Friday, January 6, 2012

Year of the Reaganing

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,

So… New Year’s happened… and it’s officially 2012. How did I celebrate? Well, apparently I got ill from hanging out at the airport or something… so I spent my half-day off Friday, all day Saturday (NYE) and first half of Sunday at home recuperating in blankies, watching movies and playing video games. That’s gangsta, right? Worst part: I didn’t get to utilize my tickets to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl… so that’s $100 down the drain… just like last year. I did get to see it on TV though… as well as Utah come from behind to womp on Georgia Tech in overtime in the Sun Bowl.

Another good thing came out of it. I finally played “Batman: Arkham Asylum” that I’ve had since… I think last Christmas. Over the weekend, I loved it, beat it & am now trying to do all the challenges & doing pretty good at that. Fun game… possibly could’ve been a $tevie winner… but it also puts the sequel “Batman: Arkham City” within reach of THIS year’s $tevie if/when I get to play that. Don’t worry, I’ll be playing this year’s present from my brother “Assassin’s Creed II” soon.

Saturday night, I watched “Warrior” starring Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy & Nick Nolte. It’s the true story of a high school physics teacher named Brendan Conlon (Edgerton) who was moonlighting as an MMA fighter, got suspended when the school found out… and then decided to join the Sparta tournament in Atlantic City to make ends meet after vigorous training during his off-time. There he faces the legendary fighters such as Koba… and an upstart who came from out of nowhere, Iraqi war vet Tommy Riordan (Hardy) who was a YouTube sensation. Now for the twist… Brendan & Tommy are BROTHERS!!! Throw in family drama, they haven’t spoken in years, an alcoholic trainer / father (Nolte) and you’ve got a pretty fantastic movie. Basically it’s a lot like “The Fighter” but with a different cast… and not nearly as much crack. I highly recommend it… and Tom Hardy looks pretty ripped & ready to be Bane in the next Batman flick.

After that, I watched an ESPN movie called “The Marinovich Project” about the story of Todd Marinovich. Basically for those who don’t know, Todd was raised by his father former NFL player Marv Marinovich to BE an NFL quarterback. Since birth (I kid you not) he was trained to be nothing else. He was fed whole natural foods, worked out constantly, studied film, basically that was IT. Now as a kid & teenager, he enjoyed it because he spent time with his dad & it was giving some incredible results. He made a few ESPN stories in his early teens… and was touted as “Robo QB” back in the late 80’s. He set the high school passing record… then he went to USC. College introduced him to a new level of drugs, fame, competition, all that horrible stuff. Basically he started doing drugs, but still was a pretty amazing player, got in a few fights with his coach, ended up being the first sophomore to declare for the NFL Draft in 1992 after he failed a few drug tests. Who drafted him? The Raiders, of course. Then still in LA.

Fun fact: He was the 2nd quarterback selected that draft. The first was a guy I remember named Dan McGwire because he was 6-10 (didn’t last long) by the Seahawks and the 3rd picked… was Brett Favre by the Atlanta Falcons. Yes, Todd was picked ahead of Brett Favre. Now imagine Brett as a Raider.

Anyway, after getting drafted, he got hooked on heroin… and played two years for the Raiders before it caught up with him… and he was out of football. A few years later, he was in the Arena league… and then the drugs took over again. Then he decided to really go to rehab, met his wife & they have a beautiful child. That’s the summation of it… but I highly recommend that you check it out. He has a few interesting stories & analogies about why he made certain decisions… and you feel for the guy at times… and then you think he’s a prick at others… or maybe you’re just looking at it from a different angle or spectrum. When he was with the Raiders, he was basically 22 and decided that he didn’t want to play football anymore. It was his choice to make, right? Sure he can piss off the Raider nation… but they knew they were drafting a drug addict. They drafted them all the time. And felons. It’s what they do. Anyway, check it out if you get the chance. Now for some news…

