Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Un-Butchered Harrison: 1981-2001

"All These Years Ago" - A blues-tinged, upbeat tribute to John with Ringo on drums and Paul on backing vocals. Listen to George's soaring vocal. John and George, rest in peace.
"Johnny B. Goode" - George becomes the leader of a big old band in this all-star rendition of the Chuck Berry classic. Love the rockabilly guitar!
"I've Got My Mind Set On You" - This cover of a 60s oldie has charm, despite lyrics that are a bit too repetitive. I love the blasting horns in the middle, with George's clean lead guitar.
"This is Love" - The message of this song lives on, even if the cheesy 80s synthesized sound didn't.
"When We Was Fab" - The sound of this song has many callbacks to the good old days - the strings and timpani hearken the more orchestral work of the Beatles. The background vocal harmonies recall the beautiful chords George made with Paul and John. Hey, there's even some harpsichord!
"Any Road" - Limerick lyrics, catchy melody, and the wonderful sound of many guitars make one of George's final messages a charming one.

Hope In Darfur's El Fasher

EL FASHER, SUDAN -- Amid the suffering of Darfur, there's an odd prosperity bubbling up in this once sleepy town.

Paved streets and lampposts are replacing sand roads. A fleet of bright blue South Korean-made taxis, newer and nicer than those in Khartoum, the national capital, create afternoon traffic jams so bad that a police officer must direct the flow.

A pair of multistory office buildings are under construction downtown, and newly built rental homes can fetch $5,000 a month, not including utilities, of course, since most of El Fasher doesn't have water or electricity.

In stark contrast to the burned-out villages and squalid displacement camps that characterize much of Darfur, this dust-choked city is booming, thanks largely to an influx of scores of United Nations agencies and private charities, as well as the newly deployed U.N.-African Union peacekeeping mission.

Since the conflict in Sudan's western region began in 2003, El Fasher's population has nearly doubled to 500,000 as refugees sought safety in camps along the city's borders or with family members in town. Though the North Darfur capital has its share of crime and gunfights, it has largely escaped the fighting that has plagued other areas. - Los Angeles Times

At least something is going right over there.

Election update

WASHINGTON - Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday denounced his former pastor, the
Rev. Jeremiah Wright, saying that the fiery minister's ''ridiculous
propositions'' that the United States spread AIDS in the black community and
invited the 9/11 terrorist attacks contradicted ''everything that I'm about and
who I am.''
Calling Wright's most recent comments ''a bunch of rants that
aren't grounded in truth,'' a visibly angered Obama accused his former pastor of
enjoying his recent three-day media blitz -- topped by Monday's appearance at
the National Press Club -- at the expense of the campaign and the issues that
confront voters.
Finally, Obama denounces this madman, so far his biggest hurdle on the campaign trail.

Iraq update

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Iraq's Nassriya Water Treatment Plant, the country's
largest reconstruction project, is a failure so far because it isn't delivering
sufficient water to enough people, a new audit says.
The news media only reports the failures of the Iraq war, the reasons we should hate it. You don't hear about successes except from people like Jon Pebley. Should we have gone in? Of course not. But this war hasn't been a total disaster.

Charities persuade philanthropists has an interesting article about philanthropy, specifically, how organizations try to get donations.

In a sleek conference room in a downtown Boston office tower, Matthew Kochka, a
bearded 27-year-old farmer in flannel and khakis, stood before two dozen crisply
dressed business executives, investors, and other white-collar types.
braced himself.
"I think your presentation was almost 100 percent wrong,"
said Dale Bearden, a managing director at Babson Capital Management, an
investment management firm. "It didn't compel me to support your organization."

LSD Creator Hoffman Dies At 102

GENEVA (AP) — Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired — and arguably corrupted — millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died. He was 102.

Hofmann died Tuesday at his home in Burg im Leimental, said Doris Stuker, a municipal clerk in the village near Basel where Hofmann moved following his retirement in 1971.

For decades after LSD was banned in the late 1960s, Hofmann defended his invention.

"I produced the substance as a medicine. ... It's not my fault if people abused it," he once said.

The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel. - The Associated Press

I remember Chris telling me that the guy who created LSD was more than 100 years old. I forgot his name at the time, but this is the guy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Un-Butchered McCartney: 1980-

"Coming Up" - Disco inferno.
"Pipes of Peace" - No one makes melodies like Paul. I like how this starts off like something from the Let it Be era, then gets a little groovier, with a hint of ska.
"No More Lonely Nights" - A sincere ode to in peace.
"Hope of Deliverance" - I like the Latin feel.
"Dance Tonight" - Love that back beat, bass, and mandolin - all played by Paul himself!?!
"Ever Present Past" - What do you know, Paul can still sound fresh. Am I the only one reminded of OK Go?

No mortgage recovery until 2010, says Fannie Mae CEO

BALTIMORE (Reuters) - The chief executive of Fannie Mae (FNM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Tuesday that he expects no real recovery for the U.S. housing market before 2010.

Get ready for two years of pain.

Darfur update

KHARTOUM, April 29 (Reuters) - Darfur rebels accused the government on Tuesday of bombing areas under their control and said attacks this week showed Khartoum was not serious about seeking peace.

But the army denied the accusations, which come during the visit of a Sudanese delegation to London to follow up on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's offer to host Darfur peace talks.

Whom do you believe?
International experts estimate some 200,000 people have died in five years of war in Darfur, mostly from hunger and disease. Some 2.5 million people have been driven from their homes. Khartoum says only 10,000 have died.

Firefighters attack State House

A sea of several hundred chanting firefighters dressed in red T-shirts marched on the State House today to defend their reputations after what union officials described as months of attacks and “bogus stories” planted in the press by City Hall.

The lesson here is, don't believe anything you read. Except for that. Believe that.

School committee holds Creative Revenue Forum

WAKEFIELD - With budgets being level funded and reduced yet another year, Anthony Guardia, Kevin Piskadlo and William Chetwynd are looking toward the citizens of Wakefield to get involved and help come up with ideas to help save Wakefield from this fiscal crisis.
Guardia, Piskadlo and Chetwynd would like to extend their invitation to the public for a “Creative Revenue Forum.”
The forums will be open to the public and are for the sole purpose of generating ideas on how the community could raise revenue. Any and all ideas are welcome.
The date and times of these forums are as follows: Thursday, May 1 at 7 p.m. in the Wakefield High School Cafeteria and Saturday, May 3 at 10 a.m. at the Beebe Library in the downstairs conference room.

Any ideas? Anyone? Yes, you. Any legal ideas?

Deaf In Cairo

This is not like London or New York, or even Tehran, another car-clogged Middle Eastern capital. It is literally like living day in and day out with a lawn mower running next to your head, according to scientists with the National Research Center. They spent five years studying noise levels across the city and concluded in a report issued this year that the average noise from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. is 85 decibels, a bit louder than a freight train 15 feet away, said Mustafa el Sayyid, an engineer who helped carry out the study.

But that 85 decibels, while “clearly unacceptable,” is only the average across the day and across the city. At other locations, it is far worse, he said. In Tahrir Square, or Ramsis Square, or the road leading to the pyramids, the noise often reaches 95 decibels, he said, which is only slightly quieter than standing next to a jackhammer. - Parapundit

Monday, April 28, 2008

GTA IV Hits Stores Tommorow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Tuesday, after nearly four years of waiting, endless speculation, and numerous delays, Grand Theft Auto IV will finally be released. Gamers are sure to be pleased, but it's an event that Sony, Microsoft, and publisher Take-Two Interactive have likely been looking forward to even more.

The game's predecessor, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, became the best-selling videogame, ever, in the United States when it was released in 2004. And with the game's two platforms, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3, trailing in sales behind Nintendo's Wii, it's likely they'll get a big boost from GTA IV's release. - Wired

I can't say I've been waiting for four years, but definitely a good two. I preordered a copy so I am just about all set. How much do you guys want to bet that Jessi Dacri is absent tommorow?

