29 October 2010

2-0 series lead? No turning back.

Yesterday was Game 2 of the 2010 World Series in Major League Baseball. At SF's AT&T Park, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Texas Rangers 8-0. With a 9-0 lead in the bottom of the 8th inning with 2 outs and Darren O'Day pitching, San Francisco loaded the bases and eventually got 4 consecutive walks and three base hits to add six surprising runs. The Associated Press reports: "Forty of the previous 51 teams to take a 2-0 lead have gone on to win the title, including seven straight and 13 of the past 14." and "No team has overcome a 2-0 Series deficit since the 1996 New York Yankees against Atlanta. The Giants have won each time they have taken a 2-0 lead: in 1922, 1933 and 1954."

If history is any indicator, all is in favor of the Giants now. Current Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee started Game 1 last season for the Philadelphia Phillies and helped Philadelphia win over the New York Yankees, but eventually the Yankees ended up taking the Series 4 games to 2. So if the Rangers lose the Series, managers should avoid having Cliff Lee start Game 1 of the World Series. The last baseball team to win the World Series after a 2-0 lead is the Boston Red Sox, who swept Colorado Rockies in 4 games in 2007. Same happened also with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and the Red Sox in 2004; both years had the winning teams sweep the opponents. In 2001, the Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series over the Yankees 4 games to 3 following a 2-0 edge in the beginning.

27 October 2010

Rand Paul supporter stomps on liberal activist and demands that activist apologize!

The Huffington Post reports:

Tim Profitt, the Rand Paul supporter behind the white sneaker that notoriously stomped on a MoveOn activist's head in Kentucky, sought to play down the importance of the incident Tuesday, and went so far as to ask the victim for an apology.

"I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt told WKYT. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you."

While the victim, Lauren Valle, said Tuesday that she believed the campaign workers' violent reaction to her presence there was "premeditated," Profitt told WKYT that he thought Valle was following a strict protocol with the intent of creating controversy.

A local news report including footage of the incident is here...warning: the video contains violent content, viewer discretion is advised.

This is just so fucked up I'm tempted to write this parody of OneRepublic's "Apologize" to reflect Tim Profitt's mind (this link is the Timbaland remix; original version here): (lyrics here):

I just pulled off your wig
And shoved you to the ground,
Now I'm stomping on your head
So hard you can't get out,

You tell me that you're hurting,
Then you go and call me out, but wait,
You tell me to say sorry
But I'd rather turn around, and say

I don't need to apologize, but you do!
I said I don't need to apologize, but you do!
I don't...

Democrats have no chance, they will fall,
get shot and lose
Lauren, you deserved what you got
So don't try to sue

Americans are voting red, firing all the blues
So please sa-ay...
Sorry that you came here
Tricking us into welcoming you
I hate your face!


So fuck Tim Profitt and his idiotic irresponsible ways. James O'Keefe anyone? Stay classy, Mr. Profitt!

Finally, I'd just like to say that Rand Paul is a kook. What kind of respectable politician would say that businesses have the right not to follow the Civil Rights Act?

22 October 2010

My thoughts on Tumblr

I've seen a lot of my friends using the blog site Tumblr. It's a less serious version of Blogspot, Wordpress, and other blog sites. Not only can authors publish rhetoric, they also are able to post visual media and quotations. Tumblr combines blogging and social networking: if a user sees an interesting item on another registered member's Tumblr, the user may "reblog" it (hence the "via ____" tags). Unlike on traditional blog sites where you can't instantly reblog every interesting thing you see on another blog, on blogspot you have to copy-and-paste and link everything manually.

There also seems to be much more decorative freedom on Tumblr, see Kathleen's for example. Compare that with my blog (and others hosted on the traditional hosts) and notice how more artsy and simple Tumblrs can be.

And celebrities seem to have taken on Tumblr too: for example, actress Dianna Agron, who plays Quinn Fabray on the TV show Glee. Responding to a rather risque photo shoot for GQ magazine that the Parents Television Council disliked, Agron apologised and elaborated on Tumblr.

What Tumblr can do is hardly new to the Internet: blogs have been around since the late '90s, and if you want to share videos or photos then Blogspot already has the hosting capability to do so. That's why I'll never use Tumblr. If I wanna share my thoughts or cool Web junk, I'll keep posting 'em here.

Something I'd like to say re Domestic Violence Awareness Month

More info about that month here on the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.

As a college student I'd like to get something out. This is some real talk regarding college students (not all my friends or others on my campus, but some) who use sex as a status symbol or method of control.

