Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So What's 7ft. 9in basketball player Sun Ming Ming UP to?

Since last I wrote about 7 foot 9 inch Sun Ming Ming, he's moved up in basketball league status, literally. Back in February, Sun was playing for the Maryland Nighthawks of the ABA league, a basketball league formed in 1999. As of last week he's a Grand Rapids Flight teammate in the International Basketball League. So just who are the Grand Rapids Flight? Here's the ad I saw from December that said it all:

Breaking News From The FlightDeck
Wednesday, December 27th 7-9pm
Rivertown Sports
Cost $25

$25, Who Knew? I'd better check to see if there's an International Basketball League team in my neck of the woods. For $25, I may wanna lace up and take a shot at making the team. Old dreams of sports stardom sure die hard don't they?

Sun still has hopes of reaching the NBA in the not too distant future, but is focusing on improving his game right now.

In the following interview Sun appears comfortable talking in front of the cameras, but I found his accent made it a bit hard for me to understand his english. It didn't help that the lady interviewer, standing about crotch level to Sun, was treating him more like a circus freak than a potential basketball all-star. So much for American journalism. From what I can gather, he's a poor man's Yao Ming. But do give Sun credit, he may not have the training and political clout that Yao Ming had, but he seems to have the will to continue trying. So don't let anything keep you from attaining your goal Sun. Remember, "Eye of the Tiger." Keep it going Sun Ming Ming.

Interview with Sun Ming Ming

Monday, March 26, 2007


Author: Nega Mezlekia

Winner of the Governor General's Award

Growing up in Ethiopia
amidst Socio-economic and Political Change

A Very Enjoyable Read. So enjoyable that I wrote this Amazon Review encouraging others to read it:

If you enjoy a book showing you the real people, places and happenings that were "Once Upon A Time," then you may just find this book to be a treasure. I myself enjoyed the way this author held my inner voice's attention. It was almost as if I were sitting at his home while he spoke of the life experiences that make him the person now sitting before me. Because I'm such an avid reader, I did put this book down a few times to indulge in other reads. I did this knowing that when I'd pick it back up I'd have a great companion to spend time with. I almost hated to see the book conclude. The fact that I'm writing only my second or third amazon review says how much I enjoyed this read. Hope you decide to visit the Hyena's Belly. You won't be disappointed.

I learned while stil in the early chapters of this book that the author and editor had a falling out. Seems the editor wanted to claim authorship of all but a few pages of the book. I believe the editor lost her battle in court. The author has since written, without the same editor, at least one if not more books that carry the same magic as this one, proving him to be the gifted writer of Notes from the Hyena's Belly.

A Very Enjoyable Read. A Keeper.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Lady Red Foxes.................We Salute You!

The Marist Lady Red Foxes lost to the Tennessee Vols 46-65 in the NCAA Womens sweet-16 competition. And I have nothing but love and praise for these Powerful Princesses from Poughkeepsie who played against what looked like a basketball giant. The Vols had size, speed and history (26 consecutive sweet sixteen appearances) on their side coming into this game. The Marist Red Foxes on the other hand brought heart and courage to the Dayton,Oh matchup and didn't lay down or back away from the challenge.

The Red Foxes got off to a bad start and were unable to catch up to the Vols. But again, showing no quit and settling into their style of play, the Red Foxes gave Pat Summitt and her "Titans from Tennessee" one heck of a fight and may have exposed a few weaknesses in the Giant's armor.

Had the Red Foxes been able to compete on the offensive rebounds, the outcome could have been much closer. Fortunately for the Vols, their height advantage made rebounding, shooting and passing, all things needed to win basketball games, a monumental uphill battle.

And so with the heart of a Lion and the will to continue thrusting their spears against a mighty sword wielding opponent, the Red Foxes went down in defeat. To compare Marist to Sparta's 300 in 480B.C. ; on this day of overwhelming battle odds the citizens of Poughkeepsie are as proud of their soldiers' heroic loss as any opposing force could be in victory. Thank you Red Foxes for giving us a season that legends are made of. We truly saw the sun blotted out by arrows and yet our Red Fox warriors continued fighting in the shade.

Marist Lady Red Foxes 2007A.D., We Salute You!

"The most valiant are sometimes the most unfortunate. Thus there are triumphant defeats that rival victories. Nor did those four sister victories, the fairest that the sun ever set eyes on - Salamis, Plataea, Mycale, and Sicily - ever dare match all their combined glory against the glory of the annihilation of King Leonidas and his men at the pass of Thermopylae." - Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I CONFESS - I Enjoyed This Movie

You know you're over 40 when............

On a Saturday night date you return to your place to entertain her with a viewing of Alfred Hitchcock's 1953 suspense thriller "I Confess."

And you know your date is closing in on 40 or over if she actually enjoyed the classic black and white artistry of a Hitchcock film.

