Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My World Cup Final Four Picks

Without commentary which will have to include some other time, my final four are Argentina, Holland, Uruguay and Spain. I pick Argentina to win the World Cup. One of their star players Lionel Messi is pictured above.

I would personally love to see Argentina play The Netherlands in the World Cup final for sentimental reasons. Those same two countries met in the 1978 World Cup final which was in Argentina in 1978.

That was the year I first started watching international soccer in Black Sea Eregli, Turkey, where the whole country watched the games with black and white tvs. Now, Turkey not only has color tv, but satellite and cable services with up to 200-plus channels, where they can watch reruns of "Gunsmoke" like the 'rest of us."

Things We Learned on Twitter Yesterday PM- Colorado is the Fittest State

Folks in Boulder, Colo., are probably cheering today but not because of an achievement from their beloved University of Colorado (mascot pictured here), but rather because the state of Colorado was named the fittest one in les etats unis.

According to a tweet from "The Denver Post," Colorado was the only state with an adult obesity rate of less than 20 percent. Colorado has just a 19.1 percent adult obesity rate.

Mississippi was the fattest state for a sixth year in a row with a 33.8 rate of obesity.

As for my two states, Virginia has 25. 5 percent rate of obesity while North Carolina has a fairly high 29.4 percent rate, which placed the Tarheel State in the top ten as they are the tenth fattest state in the country.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Silly Picture to Fill Space- Bag Boy

Today, we feature grocery store bag boy as our Silly Photo to Fill Space which seems appropriate because the Myrtle Beach, SC, metro area has at least four Piggly Wiggly stores, including ones on Kings Hwy and Moser Drive as well as two just outside town in the villas of Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island.

For those who haven't been paying attention (and with the long hot summer days we can understand why!), we have been focusing specifically on Myrtle Beach, SC, for this segment for the last five weeks. But, next week it will be some other town.

Perhaps, it will be Asheville, NC, where the Asheville Tourists are hosting the Kannapolis Intimidators (a team named after the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt). The game is going to be sponsored by WUNC-TV, the state's PBS station. The Tourists won their last game when they beat the Savannah SandGnats in Savannah, Ga., by a 5-0 score on Saturday.

Remembering Sen. Robert Byrd with Quote from Joe Lieberman

There are definitely time when I strongly differ with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct.) whom many call 'Dick Cheney's favorite Democrat,' but this is not one of those times.

Lieberman tweeted this moving message about his fellow member of The Hill Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) who died early Monday morning at age of 93.

"Sen. Byrd was a genuine American statesman who loved his country and the great institution of the U.S. Senate."

The man who represented communities as diverse and divirgent as Princeton, Huntington and Morgantown will most assuredly be missed.

We should perhaps point out to blog visitors from places like Turkmenistan who are likely to be unsure of who is in the U.S. Senate that the man pictured here is Sen. Lieberman not Sen. Byrd.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Quote of the Week- Didier Drogba (Soccer Player from Ivory Coast)

This quote from soccer player Didier Drogba, an Ivory Coast national player who also plays for the English soccer power Chelsea FC, wraps the quotes from people associated with the 32 countries in The World Cup on this blog.

Keep in mind, I divided the quotes between my two blogs (the one being "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time) so there are actually 16 people from 16 countries here on this blog which started with South African playwright Athel Fugard of "Master Harold and the Boys" fame.

Alas, Ivory Coast did not advance from its group which had two highly touted teams in Brazil and Portugal. But, Ivory Coast won its last match over North Korea 3-0.

I guess from now on (pardon the pun) we resume 'regular programming.'

Here is the quote, which is of course about soccer:

"Our number one opponents are not Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United. It is ourselves."

Kudos to Team USA (In Spite of Ghana Loss)

Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and goalie Tim Howard had an impressive World Cup tournament. We are proud of the American team which won their group over three quality teams in England, Slovenia and Algeria. Even though they lost to Ghana 2-1 on Saturday, we are very proud of team.

Donovan, 28, who scored the goal against Ghana on a penalty kick, will be rejoining his Los Angeles Galaxy teammates soon in MLS play as the team looks to improve on last year when they lost in overtime to Real Salt Lake in the league's title game.

Other countries of the world were disappointed by the weekend's results, including Mexico which lost to Argentina 3-1 yesterday.

A Mexican waiter Los Tres Magueyes Restaurant in Cary, NC, (well actually it was another Mexican restaurant in North Carolina, but this place does really exist!) told me on Friday: "Maybe, we beat Argentina. Maybe, we don't."

Much like the American team, Mexico had a good World Cup, but they simply faced a daunting opponent in Argentina which has yet to lose a game in South Africa.

For other World Cup news, check out our blog entry on Paul the Octopus on our other blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."

You know while I'm doing this, I could actually be watching the Holland-Slovakia game which is going on right now. I imagine we know who tennis player Daniela Hantuchova is rooting for?!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Quote of the Day- Mario Beneditti (Uruguayan Poet)

Ahhh! No, Take Three!

All sorts of things have gone wrong with this entry which is dedicated to The World Cup. Today we quote the late Uruguayan poet Mario Beneditti (1920-2009) who lived almost as long as the great French filmmaker Eric Rohmer (1920-2010) who is best known for his masterpiece "Claire's Knee" (1971).

Today, Uruguay defeated South Korea 2-1 in a rainy mess at The World Cup. The game was played in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Luis Sanchez kicked in two goals for the Uruguayan side, including the game-winner in the 80th minute.

If Landon Donovan and Team America beat Ghana (the game starts in about an hour), they will face Uruguay in the quarter finals.

Here is the quote from Beneditti:

"After all Death is a symbol that there was life."

SIDEBAR: Slovakian tennis goddess Daniela Hantuchova, whom we profiled earlier in the week lost to Czech tennis player Barbara Zahlavova-Strycova (editorial comment: why couldn't she have just stuck with her maiden name?!) in Wimbledon play yesterday.

SIDEBAR TWO: We don't normally apologize to Republicans on this blog, but we did not spell the name of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) correctly in a blog entry earlier this week.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

PSA- Share the Road

Speaking of the recently-deceased Dennis Hopper (see last entry), he comes up again here as we post our weekly PSA segment- this time in honor of "Sharing the Road."

Apparently, the concept is popular in South Africa since it is the subject of a billboard that one see along with one for an airliner in the United Arab Emirates (well, it says Fly Dubai).

But, Share the Road concepts are occuring here in les etats unis as well. One such statewide program in Minnesota is sponsoring "Bicycling Around Minnesota" from Aug. 18-21 in Cloquet, Minn.

