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Every Time a Synapse Fires

The Quest to Post 10 Entries Every Day




April 30th, 2013

Once again it's the NHL playoffs, and once again I chatter about them to myself.

Protecting you from having to read about hockey, one day at a timeCollapse )

February 27th, 2013

Dark Spot on My Soul

Hockey Talk!

Time to Vent About Homer-Ass Canucks FansCollapse )

February 13th, 2013

n Abomination!

For some reason I read a press release about the new Cooler Ranch Doritos Locos Taco. Contained inside is one of the worst sentences I have ever read: "'You'll have to be hiding under a rock to not know about Cool Ranch,' Greg Creed, CEO of Taco Bell, said in a phone interview."

Allow me to list the horrifying parts of this sentence:

  • The gross tense confusion, unless he means that while people right now might not know the main flavors of Doritos, he'll be sure they do before this new taco thing
  • The CEO of Taco Bell is named Greg Creed, which, like, of course, but also ugh
  • There's a non-zero chance he changed his name to be more like the band
  • It's all part of a press release for a new flavor of Doritos Locos taco
  • Said flavor is kind of a bad idea objectively, as no one wants ranch tacos
  • This portends a media blitz of even more commercials for tacos flavored like Doritos
  • Some poor USA Today sadsack had to call up Greg Creed and get some bogus quotes for his pointless press release article
  • It reminded me that phone interviews are a thing that exists

I'll be honest, there might even be a worse sentence in there somehow, but I read that one and was completely done. Now I can ditch the tab and hopefully forget it ever happened.

January 29th, 2013

Me Corner!

I realize that none of the 3 people who might read this particularly care about hockey, so I'm going to hide all this behind one of those More Inside dealies, but I'm so pissed about the Avalanche and Gabriel Landeskog's concussion that I had to vent somewhere.

Aforementioned More Inside DealieCollapse )

September 21st, 2012

Self-Deleted Comment!

In the interest of not getting into an Internet fight with a tedious douchebag (pre-posting update: I got into a different stupid fight with him, but one that I'm more prepared to win as it's less of a suggestion that I find interesting and more of something I can argue forcefully), I did not make this comment on MetaFilter. I do think it's an interesting thought, though, so here it is:

If you're looking for 20th century mythologies, I would submit The Simpsons. Not unlike Shakespeare, it started out with archetypes, but now is driving them. It's basically impossible to conceive of a slimy capitalist without reference to Mr. Burns, or a surly nerd without the Comic Book Guy. The show's touched on basically every element of contemporary life and I would argue that it has set expectations for how we deal with our family, work, and community.

It's not set in an undefined mystical past, but I don't think that's a necessary element for mythology. Plenty of canonical myths were set in the recent past or even contemporaneously. They're really just stories that people told that helped them think through problems. We don't have problems like, "Why is the sky exploding?" anymore, so our mythologies help us deal with the problems we do have, like how to deal with the ennui of mind-numbing jobs that we hate.

Also like the show's clearly had an impact on our language and I have no doubt that a century or two from now some of its phrases will have slipped seamlessly into the language so that everything coming up Milhouse or releasing the hounds is just as seemingly natural as strange bedfellows or fighting fire with fire.

August 13th, 2012

Comic Book Corner!

So, in the last few weeks, I've watched The Dark Knight Rises and also powered through both of the Arkham games, so I've got Batman on the brain. One of the things I find most interesting about Batman is that he's a surprisingly versatile conduit for stories. Adam West's Batman has basically nothing to do with anything that's come since, and even the recent relentless grimdark flavors of Batman are really quite different in execution and approach to the central conflicts that make Batman. There's probably more variation in presentations of, say Spiderman and Superman than I'm giving credit for, but I don't think the degree of difference approaches the variance in Batman.

holy hell this was longCollapse )

June 26th, 2012


I was rewatching part of the fascinating Architecture of Doom, a documentary about Nazi aesthetics, and it shows a few of Hitler's own watercolors. They're mostly pastoral landscapes of farmhouses and such (you can see a few here. Amusingly, they reminded me pretty strongly of Thomas Kinkade's work, a similarity that got stronger when I read on the Wikipedia that, "Some thought Hitler's painting skill was poor; for example because he did not paint people, the cause of which is speculated by LIFE as either his unwillingness or lack of skill."