In watching this great classic for the first time I must say, I was suprised to find myself and my date rewinding the vcr, yes VCR as in pre-compact disc player media recording device, replaying visually seductive scenes that only Hitchcock could put together.

The lead actors (Montgomery Clift, Ann Baxter, Karl Malden) as well as the supporting cast give the viewer a performance so believable that you nearly stumble over yourself trying to ascertain every piece of dialogue. The setting of 1953 Quebec gives the story a place and time that I'm sure meshes with a period in the beautiful city's history, if not its political or religious happenings in some way. The black and white filming lends to the mysteriousness of the characters and the crime.

I've personally always thought of Montgomery Clift roles as dark yet heroic, sort of a glimmer of hope shining through the despair of darkness.

Hitchcock utilizes his shadowy technique and background framing of scenes excellently throughout. The haunting and suspenseful music score by Dimitri Tiomkin gives full credence to the rollercoaster of human emotions throughout the film. Your ears will also adjust to the French-Canadian and German accents of supporting cast members that make the story so credible. Carmen Gingras and Renée Hudon as two little french girls giving the cutest french-canadian accented testimony are worth the viewing alone.

As for the storyline, it has everything a dramatic blockbuster movie of today strives toward bringing to the big screen: Murder, Suspicion, Accusation, Scandal, Religion, Guilt, Innocence, Love, Fear, Courtroom Drama and of course A Confession. And not all in that order.

So if you're over 40, or just wanna see a movie your parents or grandparents would consider a good date movie, go out and find yourself a copy of "I Confess." I'm sure you can order it "On DVD" via Netflix. If not I'll rent you my VHS copy for only $3.99 plus shipping, no late return fees here. I Confess!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

NFL 2007 Strength of Schedule

And they say there's no conspiracy against the Oakland Raiders. Come on now, didn't we have the worst record in the league last season (2-14)? And somehow we're scheduled in 2007 to play the two conference champions? And didn't we play the two conference champions from the 2005 season, Pittsburgh and Seattle, last year? Either the NFL just loves the Raiders and wants to help generate revenue for the Silver and Black, or they've found a sure formula for making the Raiders earn victory through the toughest opposition. But that's okay commissioner. Its no suprise. We've actually come to expect a boot on our backs when we're down. It just makes us stronger and meaner. So look out Indianapolis and Chicago when you come to Oaktown this season. You just may find that the Raiders of 2007 ain't what the commish had in mind when scheduling this game.

Monday, March 19, 2007

How Sweet It Is! Marist of Poughkeepsie eases into Cinderella Slipper for the Big Dance

Growing up in the New York Hudson Valley area near Poughkeepsie makes me a Red Foxes fan. Prior to this weekend Marist Collegiate sports has struggled for what little recognition they've received since gaining membership into the NCAA.

The only Pro player out of Marist that comes to mind is former Indiana Pacer Rik Smits. Poughkeepsie is still proud of Smits stellar career in the NBA.

After seeing the Marist Women's Basketball team earn a sweet 16 birth tonight, maybe the nation will finally applaud a small school like Marist for hanging with the Big Dogs. The media can label them cinderella if they want to, but to me the Red Foxes are more like a Cinderella Man (1935 Heaveyweight Boxing Champion James J. Braddock). They don't fit the excepted concept of a women's basketball powerhouse, they weren't supposed to be here but here they are lining up for the home stretch and scaring the hell out of the competition.

I'm still kicking myself for not going down to the Standford campus in Palo Alto to watch either of the two games in which they won. I found tickets on craiglist for as little as $10 on Saturday but other weekend activities won out. Forgive me Lady Red Foxes for commiting such a sin.

ESPN hasn't been kind to the Red Foxes either, only showing half of their upset victory over fourth seeded Ohio State this weekend. But you can believe they'll get all the hype and attention of every sports network leading up to the sweet sixteen with this latest win over 5th seeded Middle Tennessee. The 73-59 victory makes Marist only the third No.13 seed to ever reach the NCAA Women's field of 16 teams since the expansion to 64 team play.
Marist guard Nikki Flores (22) keeps the ball away from Middle Tennessee guard Jackie Pickel

Congratulations Marist Red Foxes for making believers out of many and giving hope to all the small schools in the nation. May the force continue to guide you on this miraculous journey into unknown territory.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Please, Don't Call This "Puppy Love"

Remember when then President Bill Clinton infamously stated "I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Woman?" Imagine the shock and disgust if "That Woman" turned out to be "That Animal?" Caca Pasa. Yes my friends, shit happens, and it gets stranger and weirder by the day.

Case and point, a man (not former Prez. Clinton thank goodness) fought the law and lost on a charge so unheard of and disgusting that I'm embarassed to write about it. But, as someone with a blog who reports on weird and unusual stories I just couldn't resist. Actually I heard a lawyer's talk radio show discussing the legal ramifications of the case and I chose to do a little research on necrobeastiality (sex with a dead animal) to better understand what would drive a sane human being to perform such an act. I must admit, after perfusing the net it didn't take long for me to give up the search.

