Friday, November 09, 2007

Neither Hugs Nor Drugs

A 12 year old middle school student in Illinois was given detention for hugging a fellow student.
School policy states: "Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any time."
That's pretty clear, and we're sure this student was aware of it because she had previously been warned.
There are two questions here, was she treated fairly and does the rule make sense?
On the first there is no dispute. Similar to Pete Rose, she willingly broke a rule for which she knew the punishment. The fact that she got the punishment is perfectly just.
Does the rule make sense? That's a more difficult question. I can see why it exists, to avoid any interpretation to what constitutes a display of affection.
I think it would be hard to write a rule that could be enforced which allows hugging but bans other behaviors a school has a reasonable right to want to eliminate, such as kissing. If you specifically said kissing was banned kids could kids hug really close for a really long time while grinding their midsections?
While it sounds kind of silly I think the rule banning all displays of affection is probably a school's best option.

Ask The Pageantry

With college football season heading down to the wire Pride Pageantry Derek and I are having our annual debates. Since he came out with the Paul Poll (which doesn't quite encapsulate my view, but it's flattering), I decided to ask him some burning questions about college football that have come into The Poop's mailbag.

1) Why do you call Texas A&M, “Texas ATM”? – J. Smist, Bangor, Maine

Sometimes the best explanations are the most obvious, it has nothing to do with Dennis Franchione’s “fund-raising skills”, this is Texas A&M’s logo:


It looks like it was originally designed to go on somebody’s hand towel. The untrained eye may think the school is actually Agriculture Texas Mining. Hence the name Texas ATM.

2) Is Les Miles gutsy or stupid? Will these risky fourth down calls catch up with him eventually? –B. Raftery, Lincoln Tunnel Vegetable Stand

Les Miles is everything great about college football. He’s brash in both his press conferences and his play calling. I love how he went to Nick Saban at the end of Saturday’s game and said “You have a great team.” Did he mean the current Alabama team or his LSU team? We’ll never know. But here’s the thing, everyone knows Miles wouldn’t last four games in the NFL. In fact, his personality put off so many of the stuffed shirts at Michigan when he was an assistant that if Lloyd Carr doesn’t beat Ohio State in two weeks Miles probably wouldn’t even get his job. Yet for Cajun Nation, he’s perfect. I hope Miles becomes the Paterno or Bowden of LSU, his play calling can only get more mind boggling with age.

3) Why do BC fans call themselves “Superfans?” –K. Sullivan, Brookline, Massachusetts

Because they pack a 100,000 seat stadium and travel all over the country to see their team…um wait…maybe because the title “Superfans” was so unoriginal they were afraid Syracuse was going to come up with it first. (The real history is here.) Better yet, are those T-shirts waiting for students at their dorm upon checking in or do they cost $5 at the bookstore? How does every student get one and how much money does BC lose on Flutie jersey sales because of it?

4) If Kansas wins out by beating Missouri and Oklahoma would they deserve to leapfrog LSU and Oregon in the BCS Standings? – R.C. Jayhawk, Lawrence, Kansas

First of all, they still have to beat “I’m 40!” this Saturday on the road, which would be the Jayhawks’ first tough test 10 games into the season. But the question isn’t about the first 10 games or Kansas’s putrid out-of-conference schedule, it is predicated on Kansas winning the Big XII and in the process gaining two marquee wins (Missouri and Oklahoma). Aside from the fact that both games would be neutral site games leaving the Jayhawks without one marquee road win, not one, this resume would have to be measured against a team with quality wins over Virginia Tech, South Carolina, Florida, Auburn, Alabama and then either Georgia or Tennessee. They would have to score 76 on Oklahoma for them to pass the “eye test” and get voted over Oregon (the best looking team in the country right now with three quality wins). The polls and computer rankings have made college football less about who someone beats and more about who they don’t lose to. When measuring two BCS conference teams, it may be time to rethink that.

