Cascada, GPS, and Why Aliens Exist

March 27, 2008

Cascada

Hey, Cascada, how are you famous? What makes you more qualified to jack someone’s song and just remake it over a techno beat than anyone else? Pretty sure this is all you do for songs. How is this possible/legal. People have no problems giving you the rights to songs? Or are they just so sure that the dumbass American public (mostly girls) will sweat this techno-remixed song that they charge tons and it will be worth it to you? Whack.

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In 10 -15 years will the next generation be clueless with directions? That’s the way I see things going with GPS now. Induces such mindlessness. I don’t own one, but everytime I borrow someone’s I find myself zoning out, jamming to tunes, paying attention to zero of my surroundings. Could drive somewhere 5-6 times and never in a million years be able to get back with a GPS. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I love ‘em. But once they’re all standard in every new car, I feel people will be F’d when theirs breaks.

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I told you I’ve become real into the history channel lately. Now that sucker is all I watch in bed late at night. Because my whole day is usually sports orientated, whether it’s work or the TV in the background if I’m working at home, I’m pretty much all caught up. That makes SportsCenter practically useless to me. So every night when I try to go to bed at a decent hour, it never happens cause I stay up to 2 am watching UFO Hunters, a WWII doc, Underground lairs, or Monster Quest.

UFO

That said, I’ve always been into UFOs, but now I’m into them more than ever. I watch one show, become so entrenched with disbelief that this stuff isn’t reported, figure ‘that can’t be real,’ end up doing my own online searching and then find out these things really did happen. WHAT THE FFFF…how can this happen? There’s UFOs out there, bra. No doubt. Too many accounts from professional pilots and former military personnel.

Remember a week or two ago when the US shot down a satellite in space with a guided missile form a navy warship? I doubt that satellite was really on a track to hit earth. That wasn’t a necessity…it was a warning: “Hey, we’re firing if you come.” Awesome.

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Groundhog’s Day and March Madness

March 17, 2008

Hey, what’s the deal with Groundhog’s Day? Are we done with this yet? Have we had enough? It’s so ridiculous that no one even bothers to talk about how ridiculous it is. Yea, this Groundhog’s telling me when winter is gonna end? When has that f*ckin’ thing not seen its shadow?

Punxsutawney Phil

Tons of people and cameras surrounding it. That thing is scurrying right back into its hole. It’s the dumbest American tradition ever, I think. Seriously how could it not see its shadow? If it’s cloudy that means winter is going to end? Does the time of day matter for Punxsutawney Phil? If he came out a noon with the sun right over him, would that affect his prognostication?

According to legend, there is only one Punxsutawney Phil, who has made weather predictions for 122 years. He’s taken care of year round by a group of yahoos known as members of the fabled “Inner Circle.” These would be the people you see on TV in top hats. These people serve Phil a mysterious Groundhog Punch every summer, a special brew that gives Phil his immortality. And every February 2, according to the Inner Circle, Phil makes his predication and then “speaks to the Club President in ‘Groundhogese,’ intelligible only to the Inner Circle; this prediction is then translated for the entire world.”

I vote to eliminate this critter holiday from all calendars.

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Remember when huge Astro Vans like these were all the rage back in the late ‘80s – early ‘90s?

 Chevrolet Express

Wow. Unreal. Always with the worst designs on them too, like someone stenciled a corny wallpaper all over ‘em. There is no excuse for owning one of these now. Actually, there is one – if you’re handicapped, supposedly they’re pretty big and can be made wheelchair accessible. But that’s it. If you have it just as a regular car then you’re a nice gimmick to me.

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Best part of March Madness is the first two days, hands down. Games start at noon and don’t end until late at night. When I was in college, I used to skip class every Thursday and park myself in front of the TV all day with my brackets printed, marking scores and games off. So fun. Good thing I’ll be “working” from home at the end of the week. Lot of productivity on those days I’m sure.