U.S Lagging In Broadband Infrastructure

The United States is one the few industrialized nations that has not yet implemented a comprehensive policy to promote broadband internet access. Nations that have prioritized broadband infrastructure have already seen improvements. For example, Denmark improved broadband penetration between 2005 and 2007 from 25 to 34.3 connections per 100 inhabitants, while the United States has only improved from 16.8 to 22.1 (See chart). The United States currently ranks 15th of the 30 developed countries in overall penetration as measured by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -

Bureaucratic gov't = high prices/slow speeds = not good

Children's Hospital Launches Kids Sex Change Program

A doctor at the renowned Children's Hospital Boston has launched a new program to drug children to delay puberty so they can decide whether they want a male or a female body, according to a report today in the Boston Globe.

Pediatric endocrinologist Norman Spack, 64, says he started the Gender Management Service Clinic because he found himself encountering 20-somethings who were "transgendered" and in good shape socially, "but they were having trouble getting their physique to conform to their identity.

"I knew the 20-somethings could have better chances of passing if they were treated earlier," he said.

"We don't think that demonic is too strong a word to describe this," said a statement from the pro-family Mass Resistance organization. "It brings us thoughts of the Nazi doctors who thought they were doing good things." - WorldNetDaily

What a little puss

Un-Butchered Lennon: 1977-1980

"Real Love" - Behold, the 1977 demo of a song that George, Paul, and Ringo put some overdubs on in 1996! Love that piano riff. Some great introspective lyrics here, classic Lennon.
"Now And Then" - Is it just me, or does this 1978 demo sound a little like "Chopping Broccoli"? At least the beginning - then we hear the strain as John goes falsetto, then a striking chorus.
"Beautiful Boy" - Coolest lullaby ever.
"Starting Over" - How bittersweet this rocker became after Lennon's death. Lennon had just begun a new phase, one of true maturity, only for his life to be cut short. This and the other songs in this post display John's newfound perspective which spawned the lyrics to his inspired melodies.
"Watching the Wheels" - Instead of looking back on the glory days, Lennon looked forward to the future. "There's no problem, only solutions", he sang in this soulful toast to tomorrow.
"Woman" - John was older and wiser, and hadn't lost it at all. He could still write great stuff, like this, one of the best love songs ever. The melody and lyrics are beautiful in their simplicity.

Iraq update

The conflict pitting Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army against U.S. and Iraqi government forces shows that the occupiers seek to create a new crisis for the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by turning the Shias against each other.

The clashes began about a month ago when, provoked by the U.S. occupiers, Iraqi government forces tried to disarm the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr in Basra, without taking heed of their influential role in maintaining security in Baghdad’s Sadr City district, Karbala, Najaf, and southern Iraq.

The Iraqi government is insisting that the Mahdi Army disarm while at the same time the United States has trained and armed thousands of forces of the Awakening Councils in western Iraq.

These forces, which are remnants of Iraq’s Baathist regime and former agents of Al-Qaeda, adopted the suspect tactics of cutting relations with all terrorist groups and engaging in political-military activities.

The sudden appearance of the Awakening Councils in the political-military arena indicates that efforts are being made to recreate the situation that existed before the fall of the Baath regime on April 9, 2003, when most Iraqis were excluded from the circles of power.

The U.S. occupying forces’ strategy of strengthening one group and disarming another shows that they are trying to instigate a clash between the Shia militia and the Iraqi government so that the other group can insidiously come to power.

More blood will be shed, but the sooner the Iraqi government becomes powerful enough to fend for itself, the sooner the U.S. will be out of there. Hopefully.

Darfur update

Despite an arrest warrant being issued for him one year ago by the International Criminal Court (ICC), a Sudanese minister accused of crimes against humanity and war crimes in the war-ravaged region of Darfur is free and is a "fugitive," the body's Prosecutor said today.

Every time I read the latest on Darfur, I find myself appalled at the disregard for human rights, and frustrated at the lack of progress. We can only hope things will get better.

Kelli Pedroia warns of tanning dangers

Want to be tan? Be careful.

Winters are long in the Chicago area, where Kelli Hatley Pedroia grew up, so she'd frequent the local tanning parlor. She was 14 when she started, not legally old enough, so her older sister signed for her.

"We just felt pasty and gross from the winters," she says.

Summers were spent at the backyard pool. On spring break, the family always went somewhere hot. "My mother and I would just fry ourselves with tanning oil and no sunscreen," says Pedroia, who's married to Dustin, the Red Sox second baseman and last season's American League Rookie of the Year.

A photo of her on the night of her senior prom shows her tanned in a strapless white dress, flanked by her equally tanned parents. A year later, at age 18, she was diagnosed with stage two melanoma, which is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women ages 25 to 30.

Go see some lectures - or not

WAKEFIELD - The schedule for the 2008 Sweetser Lecture Series of Wakefield has been set. Leading off on Wednesday, April 30, will be David Kruh, author and lecturer. Kruh will speak on “The Building of Route 128.”

I'm sure these are interesting and all, but I get enough lectures at school! Oh! Zing! Am I right? the way, the guy in the picture will be giving one of the lectures - he wrote Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - the book that spawned the musical.

Funny Mel Kiper Draft Commentary

So here we are. 2008. Mel Kiper Jr. sits down at his Apple Lisa (he's old-school) to write his annual Draft Day grades column -- the single most-read piece of writing he'll do all year. He digs deep in his soul to assign the most perfect letter-grade assessment of each team's performance on this, the day he was born to live, experience, and grade. Draft Day is Christmas, the Super Bowl, and 9/11 all rolled into one for Mel Kiper, Jr. Mel Kiper, Sr. put him on his knee when Mel Jr. was a boy and told him, "Son, there is a sport called football where grown men play a pushing game involving an oblong fun-ball. You will not be one of those men. There will also be men who select the best among these other men, the best 'football players.' You will not be one of those men. You will be the man who judges the men selecting the other men. You will write one article a year that anyone will read, wherein you assign a letter grade evaluating the performance of the men selecting the other men. You were destined for the role of giving these grades. Your mind will be honed like an ancient Indian arrowhead to pierce, with laser-like intensity, the precise letter grade zone that each selecting man deserves." - Fire Joe Morgan

I find this hilarious.


April 25, 2008 Edition 1

A US federal judge yesterday sentenced Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes to three years in prison for failing to file tax returns from 1999 to 2004.

Judge William Terrell Hodges laid down the harshest possible sentence against Snipes, after the star of Demolition Man and the Blade trilogy of vampire movies was found guilty by a jury in February on three misdemeanour charges.

According to US attorney Scotland Morris, who argued the government's case, Snipes at present owes more than $20 million dollars (R153.8 million) in back taxes and penalties.

The actor made a five million dollar payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) yesterday, but Morris dismissed it as "a fraction of what he owes".

"Snipes's long prison sentence should send a loud and crystal clear message to all tax defiers that if they engage in similar tax defier conduct, they face joining him and his co-defendants as inmates in prison," said an official at the US Department of Justice Tax Division, Nathan Hochman.

"The law is very clear: people must pay their taxes," added IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman. "There is no secret formula that eliminates a person's tax obligations, nor are there any special exceptions."

Attorneys for Snipes, 45, vowed to appeal.

"We were hoping for a complete acquittal," Snipes attorney Linda Moreno said. "I have faith in the process, and I have faith in the jury system. We will appeal."
- Daily News
So, I guess there will not be a Blade 4!

American Drug War: The Last White Hope

This is just a trailer of Kevin Booth's groundbreaking documentary on our Drug War; I highly recommend everyone to check it out.

Clergy Abuse Victims First Named In Book

The book has no title, no author, no explanatory words - just a few quotes from The Bible, and page after page of first names.

