Monday, October 31, 2005

COM: Blogarithmic #48

Let's start here. Aydin at Snail's Tales has posted edition number two of the Circus of the Spineless. Check it out.

John Baumann has been confirmed for his Eagle Scout and has an 18th birthday coming up! Great stuff John!

Cold front of sorts hit today -- some folks a few miles south of us got hit pretty hard with rain, and to the north folks were hammered, but we didn't get a drop. It was a fast-moving front. Tons of wind, and a bazillion tiny, tiny greenish-white midge looking things at the windows, are all we've gotten so far. The temp is not even ugly (55) and we are under a "fire weather watch" which is a new on one me though you certainly don't have to explain it.

Fall has a look here. This is it (off my porch at noon today . . .):

I managed to get to the last show of Vanities the other night and it was exceptional -- the girls were on fire -- congrats to Lillian Beaudoin, Meggie Nidever, Whitney Wilson (three exceptional talents you'll someday know lots about), Summer White, Suzanne Attridge, Holly Riedel, and Director Marie Cearley for an outstanding senior showcase.

It seems a bit silly for me to sit here and tell you, from guaranteed-podunk, Texas, that we have a dramatic program at the high school here that would be hard to match anywhere else. Even if you knew that, officially, they were in the top 16 programs in their class last year would not render the truth clearly enough. But i want to say, as i said problematically last year, these kids, guided by the exceptional talents of Cearley, Riedel and Roy Burney, are just stunning. Their resumes include blistering productions of Grease, Persephone, The Crucible, Vanities, Macbeth, and Les Miserables -- those shows alone many, many a high school theatre addict would die for. You will see more of these Ingram kids.

One of the great thrills of my life -- indeed i have to rank it as one of the finest summers ever -- i was able to participate in the first-ever World Scholar-Athlete Games. Two of my players also attended, Tommy Olafson and Amy Grace Tharp. Amy played for the eventual games champion (the team i coached finished third in that same comp). The deal is though, that for two weeks, thousands of the most intelligent, idealistic, well-spoken and charming young folks from across the world were part of a community of vision unlike anything i had ever witnessed nor, despite my own idealism, ever thought possible. The vision of Dan Doyle and countless others made something truly magical happen. Now we three went for soccer, but by the time it was over we'd discovered some intriguing politics, i'd arranged readings for budding writers and displays for budding artists, and compiled an anthology of their work. That has apparently blossomed (now including Photography, Dance and Culinary Arts) and the idea that scholars could be athletes has bloomed into the most fantastic collaboration of sports and art on the planet as far as i am concerned. One of the products is the new Center for Sports Poetry. After the exhilaration of that summer my team hosted and fostered National Sportsmanship Day and we worked hard at nominating and qualifying 13 players to attend the second World Scholar-Athlete Games in 1997. One of those was so enamored of the whole idea that he went on to compete at the Ireland Scholar-Athlete Games in 1998. I had planned to attend to coach again but circumstances dictated otherwise. Nevertheless i had some great kids experience something they'll never again see. Why all this now? Well, it's time now for the fourth edition. The third was held in 2001, but they've held off a year for this next edition to have it coincide with the 20th Anniversary of the Center for International Sport. I'm thinking about a bid again myself -- and i know a bunch of kids and teachers who ought to be a part of the experience [update: i've now nomintaed 19 exceptional kids and may nominate more]. See more about it for yourself here:

World Scholar-Athlete Games

News on the political fronts . . .

First Harriet Miers. I don't know what to say about this except that i think nothing good can come of the situation. I stated this in an earlier post here -- but my gut feeling was that we could only get worse. [sure enough, i am now finding out that the M-i-C has indeed done the worst possible thing in nominating Sam Alito -- this will be ugly]. In any scenario, anyone with any sense, that being the bulk of the American people, will pay a hefty price. I've taken down a picture i posted of Miers (if you're here looking for it) because i now feel bad about it. I am certainly no supporter of hers, but i can understand that she must have been thrilled to have had a chance to be a Supreme Court justice and to have it dissolve in such a way has to hurt, and quite frankly i suspect she was a nice lady with no reason to have been hurt like that. So the picture vanishes, and i'm sorry she has been subjected to what she has been.

I had a feeling that she was perhaps a setup for the worst possible scenario -- whether she was set up or not is moot now -- we indeed have the WPS. It's calculated at some level and that's part of the W of it's being WPS -- that there has to be some, any, political calculation to finding a judge. Sad, sad day we have come to . . .

Posters at The Panda's Thumb are zeroing in on William Dembski and Michael Behe. Here are two reports on "reviews" given Behe's material in the contested textbook. First, the broad review and the refutation by Shapiro.

Meanwhile Kansas educators take a profound national level beating here and here.

And a rather ridiculous attack on Stephen Jay Gould is vaporized by better minds here.

Soccer news from the US National Team Players Association:

The United States has already made history in 2005, collecting its highest-ever win total with an overall record of 13-3-3. The U.S. hit a pair of high marks in their 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, finishing in the top spot in the group for the first time ever, and qualifying first out of the CONCACAF region for the first time in 71 years. In addition to winning the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the U.S. also reached a record-high sixth place in the FIFA rankings earlier this summer (currently ranked seventh).

