Friday, March 31, 2006

Top 11 Reasons George W. Bush Held A Summit Meeting In Cancun

11. Bring Jenna back from spring break

10. Secure cheap crappy jewelry as anniversary present for Laura

9. Work out a deal to deport Ruben Rosario

8. Buy a stuffed frog playing guitar to decorate his desk in the Oval Office

7. $9.99 Lobster dinner

6. Work on that tan (it's a long time until his July/August/September vacation back at the ranch)

5. Wet Tee Shirt contest at Senor Frogs

4. Wanted to see the places that Dora is always exploring

3. Look for a few good roofers for upcoming White House renovation

2. See if food at Taco Bell in Mexico is as good as Taco Bell in US

1. Stop by MTV's Spring Break - Cancun and consult with Bill Clinton about Hurricane Katrina relief

Rock Solid in the Blogosphere for Winter 2006

Many of you have been asking, “Hey Sisyphus, it’s already spring. Why haven’t you announced the Winter 2006 Rock Solid in the Blogosphere winner?” Truth be told, there has been a lot of behind the scenes controversy here at NIGP surrounding the winter award. We still haven’t reached a unanimous decision, but since I’m the founder of the Rock Solid award and because it would be unfair to Cathy in the Wright to ask her to continue to perform the arduous duties of the reigning Rock Solid winner past her term, I am prepared to announce this quarter’s winner. The Winter 2006 Rock Solid in the Blogosphere goes to … Learned Foot.

Once again there were many fine nominees, including Kevin Ecker, Craig Westover, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, and the Nihilist’s preferred choice, Katie from Yucky Salad with Bones for her Brokeback Mountain Post (if you ask me, the Nihilist is just a little too obsessed with that movie). All of these nominees would make fine Rock Solid winners, but I believe that Learned Foot stands out, even among this august group of bloggers.

Despite what the Nihilist may think, Learned Foot has established himself as not only Rock Solid, but as one of the true giants of the blogosphere. Whether he is shining the light of day on moronic letter writers to the local newspapers, exposing the Dems plan to whack Bin laden, or having some gentle fun at the Nihilist’s expense, Learned Foot is an inspiration to us all.

Even the best of us go into blogging slumps from time to time, even Learned Foot. But when Learned Foot hits a rare slump, he admits it and calls in a talented blogger for a Sisyphus Open Thread.

Once again, congratulations to Learned Foot. You, like our previous winners Atomizer and Cathy in the Wright, are Rock Solid in the Blogosphere!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Riddle Me That

Why does a guy forsake his won blog to do an open thread on a second-tier blog (except for the graphics, which are excellent)?

Especially when Paris Hilton is recording music with the Three 6 Mafia!

Hey (Hey) You (You) Get Off Of My Side!

I don't know much about art, but I know what I don't like.

A life-size sculpture of a naked Britney Spears' kneeling on a bearskin rug as she gives birth will be on display next month at Brooklyn's Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery.

The sculpture is to appear next to a display case filled with anti-abortion materials. It was created by Daniel Edwards, who said he never spoke to the 24-year-old pop star or met her, and fashioned her face and figure from photographs.

"Pro-lifers normally promote bloody images of abortion. This is the image of birth," he said.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I eagerly await Sisyphus' becoming aware that the Three 6 Mafia is in the recording studio to work with Paris Hilton.

Press Release

We don’t normally post press releases, but Chad the Elder was very insistent that we run this one. He hinted that if we refused, Fraters Libertas would post their B-material elsewhere, so here it is:


From: Chad the Elder of Fraters Libertas

Effective immediately, any mention of or display relating to the following is banned at Fraters Libertas World Headquarters:
1) Easter
2) The Easter Bunny
3) Delicious sugar covered marshmallow treats

Don’t like it? Too bad. I dare you to mount some kind of
protest. I double dog dare ya.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Top 11 Reasons It Sucks to Be A Cornell Hockey Fan

11. The 2006 Midwest regional final loss to Wisconsin in OT

10. The 2005 West regional final loss to Minnesota in OT

9. There ain't gonna be a regional in Ithaca, New York anytime soon

8. Your mascot is a teddy bear

7. Having to hold hands and sway during the singing of your fruity school song

6. You're not in the WCHA

5. No way to know whether your team is any good playing in the ECAC

4. Listening to Harvard fans brag about their 1989 National Championship

3. Thirty-six years since your last National Championship is a LONG time

2. Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life

1. Realization that UMD fans are just as drunk and obnoxious but had to pay only a fraction of the tuition you had to pay

Top 11 Worst Losses In Gopher Hockey History

11. 1980 Loss to Northern Michigan in first round of the NCAA tournament because half of our team was busy winning the Olympic Gold Medal

10. 1988 National semi-final loss to St. Lawrence

9. 1985 A 4-1 playoff loss to BC after winning the first game of the two-game total goals series 7-5

8. 2000 Shut out 5-0 at home by St. Cloud State

7. 1981 NCAA national championship game loss to Wisconsin

6. 1997 A 7-4 loss to Michigan in the NCAA tournament that was the beginning of the dark age of Gopher hockey (1997-2000)

5. 2001 Regional semi-final against Maine when Hauser gave the game away in OT.

4. 2006 The recent embarrassment against Holy Cross in the regional semi-final

3. 1998 WCHA Playoff 5-4 loss to UMD when they led 4-0 in the third period. After splitting the first two games of the series, the Gophers had one of the worst meltdowns in college hockey history in the deciding game. This is when you knew that Woog was done.

2. 1996 NCAA regional final against Michigan when Legg scored that "scoop" goal. This one still haunts because that goal is replayed even today.

1. 1989 National Championship game against Harvard. Randy Skarda hits the pipe in OT, some chucklehead for Harvard hits the net, and the Gophers lose in St. Paul.

Top 11 Other Hotel Demands Made By Dick Cheney

The Smoking Gun has obtained a written list of requests made by Dick Cheney of the hotels that he stays at. NIGP has managed to uncover the top 11 Cheney hotel demands that the White House deemed too controversial to put in writing (although most of them seem perfectly reasonable to us):

11. A supply of death row inmates for target practice

10. An omelet made of spotted owl eggs

9. Genetic clone on ice in case he needs any spare organs

8. Radio tuned to the Hugh Hewitt show, especially if the "Smart Guys" are on

7. Unicorn blood for rituals

6. An already inflated Maureen Dowd doll

5. The bathtub must be filled with motor oil (Lucas Motor Oil, Plus Racing Oil, 20W50)

4. Defibulators strategically posted within 12 feet of all locations

3. Lithograph on the wall of Gepetto pulling Pinnochio's strings

2. A stereo with volume that goes to "11" and a CD of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"

1. Stock ticker to track Halliburton profits (and laugh)

Mmmm. . . King Crab

If you've never seen the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch", I highly recommend tuning in Tuesday at 8 pm Central time for the season 2 premiere.

"Deadliest Catch" follows the sailors who earn their living fishing for King Crab and Snow Crab in the Bering Sea in and around the Arctic circle. The name of the show is accurate. Last season a plotline centered around the search for a vessel that sunk as on the opening day of Snow Crab season. All but one member of the crew froze to death in the icy arctic waters (at least five casualties). Why do they do this job? The pay for a couple weeks worth of work for a crewman can equal an annual salary of someone of comparable skill in a safe, warm job.