In fairness, I don't actually think that Thomas Kinkade was a fascist. I do think that his aesthetics had a certain reactionary flavor that celebrates a vague bucolic past as the pinnacle of humanity. It's pretty easy to get from there to America for Americans and on to some real unpleasantness, but there are also a bunch of major thresholds on the slippery slope from pictures of cottages to Nazism. Mostly, it amuses me to compare the two.

June 12th, 2012

Fun Hockey Stat!

7 players tied for the lead in playoff goals scored this year.

3 play for the LA Kings, 2 play for the New Jersey Devils, and 2 play for the Philadelphia Flyers, who were eliminated in the 2nd of 4 rounds. Hell, Claude Giroux didn't even play in all of the games, so he managed to tie for the lead in exactly half the number of games the Kings played and less than half the Devils did.

Old Tyme Baseball Corner!

On a list of great 19 year olds in major league baseball (the lack of caps is because I want to avoid fights about whether certain leagues were or were not major in the way that the American League in 2012 is a Major League) is a fellow by the name of Paul Hines who's pretty unlikely to be known to you unless you already cared about 1870s baseball, in which case you're probably not going to learn anything new here.

Anyway, Paul Hines came up for a godawful Washington Nationals team (as in 8-42 over two years bad) for a couple years, where he was the only remotely good player even as a teenager, before moving on to a merely mediocre Chicago White Stockings team for which he was outstanding, especially considering he was 19 at the time. After a few years there and a league collapse, he had his best season for the Providence Grays, where he won the Triple Crown in 1878. The catch is that at the time, he wasn't recognized as having won any of the 3 components of the Triple Crown.

You see, at that point, RsBI wouldn't even exist as a statistical category for at least a few years. There seems to be some controversy about whether Ernest Lanigan [who had a ridiculous career, by the way] actually invented it or just popularized it around the fin de siecle, but in any case, Paul Hines was not recognized as the leader in them at the time. Home runs, of course, were very rare at the time and barely figured into the minds of fans, kind of like triples do today. As for batting average, that was a stat that was noted at the time, but the calculations at the time were off and awarded a different man the batting crown. Hines followed that year up with another just as good, and has a legitimate case to be entered into the Hall of Fame, but the honor of having achieved something that was totally unrecognized at the time is probably even rarer than that.

May 30th, 2012

Stanley Cup Finals Finals!

By going 2/2 in the Conference Finals, I'm up to 8/14 in predicting things without really thinking about them hard. I should start carrying a forked stick and looking for water.

Anyway, I'm at least moderately happy about this finals. The Kings haven't won anything ever and have a bunch of built-up sympathy, making them possibly the only LA-area team for which that's true. Well, them and the Clippers. Dustin Penner is actually an outside candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy (50/1, but it's still a shot), and I guarantee that no one thought that was going to be the case going in to the playoffs. It's all fairly exciting and I think my rooting interest is pretty obvious. Bonus fact: The Kings are 14-4 since April 1. Half of those losses are in the 3 rounds of the playoffs they've played, and half are in the 3 games of regular season play at the very beginning of April.

That said, this Devils team has some things to recommend it. I don't particularly want to see Marty Brodeur win yet another cup on the back of his teammates, but, on the other hand, if Ilya Kovalchuk can keep sticking pins in the totally unjust reputation he had created for him in Atlanta, I can't deny that I'd be excited. I realize that him winning a Smythe wouldn't end the flood of comments about Mysterioius Russians and their choking, soft, can't win in the playoffs ways, but maybe it would help. Mostly I'm sick of them, and Kovalchuk has already shown that when he's not the only remotely good thing about a terrible team, he can indeed be part of a winner. I also don't much mind the rest of the Devils' skaters, and their style is worlds away from the dreadful trapping years. It's a surprising turn of events, but I still can't fully support a team going for its 4th Cup in 17 years. Unless that team happened to be one I already liked for whatever reason. This is a rigorous process, clearly.

Kings in 5
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