Month: January 2014

UNC – NCAA Scandal: What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander


. . . and it’s a long time coming.

I grew up a die-hard NC State fan.

In the book, Personal Fouls, Peter Golenbock alleged improper practices and a lack of institutional control in the NC State athletics department. The allegations included grade fixing, lowered or waived entrance requirements for athletes, the selling of tickets and sneakers by athletes, and frequent drug use by athletes.The claims were refuted by Valvano and Chancellor Bruce Poulton. The NCAA, under Valvano’s request, investigated the matter and found nothing more serious than athletes selling sneakers. Allegations of grade fixing were also investigated by the NC State faculty senate and were found to be false. Allegations of point shaving were investigated by the North Carolina and New Jersey Attorneys General and found to be false. Nevertheless, due in part to the publication of Personal Fouls and the stigma thus attached to the program, Valvano was fired on April 7, 1990.

When Golebock destoryed Jim Valvano and the NC State Basketball, Dean Smith and UNC touted themselves as academic titans. Dean Smith used this to his advantage – especially when he could not win on the court. Dean Smith even went as far as turning in Norm Sloan for giving a player (David Thompson) a jacket after NC State won the National Championship in 1974. This is how Dean SMith used to respond to losing on the court. Needless to say, a great coach, a compassionate person, a horrible loser. In 1987, when undefeated UNC lost to NC state in the finals of the ACC Championship game, Dean Smith pushed a camera man down as he was walking out.

Now UNC’s high-and-mighty position as champions of student athletic integrity appears to be continously tainted and all I have to say is – GIVE. NO. QUARTER. Treat them with the same regard Penn State and Joe Paterno received. When you live high with much protection inside a bubble – playing by your own rules – you desrve the harshness you get.

Transcript shows low hurdles for UNC athletes to stay eligible
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/08/17/3461936/transcript-shows-low-hurdles-for.html#storylink=cpy

UNC’s academic scandal involves basketball players?
http://collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/08/uncs-academic-scandal-involves-basketball-players/

UNC’s Football program has certainly taken a beating. What’s great about that is the wall of protection – should I say – UNC athletics’ “REALITY DISTORTION FIELD” has been penetrated. With that, all of the scrutiny begins and the whistleblowers will start to come out and they will reveal where all of the bodies are buried.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” has no taken the ball and are running with it. Everyone knows that these guys are the “60 Minutes” of Sports Controversy. Once they are on to you – you are toast.

John Skipper’s ESPN to feature UNC Scandal on OTL tonight
http://www.statefansnation.com/2014/01/espn-feature-unc-academics-scandal-otl-tonight-6pm/

UNC Whistleblower Speaks
http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10297507

ESPN to feature UNC Academics Scandal on OTL tonight at 6pm
http://www.statefansnation.com/forums/topic/espn-to-feature-unc-academics-scandal-on-otl-tonight-at-6pm/

BTW: Coach Roy WIlliams pretty much said they he could give a shit about athletics – it was not his job to be concerned with that. So much for the concept of student athletes. Meanwhile, the students don’t get ANY compensation above tuition/board and the coaches get wealthy.

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Are you an AutoDidactic?


 

Wikipedia defines it as:

“Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) or self-education is self-directed learning that is related to but different from informal learning. In a sense, autodidacticism is “learning on your own” or “by yourself”, and an autodidact is a self-teacher.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autodidacticism 

 

I prefer the Merriam Webster definition – Much more Simple:

“a self-taught person”

Well, if you do mind learning for the sake of learning, not getting college credit – BUT – NOT SHELLING OUT RIDICULOUS amounts of money on a wasted degree – well you can practically go to college for free online:

 

Great for providing STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and humanities-themed education. Ideal for enhancing, supplementing any curriculum. Free-thinking and critical-thinking is encouraged.

Academic Earth

http://www.academicearth.org

YouTube EDU

http://www.youtube.com/education

The Einztein Knowledge Network

http://www.einztein.com

Khan Academy

http://www.khanacademy.org

Open Culture

http://www.opencluture.com

Good Lectures

http://academicearth.org/lectures/muscular-system-1

http://academicearth.org/lectures/evolution-emotion-and-reason-emotions-1

http://academicearth.org/lectures/morality-of-murder-and-cannibalism

http://research.microsoft.com/apps/tools/tuva/index.html

http://khanexercises.appspot.com/video?v=cc8sUv2SuaY

Yes again, you can practically go to college for free online.