5) If Kansas wins the National Championship how long before Mark Mangino has gastric banding and appears on the cover of People Magazine under the headline “I Can See My Toes Again”? – K. Alley, Thousand Oaks, California

So much Kansas talk…anyway. Mangino winning a national championship would be fantastic and I am rooting for it to happen despite the scenario I outline in question 4. If he did the talk show circuit like the Red Sox are doing now, he couldn’t do Regis and Kelly, Jay Leno would have to switch his furniture. No way Mangino goes through the same procedure that almost killed Charlie Weis, that’s not a fun way to die. In fact I think he goes to White Castle induces a heart attack just so he can “go out on top”, literally.

one surgery away from a People cover

One Good Thing To Come Out of The Writers' Strike

Because of the ongoing writers' strike, Fox said it will not air "24" this season.
The seventh season was scheduled to begin in January, but producers had completed only 8 of its 24-episode order. And they didn't want to start a season unless they were sure they could show all 24 hours in a row.
"24" started production late, and was affected by the recent wildfires. Kiefer Sutherland, is also scheduled to do a stint in jail later this year in connection with a drunk-driving conviction.
"Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," originally slated to run in tandem with "24," will now premiere on Sunday, Jan. 13, and will air in "24's" Monday 9 p.m. slot, following "Prison Break" and the reality series "When Women Ruled the World."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Pedro Pitches In

Like a good neighbor, Pedro Martinez is there.
Pedro is helping out his neighbors in the Dominican Republic who lost everything in the floods caused by Tropical Storm Noel.

People are hungry. They're exhausted. Hundreds are sleeping on the floor at Martinez's old high school, short on clothing and water and everything else they need.

"It's devastating. The area was just totally wiped out," Martinez said Wednesday on a conference call from his ravaged country. "They don't have anything. They're just waiting for us to bring anything, something to eat."

Martinez had planned to begin his offseason training program Wednesday in Florida, but he's staying home until next week so he can attempt to provide more assistance. He pleaded for others to chip in, too.

"I'm like the mayor here. People just run up to me and, I can't. I can't. I'm not enough," Martinez said. "I'm asking for help. I'm crying out, HELP! I can't do it by myself."

Martinez's wife, Carolina, joined him in Manoguayabo, the small suburb of Santo Domingo where Pedro was born. She said the entire community was flooded. They've heard one heartbreaking story after another from folks who lost their homes and belongings -- even their children when youngsters were swept away by the surging water.

"Those people were left like in the middle of the river. Some of the people were dragging their kids out," Martinez said. "It's horrible when you come and see it in person."

He's witnessed such destruction before. Recalling his childhood, Martinez told victims he had to evacuate his home in 1979 after Hurricane David, a massive storm that killed thousands and caused billions of dollars in damage.

"I know what it means to see your house full of water and have to go running, leaving everything behind," he said.

Now, Martinez fears disease will set in for many evacuees who are living in cramped conditions without safe water. He said any sort of aid would help: clothing, food, water, money, medicine. He hopes the large Dominican population in New York can make a difference.

"The government, it's going to take them a little while to fix everything," Martinez said.

The Mets launched a fundraising and public awareness drive Wednesday to assist the relief effort, and fans can make donations through the team's Web site or the New York Mets Foundation.

Golden Boy

David Wright won a Gold Glove for National League Third Basemen in 2007.
As with many awards that are voted on by writers, this makes no sense. While I love Wright, and think he is a great player, his defense is his weakness.
Wright made 21 errors this year (including a couple key ones during the collapse), more than 8 other qualifying third basemen.
But errors aren't always the best indication of defense because they are subjective and not everyone has an equal number of chances.
Fielding percentage removes the number of chances from the debate, but again Wright finishes 9th.
How about some more sophisticated statistics? Range factor counts the number of plays someone makes, as opposed to those they don't. There Wright improves to 7th. But range factor may be biased against Wright since he plays on a team with a lot of fly ball pitchers.
Let's look at zone rating which determines the number of plays a player makes on balls hit in a certain "zone." Wright finishes 8th in the NL in that category.
Adding that, and my own view of his performance from having seen 90% of the games and the evidence doesn't seem to indicate that Wright was the best defensive third baseman in the NL this year.
I don't want to say who deserved it more because I haven't seen the other guys play (and that's exactly why I'm complaining about the voters), but based on these stats Pedro Feliz and Scott Rolen were definitely more deserving, and Ryan Zimmerman despite 23 errors was even more deserving that Wright.

