The NBA season just started and already things are starting to get awkward, Part II

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Two years ago, at the conclusion of the NBA lockout and the commencement of the 2011-12 season, I wrote a post titled The NBA season just started and already things are starting to get awkward. Feel free to check it out — the whole thing is 58 words-and-a-picture long — but the main thrust was that the NBA was insensitive for choosing to sponsor a Tweet of any sort in the Seattle area.

Nearly two years later, and under similar circumstances, you might have thought the marketers of the world learned their lesson — but apparently, they don’t all read my blog. Which is how we ended up with this:

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Colin Kaepernick’s trip to London seems to have changed him

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Let’s do young and talented NFC West QBs back-to-back!

This past Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers faced off against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. The Niners won, as expected, and the details of the game are likely to soon be forgotten.

But the trip to England seems to have left an indelible mark on San Fran’s young QB, Colin Kaepernick. If you’re wondering, In what sense?, you’re on the right track. By way of half an answer, here’s what Firefox spellcheck tries to do with his name:

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My two favorite highlights from Russell Wilson’s post-game interview

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I don’t want to dwell on last night’s “game”, so let’s take this opportunity to briefly revisit the Seattle Seahawks’ escapades on Thursday Night Football against the Arizona Cardinals, a game they won relatively easily, 34-22.

More specifically, let’s take a look at what happened immediately after the game came to an end, namely, when (his name is) Russell (last name) Wilson trotted out for a short interview with the NFL Network crew:

The whole thing’s adorable if you’re into that sort of thing (aaaaand you’re pregnant at the 9:02 mark), but I just want to highlight two things you might not have noticed without paying close attention to the full twelve minute clip.

One: Thursday Night Football has rightly attracted a lot of derision as a desperate attempt to raise revenue while increasing the risk of player injury. And it’s garnered a reputation for bad football, to boot. The various criticisms comes down to one fundamental fact: after playing Sunday, the NFL is asking players to return to the field too damn early.

How early?

So early that the NFL Network is still running predictions for how the game is going to turn out after it’s already all over:

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One thousand and one… Indian nights?

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The world is a big place, and archaeologists don’t typically run around shoveling dirt just anywhere; usually, they have a pretty good idea of what they hope to find.

The dig that began late last week beneath the Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh fort in Uttar Pradesh, India, is no exception. The archaeologists knew exactly what it is they were looking for: gold. 1,100 tons of it, to be precise. And what makes them think there’s a chance in Naraka they’ll find it?  A guru dreamt it was located there, of course. Per Newser:

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I’d rather be checking for a Colbert lump

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Admittedly, my previous post — Stephen Colbert hides a secret message in the closed captioning — also concerned Mr. Colbert, but that was written two whole weeks ago! Paper Treiger is therefore in no danger of turning into a Colbert(-related information) dump; I prefer to look at it as long overdue for a Colbert bump.

Moreover, I have good reason for addressing a single topic in consecutive installments — both posts highlight a Colbert (transcription service) flump* in connection with a body part located anterior to the Colbert rump. Take a look at the latest example after the Colbert jump:

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Stephen Colbert hides a secret message in the closed captioning

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As I have previously noted, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert’s closed captioning services are often good for mild amusement at their own expense, like that time they transcribed “rectal scrape” as “rectal crepe”. [Editor's note: I suppose you can't really win that situation.]

I don’t normally share every delightful example of closed caption-anigans – I come across them every day, and I blog these days at something less than that level of frequency – but there was something different about last night’s episode of The Colbert Report: whoever put the captions together used them to make a joke. Sort of like what happens on The Word, only for deaf people.

The “mistake” popped up in Colbert’s segment about a candidate to succeed Michele Bachmann in the House, Tom Emmer. At first glance, the error seems rather innocent – a slip of grammar, specifically, a missing hyphen – but when you take a look at how the sentence as a whole was transcribed (that is, with two other, properly-placed hyphens), you get the sense that someone over at Comedy Central went out of his way to communicate what he thinks about state’s rights (or at least the candidates who espouse them):

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Elisheva Goldberg, notorious anti-Israel activist, supports Occupy Zion

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You may find it surprising to learn that Elisheva Goldberg recently expressed sympathy for a movement known as “Occupy Zion.” Indeed, she said, and I quote — avast, some original reportage — “That’s an occupation I can get behind.”