Daylight Savings Time is coming soon! Changing your Smoke Detector Batteries? Add these rituals as well!


I remember when Daylight Savings Time (DST) used the same dates every year. Those were the days! Things were so much easier to manage. Given that I also work for a software company, it also meant no new mini-Y2K’s occurring regarding software updates every time the US government or some other nation decided to make a change to the DST dates.

Anyway, this year we move into DST in a few weeks. For many households, they take the time incorporate other biannual habits into the “clocks-back” ritual. By the way, I wonder how long this will have to continue the further we get into the 21st century. More and more of my devices with clocks are adjusting to DST automatically. This too may go the way of other 20th century constructs. But I digress.

In addition to checking your smoke detector batteries, why not include a little personal IT security ritual into your bi-annual time re-routing? Here are some suggestions for you to do that will not only improve your personal/consumer IT security, but also allow you to maintain control of your online presence and it may even save you a little money. Bear in mind, you may have to give up the majority of an entire weekend doing this, but hey, it would only be twice a year!

  1. Change your device passwords: Change your phone PIN, your computer login passwords, and any tablets you may have.
  2. Change your online email account passwords and all of your online bank account passwords. While you are at it, change all of your passwords that involve account that’s may have your credit card information or any of your other personal information.
  3. Are you having trouble keeping track of all of your passwords to all of your online accounts? Well take the time to maybe place all of them into a single Excel spreadsheet or a Word document. If you are currently involved in steps #1 and #2, you are probably already having to do this. The thing is, when you are done, you will need to secure this in some fashion. Use a USB drive that has hardware level encryption (You can Bing these online) or in my case, if you are using Windows, take advantage of Bitlocker-to-Go! If you change you usernames and passwords to the same thing, you may not need to go this far, but for me, I use different usernames and passwords so it has become a necessity. I know Amazon and other book retailers actually sell notebooks for you to write this stuff down, I would only reserve that for offline low-tech storage (i.e. safety-deposit box.)
  4. Back up all of your devices if possible. Tell the truth, when was the last you have done this? Backup all of your computers to external USB drives. You can now buy 2TB external drives that could hold full backups for multiple computers. If you have important information such as pictures or documents on USB stick/thumb/flash drives, you can plug those into your computer so that information will get backed up as well. For your portable devices such as SmartPhones, tablets – EVEN Xbox consoles, you can back up your game saves and user profiles to the cloud. For stationary devices such as desktop computers, you can also schedule regular backups to external drives.
  5. If you have any time left this weekend after doing the above, consider cleaning out your email inboxes. Are your email rules updated? Are you finding yourself overwhelmed with your daily inbox growth? Take the time to add in email rules that will automatically put certain types of emails into folders for viewing later. You can do this in Outlook *AND* you can also do this now with your Live/Hotmail accounts using Outlook.com! Other online services have this or similar features. Obviously, I’m partial to specific services 😉

If you really want to get paranoid and if you have the time, use this weekend (maybe once a year instead of twice a year) to change your credit cards and debit cards. When you do this, you essentially will get a new card with a new PIN. Once you activate these new cards, the old ones become invalid, and guess what? The emails and phone calls will start coming. I LOVE THIS and I will tell you why – On more than one occasion I have been contacted to update credit card information for something that I: a.)  . . . did not authorize to begin with b.) . . . completely forgot about and was not even using the goods/service provided, or c.) . . . put serious thought into it, realized it was no longer worth continuing. Be careful that when you get correspondence from these companies that you contact the ones you would like to cancel directly so as to not have any of them create credit havoc for you later.

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming for one weekend at the very least, try to do steps #1 and #2 at least once a year.

On Ender’s Game – the Movie vs. Politics.


