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Journal: Slashdot has nothing left but hate. 10

Journal by Keith Russell

How else could you explain kdawson, in the span of two days, promoting two of Twitter's journal entries to the front page, then posting a dupe on the TestDriven.NET controversy, just two hours after Twitter added it to his journal?

Apparently, being the biggest asshole troll on Slashdot makes him front page material.

Goodbye.

The Media

Journal: Asking bloggers: "Is civility dead?"

Journal by Keith Russell

The Times Online has interviewed Six Apart co-founder Mena Trott about the night she asked a room full of bloggers the question, "Is civility dead?", and the lively debate that ensued. In the interview, she cites her golden rule for blogging:

"If you aren't going to say something directly to someone's face, than don't use online as an opportunity to say it," she says. "It is this sense of bravery that people get when they are anonymous that gives the blogosphere a bad reputation."

User Journal

Journal: Moving to Vox

Journal by Keith Russell

This is the end of the line for my journal here on Slashdot. I'll still be around to harass the rest of you in your journals, but if you want to return the favor, you'll have to go to http://kwrussell.vox.com/. I have some invites. Gimme a holla, I'll hook ya up.

For those who don't say "Oh, crap, not again" when they see [Pens] in the title, I've moved this year's reports to Vox. I'm keeping the rest here, like the junk in that box that gets moved from apartment to house to house, without ever getting unpacked.

User Journal

Journal: [Hockey] What did I say about Philadelphia? 1

Journal by Keith Russell

Back in May, I wrote this about the Flyers' exit from the first round of the playoffs:

Could Ken Hitchcock's job be in jeopardy after the Flyers stunk the joint up in game 6? Too many good players were making too many half-assed plays in the second period of that game.

Fast forward to this season. The Flyers are still playing lackluster hockey. Part of the problem is their roster, which is still loaded with "old NHL" types. They shook up the lineup a bit yesterday, waiving Nico Dimitrakos, Petr Nedved, and Nolan Baumgartner. All three cleared, with Dimitrakos and Nedved landing with the AHL Phantoms. Three minor leaguers were called up, leaving Baumgartner as the odd man out, with a few weeks of healthy scratches to look forward to.

The other issue I'm seeing is that the team has given up on the coach. Wouldn't be the first time we've seen that. Heck, Jaromir Jagr almost single-handedly got Kevin Constantine fired from the Penguins. But this is the first time I think I've ever seen a team give up on a goaltender before. The Flyers are 1-2-1 in Antero Niittymaki's four starts so far this season. In Robert Esche's two starts, the Flyers are 0-2-0. Small sample size, you say? In those two Esche starts, the Flyers were outscored 13-1. Pittsburgh used the Flyers' skaters as heavy bags, Buffalo used them as turnstiles.

In fact, I think the skaters and Hitchcock are fighting over who gets to throw Esche under the bus, considering that Hitchcock left Esche in for all nine goals in that Sabres debacle. As a result, Esche's numbers are eye-poppingly atrocious: .776 SV%, 6.50 GAA.

Bad starts like this are what get coaches and general managers fired, so if you're an ex-NHL coach or GM, you might want to have your resume handy.

Update: 22 Oct 2006: Well, that didn't take long.

User Journal

Journal: [Pens] Rink Report: 14 October 2006 2

Journal by Keith Russell

That may have been the scariest thing I've ever personally witnessed on a hockey rink.

For those who didn't see a clip on SportsCenter, Hurricanes right winger Trevor Letowski was knocked unconscious on a hit by Colby Armstrong. It was late in the first, and the Canes were breaking into the Pens' zone. Letowski lost the handle on the puck at the top of the slot, took a stride, and turned right into Armstrong as he was finishing his check. The impact was jaw to shoulder, and Letowski was out cold on impact. To make matters worse, he opened a nasty gash on his forehead when his head hit the ice. None of the newswire reports made mention of it, but it looked from my point of view in the stands like he was having a seizure on the ice. It turned out to be a concussion, not a neck injury, but it looks like he has a long road to go, so good luck to him.

As for the rest of the game...

