Thursday, May 19, 2022

Leo Messi to Inter Miami in 2023


Miami Herald - "Inter Miami officials, Messi’s agent deny report that Argentine star has deal with team"

Underused Words


Axios - "Underused words for your repertoire"

Some 75% of our daily speaking comes from just 800 words, BBC estimates.

The big picture: We all fall into language patterns and ruts, so we asked Axios' staff to give us their favorite cool, underused words to lengthen our vocabulary lists.

Here are some fun ones worth elevating — and their Merriam-Webster definitions:

  • Apricity: the warmth of the sun in the winter

  • Protean: "displaying great diversity or variety," like an actor who can do both comedy and tragedy
  • Doyen: a person considered to be uniquely skilled and experienced in a certain field
  • Petrichor: the pleasant smell of the earth after a rainstorm following a long dry period
  • Spindrift: sea spray
  • Susurrus: a whispering or rustling sound (it sounds like what it means!)
  • Avuncular: "suggestive of an uncle especially in kindliness or geniality"
  • Frabjous: wonderful, extraordinary, joyous (Fun fact: Axios chief financial correspondent Felix Salmon used frabjous in a story once.)

The bottom line: We can always expand our vocabularies to communicate our ideas with more precision — or just find new words that make us smile.

Motorcycle Chariots

The Battle of Alberta

The Oilers and Flames' second-round series begins tomorrow, marking the latest chapter in Edmonton and Calgary's centuries-old "Battle of Alberta," Jeff writes.

Why it matters: This is the sixth postseason matchup ever — and first since 1991 — between two cities roughly the same distance apart as Boston and New York.

  • 1991: Oilers won 4-3 (first round)
  • 1988: Oilers won 4-0 (second)
  • 1986: Flames won 4-3 (second)
  • 1984: Oilers won 4-3 (second)
  • 1983: Oilers won 4-1 (second)

Context: Alberta is the fourth-most populous of Canada's 10 provinces (~4.5 million people). More than half of Albertans live in either Edmonton, which is the capital, or Calgary, which is the province's largest city.

The backdrop: The Edmonton-Calgary hockey rivalry dates back to the 1890s and both cities had teams in the short-lived Western Canada Hockey League in the 1920s.

  • The rivalry found new life when teams from both cities joined the NHL in the 1970s and took the league by storm. Every year from 1983 to 1990, one of the two made the Stanley Cup Final.

  • While Edmonton holds the edge in the playoffs (20-10), Calgary leads the regular-season series (130-111-19). They've fought 265 times in their 290 games — evidence of bad blood.

The big picture: Not only is this the first Battle of Alberta in 31 years — it's also just the fifth all-Canadian playoff series this century (not counting 2021's COVID format). The other four were all Maple Leafs-Senators in the early 2000s.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

R.I.P. iPod


 - "The music lives on"
BBC - "Apple to discontinue the iPod after 21 years"
The Verge - "Our memories of the iPod"
Rolling Stone - "RIP, iPod: A Tribute to the Device That Revolutionized the Art of Music Fandom"

The Verge - "The iPod is dead, but the podcast lives on"
Sotheby's - "Karl Lagerfeld's Ipod Nano Collection"

Connecting Internet


Rest of World - "Sea Change: Google and Meta are now investing fortunes into building massive subsea cables, bringing internet infrastructure to millions"

2022 NFL Schedule


Season Opener
Thursday, 9/8 - Buffao Bills @ LA Rams (NBC)

Sunday Night Football (NBC)
Mike Tirico (Play-by-Play), Cris Collinsowrth (Analyst)

9/11 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys
9/18 - Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers
9/25 - San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos
10/2 - Kansas City CHiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10/9 - Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
10/16 - Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
10/22 - Pittsbrugh Steelers @ Miami Dolphins
10/30 - Green Bay Packers @ Buffalo Bills
11/6 - Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs
11/13 - LA Chargers @ San Francisco 49ers
11/20 - Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers
11/27 - Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles
12/4 - Indianapolis Colts @ Dallas Cowboys
12/11 - Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos
12/18 - New England Patriots @ Las Vegas Raiders
12/25 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals
1/1 - LA Rams @ LA Chargers

Thanksgiving - Thursday, 11/24
Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions (CBS)
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (FOX)
New England Patriots @ Minnestoa Vikings (NBC)

Monday Night Football (ESPN)
Joe Buck (Play-by-Play), Troy Aikman (Analyst)

9/12 - Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks
9/19 - Tennesee Titans @ Buffalo Bills
9/19 - Minnesota Vikings @ Philadelphia Eagles
9/26 - Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
10/3 - LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
10/10 - Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs
10/17 - Denver Broncos @ LA Chargers
10/24 - Chicago Bears @ New England Patriots
10/31 - Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
11/6 - Baltimore Ravens @ New Orleans Saints
11/14 - Washington Commanders @ Philadelphia Eagles
11/21 - San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
11/28 - Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts
12/5 - New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
12/12 - New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals
12/19 - LA Rams @ Green Bay Packers
12/26 - LA Chargers @ Indianapolis Colts
1/2 - Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals

