UCLA Bruin Basketball drafts into the NBA

March 31, 2008

UCLA has 100 people drafted in the NBA:  More players than any other university in the nation.  There’s a really cool site that has them all listed.


This “21” movie is beginning to really piss me off.

March 24, 2008

A couple months ago, if you asked me about this movie, I would have immediately said, "OMG. I’m gonna pre-order 4 tickets to the very first showing, wait in line 8 hours beforehand, watch the movie, the walk out and stand in line again, just so I could see it twice in one day. And then I’m going to take a Southwest flight to Vegas that evening."

(Incidentally, "21" is a movie loosely based on Ben Mezrich’s book, "Bringing Down the House", the story of the original MIT blackjack team that took Las Vegas for millions of dollars by counting cards as a team.)

And NOW?  I’m getting pissed off at how badly warped this movie has become courtesy of the studios.  What’s my beef?  Well, I actually have several (Not the least of which being that the whole movie’s been essentially whitewashed of its Asian characters.  I mean, just imagine the fury that would have erupted had the main character instead been Black instead of Asian and portrayed as White "for demographics reasons" in the movie) but the most recent was the fact that their advertising seems to actually be teaching people how to count cards incorrectly.

Go to the movie web site (http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/21/), click ENTER THE SITE, wait for this monstrosity of a Flash site to load, then click on "Ben" the supposed Jeff Ma character.

Listen to what "Ben" says: 


"They call it a high low system.  You see a HIGH card you add 1 to a running total.  You see a LOW card you subtract 1.  Now the higher that running count gets the more you bet.  The lower the count gets the sooner you get up and and the sooner you leave."


Either their technical advisors are idiots or something weird is going on.  And being that Las Vegas has seen a SERIOUS drop off in tourism in the past year – what with the recession coming and all – it’s not that far off to consider this rather deliberate inaccuracy in instruction.

It’s no secret that the Blackjack card counting phenomenon has actually brought in substantially more money for Las Vegas and Atlantic City than it’s lost.  By implementing 6:5 tables and 6 deck with poor penetration, more ‘wannabe’ counters have gone to Vegas in search of riches only to come away penniless.  The folks rushing in for a "quick win" lose only to discover that card counting is an occupation of very small margins.

So hey – why not tickle everyone’s fancy again with a movie about some young kids gettin’ rich?  And better yet – do it in a way that compels the ignorant to think they’re somehow ‘informed’?

I’m beginning to really dread the prospect of this movie.

BETA: DirecTV’s On-Demand Service

March 24, 2008

I’d like to introduce you DirecTV’s On-Demand Beta.  I connected my newly attached DirecTV’s HR21 DVR Receiver (320GB) to my DSL connection and look at what showed up.  On-demand goodness just like Xbox Live Video Marketplace.  Not as complete and certainly not as pretty an interface but certainly exciting. 

Clicking on a selection allows you to ‘queue’ up downloads or purchases and have them download in the background while you watch other things over the satellite.


Raise the Roof for Easter Bunnies!

March 19, 2008

Dear Members and Friends,

Easter. A time for bright-eyed children … bountiful baskets … and bunnies! But did you know that bunnies are popular all year long?

Bunnies are the third favorite housepet in America. Sadly, after cats and dogs, bunnies are also the #3 pet most commonly found in shelters.  There, many face a too-soon end.

At The Best Friends Bunny House, things are different. Here, hundreds of “buns” live happily, for as long as they need.

But The Bunny House is two decades old … and urgently needs renovation. In short, the “buns” of Best Friends need a home makeover.

The cost to remodel is just over $100,000 – and we already have more than half. So, give what you can and together we can “raise the roof” on The Best Friends Bunny House. Here’s how.

This Easter, March 23rd, when you sponsor a homeless bunny as your gift to a friend or family member, your donation will go to rebuild The Best Friends Bunny House … keeping each “bun” that you sponsor cozy for years to come.

So go ahead and sponsor an orphan bunny from Best Friends as your gift this Easter.

You’ll raise the roof on The Best Friends Bunny House … keep hundreds of buns safe and warm … and get many happy feelings in return.

Where else but Best Friends can an Easter gift do so much? Must be that bunny magic! Thank you for caring about all creatures … great and small.

And warm wishes for a Happy Spring,

P.S. There are lots more bunnies for you to sponsor on the Best Friends website, here. And if you liked the stories of Jasmine and her pals, I hope you’ll share with a friend.

Japan… one of the 10 lost tribes of Israel?

March 14, 2008

I honestly don’t know much about Israeli history, but I found this video fascinating from the perspective of someone that does know a little something about Japanese history.

The fact is, no one knows exactly what the origins of Japan’s people are, although many have theorized about it.  It’s obvious that someone crossed the Sea of Japan from Korea or Taiwan or China… but no one has ever been able to explain who those people are and why they took on the perilous journey.

Whatever happened to the 10 lost tribes of Israel? Is it at all possible that one tribe eventually settled in what is now Japan? What are the similarities between Japan and Israel? Are the Japanese one of the 10 lost tribes?

Before you laugh, the Israeli government is looking into this as a real historical possibility. This 13 minute/40Mb video shows some very elaborate and interesting coincidences, but the investigation starts to get a little eerie toward the end. Watch and you’ll see what I mean.

Man… I’m glad I’m not the only one that noticed.

March 13, 2008

This year’s UCLA Bruin cheerleading & dance squads has more talent on it than the last 5 years combined

Oh, yeah sure.  Like I’m the only one that’s thinking it.  Check this link out:  This dude’s written his entire blog about this year’s Spirit Squad it seems… and God bless him for it:

The Main Reason I like Weekends

March 11, 2008

Sheepa the dog & me playing at UCLA