Saturday, March 31
Fortunately "Step On" or "Trample" isn't a Pokemon move, because then Bellsprout would die in a single hit. As it is, though, it's still not too great, but since I had Pokemon Blue growing up and Sprouty was in there and Oddish wasn't, I'll take this average Grass type over the other. The real issue with Bellsprout, as it is with nearly every Grass type in Generation I, is that it's also part Poison type. And Poison types are TERRIBLE. They're probably second worst, only behind Bug. They're useful against...I don't even know what, Bug and Grass? In the time it took me to complain, I looked up the type chart. They do super-effective damage against Grass types, and are resistant to Fighting and Bug types, in addition to Grass. But Ground and Psychic own the hell out of them, and you know what? Since Psychic was far and away the best type in the first set of games, and everyone used a Golem or Rhydon (or, occasionally, a Dugtrio or Sandslash). So if you're sorry enough to be using a Poison type, just know there are a lot of ways for it to die.
That being said, I like Bellsprout. None of its stats are particularly outrageous (in one direction or the other) except its Speed, which is bad, again, like nearly every Grass type. And it learns a variety of annoyance moves, which is always somewhat entertaining to use against a friend. I think the main reason I like it though is because of its leafy arms and weird sucker mouth. It's like it's a constant vacuum--in the spirit of the lottery being at like $650 million at the time of this posting, one can only hope Sprouty's about to spit out some winning numbers.
Battling Grade: D+
Have you ever used toilet paper whilst in the bathroom and thought, "Hmm...you know what would make this better? If my tweets were on these sheets of toilet paper!" Of course you haven't. But maybe someone out there has, and in that case, the new company Shitter is for them. Because, now, you can have your Twitter posts printed on your toilet paper, so you can literally add even more crap to your toilet. And this won't come cheaply--$35 for a pack of four. That hardly seems worth it, even if you're an expert Twitter user. But for a big spender? I'm sure there are worse things you can spend your money on. I don't know what those things would be, but I'm sure they exist.
Friday, March 30
Jimmy Kimmel has been tearing it up with the viral videos of late. From encouraging parents to be cruel to their kids on Halloween and Christmas to tormenting runners of the LA Marathon, Kimmel and company are always down to providing the laughs at other people's expense. This time the laughs are coming from celebrities, who are shown reading insulting tweets about themselves (this was done as a nod to Twitter's 6th birthday, as well as because it's funny). There's a pretty big range of celebs in here, too, from Roseanne to Will Ferrell to Kristen Bell. And a lot of the tweets are funny just for how stupid they are, but some of the reactions really make this worth watching.
Thursday, March 29
American Express has released an ad promoting its Sync and "Link, Like, Love" programs. And it features Aziz Ansari, which is always a good move. In the commercial, Ansari meets a girl named Jessica with whom he instantly becomes enamored. So he does what anyone would naturally do--he checks out her likes on Facebook and then buys a lot of those things. What's that? Not many people would actually do that? Oh...
Anyway, Ansari uses his AmEx card and ends up with a tuba, a modern art painting, a kayak, and tops it all off with a parachute. Of course, Jessica is a woman (stereotyping FTW!), so she's running late and asks if they can just meet at the restaurant. Since Ansari has a parachute, he agrees and then uses said parachute to...well, parachute into the restaurant. Which is the best part of the whole commercial. If I had a parachuting kayak...let's just say things would be a little different. Check out the spot below.
Shaquille O'Neal appeared on The Daily Show Monday night, and gave Jon Stewart an aerial tour of his own studio. The Great Shaqtus lifted Stewart up and rocked him like a baby when he entered the studio; Stewart tried to reciprocate, but failed.
Shaq is in good form here--he mentions he's getting his Ph.D., says he's still "sexy," and that his "ass still has some firmness in it," and even drops some Hebrew in toward the end of the interview. A very entertaining watch--check it out below.
Wednesday, March 28
Reporter Ron Burgundy paid a visit to Conan O'Brien's late night show Wednesday night, and he had some big news. As well as some nice insults. What was the announcement, you ask? Well, you'll just have to watch the video below! Or I can just tell you. There's a sequel to Anchorman coming out. It's due for a 2013 release, but this is still pretty exciting news.
