference 15 years ago, but it would definitely add another dimension to the regular season. The Pistons wouldn't be able to slide into the #1 seed winning a paltry 54 games anymore. Also, reseed after each round again...except over the entire playoffs. You wouldn't have two brackets anymore, you'd just have one gigantic bracket. That would guarantee that the best two teams in the league have the easiest path to the Finals. Of course that would make it incredibly difficult for a Cinderella to break through at all, but meh.

Like I said, I don't think that would ever happen, but dang it would be interesting. One things for sure, something needs to be tweaked yet again, so the best two teams in the playoffs (Spurs/Suns or Spurs/Mavs) don't meet in the 2nd round again next year.

Any other ideas that would make the playoffs more exciting? Leave 'em in the comments!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

WWE – Vince McMahon and the Wonder of Marketing…

You know, I have no idea how people fall into his trap anymore. For those of you even remotely interested, I’m talking about Vince McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. You know, the former WWF of the famous cartoon. I have to admit, I used to watch wrestling. I was a huge huge Benoit fan. Still am to this day, I could watch that dude perform forever. But at some point, with wrestling being on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and PPV Sundays, I realized that perhaps they were demanding a little too much of my time, so I cut it out of my life. Still…it never ceases to amaze me the lengths the WWE will go to to drive their ratings.

Take last Monday Nights’ RAW for instance…

I headed to IMDB Tuesday morning for my daily dose of movie and entertainment news. There actually was a story that police were investigating a car bombing at the site of Monday’s RAW. It seems Vince McMahon’s limo had been car bombed, and blew up during the RAW show…conveniently halting that nights draft lottery, and ending the show. It seems Vince decided to kill off his own character for now on his Ultimate Male Soap Opera. What’s infinitely more interesting than that (besides watching paint dry) is that the police were actually taking this as a serious incident and wasting taxpayer money to investigate.

You’d think they’d be used to this by now. I mean, it’s the friggin WWE! They’ll try anything to get more exposure from using Donald Trump, to letting a documentary be created about screwing over their best star!

Needless to say, IMDB posted a follow up today mentioning that the WWE had applied for and had all the necessary permits for the stunt, that no one was hurt, and that the stunt wasn’t even shown live; it was taped on Saturday night. Well…Thank God for that.

Transformers Stop-Motion Animation

For those of you who didn't know, I love stop motion animation. I think it's great, and it's a timeless effect that I'll love seeing forever. Just to show how great all those super-articulated toys are...here is some Transformers Stop-motion animation!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Athlinks...Myspace for Runners...

I’m back home in MI visiting family, and as usually happens when my Dad and I get together, we start surfing the net. I show him some things he hasn’t seen, and he shows me some pictures he’s gotten put up here and there…

This time I decided to search his name though, just to see what would come up on the Google Search…

Strangely enough, in one of the more serendipitous moments of his life…we stumbled upon Athlinks. You see, my Dad years ago got a fever…and the only prescription…was physical activity. He got into running competitive road races through the local running club. At one point in time, we were running races together all over the state of MI. I lost my drive for it…now preferring running just to run, or focusing on my chi running. He though, found a certain kinship in the people who do it. He runs at least 1 race a weekend, sometimes doing upwards of 3 races ranging anywhere from 2 miles – to Half marathons. Lately, he mentioned that people had been coming up to him, knowing where he had ran the last couple of weeks, and what his times were. He couldn’t figure out how they knew…until now:

Athlinks!

Basically, from what I can tell, Athlinks is like Myspace, except for runners. It’s free to join. In fact, if you have run a timed competitive race in the last 10+ years, you might already be on there. I searched my name, and it came up with the 6 official races I’ve done since ’99. Pretty cool eh?

It gets cooler though, once you sign up, you can add people as your friends. You can create journal entries and add photos for each race you do. You can even add YouTube videos of anything dealing with the races you run! It keeps track of your rivals, a rival being anyone you’ve competed against at least 3 times. Case in point, my Dad had about 300+ rivals. It even lets you compare your mile times with your rivals, so you can see where exactly you need to pick it up. If there’s a race missing, you can add it to your results. It’s a nice easy place to keep track of all your times. It lets you search for upcoming events to run in. Overall, I’d say it’s a very very useful site for runners. Check it out…more importantly, if you know someone who’s been caught up in the wave of racing…tell them about it, and get it out there! This is something more people need to belong to and utilize!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Great Movies to Watch Over and Over and Over Again…

You know, there are always certain comic movies that I would watch at the drop of a hat…or the drop of someone mentioning them. Now, these might not always be the best movies, or the most critically acclaimed movies, or whatever, but these are movies that I hold dear to my heart that I would always watch…just for fun. ^_^

Here now are my Top Ten Movies to Watch at the drop of a Hat:

Sorority Boys – Two Words: Dildo Fight.

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist

SpaceBalls – I know this is sacrilege…but this is the only classic Mel Brooks movie that isn’t too long for me.



Any Jean-Claude Van Damme movie…trust me, they’re comedies ;-)

BaseketBall – Trey Parker, Matt Stone…they created South Park. This is close to their best work though.

