Saturday, January 17, 2009

Obama's Weekly Web Address

Read Liberally

This is Bush's legacy -- a stunning series of alibis.

The miracle on the Hudson was brought to you by America's unions.

I'm heading out of town, to a family funeral, and then to the Inauguration, for which I may even have scored a ticket! Regular posting will resume next Friday.

Three More Days

The David Letterman Show's compilation of Great Moments in Presidential Speeches:

Just three more days.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Guess Who's Going to the Inauguration?

No tickets for me, but that choir from Atlanta that sang You Can Vote However You Like? They're going. They heard live on Good Morning America this morning. Chaos ensues:

Six Days And Counting

Punk'd: The Art Episode

Times: In reality, [David Cerny] designed all the elements of his Entropa installation himself. Cerny did not create an entry for Britain because he said the country did not want to be part of Europe. Romania is depicted as a giant Dracula theme park in tribute to the Transylvania region of the East European country

Controversial artist David Cerny punk'd the European Union by creating a giant art installation (supposedly created by artists from each country) that mocks the member countries by portraying them as gross stereotypes. How to choose the best mocking? I have to go with leaving an empty space for Great Britain, as they never really wanted to be in the EU at all! But I imagine Bulgaria, portrayed as a giant lavatory, was the most upset. And that Romanian Dracula is hilarious.

Times (uk): Czech sculptor David Cerny admits £350,000 EU art hoax

It seemed like such a good idea at the time: what better way to celebrate the Czech Republic’s presidency of the European Union than a giant art installation, with input from every member state, showing what we really feel about our place in Europe?

True, some of the 27 entries were a little unusual. The eight-tonne work, entitled Entropa, depicted Romania as a Dracula theme park and the Netherlands as completely covered by water, with only the tops of minarets sticking out. The French component had the word “Strike!” emblazoned on it. And was that a hint of a swastika in the German entry, a bird’s-eye view of a series of autobahns?

It was several days, however, before anyone complained and the EU began to smell a rat. Only when Bulgaria – depicted as a Turkish lavatory – objected did the Czechs start to question the organiser of the project, the artist David Cerny. Yesterday Mr Cerny admitted that the whole thing had been a hoax, and that he had created all the sculptures himself and invented the names of the “up-and-coming” artists from the 27 member states.

There was also the question of what became of £350,000 in funding meant for the artists.


The discovery explains why journalists were unable to find British artist “Khalid Asadi” to ask him why he chose not to contribute a sculpture – an omission explained in Mr Cerny’s brochure as a statement that Britain did not want to be part of Europe.

Photo Gallery: Entropa

Monday, January 12, 2009

Finally - Jim Rice Elected to Hall of Fame

Boston Herald: AP file
In this March 1989 file photo, Red Sox designated hitter Jim Rice gets set to take batting practice at training camp in Winter Haven, Fla.

'Bout time. Jim Ed's numbers look better and better as the steroid freaks shrink back to the size of their testicles. He got 76.4% of the vote; 75% is required.

Rice's stats, from the Jim Rice for the Baseball Hall of Fame website:

JIM RICE Highlights:
One of league's dominating hitters for 12 years, from 1975-1986
Averaged .304, 29 HR, 106 RBIs during this period
4 - 200 hit seasons, 11 - 20 HR seasons, 8 - 100 RBI seasons
only player to get 200 hits / 35 HRs 3 consecutive years
6 times Top 5 in MVP voting
8 time all-star
8 time Top 10 slugging, including 5 times in Top 2
4 times league leader in Total Bases
Only AL player since 1937 to have 400+ bases in one season
Outstanding defensive left fielder
Career Totals: 2,452 Hits, 382 HR, 1,451 RBI, 79 Triples

Remember: These achievements came in the pre-steroids era when hitting 30 HR a year was a big deal.
Oh, and Rickey Henderson was elected to the Hall of Fame today, too, but Jim Rice is the big story. Rice Elected to Hall photo gallery: Rice Through the Years

Bob Ryan, Boston Globe: Nudging Rice over the borderline

Boston Herald: Sox’ Rice gets call to Hall, finally

Boston Herald Photo Gallery: Elected