Friday, August 5, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
WTF World 4: Who Cares About The Royal Wedding and Hanson Singing MMMBop? A Human Cannonball Died and Anonymous Brings Down PSN Again (Maybe)
Ok, remember how I said that I would follow Google Trends and then blog about them and it would be a fun way for me to keep up to date with current events and keep you informed about today’s hot topics? I was wrong.
The reason there hasn’t been a WTF World in the past few weeks is not just because I’ve been spending time being wrapped up in the Montreal Canadiens playoff run (Keep Calm and Carey On boys) and working on the more permanent home of this blog, it’s also because Google Trends have been like 90% about either Dancing With the Stars, American Idol and the Royal Wedding.
I see the problem now; I have it set to “United States”. Things are so much clearer. You want to know what’s really strange? I just changed my trend settings to the UK, and the Royal Wedding is trending less there than it is in the US, WTF America? Correct me if I’m wrong but there was a pretty big war in the late 1700s where the main point of it was for you guys to stop caring about England and the monarchy, something about independence? Ring a bell? Probably not: some 250 years later and the hot topic in the land of the free is what Cateherine Middleton will be wearing when she marries Prince William. Side note: Am I the only one that thinks Prince William is getting way bald for his age? He’s only 28.
So yeah, where does that leave us? Hanson performed on Dancing With the Stars last night. How is this news? Hanson singing MMMBop was terrible when the song was big in 1997, why is it news when they sing it 14 years later? I’m serious, I really want to know. Let’s put this in perspective: A band whose one major hit was 14 years ago played their one hit wonder on a show where Kirstie Alley and Ralph Macchio are in a dance competition. Like, it’s bad enough that this is happening in the first place, but it’s worse that this has resulted in millions of Americans searching for Hanson this morning. I’m pretty sure that “MMMBop” is probably going to get a pretty big iTunes boost today. Fuck you America.
So what is news then? Found it. Matt “The Manx” Cranch dies yesterday in England during a Human Cannonball stunt that went wrong (yep, I set Google trends to the UK while seeing if they cared about the Royal Wedding). The Manx climbed into his giant cannon and when it blasted him out the recoil from the thing apparently caused his safety net to collapse, so instead of landing in a safety net, he landed on the ground, and died later in hospital. Two weeks ago he was a bartender, last week he was a human cannonball, today he’s dead. He was 23. I’m not really sure if I like reading the UK news, it’s not about washed up celebrities, it’s about people dying after being shot out of cannons.
Finally, a news item that is close to my heart. The Playstation Network has been down for the past 4 days and when I last checked it was still “undergoing maintenance”. Sony has pointed the finger once again at everyone’s favorite group of hackers: Anonymous. Only this time, Anonymous (or at least, the AnonOps) is like “Hey Sony, it’s not us this time.” Which sort of makes sense and sort of doesn’t. So, Sony decided to take George “GeoHot” Hotz to court over jailbreaking the PS3, Anonymous got all up in arms and launched a denial of service campaign against users of the PSN. The problem here? They weren’t hurting Sony so much as they were hurting gamers and gamers are sort of “their people”. Anonymous (or again, I must stress, the AnonOps) saw the error in their ways and stopped the attacks until they could come up with a better way to hurt Sony.
Last Thursday, the same denial of service attacks started again, and as I mentioned, Anonymous denied knowledge of the attacks. The problem here? How could they deny it? It’s a group of anonymous hackers, to think that the head knows what each of the thousands of hands is doing is absurd. However, it certainly hit Sony where it hurt, with the launch of some huge games before the long weekend (new SOCOM, Mortal Kombat and… uh… a little game called Portal 2 that’s main selling point is a co-operative mode) having the PSN down for the past 4 days is a pretty big deal.
That’s it for today.
Hanson image from TooMuchNews
Monday, April 25, 2011
Habs have 6 forwards, 2 D and 1 Goaltender under contract next year for 33.995 million, which leaves us with 27.4 million dollars to sign a new team. Players under contact next year are:
- Gomez, Cammy, Pleks, Gio, Moen and Eller for the forwards.