White Men Can’t Jump – Wesley Snipes (before he got a big head), and Woody Harrelson are one of the classic underrated comic teams. Plus there are life lessons: “Listen to the woman.”

The Replacements – Something about this group of miscasts coming together as a football team that is just plain hilarious. Plus…Jon Favreau and Orlando Jones are simply awesome.

Grosse Pointe Blank – First John Cusack movie I absolutely adored.

Eurotrip – Crazy, hilarious, and a Matt Damon sighting you won’t believe…



Roadhouse – It’s so bad, it’s good. Plus…it’s got Sam Elliot calling a bar the Double Douche. That’s great.

Got any more you’d like to add to the list? Leave them in the comments!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My Pistons Summer Wishlist….

So, they’re done. If you listen to the pundits, they’re done as a team as we know them. Big changes seem to be in store for the team in the last 5 Eastern Conference Finals, and 2004 NBA Champion, the Detroit Pistons.

So, what do they need to climb that mountain again? What do they need to put them head and shoulders above the Cavs, Heat, and Bulls…all of whom will be better next year than they were this year?

Well…I think they can only go so far without completely blowing everything out of the water. They were exposed for not having enough reliable scorers…and I think they got a little bit out of sorts not following the gameplan thrown out by Flip Saunders…who already has been confirmed to be back.

Here’s who should be back next year:

Chauncey Billups (assuming they resign him)

Rip Hamilton

Tayshaun Prince

That’s your core. I think specifically, they need to work on depth more…specifically more for the playoffs than anything. Rip wasn’t enough to carry the load when Chauncey was covered adequately in the Eastern Conference Finals by Larry Hughes, and Tayshaun was a little tired from covering Lebron James.

Carlos Delfino, Jason Maxiell, Antonio McDyess, will be back. Amir Johnson should be able to at least join the rotation somewhat next year. Plus, the Pistons have two picks in the first round this year…they should be able to at least get one rotation player out of those two picks. Flip Murray has said that he’s probably not going to opt out of his contract, and come back…he can play some minutes a situational backup to Chauncey or Rip.

Notice how I haven’t mentioned Sheed yet. My first thought, after thinking about how the Pistons blew up this year was that either Sheed had to go, or the Pistons have to go after a Coach who can control him. Well…Flip is coming back. I think Sheed needs to go. For what in return though?

Some have asked for Zach Randolph. He probably would be easier to control than Sheed. He would stay near the post instead of flaring out to the 3-point line all the time. Course, he’s got 3 additional years than Sheed on his contract…and with Greg Oden coming to Portland…the Blazers probably won’t want to risk corrupting Oden with Sheed.

How bout some of these trades for Sheed though:

Trade Sheed to New York for Quentin Richardson and Channing Frye.

I have a feeling Isiah feels he needs to for sho make the playoffs this year. Sheed would certainly help that, and Frye had fallen out of favor with him. Richardson would be great as a backup 2 or 3 that could actually make a shot.

Trade Sheed and Lindsey Hunter to the Celtics for Al Jefferson and Theo Ratliff.

Boston could use Sheed’s game to help them rebound big time and possibly make the playoffs. Hunter would probably retire, and they’d have the extra cap space. Jefferson likes to play down low, and if Ratliff can still play, he’d be great on the defensive end. If not, he’d be in the last years of his contract.

Trade Hunter and Nazr Mohammed to the Nuggets for Marcus Camby

Hunter would retire and give the Nuggets the cap space. Mohammed could help man the middle, and at about 12 million dollars less over the life of his contract. Camby would help out at the defensive end, but still allow the Pistons to try and run a little bit more.

Trade Sheed and Hunter to the Suns for Shawn Marion

You put Tayshaun, Marion, and Maxiell – McDyess – Mohammed on the front line? That’s a looooong front line. And active. That’d be good stuff. Sheed could help the Suns walk that edge and give them one last shot to get them to the next level.

How about…you take the above trade…and then also this one:

Trade Nazr Mohammed to the Portland Trailblazers for LaMarcus Aldridge and Sergio Rodriguez?

Aldridge showed a lot late in the year, and he can score down low and defend pretty well.

Then go out in free agency, lure Grant Hill for one last run at a minimum deal, and go after another scorer with your mid-level exception.

All things considered…here’s the trades and free agents I would go for the hardest:

Trade Sheed, Nazr, and one of your first round picks for Randolph, and Aldridge. Sign Grant Hill. Pursue Gerald Wallace HARD, with your mid-level. In the event you can’t sign him, grab up Joe Smith or Austin Croshere.

Your next year’s starting five would be:

Chauncey Billups

Rip Hamilton

Tayshaun Prince

Zach Randolph

Lamarcus Aldridge

Backups:

G – Grant Hill

G – Carlos Delfino

F – Amir Johnson

F – Gerald Wallace or Maxiell

F- Antonio McDyess

You’d get a little younger, and a little better defensively. You’d get more active, and most of all…you’d get more hungry. Which is what was really lacking this year…

Enjoy the Finals.

Spurs in Six!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Cure for what ails the Pistons...

What happened Tuesday night was kind of a travesty...if you're a Pistons fan.

If it continues, it could be looked back on history as 2 things:

1) The startling and abrupt crumbling of the Pistons Big Game mystique.
and
2) The annointment of King James and his Roundtable into instant Title Contenders.