What Do You Give Me For? Warren Jeffs and Gary Tuchman

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs and CNN reporter Gary Tuchman
Amazingly, Tuchman was covering the Jeffs story and they had Tuchman in one box and video of Warren Jeffs adjacent to him and I didn't know who was who. Since these pictures they've both greyed somewhat making the current similarities even better than what's depicted here.

Who Ya Got?

George Clooney and Fabio nearly came to blows in a Los Angeles restaurant after Clooney complained that Fabio's dinner companions were taking pictures of him. Fabio claims his party was there for a charity dinner and they were only taking pictures of each other. I'm split on this one because I can only imagine that women who think Fabio is worth dining with would be awestruck by George Clooney, and they probably did take his picture. But big fuckin deal George, be gracious and smile for the picture, or just keep your head down and eat. Don't whine like a little bitch about it. Especially because if shit went down Fabio could kick your ass.

Torn Limb From Limb

Thanks to the miracles of modern science doctors have removed 2 arms and 2 legs from a 2-year old Indian girl, named Lakshmi, who was born with 8 legs.
Lakshmi was named after the goddess Lakshmi, for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

TV Writers' Strike Update

Protestors, including Julia Louis-Dreyfuss shut down production on the set of "Desperate Housewives" by making so much noise they couldn't shoot any scenes outside.
They chanted: "Marcia's cross, and so are we!" "Unfair. Unjust. Marc Cherry is with us!" and "We write the story-a for Eva Longoria!"
During her lunch break, Longoria walked through the crowd and climbed onto a pizza delivery truck to hand out pizzas to the strikers.

Eva Longoria looks hot even while handing out pizzas to striking writers

DH finished shooting the last episode for which it already had a completed script and won't shoot any new episodes until the strike ends.
"The Office" also in trouble as its star Steve Carrell didn't show up for shooting. Rainn Wilson (Dwight) called in sick and BJ Novak (Ryan Howard) and Mindy Kalling (Kelly Kapur) are writers and producers of the show, so they are on strike.
"The Big Bang Theory" is one of several multicamera series that shut down this week because their production involves active involvement by writers; others include CBS' "Two and a Half Men," "Rules of Engagement" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and Fox's " 'Til Death" and "Back to You."
The other comedy and drama series are still filming, though all are expected to halt production within a week or two as they run out of scripts.
One show that will likely be called upon to fill the primetime void is "Big Brother." The show usually airs throughout the summer on CBS, but producers are now expecting a February start date if the strike drags on. Reality shows are not affected by the strike and Big Brother provides 3 hours of programming each week, making it a very attractive strike contingency plan.

Katherine Heigl pickets in her scrubs
I'm surprised Patrick Dempsey is supporting the douches who named him McDreamy

Song of the Week

"Shawty Is A Ten" - The Dream featuring Fabolous
The real title is "Shawty is Da Shit" but I'm going with the sanitized version because that's the official video

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

This Little Piggy Hurts Like Hell

On our trip to Connecticut this weekend Mrs. Poop left her suitcase jutting out a little too far into the doorway. I kicked it so hard while walking that I thought I broke two of my toes. I guess they aren't broken but they hurt very badly and turned almost black at first. This picture shows them about 30 hours after the incident when the toes had receded to a dark shade of purple.

my purple toes

The NFL is Poop - Week 9

Clash of the Titans
Here's the problem with hype, it's very hard to live up to. So this game wasn't the epic showdown that was predicted. But it was a good game, a close game and a very fun game to watch. The most interesting aspect was the emergence of the defenses. Even though they got gashed for 2 touchdown drives in the last 10 minutes, I was very impressed with the Colts defense. Their pass rush and their run defense were better than I expected and served notice that the Colts are no longer a finesse passing team. They are tough. They just got beaten by a better team. I actually was surprised at how easily the Colts moved the ball against New England particularly in the first half. But the Pats defense held three times, forcing them into 3 field goal attempts (one failed). But their defense looked horrible on the 73 yard catch by Joseph Addai to end the first half. But like their offensive counterparts the New England defense stiffened at the right time and forced two key turnovers to seal the game.