The danger isn't the only risk. Last season several crews lost their catches due to mistakes including overstuffing holding tanks, arriving late at the processing plants so their crabs died before they could be unloaded, or keeping too many sick and injured crabs (or bait) that basically poisoned the healthy ones. These mistakes had massive economic impact to the crew. In other words, if they screwed up they didn't get paid until next season (there are only two seasons per year).

As I watched last season I felt a real connection to these crews. Without them, it would be impossible for me to enjoy the taste of sweet succulent King Crab and Snow Crab.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Following Song Parody Is True

I wrote it while reflecting on a recent west coast trip where all the First Class upgrades were given out to platinum level flyers. Unfortunately I am merely gold level. Sung to the tune of the Peter, Paul and Mary song, "Leaving On A Jet Plane."

I'm ... I'm ...

All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go
I'm sitting here right at mt PC
I’m checking in, they must be shittin’ me

But the dawn is breakin', it's early morn
The taxi's waitin', he's blowin' his horn
Already I feel like I’ve been sentenced to die

So pity me and cry for me
Tell me that you'll pray for me
I’ll be packed in tight like I’m in the cargo hold

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
First Class full, I’m stuck in coach again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

I'm ...

There's so many times the airline’s let me down
After the miles I’ve flown around
I'll tell you now, I need a BBJ

Every place I sit, I need more leg room
A four hour flight stinks without decent food
And I didn’t even mention paying for drinks

So pity me and cry for me
Tell me that you'll pray for me
I’ll be packed in tight like I’m in the cargo hold

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
First Class full, I’m stuck in coach again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

Now the time has come for me to board
One more aisle fatso, don’t sit next to me
I’ll close my eyes and try to sleep

Dream about a flight in first class
When the stewardess will pamper my ass
And a coach class won’t exist for me that day ...

Oh, pity me and cry for me
Tell me that you'll pray for me
I’ll be packed in tight like I’m in the cargo hold

'Cause I'm leaving on a jet plane
First Class full, I’m stuck in coach again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

And I'm leaving on a jet plane
First Class full, I’m stuck in coach again
Oh, babe, I hate to go

But I'm leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
Leaving on a jet plane
(Ah ah ah ah)
(Leaving) On a jet plane

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I Appreciate Your Concern

I am touched that many of you have expressed concern over my mental state after the Gopher loss to Holy Cross, but relax, except for a pounding headache, I am fine. It is not like I have no experience with pre-mature departures from the NCAA Hockey tournament (in fact, every year except 2002 and 2003).

* The worst thing about the season ending the way it did is the joy that certain disreputable types (Sioux fans, Badger fans, Patriot Insider hosts, etc) take in our misery.

* The Holy Cross victory was not a “miracle”. The term “miracle” implies not only an improbable event, but a POSITIVE improbable event. This was disastrous.

* Unlike some seem to think, just because a team has a religious name like “Holy Cross” doesn’t mean that they are favored by God. If God likes Holy Cross so much, why didn’t he put them in the WCHA?

* The good news for the Gophers is that they have a young team and a solid group of incoming freshman (including 6-5 227 pound defenseman Erik Johnson, whom the NHL scouting combine rates as the top North American player in the upcoming draft). They will not lose a lot to graduation: Gino Guyer who had a disappointing senior season, Chris Harrington who was capable of making the big play – but all too often made it for the other team, and P.J. Atherton who was a big solid defenseman who will be missed. The big risk for the Gophers is losing underclassmen to the NHL. We will be on pins and needles throughout the off-season to see what Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler, Danny Irmen, and Alex Goligoski decide.

* Enough talk about how this is the first time a number four seed has defeated a number one seed. The NCAA didn’t expand to sixteen teams until 2003, so this is only the fourth year a number one seed could have possibly been defeated by a number four seed.

* Shortly after the Gopher defeat, I was notified that George Mason’s victory over Wichita State clinched a victory for me in one of my NCAA basketball pools. I am also in excellent position to win my other pool. I haven’t watched a basketball game from start to finish all season, but have been watching two college hockey games a week for six months. So why am I so much better at picking basketball?

NOTE: This will likely be my last hockey post until fall.

Casting Call For Brokeback II

Stuff Magazine recently hosted a poll that asked the magic question:

Who would you least like to spend the night alone with in a tent?

Choices included Saddam Hussein, Tom Cruise, Pat O'Brien and Kathy Griffin.

In a two horse race, readers of this men's magazine picked Cruise as the one they would most like to avoid, with 41% of the vote, to Saddam's 39%. Makes perfect sense to me.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Live Blog: Minnesota vs Holy Cross

The question I’m most asked (besides “what’s the Nihilist really like”) is “What is it like to watch a Gopher hockey game with you, Sisyphus”. The answer is that it can’t be explained, only experienced (although a close approximation would be watching the Ken Burns Civil War documentary with U.S. Grant and Abraham Lincoln). This live blog will give you a small taste of what it might be like.

PRE-GAME: Doug Woog predicts a 7-1 Gopher victory, pretty close to my 8-1 call and much more reasonable than Chad “I calls 'em like I sees 'em” the Elder’s 19-2 prediction.

OPENNING FACE-OFF: Holy Cross wins it, but loses the puck quickly.

5:37 PM: Gopher's top line dominate the first shift.

5:38 PM: Harrington turns it over, what a shock.

5:39 PM: Holy Cross takes an early penalty bad move against the nation’s top power play unit.

5:41 PM: Good kill by the Crusaders. Stoa takes a hooking penalty for the Gophers so we will see the Holy Cross power play. The Gophers are due for a short-handed goal.

5:49 PM: Gophers are a little sluggish through the first seven minutes. They should be up by two or three by now.

5:50 PM: Another Harrington turnover.

5:51 PM: BU defeated Nebraska-Omaha earlier, my bracket remains perfect.

5:55 PM: Gophers second power play, time to get things going.

5:59 PM: No scoring on the power play, but the Gophers did have some good opportunities.

6:01 PM: Guyer tries a wrap-around, but that play only works in High School. Guyer is one of the struggling Gophers who really needs to step up.

6:03 PM: Gophers top line is really dominating, they look like they’re on the power play.

6:04 PM: Crusaders power play opportunity. Gophers are due for a short-handed goal.

6:08 PM: Bogus penalty called on P.J. Atherton. It’s a good thing the Gophers are due for a short-handed goal. No score with only 2:12 left in the first. WAKE UP GOPHERS. Don’t make me boo you.

6:10 PM: The only bright spot: Briggs is looking sharp in goal.

6:12 PM: Well that’s the end of the first period, no score but the Gophers out shot them 13-10, but it didn’t seem like it. Each Gopher should go into the locker room and ask himself: “Why am I sucking?”

6:29 PM: Second period starts. Gophers top line is the only one playing well right now. Time to step up Phil Kessel.

6:32 PM:
Kessel-Wheeler-Gordon line dominates their shift. They should be able to create mis-matches.

6:33 PM: Another Gopher penalty – Gophers are due for a short-handed goal. Potulny nearly gets it. I have a feeling that once the Gophers get the first goal, the dam will be broken and the Gophers will score big.