And nothing would make the media happier.

After the Cavs pushed the Pistons to 7 last year, and tired them to the point where they never recovered against the Heat, many were ready to put James and his Merry Band of miscreants into the Title picture. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if 7 out of 10 sportswriters picked the Cavs to take the #1 seed by 5+ games this year.

Alas, the Cavs stumbled. Unfortunately, in the East, stumbling equals the #2 seed in the conference, and because of a freak Gilbert Arenas injury (and to a lesser extent Vince Carter again crumbling in crunch time), the Cavs had the easiest path to the conference finals that any team has ever had.

I thought for sure that the Pistons, after sweeping a tough Magic team, and playing well for most of the 2nd round, would be better off when it came time for them to face the Cavs. I thought the Cavs would be full of themselves, while the Pistons had been somewhat humbled by Chicago's sudden turnaround to make Round 2 a series.

Boy, was I wrong.

What have I been treated to since this round began?

The Cavs have outplayed the Pistons every single game. What's scary is that even holding James to under 20 points, the Cavs had more than enough chances to win the two games at the Palace. Chauncey Billups' well documented troubles with the Cavs came back, and he's just not looking like the same player I've come to know and love over these last couple of years.

I think alot of this has to do with the Cavs Defense, which I just don't think has been given enough credit. The Cavs are swarming, giving the Pistons different looks, trapping the easiest plays that the Pistons obviously have taken for granted. Billups is rushing, which for him, is never a good thing. I haven't seen him this screwed up since the first half of 2004 when Larry Brown was in his head on every possession.

What remains is a best of 3, with the Pistons still holding home court. If the Pistons lose tomorrow at the Palace, the series may not be over...but I'd put the Cavs' chances at better than 75% that they finish the Pistons in 6.

What needs to be done to take the Pistons into the Finals for the 3rd time in 4 years?
1) Chauncey needs to slow down and breathe.
He is rushing, making bone-headed plays at the end of games. He needs to just relax. Not push, and let the game come to him.

2) Sheed needs to maintain his cool.
For God's sake, he needs to calm down. I've been ultra-impressed with him this postseason, and he needs to continue to play up to this new standard.

3) Rip needs to be involved the whole game.
For the most part, he's been involved in the 1st quarter, and then I barely notice he's on the court until 2 minutes left in the game. If he's on the floor, start running more staggered screens to get him open for shots.

4) Play CWebb and Hunter/Delfino in the 4th.
Look, I know McDyess is better than CWebb defensively. But, maybe, to open the 4th for maybe the first 5 or 6 minutes, put in Hunter or Delfino (to throw a wrench against Lebron/Gibson/Hughes) and put CWebb in to help facilitate the offense more. In the 4th, the Cavs have clamped down, and Billups just hasn't been able to break their traps for the most part. Put CWebb at the elbow, let Hunter or Delfino and /Prince/Rip run cuts trying to get easy access to the hoop. I think it would give the Cavs a different look they haven't seen for the most part that they wouldn't be able to clamp down on.

Here's hoping there's still baskball for Deeeeeeeetroit fans after this weekend....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day...Venice Beach

Well…I have no idea what I usually do for Memorial Day, but this Memorial Day was pretty cool. The GF and I decided to get out and explore a little more the OC and surrounding areas…which enabled us to go to Venice Beach!

For those of you who’ve ever heard anything about Venice Beach…it’s all true. First things first though, shortly after starting our ride toward the Santa Monica Pier…we saw riding…

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

NORMAN SMILEY!

That may not seem big to most…but it was too me. I loved watching Norman wrestle back in the day!

Anyway, here is the video I took of our little venture…rest assured, we’ll be back very soon to witness the greatness that is…Venice Beach!





Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Genius of Bruce Campbell…and Old Spice?

Saw Pirates last night…in a theater packed. Great movie…not as great as the first one, but definitely better than the second one. It reminded me just how great of a character that crazy bastard Barbosa really is…

Anyway, onto todays blog-worthy:

I guess I’m just kinda partial, since I’ve been using Old Spice deodorant for years…but 6 months ago, this started showing up on TV:





I love Bruce Campbell. I liked Old Spice. Now though…my like of Old Spice turned into love.

Then…just recently, this started showing up on TV:



I love Bruce Campbell. I now loved Old Spice. I love lounge versions of great 80’s songs ala Richard Cheese. Now my love for Old Spice has officially started gushing out my eyeballs.

Just kidding…but this is an example of great marketing. Take note!

Any other examples of great marketing you can think of? Let me know in comments!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Revealing the Joker from The Dark Knight…

Following last week's launch of The Dark Knight's viral campaign with the "I Believe in Harvey Dent" website, a second piece of guerrilla marketing is now online and it includes a really cool picture of Heath Ledger as The Joker.

read more digg story


I liked Batman Begins a lot…but I wouldn’t say that I loved it. I understood what Chris Nolan was trying to do with it, and in a lot of ways, I appreciated it. I mean, I’m such a huge Batman fan, have been for over 20 years, and he got the closest anyone has gotten to what the character is about.