Manny Buys Pedroia a Rolex; Handryers suck

March 8, 2008

Can’t stand hand dryers in public restrooms. Nothin’ beats a good ol’ paper towel. I think a hand dryer is the only technological advancement that actually made a process slower. Takes a minute+  to fully dry your hands with that thing when a paper towel takes 10 seconds tops. Seriously, can you name any other technology that slows something down? I can’t. Even the old brown paper towels you used in grade school dry things quicker, and those things were barely paper at all – one step down from tree. If you spilt a beaker in science class, you were screwed. Just had to keep dabbing away with that non-absorbant sheet. Eventually you’d just have to let it sit there and slowly soak up like it was a piece of oak.

Loving hearing people slowly incorporating new, professional voice recordings for their voicemail inbox. Gone are ‘Hey, what’s up…” or “Yo, you know who it is…” or a corny R&B or pop song or something. Now that people are entering the profession (read: whack) portion of life, it’s only: “Hi, you’ve reached [insert full name]. I’m available to take your call right now, but if you leave a detailed message, I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.” Funny to me when you hear someone’s changed message for the first time. Always laugh.

Manny bought Dustin Pedroia a Rolex for winning Rookie of the Year. Promises to get him something else if he hits over .300 again. Love that man.

The ads in the AIM info boxes are really starting to bother me now. Pretty soon they’ll have ‘em right in the damn IM window. No shame here. Remember those ads that would just start playing videos or bumping tunes without prompt? Those were the worst.


Richard Zednick, The Celtics, Kayne and Dec. 12. 2012

February 12, 2008
Simes made a good point the other day (really!) about how I should just post my info’s in ym blog because A) it’s accessible to everyone, not just those with AIM and B) I’m not restricted by word count.
Dece idea, I just don’t think people like clicking on links. So for awhile, I’m going to try to write mini infos in my AIM profile and larger ones here. See how it goes over….
Here’s 2/12 info: 
More unbelievable that Richard Zednick is alive, is that one of the doctors than worked on him also worked on Kevin Everett. Weird.
Other day driving home from Boston I drove through a rain storm, a snow storm, another rain storm, then sunny skies in Rockland. It was so crazy. I spent the whole ride adjusting my windshield wipers. Didn’t get it. Weather is so F’d now, worse than ever. Global Warming is like secret real. December 12, 2012: Don’t say you weren’t warned.
From my blog: “Kayne’s CD already has two pretty big hits, especially considering that everyone you know sweats the ultra-addictive, 80s flavored “Stronger.” Couple that with Mr. West’s high probability for a Grammy, considering he’s only getting better and is now well-respected in the music industry and pop world alike, and his selling appeal seems to be at its peak.” 
–Damn lost to..Herbie Hancock?!?! What the. Still rap album of the year tho.
Celts are redic to me. Responded to all the knocks on them already. Three-headed monster with no bench? Posey, House, Big Baby and Leon Powe have been unbelievable; Big Baby was an absolute steal in the second round. Can’t win against the West? 16-0 vs. Western Conference teams. Included in that are wins over Dallas and San Antonio, both withouth KG. That proved to me right there that this team is an actual contender. Very excited to see what these guys can do. Spurs are still the fav., followed by Det. But No. 3 has got 2 go to the Green.

How To Fix College Football

January 8, 2008

In the wake of  the President of Georgia’s call for an 8-team playoff system, I was reminded of my very own project from my Sports PR class last year that — tada! — proposed an 8-team playoff system at the four major BCS Bowl sites. Guy like copy me??

Check it out:

I am writing you to propose a feature on how Commissioner Myles Brand and the National Collegiate Athletic Association came to the decision to implement it’s first-ever college football playoff system designed to crown an undisputed national champion.

After the much-criticized, highly controversial Bowl Championship Series, the NCAA finally decided to employ an eight-team playoff bracket to be played at the four major bowl sites – Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.