At one point in the second, I said to my buddy:

We've secretly replaced the Penguins' regular sticks and gloves with lead, granite, and depleted uranium hockey gear. Let's see if they can tell the difference.

The Pens are good for one of these we-can't-handle-the-puck nights a month, and tonight was it. The fans' usual chorus of "Shooooooot!" was useless because Pittsburgh couldn't maintain any excessively long series of passes without at least one clanking off a stick, zinging off in the wrong direction, or getting lost in the receiver's skates.

For some reason, things always end up getting chippy between the Pens and Canes, even though there isn't really a rivalry between the teams. I recall a game in 2003 in which the Pens got shelled early and often, and decided that, if they weren't going to win, they were at least going to take two major penalties per period. That was an ugly loss by any measure. Then there was Brooks Orpik's dirty hit from behind on Erik Cole in their last meeting of last season. I don't think winning a Stanley Cup, with Cole on the ice for games 6 and 7, has completely satiated their thirst for revenge. (Orpik was an injured scratch tonight anyway.) The hit on Letowski didn't appear to be dirty. It looked more like they just made impact at the worst possible angle. Somehow, I doubt that will make a difference when the teams meet again in Raleigh next month. You can't really call it a rivalry when Carolina gets the best of the Pens so often, but there's definitely bad blood brewing.

Final score, Carolina 5, Pittsburgh 1, Jocelyn Thibault sightings: 1 (After Fleury got a cut over his eye in the second. Thibault was the better goalie in camp, he deserves a start!) 3rd *: Eric Staal (1G). 2nd *: Ray Whitney (2A). 1st *: Scott Walker (2G).

User Journal

Journal: [Pens] Rink Report, 5 Oct 2006 3

Journal by Keith Russell

I'm going to try to be better at this, win or lose. Last year's 0-bazillion start kinda snuffed out my enthusiasm. No such trouble so far this year.

Before the season started, Mario Lemieux requested that there be no ceremony for the re-retirement of #66. Of course, the Penguins couldn't let the moment go without some acknowledgement of Mario's great career, so they found a nice compromise. They started the pre-game ceremonies by bringing down the lights, and playing a brief video tribute narrated by Sidney Crosby. While the video played, they quietly lowered his new banner from the roof under cover of darkness, then turned the spotlights on it as Crosby's tribute ended and the familiar refrain of Tina Turner's "Simply The Best" began. One last standing ovation for the man in the owner's box, then on with the show. This year's theme was "March of the Penguins", complete with real penguins waddling out from the Zamboni entrance and a half-decent Morgan Freeman impersonator. Not half as corny as last year's "Grandpa" show. Clarks' lead singer Scott Blasey sang the Star-Spangled Banner. He's a great rock vocalist, but when he applies that sound to a national anthem, he sounds half in the bag. Why mess with the good thing they have in Jeff Jimerson? The only reason he's not recognized as the best anthem singer in the NHL is because he's nowhere near as cute as Lauren Hart.

Oh, and they actually played a hockey game. At least Pittsburgh did. Philadelphia apparently saw "@ PIT" on the first line of their schedule, figured they had an extra pre-season game, and only turned the dial up to about 8. The Pens, they were cranked up to 11.

If they were trying to make a statement tonight, boy howdy, did they ever make it: "We may not win every night, but we will not be out-hustled, pushed around, or be slept on this year. We will not be disrespected." This year's free agent signings didn't dazzle the hockey world, but they added feisty and mean to the lineup, and it was on display tonight. Put simply, Broad Street got bullied. The highlight was early in the second, when Colby Armstrong plastered Sami Kapanen with a shoulder check, then pummeled Nolan Baumgartner in the ensuing fight. The game stayed chippy the rest of the way.

All four lines contributed to this win, with the third line of Jarkko Ruutu, Dominic Moore, and Michel Ouellet delivering the greatest impact. Ruutu had 1 goal, 1 assist, and 20 Flyers wanting to cross-check him in the face. Ouellet also had a goal and an assist, and Moore led a penalty killing unit that got entirely too much work tonight. (From this homer's perspective, the Flyers got away with far more than the Pens did.) That imbalance in power-play time led to a ton of shots for Marc-Andre Fleury.

