Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quick Takes - Fact checking

And which guns are these?

I saw a sign on the back of a totally douched-out pickup truck the other day, that said, "Guns don't kill people, abortion clinics do." No no, guns do kill people. Seriously. They do. Have you seen the news? Have you read a newspaper? They for sure kill people. Say what you want about abortion clinics (actually don't, just keep it to yourself and stop trying to force people to live their lives the way you want to live your own), I don't need to talk about them here, but guns for sure kill people. All over the world, people are being killed with guns. They're probably the biggest reason why people are killed, other than heart disease and car accidents (and Kathy Griffin's voice).

So if you're going to drive a douchey pickup truck -- and when I say douchey I mean lifted suspension, tinted windows, giant off-road tires that are super useful in suburban Washington, truck balls, No Fear stickers, crazy bumper stickers, and Dodge Ram accessories attached to every conceivable light -- with all sorts of unnecessarily-inflammatory bumper stickers just to be a massive asshole to every stranger who happens to drive behind your diesel-guzzling ozone killer, at least try to make a coherent point. Cite a few studies, show your sources proudly, treat your truck bumper like a research paper! And don't just use Wikipedia, really sink your teeth into the fact-finding mission. Who knows, maybe you'll stumble upon a scientific journal or two and, mistaking them for stereo instructions, end up reading something scientifically accurate and learn something new. Or just learn something period. And maybe you'll actually decide to change your mind, and you'll work relentlessly to pull the sticker off your bumper, only to realize that it's been on there too long and the glue has formed a symbiotic bond with the metal, so you just end up with this crappy white sticker-peach fuzz where your bad science once lived. Still though ...

  • A little personal moment I feel like sharing: I ordered a Greg Halman jersey today from MLB.com. Go Mariners. And much love for Halman and his family. I was really excited to watch him grow into his potential and become a great MLB outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, as I'm sure everyone else was too, and while I'll never get to see what he would've become, I can at least honor him and remember him every time I put on that jersey.
  • Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki wants to leave Japan and play in the Major Leagues, and has said he will only play for the Seattle Mariners. Wait, someone actually wants to play for our team?! Can someone get Munenori on the phone with Prince Fielder?
  • Josh Freeman likes to shoot guns in his time off from the NFL. Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback apparently forgot he had a thumb injury, which was supposed to heal over the team's bye week, and went shooting with his father. An unexpected recoil at the gun range re-injured his thumb and now it looks like he'll miss the team's next game. Freeman at least understood the stupidity of the situation, "In hindsight, it wasn't the smartest decision, but I've got to learn from it. No more shooting guns in season." Unless you're Plaxico Burress. Or Marvin Harrison. Or Aqib Talib. Or Shaun Rogers. Or Chris Cook. Or Laurence Maroney. Or Robaire Smith. Or Ronald Fields. Or Gerald Sensabaugh. Or Marshawn Lynch. Or Donte Whitner. Or Willie Andrews. You know what, we're all the way back to 2008 now. Let's just let bygones be bygones.
  • Leave it to an interim athletic director to come up with the stupidest ideas. Interim AD Paul Pendergast, who sounds like an unlikable character from Harry Potter, thought it would be a good idea for everyone in attendance at UConn basketball and football games to say the Pledge of Allegiance, including the "under god" nasty bits, before the national anthem was played. Not only is it exhausting and a bit humiliating to have to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance just to watch a goddamn sports game, but a) why are we so concerned with these public displays of patriotism during sporting events when half of the players weren't even born in America? Are American sports fans threatened by international success in American sports? And b) if we're going to say it, why don't we try it they way they said it for 150 years before the "under god" was pointlessly added in the 1950s by Catholics with ridiculous government power.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. was named Nascar's most popular driver for the ninth straight year, which makes him 23,349th in the overall sports standings. Get it? Because people hate Nascar? You get it.

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