The national site devoted to drivers 'sharing the road' with the likes of bicyclists, motorcyclists, buses and those right-wing idiots who drive Hummers (we couldn't resist the political humor) suggests the following tips on the road:

1. Don't Cut in Front
2. Watch Your Blind Spots
3. Buckle Your Belts
4. Be Wary of Inattentive Drivers
5. Watch Out for Aggressive Drivers (hmmm....might those be the ones driving Humers?!)
6. Avoid 'Squeeze-Play" with Trucks
7. Don't Drink and Drive
8. Stay Alert in Work Zones

This has been a Public Service Announcement from your friends at The Daily Vampire, stay tune for another PSA next Thursday. Now, let's return to that late night rerun of "Perry Mason."

Quote of the Day- Alejandro Jodorowsky (Chilean Experimental Filmmaker)

Today, our quote of the day in our continuing look at 32 people from the 32 countries in The World Cup belongs to Chilean Experimental Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky who shocked the world with his surreal western "EL Topo" in 1970.

According to the IMDB, he later wanted to film the science fiction novel "Dune" with Orson Welles in a leading role, but David Lynch beat him to it, and that version of "Dune" (which I believe has also been remade for tv) did not have Welles.

Jodorowsky also conducted the 2005 wedding between shock rocker Marilyn Manson and kinky film star Dita Ven Teese (well, we aren't fully certain which profession she's in). They divorced in 2007.

As for futbol, Chile faces Spain tomorrow which along with the Portugal-Brazil game is expected to be one of the more exciting first round games. Today, Slovakia stunned Italy 3-2 with two goals from Robert Wittek (25th min. and 73rd min.) and another one from Kamil Kopunek in the 89th minute. We presume Slovak tennis sensation Daniela Hantuchova (see earlier entry) is quite happy!

"El Topo," which was a midnight movie phenom in its day, is available from Netflix. The film was a favorite of the recently deceased Dennis Hopper, who assuredly would have loved this quote from Jodorowsky:

"I ask of film what most Americans ask of psychedelic drugs."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quote of the Day- from Portuguese Writer Jose Saramago

Unfortunately, the famed Portuguese writer Jose Saramago, pictured here, died last week at his home in The Canary Islands at the age of 87.

Like many great writers, including the late Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet who lived in Russia and the late American writer William Burroughs who spent many years in Tangiers, Morocco, Saramago was an exiled man. This was mainly due to his political views for Saramago (like Hikmet) was a communist even though the Portuguese writer's exile (from what we gather) was a personal choice.

Saramago's novel "Blindness" had been made into a 2008 film with Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore, and the writer won the first Nobel Prize for Portugal in 1998.

We are featuring Saramgo as one of the 32 people from the 32 countries in the World Cup.

The Portuguese team made headlines on Monday with a 7-0 thumping of North Korea, which assuredly did not go over well at the Kim Jong Il residence in Pyongyang.

As many soccer fans know (and I consider myself a casual one though I did watch virtually every game of the 1978 World Cup which host Argentina won when I was a child while we were living in Turkey), Portugal has a bonafide superstar in Cristiano Ronaldo, whom David Fellerath of "The Independent Weekly" in Raleigh, NC, called 'a glowering metrosexual.' Ronaldo is also starring in a series of tennis shoe ads with Homer Simpson?!

Here is today's quote from Saramago. It is, as one would fully expect, a political one in nature:

"People used to say about me: 'He's good but he's a Communist. Now they say: 'He's a Communist, but he's good."

Things We Learned from Twitter This PM- Russian Prez Joins the Cult!

I guess this image of Misha the Bear, the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics mascot, suggests that many of us Americans, including those of us with at least one foreign-born parent, don't take the Russians too seriously these days. I actually ate a place called Misha's Cafe in Baku, Azerbaijan, their brekfast is actually better than The Omelete Shop in Princeton, W.Va (don't tell them, I said that!).

But, perhaps given our past history, that should be change! And, perhaps there is no better way to achieve that than to have Russian President Dmitry Medvedev open up his own Twitter account.

Yesterday, while visiting Silicon Valley (near San Francisco), Medvedev did just that according to "The Hill Tweets," one of the Twitter pages for the Washington, Dc-based publication "The Hill" which discusses all things related to Capitol Hill.

According to "The Hill Tweets," the Russian prez released two accounts, one in English and other one in Russian.

His first tweet was: "Hello everyone! I'm on Twitter and this is my first tweet."

Boris and Natascha would be proud!

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger congratulated Medvedeve via (what else) Twitter!

"The Hill Tweets" also reported that three Democratic senators, including Mark Warner of Va. (whom I met during a campaign stop in Strasburg, Va., when he was running for governor--a race that would later win), Chris Dodd of Conn. and Mark Udall of Colo. all congratulated Team USA via Twitter for their 1-0 win over Algeria.

The win puts Team USA into the second round of The World Cup.

Meanwhile, another figure on The Hill, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had his own busy day on Twitter as he posted a photo of "The Three Amigos," a group which includes him as well as Sens. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Perhaps, all six of these senators can get together over the weekend and watch another Chevy Chase 'classic' "Caddyshack" with some college students from Georgetown!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Silly Photo to Fill Space- Pizza Delivery Guy

Today, we focus our Silly Photo to Fill Space blog entry on a pizza delivery guy as we continue our look at summer jobs.

We are also continuing to focus specifically on Myrtle Beach, SC, as it is a place where lots of people go to either find summer work, play lots and lots of golf, or relax in the sun while their awful kids make sandcastles.

One such place where one can become a pizza delivery guy (or gal) is East of Chicago, a national pizza chain with lots of stores in Ohio, which also has an establishment at 3901 North Kings Hwy. in Myrtle Beach, SC.

On their web site, East of Chicago spefically states: 'Lazy people need not apply.' That would rule out Sarah Palin.

The place also has lots of testimonials from local folks, including this quip featured on their web site:

"My daughter is still talking about her last birthday party and it's been almost a year since hr party," from Steve in Conway, SC.

Hopefully, their drivers enjoy their work more than I did with a certain 'big name' (it's either Domino's, Papa John's or Pizza Hut---not East of Chicago!) pizza place in Roanoke, Va., 20 years ago this summer!

Quote of the Day- Kim Jong Il (North Korean Dictator)

Today, we continue our 32 quotes from 32 people from the 32 countries in the World Cup with a quip from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il (born 1942), who is apparently a bit of a film fanatic.

In a 2004 issue of "Film Comment," Brian L. Frye wrote that Kim's book "On the Art of the Cinema," which was initially written in 1973, was being republished in America. Frye said: "It's probably the only work of film criticism read exclusively by political scientists."

Kim took over in 1994, and he has made a name for himself on the global stage with his nuclear weapon synanagyns.