So Can They Go Undefeated?
The Patriots have a bye week to calm themselves, then play at Buffalo, Eagles, at Baltimore, Steelers, Jets, Dolphins, at NY Giants. I really don't see them losing another game. I know people want to point to the Steelers but I don't see the Pats losing a home game. I think the biggest obstacle will be the Giants game. Not the Giants themselves but the game because if the Pats are 15-0 they will have clinched home field advantage through the AFC playoffs. And the Giants are good enough to beat them if Brady only plays half the game. What happens if the Pats are winning by 14 in the third quarter and Brady gets sacked. Would Belichick have the stones to keep him in the game?

The NFL's Next Great Running Back
In the NFL running backs tend to burn bright and die young. We're used to seeing guys burst on the scene, but nothing like what Adrian Peterson is doing. Peterson (he goes by AD for All Day, not AP for Adrian Peterson) now owns the NFL single game rushing record after his 296 yard performance against the Chargers. Previously in the season Peterson rushed for 224 yards in a game against the Bears. Through 8 games he has 1,036 yards (almost exactly half - 520 - game in two games). If he improves over the second half, unlikely but possible, he has a real shot at Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards. And he will also earn himself a lot of extra money.

Look at the intensity in his eyes

Record Return
Chargers defensive back Antonio Cromartie set the NFL record for longest play by returning a missed field goal 109 yards for a touchdown. Cromartie is an interesting story because he played in every game in 2003 and 2004 at Florida State but got hurt and missed the entire 2005 season. Instead of going back to school for his senior year and risking another injury, Cromartie declared for the draft. He performed really well at the combines and was taken with the 19th pick in the first round by the Chargers who are obviously very happy to have him.

Rumblin, Bumblin, Stumblin
Lions defensive lineman Shaun Rogers is listed at 340 pounds, but that was probably 5 steak dinners ago. Rogers, who was suspended last season for 4 games for a violation of the league's steroid policy, returned an interception 66 yards for a touchdown in the Lions 44-7 win over the Broncos. Rogers started strong but was losing steam by the 20 and was caught from behind by Selvyn Young. Rogers leveled Young with a vicious stiff arm and punctuated his moment in the sun with a dive into the endzone.

Fat Man running

Game of the Week (Not Pats-Colts)
Cleveland 33 Seattle 30

The upstart Cleveland Browns went into Seattle, dug themselves a huge hole and climbed out of it. After a Nate Burleson return for a touchdown the Seahawks had a 21-6 lead, which the Browns trimmed to 21-9 at the half. In the second half Derek Anderson led the Browns on 3 TD drives, while the Browns defense held the Seahawks to three field goals. The Browns almost cost themselves the game by going for a 2-point conversion early in the 4th quarter. At the time the score was 24-22 but it might have been a little too early in the game to take that risk. They missed and after Seattle got another field goal they needed that point back. But when they scored to take a 28-27 lead they made up that point, by going for and converting a 2-point conversion. However the Seahawks fought back and tied the game with no time left on a Josh Brown field goal. Each team had the ball twice in the fourth (which started with the Seahawks leading 24-16), but the Browns scored 2 touchdowns, the Seahawks got 2 field goals and the game went into OT. The Seahawks got the ball first and narrowly missed a first down twice. On 3rd and 8 Hasselbeck ran and got the first down but the booth review challenged the spot and said he came up short. On 4th and 1, Maurice Morris got stopped short, and that play was upheld by the replay official. Ballsy move by Holmgren to go for because it set the Browns up nicely at their own 44. One long run on a short pass by Jamal Lewis (who scored 4 rushing TDs on only 37 yards) set up Phil Dawson for the game-winning field goal.

Game of Next Week
Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers
I really thought the Chargers were back after their 3 game winning streak but a disappointing performance against the Vikings, especially on defense, has me questioning them again. I think the Colts are a solid enough, veteran enough team to have quickly put the Patriots loss behind them but I do wonder if an angry Chargers team can beat a crestfallen Colts team.

