Thursday, June 28, 2007

Draft Bio: Folding Chair

Folding Chair
F/C - 3-6' - 8 lbs. - Age: 28
MADE IN:
Taiwan

Similar Player: Oliver Miller

Notes: Chair first gained notoriety defending fellow international prospect Yi Jianlian during his first pro workouts. Though it may have been forged, markings on the back of the seat indicate this model to have been manufactured in 1979. Chair averaged 0ppg, 0rpg, 0bpg, 0apg, 0.3spg & 0tpg for the Siberia Fighting Scamp's.

Positives: A sturdy, flexible & long player, Chair is extremely versatile and is able to adapt to many different environments. Lead the league in charges taken last year and is very attentive. Held Yi Jianlian to 46 points on 23-29 shooting. Good positional defender & takes care of the ball.

Negatives: May not be mobile enough to adapt to the NBA style of play. Chair's manufactured date may be forged in an attempt to hid his age, which would lead to questions of longevity and durability. Not a factor offensively. Height may become an issue.

Summary: Given his superb defensive performance on Yi Jianlian, Chair's stock has risen. He could prove to be the best International player to come out of this draft. He should go somewhere in the range of the first 8-16 picks in the 2007 draft.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So, How's Your Blog?

RIP Rod Beck:

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Former Giants closer Rod Beck, whose spirit flowed as freely as his long hair, and who intimidated hitters with a Fu Manchu mustache and an even more menacing split-finger fastball, was found dead in his Phoenix home Saturday. He was 38.”
And from Sons of Sam Horn: “Rod "Shooter" Beck is probably best remembered for serving up a 10th-inning meatball to Bernie Williams that cost the Red Sox the first game of the 1999 ALCS.”

Thoughts on the NBA Draft:
There are tons of rumors flying about the Celtics trading the 5th pick in tomorrow nights draft. I won’t speculate on anything except for this…if they decide to keep the pick I hope the C’s take Yi Jianlian. My comment to a friend that “if they're going to be bad, we might as well have a big, funny, Chinese guy” led to his reply that I should stop getting $h!tfaced with Danny Ainge.

Freakonomics Guys Can Read My Mind:
Alert nucker Deebs Mullen forwarded me today's post on the Freakonomics blog. The class divide between Facebook and MySpace is something that I had been wondering about for sometime. It follows that Facebook would tend to be more white and more upper class than MySpace because it was founded on virtual college campuses (disclosure: I have never been on MySpace…one of the main reasons why I never commented on this topic), and now there is research to back up this assertion.

Freakonomics is a great book about the relationship between economics, society, and psychology. The blog and occasional series in the NYTimes Mag is written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

This Week's Dish...

A Dirty Hippie By Any Other Name:
An article last week in the NYTimes exposed the freegan (free + vegan) movement. Urban dwellers from diverse ages and backgrounds are beginning to dumpster dive (a process they refer to as waste reclamation or urban foraging). While true bums have been doing this for as long as there have been dumpsters, the freegans base their lifestyle on the moral grounds. To a certain extent they have a point, one study shows that half of all food in the US is wasted. And the practice of freecycling is something that many young people (my AC, TV and dresser) do. However, the freegan.info website is mired in hippie clich├ęs like the stance on squatting: “Freegans believe that housing is a RIGHT, not a privilege…and human needs are more important than abstract notions of private property.” Which reminds us all that reducing consumption and recycling are great things that we should all embrace, but if d-bag hippies want to live outside of society, there is plenty of space in Alaska and Montana where they won’t bother the rest of us.

Raise the Roof, Raise the Whole House, Too:

This weekend Harvard Law School dropped $1 million to move a couple of old Victorian houses. Mass. Ave between Harvard and Porter was shut down for the entire weekend while the houses, which will become law school dorms, were lifted, put on wheels, and rolled three blocks down the street. The process required all wires that crossed the street to be removed as the historical homes were moved.

Which reminds me of another house that was recently lifted. According to recent reports Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and his son are being investigated by a grand jury for receiving illegal considerations. These include Veco, an oil company, paying for an expansion on Stevens’ Alaska home in exchange for (among other things) getting Pakistan to pay Veco the $70 million it owed for pipeline construction. The unconfirmed reports are that Stevens had the first floor of his home raised and a floor built underneath it.

This story has been covered closely by the TPMMuckraker.com, a great political blog by the people behind the Talking Points Memo. Also check out the Daily Show’s “Coot Off” between Ted Stevens and West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd. And yes, they really are the people running this country.


