Archive for January, 2007


Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

I’m afraid the snow outside isn’t going to be melting anytime soon:


P.S. Speaking of cold and snow, check out these awesome aerial photos of a lake-effect snow band slamming into Buffalo. Here’s one of ’em:


#2 goes down

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Indiana beat #2-ranked Wisconsin, 71-66, in Bloomington this evening, a win that should take the Hoosiers off the bubble and make them a lock.

Kitty in the snow

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Robbie in the snow is pretty doggone cute… but in terms of pure “awwww” factor, I’m not sure he can top Puck, Becca‘s kitten:


More completely adorable photos of Puck, stolen borrowed from his Facebook page (yes, the cat has his own Facebook page), after the jump.


“Terrorist Ted” Turner shuts down Boston

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007


Go Zags, Beat the Farm!

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Huge, huge nonconference game tonight, as Gonzaga visits Stanford, a newly christened Top 25 team at #23 in the AP poll. The game is at 11:00 PM EST at Fox Sports Net. Frustratingly, it’s not on basic cable here, but I think I’ll be able to listen via Internet radio on 1510 KGA.

This game could have major implications for the NCAA Tournament. If Selection Sunday was tomorrow, both teams would very likely be in the Dance — in Joe Lunardi‘s latest projections, the Cardinal are a #7 seed, the Zags a #10 — but a few slip-ups later in the season, and either team could easily need this win to get in. (In Gonzaga’s case, methinks a win tonight might buy them the margin of error for an extra WCC loss.) Even if neither team ultimately needs a win tonight for an at-large berth, it would obviously help with seeding.

For Gonzaga, this is one of the last two chances to earn an additional quality win, and the last chance to earn a quality road win. (The Zags host Memphis on Saturday February 17 — the same day as ESPN’s BracketBusters, though unrelated to that event.)

Here is La Rev’s post about the game. GO ZAGS!!

Quit playing games with my heart, Joe Lunardi

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

From the latest edition of Bracketology:

Heh. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. I’d like to be able to root for all three of my teams in the first round.

P.S. The new ESPN Bubble Watch and Fox Sports Breaking the Bracket are out, too.

UPDATE: Lunardi’s projection of an Irish-Zags matchup is bad for me… but Bracketology 101‘s projection (as of Monday) is worse:

Good lord. I have no idea who I would root for in that game.

Senator Macaca, Part II?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Is Joe Biden trying to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for the shortest-lived presidential campaign ever? He announced his candidacy today, then immediately got in hot water for making some rather racist-sounding remarks about Barack Obama and African-Americans:

I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.

Power Line thinks Biden is talking specifically about Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton when he refers by implication to blacks who are not “mainstream,” “articulate,” “bright” and “clean.” Quoth the conservative blog, “he certainly wasn’t referring to all African-Americans.” That’s probably true, but Biden’s chosen method of making his point certainly wasn’t very, well, articulate or bright.

It’s a shame, because Biden is one of the few big-name Democrats who I think really “gets” the war on terror. His speech at the Democratic convention is 2004 was the highlight of John Kerry’s whole dismal campaign. In thinking about whom to support in ’08, I was willing to overlook his RAVE Act shenanigans because of his sensibleness on foreign policy; I even wondered aloud if could be “the Lieberman of 2008.” (Which I suppose means, the moderate/hawkish presidential candidate who wins Brendan’s support, then goes down in flames… heh.)

But first the apparent slur (botched joke?) against Indian-Americans, and now this… Joe, you’re making it awfully hard to love you!

P.S. Obama isn’t the only candidate Biden slammed. He went all Fighting Blue Hen on Hillary Clinton and Johnny Boy Edwards, too. Read the whole interview.

P.P.S. Biden will be on the Daily Show tonight, according to The Caucus (a New York Times blog about the 2008 election). Will Jon Stewart ask him about this?

Quoth the Speaker, “Nevermore”

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was recently the victim of a home invasion — by a “beady-eyed, black bird.” Even more beady-eyed than Pelosi? Yikes!

Tragedy (again) in Newington

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

A 20-year-old Newington resident, Bernard Ladden, died in a one-car crash as he hit a concrete barrier near the intersection of Knollwood and Mountain roads Monday morning. The accident is still under investigation. I don’t think I have any personal connection to Ladden, but based on his age, he’d have been Class of 2005 or thereabouts. Dunno if he went to NHS or not. Anyone reading this with more information, please leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail. Regardless, this is obviously a terrible tragedy, and I extend my condolences to his family and friends.

UPDATE: According to Bonnie, whose daughter (and my honorary sister) Kim was an NHS Class of ’05 grad, “Bernie was a member of the Class of 2004.” She adds, “The site of his accident now has a small shrine which must have been started by friends and family members. What a shame to lose another NHS grad at such a young age. May he be at peace.”

UPDATE 2: Bernie’s wake will be at the Newington Memorial Funeral Home, tomorrow (Thursday) from 4 – 7 p.m.