But, his country has not fared well at the World Cup though it gave Brazil a much harder game than anyone expected in a 2-1 loss. However, yesterday Portugal scored an astonishing six second half goals to pummel North Korea 7-0. This lead a guy named Bruno who may have been tweeting from Lisbon to say the following on Twitter:
"Kim Jong Il, please do not test your missiles on Portugal."

Here is the quote of the day from a dictator who has also been lampooned by those guys who make "South Park:"

"The revolution is carried out by means of one's thoughts, not through one's family background."

SIDEBAR: We are not sure if there are any Mexican restaurants in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital which has a population of about 2.5 million folks, but there several in Athens, Ga., including three with the local chain, The Taco Stand. One of their restaurants is located at 247 E. Broad Street across from the University of Georgia and it features not only tacos, burritos and queadillas but salsa burgers and chicken finger sandwiches as well.

We also forgot to link our friend Chris Knight's blog "The Knight Shift" yesterday. One can see a video replay of last week's game between The United States and England with Leggos (of all things!) there! BTW, Knight is a rabid Georgia Bulldogs fan, hence the reason we mention The Taco Stand here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Quote of the Week- Daniela Hantuchova (Slovak Tennis Star)

Ay Karumba! We royally screwed up the first try with this, so we will keep this one simpler. A tip to other bloggers, try to limit your labels and be sure to save your entries, or else.........?????!!!!!!!!!

So, we turn our attention to Slovak tennis goddess Daniela Hantuchova, born in 1983, as we continue to quote 32 people from the 32 countries in the World Cup.

Slovakia was once a part of Czechoslavakia, but the political split which occured some 20 years ago did not prevent Hantuchova from becoming doubles partners with Czech tennis legend Martina Navratilova.

Hantuchova was among the female tennis players profiled in a 2008 feature in "The Daily Mail" (UK) about young, hot female tennis players from eastern Europe. It was a bit tabloid, but very interesting! Though, I think I found out from some place else that Hantuchova studied classical piano for eight years.

She has also posed for lots and lots of swimsuit photos, and like virtually all gorgeous women in the world with the exception of a few lipstick lesbians, Hantuchova (of course!) has a boyfriend but we don't really care about him!

As for accomplishments on the court, Hantuchova reached the semi-finals of the 2008 Australian Open and she will be the 24th seed at Wimbledon.

Here is her quote:

"I guess the attention paid to appearance is something that belongs to tennis too."

SIDEBAR: If you have time, check out the YouTube video featuring replays of the World Cup soccer game between the United States and England with Leggos! It is on the blog "The Knight Shift" ( which belongs to my friend Chris Knight, of Reidsville, NC.

There were other things we were going to post here, but I want to avoid another disaster in the 'chemical lab!"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day from Robert Reed

We actually meant to post this much earlier in the day, but I was working on my exam for students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Roanoke, Va. (not actually where I work).

But, Happy Father's Day to all. Alas, my father Mehmet Gokbudak, a Turkish immigrant, died of a heart attack at age 62 in 1983 when I was just 13 years old but we remember him fondly. Perhaps, this entry is a bit ironic because he didn't like us watching "Happy Days" (as we discussed in an earlier entry) but he had no such qualms with "The Brady Bunch."

The series which starred Robert Reed (1932-1992) lasted from 1969-74, and it featured Florence Henderson and as the mom. Unfortunately, Reed died from complications due to AIDS, but there are many fans of the show who will never forget him.

I had expected many web sites and blogs dedicated to the show, but some of the ones I had found borrowed the Brady Bunch but they had nothing to do with the actual show (like some blog that has vampire in its name, but nothing to with Christopher Lee movies!). One of them was actually from an evangelist family in a place like Twin Falls, Idaho.

But one legit Brady blog features a 'guide to morals, themes, and definitions' of the show, which makes one think there might be someone writing a term paper on the sitcom as if it were an Akira Kurosawa film!

We leave with this quote from Reed, who was apparently an H.G. Wells fan:

"I've always thought of science fiction as being, at the same level, as 19th century business."

GIFT IDEAS FOR DAD: Well, it is really too late for this, but if you live in Denver, you may want to give him a cupcake from The Big Fat Cupcake located on 129 Adams Street which boasts that it won the 2009 Colorado Cupcake challenge!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quote of the Day-America Ferrera

Today as part of our series quoting 32 people from the 32 countries in the World Cup we quip America Ferrera (b. 1984) who was engaged to Ryan Piers Williams this week. The "Ugly Betty" also recently visited American troops in Iraq.

Though she was born in America, we are going to once 'cheat' and have Ferrera represent Honduras which is actually the birth place of her parents.

The Hunduran national team lost to Chile 1-0 in World Cup play this week. They will next face Spain at 2:00 p.m. (American, east coast time) on Monday.

Ferrera made her screen debut in the independent hit "Real Women Have Curves" (2002).

She has won a Golden Globe for her lead role in "Ugly Betty."

Here is her amusing quote regarding her 'figure:'

"I think it's hilarious when people call Jessica Alba or Eva Longoria Parker curvy. They're not curvy. They're small. I'm curvy."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Quote of the Day- Audrey Hepburn

She is best known for her role in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," yet she won an Oscar for her earlier performance in "Roman Holiday" with Gregory Peck.

We are quoting Audrey Hepburn (1929-1993) in our series of 32 quotes from 32 people associated with the 32 countries in the World Cup.

I must profess that with Hepburn we are sort of 'cheating' as she was born in Belgium, but she spent most of her adult life in Switzerland. Since the Swiss, who shocked Spain 1-0, are in the World Cup and Tintinland is not, we are posting Hepburn's quote for Switzerland.

Many Americans are surprised to learn that one of the nicest hotels in Istanbul, Turkey, is actually Swissotel, an international chain which also has hotels in Chicago (but presumably nowhere else in les etats unis, Berlin, Beijing, Lima (Peru) and (of course) Geneva. They also have two other hotels in Turkey in Ankara and Izmir.

The Swissotel in Istanbul overlooks the Bosporus and it also reportedly has a very, very nice spa.

As for the World Cup, in today's action, our American boys came from behind to tie Slovenia, a former Yugoslav republic which Sarah Palin probably thinks is in West Africa somewhere near Ghana (they are also in the World Cup).

The Slovenian goals came from Valter Birsa (25th min.) and Zlatan Ljubijankic (and, people think my Turkish last name is hard to spell!). While the American goals came from superstar Landon Donovan (48th min.) and Michael Bradley (82nd min.); there was also an American goal which was called back by referee Koman Coulibay from Mali (who coincidentally turns 40 on the Fourth of July).

Coulibay's Wikipedia page was hacked in response to the highly-controversial call sometime today. This of course makes me wonder if some kid from Skokie, Ill., (a Chicago suburb) or Bethesda, Md. (a DC 'burb), has to much time on his hands!