6:34 PM:
Gophers dominate on that penalty kill and now draw a penalty. FINALLY! I predict a Gopher goal on this power play.

6:36 PM:
Put it ON NET, Phil!

6:39 PM:
Fourth line has a dominating shift – but still no goal.

6:40 PM:
I didn’t realize that Bruce A. Berman also had a TV version of his radio commercial. It is even more annoying onTV.

6:42 PM:
Harrington misplays the puck and the Crusaders score the first goal of the game. Thank God he’s a senior and will be turning the puck over elsewhere next year.

6:46 PM:
Crusader defense is doing a good job of keeping the Gophers away from the front of the net.

6:53 PM: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!! Did I mention that the Gophers were do for a short-handed goal? Maybe this will be the wake-up call they need.

6:55 PM: Holy Cross gets a 5 on 3 power play and scores. Refs are once again screwing the Gophers.

6:57 PM: GOOOOOAAAAL! Kessel coming out of the penalty box, scores on 2 on 1 break! Now time to pull away.

6:59 PM: Quick whistle. Puck was loose in the Crusaders crease, but the Refs bail them out with a quick whistle.

7:01 PM: Another penalty on the Gophers? Give me a break. That was a bogus call. However, the Gophers are due for a short-handed goal.

7:05 PM: Harrington passes to the wrong team on the power play.

7:07 PM: End of the second period, score tied at 2. Gophers outplayed the Crusaders in the second period, but not by nearly enough. Time for them to stop screwing around.

7:22 PM: Holy Cross Trivia: Holy Cross is the alma mater of J Peterman. According to my source, Mr. Peterman didn’t even know that Holy Cross had a hockey team until he was asked about the game.

7:24 PM: “Harrington’s pass intercepted” – that wasn’t from me, that was the announcer.

7:26 PM: Shot, Goligoski scores!!! The Gopher’s top defenseman steps up and gives the Gophers their first lead of the game. Gophers seem to have woken up now. Although Briggs just had to make two great saves.

7:29 PM: Another Holy Cross power play. I'm not worried.

7:31 PM: Give me a break, another 5 on 3 for the Crusaders? Guyer barely touched that guy.

7:34 PM: Excellent kill of the two man advantage by the Gophers.

7:35 PM: Another Harrington turnover in front of his own net. Briggs makes the save.

7:36 PM: Wheeler put it off the pipe. Gophs are in control if Harrington can refrain from throwing away the puck.

7:37 PM:
Tie Game. Holy Cross goal was originally waved off, but then given to Holy Cross. Another defensive break down, but not Harrington this time.

7:44 PM: Terrible call on Chucko, give the Holy Cross guy a diver penalty. These Refs suck. 9 minutes left, so this will be a big one. How about a short-hander?

7:47 PM: Briggs is blatantly charged by a Holy Cross player and the penalties are called even? Worst. Officiating. Ever.

7:50 PM: Finally a penalty on Holy Cross. Chucko was tripped from behind along the boards. Gophers: You have the top power play in the nation, start playing like it.

7:52 PM: Credit where due: a couple of nice shots by Harrington on the power play. No one home for the rebounds. Power play over 4:41 left in regulation. Overtime would be an embarrassment.

8:02 PM: OVERTIME. You’ve got to be kidding me. Overtime against Holy Cross? Holy Frickin’ Cross? At this point it doesn’t really matter if they pull it out, because they will have no chance against North Dakota playing like this.

The worst thing is you just know that the vile Sioux fans in Grand Forks are loving this. I hate UND and their fans.

You just cannot let a game like this get to overtime. Harrington can turn the puck over in front of the net at anytime and lose the game no matter who you're playing.

8:19 PM: Holy Cross scores. This live blog is over.

Top 11 Revelations About Fidel Castro Provided By His Former Aide

The Miami Herald has an interview with a former member of Fidel Castro’s inner circle who reveals such details as Fidel has his underwear incinerated so that he can’t be assassinated by chemicals added during laundering. NIGP has obtained additional Fidel tidbits and now we are prepared to reveal the top 11:

11. Fidel can't tell the difference between a Cuban cigar and a good Dominican

10. The real reason he has his underwear incinerated: So that the C.I.A. can’t steal it and use high-tech imaging techniques to create a model of his penis

9. Reads Power Line every day

8. Thinks Stephen Spielberg is a pretentious prick, but he did like “ET”

7. Is rooting for North Dakota in the NCAA Hockey Tournament

6. Hugo Chavez makes him nervous too

5. Briefly toyed with the idea of no longer jailing homosexuals after watching “Brokeback Mountain”

4. Believes that army fatigue green brings out his flesh tones nicely

3. Secretly wonders if he goes on a little long at times

2. Hurt that he wasn't given any screen time in The Godfather Part II

1. The beard is a fake

F Tha Police 2006

Dave from the Fresno Chapter of Drinkers Against Mad Mothers submits these updated lyrics to the NWA classic "F Tha Police"

He is apparently tired of the long arm of the law that is now reaching out to bust drunks who haven't even stepped into their vehicles yet.

F tha police and I said it slurringly
Because the drunks on the street is a majority
A bar is where I do my drinkin'
And 2-3 fifths are always kept in
My glove box, for the so-called law
Wishin' I was a drunk that they never saw
Lights start flashin' behind me
Society's scared of a drunk so they try to breathalyze me
But that doesn’t work, my lawyer just laughs
"All he had was a pint and some Jack"
For police, I'm sayin' "Let me be drunk!"
This point-oh-eight stuff is total bunk!
Making me do all them stupid tricks
On the side of the road I look like a...
And now they try to nab me while I'm still in the club
Hasslin' on me as I dance to some dub
But I know my rights and they aint got crap
I sure aint fallin' for no fascist trap!
So I'm callin' Hinderocker, maybe Johnson too
Whip me up some technicality stew
So get off my back and let me drink
It's my life...I think

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Top 11 Signs That Your Pre-Schooler Is Likely To Grow Up To Be A Berkeley Psychology Professor

11. Refers to nap time as fascist docility training

10. Thinks Bush is worse than that fat kid who steals everyone else's Legos at play time

9. Will only play Duck-Duck-Rainbow Duck

8. Supports expanding the definition of marriage to include My Little Pony's

7. Demands a living wage for the baby sitter

6. Wants to replace Show and Tell with Don't Ask, Don't Tell

5. Accuses teacher of being a neo-conservative for failing to read them "Why Mommy is a Democrat" for the third time in a week

4. Holds a hunger strike to protest the presence of an American flag in the classroom

3. Believes tickling Elmo may be torture and wants the case referred to the World Court

2. On treats day, insists on bringing marijuana brownies

1. Tends to make large generalizations on scant evidence

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Et Tu? Mary Katharine Ham

We at NIGP are all big fans of Mary Katharine Ham, the brains behind Unfortunately, Ms. Ham appears to be preparing for her next career move.

What job would be the perfect fit for a spunky young go-getter that finds a way to make Hugh look like he knows what he's talking about? How about personal assistant to none other than Jessica Simpson? After working her magic on Hugh, one can imagine how smart Mary Katharine could make Jessica appear.

