Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bonus Quote of the Week- Sugar Ray Leonard

Today, we conclude our month-long series of quotes from American athlete who won medals at the Summer Olympics with quote from boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard, 55, who won gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Earlier this month, we quoted Bruce Jenner, the decathlete who also won gold in Canada.

Leonard was born in Rocky Mount, NC, but he spent most of his growing years in Palmer Park, Maryland, in the DC-Metro area. Leonard defeated the Cuban boxer Andrew Aldama on his way to gold in the light welterweight division.

Ironically, Montreal was also the site of his first famous bout with Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran in 1980. Leonard lost that initial fight, but he defeated Duran later that year in New Orleans.

Leonard also won a much-anticipated bout against a then-undefeated Thomas Hearns in Las Vegas in 1981.

Here is Leonard's quote:

"Before I fight, I always pray no one gets hurt."

Quote of the Day/Week- Janet Evans

Since we quoted the swimming great Mark Spitz on our sister blog "The Daily Vampire," we thought we'd stay in the pool and quip Janet Evans, 41, is amazingly enough training for the 2012 London Olympics.

Evans first achieved prominence 25 years ago, and she won three gold medals and set a new world's record in the 400-meter free-style at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Evans went on to win another gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. In total, Evans has won five medals, including one silver.

She was profiled on the NPR sports show "Only a Game" about her remarkable comeback efforts at a time when she is also busy being a wife and a mother.

It was hard to find a quote from Evans, and even harder to find a good image, but we hope this quip works:

"My straight-arm recover was natural. I really couldn't swim it any other way. I think it developed when I was a kid, and I wanted to get down the pool the fastest."

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Thomas Dewey

Today, we conclude our series with quotes from party nominees who did not win presidential elections with a quote from Thomas Dewey (1902-1971) who had the unfortunate distinction of losing two consecutive presidential elections.

Dewey was considered a 'liberal Republican,' which seems like an oxy moron today, especially given that many centrist Republicans including Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) are stepping down this year.

Dewey ran first ran for president against President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944. But, he is most known for his loss to President Harry Truman. He was falsely projected to be the winner of the election which prompted "The Chicago Tribune" to post the dubious 'Dewey Beats Truman' headline. A gleeful Truman posed for the cameras with that newspaper in what would become the most famous photograph of him.

Dewey also managed to get 46 percent of the vote against Franklin D. Roosevelt, which made him the most-successful challenger to America's longest serving president.

In addition, Dewey was the 47th governor of New York, a post now held by Andrew Cuomo (D).

Here is Dewey's quote:

"We need not be afraid of the future, for the future will be in our hands."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Tina Fey

One has to ask Malcolm Gladwell, the "New Yorker" writer who has written about how the mind works, if Tina Fey's birthday, which is on May 18, had anything to do with her many major successes, including being a writer/performer for "Saturday Night Live," writing the screenplay and acting in "Mean Girls" (2008), creating and starring in the hit sitcom "30 Rock," somehow finding time to give birth to two children and being Republican candidate John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election.

We are quoting Fey because she was born in the same year as us, which is 1970. Whoops! We somehow forgot that Fey has also written the best-selling memoir "Bossypants." And, she wasn't actually McCain's running mate, but she did play Sarah Palin on tv.

Her quote seems like a fairly accurate as one would imagine that Fey has exceptional time management skills, and perhaps she drinks as many cappuccinos as cartoonist Shanon Wheeler's creation Too Much Coffee Man.

Here it is:

"I am constantly amazed by Tina Fey. And I am Tina Fey."

We often wonder here if celebrities ever visit our blog to check out our quotes, but we imagine that at this very moment Fey is in her dressing room talking to her "30 rock" co-star Alec Baldwin while simultaneously memorizing lines that she probably wrote herself!

Incidentally, Matt Damon, whom we quoted last week, had made frequent guest appearances as an airplane pilot on "30 Rock."

The Frozen Four is Set- Everyone is Pretty Far From Tampa

We just quoted filmmaker and hockey fan Kevin Smith on our other blog "The Daily Vampire," since he is getting ready to 'retire' from film directing at the ripe old age of 41, perhaps he will have time to fly down to Tampa and take in the Frozen Four.

As one might expect this is the first time the Frozen Four will take place in Florida, and there is not one single university in Florida that has an official college hockey team, though perhaps some offer the sport at the club level as Virginia Tech does.

The team which appears most likely to win the Frozen Four is top seed Boston College. The Eagles' goal tender Parker Milner had a pair of shutouts at regionals in Worchester, Mass. Milner made 20 saves in Boston College's 2-0 win over Air Force. He then turned around and made 33 saves to help the Eagles defeat the defending NCAA championships Minn-Duluth 4-0.

