Thursday, June 12, 2008
Monday, June 09, 2008
The CBC recently had the term contract rights to the Hockey Night In Canada (HNIC) theme song come to an end and have failed to renegotiate deal that would see the song remain on the CBC television show.
Dolores Claman's song has been one of the most recognizable tunes on Canadian television and the round-up call for millions of Canadians to gather around the tv sets for an evening of hockey. To many people, the song is the unofficial anthem of hockey and some I'm sure would love to see it take the place of O Canada even. The song cost the CBC around $500 for every time that it was played on the air in their contract. The CBC apparently was not keen enough to keep the song safe under their own contract and even publicized the idea that they might be accepting applications in a contest to create a new HNIC theme.
Today, CTV and TSN announced that they have purchased the rights to the song, ending the nearly 40 years of the CBC's theme. This is one more battle lost by the CBC in the sports television competition as TSN is beginning to solidify itself and forge ahead in the NHL television market. It will forever remain as the Hockey Night in Canada theme for Canadians...we'll just be seeing it on another channel now. Will we soon see Grapes and McLean leaving as well?...it's come close to that before.
Here's a track of the HNIC theme from the 1970's and 80's to bring back some memories of the good ol' days.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I received this video in an email today and although I've seen it a number of times before, I thought it was worth a posting on the Bloggopotamus. The video is the speech of Severn Suzuki, the daughter of Dr. Dave Suzuki, back in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit where she spoke to delegates from many of the United Nations countries gathered in Brazil. She was only 12 years old at the time. What a powerful and passionate speech!
Since then she has continued to be an incredible youth activist. For more information on Severn Suzuki...feel free to visit these sites as a starting point.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
What do you think? Comments..questions..rebuttals? All are welcome!! :)
Sunday, March 16, 2008
To quote a Christmas classic that is more apt for March in my opinion, "It's the most wonderful time of the year". Despite my Syracuse Orangemen failing to reach the March Madness of the NCAA Tournament this year after a sloppy second half performance in the Big East Tournament against Villanova who by the way pulled off a 12-seed in the Midwest region, I am a huge fan of NCAA basketball in general. I always anticipate this time of year as it comes at a perfect spot in the school year for me and gets me through til the beginning of April. Then it's playoff time in the NHL and then the NBA...it's a beautiful thing!!
As I did last year, The Bloggopotamus will attempt to become a publishing analyst of the matchups throughout the tournament. I'll break down each round for each bracket as best I can and as time permits. I welcome any comments, questions, complaints, and any other feedback people want to give as we surf the wave of Madness over the number of weeks. Enjoy the ride!!
Here is the East Region schedule which are the Thursday/Saturday games this week with one exception of Tuesday's Play In Game between Coppin State and Mount St. Mary's. Let's get the ball rolling with this game....
Mount Saint Mary's (18-14) vs. Coppin State (16-20)
This play in game features two teams who won't be going any further than this game but for both of these teams to make it to the dance is an accomplishment in itself. The Mountaineers of MSM started off the season 0-4 and then played .500 ball the rest of the way but did not beat nor play anyone important really outside of their weak NEC. Well..they lost to Oklahoma and Oregon. They did however roll over Robert Morris (the regular season champs) by 18 points in their tournament. They're led by guards Chris Vann and Jeremy Goode averaging around 14 a game. They got into the tournament by beating Sacred Heart 68-55 in the NEC final.
The Coppin State Eagles I think are the only team to make it into the tournament with a losing record at 16-20 and as of Feb 4th they were an embarrassing 4-19 when they lost to Delaware State. Ugly!! Since then however they gone on a really solid run into the MEAC tournament and upsetting regular season champs Morgan State. Tywain McKee is the key for the Coppin State offense which has played against Marquette and Indiana this year getting pounded by 47 and 27 points respectively.
Both of these teams are on a roll and I've only seen MSM play once this year. I know they can score in bunches and I don't know that Coppin State can so I'm going to go with the Mountaineers for the win in this one. Doesn't really matter because the winner will face UNC on Thursday night. Mount Saint Mary's wins 61-51.