Mary Katharine reveals her aspirations in this post:

When you move here, I'll be your new CaCee Cobb. This is gonna be great.

CaCee Cobb is Jessica's former personal assistant and former girlfriend of famous cheater (in more ways than one), Matt Leinart.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Top 11 Other Assurances MN Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson has Received from the Minnesota Supreme Court

Last week, Pioneer Press hobby columnist Craig Westover exposed the claims of DFL MN Senate Majority Leader Dean Johnson that he had received assurances from members of the MN Supreme Court that they would not overturn state statutes preventing gay marriage, thus making the Defense of Marriage Amendment unnecessary. NIGP has learned that that is not the only assurance Senator Johnson has received from the Supreme Court, here are the top 11:

11. Alan Page will recuse himself if the Vikings sex cruise case comes up on appeal

10. The Court will not interfere with the Craig Westover tax audit

9. No more Andersons will be allowed to sit on the court unless one of the current Andersons steps down

8. Senator Johnson will not be invited back to the next off-the-record Supreme Court Toga Party

7. They will not interfere with his lawsuit against MPR for the "Johnson on Johnson" headline

6. Since the Supreme Court has to stand for re-election too, they will not allow Garrison Keillor to move “A Prairie Home Companion” out of the state

5. The Court will not enforce any of Hugh Hewitt’s Minnesota titles

4. They will not uphold any rioting convictions if the rioters were celebrating the University of Minnesota’s third NCAA Hockey championship in five years

3. The Hatch girls will never spend a day in jail

2. Any time Learned Foot quotes constitutional law, he's just talking out of his rear end

1. Scott Johnson is extremely manly

Monday, March 20, 2006

URGENT: Intervention Required by the Minnesota Commissioner of Hockey

THIS CANNOT STAND! The unthinkable is about to happen: neither of the Gophers first two games in the NCAA Hockey tournament are scheduled to be televised live in the Twin Cities this weekend. The morons at Fox Sports North are currently planning to show a meaningless Timberwolves game on Friday (with the Hockey game after on tape delay). Even more egregious, they plan to show a meaningless Wild game while the Gophers are earning their spot in the Frozen Four.

To add insult to injury, the games will be available live in Atlanta Georgia, among other places. I guess we will find out which state has the more effective Commissioner of Hockey, Minnesota or Georgia.

UPDATE: I give the Commish B+. The Friday game will now be shown live on FSN. However, Saturday’s 8PM Regional final will be shown tape-delayed at 9:30 PM. I guess I can live with that. Good work, Commissioner.

UPDATE 2: Time to give credit where due. After working feverishly behind the scenes (I presume) the Commissioner has now arranged for the Regional final to be televised live. Thank you, Commissioner Hewitt. I will (probably) never again denigrate your selection as Minnesota Hockey Commissioner.

NCAA Hockey Tournament Preview

Now that the meaningless conference tournaments are behind us, it’s time to focus on the most entertaining sporting tournament of the year: The NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament.

What comes to mind at first glance of the brackets is that the NCAA wants to soothe the egos of the non-WCHA hockey conferences. After being embarrassed by an all-WCHA Frozen Four last year, the selection committee has put the four WCHA teams in the Midwest and West Regionals, guaranteeing that the lesser conferences will have at least two teams in the Frozen Four.

(1) Wisconsin vs (4) Bemidji State, (2) Cornell vs (3) Colorado College

Cornell will be in for a rude awakening in the NCAA tournament (as usual for EZ-AC teams) now that they have to play teams that are actually good. Although Colorado College has been struggling of late, they will have no problem with Cornell and will send College Hockey’s most obnoxious fans (yes, Cornell fans are even worse than Sioux and Badger fans) home early: Colorado College 5, Cornell 2.

Now to the tough one: Wisconsin and Bemidji State. Early in the season, Bemidji State swept Mankato State, not terribly impressive at the time. But then, in one of the most glorious moments in the history of Western Civilization, Mankato State trounced Wisconsin in the second-to-last series of the regular season. The transitive property does not always hold in sports, but I think Bemidji State has it in them to pull off the upset: Bemidji State 3, Wisconsin 1.

Bemidji State won’t have long to savor the victory; their Cinderella story will end the next night: Colorado College 5, Bemidji State 1.

(1) Minnesota vs (4) Holy Cross, (2) North Dakota vs (3) Michigan

It seems like every other year, Michigan makes the Frozen Four from the number two or three seed simply because of the boost they get from playing the regionals on their home ice, Yost Arena. Oh sweet irony; now they must play on the University of North Dakota’s home ice against a hot Sioux team. It’s a shame that both of these teams can’t lose, but I will go with irony: North Dakota 4, Michigan 2.

You can call it a bye for the Gophers: Minnesota 8, Holy Cross 1.

It may seem like a tough draw for the Gophers to have to get through the Sioux on their home ice to get to the Frozen Four, but nothing could be further from the truth. Ralph Engelstad Arena isn’t known as Mariucci West for nothing, the Gophers are 6-3 lifetime against North Dakota there. Let’s make that 7 and 3. Hey, that also sounds like a good final score: Minnesota 7, North Dakota 3.

(1) Michigan State vs (4) New Hampshire, (2) Harvard vs. (3) Maine

Yawn, now we’re on the irrelevant regions. Top seed Michigan State will have no problem with UNH (University of No Hardware): Michigan State 4, UNH 1

Hockey (L)east is a somewhat tougher conference than the E-Z AC, so I give the nod to Maine’s superior schedule: Maine 2, Harvard 1.

Michigan State doesn’t deserve a number one seed, so let’s give the region title to Maine: Maine 5, Michigan State 4.

(1) Boston University vs (4) Nebraska-Omaha, (2) Miami (Ohio) vs (3) Boston College

The two reasonably decent eastern teams are BU and BC and each should advance against CCHA teams.
Boston University 2, Nebraska-Omaha 0
Boston College 4, Miami (Ohio) 3

The region final will be a replay of the Beanpot final, with the same result: Boston University 3, Boston College 2.

Frozen Four
Colorado College vs Maine
Boston University vs Minnesota

The NCAA was able to avoid an all WCHA Frozen Four, but they won’t be able to avoid the all WCHA Championship game:
Colorado College 3, Maine 1
Minnesota 4, Boston University 0

I hope this is enough warning for you R.T. Rybak: Get the riot police to Dinkytown, now! The Gophers are about to win their third National Championship in five years: Minnesota 6, Colorado College 0.

UPDATE: Other analysis at Fraters Libertas and EckerNet. Both predict North Dakota over Wisconsin in the final. I’m not surprised that Kevin would pick the Sioux, given that he is an SCSU Huskies fan and thus has little experience with the NCAA Tournament, but Chad the Sioux Shill should know better.

Although North Dakota has a young and talented team that is gelling at the right time, I think both Chad and Kevin are putting too much stock in North Dakota’s WCHA Final Five Championship. In the final, they were mostly outplayed by an SCSCU team that was playing its sixth game in nine days (including overtime the night before). If the Huskies’ excellent goalie wasn’t so clearly fatigued, the outcome would have likely been different.