Thurday Night Football (Amazon Prime)
Al Michales (Play-by-Play), Kirk Herbstreit (Analyst)

9/15 - LA Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
9/22 - Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
9/29 - Miami Dolphins @ Cincinnati Bengals
10/6 - Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos
10/13 - Washington Commanders @ Chicago Bears
10/20 - New Orleans Saints @ Arizona Cardinals
10/27 - Baltimore Ravens @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
11/3 - Philadelphia Eagles @ Houston Texans
11/10 - Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
11/17 - Tennessee Titans @ Green Bay Packers
12/1 - Buffalo BIlls @ New England Patriots
12/8 - Las Vegas Raiders @ LA Rams
12/15 - San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
12/22 - Jacksonville Jaguars @ New York Jets
12/29 - Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans

Super Bowl LVII (57) (FOX)
Glendale, Arizona
Kevin Burkhardt (Play-by-Play)
Sunday, February 12

Avatar 2: The Way of Water Teaser Trailer

Directed by James Cameron
Starring Sam Worthington Zoe SaldaƱa, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Kate Winslet, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement

Fruit Sticker Artistry


Atlas Obscura - "The Surprising, Overlooked Artistry of Fruit Stickers"

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Scholar-Athlete Intelligence and Leadership Program (SAIL-P)


Sportico - "Military Mulls Massive Recruiting Plan to Enlist College Athletes"

"The U.S. military is actively discussing an initiative, proposed by a defense contractor, to fund athletic scholarships for tens of thousands of college athletes each year in exchange for their mandatory service.

Over the last seven months, the proposal, which would not include football and basketball players, has reached military and civilian leaders throughout the Department of Defense and key members of Congress. It has been pitched as a solution to inefficient recruiting within the armed forces—which spend billions on recruits who fail basic training—and financial unease in college sports, where athletic departments face increasing cuts to non-revenue teams like tennis and wrestling.


Last month the Pentagon requested a record $773 billion budget for 2023. That includes about $1.32 billion in “recruiting and advertising” costs across the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, and billions more for the basic training of those recruits. By comparison, the 100-plus public FBS schools reported spending $653 million in scholarship costs outside of football and basketball in 2020-21, according to Sportico’s college financial database.


Jack Swarbrick, athletic director at Notre Dame, was initially “shocked” when a reporter described the proposal, but suggested he would be open-minded if it gained steam.

“We happen to have one of the more vibrant ROTC programs in the country, so we’re already involved in the military,” Swarbrick said. “I have about 101 questions, but would I listen? Sure.”


The average D-I men’s lacrosse team, for example, fields 49 athletes, but the NCAA only allows schools to offer 12.6 scholarships for the sport. Most men’s lacrosse players are on fractions of a full grant-in-aid, if they are receiving anything at all. Should the government adopt this plan widely, across multiple departments, branches and intelligence communities, Maloney said its scope could eventually cover hundreds of thousands of college athletes each year."

Social Media in American 2010s


"What would it have been like to live in Babel in the days after its destruction? In the Book of Genesis, we are told that the descendants of Noah built a great city in the land of Shinar. They built a tower “with its top in the heavens” to “make a name” for themselves. God was offended by the hubris of humanity and said:

Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.

The text does not say that God destroyed the tower, but in many popular renderings of the story he does, so let’s hold that dramatic image in our minds: people wandering amid the ruins, unable to communicate, condemned to mutual incomprehension.

The story of Babel is the best metaphor I have found for what happened to America in the 2010s, and for the fractured country we now inhabit. Something went terribly wrong, very suddenly. We are disoriented, unable to speak the same language or recognize the same truth. We are cut off from one another and from the past.

It’s been clear for quite a while now that red America and blue America are becoming like two different countries claiming the same territory, with two different versions of the Constitution, economics, and American history. But Babel is not a story about tribalism; it’s a story about the fragmentation of everything. It’s about the shattering of all that had seemed solid, the scattering of people who had been a community. It’s a metaphor for what is happening not only between red and blue, but within the left and within the right, as well as within universities, companies, professional associations, museums, and even families."

Athletes & Celebrities Choosing-What-to-Wear (vs. Paid to Do It)

ESPN - "Why NBA players are hoarding Kobe Bryant's Nike sneaker line"

"KOBE BRYANT'S SIGNATURE Nike sneaker had become unquestionably the most popular shoe for NBA players in recent years. During the 2019-20 season, more than 100 players were wearing the Kobe 4 Protro, a retro re-release of a sneaker Bryant originally wore in 2008. Today's players love the design, the feel and the statement of the Kobes.

"This generation looks at Kobe like our Jordan," says Chicago Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan, known in the league as the dean of the Kobe shoe devotees. "It's a great shoe to wear. Guys really fell in love with it."

