Sunday, March 14, 2010

Peter Graves, brother of James Arness and Mission Impossible star, dies

Peter Graves, the brother of legendary actor and Gunsmoke star James Arness and star of one of this bloggers favorite shows other than Star Trek, Mission Impossible, and the movie Airplane, died today, Sunday, at 83 years of age.

According to the Associated Press video below, Graves had returned to his home in Pacific Palisades, California after having brunch with his family.

While Peter Graves has roles in more than 70 productions spanning a 60-year career, he will always be known as secret agent Jim Phelps in Mission Impossible.

Video: Peter Graves passes:

Jim Phelps always opened Mission Impossible by receiving an order ("Good morning, Mr. Phelps..") in an uncommon way, and always with the tape recorder self destructing within seconds. Mission Impossible was the the thinking person's James Bond series with interesting plot twists, disguises, and people you wanted to root for. Jim Phelps, the can do boss of the IMF team, was one of them.

1971 Mission Impossible opening scene with Peter Graves:

Peter Graves won a 1971 Emmy for the role of Jim Phelps, and was always known for serious character roles. Then, there was Airplane. Here's a classic scene with Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Peter Graves:

Here, much later in life, Peter Graves reflects on his career:

And in this video, Star Trek Producer and Director J.J. Abrams talks about the idea of bring Peter Graves in for Mission Impossible 4:

Peter Graves is an American Icon who will be dearly missed.

Browns Sign Delhomme, trade Brady Quinn to Broncos for Fullback Hills and two draft picks.

Browns Sign Delhomme, trade Brady Quinn to Broncos for Fullback Hills and two draft picks.
By Bill Chachkes for Football Reporters Online

The Brady Quinn experiment in Cleveland is dead.

QB Brady Quinn's career in Cleveland Ohio is no officially over. Quinn was traded Sunday to the Denver Broncos, who now have 4 QB's on their roster.

This is a great trade for both teams. The Browns get a veteran QB who needs a fresh start, plus a skill player who can add depth in Peyton Hillis, plus two draft picks, A 6th rounder in 2011(assuming there is a draft in 2011), and a conditional 2012 pick. The Broncos get another QB to add to the Mix in Brady Quinn, who never attained the status he and Browns fans, and team management expected. Even after Quinn won the starting job last year, it wasn't enough, he was benched just 10 quarters into his assignment for Derek Anderson. At least Brady will finally get a fair shot to be an NFL QB now. Cleveland also released Derek Anderson and brought Seneca Wallace over from Seattle, and signed veteran tight end Ben Watson early this week.

Can you see Quinn as the starter in Denver? I can, as soon as Kyle Orton starts Looking like the bad version of Brett Farve Jr. again. They also have Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater on the roster, so expect one of those two will be gone and the other to be the third stringer. Quinn will have to earn the starting job over Orton.

LaDainian Tomlinson to sign with New York Jets Monday

According to Bill Chackhes, who's covered the Jets beat for years, is a blogger at NFL Business Blog and has the new NFL Gridiron Draft Guide, NFL Free Agent Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson is going to sign with the New York Jets on Monday at a press conference.

LaDainian Tomlinson was formerly the star running back and community leader for The San Diego Chargers. But LaDainian Tomlinson's production decreased dramatically over the last two years, from 1,474 yards in 2007 to 745 yards in 2009.

While the San Diego Chargers' GM A.J. Smith was interested in keeping Tomlinson but only in a reduced role; "LT" as he's called, wanted to remain the featured back. LT was released on February 22nd, after nine years with the organization.

On Monday, LaDainian Tomlinson becomes a New York Jets player, and joins a team that was one game away from The 44th Super Bowl in Miami, and had the league's best defense in 2009. The Jets have given LaDainian Tomlinson room to be the featured back he wants to be as Thomas Jones released and picked up by The Kansas City Chiefs.

