acroyear: (fof good book)
...and it isn't just the whole "Thanking God When We Win" (as if God really cares who wins a football game).
When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.  When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again.  So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:5-6:9)
The problem isn't that he is a Christian.  The problem is that he is going out of his way to make a display of the fact that he is a Christian, and then he is reaped praises by the evangelicals for his display of faith.  Yet these same Evangelicals would condemn a player in the harshest of terms if he happened to be Muslim and decided that in the middle of a game he was going to make a display of praying towards Mecca.

This is not true Christianity.  This is wearing the label of Christianity on as a badge of honor, praised upon by others in a show of pure, raw tribalism.

This is what God truly commanded us NOT to do when we were ordered (by those very Commandments these people want to put up in every American courthouse, in spite of the dubious Constitutionality of them) to "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.".  That is what he and others are doing, they are wearing God's name as a vanity (the true meaning of this term), and as such he is in my opinion setting a bad, very UN-Jesus-like example to his fans.

And yeah, I have a problem with that.  People like him are the reason I have overtly declared (in spite of my faith, such as it is), that I am not a 'Christian' anymore.  I refuse to wear the same label as they choose to own and control and wield as a tool to control others.  They can have it.

on Beer.

Feb. 10th, 2011 11:55 pm
acroyear: (mug shot)
Scocca : Beer Commercials Are Not Stupid:
What are beer commercials about? The two central premises are these:

1. Beer—cheap, common, domestic beer—is a rare commodity that drives men mad with the desire to have it, at any cost.

2. Women are the great obstacle between men and the fulfillment of this desire.
This seems counter to the other standard beer commercial theme I see, which is where guys will always be guys, without beer, until a beautiful girl comes up to them and says "I have beer".

Not that I've been watching the right kind of TV to actually see beer commercials these days.  That would require actually watching TV besides The Today Show.
acroyear: (coyote1)
Hell needs to double-check that thermostat...

harsh...

Aug. 31st, 2010 10:47 am
acroyear: (ouch...)
New WNBA Promotion Lets First 100 Fans Leave Early | The Onion - America's Finest News Source:
In an effort to increase attendance and reward the league's fans, WNBA president Donna Orender announced Wednesday that the first 100 ticket holders to arrive at the conference semifinal games would be allowed to leave extra early.
acroyear: (makes sense)
Olympian Physics : Page 3.14:
Equations can hurt, although not as much as wiping out on the downhill or faceplanting in the halfpipe. On Dot Physics, Rhett Alain explains the amazing angles at which Apolo Ohno leans around the short track, writing "a skater wouldn't have to lean at all if the skater was stopped. As the angle gets smaller (approaching zero), the skater would have to be going faster and faster." On Built On Facts, Matt Springer investigates the somewhat more subdued sport of curling, where men with brooms lead forty pound stones to their targets. Crunching numbers, Matt concludes that "granite on vigorously swept ice" produces less friction than "teflon on teflon." And back on Dot Physics, Rhett draws up some colorful diagrams of ski jumps, explaining that although you wouldn't want to jump off an eleven-meter building, "you can make it survivable if you increase the time over which the change in velocity takes place." In other words, those athletes can be thankful they're landing on a sloped surface.
acroyear: (car1)
Construction Restricts Daytona 500 Traffic To One Lane | The Onion - America's Finest News Source:
DAYTONA BEACH, FL—Construction crews working to patch the rippled and broken asphalt of Daytona International Speedway reduced traffic to a single lane during last Sunday's Daytona 500, resulting in average speeds of 35 miles per hour. "It's bad enough that they can't get this fixed during the week," said race winner Jamie McMurray, who finished in just over 15 hours. "And NASCAR doubles the fines for speeding in work zones, so there was nothing we could do." Disagreeing with McMurray was Emilio Ramirez, operator of the No. 0563 Rolaids/Chick-fil-A Caterpillar road grader, who earned time-and-a-half for the race and called the event a "rousing success."

followup

Feb. 19th, 2010 11:51 pm
acroyear: (Default)
Figure skating controversy much ado about nothing?:
But when Plushenko suggests judges can “arrange” a high placement, Barton begs to differ. He said the system cannot change a judge’s intent, but it can certainly minimize the impact one judge has on any program. Nine judges place marks in the system, two scores are randomly eliminated, then the highest and lowest of the remaining seven marks are eliminated. Technical specialists are also involved in assessing the levels of program elements and contribute to the final mark.
so my idea was incorporated into the system - ditch the highs and lows, but in addition this implies random dropping as well, which i'm not as much of a fan of. random dropping out of 9 has too big an impact.  no scientist or statistician would tell you that random dropping of samples yields better results.

there are judges who specifically look at the exactness of the technique - was a triple-something really a triple, etc, but otherwise, the main judges are just as they were before, looking at both technical and artistic.
acroyear: (bad day)
Plushenko: Lysacek not a champion without quad | NBC Olympics:
"You can't be considered a true men's champion without a quad," the 27-year-old told Russian state television RTR.

Lysacek did not attempt a quadruple jump, considered the most difficult in figure skating, in either Tuesday's short or Thursday's free programs, instead wowing the judges with artistry and exquisite footwork.

