It is Foxy Friday, ye happy, dear readers, but alas, there are important things to tackle first. The sour first, so that the sweet is found but sweeter…
First, in extremely nerdy but dear news to the Bohunk, the Best Amateur Astronomy images were announced by National Geographic yesterday. The yearly event celebrates the exploits of lonely, intelligent losers who spend their time snapping shots of far off nebulae and star bursts and the like; instead of taking creepy pictures of girls, they snap intimate portraits of far of celestial beauties. The European Southern Observatory holds the contest each year and acknowledge the efforts of the amateurs with prints and publication. This year, ten folks submitted the top twenty shots of various galaxies and objects, especially the Orion Nebula. Igor Chekalin (believe it or not, this is not the first time the Bohunk has heard of Igor; his shots are used regularly by the AP) took a cool, alternative view of Orion by using a lens to capture the cool dust around the center instead of the more popular hydrogen gas in the region, which is burning and actually emits its own light. A few of the top twenty are below;
The ‘Wheeled One”’, physicist Stephen Hawkings made his annual trip to Caltech to whip up the troops in the field of physics, saying that, as a youngster, his father had pushed him toward medicine. Hawkings, the author of numerous works, including the groud-breaking-yet-accessible A Brief History of Time, obviously found a different calling in a expanding and dynamic field. Attendees of the conference hailed Hawkings as “the nerd Pope” as he rolled along a red carpet to a standing ovation. The 69 year old is still an exceedingly popular speaker, though, as many may know, he uses a computerized mechanism to do so. He also praised the acceptance and equality in the field of physics, which he says is unbiased based on university or school the scientists works at or went to; the ideas are what prove to be most important.
Lasers are science fiction, usually blasted wildly and with terrible accuracy by incompetent Storm Trooper who couldn’t bulls-eye a wamp rat at two meters, let alone twelve! But in the last science piece of the day, the Bohunk formally announced the existence of lasers for military purpose. And not, mind you, little dinky creations of little to no value. Nay, the Navy announced it has a ‘death ray’ that is nine months ahead of schedule in development. The free electron laser will be used primarily to shoot down incoming missiles and fighters, defending aircraft carriers and support fleet. Operating at right around the speed of sound (remember, nothing can go as fast as light) an electron is isolated and then accelerated by one of the world’s most advanced accelerator toward a target based on optics and radar information. In the future, the Navy is looking to develop more powerful and more efficient FEL (free electron lasers) that are more accurate and even more concise, shortening a beam to just a few feet to allow for repeated firings at multiple targets. Cool? You bet your sweet ass it’s cool!
In Tour Down Under news, Michael Matthews of Rabobank took Stage 3 to continue Australian dominance of the home tour. Fellow Aussie Robbie McEwen started the day in the ochre jersey, but lost it to Matt Goss, its former wearer. Last year’s winner and this year’s favorite Andre Greipel sits two seconds back from Goss by two seconds ahead of Robbie McEwen of Team RadioShack. A personal favorite, Ben Swift the winner of Stage 2, is comfortably within striking distance in fifth…I ain’t sayin’ nothin’, I’m just sayin’…
Looking ahead to the AFC and NFC Championships, the Bohunk was looking for a way to select a winner in each game. If you, Dear Readers, have been paying attention, the Bohunk’s hoped-for Super Bowl will not come to fruition. The Flying Elvii were bounced, but the Packers of the Bay Verre are still alive. My loathing of both the Steelers and Jets is well-documented; if the Bohunk sees Rex Ryan hoist the Lombardi Trophy, I may never tune in to a Super Bowl, because Ryan is proof that it can be one while being simply arrogant and brash, not super at all. So, the Bohunk is reverting to what the Bohunk knows best, and that, my friends, is Cheer-Babes. By closely examining the level of Cheer-Babe professionalism of each squad, the Bohunk can usually determine a winner. First, we look at the Bears and Packers (below):
Bears are one of only 3 teams without Cheer-Babes…
And the Packers are another!
What the hell? Neither team has Cheer-Babes…No one wins…Moving on…What? What the deuce? The Steelers are the third team without cheerleaders! All three teams without Cheer-Babes have a shot at the Really Good Bowl this year. Is the earth off axis? Hath Hell, as I have claimed, frozen over? Yes, yes it has. The Bohunk picks the Jets to win, on the sole reasoning that Cheer-Babe professionalism is a vital support system when a team needs to play De-de-de-defense…Here is a picture of them…
Finally, we come to the Fox of the Week. This one is a bit of a plug for a crappy Adam Sandler movie due out soon, Just Go With It. In a sort-of remake of Big Daddy, Sandler has to deal with kids and eventually ends up with the girl. This Fox, however, is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition fixture Brooklyn Decker. Brooklyn is also the wife of tennis star Andy Roddick, to note. Enjoy!
Can’t come up with anything remotely clever with this on my screen….
Enjoy the NFL this weekend, folks, because it is almost gone and done with. Just four more football games will be played before the season ends, and one of those is the loaf-fest that is the Pro Bowl. Lap it all up, waft the scents of pigskin joy, for it will be but a happy memory by the second weekend of the next month….