I thought this was a great movie. I have not read the books but I can tell that the adaptation summed up much of the exposition well. The story is set over 100 years into the future and I can understand why the author waited so many years for a film adaptation. He wanted to wait until technology was believable. Let me say this, forget the XboxOne and PS4 – I want to play THOSE games using THOSE Game controls! The movie did not do as well as it should because there was too much controversy attached to the religious views and politics of the author. Since I don’t research the personal politics of every person involved with everything I see, view, or hear (I have a life) I did not fall prey to the desired boycott. For those who may not know, there are no religious or anti-gay messages in this movie. Unlike CS Lewis and the Narnia series – none of the author’s religious influences were played out in the story. I find the notion of giving this movie a review or boycotting it (in some cases – trying to squash the making of it) simply because you don’t like the religion of the book’s author terribly disturbing and un-American. I say this as an Atheist who completely disagrees with Card’s personal viewpoints. Regardless of his viewpoints, it is a great story. Just like Wagner wrote great music and Mel Gibson made good movies – are we supposed to pretend these great works of art do not exist? That is akin to the Taliban blowing up the stone Buddha’s simply because it is different from their religion.

Many of my friend’s are in moral quandaries over this. Some only find it objectionable because he’s vocal and they’re probably blissfully ignorant of other opinions that I disagree with from other folks that I still patronize…. but many of them are holding firm for years on Chick-Fil-A, Hobby Lobby, and Wal-Mart.

How far do we take this? Do we no longer support all of the actors and workers who participated in this movie? Do we boycott Harrison Ford and the new Star Wars films because he took a paycheck and appeared in the film. What if we found out the voting record of every person who wrote and directed movies. We would only see movies made by people who politically agreed with us?

KALE PANIC!! LOL


Once again, the pendulum swings, a fad food that everybody thinks will cure their ails, drop magical amounts of weight, and prevent every major disease, turns out to be a normal food with certain minerals that can be damaging in LARGE quantities.

“Eek! Why it Might Be Time to Step Away from the Kale”

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/eek-why-might-time-step-away-kale-165500882.html

I’m not refuting anything in this article. I am certainly not surprised at any of the findings. Kale is pretty darned light. And to get satiated by having it as your primary green, you have to consume quite a lot of it. Do we need to step away from it? How about – step away only if you are taking excessive megadoses. Everything is fine in moderation. Nothing is a super food. There are no free lunches in nature.

And you should continue to eat it, snack on it – but when it arises to grinding it into shakes, pills, etc.

Travel Tips Pt. 1


The key is to optimize and reduce the amount of unnecessary weight.

1.) Carry bags with rollers. if you have to check bags, limit it to one. if you are too cheap to check your bag, you better make sure you bought priority boarding or else you will be holding everybody else up. To all of you assholes who think you are clever by cheaping out on the 25$ checked bag fee by doing the “oops – I did not know it would fit – so Ill have to get it gate checked for free – never mind I am checking three of them and I am holding up the flight” – GUESS WHAT – Soon, they will be asking for your boarding pass, scanning it, and retroactively billing you! GOOD! All praises be to the grumpy cat! Besides, if you fly the same airline and build status, checked bag fees are usually waived.

2.) Carry singles. 3-4 individual tips of 1 dollar each show that you are considerate and appreciate good work.

3.) Use one of those old-man pill containers to contain your vitamins and other pills.

4.) Order travel sizes of toiletries in bulk. You can do this on Amazon.

5.) Carry your liquor in plastic flasks (covered in plastics bags in case of leakage.) Hotel bars get expensive.

6.) Order salads at least once a day and try to eat a serving of broccolli or asparagus. No need to be self-conscious. That hotel bathroom is yours for the violating.

7.) Do some form of exercise every day. Even if it is just walking on a treadmill. Most hotels have treadmills. Don’t choose hotels without fitness centers.

8.) Become a rewards/points/miles whore. Nothing beats free travel.

9.) Pay with a credit card that gives points or miles. For example, AMEX allows you to convert points to hotel/airline miles as well.

10.) Dont spend expense accounts on breakfast or coffee. Too many free options out there. Save it for dinner. On second thought, in-room coffee is usally horrible.

11.) Develop brand loyalty. You build up status that way and when you do that, the upgrades will come.

12.) Don’t ever buy a used rental car. Rember how shitty you treated the last car you rented? Exactly.

13.) Buy a monthly Internet plan if you fly more than 3 times a month.

14.) Don’t live near a small airport. If you do, it is worth the drive to a major airport. If that is too far away and you plan to travel for your job, move. When you are a millionaire and are flying NetJets, you can move back to the sticks.

15.) A long car drive can be very refreshing and reflective. Take one of these every now and then.