The Eagles will now face the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, a team that will be going to its first Frozen Four since 2005. The Gophers had impressive wins over both Boston University (by a score of 7-3) and North Dakota (by a score of 5-2) at regionals in St. Paul, Minn.

Two schools that most people have perhaps never heard of, except college hockey followers, complete the Frozen Four. Union (NY) beat Mass-Lowell 4-2. The Dutchmen are the rare successful athletic team which offer no scholarships. Sophomore goal tender Troy Grosenick helped guide the team to victory.

The Dutchmen will face the Ferris State Bulldogs (Grand Rapids, Mich.; pictured above) which got goals from Garrett Thompson and Andy Huff to defeat Cornell 2-1. The Big Red had upset Michigan 2-1 (OT) to advance to the quarter-finals.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Rabbit Ears Test (8 of 12)_ "Flipper"

Today, we go way back, for our subject as "Flipper" first aired on NBC on Sept. 19, 1964. It was one of American tv shows I saw as a child while living in Turkey from 1977-79 on the TRT. It still seems ironic and amazing today that if you have satellite television you can watch Mexican wrestling matches (Lucha Libre), the new version of "Doctor Who" or an old Gary Cooper movie like "Pride of the Yankees" at any given juncture as there are over 300 channels on any given satellite provider.

But, in those days in Turkey, it was just the TRT and it consisted of one channel which aired at night during the week and during the day on weekends.

In Turkey, "Flipper" aired on Saturday mornings, and it was very popular, especially with children. Interesting enough, the TRT also aired a French documentary series by the late underwater filmmaker Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) on Saturday afternoons.

The actual dolphin Flipper on the show was a bottlenose dolphin who belonged to a widowed father Porter Ricks, played by the late Brian Kelly (1931-2005), and his young boys Sandy, played by Luke Halping, now 64, and Bud, played by Tommy Norden, now 59.

Flipper was played at various times by at least five mostly female dolphins over the show's three-season run, including Mitzi, Little Bit, Suzy and Kathy. The dolphins were trained by Ric O'Berry, who later became a marine animal activist.

Ironically, in more recent years, "Flipper" generated some controversy when O'Berry stated that Kathy had committed suicide by drowning herself.

"Flipper" became a 1995 tv series and a 1996 feature film with Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood (both were also named "Flipper").

The original show's catchy theme song was written by Henry Vars and By Dunham.

Today, we ask, how many episodes were made of the original "Flipper"?

Is the answer:

A) 82

B) 86

C) 88

D) 90

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Casulaties of Modern Technology (8 of 12)_ The Original Mr. Coffee

There were actually other Casualties of Modern Technology that we considered posting about including the slide projector, but since NPR reported that Samuel L. Glazer, the co-owner of the company that makes Mr. Coffee, died on March 12 at age 89 in Cleveland, Ohio, we thought it was perhaps more appropriate to go with Mr. Coffee.

The coffee-maker is actually still in existence, but it has become considerably more considerable than the ones that New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio (1912-1999) promoted, starting in 1973.

Today's Mister Coffee offers coffee-makers which can make lattes and frappes, which help cut down on Starbucks purchases.

Originally, Mister Coffee, which sold over one million products in 1974, was an automatic-drip kitchen appliance.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Michael Jordan

Today, we continue to quote American athletes who won team or individual medals, with a quip from the great basketball legend Michael Jordan.

Jordan won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, a NCAA title with the North Carolina Tarheels in 1982, and two Olympic medals for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics (as an amateur) and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics (as a pro, yes that was the Dream Team).

Here is his quote:

"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week_ Al Gore

Today, we continue focusing on politicians who won their party nomination only to lose the general election, with a quote from Al Gore, who actually won the popular vote over George W. Bush in the 2000 general election, which has perhaps made it more awkward for election overseers from America to be trusted in places like Guatemala.

Gore, who turns 64, is also the president of Current TV, which is home to "The Young Turks," hosted by my fellow progressive Turkish-American Cenk Uygur. Gore is also the leading advocate for global warming, and given that it will be 84 degrees in Montgomery, Ala., one has to wonder when those who are vocally against Gore's theories, such as Bill O'Reilly, will concede that the former vice president has some valid points.

But, our aims today are not partisan in nature and to prove that we have a non-partisan quip from Gore:

"Airplane travel has a way of making you look like your passport photo."

SIDEBAR: While the college sports world is focused on the Sweet 16 in men's basketball, post-season women's gymnastics gets underway on Saturday. The University of Michigan, the five-time defending Big 10 championships, head to the University of Iowa to compete with seven other schools, including two highly-ranked teams from Nebraska and Penn State.

