♠ The Obscuritees Blog

Updates on Everything *oBST-related...and Some Things That Aren't

*oBST: San Diego ♠ Irvine ♠ The World

Thursday, June 01, 2006

E.S.P.N./A.B.C. + Spelling Bee= M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

A few hours ago, the Scripps National Spelling Bee just finished up its fourth round of competition, with 43 contestants still remaining. (The morning competition was actually stopped before the end of round four--you know how it goes, Spelling Bees can't take time away from the N.B.A. Playoffs P.G.A. Golf...)The scheduling move aside, (The Bee was actually stopped on E.S.P.N. in order to prepare for tonight's A.B.C. broadcast--during the N.B.A. Playoffs.) It's obvious that Disney's finally paying attention to this spelling-bee trend: two of their TV channels will be covering the Bee--E.S.P.N. has had round-by-round live coverage (no more of that 3 A.M.-broadcast stuff this time) leading up to this morning, and A.B.C. will broadcast live the final rounds of the competition tonight, adding in that necessary dose of interviews, vignettes, etc., of course. It all seems a little too late, though (really, how many movies can you make about spelling before it gets old?).

(For the full story check out this Wired News article.)

UPDATE: And it's in HD, too!

UPDATE to the UPDATE: With this news that gamblers could now bet on the Bee, I'd say spelling has officially become a sport! *oBST will be putting a few of our hard-earned business $$$ on two bets: the last word will have an "e" in it, and the final contestant will not have glasses. We'll be watching to see what happens (or at least 1/3 of us will).

UPDATE to the UPDATE to the UPDATE: Katharine Close of New Jersey wins the Bee by correctly spelling "ursprache"! Wow, what a night for the Germans: first Nowitzki unleashes his 50-point fury on the Suns, and now German words are getting their props (six of the final-round words--including the winning word--were German)! Oh yeah, and hopefully all the loyal *oBST blog readers followed our CAN'T FAIL/GENIUS betting picks (non-glasses-wearing winner; last word to have an "e") because we were a PERFECT 2 for 2!

The Power of the Internets: Can Bring Down Drunk, Horny College Co-eds

Apparently, our fellow members of the blogosphere really can change the world--if by changing the world you mean getting a college girls' soccer team suspended for hazing. According to this story at foxsports.com, school officials began investigating the Northwestern girls team after coming across photos taken by the girls on the night of the "alleged" hazing, on the sports blog badjock.com. (Bad Jocks says they came across the posted photos on the photo-sharing site webshots.com.) You can still see 12 of the 50 original photos at their site. They include, among other things: photos showing bondage, girl-on-girl simulated-sex "skits," and lap dances (performed for the Northwestern guys' soccer team). If you're in to this sort of thing, Bad Jocks has a whole section on college-hazing incidents, with, of course, PLENTY of photos from the Top 10 college-sports offenders. The winner? Catholic University's women's lacrosse team, of course--cuz they went all out and hired a male stripper. (Really, WTF is up with lacrosse teams and hiring strippers?)

Northwestern soccer team studyin' hard for finals...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

*oBST Media Recommendations: Podcast Edition

If you haven't seen, heard, or d/led "The Ricky Gervais Show" video podcast, you're really missing out! We here at *oBST recommend you check it out (iTunes has a nice selection of nine episodes from season two in video podcasts and season one's twelve episodes in audiobook form). And if you haven't seen any, or all, of Gervais's work, you should check out the three "The Office" seasons on DVD and "Extras" reruns on H.B.O.

*oBST watching RGS on iTunes.

Copa Mundial, 2006

Apparently a little event called the World Cup will be in action during *oBST's European Summer Tour. Sadly, we won't be anywhere near Germany on our trip, so no chaotic/drunken-European-celebration photos (winners) or chaotic/drunken-European-riot photos (losers). What we will make sure to take pics of, is each country's sports-pub scene. (I'm guessing England's soccer fans will be the craziest--and least sober.) But, judging from the reaction to some measly Champions League game in France, we'll probably be in for some surprise soccer outbursts all over Europe.

Germany's spending the big $$ on stadiums.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The One Campaign: *oBST, Oh, And Angelina, Too

In mentioning *oBST's collaboration with Salma & Penelope for ONE a few posts ago, I forgot to drop Angelina Jolie's name (yeah, I know, how could I forget?). So there it is. And to make up for my forgetfullness, here's a quote from a recent Forbes article on Angelina's more-than-charitable contributions:

Angelina Jolie, whose work as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Refugee Agency is well known, has generated plenty of attention for the plight of refugees around the world. And over the past few years, she has made more than $3 million in her own contributions to the organization, it says.

The F.B.I.: Keeping the Black Man Down Since 1935

What I take from all this is this: Richard Pryor, damn funny comedian to millions; to the honkies in the F.B.I.: "Negro comedian"/Black Panther saboteur.
With all this talk of the N.S.A. and wiretapping, blah blah blah (really, is it that big of a deal? At least half of the information the N.S.A. received would have been approved through FISA; the other half was just useless info that never made it past the first stage), we here at *oBST are reminded of the good ol' days--you know, back when men were men and Nixon made damn sure espionage was done right. Luckily, we still have reminders of the past (because, really, how many times can you watch "The Conversation" rebroadcast on A.M.C. before it gets kinda old?), courtesy of Slate, with the recent "Richard Pryor F.B.I. Files" being made public (see the released papers below). What I take from all of this is this: Richard Pryor, damn funny comedian to millions; to the honkies in the F.B.I.: "Negro comedian"/Black Panther saboteur.