I spent most of the third period thinking, "OK, here's where Fleury gives up one of those momentum-killing soft goals. This PK is going to be the one." And it never happened. Fleury played the most complete game of his career under a barrage of power-play shots.

Robert Esche, not so good. The Ruutu goal was a tough bounce, but Ouellet's goal was an innocent wrister that Esche didn't seem to pick up, and he was just plain beaten by Sidney Crosby and Josef Melichar.

Let me say that again, in case you're having trouble wrapping your brain around the concept: Robert Esche got torched by Josef Melichar.

Esche eventually settled down (17 of 21), but not until he had given up 4 goals on only 11 shots. Antero Niitymaki, even though he was dressed, was too hurt to really play, so Esche knew he had to ride this one out, and better luck tomorrow.

Final score: Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 0, Ken Hitchcock's blood pressure 200/125. 3rd *: Ruutu (1G, 1A). 2nd *: Crosby (1G, 1A). 1st *: Fleury (40 of 40).

User Journal

Journal: [FFL] Presenting your 2006 Pittsburgh Yinzers!

Journal by Keith Russell

Starters

  • QB: Jake Delhomme, CAR (keeper): Reliable, poised (when Steve Smith isn't quintuple covered), and I figure Keyshawn should make a better distraction from quintupling Smith than Keary Colbert has been.
  • RB: Edgerrin James, ARI (keeper); Corey Dillon, NE: I have faith that Edge will be the catalyst of the Great Cardinals Revival. Dillon was the best RB that wasn't somebody else's keeper.
  • WR: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (keeper); Joey Galloway, TB: With Arizona's more balanced attack, Larry's touches should be more effective, and folks have been sleeping on Galloway since he landed in Tampa.
  • TE: Heath Miller, PIT: With a year under his belt, he'll be an even better option in The Whiz's offense.
  • K: Jeff Wilkins, STL: Home in a dome. Nuff said.
  • DST: Broncos: A perennial.

Reserves

  • QB: Daunte Culpepper, MIA; Matt Leinart, ARI: I think Daunte will bounce back quite nicely in Miami. Leinart was one part late-round flier, one part future, and one part keeping him away from the USC alumni reunion at /dev/null. (Was Pete Carroll drafting for you?)
  • RB: Corell Buckhalter, PHI; Frank Gore, SF: Gore will get more than his share of opportunities with the legendary Alex Smith at quarterback. Buckhalter's pretty much filling out my roster at this point, given the tradition of unreliability in the Eagles' backfield.
  • WR: Derrick Mason, BAL; Keenan McCardell, SD: I'm hoping Mason and McNair can reignite that old Titans magic for Baltimore (just not when they play the Steelers), and McCardell ain't dead yet.
  • TE: LJ Smith, PHI: Somebody has to catch a touchdown in Philly...
  • K: Matt Stover, BAL: D'oh! My one "forgot to check the bye week" of the draft. Then again, he's a backup kicker.
  • DST: Jaguars: This could be my sleeper. If nothing else, they get to feed on Houston twice a year.
User Journal

Journal: [NHL] Roenick's complaining about TV coverage... 1

Journal by Keith Russell

Here's the article on TSN.

Oh, boy, where do I start. OK, let's start with Roenick's specific knuckleheadedness, then work our way out to the entirety of sports media.

At its core, Roenick's complaint is that his team, the Phoenix Coyotes, were snubbed entirely by NBC, and only appear on OLN (Do We Get That Channel?) once all season. Sounds like sour grapes, sure, and I don't think he's really going much deeper than that, so I have a simple answer:

You want to be on TV more? Make the playoffs! Then OLN(DWGTC?) will give you wall to wall coverage.

But here's where his argument slingshots into an escape vector. He thinks the 'Yotes should be on TV more because Wayne Gretzky is the owner/coach, and more Americans would watch if they got to see Wayne Gretzky.

Um, JR? Us Americans didn't watch hockey in the '80s to see The Great One standing on the bench, wearing a bad suit, and giving the stink-eye to Kerry Frasier for an entire penalty kill. And even if we were interested in a Gretzky-coached team, so far he's somewhere between Steve Sullivan and Kevin Constantine in the pantheon of Great NHL Coaches. Let him catch up to Barry Melrose, then we'll talk.