That being said, I came upon this Sunday after noon with baited breath. I’ve kinda been dreading this moment, since the first couple of hoaxes on the look of the Joker in the Dark Knight a couple of months ago. Hopefully, you were one of the people who put in an email address into the I believe in Harvey Dent Too site before they took it down. If you did, you were slowly treated to what is believed to be the look of the Joker in The Dark Knight. Now, the picture is gone, replaced with a bunch of hidden Ha Ha’s….which, as pointed out here, you can decode to produce something saying “See you in December.” Many are of the mind that this means we’ll be treated to our first teaser for the film in December…which makes sense. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see our first official look at the Joker. If anything, they should try and keep as much under wraps as they can until closer to the actual film opening, like they did with Venom and Spider-Man 3.

Regardless, this blarticle is about the look of the Joker. My first thought is…I like it. Again, it’s not a purist view of the character…but I understand what he’s going for. Truth be told, if they would have gone with the Jack Nicholson incarnation…it just would have looked funny. The Joker is supposed to be anything but funny. He’s supposed to be scary…because of his look and his sense of humor. He has such a warped sense of humor, sadistic in his ways, that that’s what makes the character menacing. Otherwise, he’s just a guy with a permanent smile.

Now…I first thought they were going to go with something similar to what happened to the general in Pan’s Labyrinth. Actually have his cheeks cut open wider than a normal mouth should be. Looks like that’s kinda what they went for…only those wounds look jagged, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were self inflicted. The scarring that accompanied the healing of the cuts…it just works. This is the way you make him scary, yet seem to have that permanent smile.

Now, if they just portray him right in the film, it’ll be great. Absolutely great. It’s a great start, to say the least.

What do y’all think? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, May 14, 2007

'Heroes' Shocker: A Spin-off Series!

How they managed to keep this quiet is a shocker itself, but NBC execs will announce today at their annual upfront presentation in New York that they've been developing "Heroes: Origins," a spin-off series of this season's breakout hit that will, at least temporarily, replace "Heroes" on NBC's Monday night schedule.

read more digg story


Gotta love this one folks: a spinoff of a show to determine new characters to put on next season? Sounds like a plan to me. Out of all the shows the GF and I watch with any regularity, Heroes is the only one that seems relatively popular. Studio 60 is getting cancelled, Scrubs almost got cancelled, and Medium also almost got cancelled. You people are missing out! Of course, I don't even want to go into watching Lost, Nip/Tuck, or the 4400. Regardless, as long as the writers can keep coming up with good interesting material, anything based off of Heroes should be shiny.



What do you think the new characters powers should be? Let me know in comments!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Spider-man 4, 5, and 6…The Posibilities are endless!

Having already announced Spider-man 4, 5, and 6, I thought I’d take a stab of where the franchise should go from here, as a lifelong comic fan and movie geek.

IGN’s article on this subject, is a really decent start, and you’ll tell that some of my ideas somewhat mirror those, but I’ve got some different directions in mind as well…

Spider-Man 4 – John Jameson’s life was in shambles after MJ left him. He decided to take another mission to space, and was part of a moon landing, bringing back strange rocks on the moon. One of the rocks “calls to him” and he makes it into a necklace. This rock turns him into Man-Wolf during the days surrounding a full moon.

Pete finds out that he’s invited to a reading of Harry’s will. During the reading, just as Pete finds out he’s the soul beneficiary of Harry Osborn's fortune, in walks…Norman Osborn. Peter is aghast. Norman puts a stop to the proceedings, and resumes business with Oscorp. Spidey digs up Norman’s grave, to find no body in the casket.

Spidey hunts Man-Wolf. Man-Wolf almost kills him. He goes to Connors for help in treating his wounds, and ends up letting Connors take some blood for testing. Kraven comes to town to hunt the Man-Wolf to add to his collection (at the behest of Norman Osborn). Kraven captures the Man Wolf on live TV and is made into a hero by the city.

Spidey finds out that Man-Wolf is JJ’s son, and MJ pleads with Spidey to free him and help him rid himself of this curse. Peter gets a little jealous, but decides to help an ultimately innocent man. Spidey tails Kraven to find out where Man-Wolf is being held, and finds Kraven giving the Man Wolf to Osborn. Osborn immediately starts doing tests on the Wolf to figure out what makes him tick. Spidey slinks in to release Man-Wolf, and fights Kraven. Spidey releases the Man-Wolf, and rips off the moonstone that gives him his power.

Kraven releases footage of Spider releasing the Man-Wolf, and vows to stop Spidey. Kraven hunts Spidey, and Spidey defeats him, humiliating him by unearthing footage of him using canned hunts for some of his greatest “triumphs.” Kraven is put in jail, Man-Wolf is no more, JJ has his son. Spidey visits Norman to confront him about Man-Wolf, Norman explains he was trying to protect his city that his son died saving. Norman has no recollection of Spidey killing him, or any of his own Goblin activity. Spidey lets Norman know he’ll be watching him. At the very end, MJ lets Peter know she’s going to Europe to be a model. Close up on Norman Osborn’s face looking out over the city, his face starts to get a little plastic…his face morphs into Spider-Man’s face…and in Spidey’s voice…”I’ll be watching you. HA!” as his face morphs from Spidey’s to the Chameleon.

