April 30, 2006
A search for Bloom's name on Technorati yields several shirtless, sweaty pics of the 5th-round pick - this one is from Equinox health clubs and bold-faced mentions on sites of all persuasions.
There's the story of how he cold-shouldered Paris Hilton at a party. Cosmo Girl's Star blog called him serious Olympic eye candy. There are more sober accounts from sports law blogs how he challenged NCAA rules to raise money for his Olympic ski training.
We should mention that in two years at the University of Colorado, Bloom grabbed 24 passes for an average of 19.1 yards per catch, returned 47 punts at 13.5 yards per return and 25 kickoffs at 25.1 yards per return. He had five touchdowns of 75 yards or more, according to the AP.
Sportsnetwork.com: Known for his blazing speed, Bloom is a tremendous athlete who is as explosive as he is elusive...Works extremely hard...Has been out of football the last two years and is a bit on the small side...Dedication to football is a question, but could be a special teams ace if given the chance.
Sports Illustrated's Don Banks writes that Bloom "stuck his landing" in Philly: He'll instantly upgrade Philadelphia's up-in-the-air return game, and there are few teams where Bloom would have a better shot at eventually seeing some playing time as a No. 3 receiver.
Dude's got a slick Web site. Posters. Photos. Current news. Equipment. Connectivity.
T.O.'s got nothing on him.
You know we're losing it when we have to rely on political bloggers for our music tips. But hat tip to Atrios for linking this official site where one can hear the entire new Neil Young cd, "Living With War."
From Jon Pareles in The New York Times:
Mr. Young half-jokingly describes "Living With War" as his "metal folk protest" album. It's his blunt statement about the Iraq war; "History was a cruel judge of overconfidence/back in the days of shock and awe," he sings, strumming an electric guitar and leading a power trio with a sound that harks back to Young albums like "Rust Never Sleeps" and "Ragged Glory."
Some songs add a trumpet or a 100-voice choir, hastily convened in Los Angeles for one 12-hour session. During the nine new songs he sympathizes with soldiers and war victims, insists "Don't need no more lies," longs for a leader to reunite America and prays for peace.
The Bush Administration re-writes some of the press rules. A video of the latest directives from Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday: "The president makes decisions - he's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions. And you people of the press type those decisions down. ... Just put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again."
Transcript of the Colbert "conference" here, courtsey of Democratic Underground.
Billmon's take -- this was Colbert's sin: inserting a brief moment of honesty into an event based upon a lie -- one considered socially necessary by the political powers that be, but still, a lie.
Like its upscale sibling, the annual Gridiron Club dinner, the White House Correspondents dinner is a ritual designed, at least implicitly, to showcase the underlying unity of our Beltway elites. It's supposed to demonstrate that no matter how ferocious their battles may appear on the surface, political opponents can still gather in the same room and break bread, with the corporate media acting as the properly neutral host. It's a relic of the good old days of centrism and bipartisan log rolling ("the end of ideology"), visible proof that in the American system, there may be enemies, but there are no mortal enemies. And so last night we had Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame sitting at one table, Karl Rove at another, and no knives were drawn.
April 29, 2006
Everybody's Working For The Weekend
It's the weekend, so let's get started. You don't need to go down to New Orleans to hear good music, JazzFest or not. This being Philly, it comes to you. (But if you want to hear Dan DeLuca, who IS in the Big Easy, drinking in Trombone Shorty, click this.)
Saturday night? Get up! How about the hardest working Afrobeat band, Antibalas? Coming to the TLA. Based in New York, put together from parts of King Chamgo, the Daktaris and the Soul Providers, these guys mix Nigerian beats, greasy U.S. soul and shakin Latin rhythms. Their site has news and sound clips from the new EP, Government Magic. Click "Che Che Cole (Makossa)" to hear for yourself.
Graham Parker at the Steel City Coffeehouse in Phoenixville. The former gas pump jockey is still pouring it all out. We go across the pond to Adventures of A University Finalist for some native Parkerilla:
Parker often becomes embroiled in comparisons with pub rock and the late 70s Canvey Island pub rock scene of Ian Dury (a wonderful songsmith in his own right) and Dr Feelgood which I find rather unfair. He creates a fantastically tight form of R & B with fluid rhythms, taut solos and an acerbic vocal style. Even nowadays, Parker continues to perform unabated by musical changes and still sounds as fresh and important as ever. You can find some of that heat here.
