Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wiki Map

Here is an interesting map that breaks down which nations have the most wikipedia entries or are tagged the most. I find it fascinating that Burkina Faso leads Africa...more than Egypt or South Africa. That can't be right can it?

Here is the full article on the story...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

God Bless...

God bless you Grandpa. You are one of my heroes. I will miss you...but we will meet again...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tebow Fatigue

Tim Tebow does not walk on water.

He might be a great guy and all...but the beatification of Tebow went way to far. Here's a couple of things to keep in mind the next time you hear the FOX or CBS reporters chanting his name in a sutra.

When Sam Bradford won the 2008 Heisman, Tebow could not hide his digust and anger. After the ceremony he even said he would use the slight as motivation against the Sooners in their soon to be played national title tilt. This anger comes despite the fact that Bradford's numbers were much more impressive in every way than Tebow's. Plus, Tebow had already won the award the year before. Revenge? Bitterness? Sense of entitlement? Are these the attributes of a saint?

I know I might cause this blog to come crashing down by saying this but I would rather have Colt McCoy of texas win the Heisman than that poser from Florida.

Then last Saturday night...I caught the last few minutes of Alabama's dismantling of Florida. The cameras caught Tebow crying on the sidelines. Then during his interview he could barely talk because he was crying so much. All this while sporting a Bible verse on his face paint. What a fantastic witness. Way to have your priorities in order Tebow.

This is a guy who has won a Heisman, conference championships and a National Championship. And he's crying because he lost? A bit of perspective please. You've achieved more than the vast majority of college athletes. And you're crying? Can't say I feel sorry for you in the least. Sorry Tebow...your myth has spiraled out of control. Some of it may not be your fault. You're probably not a bad kid. But don't act like you're some sort of saint.

Wonder if someone collected those tears in a vial. Doctors in Gaineville might do tests to see if they have healing properties.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thanks Sprint...

Last week I excoriated Samsung for their crappy phone and their fraudulent warranty.

So to even the ying yang scales of negative energy I should laud Sprint for trying to rectify the situation.

When Samsung failed to help me I called my provider Sprint to see if they could help me. I knew that if I purchased a new phone I would have to pay the full cost rather than the reduced price one receives for extending a contract or establishing service. I didn't really think that was fair...especially since I have been a loyal Sprint customer for seven years.

Sprint Account Services (not Customer Care Services who couldn't help in the least) said their system would not allow them to simply give me a rebate. But they said I would be eligible for that rebate if I added a third line for $9.99 a month on a two-year contract. Then they would give me a credit of $20 a month for the next two years to cover the cost of that third line and more for the inconvenience I experienced.

The new phone would be programmed with my same number. The old phone will simply go unused since we don't need a third line.

I went to Best Buy since they do not use mail-in rebates on their get the rebate immediately. I walked out with a free LG Rumor 2. Didn't pay a dime...and when all is said and done I actually got $10 off a month for two years from my what I was originally paying!

So I'm giving Sprint props on this one for helping me out. Still: stay away from Samsung!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

No Duh? or Free Shoes U?

Rarely do football jobs as big as Notre Dame and Florida State come open at the same time. An interesting question would be if you were a hotshot coach being courted by both and offered the same terms of employment...which job would you take?

Notre Dame used to be the slam dunk answer. But now I'm not so sure. It's cold up in South Bend. Indiana doesn't have as much talent as Florida and you have to compete with Ohio State, Michigan and the rest of the Big Ten for recruits in the upper midwest. Of course Notre Dame can recruit nationally but their academic standards (which I applaud) makes it impossible for some of the best athletes to go there. The NBC contract doesn't mean as much with the spread of satellite and cable outlets. Plus, there's no conference championship to fall back on for a coach. It's BCS or National Title or nothing. That's a lot of pressure.

Florida State does have a lot of recruiting competition with the Gators, Miami and others (UCF, USF, etc...) in Florida. But there are plenty of in-state recruits to go around. Like Notre Dame you do have the chance to restore a program to former glory. Academic standards are less strenuous. The easily dominated ACC is not near the conference the SEC or Big 12 is.

