Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oakland News: Glenview Neighborhood gets new website

Over at, Patsy Eagan announced that there's a new website especially for the Glenview Neighborhood in Oakland. The rest of this blog post is her presentation of the website

(Glenview street banners, courtesy of Maja Brugos Design:

Yesterday's clouds dumped another inch of rain onto Oakland. More t-storms may be in the stars for the Bay today, with more precip. into next week.

Some of the banners along Park Boulevard have buckled in the harsh weather, flapping in the high winds and in some places, coming loose from their streetlight mounts. Below them runs the garden median; the city nearly shut off its drip water system last year due to budget cuts. Today it's soaked. Water brims, then runs down the Glenview slope and into the sea.

Next spring, the Glenview Neighborhood Association (GNA) plans to host a gardening party on the median. But while winter still reigns in Oakland, they've been busy with a little virtual refurbishment.

Yesterday the GNA launched a new Web site, and invite you to tour their virtual home today:

Visit your GlenviewNeighbors online and consider making a donation. Your membeship will go to feed the plants on the median; they will fund online projects with the neighborhood youth. It could also purchase new flags for the Glenview—a nice distraction from the potholes on Park.

Saints v. Vikings: NFC Championship game a shootout

Saints v. Vikings UPDATE:

The Saints v. Vikings game is underway. The Minnesota Vikings shocked the New Orleans Saints by using a masterful short passing game featuring QB Brett Favre. They drove 80 yards in 10 plays, ending the drive with Adrian Peterson's 19 yard run.

Then the Saints answered back on their first drive: a mix of no-huddle, play action, screens, and quick throws. Pierre Thomas scored on a 38-yard screen, and we have a shootout: Saints 7, Vikings 7.

Stay tuned.

The Game Preview:

The 2010 NFC Championship Game is the Saints v. Viking on Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings visit the New Orleans Saints in this battle to determine which team will represent the NFL's National Football Conference in the Super Bowl in Miami. The game will be a battle of quarterbacks: The Vikings' Brett Favre v. The Saints' Drew Brees.

Brett Favre is coming off what many are saying is the best year in his history. Brett Favre's thrown 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Drew Brees has thrown for 4,388 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Both offenses are potent, but the Saint's Offense is the league's 3rd best; the Vikings have the league's 2nd best defense.

The Saints Offense is indeed potent, but the key is not just in Drew Brees' passing, but the game planning and play calling of Head Coach Sean Payton. Coach Payton has not only developed an offense that consists of a plays that he uses as tools to attack a defense' weaknesses in formation structure, he and his staff do a great job of changing their game plan to adjust to a defenses approach.

The Saints did this in their game against The Dallas Cowboys in 2009, when, down 24 to 7 in the third quarter, the Saints went to a hybrid four-receiver set to march back, only to lose 24 to 7. The the one factor of that contest which also works in the Vikings favor is the rush of the Cowboys' front four when they used a four-man rush, which harassed and hurried Brees all evening long.

The Vikings led the NFL in sacks with 48, and have a defensive line paced by Defensive End Jarod Allen, which is every bit as physical as that of the Cowboys. Look for the Saints to use more play-action against the Vikings, but if the Vikings scout well and pass rush and blitz when the Saints line up in single back sets, it could be a long day for Drew Brees.

The Vikings Offense consist of Favre, second-year Runing Back Adrian Peterson, and a set of excellent wide receivers paced by Sidney Rice (with 1,312 yards on 83 catches, and 8 touchdowns). But Percy Harvin, who was not expected to play, practiced with the team Saturday. Harvin has 790 yards on six touchdowns and 60 receptions. Percy Harvin is the Vikings weapon, used in reverses, and even as a running back.

Adrian Peterson is incomparable. He's good for 4.4 yard a carry, has 1,383 yards and 18 touchdowns. But Adrian Peterson hasn't had a breakout 100-yard game since earlier this year when he went crazy against the Cleveland Browns. Adrian Peterson is the key in this entire game; if the Saints can't stop him, they'll lose.

The other factor here is the emerging talent that is the Saints' Reggie Bush. The man who should have been drafted by the Houston Texans in 2006, is finally seeing the field and as a result has become a better running back. His pair of long-distance touchdown runs against the Arizona Cardinals helped them when their NFC Divisional Playoff game 45 to 14.

But that was against Arizona. The Vikings have a better defense. The one question is their ability to craft an offensive game plan that takes the pressure off Brett Favre and keeps the Saints Offense off the field. The key is Adrian Peterson. The Saints' Defense is ranked 25th in the NFL and has given up 400 yards in six games this season.

The other key is the desire of New Orleans itself to escape the shadow of Katrina. That's hard to quantify.

Score: Vikings 24, Saints 21, OT.

Colts 30 Jets 17: Colts AFC Champions, wait for Saints, Vikings

Colts 30 Jets 17. The Indianapolis Colts (15-2) are AFC Champions, having beat the New York Jets and now wait for the winner of the Saints - Vikings game as their challengers in Super Bowl XLIV in Miami.

The way the Colts earned their second trip to the Super Bowl in three years was with a strong defense to go with their quick-strike offense, as they marched back from 11 points down in the first half of the game. The Colts held the NY Jets , the NFL rushing leader, to an average of under three yards per carry.

But it was a story of Quarterback Peyton Manning.