This feature would delve into the behind-the-scenes workings of Brand and the members of the NCAA Competitiveness Committee, detailing how they came to this deal after years clamoring for a college football playoff tournament.

Perhaps your broad-based readership would be interested to know what, after years of controversy, made this year different than the rest – what finally pushed the NCAA to comply with popular demand.

I can provide access to Brand, as well as top-tier college football coaches, high-ranking NCAA officials and executives of the four major sponsors whose names appear across everything bowl-related.

Thank you for you consideration.

Sincerely,

Nick Williams

Nick Williams

Sports PR Final Plan

12/12/06

The client for this public relations plan is the National Collegiate Athletic Association, specifically NCAA football. Previously, the NCAA has used the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings to determine the participants in the national title game, the National Championship Game, with the other four BCS bowls determined by the BCS rankings as well (Note: there are also 27 non-BCS bowls). Now the NCAA wants to introduce its long-overdue playoff system, an eight team bracket comprised of the top-8 ranked teams in the Associated Press and Coaches Polls and show the fours sponsors of the four bowl games that their revenues will not just be the same as before, but will actually increase.

  1. 1. The quantifiable goal of this plan is to sell out all seven playoff games and increase the television ratings for the national title game.

2. The central message we’re trying to convey is the excitement and closure this new playoff system provides. We want the general public to know there will no longer be any controversy surrounding the participants in the national championship game and for the first time ever, there will be a road to the title game.

Tactics:

The very first course of action will be to hold a press conference announcing the new playoff system. NCAA Commissioner Myles Brand will hold the conference, introducing the new format and answering questions from the media.

We will also use this opportunity to issue the news release and text of the official announcement, so each member of the media has a physical document detailing the basics of the new playoff system. The news release will explain the eight team bracket decided by polling. The poll will be a compilation of the Associated Press poll and Coaches Poll – basically one poll voted by members of the media and coaches. Members of the media will surely appreciate their poll carrying more weight than usual as well as the elimination of any controversy, like in 2003 when the AP Poll had a different national champion than the BCS Bowl designated.

The eight teams in the playoff bracket will be seeded properly (i.e.: No. 1 vs. No. 8, No. 2 vs. No. 7, etc.) with games spread over four sites – the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fl., and the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, La. These were the four bowls which previously hosted the BCS title game, with a four-year rotation implemented to decide which site hosted the title game that year.

But that was before 2006, when the NCAA and BCS decided that there would be a Bowl Series Championship which would be the No. 1 vs. No. 2 game separate from the four major bowls (in the case of 2006, the game will be played in Glendale in addition to the Fiesta Bowl). This is the premise that we will operate on – namely that two or more games can be played at the same site.

The eight teams in the bracket will be allocated to the four different sites, with the host of the 2-7 and 3-6 games to also host the semi-final game in each respective bracket and the host of the 1-8 game to also host the national championship. The host of the 4-5 game obviously receives the best first round game on paper and will not host an additional game – this designation will rotate every year amongst the four bowls.

We will also hold a meeting with our four current sponsors, Tostitos, Citi, Allstate and FedEx, explaining to them that this system will work – and better than the old one. Our point of emphasis will center on the fact that each game in this playoff system will be bigger (more hyped) than any bowl game in history.

Plus, three out of every four years, a site will host two games – that’s two games of ads, two game of a worldwide audience seeing the sponsor’s logo on the television graphic. Each sponsor will get its logo on the name of the game (i.e.: The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl quarterfinal game, the Rose Bowl National Championship game sponsored by Citi, and the FedEx Orange Bowl semi-final game). The usual augment advertising will still apply – the logo on the field, on all the banners, etc. – and will be two-fold in three out of the four years because of the hosting of two games.

Basically, we will drive home the point that the sponsors do not lose, they either host one game as usual or get to be a part of two games. And as for the 27 other non-BCS bowls, we’ll ensure those sponsors and those associated with those games that they can still be held, based on whatever selection process and formula they used before. These bowls have always been held before the Big Four anyway, and they will still have the same pool of teams to draw from (the four bowls always necessitated eight teams).

