Archive for August, 2007

30 August, 2007

I predicted a 20-point win by USA. I was wrong.

Kobe started strong with the first 8 points for USA.
USA ahead by 19 at the half, ahead by 21 end of third quarter, but only won by 15 points.
TWENTY turnovers did not help.
It seems they took control of the game early, and never let Argentina catch up.

Here’s the question, do you help a fallen opponent up?/ In NBA playoffs you do not. But I would say, here, with the friendly atmosphere of the games, you do help an opponent to his feet at the end of a play. And it’s friendly, because no one is expected to be close to USA, so there is no animosity.

Here’s another, when will the USA loose the #1 ranking in the world? USA is still, THE team to beat. For the Olympics USA has won 114 and lost only 5. For world championship, not as good, but still a very respectable 105 wins, 27 loses.
NBA professionals did not play until 1992. Remember, other professional basketball league players were competing for their countries.

One of the good things about USA bringing their best athletes, is that is shows other countries just how hard they have to work. Good competition makes people better.

I suspect that soon, there will be a few powerhouses that will equal USA on a regular basis. It will take a culture of basketball (which is why USA sucks at soccer) and the luck of genetically gifted athletes. I predict, China, Mexico, and Brazil have the best shots of being able to become powerhouses within the next 10 years.


movie “Monday” – Stardust

29 August, 2007

I believe Stephen King said fantasy is about great power either lost or found.

Some fantasy movies that I think are perfect. Note, they all seem to deal with love, have sword fights, and are coming of age stories.

“Star Wars”
“Princess Bride”

We just saw…for our 9th year wedding anniversary the movie “Stardust”


Walking with babies

27 August, 2007

We went for a walk after I got home, because mommy was going to a party. They were screaming after mommy left, but after we got going they were fine. I was singing to them about going for a walk (I don’t know why I didn’t sing “On the Road Again”).

Mr Grunty quickly fell asleep, and the only reaction we got from him was when the stroller hit a big bump in the sidewalk. He smiled big, but continued to sleep.

Miss Squeaky was very happy to look at the trees and the sky, or try and make faces at her papa. Oh yeah, she did lots of practice sticking out her tongue too.

We turned around when Miss S got fussy, she was crying by the time we got home. Mr. G, still slept. Once inside, Miss S relaxed enough to fall asleep. Mr. G groggily opened his eyes as if to say, “I thought we were going for a walk.” I explained that we already went for a walk, then he and I had a conversation about his day. Evidently there was lots of grunting involved with the day. A few minutes later, Miss S woke up and was pissed that food was not prepared for her.

I fed them, did some laundry, made some tasty curried lentils, and then we watched a basketball game.

FIBA USA vs Mexico

27 August, 2007

First quarter – we’ve seen LeBron diving after loose balls. Mexico took a shot after the whistle, and even though it didn’t matter, LeBron came over and swatted the shot away. Sending a message, no free points vs the USA. We’ve seen a lot of nice assists, lots of beautiful passes, lobs across the court for easy dunks. Can we call it a basketball clinic yet?
Score USA ahead 45 – 23…almost double the score.

Second quarter – we just saw LeBron run back to swat away what could have been an easy layup. The USA is up by 22 points, and they are still playing intense like it is a close game. Hey, now that I think about it, USA hasn’t expanded the lead.
65 – 51 USA still ahead at the half…but, uh…they calmed down a bit. They were out-scored in the quarter.

Third quarter – Mexico is sticking around. Hey, I thought I typed something about sending a message. Alright, get Jason Kidd back on the floor. I know, we don’t need him, we will win this, and there is no sense in taxing any of the players. Well…they brought out Kidd but still the quarter ends
101 – 78 still ahead, but only by 23 points L

it ends with USA win 127 vs 100
Looks like USA couldn’t keep up the intensity. So much for it being a basketball clinic.

I like the Nike add campaign, “together you are a beautiful monster”. That reminds me, some have compared jazz & basketball. Five guys, general plan, but improvisation needed. I was gonna compare the position vs instruments…but that got silly, quickly.

Sunday Morning

26 August, 2007

It was a great morning. I had conversations with my babies.

Miss Squeaky will mouth a word, and try to have the perfect shape of her mouth, and I have to remind her that she needs to make noise for the word to be heard. She smiles and lets out a squeak.

Mr. Grunty, he just coos and ahhs away. And when he’s talkative, he’ll talk to anything or anyone.

We had a bit of a shock, Miss S, was practicing sticking out her tongue. And Oliver was offended by that, or thought she was initiating playtime. He tapped her on the cheek. Miss S thought it was funny.

We went for a walk today. It was fun.

FIBA USA vs Brazil

26 August, 2007

Hey Sports fans, who would have thought the road to redemption would lead through Las Vegas? USA basketball is back, and they are crushing the competition. We can only hope this will keep up through next summer in the Olympics.

