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Playing possum
July 31, 2014 4:30 pm

Opossums seem mean. And kinda weird. I wouldn't want to have to wrangle one in front of a waiting crowd.

View image on Twitter

It happened last night at the Quad Cities River Bandits game in my hometown of Davenport, Iowa. Here's the video.


Crossover
July 29, 2014 3:09 pm

Simpsons and Family Guy crossing over into the same universe.




It started off OK, then, kinda went down hill. But the potential is certainly there.Apparently the Family Guy universe will invade Springfield on FOX on September 28.


This pillow's on fire
July 28, 2014 4:06 pm

So I don't have a nightstand next to my bed, and I have this exact model of phone so...this is a little scary.

According to this website:

Texas resident Ariel Tolfree may have trouble sleeping for a while. The 13-year-old went to sleep with her white Galaxy S4 under a white pillow ? and was awakened by a burning smell close by. The problem? Her Galaxy S4 was burning.


Galaxy-S4-after-being-burned-under-pillow
http://www.inferse.com/16408/samsung-galaxy-s4-burns-pillow-third-party-battery-blame/

The Galaxy S4's battery was so hot during the night that it swelled, then burned not only the Galaxy S4 and through the pillow under which it was placed, but also her mattress.

Tolfree?s family contacted Samsung, who?s taken a look at the smartphone to verify whether or not the parts were originally from Samsung. The team discovered that the battery inside of it was a counterfeit battery from a third party, not an original Samsung battery.

Still, despite the fact that the third-party battery is to blame in the case, Samsung has agreed to replace the Galaxy S4 as well as the mattress and the pillow.

I keep my phone on the pillow next to me when I sleep. It's helpful for it to be that close to my head, as it's my alarm. But a flaming pillow is pretty alarming too. 

Rory's British Open Win
July 21, 2014 2:27 pm

I had some trouble sleeping in this weekend, but that turned out to be OK because I was able to get up and watch the British Open (GOLF ON TV IS COOL, DAMMIT.)

I found myself growing increasingly jealous of Rory McIlroy as the weekend went on because, well, he's 11 months younger than me and he's already won three legs of golf's Grand Slam.

In other news, I broke 50 on 9 holes for the second time of my life last week. So TAKE THAT, RORS.

But I saw a few cool storylines that came out of Rory's British Open win.

First, his dad and buddies won $180,000 off a bed they made with the online gambling site Ladbrokes after his dad made a 200 pound ($341) bet that Rory would win the British Open within 10 years of 2004, with it paying out 500-to-1 odds.

His buddies bet 200 pounds at 250/1 for him to win The Open by 2015 and 200 pounds at 150/1 for McIlroy to win The Open before age 50. Those bets will pay out a combined $136,700.


Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler made it interesting on Sunday, but Rory cashed in for himself and his family. Pretty cool.

So Rory now gets his first taste of the Claret Jug and apparently, that taste is Jagermeister. 

0725_Brian Keogh_party_with_trophy

The photo, courtesy of TMZ, is of Rory's friend on the left, and his MOM, pouring Jager into the British Open trophy. 

He is only 25, after all, so I guess he's allowed to do that. 

New music from Tom Petty
July 16, 2014 3:10 pm

Here's a listen of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' new single "Fault Lines" off the Hypnotic Eye album, due out July 29.


Spider Fire
July 16, 2014 11:51 am

This is something I'm scared my roommate would do. 




Via KOMOnews.com:

Fire officials say a West Seattle man was using a lighter and a can of spray paint to kill a spider in his laundry room when the house went up in flames.

A man who lived at the home told fire officials he was trying to kill a spider in his laundry room using a can of spray paint and a lighter when the wall caught fire, according to Kyle Moore with the Seattle Fire Department. The man wasn't able to put the fire out himself, and he left the home when it began to spread.

The building, which is a rental home, will cost roughly $40,000 to repair, Moore said. It will cost another $20,000 to repair or replace the contents of the home.

It's unclear if the spider survived.


And then the joke at the end. Classic. We had a few wasps get into our apartment and I'm frankly surprised the apartment complex is still standing.

Shock and Ow
July 15, 2014 1:51 pm

This strikes me as one of the most American things ever.

