Friday, February 28, 2014

Official Oscars Predictions

I haven't seen all the movies, and I probably won't watch the actual awards show, but I wanted to put something in writing. With that said, here are my picks for the major categories for this weekend's Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE: 12 Years a Slave
BEST ACTOR: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

I haven't done too much research, having only seen Gravity and American Hustle out of the nominees, but I did read Entertainment Weekly, so that basically makes me an expert. What do my predictions mean? They mean that American Hustle gets shut out despite being nominated in all five categories, it means that Leonardo DiCaprio remains Oscarless and perhaps most tragically, the love of my life, Amy Adams, doesn't pick up a gold statuette on Sunday.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Is this cannibalism?

If you have to stop while reading a story and legitimately ask yourself "Is this cannibalism?" then it's probably not a good sign.

I'm serious.

The start-up is called BiteLabs and they propose to take DNA from celebrities and in turn, "grow" artificial meat which will be turned into artisinal salami.

Still not kidding.

Their website suggests "using" such celebrities as Kanye West, Ellen Degeneres, Jennifer Lawrence and James Franco.

That's what the site suggests. I hope this is a prank. I really do. I'm extremely skeptical, and I can't see anyone signing off on doing this. Except maybe Kanye. He's crazy.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Making Opening Day a holiday

I've gotta give props where props are due, and this time, they go out to Budweiser.

Making Opening Day a national holiday? I'm on board. It is, after all, the nation's past time.

I've got my tickets secured, and I'll be making the trek (pilgrimage?) to Miller Park for the game.

If it was a holiday? Even better.

A look at the NL Central's contribution to the overall vote count. I was #103 for Milwaukee!

The petition needs 100,000 votes and right now, it's only at just over 7,000 with 29 days to go. Vote here ( if you feel strongly about this cause, as I do.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Top 10 story lines from Sochi

As with any great sporting event, the Sochi Olympics had a mix of both triumph and tragedy over the course of the Winter Games. Here's a look at the top ten story lines - in no particular order - that came out of Russia over the past couple of weeks.

1) #SochiProblems

Before the Games actually began, the talk was all about #SochiProblems and the various calamities that visitors, namely the American media, had while getting set up in their respective hotel rooms. The hashtag inspired a number of different Twitter accounts but ultimately fizzled out as the competition began. The lone wolf wandering the hotel room turned out to be a prank masterminded by Jimmy Kimmel, and controversies surrounding civil unrest and anti-gay legislation never came to fruition. One thing we did get was this lovely mashup by DJ Steve Porter entitled "Mo Sochi, Mo Problems."

2) Big name Americans falling short

-It seemed that night after night, the biggest story for fans of the American Olympic team wasn't about who took home a medal, but rather about which big name didn't. Shaun White failed to medal on the snowboard halfpipe, even after pulling out of the slopestyle event. Shani Davis finished a disappointing 8th in the 1,000-meter race, 11th in the 1,500 and 24th in the 500. Lindsey Jacobellis was again in the lead in the snowboard cross, and again took a tumble to keep her off the medal stand.

3) Stray dogs

While some of the Americans may not have performed as well as they would have hoped, the U.S. team showed their kind hearts on social media, especially taking notice to the stray dogs that found their way into the Olympic village. 
Many members of the U.S. team, from Jacobellis to goaltender Ryan Miller, have posted pictures and a few have even made travel arrangements to bring the puppies home with them. Russian billionaire Oleg Derpaska has even donated $15,000 to start up a charity to provide housing and look for homes for the stray dogs.

4) Slalom star

While almost all of the big-name American Olympians fell short, one potential star was born for the U.S. in Sochi. 18-year old Mikaela Shiffrin became the youngest gold medal winner in Alpine skiing, winning the slalom for the United States. While Lindsey Vonn missed the Games recovering from injury, Shiffrin stepped into her event and brought home gold. It may have not been a surprise to the skiing community, but Shiffrin will likely be a marketing fixture for the United States for future Winter Olympics.

5) Bob Costas

-While some high-profile Americans fell short, the majority of the buzz stateside was coming from those who just couldn't look away from Bob Costas' eye infection. He tried to gut through it at first, but shortly after, NBC had to call in Matt Lauer and then Merideth Viera to fill Costas' anchor role. Costas eventually returned to the anchor's chair this past Monday to the Olympic coverage with less discomfort, but was not immune to playful jabs from Lauer and the rest of his NBC colleagues.

6) Dutch speed skating

No country was as dominant in any one event as the Netherlands was in speed skating. The Dutch captured 23 medals - eight gold, seven silver and eight bronze - of the 26 offered in the sport, which accounted for all but one of the country's medals. The eight gold medals set a record for the most in a sport for any one country, and the Dutch captured 21 of the 30 individual medals available in the sport.

7) Host Russia wins the medal count

Russia became the first host country to win the both the gold and the overall medal count since Norway won in Oslo in 1952, coming away with 13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals. The Russians punctuated their medal count with four on the Games' final day, including sweeping the 50km cross country ski medal stand and earning gold in the four-man bobsled.

