Goodbye Weekend! House of Cards Season 3

by Chris Burfield in


Due to the way my work schedule worked out last year I was able to start and finish House of Cards in a single day. I will not be doing that this year for season three but I aim to finish over the course of the weekend. Now pardon me as I get the popcorn ready and settle in for some binge watching.

Also a must watch, the Sesame Street parody....



Electing Judges is Stupid

by Chris Burfield in


I love Jon Oliver's new show on HBO, "Last Week Tonight". It takes the "Daily Show" formula of commenting on the news but puts a new twist on it. Since it is a weekly instead of near daily show it doesn't try to keep up with endless stream of events. Instead, it will provide a little commentary on certain events, mostly foreign events which for some reason standard American news doesn't feel is worth our attention, and then dives deep on at least one topic a week.

This past week he took to task in both a serious and a funny way the incredibly stupid practice of electing judges. 85% of all judges in America are put in office through election. In the rest of the world only Bolivia elects their judges on such a massive scale.

Enjoy.



Random Thoughts on The Academy Awards

by Chris Burfield in


What follows are a couple somewhat connected, mostly not, thoughts about last night's Academy Awards :-)

So Birdman won, that kind of stinks. It was a good movie but I don't think it was the best of the nominees. When "Grand Budapest Hotel" was winning the early awards for costumes, and makeup, and production design I thought there was real momentum building for it to win the top prize. I was sadly disappointed.

Neil Patrick Harris. Opening number was good, bonus points for getting Jack Black involved, and there were some decent one liners throughout. Unfortunately, just as many one liners fell flat. And I could have done without the whole get up on stage in tighty-whities routine. Also, could have done without the constant call back to his "predictions".

I was not surprised when Lady Gaga blew the roof off the top with her tribute to "The Sound of Music". She can really sing, here is to hoping she can stay off the crazy train and keep impressing us with her voice.

The "In Memoriam" tribute could have used some real clips instead of just artwork.

And I got 7 of my 8 predictions correct, only missing on Adapted Screenplay, which if you remember I admitted to being pure guesswork on my part.


Flowcharts

by Chris Burfield in


Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I look forward to seeing what the webcomic XKCD has posted. Almost every time I find myself laughing with their special brand of humor. Yesterday was a good one. I embed here for your pleasure and encourage you to check them out on a regular basis or add them to your RSS list.



Homestar Runner Makes Everything Better

by Chris Burfield in


Sometimes the internet can produce some truly awesome things. Case in point, the mashups of Homestar Runner's Strongbad with hit songs. The most recent is a layering of "To The Limit" with Mark Ronson's collaboration with Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk". 

Check it out here (hat tip to AV Club).

See also an older mashup of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky".

FHGWHGADS!


Framing, Not Just For Pretty Pictures

by Chris Burfield in


There is a neat little article which was just recently posted at Grantland about framing pitches in baseball and the quest to quantify it. A good read through and through, with little tid bits on pushing new ideas through an organization among other things.

From the Middle (link to the article):

The experience taught me four things. First, that while most transactions don’t have a secret sabermetric underpinning, it’s not out of the question that some teams, at some times, are acting on proprietary knowledge that could completely change our perception of a player. Second, that such edges are fleeting: In less than five years, framing went from a secret that might have been worth many millions of dollars to one that I can write about openly without looking over my shoulder to make sure a headbanded Brian Cashman isn’t rappelling down the wall. Third, that discovering something about baseball isn’t the same as getting top-to-bottom buy-in and being able to benefit from it. The Yankees, during the window when they may have understood the value of receiving skills better than anyone else, let Molina leave for a division rival and, later, allowed themselves to be outbid for Russell Martin by a team whose previous biggest free-agent buy was Clint Barmes.

Photo by JackF/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by JackF/iStock / Getty Images