Great Mystery of the Universe? – What are the great mysteries of the world? What is Life? Is there Life after death? What is the meaning of it all? Why is a drive way where you park and a parkway where you drive? What REALLY is in secret sauce? Do I REALLY want to know? What’s a platypus? Interspecies erotica gone awry? Well, for answers to most of these, we might seek the scientific council of guys like half-cyborg half-amazing all-man Stephen Hawking. However, the biggest mystery in the universe perplexing one of the world's best known scientists is -- women. When New Scientist magazine asked "Brief History of Time" author Stephen Hawking what he thinks about most, the Cambridge University professor renowned for unraveling some of the most complex questions in modern physics answered in his badass robot voice: "Women. They are a complete mystery." The wheelchair-bound Hawking, who only recently retired from a post once held by Isaac Newton, talked to the magazine in the run-up to celebrations for his 70th birthday about his biggest scientific blunder and his hopes for modern science. Hawking is due to celebrate his 70th birthday on Sunday with a public symposium entitled "The State of the Universe" at the University of Cambridge's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, where the beats are off the hizzie & ladies always drink free. Hawking heads a list of speakers including British Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Saul Perlmutter and Kip Thorne, one of the world's leading theoretical physicists… so be sure to bring your bid’niss card to this playas only event this weekend. Woop WOOP!!! Woop WOOP!!!

So ladies… are you happy? Even fellow great $teve Stephen Hawking is entering his seventies… and has WASTED all that incredible knowledge on attempting to “solve” your ways. Cold fusion? Superconductors? The limits, if any, of space & time? VCR remotes? The man has mastered 3D Blu Ray remotes & would probably have down time traveling DeLorians and hover-boards if not for trying to figure you out. You may have very well doomed mankind… if not for that whole power of reproduction that you possess. Big thanks for that by the way. It brings up something that I’ve felt for a long ass time though. Have you ever wondered what separates self-made billionaires from the rest of us? Why Bill Gates has his own island & Oprah has her other other G6? Meanwhile you’re walking to the grocery store “for your health” and trying to decide whether you want to go that extra quarter for name brand pharmaceuticals? That’s that bullsh*t and you know it!!! You can’t afford a car!!! Anyway, one of my theories… is that those guys don’t focus 99% of their lives on getting laid. They didn’t waste their f**king time trying to figure y’all out. They put their gifts to goals with finite answers and endless benefit to mankind like the personal computer and whatever the hell Oprah does… advice I guess? Hypnotizing housewives? Anyway, they didn’t focus on the end goal. They focused on the steps to the end goal. First you get the idea, then you make it happen, then you get the money, then you get the power, then you get respect with a side of sweet sweet poon tang filthying up your Maybach’s backseat. It’s okay, you’ve got another while that one’s having Love stains removed. Just a thought… roll with it.

Apocalypse Update: Hybrid Sharks – So I’ve been documenting how Snakes may be the actual riders of the stallions of the Apocalypse for years… but recently, there have been a few twists that may point towards a more unified Kingdom that will bring about the end of the world. No, not Saudi Arabia. I’m talking about the Animal Kingdom. Scientists said on Tuesday that they had discovered the world's first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, a potential sign the predators were adapting to cope with climate change. Feel that shiver down your spine? The mating of the local Australian black-tip shark with its global counterpart, the common black-tip, was an unprecedented discovery with implications for the entire shark world, said lead researcher Jess Morgan. "It's very surprising because no one's ever seen shark hybrids before, this is not a common occurrence by any stretch of the imagination," Morgan, from the University of Queensland, told AFP. "This is evolution in action." Colin Simpfendorfer (poor guy with that last name), a partner in Morgan's research from James Cook University, said initial studies suggested the hybrid species was relatively robust, with a number of generations discovered across 57 specimens. The find was made during cataloguing work off Australia's east coast when Morgan said genetic testing showed certain sharks to be one species when physically they looked to be another. The Australian black-tip is slightly smaller than its common cousin and can only live in tropical waters, but its hybrid offspring have been found 2,000 kilometers down the coast, in cooler seas. It means the Australian black-tip could be adapting to ensure its survival as sea temperatures change because of global warming. "If it hybridizes with the common species it can effectively shift its range further south into cooler waters, so the effect of this hybridizing is a range expansion. It's enabled a species restricted to the tropics to move into temperate waters." Climate change and human fishing are some of the potential triggers being investigated by the team, with further genetic mapping also planned to examine whether it was an ancient process just discovered or a more recent phenomenon. If the hybrid was found to be stronger than its parent species -- a literal survival of the fittest -- Simpfendorfer said it may eventually outlast its so-called pure-bred predecessors. "We don't know whether that's the case here, but certainly we know that they are viable, they reproduce and that there are multiple generations of hybrids now that we can see from the genetic roadmap that we've generated from these animals. Certainly it appears that they are fairly fit individuals." The hybrids were extraordinarily abundant, accounting for up to 20% of black-tip populations in some areas, but Morgan said that didn't appear to be at the expense of their single-breed parents, adding to the mystery. Simpfendorfer said the study, published late last month in Conservation Genetics, could challenge traditional ideas of how sharks had and were continuing to evolve. "We thought we understood how species of sharks have separated, but what this is telling us is that in reality we probably don't fully understand the mechanisms that keep species of shark separate," he said. "And in fact, this may be happening in more species than these two."