Oh, before I forget, here is our quote from Hepburn, who was also known for her charity work in places like Africa (perhaps she went to Ghana and Mali!):

"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it."

Bonus Silly Picture to Fill Space- Big Pig!

We are posting this image of a Vietnamese pig (George Clooney apparently had one like this for a pet!) in honor of the 28th Annual Hillsborough Hog Day, which gets underway in Hillsborough, NC (near Chapel Hill) tomorrow morning starting at 9 a.m. The festivities are scheduled to conclude around 6 p.m.

I actually went to this fest two years ago, and it was quite the interesting occasion. I wanted to jokingly invite a Turkish friend who was taking classes at UNC on a lark, but I'm not sure that Mustafa (pse) shares my twisted sense of humor.

This year, I was reminded of the event through an ad in "The Carrboro Citizen" (weekly newspaper in Carrboro, NC, which is also near Hillsborough).

The ad featured the following tidbits:

Admission is Free!
Crafters, games and contests.
Live music all day Saturday.
Fun for the whole family.

There will also be lots and lots of barbecue!

For those who live in the Tarheel State, but have other plans, there is also a b-b-q place called 'The Pit' in Raleigh, NC, on West Davie Street which claims to provide 'everything but the squeal.'

Now, I must profess that even though I am a human secularist, as a Turkish-American who had a Muslim father (alas he died when I was 13) I still feel guilty indulging in pork.

But, apparently, one gave ham and bacon without eating pork when they dine at The King's Family Restaurant (no relation to the chain of the same name in the Altoona, Pa., area) in Newark, NJ, as they offer halal meats. According to the New Jersey restaurant's web site, King's also offers omelets with beef or turkey bacon instead of pork.

Somehow, I can't imagine this would go over very well at the Omelette Shoppe (a regional chain open 24/7 with restaurants in Virginia and West Virginia) in Beckley, W.Va., which presumably has a very small Arab-American population.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

PSA- An Eye for an Eye Makes the Whole World Go Blind

The State of Utah is planning to execute its first inmate since Joseph Mitchell Parsons in 1999 tonight (after midnight, Utah time).

A five-member firing squad is scheduled to shoot Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, at the state prison in Draper. Due to the highly-debatable nature of the execution, it is getting more national coverage than most executions. Ironically, another controversial execution was scheduled to take place in Oklahoma, but the controversy regarding the condemned man's guilt led to the Sooner State's governor Brad Henry (D) to commute the sentence to life imprisonment.

There is no such controversy regarding the guilt of Gardner who was sentenced to death for the 1985 shooting murder of defense attorney Michael Burdell at a courthouse in Salt lake City. Gardner was standing trial for the murder of a bartender.

The Salt Lake City newspaper "The Deseret News" recently published a story regarding how Gardner was severely mentally and physically abused as a child, and how he was frequently sent to state institutions when he was as young as ten years old.

According to another article in "The Deseret News" (this one by Dennis Romboy, which was published today), Gardner is steadfastly refusing to eat anything though he did have his last meal on Tuesday which consisted of a steak, lobster tail, apple pie, vanilla ice cream and a 7Up.

Uthans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty is holding prayer services starting at 5:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m., east coast time). The abolition group will then hold a vigil outside the state capitol building in Salt Lake City from 9 p.m. until midnight.

Several militant pro-death penalty supporters posted over-the-top messages on a message board for comments regarding the Gardner case on the web site of "The Deseret News."

These included the following sentiments:

"Can't wait for the sound of gunfire in the distance all the way in San Diego."

"Last meal should've been a MickeyD's Happy Meal."

"I get tired of those who say he didn't have a chance because of his childhood."

"I am tired of hearing hearing other countries don't have the death penalty. We aren't other countries."

And, perhaps the most outlandish of all:

"I know it (the death penalty) deters me from killing anyone."

But, there were several posters with the opposing view that I fully agree with. This included a person who said that as a Mormon (it should be pointed out that I am agnostic) she was very troubled that people affiliated with his/her church hold such venemous views.

This was similar to a stance taken by The Rev. Carolyn Tanner, a retired Episcopalian minister from Utah, whose statement was posted on the Utahns for Alternatives to the Death Penalty web site:

"As Christians we condemn the taking of a human life, recalling that Jesus himself was a victim of state-sponsored murder. His death holds before our eyes the poverty of capital punishment and its capacity to dehumanize those who carry out its sentence."

The same organization posted an editorial from "The Salt Lake Tribune" which stated that: "the legal and ethical argument supporting capital punishment in Utah has been eroding like sand castles of high tide."

Similarly, Diane Rust-Tierney, the executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (based in Washington, DC) said the following in a column she wrote for the online journal "The Huffington Post:"

"Despite the curiousity generated by the high-profile manner of imposing the punishment (she was refering to the Utah case), the death penalty is on the wane in America."

NOTE: For those of you who reside in Tashkent, Uzbekistan,and might not be entirely familiar with American pop culture, the above image is from the 1971 Clint Eastwood film "Dirty Harry." Of course, we also realize that people in Uzbekistan (who I gather might actually be reading my blogs on a regular basis) might be far more hip than many of my fellow Americans might realize!

UPDATE: Gardner was executed by a firing squad in Draper, Utah. I must profess outrage over things that death penalty proponents posted in regards to an article about the execution. First, there is this myth that those of us opposed to capital punishment feel more sympathy for the killer than his victims. This is utter nonsense, and it illustrates the pure hate and venom we get from the other side. Second, these uber-partisans point out that it is wrong to compare executions to the crucifixion of Jesus because Christ was not a murderer. But, they ignore the fact that the death penalty has evolved into a method in which people in power suppress their opponents. This is one reason why the death penalty no longer exists in my late father's county, Turkey. But, their reasoning also makes me further realize that many people who proclaim to be Good Christians are truly hypocrites. As for the name of the man who was to be executed in Oklahoma for a crime he may very well have not committed, it is Jeff Matthews.

Quote of the Day- Pele

Today's quote of the day from Brazil's legendary star Pele is being posted in conjunction with the World Cup in South Africa, where our traditional ethnic rival Greece (I am a Turkish-American) won its first ever World Cup game by a 2-1 margine with a surprising comeback over Nigeria. The game-winning Greek goal was scored by Vasillis Torosidis in the 71st minute.

Pele is reporetdly engaged in some kind of war of words with Argentinian team coach Diego Maradona, who is himself a futbol god. But, we don't know the details and we certainly don't want to irritate potential blog-visitors from Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires as we have agitated enough people from Athens and Tel Aviv (and perhaps even Istanbul!):

"Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Quote of the Day- Mel Gibson

We continue our series of quotes from people associated with the 32 countries in the 2010 World Cup with a quip from controversial, out-spoken actor/director/right-winger Mel Gibson who was born in New York, but grew up in Australia where he made it big as "Mad Max" (the 1982 sequel "Road Warrior" is pictured here) in 1977 when he was just in his early twenties.