Magic Johnson and company plunked down $2.15 billion to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers, and that sent the Twittersphere into a frenzy of excitement. Of course, a few people got some playful jabs in at the NBA Hall of Famer. Check out some of the highlights below.
This is a couple days old, but it's so good I legitimately do not care. In Saturday's game between the Cardinals and Mets, somehow the rosters got lost, and, needing to show a graphic for a pinch runner, Fox Sports Midwest went with an accurate statement: "Minor League Guy." He also appears to be missing part of his right arm, which I believe is not actually the case.
Of course, this lead to rampant comedy on the interwebs, most notably Deadspin providing an entire backstory on young Minor League Guy. He does have a real identity, though: his name is Oscar Taveras, and he's apparently a pretty good prospect to boot. Oops.
To add to the hilarity, Fox Sports Midwest spokesman Geoff Goldman added this: "Our apologies to Oscar Taveras. He's the Cardinals top hitting prospect, so we expect to be identifying him as a 'major league guy' in the next few years."
Tuesday, March 27
You may have heard that AMC's Mad Men returned to the air this past weekend. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet (being out of town will do that to you), but from everything I've heard, it's still fantastic. Which is good, because that was a great show before its little hiatus.
You may also recall TheFineBros making an interactive video game via YouTube for Saved by the Bell, which I called the greatest thing ever. It still is, but their latest effort, coinciding with the return of Mad Men, is pretty darn close. You take control of Don Draper and help him drink and suave his way out of tough situations. The usual dry humor of TheFineBros' creations is in full swing here, too. So check it out, and see if you can save Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce from sure destruction.
Monday, March 26
You may recall our Seriously Stupid Scouting Report on the Chicago Bulls a few weeks ago. Hopefully you enjoyed that, because we've released another one, this time on the New York Knicks. The ultimate goal, again, is to get all 30 teams done before the playoffs end this year. But knowing me, it'll be a small miracle just to get to 10 teams. So enjoy these while you can. And follow us on all that fun social media!
There are a variety of reasons an NBA player might not play during a game. They may be hurt, in which case they'd take a "DNP - Inactive" or "DNP - Mild Tennis Elbow." They may be a lower-rung player that just didn't get into the game, which would result in a "DNP - Coach's Decision." But never has a player not played because he was too old. Until Sunday night, when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich came right out and said Tim Duncan didn't play because he was "old." Somehow Duncan still picked up a technical foul from the bench, but as San Antonio beat Philadelphia by 17 points, it wasn't too rough in the grand scheme of things. Although I wonder if getting a tech and not playing counts as the opposite of a trillion...
Sunday, March 25
It's been well documented that Blake Griffin likes to dunk over people. And he's pretty good at it, too. So it's only natural that people would try to dunk over Griffin if the opportunity presented itself. Well, said opportunity DID present itself for Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook, and he tried to to take advantage of it. Except, well, he took off from a bit far away and ended up barely grazing the rim on his attempt. And to top it off, he got an offensive foul, too. Check out the embarrassment below.
Thursday, March 22
Usually you will not see me putting soccer and awesome in the same sentence, unless that sentence is "Soccer is not awesome." But in this case, I will put my judgment aside, and replace it with good judgment, which says this bicycle goal is worth watching. Look at the speed on it! Particularly, the angle at about 40 seconds gives the best judge of how amazing this goal really is. The goal scorer is Sebastian Coates (somehow not pronounced "coats," but "qua-tays") and Liverpool somehow still manages to lose the game.
Wednesday, March 21
One of the nifty features of the Nintendo 3DS is its ability to play music videos in 3D. Some bands utilize this quite well, like OK Go (unsurprisingly, given their nature of making really cool music videos), while other artists, like, say, Jason Derulo, use it more as a way to simply get their video onto another platform. And now, a bevy of other artists are joining the fray. Although The Fray isn't joining Nintendo Video. At least not yet.