The article below addresses the legal issue surrounding the act. I understand how this can be seen as a crime, but lowly lawyers are paid the bucks to argue otherwise. And here's the scary part; the alleged necrophobe is not the first to to be discovered in the act of having sexual relations with a dead animal. I'm still leaning toward this story being an Urban Legend, but you be the judge, that is if you have the stomach to read on.

Here's the article from "The Legal Reader":

Way back in November 2006 I posted about a young man named Bryan James Hathaway of Douglas County, Minnesota who was arrested for having sex with a deer carcass he found on the side of the road while bicycling. He was charged with violating a law against "sexual gratification with an animal."

His clever lawyer tried to argue that a dead deer is not technically an "animal" and that the law Hathaway was charged with violating was intended to protect living animals, so he could not have violated it.

The even more clever judge disagreed, somewhat dubiously holding that the no-sex-with-animals law was "essentially the legislature's effort to codify what is legally unacceptable in society with respect to human behavior," and not a law intended to protect living animals from harm.

Today the good Lord has brought us the strangely similar story of one Ronald E. Kuch, from Bay County, Michigan:

Bay County Circuit Judge Joseph K. Sheeran ruled Friday that even though Michigan law does not explicitly define sex with a dead dog as a crime, charges against a Saginaw man will stand.

Sheeran set a trial date of May 8 for the trial, when Ronald E. Kuch, 45, of Saginaw will face charges of sodomy, indecent exposure and resisting and obstructing an Animal Control officer. If convicted of either of the first two charges, Kuch will then have a hearing on May 30, at which Sheeran will determine whether Kuch is a ''sexually delinquent person.'' If so, the judge could sentence Kuch to prison for any amount of time, from one day to a year, on top of the sentence from the initial charges, which carry up to 15 years in prison.

Kuch's defense attorney, Kathryn Fehrman, argued that Michigan's statute on sodomy and bestiality is vague and does not outlaw sex with a dead dog. Kuch is accused of sexual contact with the carcass of his girlfriend's dog on Oct. 20, about a week after the animal had been hit by a car. The alleged crime occurred near the Forest Day Care Center, 2169 W. Midland Road, on a school day. The teacher was leading an Animal Control officer to the dead dog so he could dispose of it when the pair discovered Kuch, who allegedly scuffled with the officer before fleeing into the woods.

Note that Mr. Kuch was doing this "about a week after the animal had been hit by a car . . . ." That means one of two things: Either 1) the dead dog was frozen solid; or 2) it stank like hell. Either way, it couldn't have been that much fun. Note also that it was "his girlfriend's dog . . . ." She must be very, very proud.

CLick here for article about "Michigan going to the dogs" by HammerUncut.

Friday, March 09, 2007

300 - No Retreat! No Surrender!

Just finished watching the newly released movie "300." I Loved It!

The story follows the Spartans as they fight the Battle of Thermopylae in Ancient Greece and the 300 Spartan warriors that defended their nation from millions of invading Persians.

The cinematography and simplicity of this story allows viewers to sit back and enjoy being visually entertained. I figured it would be similar to the movie "Gladiator" and I wasn't too far off the mark. The courage and leadership Russell Crowe brought to the screen in Gladiator is reflected by the lead actor playing Leoniedis in "300." Somehow though the visual effects in this Spartan Battle is graphically graceful with an artists touch as opposed to splatters of blood and guts throughout fighting scenes.

As some movie critics have deemed this movie comic-book like, I'd say they need to use what bit of art and imagination is left in their so called creative juices to recognize something new. You can't measure a new style of art by comparing it to an old masterpiece. That only gets you a cheap reproduction.

If ever a true story of a battle fought long ago has been beautifully depicted, this version of the Spartan stand against insurmountable battle odds is the one. No it doesn't give much of a history lesson, but a child of 8 can recognize its message of brave men courageously defending their land and way of life. And to be honest, with the visuals of the movie being so eyecatching, the acting becomes secondary to the movies' success.

The movie does bring out the fighting spirit of anyone watching. I think Raiders coach Kiffin should play this movie for the team before their first game. Its not the story of an underdog like Rocky Balboa rising to the challenge and giving a good fight. Its the story of men who've been trained from childhood to be warriors, raiders, Spartans; and the day has come to put all the training and past battle experience to the ultimate test, fighting as one unit. Definitely an "Us Against Them" scenerio, sound familiar Raider Fans?

Against overwhelming odds these 300 Spartans fight for their freedom, for their country, for Sparta. No Retreat! No Surrender! And should they go down in defeat, let it be at the sword of a worthy adversary.

With a Sword, A Spear, and a Shield they fight as men whose fate has led them to this day of battle. And it is truly a great day to die on the battlefield.

Long Live Sparta! Long Live the Raider Nation!