Friday, November 12, 2010

Foxy Fridays, Ted King, Comas and The Secret To Happiness…

Thank goodness, friends, for it is Friday! While I am assured you will miss the Update for the next two days, I have news to lift your sorrowful spirits. On Saturday, the post with the most page views will be put up for a second glorious running, giving everyone (and most importantly, YOU) a chance to check it out all over again.

Regular readers may have noticed the Bohunk’s deliberate and obvious lack of US political news recently. This was a decision based on the long, dirty and depressing campaign season and the subsequent Election Day hangover. I hope you have vomited that noxious sickness from your system, because there is big news. A noticeably greyed and haggard looking President Obama announced that his top priority is to extend a set of tax cuts for the middle class, vowing to work with Republicans and Democrats on negotiations to find a middle ground on the issue. Obama went on to say that to permanently extend the tax cuts to wealthier Americans, those making $200,000 or more a year, would be a “mistake.”

Republicans argue that no Americans should face more taxes, especially in a bad economy; the Bohunk argues that they are not facing more taxes, just the amount they paid before Dubyah took office. Republicans argue that having more wealthy people creates jobs; the Bohunk argues that the majority of people making just around or slightly more than $200,000 have no impact on hiring more employees, only buying things at stores that typically pay minimum wage, like Target. Republicans argue, “Yes-uhn,”; the Bohunk argues, “Nu-uh.”

The Bohunk regrets to inform you of the end of the weekly installment of “Weekend Whorrior”. There have just not been enough walks-of-shame outside my apartment as of late. One theory is that the girls just don’t care enough to leave and salvage some self respect. However, I am happy to introduce the soon-to-be famous Foxy Fridays. Each Friday, feast yours eyes on a lucky lass who is just Foxy enough that she is honored in the Update for said foxiness. Feel free to submit your own candidates…

This week, we honor the eternal foxitude of Gemma Arteton. This Fox first gained recognition as Strawberry Fields in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, before joining Jake Gyllenhaul in Prince of Persia. (Side note: How the very, very Caucasian Jake Gyllenhaul was cast to play a Persian prince with an english accent is beyond my theorization) She is married to a lucky Spanish gentleman named Stefano, and her bio states that she has a tattoo of an angel behind her left ear. Thank you, m’Lady Arterton, for being such a classy, foxy woman.

Strawberry Fields…Forever. What a classy lady, and very British, too.

Cindy McCain, handsome-looking wife of Arizona Senator and Presidential candidate runner-up John McCain, has recently lent her voice to the NOH8 campaign working to stop bullying and abuse of the gay community. Cindy’s hubby, the cheery old chap, recently led the Republican-led fillibuster of a bill that would repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Senator McCain’s campaign also was very strongly against gay marriage. Cindy is featured in a commercial, that will air  as a part of the campaign, criticizing the government (and, as a result, her husband) for telling members of the LGBT community they are “second-class citizens”. If you think your marriage or partnership can be tense, imagine that dinner table….
         ”Pass the peas, you back-stabbing, gay-hugging trollop!”
         “Why certainly, you hateful, bigoted, wrinkly bastard!”

In the Bohunk’s never-ending attempt to find true happiness, I offer this advice; focus. Resent research has found that a wandering mind leads to sadness. Scientists found that we spend roughly 47% of our time thinking of something unrelated to what we are actually doing. Those who participated in the study said they were most happy while doing physical activities, the most popular being “doing the hippity-dippity.” Other activities, such as running or exercising, triggered the best moods, most likely because they require more focus. Activities that allow the mind to wander, such as working or using a computer, created the saddest moods. So finish reading this blog, email it to a friend, and then go jog. Focus may be the key to happiness; be satisfied and enthusiastic about whatever it is you are doing.

Ariel Sharon, the very Jewish former prime minister of Israel and the face of the Palestinian conflict for more than a decade, has been taken to his home to receive further care and to remain under observation after spending the last five years in a hospital. Sharon has been in a coma for those years after suffering a stroke in January of 2006. He has shown no improvement in years, though now reportedly responds with hand movements to conversation and television. Sharon led the successful repulsion of Egyptian forces in 1973 and later served as Israel’s defense minister before taking the nation’s top job. Sharon is now 72. 

Ted King. He claims to rock the party that rocks the
pinata; and does.