- Spacek and PK for D.
- Price between the pipes.
Working our way out from nets, we need to sign a backup, either resigning Auld, or another similarly aged experienced backup should not cost more than a million dollars, 26.4 million left in the bank and we have our two netminders.
D starts getting trickier. Some of our guys deserve raises, others need pay cuts (*cough cough Hamrlik cough cough*). I'll be honest, I don't like paying Spacek 3.8 at all, but I doubt any other NHL clubs would want him for that kind of money, so we're probably stuck with him.
Josh Gorges is one of my favorite defensively responsible D men in the league, but how much is that worth? Looking at a comparable (age and play style) players like Vlasic on the Sharks says a guy like Gorges is worth 3.8 million dollars, which I think is a little steep, but Gorges is probably looking for that kind of money, let's say an average of 3.5 for a good 3-4 years? 22.9 million left.
Markov is a stud, but he's getting old, and is VERY breakable it seems, if I could, I'd sign him for 6 million for 2 years (so cap hit of 3), that lets him earn maybe one more big contract before he retires (he'd be 33 at the end of the contract) and lets him do it on a team he's comfortable with. 19.9 million left.
I think we could keep Gill for the cash he's making now (2.25). 17.65 left.
And finally, I would give Wiz the same contract he had with the Isles: 3.25 million. Leaving a paltry 14.4 million on the cap with 6 defensemen on the roster:
- Spacek, Markov, Gill, Gorges, PK, Wiz. To be safe, we should knock another 1.5 million off the cap to account for a 7th or 8th D man in the system (Weber or Picard maybe? Especially with Weber as a possible winger, a bit of versatility never hurt). 12.9 million left on the spendable cap.
- AK46: His here and there play I think deserves a pay cut, but he may be worth resigning for about 2 million dollars IMO. 10.9 million left.
- Halpern: I would keep Halpern around for 750 k if he wants it. 10.15 left.
- Patches: I would easily give this kid a 3 million dollar contract, the way he lights up the Gomez and Gionta line is worth it I think. 7.15 left.
- Desharnais: Hasn't proven himself, but still earned a raise from his 550 k salary, I think he's worth about a million (I gave him a 100k raise over Lapierre's contract last year). 6.15 left.
- I think (hope) that we can resign both White and Darche for similarly priced contracts (maybe a slight raise, 750 k each?) 4.65 million on the cap left.
So here's the team:
Patches - Gomez - Gio
AK - Pleks - Cammy
Darche - Desharnais - Eller
White - Halpern - Moen
4.65 million to go after other forwards.
Gorges - Markov
Spacek - Wiz
1.5 million for other defensemen.
I think I can live with that.
Friday, March 18, 2011
WTF World 3: Casey Heynes the "Zangief Kid" Lays the Smackdown and Anonymous Has A Run-In (OH MAH GAWD!) Now With Working Video Link!
I really prefer Zangief Kid to Casey "The Punisher" Heynes, but all the great pro wrestlers have multiple monikers, so I guess it doesn't really have to be a one or the other situation.
Anyhow, for those of you who are not familiar with the events, video is here, for those of you who prefer strange Taiwanese re-enactments of news events, you can see that also, here.
So here's how I imagine this whole thing went down, Casey is a little on the tubby side and is probably picked on all the goddamned time, this little kid is probably a "cool" kid who likely picks on Casey on an almost daily basis. Scrawny kid probably feels like this will be the sort of thing that years from now he will want to reminisce about the "good ole days" of picking on Casey, he'll probably even want to tell his kids about what a standup little fellow he is. Why rely on simply TELLING your kids though, why not video the whole thing, throw it up on the internet and save it forever. Nothing is better than public humiliation right? Why not make it super public? Strangely, this is the exact plot of the film Tormented. In that movie, the bullied fat kid comes back from the dead and kills everyone even remotely associated with his bullying, this scrawny kid got off light.