But this is one of the great things about giving Jeremy Roenick an open microphone. He doesn't have that cliche-pass filter that every other player has, so we sometimes get the unvarnished truth from him, even when he doesn't know he did it. (Of course, he also shoots himself in the foot at Mario's golf tournaments, but I think it's time to put the Late Great Unpleasantness behind us, eh?)

Percolating under his distress at only having one shot at sharing a network with Ted Nugent is the fact that the NHL has to share a network with Ted Nugent in the first place. In other words, why has the NHL been banished to OLN?

My short, snarky answer: The NHL cancelled a season, so ESPN gave them a timeout for a few seasons.

Of course, ESPN has been working to marginalize hockey for a few years now. When the NHL and OLN announced their deal, ESPN's reporting revealed something interesting:

For the networks that have had hockey, including Fox and ESPN, investing in growing the hockey audience simply didn't pay off when considering how much more they had invested in other sports programming.

In other words, "We gave up on promoting our hockey broadcasts, which pulled the rug out from under the ratings, then used the low ratings as an excuse to chuck 'em over to the fishing channel."

Or how about this little gem?

In the NHL's place, ESPN filled the air with original programming, like "Bowling Night" and "Stump The Schwab." Programs like these drew ratings that were at least comparable to the number of people watching NHL games.

This is a bit disingenuous. They were really airing poker in the NHL's old time slots. In place of a sport where there's no place to banish out-of-shape players, ESPN aired an entirely unathletic card game, which was cheap to produce, easy to over-promote, and only had to draw better ratings than a mid-January Blue Jackets at Predators game to justify it's existence.

Ah, so that's the NHL's problem. It can't feature Jennifer Tilly's cleavage once a week.

And I'm just getting started with this. Right now, it probably looks like I'm reading too much into what is, ultimately, a business decision by ESPN's front office. But Skip Bayless had to open his mouth...

User Journal

Journal: [World Cup] A commentator at the end of his rope. 1

Journal by Keith Russell

This is actual commentary from ESPN.com's gamecast of the recently completed Switzerland-Ukraine match. I won't give away the final score for anybody who recorded it, but this may serve as a warning: The game was 0-0 during all of this commentary. (Typos are mine, because ESPN uses clipboard-proof Flash for gamecasts.)

87' Neither side are showing any inclination to press forward and score; this is a little embarrassing. It is the second round of the World Cup, for goodness sake - TRY AND SCORE!

98' [Swiss goalkeeper] Zuberbuhler takes his time as a back-pass is rolled to him. No Ukrainian closes him down, so he waits...
98' ...and waits...
99' ...and waits...
99' ...before finally deciding to clear. It is heartbreaking to see football played this way. It truly makes me weep inside.

118' A succession of sideways and backwards passes as the game limps onwards like a lame dog, waiting to be shot.
119' Italy must be quaking in their boots; they face the winner of this match.
120' FULL-TIME, EXTRA-TIME: I've had the misfortune to watch some bad football matches in my time. That was the worst, by some distance. And so an interminable match finally reaches the conclusion we all knew it would - a penalty shoot-out. Finally, we are going to have some action.

Oddly enough, he didn't offer any wrap-up after the game finally ended. He probably couldn't get away from the stadium fast enough.

User Journal

Journal: [iTunes/Alphabet] Aw, now you got me started

Journal by Keith Russell

Yeah, I couldn't pick one per letter. So sue me.