How often does your hero contact you? Well, mine did. Not once, but thrice! in a single day. Ted King, a professional cyclists and One Cool Guy asked me what most people are thinking, “What on earth are you talking about?” The super cool cat read the Update, gave it the raving review of “interesting” and, thusly, made my week. Ted is now a member of the Liquigas-Cannondale squad after spending 2009-2010 with the now defunct Cervelo TestTeam. (Another side note Mr. “The” King regularly updates a blog, which you can access here AFTER you finish mine, and is also a fantastic chef. He also is a big supporter of the Krempels Center, which is dedicated to improving the lives of people with brain injury or damage from strokes. You can buy shirts or frame stickers with the obvious, yet important, distinction that you are not Ted King at Cutaway Clothing. Proceeds go to research at the Krempels Center. Thanks for the read, Ted, and have a great off season!

And thank you, readers, for your time. I hope you enjoyed this week’s slew of Updates. Off for the weekend, and back on Monday with much better stuff. Hopefully. Enjoy Ohio State vs. Penn State tomorrow, and the New England Flying Elvii (look at the logo) vs the Pittsburgh Thieves Sunday night.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Super Bowl Shuffle, Veteran’s Day, the Wiggles and Old Glory…

To begin, I would first like to apologize for closing yesterday’s Update with instructions to enjoy ABC’s “Modern Family”, which, unknown to me, was not on last night. The Greatest Show on Television, its new name as far the Update is concerned, was bumped by the Country Music Awards. I accidently watched about three minutes of it, dry heaving so hard that I needed to excuse myself from the (empty) room. People may like modern country music, fine; but they have to admit that it is now feel-good, smaltzy crap with fake, “loveable” singers who pretend to smile way too much; country music has become Barney, the Teletubbies and the Wiggles.

In “That’s Just Funny” news, the Czech transportation Minister Vit Barta has been banned from driving his car for six months.

In London, students marched and protested a raise in the tuition cost as proposed by Parliament. The protest ended with students storming the headquarters of the Conservative Party, which holds power in the cuntry at the time. 51 students were arrested and 8 or more students were injured. The proposed tuition change would raise the cost of going to college to about $14,500 a year, a hefty increase from the current rate of $4,800. The government claims that this number will serve as a cap and that colleges will not “have to” charge this price; 50,000 protesters and myself quickly responded, “They don’t have to, but they will.” The change would make lower class citizens less likely to go to college, get a good career and earn a comfortable living…Just as the poor in the US have been doing for decades. God speed, ye Limey bastards, may your protests succeed…Pip, pip.

On this day in 1919, “…on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month…” the Great War ended after claiming the lives of over 5,525,000 Allied troops and 4,386,000 Central Power soldiers. Combined, the killed, injured or missing from both sides of the conflict totaled to over 40 million. World War One brought death to young men in whole new, unseen ways. The introduction of the tank, the airplane and the machine gun laid waste to hundreds of thousands of lives in a single afternoon. Antiquated tactics, such as the frontal assault formed in loose ranks, made almost no sense and were meant almost certain death. Soldiers lived for weeks in a muddy, rotting trench, at times so bored yet anxious some simply stood up just the end the waiting and were shot in the skull. Veterans Day is an opportunity to honor soldiers from all conflicts and it is especially poignant as we continue operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Take a moment to thank a veteran today, and think about the sacrifices that have been made for us.

Old Glory…And a Flag. Hats off to the Veterans today,
for we know too well freedom is not free.

In another contribution to the case against getting your head struck by a helmet attached to a 300 pound man, I submit the case of former Bears quarterback and Super Bowl Shuffler (you can see that here) Jim McMahon. McMahon says that after his 15 year career, his memory “is pretty much gone,” even stating that he forgets where he is and why he is there upon entering a room. Players in the league now down play and ignore the potential damage they inflict on each other. If millionaires would like to spend their retired days wondering who they are, that is their choice, but their style of play is imitated by the 1 million amateur tackle football players, most of them in high school or younger. The NFL needs to change its reliance on head-hunting and violence to sell tickets. People will still watch if the league enforces its rules on unnecessary roughness and helmet-to-helmet hits. McMahon is now raising funds for brain research to help those with traumatic brain injuries. Jim is 51 years old.

“We are the Bears, shufflin’ crew…” Jim is just behind Walter
Payton’s left hand there….

Tonight, the Baltimore Nevermores take on the Atlanta Dirty Birds. Join me in boycotting all NFL Network games, because if people who can’t afford extended cable don’t get to watch, I won’t tune in either. Elitist bastards.