8) Canadian hockey

While the Russians did end up winning the overall medal count, Putin made no secret that is was the men's hockey gold that he coveted most. While Alex Ovechkin and the Russians came up well short, it was the Canadians that reigned supreme in both the men's and women's bracket. The women's gold medal game was as thrilling as any in recent memory, as the Canadians scored two goals in the final 3:30 to tie the game, before snatching the gold away from the U.S. in overtime. The Canadian men were a bit more dominant in the medal round, shutting down the Americans in a 1-0 semifinal win, before securing a 3-0 win over top-seeded Sweden in the gold medal game.

9) Figure skating controversy

To many, it appeared that 2010 Olympic gold medalist Yuna Kim of South Korea had performed more than well enough to claim her second straight figure skating gold, but Kim had to settle for silver after Russian Adelina Sotnikova was awarded gold by the judging panel. It seemed like a scandal could be in the making, due to some last minute judging switches, but so far, the South Korean Olympic federation has yet to file an official protest. The IOC, of course, is saying there's no controversy, but we've likely not heard the last on the topic.

10) #TaraAndJohnny

While there was no bona fide breakout star in competition for the United States, the two Americans that made a name for themselves, perhaps more than any other, were Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. They've been praised for their "quick, critical analysis" of figure skating and the duo has taken social media by storm as well. And good news for Tara and Johnny fans - they'll be providing analysis at the Oscars this Sunday and will be contributing to Access Hollywood as well.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wolf of Sochi

While Jimmy Fallon garnered all the headlines this week breaking into the Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel continued to prove he's a late night force to be reckoned with. He's the current king prankster of late night television.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


It's no secret that Americans love their sporting events, but there's something about events pitting one country against each other that makes it special. It would never work, but can you imagine if there was a league for something like this? Take the NFL for example. Say there were 30 countries around the world that were pretty good at (our version of) football. USA vs Germany one week, China the next. A crazy rivalry with Mexico and Canada? I'd love it. It would never work, and would totally devalue events like the Olympics and the World Cup, but it would be awesome. For now, we've got big world events to look forward every other year (or so).
Captain America, Zach Parise
On that same front, since the Olympics are such a novelty, I'll watch anything. I found myself getting really into the Switzerland vs Sweden women's hockey bronze medal game this morning. I spent three hours watching USA and Canada battle it out this afternoon, and I'll do the same with men's hockey tomorrow. Figure skating is my favorite thing ever. And by ever, I mean for two weeks every four years. I can't get enough, and I'll be sad to see them go.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Kids Falling On Ice

This should make you feel better about the weather. It also kind of  makes you a bad person, but that's totally ok.

I love his running commentary. I hope to be that type of dad some day.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Hope your Valentine's Day goes better than this

They say all women have a little crazy in them. Some...have more than others.

Take Ashley Marie Prenovost for example.

Via the Smoking Gun:  

When her boyfriend declined to have sex, Prenovost became enraged, according to police. She allegedly punched two holes in a bedroom wall, and “punched a picture hanging on the wall in the hallway, causing glass to break and causing injuries to both of suspect’s hands.”

As Prenovost ran around inside the home, “she bled all over the floor in the master bedroom, hallway, common area by the front door and kitchen.” When cops arrived at the residence, a naked Prenovost attempted to flee through the garage.

Prenovost was arrested on a variety of charges, including assault, disorderly conduct, and criminal damage. And I have to think she's now probably single.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentines Day

One of the things I enjoy asking women about this time of year is their feelings on Valentine's Day. Some love it, some detest it, some fall somewhere in between. For many, it can depend on whether or not they have a special someone to celebrate with, but for some, they feel the way they do whether they're single attached or...somewhere in between.

I understand why some would love it, and I think, on some level, all women do. Or at least they want to love it. Flowers, chocolates, special treatment, so on and so forth, blah de blah. For some, it's very materialistic. I've seen that first hand,'s not my favorite. Sorry ladies.

Some see it more as a special opportunity to spend extra time with that person they care about. Boooooooooooooooooooring. What a crock of bs. That's the line they say because that's what they feel they are "supposed" to say. For a minuscule minority, that sentiment is probably genuine. But that's a fraction of the female population. In my professional opinion.

Do I seem cynical? Yes. Do I have reason to be? In my opinion, yes. (Long story there. (Kind of.))

But let me iterate something. MEN - IF YOU HAVE A VALENTINE, THEY HAVE EXPECTATIONS. You don't have to go overboard, but a genuine gesture goes a looooooong way.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lookalike Battle

See a resemblance here?

On the left is Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. On the right is actor Will Ferrell. The lookalikes have a bit of a "feud" (chronicled here: and they're ready to duel.

Here's what Ferrell posted on Reddit:

Hi, Chad. Will Ferrell here. I saw your video and I graciously accept your invitation to a drum battle. If we can raise $300,000 for Cancer for College I will face off with you in the greatest drum vs. cowbell showdown the world has ever seen. We can do it on stage at a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert or in front of a mutually convenient public library. Your call.