This quote is in reference to "The Passion of the Christ," a film Gibson directed which I saw as an interesting mess:

"Obviously, nobody wants to touch something filmed in two dead languages. They think I'm crazy, and maybe I am. But maybe I'm a genius."


SIDEBAR: Apparently World Cup fever is even spreading in countries which are not in the competition as the Tokyo, Japan-based Twitter site Weird News is reporting that government authorities in Bangladesh have asked factories, stores and shopping malls in the capital city of Dhaka to close down to prevent the city's limited power supply from getting jammed. Mohammad Afrazur Rahman, the minister of energy for Bangladesh, actually made a formal request of compliance to the people of Dhaka!

SIDEBAR TWO: Chile beat Honduras to win the country's first game in the World Cup since 1962. In today's match in South Africa, Chilean striker Jean Beausejour scored what became the game-winning goal in the 34th minute of the game.

NOTE: We had a technical glitch with our last entry on the Somali-American Yahya Wehelie, 26, who is trapped in Egypt as the FBI put him on a no-fly list as he was trying to board a plane to the United States from the Cairo Airport six weeks ago. The Washington, DC-area resident has spent 18 months in Yemen, where many jihadists have been working in terrorist camps. But, Wehelie's parents insist he is not involved in radical ideology. We were hoping to post labels for the post when the glitch occured so we will post those labels here instead.

Things We Learned From Twitter Late Last Night- Muslim American Trapped in Egypt

If you happen to be a Muslim who is the son of Somali immigrants, this may not be the best time to plan a trip to Yemen. At least, that appears to be what happened to Yahya Wehelie, 26, a Washington, DC-area resident who was taking classes at Norfolk State University a few years ago.

Now Wehelie, as reported in "The New York Times" (we heard about it through, has been trapped by circumstance as the FBI put his name on a no-fly list which prevented him from boarding a plane back home to the United States at the Cairo Airport.

So, Wehelie has been trapped in Egypt for six weeks after his 18-month trip to Yemen which the FBI apparently saw as very suspicious though they are not telling the press why they placed his name on the no-fly list.

Wehelie's parents insist that he is not a Muslim fundamentalist and that he hates Osama bin Laden.

But, Yemen is also a hot recruiting place for anti-American jihadists and many sons of Somali immigrants have joined such dubious causes. So, the question is simply: "Is this a case of guilt by association?" or "Is Wehelie a radical who is a legitament threat to our national security?"

Alas, it appears we will not know for quite some time, but both the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the ACLU are taking up Weheli's case.

Since my late father was a Muslim immigrant from Turkey (I am agnostic), I certainly realize how one can get caught up in a real-life "Twilight Zone" episode and get accused of being involved with terrorist causes just as I realize people we may never suspect can get caught up in such disturbing activities. This is truly a dark and unsettling time for all of us.

SIDEBAR: Winston Reid, 21, a New Zealand national player of Maori heritage who scored the game-tying goal against Slovakia yesterday in a 1-1 draw is being hailed as a national hero even though he spent much of his youth in Denmark where he plays professional soccer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Silly Photo to Fill Space- Hey Bartender

Today, we continue our special look at summer jobs through our Silly Photo to Fill Space series by focusing on the world of bartending, which supposedly pays fairly well (we had no time to research verify this, but apparently one can make great tips at Roxy's, a night-club in L.A.).

Apparently, from an internet article by some guy who is an 'expert' at such things, the St. Clement Beach Bar and Grill is the very best bar in Myrtle Beach, SC, a place we have been featuring since we started this look at summer jobs.

The establishment is located at 202 70th Ave North.

As for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans baseball team that we have also talked about in earlier entries, we learned that they were clobbered in Kinston, NC, by the Kinston Indians 10-2 on Sunday. But, it was 104 degrees on the field.......yes, we think many fans probably left by the seventh inning stretch too!

Quote of the Day- Lars von Trier

Today's quip which is being done in conjunction with the World Cup in South Africa comes from Danish film director Lars von Trier whose most recent film "Anti-Christ" is supposedly the most controversial film since "Triumph of the Will" (forgive the film fanatic humor).

Alas, Denmark lost to Holland 2-0 yesterday (well we were actually rooting for the Dutch;nothing against the Danes but I suppose some folks from Turkey-my late father's country-would have a beef regarding those cartoons), but we're sure they will do better against Japan or Cameroon......well, maybe/maybe not!

But, here is our quote from Lars, who Nicole Kidman (he directed her in "Dogville") will apparently never work with again (there was tension on the set---to put it mildly!):

"Bascially, I'm afraid of everything in life except filmmaking."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quote of the Week- Jean-Luc Godard

We have quoted French film director Jean-Luc Godard so many times that assuredly it seems like a cliche.

But, his most famous film "Breathless" is celebrating its 50th anniversary (alas, the film's female lead Jean Seberg died at age 40 from a drug overdose in the 1970s) and my friend Jason Garnett is showing Godard's musical (?!) "A Woman is a Woman" two weeks from today at The Shadowbox Cinema in Roanoke, Va. "Breathless" was the subject of a cover story in the most recent edition of "Film Comment" magazine.

Plus, France is in the World Cup and we are quoting 32 people from each of the 32 countries involved (wait 'til you see who we chose for Honduras?!). On Friday, Team France tied Uruguay 1-1.

Here is the quip from the master who will 80 on Dec. 3:

"I don't think you should feel about a film. You should feel about a woman, but not a movie. You can't kiss a movie."

Last Ten Films I've Seen....'Malcolm' in the Middle

Contrary to this image of Malcolm McDowell, Stanley Kubrick's surreal masterpiece "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) is NOT among the last ten films I've seen. But, I did see the three-hour against-the-grain musical comedy/political satire "O Lucky Man!"
(1973, dir-Lindsay Anderson) which McDowell actually consders his favorite film.

Here is the rest of the list:

1. "Suzanne's Career"* (France. 1963. dir-Eric Rohmer)
2. "Zulum/Cruelty" **(Turkey. 1972. w/Turkan Soray. dir-Atif Yilmaz)
3. "O Lucky Man!" (UK. 1973. w/Malcolm McDowell. dir-Lindsay Anderson)
4. "Punishment Park" (1971. dir-Peter Watkins).
5. "Wanda" (1970. dir-Barbara Loden)
6. "A Man for All Seasons" (1966. w/Paul Schroder and Robert Shaw. dir-Fred Zinneman)
7. "Lifespan" (Holland. 1976. w/Klaus Kinski. dir-Sandy Whitelaw)
8. "Prince of Persia" (2010. dir-Mike Newell)
9. "Yazgi/Fate)"** (Turkey. 2001. dir-Zeki Demirkubuz"
10. "The Fugitive Kind" (1959. w/Marlon Brando. dir-Sidney Lumet).

