Monday, February 26, 2007

YouTube: An intelligent commentary on the Phillies' Pat Burrell

As a Phillies fan, I am often embarrassed by the "baseball stupidity" of those who root for the Phillies with me. They boo people based on reputation and stories put out there by equally idiotic media types and the cosmically idiotic Dallas Green, instead of actually looking at stats and seeing how productive players actually are.

Philly has a tendency to cheer for the guy with the bloody face and dirty uniform...even though he is batting .240 and has a lower on-base percentage than I do. I actually heard a guy sitting a couple of seats away from me at Citizens Bank Park say, "I love Tomas Perez. I hope the Phillies never get rid of him."

Now, Tomas Perez sucked...but fans loved him because he would throw shaving cream pies in the faces of his teammates after exciting wins. Ugh.

Anyway, here is a great video that actually offers a intelligent, statistics-based argument why current Phillies left fielder Pat Burrell is undeserving of much of the criticism dumped on him over the past couple of years, but especially as of late.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ads Gone Wild: More antics in Boston

Well, I already posted my opinions on the city of Boston's overreaction to the Aqua Teen Hunger Force guerrilla marketing campaign that led to the city practically shutting down a few weeks ago.

However, a new advertising tactic has again agitated Boston officials.
BOSTON (AP) - Less than a month after highways and bridges were shut down during a bomb scare touched off by an advertising stunt, a new marketing scheme has led angry city officials to shut down a historic site.

A clue in a Dr Pepper promotion suggested a coin that might be worth as much as $1 million was buried in the 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place of John Hancock, Paul Revere, Samuel Adams and other historic figures.

After contestants showed up at the cemetery gates early Tuesday, the city closed it, concerned that it would be damaged by treasure hunters.

"It absolutely is disrespectful," Boston Parks Commissioner Toni Pollak told The Boston Globe. "It's an affront to the people who are buried there, our nation's ancestors."

OK...I have to side with Boston in this case.

Cadbury Schweppes PLC, the makers of Dr. Pepper soda, should have known better than to hide a valuable coin in a cemetery, especially one serving as the burial site to some of the founding forefathers of the United States. The company should have worked with City Hall on this one.

That being said, I also think Turner Networks/Adult Swim should have informed the cities involved in the Aqua Teen campaign of the plan before implementing it. However, I still say Boston overreacted to that one.

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Artist to Watch: Illinois (the band)

I was trying to catch up on my reading about bands featured on WXPN's My Morning Download and came across a band from Bucks County, Pa., strangely named Illinois. Yep, the band took the name of a state.

Because of my ties to the Bucks County area, I decided to check them out...and you know what? They're pretty good.

Illinois consists of:

Chris Archibald-guitar,keys,banjo,vocals
Martin Hoeger-bass,backing vocals
Dru Lee-guitar,keys,backing vocals
JohnPaul Kuyper-drums

The band is on Ace Fu Records and has an EP scheduled for release March 6, 2007.

Here's an MP3 sample: "Alone Again" by Illinois

Also: Illinois on MySpace

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Remember Apple's "Think Different" campaign?

Apple used an advertising slogan of "Think Different" back in the late 1990s...and it actually still pops up from time to time. However, as a fan of the company and its products, I must admit that Apple has never really been thinking different(ly). It would be more apt to say, "Think Cool."

Apple just does things in a cooler fashion than the rest of the industry. The products are great, but they don't really produce anything that is so different than what's already out there. The genius lies in CEO Steve Jobs' "Barnumesque" showmanship skills, clever marketing strategies, and a brilliant design team. why am I bringing all this up? Well, about a year before the "Think Different" campaign started, the first issue of MacAddict magazine showed up in 1996 with this graphic (source:

(Click on image for larger version)

HEY! That looks an awful lot like:

(Click on image for larger version)'s not about thinking different(ly)'s all about making things look cool.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Britney goes for alien look

OK...this is scary.

And I don't mean that picture of the newly bald Britney Spears...although that is pretty scary looking.

What I find scary is that a few weeks back, there were all sorts of media reports going around that Russell T. Davies, the executive producer of my favorite TV show, "Doctor Who," wanted Spears to appear in "Doctor Who" as a group of sex-crazed aliens cloned to look like her.

I dismissed the stories as, what the Brits would say, rubbish. However, looking at these pics of a bald Britney Spears, I am scared that she might be getting ready for that "Doctor Who" role after all.

Now, THAT would be scary.

I usually love all episodes of "Doctor Who," no matter how weak they might be. But I would have to say any "Doctor Who" story featuring Britney would be, as The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy would say:

Worst. Episode. Ever.


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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy (Pythonesque) Valentine's Day!

This is the best Valentine's Day I have ever had. First of all, I have somebody with whom I can spend Valentine's Day...and pitchers and catchers report to spring training! How much better can a day get?

Anyway, since it's Valentine's Day, I thought I would post this YouTube video featuring the romance of "Wuthering Heights" combined wiht the comic genius of Monty Python...this sketch is one of my favorites.

The Semaphore Version of Wuthering Heights

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

RIP Dave "MVPsoft" Snyder

As you probably know, I am a huge Phillies fan. I also consider myself relatively intelligent and, of course, I'm an Internet geek.

That's why one of my favorite Web sites is, which features the Renegade Phan Phorum. The Phorum has some of the most intelligent baseball--and non-baseball--conversation around and exists at the opposite end of the spectrum from Philly's so-called sports radio station, 610 WIP-AM.