Thanks for reading, enjoy NBC’s Thursday Night line-up…and if it’s bumped off by some crappy award show, I’m just as angry as you are. If you stay up after “The Office” watch “Outsourced” because this new show is really starting to hit its stride.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bikini Protesters, Iraq, and that Badass Gordon Lightfoot…

Good morning, hope you are having a wonderful start to your day. Do you know what you’ve done? You’ve stumbled right into a treasure trove of random knowledge. Join me, as we dive in….

With the Iraq War (supposedly) over, the Bohunk still advises against making vacation plans to the country just yet. In a recent slew of violent murders, (as if there are not-really-all-that violent-murders) Christians are being targeted by extremists in Baghdad. A bombing this very morning claimed the lives of three Iraqi Christians and injured several others. Christian groups in the capital are considering fleeing the country in order to avoid the violence. Let us not forget that this was a war we didn’t need or want, and it will not end as long as these scenes of violence continue, whether we are in the country or not.

You may remember from weeks past snippets of news from the French riots. Students and protestors, in conjunction with strikes around the country that cost millions of euros, marched for nearly three weeks to protest a change in the French pension system. The bill was signed in the National Assembly two weeks ago and just this morning was passed into law by the tres chic pen of Nicholas Sarkozy. The French government was forced to pass the bill as it faces a massive deficit with a shrinking population to repay its debt. The retirement age is now 62, roughly the same as all other European nations.

Bikini-clad protesters during the French strikes. Pro-Head Scarve and also,
more importantly, Pro-Foxy.

Researchers claim that hyper-texters (over 120 messages a day) and hyper-networkers (social networking 3.5+ hours a day) are more likely to drink, smoke, do drugs and be skanky. The study was conducted in an urban country in the Midwest. Teens most likely to be categorized as hyper-texters or hyper-networkers were mostly of low economic status, female, minority and lacked a father figure (somewhere Wes Sovis just said, “No shit”) though these tendencies were applicable in nearly every demographic. Among other percentages found in the study, hyper-texters were 69% more likely to binge drink; 84% more likely to use illicit drugs and 60% more likely to have had for or more sexual partners. Hyper-networking shared these figures and was also heavily linked to depression, high stress, suicide, poor sleep and poor academics.

On this day in 1975, the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a strong storm in the frigid waters of Lake Superior. “The Big Fritz”, as the vessel was nicknamed, was one of the largest vessels in the Great Lakes at 730 feet long. It sank in Canadian waters 17 miles from Whitefish Bay. The sinking was shrouded in mystery, primarily because the ship had issued no distress signal, only radioed that she was in very rough seas. All 29 men aboard died, with no bodies ever found. The ship was broken in two when she was found. The event gave rise to a popular song by the super-hip, jive-talking Gordon Lightfoot in 1976; check that out here.

In my perpetual crusade against concussions and dangerous, stupid football hits, the Bohunk submits the following. In their win over Cincinnati monday evening, the Steelers had three players suffer head injuries (a term that sounds worse than concussion) and all will miss the next week’s game. Two of the injuries were to the Steelers running back corp, Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman, leaving them short handed. If teams were serious about staying injury free, they would require all players to use the most advanced equipment available. Not encourage it, but mandate it. Both Moore and safety Will Allen were using out-of-date helmets instead of the Schutt, Riddell and other manufacturers that offer improved protection against brain injury. Just one more reason to switch…league-wide.

Modern Family, ABC, 9 eastern…She’s on the show.

Thanks for reading, it’s a short one, use the extra time to look up pictures of Sofia Vergara, star of this evening’s best show “Modern Family”. It’s the best thing on television folks. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Contador’s Meat, Ginger Coach, and DubYah on Torture….

Just as I said the Cowboys can’t fire Wade Phillips, they do. Replacing him with Jason Garrett, the offensive coordinator, gives the Cowboys the opportunity to appear like they are changing something, but not really changing anything. Garrett will run the same system, with the same players, will the only real change coming in who is calling plays defensively. Unfortunately for Garrett, he is red-headed. He is also 1-7, without his starting quarterback Tony Romo, and has an unforgiving schedule ahead. They play the Giants, Redskins and Saints still this season, all on nationally televised time slots. So if you dislike the Cowboys, and we all do, enjoy this season. And you’ll be able to watch it!