Nintendo makes it incredibly easy to get said videos, too. They're downloaded automatically when you're connected to the internet. That's assuming you have the Nintendo Video app, which is a free download. Releases today include The Shins' "The Rifle Spiral," "So Good" by B.o.B and "Sabotage" by Wale. Check out the 2D videos for "So Good" and "Sabotage" and try to imagine how 3D can improve them.
Other tracks to be released include OK Go's "Skyscrapers;" "Breakn' a Sweat" by Skrillex, for all of the dubsteppers that also happen to be gamers; "Underneath the Sycamore" by Death Cab for Cutie and "Save World Get Girl" by I Fight Dragons.
Nintendo looks like it's vowed to serve up all different genres, which is always a plus. It's also good that the company is pushing a bit into non-gaming content. Tablet and smartphone gaming are all the rage now--if there's money to be made, it's in systems that can do multiple things, if not everything, all in one convenient place. Kudos to Nintendo for taking a step in the right direction.
Tuesday, March 20
The latest viral video taking the web by storm, or something like that, is a two-year-old girl singing Adele's "Someone Like You." Anyone who knows me can tell you that I'm not a fan of Adele--yes, she's a good singer, but I just find her music to not be very interesting (not to mention SUPER overplayed). This girl doesn't make me like the song any more than I did before I saw this, but she's kind of adorable so it's worth watching. I also like when she forgets a couple of words throughout the song but still powers through. Now that's determination!
Saturday, March 17
A couple months back we posted a commercial advertising Google+ hangouts, that featured Bill Walton, Steve Kerr, Kenny Smith, Spero Dedes and Jon Barry of various basketball parlance, specifically pre-game/post-game/halftime shows. Well, the crew is back at it again, with some more hangouts over the past few weeks. Let's check 'em out below.
First up we have the gang watching some "young talent." Surprisingly no one makes note of the "peach basket" hoop, where the ball gets stuck in the basket.
The more recent one is "Night Basketball." I've tried many a time to play basketball when the sun has gone down, but never was there a mysterious gaping black hole that could have possibly impeded my progress. Certainly very scary.
This marks the second year in a row I've gotten sick during March Madness. It's simultaneously good and bad. This time, the sickness at least waited until the weekend to hit me, whereas I had to take off the Thursday last year (which also happened to be St. Patrick's Day, which I'm sure didn't seem suspicious at all).
The good is that I'm not going to be doing much anyway--with games on all day, I just flip on the TV, my computers and watch basketball until my brain can't process it anymore. So that's fine.
The bad is that, well, being sick sucks. I can barely type this post, and if someone came in here they wouldn't know where to find me, since I'm buried in a pile of blankets. Oops. So I can't give my thoughts (at least coherent ones, although are they really ever coherent?) on the rest of the action thus far. Hopefully by Sunday night I can compile something and get 'er done. For now, though, I'll just give you a couple of non-March Madness related videos, since I'm sure not everyone is as big a college bball junkie as me.
This made its way around the Internet earlier in the week, but it's cool enough I needed to post it. A man runs, does a pole vault, and then catches a frisbee as he's falling backwards. I'm a pro at snaring a frisbee out of an air, but this is insane. And needs a perfect pass, too. Incredible. This video is a behind-the-scenes clip from when it aired on ESPN's Around the Horn. Woody Paige compares the throw to Brodie Smith, crazy boat frisbee guy, saying the boat one is better. They're both really impressive, but having caught a frisbee from the side of a moving golf cart before (not as impressive, obviously), I'm a little more amazed by the pole vault, although I'm sure the multiple times to throw it in order to make the video was FAR easier on the pole vault attempt.
Thursday, March 15
- The bracket is still perfect so far. But Harvard and Long Beach State both being down at the half is concerning.
- I like that Jim Boeheim just started leaving the post-game interview on the floor before it was done.
- Speaking of Syracuse, the refs HANDED that game to them. I hate blaming the officials, but they really bailed them out. Inexcusable.
- Most impressive team so far (outside of UNC-Asheville, who really should have made history as the first 16-seed to beat a 1-seed) has been Marquette. Weathered a run from BYU and then put it away, winning by 20. Wisconsin looked pretty solid too against Montana. But still super boring to watch.
