JAN 13TH – More great news for athletes competing in sailing, open-water swimming, and triathlon at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August: dead fish and garbage! Officials are investigating and aren’t too worried, because the fish were likely dumped from trawlers due to their low commercial value. The trash is just, well, plain old floating trash. They will report back in five days with their water analysis. I’d get caught up on all my shots, is all I’m saying.
UPDATE: Haven’t heard anything from Brazilian officials, so I’m sure the tests came back fine. Commence selling all that crappy Rio Olympic merchandise!
When times are tough, and they surely are, it is always nice to lose yourself in a Sunday afternoon football game. Not the high school or college kind, but the big leagues, the pros. A simple thing, really, watching our premiere American professional sport on the big screen TV that apparently everyone in America can afford. No cancellations for weather, pure physical aggression and competition, awesome beer commercials (with a sprinkling of Viagra – kids, go get mommy another beer). Right? Well, sorta. A number of rule changes and social developments have really diluted the true nature of the game, such that eventually my kids will play a more exciting game at recess. (Scratch that – there will be no recess, either).
1) Super-detailed list of illegal blocks – of course safety is an issue, but I am guessing that learning the specifics of these rules is a tough sell for these guys who probably did not take their own SATs, or any college exams for that matter. Oh, and the referees will surely be able to identify all the criteria in real-time to determine if said illegal blocks take place. They cannot consistently call pass interference with any kind of accuracy.
2) Weather delays – is there such a thing? Nobody doesn’t like watching those late fall games on the real grass fields that are muddy, and snowy, and a total mess. It is kind of primal – and a nostalgic look at how all these stadiums used to look – crappy, messed up grass and all. The NFL opened the season with two games delayed to weather. Because, you know, there has never been “weather” on game day. Full stadiums of people sat waiting (“sheltering in place”, maybe?) until the recess monitor at the NFL gave the “all-clear”.
3) Anti-taunting policy – the precious snowflakes that are professional football players cannot be taunted or teased. Scored a touchdown? Great, head to the sideline and write about it in your diary, just don’t you dare spike the football, flex your hulk muscles, salute, dance, shout, or even be that mime in the invisible box. Shut your pie hole and move along. You are not so special. Maybe this was done to set an example, but gosh, don’t we encourage our kids to celebrate with high-fives and fist-bumps, even occasional chest bumps. All the kids I know have their own touchdown dance. And they don’t even play football. If they changed the name of the penalty to “Anti-bullying” then everyone would be on board. That is a different conversation altogether.
4) Team name sensitivity – here’s what really gets me. Even in the NFL, Roger Goodell has succumbed to the “if one person is offended, we have to listen”. Are you sure about that, Bob? Cuz I am offended at the boner-medication ads that persist during broadcasts of NFL games, and I don’t see you doing anything about it. An erection lasting longer than five hours??? Color me offended. But don’t put on a firearms commercial during the Super Bowl, because I might be offended at that, too. I am offended that there are dozens of convicted felons and domestic abusers in the NFL, that usually don’t lose their jobs for these offenses (Aaron Hernandez notwithstanding). Ridiculous.
5) Incessant Bureaucratic Fines and Off-Field Rule Enforcement – the NFL is looking a lot like the IRS lately, with a focus on fining players, coaches, and organizations for non-compliance of the seemingly endless list of rules. A weapons charge won’t get you dropped from a team, but God help you if you wear an Addidas t-shirt to practice were people can see you, because the contract is with Reebok, dammit!!!! I especially love when players blow off media interviews and are fined for it, or they show up and get fined for what they say. Players should get bonuses to NOT talk to the press. It’s win-win for the NFL, even if the fines aren’t really all that important to the players, dollar-wise. Stupid, stupid, stupid to turn everything into fines (you know, like the Government does).
Think to the future – when Madden 2016 is released, it will look like a game from 1982 Colecovision pitting the Carolina Climate Change versus the New Jersey Springtime (sounds like a brand name of feminine hygiene product): no player individualism (specific names and numbers only), only politically correct team names included, six legal blocks remain in the game, and a rigorous real-life penalty version that will make Pong popular again (“Your quarterback wore an unapproved brand of t-shirt to practice one day this week, so he has been fined and suspended, please choose another quarterback!”) . To their credit, at least the NFL doesn’t have the insipid caring program that the NBA does” The NBA, Where Caring Happens”. Basketball will be covered in a separate item.
Popular Science reports on technology from Texas Tech University that could be helpful in the fight to clean up all that pesky oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a cotton/charcoal product that can absorb and detox oil. The only trouble is, these guys are not Nobel Prize winners, not from Harvard, and don’t have a personal friend in the current administration, or at BP. Chances are, the government won’t want them to make a buck on their cool product, either. Here’s the summary:
..for your environmentally conscious friend or family member, try these washable, reusable ‘Family Wipes’ from Wallypop! Encourage them to show their piety by eschewing wasteful, expensive, environmentally unsound American toilet tissue, and start using these soft, cute cloths! Your female friends might also like the ‘Cycle Pads’, too! (Add in an adorable ‘wet bag’ for storing the used products until laundry day to make it a special gift!)
In March, Fox News reported that burping earthworms were hideous offenders in the battle to save earth (they emit nitrous oxide – laughing gas- which is 300x more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas).
Today, the Times (of London) reports that the government is developing food menus that reduce the content of ‘high carbon’ animals. The biggest offender per pound: lamb! Close behind lamb are tomatoes and alcohol – VERY bad for the environment! To which I say:
But wait, there’s more:
The Carbon Trust, a government-funded firm, is working with food and drink companies to calculate the “carbon footprints” of products – sometimes with surprising results.
Coca-Cola, for example, generates only about half the greenhouse gas emissions of Innocent’s “smoothies”. Cadbury’s chocolate generates about 4½lb for every 2.2lb eaten – less than half that from theof CO2 same weight of chicken.
Check out the Carbon Trust’s new labeling available to show your (British) consumers the carbon footprint of your services (the surprise is that an on-line bank account has a carbon footprint of 200 grams of CO2 per account, which is mor than for a serving of organic potatoes! Oh, the HORROR!).