Once we conduct the press conference and get the word out about the new, exciting less-controversial playoff system, we’ll create our own website to fuel the pre-event hype: http://www.roadtothetitlegame.com/ will be an NCAA run website designed to foster the fervor surrounding this historical movement and provide easily accessible information on the playoff tournament itself and the teams involved.

The site will feature a message from Commissioner Brand to the fans describing his feelings for why the NCAA finally switched to a playoff format and the excitement this brings him and the college sports community. Once the eight teams in the bracket have been finalized, the site will contain information pertaining to all the schools, specifically rosters, player and coach bios, the team’s schedule, record and results from the year and a brief team history. We will create a section for game previews for each game, laden with injury reports, scouting reports and any other information pertaining to that game’s matchup (who’s hot, who’s not, history between the two schools, key matchups, etc.). Basically, we want this site to be the site for fans who want to follow the road to the national title.

The website will also contain a section pertaining to the four host sites and brief history of each as well as section with information on all four sponsors. The website will also allow for more advertising opportunities for other sponsors to advertise on the site itself.

To market this website and the event itself, we will take our ads in all major metro dailies, as well as USA Today, across the country. We’ll run television ads on ESPN and the major networks covering the game. On each TV ad and at the bottom of each print ad, we’ll be sure to broadcast the name of our website, depicting it as the go-to source for all info on college football playoffs.

As for the media targets, we can sell this new playoff system easily. There will be no shortage of coverage for this historical, perhaps overdue, announcement. For feature ideas, we can suggest the obvious and most interesting: how this new deal came to be. The story of Commissioner Brand holding closed-door meetings with everyone from sponsors to coaches and what finally pushed his hand will surly spike the interest of any sports fan, business executive or anyone who follows the news – this is a momentous occasion. In addition, national and local media outlets alike will strive for the story of what got the wheels in motion on this movement and what was done this year to get this deal done that was missing in years past.

In addition, features on each of the eight teams would not only be applicable for their local media outlets, but also for national publications. And once a winner of the tournament is crowned, a magazine feature on the “first undisputed national champion” would surely be a hit. Also, because so much of the bowl games are business- and sponsor-driven, a feature in regards to the business aspect of the tournament, like the effect hosting two games will have on sponsors, would make for a good placement in national business magazines, The Wall Street Journal or any local business section.

In terms of the electronic media, 60 Minutes could conduct a sit down interview with Myles Brand explaining how this decision came to be. Also, an ESPN special on the eight teams in the bracket and their road to the title game would be applicable.

Overall, because of the magnitude of this change, we are practically ensured blanket coverage. But, we want to take this to another level, and that hinges on the website and the promotion of the website. We want the road to the title game to run through the NCAA, and the fans’ road to information to run through our website.


Kanye vs. 50 Cent

October 14, 2007

(Ed.’s note: This post is a cleaned-up version of an email my old roommate, Anthony, sent me in regards to the new 50 Cent and Kanye West CDs.)

Kanye West 50

So let me break it down to you like this. I’ve had both CDs for a week and I think they’re both sub-par. 50’s is worse than Kanye’s, but neither is earth-shattering by any means.

The best song on 50’s CD is probably “Ayo for Techology,” but I also like the song with Tony Yayo (“Tough the Sky”). The rest of the CD is essentially boring and I’ve probably only listened to the whole thing three or four times. Plus he has a song with Robin Thicke.

I guess what I don’t understand is the type of audience 50 is trying to play to. It seems like his music is too hard for adults, but too soft for teens. He’s not really very good at anything and it particularly shows on this CD.

I was thinking about it after I read a lot about him. Basically, he wants to make albums with 15 or 16 potential singles on them. Unfortunately, that formula never works because it doesn’t create a cohesive or listenable album. What it sounds like is someone who made a mix CD off iTunes of all the popular music on the radio, but it was all made by one artist, and by the end of the mix it just gets tiresome.