Cheerleader of the Week
Brencia of the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders
Brencia is the captain in this her 6th year on the squad. When she's not cheering she's a registered nurse in a maternity unit. She used to have a black Corgi named Midnight but the dog recently passed away. I'm not sure if she was trying to say passed (the correct term), or past (a homonym that would be incorrect in this case) but her bio actually says the dog pasted away. Her favorite book is the Bible, like half the other NFL cheerleaders. Her favorite TV show is House, favorite singer is Beyonce but her favorite American Idol contestant of all time is Jennifer Hudson. Oh and you really shoud read for yourself about her most embarrassing moment.

How do I know all this? Because the Falcons have one of the best cheerleader websites in the NFL. Each girl has her own bio page, a page of favorites, and most girls have a photo gallery and a video page.

Brief Rant About the Redskins
This was the first game I saw in its entirety since the Giants debacle in Week 3. While I was very pleased with the offensive line and the running game I'll caution that this was an aberration because the ground game hasn't been this potent in any other game so far this season. Also the development I saw earlier this year from Jason Campbell is not there. He has thrown only 6 TD passes all year, and the Redskins wide receivers are the least productive of any corps in the NFL. It seems to me that Campbell drops back to pass, checks his wideouts and then too quickly goes to his safety valve, Cooley or Sellers. He does have a certain quality about him that helps win games, like his 29 yard run late, but 4 field goals in regulation means Campbell has to get this team into the endzone more often. A week after getting pounded, any win is a good win, but against a horrible team like the Jets I hoped for a better performance. Huge home game against the Eagles this week that could put the Skins to 6-3. At 5-4 it would be tough to get into the playoffs because there are 3 games remaining against the Cowboys and Giants and the other four games (Bills, Bears, Bucs, Vikings) are all against tough but beatable teams.

If The Super Bowl Were Played Today
The Super Bowl was played last week and the Patriots won 24-20.
We'll pit them against the winner of Giants-Cowboys (sorry Packers) next week.

Monday, November 05, 2007

How I Met Your Mother Running Diary - "Dowisetrepla"

7:57 - Once again live at the Poop household for another running blog of an episode of "How I Met Your Mother." Judging by this episode's title ("Dowisetrepla") I have no idea what this episode is going to be about.

8:01 - Had to start this a few seconds late, but I'll catch up during commercials.

8:02 - I don't know how to write Barney's motorboating noise, but I love a good description of boobs.

8:03 - The peanut butter confrontation. Bad flashbacks of Pizza Parlor Derek's fingers in Anton's peanut butter.

8:04 - Not loving this Lily shopping debt angle.

8:05 - It's Janice from Friends. Where do they keep finding these awesome guest stars? Ok, she's no John Cho but at least she's recognizable.

8:07 - We are watching live, just in time to hear a horrible singing performance on a commercial for "Kid Nation." Is anyone watching that show? Anyone who's already hit puberty?

8:14 - Disaster just struck. Fuckin Adobe Acrobat was updating and a window popped up telling me it was finished, I clicked ok and it shut down my system. I didn't lose anything but I had to pause the episode...and lose my train of thought.

8:15 - Mount Waddington is 4000 meters high but it is not the highest mountain in Canada. Mount Logan is the highest peak at nearly 6000 meters.

8:17 - Tomorrow is Election Day. We just got another recorded phone call from one of the candidates. If I were voting I'd vote for the only name I didn't recognize just to spite all these assholes who keep calling us. Hopefully no more interruptions.

8:19 - In the future Marshall and Lily and Persephone and Daphne have a black lab puppy. At first I thought it was a cat.

8:24 - I just love the way Barney is when he's scamming girls like this. I love you, I'll make waffles, hilarious.

8:25 - Robin has been wearing a lot boots this season, and her skirts and dresses are getting progressively shorter. By the end of the season she'll be wearing a thong and knee high leather boots.

8:26 - I like this CSI gimmick.

8:27 - Ted, Lilly and Marshall have four locks on their door.

8:32 - DOwn WInd from the SEwage TREatment PLAnt, that explains the title.

8:33 - Not a great episode, some funny lines but the story itself was kind of lame. But I imagine this angle is going to be spread over several episodes, because they said it was the third biggest mistake of Marshall's life (after jumping off the roof and shaving his head), so they'll need to make it interesting. They also need to somehow get them to move back in with Ted to keep the continuity of the show going. Unless...this leads to Ted meeting my mother.

