Saturday, April 28, 2012

Video of the week

Filmmaker Frans Hofmeester spent the past twelve years hovering over his daughter Lotte with a video camera — as fathers are wont to do.

Recently, he took snippets of footage from all 600+ weeks he had on film, and pieced together this mesmerizing time-lapse: Birth to 12 years in 2 minutes, 45 seconds.

Lotte Time Lapse: Birth to 12 years in 2 min. 45. from Frans Hofmeester on Vimeo.

Woman gets early release from prison, gets returned a few hours later

A Florida woman who was nearly released from prison was back behind bars within hours of her release for allegedly racking up a $45 restaurant bill without the funds to pay for it.

42-year-old Jennifer McNeill, of Spring Hill, wined and dined at Carrabba’s restaurant then tried to pay her bill with a credit card that was declined.

McNeill handed over several other cards there were also declined before the restaurant’s manager gave her an hour to find someone else to come up with the money.

McNeill reportedly became belligerent after being unable to find someone who could cough up the cash and was taken into custody.

She was denied bond as a result of having returned to jail so soon after her release on a trespassing charge.

Is that you Elvis week

Pseudo's second round Stanley Cup playoff predictions

Well I was 5-3 during the first round which I think is not too bad considering the number of upsets. Some, like the Washington win, were totally unexpected.

It was quite a wild and entertaining first round. It's hard to imagine the subsequent rounds will be able to maintain the intensity and excitement. The playoffs began with a bang, literally. A rash of very physical play led to a number of concussions and suspensions. The media jumped up and down and declared that the league was out of control based on less than 20 games. They seemed to have quieted down after Raffi Torres was slapped with a 25-game suspension after a nasty and illegal hit on Marion Hossa.

The games in the first round were very close. With 48 games played in the first round, 33 were won by just one goal while another 3 would also have been one-goal games until the winning team scored an empty net goal. In addition, 16 games of those 33 one-goal games went into overtime. Scoring has been down and games have begun to resemble those played during the dead puck era. As a result teams with strong goaltending advanced and created a high proportion of upsets. Many of the teams that advanced relied on 3rd and 4th liners not star players. The exception would have to be the Flyers - Penguins series where the goalies were AWOL and scorers dominated. None more so than Claude Giroux who carried his team to victory. Giroux was outstanding in the regular season but he took it to another level in the playoffs so far.

The NHL head office must have been relieved to see the Rangers survive. One after another, the big market teams were snuffed out - Detroit, Boston, San Jose, Pittsburgh, Chicago. They must be thrilled to have Nashville and Phoenix hanging around.

NY Rangers (1) vs. Washington (7)

The Rangers look vulnerable and barely got by Ottawa. They are alive only because of Henrik Lundqvist. Meanwhile Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik have been a bust. It's hard to tell whether Washington beat Boston or whether the Bruins beat themselves. They certainly didn't look like Stanley Cup champions. Braden Holtby looked like the second coming of Ken Dryden. The rookie goalie was brilliant. He has already outduelled the reigning Vezina and Conn Smythe trophy holder in Tim Thomas, so he’s not going to be intimidated by Lundqvist. Unlike past Capital teams, Dale Hunter has his team playing sound defensive hockey and has cut back on the ice time of his star players.

Capitals in 7.

Philadelphia (5) vs. New Jersey (6)

Claude Giroux carried the Flyers on his back past the Penguins despite the mediocre play of Ilya Bryzgalov. But it wasn't just Giroux and his linemates Danny Briere and Jaromir Jagr. Flyers rookies Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Matt Read have been a big surprise. Martin Bradeur was pulled in a game against Florida but also won some big games for the Devils. With Ilya Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac and Zach Parise there is a lot of firepower to go with the the stingy goaltending. Goaltending may decide this series.

Devils in 6.

