Pardon the hiatus. Blame it on the rain. And kid baseball. And work. And life. Without further excuses, this week’s deep smarts:
Start with coffee (and thanks to Eric S for pointing this out): “Viennese coffeehouses, or kaffeehaüser, often stay open from 6 am until midnight, welcoming customers to sit and relax for hours over a ‘wiener mélange’: coffee with steamed milk, topped with milk foam.” I know coffee in Vienna is excellent, but “wiener mélange” just sounds wrong.
Then hit the gym: “Look at the upper cut. Look at the upper cut. Look at the upper cut. Look at the upper cut.” Strongly recommend watching this when the kids aren’t around as the f-bomb drops repeatedly. But once you start watching, you won’t be able to stop (at a minimum, skip to the 2:09 mark…pure fantastic comedy).
While at the gym, catch SportsCenter and recognize how even watching sports has completely changed: “Luckily, Twitter allows us to mock the recycled plots of sports and circumvent talking meatheads. Hallelujah!” Yes, much like bacon, almost everything is better with Twitter.
After working out, reflect on how everything you think you know about sports may be wrong. For example, you know Rajon Rondo is an elite point guard, but a terrible shooter. Then you learn this: “On the other hand, almost everyone should be shocked to see Rajon Rondo in their company. He’s widely known as a woeful jump shooter, and that’s not an unfair assessment overall. But Rondo has a few sweet spots from which he is surprisingly effective, and as you can see in his bleak shot chart below, the area off the right elbow is one of those oases. In this area Rondo shot 56 percent, edging out Ty Lawson and Dirk, each at 53 percent.” Gotta have the graphic for this…
Get serious about the day and think big, important thoughts: “In a world of economic distress, where a globalized economy gradually eclipses any single country’s ability to control its own economic destiny, and when multiracial immigration tears at the cultural identity of nation states, it is utterly predictable that more atavistic strains of nationalism will emerge.”
Then have another cup of coffee and get back to what really matters – sports: “Arsenal’s Yossi Benayoun just scored his third goal in five games, putting Arsene Wenger’s tired, poor, huddled players in front of the Baggies, 1-0. Actually, that’s really robbing West Brom’s second-string keeper, Marton Fulop, of the glory. Fulop was first to a through-ball with Benayoun closing fast. Problem was the ball was just outside his area, so he couldn’t pick it up. And whatever mental gymnastics he had to perform to make that decision prevented him from saying to himself, “I should probably hoof this into outer space.” Benayoun was at the right place at the right time. I’d replace my Powerade with Knob Creek if I were Fullop.”
Wander over from sports to the local paper and read what the village idiot has to say about the Middle East. No, not this idiot, but a different idiot: “How long will this go on? I think it’s safe to say for the foreseeable future. What will happen if Christians continue to leave? As the “60 Minutes” piece pointed out, the part of the Holy Land represented by Christians will become more of a museum than a living community of where Jesus walked. But as a devout Catholic, I must ask the most important question any Christian asks when burdened: “What would Jesus do?” I believe he would say this is the Christians of the Holy Land’s cross to carry because of the lives it saves.” All the restraint I could muster to keep myself from firing off a letter to this thumb-sucker asking him if the Muslim Palestinians should also be thankful for carrying the cross of being walled in because it saves lives.
Before lunch, place your order.
After lunch, consider how much you would have enjoyed working for the Hudson Bay Company back in the day: “…sent trappers sweeping down the Columbia River watershed to exterminate all the beavers they found and harvest their valuable pelts. Without beavers to hunt, the company’s governor reasoned, the United States would have “no inducement to proceed hither.” Within 20 years, the beaver was nearly eradicated from an area the size of France.”
Go back to sports and try to answer this question: “Which cities have met in the most championships, in a single sport?” It’s not Boston and Washington, DC…
Then start the weekend…