Friday, June 30, 2006

In other news, Barbaro ran in the Preakness this year

ESPN reports that Jose Canseco will be pitching for the Surf Dawgs, who appear to have replaced my Newark Bears and the St. Paul Saints as the Independent team of choice.

They were alert enough to notice that Canseco has pitched before:
Canseco made one big league pitching appearance, working the final inning for the Texas Rangers in a 15-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 1993. He walked the bases loaded and allowed three runs and two hits. He threw 12 strikes and 21 balls, most of which were far from the strike zone.

but they neglect to note what really happened:
However, I’m sure I don’t need to remind people who watch the Texas Rangers about Jose Canseco. For those who don’t remember, Canseco was summoned to pitch in a blowout at Fenway Park. However, he messed up his arm and had to miss the rest of the season on a club that was in the pennant race until his exit.

Good luck to the Surf Dawgs.

No One Told You When to Run...

On 30 June 1996, my wife and I finalised the worst mistake of her life.

Ten years, two children, a house that is constantly being repaired, several cars, a few cats and too many books later, she's willing to keep going.

Happy Anniversary, Shira.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Feedback to print media

Duncan states the obvious:
I will never stop finding the fact people who work in traditionally print-oriented outlets have gotten such little reader feedback over the years fascinating, and how shocked they are when they get some.

I did some very occasional (like, not more than once a year) freelance work for the Washington Post Book World a ways back and (1) heard about people asking questions on Usenet or similar and (2) was forwarded letters from WPBW readers.

I find it difficult to believe that people writing for TNR and the like regularly, over a period of time, have not received reader feedback through mail.

Whether they have paid any attention to it is left as an exercise to the reader.

Maybe there is a G-d--who has a nasty sense of humour

Duke AD hurt in boating accident; son charged
The facts:
Joseph David "J.D." Alleva, 27, was charged with operating a boat while impaired Friday after the ski boat he was driving ran onto a pile of rocks at Hyco Lake....

His father [Duke athletic director Joe Alleva] was treated at a a hospital, where he got 42 stitches to his head.

"The nurse counted 42 outside stitches in the middle of his forehead into the hairline. It was a curved cut that penetrated deep," Sasser said. "They did several inside stitches. He took a pretty good lick. I call that a severe injury."

When in denial, DENY DENY DENY:
In a statement issued Tuesday, Joe Alleva said he wasn't seriously injured and was back at work. He said the accident "occurred as we were trying to navigate our way back to shore in dark, rainy conditions." The statement did not mention the charge against J.D. Alleva.

It's good to see Duke implemented those controls.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

"Keeping Up With Developments in the English language":Words don't have meaning

Someone has been watching too much Jonny Quest
Via a Sadly, No! link to Black Five comes an article from the Marine Times:
The video's title, apparently misspelled as "Hadji Girl," refers to a Haji, or wise person, who has traveled to Mecca. Many U.S. military members refer to all Iraqis as Haji, either neutrally or pejoratively.

Nice to see them concede that it's not used positively. After all, one would never call anyone a "wise person" except as an insult.

And then there is this, of which a Major Metropolitan Daily apparently decided that "fag" is not so offensive a term as (presumably) "shit" or "fucking."

And the paper has a defender in Ozzie Guillen, whose original statement "What a piece of [deleted] he is, [deleted] fag" prompted the column.
Guillen said that in Venezuela, that word is not a reference to a person's sexuality, but to his courage. He said he was saying that [Sun-Times columnist Jay] Mariotti is "not man enough to meet me and talk about [things before writing]."

Well, that's much more positive.

Clearly, the Venezuelan Guillen and the editors at the Sun-Times learned from the British, who have decided that gay is a perfectly acceptable derogatory term.
"The word 'gay,' in addition to being used to mean 'homosexual' or 'carefree,' was often now used to mean 'lame' or 'rubbish.' This is a widespread current usage of the word amongst young people."

Of course, it wasn't being used by a young person, but rather by Radio One host Chris Moyles, who
dismissed a ringtone by saying..."I don't want that one, it's gay."

Nice to know elders learn from the young as well.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Quick One

Occasionally, I (and several hundred others) take the same train home as the cutest woman in the area.

She works for All My Children, which I know partially because she is frequently reviewing scripts for the show.

Last week, she was reviewing a script for show 9,413.

Think about that a moment: 9,413. Even if they were doing a new show every day, that would be over 25 years of shows. As it is, they're in their in their 37th year.

I mention this because I'm trying to find a true advantage to Internet delivery of video. And one of the things about having done 9,000+ shows is that there is virtually no chance that you can sell them in DVD form to enough people to make it worth marketing them. As with the longer-running series that later hit syndication, it's almost too expensive to buy the rights to second-run the series.

But it would work over the Internet. As Mark Cuban, owner, of the apparently-soon-to-be-NBA-champion Dallas Mavericks*** noted, "The first Disney streams should have been their soap operas. In real time."

He just didn't take it far enough. He's absolutely correct when he notes the unique ability of the internet:
[T]he toughest to reach audience for Soaps is at work and the net is the best way to reach them. Affiliates aren't reaching them. Cable and Satellite aren't reaching them. Only the net does.

And once they're watching the current run on the Net, offering them deep-discount old episodes should be the next step. They don't have trouble with the technology. And they are willing to make the effort to access, in the same way as the first two days of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this year led to CBS having to add servers and discovering new ways to market the product.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Poor Risk Management

I'm as fond of research into brain injuries as the next person, but when a star NFL quarterback says:
ESPN: It's not the law in Pennsylvania to wear a helmet. Why don't you wear a helmet?

Roethlisberger: Because you don't have to. It's not the law. If it was the law, I'd definitely have one on every time I rode. But it's the law and I know I don't have to and your just more free when you're out there with no helmet on. [emphasis mine]

it's just recruiting for the neurology labs. Especially when he tries to argue that he's got the risk under control
I don't ride a sport bike. If I'm riding a sport bike and trying to do tricks, and going 200 miles down the highway, that's probably pretty stupid. But when you're riding a Harley or a chopper and you're riding with a group of people and you're not on the highway and you're cruising, you're relaxing. I don't think its as much of a risk as people make it out to be.

I believe that's what the people running LTCM said.

Good luck, Ben R. Hope it's not so bad as it could be.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Who needs Eric Lindros

It's one of those Open Secrets that Rod Brind'Amour was traded from Philadelphia to Carolina in part because of a personal matter which forced Bobby Clarke to decide between keeping a talented leader or a concussion-prone, er, "superstar."

For those who were wondering, Clarke demonstrated the GM skill and acumen that has consistently made his teams Stanley Cup contenders paper-favorites.

I won't be rooting for Carolina, who beat the former favorite tonight after dispatching the current favorite in the previous series. But it is nice to see Brind'Amour playing in a Cup final. And there is always the video of Scott Stevens meeting Lindros in open ice (a video that appears have disappeared from ESPN's archives, but which ranks with Randy Johnson and the pigeon or Rebecca-whatshername spelling "euonym" as great ESPN moments).