How about the Roches Saturday night at the Sellersville Theatre in ... Sellersville? This is from a loving blog called Shake Your Fist:
It's New York, 1979. Punk is petering out, disco's dying, hip hop's an inchoate art, new wave's ascendant. And The Roches . . . The Roches, where the hell did they come from? So far out of left field, it turns out, they might as well be in another ballpark.
Sisters Maggie and Terre Roche had existed as musical vagabonds in the city for a decade--singing backup for Paul Simon and releasing an all-but-ignored album--when baby sis Suzzy dropped out of college to join them. The power of three, blood ties and raw talent worked a strange alchemy, yielding something quite original and extraordinary. The Roches' debut self-titled album is a weird, wonderful artifact--like nothing you've ever heard. I suppose you could call it an urban folk record, but that doesn't get at those odd doo-wop and vaudeville touches or Robert Fripp's elastic guitar accompaniment.
But, what shall we play? How about a video from Soundstage in 1983. Classic. "The Hammond Song." A performance of "Mr Selleck" from the Tonight Show, 1985, is a trip back, too. Whimsical, notes Johnny.
UPDATE: One more for Saturday night.... a strangely attractive one: STS9, which stands for Sound Tribe Sector Nine, come to the Borgata in Atlantic City. So what would it be like seeing this Santa Cruz, Calif. electronica, trip hop, dance band kicking out grooves from their Powerbooks before a crowd of gold chains and four-flushers? Surreal. STS9 has some downloads and videos at their site, but just tune into their radio stream for a while. Caa-ching.
Friday night at The Unitarian Church there's a bill featuring the Lilys, locals who conjure some sort of Kinks/My Bloody Valentine/Mungo Jerry memory. But don't take my word. We'll pick up Eric at the Marathon Packs blog, who describes "With Candy" as one of his favorite three songs of the year. It's:
a psych-disco masterpiece that sounds like the theme song to the sitcom Lewis Carroll never got around to producing, without copping anything at all from the master of psych-disco, Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes. It's the type of song I'd love to hear performed live with "real" instrumentation, especially a full brass section on the chorus. It was hard to trace the imaginary lineage of (Kurt) Heasley's mutations, until, of course, I popped in Scary Monsters (Bowie's best, by the way) the other week, and well, "Ashes to Ashes" essentially did a fair amount of my thinking for me. It's not a direct line of course, and Bowie's tale is much more self-referential and dystopian, but the two just sound so similarly tweaked and spacy. Then, partially spurred by Simon Reynolds' post-punk book, I reapproached Duty Now for the Future, the point where Devo started their push for the mainstream with one foot still firmly in the "industrial grotesquerie" Reynolds writes about.
Not just a review, a fantastic journey. Hear here.
Citizen Cope, Friday night at the TLA. His web site offers a new acoustic-based mix of a"Bullet and a Target" and other radio-friendly songs, like "Hurricane Waters" for streaming. Bunch of video from the Carson Daly show to "Son's Gonna Rise." Is the D.C. guy, born Clarence Greenwood, as street as the way he says "heron" for "heroin?" Dunno. Berkeley Place is serving a sing-a-long Cope cover of Bob Marley's "Is This Love?"
April 28, 2006
Orange You Psyched?
Flyers fans can visit one of three "Oranged Out" stations at the rink to apply tasteful amounts of body paint, face paint, hair paint and other "orang-ifying items."
There will be two "Oranged Out" stations at the Playoff Block Party, on the 11th St.side of the Center, and a third outside the Broad Street North doors. Not that anyone needed, encouragement, but the most Orangey folks might be selected the No. 1 member of the ORANGE CRUSH and win a team-autographed jersey.
Oh yeah, they'll hand out orange paper helmets to everyone with a ticket.
UPDATE: Read the comments below for a War-and-Peace length account from "Evan," who was bold enough to wear his Hartford Whalers jersey to the game Wednesday.
And Jason Connell explains the passion of the Flyers fan:
We hate the other team, the other team's fans, the other team's fans' kids, the other team's fans' pets...
April 27, 2006
A Web For The Wealthy?
The Save the Internet movement suffered a loss in Washington Wednesday when a House committee failed to pass a measure that would have prevented the creation of a two-tier Web - one that consumer groups fear will benefit wealthy content providers at the expense of mom and pop sites.
So why do they sound so happy on their Web site?
Because they feel they have momentum.
For back story, try here.