New Song Parody - Uptown


Sung to the tune of Downtown by Petula Clark

When you want to walk alone with plenty of worries
You can always go Uptown
When you've got jewels or a coat that is furry
Seems to help, I know Uptown
Just listen to the thunder of the gunshots in the city
Linger on the sidewalk after 9 and they'll say "What a pity"

The crimes are much bigger there
You can forget all your future and stop breathing air
So go Uptown, your life will be done when you're
Uptown, a meal out with friends?
Uptown, your life as you know it will end

Don't let soul-crushing ennui get to you
There is diversity - Uptown
Maybe you know a little Korean restaurant you can go
Where all-you-care-to-eat buffet doesn't close - Uptown

Just browse along in a cutesy antique store
Your chaffeur can pick you up before it gets too hardcore

You can forget it's a problem, act like you don't care
And go Uptown, "Won't happen to me"
Uptown, "They have the detritus I need"
Uptown, they'll even stick a bullet in thee

An Example of Why Fraters Libertas is #1 On My Blogroll

Atomizer beats me to the punch in trashing another inane Laura Billings column. It's difficult to match his wit and wisdom. Let's hope he posts again this month.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Everything I Need To Learn About AIDS I Learned In Kindergarten

This morning I caught another of those stories about the shocking mess that is America's educational system. This one featured efforts of New York City schools to enforce the mandate for kindergarten AIDS education. I googled New York City Kindergarten Aids Education and found a myriad of articles confirming the fact that some level of AIDS education is mandated. However, there was little that explained exactly what the curriculum includes.

I did find that in Michigan, there is a detailed AIDS curriculum for every grade between kindergarten and 6th. The kindergarten curriculum calls for children to either watch a video or read a book titled, "Come Sit By Me." I think it is named after something Jake Gyllenhaal said to Heath Ledger at the beginning of Brokeback Mountain. The first graders watch a video titled "Thumbs Up for Kids". The objective stated of this video is to "explain how HIV is & is not transmitted." The curriculum does not state whether the video endorses fisting, as the title "Thumbs Up . . ." seems to suggest.

Further research provides the New York City public schools kindergarten curriculum. Since the semester happens to be exactly 11 weeks, I present it as a kind of reverse top 11 list:

Week 1: Colors and Shapes

Week 2: Storytime: Heather Has Two Mommies, Why Mommy is a Democrat, No George NO! The Re-parenting of George W. Bush

Week 3: How Ritalin will help you to learn

Week 4: AIDS Education

Week 5: Tell us if your parents ever try to discipline you or teach you right from wrong so we can send a social worker to stop them

Week 6: Global Warming

Week 7: Why George W. Bush is as bad as Hitler

Week 8: How Hitler was the worst man ever

Week 9: Until now (recap of week 7)

Week 10: The importance of tolerance

Week 11: Why it is wrong to celebrate anything religious during your upcoming month-long vacation (but secular celebrations where you horde toys are OK)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Why He Want To Be So Dumb?

Riddle Me This:

Q: What do you get when you combine the intellect of Jessica Simpson with the looks and talent of Nick Lachey?

A: Learned Foot

Backstory: On Thursday, Learned Foot brought his rag-tag band up north to Keegan's pub to try his hand at the 8 pm Keegan's pub quiz, the subject of which this week was Irish trivia in honor of St. Patrick's day on Friday. In preparation, they invoked a plan titled number eight.

I assumed the eight signified the number of questions (out of a possible 25) that the KAR bunch planned to correctly answer. I was wrong. Here are the top 11 facts related to Thursday's 8 pm pub quiz:

11. Learned Foot got 4 right out of 25

10. The subject was Irish trivia.

9. Learned Foot is of Irish descent

8. The Fraters team, featuring yours truly, consisted of three people of German descent, with only one member of Irish descent.

7. The Fraters team finished in the money (alone in second place) with 13 correct, winning four fine Irish beers and a Sam Adams necktie.

6. Four of the questions were multiple choice with four possible answers, meaning Foot likely got 1 right just from guessing.

5. Therefore Foot was 3 for 21, or 14.3% correct on non-multiple choice questions

4. Every member of the weak hitting Minnesota Twins should hit better than .143 in 2006 if they have more than 20 at-bats

3. Foot cheated on the quiz, illegally bringing at least eight pages of Irish trivia that he brazenly set on the table during the quiz. Terry Keegan decided not to punish him as his performance did not impact the winners.

2. I conducted a partial review of Foot's cheat sheet. At least two of the answers were included. Therefore, Foot scored 1 of 19 5.3% on non-multiple choice questions that he didn't already for which he didn't have the answers.

1. Vince Young was routinely savaged as an idiot for scoring a 6 on the NFL's Wunderlich test

Friday, March 17, 2006

Top 11 Real Reasons Jessica Simpson Snubbed President Bush

When Jessica Simpson was in D.C. to lobby Congress for her pet charity “Operation Smile”* she passed on a chance to meet with President Bush because the meeting would have been at a fundraiser and she didn’t think it was appropriate to talk with the President about “Operation Smile” there. We here at NIGP don’t believe a word of that. Here are the top 11 real reasons Jessica Simpson snubbed President Bush:

*I’m not 100% sure, but I think “Operation Smile” is the charity Jessica set up to provide glamour shots for underprivileged kids.

11. The White House wouldn’t allow her to lip-synch the meeting

10. Cheney keeps calling her “Britney”

9. Didn't actually refuse, got distracted by a shiny object and just forgot

8. Afraid she won't stand up to the intellectual rigor required to have a conversation with Jenna Bush

7. Being so close to the Washington Monument frightens her

6. Her father forbade her from wild parties; she wasn't sure whether a Republican Party fundraiser qualified

5. Believes Bush has sided with Nick Lachey

4. Didn’t want to politicize “In This Skin

3. Bad experience when she visited the White House during the Clinton administration

2. Afraid that will take up a petition to deny her the role of Daisy Duke in Dukes of Hazard II

1. Didn't want to look dumb if asked a question about . . . anything

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Top 11 Words That I Don't Want To Hear Over The Next Few Weeks (unless you're talking about college hockey)

#11 Bracket

#10 Cinderella

#9 Hoops

#8 March

#7 Madness

#6 Sweet

#5 Sixteen

#4 Pool

#3 Seed

#1 Final

#1 Four

A Rotten Day In Cleveland

The whole idea of a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is ridiculous. True Rock and Roll is free and uncontrollable. You can't quantify it. Sure, there's record sales and the charts, but they fail to tell the entire story.

So every year a pretentious bunch gets together in Cleveland to honor those it thinks worthy of being immortalized. Unlike the NFL Hall of Fame, criteria is too subjective. I may despise Brett Favre, but I know his record and his statistics merit inclusion in the football hall. But what of Bob Seger?

This year's induction ceremony was marked by one word: exclusion. The Sex Pistols, seeing the hall as a joke excluded themselves. Blondie tried to exclude former members Frank Infante, Nigel Harrison and Gary Valentine. Learned Skynyrd was missing several of their most important members, including singer Ronnie Van Zant died in a plane crash in 1977.