St. Louis (2) vs. Los Angeles (8)

The Blues are tough to score on and the Kings with Jonathan Quick in net aren't much better. In fact don't expect much scoring in any of the West Conference games. Mike Richards showed his value as a playoff performer after a disappointing regular season. The question is whether the Kings will be ableBl to score enough to win against the must disciplined team in the NHL. The blues look like the Devils of the 1990s.

Blues in 6.

Phoenix (3) vs. Nashville (4)

No one expected either of these teams to be around in the second round with first round match ups against the Wings and Blackhawks. But great goaltending and clutch scoring carried both teams to the second round. I love what the Predators have done with Pekka Rinne, two stud defensemen and great late season additions — Andrei Kostitsyn, Paul Gaustad and Alexander Radulov. Meanwhile Coyote Mikkel Boedker is one of those bottom six forwards that have played a key role for his team.

Predators in 6.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Couple at Rangers game grabs foul ball, ignores crying kid

Kids today have this sense of entitlement. But the reaction of the couple is hilarious.

45 years of Maple Leafs frustration: 1972-73

After Harold Ballard let some of his most valuable assets jump to the WHA (including future Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent), the remaining Leafs were undermanned and demoralized. To be more accurate many of the players gladly jumped to the new league to get away from the Gardens zoo. All the previous shrewd deals by Jim Gregory went for naught as the 1972-73 Leafs turned out to be one of the weakest Leaf teams ever. At least up to that point in Leaf history since there were many more bad years to come. Toronto finished with the fourth-worst record in the entire NHL, even finishing behind the expansion team in Atlanta. With Parent gone and Plante traded to Boston, the Leaf goalie tandem was Gord McRae and Ron Low.

The Leafs needed a miracle now to start its climb back to respectability. But with the intelligent maneuvering by Jim Gregory along with some creative thinking, the Leafs turned around sooner than could have been expected. McLellan resigned as coach in 1973 to become the Leafs' assistant general manager. He had missed a portion of the previous season because of an ulcer. Who could blame him working for Ballard.

That summer, with the Leafs first-round choice in the draft (4th overall), the Leafs selected westerner Lanny McDonald who would eventually become a popular star in Toronto. With the 10th overall pick that Gregory had obtained in a trade with Philadelphia, the Leafs chose tough junior defenceman Bob Neely from Peterborough. And finally in the first round, with the 15th overall pick obtained from Boston in a trade for Jacques Plante, the Leafs were fortunate enough to draft defenceman Ian Turnbull from the Ottawa 67’s.

But that wasn’t all. Because of the 1972 Summit series, NHL executives were now aware that there was a potential pool of players on the other side of the Atlantic. The Leaf scouts, in a rather pioneering move, went to Sweden and brought back with them a superbly skilled 26-year-old winger named Inge Hammarstrom as well as a shy by supremely talented 21-year old defenceman named Borje Salming.

Why are these Bruins fans crying?

a) Tim Thomas considers them to be pinko commies for voting Obama in 2008.

b) Wednesday's game brought back bad memories of 1979 when Don Cherry's Bruins team was called for too many men.

c) They will be stuck watching the Red Sox self-destruct again this season.

d) They are white trash from Southie/Dorchester that can't deal with Joel Ward being black.

e) They feel bad for Maple Leaf fans because it's been 45 years since the Leafs last won the Cup.

Women can't handle sports week

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Boyfriend of the Year candidate

How are the Blue Jays going to work Travis Snider into their lineup?

After failing to make the Jays' roster in spring training, Travis Snider was reassigned to Triple-A Las Vegas to continue working on his swing.

So far, the decision is paying off. Through 18 games, Snider is leading the team in several hitting categories including batting average, doubles, home runs and RBIs.

Snider is batting .405 and has hit safely in every game in which he’s played. He has four home runs, 23 RBIs and 10 doubles in showing the ability that made him a 2006 first-round draft pick. You could say that he has nothing to prove at the minor league level but how does he crack the Blue Jays' lineup?