#1 UNC (32-2) vs. Mount Saint Mary's/Coppin State
This game will be an absolute blowout from start to finish in my opinion. The Tarheels are the #1 seed overall for good reason playing out of arguably the toughest conference in the ACC. They were the regular season champs, the tournament champs defeating an uppity Clemson Tigers squad in the final who disposed of Duke in the semis. UNC has a potential player of the year candidate in Tyler Hansbrough who has carried this team marvelously this year. His supporting cast isn't too shabby either with solid production coming from Wayne Ellington and Ty Lawson. There is no doubt however that Hansbrough is the man in UNC and will take them far. This game will be over within the first 5 minutes and I can see the Tarheels hitting the century mark in this one. I'm predicting a whopping 102-56 thrashing in this one for UNC.
#8 Indiana (25-7) vs. #9 Arkansas (22-11)
This is an interesting matchup because I think that Arkansas has been seeded a little high. I know that they made it to the SEC final against Georgia and the SEC is no joke but they lost to Georgie by 9 in the final after Georgia had played 3 games in two days. Georgia is not a great team either so I question Arkansas. Interestingly enough though for Arkansas, they have beaten a number of ranked teams like Mississippi St., Florida, Vandy twice, and Tennessee in the SEC semi. I don't know how Patrick Beverley and Gary Ervin are going to stack up against Indiana's guards, Eric Gordon, Armon Bassett, and Jordan Crawford.
Indiana is another anomaly for me because I've seen them play great in back to back wins against Michigan State and Purdue but I also saw them get pounded by Michigan State 103-74 albeit on Senior's Day in Spartan country. They've also fallen victim to Wisconsin's tough D on two occasions this year. Eric Gordon is one of the top freshmen in the country this year and always brings his game. Which D.J. White are we going to see? That is going to answer the question of victory in this one. It's a real tough call but I think I'll have to lean on history with this one maybe and since I've played in the HoosierDome before...I'm going to give this to Indiana in a close one 64-60.
#5 Notre Dame (24-7) vs. #12 George Mason (23-10)
I watched the Fighting Irish beat my Orange back on Feb 24th and discovered a 3 point sniper in Kyle McAlarney and of course they have a star in Luke Harangody who's averaging over 20 points a game. This team can shoot and averages about 80 a game which is pretty impressive however they are only 2-5 against ranked teams. That is likely enough to get them past the Patriots but I don't know how deep they can go once they get in to some tougher competition.
George Mason comes out of the CAA as tournament champs but are relatively untested against ranked competition losing to Nova but beating Kansas State early in the year. They have a couple of guys averaging 15 a game so the scoring isn't all in one place but I don't know that they can hang with high scoring team from the Big East down the stretch. Notre Dame should advance to the next round...let's say 76-63.
#4 Washington State (25-8) vs. #11 Winthrop (22-11)
First of all..I vote that the Big South Conference be absorbed into other conferences. I'm tired of Winthrop getting into the tournament. The Big South is George's...aka....craptastic. They did play Miami-FL and won...but that team sucks too. The only other competition in their conference was seeing how tall they were against NC-Asheville's 7'7" behemoth Kenny George. Besides that, Winthrop has a nice little player in Michael Jenkins but they can't hang in this tournament. No...a Cinderella Story is not in the cards this year.
The Cougars on the other hand are legit. They're in a really tough..maybe the toughest conference in the PAC-10 and made a nice run into the PAC-10 tournament before losing to Stanford by 7 which is very respectable. They did not do well against ranked teams at all in their conference but they did start out the season 13-0 with a key win against Gonzaga. I think a 4 seed is really generous of the tournament committee for them but they can still run with many of the big ball schools. Their guards lead the way with all three of them averaging double figures in scoring including Derrick Low who's at 14 a game. They should easily dismantle the Eagles in this one although the score may be fairly close at the end. Wash St. gets the "W" in a game in the mid 60's....69-64.
#6 Oklahoma (22-11) vs. #11 Saint Joseph's (21-12)
This is one of those games where you could really mess up your bracket either way. Both teams can be extremely dangerous if they get hot and start playing with confidence. I'm really looking forward to this game because as soon as rationalize things in my head and am about to come to a conclusion, doubt creeps in. Not good. As soon as I choose one...I have a bad feeling about it.
Oklahoma comes from the tougher Big 12 conference and they did beat Gonzaga and West Virginia. Counter point: They've been smoked by Texas twice and have a number of losses against ranked teams such as Memphis, USC, and Texas A&M. Blake Griffin with almost a double double average and they do have Longar Longar, yes..his real name, at center who is a regular contributor.