However, the most bizarre exclusion was lead singer Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath. He replaced Ozzy Osbourne in 1979 and helped resuscitate the bands career over the course of two studio and one live albums before leaving in 1982. In 1992 he returned for a reunion album of sorts. Next to Osbourne, Dio was the next most popular singer in the band and deserved induction. The snub broke the Fleetwood Mac precedent. In their 1998 induction Peter Green, Danny Kirwin and Jeremy Spencer were inducted alongside eventual replacements Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, despite the fact that the Buckingham/Nicks era was clearly responsible for the bands largest commercial successes.

Dio was robbed and Johnny Rotten got it right.

SISYPHUS ADDS: I've corrected the Nyhylyst's shameful misspelling of one of the greatest bands in the history of western civilization.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Top 11 Reasons Daunte Culpepper Wanted to be Traded to Miami

11. Much more convenient to Atlanta and their prime hookers

10. Vikings refused to reward his lousy year capped by a serious knee injury with a huge raise

9. Sex cruises run year-round

8. No one in Miami thinks he has small hands

7. Tired of being overshadowed by the dominating Gopher hockey team

6. Doesn’t want to play in a metro area with “Brokeback Mayors”

5. Bored with beating the Green Bay packers twice a year

4. Chance to hangout with Shaq

3. His favorite TV show has always been “Miami Vice”

2. Thinks that being near a large body of water will somehow reduce his fumbling

1. Dolphin fans unlikely to call for Sage Rosenfels to take over the staring job – at least for the first few weeks

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Top 11 Favorites For 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

Lately it seems like the inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fall into three classes: Jazz musicians with little or no connection to rock, crappy bands from the 1980s and punk bands. With that fact in mind, here are the top 11 performers with potential to be the 2007 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

11. John Coltrane
10. REO Speedwagon
9. Devo
8. Charlie Parker
7. Billy Squier
6. The Buzzcocks
5. Boston
4. Herbie Hancock
3. Pat Benetar
2. Journey
1. Styx

Monday, March 13, 2006

Top 11 Good Things About Blizzards

11. Laughing at hybrid drivers stuck in the ditch while you drive by in your SUV

10. No need to make up a fake excuse for why you were late for work

9. Watching the local media try to blame the blizzard on global warming

8. Snow covers up all of those ugly brown trees

7. Helps you appreciate spring all the more

6. No need to stop for red lights when you can’t see the stoplights

5. They are quite tasty (Dairy Queen Blizzards)

4. Gives you something to talk to the neighbors about

3. If the blizzard occurs in Minnesota, the national media doesn’t go into hysterics about it

2. Creates ideal cross country skiing conditions – hopefully getting cross country skiers out of our hair for a few days

1. It’s the perfect time for a hot toddy (unless you’ve given up liquor for lent)

Riddle Me This

Q: How is an Iranian union like the United States Congress?

A: The Iranian confectioners union adopted a silly and ineffective tactic used by congress to express outrage against a foreign action they didn't like.

It seems that Iranians have a fondness for the pastries known throughout the world as Danish. However, as they burn things in protest of Denmark's policy allowing a free press to publish cartoon images of the prophet Muhammad, the confectioners union has decided to change the name of the Danish pastries to "Roses of the Prophet Muhammad."

This occurs a few years after an effort led by the United States Congress to rename French Toast and French Fries at the Capitol Cafeteria after the French government made statements critical of the American-led invasion of Iraq. Remember Freedom Fries? That showed those frogs!

Hopefully the Iranian government will follow the lead of the confectioners in emulating the US Congress, allocating too much of their budget on failed social programs and grandstanding gestures. If so, they will be rendered a feeble and unthreatening enemy to all but their own people.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

An Admission

So the KAR folks are on to our skullduggery. In retaliation for egregious offenses of etiquette, we changed the link from their website to Brokeback Mountain online. It was a funny little joke and I thought it was harmless. However, site meter reports indicate that a lot of folks have been confused by our change in the link. Here is a photo of one reader, traumatized by the link change:
We apologize for any damage we may have done to our readers, and have set the link back to the Kool-Aid Report (although they are still ranked #2).

Friday, March 10, 2006

Top 11 Things Given Up For Lent

11. Harry Wittington - hunting

10. Jon Stewart - his sense of humor

9. Hugh Hewitt - broadcasting

8. George W. Bush - reading polls

7. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman - cigars

6. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybek - diving off floats in gay pride parades

5. The New York Times - Fact checking stories involving the World Health Organization

4. Governor Tim Pawlenty - ambitions within the national Republican party

3. Dubai Ports World - causing trouble

2. David Gregory - lithium

1. George Clooney - perspective

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Top 11 Signs That Scott Johnson Is The Most Manly Member Of Powerline

In a post yesterday, John Hinderocker opined that Scott "Muddy Waters wrote the Magna Carta" Johnson is the most manly member of the venerable crew of bloggers. We agree and have come up with 11 reasons why:

11. Instead of blogging in pajamas, wears boxers and a wife beater

10. Sports by far the most manly glasses of the trio

09. Reads entire copy of Claremont Review of Books in one sitting

08. Sometimes sticks it to the man by loosening his tie before 5pm ("But Scott you ARE the man")

07. Often speaks of democrats in irreverent manner

06. When he enters a sushi bar, the bouncer just cowers in the corner

05. Often tells the police that his typing fingers are more powerful than their guns

04. Refills his car's window washer fluid all by himself

03. Can play songs on jukeboxes for free just by tapping them on the side

02. Runs with scissors

01. He's got the biggest trunk

It's Hard Out Here for the Rich

(To the tune – if you can call it that – of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp")
As performed by S-O* Mafia

* Sarbanes-Oxley

WARNING: EXPLICIT LYRICS (I’ve got to be true to the language of the street – Wall Street)

You know it’s hard out here when yo’ rich (you ain’t knowin)
Where he tryin’ to keep this money from the Feds (you ain’t knowin)
For the BBJ and fuel money spent (you ain’t knowin)
Because a whole lot of ex-wives talking shit (you ain’t knowin)
Will have a whole lot of ex-wives talking shit (you ain’t knowin)

In my eyes I done seen some crazy thangs on Wall Street
Got couple bankas workin on the loans for me
But I gotta keep my game tight like Gates on earnings night
Like takin from brokaz don’t know better, I know that ain’t right
Done seen people bankrupt, done seen people lose deals
Done seen people live with no personal chef for meals
It's fucked up where I live, but that's just how it is
It might be new to you, but it's been like this for years
It's blood sweat and tears when it come down to this shit
I’m tryin to get rich ‘fore I upgrade my trophy bitch
I’m tryin to have thangs but it’s hard stayin’ rich
But I’m prayin and I’m hopin my net worth don’t slip, yeah

Man it seems like I'm duckin dodgin SEC all day
Shareholdaz hatin on me cause I got, dough on the tray
But I gotta stay paid, gotta stay above water
Couldn't keep up with my bankas, that's when shit got harder
Manhattan where I'm from, I'm Wall Street bound
Where shareholdaz all the time end up with no profit found
Man these investas think we make cash, but nope
They come hopin every night, they don't end up bein broke
Wait I got Halliburton, and Global Crossin too
You pay the right price and they'll both do you
That's the way the game goes, gotta keep it strictly legit
Gotta have my hustle tight, makin change off these brokaz, yeah

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Top 11 Ways Iran Plans to Inflict "Harm and Pain" on the United States