We're going to do our best to work out and be fit and if WE DON'T REACH THAT GOAL, well then we're going to electrocute ourselves until we do.

Ok, so maybe electrocute is a bit of a strong word, but this latest tech gadget is a bit much..




From Blood Sweat and Cheer:

Soon you'll be able to shock yourself on-the-go, from anywhere, with the Pavlok activity tracker.

Tell Pavlok your fitness goals, and if you fail to reach them, the wristband will set you straight?with a small electrical shock!

Yikes?! Cool?! WTF?! Yeah, we feel the same way.

When used with its app, Pavlok can turn your bad habits into healthy ones.

Just tell the app what you want to do, whether it's waking up early or getting to the gym by a certain time. Snooze your alarm or skip the workout, and you'll feel a shock on your wrist.



Pavlok...Pavlov plus shock, perhaps?


Pamplona Selfie Vid
July 14, 2014 3:06 pm

So if you're gonna be running with the bulls in Pamplona, apparently you can't take a selfie. Because that would make the afternoon too dangerous.


Police in Pamplona, Spain are looking for a man who shot a selfie while running a few steps ahead of the bulls.  Video of Friday's run through the streets of the northern Spanish city shows the young man slowing down to snap a photo of himself and others running in front of the half-ton bulls.  The city passed a law this year banning the unauthorized use of any kind of recording device during the bull runs.


The thing is, that's a video I'd actually watch? No one wants to watch your kid's t-ball game or a song at a concert or HEAVEN FORBID a fireworks show, but a selfie video of the running of the bulls? Damn right I'd watch that.

Self-serve Vending Machine
July 7, 2014 1:39 pm

The Minnesota Twins have unveiled self-serve beer vending machines at Target Field, and will reportedly be adding a second for when the MLB All-Star Game comes to town later this month.

Apparently it's not going to take anyone's job either, because they're still going to use real live humans to check IDs, but it's still a little strange. And seems...unnecessary?

What was wrong with the way things were? Not to seem like a curmudgeon, but it was a pretty simple transaction to begin with. I hand person money, person pours me a beer. Everyone wins.

Here's my pros and cons list:

PRO: Can order the exact amount of beer you want, up to 48 oz every 15 minutes

CON: Waiting in a (probably long) line to get a beer

PRO: Hopefully the machine can figure out how to pour it perfectly

CON: It looks like you pull the handle yourself, and you're not good at pouring

Embedded image permalink

I remain unconvinced. Perhaps I'll need to go investigate myself. Say, for a day game some weekday?


Hot diggity dogs
July 3, 2014 3:28 pm

One of the competitions that fascinates me every 4th of July is the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Well, fascinates and disgusts and mesmerizes and entrances and disgusts once again.





Here's a snippet from a Time.com article about what happens to a person who competes in such a contest:

Not much research has been done about competitive eating. But several doctors from the University of Pennsylvania did an experiment for a National Geographic special, the results of which were published in the Journal of Roentgenology. They wanted to find out what happened to competitive eaters? stomachs, so they compared two men: one champion eater and one non-competitive-eating man?the control?who simply had a ?healthy appetite.?

The men were asked to consume as many hot dogs as they could in 12 minutes. The researchers noted that after eating the hot dogs, the competitive eater?s stomach ?appeared as a massively distended, food-filled sac occupying most of the upper abdomen.? There was also ?little or no gastric peristalsis,? the squeezing motion that normally helps the stomach break down food.


The article also talks about how competitive eaters basically trick their brain into letting their body ingest more. In other words, don't try this at home.

Bet'n'bite
June 25, 2014 2:31 pm

I wouldn't say I'm a degenerate gambler, but I like having a vested interest in sporting events.

Betting on whether or not a specific player will bite someone over the course of the World Cup? I wish I had the gall to bet on something like that.

A Norwegian man named Thomas Syverson bet the equivalent of about $5 on the fact that Uruguay star Luis Suarez was going to bite someone during the World Cup.


After Giorgio Chiellni had his shoulder chomped down on by Suarez yesterday, Syverson took home over $900.

View image on TwitPic website

I can't read it either, but that's apparently the winning betting ticket.

NO SLEEP TILL...
June 24, 2014 3:09 pm

If you're tired, you're allowed to commiserate with other Wisconsinites. The stats prove it.

