Monday, December 13, 2010

Sweden, Rings, A Wasted Heisman and Miley Cyrus…

It is the week before Christmas and the Bohunk reminds you that the holidays are not only about gifts and presents, but that is how people will remember you. Do not be the guy to show up to the Christmas even empty handed, unless you are really sure they already like you.

The snow of the season blanketed most of the Mid-West and the East Coast over the weekend, dumping a few feet in areas of west New York, northern Indiana and northern Michigan. And, true to form, people acted as though the world might end. This time, however, the accumulation was worth the excitement. The Minnesota Hyperboreans vs. New York G Persons was postponed after the Giants were stranded in Kansas City, and the dome the Vikings play in nearly collapsed. It means Detroit will host its first Monday Night Football game in over a decade, though obviously the Lions will still not partake. Tickets in Detroit are free to whoever would like to watch; the Bohunk predicts a sparse crowd.

What experts believe to be a suicide bomb attempt killed one man and injured to others in Stockholm, Sweden. The Nordic country known for its blondes and neutral stance in foreign policy has long avoided the terror threats and bombings that have rocked other European nations since 2001. Two separate explosions just seconds apart and only 200 yards away rocked a busy commerce center in Stockholm. An e-mail sent to many news outlets claimed responsibility for the attacks, citing Sweden’s support of the US in Afghanistan (Sweden has 500 troops in country) and their support for the cartoonist who drew an image of Allah, which is a pretty big taboo in the Islamic faith. The country also has faced a massive influx of Muslims into the country, prompting a rise in right-wing anti-immigration policy and attitude in response to the influx of foreigners. It is a small world after all…

The controversial image of Allah from Sweden’s cartoonist, Mr. Viilk. Edited to avoid

One of the most beautiful and intriguing mysteries in the cosmos was the origins of Saturn’s rings. Many scientists have lobbed guesses, but there was never enough evidence to go beyond theory. The planet’s distance also has prevented any concrete exploration of the composition of the rings and its moons, though they can conclude that the moons are primarily rock and ice. A new theory based on the presence of pockets of hydrogen brings about a new guesstimation. Robin Canup, the author of a new study on Saturn, says that a giant ring of hydrogen once surrounded the planet. This ring had a huge role in the formation of the rinds, creating and destroying planets, and even altering their orbits and send them crashing through Saturn’s atmosphere; if they made it through uncrushed, some actually came out on the other side. Fast forward a billion years, and the hydrogen ring has dissipated, either being captured in Saturn or drifting off into space, leaving some traces in the rings amongst millions of fractured rocks and ice particles. We have studied this planet for decades, and we are only just learning how the most marked trait of any planet in the solar system was formed (although the Bohunk would admit the presence of life on Earth is pretty important too). We don’t know everything, we know almost nothing. The universe, my friends, is the greatest mystery.

Saturn and her rings: The result of billions of years of hydrogen slowly dissipating into
the deep recess of space….And nice to look at, too.

A short note on the Heisman: For the first time in twelve years, the Bohunk did not watch the Heisman trophy presentation at the Downtown Athletic Club. Since I was ten years old, I have watched the presentation of the most valued and prestigious award in amateur sports. Sitting in my basement, dressed in shorts and cleats and a jersey, I watched the award handed to Ricky Williams, Eric Crouch, Charles Woodson and the rest; not all amazing pros, or good people in life. But when they were awarded the Bronze Man With A Wicked Stiff Arm, we all knew they were amateurs. Saturday, that same trophy was handed to a player, Cam Newton, who we know to have stolen computers. He left the University of Florida to avoid a academic scandal after he was suspected of cheating and accepting improper assistance. Then, his father offered up his son to the highest bidder, looking for up to $180,000 from Mississippi State, and finally settling on Auburn because, as Cam Newton was quoted by Miss. State sources, “The money was just too good.” The NCAA cleared him because the money from the bowls is too good; Auburn stands to win almost $100 million to split with the SEC. Within a month of the game being played, Newton will be declared ineligible. His Heisman will have to be returned, and his wins, records, and all of his team’s accomplishments will be erased. Simply embarrassing. All the luck in the world to Oregon, My Oregon on January 10th.

A sad look in the Update’s ongoing coverage of the cholera epidemic in Haiti. Clinics and the nation’s experts now say that over 4,000 people have died from cholera with roughly 100,000 being afflicted with the disease since the outbreak began in October. Fears in the Caribbean are now turned to the neighbors of Haiti, however, who fear that the disease may spread to the Dominican Republic or other nations in the area. Experts and the UN have put into practice a system meant to regulate border crossings by those who may have had contact with the sick, and no food or water is allowed to pass into the Dominican Republic. A handful of cases of the disease have been reported in small rural villages along the Haitian border.

Miley Cyrus: Peace, Love and Weed.

In lighter news, videos are out after Miley Cyrus was caught “hitting” (as the kids would say) a bong, which the Bohunk has learned is a device used to smoke the illegal plant-drug marijuana. Cyrus was at her eighteenth birthday party. While a let-down and a poor example for millions of her fans, the Bohunk looks on it positively; at least the video wasn’t her getting “hit” by anybody. (This implies a sex tape, sorry, not easy to mix terminolgy) She has not made a comment about it yet, though the Bohunk suspects it will be, “That’s just Miley being Miley.”

The Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers yesterday by the runaway score of 7-4. It was the first division win since Detroit beat the Bears in 2007. They are still holding their streak of road losses, 25, but to focus on the positive, the Lions beat a very solid Packers team that was a Super Bowl pick by many of the trend-spotting Talking Heads on ESPN. The Packers are still one game behind the Bears for the division title, and the two play to end the season. Both teams are jockeying with the New York G-Persons for the wildcard spot.

In a blustery Chicago Bears vs. New England Flying Elvii match-up, the Best Team In The NFL (Patriots) beat up the Bears, winning by 33 at the half, prompting CBS to switch to the Jets/Finns game at the start! of the third quarter. Tom “Bieber” Brady looked cool as the relatively frigid temperature of a fading white dwarft star as he tossed for two TDs and 369 yards. The Bohunk politely notes to readers that the Pats were dubbed the Best Team In the NFL on October 13th, almost two months ago to the day, and they are now proving it…Someone most have told them of my vote of confidence.

In another contribution to the Bohunk’s Cheap Gifts for the holidays, you may just want to pick up a copy of Earth (The Book): A Visitor’s Guide to the Human Race now just $15 when you buy online. Jon Stewart takes a hypothetical alien through the goings-on and daily life of the Blue Planet’s stewards, humans. It’s a colorful, hilarious book and your wise-ass on the list is going to enjoy each sarcastic page. Just follow the link to Barnes and Noble.

Again, the Bohunk must shamelessly plug his own book, West, on-sale now as an eBook on Barnes and Noble. You can pick it up here for an amazingly good deal of only $2.

Thanks for reading, folks, and come back tomorrow for some more Christmas cheer. And some really depressing world news.

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