16.) If you have children, put them on a plane as soon as possible. I’ve yet to know anyone who has flown at least 20 times before their 18th birthday to have turned out bad. I am amazed at how quickly my children got used to traveling. Those misbehaving children of the casual traveler – blame their parents – who I am sure are also misbehaving.

17.) Noise canceling headphones make the baby noise go away.

18.) Exit rows are poor person’s first class. Leverage seatguru.com to find those seats with the mini-aisle on the exit row.

19.) All airline coffee sucks. There is a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donut’s in every airport. Get coffee there.

20.) Stop buying books in newstands. Get an e-reader.

20.) Have a cache at the ready of a nice montage/slide show of airline crash disaster photos on your laptop. That way, when that nosy f*ck, or annoying lady next to you keeps leaning over your shoulder, well . . . ALT-TAB to this and you will no longer have any trouble.

21.) Buy and bring your own GPS. Update it frequently. Never accept one in your auto rental.

22.) When you discover you still have a 200$ Marriott Gift Card in your travel wallet, it is OK to break out in Donna Fargo’s “Happiest Girl in the Whole USA.” You are not weird. It is a worthy moment of celebration. Even if you are male.

ZZ TOP Had a Reality Show on A&E?


So once again we have a “controversy” regarding a basic cable celebrity. Good thing because the keyboard commandos were starting to get bored – I mean, it’s not like a major holiday season is occurring. We have to have manufactured controversies to give social networks some traction even if it makes no sense since you have people like me constantly on them.

Anyway, my thoughts – i.e. the usual applies: person has the right to speak their conscience, network has right to fire them, supporters have the right to support, haters have the right to hate -yada yada yada. Free speech means free speech but choices do come with consequences. What has happened is not UN-constitutional. Read the first amendment. It applies to governments. No one prevented this person from speaking their conscience, but a private employer has the right to terminate or suspend employment especially if contract was breached (although surely this did not come unexpected.) That’s the “fiscal conservatism” the social conservatives tend to forget.

With that being said, what I would *really* like to know (as I did in the Paula Deen case) is WHO ARE THE PUBLICISTS AND HANDLERS FOR THESE PEOPLE? I mean, obviously the business managers and merchandisers were smart to capitalize on this while they could – because I cannot move in any retail outlet without bumping into something with the Duck Dynasty logo feces all over it. No careers will end over this other than the usual 15 minutes-of-fame expiration. If you think I am wrong, Don Imus has a radio show that is also simulcast on cable. Remember when his career was “ruined?”

If Alec Baldwin’s cable show actually had millions of viewers he would still be on the air. His little controversy gave his employers the opportunity to cancel a money-losing venture. In the case of this person from ZZ Top/Duck Dynasty/SwampNard/Whatever this could just be a bargaining chip for the network to keep salaries in check – especially if they signed a morals clause.

Or – you could all just be a victim of manufactured controversy – as in “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Of course, my favorite slant on this (NOT) is the turning of this into the usual political red vs. blue politisport with even Sarah Palin chiming in.

As far as this being the end of A&E? Seriously? Americans have short memories and are massively ADHD. There will just be another “reality show” to come along showcasing rural America with a large audience consisting of people who actually believe and idolize the bullshit before them, people who will watch to make fun of the reverse minstrel show before them, and those that are simply just fascinated with the trainwreck before them.

If you do not believe people idolize and emulate these reality stars, look at the correlation of the emergence of MTV’s Teen Mom and the re-emergence of teen pregnancy in the South.

Then again, I still do not understand the feigned ignorance on both sides. You allow Hollywood to exploit you, you attack a lifestyle well understood to be accepted and even a part of Hollywood culture, and then you wonder why there are consequences? You put a bunch of swamp people from rural Louisiana on TV and you are surprised when they speak out their beliefs?

To tell you how ridiculous this is – Glenn Beck is the voice of reason on this – http://www.businessinsider.com/glenn-beck-duck-dynasty…

Then the irony got creepier – makes you wonder what is really going on – http://seattle-sunset.newsvine.com/…/21992558-duck…

Wow – this is definitely following the Paula Deen Crisis Playbook – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/phil-robertson-black…

*Munches Popcorn* #CantLookAway #TrainwreckCominghttp://www.rawstory.com/…/westboro-baptist-church-to…/

Turns out the whole thing was probably staged – As they say where I come from – Joke’s on y’all! – Very creative – turn a normal hiatus into a “suspension.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…/phil-robertson-duck…