On Friday's home meet against the Michigan State Spartans, Michigan won over its rival thanks to junior Katie Zorales (Wheaton, Ill.) and sophomore Joanna Sampson (willow Grove, Pa.).

Sophomore Stephanie Colbert of the home team got a 9.625 on balance beam as the Wolverines won the meet; yes, we checked out her mini-bio on the Wolverines' women's gymnastics home page: Comedian/actor/talk show host Stephen Colbert is not her father.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Matt Damon

Yes, we had quite a hard time finding a useable image of Matt Damon, hence we had to find one of him in a still photograph from "The Talented Mister Ripley" (1999). Just last year, Damon rejoined 'Ripley' cast-mates Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law for the provocative science thriller "Contagion."

Other films that Damon is known for include "Good Will Hunting" (1997) for which he and pal Ben Affleck won Best Original Screenplay Oscars (neither has won an Oscar for acting or directing_ which Affleck has also done), "Syriana" (2005) and "The Departed" (2006).

Damon turns 42 on October 8th; this month we are quoting famous people born in 1970, the year I was born.

Here is his quote:

"I'd heard people say: 'You'll enjoy being famous for a week and you'll never enjoy it again.' But, I don't think I had that week. I may have been working and missed that moment."

SIDEBAR: We want to wish our fellow Turkish-American progressive Cenk Uygur a happy 42nd birthday. I am a mere 17 days older than Uygur who hosts an excellent political talk show on Current-TV at 7:00 p.m. (eastern and Pacific times); I was surprised that Uygur did not mention the milestone on this show tonight.

And, on the other side of the spectrum, Kirk Cameron, who was born on Oct. 12, 1970, making him just four days younger of the politically liberal Matt Damon, has recently been trying to defuse controversial comments he made regarding gays and lesbians. Cameron said that a homosexual lifestyle was detrimental and destructive, but he said that he never meant to hurt anyone's feelings. Cameron, who came to fame from the 1980s sitcom "Growing Pains," is an out-spoken evangelical who has turned his attention to religious-themed films in recent years.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Other Sweet 16- the NCAA Hockey Tournament

The NCAA hockey tournament gets underway on Friday as Minn-Duluth will look to defend its NCAA against Maine in the Worcester, Mass.-regional.

If every team I'm picking wins, then that region will go to top-seed Boston College which open up NCAA against Air Force. My other three teams (keep in mind, I am a novice with college hockey) in the Frozen Four are Minnesota, Miami (Ohio) and Denver University. I am also going to project that the Boston College Eagles will win it all in Tampa, Fla. (yes, that is where the Frozen Four is taking place, starting on April 5th).

But, the first round game I am most anxious to watch is in the Green Bay, Wisc.-region where Michigan, the top seed in the region, will face Cornell (pictured).

The Big Red have shocked the Wolverines before as they won the first of a three game series against the 'Big Blue' in Ann Arbor 5-4 during the NCAA tournament in 1991. But, the format is now single-game elimination, thus at the time, the Wolverines were able to rebound and advance two games to one.

Whoever wins the game between Michigan and Cornell, which will be broadcast on Friday night on ESPN-U, will then face the winner of the Ferris State (Grand Rapids, Mich.)-Denver game.

Michigan has won nine titles, followed by Denver and North Dakota, teams that have won seven titles each. Boston College has won four titles.

In the Bridgeport, Conn.-region, top-seed Union (NY) plays Michigan State, the only school that also made the Sweet 16 in men's basketball. The other game in the region pits Maimi (Ohio) against Mass-Lowell.

The Wolverines will be coming off a loss in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) conference tournament, which won by Western Michigan, a team that plays North Dakota in the St. Paul region (for the other two regions, check out our sister blog "The Daily Vampire"). Ferris State, Miami (Ohio) and Michigan State are the other three teams from that conference in the NCAA tournament.

Michigan has many outstanding players, including freshman Alex Guptill from Canada, senior Luke Glendenning from Grand Rapids, Mich., and senior goaltender Shawn Hunwick from Sterling Heights, Mich.

Cornell, a team that plays in the Ivy League in other sports, won the ECAC tournament over Colgate 3-0 in Atlantic City, NJ, with goals from senior Sean Collins from Canada, sophomore Dustin Mowrey from Canada and freshman John McCarron from Macomb, Mich.

The Big Red also got 25 saves from goaltender Andy Iles who is coincidentally from Itahca, NY, where Cornell is located. And, if Cornell should become one of the rare four seeds that advances to the Final Four, they will have a player from the Sunshine State on the roster as freshman Brain Ferlin is from Jacksonville, Fla.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sweet Sixteen by the Numbers- It's Really Been a Long Time for Badgers Fans

We found out some interesting things while researching this piece: It has been a very, very long time since the Wisconsin Badgers won a NCAA title in men's basketball and Kenny Belton, a senior for the Ohio Bobcats, a team that will face the UNC Tarheels in the Sweet 16, graduated from Dudley High School in Greensboro, NC, so perhaps he even rooted for the 'Heels growing up!