I was a scrawny little kid, and I got picked on a little bit in elementary school, and I have a bunch of friends who got really picked on and bullied, and often, the outcome is the same: eventually, a line is crossed, and the tormented lash out, often violently. Then the punishments are dished out, usually only for that single act (initial bullying, violent lash out). The bully gets a slap on the wrist, and the kid who lost it gets in more trouble since his actions were more severe. The fact that this bullying probably persisted for months if not years before the incident is rarely accounted for.
Thankfully, in this case, the punishments are apparently a little more fitting, I've read some reports that the little kid didn't get suspended at all, but I think this just might be internet folk fanning the fire. Supposedly, what actually happened is that Casey got a 4 day suspension, and the bully got a 21 day suspension (which of course his mother is up in arms about since her child you know, just punched a kid in the face a few times and danced around like an asshole, Casey powerbombed him). Casey's mother is a little surprised too, saying that she always raised her boys to "walk away from a fight". Why? I'll bet Casey walked away from a hundred fights before this one, and where did it get him? If the institution won't put an end to it, who will? Casey will. Like Big Daddy Cool he will fuck your ass right up.
Don't worry though Casey, even if your mom doesn't have your back, someone else does... these guys. That's right, when they're not engaged in online battles with security agencies, they're defending little boys. Anonymous seems to think that Casey shouldn't have been suspended at all... a viewpoint I might want to agree with. By all means, sit him down, explain to him the consequences of his actions and explain to him that he shouldn't have done it. What other choice did he have? (Note: I haven't been able to find any fallout of the hacks, other than messing with the school's website, I'd like to know what, if anything, happened on the 15th).
I've worked in elementary schools, kids who get picked on who tell a teacher get picked on even more. Teacher's can't be everywhere, and students outnumber them 30 to 1, and only a few of them are usually out on the school yard during recess, so they're outnumbered about 100 to 1. You can't really expect them to even be capable of accurately monitoring all the actions of that many kids, all running around yelling their crazy heads off.
How many times do you have to walk away and suffer the abuses of others before you have to stand up for yourself? It's a tricky situation. I don't think Casey should get off Scott free, he did resort to violence and that's wrong (bla bla bla), but I also don't think he had much of a choice. This way, there's a chance that his torment might end (though, given the way kids are these days, I doubt it), tattling wouldn't have done it, walking away wouldn't have done, maybe a body slam is what it takes?
I'm rambling now, and I don't have an answer. Remind me not to have kids.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
Well, I'd like to add one more accusation to the list of crimes Gaddafi may have to answer for: the attempted murder of Doctor Emmett Brown.
In 1985, Doc Brown was contacted by the Libyans to construct a nuclear weapon. Brown, clever man that he is, duped the Libyans with an empty bomb casing made up of old pinball machine parts, instead using the plutonium to power his latest invention, a time machine.
When the Libyans found out about this, Gaddafi ordered Brown killed, and he was attacked during a test sequence of the time machine with his young ward Martin "Marty" McFly.
Just another crime that Gaddafi has to answer for.
Friday, February 25, 2011
WTF World Vol 2: Gaddafi and What the Fuck is Going on in Libya, Charlie Sheen Rant (Chuck Lorre fights with Vanity Cards?) and the Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third Bank Accused of Fraud, Robbed and Still Leader in Financial Gains
Ok, full disclosure, I have no idea why this bank is trending as a search, it doesn't really seem like much of a hot topic to me, but whatever, I'll see what I can find out.
This guy robbed a Fifth Third bank in Ohio on Wednesday, standard procedure of handing the teller a note, getting some money, and leaving (hasn't he even seen Dark Knight? There are WAY cooler ways to rob banks at your disposal these days). THIS can't be what people are interested, a friend of mine is a bank teller and this happened to her a few weeks ago, her bank didn't become a hot topic. Slow news day in Ohio I suspect.
