Monthly Archives: January 2008

Hurry up and watch this…

Pax Arcana

…before ESPN has it yanked from the YouTube.

Thanks, Deadspin.

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Have you seen this man?

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Speaking of domestic violence, the rakish gentleman pictured above is wanted for just that. (Hat tip: Boing Boing)

His name is Robert Morin, and he hails from Father Scott’s old stomping grounds of Lewiston, Maine — proving once again that you DO NOT drink water from the tap in Lewiston.

Anyway, let’s hope police catch him before he jumps back into the Bugs Bunny cartoon from which he escaped.

The Smoking Gun [Official Site]


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Your wife probably won’t get smacked on Super Bowl Sunday

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kickedinballs.jpg does the grunt work of dispelling a common Super Bowl-era myth: That domestic violence calls skyrocket on America’s best-attended holiday.

Turns out, the myth started in 1993, when a coalition of women’s groups organized a conference call with reporters to relay anecdotal evidence and supposed survey data that shelters saw escalations in domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday, often by 40%. In the next few weeks, newspaper after newspaper, including the Boston Globe and New York Times, ran with it.

Only one reporter, Ken Ringle of the Washington Post, bothered to check the facts. He found the author of the academic study cited during the conference call, who told him the groups had things mixed up. He also contacted a professor who’d been quoted as saying Super Bowl Sunday is the “one day of the year” when phone lines light up at domestic violence organizations. He said he was misquoted.

Ringle contacted the Globe reporter, Linda Gorov, who admitted she hadn’t read the study she summarized in her story, but pointed her to other people who had told her. None of those people could verify the information, including a Denver psychologist who appeared on “Good Morning America” the day after the news conference to discuss the phenomenon.

In the end, there was almost no evidence whatsoever that domestic abuse rises on Super Bowl Sunday, but by that point the meme was out there. If you look closely, you can still see it pop its head up once in a while. When you do, smack it (but not your wife).

Super Bull Sunday [Snopes]

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Where were you when the Mooninites invaded Boston?

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Today marks the one-year anniversary of the great Mooninite invasion of 2007, in which Boston city officials and law enforcement types completely freaked the hell out over some vaguely electronic-looking doo-dads hanging from bridges and lightposts in some parts of the city.

No one can criticize the BPD for taking all threats seriously, but it was a little much when they rolled tanks in front of Fenway Park and called in a fleet of Apache helicopters to guard the Statehouse. Arabic-looking men, mostly Greek, were gunned down where they stood. Across the city, cell phones were detonated by teams of BPD artillery goons.

All because a few people saw this, and wet their pants:


Making matters worse, the two a-holes responsible for the lite-brite scare acted like a pair of 14-year-old delinquents when they were arrested for the stunt (which was actually a promotion for the Cartoon Network show Aqua Teen Hunger Force). Soon the mayor was calling for their heads and threatening to sue TBS, which owns the CN.

The mayor and his big-wig goons in statewide law enforcement refused to back down over the next few weeks, making Boston look more and more like a town full of fraidy-cat dandies presided over by a deranged mongoloid and a cadre of trigger-happy brownshirts. On the Internet, T-shirts reading “1/31/07 Never Forget” were all the rage.

Fun times, all around. I blame Giuliani, of course.

Never Forget: First Anniversary of Aqua Teen Day [Bostonist]



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Joe Andruzzi fighting cancer

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Here’s something Giants fans and Pats fans can wish for together: A speedy recovery for former Patriot Joe Andruzzi, a native New Yorker with three brothers in the New York Fire Department.


SI’s Tim Layden reports that Andruzzi has an aggressive type of lymphoma that moves so quickly it can double in mass in just 24 hours. Andruzzi recently finished treatment for the cancer and is just hoping for the best:

He spent nearly the entire summer as an inpatient at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. The chemo took his hair, his weight (he lost more than 40 pounds) and his energy. He was known as one of the toughest people in the Patriots’ locker room, making the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Division II Southern Connecticut State and enduring multiple surgeries in addition to the relentless physical work performed by offensive linemen. Yet now he says, “I went to 10 training camps in the NFL. I’d rather go to any training camp than what I went through last summer.”

He’ll be at the Super Bowl.

Fight of his life [SI]

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Viral marketing hipsters will soon have to find new ways to (not) work

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Via Gawker, here’s a great, big, long article in Fast Company that wends its way through the ample and clever brain of Duncan Watts — former Columbia University professor and current Yahoo! research analyst — before returning to square one with a very simple argument: Malcolm Gladwell is full of shit.

You may remember Gladwell as the afro-licious author of The Tipping Point, a fascinating book that promoted the idea that small groups of influential people could trigger vast cultural trends. For example, Gladwell cites the Hush Puppies craze of the mid-1990s, the roots of which he traced back to a small handful of hipsters who started wearing them for their ironic value in 1994 — triggering a 5,000% increase in sales for the moribund company.

“Hey man. Can we interest you in some totally rad consumer products?”

The book was an instant success among business and marketing types, who saw it as a field guide for starting product-based trends. Like that time that one guy from Broken Social Scene sported the Pax Arcana Tag Cloud T-shirt on stage at SXSW, which triggered a flood of orders to the official Pax Arcana Store.

Watts begs to differ:

“It just doesn’t work,” Watts says, when I meet him at his gray cubicle at Yahoo Research in midtown Manhattan, which is unadorned except for a whiteboard crammed with equations. “A rare bunch of cool people just don’t have that power. And when you test the way marketers say the world works, it falls apart. There’s no there there.”

More after the jump.

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Pax Arcana 

F**K YES!!

From USA Today:

The New York Mets have agreed to a trade for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, giving up four prospects to acquire the left-handed ace of the Minnesota Twins, according to two high-ranking Twins officials with knowledge of the talks and a person close to Santana.

Imagine, if you will, Johan Santana on the mound in a playoff game, backed by David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, and the remnants of Shawn Green.

This deal is either the ultimate overspend (terms haven’t been released) or the puzzle piece that puts the Mets back on the road to glory. I’ll tell you which one next November.


Twins agree to deal Santana to Mets for prospects [USA Today]


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