But you know...there's something about Notre Dame. As much as I hate the Fighting Irish...they are something special for whatever reason. If you win big there you would be linked to some of the biggest names in football history. But man, the weather is so much nicer in Tallahassee.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cup Fever!

I was fortunate that the 2010 World Cup draw was held during my lunch time. I was able to watch the proceedings via the internet. The United States drew their most favorable group in recent memory. The Yanks drew England, Slovenia and Algeria.

England will be tough. Maybe we will pull off another 1950 Cup shocker and beat the Limeys. Slovenia and Algeria barely squeaked into the World Cup. We couldn't ask for a better draw. We avoided a "group of death" and will have little excuse to make it to the second round.

For the uninitiated, there are 32 teams in the World Cup which will be played this summer in South Africa. The 32 teams earned their spots in a rigorous qualifying process in each of the regional federations. The 32 teams were then placed into pots that were determined by FIFA rankings and geography. Then those teams were randomly drawn via lottery balls and placed into eight four team brackets.

The four teams then play each other one time in their respective bracket. If you win you get three points. If you draw you get one point. If you lose you receive zero points. The two teams with the most points after all have played each other then advance to the round of sixteen. Goal differential breaks ties.

From that point on the sixteen teams play in knock out stages similar to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The field narrows to the quarterfinals (final eight), then the semifinals (final four) then into the championship match.

The farthest the United States has ever advanced is into the quarterfinals in 2002. We shocked Luis Figo (which he deserved for ditching FC Barcelona for Real Madrid) and Portugal in the group stage. We also humiliated our arch-rival Mexico in the Round of Sixteen. We lost to the eventual runner-up in the quarterfinals, Germany, 0-1. We played an amazing match...but German keeper Oliver Kahn (the man with dinner plates for hands) kept our best shots out of the net. Germany would end up losing to a reborn Ronaldo (who sported an awful mohawk while breaking the all-time World Cup Tournament goal record) and Brazil who were trying to make amends for a disastrous 1998 Final loss to France.

In '06 we got shafted by a faux penalty call on Claudio Reyna against Ghana. We didn't make it out of the group stage.

We got a great shot this year. We won last year's World Cup tune up tourney, The Confederation's Cup played in South Africa. We came in second in the Gold Cup a month later losing to Brazil in the final despite leading the entire game until a second half surge by the Brazilians.

People in the U.S. are beginning to take notice. America leads the world in purchasing tickets for the World Cup. Over 70,000 tickets have already been purchased by the Yanks...compared to 25,000 in soccer mad England.

I didn't catch the '06 final live. I had taped it while we were up in Indiana visiting family. I avoided the internet and most news sources. Still...I accidently caught a glimpse of a newspaper headline on the road in Sikeston, Missouri that gave away Italy's shocking victory over the French. I was surprised that the story was on the front page of a local paper and didn't expect to see the ending given away. I watched the game once I got home and still can't believe Zidane headbutted that guy. Of course the French got lucky this year only getting into the World Cup with a blatant hand-ball against Ireland.

It's only December...but things are already gearing up for a great soccer summer!

Friday, December 04, 2009


Worst Christmas song of all time...

That stupid "boink boink" song by Sir Paul McCartney...I think it's actually called "Wonderful Christmastime." I hate it hate it hate it.

I love the Beatles but their Christmas songs are terrible...

Can't stand "So this is Christmas" by John Lennon. Do the radio stations even listen to the lyrics of this tripe?

Oh and Andy Williams...going down the chimney down is redundant.

I'm not really a Grinch. Just got a stupid cold.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Singing Dynasties

Here's an easy way for my students to learn the basic order of the Chinese ruling dynasties. I have them sing the dynasties to frere jacque. The only danger is during A.P. exam day hearing students softly humming the tune while they take the test.

Xia, Shang, Zhou, Qin (repeat)
Han, Sui, Tang (repeat)
Song, Yuan, Ming, Qing, Republic (repeat)
Communist (repeat).

Yes, I know I leave out the Period of Warring States, Wang Mang's brief rule between the early Han and the later Han and the era of the Three Kingdoms but the basic dynastic structure is there.

Picture: Qin Shihuangdi...The first and only emperor of the Qin Dynasty. China gets its name from this family. He's the guy with all the terra cotta soldiers.