Happy Halloween: Vampire electronics and sports

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Early this morning amidst the dense fog, I saw a woman dressed as a ladybug, with curved orange wings and all, riding a bicycle on her way to work/school. It was a surreal moment.

Vampire electronics in standby mode Here’s a Halloween concept for you: “vampire electronics.” This refers to all of your plugged-in appliances and entertainment devices consuming little bits of energy constantly when not in use, and ultimately adding up over time. Yes, all of these electronics on standby are sucking money through the walls with their little prongs, a couple of watts at a time.

Yesterday’s AP story, “Some ‘Vampires’ Prefer Energy Over Blood,” states: “The latest estimates show 5 percent of electricity used in the United States goes to standby power, a phenomenon energy efficiency experts find all the more terrifying as energy prices rise and the planet warms. That amounts to about $4 billion a year.”

While not surprising, the total is impressive and a bit depressing. And it will continue to get worse, unless strict regulations on standby power consumption are implemented nationwide. For additional reading, see this CNN article from 2006: “Putting a stake through vampire electronics.”

Let’s move on to sports. Here’s a brief sports wrap-up: The Boston Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series this weekend, winning their eighth consecutive World Series game and claiming their second championship since 2004 (Bill Simmons shares his thoughts). Boston Red Sox: Jonathan Papelbon (AP) The 2007-08 NBA season began last night. This could be quite the year for Boston sports. The Red Sox just won the World Series, the juggernaut New England Patriots at 8-0 are the likeliest candidate to win the Super Bowl, and the rejuvenated Boston Celtics should be a strong contender in the NBA Playoffs next year.

One of the greatest endings to a college football game happened Saturday night. Check out the video: Trinity (TX) Laterals Their Way to Division III Win. With 0:02 on the clock, this 15-lateral play involved seven players and took exactly one minute to run. The resulting 68-yard touchdown gave the visiting Trinity Tigers a 28-24 win over the Millsaps Majors. If that play had been a movie it might have been called The Miracle in Mississippi. You could also set it to music and refer to it as Lateralpalooza. OK, that’s pretty lame. Let Pat Forde break it down for you: “How To Work A Miracle In 15 Steps.”

Also see these related football “miracle” videos on YouTube: the Music City Miracle from the 2000 NFL Playoffs (Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans), the top five Best Damn Greatest Touchdowns (includes Magic Flutie, The Play, The Immaculate Reception, Music City Miracle, and The Catch), and this amazing Plano East-John Tyler high school football game from 1994 (with three successful onside kick recoveries!).

Check out which college football teams are cumulatively most overrated/underrated since 1989. Washington State and Oregon are the most underrated. Notre Dame (1-7 so far this year) is by far the most overrated.

Ethan Albright Here’s a hilarious rant from the Phat Phree daily humor magazine: “Ethan Albright Strikes Back” by Juan Turlington, regarding Albright of the Washington Redskins being the worst rated player on EA’s Madden ‘07 football game. It’s written as if a pissed-off Ethan Albright is writing to John Madden himself. Great stuff.

And here’s a really funny transcript and audio recording, in video format on YouTube, of a telemarketer calling comedian Tom Mabe (of Revenge on the Telemarketers). Tom is able to convince the telemarketer that he has been implicated in a murder investigation. It’s so much fun to mess with telemarketers!

Want more Niggy Tardust information? Read this New York Magazine article: “Trent Reznor and Saul Williams Discuss Their New Collaboration, Mourn OiNK.” Here’s a quote from Trent Reznor about the current void in digital music retailing:

iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don’t feel cool when I go there. I’m tired of seeing John Mayer’s face pop up. I feel like I’m being hustled when I visit there, and I don’t think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc. Amazon has potential, but none of them get around the issue of pre-release leaks. And that’s what’s such a difficult puzzle at the moment.

So, Happy Haunting . . . or whatever.

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