11) Add a few more syllables to President Ahmadinejad's last name

10) Air drop leaflets with pictures of women not wearing burkas to erode America's morals

9) Burn copies of beloved American anthem "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp"

8) Mass produce Paris Hilton clones, making it all but impossible to be a pimp

7) Fund the production of the next Michael Moore documentary

6) Start rumors that "American Idol" Clay Aitken might be gay

5) Pay Captain Ed to start live blogging Friday prayers in Tehran

4) Assign secret agent Angelina Jolie to systematically break up America's favorite celebrity couples

3) Refer to Donald Rumsfeld as a "chicken" until he goes hunting with Dick Cheney

2) Convince shock jock Hugh Hewitt to take less than his customary 12 weeks of vacation per year

1) Re-abduct American hostages and hold them until Jimmy Carter gets put back in office

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bye, Bye Blondie

The World Health Organization (WHO) bureaucrats, having successfully halted the epidemics of AIDS and Bird Flu, have directed their efforts today toward the release of a study suggesting that natural blondes will be extinct by the year 2202. It doesn't take a scientist like our friend Sisyphus to debunk this story, so here goes. Either the study is incredibly flawed or, more likely, the MSM reporting on the study is inaccurate.

Blond hair is caused by a recessive gene, meaning both parents must contribute the blond hair gene in order to have a blond child. In order for blondes to be extinct, all people with the recessive gene will have to die out. None of the stories I searched pose a scenario where blonde geneholders die out, nor do they give any suggestion that this is even possible.

The study probably said (or should have said) that naturally blonde hair will become extremely rare, as cross-cultural breeding limits the percentage of humans who receive recessive genes from both of their parents (remember that just one blonde gene will not produce a blonde.) Therefore, in 200 years, it is possible that natural blondes will be extremely rare. However, the genes required to create a blonde will still exist in a significant percentage of humans, (for the most part) paired with a dominant brunette (or sometimes red) hair gene, leaving the world a little less blonde. On the other hand, there will be many occasions where two brunettes who each have one recessive blonde gene mate to produce a blonde child.

On the other hand, millions of Brokeback Mountain loving hairdressers will gladly work to increase the supply of blondes via chemical means.

UPDATE: Laura Billings wrote on the same subject today. I feel shame in touching subject matter that she considers within her limited realm. Especially since she is paid union scale for her drivel. If blondes really are dumb, then she must be a natural.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Top 11 Hardest Things About Being A Pimp

Last night during the Oscar telecast, George Clooney taught us that while Hollywood may be out of touch, it is out of touch in a good way. Hollywood, he says, often sheds light on a problem before the rest of the nation is prepared to deal with an issue. His point was proved later in the broadcast when the Original Song Oscar went to “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”.

Most of America has no idea how hard pimps have it, but Hollywood (and this blog) are way ahead of the curve. Here is our attempt to enlighten America by exposing the top 11 hardest things about being a pimp:

11. Workman's comp costs are out of control

10. Being called "my brotha" by Pat O'Brien

9. Rising gold prices make dental plan very expensive

8. Stressed out by criticism from the playa hatas

7. Harder to roll in the Caddy with rising gas prices

6. When your bitches talk back

5. The immorality of George Bush's America

4. When some other pimp tries to steal your bitches

3. Finding enough ho’s to meet demand during Minnesota Vikings bye weeks

2. Animal rights activists protesting the feathers in your pimp hat

1. Maintaining street cred when you've just been honored by "The Academy"

Top 11 Lies Heard At The Academy Awards

11. No, I'm not on anything tonight.

10. This award isn't about me.

9. That George Clooney is really a humble, down to earth guy.

8. It's not about the money or the awards, I just want to make a difference.

7. Jon Stewart is really on tonight.

6. I'm sorry if I forget to thank anybody.

5. It's an honor just to be nominated.

4. "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" has real artistic merit.

3. Queen Latifah looks great.

2. I can't believe Stephen Spielberg didn't win, he really deserved it!

1. I’m not gay, I knocked up Katie Holmes.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

This Ain't The NFL

After my dismal football predictions, it was a bit scary to put my academy award predictions down. However, I would like to note that on the seven categories that I predicted, I was correct on five.

The two categories I missed were best supporting actor and best actor. On supporting actor, I suppose it was wishful thinking that I believed Paul Giamatti would beat George Clooney. Regarding best actor, I really believed the Brokeback boys would take more than one major award. I was also at a disadvantage of being too young to remember Truman Capote, and therefore being somewhat unable to judge how well Philip Seymoure Hoffman portrayed him. Im any event, I predicted a dark horse in the two categories where favorites won.

My wrap-up would include a recommendation for the family friendly March of the Penguins, winner of Best Documentary. For more adult fare I would recommend Walk The Line, featuring Best Actress Reese Witherspoon.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sisyphus’ Oscar Preview (Not To Be Confused With The Nihilist’s Oscar Picks)

If you are looking for an objective preview of the Oscars, you’ve come to the right place. Much like a Supreme Court nominee who studiously avoids prejudging cases that may come before the court, I have made a point of not seeing any of the nominated films. I come to the table with a clean slate. Here is my unbiased preview (note: these are not predictions, but rather who I would have voted for if I were a member of the academy).

Achievement in sound editing
“King Kong”, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, and “War of the Worlds”

How hard can it be to edit sound in a movie about a giant ape? You just have to edit the grunts together. “Memoirs of a Geisha” is apparently about an Asian prostitute – I suppose there could be some interesting sounds to mix there, but when I think sound editing, I think war and explosions.
Sisyphus Picks: “War of the Worlds”.

Achievement in makeup
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, Cinderella Man”, “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith”

I have to recuse myself from commenting on this category since I have seen Episode III.

Achievement in costume design
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “Memoirs of a Geisha”, “Mrs. Henderson Presents”, “Pride & Prejudice”, “Walk the Line”

All that you’d need to costume “Memoirs of a Geisha” would be the Victoria’s Secret catalog. “Walk the Line” is about Johnny Cash – it doesn’t exactly require a lot of expertise to come up with a wardrobe for the man in black. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” questions have been common in the Keegan’s Pub Quiz and since I haven’t known any of the answers, I’ve come to hate that movie. I’ve never heard of “Mrs. Henderson Presents”, (a sequel to “Harry and the Hendersons”?) That leaves “Pride & Prejudice”. Jane Austen movies always have fancy costumes that look hard to make.
Sisyphus Picks: “Pride & Prejudice”

Okay, I’m bored with the categories no one cares about. Unlike the Oscar broadcast, I won’t inflict the rest of them on you. Let’s skip to the main categories:

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
George Clooney in “Syriana”, Matt Dillon in “Crash”, Paul Giamatti in “Cinderella Man”, Jake Gyllenhaal in “Brokeback Mountain”, William Hurt in “A History of Violence”

George Clooney will probably win because Hollywood loves sucking up to him, but he is far too annoying to get my pick. I can’t get beyond the fact the Jake Gyllenhaal’s uncle is editor of the Star Tribune. I hate Matt Dillon almost as much as his friend and frequent co-star, Ben Affleck. William Hurt hasn’t been in a good movie since “Broadcast News”. Paul Giamatti was good in “Sideways”, so I lift my glass of merlot to him.
Sisyphus Picks: Paul Giamatti