What deal LaDainian Tomlinson signs will be interesting to read. With the pass-happy NFL and the need to throw the ball well and often, plus the injuries to running backs that have caused the need for several good runners, not one featured one, I don't think the acquisition of LT to be "that guy" was necessary. The Jets could have saved money drafting a back in the lower rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Stay tuned.

Happy Pi Day - 3.14.2010 - Pi Day Jokes and Star Trek

Happy Pi Day! Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. But why is Pi Day celebrated today, Sunday, March 14th? Because it's 3.14, and Pi is 3.1415926535. This blogger remembers being introduced to the concept of Pi as a kid while watching Star Trek The Original Series.

In Wolf in the Fold, which was a second season episode originally aired in 1967, Scotty was suspected of killing several women while on shore leave on a planey called Argelius II, but an an evil entity was actually at fault for those murders. Eventually, it tried to take over The Enterprise itself. In order to get rid of it, Spock instructed the Enterprise computer to "compute to the last digit, the value of pi". Here's the scene...

Believe it or not, there are Pi Day Jokes! While many of them are just plain corny, you can't get through Pi Day without them, so here they are:

Mathematician: "Pi r squared”
Student: "No teacher! Pies are round, cakes are square!"

Question: What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter?
Answer: Pi in the sky by and by.

Q: What do you get when you take green cheese and divide its circumference by its diameter?
A: Moon Pi.

And here's my Pi Day Joke:

What do you get when you take the head of a Conservative Wing Nut and divide its its circumference by its diameter? Answer: Small Pi - they're pinheads!

Stay tuned.

L.T.'s Hype Machine is coming at ya Jets Fans

L.T.'s Hype Machine is coming at ya Jets Fans-By Dr. Bill Chachkes-Managing Partner-Football Reporters Online

Here is a news flash: the Jets will have at least two running backs next season. Yup. One of them might even Be La Dainian Tomlinson. Even if his agent Tom Condon says he is "negotiating" with Both the Jets and The Vikings, the word on the street is "if you have to leave the warmth of San Diego to keep making money, whose money would you rather take? Ziggy Wilf's or Woody Johnson's?"

Odds are "L.T." will be in Green and White shortly, and not Purple and Gold. Lets put yourself in L.T.'s shoes for a moment. 2009 was the least productive season in your pro career, You gained only 730 yards rushing, and in fact, it was the first year you ever gained less then 1100 yards. Your now thirty years old, and you know you are not a "lead" back any more, but a complimentary back at best. Why go to a team with a lot of other aging veterans when you could stay in your conference and be in the media capital of the planet instead of the city of the ice age?

Lets break it down further: Go to a team with a hot "young" coaching staff and a second year QB on the rise? Or a team with a QB who is getting ready to collect social security? The team with young running backs to play with? Or the team whose only other star plays the same position as you and spends 1/3rd of his game check on new sneakers each week?

We know the NY Jets need to constantly grab the headlines because it makes them feel relevant in the sports section each week. this is the signing, like last week's addition of DB antonio Cromartie, that keeps them in the news, which is where they need to stay. They also need to capitalize on their fantastic season, and the fact that no one expected them to play the Colts in the conference title game, In fact, many people still feel the Jets should have been playing in the Super Bowl.

Condon is just saying "we're talking with both teams" to "manage the Media Hype" and keep the spin within his control. He's a smart agent and that what any smart agent would do. L.T. won't win games for the Jets by himself, but they can pay him a short term deal now instead of Drafting a big name back who won't be there when they pick in the late first round anyway.

The Jets also need to sell the rest of their "luxury" personal shylock licenses in the new stadium and Tomlinson helps them do that. Sell tickets, expensive ones, and quickly.

Update: as of 8:30 EST. several outlets are reporting Tomlinson has indeed signed with NY. the Deal as reported by the NY Daily News is fior 2 years at 5.2 million dollars with incentives that could reach 5.7 million.

Agent Tom Condon Told the AP: "He wanted to go a team that he thought had a chance to compete for the championship," . "He wanted to go somehwere where he had a chance to have a significant role, and so with the Jets he also was going to be very familiar with the offensive system."