Ah, here we go, horse racing and fraud, this makes a little more sense. Thoroughbred breeder Gulf Coast Farms is suing the shit out of the bank. Fifth Third claims the breeders defaulted on $15 million worth of loans, which Gulf Coast says is not true. Gulf Coast breeds winning horses, and is supposedly the fourth-leading breeder in North America. These undoubtedly highfalutin wealthy horse types (who no doubt row boats and eat ivy) call BS on Fifth Third and are seeking to recover $16 in compensatory and punitive damage. Why? Because they were treated in a manner that is not consistent with the way a bank should operate, stopping JUST short of accusing the bank of fraud.
But 16 million dollar lawsuits are just chump change apparently, because that didn't stop Fifth Third from being one of the top-gaining components in the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund, rising by like 3% today. So... America is saved? Financial crisis OVER.
Libya Saw What Egypt Was Up To and Was Like: "I'd Like Some of That Action" or What the Fuck is Going on Libya?
For arguments sake, I'm going to call the leader of Libya "Gaddafi" because it's the easiest to spell of the many iterations of his name (I'm in good company here though, this is the spelling used by the BBC and Al-Jazeera, these fine news sources probably had the same thought that I did).
So a little background about Gaddafi: in 1969 Gaddafi and his buddies overthrew the existing Libyan monarchy and basically he tried to make himself the Che Guevera of the 70s. He turned Libya into a haven for anti-Western radicals, and even openly and publicly said that he would arm them and offer them financial assistance. He introduced his philosophy to the country and called it "Islamic socialism", in short, allowing private control of small companies, and government control of large ones and had an emphasis on welfare, liberation and education. Ok, arming anti-Western radicals, not always awesome, but welfare and education don't seem so bad.
In 1977 he changed gears a little bit and introduced "jamhiriya", and this is actually pretty cool (on paper). The idea was "government by the masses", a sort of direct democracy where all decisions would be made through a network of local council and communes. Neato!
Oh yeah, he also sent out murder squads to assassinate Libyan dissidents living abroad... less neato. Anyhow, Gaddafi's been in charge since 1970 more or less, has called for the murder of dissidents, murdered dissidents, imprisoned opposition, threw 30,000 Palestinians out of his country and seems to like killing people who aren't into his ideas. 40 years later, Libyans are like "Man, let's get a new leader."
Here's the timeline of how shit went down in Libya in the past two weeks:
- Feb 15: A group of about 5-600 protestors demonstrate in front of a police station in Benghazi, things get violent, 40 people are injured, and protestors in Al Bayda and Az Zintan set fires to police stations.
- Feb 16: Protests continue in Al Bayda and Benghazi, 6 people die, fires break out, water cannons are used on fires and protestors alike (efficiency!). The government releases 110 members of the Libyan Islamic Fight Group from prison.
- Feb 17: This IS AWESOME (in a shitty way) Hollywood movie insanity type shit. Get this, the Libyan government releases 30 non-dissident related prisoners from jail, arms them, and then pays them to fight protestors. What the fuck Libya?! Snipers and helicopters also open fire on demonstrators, another 30 people are killed.
- Feb 18: Libya just doesn't give a fuck, not satisfied with releasing and arming hardened criminals to do their dirty work, the government begins hiring African mercenaries to help bolster their forces. There are reports that some local police and riot control types join forces with protestors, but clearly not all of them, since protestors get a hold of two officers who were accused of shooting at protestors and hung them. Libyan protestors are also fucking hardcore, they captured 50 mercs, locked them in a prison, and then burned the mother down. Just how much are these mercs getting paid you might ask? Reports say: 5000 Dinars + 1 Sports Car (5000 Libyan Dinars = 4061 American dollars).
- Feb 19: This is way crazier than Egypt. Protestors basically take control of Al Bayda, the army withdraws. In Benghazi, artillery, helicopter gunships and anti-aircraft missile launchers are all pointed at then later fired at protestors. Classy security forces opened fire at a funeral (honoring protesters who were killed in previous protests), killing 15.