- If Vanderbilt wins it'll be the first time they've won in the first round that I can remember. I'm sure it's happened, but they're almost always upset. Right now they're up 10 at half, which is bad for my bracket.
- No buzzer beaters yet, but it's still early. And almost all of these games have been exciting for their entirety.
- I'm still mad about the Syracuse game. This is why a 16-seed will never win. The officials won't let it happen. Ugh.
YES! My favorite time of year is here: the first weekend of March Madness. And throughout the day, we'll try to make some stray observations about the games. I would date and time these, but hey, I rarely know what month it is, let alone something more specific. Le'go!
- Very sad there's no Gus Johnson this year. I need my yelling! But since I may be watching a lot of these games without sound, I suppose I can allow it. Our first game has Verne Lundquist and Billy Packer. Not sure how I feel about it.
- First game of the tournament (I don't count the first four) is Murray State and Colorado State. I don't think CSU belongs here, so I hope Murray State (who is essentially playing at home with all the Kentucky fans in there) can take care of business. The Racers were down 13-8 when I finally started "watching" (aka had access to a computer), and now they're up 18-15. I'm clearly the good luck charm. Lundquist has already made at least one "racing to a lead" remark within the first half hour of real time. I'm sure I've missed more.
- And Billy Packer just made a "loose cannon" reference during an Isaiah Canaan highlight. Oy.
- Game 2 has kicked off, with Kansas State jumping to an early 8-3 lead over Southern Miss. Seeing as how I also have K-State in the Sweet 16 (picking them BEFORE the Fab Melo suspension for Syracuse), these first two games are kind of super important. I don't think I've ever had that before--the first two games are two teams that could potentially screw my bracket completely. That's because I usually don't stupidly pick an 8-seed over a 1-seed. Eep.
- 24-23 Colorado State lead at halftime. Both of them have looked pretty sloppy, but especially Murray State. Ton of missed open shots. Meanwhile, K-State has a 21-20 lead with five minutes to go. Which one's going to end up being the more high scoring game?
- As far as I know, Frank Martin, who's the "World's Angriest Coach," has not blown a fuse yet. Part of me wants to see it, but the other part wants to see K-State make the Sweet 16 like I predicted. And I think that part wins.
- I don't like that NCAA.com is making us pay to watch the games this year, and I don't like that you STILL can't mess with any volume settings during commercials. Not that I want to hear commercials, but it would be nice to be able to mute or adjust my sound during them.
- Kevin Harlan just told us that the Golden Eagles have only scored one frontcourt point in the first 15 minutes. That means their backcourt is kickin' butt.
- Torye Pelham, a senior on Southern Miss, just rolled his ankle and you could hear him screaming profusely. Hopefully it's nothing too bad--you hate to see anyone, but especially a senior, get hurt during the tourney.
- Murray and CSU have just gotten started in the second half, and KSU and So. Miss just hit halftime. Close games in each, and with Davidson and Louisville set to tip off in a couple of minutes, this seems like a good time to wrap up part 1. Let's leave with my favorite reenactment of a game ever.
Wednesday, March 14
The LA Marathon is this weekend, and in addition to making the already abysmal traffic even more terrible, it'll allow several thousand people to run for 26.2 miles. I ran a marathon in 2010 and it's absolutely something I would recommend trying, although I could never see myself being one of those gurus that runs a marathon a week. I like having cartilage in my knees.
In any case, since the big run is coming up, let's take a look back at 2011, when Jimmy Kimmel Live's own Cousin Sal pulled his shenanigans at the race, offering drinks and prizes you might not want. Especially in the pouring rain.
Tuesday, March 13
You may recall a couple of weeks ago when I posted predictions for each conference tournament winner. After getting 10 right last year (and coming within a late Princeton field goal of getting 11), I had plenty of room for improvement. So how did I do?
America East - Vermont
Atlantic Sun - Belmont
Big South - UNC-Asheville
Big Ten - Michigan St.
Big West - Long Beach St.
Colonial (half) - VCU (I did say to watch out for VCU, but ultimately picked Drexel)
Ivy - Harvard
MEAC - Norfolk St.