Monday, June 18, 2007

With So Much Drama in the L.B.C...

There's a lot going on in the world today: Two civil wars in the Middle East, gas prices skyrocketing, the Supreme Court telling us that suspending habeas corpus is unconstitutional, the bees dying, the Celts stuck with the 5th pick and the prospect of giving up Big Al Jefferson, I thought Id include some lighter items.

Mining for Gold in a Chinese Warcraft Sweatshop:
An article in the NYTimes Mag this past Sunday exposed an interesting phenomenon of the burgeoning virtual economy. Young men work 12 hr shifts, 7 days a week playing massively multiplayer online games, earning points and then selling them to Western gamers. It’s an industry that is estimated to employ about 100,000 people and be worth almost $1.8 billion dollars worldwide. And fascinatingly, it demonstrates the economics of 21st century globalization to an almost textbook effect. When the game manufacturers cracked down on the sale of credits through eBay the exchange rates jumped sharply.

The Mundanity of Modernity:
One of my favorite recent finds on YouTube is “Tales of Mere Existence.” The brilliantly simple animation and crisp, realistic internal dialogue is at once witty, lugubrious, and all too familiar.


Friday, June 8, 2007

Holy Truck Nuts! It's the end of electricity as we know it.


Wi-tricity:
Just blocks from the FJP’s headquarters, engineers at MIT have found a way to transmit electricity wirelessly. While still in its early phases, they were able to light a 60-watt bulb from 7 feet away. The implications are incredible: the end of electrical cords in the home, recharging your cell phone on-the-go, and a lot more free radicals going through our bodies. 
(Link is courtesy of engadget, a leading electronics blog that provides detailed technical and consumer reviews of emerging technologies.)

Digg Douglas!
Not the classic video game Dig Dug, but it's one of the most up-and-coming sites on the internet. Digg.com allows users to "digg" the best/most useful/entertaining web pages they visit. Links are then posted to Digg where you can see what pages are being linked the most. It's like my favorite feature on new sites, the most emailed stories, but for the entire internet. Also, it just led me to this great Erin Andrews tribute video.

Truck Nuts: Last weekend, on the way to Suffolk Downs, I noticed a black pick-up truck with a number of accessories: a 666 decal, a silver head with red eyes on the trailer hitch, and what appeared to be a plastic sack hanging from the bumper. My friend Marc informed me that they were truck nuts. And as surprised as I was that he knew about truck nuts, I was more surprised that he did, and a little upset that he hadn’t told me about them sooner. (Warning: link to Mr. C.O. Jones website where you can "Get The Swingin'est Cojones, Truck Nutz, Bulls Balls & Truck Nutz (sic)" may not be office appropriate.)





Monday, June 4, 2007

FJP Links and Thinks:

Bron Bron tells FJP to “Commit it.” In a response to the sports section’s lambasting of his lack of effort, LeBron James silenced critics by exploding in the final 2 games of the Eastern Conference Finals and catapulting his Cavs into the NBA Finals with the San Antonio Spurs. Our B.

Talkin’ About My Generation: Nadira Hira wrote an interesting article last month in Fortune about Gen Y (that’s what they're calling us 20-somethings now) in the workplace. The consensus is that we are loud, obnoxious, talented, and incredibly ambitious. Working in a young office, I can agree. It almost seemed that the management stopped hiring white males just out of college, perhaps we were getting a little rowdy with fantasy sports trash talk, or crude while rehashing the previous weekend’s antics.

Google Street View: Google, the official search engine, blog host, and email service of the FJP has added a new service to their maps application. Street View is available in for a couple cities. Using a car with a 360 camera mounted on top they were able to form a mosaic of places such as the Vegas Strip, South Beach Miami, or Fifth Ave in Manhattan. Its pretty cool, but a couple blogs, like Mashable.com, have raised concerns about people’s right to privacy while they're in public, or to be photographed in public. This blog post on BoingBoing prompted an article in the NYTimes last Friday.

Basebol been berry good: Clemens’ Strained Right Groin just became an all-time classic fantasy team name. Sox-Yanks weekend never disappoints. Also, who thought that Lou Pinella would be the steady hand needed to right the troubled ship of the Chicago Cubs?

It sucks to work for the Man, but his paychecks don’t bounce:
Great pseudo-commencement address by Daniel Brooks in the Boston Globe. His main point is that its no longer realistic to try to work for a non-profit or start a small business and try to live in Boston, NY, SanFran, etc. College, adjusted for inflation, cost us 3 times as much as our parents paid (and they got a lot more grants than we did).