Daily Dose: 3/31/17
You think you black? This is blacker
12:28 PMEvery once in a while, someone does something so impressive that all you can do is tip your cap and say bravo. Ashley Feinberg, congrats. You won the internet yesterday. FBI director James Comey has been outsmarted.
If you think of the word “black,” what comes to mind? A person, a color, both? From an art standpoint, black means the combination of all. As in, put everything together, you get black. From a sociological standpoint, it means: problem. Blackballed, blacklisted, you get the idea. But the visual itself of the color is a different matter. In recent years, matte black has risen to prominence as a go-to style, but Vantablack? Next level. The color is so dark that it distorts typical light rays, meaning what you normally see in 3-D just goes flat. Mind. Blown.
So, things are getting very touchy with Russia. Basically, every news headline coming out of President Donald Trump’s administration is somehow related to the country. Be it questions about who’s investigating whom, how Russians might have been involved with our presidential election, whatever. Now, even the Kremlin is saying that relations are frayed to a level that goes even further than the Cold War. Also, Mike Flynn is saying he’s willing to talk about the Russia probe, if he gets immunity. Sounds like he’s admitting to having committed a crime.
When it comes to music videos, Kendrick Lamar knows what he’s doing. The Los Angeles artist has always pushed the envelope with his visuals, and his latest is pretty incredible. He’s the kind of guy who manages to link his lyrics and images in ways that are direct without being obvious and poignant without coming across as forced. More plainly, even if you don’t love his music, you’ll enjoy his videos. “Humble” is no different, but my favorite part about it is watching him swing a golf club.
Rougned Odor is about that action. Let the record state that the Texas Rangers second baseman is typically ready to throw hands anywhere, anytime. You might recall when he blessed the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista with a vicious right cross, then proceeded to take on all comers. He’s been about this life since the minors, too. Well, all that pugilism hasn’t hurt his status with his team. The Rangers recently signed him to a six-year deal that nears $50 million. Oh, and they threw in a couple of horses, too. Seriously.
Coffee Break: The world of marijuana is basically completely mainstream. Viceland is doing something called Weed Week next month, which I imagine is not dissimilar to Shark Week. Reasonable crossover market there, too, likely. Anyway, check out this story on a collective called Women.Weed.Wifi in Washington.
Snack Time: There’s more than one way to get involved in sports. Playing, writing, coaching, you name it. One overlooked route? Refereeing. Everyone needs them, and in Chicago, one group is doing something about it.
Dessert: Cam’ron rapping over a Vanessa Carlton beat, and a video, are all you need to start the weekend.
Daily Dose: 3/30/17
Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel are not friends
Take that, college basketball. It’s long been debated by certain parts of the country that college basketball is better than the NBA. The NCAA men’s tournament has had its share of fantastic finishes over the past two weeks (see: Wisconsin-Villanova and North Carolina-Kentucky), but the pros showed Wednesday night why they’re the best in the world at what they do. Russell Westbrook had a 57-point triple-double, all but solidifying his MVP candidacy. The Milwaukee Bucks’ Matthew Brogdon and the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker both put up big-boy shots to lead their teams to victories. And the Golden State Warriors showed why they won a title two years ago and put up 73 victories last season, overcoming a 22-point deficit against the San Antonio Spurs to win by double digits.
The Rock vs. Vin Diesel, part two. In August 2016, The Fate of the Furious star Dwayne Johnson posted a cryptic diss on his Instagram about one of his castmates, referring to the unknown man as a “chicken s—” “candy a–.” It turns out he was beefing with Vin Diesel. While all hostility was reportedly squashed over the summer, new reports allege that the two blockbuster stars are being kept apart for the movie’s current press tour. Here’s to a “Rock Bottom” and “People’s Elbow” at the New York premiere next month.
The goalposts continue to be moved for the Trump family. It’s been well-documented that the expectations for former presidents don’t apply to the current administration (look at this helpful illustration). But things have gotten more complicated over the past few days. President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka was given an official position (with security clearance) in the White House on Wednesday, despite zero government experience and in direct conflict with what the president said just four months ago. First lady Melania Trump is reportedly just now “easing into her role” two months after the inauguration. During Michelle Obama’s first two months back in 2009, the then-first lady was already visiting homeless shelters and soup kitchens and venturing out on solo missions at the G-20 summit in London.