- Feb 20: Protests spread to Tripoli, hospitals in Benghazi literally run out of supplies, estimate death toll to be 200-300 in that city alone. Protestors in Benghazi number in the tens of thousands, storming around the city, brutally murdering anyone who is pro-Gaddafi, basically take control of the entire city. Gaddafi's son seriously blames Isreal for all this (WTF?), adding that the BBC, Al-Jazeera, Al Arabiya and the BBC is trying to trick everyone.
- Feb 21: Libyan Air Force launches air strikes on protestors and, you may have guessed it, funeral processions. Two mutineering air force pilots (who I'm going to call Ripcord and Ace) are like "fuck this bombing civilians business" and fly their planes to Malta and request asylum. Libyan naval warships start bombarding residential areas (WTF x 10). Gaddafi issues execution orders for any soldier who refuses to shoot, bomb or murder the hell out of protestors. There are reports that Gaddafi himself has left the country and headed to Venezuela.
- Feb 22: Gaddafi appears on state television and is like "I'm not in Venezuela suckers, I'm in Tripoli!" but nobody can really tell if his telling the truth. Fighter jets start targeting the army's munitions depots to prevent soldiers from joining and further arming the protestors (more WTF), African mercs keep massacring everyone (including reports that they busted into a hospital and just murdered everyone they found). British Foreign Minister David Owen calls for military intervention and an immediate no fly zone (but that hasn’t happened yet). Analysts says that it seems like Gaddafi's plan is to basically ruin his country instead of stepping down, damaging oil infrastructures (the Libyan economy's driving asset) and engaging in a prolonged war to scare off investors. It seems like he hopes that people will just let him be in charge again to save the country's economy and livelihood.
- Feb 23: (Side note: that I forgot to mention: As part of the Islamic socialism structure, Libya is divided up into various democratic tribes that work in conjunction with each other) One of Libya's largest tribes, the Warfella, calls for Gaddafi to step down, various politicians start stepping down from their posts in protest to the excessive violence that's going on. More and more cities fall under rebel control. Accusations start flying at Gaddafi, including that he personally ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
- Feb 24: More army units side with protestors, more cites "fall" to rebels. Gaddafi deploys tanks in the suburbs of Tripoli. North African al-Qaeda announced that they would support the Libyan uprising. Gaddafi responded that yes, it totally IS Bin Laden's fault this shit is going down in his country, that the al-Qaeda is slipping hallucinogenic pills to the youth in their coffee. Oooookay.
- Feb 25 (today): Gaddafi's son Saif al-Arab supposedly defects to the side of the protestors, protestors take to the streets in Tripoli and Gaddafi loses his mind. Gaddafi appeared on Green Square in Tripoli and started yelling: "Dance, dance, sing and be happy ! Those who don't like me do not deserve life". WOW.
So... what does this all mean? Well, even though the US and Libya haven't always seen eye-to-eye, in the 2000s, Libya's gotten a lot cozier with the United States. From 2003 onwards things have gotten pretty good between the two countries politically, which is a good thing, since Libya is the 4th richest country in North Africa, in large part thanks to it's (of course) oil reserves. Those same oil reserves that the economy is more or less based on. Those same oil reserves that Gaddafi seems pretty intent on destroying.
So let's say this whole thing falls apart and the Gaddafi steps down, but not after doing untold damage to the economy, what then? Who has money? I don't wanna sound like a crazy fear mongering person, but al-Qaeda has money. I've read reports that al-Qaeda is one of the main sources of disaster relief in Pakistan following flooding and making great strides in winning over popular opinion, what's stopping them from doing the same thing in Libya? If they move in with the correct tactics, they could seriously take over the 4th richest North African country. All this while there is still no assurance that America's former North African ally, Egypt, is going to be of any help depending on what new government gets implemented there.
Yup, the potentially for widespread holy-fuckery is pretty extreme.
That was a little heavy, I need something to cheer me up... who should I turn to? Oh yes, Charlie Sheen.