  • (Symbol): '39, Queen
  • (Number): 2112, Rush, 5:15 The Angels Have Gone, David Bowie
  • A: The Analog Kid, Rush, Angel, Massive Attack
  • B: Bitchin' Camaro, The Dead Milkmen, Blue Dress, Depeche Mode.
  • C: Champagne Supernova, Oasis, City Of Blinding Lights, U2
  • D: Dazed And Confused, Led Zeppelin, Driving The Last Spike, Genesis
  • E: Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Pearl Jam, Everybody Hurts, REM
  • F: Forest, System Of A Down
  • G: Go To The Mirror, The Who, The Great Below, Nine Inch Nails
  • H: Halcyon+on+on, Orbital, How To Disappear Completely, Radiohead, Howling, Tomoyasu Hotei, Hurt, Nine Inch Nails
  • I: I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, U2, It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine), REM, The Impression That I Get, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
  • J: Jesus Of Suburbia..., Green Day
  • K: King Of Pain, The Police
  • L: Last Horizon, Brian May, Learning To Fly, Pink Floyd, The Lovely Sweet Banks Of The Moy, The Chieftains
  • M: Mystic Rhythms, Rush
  • N: Natural Science, Rush, Nothing Compares 2 U, Sinead O'Connor
  • O: On The Turning Away, Pink Floyd, Over The Hills And Far Away, Led Zeppelin, Overcome, Live
  • P: Prophet's Song, Queen, Pyramid Song, Radiohead
  • Q: Question!, System Of A Down. (The only Q in my library, but at least it's a good one.)
  • R: Red Barchetta, Rush, Red Hill Mining Town, U2, Resist, Rush
  • S: Sally Simpson, The Who, Setting Sun, The Chemical Brothers, Since I Don't Have You, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Since I've Been Loving You, Led Zeppelin
  • T: Time Stand Still, Rush, Too Much Love Will Kill You, Brian May, Transient, Orbital, Ty Cobb, Soundgarden
  • U: Under The Bridge, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Us And Them, Pink Floyd
  • V: Vapor Trail, Rush, Vertigo, U2
  • W: Where The Streets Have No Name, U2, Where's My Thing?, Rush, Who Wants To Live Forever, Queen
  • X: Xanadu, Rush (Let's face it, there aren't many X song titles to go around.)
  • Y: YYZ, Rush
  • Z: Zero Chance, Soundgarden (Like Q, the only one, but a good one.)
User Journal

Journal: NHL: The Stanley Cup Finals 3

Journal by Keith Russell

First, a recap of the conference finals...

6 Anaheim (1) vs. 8 Edmonton (4) : (Predicted EDM in 6): All hail the timely goaltending change! J.S. Giguere rescued the Ducks from a sweep in Game 4 and held his ground in Game 5, but Edmonton has that Team Of Destiny feeling right now. I wonder, however, if they didn't wish that Anaheim didn't give them more of a challenge, because this has been a long layoff.

2 Carolina (4) vs. 4 Buffalo (3) (Predicted BUF in 7): This series was always close on the ice, but attrition became the deciding factor. An infected cut on McKee's leg turned out to be straw that broke the Sabres' back. Buffalo can hope for the future, though. Ryan Miller exceeded expectations in goal, and Daniel Briere has not only lived up to his potential for the first time, but emerged as a leader. If the Sabres add some depth at defense, they'll be a force to be reckoned with next year.

And now, for the Finals...

2 Carolina vs. 8 Edmonton

Maybe I'm just being a homer, but I can see plenty of parallels between the Oilers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both were written off for dead before the season. Both entered the playoffs as the last seed in their respective conferences, and have used that "hardest road" as a rallying cry. Both teams are trying to live up to legendary legacies. Both teams have played with "whatever it takes" fearlessness to reach the championship. Both have passionate fan bases who bleed their team's colors. The Silver Pompom looks like it has become as much a talisman to Edmonton as the Terrible Towel is to Pittsburgh. Even the chants are the same: "Here we go [Oilers|Steelers], here we go!"

That's not to say that Carolina's fans are slouches. While the Caniacs may not have the numbers in the heart of NASCAR Country, they're all the more crazy for it. And while Edmonton was scorned in pre-season picks, the Hurricanes were considered a mid-level team that would qualify for the playoffs in the 6-8 seed range, acquit themselves well in the first round, and quietly exit. Then the season started, and you couldn't tell who was the biggest breakout story: Erik Cole, Eric Staal, Martin Gerber, Cam Ward? In the New NHL, speed thrills, and nowhere was that more apparent than in Carolina. The trades for Doug Weight and Mark Recchi were big, as Weight added even more fuel to the offense, Recchi gave them some little-guy grit, and both contributed veteran leadership and Cup-winning experience to the locker room.