I haven't posted too often on, but I read it a lot because there are many conversations about sports, news, politics and even religion. was started several years ago by a Philly-area transplant named Dave Snyder, who was the owner of MVP Software in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Before tonight, that sentence would have read "...Dave Snyder, who is the owner..."

I went to check the site earlier this evening to see if anything was going on and saw this thread title:

Is MVPSoft OK?

Now, MVPsoft is...was...Dave's screen name. The thread's initial poster went on to say he saw on another message board that Dave had been killed in a car accident today (as it turned out, the poster had been on a Rutgers message board where Dave's cousin, whose son recently signed to play college football at Dave's alma mater, Rutgers, broke the sad news). Since there had been no comments about it on the board Dave created, that first poster figured there was nothing to it.

But soon links started appearing on Michigan news sites that confirmed the worst...

I-196 clear after fatal accident

One Man Dies in I-196 Accident

So, yeah, my only connection to this man was that he created a Web site that has become a big part of my daily routine. Yet, it still feels like I have been punched in the gut.

He gave intelligent Phillies fans a place to go and get away from the idiotic rhetoric written in the Philly newspapers and being talked about on WIP.

At least I know I'm not the only one who feels like this.

The reason for this outpouring of emotion is because when Major League Baseball Advanced Media first took over the Web sites for every MLB team a few years ago and completely messed up the fan communitiy the old site had built, Dave stepped up to host a Phillies message board that would foster intelligent conversation based on analysis and thought...not one that would allow trolling and name-calling. Through the years, evolved into one of the best online communities around.

However, there were several dust-ups that led to many popular posters being banned by Dave for breaking his rules one too many times. But those dust-ups would lead to the creation of new Phan communities, and, which are now called home by former and current members. In fact, it was just this past December when Dave pulled the plug on the Phorum for a few days after a thread went out of control and he contemplated shutting it down for good. However, he was convinced by the members to bring it back under new registration and posting rules.

So even though many members had battles with Dave at one time or another, one thing is certain: He was a man of principle devoted to his family and the Phillies. And a huge number of Phans "met" through the community he built.

You will be missed, MVPsoft.

UPDATE (2/11/07): I have just read that, in a strange twist of fate, it was exactly six years ago today that Dave launched the Renegade Phan Phorum at


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Thursday, February 08, 2007

TWR readers in Boston, look away now!

Since the very sight of the Mooninites from Cartoon Network/Adult Swim's "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" gets certain people from Boston worked into a panic (because, you know, they couldn't take the time to actually check out what the devices were BEFORE going apeshit all over town while screaming "they're bombs! they're bombs!" and blowing up what essentially were Lite-Brites), I will suggest that those people look away from the this movie trailer for the greatly anticipated "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters."


And speaking of that whole ATHF-Boston thing, here is a very funny take on it (includes profanity...very funny profanity)...

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"Iron Man" cast keeps getting better as Jeff Bridges signs on

OK...this is getting ridiculous...but in a great way!

It was genius casting to get Robert Downey Jr. to play the title role (and alter ego Tony Stark) in the upcoming, Jon Favreau-directed film adaptation of "Iron Man." Then, Terrence Howard signed on as Stark's friend/pilot, Jim "Rhodey" Rhodes.

And getting an actress of the caliber of Gwyneth Paltrow to play Stark's assistant, Virginia "Pepper" Potts, was an absolute coup. Surely, that was enough star power for what many non-comics people call a film based on a "second-tier" Marvel Comics character.

Well, apparently that wasn't enough as Jeff Bridges has joined the cast as what is being described as a "character...central to the entire storyline of the film."

According to this story at, Bridges will portray a close business associate of Tony Stark--a confidant and longtime employee at Stark Industries. The article also says Bridges' character plays a major role in shaping Tony Stark's life.

Also, if you haven't noticed, all four actors mentioned above (Downey, Howard, Paltrow and Bridges) have been past nominees for Academy Awards, with Paltrow winning Best Actress in 1998 for "Shakespeare in Love."

"Iron Man" is slated for a May 2, 2008, release...and it can't get here soon enough.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The best part about this year's Super Bowl...

Well, the Indianapolis Colts may have won Super Bowl XLI, but as far as I am concerned, Prince stole the show.

I was at a party where everybody seemed to be mocking the fact that Prince was the halftime act. I kept on responding to these people that Prince is an incredible musician and songwriter who was going to put on one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows ever.

Well, I think he did just that...and the AP's Douglas Rowe. and CNN's Todd Leopold seem to agree.

(By the way, some of the comments to Todd Leopold's post are ridiculous...Nickelback and Bon Jovi BETTER than Prince? C'mon...and all the wannabe metal guitarists who don't understand you don't need to constantly use your strumming hand on a guitar to get it to produce notes...PUH-leaze! These are people that make me want that persistent asteroid to hit the Earth at some point.)

Remember the days when the Super Bowl halftime show consisted of what seemed to be 35 pop stars on one stage at one time? I always thought that was the dumbest thing. It would have been so much better to get one huge act and let that act do its thing.

So maybe some good has come out of the Justin-Timberlake-induced-Janet-Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Ever since that happened, the Super Bowl has had singular acts during halftime...before Prince this year, there were Paul McCartney in 2005 and the Rolling Stones in 2006.

And on a rainy night in Miami, it just seemed appropriate that Prince's show finished with "Purple Rain."

(Watch this while you can...YouTube had to take down a bunch of Viacom videos recently and, of course, the Super Bowl was on Viacom's CBS...2/7/07 UPDATE: Of course, the old video is gone, but I found this one at Daily Motion...let's see how long this one lasts.)

(Photo credit: AP)

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