Lots of outrage, understandably, in some journalistic and progressive circles over the T-shirt (left) made by the Those Shirts firm, which advertises on some heavy hitting conservative Web sites, among them The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Captain's Quarters, Hugh Hewitt, Power Line.
Attytood tees off on Michelle Malkin, in particular. Why is she selling these T-shirts he asks. "Really, folks -- we're not all that bad. As Jon Lovitz said, "Get to know us!"
Atrios wrote: "I hope all the newspapers who publish syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin appreciate this."
But, my fave comes from the kid, D-Mac of Philadelphia Will Do:
Sweeeeet. I love tire swings.
That's my first question after reading Henry Copeland's post in Blogads that examines results from a survey of 56,000 people who spend a lot of time reading web logs.
Those who patronize political blogs are the most educated. Music blogs readers are younger, with less money. Moms buy lots of music and books. No big deal.
Still, Copeland finds that distinct communities of bloggers and their readers exist. "Radically different" communities.
The median political blog reader is a 43 year old man with an annual family income of $80,000. He reads 6 blogs a day for 10 hours a week. 39% have post-graduate degrees. 70% have contributed to a campaign. 69% have bought music, 87% have bought books. 58% say blogs are "extremely useful" sources of information. 52% leave comments on other people's blogs. Just 18% of political blog readers have their own blogs. (As you'll see, that's a lot lower than in other blogospheres.) Of these, 53% blog to keep track of their own ideas, 50% to let off steam, 36% to influence public opinion.
The median gossip reader is a 27 year old woman with annual family income $60,000. She reads 4 blogs a day, five hours a week. 17% have post-graduate degrees. 68% of gossip blog readers bought clothes online in the last six months and 63% bought music. 32% say blogs are "extremely useful" sources of information. 40% leave comments on other people's blogs. 89% listen to one or fewer podcasts a week. 86% read blogs for humor. Of the 23% of gossip blog readers who blog themselves, 61% say they do it to keep track of their thoughts and 55% say they do it to let off steam.
The median mom blog reader is a 29 year old woman with an annual family income of $70K, reading 5 blogs a day for 4 hours a week. 26% have post-graduate degrees. 72% bought clothes online in the last six months, 83% bought books, 44% contributed to a campaign and 71% bought music. 57% leave comments in other blogs. 93% read for humor. 48% have their own blog and, of these, 73% read "to keep track of my thoughts," 54% to let off steam.
The median music blog reader is a 26 year old man with an annual family income of 60K reading 5 blogs a day four hours a week. 17% have post graduate degrees. 58% leave comments. 86% have bought music, 70% books. 69% read blogs for humor, 55% for news they can't find elsewhere. 41% have their own blog; of these, 58% read to keep track of their own thoughts, 39% to let off steam.
61 percent of gossip readers say they read the stuff to "keep track of their thoughts?" How so? I thought Paris Hilton was trash and this just confirms my view?
April 26, 2006
Ok, red meat time. Thought I'd post a bit of clever artwork from our friends on the Buffalo fans' user board.
Was happy to see Blinq became some sort of way station for Sabre-rattling over the past couple of days. But what was with those upstate trolls? 426 comments on a post-game post! There was some insightful analysis and some inventive spelling. Nice to hear that Pelle and Clubber Lang are still around and cared to write. Umberger and Eager, too.
Is that really a goat that Buffalo players wear on their jerseys?
I'm going to watch the game and keep this post live tonight after I come back from the Wachovia Center, where I've been trucking in sand to keep the game at speed that better suits the Flyers. Beer's on ice. Pizza's ordered.
There's plenty of hockey left in the season.
At least that's what they're telling themselves in the land of record snow and hot wings. A question What is a Flyer? on the message board brought this response:
fli·er also fly·er ( P ) Pronunciation Key (flr)
1) An inanimate object used to deter movement (see traffic cone)
2) A sloth-like creature once popular in the 1970's for it's ability to defend a caged object and inflict limited offensive harm.
Freddy Meyer is keeping a player's blog on the Flyers site. It doesn't seem to be keeping him from ice time, because he's posting lightly.
From Monday, the day of the awful game:
Yesterday I woke up around 9:30 or 10:00, and Joni and I went down and had some breakfast. After that we just went back up to the room and hung out. I have my computer so I just messed around online for a little bit. About 1:00 I went over to the mall they have here by our hotel with Jeff Carter and Niko. We just did a little mall walk to get some exercise, since we didn’t skate yesterday. I just wanted to get the legs going a little bit. We had a team meeting at 5:00 at the hotel and another team dinner at 6:00 and that was pretty much it.
