Thursday, January 8, 2015

AND FROM THE LAMBDA/MU TEAM, DUDLEY DAWSON:  Curtis Armstrong discusses his past and present roles, only one of which involves prepping for a trig midterm while being chased by Guido, the Killer Pimp.
I'LL TAKE EUPHEMISMS FOR $400, ALEX:  The MPAA has given Fifty Shades of Grey an 'R' rating for "strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity."  (Emphasis added; lack of Oxford comma's on them, not me.)

Related, from 2007: the ten oddest MPAA ratings justifications, including "a bawdy puppet show" (PG-13); "graphic, crude and sexual humor, violent images and strong language; all involving puppets" (NC-17); and "intense depiction of very bad weather" (PG-13).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WHAT I DO HAVE IS A PARTICULAR SET OF SKILLS:  After a number of Texas parents pulled their kids from a class tour of Europe, citing fears that their children would be kidnapped, Liam Neeson set them straight.
FOUR FOR COOPERSTOWN:  Randy Johnson (97.3%), Pedro Martinez (91.1%), John Smoltz (82.9%), and Craig Biggio (82.7%) have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with Mike Piazza (69.9%), Jeff  Bagwell (55.7%), and Tim Raines (55%) falling short. This is the first time since 1955 that four players were elected by the writers and it still wasn't enough, owing to the 10-vote limit.

Gary Sheffield, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Nomar Garciaparra all will live to see another day; Carlos Delgado is one-and-done. Changes from last year's ballot are below the fold.

[Our ballot had Johnson, Martinez, Biggio, and Bagwell in, and Smoltz one vote shy.]

Monday, January 5, 2015

AS A SPECIMEN, YES, I'M INTIMIDATING!  No one reels off push-ups against a WDW visitor like Gaston.
AND I FEEL FINE:  Gawker Media has uncovered what is allegedly the video CNN is to play upon signing off at the end of the world.
OK, EDGE, PLAY THE BLUES:  Because Bono may never be able to pick up a guitar again.
I KILLED THE PRESIDENT OF PARAGUAY WITH A FORK.  HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?  On this back to work Monday, you can be thankful that your answer to "what did you do over vacation" is not "attempted to overthrow the government of the Gambia."

Sunday, January 4, 2015

CANCER SUCKS, TRULY:  R.I.P. Stuart Scott, 49, one of the men who made ESPN what it is, and brought a fan's enthusiasm to the anchor chair. Ugh.

added: Dan Fienberg:
If you look at Scott's legacy on "SportsCenter," his was a shift of tone every bit as much as a shift of vernacular. With Berman leading the way, there was never a lack of populist enthusiasm at the "SportsCenter" desk, but the erudite irony that Olbermann and Patrick brought to the table, a style no doubt influenced by David Letterman in late night, was already in the process of shifting to ironic detachment as various subsequent anchors put their spin on making the show theirs. Scott was not detached. He was passionate. He was excited. He ended sentences with vocal exclamation points.  Personally, I'm not sure that "SportsCenter" could have survived an ongoing descent into sport-driven sarcasm. Scott curbed that trend and shifted the way fans talked about sports. 
And this can't be said enough: The way ESPN talks about sports remains the way America talks about sports and Scott is a big part of the reason for that.