It’s Tuesday, which means it is almost surely already been a long week. Take heart, my dear readers, and find within yourself the strength to carry on…And also read for about three minutes.
First, we step onto a cheesy, unprofessional pile of personal interest story. Jews, at least those not in the US, love American football. Israelis have started an amateur football league without prodding, or, indeed, support, from the NFL. Players, ranging in profession from garbage men to doctors and dentists, take off their yarmulkes and replace them with, you guessed it, yarmulkes produced by Under Armor. The league, once only 80 players strong, now has over 400 players, including Jews, Christians and Palestinians. The league itself, the IFL for those who couldn’t guess, is a good indicator of the popularity of the sport across the globe…Though the NFL shouldn’t assume it will work everywhere. The struggling NFL Europe thrives in certain areas, and the forced NFL game in London every season fills the stadium, but is rather quickly out of mind.
As pointed out by a dear reader and pal, Josh “Blues Kluz”, the Bohunk submits the following New York Times article for your perusal. I readily admit that, while I fall humbly short, I hope the Update someday is mentioned with the same respect and in the sentence as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. This writer has been watching the program for a number of years, and Stewart is consistently the best interviewer on TV, bar none. He is one of the most entertaining people on the planet, and his show still draws huge ratings. His rally with Stephen Colbert this past summer gathered together 250,000 people, not for one particular party or ideology, but for moderation and honest, unsentimental debate. For a look at just how important Stewart was in working toward a health care bill for 9/11 workers, as noted in the Update last week. It’s not everyday the New York Times calls a journalist similar to Walter Cronkite. Especially a cable faux-news anchor…Chapeau, Stewart, chapeau…
The Great Jon Stewart: Fart jokes or foreign policy, he’s game.
In astronomy news, one of the largest meteor showers is coming quickly upon us. The Quadrantid meteor shower is an annual event for astronomers, presenting itself typical during the first week of January. This year, the shower will peak at roughy 8 pm est. on January 3rd. Though the Quadrantid is one of the largest showers, you will need to position yourself some distance away from bright city lights if at all possible. Don’t worry about a telescope; you won’t need it, as these meteors will be plenty bright.The Quadrantid is thought to be the remnants of a dead comet, which has broken up over millions of years and orbits as bits of dust, gases, ice and other debris. It was first recognized as an annual meteor shower in 1839. Check it out, cosmic events are some of the most fascinating events of our planet, and unlike The King’s Speech at your local movie house, they are free. Imagine; bits of rock and metal and ice flying through our solar system at thousands of miles an hour for millions of years, and with such regularity we know what time they will scrape across our atmosphere on a particular day of the year. But what caused the dead comet to break up? Will this body of meteors last forever? At some point, will enough be caught by our atmosphere or the gravities of other planets to make this event cease? We don’t know everything, we know almost nothing. The universe, my friends, is the greatest mystery.
The number of dead in a Christmas Eve explosion rises to 80. A bomb in the northern region of Nigeria, in the town of Plateau State, killed at least 80 and police say over 100 are injured. The number of dead continues to rise as victims succumb to the wounds they received days ago. This past March over 100 people were killed in a similar blast in the same city, as members of Muslim and Christian factions battled each other, each bombing the other in “revenge killings”. To note, Muslims, Christians and Jews, along with nearly every religion have killed and died for their belief. An atheist, however, has never killed anyone over religion…Get it? The Bohunk can respect the religious, but killing and fighting over your God is like arguing over who has the toughest, coolest imaginary best friend….
In Monday Night Football action, the New Orleans Saints beat the Atlanta Dirty Birds by a tight score of 17-14. The Saints are not the dominate team that stormed through the regular season and play-offs to win the Super Bowl a season ago, but, very quietly, the Aint’s are 11-4 and just beat Hotlanta in Hotlanta, something only one team has done in twenty tries. They beat the Steelers Week 8 and went to OT against the Falcons in the first game, so it is safe for you or I to say they remain a threat, especially with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush back on form. And, of course, it always helps to have Drew Brees….
“Go Deep!” ~ Drew Brees
A new study has found that placebos have a positive effect for patients, even when the patient knows its not a real drug. In the study, all patients were warmly and gently cared for, and some were given pills from a bottle that had “Placebo” clearly printed on it over the course of several visits. Those who received the sugar pill, which, if you should like to sound scientific, is sometimes called an inert substance, said they had much higher pain relief and a decrease in their symptoms. The authors of the study claim that the most important aspect of the positive outcome for patients was a reassuring and informative doctor who was kind and encouraging; the pill only reinforced their belief in the doctors efforts. Again, the Bohunk begs of you to imagine; your body, composed of millions of atoms and particles, that have existed in different forms since the Big Bang, can be somehow manipulated by your mind to work together better, somehow, by sheer will. The thousands of daily chemical and electrical reactions and impulses can be altered by the ultimate device, your brain. Again, to reiterate a point I cannot help but drive home; We don’t know everything, we know almost nothing. The universe, my friends, is the greatest mystery.
Late in the Monday Night game, the Falcons punted from their own 43-yard line with just under 3 minutes to play. According to Briand Burke, football nerd and math genius, the average punt nets 37 yard which would set up the Saints at their own 20. Burke says this would give Hotlanta a 0.15% of winning. That’s a rather small amount. Burke goes on to say that a 4th and 6 outside the red zone is a 44% chance of happening…So why didn’t the Falcons go for it? They had two time outs left, and with solid defense, which they got most of the night, could have tried to get the Saints to go three and out without giving up a field goal. The odds are with you going for it! The Bohunk believes in the Theory of Blame Deflection; coaches play it safely and conservatively, and if things don’t work out, it was the players’ fault. If the coach makes a daring and heroic decision, and fails, it is his fault for trying to win. An excellent example is the Patriots last season, on the infamous 4th and 2 against Indianapolis. Belichick was lambasted all season for the call, though, in his defense, 4th and 2 is fifty-fifty, and over time is fifty-fifty. By punting, the team facing forth and short is giving themselves one-in-four odds of winning, while the bold coach either wins or loses in regulation. And as we all know, fortune favors the bold…and affluent….
The Detroit Lions are 3-0 in the past three games…In the event of Hades freezing over, please dress accordingly…Your down jacket and mittens should be appropriate…
Thanks for reading, enjoy the bowl games this evening as well as the postponed Hyberboreans vs. Egg Salad match-up. Back tomorrow, as always, with better effort….