Eric Thames has been hitting just fine and although Snider is a better fielder Thames hasn't done anything to lose his job. As well, both are lefties so platooning them makes no sense. That's why Ben Francisco is the spare outfielder, he bats right.

You could bring up Snider to DH when you need an extra left hander in the lineup in place of Edwin Encarnacion who bats right. More likely Sinder will need to wait until an injury opens up a roster spot or a trade to a team interested in giving him an opportunity to play regular.

I like Snider but there is no spot for him right now.

Youth baseball coach arrested after arguing with ump, pulling gun on parent

A coach's argument with an umpire on Friday escalated into the coach nearly hitting another man with his pickup truck and brandishing a handgun, according to charges filed in the case.

A coach from the Valley View Babe Ruth League team, John Zahradnik, 39, 414 Jenna Kay Drive, Archbald, began arguing with an umpire over a call he disagreed with during the game at the Colliery Baseball Field off of Colliery Avenue, according to a criminal complaint.

An "irate" Mr. Zahradnik then turned to parents in the crowd at the game and started yelling at them until a woman approached him and the two argued, according to the complaint.

At that point, Jose Irizarry, a witness at the scene, got between Mr. Zahradnik and the unidentified woman, according to the complaint.

After an argument, Mr. Irizarry picked up his baseball equipment and headed to his vehicle.

Mr. Zahradnik then allegedly got into his pickup truck and nearly hit Mr. Irizarry before exiting the vehicle, throwing Mr. Irizarry to the ground and punching him, according to the complaint.

While Mr. Irizarry ran to his own vehicle, Mr. Zahradnik shouted that he had a gun and reached into his truck and pulled out a handgun, according to the complaint.

Another man on the scene, Edwin Acevedo, shouted that Mr. Zahradnik had a gun as there were still several children and parents in the area and pushed him back into his truck at which point Mr. Zahradnik drove off, according to the complaint.

Like I always say adults just love to ruin kids sports. Poor kid.


Frank Thomas shooting a hockey puck is the biggest disappointment of the year

Naked biker ticketed for no helmet

Naked /Europics

A Romanian policeman pulled over a woman who was riding pillion naked on a motorcycle - and booked her for failing to wear a helmet.

The woman was not wearing a stitch but the traffic officer said it was the only offence that he had authorisation to book her for.

Motorists got out their smartphones to take photographs of the eye-catching biker who was pulled over in Constanta.

And, after accepting her punishment, she donned a helmet before continuing her journey - still naked.

"The officer was a traffic cop and the only traffic offence she'd committed was in not wearing a helmet," one witness told Romanian media.

"So he gave her a warning and a ticket and told her and her companion to ride on," they added.


Husband accidentally shot himself and wife during gun safety class

A firearms safety course went awry in Bedford County Saturday when a man shot himself in the hand with a .45-caliber handgun and the bullet passed through his hand and struck his wife, seated nearby, in the leg.

Shot were Michael L. Deel, 54, and Michelle K. Deel, 49, both of Roanoke. Emergency dispatchers in Bedford County received a call at 12:25 p.m. reporting a shooting on Chapel Woods Drive. The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office said county rescue units and deputies responded.

The Deels were attending a firearms safety class being taught and hosted by Thomas F. Starke, 57, according to the department.

The sheriff’s office said Starke told deputies that he had left the room, heard a shot and returned to find the Deels had been shot.

The couple was taken by ambulance to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.


Women can't handle sports week

Hump day hottie

Sofia Vergras

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Woman kills man by squeezing his testicles over parking dispute

Woman kills man by squeezing his testicles over parking dispute

April 19, a female scooter rider killed a man by squeezing his testicles for the packing dispute, in Haikou City, Hainan Province.

It was learned, the woman, 41 years old, rode on her scooter to an elementary school in Meilan District, Haikou City to pick up her child that day. When she wanted to pack her scooter in front of a shop, she was rejected by the shop owner, a 42-year-old male.