Keith Robert Jeffrey Michael Michael Kim Curtis

Richard Scott John Steven Peter Michael

Jackie Robert Wayne Stephen Paul Linda

Much ink has been spilled over the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the last six years, but this work is different: a hand-painted list of 1,476 men and women who have reported being sexually abused by a Catholic priest, deacon, or nun in the Archdiocese of Boston.

Like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the book of names the Archdiocese of Boston gave to Pope Benedict XVI was an unusual effort to humanize a crisis of unimaginable scale, in this case for a pontiff who had once minimized the scope of abuse within the church. Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston presented the book at the historic Washington meeting between the pontiff and five abuse victims from Boston on April 17, midway through a papal trip to the United States during which Benedict spoke out four times about the pain and damage caused by clergy sexual abuse. - Boston Globe

O'Malley gives the book a thumbs up.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Evaluating The Patriots 2008 Draft

Round 1 - Pick #10 - Jerod Mayo - ILB - Age 22 - The Patriots really needed to address two positions in the 2008 Draft: linebacker and cornerback. By selecting Mayo, the Patriots are now in much better shape at the inside linebacker position. Mayo had quite the season in 2007. He had 140 tackles and 8.5 tackles for losses. At the end of the season, he was a second team All-American. If he continues to play at the pace he did in his last four college games (52 tackles), there is a very strong chance that he could start at inside linebacker. He is physically ready to make an impact despite the many claims that he is undersized.

Round 2 - Pick #62 - Terrence Wheatley - CB - Age 23 - Over at, Wheatley was ranked as the #19 best cornerback and he was a projected mid-rounder (3-5). Well, the Patriots must have found something they really liked in Wheatley to select him so high. He isn't a big cornerback and with that he bears a semblance to former Patriots shutdown corner Asante Samuel, not only in his hairstyle, but in his quickness and athletic ability as well. With off-season acquisition Fernando Bryant being projected to start at left cornerback, Wheatley might be limited to a nickel or back-up role in 2008. Nevertheless, he could turn out to be something special just like fourth rounder (in 2003) Samuel was.

Round 3 - Pick #78 - Shawn Crable - OLB - Age 23 - Crable is a huge (6'5, 245) pass rusher who had 7.5 sacks in 2007. He was a no-name player really until he had that great 2007. Looking at the Patriots depth chart, they don't really have any talented back-up outside linebackers. Pierre Woods and T.J Slaughter? I know I'd much rather have Crable.

Round 3 - Pick #94 - Kevin O'Connell - QB - Age 23 - Reading a scouting report on the guy, you will probably come across the words "great signal caller" and "lots of upside" -- these are positive things to say about a quarterback. O'Connell, in my opinion, could come right into New England and become the back-up to Tom Brady. Oh wait, Matt Cassell is in charge of that. Don't forget Matt Gutierrez either. I don't like how the Patriots selected a quarterback, but maybe Belichick wants to have someone compete with Cassell and Gutierrez.

Round 4 - Pick #129 - Jonathan Wilhite - CB - Age 24 - Two linebackers, now two cornerbacks. Wilhite is an eerily similar player to Wheatley. He won't be a starter or anything like that, but he will provide decent back-up.

Round 5 - Pick #153 - Matthew Slater - WR - Age 22 - Please take note: Slater is not a wide receiver nor a safety! He is a special teams wizard of sorts. He was a first team All-Pacific 10 member as a kick returner. Ellis Hobbs and Willie Andrews are two amazing kick returners already on the roster, so I am just kind of wondering where Slater will fit in.

Round 6 - Pick #197 - Bo Ruud - OLB - Age 23 - He kind of sucked his senior year (54 tackles) which led many to believe that he wouldn't even be drafted. In others words he will become a Larry Izzo type of special teams player at best.

Costco/Wal-Mart Limiting Rice Consumption

The climbing global price of rice and other staples shows no sign of leveling off, given caps placed on exports and various supply-side squeezes. As a result, food experts predict hunger and poverty in poor nations along with a restricted supply of grains coupled with rising prices in this country.

The worldwide rice crisis lapped over into the United States this week when Costco Wholesale and Wal-Mart's Sam's Club, the two biggest warehouse retail chains, limited the amount of bulk imported rice customers can buy. Sam's Club said the restriction is due to "recent supply and demand trends."

The shortage reflects restrictions on exports by major rice producers, notably India, Vietnam and Egypt, followed on Wednesday by Brazil, causing imbalance in world markets. These nations acted to ensure adequate domestic supplies amid rising world prices for preferable varieties of long-grain rice. Drought has contributed to the shortage, as has hoarding, experts say. - San Francisco Chronicle

The easiest way around this is to simply not go to Costco or Wal-mart. Yeah really.

Summer Employers Could Face Some Problems

Employers around the country who thrive on seasonal business are preparing to lose thousands of foreign workers they've hired in past summers to work in restaurants, hotels, landscaping and other industries. New visa controls are cutting the number of temporary foreign workers eligible to return to the country, so employers are scouring job fairs for replacements, lobbying Congress for help and bracing for staff shortages they say will make business tough.

Tourism and hospitality officials envision various problems if the jobs go unfilled: Restaurants may have fewer tables and longer wait-times. Hotel check-in times could be delayed as fewer housekeepers hustle to clean rooms. Resorts may offer fewer meals to guests.

"They will function, they will survive, they will be open -- they just won't thrive," warned Jane Nichols Bishop, a Cape Cod consultant who matches up foreign seasonal workers with businesses. - Boston Globe

What do ya want for 8 bucks an hour?

Sierra Madre Blaze Evacuates 1,000

About 1,000 people were evacuated from about 400 homes in Sierra Madre as a wildfire continued to burn out of control this morning.

The fire, which began Saturday at about 3 p.m., consumed about 400 acres of steep mountainous terrain north of the city, including some areas that have not burned in more than 40 years, Sierra Madre Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael Bamberger said this morning. "This is not a lazy fire," he said. "This fire is burning with some energy."

Bamberger said he was waiting for the possibility of more evacuations, although he added, "It looks like we're making good progress tying off the southern end of the fire," near the city's northern boundary, which is where more homes are located. No homes had been burned, he said. - Los Angeles Times
This is pretty serious news, yet it isn't even frontpage in the Globe.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Inside Out

Check this out, its Zack in his hardcore punk days, just before he joined RATM. This is a clip of his angry, hardcore band Inside Out. P.S. I love the haircut!

Songs of the Week

00s- Miracle Johan- Gets Me Thinking (2005)

Eminem- Brain Damage (1999)

Mission Of Burma- That's When I Reach For My Revolver (1981)

Johnny Cash- Sunday Morning Coming Down (1970)

The Standells- Dirty Water (1966 )

Sam Cooke- You Send Me (1957)

Patriots Select Jerod Mayo After Trading #7

What is the difference between #7 and #10? Not much, at least according to the New England Patriots who traded #7 to the Ravens. The Patriots selected Jerod Mayo, an inside linebacker out of Tennessee. He had 140 tackles in 2007. A very strong selection by the Patriots.
The Patriots also received a third round pick in the trade. That selection isn't really important right now considering Rounds 3-7 will be held tomorow (Sunday). That brings the total number of third round picks to three for the Patriots.

Looking Back At The 2007 Redsox Draft

Nick Hagadone - P - Round 1 - Hagadone had a flat out awesome year in 2007 with short season Single A Lowell. He started 10 games and had a 1.85 ERA. To make matters even better, he had a 1.37 strikeouts per innings ratio. Multiply that over 9 innings and Hagadone averaged more than 12 strikeouts per 9 innings. Word around town is that Hagadone might have to have Tommy John Surgery. With Single A Greenville this year, he pitched 10 innings of shutout baseball, but he just recently suffered an arm injury.

Ryan Dent - 2nd Base - Round 1 - As a hitter, it is quite hard to find a groove when you only play 10 games all season. Dent kind of proved that in 2007 with Lowell. He batted only .178 and had 5 more strikeouts than hits. This year Dent has spent the season in extended spring training in which he plays in exhibition games.