I found the same thing to be true with Fabolous’s latest CD. The serious songs are tough to take seriously because you just heard like 11 pop-friendly radio hits. If he wanted to do that, he should have at least gotten T-Pain. I’ve gotten to the point where I actually think I’d rather hear T-Pain than Akon — and maybe that’s why I like Kanye’s CD better. He chose the right gimmick of the two.

Kanye’s CD is more of the same, but I just find it more listenable. I would say I’ve probably listened to it back-to-front about 20 times. I really like a few songs on there — namely “Stronger,” “Good Life,” “Barry Bonds” (tho Lil’ Wayne’s verse isn’t exactly his best stuff), “The Glory” and “Homecoming.”

The rest of the CD, especially “Drunk and Hot Girls” is not very good and I really don’t like “Big Brother,” because I feel like he just ganked the idea from The Game’s “Doctor’s Advocate” (which incidentally is a bit ironic because the Game has been jacking people’s names for like every song he’s ever done).

“Good Morning” is fine and so is “Champion,” but they are certainly nothing like the first two songs on his first two CDs (We Don’t Care / All Falls Down and Heard ’em Say / Touch the Sky).

All in all, I think it was a fairly disappointing CD drop. The truth of the matter is there hasn’t really been any superb CD releases this year aside from Bone Thugz and the Lil’ Wayne mixtape.

If it wasn’t Kanye and 50 Cent, I don’t even think I would really listen to the CDs at all. But it’s sort of like watching Bonds after he broke the record; even though I know in my heart it isn’t exciting, I still feel like I should participate.


Gmail, Craigslist, SportsCenter, oh my!

September 12, 2007

Hey GMail is fire. There’s no other way to say it. It has the easiest and best features you want and none of it is in a place it shouldn’t be. Google is a lot like Apple in that its main thing is being user friendly. That’s what Google and Gmail are all about – just so convenient for you.

Also love the SportsCenter Rundown. That thing has made me start to watch the show again. This way I stay watching, even through commercials, if I know something unreal is coming up in the next couple segments and I change the channel if it’s “Women’s Tennis,” “Brickyard 400,” and “New Vick Allegations” on deck. Perfect I think, usta always be able to skip Who’s Now?

Flying and airports in general always make you a little nervous. You basically just want everything to run smoothly, everything to get done and make it without any trouble. That’s why you’ll just go with anything they say just to get by. Take off your sandals? Fine. Can’t bring my lighter today but I can tomorrow? I’m not complaining. If you see someone raising their voice and then getting ushered away? “Hey, it’s an airport, bro.” The act of flying itself is a whole ‘nother story. You don’t like it when you see the fasten seatbelt sign. You don’t like any mention of circling a city. And you don’t like going in for a landing approach and then coming back up. This is true for everybody.

I would much rather do something online than on the phone or in person. Whether it’s getting food delivered, paying bills, filling out any type of application, making a work schedule, buying gift cards/books/video games/DVDs…it’s all more efficient to do online I feel. I don’t know if I’m right or not.

Think it’s time for a change with craigslist yet? I’m sure you guys have made some money somehow. Can you update the site now? Things the most confusing site I’ve ever seen, just tons of little blue plain links, mad confusing jumbled words, loads you in San Francisco for reason every time. Hate it. Update that shit.

People who ride bikes are their own breed. They don’t like cars or walking. And it takes a certain person that doesn’t mind being hated. Drivers hate bikers — always taking up tons of the road, swerving close when you’re about to open a door, taking wide ass turns and making you slow down. “Get on the sidewalk asshole.” Pedestrians absolutely hate bikers too – always zooming by your side brushing by your jacket, get a little excuse me or gay horn beep with them trying to get by. “Why don’t you ride in the street, idiot.” Can’t win.