The biggest question entering Game 1 is how between-series time off will affect each team. Carolina is probably happy that the NHL added a few days after needing all 7 against Buffalo. Meanwhile, Edmonton must feel like they haven't played since the 8th-grade picnic. I have a feeling Game 1 is going to be sloppy, between the Canes' fatigue and the Oilers' loss of edge. I have to think, in the long run, that Edmonton will benefit, since it's easier to get back to game-level energy after a long break than it is to maintain stamina playing every other night.

It will be long, and hard-fought, but I think Edmonton will just out-last the Hurricanes.

Prediction: Edmonton in 6.

Slashdot.org

Journal: Bad CSS! No cookie for you! [update 2] 4

Journal by Keith Russell

Somehow, you just knew a surprise would pop up when the redesign went live. And it's all because of tradition.

In the original Slashdot styles, pre- and post-CSS, the <i> tag was used on front page articles to distinguish the submitters' text from that of the editors. In terms of HTML semantics, that was a bit odd, since <blockquote> would be more appropriate. Before CSS, however, <blockquote> was strictly a block element. Taco wanted the submission to be inline, hence <i>.

Now, with the redesign, submitters' text are blocks. However, all of the old articles' <i> "blocks" haven't been converted to <blockquote>. Instead, <i> has been redefined by the new stylesheet as a block element with a left border...

div.article div.intro i {
display: block;
padding: 0 0 0 .85em;
margin: .25em 0 .6em 0;
font-style: normal;
border-left: 3px solid #ddd;
}

(All hail Mozilla Web Developer toolbar!)

This has created a rather interesting disconnect between articles, journal entries, and comments. In comments, it looks like the combination of <blockquote> and <i> will give you an article-style "blockquote", with indenting and a left border. It won't, however, italicize the type. For that, you must use <em>. In that way, at least, Slashdot is encouraging modern web standards. If I'm reading the stylesheet right, it looks like <blockquote> alone only indents, and it's the <i> tag that produces the left border.

Because JEs can be submitted as articles now, they follow article formatting rules. That means that <i> == <blockquote>, and <blockquote> == <p>. That is, <blockquote> is ignored.

This means that my NHL picks look like crap right now, since I had been using <blockquote> and <i> as they worked in the old JE stylesheet. Now, it's <em> and <strong> for teh win. A quick find-and-replace should do the trick.

BTW, does anybody know if Firefox can do site-specific user stylesheets? I want font-family: sans-serif back. Tahoma sucks.

Update: I'm not done on fonts yet.

It's just one simple line of CSS, but boy howdy, does it make a mess of things:

font: 82%/150% Tahoma, 'Lucida Grande', 'Lucida Sans', Helvetica, Arial, clean, sans-serif;

I'm not too fond of the small size, but I'm used to Ctrl-Plus, Ctrl-Minus, and Ctrl-0 to tweak font sizes by now. Slashdot's not the first site to assume 20-20 vision on big screens, and they won't be the last.

But the font-family tries way too hard to fit in with the host OS' UI elements: Tahoma for Windows, Lucida Grande for Mac OS X, and Lucida Sans for Linux. (Funny, I would have figured Bitstream Vera Sans for Linux.) What's wrong with the user's favorite font, or the OS/browser defaults? It looks like most sizes are defined as percentages or ems, so the layout should scale nicely as long as the user's preferred font doesn't have really strange metrics.

If nothing else, Slashdot should use Verdana instead of Tahoma. Microsoft recommends Verdana for web pages because Tahoma (which is a slightly condensed version of Verdana) doesn't have distinct italic or bold italic forms, so Windows has to fall back on the old "sheared oblique" trick to generate pseudo-italic forms. Hence, <em>-tagged content looks like ass.

Update 2: (Blatantly stolen from somebody else's sig) Save this to $MOZ_PROFILE/chrome/userContent.css:

@-moz-document domain(slashdot.org) {
body {
font: 100%/150% sans-serif ! important;
}
}

User Journal

Journal: GTA: The San Andreas Inquisition?

