Welcome to your Thursday, and welcome most graciously to the Update. Throw on your slippers and sip a cuppa joe, it’s educatin’ time…
But not, it seems, for kids unfortunate enough to be growing up in Virginia. A panel of historians examined 5 textbooks in the state, each from a different grade level and covering different periods of US and world history. They were shocked at the number of mistakes therein, causing many to point out that, in the race for ignorance through crappy textbooks, Texas just got a competitor. The amount of flatly wrong information astounded the historians, including such basic knowledge as the start of WWI (The book claimed 1916, just plain wrong. It started in 1914, and the US entered in 1917) and the number of states that joined the Confederacy. The volume covering the American Civil War claimed that freed African-Americans fought in battles throughout the conflict in massive numbers, which is untrue. The amount of black to fight in the Civil War is estimated to be no more than a few thousand at most. The Department of Education in the state of Virginia allowed the books, though the Bohunk thinks that the main reason is that they were slightly less expensive than others. Money is the root of all stupidity…Just ask that 12th Confederate state, should you encounter it.
The Wicked Witch of the East, Christine O’Donnell of “I’m not a witch; I’m like you” fame is now being investigated by Federal agents for questionable campaign spending after a citizens rights group filed a complaint to authorities. O’Donnell conjured up (note the witch reference there, really brilliant stuff) a record $7.3 million in Delaware, but spend the majority of the money on some questionable advertising spots (including feeling the need to deny being a witch) and an anti-gay speaker. She admits to spending as much as $20,000 on her mortgage payment, which is illegal by state and federal campaign laws, even if the residence served as a headquarters for the campaign. Also very illegally, O’Donnell did not file her FEC disclosure forms, which are meant to track spending, until November 16th. This could be a sticky one for the Wicked Witch of the East…..
“I’ll fill out my FEC disclosure forms next time, my pretties, and my mortgage taxes too!
In another story to make you wish the Tea Party was really just three year olds drinking air from plastic cups with stuffed animals, the organizer of the Tea Party convention just said something really, really insensitive and wrong. Judson, yes, not making that up his name is Judson, Phillips lumped the NAACP, a historic body committed to protecting the interests and further the cause of social equality for African-Americans as a ‘Liberal Hate Group’, along with the Department of Homeland Security (that isn’t too liberal) and the ACLU. The ignorant prick (forgive my opinion) stated that, “To the NAACP, anyone to the right of Karl Marx is a racist,” which might be the most ignorant, uninformed and, in some ways, incriminating statement I’ve heard so far this morning. It shows that the Tea Party’s founder, if not the Tea Party as an organization, has racist tendencies and sees policy along race lines. Phillips has also been quoted as saying that only property owning citizens should vote, and that the US should ban the Methodist church. So he is proposing reverting to voting policy from the 18th century and religious policy of Stalin…Way to go, TeaBaggers…
In my on-going dislike of Jennifer Aniston and all romantic comedies, I bring up the comparison made by fellow actor Rupert Everett. He compared Jennifer Anniston to the Crab Nebula, one of my favorites nebulae, in a most negative way. As Everett, who really knows his star formation, stated that Anniston is famous for starring in some serious flops, which serve for the astronomical ‘explosion’ of stars. When the movie sucks, and hers almost certainly do, she somehow swirls and gathers enough hydrogen atoms to compress and then convert into helium, resulting in a new star, or, for her, a new film. As for the left over metals and silicates not absorbed into the star, they clump and form planets that revolve around the star that is Anniston becoming planets, or shitty actors like Gerrard Butler. The Bohunk applauds this sort of intelligent comparison to a very unintelligent topic…Chapeau, Rupert Everett.
Here, you can see the obvious Crab Nebula comparison, and also the
metallic materials orbiting Anniston….Very scientific reason for a
tasteless nude photo’s inclusion in the Update, promise….