And, yes, we realize that Ramsey, the UNC Tarheels' mascot doesn't really go with our entry title, but we are not exactly "The New York Times" here!

Here we go:

71: Years since Wisconsin won NCAA title; the Badgers took it all in 1941.

52: Years since Ohio State won NCAA men's basketball title

50: Years since the Cincinnati Bearcats won title, they won back-to-back titles (1961 and 1962) with Oscar Robinson.

34: Number of points that Florida beat Norfolk State by in the round of 32.

32: Number of miles between Chapel Hill and downtown Raleigh

31: Number of games won by the UNC Tarheels

29: Number of games won by Ohio University; years since North Carolina State last won NCAA tournament.

21: Number of points scored by junior Walter Offutt in the Ohio Bobcats' upset over South Florida in the round of 32.

14: Numbers of points that UNC beat Creighton by in the round of 32; years since Kentucky last won NCAA tournament; number of schools from major conferences in Sweet 16.

13- Number of teams in Sweet 16 that have won NCAA titles in men's basketball before

8- Number of players from North Carolina on UNC's roster

7- Number of Sweet 16 teams from my brackets which actually made it to the Sweet 16!; number of titles won by Kentucky.

6- Number of Ohio Bobcats players from Ohio; number of NC St. players from North Carolina (including star player sophomore C.J. Leslie from Holly Springs, NC); number of points that Ohio beat South Florida by; number of coaches in Sweet 16 who've won the NCAA title; number of schools in Sweet 16 with women's gymnastics programs.

5- Number of titles won by UNC.

4- Number of teams from Ohio in Sweet 16; number of teams from the Big 10; number of teams from the Big East

3_ Number of UNC players from the Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC area; number of international players for NC St. (Australia, Belgium and Canada); number of teams with feline nicknames; number of teams with bird-related nicknames.

2_ Number of school from old Metro Conference in Sweet 16 (Louisville and Cincinnati); number of ACC schools in Sweet 16; number of SEC schools; number of Big 12 schools; number of schools that are not from super conferences.

1_ Number of schools with dog-related nicknames (NC St. Wolfpack); number of schools that also made the Sweet 16 in NCAA men's hockey (Michigan State Spartans).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. We would say a lot more as like Leo Tolstoy (the author of "War and Peace") we can not proclaim brevity as one of our strengths.

And, to paraphrase The Animals and their 1965 hit song: "We gotta get out of this place, if it's the last thing we ever do."

We were not aware until we 'researched' the song on Wikipedia that 'this place' was referring to Vietnam. Perhaps, there are others who feel this way, but the song seems to play in our minds when we are at chamber of commerce mixers that we simply can't break away from. But, I remember one person was very honest one time at one of these things (this was about 15 years ago). He simply said: "I need to go home to watch Seinfeld."

The above image, oh by the way, is of an Irish terrier.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Mary Lou Retton

Today, we continue quoting American athletes who won either gold or silver medals at the Summer Olympics with a quip from Mary Lou Retton, 44, whose image with a red, white and blue leotard is making its way back to Wheaties cereal boxes.

We will be quoting international athletes, including perhaps Nadia Comaneci of Romania, who was a major influence on Retton, who won both team and individual gold medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

Retton is from Fairmont, West Virginia, and she is a member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness, which is slightly ironic as Retton is a Republican as she attended the 2004 Republican convention.

Gymnasts of today have also been influenced by Retton as she developed 'the Retton flip' move on bars.

Here is her quote:

"If I had a bad performance in a particular leotard, I threw it in the trash."

SIDEBAR: People in Retton's home state of West Virginia are likely not to happy today as West Virginia University lost to Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament yesterday.

I was also disappointed to see Harvard lose to Vanderbilt 79-70 though President Barack Obama, a graduate of Harvard, said he had to reluctantly pick Vandy since that school has just won the SEC Tournament.

But, there is happy basketball news for my home state of Virginia because Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) 'upset' Wichita State 62-59 in Portland, Oregon, in the NCAA tournament last night.

UPDATE: When we posted this entry earlier in the day, we did not know the first name of Mary Lou Retton's sister who was a great gymnast in her own right at West Virginia University. Her name is Shari Retton.