*-Not a full-feature length film
**-Not distributed in the United States

Here are some notes on the other films in the list:

"Suzanne's Career" is the second film in Rohmer's "Moral Tales" series, which includes what many consider to be his best film- "Claire's Knee" (1971).

"Zulum/Cruelty" is a vintage Turkish melodrama with a very young Turkan Soray who is known as the 'Queen of Turkish cinema.' It makes for an excellent guilty pleasure, but needless to say it was not a challenger to Luis Bunuel's French film "The Discrete Charm of the Bourgeoisie" which deservedly won the Best Foreign-Language film Oscar in 1972.

"Punishment Park" is a docudrama based on the 'siege mentality' concept. Along with the documentary "FTA" with Jane Fonda, it is one of several Vietnam War-era films which were effectively banned in America for political reasons. In the film, anti-war protestors choose to go to Punishment Park where they must capture an American flag on top of a mountain as opposed to federal prison. But, they soon find out that with armed law enforcement officers trailing them that they made the wrong choice.

"Lifespan" is vintage kitsch, and Kinski's appearance in the film makes it even more so. The plot is bascially this: "A doctor trying to develop a serum to strengthen his life tries his formula on nursing home residents.' Pardon the cliche, but this is definitely NOT for all tastes. In fact, I'm wondering if the film even offended me!

"Yazgi/Fate" is based on the novel "The Stranger" by the late French writer Albert Camus. The film by Zeki Demirkubuz, one of Turkey's most acclaimed directors, deal with the ramifications of nilihism as the title character is presumed guilty of a crime he did not commit because of his emotional detachment to the victims.

Lastly, "The Fugitive Kind," which is based on the Tennessee Williams play "Orphesus Descending" features four Oscar-winners. In addition, to Brando, the erotic for its time film has Anna Magnani, Joanne Woodward and Maureen Stapleton in its cast--all of whom won Oscars during their carreers. Woodward is the only one of the four who is still alive. Magnani, who became famous for her performance in the Italian classic "Open City" reportedly lusted after Brando, but he was not romantically interested in her.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Quote of the Day- Frida Kahlo

I must profess when my girlfriend Louisa (pse) left me for an unemployed car mechanic in Duluth, Minn., that she meet on the Internet, she did cite the fact that I spent way too much time blogging as a factor!

So, it should be no surprise to those who know me well that I am devoting 32 quotes from 32 people, both alive and dead, from the 32 countries in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, which starts (yikes?!) tomorrow with a game between the host country and Mexico that will air at 9:30 a.m. in Boston and Miami (and the rest of the American east coast as well as places like Toronto, Canada).

Today, we feature a quote from the late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) who was the subject of the film "Frida" (2002) which starred Mexican actress Salma Hayek in the title role.

Frida is popular not in Mexico but throughout Central America as there is a popular restaurant named Frida's in Antigua, Guatemala, that we couldn't get into because there was a long, long line waiting outside (?!) when we there in 2005. We've since read from travel writers that many Americans who go to Guatemala have trouble getting a seat in this restaurant, which is known for its cocktails and quesadillas.

As for the painter Frida, she was known for her Realism, Symbolism and Surrealism. She was also a bisexual and a communist, which made her life, as tragic as it was, even more interesting!

She was married to fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera. And, she had affairs with the African-American singer Josephine Baker as well as the Russian socialist leader Leon Trotsky, who was murdered in 1940 while in exile in Mexico. Trotsky also lived for a while in Turkey. My late Turkish aunt happened to spend her summer residence on the island of Buyukada off the coast of Istanbul where Trotsky lived in the late '20s and early '30s before heading off to Mexico.

Frida also suffered from massive injuries that she suffered from a bus accident which happened when she was 18. Those injuries haunted her for the rest of her life. She died under mysterious circumstances, and there is much speculation that she committed suicide.

An exhibit of Frida's paintings is currently taking place at a museum in Berlin, Germany--- a city where one can also see Knut the Polar Bear (at the Berlin Zoo, of course!).

Here is today's quote from Frida:

"Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?"

PSA- Save PBS (So, We Don't Have Watch John Denver Specials!)

Actually, contrary to the title of this entry, there are many songs from the late folk singer John Denver (1943-1997) that I enjoy, but let's face it a PBS special with a live performance of his song during Pledge Week is about as painful was well a Lawerence Welk PBS special (irregardless if it airs during Pledge Week or not!).

Earlier in the week, my local PBS station UNC-TV, which broadcasts all over North Carolina even though it is based in Raleigh, aired one such John Denver special. We believe it was "A Song's Best Friend," but we can not verify that as we honestly changed to channel to a rerun of "Ghost Whispherer."

Amazingly enough, I saw a copy of the John Denver record "Poems, Prayers and Promises," (pictured here) which features one of his signature songs "Country Roads" for ten dollars (?!) at Duke's Antiques Mall in Lexington, Va., a few months ago.

We do happen to love PBS and UNC-TV, which aired an interesting segment about the Charlie Poole Bluegrass Festival which is taking place in Eden, NC, this weekend. The festival featured the Durham, NC-based band Carolina Chocolate Drops a few years ago right before they made it 'big' nationally.

Tonight, WUNC-TV is airing another Pledge Week special "Change Your Brain, Change Your Body" with Dr. John Amen at 9:30 p.m. This guy is apparently very popular with PBS stations because we found out that another one of his specials "Magnificent Mind at Any Age" is airing tonight at 11:00 p.m. on MPT (Maryland Public Television). So, perhaps a person living in Kannapolis, NC, can phone their sister living in Hagerstown, Md., and compare notes.

But, Amen's shows are not airing on every PBS station in America tonight as KBDI in Denver, Colo., is not going to air any of his specials tonight. However, the same station is going to air "Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart" at 7:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. (Mountain Time, of course). So, you may want to ask your brother in Aspen to tivo it for you!

SIDEBAR: Kudos to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning their first Stanley Cup since 1961 thanks to an overtime goal from Patrick Kane in overtime last night during Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers in the City of Brotherly Love. My cousin Erroll Gokbudak, who grew up in the Chicago 'burb of Skokie, Ill., is assuredly most pleased. He can now go back to watching "Antiques Roadshow" on PBS like the rest of us!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quote of the Day- Film Director Peter Jackson

Typically, many fellow cineastes are a bit surprised that I did not consider myself to be a serious admirer of film director Peter Jackson, who has put New Zealand's film industry on the proverbial map with his famous "LTR" triology.

