Current Events

Stanley Cup’s Colorful History

UPDATE: After their epic win last night, here’s how the Cup spent last night in Vegas with the Washington Capitals.

After last night’s loss to Anaheim, the San Jose Sharks are out of the running.  Might as well post some highlights from the checkered past of the world’s most famous trophy.

  • In 1905, the Ottawa Silver Seven tried to drop-kick it over the Rideau Canal on the Ottawa River. (They failed.)
  • In 1906, it went missing after a photography session. It turned out the photographer’s mother had adopted it as a planter for geraniums.
  • In 1924, the Montreal Canadiens left it by the side of the road while changing a tire.
  • In 1940, managers burned the mortgage of Madison Square Garden in the cup, which the Rangers won that year. (This occasioned a “curse” that kept the Rangers from the cup for 54 years.)
  • In 1980, New York Islander Clark Gillies fed his dog from it.
  • In 1991, Pittsburgh Penguin Mario Lemieux tried to float it in his swimming pool. It sank. (Colorado Avalanche goalkeeper Patrick Roy later did the same thing.)
  • In 1994, Ranger Ed Olczyk filled it with oats to feed Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin.
  • In 1996, Avalanche defenseman Sylvain Lefebvre had his daughter baptized in it.

via Futility Closet.


NBC holding Olympic videos hostage

NBC is milking their investment in broadcasting rights for the Beijing Olympics by making anyone that wants to view their videos jump through a few hoops.

Hoop Number One: Install Silverlight 2.0.

This limits installation to only Windows machines or Intel-based Macs. Oh, and you have to restart your browser so you if you don’t save the URL of the video you wanted to watch – your left to the mercy of NBC’s navigation.

Hoop Number Two: Reveal your local NBC affiliate & zip code info.

This gives NBC data to see just how much traffic they are taking away from their local affilates with online video. When it comes time for re-negotiation, they can hold this data in their hand to show how they don’t really need the affiliates to reach their audience which is why they need to pay more for the rights to re-broadcast NBC programming.

Despite these two hoops, the desire to see a quick reply of something like the incredible 4×100 meter Men’s relay is so strong that people will jump through these hoops. Not enough to jump out of the current habit of hitting up Yahoo’s Olympic coverage (which is doing a stellar job), but still respectable.

Badi hated installing Silverlight and may never use it again but he did install it and I doubt he took the time to remove it after he saw the video. As far as Microsoft is concerned, mission accomplished.

Despite the hassles, I actually like some of the features of Silverlight as it’s featured on the NBC site. It’s really smart is that you’re able to fast forward (or reverse) in low resolution but once the video starts playing, it gradually sharpens the image to higher resolution. The video clips on the NBC site are of exceptional quality to those used to YouTube clips. As with NBC’s other site, Hulu, NBC is leading the way, showing us how a television company can reinvent itself for the internet.

Watching the Oakland A’s

I had a windfall a couple weeks ago when our neighbor ended up with extra tickets to a sky suite at the Oakland Colesium. We went with Tyler and the neighborhood boys to see the Yankees play the A’s. On the way back from getting cotton candy, a photo service vendor took a photo where I found the picture above. More photos from the game on my flickr set.

Big Waves off of California

Cortes Bank

While on vacation in Hawaii, I had the chance to head up to the North Shore a few times and get a peak at the surfing scene during the winter months. The winter storms churn up some good surf and the Triple Crown was underway. Those same storms gathered strength and slammed into California bringing record rains and an opportunity to ride some epic waves off Dana Point hitting speeds of 45 miles/hour.

From The New York Times

With a second major storm bearing down, four of the most experienced big-wave surfers in the world launched a boat and two Jet Skis toward Cortes Bank, an underwater mountain range whose tallest peak rises 4,000 feet from the ocean floor to within about four feet of the surface. The perilous spot, about 100 miles off the coast of Southern California, had been surfed only a handful of times in the past decade. With just the right conditions, its shallow waters turn huge ocean swells into giant, perfect breaking waves.

– via


Hecka nice

“He’s an extraordinary player who makes every team a lot better. This guy is hecka nice. . .”

High school coach for Jimmy Rollins who has just been named Baseball’s National League’s Most Valuable Player. Jimmy Rollins is from Alameda, CA where I live. Encinal High School, where Jimmy played, is in Alameda. We’re all really proud and every time the Phillys come to town to play the Oakland A’s at the coliseum, the stands are packed mostly to see Jimmy play.

What really cracked me up about this article in the local paper where I saw this quote is the phrase “hecka” which is a uniquely Bay Area term. My kids have started to use it now so I guess we’re settling in.

Human Flying Squirrels

human flying squirrel

Check out this insane video of nutbags jumping off cliffs and flying down with nothing but a modified bat suit (they call them “wingsuits”) to slow them down. Favorite quote, “At first we used to try and jump as far away from the cliff as possible but that got boring. . . ” Watch when three of them bunch up and do somersaults in mid air!

Whatever you’re doing this weekend, it pales in comparison to this.

credit to Doc Serls for this gem

UPDATE : More craziness (this time with skis) surfaced on this video of wingsuit base jumping

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Pitching for the Yankees – “Ian-Kredible”

Ian Kennedy makes the cover of the New York Post

So I’ve been following my doppelganger’s budding baseball career ever since he first blipped up on my Technorati feed as a hot prospect for the Yankee’s draft last Summer. I’m super-pleased to see that the young Ian pretty much aced his debut as a pitcher against the Devil Rays and has earned himself another start in the next five days or so. Out here in California we don’t get the Yankee’s games on TV so I unfortunately couldn’t see him perform but according the the write-up in the NY Post;

Kennedy allowed three runs – one earned – and five hits in seven innings and earned himself another start, Joe Torre said. Kennedy struck out six – after one, the scoreboard flashed, “Ian-Kredible” – and walked two, throwing 66 of his 96 pitches for strikes.

Not bad at all – way to uphold the name!

UPDATE: Further coverage:

This Guy Ian Kennedy was Born Ready – 23 family members and friends made the trip to NYC to see him play.

Joe Torre post-game interview – “the kid has real poise”

Chart your course with

Just to see if I could do it, I went way beyond my normal running course and took the long way home. When I got home I used to measure the distance. Very cool tool.

Tyler gets a Yellow Belt

Aikido Yellow Belt Test
Aikido Yellow Belt Test,
originally uploaded by inky.

On Saturday, Tyler passed his test for a Yellow belt in Aikido. He was nervous at first but did just fine. More photos here.

Getting drafted for the Yankees


From, reporting on yesterday’s first round baseball draft picks:

Yankees top pick Ian Kennedy was one of four right-handers selected in the first five rounds Tuesday.

I’d like to wish the best of luck to the other Ian Kennedy, I’m pulling for you. I’ve been following his budding baseball career as part of a Technorati search and look forward to his continued success. My friends who follow the Red Sox have already said it’s going to be hard to get used to rooting against me.