Spider-Man 5 – In the 5th movie, Chameleon/Osborn would again start Oscorp down the path of defense contracts, competing with Hardy Enterprises. Vincent Hardy is killed by Chameleon’s “Super Soldier” Electro, and his daughter (Felicia Hardy) gets caught up with his own “Super Soldier” experiments which have involved Dr. Connors and Peter. She ends up having an experiment done to her to change her into the Black Cat. She hunts Electro, runs across Spidey a few times. They start a “relationship” in that she’s very turned on by the danger in her new life. They hunt Electro together, but in the end, she intends to kill Electro for killing her father, and Spidey has to stop her. In the end, Electro is defeated, and the Black Cat leaves town to start her life somewhere else. Connors comes upon the initial research dealing with crossing reptile dna with human dna to enable regeneration. At the end, Chameleon is working at in Osborn’s office, and the door slides open. Chameleon looks up to see, Norman Osborn. Confused, he pulls out a gun. Norman jumps over the desk, knocking the Chameleon down. He grabs the Chameleon by the throat, and throws him out the window at the top of Oscorp. Close-up on Norman’s face “You’ve cost me everything Peter, now I’m going to take it all back.”

Spider-Man 6 – MJ returns to NY a huge star. She starts dating Peter who now works at the University with Connors and still at the Bugle. Connors uses the reptile super soldier research combined with Spidey’s blood to come up with a formula to allow him to regrow his arm. He takes it, and his arm regrows. This movie would detail his slow descent into insanity as the formula slowly turns him into a full blown Lizard monster, slowly (think, the Fly). Combine that with Osborn working behind the scenes to buy the Daily Bugle, and fire Peter. He exposes Connor’s work at the university, and get’s Connors fired (again, putting Peter out of a job). He buys Mr. Ditkovich’s building, and knocks it down to build another portion of Oscorp. He’s also working on replicating the Goblin formula to make it better. He takes the formula again, and returns as a meaner, more menacing Goblin (think Ultimate Goblin). In the end, Spidey has finally reverted the Lizard back to Connors, and the new Goblin fires a blast through Connors’ heart saying “Try regrowing that.” Before flying away cackling into the night as Spider-Man is left to hold his dying mentor (and father figure) in his arms.

Future films could deal with the Ultimate Goblin, Tombstone and Robbie Robertson, heck…even Rocket Racer….or maybe not. The Rhino, the Scorpion, another Doctor Octopus, Morlun, or eventually Hobgoblin could also be brought into place.

As for who plays these characters…especially if you’re going to restart the franchise…here’s my suggestions:

Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Justin Chatwin or Joseph Gordon-Levitt – both would work for the inbetween cool/still geeky Parker.

MJ
Eliza Dushku – she’d be able to convey a newer more independent MJ.

Felicia Hardy
Scarlett Johansson – Black Cat needs to be…curvy. Scarlett would satisfy that.

Norman Osborn/Chameleon/New Ultimate Goblin
John C. McGinley – I always thought he had the perfect look for Norman.

Kraven
Oded Fehr

Lizard/Dr. Curt Connors
Stick with Dylan Baker

And of course, J.K. Simmons has to keep playing JJ Jameson!

The World revolves around Paris Hilton…


Ah yes, Paris Hilton. Gotta love her…or hate her…

Much has been made of her attempts to not serve her jail sentence…

And there have been plenty of people who’ve signed to keep her out of jail.

I instead chose to sign to make her serve her sentence…as she should. You should sign as well, if you think she deserves to serve for the wrongs she’s committed. (Let’s face it, she’ll never serve enough time as she should for ALL her wrongs – DUI's, The Simple Life, Miniature Dogs in handbags, being a beeyatch, not coming out as a hooker, etc. etc. etc.) Keep in mind, you don’t have to donate money to the site…just sign, and call it good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Spider-Man 3 Review: Does everything a spider can…

You know, I meant to have this out days ago…at least keep with my Tue/Thu posting schedule…but as with all things, life (or work) sometimes gets in the way. So anyway, today’s post will be a review of Spider-Man 3, and next post (either tomorrow or Friday) will be about where I would go for Spidey-Man 4, 5, and 6, since those have already been announced… By the way, thanks for that link Kelly.

I always find it hard to review comic movies, or really movies involving any property that I’ve previously been involved in. Plus, with the virtual onslaught of information about all aspects of how this movie was made, and reading plenty of reviews from various movie sites like this one. That being said, even though I’ve been a huge comic fan, I’m often easier to please than most comic fans. I remember liking Batman Forever, and not hating it, accepting their Robin character, even though he’s one of my favorites. I liked the old TV Incredible Hulk movies. I even, to an extent, like X-Men: The Last Stand, even though there are loads of missed opportunities with that movie. I just like seeing characters I love up on the screen. I still love the original Spider-man, with the Green Goblin redesign and all, even though I may not have agreed with casting choices. I didn’t flip out about the organic web-shooters. I really didn’t flip out about the Goblin much either, because, truthfully, I viewed it like X-men, those costumes would look hilariously bad in real life. My top rated comic films still are Spider-Man, X2, and Spider-Man 2.