It's Coming

And It's Gonna Be Legen............derry!

Wedgie-proof Underpants

Jared and Justin Serovich, tired of getting their butts ripped open developed a way to save their asses.
The 8-year-old twins invested the Rip Away 1000, underpants that break away when someone is giving you a wedgie.
"When the person tries to grab you — like the bully or the person tries to give you a wedgie — they just rip away," Justin explained.
The third graders from Gables Elementary School began brainstorming one day after they were horsing around, giving each other the treatment. Someone sarcastically said someone ought to invent wedgie-proof underwear.
The project got the boys to the finals of a central Ohio invention competition.

He Did It!

Our boy Reissberg finished the New York City Marathon in a very impressive 3 hours 47 minutes and 55 seconds. Out of 39,000 runners he finished in 7922nd place. His pace was just under 9 minutes per mile, which over 26 miles is really incredible.
And more importantly he raised $4834.40 (who gave 40 cents?) for charity. You can still donate.

Finishing just 7 seconds ahead of Reissberg was Hans Schmid of California. As impressed as I am with Reissberg, I'd be more impressed if he can do it again in 39 years, when he is Mr. Schmid's age (67). Note: Reissberg is listed as 29 but he is still 28 for 6 more weeks.

Also finishing a few seconds ahead of Reissberg was a woman named Jessica Miller. Life's little coincidences. And Stacey Riccio a 33 year-old woman from Staten Island.

And finishing nearly 2 hours behind Reissberg coming in at 5 hours 29 minutes and 58 seconds was Katie Holmes. Yes, that Katie Holmes.

Katie Holmes runs the New York City Marathon
Katie Holmes meets Tom Cruise and Suri at the finish line

Odd Stat

LSU's last 3 games have been against then #17 Kentucky, then #17 Auburn and then #17 Alabama.

Writer's Blocked

The Writers Guild of America is on strike. The guild represents the writers of most TV shows and movies.
The main issue is how to distribute revenue from revenue streams that didn't exist when the last labor agreement was signed. That includes residuals from DVD sales and any kind of advertising or subscription fee from internet streaming or downloading.
The writers made a last ditch effort last night, offering a major concession, but the studios turned them down. I read statements from both sides and the union gave a list of things they wanted and things the studios refuse to give them. Basically, the studios were refusing to offer them any meaningful residuals on distribution from these new media.
The statement from the studios criticized the writers for going on strike.
That gives me the sincere impression that the writers are being dealt with unfairly and that the studios are being greedy, as big companies tend to be.
But here's the part you care about, what will happen to your favorite shows.
Late night talk shows like Leno, Letterman, Conan, Kimmel and The Daily Show may be forced into repeats immediately because they write new shows everyday and now they don't have the writers to do so.
Scripted programs have been working hard to get a lot of episodes in the can to prepare for a strike, which has been on the horizon for months. So many shows have enough episodes on tape to last into January.
Reality programs are not written per se so they should be unaffected. If the strike drags on we may see more reality shows starting in January.
Most TV watchers complain that new shows are not given a chance by the networks. Those new shows that are on the bubble, may not be renewed if this strike drags on.

You Know It When You See It

The old joke about pornography, you can't describe it, but you know it when you see it.
Evidently the Christian anti-porn groups and the Pentagon aren't seeing the same thing when they look at porn.
USA Today reports that anti-porn groups are writing letters because the Pentagon is selling porn in its stores.
A ten year old law prohibits sales of sexually explicit material on military bases.
The Pentagon's Resale Activities Board of Review looked into Penthouse and several Playboy publications and determined that "based solely on the totality of each magazine's content, they were not sexually explicit."
However, the board did decide to bar the sale of several videos including Girls Night In and Wet.
The Military Honor and Decency Act of 1996 bars stores on military bases from selling "sexually explicit material." It defines that as film or printed matter "the dominant theme of which depicts or describes nudity" or sexual activities "in a lascivious way."
For a magazine to be found lewd and lascivious, a certain percentage of the content would have to fall under that category.

They can die for this country but our troops shouldn't be allowed to buy Playboy at miiltary stores?  Shouldn't they be able to see what every black guy in LA has already seen?

Nose To Nose

Mem takes good pictures