The two parties soon fell into a quarrel, and then the physical confrontation. The furious woman called up her husband and brother to come help her, which resulted in a more violent fist fight.

During the fight, the middle aged woman manged to grab the man’s testicles, and squeezed them till he finally collapsed on the ground.

The man was immediately rushed to hospital, but unfortunately died there.


It's going to be a long season for Royals fans

The Royals just went through a horrendous homestand but this fan has come prepared. Looks like he's going to be able to get a lot of reading done this season.

Media overblows violence in hockey

Let me make this clear - I'm not a hockey dinosaur. I don't agree the game needs fighting and the crackdown on head shots was warranted. But to suggest that the NHL is spinning out of control is ludicrous.

That is exactly what the media has been saying the past few weeks. A recent Damien Cox article in the Toronto Star suggests violence is up and its anarchy out on the ice. He points to the number of suspensions as proof that the league can't control the violence. Cox isn't alone. He joined by his intellectual colleagues on this one. They claim that fans are turned off by the violence.

I'm just not sold.

First thing hockey is not nearly as violent as popular sports like the NFL or MMA. Today's hockey isn't nearly as violent as it was several decades ago. The number of fights are down considerably. Players who only fight are becoming extinct in the league. If you look back at the 1970s, every lineup was loaded with goons. The first video below is a typical brawl from that era. The second video is a game between the 1976 Flyers and the Russian Red Army. Just take a look at the number of head shots. The concept isn't new. Look at the hit on Eric Lindros by Scott Stevens in the third video. No penalty on that hit. How many games would he get today?

The early 1070s into the 1980s was brutal. With NHL expansion and the emergency of the WHL there was a shortage of skill players and so journeymen and goons filled in the void. That style of play prevailed until the Oilers won their string of Stanley Cup.

What is different is today is that knocking a guy senseless is not longer accepted. Mr. Cox that is why suspensions are up. Let's face it playoff hockey is always more physical, more violent and more intense than the regular season. It's always been that way. The media lowered the rhetoric have Raffi Torres was hit with a 25 game suspension. The real problem is that two-tiered disciplinary system. Stars receive a slap on the wrist while the longest suspensions are handed out to the "expendable" players. That's just not fair.

Playoff game between Leafs and Flyers

Flyers take on the Russian Red Army in 1976

Scott Stevens levels Eric Lindros

National Post reports Wildrose wins Alberta election

I opened up my free copy of the National Post this morning to read about the Wildrose victory in Alberta the evening before. Now I could have sworn before I had gone to bed the news was reporting another Conservative majority. As I read it more closely the author admitted that the paper had gone to print before the polls were closed so he was just assuming that the election result would be either a Wildrose majority or minority government. He was "assuming that the polls were not completely off," which they were. Leaving the paper with egg on its face.

Too bad because the rest of the column provided a very good analysis of the Conservative loss. I can just imagine the embarrassing emails and tweets that followed this column. Not since the Chicago Tribune reported on November 3, 1948 that Dewey had defeated Truman has a newspaper got it so wrong. What was learned back in 1948 and repeated today is that trying to get a jump on the news and your competitors is a risky thing.

Can't wait to read the Post tomorrow.

Man arrested after trying to sell marijuana to his former probation officer

A Florence, South Carolina, man was arrested late on Friday night after he tried to arrange a drug deal with his previous probation officer and then completed the sale to a Florence Police officer.

The suspect was apparently scrolling through his cellphone directory trying to sell some marijuana he had when one of the people he called agreed to the purchase, Maj. Carlos Raines, Florence Police Department, said.

The buyer, who was also the suspect's former probation officer, set up the buy for a shopping centre parking lot and then contacted Florence Police, who completed the transaction.

Raines said the department seized half a pound of marijuana with a street value of $1,200. Cedrick Barnes, 27, of 958 Fore Road, is charged with one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of cocaine.