But, I was very impressed with his most recent film "The Lovely Bones" and I was stunned to see that many critics, who cited Susan Sarandon's over-the-top performane as a serious flaw, did not agree with me.

Today, we are featuring the Oscar-winning Jackson (b. 1961) as our representative for New Zealand as we continue to quote people, who may be alive or dead, from all 32 countries in the World Cup which begins on Friday in South Africa.

While researching this piece, we found out that Jackson collects World War One model airplanes.

Here is his quote:

"New Zealand is not a small country but a large village."

Things We Learned From Twitter This PM-Nebraska May Defect

It seemed like my efforts to find out if anything new or extraordinary was going on in the world when I was checking tweets an hour and a ago was going to turn up nothing new or extraordinary.

But, then I read a tweet from KCTV, a Kansas City television station, which said the following:

" said Nebraska regents have informally agreed to leave for Big Ten. A formal announement will come Friday."

Does this mean that The University of Nebraska will now have in-conference rivalries with the likes of Ohio State, Illinois and Wisconsin instead of Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas State?

The Corn Huskers are known nationally for their football program, but the school in Lincoln, Neb., also has outstanding programs in both women's volleyball and women's gymnastics.

The Lady Huskers volleyball team is now touring China according to the Nebraska athletics' web site.

Similary, the school's women's gymnastics team finished seventh at the NCAA championships in Gainesville, Fla., in April. They were lead this past season by seniors Kathryn Howard and Kylie Stone (pictured here).

Erin Davis, a standout junior, returns to the squad next year. During a meet with Illinios and Minnesota, Davis scored a perfect 10 on the vault.

SIDEBAR: I want to congratulate fellow Radford University alumnus John Marks who graduated from Highlander U in 2007 (11 years after I did). Marks was named Teacher of the Year for the City of Roanoke, Va. (my hometown) recently. He is a sixth and eighth grade math teacher at James Madison Middle School.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Silly Photo to Fill Space- Summer Jobs (Baseball Mascots)

So, you want to go down to Myrtle Beach, SC, for the summer and check out babes, take in a few rays and drink cheap beer at Mother Fletcher's (presuming the landmark night club is still around), well you got get a summer job right?

And, someone is going to dressing up in this attire here as they become Splash (pictured here) the mascot of the minor league baseball team The Myrtle Beach Pelicans who are getting ready to face the visiting Winston-Salem Dash from Winston-Salem, NC, in a little over an hour at 7:05 p.m.

According to the team's web site, Splash got an official 'makeover' in 2007 by supposedly 'pumping iron at the gym.'

The new version of Splash made his first appearance on April 5, 2007, in front of a crowd of 6,074 baseball fans which included former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (aka Hizoner) who was hoping the visit to the dugout would help him win the Palmetto State Republican Primary, which ultimatley went to his political rival John McCain.

Splash has reportedly been ejected from two Pelicans games and the team web site advised fans to 'keep an eye on their hot dogs, so Splash doesn't try to eat them."

My own hometown team the Salem RedSox from Salem, Va., (I actually worked for them in the concession stand one summer when they were the Salem Avalanche) visit the Pelicans over the Fourth of July weekend.

Quote of the Day- Gunter Grass

Perhaps those of you visiting our blog from Boulder, Colo., can find a Gunter Grass novel, like his most famous work "The Tin Drum" (the novel came out in 1959, an award-winning film version came out in 1979), at the Boulder Bookstore.

But, for the rest of us who aren't living in such a hip happening place, well we can always quote Mr. Grass.

The German author, who was born in 1927, was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1999. The film version of "The Tin Drum" was actually banned in Oklahoma City in 1997 after a Christian fundamentalist group saw some controversial sexual scenes from the movie out of context.

The evangelical group did not even watch the film in its entirety! But, the ban was removed in 2001 though we aren't sure if a resident of Tulsa can put the controversial late '60s Swedish film "I Am Curious Yellow" on his Netflix que!

We are quoting Mr. Grass because he is from one of the 32 countries in the upcoming World Cup in South Africa.

Although I haven't been there in a long time, we expect that partisan fans will be rooting for Germany from the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, W.Va., which is actually only an hour outside Washington, DC, where one might be able to find "Cat and Mouse" (a 1961 novel by Grass) at Politics and Prose.

Here is the quip from the great writer who also penned "The Dog Years" in 1963:

"Everything bigger than life attracts a crowd."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Quote of the Week- Athol Fugard

Today, since The World Cup will be played in South Africa later this week, we thought we'd quote some famous person from each of the 32 countries participating on our two blogs presuming we have the time, and presuming we can find a famous person from Paraquay!

We start with a quip from Athol Fugard (b.1932) who is South Africa's leading playwright. He is best known in America for his play "Master Harold and the Boys," in which a young Matthew Broderick played the title part for a Showtime production just after he became famous for his role in the teen adventure film "WarGames"

Here is the quote from Fugard:

"We compound our suffering by victimizing each other."

Last Ten Films I've Seen---Three with Bruce Dern

Three of the last ten films I've seen, "The Trip" (1967), "Psych-Out" (1968) and "Coming Home" (1978) feature the great character actor Bruce Dern (father of Laura Dern, pictured here) who turned 76 on Friday. Dern recently played Frank Harlow in the hit HBO series "Big Love," which still may not play well in Provo, Utah (since it's about fundamentalist Mormons with lots of wives).

"The Trip" also featured Dennis Hopper, who died last week. He had also just turned 76 some two weeks before his death. "The Trip" which also featured Peter Fonda was a precursor to "Easy Rider."

Even though "Watermelon Man" (1970) was made by a black filmmaker in Melvin Van Peebles (Mario Van Peebles' father), I'm not sure it would get made today as it deals with a racist white man who becomes black overnight. Sadly, the star of the film Godfrey Cambridge died at age 43 in 1976 while on the set of a tv movie with Kirk Douglas in which he was to play Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

Here are the films:

1. "Watermelon Man" (1970. dir-Melvin Van Peebles)
2. "Personal Best" (1982. dir- Robert Towne)
3. "The Trip" (1967 w/Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. dir-Roger Corman)
4. "Psych-Out" (1968 w/Jack Nicholson. dir-Richard Rush)
5. "Friends of Eddie Coyle" (1973. w/Robert Mitchum. dir-Peter Yates)
6. "Coming Home" (1978. w/Jane Fonda and Jon Voight. dir-Hal Ashby)
7. "The Girl Can't Help It!" (1956 w/Jayne Mansfield. dir-Frank Tashlin)
8. "The Special Relationship" (2010. HBO TV movie about Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. dir-Richard Loncraine)
9. "Dog Eat Dog" (Colombia. 2008. dir-Carlos Moreno)
10. "It Happened One Night" (1934 w/Clark Gable. dir-Frank Capra)

SIDEBAR- There is a great blog entry by my good friend Moviezzz about the very short-lived tv show "Tales of the Golden Monkey" (1983-84). At the time, all of us thought it was a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" rip-off, but as it turns out the producers had submitted the idea for the show before the epic film came out in 1981!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

PSA- Please Rescue a Cat from the Henry County, Va., Animal Shelter

A calico named Madame, like the one pictured here, is available for adoption from the Henry County Animal Shelter in Martinsville, Va.