In the Orlando bubble in 2020, just months after Bryant's tragic death, nearly one-third of the 330 or so players were wearing a version of Kobe's signature shoe, and that figure was growing. Over the past two years, a number of players who'd previously been with Under Armour and Adidas did not have their sneaker endorsement contracts renewed, a trend that was accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the new sneaker free agents went looking for Kobes. It all adds up to a large contingent of players who now have a source problem for their Kobe needs.

There are still supplies on sale at some retailers, but not in great numbers in the sizes NBA players typically need. The scarcity of larger sizes has driven a pricing boom on secondary shoe resale websites such as StockX, GOAT and eBay.

NBA players who wear size 14 or larger are looking at spending at least $800 for the most basic models of Kobes, and that's not what they typically wear. But the players are paying, with several telling ESPN they've spent more than five figures buying supplies of Kobes on the secondary market since last spring and summer."


New York Times - "That Vintage Dress on the Red Carpet? There’s More to the Story."

"Just before the pandemic, Kim Kardashian wore a museum-quality Alexander McQueen dress, also from 2003, to Vanity Fair’s Oscar party. One year earlier, Cardi B emerged from a seashell-inspired Thierry Mugler gown at the Grammys, circa 1995, and Gwyneth Paltrow attended the Emmys in a black-and-white feathered gown by Valentino, circa 1963.

“More and more people are aware that what we see on the red carpet is paid for — a branding opportunity,” said Cherie Balch, a vintage collector who owns the store Shrimpton Couture. In 2008, for example, a lawsuit revealed that the actress Charlize Theron had been paid $200,000 to wear Chopard jewels at the Academy Awards two years earlier.

“So when someone chooses to wear vintage, they’re kind of saying: I’m an individual here. I’m wearing this because I really love how it looks on me. I don’t care that it’s not sponsored by somebody.’ That feels more authentic to a lot of people in a very branded world,” she said.

Vintage garments have long had a presence on the red carpet: Consider the 1950s Dior dress Reese Witherspoon wore to the Academy Awards in 2006, or Julia Roberts breaking the rules of Oscars fashion by wearing a 1992 Valentino to the 2001 ceremony.

But collectors, including Ms. Balch, say current demand has never been higher (even with major events being continually postponed or Zoomified in the pandemic). They are reaching new consumers, thanks in part to more celebrities and stylists crediting them on social media, and reshaping how they do business."



New York Times - "I’m a Fashion Editor, and I Shop at the Dump"

"When I began thrifting and scrounging my way to some semblance of personal style, there was still something shameful about admitting that your clothes had a past, unknowable-to-you life. I’ve spent a decade and a half covering fashion (I’m Elle’s fashion features director now), and over that time I’ve seen the industry awakening to sustainability and reuse. Luxury brands that once destroyed and even burned unsold merchandise are now thinking of ways to reinvent it. Salvage and resale have become antidotes to the conveyor belt of fast fashion, wherein clothing behemoths like Shein offer thousands of new styles every week, social media users display their latest avalanche of purchases in “haul videos” and Instagram influencers post themselves in new outfits multiple times a day. When some have so little and others are drowning in a surfeit of options, the flaunting of abundance — so long the central driver of our screen-based existence — starts to feel like bad manners."

Googie Architecture


From Axios What's Next on 5/3:

Long before there was Google, there was "Googie," a style of architecture born in Southern California that symbolized futuristic aspirations and modern cool, Jennifer learned during a visit to Los Angeles last week.

  • Popular from the 1940s-1970s, the style features "Space Age designs symbolic of motion, such as boomerangs, flying saucers, diagrammatic atoms and parabolas," per Wikipedia.
  • The name comes from Googie's Coffee Shop, which was at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Crescent Heights until 1989. The term "Googie architecture," meant as a pejorative, was coined in a 1952 article in House and Home magazine by Douglas Haskell, who apparently found it tacky.
  • Jennifer made it to two Googie landmarks during her trip — Pann's Coffee Shop, above, and Swingers, below — but didn't have time for others, like the oldest surviving McDonald's, in Downey, California. (Next time!)

Googie icons located outside California include the Seattle Space Needle, the old Eero Saarinen TWA Terminal at JFK Airport in New York and the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign in Sin City.

Additional Links:
Wikipedia - Googie Architecture
Eater Los Angeles - "A Pilgrimage to the World's Oldest Surviving McDonald's"
Master Class - "Guide to Googie Architecture: 13 Iconic Googie Buildings"
Curbed New York - "Preserving an icon"

Maradona's “Hand of God” Jersey Sells for $9.3 Million


AP - "Goal! Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ shirt sets auction record"

Countdown to the Copa del Mundo - "Shadowed by the Hand of God" (June 2014)
Diego Maradona Documentary (August 2019)

$34.99 for 1st Century Roman Bust at Goodwill


New York Times - "Goodwill Sold a Bust for $34.99. It’s an Ancient Roman Relic."

House of Dragons Trailer