Sign of the day

Dead dove

Women can't handle sports week

Monday, April 23, 2012

45 years of Maple Leafs frustration: 1971-72

The Maple Leafs barely beat out Detroit for 4th place and the final playoff spot that season. However, the Bruins easily eliminated the Leafs in 5 games in the first round of the playoffs. Paul Henderson had his best year in the NHL with 38 goals and he along with Ron Ellis were selected to represent the NHL against a team of Russian amateurs during the summer just prior to the start of the 1972-73 season.

After Ballard took control during the 1971–72 season, one of the first challenges he faced was the creation of the World Hockey Association (WHA) as a competitor to the NHL. At the time, NHL teams relied on the reserve clause to keep players from jumping to other teams in the league, but the clause couldn't prevent players from leaving the NHL to join a different league.

At the end of the 1971–72 season, the Leafs only had three players signed to contracts for the next season: Rick Kehoe and veterans Jacques Plante and Bobby Baun. But Ballard did not take the unproven WHA seriously as a competitor and so was outbid on the services of several players in the Leafs organization. The biggest loss was goaltender Bernie Parent, a superstar in the making, who was offered a WHA contract with financial terms far beyond what Ballard was prepared to match. Along with Parent, Rick Ley, Jim Harrison, Brad Selwood, and Guy Trottier all left the Leafs for the WHA before the 1972–73 season, as did some minor league prospects in the Leafs' system as well as the team's minor league coach, Marcel Pronovost. Paul Henderson and Mike Pelyk followed a year later.

Shortly after taking control of the Leafs, Ballard stood trial on 49 counts of fraud, theft and tax evasion involving $205,000 . He was accused by the Crown attorney of using funds from Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd. to pay for renovations to his home and cottage, to rent limousines for his daughter's wedding in 1967, and to buy motorcycles for his sons (passing off the expense as hockey equipment for the Marlboros), as well as placing money belonging to the corporation into a private bank account that he controlled along with Stafford Smythe. Ballard pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Ballard was convicted in August 1972 on 47 of the charges. Two months later, he was sentenced to nine years in a federal penitentiary. After a brief stay at Kingston Penitentiary, he was moved to a minimum-security facility that was part of Millhaven Institution. He finished his sentence at a halfway house in Toronto, and was paroled in October 1973 after serving a third of his sentence. After his parole, he stated that prison life was like staying in a motel, with colour television, golf, and steak dinners. Ballard even claimed to possess photographs of himself drinking beer with corrections officers and wearing one of their uniforms.

Boss needs kidney, employee donates kidney, boss fires employee

An executive for a group of Long Island car dealerships is at the center of a strange lawsuit filed by a former employee who accuses her boss of firing her after she gave up a kidney to help save her life. According to a lawsuit filed with the New York State Human Rights Commission, Debbie Stevens, a 47-year-old divorced mother of two, donated a kidney so that her boss, Jackie Brucia, 61, could get a transplant. Not long after she was terminated.

Brucia did not take Stevens's kidney because it wasn't a perfect match, but she did persuade her employee to give up her kidney so that she could move up the waiting list and get her organ from someone else. "I felt I was giving her life back,’’ Stevens tells the tabloid. “My kidney ended up going to St. Louis, Missouri, and hers came from San Francisco." But it seems that San Francisco kidney belonged to some miserable, ungrateful monster, because after the transplant Brucia allegedly had Stevens transferred to a car dealership 50 miles from her home, in a high-crime area that everyone referred to as "Siberia."

And when she was still recovering from the surgery, Brucia would call her wondering why she wasn't at work. "I told her I didn’t feel good,’’ Stevens recalls. “She said, ‘You can’t come and go as you please. People are going to think you’re getting special treatment.’" Yeah, just because you save the boss's life doesn't mean you can call out sick whenever the missing organ gets you down. Stevens soon consulted attorneys, and then she was fired after her counsel sent a letter to the company.