As for the current Mountaineers gymnastics team, they head to Baton Rouge, La., tonight for a meet with SEC power LSU. For WVU, current gymnast Kaylyn Milick was named EAGL Conference Gymnast of the week. The Mountaineers also have an exceptional, nationally-ranked gymnast in Hope Sloanhaffer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Barry Goldwater

Today, we continue our series of quips from men who tried to become American presidents, but didn't quite get enough votes to pull it off.

Barry Goldwater (1909-1998), the Republican candidate who lost to Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1964 presidential election is widely believed to be most conservative Republican to have ran for his office, though some may argue that Ronald Reagan, who was president from 1980-88 was just as or even further to the right.

Goldwater actually lost many states that Republicans have won in recent election cycles, including Oklahoma. Goldwater was a U.S. senator who represented Arizona.

One of the great political ironies is that Hillary Clinton, who came from a conservative family in suburban Chicago was a 'Goldwater girl.'

Here is his quote:

"It's a great country where everyone can grow up to be president except me."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week_ Rachel Weisz

Today, we continue quoting famous movie and television stars who were born in 1970, with a quip from Oscar-winning actress Rachel Weisz, who just turned 42 a week ago on March 7th. She is a mere three days younger than your's truly (Tilly Gokbudak, the managing editor of this blog).

Weisz won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "The Constant Gardener" (2005). Last year, she secretly wed Daniel Craig, aka the new James Bond. And, for many years, she was in a relationship with film director Darren Aronofsky ("The Wrestler," "Black Swan," the film which won Natalie Portman a Best Actress Oscar) and they share a child together.

Here is the quip from Weisz, which may be more true in her native England than here in America:

"I don't believe your soul mate has to share your politics."

My NCAA Brackets....with a Twist

For many years, we have wanted to fill out the NCAA brackets simply based on the teams we liked best, or the teams that we would like to see in the Final Four.

So, this year, I decided to make a 'real bracket,' in which top-seed Syracuse prevails over the 16-seed underdog of underdogs, the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs from the Big South Conference, and one in which the Bulldogs pull the college basketball upset of the century.

There is a dose of reality in my 'fantasy bracket' as I just picked the Bulldogs as the lone 16-seed to knock off a Goliath. In addition, I have the 15-ssed Norfolk State beating the two-seed Missouri Tigers.

Thus, when all is said and done, my Elite 8 comes down to the unlikely match-up of ten-seed West Virginia, with Turkish player Deniz Kilicli, and 12-seed Harvard with Brandyn Curry from Huntersville, NC, in the east region. In the midwest, my dream match-up is not too implausible as it has 3-seed Georgetown taking on the top-seed UNC Tarheels (in the 'real version' two-seed Kansas plays North Carolina).

In the south region, there is a very realistic match-up between one-seed Kentucky and two-seed Duke. But, in the west, we have another fantasy match-up between ten-seed Virginia and 13-seed Davidson, a team that did in fact shock the world and make the Elite 8 a few years ago.

Thus, the 'dream Final Four' pits Harvard against Georgetown, and Duke against UVA. And, the final comes down to Harvard and UVA, with the Ivy Leaguers from Cambridge, Mass., winning it all.

Of course, it would be fittingly ironic if my fantasy bracket turns out to be more true than my 'real one!'

SIDEBAR: A fair number of the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament (actually as of writing, there are 66 remaining), have competitive teams in other sports. In wrestling, from the schools in the field, Ohio State, Misouri, Michigan, Lehigh, UVA and Purdue are all nationally-ranked.

In men's lacrosse, UVA, Loyola (Md), Syracuse, Notre Dame, UNC, Lehigh, Duke and Georgetown are all ranked.

Similarly, in women's lacrosse, UNC, Duke, Florida, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, UVA, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgetown and Loyola (Md.) have teams ranked in the top 20.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Colleges Nicknames- Is that Really Tulsa's Nickname?

We conclude our project of showing the nicknames of 96 different NCAA schools (in men's college basketball). We wish we could share them all them all, but there are 334 schools! If it's any consilation, I left out the Radford University Highlanders, my own alma mater.

Today, we look at some of the most distinctive and in some cases outright strange college nicknames.

One that always stands out from the pack is the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. For those of you residing in Sri Lanka who are perhaps unfamiliar with American geography, Tulsa, Oklahoma, is far, far away from both coasts. Though Oklahoma is quite vulnerable to tornadoes. Nevertheless, it is an absolute impossibility that Oklahoma could ever get hit by a hurricane.

The three schools we have pictured here are the Akron Zips, the Sacramento State Hornets and the Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos.

Of the schools listed here, it is a virtual certainty that both Florida and Georgetown will into the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Florida A & M has a chance if they beat Norfolk State today in the MEAC semi-finals and then win the conference tourney. Akron is also in their conference tournament semi-finals today as they face Kent State.

