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.
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.
Happy New Year and the very first Monday of such. Now that it’s 2011, all of your dreams will come true, your shortcomings will disappear and your drug habit will be a thing of the past…Or so 2011 would have you think.
There is no magical aspect of a new year. In fact, the idea of transitioning to a new calendar year on December 31st is somewhat arbitrary from a lifestyle standpoint. Why not on March 31st? Or February 2nd? We have attached ideas of new selves to that of the New Year, and so, we make resolutions. The Bohunk’s (no soda till June) will be difficult, but it comes from necessity. The off-season will soon be the on-season in cycling, and though the Bohunk has no money to race and a gracious, friendly but financially non-committal sponsor, the season ahead could be very short. However, it is a New Year…Keeping with the naïve hope of the masses, why not dream and dream big? Team RadioShack, you have my email address…
As mine eyes slid over this headline, “Bombing opens veins of Christian anger in Egypt”, the Bohunk noticed the irony of the statement. Christians, instructed by their Messiah thousands of years before he graced a grilled cheese, should turn the other cheek. 21 were killed New Years Day when a bomb exploded in a Coptic Church. The Christians were quick to blame their government for failing to protect them from discrimination and responded with rioting and protest outside the headquarters of the Coptic Church in Cairo. Protestors attacked Muslims around Cairo during the riots, injuring dozens and damaging a mosque. So, as you can see, violence is the religious answer to violence. Those claiming the divine support of a great imaginary friend are stronger than those with a similar, indeed, the same imaginary friend. Christians make up just 10 percent of the 80 million human beans in Egypt, but that number is vocal and politically important. Many Christians feel as though they are unwanted in Egypt (no shit) but refused to leave (bad idea). The Bohunk abhors the violence against the Christians, but rioting and beating Muslims in the streets is not the best way to stop a nation hating you. So, to both sides, knock it off.
“Turn thine cheek…then sucker punch thine enemies.” ~ Jesus Christ
In typical Republican boasting and grandstanding, new chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa has labeled the entire Obama administration as corrupt. Of course; they are all politicians. (pause for laughter 1, 2,3,) But seriously, unless you have some thick hard facts to back up that kind of claim you are really hanging your willy in the wind and looking foolish. And any evidence, Mr. Issa? He could only point to the trillion dollars in stimulus spent by the Obama administration as a possible corrupting influence. The Bohunk points out that the Bush administration also had $1 trillion to blow on rich banks in 2007. Coming into office with this type of agenda and bias is only going to make bipartisan politicking impossible and the process slow. Issa is going to be on a witch hunt for his term as chairman, when the country needs someone protecting them from banks and lobbyists…And Issa.
In amateur football news, New Years Day was the worst in Big Ten history, with Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin all losing, and only Wisconsin doing so in style. The Badgers were a failed two-point conversion from taking the TCU Horned Frogs (a team nickname that needs no substitution) to overtime, while the other Large Dix (dix is ten in French) squads fell by as much as 42 points (Go ye Sons of Sparta!) on the day. Michigan’s defense, abysmal all year, was somehow worse. They were only mildly inconvenient to Mississippi State’s offense, who casually ambled down the field to score on most of their possessions. Denard Robinson played well in the first quarter, but the pressure of knowing you must score each drive ate away at Michigan’s best player, and his mates, until they crumbled. It is no secret; the SEC is the best football conference in ‘Merica. The top six schools in the SEC would all win every other conference if they were in it, including the Large Dix and the Not-So-Large Big 12 (they will have only 10 teams next fall, losing Nebraska and Colorado) in that scenario. The SEC and Large Dix play again in the Cotton Bowl with Ohio State taking on Arkansas. Ohio State will be starting five players who will be suspended for the first five games next season. Why they can play this game is simple; money. Ratings with Terrelle Pryor, Boom Herron, and the other Black Listers will be much higher than without them. The NCAA will let the kids play, make their money, then scold them once the ink dries. The NCAA is a shameless, shameless body.
Michigan’s “Slightly Inconvenient” Defense: Get close, arm tackle, and hope they start running the wrong way…
In (more) professional fooball, the play-offs are set. The Bears, Falcons, Seahawks and Eagles won their divisions while the Packers and Saints are in as wild cards for the NFC. And when the defending Super Bowl champs and the trendy pick to be next year’s defending Super Bowl champs are in as wild cards, you know the deck is stacked. (Note the excellent card symbolism) In the AFC, the Patriots, Steelers, Chiefs and Colts are in as division winners with the Jets and Ravens serving as the wild cards. The MVP race is between Mike Vick and Tom Brady, with the Bohunk pushing for Brady simply for the fact that he is the best quarterback in the league, bar none. To lose to a fellow quarterback would just be insulting. And if you take Brady out of the line-up, they don’t win that division, and they may not even make the play-offs. That is valuable. More NFL stuff as the week goes on…
A 45 year old amateur astronomer, who does not even own a telescope, is given partial credit in the discovery of four gaseous exoplanets on the very edge of the solar system. Peter Jalowiczor used data measurements released by the University of California-Santa Barbara to locate the rough locations and orbits of four planets that ranged from 58 to 190 light years away. As noted, the man has never even owned a telescope, but has used his mind and impeccable mathematics to discover planets that cannot even be seen by our most powerful telescopes. And these planets are believed to be gigantic, as large as the behemoth Jupiter but several times the distance from the Sun to Jupiter away. One of the planets has over 4,000 days in a single year, while another has just 110. Some years ago, we didn’t think these exoplanets existed; now we have catalogued over 500 with new celestial bodies being discovered all the time. Just goes a cool glass of perspective. We don’t know everything, we know almost nothing. The universe, my friends, is the greatest mystery.
That will be it for the Bohunk, thanks for reading, and if you see Brett Favre, please hide him in a cave until next September so we don’t have to hear him seesaw about retirement. Come on back tomorrow, should you all, my dear readers, find the time…
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….