1. Ear-whisperer Lance Stephenson is back with the Indiana Pacers. In an unrelated note, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Pacers are the No. 1 and No. 8 seeds in the playoffs.
2. Convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez’s girlfriend Shayanna Jenkins has officially changed her name to Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez despite not being married to the former Patriots tight end. Ride-or-die.
3. Kevin Love explained why he’s not fat anymore.
Daily Dose: 3/29/17
Blac Chyna is not here for the games
1:24 PMWe taped another podcast yesterday, and this time Rhiannon Walker joined us to talk about the NCAA Men’s Final Four, the Oakland Raiders moving to Vegas and the merits of going on reality television. Have a listen!
Michael Irvin’s career has always been an up-and-down one. The Miami kid who made it huge in professional football is no stranger to a courtroom. The NFL Hall of Famer has been accused of sexual assault more than once in his lifetime and has been exonerated multiple times in said cases as well. Now, he’s 51 years old and these things have been bad old news for a while, but it’s happened again. A female acquaintance has accused the former Dallas Cowboys receiver of sexual assault and he says she’s lying.
People are willing to do a lot of things to look better. It’s why the world of cosmetic surgery exists. But those procedures are generally quite expensive. So as a result, people often will do all sorts of foolishness in order to make short cuts, which is basically a bad idea always. Playing around with dodgy surgery is never a smart move. And where there’s a will, there’s a scam. The South Florida doctor who made a fortune injecting tire fluid into people’s behinds under the guise of “implants” is going to prison for 10 years.
Blac Chyna is a legend in the game. If you’re not familiar with her rise to fame and power, you can consult this handy guide. (That story, btw, was the best written piece I saw last year.) Her situation with Tyga is an awkward one because they have a baby together. But Chyna also just had Rob Kardashian’s baby. Why does that matter? Because Tyga is dating Rob’s sister. Gotta love Los Angeles. Anyway, apparently Tyga is not paying child support and Chyna is airing out his whole life on Snapchat.
The other shoe is beginning to drop for Joe Mixon. The Oklahoma Sooners running back who assaulted a woman in a restaurant is high on some people’s draft boards. But with video of him punching a woman in the face in public domain, there’s an understandable reticence to pick him high, never mind have him on your NFL team at all. But, he’s also pretty good at football, so, there’s that. Well, one team has officially taken him off their board, for obvious reasons. That team is the New England Patriots.
Coffee Break: We’re in an era in which cameras of all types of professional abilities are available to the general public for prices that aren’t completely out of reach for the average person who wants to invest. For example, Samsung now has a new 360 camera that works with iPhones, if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s $350.
Snack Time: Never have I been off-roading, but I’d love to. Not in an ATV or one of those typical trucks that everyone else does it in. I want to go shred mud in one of these.
Dessert: If you want people to take something seriously, never put it to popular vote.
All Day Podcast: 3/28/17
Arizona is the focus of the sports world this week
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Phoenix was the epicenter of Tuesday’s podcast. It’s the site of the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four as well as where the NFL owners’ meetings are being held this week, effectively making it the epicenter of the sports universe. Rhiannon Walker joined us to talk about both. Also, Aaron Dodson finally saw the new Power Rangers and gave it a review.
The gang discussed their brackets to this point and everyone made their national title picks, both sentimental and practical. Personally, I’m rooting for an all-PNW final between Gonzaga and Oregon, but that’s just me. Most folks want to see that Battle for the Carolinas.
Among the other things happening out in the desert, an NFL team is moving. The owners voted 31-1 in approval, which means that pretty soon, the Oakland Raiders will no longer be in California. Some of us felt bad for the people of Oakland, and others are ready for the most popular professional league to hit the most popular entertainment city in America. You Played Yourself makes a return and this week, Master P makes an appearance along with the cast of an ill-fated reality show in Europe. One deserved this award a lot more than the other.
Daily Dose: 3/28/17
The Cleveland Cavaliers are circling the drain
1:01 PMThe Washington Nationals have reportedly asked President Donald Trump to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. I can’t imagine one single good result coming from that request for the franchise. What a bad idea.