We believe that we got all 33 or 33 of the conferences, but we did inadvertently snub some states, including West Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico and New Hampshire. While we did have a huge number of schools of these eight lists from North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and California.

Here are the teams, yes we are not making some of these crazy nicknames up:

1. Akron Zips, Mid-America, Akron, Ohio.

2. Denver Pioneers, Sun Belt, Denver, Colo.

3. East Tennessee State Buccaneers, Atlantic Sun, Johnson City, Tenn.

4. Evansville Purple Aces, Missouri Valley, Evansville, Ind.

5. Florida Gators, SEC, Gainesville, Fla.

6. Florida A & M Rattlers, MEAC, Tallahassee, Fla.

7. Georgetown Hoyas, Big East, Washington, DC.

8. Maine Black Bears, Northeast, Orono, Maine.

9. Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos, Summit, Kansas City, Mo.

10. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, Big Sky, Flagstaff, Ariz.

11. Sacramento State Hornets, Big Sky, Sacramento, Calif.

12. Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, C-USA, Tulsa, Okl.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Colleges Nicknames: Big Dogs on Campus

Today's list of college team nicknames continues with a list of 12 schools that have dog-related nicknames, including the three pictured here: Albany Great Danes, James Madison University Dukes and the Southern Illionois Salukis.

The Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds out of Baltimore are assured of a NCAA bid as they won the Metro Atlantic Conference tournament earlier this week.

The North Carolina State Wolfpack which won their ACC tournament opener over Boston College (not to be confused with Boston University which is on this list; for those of you in Malta, they are seaprate schools!) while playing in Atlanta today are among the 'bubble teams,' which may or may not make the NCAA field.

Here is our list of schools with dog or dog-related nicknames:

1. Alabama A & M Bulldogs, SWAC, Normal, Ala.

2. Albany Great Danes, America East, Albany, NY

3. Arkansas State Red Wolves, Sun Belt, Jonesboro, Ark.

4. Boston Uniersity Terriers, America East, Boston, Mass.

5. Georgia Bulldogs, SEC, Athens, Ga.

6. JMU Dukes, Colonial Athletic, Harrisonburg, Va.

7. Loyola (Md.) Greyhounds, Metro Atlantic, Baltimore, Md.

8. Marist Red Foxes, Metro Atlantic, Poughkeepsie, NY

9. Nevada Wolf Pack, Western Atletic, Reno, Nev.

10. North Carolina State Wolfpack, ACC, Raleigh, NC

11. Southern Illinois Salukis, Missouri Valley, Carbondale, Ill.

12. Washington Huskies, PAC-12, Seattle, Wash.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Colleges Nicknames List: Smart Schools

Since the Harvard University men's basketball team has been enjoying an exceptional season, thanks in part to Brandyn Curry from Huntersville, NC, we thought we'd dedicate an entire list to smart schools and their nicknames.

I thought about jokingly adding my own alma mater Radford University, located in Radford, Va., but that seemed like a conflict of interests_ not that bloggers actually care about these things. But, one of the schools listed here the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT, and yes, they are in the Great West Conference?!), happens to also have RU's nickname, which is Highlanders.

Here is the list, in addition to Harvard, Duke and Vanderbilt are assured of being in the NCAA tournament while Northwestern is a bubble team:

1. American University Eagles. Patriot League. Washignton, DC.

2. Cal-Poly Mustangs. Big West. Ponoma, Calif.

3. Colorado Buffaloes. Pac-12. Boulder, Colo.

4. Cornell Big Red. Ivy. Ithaca, NY.

5. Duke Bluedevils. ACC. Durham, NC.

6. Harvard Crimson. Ivy. Cambridge, Mass.

7. NJIT Highlanders. Great West. Newark, NJ.

8. Northwestern Wildcats. Big 10. Evanston, Ill.

9. Stanford Cardinal. Pac-12. Palo Alto, Calif.

10. Vanderbilt Commodores. SEC. Nashville, Tenn.

11. Wake Forest Demon Deacons. ACC. Winston-Salem, NC

12. William and Mary Tribe. Colonial Athletic. Williamsburg, Va.

College Schools Nicknames- More Angry Birds

On our other blog, in honor of March Madness (for those of you in Latvia and Peru this is the time of year when American college basketball teams try to win both their conference and national tournament), we are dedicating an entry to teams with fowl nicknames since we are more or less addicted to the video game/computer app Angry Birds. as are 2.4 billion people around the world.

Not all of these teams are going to the NCAA tournament, which will have pairings announced on Sunday, but both the Kansas Jayhawks and the Temple Owls (pictured here) are going to be in the tournament. In fact, Kansas may get a number one seed.

The other school pictured here is the Southern Utah Thunderbirds which have a fairly competitive women's gymnastics program.