A Tale of Time, Place, Persona

A Tale of Time, Place, Persona
By J[The Gambler] Gamble for Football Reporters Online

Donte Stallworth drove drunk and killed a man. Plaxico Burress brought a loaded gun into a strip club and shot himself.  They are both top notch receivers and even bigger idiots, so lets talk numbers.
Stallworth was suspended for 1 season,  served 30-days of a potential 15-year sentence in a Miami jail,  and upon return, was rewarded with a $900,000 contract by the Baltimore Ravens.

Burress  rots in a New York prison, already once denied early release, enroute to completing a 2-year prison stint.
Is one crime dumber than the other ? No. Is one crime more egregious than the other. Yes. But in this  tale of time, place and persona, the crimes don’t equate with the times.  That’s what intrigues me about the two cases. There is nothing legally to suggest that the outcomes should have been that drastically different. Yes, NY gun laws are very strict, but the only celebrities who traditionally get jailed for possessing handguns in NYC, are rappers. You know how dangerous those suburban English majors can be.

On the surface,  it appears that one guy got lucky and one guy got shafted. Sort of.  But Plaxico never had a shot. [No pun intended]  He got caught up in political chess with a billionaire Mayor, whose main platform is promoting an image of being  a Pitbull on gun laws and crime.

Seizing the moment, Mayor Bloomberg  went on TV and assured the viewing public that Plax would be convicted to the fullest extent of the law and wouldn’t get treated any different because he was a Super Bowl hero and celebrity. [Well if that aint a reason to show some leniency, then I don’t know what the hell happened to the New York I was raised in] With those irreversible words,  Bloomberg violated every ethical standard in existence and single-handedly put a nail in Plax’s football coffin.  His lawyer wife couldn’t help him. His money couldn’t help him. The Giants couldn’t help him. The mayor wouldn’t.
I can’t help but to think that despite Burress’  fame with the Giants, his reputation as an arrogant player who broke team rules, and felt he was only held accountable on Sundays, helped fuel the backlash of his foolish actions. Bloomberg knew he had Burress dead to rights. Plax became the perfect tool for The Mayor –  who was still under fire for extending term limits for himself without a public vote –to use to divert attention and strengthen his vow to rid NYC of illegal concealed weapons carriers. 
As soon as Bloomberg spoke out, he sullied any chance Plax had for a fair trial. No late game heroics in this massacre. It is rare that a mayor will offer totally subjective opinion on an open case.  He doesn’t even practice this newfound zest with the most hardened mob figures. So it was very odd that he chose to single out an NFL player – who admitted he carried the gun out of fear.  It takes a lot for a man to admit that.

But now these players – so similar – sit on opposite ends of the opportunity spectrum. Stallworth has already started rebuilding his career and image with the Ravens. Plaxico is still clad in prison greens, getting locked down to the sound of steel doors clanging and clicking, instead of catching clutch passes for an NFL contender. He is a faceless, nameless number at this point, with no influence and no chance to proactively rebuild his image, talk to kids, his family or mend broken business relationships.

It’s funny, one unnamed Giant, who I spoke with following the Plaxico incident said, “They are treating him like he killed somebody.” No, Stallworth killed somebody.  But he is the one back in the league, just a short year later. And truth be told, it was probably  much easier to give Stallworth, generally known as a good character “team” guy, a break. Plaxico, in all of his brashness and defiance of team rules,  messed around in the wrong town. Partisan politics are hot right now. If you are a celebrity athlete in NYC, especially a minority, and you are caught in a high-profile situation that can be damaging to the city’s rep or used by high-ranking officials for personal political gain, then don’t expect to be treated with kit gloves because you caught a TD in the Super Bowl.