Brazil was supposed to be competition. And well it looked a bit close in the first quarter. And it seemed to me a few too many isolation, one-on-one plays in the first half. But, wow, the second half started nicely. Team play, team USA wanted to make a statement that this was their game and Brazil was not allowed to think about victory.

Speaking of redemption…Kobe is playing amazing. He’s passing the ball, he’s ferocious on defense (rumor has he has asked to guard the best opposing player), and he’s going after loose balls like a college kid in the Final Four. It almost makes me forget he’s a Laker. Maybe the rest of America will forget about his other sins.

FIBA, USA v Canada

25 August, 2007

It is true, I do like Kobe a lot more if he’s not playing for the Lakers. Lakers and the Yankees, I look forward to rooting against both of those teams. Why? Maybe because they always at the top (well, not anymore for the Lakers), because they seem to buy their way to talent (either with cash or just the promise of Hollywood – remember, Kobe, before he even played a game, demanded to be traded to Lakers), or because they have such obnoxious famous fans who seem more interested in being seen at something popular than actually rooting for their team. Yes, I am sure that Jack Nicholson is a true Lakers fan, but he really needs to sit down and shut up. The same could be said about Spike Lee and the NY Knicks, BUT when was the last time they were champs? And the taunting between Spike & Reggie Miller make for great entertainment.

So, I don’t like the Lakers.
And I can see why the rest of the world doesn’t like America. We go huge money, we manage to acquire a lot of the rest of the world’s talent, and we are obnoxious fans.

It would be nice if instead of chit-chat, Bill Walton could give us some of his basketball wisdom. Seriously, I am trying to teach my daughter the nuances of the game. Well, besides “feed the big man” which he says incessantly while commenting on Shaq’s games. We got to listen to him sing “Oh Canada”, we heard all about Canadian trivia. Mr. Walton brought up artic circle mining rights, and how the USA has not signed some treaty regarding the mining rights, evidently the ratification will be before Congress soon. Anyone know about this? Bill’s best quote, talking about professional NBA players that didn’t want to play for their national team, “Nationalism is one thing, but capitalism is another.”

So, what do you do, when you are up by 52 points with 4 minutes left in the game? Looks like they put in the second string, and made sure to play tough defense, but not necessarily push the offence.

science -v- religion??? pt 1

24 August, 2007

I think I will attempt to start up another on going series. Maybe one of these days I can go back to Short Story Sunday & Movie Monday.

Are science and religion at odds with each other?
Does one have to be a atheist to be a good scientist?
I will say “no”.

From Alan I. Leshner, CEO American Assoc for the Advancement of Science
in Science, 8 July 2005
“…it is important for scientists to acknowledge that not all questions can be answered by science. Scientific insights are limited to the natural world. For reasons of their own, some scientists argue with some passion that there could not have been an intelligent designer behind the process of evolution. In fact, we cannot answer that question scientifically, because it is a matter of belief that is outside our realm.”

Yes, science can not answer all questions. It can’t answer which is the best sonnet by Shakespeare, which of Beethoven’s symphonies is the best, or how to pick the best presidential candidate.

I am also sometimes confused on why people try to prove or disprove the existence of God with science.
Science = natural
God = supernatural

24 August, 2007

Part one of a hopefully ongoing series.

Some may say that religion has made very little positive contribution to society.

The great logician/mathematician/Nobel Laureate Bertrand Russell claims religion’s contributions were to fix the calendar, and predict eclipses, “These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others.”

I suspect that Richard Dawkins feels something similar.

Well, keeping in mind that I’m not a historian, I will have to respectfully disagree.

In this week’s Nature, Yasmin Khan, of the Science Museum in London, does a review of:

Medieval Islamic Medicineby Peter Pormann and & Emilie Savage-Smith.

Sounds like a very interesting book, someone remind me to read it someday.

Khan writes: “We are given a sense of how Muslims perceived the body as well as the soul as precious, because it was derived from and accountable to God as the creator. The body therefore required constant and dutiful care, and had the right to be maintained and preserved and protected from abuse, meaning that the individual was bound to seek a cure for any ills. These sensibilities were influenced by precursor civilizations — particularly ancient Greece — and reinforced by the Islamic faith.”

The medieval period when the Islamic world drove medical development and discovery is an indication that Islam itself is not inimical to progress.”

So, it appears that Islam has made positive contributions to society. Or maybe the review completely misinterpreted the book, or maybe the authors of the book are completely wrong.

the authors:

Emilie Savage-Smith, Professor of the History of Islamic Science, University of Oxford

Peter E Pormann, Assistant Professor, University of Warwick…oooh…he has a Medieval Islamic Medicine pod cast. Maybe I should try out the pod cast thing, now that it is blasé.

HP book 7 chp 35 to the end

22 August, 2007

Well…surprisingly I stayed away on the bus ride home to finish out the book.

Also…spoilers follow.