Here are some links

26Feb09

I’m currently hard at work on an ambitious project of trying to get the number of unread feeds in my RSS reader down to zero. Here are some links for you to look at in the meantime.

  • Though I’ve lately adopted my girlfriend’s habit of simply picking up the phone and dropping it back in its cradle, I’ve often taken telemarketing calls as an opportunity to mess with the caller. The last time, the caller said she was calling for Ipsos Reid with a research survey, and I just said that there was no Ipsos Reid living at my address and hung up. But nothing I’ve done compares to this insane rant from an old woman who, for nearly nine minutes,  calls the telemarketer, among other things, a son of a bitch, a terrorist, a criminal, a rapist, a murderer, a hater, a life-destroyer, and worse than anything we’re fighting in Iraq.
  • Moneyball author Michael Lewis profiles Houston Rockets forward Shane Battier, who may be the smartest man in the game of basketball. The article, “The No-Stats All-Star”, is a fascinating read if you’ve just finished the latest Malcolm Gladwell book and are looking around for something else to read. What I thought Lewis fails to mention, however, is that Shane Battier’s cerebral approach to his game basically makes him the basketball version of Raymond Berry, who, despite having poor eyesight, no speed to speak of, and one leg shorter than the other, not only caught a record 12 receptions in the Greatest Game Ever Played but also was named to the NFL Hall of Fame, all because of his incredible preparation and attention to detail. Berry spent hours and hours studying game film and taking meticulous notes about his opponents’ tendencies, not to mention examining the field before each game to mark where mud and puddles were and decide which pair of cleats to wear accordingly. Berry’s game was all about making up for his lack of speed by being in exactly the right place at the right time, much like Battier does. Berry also used his knowledge of the game to go on to a fine coaching career, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Battier did the same.
  • Roger Ebert remembers Gene Siskel, ten years after his death. It’s a magnificent tribute, of course, but it’s worth it just for the anecdote about Joe Flaherty mentioned way down in the comments. (Also read Ebert’s incisive post on snarking as cultural vandalism. Without namechecking him specifically, this passage is a dead-on explanation of the loathesome Perez Hilton’s rise to a festering notoriety: “You can win listeners by writing something worth reading, but you can win them more easily by snarking. When you snark the famous, you not only associate yourself with them, but propose yourself as their superior. This is so essential to the process that I rarely observe the snarking of an unknown person.”)
  • I’ve been meaning to mention Down Goes Brown, which is two of my favorite kinds of blog — a hockey blog and a consistently funny blog. DGB also turns out to be the writer behind the parodic Twitter feed purportedly written by Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke. The Globe and Mail eventually caught wind of this, and, as DGB notes, Burke himself eventually had to take time out of his busy day to deny having anything to do with it. Puck Daddy covers the controversy here.
  • And lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Suzie was on TV the other day, in a Canada AM story about speed dating at the gym. You can watch the clip here. I also liked her video application for the Best Job in the World, particularly the part where, longing to feel the kiss of a saline sea breeze, she dejectedly flings a pinch of salt water in her own face.


3 Responses to “Here are some links”

  1. Thanks for the links!

  2. 2 Suzie hearts Toronto

    Sadly, I didn’t make the semi-finals for the Best Job in the World. You’d think I’d have gotten the job automatically for my commitment. I WADED INTO LAKE ONTARIO IN FEBRUARY. COME ON!

  3. 3 Peter Lynn

    My friend Sofi has a friend who did make the semi-finals, just to rub it in.


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