Here are the teams; there are three schools from Ohio on the list:

1. Elon Phoenix, Big South, Elon, NC.

2. Hartford Hawks, American East, Hartford, Conn.

3. Jacksonville State Gamecocks, Ohio Valley, Jacksonville, Ala.

4. Kansas Jayhwaks. Big 12. Lawrence, Kan.

5. Kent State Golden Flashes, Mid-America Conference, Kent, Ohio.

6. Loyola (Ca.) Lions. West Coast Conference. Los Angeles, Calif.

7. Miami (Ohio) Redhawks. Mid-America Conference. Oxford, Ohio.

8. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. Summit League. Tulsa, Okl.

9. Southern Utah Thunderbirds. Summit League. Cedar City, Utah.

10. Temple Owls. Atlantic-10. Philadelphia, Pa.

11. Winthrop Eagles. Big South. Rock Hill, SC.

12. Youngstown State Penguins, Horizon, Youngstown, Ohio.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Bruce Jenner

This month in honor of the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympics in London, we are quoting American Olympic medal winners with an emphasis on gold medal winners.

On our other blog "The Daily Vampire," we quoted Alicia Sacramone, 24, a silver medalist and former Brown University gymnast over Mary Lou Retton, who won two gold medals in women's gymnastics the year that Sacramone was born...oh well!

Here, we are quipping Bruce Jenner, 62, who won a gold medal in the decathlon during the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Jenner may have become a forgotten seventies star, like Marie Osmond, but he happens to be the step-father of Kim Kardashian and her sisters: Kim and Khloe.

Here is his quote:

"First of all, I try to be a positive role model."

Both Jenner and Retton appeared on Wheaties cereal boxes after winning their respective gold medals.

SIDEBAR: We had prematurely said that the men's basketball team from Harvard was the Ivy League champion yesterday. But, now we can say that as Princeton downed Penn 62-52. If Penn had won the game, they would have played Harvard in a one-game playoff for the league title.

Quote of the Day/Week- George McGovern

Hmmm...for some reason, we are seemingly popular in Iraq and Slovenia these days.

Today, we start our series on quotes of men who couldn't quite become king as we profile and quip men who lost the presidency of the United States.

On our sister blog "The Daily Vampire," we quoted Bob Dole, 88, the Republican nominee who lost the presidency in 1996 to Bill Clinton.

Here, we quote George McGovern, 89, the Democratic nominee who lost the presidency to Richard Nixon in 1972. McGovern is the oldest man to have either run for or become president. He edges out Dole as well presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, who are both 86.

McGovern is also considered to be the most progressive candidate to have run for president in the modern era, though some may argue that Al Gore, known for his environmental politics, is more liberal. Ironically, McGovern represented South Dakota, a conservative state in the U.S. Senate.

This quote reflects McGovern's strong opposition to the Vietnam War:

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

CLARIFICATION: Apparently, the Harvard men's basketball team is not on their way to the NCAAs quite yet. Apparently, the Penn Quakers can tie for first place with a win over Princeton tonight and force a one-game playoff. The Ivy League is the one remaining conference in NCAA Division-I basketball without a conference tournament.

Yesterday, Virginia Commonwealth, Loyola (Md.) and Davidson were among the teams to win their respective tourneys.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Ethan Hawke

Today, since we were all born in 1970 here, we are going to quote famous people born that year. On our other blog "The Daily Vampire," we quoted Uma Thurman, so to be 'fair and balanced,' we are quoting her ex-husband the actor, singer, novelist Ethan Hawke, who will turn 42 on Nov. 6. Thurman turns 42 on April 29.

Here is his quote:

"Memory is a wonderful think if you don't deal with the past."

SIDEBAR ONE: Kudos to the Harvard Crimson men's basketball team as they won the Ivy League title by beating Cornell on the road in Ithaca, NY, 67-63 to capture the crown.

The Crimson (26-4) won over the Big Red thanks to Oliver McNally who scored 17 points, and Brandyn Curry, a junior from Huntersville, NC, who added 12 points, including three 3-point shots.

SIDEBAR TWO: Yes, English soccer games can air pretty darn early here in the United States. So, in case you didn't get up at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday to watch the match either, I thought I would mention that Arsenal won over rival Liverpool 2-1.

For the winning side, both goals came from Dutch superstar Robin van Persie (31st, 92nd mins.) and for Liverpool the lone goal came from French player Laurent Koscielny.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Silly Image to Fill Space- Birthday Cat

Yes, since today is my 42nd birthday, I thought I would post a birthday image. As I rudely found out several years ago, for some reason, it is quite difficult to 'borrow' birthday cake images as they are popular clip art images which are apparently highly sought after.