According to estimates from the annual American Time Use Survey, Wisconsin residents spend an average 8 hours and 26 minutes a night sleeping. Mississippi is on the other end of the spectrum, with the average resident spending 9 hours and seven minutes a day on shut eye.



One reason might be the dairy farmers getting up early to tend to the cows. Another might be all the people staying up late drinking. I may fall into one of those categories, but not both. You decide which.

World Cup Sex
June 18, 2014 3:02 pm

The World Cup is very important to billions of people around the globe, and those rabid fanbases want to make sure that the players are at their peak physical condition for each game of the tournament.

They'll be happy to know that the coaches of many teams are regulating their players' sex lives in order to make sure this is true.

According to TIME.com:

Sex is permitted on these teams: Germany, Spain, the United States, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Uruguay and England

Sex is banned on these teams: Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile and Mexico

And the rules are complicated on these teams: France (you can have sex but not all night), Brazil (you can have sex, but not?acrobatic? sex), Costa Rica (can?t have sex until the second round) and Nigeria (can sleep with wives but not girlfriends)

The rules for the remaining teams are unknown.

Are some sex rules excessive? Probably. The two most common concerns about pre-game sex are that intercourse might make a player tired and weak or it could affect him psychologically. Studies have shown that the former is a myth.

Many coaches and athletes believe that abstaining from sex builds up aggression, a belief that probably stems from ancient civilizations like the Greeks, who thought that men derived strength from their semen. This theory is so pervasive that even Muhammed Ali refused to have sex six weeks before a fight, fearing that ejaculation would release the testosterone (and therefore aggression) he needed for a boxing match.


For sure reason, this amuses me, partially because of how awkward it must be for the coaches to implement these rules. How does the Brazilian coach define what is acrobatic and what isn't? 

Some teams believe the opposite:

Some experts even argue that previous World Cups wins prove sex can be beneficial.

?The Netherlands national soccer team, at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, is an example of this,? Juan Carlos Medina, general coordinator of the sports department at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico told CNN. ?Some of those players were accompanied by their wives, and they won the second place. I don?t say this is a determinant factor, but it brings support.?

?Even Pele confessed that he never suspended sexual encounters with his wife before a game, I mean, that thing about sex helping to relax is a verified truth,? he added.

Mummy
June 17, 2014 2:34 pm

Growing up, The Goonies was one of my favorite movies. It was the right combination of comedy and thrill that made 10-year old Chris watch it about 1,000 times.

I saw a story today that seemed to come right out of the Goonies script and had I experienced it, I'd definitely be scarred for life.

Per Reuters:

A curious Ohio boy who sneaked into an abandoned house over the weekend discovered a mummified corpse hanging inside a closet, unnoticed for nearly five years, officials said on Tuesday.

The body of Edward Brunton, 53, had a belt around his neck, and he likely died by suicide in his rundown home in the city of Dayton, said Ken Betz, director for the coroner's office in Montgomery County in southwestern Ohio.



Because he died in the winter and inside a dark closet, Brunton's body tissue dried out and was preserved. No one went looking for Brunton, who was estranged from his family, Betz said, adding that Brunton did not know his neighbors and had no known work obligations.

So imagine that. A 12-year old boy, exploring his neighborhood, opens a closet door to find a dead guy hanging from a belt. Not only to you run and scream, but you have that image scorched onto your retinas for the rest of your life. 

Tony Gwynn
June 16, 2014 2:32 pm

I've been a huge baseball fan my whole life, and growing up, there were a few players that I wanted to emulate. The first two were Ken Griffey Jr and Chipper Jones, but the third was Tony Gwynn.

It's one of those deaths where it kind of stops you in your tracks. Much like Phillip Seymour Hoffman earlier this year, Gwynn was a well respected person that is gone far too soon.

I've communicated with a few friends and colleagues with San Diego connections, and all of them were nothing but effusive in their praise for Mr. Padre.

His early death was aided by his longtime use of chewing tobacco, something that is still all-too prevalent in baseball today. It gave him cancer, and killed him at the age of 54. I've been in enough dugouts and have seen my fair share of chew, and for as much as he was a role model on the field,  I hope that Gwynn can serve as a model of what not to do in this aspect.

It's a sad day for San Diego and a sad day for baseball. Rest in peace, Tony.