Is it possible to ask for your kidney back?


CHCH in Hamilton airs gay porn

Pornography isn't usually on the schedule for morning network newscasts, but viewers of Hamilton's CHCH got an eyeful Friday over their morning coffee. by

Hardcore pornography isn't usually on the schedule for morning network newscasts, but viewers of CHCH in Hamilton, Ont., got an eyeful over their morning coffee on Friday.

The station aired pornography for about a minute during Morning Live First Edition at 9:30 a.m., but news director Mike Katrycz stressed the mix-up wasn't the station's fault.

"It was beyond the control of our station," he said. "As soon as I saw it I got on the phone. I knew something was desperately wrong."

The issue turned out to be between the station and the viewers. CHCH was broadcasting news, but the all the cable audience saw was smut.

Someone at one of the local cable companies had inadvertently switched the CHCH feed over to a more explicit channel, which is what Katrycz saw in his office.

The splicing error was fixed, but not until after the damage had been done. Subscribers to Cogeco and Shaw cable broadcasts were exposed to the pornographic clip, but viewers watching the over-the-air broadcast weren't affected.


Honey does this hunting outfit make me look fat?

Wild Hogs of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

A Brandon woman was shot in both legs Saturday night by her boyfriend in what Flagler County Sheriff's officials say was a hog-hunting accident.

Deputies said that Steven Egan, 52, mistook his girlfriend, 52-year-old Lisa Simmons, for a wild hog while the two were hunting from a tent at the Cowart Hunt Camp on County Road 305 in west Flagler County.

While inside the tent, Egan told deputies he thought he had shot a hog and went outside to track it, not realizing Simmons had later left the tent, too. Hearing a noise in the woods, Egan shot at it, thinking it was the same hog. Instead he sent a .30 caliber rifle shot through both of Simmons' upper legs. Egan "said he was unaware that Simmons had left the tent and was in the woods," a sheriff's office press statement said.

How many times have we heard that line does this make me look fat? You so want to be honest but don't dare. Well this guy without realizing spoke for the millions of guys out there who wanted to speak the truth. He thought his girlfriend was a pig and shot her. Thank you Steve.


Shirley Temple turns 84 today

Is Roy Halladay coming down to Earth?

For a decade now Roy Halladay was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball. He didn't get the recognition he deserved until he left the Blue Jays to join the Phillies. There has been a lot of angst among Jays fans watching Halladay succeed while Toronto waits for the trio of Kyle Drabek, Travis d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose (who came here through the Halladay trade) to develop. But Halladay through the early part of this season hasn't been quite as dominate and the Phillies' anemic offense has provided little run support.

On Saturday, for the first time in his career, Halladay issued 3 consecutive walks. Since the 2000 season Halladay has issued a league-low 404 unintentional walks among pitchers who logged at least 2,000 innings. Now I may be over exaggerating here. Halladay has a 3-1 record with an minuscule 1.50 ERA. He leads the NL with 30 innings pitched already. Maybe the 3 consecutive walks is aberration that was bound to happen. But he is turning 35 so he is going to be slowing down sooner rather than later.

Tim Thomas stick save on Marcus Johansson is the type of thing that can turn a series around

Gaza zoo contains stuffed animal

Khan Younis zoo in Gaza is using stuffed animals in its enclosures to help cut the costs.

The animals that die at the zoo are stuffed and embalmed and put back on display.

The owner of the zoo, Mohammed Awaida, said they are doing this because there are not enough live animals left in Gaza following the war with Israel three years ago.

I think they're on to something here. This could revolutionize zoos around the world. If zoos were to use stuffed animals it would satisfy demands from PETA and environmentalists who oppose taking animals out of the wild. It would reduce operating costs because the animals wouldn't need to be fed or cared for. Zoo visitors would be able to walk among the animals and pet them without fear of becoming a mid afternoon snack.


Women can't handle sports week