The ONE Campaign Against Poverty: *oBST Teams Up With Salma & Penelope

We here at *oBST (or, at least 1/3 of us does) fully support the ONE Campaign
in their fight to make AIDs and poverty history. (That's why 1/3 of us signed the declaration at left.) We also happen to support the fact that Penelope Cruz (bottom right, and it's clickable, too!) and Salma Hayek (bottom left, clickable as well) support ONE--but that's just

This Is Where We'll Be Kickin' It In Madrid

...[Puerta America's] Memory Wall--is integrated into the lobby space and is capable of interacting with passers-by by adapting to clothing colors. It all seems like something straight out of"Garden State."

While putting together the semi-interactive map I linked to a few posts back (hope you guys have all had a chance to check it out!), I came across this Engadget article (via Pasta & Vinegar) about Hotel Puerta America, which just happens to be *oBST's Madrid hotel stop. According to P. & V., the eighth-floor hallway of the hotel--known as the Memory Wall--is integrated into the lobby space and is capable of "interacting" with passers-by by adapting to clothing colors. It all seems like something straight out of "Garden State." Hmm, I think all of you know where we'll be spending a hell of a lot of our time...(oh, and I'll definitely post photos of the Wall in action, so that all of you out there can see for yourselves!)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Too Much Time on My Hands...

Here's a free-draw map of our European Tour to go with the "technical" one linked below.

Photo of the Day: Friday, May 26

Cycling in London: (via Flickr).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The *oBST Summer European Tour Mapped Out

I said that I'd post our schedule for this summer's *oBST Trip, so here's a list of the cities we'll be checking out in a little over two weeks (it's gonna be damn crazy, son!), in no particular order:

♠ London
♠ Paris
♠ Stockholm
♠ Copenhagen
♠ Bilbao
♠ Madrid
♠ Minorca



UPDATE: Ummm...can't really figure out how to get the actual map here, so just follow this button link. MyMaps at MapBuilder.net

Crazy Stuff on the Internets, Part Dos: Betting on the Bird Flu

+ =

Oh, the things you can find/bet on on the Internet. I wonder what it'll feel like for those people who actually win money on this futures wagering for Bird Flu? I can see it now: Bird Flu just hit Florida? Nice! I just made $250--no one thought it would hit this soon! You see, that sort of thing is way too much of a moral dilemma for us here at *oBST; we prefer betting on the more light-hearted fare, like the Sony PS3 release date.

Crazy Stuff on the Internets: Measuring Sports Performance

The premise of a new book, The Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport, by three economists (David Berri, Martin Schmidt, and Stacey Brook)--that scoring isn't everything, that All-Stars don't really "step it up" during the Playoffs, that most great players make their teammates worse, and wins mean more to fans than big-name players--looks to turn conventional wisdom about sports (especiallythe N.B.A.) upside down. The book's major claims? Ray Allen's had just as good a career as Kobe Bryant; Allen Iverson's way overrated; Ben Gordon is, too; the LeBron's made it this far in the Playoffs not because King James "stepped up" his game (his numbers actually decreased from the regular season), but because Varejao, Gooden, Marshall, and Hughes did.

More up-to-date info, as well as news on the book, at their site, The Wages of Wins Journal.

UPDATE: Oh, and here's a review from The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell.

Looking for the Next MySpace? It's Here...

...And it's being be developed by Martha Stewart's Omnimedia Inc., according to Yahoo! News, as a way of targeting that oh-so-trendy demographic of 40-to-50-year-old white women. (You can get info on the whole story here.)

Hmm...something tells me there isn't going to be a version of MysPaCe HoEz on Martha Stewart's site...

A Note on Comments

Just a little F.Y.I. for people posting comments on the site: you don't need to register to blogger.com in order to post comments, all you have to do is type your comment and then select Anonymous under the Choose Your Identity section.

*oBST's Back In Action! After a Two Week Break...

Wow, I can't believe it's been more than two weeks since the last post. (It's unbelievable how things pile up as summer comes around--things to plan, you know how it goes.) Sorry to all of you out there who missed our posts while the blog was on a The Daily Show/ Colbert Report-style two-week-long break. I'll try and make up for it today...

For the inquiring *oBST Blog readers out there, the reasons behind our break had a lot to do with planning that all three *oBST partners (if you haven't already, check each one of us out: here, here) are working on "business" travel plans (heh) for summer (oh yeah, and 2/3 of *oBST had finals last week...). We've decided that we'll be going to Europe; we'll be there from mid-June to early July (I'll post more info on this a little bit later). Hopefully, we can turn this into a pretty cool "promotional event" sort of thing by including some Flickr slideshows filled with photos of the sights and the occasional random-girl-from-Paris-wearing/modelling-a-*oBST-shirt pic. We'll also be uploading podcasts from the trip, as well as posting an occasional Travel Journal on what each of us thinks/loves/hates about the city we're in at the time. And, of course, anything else we can thinks of as we go along! (Ooh, I just thought of some great ideas already: we'll upload an interactive Google Map plotting our travelling--and how about a Guess Where We Are In This Picture contest?

Also, I'll be posting a tagboard/ discussion forum so that whoever wants to give out some tips for places to go in Europe while we're there can. In the meantime, here's an interesting map pic from a really great "map-making" site called WorldMapper. For the statistical numbers behind this particular map, checkout their site.

Map of the World, As Seen Through Travel Destinations (map courtesty of WorldMapper)

Install these Google products, today.