Brock Huntzinger - Pitcher - Round 3 - Huntzinger is a starter, but you wouldn't be able to tell from his 2007 stats. He played for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox, which is a rookie league team that is less competitive than Single A Lowell. He started three games and pitched a total of seven innings. He only let up 2 earned runs. This year he is also in extended spring training and what do you know? He might just be pitching some balls to Dent.

Chris Province - Pitcher - Round 4 - The Red Sox must have liked Province so much in his 5.1 innings of shutout baseball in Lowell that they promoted him to the more competitive Single A Greenville. At Greenville, Province was able to pitch significantly more innings and he had mixed results. He went 3-2, but finished with a rather high 4.91 ERA. This year Province is back in Greenville honing up his game. He has 1.93 ERA and has held hitters to only a .203 average. I think it is safe to say that he is on the fast track to Lancaster (Single A Advanced)

Will Middlebrooks - Shortstop - Round 5 - Middlebrooks was drafted right out of high school. The Sox didn't want to rush him to professional baseball right away, so they decided to let him sit out the rest of the 2007 season. Right now he is in extended spring training.

Rounds 6-12 will be featured in another segment of "Looking Back" sometime in May.

Étudiant Celebrates 2 Year Anniversary

The actual 2 year anniversary was on April 22nd, but what is four days late? Again, props goes out to current administrator Ben Tan and defunct admin Chris Morrill for creating the site. Kudos to anyone who has contributed since the blog's creation. Hopefully, the site will be as active as it is right now when we celebrate the 3 Year Anniversary.

Longfellow Bridge Under Inspection

An independent inspection of the Longfellow Bridge found the span to be in worse condition than the state had previously determined, but officials dispute the findings and refused to release the report to the public for several months.

The state spent $915,000 on the nearly four-month inspection last year by Jacobs Engineering Group. But state engineers refused to sign off on the report after it was submitted in January, saying that it overstated the dangers of deteriorating bridge components and failed to take into account the repairs already underway.

The firm reported the bridge's support structure was in serious condition, a step below the poor rating it received from the state in August.

It did not, however, suggest that the century-old bridge, which carries about 135,000 commuters a day between Boston and Cambridge, poses an imminent danger to the public. - Boston Globe

Maybe it does pose imminent danger. Who would have thought that the Big Dig Tunnel would pose imminent danger? Public works can and will fail at any given time.

DVD Review: Live in Red Square

1) Getting Better
2) Band on the Run
3) Can't Buy Me Love
4) Two of Us
5) I Saw Her Standing There
6) We Can Work It Out
7) I've Just Seen a Face
8) Live and Let Die
9) Let 'Em In
10) Fool on the Hill
11) Things We Said Today
12) Birthday
13) Maybe I'm Amazed
14) Back in the USSR
15) Calico Skies
16) Hey Jude
17) She's Leaving Home
18) Yesterday
19) Let It Be
20) Back in the USSR
Paul McCartney live. Enough said. He and a superb backing band give the people of Russia, and all the fans watching the D.V.D., what they want.
You get the hits you paid to hear - "Band on the Run", "Hey Jude", "Yesterday" - and some more obscure tracks from Paul's long career - "Calico Skies", anybody? Where did "Getting Better" come from? Oh, yeah.
Hell, they even bust out "I've Just Seen a Face", a lost classic from the Help! album. In short, the set list is sure to satisfy both casual fans and people like me and Chris. Paul's catalog has its highs and lows - seriously, "Let 'Em In"? - but he knows what the people want.
"I Saw Her Standing There" still gets the people dancing. Others, like "We Can Work It Out" and, of course, "Hey Jude", are impossible NOT to sing along to. And "Live and Let Die" just brings the house down, despite the crappy lyric "and in this ever changing world in which we live in."
Paul's well aware that the audience doesn't care about his more recent material - "Calico Skies", anybody? - but delivers the oldies with a fresh sound. Needless to say, he's playing some damn good songs. Credit must be given to his talented partners - Rusty Anderson, Brian Ray, Paul Wickens, and Abe Laboriel, Jr. Back in 2003, these guys put on a show in Red Square that even Putin had to check out.
***** out of five

Friday, April 25, 2008

Just A Note

The last two surveys that Ben has created just plain suck. I am in charge of the next one, I call it.

All The WHS News You Know You Want

Attention All Seniors: Stop by the Guidance Office and tell us of your college acceptances .The General Federation of Women’s Clubs of Massachusetts is offering 5 $1000 scholarships to who have performed meaningful community service activities. Applications for this scholarship should be returned to the Guidance Office by May1. Applications are available in the Main Office and Guidance Office. An electronic application form may be found on the community service link of the high school wedsite.

The April collection for the Interfaith Food Pantry is canned meat (such as canned beef or chicken) and toiletries such as tooth paste, soap, and shampoo. Boxes are located in the main office, the mailroom, Guidance and the library.

Attention Juniors: Melrose Wakefield Hospital is sponsoring a Nursing Job Shadow Day on May 22, 2008. Fifteen students can attend. If you are interested in participating please see Mr. Beebe for details.

Any Senior who has been accepted at Boston College is eligible to apply for the renewable scholarship of $1000 given by the Citizen’s Scholarship Foundation. Applications are available from the Main Office. The application deadline is Tuesday, May 6, 2008.

Attentions Juniors: The registration deadline for June SAT is May 6th. If you have not signed up for the May exam you should plan on taking the June exam. Sign up onCollegBoard.Com or see Guidance for details.

Attention Seniors: Any senior who will be majoring a medical field next year, please see Mrs. Fanjoy in the Guidance Office.

The next driver education course is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 5th in Room 1221. Classes will meet Monday thru Friday from 2:00 – 5:00 for 2 weeks. To enroll please go to Courtesy of the official WHS website

Did You Just See Dem' Rise?

Gas prices have advanced sharply in recent days partly because refiners have been switching over from selling winter grade gasoline to the more expensive but less polluting form of the fuel the government requires them to sell in the summer. That process, which made winter grade fuel more scarce, is nearly complete now, suggesting that price increases could slow.

"That was probably why ... you saw (prices) accelerate so quickly," said Tom Kloza, publisher and chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service in Wall, N.J. "No, don't get used to these crazy increases." - Associated Press

This is just an environmentalist ploy. The tree huggers are working directly with the oil conglomerates and their goal is to keep increasing the prices so that people will be forced to walk instead of "destroying the planet"

I See Not: A Lasik Eye Surgery Story

WASHINGTON - A decade after Lasik eye surgery hit the market, patients left with fuzzy instead of clear vision are airing their grievances before federal health officials.

Make no mistake: Most Lasik recipients do walk away with crisper vision, some better than 20/20.

But not everyone’s a good candidate, and an unlucky few do suffer life-changing side effects: poor vision, painful dry eyes, glare or problems seeing at night.

How big are the risks? The Food and Drug Administration thinks about 5 percent of patients are dissatisfied with Lasik. How many struggle daily with side effects? How many are just unhappy that they couldn’t completely ditch their glasses? The range of effects on patients’ quality of life is a big unknown.

I would never undergo such a surgery, but my dad did nine years ago and the only problem he experiences is a little glare at night.

Giving To The Homeless

They began lining up in front of the synagogue well before sunrise.

The homeless, elderly and poor of the Pico-Robertson district -- 100 of them -- held up white registration cards as they shuffled through the doors of B'nai David-Judea.

Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky, a man of 44 more prone to blue jeans than black suits, greeted each by name. One by one, he handed out $15 Ralphs gift cards to everyone except four newcomers who hadn't registered.

They swarmed him outside the synagogue after he finished with the others.

"Sir, I would like a gift card," said a man in a hooded sweat shirt.

"I'm sorry," Kanefsky answered.

"Sir, why can't you go back in there and get me a gift card?"