"For someone to stand on top of the podium with the gold medal around his neck with just doing triple jumps, to me it's not progress, it's a regress because we've done triples 10 or even 20 years ago," Plushenko said.
Attention spoilsport: if triples are so "20 years ago", you should have nailed them.

Instead, we 1) got to see you wobble on them most of your attempts, and 2) see all of them in the first 2 minutes of your act, watching you prance around for the last.

With Evan, we got to see 1) very clean triples with only one wobble and no hack-landings, and 2) almost a third of them in the last half of his show, when others by exhaustion were dropping to doubles or falling.

In short: you kept your stuff easy by keeping it up front before you got tired, and still wobbled them, while he kept consistently difficult and good throughout the routine. If triples are the basics now and the quad the distinctiveness, then nail your triples before thinking having one flashy move is the decider.

[to give Plushenko some credit, it was a LONG night, and I think he'd have done better if he wasn't going last. He had to keep going through the routine all night on solid ground (worse: concrete) to keep his legs warm, and that certainly would be exhausting to them no matter how much went into automatic once on the ice. His recovery at the poorly launched triples was impressive, but they shouldn't have been poorly launched, and wouldn't have been if he hadn't had to wait so long to go on.]
acroyear: (fof pb neverending)
Colts, Saints Blinded By Natural Sunlight Upon Arrival At Stadium | The Onion - America's Finest News Source:
MIAMI—Members of both Super Bowl teams, who played the majority of their regular season and playoff games in domed stadiums, squinted in pain and sought refuge from the sun Thursday after walking onto the field at Miami's Sun Life Stadium. "What is that thing? It's not gonna be on during the game, is it?" said Saints running back Pierre Thomas, who experienced lingering spots in his vision after his attempts to look directly at the unfamiliar object.

bummer...

Dec. 24th, 2009 11:37 am
acroyear: (feeling old...)
Longtime NBC Sports Anchor George Michael Has Died | NBC Washington:
George Michael, the longtime NBC4 sports anchor known nationally for his syndicated sports highlights show “The George Michael Sports Machine,” passed away early Thursday morning at Sibley Hospital.

Michael was 70 years old.

Known for his boisterous, energetic storytelling and sense of humor, Michael served as sports director for WRC-TV, NBC’s D.C. affiliate, for 27 years. Started as a local program in the early ‘80s, “The Sports Machine” was syndicated in 1984.
acroyear: (pirate)
Pirates Want Everyone In Pittsburgh To Stop Staring At Them | The Onion - America's Finest News Source:
PITTSBURGH—On the heels of the Steelers' Super Bowl victory in February and the Penguins' Stanley Cup win last week, members of the fifth-place Pirates have asked the 320,000 residents of Pittsburgh to please stop giving them expectant, impatient looks. "Look, we know, okay? We know," Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson told reporters Wednesday, adding that staring really isn't necessary or even polite. "I can assure you it's not helping matters." Wilson said he looked forward to getting back for Tuesday’s home game against the Indians, as PNC Park is the only place where the citizens of Pittsburgh leave the team alone.
acroyear: (Default)
if college uses the current BCS or some tournament system that takes another 3 months to play out.

but it is not congress's business to do a damn thing about it. unless they plan on legalising all of the gambling that goes on (and collect taxes), then it isn't their concern under ANY part of article 1 to say or do a damn thing.

these hearings are a waste of YOUR tax dollars. go write and tell them to knock it off and go back to dealing important crap.

meanwhile I want the next right-wing airbag who calls anything he doesn't like 'communism' or 'socialism' to spend a year in Siberia to remember what REAL communism was like.
acroyear: (sick)
Dispatches from the Culture Wars: Isiah Thomas' New Job:
Thomas was a great basketball player, one of the greatest players in the history of the game. But since he retired as a player he's shown beyond dispute that the only thing he can run is a pick and roll. He's like the anti-Midas when he's put in charge of anything. I wouldn't hire him to run a Taco Bell; he'd trade a good assistant manager to Wendy's for a terrible fry cook with leprosy and pay the new guy ten times what he's worth.
Neverminding, of course, that Taco Bell doesn't even NEED a "fry cook".

Update: Ed's penchant for metaphore is at a high today:
Dispatches from the Culture Wars: Joe the Plumber at Lansing Tea Party:
We had one of those big tea party protests in Lansing, Michigan on Wednesday and it included an appearance by the Kato Kaelin of politics, Joe the Plumber.
:)
acroyear: (coyote1)
Yesterday on the TV that was showing a college basketball game (which no-one was paying attention to), they were scrolling other sports team news and scores (this is ESPN, you know), and the following wonderfully insightful update came by:

[Team A] and [Team B] are currently tied, 69-66, at the end of the 3rd period.

Uh, did I miss something in my P.E. classes about what constitutes a "tie"?
acroyear: (this is news)
Pharyngula: Superbowl!:
Here's something I do find interesting, though. One of the petty annoyances of American sports is their ridiculous religiosity. There are always these showboating athletes who piously announce that their greatest triumphs are due to divine intervention (strangely, when they fumble, they don't afterwards shake their fists at the heavens and curse their gods). It's absurd that they believe their omnipotent deity is at all concerned about whether one team wins or another loses, but it's common background noise at these events.

