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>Brett Favre’s Flames, Steve Jobs and Bankruptcies….

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It is Tuesday, the very first one of 2011 and the last time you will have written 1/4/11 unless you are postdating something. Some stuff happened, so we will take a moment to reflect on the day that was and what shall come…

First, the techie nerd in me is ‘totally stoked’ for the Consumers Electrics Show which runs this week in Vegas. As is the custom, Apple and Steve Jobs will not attend the event, leaving a gaping hole in the show’s intrigue for some. But to others, it offers a great look at the stuff others have made, usually as imitations of iThings. The biggest area is tablets, namely, fake iPads. Competitors to the iPad, like the Samsung Galaxy, are capitalizing on a massive market that Apple essentially created. Over 126,000 retailers will attend the show looking for alternative to Apple products, and most specifically for the tablets being released by electronics heavy weights like Sony, Motorola and Vizio. For the Bohunk, the most attractive tablet to emerge will be the Windows 7 mobile edition being unveiled by Top Banana Steve Ballmer. A tablet with a working and mobile version of Media Center, iTunes and even Microsoft Office could be absolutely brilliant, especially with the Cloud external storage system gaining popularity. An external software system means you don’t have to worry about overloading the storage on the device, and means manufacturers can keep prices a bit lower. To note, the tablet this year accounted for roughly $300 million and this before all the powerhouses of the electronics companies joined battle…


Fear the Turtle-Necked Behemoth: Steve Jobs throwing around an iPad.

There will be some terribly depressing numbers popping up over the next few weeks as financial reports finish up detailing the dismal economic year that was 2010. For instance, we bring to the fore this cheery little tale: Over 1.5 million Americans filed for bankruptcy this past orbit, with this past December being one of the worst financial months in history. November was close to the worst in history, and then bankruptcy filings went up another 3%. And experts expect filings to continue to rise over the coming months as well…

When the Bohunk finishes an especially good book, like A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, I cannot help but be obliged to let you all, dear readers, of my experience. Bill Bryson, if you have not read him, is, flatly, an amazing writer. In infromative texts, you will not find a better author who can easily bounce from genetics to astronomy, anthropology to geology, evolution and physics. And as you are reading, you are hardly aware that you have made these same transitions, so seamless is his book’s construction. You cover, as the title indicts, just a bit of everything, but together, you see how we know what little we really do. And that, I point out, is a fact I share with you three or four times a week. For example, as Bryson points out near the end of the 450 page leisure read, if your family is from Europe over the past 2,000 years, you share the same genes as 95% of the world. And all of those people are descended from some 10,000 Africans who ventured north to Europe just 25,000 years ago. Amazing stuff. (Note: 25,000 years is not even a blink, another point Bryson drives home. In a world 4.2 billion nears old, and a universe a few dozen billion years older, you must remember that man has lived but 0.0001% of the life of this earth) You can pick up the read here at Barnes and Noble. 

Google is unveiling a virtual newsstand to compete with Apple’s news application for iPad. Google is shopping around for content providers such as Time Warner in preparations for creating an Android-only application to provide up-to-the-minute news, eerily similar and obviously in direct competition with Apple. Other devices, like the nook for Barnes and Noble and the Kindle for Amazon, offer electronic versions of copy like The New York Times and USA Today. This is an unabashed tech-version of the Update, so save this or ask a question should you have one.

Brett Favre, though done for the season, is again in the headlines. After sitting out and watching the Hyperboreans lose to the Lions (the Lions being 4-0 in 4 weeks, mind you) two women have filed sexual harassment charges against Favre, this just a week after the NFL fined him $50,000 for the Jenn Sterger incident of 2008. Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole say that Favre treated them “like slabs of meat” (Scavo’s words) and asked them to engage in three-way sex with him. They claim he repeatedly texted them while with the Jets, say he was lonely and he had “bad intentions.” For fans, these types of charges cannot come as a surprise after the Jenn Sterger incident and this past season’s allegations of taunting and harassment by Jets players toward Mexican TV reporter Ines Sainz. Both Scavo and O’Toole were let go from from the Jets organization shortly after this time period, with both women claiming that Favre had a role in the decision.


Obviously, ‘hostesses’ like Jenn Sterger are integral parts of an organization,
and reflect the professional environment that they work in. Come on, Jets,
you’re going to lose these types of arguments.

Over 500 homes have been evacuated in northern Australian as flood waters there spread. Heavy rains over the course of several days have given way to flooding in 20 towns in the Queensland area, submerging 20 or so towns under varying depths of water. Ten people have been killed with over 200,000 people very much affected. And in a very Australian turn, rescue and emergency teams are warning residents of another factor with which they must contend: wild-life. Exotic snakes, alligators and other misplaced, starving and panicked creatures are especially dangerous in these situations. The waters may not recede for some weeks, and may take decades in some areas to return to normal. Chin up, my under water readers…

On a personal note, the Bohunk recently journeyed deep into nature on snowshoes. Northern Michigan is a year-round, perpetually beautiful place. The woods of Interlochen, are, if you will allow me to wax poetic, hold snow softly like the hand of a beautiful maiden, branches sagging in the weight of soft pillows of virgin powder. Below are some pictures of my adventure, including one of an abandoned pontoon that drifted south in the wind and wedged itself on the shore next to the mouth of a small creek. Sort of like an eerie, ghost ship except for the cup holders.

ChristmasTime2010 012
Derelict Pontoon….

Thanks for reading the Update, come on back tomorrow for more cool things that will distract you from Facebook for 2-4 minutes…Have a terrific afternoon as well.

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>Uranium, the Pro Bowl, Vuvuzelas and Swashbucklers…

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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.

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

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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…
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“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.