If you don’t find that surprising, you don’t know Elisheva Goldberg, notorious anti-Israel activist. She herself, the blog she helped found, and the organization for which she now works are hardly known for reinforcing positive associations with the words “Occupy” and “Zion.”

So what was it about putting those words together that prompted Goldberg to express support?

Perhaps, you might suppose, the “Occupy” is not meant to be taken literally, but is instead meant as a reference to the amalgamation of Occupy Wall Street and de-Occupy West Bank that some tried to inject into the political protests of late 2011. “Occupy Zion”, then, is more an expression of protest than any sort of command.

Or maybe it occurred to you that the “Zion” in question is not a physical location, but is instead incorporeal — take Zion Square, a website currently owned by a merry band of cybersquatters who hastily put together a collection of bits in an attempt to spoil the blog — also Zion Square — Elisheva had worked months to create.

But no, I assure you, the “Occupy Zion” in question is meant to be taken quite literally — having to do with the actual possession of a physical piece of property known as Zion.

Via The Salt Lake Tribune, allow me to introduce you to the real Occupy Zion:

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Allegations of anti-Semitism at Hobby Lobby way overblown

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Oklahoma-based chain-store Hobby Lobby has come under considerable criticism due to the fact that, according to the NY Daily News, “its stores do not carry Jewish holiday decorations”:

The controversy erupted Friday after blogger Ken Berwitz posted an article on political website Hopelessly Partisan after receiving word that Hobby Lobby stores in Marlboro Township, N.J., refused to sell menorahs and other Jewish holiday items.

“One of our friends entered the store, asked where the Chanukah goods were, was told there wouldn’t be any, and asked why,” Berwitz wrote. “According to her, the answer was: ‘We don’t cater to you people.’”

OK, so the “you people” thing might have been a step or two too far, but the mere fact that Hobby Lobby stores fail to sell menorahs is by no means prima facie evidence of what the Daily News insists is “anti-Semitism”. I would simply argue that those up in arms (branches?) have failed to consider the broad definition of what constitutes a “Jewish holiday decoration” in America today:

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Meet the boy who had a fetus removed from his belly

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A story emerged today of a two year-old boy from China who underwent a surgical procedure to remove a twin growing inside of him:

When Xiao Feng was admitted to a hospital in China with an extremely swollen stomach, doctors made a pretty disturbing find: The 2-year-old boy was carrying his own twin inside his stomach.

In other words, his mother’s womb originally housed two fetuses, but one absorbed the other and emerged as an only child. Lucky for him, or his parents would have had to choose which One Child to keep.

As it turns out, this is a fairly common occurrence. I don’t say this on the basis of the scientific figures cited by Newser, but because just such an event has even been described on national television:

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Haaretz calls the Jewish Apocalypse

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Hard to believe it was all just ten months ago, but last December the whole world just couldn’t stop talking about the Mayan apocalypse — the conveniently*-dated 12/21/12, or according to some tellings, the even-more conveniently-dated 12/12/12.

*I promise, the ancient Maya didn’t know from Jesus.

That one didn’t work out, so I’m still around to tell you all about the next doomsday that should be on your radar: the Jewish apocalypse. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a specific date attached to it — convenient or otherwise — so the best I can do is give you a range: it’ll happen sometime between now and the year 2089.

Where the Mayan prediction was derived from that culture’s calendar, I have divined my prediction from an article published almost-exactly one month ago in Haaretz, titled Happy Ridiculously Early Jewish New Year! See you on Thanksgivukkah! The article detailed just how early in the solar calendar the Jewish calendar began 5774:

This year, we’re doing it all really, really early. Crazy early. Historically, once-in-a-lifetime early.

Yes, but how early?

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