Ladies, you don't exist solely to be sex toys, maids, or eye candy. You're human. Stop taking your freedoms for granted and find something that defines you besides partying, Thirsty Thursday, or opening your legs and mouth for every frat hunk. If your man is hurting you, leave him and seek help. Did Susan B. Anthony march on the streets only for you to be a suckup to an oppressive patriarchy? Think about it. The women's rights activists of the 19th and 20th centuries roll in their graves for every woman who perceives herself as a mere slave to her boyfriend/husband. Just like how Martin Luther King, Jr. would be disgusted if he could listen to any modern rap musician (like Waka Flocka Flame).

Gentlemen, if you've slept with the entire cheerleading squad and have given blowjobs to every bleached blonde sorority chick with breast implants but have yet to find a working job or (if you're in college for 2 years or more) a meaningful internship, then you're just plain worthless. You ain't that strong if you can hook up with everyone yet have little real characteristics like intelligence or sociability. When you're in a relationship, be respectful and have basic human dignity: do not resort to violence to get your point across or to take out your anger. Your girlfriend is a human being just like you, not a punching bag or chattel.

My good friend Rishabh has this classic Tumblr quotable:
I believe girls that tie themselves up in “drama” need to feel like their life is worth something. It’s just sad that they don’t realize that filling up their days gossiping about others doesn’t make THEIR lives any better. You just come off as a shitty person. Girls who spend their days gossiping and revolve their lives around petty bullshit are not worth knowing. Also, girls who center their lives around “Thirsty Thursdays” and partying are not worth knowing either.
That's right. If your life revolves around "scoring" every shallow one around you who looks cute or getting drunk and dancing in a club whose speakers are blasting out your eardrums, I don't desire to know you. F-word off.

Bottom line: while sex may be good, do not let it define who you are. Let your character define you. There's much much much much^(infinity) more to life than fooling around in bed and stimulating each other, so if your partner says "no", find something else to do.

15 October 2010

An interesting conversation with KOFY TV about broadcasting "widescreen standard definition" football

Tomorrow, KOFY-TV 20 in the San Francisco Bay Area will broadcast the San Jose State vs. Boise State football game. Currently, SJSU is 1-4 on the season and 0-1 in the Western Athletic Conference, while Boise State is undefeated 5-0 and 1-0 and is predicted to top Bowl Championship Series ratings. Although this is a home game, I'd like to stay home and just watch both the San Francisco Giants vs. Philadelphia Phillies opening game of the National League Championship Series in baseball on KTVU-TV and the SJSU game on KOFY. Given that the Boise State Broncos is the 4th ranked team that the lowly SJSU Spartans has played this season, and that SJSU fell to the national champions 48-3 and even lost to a Football Championship Subdivision (lower division than where SJSU is, the Football Bowl Subdivision) team UC Davis Aggies during the SJSU Homecoming game, 14-13 on 2 Oct., tomorrow night's score should be quite obvious.

I happened to catch the Boise State vs. Toledo football game last Saturday on KOFY, which is one of the Western Athletic Conference TV affiliates. While Boise State is undeniably a great football team, the broadcast format isn't. KOFY broadcast the match in 4:3 format as it does for all its programmes other than ABC7 News at 9. However, KOFY compressed a 16:9 picture into 4:3, thus making everything seem thinner than proportional. Thus, today I decided to ring up the KOFY switchboard over the phone, (415) 821-2020 pressing 4 for technical services, to ask the tech guy why. I left a message and promptly got a call back about 15 minutes later. The technical worker explained that Learfield distributed the football game in a widescreen standard definition picture format, and standard definition programmes must be broadcast in 4:3 format. In this case, as widescreen is the new normal format for television sets and broadcasting, the only realistic broadcasting choices that'd preserve the picture quality would either be: scrunching the picture (as I mentioned earlier) and leaving black pillars to the left and right of the screen, or letterboxing the picture within the 4:3 area and leaving the image proportional. The tech worker explained that "blowing up" the widescreen SD image just because KOFY does have widescreen capability would drastically reduce picture quality and defeat the purpose of high definition television.

So there you have it, if you're wondering why KOFY or any other WAC television affiliate is showing the football games in such a weird format. I'd suggest contacting Learfield Sports, which distributes TV/radio broadcasts of the WAC, and persuading them to start televising games in HD. I mean c'mon. If CBS could start broadcasting soap opera The Young and the Restless back in summer 2001, then why does Learfield have to broadcast football games in standard definition widescreen in 2010?


PS: At the SJSU student newspaper The Spartan Daily, one columnist opines that the Giants need a better offense to beat Philadelphia.