I'd watch that.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Olympic Death Traps

So far, so good for the Olympic games. It seems that much of the hype surrounding the less-than-adequate conditions of the hotels has not transferred over to the competitive venues, and that's a beautiful thing.

The Olympics came at a perfect time this year, as pick right up where football left off. I spent most of my Sunday watching the various events, and I came to the conclusion that a lot of the events have something in common. That common thread? I'd probably end up dead if I tried to participate in the sports in a competitive manner.

Via Getty Images

The big hitters:

Alpine skiing - They're going upwards of 80 mph flying down this course! How they stay in control is beyond me. I was watching yesterday in absolute terror.

Freestyle skiing/Slopestyle - Not only are they going down hill, but they're doing flips and corkscrews and 1080s and stuff. Lots of opportunities for me to get paralyzed.

Luge/skeleton - The only difference would be whether or not I kill myself laying on my back or on my stomach.

Ski jumping - They're jumping the length of a football field!!

Speed skating - Those skates seem really sharp. I trip and take one to the jugular? Likely.

Cross country skiing - I would just die of exhaustion in this one.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chobani Bear

At this point, you still remember what happened in the game at the Super Bowl, but do you really remember the commercials? I think it's good when companies follow up with their ads to make them stick.

Here's what I'm talking about, from Chobani Yogurt:

Priceless. Am I gonna buy Chobani Yogurt? Probably not. But I am talking about it.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sochi toilet trouble

I know I keep ragging on the Sochi Olympics and their barely underway, but there's a ton of fodder material, so it's been pretty easy.

Take this picture, tweeted out by Yahoo! hockey writer Greg Wyshynski:

They can't flush the toilets? This seems like something they should have considered. Sochi was awarded these games in 2007 and spent $44 billion on them already. Yet the media doesn't have working toilets.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sochi Olympics

I have a long sports bucket list, and on that list is to attend events at both the summer and winter Olympics. I wasn't in a position to be able to afford to go to Vancouver in 2010 (still in college) or Atlanta in 1996 (I was 8), but I know they'll make their way back to North America soon. Heck, if the circumstances are right, a trip to Korea for the winter Olympics in 2018 or Tokyo for the summer games in 2020 isn't out of the question.

But Russia? Nothing about that sounds like a tourist destination.I'm adventurous, sure, and like to explore new places, but I want to know with relative certainty that I'll make it home alive. If I'm gonna drop a pretty penny to go to the Olympics, I want to experience a little more of the region too. Nothing about Sochi, Russia sounds appealing.

I'm not surprised that attendance is down, but this might be the real reason people stay home.

Via CNN:

More than half of Americans think a terrorist attack on the Games is likely, a poll shows. The results of the CNN/ORC poll come a day after U.S. officials said they had specific reasons to worry about security in Russia. Games was likely. Of those surveyed for the CNN/ORC poll, 57% said a trrorist attack on the Sochi Games was likely.

That poll is saying that a terrorist attack isn't just possible. But likely. I feel the same way but boy, do I hope I'm wrong.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Apparently these two delicacies hit shelves yesterday, and I'm seriously considering leaving work right now to run to Festival and pick some up.

New OREO Marshmallow Crispy Hi ResNew OREO Cookie Dough Hi Res

I don't necessarily have a sweet tooth, but both of these look incredible. I love cookie dough (probably more than I like cookies) and Rice Krispies are possibly one of my favorite desserts ever. WHAT TOOK SO LONG FOR OREO TO GET THEIR ACTS TOGETHER and put out something like this? They've put out some pretty terrible cookies of recent - like banana split, which smells like a diaper filled with Indian food - but these look amazing. I just ate lunch, but holy moly am I excited for these. I'll report back tomorrow with my findings.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Thoughts

Apparently I'm one of the few people that actually enjoyed yesterday's Super Bowl. I thought the game was fascinating, the commercials were high quality and the halftime performance was a pleasant surprise too. Let me explain.


I'm a sports junkie/football nerd, so I thought the way that the Seattle defense completely shut down one of the best offenses in league history was amazing. From stopping the run game, to WR screens, to timing patterns across the middle to deep routes, the Seahawks defense was one step ahead of the Broncos every step of the way. The success Denver had all season long was Peyton Manning's ability to take advantage of his skill position players' ability to win mismatches. There were no mismatches on Sunday. At least not in the Broncos' favor.


It felt like commercials were going less for a punch line ad than a lasting sentimental ad, which makes sense. People need to see/hear commercials plenty of times for them to remember what they are for, and one 30 second spot doesn't do that. If I say "Running of the Squirrels", does that make you remember the hilarious ad from a few years back? Possibly, but what company was that for? I think companies are trending more towards ads that will stick a bit longer than just a punch line. I think you saw Ford, Budweiser and some of the other bigwigs heading in that direction.


I don't give two craps about Bruno Mars. I know who he is, some of songs sound familiar, but I could take him or leave him. Yesterday's performance isn't going to make me a "fan" so to speak, but it was certainly impressive. The dude can perform. And sing. I loved it.

And some RHCP action didn't hurt, even though I would have loved to see more. But, it was Bruno's stage.

What'd you think? You probably disagree.