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Archive for May, 2009

I have a grotesque obsession with NBA basketball. As a result the only Slovenians I see are the heaping handful of guys who’ve made it to the League.

This tiny country of 2 million people has produced at least ten NBA caliber players in the past decade or so. This means one in every 22,195 males of NBA eligible age has played in a League that only has maybe 400 or so roster spots a year. By comparison a typical American has the same odds of being killed by a firearm as a Slovenian male of appropriate age does at playing basketball in the NBA.

I mean, there’s got to be a laboratory somewhere just outside of Ljubljana where scientists are brewing up the perfect basketball player.Further proof: These guys all look the same. Don’t believe me about the lab? Take a look…

Goran Dragic

Goran Dragic

Former Raptors Uros Slokar

Former Raptors Uros Slokar

Matjaž Smodiš, Boštjan Nachbar in Erazem Lorbek

Matjaž Smodiš, Boštjan Nachbar in Erazem Lorbek

Beno Udrih

Beno Udrih

Rasho Nesterovic

Rasho Nesterovic

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drunk russian crop

I recently read Nicholas Eberstadt’s moronically titled article, Drunken Nation: Russia’s Depopulation Bomb in World Affairs Journal. It takes a while for the author to get to the ‘drunken’ part, but he has this to say about alcohol consumption in Russia and its role in Russia’s well-documented grisly population projections:

Unlike drinking patterns prevalent in, say, Mediterranean regions—where wine is regarded as an elixir for enhancing conversation over meals and other social gatherings, and where public drunkenness carries an embarrassing stigma—mind-numbing, stupefying binge drinking of hard spirits is an accepted norm in Russia and greatly increases the danger of fatal injury through falls, traffic accidents, violent confrontations, homicide, suicide, and so on.

Obviously there are loads of people who don’t binge drink in Russia and Ukraine. But damn, if anyone breaks out the vodka you can kiss functionality goodbye.  And this is the problem. Drinking vodka often takes on the character of a chauvanistic jousting match where the first to blink sacrifices some part of his masculinity. Of course, lots of nations have a high rate of alcohol consumption. Israel, for instance, has about the same level of booze consumption as Ukraine. So why is alcoholism such a big problem in Ukraine and not Israel. I’m thinking it’s not why people drink, or even how much, but rather what they are drinking. Vodka. (more…)

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For a short time, NBA “snipers” like DeShawn Stevenson would wave their hand in front of their face if they hit a bunch of shots in a row. The gesture is meant to convey, ‘I’m so hot I can’t feel my face.’

At 27% 3-point shooting, I bet DeShawn can feel his face now.

At 27% 3-point shooting, I bet DeShawn can feel his face now.

I’m not sure why success would lead to facial numbness, but maybe if I could actually hit a few shots in a row I’d find out.

Last week as I was watching Deutschland sucht den Superstar — Germany’s American Idol — I noticed one of the exiled contestants make the same gesture after being congratulated by a finalist.

‘Did she just go all “hood” on her?’ I thought.  Not at all. In Germany, that’s how you express that something is crazy. It’s the same as pointing your finger to your ear and spinning it around.

Lately I’ve been bringing things up in casual conversation that are ‘crazy’ just so I can wave my hand in front of my face.  I use it on the basketball court as well, but not for the same reason.

Deutschland+sucht+den+Superstar+top+10+2009

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Let’s Get-ränke!

Germans: A tough audience

Germans: A tough audience

In Germany stores that sell alcoholic drinks are called Getränke (pronounced Geh-trangh-ke).

Said fast enough, the word kinda sounds like a person with a thick German accent saying, ‘Get-Drunk.’ I mean it’s not exact, but for the purpose of jokery, it’s close enough.

I’ve tried this gag more than a few times.

“Hey everybody, it’s Friday night! Let’s get-ränke!”

Usually this is met with concerned stares and a very friendly explanation as to why such a phrase is not grammatically correct, and is therefore not funny. But, I mean sheesh. C’mon.

Am I wrong? Click below to for the answer, as well as the less-funny Polish version of the same joke. (more…)

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Hopeless Höps

Bad basket 2Behold pick-up basketball in Berlin. Some kid shooting a soccer ball (that’s right I said soccer… what of it?) at a rim designed to withstand all manner of vandalism… as well as dunks, jump shots and lay-ups. It’s just about impossible to score on these cartoonishly deformed monstrosities.

I understand the decision to build basketball nets that are safe and durable — but they ACTUALLY HAVE TO BE BASKETBALL NETS!

Sadly if they keep this crazy shit up, there will never be another Deutschland basketball  superstar like Dirk Nowitzki, Detlef Schrempf, or even 7’2″ Fredrick Wiess, whose greatest accomplishment was eating a mouthfull of Vince Carter’s junk during the 2000 Olympics.

Speaking of crazy and Deutschland  superstars…

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predict-3

Haunted by that cheating Lisa Charlson and her f%*king jazz guitar

Nobody has to remember names, numbers and addresses anymore. Phone numbers are in our cell directories, email addresses and passwords pop-up instantly with the help of Internet cookies or whatever. But what about all the names and numbers we want to forget?

Like a clueless friend, or well meaning parent, your insensitive computer just keeps bringing up his/her name again and again and again… (more…)

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The Wii-elchair

flame-throwing-wheelchairPlease don’t call me a dick, but how about a game for the Nintendo Wii that simulates everyday life in a wheelchair? It could be a good socialization tool. Y’know, take it to schools and stuff. Teach people tolerance and understanding, and how best to deal with the physical obstacles that make daily life in a wheelchair annoying.

There could even be an advanced mode where you supe it up, test it on courses and tracks, do tricks, stunts and races. I’d play (and learn) for sure. wii_wheelchair_art

Of course it would be the Wii-elchair!

Ya?

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