Monthly Archives: July 2010

Patrick Ewing: Head Coach

HOWARD MEGDAL: For me, a lifelong Patrick Ewing fan, seeing him become a head coach is about unfinished business. I want Patrick Ewing to win an NBA championship. But hearing that Ewing wants to be a head coach himself-well, who would be a better candidate?

JASON CLINKSCALES: The idea of Patrick Ewing as a future head coach may not be strange to those far removed from his heyday with the New York Knicks. However, but for those who followed his Hall of Fame career up close, it’ll take some eye-rubbing. Continue reading

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Is Privacy Dead?

AKIE BERMISS: Privacy is not dead! Not by any means — to say so is to cry fire in a crowded theater. You see, the trouble is privacy COULD be dead at any moment. It takes only a few ideal conditions to be met and few of the wrong kinds of people to be at the helm when they do and suddenly: there’s no such thing as privacy. These days its not that privacy is dead, not even that its really become so much of a privilege either (for those who would argue that the wealthy and powerful are the only ones who can afford to maintain privacy) — but rather its become a responsibility. And for us here in America, that’s a new thing. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Cliff Lee Trade: Too Much?

HOWARD MEGDAL: Don’t get me wrong: as pitchers you can acquire for two-and-a-half months go, Cliff Lee is about the best there is. But the Rangers paid too much for a rental, and saved the Yankees from paying way too much for a rental.

CHRIS PUMMER: Six year’s from now, the Mariners’ side of the ledger might seem lopsided, but unless Lee gets hurt between now and November, it won’t be. Not only will the Rangers have taken their best shot at winning a World Series, but the team should go right back to building more long-term player value, starting by collecting the draft pick compensation they’ll receive should Lee leave for another team.

That’s part of the balancing act that most teams must complete if they’re going to win a title. And it’s why both sides look like winners in this trade. Continue reading

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Financial Reform: Politics and Policy Implications

HOWARD MEGDAL: The New York Times rundown of the Financial Reform bill talks about the political risks associated with the bill, lumping it in with health care reform.

Don’t you believe it. The only ones hurt by this bill are the malefactors of great wealth on Wall Street (note: this is not everyone on Wall Street or close to it, to be clear), and this is a political winner.

JESSICA BADER While I mostly agree with Howard on the political impact of the bill (John Boehner’s call for repeal is the sort of thing that makes political sense only if one defines the GOP’s goal as “making Robert Gibbs look silly for stating that Republicans have a chance of winning the House of Representatives”), what interests me most is where progressives go from here, both on this bill and other elements of the Obama agenda. Continue reading

Posted in News & Politics | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

In Briefs: Squid Porn

MOLLY SCHOEMANN: May I request that the BBC screen their news articles, so that I don’t have to read a headline like this:

“The mating habits of deep-sea squid have been revealed for the first time, after the discovery of a male squid with a huge elongated and erect penis.”

…before 9am?

Please, BBC. Please, no.

they use their huge penis to shoot out packages of sperm

well that’s pretty much my morning. Continue reading

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Disposable Pets

AKIE BERMISS: I’m a first-time pet-owner. I’ve had my two cats for just about 4 years now and I can not conceive of a situation in which I would give them up — for anything. I mean it would have to be a very grave situation one where either I can’t take care of them any longer or they need to go somewhere else for health or quality-of-life issues. I didn’t ever have pets growing up. I think my sister had a pet for a while, but otherwise there were no animals in the house. I had three siblings so we didn’t really need more bodies running around the house. In adulthood, though, I decided it was a good idea to have a pet (or two) and to make a life with them. And that’s what it is: a (pet’s) lifetime of commitment.

While I have loved dogs since I could focus my eyes, I grew up in an apartment, so I had goldfish. It was not until several years ago when I began dating a dog owner that I became regularly exposed to an actual dog. I realize now that I was not technically a real ‘dog person’ before that point, because while I loved dogs, I had little idea of what having a dog actually entailed.

ZOË RICE For thirteen years now, I have been a fiercely devoted pet owner. I love my current one, Dash, with absolute devotion. He knows it; I make sure of that. But life is not a set of absolutes. Contexts change, situations change, and whom one spends one’s life with changes. And in rare cases, I can imagine how even a beloved pet might have to find a new home. Continue reading

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World Cup Recap: America and Abroad

HOWARD MEGDAL: There’s something about both soccer and the Internet that encourages people to strongly express a disliking, rather than simply ignoring it.

And I think that colored much of the overall World Cup experience here, which was a very strong one, on balance.

While many will point to the strong U.S. showing, allow me to point to another possible reason: the penetration into the marketplace of HDTV.

JASON CLINKSCALES: Recently, I was in Frankfurt, Germany and London, England as part of a MBA student trip. It provided a tremendous opportunity to not only experience the business culture on the other side of the Atlantic, but an even better opportunity to observe these cities during the World Cup. For nearly two weeks, I was witness to what is considered the globe’s biggest party.

Actually, it was a party in Frankfurt. London was a different story, altogether.
Continue reading

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HOWARD MEGDAL: When I first heard about 3D TV, I thought it stood a good chance of appearing at the wrong time. People had just gotten used to their HD TVs, and I wasn’t certain that the technology would be good enough, or that there would be a programming impetus for it.

But I can see now- it is just a matter of time until I break down and get one. The prices are already on par with HD TVs, and the programming that is most enhanced by it- sports- is what I watch a large percentage of the time.

JASON CLINKSCALES: 3D TV may be an absolutely brilliant innovation that will hit all of our homes, bars and offices in the coming years. Yet, we’re still getting a hold on high-definition TV. To make another leap so soon is a lot to ask of the viewing public. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture, Sports | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Roots’ New Album

STEPHON JOHNSON: How I Got Over might be the first Roots album since Things Fall Apart where fans’ opinions aren’t divded. It’s about time.

AKIE BERMISS: I absolutely agree with Stephon — this is definitely the best and most consistent record The Roots have put out since Things Fall Apart. Its been over a decade and, at last, they’ve returned to the musical heights they were once so regularly visiting. What are the elements of a great album? What makes this better than Phrenology, The Tipping Point, Game Theory, and Rising Down? Where does this album (which is a far-cry stylistically from classic Roots records like Illadelph Halflife and Do You Want More?) bridge a connection to the great 90s heydey of the Roots? Well for one thing: they sound like a band. For another, Black Thought is rapping like he gives a damn about rapping. And finally, the music is original it is The Roots pandering to the art of the craft — and not The Roots pandering to divergent tastes of popular radio.

They are firing on all cylinders. Continue reading

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LeBron in Review

JASON CLINKSCALES: LeBronomania was Hulkamania on speed rather than steroids. It was a maglev train barreling into the sports world several times over thanks to the immediacy of social media, the desperation of ESPN to win a ratings war against no one and a few people just being dumb.

AKIE BERMISS: Well, listen, I’m no expert: I just love basketball. I love basketball, I love the Knicks, and I used to love watching LeBron James. Continue reading

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