Archive for hitler

history 101

the old adage says that history repeats itself.  more specifically (and in the words of the great george santayana), “those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.”  it happens rather often.  whether it be something as big as hitler marching into russia only to retreat in a giant failure after napoleon had done the same less than 200 hundred years prior or something as small as trying the dining hall food everyday in the hope that it will be (magically) delicious, which it never really is.  either way, history is quite repetitive.

and though i’m sure you’re sitting there singing such praises as “good point”, “well done”, and “bravo”, you may also be asking yourself why the point was made.  and it’s a valid point to question the point, i assure you.  basically, it’s quite simple.  history is repeating itself.  in a big way.  and it’s happening in china.  ooh, china.  so exotic.  so foreign.  excitement for sure.

sadly for all of you exotic thrill-seekers out there, the chinese history isn’t what’s repeating.  it’s american history.  in china.  american sports history, to be precise.  if you’d care to read about it, you should probably take a look at the article right about here.  the story goes a little something like this:  the united states women’s soccer team (which is praised [for lack of a better term] in their current fifa world cup television ad campaign as “the best team you’ve never heard of”) is playing against brazil in the semifinals of the 2007 fifa women’s world cup later today.  they’ve played the entire tournament (and the majority of the past few years) with one goalkeeper (namely hope solo [and yes, her name really is hope solo]), and they’ve won every game in this tournament with the exception of a tie to north korea in the opening round.  their coach, however, has made the decision to switch goalies for the upcoming game against brazil.  why?  well, just because.  it’s not because of bad play or injury or anything.  he’s just kind of bringing in the new girl (who is named briana scurry and is actually the old girl, as she used to be the starting goalie on the team for several years but then took a few years off from the team and when she came back had to assume the role of backup).  now, the new/old girl is definitely good.  that’s not a question.  she’s proved her skill in many big time games for the team in the past.  but regardless, this move has quite a few soccer aficionados stumped.

the question, of course, is whether they should be stumped.  does this make any sense at all?  thankfully, i happen to have the answer (and basically, the result of the upcoming game to go along with it).  that answer is found deep within history.  this move may seem crazy and unprecedented to some, but in actuality, it has happened before.  if you’d care to join me in my figurative time machine, we can go back and take a look.

very interesting. “in a surprise move, bombay has gone to his bench.” sounds familiar. “i don’t know about this move by bombay. putting in a cold goaltender to face the leading scorer in the tournament.” cold goaltender, check. leading scorer in the tournament, check (it just so happens that two players from the brazilian team [marta and cristiane] are in first and third place, respectively, on the goal scoring list). and why did coach bombay put julie in? “julie, you’ve got the fast glove.” (though, i think emilio estevez is much cooler than me because it sounds like the actual line is “julie, you got the fast glove.” if it had a “yo” on the end, it would be perfect.) and why is coach ryan (of the u.s. women’s team) putting in briana against the brazilians? well, in his press conference yesterday, he stated, “i think the way the brazilians play, in terms of creating off the dribble in the penalty box and making the goaltender make reaction-type saves, i think [scurry] is the best goalkeeper in the world in those situations.” now that may not be grammatical perfection, but when push comes to shove, you could probably simplify it down to “briana’s got the fast glove.” or hand, in this case. though soccer goalies wear gloves too. just not big baskety ones.

personally, i see these two scenarios very much as one and the same. coach greg ryan is just the next coach gordon bombay, and briana scurry is just the next julie “the cat” gaffney. i haven’t thought far enough into the metaphor to tell you who the next charlie, ken wu, and gunnar stahl are, but trust me, they’re there. it runs deep. and the result of the soccer game? well, that’s easy. the usa ducks won. after putting in a new goalie. against the best goal scorer. so logically, when the u.s. soccer team puts in a new goalie to go against the best goal scorer… well, i’ll let you create your own logic on that one.

so what was the best part about this post? well, you thought you were in for a history lesson and instead you got to watch “d2: the might ducks”. that’s pretty much as good as it gets. and so with that, i leave you. but always remember, “greenland is covered with ice, and iceland is very nice!” with that in mind, you can never go wrong.

update:  oops.  apparently they should have considered changing into duck jerseys at halftime. 

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indiana lampstand

disclaimer: so this post is going to have some top quality christian propaganda in it; in my opinion that makes it all the better, but you can feel as you willi found myself reading last evening, and i came across a section of text that made me think. basically, the story goes that moses was leading the hebrews out of egypt to the promised land and made a pit stop at mount sinai along the way. while they were all there, god decided to change the course of society as we know it and gave them all these rules to live by and that kind of thing. amidst a whole bunch of moral stuff, we find that they were given specific directions about how they should go about building a sort of tent-like dwelling that would hold the ark of the covenant (which in turn held the tablets with the original ten commanadments on them) and a few other various items specified by god. while some may find interest in what the exact specifications of the tent were and others might enjoy other “important” portions of this sequence, i personally was enthralled by the ark. kind of. not really the ark itself or the idea of the ark but by the concept of “why?”.the ark of the covenant, much like the holy grail, has become an item of legend and intrigue in modern times. many people are interested, and often engrossed, in theories of where it went, what it was like, and how come it simply vanished into time. depictions of this concept for both the ark of the covenant and the holy grail can be seen in the indiana jones movies made by steven spielberg and george lucas. of course, these are slightly exaggerated with the fact that the ancient artifacts are actually found, but that is certainly besides the point. ark and grail hunters have and will continue to search for ideas and clues about the lost history of these things, maybe forever.and now i backtrack to my own question. the thing that really interested me about the ark was that it was somehow selected alone and put on this grand pedestal for all to know about it. like i said before, god made a point to specify the inclusion of several different items in the tent. these included a very lovely table and an equally nice lampstand. but ask people about the table and lampstand and most would have no idea. ask them about the ark and many more will know at least something about it. and so i was intrigued. why was the ark so cool? why aren’t all the great archaeologists in search of the “lampstand of the covenant” instead? of course, the ark did hold the tablets and was put into a super special part of the tent that most people probably wouldn’t even dare breathing near, but still, that lampstand was gold-plated. it must have been pretty cool in its own right. basically, in my opinion, it got the history shaft. everybody loves the ark. nobody likes the lampstand. if it hadn’t been gone for thousands of years, i think i would go give it a hug.adding a video in with the post, i think, adds an extra little kick that i like. so i think i’ll do it again for this one. this is the scene from “raiders of the lost ark” where indy is explaining all about the lovely ark in all its splendor. please note that the lampstand of the covenant is mentioned a grand total of zero times in this scene. you’d think that hitler would have wanted to get his hands on anything that was in the that tent, but no. just the ark. who knows, maybe the lampstand will make an important appearance in the fourth indiana jones movie that they’re supposedly going to make. “indiana jones and the curse of the forgotten lampstand”. sounds pretty awesome to me.

