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So the second-largest investor in Fox News is also the major financial backer of the “Ground Zero Mosque.”

How much stupider can FOX get? Why does it take a cable comedy show uncover this kind of stuff?

Really, really ugly shoes. Surprise! They’re on sale … for $716.

Surviving

I survived my first two days in clinicals! OK, sure they were just lab days but they were long (12 hours in a lab/classroom setting is killer!) and I had some wicked strep on the first day. I went the  first day with a 100 F fever when I was on tylanol (I took a short break to visit my PA who told me a bad case of strep).  Zombie walking through my fist 12-hour day actually made the second one a lot easier. It went by a lot faster and I was actually involved in classroom discussion, since I was in a fever fog the first day and was feeling like a Typhoid Mary. I shouldn’t have even been there, but there was no way for me to make up the hours. Overall we worked on communication techniques, basic vitals, lifting and transporting, and more practice on focused assessment. Next week: Shots, bathing and hospital orientation.

Joe Posnanski, the longtime Kansas City Star columnist who’s now also writing for Sports Illustrated, has a nice column on his blog about cheating in baseball and historical context. It was sparked by a review of the new Willie Mays biography. I haven’t read the book, or the review. But I agree with Joe’s basic assumption: baseball has always had its share of cheaters and cranks, and overly romanticizing the game — and especially the numbers of bygone eras — probably isn’t healthy.

My main reasons for taking this view is purely self-serving as a modern fan of the game: l like baseball. I like watching baseball today, right now. If I believe baseball was so much better back in the day, or so much worse or more sinister now than it was then, I’m much less likely to simply be able to enjoy watching baseball. To that end, I really like Joe’s last line:

But when it comes down to it, I guess my big issue with Pete Hamill’s romantic essay is there never really was a long-ago time in America when there was a beautiful game called baseball. The game, for better and worse, is as beautiful now as it ever was.

I’m not terribly bent out of shape about Mark McGwire’s return to the Cardinals bench. What he did was wrong, but he wasn’t the only one. He apologized, as he should have. We condemned him for the past, as we should have. All we, and baseball as a whole, can do now is try to clean things up the best we can and then move forward. Admitting mistakes is part of that process. But acting overly pious doesn’t help much, in my opinion. Big Mac seems like he’s ready to take charge and do right by the organization. I’m ready to see what he can bring to the team.

Time for Pong

This is really cool. Someday, when I have a man cave/game room, I want to put this clock in it.

It’s actually an open source kit available from Adafruit Industries. The computer is truly playing a game of pong, and the score changes every 60 seconds to track time. Not sure I’d want to bother with soldering it and all that, but I think it’d be worth buying a finished one. Adafruit has a short video showing how it works, the link is below.

MONOCHRON – open source retro clock from adafruit industries on Vimeo.

Bears could close season strong

Yesterday we went to the Missouri State Bears’ next-to-last home game of the season — the “Bracketbuster” game sponsored by ESPN. The game was live on ESPN2 and the opponent was the Nevada Wolfpack. They’re a good team and really were in control for most of the game. Nevada was up by 10 with about 6:30 left but the Bears found a way to come back and win by two points thanks to a pair of ice-cold free-throws by Nafis Ricks with the game time at 60 with 3.4 seconds left.

It was one of the best games we’ve been to in the last few years. We left the building almost in disbelief that they won the game. Even though the Bears had a really hot 9-1 start to the season, their middling .500 record in Missouri Valley Conference play has ensured they won’t be picked as an at-large team for the NCAA tourney. Their only hope to go to the dance is winning the MVC tourney in St. Louis in a couple of weeks. As I said on the podcast with Allen Vaughan a few weeks ago, I think the Bears have what it takes to reach the title game of the tourney and put themselves in position to win it and get the automatic bid the big tournament. When they turn it on, they can finish, but they just haven’t done that enough this year.

I hope Saturday’s big win will propel them into the conference postseason. They have two more conference games left, one home and one away. They’re 18-10 overall, so they have a shot at a 20-win season. We’ll be in St. Louis the weekend of the MVC tournament and I hope to get tickets to Sunday’s title game. Here’s hoping the Bears will be on the court that day…

I was recently on a podcast with my friend Allen, who is a founder/staffer at a new local Web site covering Springfield music, sports, culture, food and more. The site is called TAGSGF.com. (SGF is short-hand for Springfield, especially on Twitter, and TAG stands for “The Awesome Guide” so, it’s The Awesome Guide to Springfield.)

Allen used to be a sports reporter for the News-Leader, but left last year. The new site is one of the many things he’s doing now. He brought me onto the podcast to talk about Missouri State Bears basketball. I’m kind of representing the fan perspective on the show. I’ve been a serious Bears fan for many years, and following the team has been pretty interesting this year. They got off to a hot 9-0 start, and finished the non-conference schedule at 9-1 (the only loss was to Arkansas, an SEC team); but … since then they’ve been pretty middling in conference play.

The show is about 30 minutes long. Click here to go to the site and listen to it.

If  you don’t know what a podcast is, it’s basically like a radio program that you download via the Web rather than listen to over-the-air. The recording quality varies, because anybody with a little voice recorder and a computer can do it. I’ve listened to many podcasts the last few years, but this is the first time I’ve been on one. I think I did a pretty good job of acting like I know something about basketball!

(OK, I kinda know basketball, but certainly not as much as football or baseball.)

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