Kanefsky stood firm. "I can't do that," he said softly.

Like Jewish leaders elsewhere, this Modern Orthodox rabbi has long exhorted his congregants to give tzedakah, or charity.

Providing for the poor, he says, is not only a mitzvah -- a good deed -- but a holy act and a religious obligation. The message frames the holiest day of the Jewish year, Yom Kippur, when worshipers are reminded that charity is among the deeds that can avert an evil decree in the year to come. - LA Times

Simply acknowledging homeless people as human beings is a great first step for the many people who don't treat hobos with respect.

CD Review: The Chronic

1) The Chronic
2) Fuck wit Dre Day
3) Let Me Ride
4) The Day the Niggaz Took Over
5) Nuthin' But a "G" Thang
6) Deeez Nuuuts
7) Lil' Ghetto Boy
8) A Nigga Witta Gun
9) Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat
10) The $20 Sack Pyramid
11) Lyrical Gangbang
12) High Powered
13) The Doctor's Office
14) Stranded on Death Row
15) The Roach
16) Bitches Ain't Shit
Yes, this album glorifies gangs. Yes, this album is an ode to marijuana. Yes, this album degrades women.
But is the album worth a listen? Yes. Can one deny the artistic merit of the rapping and production? No.
The beats are just THAT good. Dre created the sound of the gangsta, one defined by fat bass on the bottom, whiny synthesizers on top, and funky drums somewhere in the middle. Dre tops these amazing instrumentals with soulful hooks - like that of "Let Me Ride" - and crazy rhymes - well, the whole album.
The intro lets you know what you're in for with the other 15 tracks - a young, certifiably insane Snoop mocks Eazy-E and his Ruthless Records crew and shows love for You know what I mean. "Fuck wit Dre Day" continues the announcement of Death Row's arrival, in case there was still anyone out there who wants to mess with Dre and Snoop.
It's been said that this album is the one that legitimized gangsta rap. With rapping and beats miles better than anything on Jam'n's play list, the disc proves that the genre is as much an art form as any other. The disc remains the soundtrack of criminals all over the US, and, at the moment, the music to which this nerdy high school senior in the suburbs updates his news blog.
****1/4 out of five

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Platform-A gets logo

You’re nothing without a logo. And AOL’s Platform-A online ad sales division finally gets one.

Ooh, fancy. This immature comment was brought to you by...

Clinton vows to eliminate paperwork

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Say goodbye to the FAFSA form if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

A little late for me.

[insert title here]

[insert quote here]

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Picking the President: Iran

Sen. Clinton prefers diplomacy, but will not rule out military action. She has made contradictory statements regarding use of tactical nuclear weapons: in 2006 interview, said she would not use them; in 2007 debate, said she would not take option off the table.
Sen. McCain has called for greater diplomatic pressure and UN sanctions to deter Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but has also not ruled out use of the military, including tactical nuclear weapons, to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, which he calls the “tripwire” and “the only thing worse than the U.S. exercising the military option.”
Sen. Obama says he would utilize diplomacy, sanctions, and (as a last resort) air strikes to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities, but believes the U.S. military is too overstretched to consider ground troops against Iran while still in Iraq.

Point to Obama, because the military just can't afford to go anywhere while it's still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back in '03, Iran was a bigger threat than Iraq. Five years later, Iran still has nuclear ambitions, but diplomacy is the only way we can deal with them.

Myanmar update

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The US Senate unanimously agreed Thursday to confer the Congressional Gold Medal on Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, following a similar decision by the House of Representatives.

Take that, junta that's still in power and crushing its opposition by way of denying the citizens of Myanmar their human rights!

You can make meat in test tubes?!?

Two years ago, I proposed a compromise between carnivores and vegetarians: We couldn't change our craving for meat, but we could change the way we sated it. The solution was to grow meat in labs, the way we grow therapeutic tissue from stem cells.

Behold, the Frankenchicken monster! It's alive!

Iraq update

Gen. David Petraeus' promotion—from commander of multinational forces in Iraq to the head of U.S. Central Command, encompassing American military missions in all of central and south Asia, including Iraq and Afghanistan—is by now old news, though it was announced only on Wednesday. So is the elevation of Petraeus' deputy, Gen. Raymond Odierno, to take his place in Baghdad.

Well, congrats, generals. You got a lot of work cut out for you in Iraq, but the situation in Afghanistan is even worse.
The Bush administration—and, therefore, the U.S. military—currently has no strategy for Afghanistan.

Darfur update

The humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan is worsening and the number of killed and displaced people continues to grow, reflecting an atmosphere of continuing violence, a senior U.S. diplomat says.

And believe it or not, the US isn't just standing by.
Katherine Almquist, assistant administrator for Africa in the U.S. Agency for International Development, told the senators that after three years into the six-year road map known as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, "comprehensive peace in Sudan remains elusive."

Sudan is USAID's largest program in Africa and among the largest in the world, she said. It remains the United States' top foreign policy priority in Africa, and Darfur is the focus of the largest international humanitarian operation in the world.

In short, COME ON, CHINA!

MIT students drop piano off roof

A cookout this afternoon at an MIT dormitory was typical for students at the science mecca: grilled chicken, veggie burgers, and hot dogs. Fruit punch and lemonade. And a piano was hurled off a seven-story roof onto another piano.

That's awesome. Hooray for pointless destruction! Anyone heading to MIT out there?

33% of WHS grads at state schools needed remedial help

WAKEFIELD - One third of the 2005 graduates from Wakefield High School who went on to state colleges required remedial help in math, reading or writing, according to a report issued last week by the state Department of Education (DOE) and the Board of Higher Education.

Not to say that Wakefield High doesn't do a good job preparing us for college.
Statewide 37 percent of the freshmen in 2005 needed remedial help.

101 Songs You Check Out

This is basically a list of my absolute favorite songs, but this list is subject to vary.