It has not been a good week for Maryland, when it comes to terrorism. Last week, a white supremacist who grew up outside of Baltimore traveled to New York City, for the purposes of killing black men and carried out his task. After he was taken in by authorities, he made it clear that he was hoping to do a lot more damage. Now, a high school girl in Frederick County, Maryland, is in custody after her father read her diary and turned her in. She was plotting a mass shooting at her school and had a shotgun and bomb materials in her closet.
There are certainly reality shows I’d go on. There are plenty others that I certainly would not. When it comes to what sounds fun, The Bachelor and The Amazing Race come to mind. Also, anything that involved building houses or what have you. What does not sound appealing? Any situation that involves being in the wilderness or physical challenge dares like eating bugs. But for one group in Europe, the worst happened. They were cast out in the wilderness and told to survive for the show. Then it was canceled. No one told them though. Wow.
Dwayne Johnson is the king of the remake at this point. Coming up this summer, he’ll be part of two movies that serve as reboots for two extremely big brands. First is Baywatch, which, if we’re being serious, genuinely looks tremendous. It’s a role that makes almost too much sense for him. But, he’s also starring alongside Kevin Hart in Jumanji 2, which just released new official footage at Comic-Con this week. In it, we learn that instead of getting trapped in an old board game, they use an old Nintendo game instead. Pretty cool.
Things are not good for the Cleveland Cavaliers right now. They got crushed on the road by the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night and are no longer in first place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. And, in general, they have not played well at all recently. Sure, part of this is due to the squad resting players to be better for the playoffs. But, if they’re backsliding, what’s the point? To make things even more awkward, LeBron James admitted that the team was in a “delicate” state at this point, a very odd choice of words, considering.
Coffee Break: 25 years ago yesterday, White Men Can’t Jump was released in theaters. The iconic sports movie of my life was also a Los Angeles love letter. Now, many of the sites in the movie have changed, but some haven’t and the evolution is fascinating.
Snack Time: Another week, another lawsuit involving the shooting of an unarmed black person in America. It was in South Carolina again and the details are rather troubling.
Dessert: New Big Boi with Killer Mike and Jeezy? Yes, please.
Daily Dose: 2/27/17
When it comes to airports, they don’t want you to be comfortable
2:00 PMSunday was Nike Air Max Day. If you’re not familiar, it’s basically a good reason for the company to release a bunch of rare colorways of an extremely popular shoe. Obviously, DJ Khaled did it big.
The identity politics surrounding clothes in airports are ridiculous. On Sunday, United Airlines found itself under criticism because of the company’s policies surrounding people flying on what are known as “buddy passes.” Basically, if you’re not paying for a ticket, you have to dress like you work there, which is a ridiculous rule, but a rule nonetheless. It came to a head when a couple of 10-year-old girls weren’t allowed on a plane for wearing leggings. Don’t even get me started about TSA constantly haranguing me for wearing sweatpants.
When it comes to marijuana, this is a country divided. There are those fighting for full legalization, others who say it’s harmful, others who want to at least find a way for states to make money off of it and another group that’s just trying to keep their kids safe, but not how you think. For many kids, medical marijuana is the only thing that can keep their seizures under control. Meaning, violent outbursts go down and they can live a normal life. Guess who’s the latest to join that fight? Conservative mothers in Texas. Yep, you read that right.
In case you missed it, things didn’t exactly go as planned for the White House this weekend. The health care bill completely fell apart, President Donald Trump lied to the media about what he was doing, claiming he was working when he was actually playing golf. That said, the breakdown of the GOP’s leadership surrounding this situation has been pretty remarkable. It’s more than just a matter of the establishment vs. the tea partiers. They’ve got major issues.
Baseball season is around the corner, which is good news for me. Why? Because baseball is my favorite sport. The nearly impossible happened last season in case you forgot. No. 1, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. Secondly, they played the Cleveland Indians, who hadn’t been in the World Series in forever. This year, we could talk forever about who’s going to win what. But the story about the son of Cleveland’s general manager spilling the beans on a potential deal is basically the best thing ever.
Coffee Break: I don’t know another about monster truck racing, except that it’s cool. I’ve been to a few rallies in my day and they are nothing but incredible melanges of power and noise. Over the weekend, someone pulled off a front flip, in a truck, during a competition. This clip is positively insane.
Snack Time: Want to hear a story about how local journalism needs your support in order to stand up against lawmakers? Here’s one from Tennessee that’s certainly worth sharing.
Dessert: If you’ve had a rough start to Monday, this should cheer you up.