Another victory for DT independence

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

From beyond the (metaphorical) grave, former Daily Trojan editor-in-chief Zach Fox scores a major victory:

Administrators at the University of Southern California have agreed to implement a former editor’s recommendations that were submitted in his platform for reappointment, which was rejected by the school.

The changes include increased salaries for the staff and more transparency regarding the paper’s budget. Former Editor in Chief Zach Fox offered the suggestions in his attempt at a second term as editor, which was blocked by the university’s media board.

The devil’s in the details, of course, but this sounds like progress. I’ll try to see what else I can find out from sources on staff.

P.S. Speaking of Fox, here’s a recent article from U.S. News that features some quotes from the ex-editor, reflecting on last month’s controversy.

UPDATE I guess this is actually somewhat old news. Here’s the DT article about it, published on January 19, with more details.

On its face, the university’s approval of Fox’s suggestions — which were actually made back in September, then discussed at length by a “task force” set up by Student Affairs — seems to suggest that December’s controversy was overblown, that the university’s motives in rejecting Fox were never as sinister as Fox’s defenders (myself included) suggested. However, it is equally plausible to surmise that the massive public rebuke USC received for forcing Fox out forced the administration to take these recommendations more seriously and ultimately approve them, lest more public pressure follow. The truth is, we’ll never know whether these recommendations would have been accepted if the events of December hadn’t occurred.

Tax on online sales?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

An issue of interest to anyone who buys or intends to buy anything online concerns the proposed taxation of online commerce. State revenue-services departments across the country are frustrated by taxes they believe they are entitled to and not getting from online sales for items to be used in their jurisdiction. This is a use tax. Buy a book on Read it in your respective states. State tax departments will soon say you owe them use tax for the use of that purchase in your own state.

Here’s an article from 2004 about this issue, another from 2005, and another from 2006, all from CNET News.

This is a tax most consumers have not dealt with or even known about, and if any of you plan to buy anything online, I advise you to educate yourselves about it. You might be liable for it and in violation with your state tax department if you ignore your liability. That is, if state tax departments are successful in their attempts to activate this previously arcane tax, which has suddenly gained in importance because of the burgeoning of online sales.

I have a particular familiarity with use tax because I am required to file and submit it along with my state (CT) sales tax annually. I am Sole Owner of a very small business and have had a CT tax number and filed annual tax submissions since 1990. The form I use is entitled “Form OS-114 Sales and Use Tax Return”. Very few categories of taxes on that 2-page form pertain to my business: primarily (1) Gross receipts from sales of goods; and (2) Use tax on purchases of goods/rentals/services by my business subject to use tax.


O.J. Mayo in ref flop flap

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

For those who (like me, until today) haven’t been following this nonsense with high-school basketball phenom (and USC superstar-to-be) O.J. Mayo “shoving” a referee, this video should bring you up to speed:

source file

That’s from WOWK-TV in West Virginia. Here, via Luke Winn, is the YouTube clip of the whole incident:

Also, this article is worth reading, particularly for quotes like “As a neutral bystander, this was the most biased referee I have ever seen” and “I think O.J. Mayo should have controlled himself better. But this ref took a dive. He wasn’t pushed.”

Anyway, here’s the latest on the kerfuffle. You gotta love it when stories about high-school sports involve District Court judges.

(Hat tip: AO.)

More pictures of a snowy day

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Here are some more photos of this white, wintry day at Notre Dame. A few samples:

P.S. Apropos of that last picture, here’s yet another Robbie-running-around-in-the-snow video for your viewing pleasure:

Go Irish, Beat ‘Cuse!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Can the Notre Dame men’s basketball team FINALLY get a road win tonight? So far, so good: it’s 61-42 Irish over Syracuse at halftime.

UPDATE: Irish win! Yes! 103-91! Finally, a road win! Praise the basketball gods! Hallelujah!

Mike Brey gently reminds his players, “DON’T F***ING DO POT!!”

Up next for the Irish: a game at South Florida on Saturday, then at DePaul next Thursday (the 8th). They return home on Thursday the 15th for a date with Providence.

Meanwhile, updated versions of ESPN’s Bubble Watch and Bracketology are due out tomorrow, so we’ll get a sense of where the professional prognosticators think the Irish stand.

Bilbo Baggins? Peter Jackson? Sam Raimi? Who cares?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Ropes of Silicon has had enough of all the Hobbit talk:

Why do people care so much about a feature film adaptation of The Hobbit? To go along with that, why would it matter if Peter Jackson directed it or not? Peter Jackson did a fantastic job with Lord of the Rings, but it just seems like everyone is making such a big deal about something that probably won’t happen for at least another two years and who knows if it will even happen then? Now, even the Los Angeles Times is getting in on the silliness by saying that Spider-Man director Sam Raimi is interested. Whoopy Woo! So what?