Charlie Sheen Loses His Mind on the Alex Jones Show - His Boss Makes Fun of Him on TV, Two and Half Men “Temporarily Cancelled”
So yesterday, on the Alex Jones Show, Charlie Sheen decided he had some bones to pick (audio here, this is the best one I can find, there's like a weird commercial that plays over part of it, not sure if this was to mute out some of his insanity since the recording was live or was added later) with uhh... I'm not exactly sure. Here's the recap of the hilarity, but seriously, you should listen to it:
- Charlie makes a hilarious joke about working out, but "not in the gym" HEY-OH! He means sex with porn stars.
- He refers to his porn star harem as "The Goddesses" and is worried that the term is too “terrestrial” to describe his marriage of the "hearts". He also refers to his lifestyle as "winning in every second", hard to argue.
- He trash talks the rest of the world telling them to have sex with their ugly wives in front of their ugly children and be jealous of him.
- He refers to what he does to Chuck Lorre's (2 and Half Man creator and writer) writing as "turning tin cans into gold."
- He says he has magic, he is an F-18 who will destroy you in the air, he then talks about his amazing tattoo, which I can't even describe.
- He talks about Major League 3... saying he's going to do it, he hasn't read it, and he doesn't care. He promptly also says that he doesn’t know if he’s doing it yet or not.
- He's the new sheriff in town, and he has an army of assassins.
- He says he's a High Priest Vatican Assassin Warlock (oh man... I love you Charlie Sheen). This of course is in response to someone who said he works for the Pope.
- He also says you either love or you hate, and you must do both violently, you must hate everyone who is not in your family, and there's is nothing in between. If you love with violence and you hate with violence you have focus, clarity and peace.
- He also talks about his deadly and dangerous secret and silent soldiers, because they're all around you and of course, that means that he's "winning".
- Then comes the moneyshot... the AA rant. He calls them a bootleg cult, that their manifesto is built around surrender, and that the only people who got clean in AA are trolls. He says that AA is about not being special, and that doesn't work for him because he IS special. He calls Thomas Jefferson a pussy and that he beat his addiction in a nanosecond with his brain.
- If you're a part of his family, he will love you violently, if you're against him, he will murder you violently. Alex Jones adds "In the infowar" and Charlie's like "Yeah, in the infowar". Because you know, murdering people in the infowar isn't murder, you have to keep that shit straight (next week Charlie Sheen might murder someone, mark my words).
Now I'll admit, it's hard to really tell if Charlie's just fucking around and joking in all this, but that's part of the problem, right? I think Charlie's not even sure if he's fucking around anymore, at what point do you become so detached from the real world that you can watch Jaws on a private yacht and then not be sure if you're in the movie or watching it (a feat he claims to have accomplished while being completely sober). I mean, we can make fun of him "winning" all we want, but he's in a position to build a mansion full of pornstars, buy them all Bentleys, do mountains of cocaine and basically just run around the world doing whatever he wants, I mean... it sure sounds like winning. Too bad winning might make you crazy.
(Gaddafi image from Reuters, toothless Charlie Sheen from TMZ, as if you couldn't tell by their logo all over it)
Final note on Charlie Sheen that I thought I would share because it's sort of funny, the writer/creator of Two and a Half Men, Chuck Lorre has this cute little habit of flashing brief "Vanity Cards" at the end of his shows (Dharma and Greg, Big Bang Theory, etc). As you may have heard, following Charlie Sheen's recent behaviour (no doubt coupled with you know, his behaviour in the past 5-6 years) led to the showing being "temporarily cancelled". He responded with the awesome vanity cards and more on the story here. My favorite?
"Please keep in mind that we employ a highly-paid Hollywood professional who has years of experience with putting his life at risk. And sadly no, I'm not talking about our stunt man."
Chuck Lorre sir, even though I'm sure you don't get paid $2 million an episode for your work writing the show (which is Charlie's salary for acting in it), that's still just a little bit of "winning".