Back on Monday, probably; due to high homework demands and middling post views these past weeks, the Update may become a weekly instead of a daily. But that is to be decided. Enjoy the weekend and, as always, thanks for reading….
Thursday, folks, but, you already knew that….Let’s get to it…
Hell hath frozen over; if you are buying a coffee from Starbucks, there is now an app for that. Apple unveiled an app made to make the unthinkable a reality; you can now purchase a latte or Frappuccino if you forgot your wallet. The app allows you to put money on an account, then, upon walking to the counter, scan your phone (which briefly displays a barcode) and make your order. How that is in anyway faster than simply swiping your credit or debit card, I have absolutely no idea, but, it is not to the Bohunk to question why. If you want to ooze Starbucks affiliation, this is the app for you….
Researches have spotted a disturbing trend in elevated suicide rates for National Guard or Reserve soldiers, most typically while not deployed. The number of suicides of non-active reservists nearly doubled last year, from 80 to 145. A major contributing factor (besides repeated deployments to a warzone) is the logistical problem of providing access to counseling and post traumatic stress experts in the States. The broken marriages and relationships, lost jobs and difficulties faced by a prolonged absence are contributing factors, but the Army is clueless, especially about the dramatic rise. One commander, a Maj. General Raymond Carpenter says that roughly half of the suicides in his company are attributable to troubled relationships at home. Many experts are hoping that a universal network of counselors will be established, both in theaters of war and in the US, in order to provide expense-paid access to help upon returning home. The war is not only fought afar….
Carla Swaft riding for South Africa at Worlds…
In more sad news (my apologies), the cycling community honors the loss of Carla Swart, a 23 year old cyclist killed yesterday while on a training ride in South Africa. Swart was a promising star for HTC-Highroad entering her first full season with the pro squad. She was a college student who balanced an international racing schedule along with the demands of homework and family life. In the cycling community, any loss is widely mourned as if it were a very close friend, and for many, Carla was. Her alma mater, Lees McRae College is already working to establish a scholarship in her honor, to be awarded to a female cyclist each year. You can donate to this fund by sending a check to Lees-McRae College with a note of ‘Carla Swart Scholarship ‘ in the memo line. Here is the address:
Lees-McRae College Office of Advancement
P.O. Box 128, Banner Elk, NC 28604
A not-so-fond farewell; Juan Pelota faces more charges than ever before….
Ben Swift of Team Sky won the second stage of the Tour Down under while Team RadioShack sprinter took the overall lead, donning the ochre jersey as top man. The sprint finish was marred by a violent high-speed crash in the closing kilometers of the race. One of the most scarred and bloodied riders was the sprint favorite Mark Cavendish, who sustained some ugly cuts and bruises when someone hit some gravel in the road while rounding a tight, congested corner late in the stage which ended in Mannum. With several stages left to go, the sprinters are still at the top of the standings with other contenders lurking back. Still no moves from the likes of Armstrong, Gerrans and Porte in the lack of any real climbs, leaving the likely win to a sprinter or a rider with lots of power. Armstrong is catching flak after rumors and allegations of doping in the early 90s have risen after a Sports Illustrated article was partially leaked two days ago, as reported in the Update yesterday. It documents, or claims to, that Armstrong tested positive for unnatural testosterone to epitestosterone levels of 9:1, 7.6:1 and 6.5:1 over a four years span. It alleges that the Olympic Committee, or members of the Committee, tested athletes in private to avoid public positives and then allowed the drugs to deplete before submitting the rider to public tests. All of this is according to notes taken in the over a decade long span ending around the period of the 2000 Sydney games in Australia. Representatives from Armstrong say they have no comments.
President Obama welcomed our overlord, or landlord, or Chinese President Hu Jintao, or whatever you’d like to know him by, to the White House today to talk currency and trade issues. The talks were ungainly and slow due to translation delays, but Obama says he made frank remarks about the poor human rights record China is infamous for, and also the lack of effort to strengthen China’s currency, the yuan. The Chinese leader repeatedly failed to reply to certain questions and statements, claiming at times not to understand the translator (he brought his own, mind you) and declined to divulge any detailed plans of bringing about more freedoms in his country. Conversely, Obama acknowledges that the US is neck-deep in debt to the diminutive Hu, and the aloofness of the visiting diplomat is uncannily similar to someone stopping by to see if his tenant will be able to make rent by the end of the month. (Obama: “Check’s in the mail, bro, promise.”)
Those aren’t smiles; these men despise each other so much a grimace is all they can
manage for the cameras. The Bohunk wonders what they are muttering under their
Another short and sweet Update, enjoy NBC’s Thursday night line-up, all new, and don’t panic; 30 Rock has moved to 10. Don’t have a cow. Thanks for reading, now you can go back and check Facebook again….
It is Wednesday, verily, the day of the hump and also of the “Modern Family” at 9, 8 Central. Fight the doldrums until then, and the week will be over before you know…In 48 hours or so.