For the first time, though, I'm encountering media articles that are critical of these god-wallopers.
Does God care who wins? There are few things regarding religion that approach consensus, but it's fair to say that most of us concur with FoxSports.com columnist Mark Kriegel, who recently wrote, "I refuse to believe that God --anyone's God -- has a rooting interest in the outcome of something as secular and perverse as a (football) game."
And here's an editorial where the writer just wishes they'd knock off the public god talk.
Forget the arrogance of that assumption for a moment -- God is with only me. There's something else. I assume some Pittsburgh Steelers are God-fearing men. They can't all be heathens. So whom does God root for in the Super Bowl, the Cardinals or the Steelers?

And with wars going on all over the world and starvation and an economic collapse, with so much to attend to, does God have leisure to root at all?

Do we believe in a shallow, superficial God? God the Sports Fan?
None of these critics are saying this because they're atheists who disbelieve this nonsense, don't get me wrong; they all seem to be saying that these superficial attributions all trivialize faith. But they are at least doing us the favor of pointing out that these are secular games, and they're a bit embarrassed at the silly piety.
acroyear: (do you mind)
Uncertain Principles: The Football Positioning System:
It's NFL playoff time, which means that sports fans will be treated to the sight of the most high-stakes farce in sports, namely the ritual of "bringing out the chains" to determine whether a team has gained enough yards for a first down. We've all seen this: the play is whistled dead, a referee un-stacks the pile of players, picks up the ball, and puts it down more or less where the player was stopped. Then he tosses the ball into the middle of the field, to a second referee, who tries to replicate the spot closer to the center of the field. Then a guy on the sideline carrying a big stick (connected by a ten-yard chain to another stick held by another guy) tries to put the end of the stick at the same position as the ball.

Three plays later, the spotting procedure is repeated, and then the sticks are bought out to the center of the field, the chain is stretched taut, and they measure the position of the ball to the nearest millimeter. Because, of course, there's absolutely no error in placing the sticks.

The whole ritual is preposterous, and anybody with the slightest scientific inclination has to wonder: "Isn't there a better way of doing this?" So, what would be required to do a better job of this?
The premise has a point - just as computers and video (i.e., technology) has improved the accuracy of the game (if not the game itself) from a penalty standpoint, shouldn't technology also be used as this otherwise fraught-with-error-sources means of first-down-ness?
acroyear: (coyote1)
Dispatches from the Culture Wars: The Lions' Perfect Season:
Once it became clear, after just a few games, that this team had actually regressed, I was rooting for an 0-16 season. If you're going to suck, suck on an historical level.
acroyear: (woke me up)
Baltimore Sun's meaningless statistic of the day "The Ravens became only the third visitors since 1996 to beat an NFL team closing out its old stadium."
acroyear: (do you mind)
Slashdot | New Olympics Scoring: No More Perfect 10.0:
"If you watch the Olympics gymnastics this year, you may be confused by the new scoring system which will let athletes score 14, 17, or even higher. The new rules are 'heavy on math' and employ two panels of judges: one for technical difficulty, which adds points up from a score of zero; the other for execution and technique, which starts at 10.0 and subtracts for errors. The two numbers are then combined for the final score. As one judge put it, 'The system rewards difficulty. But the mistakes are also more costly.' The new rules were adopted after South Korea protested a scoring at the 2004 Olympics."
I'm a bit annoyed by the "heavy on math" comment (which was in the original article). It may use a lot of arithmetic, but adding points for difficulty, subtracting points from 10 for execution, and adding 2 numbers together is hardly "math". Arithmetic, yes, but not math.

A 10 Isn’t Necessarily Perfect in New Scoring System for Gymnastics - NYTimes.com:
Nastia Liukin of the United States team, for example, performs a routine on the uneven bars that has a sky-high difficulty value of 7.7. Her father and coach, Valeri Liukin, crunched numbers last year to invent the complex, high-scoring routine.

He did the calculations on a Post-it before handing it to his daughter at practice one day. She gasped.
I rest my case. Even complex physics math estimation require a whole restaurant napkin or at least the back of a business envelope (just ask Feynman).  A mere Post-it note can only be lite maths.
acroyear: (schtoopid)
Orioles fire Perlozzo as manager - Yahoo! News:
BALTIMORE - Sam Perlozzo was fired as manager of the
Baltimore Orioles on Monday with the last-place team in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.

Perlozzo's firing was disclosed by a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The Orioles scheduled a news conference for later Monday.

Bullpen coach Dave Trembley, who has served as a minor league manager in the organization, will be the interim manager when the Orioles begin a six-game trip in San Diego on Tuesday.
Ok, let me get this straight. You fire the manager because of a losing streak (nevermind that its hardly the worse streak in Oriole history), and then (yes, interimly) replace him with the bullpen coach...

...when it's the bullpen that keeps losing the games every night??????

makes sense to me...NOT.

Of course, I see it as "nothing new to see here, move along", as throughout the entire 90s, the bullpen cost the Orioles more games than I want to remember...

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