1) Roy Orbison- Crying (1960) nope not a Beatles tune, Ben!
2) The Beatles- In My Life (1965)
3) Lou Reed- Perfect Day (1972)
4) Simon and Garfunkel- America (1968)
5) Talking Heads- (Nothing But) Flowers (1989)
6) Kinks- Waterloo Sunset (1967)
7) The Doors- The End (1967)
8) Jefferson Airplane- White Rabbit (1967)
9) Tool- AEnima (1996)
10) Pink Floyd- Comfortably Numb (1979)
11) RATM- Killing In The Name (1992)
12) GlassJaw- Lovebites and Razorlines (2000)
13) Against Me!- Baby, I'm An Anarchist (2002)
14) The Smiths- Shoplifters of The World Unite (1986)
15) The Shins- New Slang (2001)
16) Daniel Johnston- Casper The Friendly Ghost (1983)
17) Radiohead- No Surprises (1997)
18) Bob Dylan- Mr. Tambourine Man (1965)
19) Bob Marley- Redemption Song (1980)
20) Sex Pistols- Anarchy In The U.K. (1977)
21) Ramones- The KKK Took My Baby Away (1981)
22) Descendents- I'm Not A Loser (live) (1987)
23) Fugazi- KYEO (1991)
24) Bad Brains- Big Takeover (1983)
25) Animal Collective- Peacebone (2007)
26) Page France- Feather (2005)
27) Tapes n' Tapes- Manitoba (2005)
28) Terry Jacks- Seasons In The Sun (1974)
29) The Jesus and Mary Chain- The Hardest Walk (1985)
30) Mudhoney- Touch Me I'm Sick (1988)
31) The Replacements- Unsatisfied (1984)
32) The Cure- Boys Don't Cry (1982)
33) Fatlip- What's Up Fatlip (2000)
34) Public Enemy- Fight The Power (1989)
35) Dead Kennedys- MTV Get Off The Air (1985)
36) The Misfits- Astro Zombies (1983)
37) Sid Vicious- My Way (1979)
38) SOAD- Soil (1998)
39) Johnny Cash- Cocaine Blues (1968)
40) Pixies- Wave of Mutilation (1989)
41) Sonic Youth- 100% (1992)
42) Nirvana- Drain You (1991)
43) Black Sabbath- Iron Man (1970)
44) Grateful Dead- Truckin' (1971)
45) Paul McCartney- Uncle Albert (1971)
46) Black Lips- Bad Kids (2007)
47) Arctic Monkeys- Riot Van (2006)
48) The Pogues- Lorelei (1989)
49) Pavement- Here (1992)
50) Grandmaster Flash- White Lines (1983)
51) N.W.A- A Bitch Iz A Bitch (1988)
52) The Everly Brothers- All I Have To Do Is Dream (1958)
53) Peter and Gordon- A World Without Love (1965)
54) The Jam- The Modern World (1978)
55) Minor Threat- Look Back and Laugh (1983)
56) Minutemen- Shit From The Old Notebook (1984)
57) Bright Eyes- At The Bottom Of Everything (2005)
58) Arcade Fire- Rebellion (2005)
59) Head Automatica- Beating Heart Baby (2004)
60) New Order- Temptation (1982)
61) Gary Jules and Michael Andrews- Mad World (2001)
62) Frank Zappa- Joe's Garage (1979)
63) Marvin Gaye- Let's Get It On (1973)
64) Cypress Hill- How I Could Just Kill A Man (1991)
65)Violent Femmes- Blister In The Sun (1982)
66) Dresden Dolls- Girl Anachronism (2004)
67) Sepultura- Refuse Resist (1993)
68) Metalica- Fade To Black (1984)
69) Elliot Smith- 2:45 A.M. (1997)
70) Deftones- Be Quiet and Drive Far Away (1997)
71) George Jones- He Stopped Loving Her Today (1980)
72) Hank Williams- Your Cheatin' Heart (1952)
73) Alice In Chains- Shame In You (1996)
74) The Stooges- No Fun (1969)
75) The Velvet Underground- Who Loves The Sun (1970)
76) Lynyrd Skynyrd- Tuesday's Gone (1973)
77) The Who- I'm A Boy (1966)
78) X- Unheard Music (1980)
79) Black Flag- My War (1984)
80) Fear- I love Livin' In The City (1980)
81) Otis Redding- I've Been Loving You For So Long (I Don't Want To Stop Now) (1967)
82) Beach Boys- Caroline No (1966)
83) Blondie- Heart of Glass (1978)
84) Led Zeppelin- Tangerine (1970)
85) Buzzcocks- Ever Fallin' In Love (1979)
86) Sebadoh- Spoiled (1995)
87) Primus- John The Fishermen (1990)
88) The Notorious B.I.G.- Suicidal Thoughts (1994)
89) Boomtown Rats- I Don't Like Mondays (1979)
90) The Strokes- Is This It? (2001
91) BDP- 9 MM Goes Bang (1987)
92) Janes Addiction- Ocean Size (1988)
93) Peter Bjorn and John- Amsterdam (2006)
94) Avenged Sevenfold- Bat Country (2005)
95) David Bowie- Spaced Oddity (1969)
96) Queen- We Are The Champions (1976)
97) Devo- Jocko Homo (1978)
98) Chimaira- Pure Hated (2003)
99) Faith No More- I Started A Joke (1993)
100) Foo Fighters- Everlong (1997)
101) The Clash- White Riot (1977)

My Top 50 Favorite Artists/Bands

I was inspired by Glen's post of his top 25 favorites, so I decided to do my own but one better with 50. My lists stay consistent for a while until I either hear a new band or listen to certain bands less and less. Here's some examples, two years ago Led Zeppelin would fill the number two spot, now they are number 18. Two years ago, the Rolling Stones and AC/DC would make my top 20. The list has changed so drastically; the former wouldn't even make my top 150 (if there was one) and the latter couldn't make the top 250!. Both still great bands though. This list is different from Glen's in two aspects. 1) He has more independent label bands and 2) More current bands. Most of the bands on his list I listen to as well, I actually try to listen to as many "new" bands as possible, and I am all in favor of independent labels over the majors, but I'm just stating the facts in the observations of our favorites.Well, here's the list:

1) The Beatles (of course, the only bigger fan than me around here is BBT)
2) The Ramones
3) Pink Floyd
4) Rage Against The Machine
5) Nirvana
6) Tool
7) System Of A Down
8) GlassJaw
9) The Pixies
10) Sonic Youth
11) Johnny Cash
12) Fugazi
13) Black Flag
14) The Who
15) The Velvet Underground
16) The Doors
17) Radiohead
18) Led Zeppelin
19) Descendents
20) Against Me! (up until 2005)
21) Bad Brains
22) Animal Collective
23) Black Lips
24) Page France
25) Frank Zappa
26) The Smiths
27) The Replacements
28) Dead Kennedys
29) Minutemen
30) Minor Threat
31) N.W.A.
32) Daniel Johnston
33) Alice In Chains
34) Incubus
35) The Clash
36) The Sex Pistols
37) The Misfits
38) Anti-Flag
39) Bright Eyes
40) Iggy Pop/The Stooges
41) Lou Reed
42) Arcade Fire
43) Simon and Garfunkel
44) David Bowie
45) The Pogues
46) Roy Orbison
47) Black Sabbath
48) Wu-Tang Clan
49) A Tribe Called Quest
50) Ween

Damn, 50 still ain't enough to list all my favorites! There are so much more artists/bands to name, oh well.

My Top 25 Favorite Bands/Artists

These are my favorite bands and artists as of 4/24/08. Every single day, this list changes. In addition to numerically listing them 1-25, I have also put in parenthesis whether their stock is rising, falling, or simply staying put. Rising usually means that the band/artist is constantly being listened to by me. Bands usually rise when they put out new material or I discover some of their older material. Falling usually means that I haven't listened to the band a lot recently. A prime example would be the Pixies. They are one of the greatest bands of all time, but I simply haven't really listened to them much recently. As a result, other bands such as Animal Collective and Peter Bjorn and John have moved ahead of Pixies. Staying put usually means that I really haven't changed my listening patterns in terms of that band/artist. For instance, I listen to Radiohead every day, but not as much as say some of the rising bands. Here is the list:

  1. The Libertines
  2. Peter Bjorn and John (Rising)
  3. Radiohead (Staying Put)
  4. Animal Collective (Staying Put)
  5. The Pixies (Falling)
  6. The Walkmen (Rising)
  7. The Lovely Feathers (Rising)
  8. Editors (Falling)
  9. Kasabian (Staying Put)
  10. Arctic Monkeys (Rising)
  11. Sonic Youth (Falling)
  12. Tapes N’ Tapes (Falling)
  13. Babyshambles (Rising)
  14. Daniel Johnston (Falling)
  15. Fugazi (Staying Put)
  16. Mando Diao (Rising)
  17. The Strokes (Staying Put)
  18. Beat Happening (Staying Put)
  19. Pink Floyd (Falling)
  20. Page France (Falling)
  21. The Velvet Underground (Staying Put)
  22. Stellastarr* (Falling)
  23. Dirty Pretty Things (Rising)
  24. Wolf Parade (Staying Put)
  25. The Veils (Staying Put)