Reports are that Senator Joe Lieberman (gasps) will not run for President in 2012 (awwwwww) according to members of his staff and certain close aides. The 68 year old senator from Connecticut will announce the decision later in the week or by the end of this month, much to the relief of almost no political rivals. The move benefits Democrats chiefly, at least in the minds of several political pundits. Lieberman spent most of his career as an important figure in the Democratic Party, though has spent the last four years in a creepy ex-boyfriend who has slept around with your enemy stigma attached. Lieberman jumped ship, if you will, ahead of the 2008 Presidential campaign, backing John McCain instead of Barack Obama. He will retire from public service when his current term concludes in two years, quietly bowing from the spotlight and enjoying time with his friends and family. Until then, however, Joe will have to skate the slippery slope between a drastically and violently divided Senate, even in the wake of the supposed ‘peace’ of the Tucson shootings.
A massive 7.2 earthquake rocked a sparsely populated area of Pakistan today, roughly 200 miles from the closest urban center but strong enough to take a few casualties even in the remote regions of the Pakistani desert. Final reports from the closest cities are not finalized or confirmed, but only one woman was said to have died of a heart attack triggered by the quake. A 7.2 earthquake is massive, similar in strength to the one that triggered the tsunami in the Indian ocean five years ago. An added danger in the region is the poor construction of homes; most structures are made or mud-brick and wood and fail almost immediately during a heavy quake. More on this is it is necessary….
Following up on a religion vs. science story from a month back, the University of Kentucky was forced to pay $125,000 to an astronomy professor who recently brought charges of discrimination against the school after being turned down for a job. To be fair, $125,000 is probably what Kentucky spends on a single basketball recruit each summer, but this is harder to swallow because it won’t translate into PPG. The snubbed professor, C. Martin Gaskell, says he was denied a job with the University because he hinted a belief “something close to a creationist” and “potentially evangelical” in e-mails that circulated within the schools department. To note, however, allowing a person whose research and observations are clouded by religion certainly has an impact on how that professor looks at science. To be fair, however, the University of Kentucky failed to handle the situation properly, which, as we all know, is to deny, deny, deny and then counter-sue.
In another twist in the on-going Pasta Investigation of Lance Armstrong (throw everything at him and see what sticks) reports surfaced of more allegations indicating that Armstrong encouraged and even required EPO use on his Motorola team in the 90s. An unnamed teammate from the ‘95 squad said that Armstrong was the “instigator” of doping on the squad, even instructing teammates on how to use EPO and, more importantly, how to hide it. This is not news, however, the Bohunk finds the recurrent claims of the same charges intriguing…Why repeat the same accusations for almost a year? If there is so much evidence, why can’t anyone present tangible evidence of guilt besides nameless teammates casting blame? Even the FBI admits that it has conducted little to no investigative activity in the past three months, showing that they really have nothing to add to the case. Innocent, innocent, innocent…until factually and indisputably proven guilty by hard evidence.
Lance Armstrong as a Motorola rider and World Champion…before the cancer, the Tours and the allegations….
On this very day in 1809, the dark and mysterious and macabre Edgar Allen Poe was born. After being raised by his godfather, John Allan, Poe wrote three volumes of poetry to almost no acclaim or attention. He took a job as an editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia and married his 13 year old cousin, which, though teachers tell you wasn’t uncommon at the time, was, in fact, a touch odd, even by the standards of the day. He drank heavily and lost his job, forcing a move north to Philadelphia where he kept busy with his hands in a few publications as an editor and a critic. His most famous works, including The Tell-Tale Heart, The Murders At the Rue Morgue and The Fall of the House of Usher all were written during this period, which was actually one of the most tranquil and relatively peaceful of Poe’s life. The stories themselves, however, did not reflect stability; they were odd, dark, horrific and dabbled in mystery, giving Poe the title of the father of the detective story. The Poes moved once more to New York City, where Poe penned “The Raven” his most famous poem. His wife died in 1847, driving Poe to even more voluminous drinking, eventually stumbling into a gutter drunk and dying somewhere in Baltimore in 1849. Poe was forty years old.
The Bohunk casually and without much concern put forth his AFC Championship prediction, in two parts. A) I don’t care, I think both clubs, Thieves and Aeronautical Studies, alike in a uniform thuggery and criminal mind. There are more fines and arrests between these two teams to equal all of the other teams in the NFL. How can anyone root for them? B) That said, I’ll take the Steelers over the Jets by the simple reasoning of choosing, however reluctantly, the lesser of two great evils. It should be a close contest, if it does not devolve into fisticuffs after James Harrison spears Sanchez and Antonio Cromartie leads his Army of Children into battle (though he doesn’t know any of their names) in retaliation.
Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and two Baby-Mamas-To-Be…
A short and not so sweet Update today, though my apologies must be accepted due to impossible circumstances; I have a lot of homework and little sleep. Thanks for reading, folks, and enjoy your day in spite of all things and people…