After solving the riddle of the Jets overload blitz by using "three-and-one formations" and taking advantage of key Jets defensive losses, the Colts' Manning threw for 377 yards, and was 26 for 39 and three touchdowns for a passer rating of 123.55. The key was his rookie receivers: Pierre Garcon and Austin Colley. They combined for 274 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

As successful as the Colts were, it didn't start out well. The NY Jets came out to a 17-6 lead with a mix of power running and play-action passing. Mark Sanchez didn't look like the rookie he was here at the 2009 NFL Draft:

His success is a tribute not just to his New York Jets coaches, but to former-USC Coach Pete Carroll and his staff where Sanchez was signal-caller in college. Sanchez was well-prepared for the systems and speed of the NFL. Sanchez' advance to the AFC Championship game as a rookie will not be the rare happening it has been in the past.

But that will come in the future. Today is the Colts day. More on how the Colts did it later.

Johnny Depp on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

While the "Johnny Depp dead" (or "RIP Johnny Depp", "Johnny Depp died") hoax is still flying around the Internet, Johnny Depp himself, found by Crispin Glover to be in France, has issued his thoughts on the hyper-celebrity life of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Johnny Depp

Once the favorite to win Oscar Best Actor for Public Enemies, Johnny Depp hates the spotlight. He hates it so much so that he lives on a private island with his partner Vanessa Paradis, and their children ten-year-old Lily-Rose, and seven year old Jack. He loves being an actor, but hates being a celebrity. (And with a reported $30 million take from Pirates 4, Johnny Depp can afford the island.)

According to Johnny Depp said:

“I don’t leave the house anymore. If it isn’t necessary I don’t go anywhere. I stay at home. I’m adamant when it comes to that. I will never get used to it. If you do, you must be insane.

"I’m thankful for everything, but there’s a limit to what a person can endure. I don’t know how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie can bear that kind of life, because personally it’s an issue for me.”

He adds, “Because I never leave the house I live outside society. But I’m a witness of my children’s lives. I see how they’re doing at school and how they treat their friends. My kids are a lot smarter than me. When I watch them I learn a lot. I don’t think there’s anything they could learn from me.”

In related news, Johnny Depp is set to film The Tourist with Angelina Jolie.  According to PopEater, the script calls for the two to be in a "steamy sex scene."

Stay tuned.

Johnny Depp died in car crash? NO Depp's in France

Johnny Depp died in car crash? The Internet is, once again, swirling with the kind of false information that drives Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark nuts. In this video interview, Craig Newmark talked about the false information that's consistently issued. This story of "Johnny Depp, died in car crash" is a good example.

Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Alice and Wonderland

This started on Twitter and as of this writing continues with the hashtag "RIP Johnny Depp", but the vast majority of tweets report that the story is a hoax. But even with that, a website URL has a fake CNN webpage that reports Johnny Depp died in a car crash in...2004.

This is a terrible hoax on Johnny Depp and CNN. Johnny Depp was very much alive and about to film Pirates of The Caribbean Dead Man's Chest, which was released in 2006. Angelfire is a web hosting service. It's hard to tell just who made the fake CNN page, which is so detailed that if you click on the CNN logo, it takes you to the CNN home page, just as a regular CNN webpage would do.

But the question is who and why?

Regardless, Crispin Glover reportedly ended the talk by calling Johnny Depp via cell. Depp responded: Nope. In France, according to NBC Chicago's Courtney Hazlett, who issued the news last Monday.

Stay tuned.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split news not new

The rumors that super celeb couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting a divorce are not new; In April of 2009, Blogger Ian Halperin reported that Brad and Angelina split and were trying to work out custody of their children, according to ShowBiz Spy:

Brad has told pals that he “can’t take Angie’s volatile temper anymore” and recently met up with ex-wife Jennifer Aniston to seek advice...According to blogger Ian Halperin, a vicious custody battle has started, with Jolie seeking full custody of all the couple’s children — adopted kids Maddox, Pax, and Zahara; and biological children Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne.. The Changeling actress has apparently hired a top lawyer and plans to seek a restraining order against Pitt until the case is resolved.

“At one point she was considering moving to Washington but in the past few days she’s changed her mind. She thinks Brads become an old coot.

At his blog, Halperin says he was roundly criticized for the blog post, which he removed, but now he says he's vindicated.

Stay tuned.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie break up rumors swirl

The rumors are all over that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie will break up. The basis for them is an "exclusive" report by the Sunday, January 24th UK publication called News of The World. It claims that "Bradgelina" have hired divorce lawyers to split their $205 million wealth.


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, actor and actress, have been a Hollywood gossip stable as publications have hired paparazzi to follow their every move, paying as much as $1 million for a photo. As their fame has grown, the couple have taken on various charitable causes, from famine relief to the rebuilding of New Orleans. In all of this, there was no outward sign of marital trouble. The grew a family of six kids and settled in New Orleans. After Katrina, Brad Pitt started a rebuilding effort. Eventually, Brad Pitt was honored for his work in New Orleans:

Meanwhile, Angelina Jolie has traveled around the World for the past eight years as the Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. Here she talks about her experiences, particularly in Darfur.

The details of their rumored breakup aside, it will be a shame to see them not working together on their projects. But perhaps they're so busy saving the World, they forgot to save their relationship. That's only if this rumor is true. What is true, is that Pitt was seen backstage at the Hope for Haiti benefit without Angelina Jolie. However, his ex-wife Jennifer Anniston was there, but not with Pitt.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston were married for four years until their breakup in 2005. Pitt left Jennifer Anniston for Angelina Jolie.   Jolie was married to Jonny Lee Miller and then Billy Bob Thornton before Brad Pitt.

Stay tuned.