St. Joe's comes into the tournament losing in the Atlantic-10 final to Temple but they did knock off Xavier in the semis. They also beat Xavier at the beginning of March but other than that, their results have been mixed. Pat Calathes is their leading scorer and this team can score averaging 73 a game.
For some reason however I think the Sooners have had tougher matchups throughout the year and as long as they play some solid D which they are capable of..I'm going to give this to them in a tough battle. Likely some free throws toward the end and a missed 3 pointer to tie by St. Joe's. Oklahoma comes away with the win 65-62.
#3 Louisville (22-8) vs. #14 Boise St. (25-8)
Not sure if you caught the WAC championship between New Mexico St and Boise St. but it was a triple OT thriller which saw Boise St take it 107-102. I think that's as far as the drama will go though this year. The show is over...Boise St. exit stage left please. The only quality win Boise St really had was against BYU and I don't know how quality that is...kind of like a day old panini sandwich....might taste ok...but meh.
The Cardinals on the other hand are really solid from the Big East and have beaten Marquette twice, and Georgetown and Notre Dame once each. They play stingy in their own half court and I think they'll easily tame the high scoring Broncos. They are really well rounded and have excellent depth...that's going to be the key to Louisville's success this year...when guys get tired...they've got guys to go to....many teams don't. I want to see more out of Derrick Caracter but everyone else seems pretty reliable. Louisville advances 73-65.
#7 Butler (29-3) vs. #10 South Alabama (26-6)
The Butler Bulldogs always seem to be the team coming out of the Horizon League. Is this because they are that good? Or is it because the conference is that bad? Butler did win their conference tournament with an easy 70-55 win over Cleveland State and can add victories over the following ranked teams.....umm none!!! In fact the only team they played that was ranked was Drake and they lost 71-64. Granted they do have some wins against close to top-tier teams in...well...um Texas Tech and Ohio State. Butler...stop walking your way to the tournament and get a real out-of-conference schedule next year please. Mike Green is definitely their best all-around player averaging 14.9 pts, 6.6 reb, and 5.1 ast....but if the Jaguars can get him frustrated or in foul trouble...it could happen.
South Alabama is in the Sun Belt conference and doesn't have strong competition in house except for Western Kentucky and they beat them twice. They haven't played any real competition out of conference either except for Vandy I suppose and they lost 91-88 in that one. Demetric Bennett averages 20 a game for a team that went undefeated at home this year. In reality however this is an untested team but based on my distaste for the Bulldog resume this year...I'm going to try and sell a 82-80 win for South Alabama...the only upset I'm calling in the East for the first round.
#2 Tennessee (29-4) vs. #15 American (21-11)
American University was the cream of the crap this year in the Patriot League. They did win their conference this year and their conference tournament but in their only game against a ranked team this year...they were throttled by the Hoyas 78-51. They are nothing special though and nothing special will happen against a powerhouse like Tennessee.
The Vols bowed out early in the SEC semis at the hands or Arkansas 92-91 in an excellent game. but they went 14-2 in conference play this year and they're not in a cakewalk conference. They did lose to Texas handily early in the year and fell to Vandy once but they have a long list of impressive victories over Xavier, Mississippi, Vandy, Mississippi State, Florida, and most notably over Memphis...the only blemish on the Tigers' record. Chris Lofton will lead the way as he as done so many times before in a rout of the Eagles from American University. I don't imagine the score will be very close...I'll Volunteer this score 86-57.
- when I say ranked teams...the teams were ranked at the time they played.
- spoilers always happen...the beauty and devastation of March Madness
- I welcome any comments or opinions people have..am I way off?
- I will post the next region tomorrow night...gotta give my fingers a break.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
It's now been about a year or so since Soulja Boy rose to popularity with his repetitive and trance-like kettle drum song "Crank Dat". The song and dance took off immediately. I'll admit it is a song that has a great rhythm and sound to it and I'm into a lot of rap so I liked it at first. The lyrics are really lame but that doesn't seem to matter because anyone can repeat the word "Youuuuuuuuu" and if you add some pretty simple dance steps that anyone can learn...you've got a hit...especially at the junior high level. For me...the song was played out by November...you can only hear it so many times....but it just won't go away.