Beers and Guns
June 13, 2014 3:06 pm

If you're going to be out partying this weekend, try to be a little more responsible than this guy.

A retired New York City cop drank a few too many brewskies at an East Village bar earlier this week and left his gun on the sink while throwing up in a bathroom stall. He stumbled out of the Phoenix NYC Bar without his six-shooter and by the time he realized it and returned to the bar, his Colt 38 had taken a hike.



Is it really responsible to get piss-ass drunk while in possession of a firearm? Doubt it.


World Cup thoughts
June 12, 2014 2:16 pm

I wouldn't say I'm a bandwagon soccer fan, because I do keep an eye on international soccer all year long, but I couldn't be more excited that the World Cup is finally here. Brazil vs Croatia to kick things off this afternoon, and USA gets underway Monday vs Ghana.

I think USA will have some success, but not enough to emerge from the group of death.

Just to put it in writing...

Win vs Ghana 2-0

Tie Portugal 1-1

Lose to Germany 3-1.

People will get all excited after the opening win, but it really starts to get tough after that.

And for what it's worth, I have Germany over Argentina in the finals.

Who do you got?

Brazil is a little bit better than 3-to-1 odds to win the whole thing, followed by Argentina, Spain and Germany all around 6-to-1. The sportsbooks aren't too high on Team USA, giving them 100-to-1 odds to win it all.


Be better, Hollywood.
June 10, 2014 11:30 am

Just because a movie is a classic doesn't mean we need a sequel.

One of the greatest movies of my childhood, The Goonies, is apparently under consideration for a second movie.

Two of the stars of the 1980s classic, Sean Astin and Corey Feldman, have both said they'd be open for a sequel.

According to Astin, per E!: "I certainly like the idea of doing it. I don't know if I'd be in it or not. If they really wanted us to be in it, I'm sure there would be some way to work it out."

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It's a classic, and it was made when these characters were teenagers (Astin was 13), and now, almost 30 years later? How is that gonna play out? The chance of this being even remotely successful is extremely slim.

I was against Anchorman 2 in theory, against another Dumb and Dumber movie, and I'm against a potential Mighty Ducks 4 movie.

Is Hollywood that terrible at coming up at new ideas that this is all they've got?

Do better.

http://derekwinnert.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/633.jpg

Heroes
June 9, 2014 11:54 am

Sometimes when bad news hits, I try to imagine what I would do if I was placed in a similar situation.

Hearing about Jon Meis, who used pepper spray to take down a shooter at Seattle Pacific last week, was awesome. The circumstance was terrible, but the fact that he acted so quickly, was nothing short of heroic.


I worked at the front desk of my dorm in college, and I would have never had the balls to do what Meis did. You talk about a "fight or flight" mentality? I think I'd be fleeing, whereas he leaped over the desk, and caught the shooter with pepper spray while he was reloading.

The guy was 22, and probably making minimum wage doing menial tasks at the front desk of his dorm. And the instinct is to intervene and stop a mad man with a shotgun?

It's fascinating to see the circumstances that allow heroes in our world to emerge. These were unfortunate events, in which one person died and others were injured, but Meis quick actions undoubtedly saved many others from being hurt.


Cramp
June 6, 2014 10:57 am

It's probably happened to you, where you are jolted out of bed in the middle of the night with a cramp so bad you just want to scream. It happens to me from time to time, typically in my calves but also in the arches of my feet. It's incredibly painful, it renders that body part essentially immobile, and if there was a baby around, you'd consider punching it.

And yet people are getting on LeBron James for not being able to play in a NBA Finals game with the same ailment?

When I get a cramp, I bitch and moan and scream and cry until it subsides. And I'm not putting the type of taxation on my body that LeBron is.

Did the 90 degree temps in the arena play into that? Who knows. But everyone else was playing in the same atmosphere, so I'd say no. It was more likely one of those uncontrollable things that unfortunately happened at an inopportune time for the world's best player.

It's one thing to play through pain, such as a rolled ankle or pulled muscle. But a debilitating injury? That's different.

Could the Heat have used LeBron down the stretch? Yes. Would it have made an impact on the game? Also, yes.

Do I fault him for sitting during a stretch that was probably killing him inside not to be on the court?

Nope.


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