That being said, I liked Spider-Man 3. But, I didn’t love it. Non-spoiler review = 3 out of 5 stars. For those of you who don’t already know what it’s about, I’ll go with the truncated version (spoiler warning from here on out!):

Peter’s happy. He got the girl, he’s gained the adoration of the city, he’s on a high. He’s so high in the clouds, that it’s all he talks about is how great he is. He becomes a jerk. Uncle Ben’s real killer is revealed as the Sandman. Peter’s in competition with Eddie Brock for a job at the Bugle. He’s not being a good boyfriend to Mary Jane. He fights Harry a couple of times. Harry loses his memory, get’s it back, and forces MJ to break up with Peter. Peter merges with the black suit, and it makes him Emo-Spidey and Emo-Peter. Emo-Peter uses Gwen Stacy to get back at MJ. Emo-Spidey realizes he’s even MORE of a jerk with the Emo-suit. Peter rips off the Emo-suit and it attaches to Brock. Brock becomes Venom, teams up with Sandman, and Spidey and Harry (now good and not insane anymore from the Goblin formula) team up to fight the villains.

I look at this movie, similar to how I look at X-Men the Last Stand (even though this film is much better in that it doesn’t look like it was done for TV). This movie is a bunch of missed chances. Missed chances left and right. Missed chance to do some great characterization of the Sandman. Missed chance to do characterization of Peter and Gwen Stacy. Missed chance on the entire Venom character. Missed chance with Dr. Conners.

As a general movie perspective, I agree with what a lot of people have come out saying: that there’s just too much packed into this film. They talk about all the new characters jammed in there, but I only agree to a point.


This film would have been just perfect, if they just would have done less…if they just would have gotten to a plot point and stopped, instead of insisting on finishing the arc. I’ve read around that Sam Raimi was forced to include Gwen Stacy and the Venom characters. I can see that. They get almost no love from the script in general. Gwen’s just mostly eye candy. What would have probably been best for the franchise as a whole would have been introducing the black suit, Eddie Brock, and Gwen in this movie, and instead of forcing all those arcs to finish themselves in this movie, have them roll right into the next making Venom the sole villain in the next movie. In fact, the scene from the trailer with Peter ripping off the symbiote and it falling onto Eddie would have been a perfect ending. I think it’s the biggest missed chance of the franchise, because if Sam Raimi actually had the time to run with the Venom character, after learning more about him, I’m sure he’d make a great horror type movie, as Venom is a scary character. He’s stronger than Spidey, he knows all of Spidey’s secrets. But no, they had to have him in here. I also don’t generally agree with Spidey taking his mask completely off again, letting Sandman get away, and the killing of Harry and Eddie.

All that being said, I still like the movie. The designs of Venom are spot on. Sandman looks great, although I did laugh when he took that green shirt out of his dresser. I mean…who wears a shirt like that? I liked Mr. Ditkovich and his daughter. I liked that Peter went to Dr. Conners for help. I liked JJ Jameson, and everyone at the Bugle. Aunt May is even good in here.

The action is spot on. The action is probably the best I’ve seen in any comic movie (until we get a full on Wolverine/Sabertooth fight, or Superman Returns again fighting an actual supervillain). The movie makes me happy…but also a little sad when I think about what could have been…

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Now THIS is Movie Marketing – Ultimate Movie Standee’s throughout time...

Wow…I have to admit, I’m always impressed with the way movies market themselves with standees. Back in the day, we use to love setting up standees, and taping a walkie talkie to the back and yelling at kids as they walked by the standees. Now that was fun with Blade, telling everyone that he wanted to suck their blood. The stakes have definitely been raised over the last couple of years though.
First one that pops into mind is the life size King Kong replica set up in New York last year for the film opening. I remember thinking that this would be the coolest thing to see live and in person. I remember reading about the original King Kong release (1933) and how they brought in the life size bust they made of Kong, the one that had the moving eyes and mouth that they shot close-ups of Kong chewing people. That would have been totally tits as well.


Well…just this last weekend, the Girlfriend and I went to see The Invisible. Upon walking into the theater, we were treated to the following standee:


Crazy. First thought I had was: I want it for our living room. I still remember when it was a big deal if the movie had a banner, this is taking it to a whole different level. As is the new Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer standee below.

We saw this one as well, and it looks really really cool. Probably the best and coolest looking standee I’ve seen in a theater, and the first one I’ve come upon that I wanted my picture taken with.

Well, on top of all that, leave it to Sony to try and top them all:

Came upon this whilst jaunting around IGN’s site…I think that’d be pretty cool to have an overlook of that lot out your office window. I would say I’d love to take that home…unfortunately, I think it’s bigger than most houses…

Here’s hoping we get a great Iron Man Mach I suit in theaters in the next year!


What other great movie promotions have you seen through the years? Leave ‘em in the COMMENTS!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

NBA Referee's Racist?

Everyone's a rittle bit lacist...even NBA Refs.

I have to say, I’m surprised Mark Cuban probably didn’t already know this when he did all of his deconstructing of the referees a couple of years back. It is kinda funny that he owns one of the first teams to really diversify itself with players from many many different countries.

Regardless, I started reading this this morning on the Detroit News website, where I go first thing every morning to read everything I can about the Pistons. There it was, quoted from the NY Times original article:

“An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.

A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.