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Capote”, Terrence Howard in “Hustle & Flow”, Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain”, Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line”, David Straithairn in “Good Night, and Good Luck”

I’ve never heard of Terrence Howard, so he clearly hasn’t paid his dues. I have heard of David Straithairn, but I can’t quite picture him, so he must not be that great an actor. I’ve hated the name Joaquin ever since 1987 when I had Joaquin Andujar on my fantasy baseball team and he went 3-5 with a 6.08 ERA. That leaves the two actors playing gay guys. The movie “Capote” is apparently about the writing of Truman Capote’s excellent book “In Cold Blood”, so I’ll go with him.
Sisyphus Picks: Philip Seymour Hoffman

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams” in “Junebug”, Catherine Keener in “Capote”, Frances McDormand in “North Country”, Rachel Weisz in “The Constant Gardner”, Michelle Williams in “Brokeback Mountain”

Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand are too old for consideration here. Rachel Weisz is not unattractive, but not quite in the class of Michelle Williams and relative newcomer Amy Adams. I give the edge to the fresh-faced, Amy Adams.
Sisyphus Picks: Amy Adams

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Judi Dench in “Mrs. Henderson Presents”, Felicity Huffman in “Transamerica”, Keira Knightley in “Pride & Prejudice”, Charlize Theron in “North Country”, Reese Witherspoon in “Walk the Line”

We can dismiss the ancient Judi Dench out of hand. Felicity Huffman is also getting a little long in the tooth. Charlize Theron can be hot, but she can also look pretty scary. That leaves us a tough choice between two hotties, Keira Knightley and Reese Witherspoon. Keira Knightley appeared in one of the best magazine covers of all time, but she was overshadowed by Scarlett Johansson. Reese Witherspoon didn’t receive the recognition she deserved for the Legally Blonde movies.
Sisyphus Picks: Reese Witherspoon

Best motion picture of the year
“Brokeback Mountain”, “Capote”, “Crash”, “Good Night, and Good Luck”, “Munich”

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Munich, especially during Octoberfest, but apparently the movie “Munich” isn’t about that. “Crash” is about race relations, a topic that is so 1989. “Good Night, and Good Luck” is about a heroic journalist and is thus a little too far-fetched for my taste. That once again leaves the two gay movies, “Brokeback Mountain” and “Capote”. Since much of this blog’s traffic comes from searches for “Brokeback Mountain”, I feel kind of obligated to pick them.
Sisyphus Picks: “Brokeback Mountain”

UPDATE: The academy did a pretty lousy job, going 2-4 and getting only the best actor and actress Oscars correct. Shame on you, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, shame on you.

Oscar Picks Summary

If you didn't listen to Oscar talk this morning, here is a summary of my Oscar picks:

Best Picture: Crash
Best Actor: Heath Ledger (although I thought it should be Joaquin Pheonix)
Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon
Best Supporting Actor: Paul Giamatti
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz
Best Director: Ang Lee

I also opined that Best Documentary was the most intriguing category this year, with some very popular films that are generally more entertaining than the group up for best picture. My personal pick is March of the Penguins. However, Murderball is a great film that would be a deserving winner as well. The PC pick in this category is Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. It will be interesting to see who takes on the golden statue.

Click here to load a podcast of the show.

Stick With The Opposite

One minute ago, at 9:34 am, the NIGP on 1280 The Patriot declared that Ang Lee was his "Lock of the week" for the Oscar for Best Director.

Given his football picking history, now would be a good time to place your bets on anyone BUT Ang Lee.

Tell 'em JB sent you!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Top 11 Excuses for Falling Asleep During Oral Arguments

11. Made the mistake of looking Justice Souter directly in the eyes and became hypnotized

10. Texas redistricting cases are not as riveting as you might suspect

9. Was doing Jägermeister shots with Scalia until 2 AM

8. Had just read the book: "Powernapping To Success"

7. Judge Alito's has begun using ether as cologne

6. Gave up No-Doz for lent

5. Chief Justice Roberts insists on keeping the court’s thermostat set to 80 degrees

4. She had her radio headphones tuned to Hugh Hewitt talking about Rob Reiner

3. As usual, she'll get a summary of arguments and voting instructions from the ACLU

2. Thought that since napping worked so well for Ronald Reagan, she'd give it a shot

1. Admit it; if you knew you couldn’t be fired, you'd nap on the job too

Powerline Style Media Alert III

I will be appearing tomorrow as a guest from 9-11 AM on The Patriot Insider (AM 1280). Since this is their Academy Awards show, I will be the "insider" regarding Brokeback Mountain jokes. Coincidentally, the Northern Alliance Radio Network will follow from 11 AM to 3 PM. Rumor has it that they will also have an Academy Awards show featuring the movie critic from the Washington Post. Tune in to see who offers the keener insight into the Academy Awards.

Note that Podcasts of the Patriot Insider will be available after the fact here.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

She look So Good Since She Lost All That Weight

Well, it's been 100 days and Celebrity Fit Club is now over. Our gal Kelly LeBrock shared with us the sad story that was her life. A supermodel turned actress, she gorged her self after marrying Steven Seagal as a way to make sure she wouldn't be attractive to b-list martial arts experts anymore. Seagal left her, presumably for a skinnier and younger woman. So Kelly was alone with three kids and a lot of extra pounds. Enter the experts at Celebrity Fit Club.

They repaired her self-esteem and she shrank from 175 lbs to 151 before the last weigh-in. Her final target was a mere 2 lbs. She crushed it, losing 7 to finish at 144, not super-model skinny, but reasonable for a 5' 8" woman in her mid-forties. The best part of the final show was when they asked her how she lost so much weight and she responded that she had a severe case of the flu. All the fitness experts then congratulated her on her successful tactic. You go girl!

Not so impressive was former 227 star Countess Vaughan. Over the 100 days of Celebrity Fit Club, with doctors, dieticians and personal trainers at her ready she managed to gain 4 lbs. You go girl too. Go far, far away where no one will ever see your porky c-list celebrity face again!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Top 11 New Initiatives for the "Brokeback Mayors"

According to the Star Tribune, city hall insiders have begun calling RT Rybak and Chris Coleman the "Brokeback Mayors" due to their unusually close relationship. This could herald an era of unprecedented cooperation between Minneapolis and St. Paul. If so, we predict the following new initiatives to be undertaken soon:

11) A YMCA built on the border, straddling each city

10) Mayors "push" to "connect" Twin Cities through "central corridor"

9) Coleman approves of tax payer funded baseball stadium in downtown Minneapolis

8) Rybak approves of tax payer funded bathhouse in downtown St. Paul

7) Coleman will wear Rybak's mismatched sock

6) Rybak will have all further knee surgeries caused by diving off gay pride float performed at hospitals in St. Paul

5) Both agree to treat their constituents like gay sheep herders treat their flock

4) New uniform requirement for police in each city: leather chaps

3) Joint bid to try to win rights to host 2009 Gay World Rodeo

2) Coleman's sister-in-law will teach Rybak's sister-in-law how to get two weeks worth of columns out of the fact her kids are sick

1) Jointly decree Minneapolis and St. Paul as sister cities to Sodom and Gomorrah