Plaxico’s crime wasn’t egregious. It lacked intelligence. It Borderlined on buffoonery. When he shot himself trying to grab the gun from slipping down the leg inside of his oversized pants, that was classic stupid. It was embarrassing as hell. But it sure as hell wasn’t DUI vehicular manslaughter. It was however an illegal action, committed in the wrong climate. History is strange like that. It’s results often dictated by time, place and persona. It can be forgiving, as it seems to have been to Stallworth.  For Plax it will show the tragic fall of a legend.

 Time, place and persona means a lot. Not just in the NFL, but in life. This is a classic example. Stallworth murdered a person. Plax murdered  the destiny of a Giants dynasty.  Never mess with a New Yorkers' football.

Tips to (again!) Avoid A Daylight Saving Death!

[Originally posted at]

We've had the deflating news that Daylight Saving Time (where we lose an oh-so-painful hour of sleep) doesn't even save energy - in fact it may even increase energy usage. Looks like the savings in energy due to decreased light usage is more than offset by the increase in energy used for air conditioning. Sigh. But here's the most important message to keep in mind as we continue to collectively enact this seasonal madness: Daylight Saving Time has been shown over and over in research studies to cause, each year, a definite, measurable (and significant) increase in the number of deaths. When you think about the misery and futility of Daylight Saving Time, the fact that you could actually die because of it seems just wrong. So why do people die because of Daylight Saving Time? And what can you do, personally, to avoid being involved in a Daylight Saving Death?

Over nine hundred Americans, from the years 1987-1991, are estimated to have died purely because of Daylight Saving Time (DST). Another study, using 1997-8 data, estimated that abolishing Daylight Saving Time would save 171 American pedestrians per year (13% of all pedestrian fatalities in the 5:00-10.00 a.m. and in the 4:00-9:00 p.m. time periods) as well as 195 Americans killed in car collisions per year (3%, during the same time periods). To make matters even more stark, moving DST to an earlier, darker date (March instead of April), as we are this year, is likely to make those numbers go up. Daylight Saving deaths are predominantly due to pedestrians getting killed by cars. People are driving after a smaller chunk of sleep, probably stressed and running late, and, importantly, drivers are not yet accustomed to watching for pedestrians in the dark. Pedestrians are groggy, late, and probably not used to looking out for cars in the dark. Maybe some of the cars even forgot to turn on their headlights. Children, in particular, are vulnerable to Daylight Saving Death--one study showed that, in a small area of northeast England, one child every two years dies because of Daylight Saving Time.

What can you do? First, even if we drive, we'll all be getting out of a car to walk at some point, so these pedestrian tips apply to everyone:

1) Hold that toddler hand tight as you head to daycare Monday. Keep a hand on a backpack strap as you walk your kid to school. Warn older kids of the danger.

2) Wear light, bright clothes--nobody gets to be goth the Monday after DST.

3) Cross the road in the middle of a pack (if you can).

4) Be alert--when it comes to pedestrian vs. vehicle face-offs, the only important law is the law of physics. Watch out for the sleepy, stressed out, no headlights death car!

Tips for drivers, to help avoid pedestrians and other cars:

5) Consider getting up even (know it's painful) earlier. Get a real cup of coffee under your belt if you drink coffee. Leave yourself plenty of time to get where you're going, even with pick ups and drop offs. If there was ever a time to drive defensively, this is it. Leave plenty of space between you and the next car, stay within the speed limit and channel your inner zen.

6) Pretend you're watching out for large, sluggish, humped shapes in the dark that can suddenly dart in front of you. Get your best video-game reflexes tuned up to make sure you're not caught by surprise.

7) Make sure your visibility is the best it can be. This weekend is a great time to really wash that front windshield. Put both the visors up. Made sure your headlights are clear of grime (and turned on!). Consider getting your kids to ride shotgun and help you watch for pedestrians--they love a chance to take charge and shout out information.

8) Hey, if you have the option, next week is the perfect time to take public transport! Just watch out for cars when you're walking.

For everyone--

Start now and use some easy cognitive behavioral therapy tips (proven to be every bit as effective as sleeping pills!) to try to get some extra rest on Sunday night:

1) No caffeine of any kind (no chocolate, tea, coffee, decaffeinated drinks--which still have caffeine) after noon.