Would have loved it he'd live blogged the locker room afterward, or the trip home.
Got to go to R.J. Umberger's Rookie Blog at The Courier-Post for that insight:
The plane ride home was what you would expect it to be. It was very quiet. Not much talking going on, guys pretty much keeping to themselves and reflecting on the night and what happened and getting refocused on coming back here for Game 3.
It wasn't a good night, not one bit. Guys are still disappointed and very embarrassed. But after talking and getting everything out on the table, we really can't dwell on it and let it bring us down for the next game. It's in the past. We need to play desperate in Game 3 and make it a fight for our lives to get back into it.
It's definitely not over yet. We've got to start better. We owe it to our fans and ourselves to have a good Game 3. We know they'll come out hard, but we can make it a series with a win. Whether I play is still up in the air. Hopefully, I can pass that test tomorrow and get in there.
7:05 p.m. Pre-game on. I'm in time to hear Steve Coates talking again about Forsberg as the best passer in the world. Don't think he's done, Coates says. And this quote: "The cream will come to the top, and it will all change." Is he talking about his stomach backing up?
Took less than three minutes for the Sabres to get on the board. So far it's looked like a power play.
There's there IS a power play as Forsberg leaves his feet for a check.
Wait.... SHORT - HANDED! Savage! He does a shifty bit of skating and scores on a slap shot from the circle. We're tied.
Over on the Sabres board, a Buffalo fan named frenchconnection70 writes: Yup, nice soft goal by Miller... he LOVES to give those up.....
Hope either Freddie or R.J. is reading this on the bench.
First period over. Two different teams are playing. Let's check around the Web.
Over the PhillyBoard, HKP pronounces: First good period of this series from the Flyers.
Second period begins and Savage buries his blade in a Buffalo midsection. Mike Richards hits the pipe - Flyers seem to skate with them better when down a man.
Shots even at 10. Score even at one. Flyers leading in hits and penalties.
Forsberg just took in down the wing and hit it off something for the Flyers first lead of the series. Hit it off the defender's skate. Miller never saw it. 2 to 1 Flyers. And a Buffalo penalty follows. The crowd makes some noise. Forsberg must have seen Coates on the pre-game show.
Just checked into the Orange and Black chat room. A little too atonal for me:
20:21:23 [OmahaFlyer] we gonna see preems friday you think?
20:21:35 [ogie] No
20:21:36 [DarthFlyer] No.
20:21:37 [Meathead] sabres have responded incredibly well this season after losing a lead lets see if it happens here
20:21:46 [madlee] this chat room refreshing is messing with my streaming
20:21:51 [wickedwris] only if hes ready id say he should play
20:21:51 [chadta] i hope not
20:21:54 [ogie] ahh
20:22:01 [wickedwris] otherwise no bc we need every player to keep up with this team
20:22:05 [wickedwris] cant have a guy play 3 min
20:22:09 [madlee] sabres sabres sabres. blah blah blah
20:22:18 [DarthFlyer] He won't be ready for a long time.
20:22:27 [madlee] i think i heard the sabres were going to cure cancer too
20:22:29 [Meathead] no primeau wont play this series
20:22:36 [DarthFlyer] Primeau needs 7-10 days without symptoms.
20:22:38 [madlee] and win the war on terrorism
Lots of talk about Forsberg's game face tonight. They're right. He does have that look.
AND AS IM TYPING THIS HE SCORES FROM BEHIND THE NET. Crafty move against a rookie netminder, he just knocked it against Miller's back and it fell in. They should call that shot a Rook.
Over at the Sabres fans section, the French Connection70 sighs: YES....great penalty there you go...game oveR ! its a ALL new series boys...Sabres lost their heart need to see the wizard QUICK!
And from the Flyers section: Flyersrock87 suggests: New strategy... don[t aim for the net, aim for the Sabres.
J.P. Dumont takes a blade in the chest from Denis Gauthier. The Buffalo player is doubled over, then down on the ice. Coates quickly explains the fans' cheers as pay-back for the Sabres reaction when Umberger got flattened in Buffalo. No penalty. Should have been one. (For the record, the PhillyBoard crowd is a lot harsher on "Goat" for the spear and the cheers.)
14 shots this period for the Flyers, they announced. They're ahead 16 to 5 in hits.
At the break before the third period, Forsberg sits for an interview. Is there a high Canadian edge to his Swedish lilt? Naw. Sweat-soaked, and flush, he says, "It's great to play with a lead instead of chasing those guys all over the ice."