Justin Wolfers, an assistant professor of business and public policy at the Wharton School, and Joseph Price, a Cornell graduate student in economics, found a corresponding bias in which black officials called fouls more frequently against white players, though that tendency was not as strong.“

The article goes onto state that the “different rates at which fouls are called ‘is large enough that the probability of a team winning is noticeably affected by the racial composition of the refereeing crew assigned to the game.’”

Crazy. David Stern must have seen this and flipped.

Truth be told, I agree with David Berri when he’s quoted saying ““I would be more surprised if it didn’t exist,” Mr. Ayres said of an implicit association bias in the N.B.A. ‘There’s a growing consensus that a large proportion of racialized decisions is not driven by any conscious race discrimination, but that it is often just driven by unconscious, or subconscious, attitudes. When you force people to make snap decisions, they often can’t keep themselves from subconsciously treating blacks different than whites, men different from women.’”

They re-ran the numbers, doing multiple different reports, but kept coming up with the same results. What’s the NBA to do besides vehemently deny? Most likely, nothing. There’s nothing you can do, as long as you have live people refereeing your games. It’s just going to happen. Still, this is just another public relations black eye for the NBA referees, most recently and notably the Joey Crawford blowup with Tim Duncan.

Are These Two Ref'd Differently?


By the way, the Times talked to Cuban, “We’re all human. We all have our own prejudice. That’s the point of doing statistical analysis. It bears it out in this application, as in a thousand others.” That’s one of the fun things about being in statistical analysis, the data doesn’t lie.


I always did think it was kinda funny to have a bunch of mostly middle-aged old white guys “policing” a mostly black league though…maybe it’s time to diversify more with the refs. Of course, if most of the players weren’t spoiled whiny brats on the court too, that would help as well. I think there’s a middle ground there somewhere, but I don’t see them getting to it anytime soon. Watch though, this won’t be the last time the refs will be called into question in these playoffs. Heck, I remember the firestorm last year dealing with Dwayne Wade getting every single call in the playoffs.

Just makes me want to watch something more noble as a sport, like Hockey…or even Professional Wrestling.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Wind Turbines on the Highways, The Invisible, and the NBA Playoffs.



Clogged highways and frustratingly waiting while your gas needle plummets to empty usually doesn't conjure up thoughts of green, but it seems like these very roads could become the source of a lot more energy. Several recent student designs have proposed that major roadways be retrofitted with various forms of wind energy collection devices...
read more digg story




Saw this on Digg…had to blog it. I specifically remember driving over the mountains from Vegas to the OC with the Girlfriend and the Kitten and thinking “Why aren’t these mountains covered in windmills to capture energy from the winds this high up?” I’ve been positively amazed with the lack of such innovation since moving here, especially since I work for the power company, and the threat of brown-outs year after year. So, here’s hoping that this design gains steam and some state gets smart and realizes that this could help. At the very least, tax dollars could be used to fund it, and then the state could sell the energy back to the consumer resulting in yet more money for the government. Places like MI (if you could make all weather turbines), really need more money for their government.

Got a chance to check out The Invisible this weekend…I’d recommend it to rent or go to for a dollar show or something, that’s about it. It wasn’t that the movie wasn’t bad, it looked like they had re-cut some or changed the movie a bit, as the part in the commercial with the old guy talking about “solving the mystery of your own death” was no-where to be found. That’s a pet peeve of mine. The leads were ok, the whole premise of falling in love with a ghost is kinda…I don’t know, doesn’t seem plausible enough even for a movie. The main character, I could care less about before he got “killed” anyway. Not a bad ending though.

HOW BOUT THEM PISTONS AND BULLS!

I have to admit, I haven’t had a chance to watch my taped Pistons – Magic game 4 yet, but those Bulls are going to provide the Pistons with everything they can take in the 2nd round. It just reminds me of the Spurs – Mavericks series of last year, the unofficial Conference finals, unless they beat the crap out of each other so bad that they’re too tired after this round. Whichever team wins (Pistons) is my pick to win the whole shebang though.

Oh, and go WARRIORS! I love watching top seeds sweat (especially when it’s not my team!) The only thing that would make this series better would be if Steve Nash and Antawn Jamison were on the Warriors, then it would be all of Cuban’s castoffs coming back to haunt him. Regardless of what happens, this series has definitely provided some entertaining basketball. Hopefully the Warriors won’t get full of themselves (ala the Magic of 2003) and start looking ahead. The Pistons (from 2003 vs. the Magic) and the Suns (last year versus the Lakers) came back from similar deficits.

4 MORE DAYS TILL SPIDER-MAN!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dan Majerle's Remarkable Shots - FULL VIDEO YouTube and No Edits. Amazing.