Mountain West - New Mexico
Northeast - Long Island
Ohio Valley - Murray St.
SWAC - Mississippi Valley St.
The Good: Not even counting the half-point for the VCU mention, I fared a bit better this year, getting 11 out of 32 correct. Nailing Norfolk St. and New Mexico especially made me proud. And I correctly predicted the Big 10 would come down to Michigan St. and Ohio St. Not like that was super challenging, but still. Outside of Vermont, I believe all of these teams were in first place in their leagues when I wrote the article, and most of them were ahead by a wide margin, so getting them right isn't particularly impressive.
The Bad: There were a TON of high seeds that fell in the first game of their conference tournament. Oral Roberts, Middle Tennessee State, Nevada and Texas San-Arlington are just a few of the teams from one-bid leagues that really blew their shot at getting into the big dance. I mentioned New Mexico State (WAC tourney champs) as the only team that would even come close to challenging for the title, but dismissed them as the winner. Ditto with Vanderbilt. After Akron surprised everyone in a wide-open MAC last year, I probably shouldn't have gone with the favorites in a similarly mediocre league this year.
The Lesson: Teams will always choke in any tournament, and other teams will rise to the occasion. We saw two teams blow huge leads tonight in the play-in games--Mississippi Valley State was up 17 with under five minutes to play and lost to Western Kentucky, who will have to make the Final Four to finish with a .500 record, and Iona was up 25 in the first half and only scored 17 second-half points en route to a six-point defeat to BYU. This was a microcosm of the conference tournaments--especially with some of these smaller schools, it really is just a matter of who plays terribly for the least amount of time.
Hi friends, I've written an article on BroBible.com detailing the best fan reactions of the year. Since I love sharing anything March Madness related, I'd definitely recommend taking a gander. That's probably enough shameless self-promotion for now.
Monday, March 12
Saturday Night Live has been in a dry spell this season. Outside of Jason Segel and Zooey Deschanel's episodes (Zooey's in particular was very funny), there have been just a couple laughs per episode. That number jumped up to a few in the most recent episode with Jonah Hill, and a lot of them came from the latest Digital Short.
In the clip, Andy Samberg spoofs John Brenkus in ESPN's Sport Science, on a show called Science Finders. Samberg and his team want to demonstrate how certain actions can make the heart beat faster, such as getting hit in the groin with a tennis ball. This clip, in typical Digital Short fashion, is pretty stupid, but the noise Jonah Hill makes when the ball makes contact is worth the price of admission alone. And since it's replayed like twenty times from every conceivable angle, you get to hear it a ton. And there's a nice celebrity cameo as well as a twist ending. Check it out!
Geodude will really test coolness factor versus battling ability. Because, you see, Geodude is pretty fantastic when it comes to design. It's a small rock with huge arms. It's so simple, yet so awesome. You'd think it would have the ability to fly (or at least not get hit by Ground attacks) since it pretty much hovers above the battlefield. Alas, Ground attacks still do damage, but that's not what hurts Geodude. What hurts it is a 4x weakness to Water and Grass, and a 2x weakness to a host of other sort of common types, like Fighting and Ice (and, yes, Ground). Of course, Geodude--and, for that matter, the rest of the Ground/Rock type bunch--will absolutely demolish just about every other type. It's just that Water especially is so common, and those types are almost always faster than my 'dude that it'll take a lot of damage before it gets to do anything. Of course, once it DOES get to do something, besides strong type-specific attacks like Earthquake and Rock Slide, it can also more than likely take out an opponent with it courtesy of Selfdestruct and/or Explosion (although why you'd have multiple moves where the user kills itself on one Pokemon is beyond me).
In other words, Geodude's Attack and Defense are, ahem, rock solid, while its Speed and Special get barely, ahem, off the ground. But it looks cool, and can easily fit into most overhead storage containers, so it gets bonus points from me.