So, we have this cat instead....oh well!

Sidebar: The answer to our Rabbit Ears Quiz from last week is B) Ben Jones served two years in Congress.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

From the Record Collection (8 of 8)_ The Psychedelic Furs

We conclude our series on records from the vinyl collection with the debut record "The Psychedelic Furs" (1980) from the band of the same name.

Like all things Psychedelic Furs, the record is quite surreal and it focuses on the arbitrary of shallowness based on looks and fashion in society. Though songs which were released on later records, such as "Pretty in Pink" and "Ghost in You," perfected these themes, their roots can be found on this record in songs, such as "We Love You," "Soap Commercial" and "Imitation of Christ."

The lone single from the record is "Sister Europe," the second song on side one, which is an edgy song that pays homage to the Velvet Underground and David Bowie.

The band had a loyal following, but like many of the artsy new wave bands, such as The Smiths and The Cure, as opposed to the commercial new wave bands like The Thompson Twins and Men at Work, there were not many 'hits' for the Furs. In fact, "Heartbreak Beat" (1987) was the band's only top 40 hit in America.

Much of the band's legacy can be credited to the success of the song "Pretty in Pink," which became the title of a 1986 John Hughes comedy about the difficulties and awkwardness of teen life. The movie starred Molly Ringwald, who was the leading lady for many Hughes films of the '80s, including "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles," which have surprisingly found followings with teenagers of today's generation.

The members of the band include lead singer Richard Butler, who is known for his raspy vocals, and his brother Tim Butler, who plays bass guitar. The band is also set to go on a North American tour. It kicks off at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Va., near Washington, DC, on St. Patrick's Day.

Friday, March 2, 2012

From the Record Collection (7 of 8) Devo "Freedom of Choice"

Today, we feature the third studio album from the Akron, Ohio-based punk band Devo, which is "Freedom of Choice."

The record features the band's signature song "Whip It," which features a video with the band wearing hats that look like flower pots. Amazingly enough, Devo, a band known for covering songs of other bands ("I Can't Get No Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones; "Gotta Serve Somebody" by Bob Dylan), were covered by Pearl Jam when they performed "Whip It" on stage complete with the flower pot hats and the yellow raincoats, that Devo is known for.

They Might Be Giants also covered the song "Through Being Cool," which is not on "Freedom of Choice."

The members of Devo are two sets of brothers, Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, and Gerald and Bob Casale. It may seem startling today, but the industrial city of Akron, Ohio, was a thriving place for New Wave punk bands, including Devo, in the 1980s.

One of the other famous bands from the area during this era was The Waitresses, which is best-known for the holiday punk classic "Christmas Wrapping."

Chrissie Hynde, the lead singer of The Pretenders, is also from Akron and has even lived there in recent years though her band actually formed in London where Hynde was living abroad in the late '70s.

The name Devo comes from the term 'de-evolution,' which states that man is regressing back to the caveman years rather than moving forward.

Among the catchy tunes on "Freedom of Choice" are "Girl U Want," which is about how difficult it is to really be with the girl you want and the title track which is about the contradiction between rigid American conformity and the possibilities one should have in a free society. The song is made more ironic because it came out the same year that Ronald Reagan, arguably the poster boy for modern political conservatism in America, was elected president.

The album was recorded at Record Plant in Los Angeles, and produced by Robert Margouleff, who had produced many Stevie Wonder records.

In 2009, Devo re-released both "The Freedom of Choice" and their debut record "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo" and toured performing both albums in their respective entirety.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sports Desk- Utah Edges Stanford in Women's Gymnastics

Senior Kyndal Robarts scored individual victories on the vault beam helping the Utes win its home meet over Pac-12 rival Stanford 196.3-196.1. Robarts had a career-high 9.975 on vault, a 9.875 on beam and a 9.80 on floor.

Robarts was also awarded with the Special Performance of the Week for the Pac-12 Conference; she became the third Utes awarded with that title this season.

Her teammates senior Cortni Beers and sophomore Corrie Lothrop are the other Utes gymnast who won the honor.

In a vastly different part of the country in Ithaca, NY, on the campus of Cornell University, the home team Big Red finished second to the Penn Quakers at the Ivy League classic over the weekend. The other two Ivy schools with women's gymnastics programs Brown and Yale, finished third and fourth respectively.

Tiffany Chen of Cornell won the Ivy title on vault. The Big red scored a 191.85, the team's highest score of the year.

For the Quakers, senior Laura DiPaolo helped pave the way to victory with a 9.725 on vault, and her freshman teammate Amber Woo scored a 9.725 on beam.

The scores for the visiting teams were: Penn (192.65), Brown (191.075) and Yale (190.725).