Journal by Keith Russell

So I hit HuffPo for my daily dose of hysterical left-wing blogging, and I find this story. They linked to Crooks and Liars, who linked to the original entry on Talk To Action.

Long story short... It's a real-time strategy game, based on the Left Behind books, that takes the old Eddie Izzard "Cake or death?" gag to a whole new level. Get this.

The player controls some sort of holy commando, tasked with prosetlyzing as many NYC denizens as possible. Anyone who doesn't convert is to be executed with extreme prejudice. Jews, Muslims, Catholics, gays, anyone who believes in the Constitutional segregation of church and state... they're all fair game for your arsenal of destruction. Or, you can play as the Anti-Christ, out to reap as many True Believers as you can.

The blog's author follows the money to some right-wing fundamentalist types. Never mind the Gospels: Have any of those people ever read past Leviticus?

Here's where the ice-pick-in-my-ear cognitive dissonance comes in: I agree with Jack Thompson.

Just on this game, of course. I haven't gone 'round the bend completely.

JT sees through the hypocricy of it all. How can people who regularly decry the levels of violence in video games possibly support it in this game, just because it's in the name of a vengeful, Old Testament God? He left his old publisher over this game, because they also publish the Left Behind series, and he's incensed that they've supported such rubbish.

Unfortunately, he's found a new publisher.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: NHL: Round 2 Wrap, Round 3 Picks

Journal by Keith Russell

Seven of the twelve series played so far have ended in 4 or 5 games; three out of four in the second round alone. Calgary and Anaheim played the only Game 7 of the year so far. Is this the Year Of The Fragile Ego in the National Hockey League? It's as though teams aren't just losing early games, they're running in to brick walls.

To recap Round 2:

1 Ottawa (1) vs. 4 Buffalo (4) (Predicted OTT in 7): They're gonna have a hard time finding a scapegoat 'round Parliament Hill this year. The Cold Pizza line? The defensive breakdowns? Not looking for a veteran goalie after Hasek went down? Emery's performance in Game 4 was the only reason the Sens didn't get swept. I will admit to a little schadenfreude, though, as Ryan Miller makes USA Hockey look a little more foolish with each playoff win. (See also: Sidney Crosby at Worlds)

2 Carolina (4) vs. 3 New Jersey (1) (Predicted NJ in 7): Exhibit #1 in my Brick Wall theory. Those were some awfully soft goals, there, Martin Brodeur. Methinks the Rangers lulled the Devils to sleep after all.

5 San Jose (2) vs. 8 Edmonton (4) (Predicted EDM in 7): Ladies and gentlemen! Presenting Ryan Smyth and his Fearless Kamikaze Hockey Travelling All-Stars! The Oilers are the most entertaining, passionate, hell-bent-for-vulcanized-rubber team in these playoffs. All credit to the Sharks' players for keeping up the good fight after losing in triple-overtime, but two big middle fingers to the Sharks' fans who booed the Canadian national anthem.

6 Anaheim (4) vs. 7 Colorado (0) (Predicted ANA in 6): Combined score: Ducks 16, Avs 4. Dallas fans are wailing, "We lost to these bums?!" To be fair to Colorado, they did run into Ilya "Breezy" Bryzgalov at his peak. ("Breezy" doesn't just come from his last name, either. This guy's too happy-go-lucky to be an NHL goaltender. I mean, he talks to people before games. How weird is that?)

And now, to choose who I'll jinx in the Conference Finals. These are going to be difficult picks because both series match up mirror-image teams.

2 Carolina vs. 4 Buffalo

In the East, it's speed vs. speed. Rookie goalie Cam Ward vs. rookie goalie Ryan Miller. Some are saying that the Canes' depth will be the difference. I'm putting my money on Lindy Ruff's coaching and the Sabres' "too naive to know that we're too young to win" attitude.

Prediction: Buffalo in 7

6 Anaheim vs. 8 Edmonton

The Ducks and Oilers both thrive on physical play, so count on some heavy hitting. I have a feeling that Edmonton will win one game by sheer force of will alone, which will break Anaheim.

Prediction: Oilers in 6

OK, who had Buffalo and Edmonton in September? :-)

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