MLS award finalists announced
Dwayne De Rosario of San Jose, Jaime Moreno of D.C. United and Taylor Twellman of New England head the list of finalists for Major League Soccer's MVP award as the season award nominees were announced on Wednesday. Also revealed was the winner of MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, San Jose's Pat Onstad, and the Kraft Fair Play award, which went to Ronald Cerritos. The remaining winners of each category will be announced sporadically before November 12. With the conclusion of the MLS regular season on Sunday, New England Revolution forward Taylor Twellman claimed the Budweiser Golden Boot, awarded to the leading goal scorer during the MLS regular season.

Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday that Kansas City Wizards teammates Jimmy Conrad and Chris Klein were selected as the MLS Defender of the Year and MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

The League also announced that Real Salt Lake midfielder Brian Kamler was recognized as the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year.

The League also announced that veteran referee Brian Hall was voted the Official Sports International Referee of the Year.

MetroStars goalkeeper Tony Meola was selected as the Honda MLS Player of the Week for Week 29 which ended on Sunday, Oct. 16. San Jose's Dwayne De Rosario captured the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week.

Real Salt Lake announced the inaugural recipients of the team's annual award winners, with MF Andy Williams capturing the Honda Most Valuable Player honor, FW Jason Kreis earning the Budweiser Golden Boot, DF Eddie Pope being named the MLS Defender of the Year and MF Brian Kamler honored as the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year.

The Kansas City Wizards announced their end of the year award winners. For the second straight year, forward Josh Wolff earned the Wizards Budweiser Golden Boot in leading the team in scoring as well as being named Honda Team MVP. Defender Nick Garcia was named the Wizards Defender of the Year and Jimmy Conrad was named the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year.

The MetroStars announced that Youri Djorkaeff received three awards, which included the 2005 Honda Most Valuable Player, the 2005 Player of the Year, and the 2005 MetroStars Newcomer of the Year. Amado Guevara earned the 2005 MLS Play of the Year Award and the MetroStars 2005 Budweiser Golden Boot. Michael Bradley was honored with the 2005 MetroStars Iron Man Award and the 2005 MetroStars Young Player of the Year Award. Tim Regan captured the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award for the third straight year. Chris Leitch was voted the team's Defender of the Year. The 2005 MetroStars Unsung Hero Award was given to forward Sergio Galvan Rey.

The Columbus Crew announced the winners of its team awards. The 2005 Crew Honda Most Valuable Player Award went to Simon Elliott. Jonny Walker captured three awards, which included Crew Defender of the Year, Crew Newcomer of the Year, and OhioHealth Comeback Player of the Year. The Budweiser Golden Boot went to Edson Buddle and Robin Fraser was named Huntington Man of the Year. Sierra Mist Goals of the Year went to Eric Vasquez and Jamal Sutton while Jon Busch was named U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year. Crew Coaches Award and Crew Chiefs Hardest Working Man of the Year went to Chris Henderson.

Forward Herculez Gomez, Defender Tyrone Marshall, forward Landon Donovan, and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman were named recipients of the 2005 Los Angeles Galaxy team awards. Gomez was voted the Galaxy's Honda Most Valuable Player, Marshall was selected as the Galaxy's Defender of the Year. Donovan, who led the team with 12 goals, was awarded the club's Budweiser Golden Boot. Hartman was selected as the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year for his efforts throughout the year.

D.C. United announced its 2005 Team Award winners, during the Second Annual United Awards Reception at the Marriott at Metro Center. Christian Gomez was named as Honda Team MVP, Nick Rimando as Defender of the Year, Bobby Boswell as both the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year and Gatorade Rookie of the Year, Jaime Moreno as the Budweiser Golden Boot winner, while Brian Carroll took home the Coaches Award.

Major League Soccer announced that the Kansas City Wizards were selected as the recipient of the 2005 Kraft Global Team Fair Play award, recognizing the team with the fewest disciplinary points during the course of the regular season.

Things are really heating up in Major League Soccer! The playoffs are now upon us with the first round of games kicking off this weekend. In the East, the New England Revolution travel to Giants stadium to take on the rejuvenated MetroStars and Chicago hosts DC United. On the west coast, San Jose skirts down to LA to battle the Galaxy at the Home Depot Center and Colorado welcomes FC Dallas. If any of the games were as exciting as the MetroStars vs. Chivas on Sunday - we're in for a real treat.

Defender Amy LePeilbet cleared the potential winning goal off the goal line late in the second half to help the United States women's soccer team tie Australia 0-0 in an exhibition game Sunday.

DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan and Kasey Keller have been selected by 206 sports journalists from across the nation as the three finalists for the 2005 Honda Player of the Year Award.

FIFA released the latest World Rankings on Wednesday. The US remained in 7th place, one point behind Mexico in 6th.

In my week of being in the most excruciatingly perfect health i got to watch all of my personal movie collection. Then watch it again with director's and actor's commentary. Then watch every deleted scene. Listen to the commentary with grips and food service. Watch the soundtrack only versions. See the complete blue-screen versions of several scenes from The Matrix. And . . .

In any case, i have some new biospoilers material to post, and some interesting (i think) commentary on some other flicks. Coming soon . . .

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