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oh facebook, where art thou?

so as of the morning of tuesday, september sixth in the year of our lord two-thousand and six, the website formerly known as facebook.com still remains the website known as facebook.com. what has the world, or at least the college microcosm of said world, in a bit of a tizzy is simply known on the website as the “news feed”. it’s a wonderful new feature that let’s you know whenever one of your friends has updated the site in any way. it’s actually been quite a controversial bit. many people feel that this updating in features to the website (which i can only imagine probably took those poor facebook techies months to write all of the code for) creates an atmosphere that is much too open to the public. the case, formerly, was that if you wanted to share your life with the world, you did in on myspace.com, but if you wanted a similar but more intimate setting with your friends, you could do use facebook. the popular belief now is that the privacy that was once enjoyed by so many has been stripped away. in fact, these are a few of the many complaints posted on facebook within the first day of this new “catastrophe”: “so…this new facebook stuff…kinda creepy. facebook is getting more stalker-friendly and more like myspace every day. soon…they’ll have ways of tracking what you’re doing, even if you dont update it…and you wont even be able to go to the bathroom without everyone on your friends list knowing”, “ok….i’m officially freaked out. i haven’t really commented on the progressively stalkish features of facebook but this latest (‘feeds’) are quite horrible. i mean, i can see that a surprise birthday party is planned for someone. doesn’t that mean that that person, if friends with the party’s hosts can also see the event?! how…horrific.”, and “dear facebook, you are so stalker friendly”. these, and the many other messages and anti-“news feed” groups (etc.) don’t seem to be sending a very positive message about the new updates. poor facebook.

now not that i ever disagree with people or anything like that, but i’m not so sure that the world is ending. maybe someday a giant asteroid called “news feed” will plow through the earth’s atmosphere and destroy the world and all that, but until then, i don’t think such a feed is the new nazism (though there is an adolf q. hitler from georgia tech and an adolf e. hitler from pillow academy there on facebook). if you scratch the surface of the issue ever the tiniest bit, you can easily see that the whole problem is full of holes, much like swiss cheese (even though i definitely prefer american). the main point in my argument that the new additions aren’t really all that bad is this: nothing really changed. in fact, if you were to make a ratio between the amount of information you could obtain on facebook now in contrast to the amount of information you could obtain before the changes took place, it would be a simple one to one ratio. you can only get the information you could before. you could always see what people were changing. you could always look at whatever your friends were doing, whenver you wanted. yes, the information is now more easily accessible, and yes, you wouldn’t have cared to look at a lot of the information that now appears on your “news feed”, but it was all there. as they say, “there’s nothing new under the sun.” also, for all those complainers out there, there are plenty of ways on facebook for you to limit what can be seen by people. it’s not a big rampant pool of information just being tossed around at will. you have to allow your information to be seen by people. the problem is that most users don’t care enough to limit things, and now that the publicness of their info has greatly increased, a sense of panic has arrived. here’s what the authorities at facebook.com haave to say about it: “news feed tells you a lot, but it doesn’t tell you everything. you will only see stories about actions that you have permission to see, as determined by the privacy settings of the person who made the action. for example, if your friend creates a ‘secret’ event that you are not invited to, you will not receive a news feed story about it. don’t worry; it’s probably a surprise party for you anyhow.” so the surprise party spoiling hypothesis from earlier has already been ruined. sorry to the person who wrote it, but i think this statement (though short and having some holes itself) offers a solid basis for the positive aspects of the new updates to the site. also, the site states that a mathematical algorithm is used based upong “information about how you interact with your friends on the site to automatically generate stories that could be interesting or relevant to you.” it isn’t spitting every possible thing that ever happens on facebook into your face. it’s finding what it believes to be the most important and influential events and ideas and letting you know about them.

so in all actuality, it is a very nice and helpful update from the people at facebook. unfortunately, too many people share too much about themselves over the internet and eventually get caught in a trap of their own cyberlives. hopefully the college (and now also high school) students will be smart enough to avoid the creepy forty year old stalker guys that traverse the myspace planet. but don’t worry. there are scarier things in these waters than a little bit of available information. just ask shredder from teenage mutant ninja turtles, who now resides at florida state, maryland, tennessee, oklahoma, drexel, loyola chicago, texas state, portland state, and berlin high school. if you’re going to worry about anything, it should be him. not some silly “news feed”.

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