We were at a set of exhibition basketball games in December in New Glasgow and they had the song playing in the gym during the warmups. It seems that as soon as the song comes on...junior high students seem to just start movin to the song...Soulja Boy had infiltrated rural Nova Scotia.
We went to a tournament in Yarmouth toward the end of January...and surprise..surprise.. the kids in Yarmouth are all about trying to crank it too. When will this become passe? I hope soon.
Hold Up! Wait...the prison system in the Philippines has something for us now. Apparently, to help inmates occupy their time during their stay in the Filipino prison system at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, they spend a great deal of time rehearsing choreographed dance routines that are eventually perform for an audience. I suppose there are many worse ways they could spend their time. I've seen them do "Thriller" by Michael Jackson in the past and now apparently it's time for a cross Soulja Boy and Hammer Time medley! For more on this program and its purpose...click here for an article from the International Herald Tribune.
Yesterday in Hamburg, Germany, a Lufthansa Airbus 320 tried to land on the runway during some really windy weather. Take a look at the video and see for yourself the impact of the crosswinds on the plane as it tries to land.
I've never seen anything like this before. Apparently the plane had to pull up and make a second landing attempt which was more successful than this one. Some pretty fine piloting...perhaps some poor decision making in the tower not changing the direction of their landing strip, and likely a whole bunch of freaked out passengers.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I don't demand respect from a student at the beginning of the year. If you do that from a position of authority, I don't know that it can called respect in its truest sense but maybe that is simply respect out of fear. Instead I like to think that what I am able to do is command respect from my students and that is done through developing a relationship with them ensuring they understand I have their best interests at heart and in mind. This is an ongoing relationship that needs to be nurtured. There are times of course when conflict occurs in a classroom and how it gets resolved is one of the keys to that respect relationship. The times of conflict actually provide opportunity for growth and development.
If you allow a confrontation to spiral in a negative manner, it becomes more difficult to rebuild that respect later. It can be like an injury that sure it can heal, but it may never be the same. If you allow a confrontation to get the better of you, feelings are hurt, resentments can build, and bitterness and spite can show up in future interactions very easily. I saw this happen recently to a teacher and student where the student overreacted, the teacher was stubborn and condescending, the situation blew up and any sign of positive relationship was gone. Who knows when, if ever, that will heal?
I wasn't sure what this post was going to actually end up looking like. I had some ideas runnin through my head and figured I'd bang some of it out on here. Hopefully, this is somewhat coherent and some sort of message is understood....anyone gettin it?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
This is my little guy, Jasper, who is rarely ever called by his real name and has acquired a plethora of aliases that he responds to. Despite the notion of some that all cats have little personality and are not affectionate, Jasper eliminates that, in fact he's more like a puppy in the way he acts, plays, loves and craves attention. I'll quickly give you a sample of some of his names.
Double Deuce Goose
Baron Von Frigginfruz
Supersilo Commander Horace Beeswax
Julio Jumping Bean Sanchez
...there are plenty more...
Today when I got up...I flipped on the television and it was already on Channel 36 (Fox) which was beginning a Wild America program "Weasels: Savage and Sleek". Jasper has a fascination and a hate on for weasels. He also enjoys shows like "Meet the Weasels" and "Meercat Manor". He will sit and watch intently for full shows (30-60 minutes) at times unless its a repeat of course. I took a couple of pictures of him today enjoying his Saturday morning shows.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Skype is a fantastic and free software program that enables video conferencing and instant messaging among numerous other features. I've used it a number of times for long distance conversations across the Atlantic or just between myself and friends within the HRM. It's also really easy to use....my only issue is that so few people use it...or so few people that I know use it. I love the idea of being able to see people when I talk to them although the process of talking to the camera as opposed to your screen takes some getting used to. The fact that it is a free program blows me away and I'm not sure why more people aren't taking advantage of it.
I rarely get to go to Ontario to see my extended family and would love some of them to get hooked up....first of all with the internet....second of all with programs like Skype. I guess they need a little more convincing or exposure on both fronts. I'm not sure why Skype hasn't been as successful as I think it should be...I know there is competition from MSN and other instant messaging applications but it is the best one I've seen so far.
How many people that are reading this use Skype? What are your thoughts?