CD Review: Playin' With My Friends

1) Alright, Okay, You Win
2) Everyday
3) Don't Cry Baby
4) Good Morning, Heartache
5) Let the Good Times Roll
6) Evenin'
7) I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues
8) Keep the Faith, Baby
9) Old Count Basie Is Gone
10) Blue and Sentimental
11) New York State of Mind
12) Undecided Blues
13) Blues in the Night
14) Stormy Weather
15) Playin' With My Friends
After all these years, Tony Bennett is still the best singer in the business. On 2001's Playin' With My Friends, he croons 15 songs of the best genre there is: the blues. As if things couldn't get any better, he shares the microphone with big names like Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, and the late Ray Charles. Whoa!
These 15 tracks are simultaneously cool, moody, and soulful. Tony's tight backing band, the Ralph Sharon Quartet, gives each song a laid-back feel. Bennett's vocals can seem just as effortless, like on most of "Blues in the Night", but at the end of that song, he busts out a high note that will shake any speaker.
Among the collaborators are blues royalty like Ray, B.B. King, and Bonnie Raitt, who blend beautifully with Tony. "Let the Good Times Roll" approaches rock territory, thanks to B.B. King's gravely voice and clean guitar. "Evenin'" is a slow, jazzy duet between two unmistakable voices - Tony and Ray - and it's a standout. Bonnie lends some fine guitar and vocals to the swinging "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues".
Then there are the more surprising appearances - Stevie, Billy, and Sheryl Crow - that make for equally great tracks. Crow's smooth voice is perfect for the smoky ballad "Good Morning, Heartache". Stevie's distinct voice and harmonica are equally apropos for "Everyday". Tony and his crew bring out the bluesy side of Billy's "New York State of Mind", with Billy providing a vocal with shades of both Tony and Ray.
Tony is best known for his work with the Great American Songbook, but he shines in this interpretation of a very different kind of music. His dynamic voice can whisper one verse, shout the next, croon until the coda and belt out a powerful finish. All hail the king of understated cool.
****3/4 out of five

Fallon Rumored To Take Over For Conan

The word is out among the NBC brass: As rumored and bounced around for some time, Jimmy Fallon is set to take Conan O’Brien’s job as host of "Late Night" in 2009. It’s a done deal.

Conan, of course, will be taking over for Jay Leno, who will leave the "Tonight" show in May 2009 as part of a forced retirement.

There’s much debate about letting Leno leave NBC etc., but right now let’s just concentrate on Jimmy. He’s the perfect successor to Conan and should have just as big an audience when he takes the reins. Fallon is one of those great underrated performers. This should be the right milieu for him.

I’m told NBC will make the formal announcement about Fallon around May 11 or 12, when the network presents the fall '08 schedule to advertisers here in New York. - Fox News

I don't care about stuff like this, but maybe you do?

Clown Statue

This girl was babysitting for some family friends one night, a little boy and a little girl. The parents had a fetish for clowns and had collected clowns from around the world for years, setting aside a room in the house just to put them on display. That night, the children were playing in this very room. Many of the clowns were just statues, and some were life-size, one in particular, was seated in a small child-like rocking chair.

The babysitter started to feel more and more uneasy about this statue throughout the night. She felt as though the eyes were following her, whenever she moved around the room with the children. She decided to call the parents. "I'm so sorry to bother you", she said, "but I was wondering if I could move this clown that you have in the rocking chair, it’s starting to scare the kids and I."

"What clown are you referring to? I don’t recall us having a clown fitting that description. Are you sure its sitting in the rocking chair?" the mother asked hurriedly.

"Yes, I’m sure.” said the girl. "It’s sitting right here, I’m looking at it right now...Why? I know it's probably very old and I shouldn't attempt to move it out of the way, but."

"Take the kids and get out of the house, now. The neighbor across the street will let you in. Call me immediately when you get there." and with that, the mother hung up.

Frightened and confused, the babysitter grabbed the kids and ran out. When she and the kids arrived safely at the neighbors, she called and the mother answered. "What's wrong? Did something happen? Are you all okay?" the girl asked.

"Yes, we are fine, but its not us we are worried about, its you and the kids. I’m so glad you called--we were afraid this would happen again. We will be there shortly along with the police, I’ll explain everything when we get there", and the mother hung up.

The parents later explained to the girl that for some time, the next-door neighbor had been giving them problems. He was mentally ill, heard voices, the whole bit. On numerous occasions he had snuck into their house and tried to kidnap the children. This time, he dressed up in a clown suit, painted his face, and waited quietly until he had the opportunity to do what he came to do.

The parents had informed the police many times but never had any proof until now about what was happening. They thanked the girl, paid her, and drove her home.

This is a classic, fucked up, urban legend; great to tell before bedtime! Unfortunately, Snopes was being a bitch, so I couldn't get their version (the better one) but I got this version from

American Politics According to Noam Chomsky

Bill Hicks on Rick Astley

Rick Astley? Have you seen this banal incubus at work? Boy, if this guy isn’t heralding Satan’s imminent approach to Earth, huh. “Don’t ever wanna make you cry, never wanna make you sigh…never gonna break your heart.” …oh, I wouldn’t worry about that without a dick, buddy. You got a corn nut! You got a clit! You’re not even a guy! You’re an AIDS germ that got off a slide! They’re puttin’ music to AIDS germs, they’re puttin’ a drum machine behind them in a metronome beat and Ted Turner’s colorizing ‘em, God damn it!

Celtics Defeat Hawks; Lead Series 2-0

Kevin Garnett led with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Celtics got off to a fast start en route to Wednesday's 96-77 blowout win over the Hawks in Game 2 of their first-round playoff match up at the Garden.

Ray Allen posted 15 points and Paul Pierce added 14 in the victory, which gave the C's a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. In all, five Boston players finished in double figures. Rajon Rondo enjoyed another fine performance with 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds. - Celtics Official Web Site

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Academic Application

Fallacies have always intrigued me. So on this fine day, I have decided to piece together an article that discusses all the major fallacies. Helping me out is The Nizkor Project.

Ad Hominem

  • Used to reject an argument using the basis of an irrelevant fact
  • Usually involves something along the lines of "therefore your claim is false"
Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
  • Used to conclude an argument using the basis of inconsistencies
  • Usually involves the words "I guess"
Appeal to Authority
  • Used to add basis to an argument by claiming to be an expert
  • Usually involves something along the lines of "so it has to be true"
Appeal to Belief
  • Used to add basis to an argument by claiming that since many people in believe in something, it must be true
Appeal to Common Practice
  • Used to add basis to an argument by claiming that since many people do something, then that certain something is correct or acceptable
  • Very similar to "Appeal to Belief"
Appeal to Consequences of a Belief
  • Used often simply as a means of trying to rationalize a way of thinking
  • Often referred to as "wishful thinking"
Appeal to Emotion
  • Used often to manipulate a person's emotions in order to get them to accept a claim
  • Advertisers and marketing execs love this one
Appeal to Fear
  • Used as a threat in order to convert people to your line of thinking
  • This one is especially fallacious, because absolutely no line of evidence is presented
Appeal to Flattery
  • Used, very often, for personal gain and it goes a little something like this: You are great, now give me (insert something here)
  • This one is well known under myriad names. Namely "sucking one's dick"
Appeal to Novelty
  • Used to claim that something is better because it is new
Appeal to Pity
  • Used typically as a way to create sympathy and once there is a level of sympathy present, that will be used to achieve some kind of goal.
  • Typically concludes with a sentence beginning with "After all"
Appeal to Popularity
  • Used as a persuasive device to get people to believe that since something is popular, that certain something must be favorable
  • Very similar to "Appeal to Common Practice"
Appeal to Ridicule
  • Used as means of saying that since something is ridiculous, that certain something must not be true
Appeal to Spite
  • Used to bring back memories of something unfavorable and using that very something as a means of proving something false
  • Typically includes the words "Remember when (someone did something bad)?"
Appeal to Tradition
  • Used to verify a claim by insisting that since something has "always been that way" that certain something must be true

Playstation Home Delayed Again

According to Sony, they won't make [the spring of 2008] deadline either. The new target is the fall of 2008, almost a year later than initially anticipated. In any case, the company plans to allow more testers into the fold until then.

When the service launches publicly, it will remain in beta. The company has provided no details as to when to expect a final release.

"We have come to the conclusion that we need more time to refine the service to ensure a more focused gaming entertainment experience than what it is today," Sony Computer Entertainment president Kazuo Hirai said in a statement. - BetaNews

I actually recently looked up Home on wikipedia. I saw that the release date was "Spring 2008" and that just seemed way too good to be true. And what do you know?

