I'm entering a particularly hellish phase of the term this week, with the first set of formal lab reports in my intro mechanics class due on Thursday. That's 35 papers to read and assign grades to, a process which compares unfavorably to writing rejection letters to slushpile authors (authors from the slush pile are generally unlikely to turn up in your office the day after getting their manuscript back, after all...). If I had the time and energy, I'd consider dropping some lazy journalists a note (see also comments from the master of the Precious), but I'm saving up my strength. I'd consider unwinding by watching some sports, but they're all full of filth these days, and once I start reading papers, I'll barely have the attention span for pro wrestling. By the end of it, I'll probably be reduced to contemplating exploded whales (some of whom are infamous), and giggling quietly to myself.
Happily, there are still smart bloggers out there with interesting ideas for replacing the Hubble. And there's fun stuff going on on Mars, with news available in flavors ranging from technical to mopey, to downright chipper (verging on ferret shock, really...). So there's plenty to read.
Note to Self: Get Some Free Time
Also, win the lottery.
Best... Super Bowl... Ever.
Personally, I'd put this game in the top five Super Bowls of my era (with the caveat that my era encompasses a decade or so of ridiculous blowouts). My completely objective unbiased list of favorite Super Bowl games:
- 5) Niners-Bengals in 1989. This narrowly edges out the Broncos over the Packers, for two reasons: 1) I like Brett Favre and the Packers, which undercut my happiness to see Elway win one, and 2) this was the first game since I started paying attention to football that was actually close.
- 4) Giants - Broncos in 1986. One of those lopsided games, but my team won, so nyahh.
- 3) Patriots - Panthers in 2004. Last night's game is right up there. A dramatic finish, two great quarterback performances, and Kate's team won. It'd be higher, but they edge themselves out for #2:
- 2) Patriots - Rams in 2002. This is a favorite not just because it was really dramatic, and made Kate very happy, but also because I absolutely loathe the Rams. The Rams' entire receiving corps is on the short list of athletes I'd like to see run over by a bus (just behind Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin). They're a pack of showboating assholes, and there were few sights that year that made me happier than New England's DB's smacking them around.
- 1) Giants - Bills in 1991. My absolute favorite Super Bowl ever, in no small part because I watched this in a dorm rec room surrounded by asshole Bills fans. When Buffalo got a safety in the first half, one idiot was literally dancing on the table. And then the Giants strung together two of the longest, most brutal drives I've ever seen, smacked around the Bills receivers (Andre Reed spent the whole second half hearing footsteps), and Scott Norwood sailed one wide as time expired. Rarely have I enjoyed seeing a roomful of people crushed like that. It also provided one of my favorite bits of sports copy, from the Boston Globe: "The offense of the 1890's beat the offense of the 1990's, and everybody got a kick out of it but the Buffalo Bills."
Interestingly, Bill "The Mad Monk" Belichick was involved in four of the top five games (two with the Giants, two with the Pats).
Obscure Band Update (Brief Return)
Quick comments on some recent CD purchases:
- Room on Fire, the Strokes. You know, I have no problem with the basic idea of the back-to-basics neo-garage thing, but if you're going to be hailed as the new saviors of Rock, you should at least sound like you care. It's not a bad record, really, but like their first one, it's weirdly half-assed, like they can't be bothered to invest much emotion in the work, which makes it hard for me to really get into it. Honestly, if you're too jaded to enjoy being a rock star, you're just too jaded to live.
- Rooney, Rooney. If you've ever found yourself saying "Wow, I really like Weezer's 'Green Album'-- if only it were more than half an hour long," you should go buy this record. It's almost forty minutes long.
- Blackberry Belle the Twilight Singers. As a big fan of the Afghan Whigs, I bought Greg Dulli's first post-Whigs album (Twilight by the Twilight Singers) immediately, and was underwhelmed. It's basically an entire album full of the mopey tracks that they used to pad Whigs records out with. This one is much better-- "Teenage Wristband" is a great tune.
- Blink-182, Blink-182. What's up with the self-titled records, anyway? Great moments in liner notes: "Tom and I went into two different rooms, and he wrote the verses, and I wrote the choruses, without discussing the subject ahead of time. It turns out we both wrote about sex." What are the odds?
- Orange Rhyming Dictionary, Jets to Brazil. Bought after numerous enthusiastic recommendations from Nathan Lundblad. "Conrad" is one of the most ear-wormy depressing songs you'd ever want to hear.
- Tell Balgeary, Balgury is Dead, Ted Leo. The title probably means something, and might explain some more about the title track, which is very good. It's an EP, so it was cheap, and I've heard his other recent album (from which the title track is taken) praised highly, so I figured I'd check this out. It's decent, and I'll probably pick up the full album the next time I'm in a record store.