2) No alcohol with dinner or later. While alcohol may make you feel "drowsy" in the short run, it actually impairs your natural sleep cycles.

3) No TV, no computer, no "screen" of any kind three or more hours before bed--crack open that great book you never seem to have the time to read!

4) Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet and cool. If you still can't get to sleep after 45 minutes or so, get up and do something restful (NO TV, no computer, no "screen" of any kind). Rest peacefully until you feel a wave of sleepiness coming and surf that wave back to bed.

Hope to see you all--each and every one of you--after we make the DST shift.

P.S. Extra credit (we recovering premeds believe in extra credit the way some people believe in the Giants: life-changing, powerful, unfortunately erratic). Save even more lives by changing your smoke detector batteries this Daylight Saving Time!

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Howard Stern's racist slam of Gabourey Sidibe: Zennie on Spider Jones Show

Howard Stern's racist slam of Gabourey Sidibe is the focus of Zennie Abraham's (Zennie62) guest apperance on The Spider Jones Show today, Sunday March 14th, 2010 Daylight Saving Time Day, at 4 PM to 6 PM Eastern, 1 PM to 3 PM Pacific Time at CFRB Newstalk 1010. You can listen live here:

Last week, this blogger took on Howard Stern's racist slam of Academy Award-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe. Here's a recap of that blog post:

I wrote this...

There's no doubt that Howard Stern earns his salary by making outrageous statements. But Howard Stern's slam of Gabourey Sidibe from Precious shows Stern's stupidity. On Monday, on The Howard Stern Show, said this:

"There's the most enormous, fat black chick I've ever seen. She is enormous. Everyone's pretending she's a part of show business and she's never going to be in another movie"

Now it can be said that Howard Stern's the dumbest man on the planet. First, Howard Stern's comment was made in the context of Gabourey Sidibe already having starred in a movie, that being Precious.

Second, because Howard was so busy being prejudiced against fat women, especially "fat black chicks", he turned his brain off and forgot that the role for Gabourey was already created and she played in an independent film that became a major motion picture, and won a ton of awards.

But Howard was so intent on being nasty, all of that escaped him. Howard Stern proved people who discriminate are not smart, they're stupid.

What's really awful about Stern's blast is that no one accuses him of "playing the race card" in using the term "fat black chick"; but there are those, particularly White Supremacists, who would say this blogger's playing the race card in accusing Stern of being racist.

Howard Stern was being racist. And while what Stern said's not a racial ephethet, the use of the term is what's disturbing.

The Spider Jones show is based in Toronto, Canada, according to his website,...

Spider has interviewed such notables as Muhammad Ali, Mark Wahlberg, Jesse Jackson, LL Cool J, Ron Howard, Scott Grimes, Doug Gilmour, Cito Gaston, Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones, Kris Kristofferson, James Brown, Guy Lafleur, Carlos Delgado, Jim Brown and countless others.

And now I'm part of that list.


What time is it? Current Daylight Saving Time is 7 AM PST / 10 AM EST

It's Daylight Saving Time 2010, and if the time change for Spring 2010 caught you off guard, you're not alone.

America has turned to The Internet to try and figure out what time it is. Right now, as of Sunday, March 14th, the current time is 7 AM PST / 10 AM EST, which is Eastern Time, or the time in New York City versus Los Angeles in the western, or Pacific Time Zone.

The old rule is "Spring forward one hour; fall back on hour." The Atomic Clock, or The Official U.S. Clock, is at

Why do we have Daylight Saving Time? According to

Daylight Saving Time was instituted in the United States during World War I in order to save energy for war production by taking advantage of the later hours of daylight between April and October. During World War II the federal government again required the states to observe the time change. Between the wars and after World War II, states and communities chose whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which standardized the length of Daylight Saving Time.

Which also means that it can really screw with International Time relationships, since it's not a World wide practice. The European Union practices it, but not all of the World.

More soon.