Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Musings - June 28, 2010

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Stuff I couldn't make up if I tried

Steven Seagal teaches Anderson Silva Aikido:

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Monday Musings - June 21, 2010

  • The problem with complaining about 6:5 Blackjack payouts is that there is no easy way to change the casino's mind. (For reference 6:5 Blackjack means whenever a player is dealt a blackjack, they will receive $6 for every $5 they bet. The more normal standard is $3 for every $2 bet.)

    As mentioned in the article, 6:5 blackjack is almost 3 times as profitable for a casino than 3:2 blackjack. That by itself is enough to ensure it's existance. Throw in an unwitting public who just wants to gamble and doesn't know what are "good" rules and what are "bad" rules, and you have a giant hill to climb. What more knowledgable players might have to do is compromise - take 3:2 blackjack while playing at a continuous shuffle machine (especially if they are looking for lower stakes); or accept dealer hitting on a soft 17. This doesn't help those advantage players, but those players are most likely to be betting at high enough levels to get all of the best rules. For everybody else, the choice is to either compromise or boycott.

  • Want a box of kids' Superman pyjamas? Visit the Government's take on eBay.

  • Let this be the final word on the "Dressed too Sexy" story. Please.

  • Every movement needs a backlash to truly be a movement. Shut Up Foodies is the backlash to the foodie movement.

  • How to tell that the real estate market was out of wack: A drug dealer gave up dealing drugs because real estate was more lucrative.

  • Archie comic books will be parodying the Jersey Shore in July, just in time for the second season of Jersey Shore.

  • Do yourself a favour and catch a replay of the WEC event from Sunday, if only to see the Yves Jabouin vs. Mark Hominick fight. WEC never fails to produce at least one great fight, and this might be the second best they have produced all year.

  • And finally...

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

The World's Game

Let me throw in my condemnation of Peter King's tweet and article about the USA/Slovenia game. Specifically this:
Putting a ref from a small African country in charge of a vital WC game is like a Mid-American Conference ref doing the Super Bowl.

And this:
But in his first World Cup game, referee Koman Coulibaly, from the landlocked West African country of Mali, ran into the fray and blew off the goal.

Without queston King's misses the mark when he brings up referee Koman Coulibaly's home country. It has absolutely no relevance to his competency and destroys his larger point.

(What's especially odd is that he feels the need to point out that Mali is landlocked. Did I miss the memo that "landlocked" is a codeword for something classist or racist?)

King's point is at best clumsy: he claims later on that his point was that the ref was less qualified than some sitting at home, and is the result of FIFA trying to have referees from each continent. One thing that is missed by King is that _all_ international competitions attempt to get representation of all regions. This isn't professional sports, so using that as an example and/or a standard is misguided.

But more importantly, King puts far too much value on this battle, likely because it involves the USA. When he says that USA/Slovenia was a "vital WC game", I think he shows us his ignorance of the sport. A first round match in the World Cup is no more vital than any other. His analogy to the Super Bowl also belies his mistaken belief. The Super Bowl is the apex of an entire season of play; what football players dream to accomplish. While a futbol player would love to make the World Cup, their dream is to win it. A better analogy would be the regular season of the NFL: a referee error could cost the team from making it to the playoffs, but it might not. There is significance, but it alone will not end up deciding the winner of the World Cup.

I do wonder if this reaction would have occurred if it was to the benefit of the USA. Well, I don't, as it is obvious this isn't the case. King never mentions the elbow that Nathan Dempsey delivered in the early part of the game that went without booking. Many people feel as though Dempsey could have been red carded for the infraction, and yet, King does not mention this as proof of how Coulibaly was over his head and wasn't an appropriate choice of referee for the game. Why he wouldn't, when it only helps his point, is not obvious unless you accept that his narrative isn't that the referee was sub-standard, it's that the US got screwed because the referee was sub-standard.

Which ends up getting to the crux of the issue for King. He isn't upset because an injustice occurred in the World Cup, he's upset that an injustice occurred against the USA. Within that is that King (and Joe Posnanski) will not be able to tell the story that they wanted to tell ("The USA showed grit and never gave up!" - especially with the "No team has ever come back from a 2-0 lead after half time" meme, as though coming back from a 2-0 lead after 50 minutes was less of an accomplishment.) Instead, they have to give their readers another story; in this case they chose to focus on the referee story and how it affects the USA.

Further is the implication that this will prevent the sport from growing in the USA, as though this is a significant worry for FIFA. (Joe Posnanski is another advancing this train of thought.) Fact of the matter is that this is not a worry for FIFA. It is a big deal in the US, and will continue to be so unless the US becomes an also ran. As well, it will continue to be a significant event in the rest of the world. If anything, this brings the USA closer to rest of the world. Everybody, from England to Ireland to many other countries have had a missed or blown call affect thei World Cup in various way. The US is just the latest to be affected.

