Saturday, June 4, 2016

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Summer Girls" by LFO

It was 17 years ago, in June of 1999, that LFO (from New Bedford, MA) burst onto the scene with Summer Girls.

In all honesty, I'm not actually sure it's my favorite of their super-cheesy pop songs.  I was a big fan of the Girl on TV video that featured Jennifer Love Hewitt, as well as Every Other Time.

But Summer Girls was the hit that put them on the map, and its ridiculously amusing lyrics are impossible to forget.

Friday, June 3, 2016

I don't understand how this 5-foot tall Lego animal could cost $15,000

There's a story on ABC News about a Lego structure (pictured on the right) that was accidentally knocked over and destroyed (pictured below) by a small child shortly after it went on display at the Lego Expo in China.

Allegedly, the statue cost $15,000.  Hmm... I'm not buying it.

Hypothetically, maybe there are $5,000 worth of Legos in that thing (which seems really high to me, there aren't any fancy pieces there, just a bunch of basic different-colored blocks--it also looks like the spine may have been built out of Duplo?).  I want to say the pieces should cost $2,000 max, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

As far as construction goes, what's the growing rate for assembling Legos?  Twenty bucks an hour seems more than generous for something you could get the 10-year-old version of me to do for free.  According to the report, it took the artist three days to put together.  Even if the guy worked three straight 20-hour days, we're still only looking at $1,200 in labor costs.

Design, on the other hand, is a different story.  I could see the architect (who in this case is probably the same guy) getting/paying himself $100 an hour to plan the whole thing out.  But, then it would still take roughly 90 hours to hit the $15,000-mark in total.

No way.

Plus, the pieces themselves aren't actually broken, so their value is retained.  Also, I bet it could be rebuilt in one day tops given home much is still intact.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

It's a mattress commercial? Really Tom Brady?

Apparently this ad has been out for a few weeks, but somehow I never saw or heard about it until now:

The first time I watched it, I was thinking this commercial was really cool--until the mattress showed up.

What's Brady going to do in that room with just a mattress anyway?

At least give him some pillows, sheets or a supermodel.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I asked NBA Finals broadcasters Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson about three-point shooting taking over

The Cavaliers made 10.7 three-pointers per game this season, but in the playoffs they're hitting 14.4 a night.  Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, the two most prolific three-point shooters ever (for a single season), both made more threes last round than anybody ever had in a playoff series before:

On an NBA Finals media conference call Tuesday, I asked ABC/ESPN broadcasters Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson if long range shooting would be the dominant storyline of the Warriors-Cavs series:

The full audio of the conference call is available here from ESPN Audio (my question comes at the 36-minute mark) and the transcript can be found here.

Here's my question and their answers (listen above):

The Cavs made about 10.5 threes per game during the regular season and they are up to 14.5 in the playoffs. Curry and Thompson both hit more threes in a series than anyone ever has. So this finals, is it just going to be all threes? And do you think that’s good for the game or do you think it’s a bad trend? 

VAN GUNDY - "Listen, I think the defense dictates often what shots you end up taking. From Cleveland’s standpoint, they are going to try to attack the basket. When Toronto didn’t in Game 1 or 2 choose to protect the paint and they chose to stay at home with the three-point shooters, they took less threes because it was dunks and layups. 
When teams attack the basket and help is created, that second defender comes to the ball and the ball is sprayed out to the perimeter, both teams have the shooting to make 20 threes in a game, as we’ve seen. 
And so this is why individual defense is so important, to try to keep the ball out of the paint and not have to give too much help. But both teams create those opportunities. 
You know, I think a little bit more balance would be actually better for the game, but the rules are now, it’s the appropriate use — when you have this type of shooting on both teams, it’s the appropriate use of the three-point shot. 
The one thing that — my pet peeve is when the ball goes in from the three-point line, everyone in the media talks about great ball movement. When the same ball movement creates a three-point shot and they don’t go in, the media then talks about, they are settling. 
I think you just have to declare, is it great ball movement; you have to make your decision on the shot when the ball is in flight, not wait to see if the ball goes in or not as to whether it was great ball movement or on a particular possession if that was a settled type of possession." 
JACKSON - "I think we are going to see a lot of three-point shooting in the finals, obviously because of the Warriors, that’s their strength and that’s what has gotten them to be the team with a legitimate chance to go back-to-back. 
And I think what Jeff pointed out, Cleveland has the ability to read a defense and either attack the paint area or be a three-point shooting team. 
I think the consistent thing with both teams, which makes them three-point shooting teams, neither team outside of LeBron James has in my opinion a legitimate guy that you’ve got to worry about on the block. 
Kevin Love had success in his past and there’s been times where he’s been successful, but if you’re matching him up with Draymond Green, I think it’s an interesting battle and I think Draymond Green can hold his own defending Kevin Love on the block. 
Both teams, neither one of them have a strength outside of James’s ability in posting up, so I expect to see a lot of driving kicks and spot-up shots and play-making alone at the three-point line."

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Could David Ortiz break the all-time records for doubles and extra base hits? (they're both 85+ years old too)

This tweet came after David Ortiz's 14th home run of the season yesterday (pictured):

That's pretty good, right?

In addition to his 14 home runs, the 40-year-old (and AL MVP?) Ortiz has 23 doubles and one triple through the Red Sox first 51 games (of which he's played in only 45--that's an absurd 38 extra-base hits in 45 games).  He's on a pace to get 121 extra-base hits this year, which would be two more than the all-time record of 119 set by some guy named Babe Ruth in 1921.

Big Papi is also hitting doubles at a rate that translates to 73 for the full season.  The major league record is 67, by Earl Web in 1931.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Warriors looking to accomplish something only the Celtics have done before

Tonight Golden State hosts Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, having evened the series after once trailing the Thunder 3-1.  Should the Warriors win, they'll look to capture their second straight NBA title against the Cavaliers.  Only one franchise in NBA history has ever come back from a 3-1 deficit in the semifinal round of the playoffs and won the championship--the Celtics, who've done it twice:

The 1968 Celtics, with a starting five of Bill Russell, Bailey Howell, John Havlicek, Sam Jones and Larry Siegfried were down 3-1 to the 76ers in the East Finals before winning in seven games.  They then defeated the Lakers 4-2 to capture the title.

In 1981, Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Chris Ford, Tiny Archibald, Cedric Maxwell and a rookie Kevin McHale also fell behind the Sixers 3-1 in the Conference Finals before rallying and taking a one-point victory (91-90) in Game 7.

That Boston squad won the championship in six games as well, knocking off the Rockets.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What do these three actors have in common?

This is a little weird, but bear with me.  My Two Dads (my recent Awesome Old Song of the Week post prompted today's blog) aired on NBC from 1987-1990.  Blossom was a hit for the network from 1990-1995.  Friends debuted in 1994, and lasted until 2004.

So the answer to the question in the title is, Greg Evigan, Joey Lawrence and Matt LeBlanc (left to right) all played slightly-dim, comical pretty boys named Joey for 17 consecutive years on NBC (or 19 years if you throw in LeBlanc's spin-off show, Joey).

      Joey.                                               Joey.                                            Joey.            

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