Space is pretty big. In fact, it is so large that we lack the fundamental ability to truly see it, and so our research and, in turn, our understanding of it is limited. Now researchers have discovered a way to use phenomena in space, “gravitational lenses”, that magnify galaxies and celestial bodies that are millions of billions (read that again, millions of billions, that’s how old the universe is) older than galaxies around the Milky Way. This gives scientists the capability to study how the universe ages and to look for changes in the developments of galaxies or the universe itself. The Herschel space telescope, operated by the European Space Agency, detects the infrared tendencies of these gravitational lenses and can help scientists utilize them more effectively. This goes to show; we do not know everything, we know almost nothing. The universe, my friends, is the greatest mystery.

In the ongoing investigation of Alberto Contador and his Tainted Spanish Meat, the UCI has announced that it will seek a ruling from Spain’ council on sport to decide what action to take on Contador. This is a long awaited step in a process which will ultimately decide if the two or three time champ will retain his 2010 title and avoid a two-year ban for doping. Contador has said that if handed the ban he would possibly retire. Spain’s governing body of sport will reach a decision and hand down to the UCI what essentially serves as a recommendation for punishment if found guilty, or as a vote of innocence. If the UCI does not agree with the decision, they can take their case to the International Arbitration of Sport to reverse the decision or adjust the punishment. This is not a verdict, but it does indicate that the UCI believes there is something fishy going on…
“Can you believe this guy? Tainted meat? Gimme a break.” ~Lance

The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals to essentially end all hope for the Striped Cats. Ben “Touches Without Permission” Roethlisberger looks solid after his suspension and, in weeks past, has brushed off the rust and turned in some fine work. He is the best quarterback in the league to rape a woman. Go Ben!

In his recently released memoir, former President Bush defends waterboarding and other torture techniques…and Republicans will defend him for saying that. People, as a rule, seem to be all for torture until it’s them being drowned, even if it is “simulated.” The ever-eloquent Bush went onto say that, upon hearing of the 9/11 attacks, his “blood was boiling. We were going to find out who did this, and kick their ass.” THAT is the man who led our country for eight years. Sounds more like a hillbilly who had his beer stolen, not a sitting President in a time of extreme crisis.

In the Myanmar election mentioned yesterday in the Update, a major shocker! Hot off the press! The pro-military party won with over 80% of the vote! No way! The military, who forced some people from their homes to vote, claims it played no role in what it called a “historic moment.” No less than SIX (6) parties have already lodged complaints to the election commission of the country, citing obvious tampering and fraud. The commission, appointed by the military, will hear their case this week. And, probably do nothing at all.

In a quick note, Lions staff fear quarterback Matthew Stafford (he’s Matthew off the field, Matt while on it) may be lost for the season after reinjuring his right shoulder. As much potential as he has, he may never pan out if he can’t finish a season. He has missed a total of 12 games in two years, if you count games he started but failed to finish and add together those missed quarters.

Short Update today, and not a good one. Thank you for soldiering through. Enjoy “Funniest Home Videos” on ABC Family this evening.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Concussions, Ice-Gentle-men, Myanmar and Ugly Philly

Another week, another string of Updates…Please, hold your thunderous applause until the bottom of the piece, your enthusiasm is appreciated, but probably misplaced, it ain’t ever that good on a Monday.

What a weekend of tackle football. Nebraska squeaked out a win over Iowa State, LSU knocked off Alabama and Michigan State had a surprising (to me) bounce back win over Minnesota. Illinois scored 65 points against Michigan…and lost. It was the most points ever given up by Michigan in a single contest, and they won by two. That is a pretty rare event in sport. The teams combined for more points that the final scores of the past one, two, three! meetings of the school’s basket-ball teams (Basket-ball is roughly 4% as interesting as football, so it gets about 4% of coverage on the Update).

In the BCS, Oregon, My Oregon are number one and are the least likely of the top 5 teams to lose this season. Auburn, at number two, faces a handful of tough SEC games before they would have to play in the SEC Championship game at the end of the regular season. TCU is 3rd after destroying the Utes on the road. The Smurfs of Boise State are 4th, but could be passed by an LSU team at 5 that plays a much tougher slate of games toward the end of the season, and a potential bump by winning the SEC Championship. Nebraska is stuck at the Not-So-Great 8 spot, getting jumped by Wisconsin and Stanford. Shame, robotic computation devices, for letting this happen. May your circuits overheat.