Battling Grade: C-
Previously: #111- Eevee
Wednesday, March 7
Every once in awhile I'll get an email from a PR company (it makes me feel like a real blogger, wow!) that wants me to talk about their product or service or something like that. More often than not I don't really want to write about what's sent my way, so when smart USA sent me the results of a survey of some 2,000 adults, I was about to dismiss it. But then I read it and figured, hey, maybe Americans aren't so dumb. Maybe. Check out some of the highlights of the survey below:
- Nearly 7 out of 10 (69%) Americans would prefer their spouse to speak another language than have washboard abs
- Almost 3 in 5 (59%) Americans would rather have their partner gain 20 I.Q. points than lose 20 pounds
- An astonishing 95% of women and 80% of men would prefer to date someone who is smart and philanthropic like Reese Witherspoon or George Clooney than someone with a pretty/handsome face like Megan Fox or Alex Rodriguez
- 97% of Americans believe that at least some of the items in their household are junk (i.e., they could easily get rid of it)
- Nearly one out of 10 (9%) Americans believe they can part with a full half of their stuff
- 9% of Americans believe that 51-100% of the items in their household are junk, indicating that the supposed American obsession with size and quantity is overstated
What does all of this mean? I don't know, I just thought it was interesting. Looks like I'm in good shape, though, being able to speak Spanish fairly well. And I'd say that's muy bien.
Well, if you live in or near Beverly Hills, then yes, yes they do. Sprinkles, the cupcake company that has delighted Southern California residents for the past several years is now offering something unique (as far as I know)--a cupcake ATM. Why it's called an ATM and not a vending machine I do not know, since I don't believe you can deposit cupcakes or other baked goods into the machine.
Either way, it's a pretty cool concept, and while the video below, courtesy of the Washington Post, is lacking in flair, it's a good primer of how the ATM works. I may need to check this out ASAP, and hopefully, like one of the comments suggested, I don't run into the first world problem of being unable to get the cupcake out of the box without ruining it.
Tuesday, March 6
You may remember about a month ago when we posted that our boy Tom Murphy was making waves as a weatherman in Alpena, MI. Well, Murph hasn't stopped dropping the obscure references--in fact, he's done it enough to warrant a part 2 of his "Just Havin' Fun" series. While the sequel is not nearly as good as the original, this one still has a ton of good shoutouts and mentions, from everything from Back to the Future to Peyton Manning. Well done, Murph.
Saturday, March 3
Wow, we've been featuring the Minnesota Timberwolves quite a bit on here lately. But, well, they've been making a lot of silly plays. Of course, you remember Michael Beasley rubbing his teammate's knee when he thought it was his own (how could you forget it? It's literally right below this post). Or last week, when Martell Webster went for a dunk--worth only two points--when his team was down by three.
Well, Webster is back at it again, this time on an alley-oop from Ricky Rubio. I've seen the ball get stuck in between the rim and the backboard a few times on shots, and always get a little prideful when I manage to pull it off myself whilst playing. But on a dunk? Never. That's why it's making it on the blog.
Friday, March 2
Remember when Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley came into the NBA, and there was debate over who the Bulls should take at #1? I'm still thankful nearly four years later that my baby Bullies made the correct decision. But that doesn't mean Beasley hasn't provided us with some good moments. He can still put up numbers for an average or bad team (like the Timberwolves), but most importantly, he makes us laugh with antics like the ones in the below video.
Like most of us, Beasley suffers from a sore knee from time to time, so he tries to rub it to ease the pain in a game against the Lakers. Except, well...it's not really his leg he's rubbing. It's his teammate's. For his part, Anthony Tolliver doesn't seem too bothered by the mistake, like this happens all the time. On the other side of Beasley, Luke Ridnour inches a bit further away, just in case Beasley's right leg starts throbbing.
Thursday, March 1
This is pretty cool--Nintendo teamed up with GameStop to deliver a fully functioning Kart to a lucky fan, in Clarksville, Tenn. of all places. Perhaps this coincides with Monkees lead singer Davy Jones passing away yesterday. Probably not, but now that I think about that, it's super eerie.
In any case, this guy won a real-life, usable kart to help promote Mario Kart 7. Pretty awesome. Not sure what kind of gas mileage it gets on the highway, but I'm sure this dude will investigate that. Or just use it to get from the front door to the mailbox. Either way.