Finally, Skype is ready to use 3G for mobile phones like the iPhone 4. The heretofore impossible feat of video chatting off of a wifi connection is now quite simple. The Skype app is now ready for the iPhone, ending a long conflict as carriers like AT&T (note the expert use of the amper sand) who want to find ways to keep its users from reducing their minutes and simply using apps like Skype and Google Voice instead of their AT&T minutes. Some users are complaining of poor video quality and slow connection times, but the bugs will be fixed before too long. The bandwidth for the the Skype app is rather demanding, pulling down almost 16 megabytes (in and out) in a five minute conversation. Android has not finished a Skype app for its market, though the project is nearly finished. Verizon may block it from Blackberry, limiting it only to phones that Android uses, so Blackberry users will be out in the cold, though most lack a forward facing camera in any case.
In a rare (don’t worry, when the NFL is done, you’ll be hockey’ed up to the point of being knowledgeable about a variety of forecheck schemes) NHL story, Sid “The Kid or Anti-Christ” Crosby had his 25 game scoring streak end last night against the Islanders. Crosby scored in every game since November 3, the longest streak since Mats Sundin scored in 33 straight in 1991. The Penguins lost last night as well, with the Islanders’ Rick DiPiettro padding away a Crosby shoot-out try to take the win, finishing with 37 saves. (For those with souls, a.k.a. Red Wings fans, don’t worry, we did win against Dallas, 7-3)
No Brett, you can’t play until you’ve passed your concussion test.
Finally, as you’ve no doubt heard, the NFL fined Brett Favre just $50,000 (or one-tenth of what he makes in a week) for not fully cooperating with the league in their investigation. Jen Sterger, the foxy mama who received the inappropriate texts, told her lawyers she is not happy with the result of the investigation and that charges may be brought in a civil lawsuit. Favre has not passed his concussion test, which makes playing against the Lions this Sunday extremely unlikely, meaning he will end his career inactive on the sidelines. What do you think of the fine? Is it enough, or is the league being too lenient? Leave a comment with your thoughts….
That’s it for the Update, thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for the Fox of the Week and just a bit more effort on my part….
Welcome to the Update on this glorious Wednesday morning, and many thanks for finding your way to it, and taking a break from Facebook stalking to do so…
Marie Curie was not just a pretty face. You may recall her and her husband worked to discover radiation through uranium decay. Their work set the basis for carbon dating which others would use to date fossils, and more importantly, the earth itself. Curie would go on to be the only person two win Nobel Prizes in two sciences, physics and chemistry, before eventually playing the ultimate price for her efforts. She died of leukemia in 1934. Her household items are so radioactive that they are in lead boxes; her lab books are so drenched with radioactive particles from isotope studies that those hoping to review Curie’s notes must don special suites and do so in a lead room. That is A for effort…
One Glowing Polish Mama: Marie Curie
Cancer has, for many reasons, been thought of as a contemporary illness. Researchers are now finding that, while exponentially more prevalent today than in centuries past, cancer is a disease which has been a part of the human race since as long as we have lived. Studies show that cancer was a rarity in antiquity, found in only some 200 documented remains on major excavation sites. Obviously, of the millions of homo sapiens who have roamed the globe, this represents a tiny fraction of those who may have lived with or died from cancer. But many now believe that issues like pollution, tobacco use and the more frequent and consistent ingestion of chemicals after the Industrial Revolution are major contributors to the wide spread presence of cancer in modern society. Other factors in cancer’s spread are obesity, sexual and reproductive practices and how and what we eat. Some scientist think the rarity of the disease is also attributable to the prevalence of others; diseases like fevers and poxes probably struck down thousands before they began having cancer related symptoms. More research can determine just how rare cancer, and indeed, many other diseases and ways of life were in ancient history. But much of this is lost in the past. For example, the estimated number of people to have lived and died before the year 1 AD is a billion, and roughly 2 billion by 1750. The scientists of mankind have documented and examined roughly 100,000 corpses. So we have information on less than one ten thousandth of one percent of all the lives ever lived. We have very much to learn…
As 2010 comes to a close, the Bohunk looks at a few words that joined the English lexicon, including just important fixtures Vuvuzela (the World Cup noisemaker), the Justin Beiber (the goofy hair cut named after the underage singer) and a plethora of terms heretofore known only to fossilized fuel enthusiasts, top-kill, bottom-kill, static kill all in reference to the Gulf Oil Spill this past summer. The Bohunk’s personal favorite was mama grizzly, one of the many Palinisms to break out in 2010. Mama grizzlies failed to elect in the Tea Bagging women they attempted to support, but all but one successfully bought and failed to read Oprah’s Book Club selections…Go Soccer Moms!