The adoption fee for adult cats is $25, and it is $50 for kittens.

Other cats available at the shelter include Wyatt, a domestic short-hair male cat who has been neutered. Wyatt is one year and two months old (he is so cute!).

There is also Lilly, a female white cat (has been spayed) and Petty, a male orange cat (has been neutered).

The web site for the shelter is

The shelter's phone number is 276-638-PAWS

And, if you live in the Martinsville area and would like to volunteer at the shelter you can email


Paid Political Commentary (Regarding Detroit Tigers Pitcher)

For the very first time ever on this blog, someone has asked me to post an entry about a matter which concerns them!

This does not really pertain to be a political issue, but my friend Renaldo Hernandez (pse) of Richmond, Va. (not really where he is from) wanted me to complement Detroit Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga (pictured here).

The Tigers pitcher apparently came very close to throwing a perfect game last night, but a bothced call by the umpire in which a player for the opposing Cleveland Indians was called 'safe at first' blew the perfect game opportunity for Galarraga.

'Hernandez' said that Galarrage exemplified classiness as he merely said that while he thought the Indians play was out that umpires make mistakes.

Apparently, the umpire looked at a video replay of the incident and he realized that he did in fact make a mistake. He called Galarraga to apologize and the Tigers pitcher was gracious in his response.

Hernandez also feels that this is a postive story which shows that athletes can display good sportsmanship, and that not all of them are spoiled rich guys on ego trips.

Hmmm....I wonder if he was refering to Tiger Woods?!

On Twitter, the RedSoxFanClub also praised the pitcher's grace even though the Boston Red Sox are rivals with the Tigers.

Now for a weather reporter in the greater Richmond-Petersburg area we turn to our meteorologist Matt Denardo.*

*-This is an actual weather reporter for a TV station in Richmond. Apparently, there is a Youtube video of him cursing on camera!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Things We Learned on Twitter Very Early This A.M.

For those who have been keeping track of our entry over the years, you may recall that we have periodically blogged about the beloved late sixties children's tv show "H.R. Puff N Stuff" (pictured here) which through some research on our part has revealed to be a show that was allegedly about the wonder of smoking pot!

This leads to our story of the story which stems from the seaside village of Paphos, Cyprus, in the southwestern Greek portion of the island nation which has been politically divided since war broke out between Turkey and Greece over the conflicting ethnic groups' residential status in 1974.

(It should be pointed out perhaps for the 105th time that I am a Turkish-American, but if you read below, you'll see this entry has nothing to do with ethnic politics------we promise!)

According to an early morning tweet stating: 'Teenage boy arrested for cannibis in Cyprus' from "The Cyprus Mail," which I saw at 4:30 a.m., American east coast time as I was battling insomnia, an 18-year-old male from Paphos was arrested by Cypriot police and charged with possesion and use of drugs with intent to pass the proverbial bong (not the way they actually worded it!) to a third person.

If convicted, the youth, who was not identified by name, could face a LIFE sentence?! And, I thought my father's country wasn't exactly progressive when it came to marijuana!

On a more serious note, I was very saddened to hear about the Israeli commando raid of the Turkish ship The Marmara which was carrying relief supplies to Palestinians. I will keep my political perspective out of this matter on this blog, but all of us in the Turkish-American are thinking about the nine people on the vessel, including four Turkish nationals, who needlessly lost their lives on Monday.

And, on a less serious note, The Seven's Turkish Grill located on 72nd Street in New York has just posted lessons on Youtube on how to fix the fabled Iskender Kebab dish that is the pride of Bursa, Turkey. Oh, we should mention that you can follow them on Twitter--- for more details.

Lastly, this morning was not a good one for the Louisville Bats, a minor league baseball team from Louisville, Ky.

According to their Twitter site, the team fell to the Columbus Clippers by a 10-7 margine in a road game. All of this proves that baseball games (this particular game started at 10:35 a.m.) should simply never be played before noon!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Silly Picture to Fill Space- Summer Jobs (Lifeguards)

We heard a great piece on NPR's "All Things Considered" yesterday, which included a brief interview with Vice President Joe Biden (of all people!).

It got me to thinking about my own summer job experiences when I was essentially a human billboard for a Domino's Pizza store in Roanoke, Va. That was not fun!

But, one would probably enjoy being a lifeguard in North Myrtle Beach, SC, a lot. According to the web site (the official site for the North Myrtle Beach Lifeguards), a lifeguard can possibly make between $10-12.50 per hour.

The city of North Myrtle Beach, SC, which is the hometown of "Wheel of Fortune" co-host Vanna White, is also hosting a salute to military veterans and a Music on the Main festival on June 3.

We understand the show's host Pat Sajak is a major financial contributor to the Ronald Reagan Library in California (guess he makes more loot than we realize), but that's another matter.

In nearby Myrtle Beach, SC, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans host the Winston-Salem Dash from Winston-Salem, NC, the home of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, from June 7-9.

As for the lifeguard pictured here, we don't think she is actually working in North Myrtle Beach. In fact, for all we know, she could be in Zagreb, Croatia. What's with her belly-button ring?!

Kudos to Duke University (Again?!)- This Time for Men's Lacross Title

First they did it men's basketball, now the Duke BlueDevils bring another NCAA championship back to Durham, NC, as they won the men's lacrosse championship by defeating Notre Dame in Baltimore by a score of 6-5.

The game-winning goal was scored by sophomore C.J. Catabile with :05 remaining in overtime. Freshman goalie Dan Wigrizer made five crucial saves to help Coach K's squad (ooops! Sorry, we got our sports mixed up!).

This was the first NCAA Championship in men's lacrosse for Duke University.

The team made national headlines off-the-field back in 2006 for an incident with a local stripper which proved to be based on false accusations and lead to the resignation of Durham Country Attorney General Mike Nifong.

You can apparently follow the team on Facebook and Twitter, but we can't verify that and since we are not a professional news organization we will skip the verification process as we need to buy a mouse from the pet store on Williamson Road in Roanoke, Va., before it closes to feed our pet boa Larry (that is a joke! In fact, I can't stand snakes.....)