Almost five minutes into the period, the Sabres swarm and score. One goal game.
Sabres are looking fast and silky. Flyers a little choppy. Nedved behind the net, loses it, trips someone. Penalty.
Nice kill. Flyers kept clearing the puck. Even strength. And Nedved trips another. Penalty.
The Buffalo boards are using shorthand. PP. clap. clap. PP
Another great kill. And then Forsberg is called for ---NO, A DIVING CALL against Roy of Sabres! A little Italian national football on ice.
Three minutes to go. Two and a half. Two. A one-goal, three nail game.
One minute. The Sabres can't get Miller off the ice for a six-man attack.
Gagne... empty net.... send your Buffalo to bed.
Health Care Ills
A newly hired lecturer at City University of New York talks about the fibroid tumors that crowded her uterus because she could not afford the surgery, and her health care hadn't yet kicked in. A Cedar Rapids, Iowa, family talks about living with Noah, a boy born with Down Syndrome and autism, who has fought colds and viruses for all of his seven years.
Health, illness and a broken-down insurance system is the subject of Dragonfire's latest issue. Drexel's online magazine seeks to tell of a global problem in snapshots. Among the coverage, five interactive diaries tell stories of those who are sick or those caring for the sick. One of them is by the mother of Dragonfire editor Amy L. Webb.
In 2004 Bella Webb was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine cancer. The tumors were inoperable. The chemo could only contain. She had been prescient -- a decade before she'd elected to take out an insurance rider that covered the cost of her care. It even paid for wigs. "Without this policy, I don't know what my family would have done," her daughter writes.
It made her think of the 46 million of so Americans without health insurance - about 3 out of every 20 persons. And it made her think beyond our borders.
In her editor's note, she writes: In this issue of Dragonfire, we wanted to explore the concept of health from myriad perspectives. We wanted to know why Avian Flu caused enough of a panic that it trumped the real and tangible STD epidemic already afflicting Africa and Southeast Asia. We found the last leper colony in Europe. We were surprised to find that people with this disease were still forced to live in seclusion and we wanted to know why. We learned that in Egypt, a group of volunteers has created a hospice center for critically ill children, who are taught how to make nutritious vegetables grown in the desert part of their care. And Dr. Marla Gold, internationally known for her work on HIV/AIDS and for her expertise in the field of public health, explains why more people need to know about the health-related problems that affect us all.
The issue also poses five questions to Jerry Flanagan, health care policy director for the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR), and Larry Akey, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the largest lobby group for U.S. insurance companies.
Among their suggestions: Flanagan said the country needs to treat insurers like utilities: We need to regulate their rates. All Americans know what happened when we stopped regulating electricity; we had the Enrons of the world. The health insurers are the new Enrons.
Akey: The whole issue of insurance company consolidation, we really regard as something of a red herring. It’s important to remember that the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission have both looked at the issue of competitiveness in the health insurance marketplace and have determined that the marketplace remains highly competitive. There’s simply no way that a health insurance plan can dictate prices and coverage terms to physicians … The notion that somehow consolidation has lead to an unbalanced marketplace for health insurance is simply not the case.
Dragonfire is on a role. It's a finalist for the Webby Awards as well as for the Eppy Awards, two of the most prestigious laurels in new media. This past summer, when the Drexel interactive magazine launched, it was attracting about 4,000 readers an issue, Webb says. Today they're pulling in 70,000 a day. "One of our servers is crashing once a week," she says.
Another local site has entered the health care fray. Kiko's House, a blog by former Daily News reporter Shaun Mullen, is asking for readers to write their own Rxs for the problem.
"Year in and year out, reforming America's troubled health-care system is the biggest third rail in politics," he begins. "No matter how you approach it and no matter how you want to fix it, you're going to get shocked."
He's interested in hearing from some experts:
Utterly absent in what discussion there is about health-care reform are the voices of the key players in the system after patients themselves -- nurses.
If you are a nurse or know one, you or they should step up and let the rest of us know what's really going on at hospitals -- which are the ground zero in health care -- because there can be no reform until the problems there are fixed first.
I singled out nurses because unlike the powerful physician, drug and insurance lobbies, they have no voice in the discussion. I know this for a number of reasons, including the fact that I owe my life to a nurse.
He's looking for 300 to 400 words. Anonymity is OK. Send suggestions to Kiko's House.