Just A Reminder

Today, the Étudiant has definitely seen the most content posted in a single day. Of course this is slightly ironic considering the weather. Anyway, we want to remind our readers to utilize the "Older posts" feature seen at the way bottom of the homepage as well as the different posting categories which are visible on the right hand navigational bar.

As of 6:11:00 PM, the number of posts for 4/23 is up to 15.

Clinton wins Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, United States (AFP) — A victorious New York Sen. Hillary Clinton convincingly kept her White House quest alive Tuesday, triumphing over Barack Obama in Pennsylvania’s rancorous Democratic primary.

Looks like this one's heading to the super-delegates.

Iraq update

BAGHDAD (AP) — A top American general urged radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Wednesday to rein in his fighters as a U.S. soldier was killed during a gunbattle in a militia stronghold in Baghdad.

Two bombings also struck the northern city of Mosul within 30 minutes, killing four people and wounding 12 amid concerns that al-Qaida in Iraq is regrouping.

The U.S. soldier died from a bullet wound in a clash in New Baghdad, a stronghold of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia in an eastern section of the capital, according to Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a military spokesman.

A rocket also slammed into a closed school as teenagers were playing soccer outside, killing two youths and wounding three amid sporadic fighting in the sprawling Sadr City district, a predominantly Shiite area of Baghdad that is home to 2.5 million people.

Fighting that began a month ago in response to an Iraqi government crackdown on militia violence has put a severe strain on a cease-fire called in late August by al-Sadr. The anti-U.S. cleric threatened this weekend to unleash his militia in "open war" if the operations persist.

Despite heightened rhetoric by al-Sadr and his followers, U.S. commanders have been careful not to directly link the cleric to the fighting, instead blaming Iranian-backed Shiite fighters who have broken with his movement.

"We do not attribute what we've seen to JAM," said the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, using the Iraqi acronym for the Mahdi Army.

Let's hope al-Sadr gets the message.

Violence mars recount in Zimbabwe

Continuing violence has been reported in Zimbabwe even as the ruling Zanu-PF party emerged the winner in the first result of a contentious recount of votes in a disputed election.

A recount, eh? Silly Zimbabwe, recounts are for AMERICAN elections.

Darfur update

Sudan has accused the United Nations of exaggerating the death toll from five years of conflict in the country's western Darfur region.

Oh, I'm sorry. I guess only 10,000 have died. Only.
The Sudanese government insists that the total number of those killed in the conflict does not exceed 10,000 - although it only counts those killed directly by the fighting.

Long Selected as #1 Pick in NFL Draft

MIAMI (AP)—The spotlight will be elsewhere Saturday when the NFL draft begins, and that’s fine with the Miami Dolphins and Michigan tackle Jake Long.

“My understanding is St. Louis is on the clock,” said Long’s agent, Tom Condon.

The Dolphins opted to dispense with any on-the-clock drama by signing Long to a five-year contract Tuesday with $30 million guaranteed. They’ll select him with the top pick in the draft Saturday.

“Jake Long was on the top of our board for a long time,” general manager Jeff Ireland said. “We thought it was a very good fit with the Miami Dolphins.” - Los Angeles Times

Awesome! The NFL draft is now 10 minutes shorter than it was supposed to be.

Amazing Spring Day/Dirt Day Rant

Temps in the 80s, clear skies, and a slight can't really ask for a better day. Tomorrow sounds like a replica of today, only less mild. I instruct you to go outside and wander about the gentle prairies of Wakefield, Massachusetts.

Speaking of the environment, yesterday was Dirt Day. Who would have thought that environmentalist propaganda would dominate Screenvision, the shitty advertising program that displays ads before movies start. To celebrate Dirt Day, I decided to take a drive to the corner store instead of walk. I also felt the need to turn on every single appliance and light in my house "just because." Global warming, please.

WFNX Celebrating Anniversary

In the beginning, 25 years ago, the station played a format without a name. Calling itself "the new rock on the block" and "rock the boat radio," WFNX-FM (101.7) aired rock music, but not the familiar sound of market giants like WBCN-FM (104.1). Broadcasting lesser known artists, more imports, and the more out-there sounds of punk and new wave, the little Lynn-based station was a pioneer, broadcasting what would become known as the new rock, modern rock, or alternative format.

"We certainly led the charge," recalls news director Henry Santoro. Hired in early 1983, several weeks before the Phoenix Media/Communications Group bought what was then hard-rock outlet WLYN-FM, the station veteran recalls a time of 12-hour days that culminated in the launch of the new format with a song by The Cure, "Let's Go To Bed." That song has since launched all of the WFNX sister stations, says Santoro, including WPHX-FM and WFEX-FM, both broadcasting at 92.1 FM in Maine and Southern New Hampshire. - Boston Globe

I've only listened to 'FNX once or twice, which I guess is kind of sad because I am such an "alternative" aficionado. The time(s) that I have listened to it, I remember hearing Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" which of course is a great song and one of the band's top songs.

Liberty Mutual To Buy Safeco


Liberty Mutual will buy Safeco Corp. for $6.12 billion in a deal to create the country's fifth-biggest property insurer.

Liberty Mutual, a privately owned insurer based in Boston, has offered $68.25 per share for Safeco, a 51 percent premium to yesterday's close.

Safeco, based in Seattle, sells $5.9 billion in insurance policies a year, while Liberty books annual premiums of more than $20 billion. - Boston Globe

Does this mean Safeco Field will become Liberty Mutual Field?

Stimulus Package Coming Soon

Third, The IRS will begin sending taxpayers their payments in early May. Payments will continue over several weeks during the spring and summer. A payment schedule for taxpayers will be announced by the IRS in the near future. - IRS Website
Screw the economy, I want my package stimulated.

CD Review: Last Man Standing

1) Rock and Roll
2) Before the Night is Over
3) Pink Cadillac
4) Evening Gown
5) You Don't Have To Go
6) Twilight
7) Travelin' Band
8) That Kind of Fool
9) Sweet Little Sixteen
10) Just a Bummin' Around
11) Honky Tonk Woman
12) What's Made Milwaukee Famous
13) Don't Be Ashamed Of Your Age
14) Couple More Years
15) Ol' Glory
16) Trouble In Mind
17) I Saw Her Standing There
18) Lost Highway
19) Hadacol Boogie
20) What Makes the Irish Heart Beat
21) The Pilgrim
After all these years, Jerry Lee Lewis has still got it. He may not be quite as wild as he was back in the early days of rock and roll, but he can still sing and bang that piano with the best of them. He proves that in this album of duets with everyone from Jimmy Page to Bruce Springsteen to the Rolling Stones.
Obviously, this legend, once a label mate of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, and Carl Perkins, continues to record with good company. Despite all the big names on the back of the case, Jerry Lee remains the star. His yodel-like vocals are only slightly hampered by age, his keyboard virtuosity not hurt at all.
The biggest surprise of this disc is its diversity. The special guests are the cream of the country, rock, and blues crop. "You Don't Have To Go" is a blues jam with Neil Young, followed by a country ballad with Robbie Robertson, then a manic take on "Travelin' Band" with John Fogerty. Jerry Lee and Ringo channel Chuck Berry on "Sweet Little Sixteen". Then there's the rocking country version of "Honky Tonk Woman" with Kid Rock.
And the rockabilly. Oh, that rockabilly! After all those decades, Jerry Lee can still kick ass with killer versions of "Rock and Roll" with Jimmy Page and "I Saw Her Standing There" with Little Richard.
Isn't it amazing how Jerry Lee continues to record and tour so long after he achieved his stardom? He could have easily pulled a Sinatra and phoned it in for this record, but instead made it a classic. I give Last Man Standing five stars and Jerry Lee Lewis fifty bad ass points.
***** out of five