Okay, so what does this mean to you & me? Sure, this example is just two slightly different species of black-tip sharks reproducing… but then those black-tip sharks start mingling with the Great White Sharks to make… I don’t know, zebra sharks… or is that what tiger sharks all already? Nurse sharks mingle with hammerhead sharks to form some sort of hybrid that can not only tend to wounded sharks, but also build structures? How about a vicious mako shark… with a THRESHER??? Oh yes… and with this genetic mixing, the offspring are stronger & more amiable and adaptable then before thanks to evolution (deal with it, Kansas!). It’s only a matter of time before they start mingling with dolphins or whales (seriously, what’s a blue whale going to do when a shark is getting its freak on? Look at it funny?). Perhaps then some hybrid that can break on land AND sea… perhaps with the dolphin intelligence they’ll figure out some sort of suit or apparatus… and I think you know where it goes from there. That’s right, while you sleep! I know what you’re thinking. “$teve, that sh*t’s stupid. Fish & mammals don’t breed with one another. It just doesn’t make sense from a genetic or logical standpoint.” Really? Like a bird, an amphibious rodent & a venomous snake having a big orgy with some kind of bastardized offspring? BEHOLD THE PLATYPUS, B**CHES!!! (Drops the mic & walks off the stage)

… and then he walks back onto the stage, picks up the mic & dusts it off realizing that he’s not done blowing your mind…

Apocalypse Update: Zom-Bees!!! – Sudden decreases in the bee population have been greatly affecting the world. I’m not joking. That sh*t is real. Just ask any farmer. No big deal. We’re only talking about crops & the very food that we eat. However, scientists have made some odd discoveries in researching this phenomenon. A fly parasite is being blamed for an epidemic that has struck the honey bee population around the world. The parasite nests in the stomach of the bees and causes them to walk in circles, sometimes pursuing bright lights, before eventually dying. The Parasitic Phorid Fly Apocephalus borealis is responsible for the “zombie” transformation, laying its eggs inside the abdomen of the honey bee. "When we observed the bees for some time, the ones that were alive, we found that they walked around in circles, often with no sense of direction," said San Francisco State University's Andrew Core lead author on the bee parasite study in the journal Plos One. Bees usually just sit in one place, sometimes curling up before they die, said Core. But the parasitized bees were still alive, unable to stand up on their legs. "They kept stretching them out and then falling over. It really painted a picture of something like a zombie." And while the parasite may be causing immense damage to the honey bees population, there is an upside to their discovery, according to the Mirror, "Scientists discovered the parasite by accident but they believe it may help them discover what is causing colony collapse disorder which is devastating honey bees in Europe and America cutting some populations in half." The parasite is believed to be new and similar to one currently affecting the bumblebee population. Scientists are still figuring out exactly how the parasite works, but an early theory by San Francisco State Professor John Hafernik holds that the parasite changes the bees' "body clocks," which causes their erratic behavior and deaths. Not exactly what I was expecting from this story… but hey, you never know when something like this could mutate… and then bees don’t die after the first sting… that’s just when they start going for your sweet brain honey. Then what if it goes to other animals? Don’t make me drop the mic again…

Anyway, that should do it. I probably should’ve walked away on the platypus thing… but I just don’t know when to quit. No real plans this weekend but I’m sure there’ll be something to do with watching football & exploring the city now that I’m feeling better than last weekend. Less than 60 days until the Disneyland trip with the family!!! It should be fantastic. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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