In professional tackle football, the Cleveland Burnt Siennas beat the heretofore best team in the NFL, at least wins-and-losses speaking. The Jets snuck by the Detroit Lions in OT after being, in my very biased opinion, outplayed for 56:23 minutes. The Jets put up 10 points in the last 2:36 of the fourth quarter to force extra time, with a huge help from Lions LB Julian Peterson for ungentleman-like behavior on the game-tying drive. Peterson pushed LaDanian Tomlinson as the running back was stepping spritely out of bounds, which is by every account illegal. 15 yards, a first down and a very easy field goal would ensue.

In Philadelphia, Colts’ wide receiver Austin Collie went “over the middle” in order to catch a ball thrown deftly by Peyton Manning. This “over the middle” is constantly referred to and mentioned by Talking Ends and players, inferring that in this murky place of danger and adventure, where violent hits are more likely because receivers are defenseless and surrounded on all sounds by defenders. On this occasion, Collie caught the ball between three Eagles, placed a step or two on the ground and turned his upper body slightly to protect himself. The first Eagle hit him cleanly; a hard but legal hit. The second impact came from behind, helmet-to-helmet, with the crown of the Eagles helmet connecting to the rear of the Collie’s. Down went Collie, twitching and shaking, his arms frozen in the air in a sickening and alarming reaction to his brain being literally stirred about it his skull. A helmet-to-helmet hit; out came the flag. And the fans booed; the Eagles’ Kurt Coleman, who delievered the blow, gyrated and screamed in protest while another human being lay potentially paralyzed on the ground at his feet. While Collie was still being placed on a stretcher, unmoving, Eagles fans booed replays that clearly showed a helmet-to-helmet hit and a fellow man, with a family and friends and a life off the field, twitch unconscious at the end of the replay each time. The CBS commentator, Phil Simms, reviewed the play several times, forgetting that it showed a human being injured and focusing soley on whether it was a catch. Simms, Philadelphia and Kurt Coleman, you are all guilty of the single most disgusting act in sports this season…so far.

In Brett Favre news, the “Ol’ Gunslinger” threw for a career high 446 yards to beat the Arizona Cardinals in a game which proved the Vikings are capable of beating the fifth worst team in the league. The Vikings are 3-1 at home and winless on the road this season which is a good stat for the struggling Hyperboreans to hear. They play the Packer and Bears at home after playing at Chicago and getting the Bills and Giants at home as well. They go on the road only four more times, including a trip to Philly and Detroit to end the regular season. Kindly remove the fork from the Vikings…they are not entirely done yet. If they win their next two games, at Chicago and at home to the Cheese Craniums, they could be battling for the division, not just the wild card.

Last night, those very Cheese Craniums embarrassed the Dallas Cowpokes, so much so that Wade Phillips’ perpetual expression of “What the hell is going on?” actual gave way in the third to a pitiable look of, “I wish I still had no idea what was going on, this is terrible.” Seriously, that is what his face said. The ‘Boys (not men, “nothing but cowBOYS, just like the word says,” John Wayne) are now 1-7, tied for the second worst record in paid-football and no hope in sight. Owner Jerry Jones can’t fire Phillips because the potential replacement wouldn’t get to work with players till June, should the NFLPA and owners fail to reach an agreement over winter and spring negotiations.

IcemanFall 019
Winner, winner, chicken dinner: Brian Matter on his
way to victory.

In cycling news, the 2010 Iceman Cometh is in the books, with former winner Brian Matter claiming the men’s title over a field of high-quality professional pedal-turners. Matter jumped away with roughly four miles to go, and the leading pack, containing Todd Wells, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Jerimiah Bishop and Sam Schultz, did not chase him down. Watch a video, taken from a camera taped to Bishop’s fork, of the action here. Over 4,000 cyclists braved freezing temps and mud-soaked trails to complete the 28 mile race, some so tired at the end that fans (myself including) pushed them up the final climb.

IcemanFall 023
Todd Wells, Sam Schultz and Jeremiah Bishop
scramble to the top of the last climb. Todd Wells held
on for second

On Sunday, Myanmar held its first elections in 20 years, though the outcome is already known at many voters forced by the military rulers to vote. A potential boycott, proposed by activists who oppose the nation’s militant government, was decreed to be punishable by the government and voters were prodded out, in some cases by police, to the polling stations. President Obama termed the elections “anything but free and fair” while the country’s League for Democracy voiced its desire any outcome because the results will be chosen the the military anyway. Myanmar also currently holds roughly 2,100 political prisoners at this time.

Thanks for reading, enjoy the Steelers vs. Bungles this evening on Monday Night Football. A better update tomorrow, I promise.