So congratulations to the USA for joining the rest of the futbol world. Next step, learn to accept missed calls.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

A link that deserves it's own post

What Would Tyler Durden Do? delivers a vicious verbal beating to Perez Hilton. (Site is probably NSFW).

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Monday Musings - June 1, 2010

  • The events that unfolded at the Ladies Event of this year's WSOP have been talked to death already. I tend to come down on the side of those who think it was terrible for the men to enter. If you wish to tear down the event and have it not exist, try petitioning Harrah's directly. Don't mock the women who are trying to enjoy themselves and did not sign up to be a part of some sort of political movement to stop poker playing men from being opressed.

    But I have a special douchebag award for Shaun Deeb. Initially, Deeb claimed that he entered the tournament while dressed in drag because he lost a prop bet. Then, after he busted and took some abuse for his making a mockery of the event, he claimed he was doing it to protest the event. Perhaps there was a miscommunication and Deeb made it clear he was protesting. If so, this interview with him, published 3 days prior to the ladies' event is interesting...
    Snoopy: What would you like to see change in the World Series?

    SD: There’s a lot of problems with the buy-ins. They’re too polarised. They have really small buy-ins and huge fields for the public, then the really high buy-ins for the high roller pros. There’s got to be a middle ground, because there are so many financial stages of poker player. Who cares if you only get 600 people for a $5,000? Do a lot more of them. Yes, $1,000 events are successful, but don’t have six of them every weekend. A $5,000 would do really good on a Saturday, but now it has to be on a Wednesday. They’re just focused on getting these really big fields, but it kind of hurts a lot of the professionals. Who are they really going after? I think they need more of a balance.

    Personally, I’ll be playing various buy-ins, including the $10,000 events. I think I fit into the category of any tournament and have an edge in almost all fields in all games, so I’ll take a shot whenever I can. I will play a lot of the mixed games this year for sure.

    You'd think if he was that concerned about the Ladies' event, he would have suggested that as an improvement when asked.

    Let's be honest here: Shaun Deeb thought he was being funny when he entered the Ladies' event in drag. He thought it might get him some extra attention. When he got busted for the stupidity of what he did, he tried to deflect criticism from himself to the political statements that were being made by other people. Instead of accomplishing that, his actions just revealed him to be a bigger douchebag than when he was the guy who thought it would be funny to mock the ladies' event. Now he's the guy who can't own up to his own actions.

  • Free suggestion: If the Smithsonian doesn't want that Frank Sinatra memorabilia, why not put it in a Las Vegas casino? One of the highlights of Encore is Sinatra restaurant and the various pieces of memorabilia outside of the restaurant. Get the people who did the amazing We Want Miles exhibit in Montreal involved and you could have a winner of an attraction.

  • Not that anybody is really interested in McCarran International's construction update, but I link to it as it is the goofiest "official" update I have seen. It is complete with bad jokes and a cartoon character by the name of "Dusty Mac".

  • Aside to Boyd: You weren't the only one who's expecting to get hit by a bus at a young age

  • In a twist of fate, Darth Vader is rebelling against the Empire.

  • In case you didn't get the memo the first time: Don't post pictures of a felony you allegedly committed on your Facebook page.

  • And finally...the BP Oil Spill reinated by cats.

    (h/t: David McKee)

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Manic May: A look back

I started Manic May because I was frustrated. The theory was by forcing myself to write, I'd get over the frustration, and would also improve my writing. Naturally, things didn't quite work out as planned.

I did do a lot of writing over the month. Granted, a lot of it was about Survivor, but that was a happy coincidence. (BTW, shout out to Mark Burnett and crew for making a great season of Survivor and for having the finale in May.) At the same time, I really didn't feel I completed what I wanted to. My long form writing was pretty well non-existant, beyond the odd Survivor post, which went against what I wanted to accomplish. My writer's block exaserbated the issue. All in all, I feel as though I have a lot of room to grow with my longer form writing.

What I was impressed with was my ability to come up with content on a daily basis. Though I ended up quitting on May 30th, I could have produced something if I chose to (for example, a roundup of UFC 114.) The reason I didn't was because I felt it was going to be a completely subpar job, and it would be reflective in my writing. With that said, I still have many different movies/books/whatever to review, so I am not lacking in content ideas.

I must also commend Blogger for it's post-dated posting method. Being able to write posts and then save them for a particular day was ideal for my predicament. Writing stuff out days in advance was fantastic for ensuring I had content on a daily basis. It made the challenge a lot easier knowing that I could stock up on posts, and I'm confident I will be using it again. (For example, this post.)

So where do I go from here? I'm planning on getting into a regular schedule with posts - Monday Musings continues, and from there, I'm not entirely sure. The weekend will likely have a longer post. During the rest of the week, a minimum of one post of indeterminante lengh, if not two.

Manic May might not have been a complete success, but it has given me some motivation. It's now up to me to take the motivaion and do something productive with it.

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Monday, June 07, 2010

Monday Musings - June 7, 2010

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