Thunder Dan Majerle is just remarkable. No edits. No cuts. Before the Suns Lakers game. MUST WATCH.

read more digg story

Continuing the basketball theme of this week…I heard about this and had to seek it out. Kudos to barrett90 from YouTube to loading it up from PTI (which I can’t watch anymore, but I listen to the podcast every morning!). Those of you who don’t know, Dan Majerle was a college basketball star for CMU from Traverse City, MI, and played his best ball with the Phoenix Suns (back when they had Barkley and challenged Jordan’s Bulls in the playoffs), and Miami Heat. Here he shows he’s still got it with some half court shots, in his suit no less, before a game. Awesome. Back in the day, I didn’t want to be like Mike, I wanted to be like Dan…all tan and with a hot wife. Can you imagine how great “Thunder” Dan would be now-a-days with the new rules?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pacers Fire head coach Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle was fired Wednesday after four tumultuous years as Indiana Pacers coach, following a season in which the team did not make the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
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With my affiliation to a certain Detroit team (read: HUGE PISTONS FAN!!!), you wouldn’t think I would even care what’s going on at what was once our most hated of rivals: The Indiana Pacers. Unfortunately, Carlisle is a former Piston, and I just haven’t felt like Detroit has been the same since the Palace Brawl, even though the Pacers have definitely been affected more. Anyway, returning the Pacers to challenge the Pistons would just be another team to keep them on their toes.

Anyway, Carlisle was just let go by the Pacer organization. He’ll find a job elsewhere, that’s for certain. Unfortunately for him, coaches of his ilk are no longer in vogue as they were a couple of years ago when the Pistons let him go. He’s of the “Grind-It-Out” style, which has definitely lost it’s luster the last couple of years. Even though Detroit and San Antonio won championships in 2004 and 2005 with those type of styles, and Miami’s style last year was more an amalgam of styles. The pure “Grind-It-Out” style just won’t win anymore with the various rules changes on defense. As such, you’re going to see more motion styles (like Eddie Jordan, or Lawrence Frank) or straight up Run-And-Gun styles (Mike D’Antoni). There’s just not that many teams that lend themselves to the “Grind” style anymore. But, given Carlisle’s W/L record, someone will take a chance on him.

Fixing the Pacer team though, is a completely different issue. They need to set an identity and get a coach that fits that identity. With all the available candidates out there, they can go in a bunch of different directions. Let’s assume they want to emulate most of the other “In” styles of right now…the Motion style (since no one can really run the straight up Run-And-Gun besides the Suns and the Warriors). First choice should be to go with Suns Assistant Marc Iavoroni. Odds are he’ll end up in Toronto, though. Second choice should be Rick Adelman. He ran a very efficient offense in Sacremento that would work very well with the players on the Pacers. Third choice would be Sam Mitchell. Sam’s shown he can adapt styles if need be like he did this year with the Raptors.

Assuming they get the Coach they want, next they need a little turnover on their roster. Not too many tweaks, in the long run. First thing is to get rid of Jermaine O’Neal. Nice player, but he doesn’t fit the system, plus he’d do better on a team that he didn’t have to be the primary option. I propose you trade him to the Wizards for Antawn Jamison and Antonio Daniels. Daniels adds a nice proponent to run the type of offense you want, and he can still get it his own shot if need be, plus he’s a better shooter than Jamaal Tinsley. Antawn would do great in the offense alongside Troy Murphy and Mike Dunleavy. Next you turn around and trade Jamaal Tinsley to the Orlando Magic for JJ Redick and Carlos Arroyo. This would subtract Tinsley, who’s just never going to work out in Indiana, for an international flavor who can push the tempo in Arroyo, and a sharpshooter in Redick. If you can’t swing Redick, go out and get a sharpshooter (think Steve Blake or Jason Kapono). You need to have a couple of people who can hit something from outside. The final thing you need to do is get rid of Dunleavy. Trade him and Harrison to his Dad for Corey Maggette, or just dump him for hustle guys. Regardless, he shouldn’t be taking up shots from Jamison, Redick, Kapono or Murphy. Also, work out a deal with Seattle for Rashard Lewis. How bout Lewis for Daniels, Granger, and Diogu.

Making these moves, the opening day roster would look like this:

PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: JJ Redick
SF: Rashard Lewis
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Troy Murphy

With backups:
Jeff Foster
Carlos Arroyo
Jason Kapono
Corey Maggette
Shawne Williams
Keith McLeod
Maceo Baston
Orien Greene
Rawle Marshall

That leaves enough room for a good draft pick or two. That would be a team that could contend in the East, with the right offense installed. I’m sure they’d be incredibly fun to watch as well. Plus, they’d be a good warmup for the Pistons to beat before they beat the Suns in the Finals next year. ;-)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Charities worth supporting…Revver and Reeve?

You know sometimes, online ventures just get it right. Not very often, but sometimes.

In the case of What Kind of World Do You Want?, they really got it right. What Kind of World is a contest put on by Five for Fighting and Revver. Revver is another YouTube type clone that pays it’s uploaders for their videos based on how many times the videos are watched. In this case, every time you watch one of those videos at What Kind of World Do You Want?, Revver will donate up to 49 cents to the charity that video was created for. Charities include the following:

Fisher House
Breast Cancer 3-Day: Komen for the Cure
Save the Children
Autism Speaks
VH1 Save the Music Foundation
NY Police and Fire Widows & Children

So, go to the website, watch some videos, and help Revver donate money to these worthy causes.

Also, if you’ve got a little extra cash and would like to give to another worthy cause, head on over to Superman Tags and get some cool Superman Tags to wear in honor of Christopher Reeve. They’re only 10 bucks, they look cool, and they go to a good cause.