Fig 2. A true Mother Grizzly protects her young…and votes straight Democrat…
If you read regularly (Hey Cara) you know that the Bohunk loves pirates. I have quietly been rooting for the Somali “barefooted buccaneers” (as they are called in The Times) ever since my freshman year of college when Professor Howe, my World Geography guru, championed their cause. Also, I enjoy any opportunity to utilize the word swashbuckling on all occasions that present themselves. This past week, the pirates claimed $5.5 million in ransoms paid by a German chemical company. Just the next day, the pirates took another European vessel and its 8 man crew as hostage. The pirates are being hounded by the navies of several nations, including the US, to no avail. At the moment, experts claim that pirates hold over 26 vessels and six hundred and nine (609, presented in two forms to emphasize the number) while being pursued by an armada of over 40 warships representing 30 countries. The pirates are almost all fishermen driven from their waters because the Chinese ignored international law and emptied the fish from the rich banks of fish off the Somali coast. Keep that in mind…These guys have a serious chip on their shoulders, and rightly so…
In Tuesday Night Football, the fifth night of professional football this past week, the Minnesota Brett Favre’s won while being Brett Favre-less. Rookie Joe Webb played like a seasoned vet, though not like a 40-something washed up joke. It is all about balance. The Eagles never really got rolling, with Mike Vick being sacked six times and fumbling twice, on one occasion resulting in a touchdown. This same game, if you’d told me they were playing, would have been a possible NFC Championship preview; it turned out differently. The Vikes will not be in the post season and the Eagles are going to be a three or four seed behind the Bears and Falcons. Things often turn out differently; if you’d told me a year ago that Leslie Frazier and Joe Webb would be the faces for the Vikings and not the fired Brad Childress or inactive (and aged) Brett Favre, I would have been incredulous to say the least. But that is, in fact, how the cookie crumbles…
One NFL start and Joe Webb is already
sending dirty texts to this woman….
The Bohunk will leave it to your own interest to see who made the NFL Pro Bowl, though I will take a moment to point out an obvious snub. The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers didn’t make it, falling behind Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Mike Vick. All are deserving, admittedly, but Rodgers is the most important player on his team besides, as some might note, Ryan Grant, whose loss at the beginning of the year has essentially halted the running game in Green Bay. With almost no threat on the ground (if you couldn’t name their running back, Brandon Jackson, don’t worry, few can) Rodgers still passed for 3,693 yards at an efficient 65.5% completion percentage. His rating is over 100 (101.9) and he has tossed 27 TDs to just 10 INTs. Perhaps only Drew Brees understands Rodgers’ plight; Brees lost Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas to extended injuries and soldiered through it. Vick has LeSean McCoy, one of the best backs in the league already, and Matt Ryan hands the ball off to Michael Turner…frequently. Ryan averages five less attempts per game than Rodgers, but frequently throws only around 20 times. Only because of Rodgers’ missed game due to concussion do their attempts look similar, and Rodgers still threw more yards and touchdowns with a better completion percentage and passer rating. All that said, in the Pro Bowl, go NFC…
Thanks for reading, enjoy the bowl games this evening and remember to brush your tongue, no one enjoys halitosis.
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….