Archive for November, 2016

Ross Countians, what is the first thing that comes to mind when you see this photo?

[click photo to enlarge]

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Love it.

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This unusual little bro goes where most toads fear to tread, living in a variety of habitats, including arid desert areas. W-h-a-a-a-a-t? It survives the dry heat by taking up another odd and unusual habit: burrowing. W-h-a-a-a-t again? The toad’s namesake “spades”—the hard protrusions on the animal’s hind feet—help it dig a path into the sand where it can spend weeks at a time underground between rains. That’s diabolical and smart, man. And get this – even the tadpoles can bury themselves for protection. Spadefoot Toads are sometimes referred to as “explosive breeders,” which I’m not touching with a 10-foot, uh, pole. Anyhoo, Great Basin Spadefoot Toad.

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So Rolling Stone magazine released their top albums of 2016, which is always an interesting read. It also makes me feel incredibly disconnected to modern music. You know, back in the day I’d peruse this list and would inevitably own at least half of them. Today? Not so much. That said, I shall now peruse said list and add my comments to each. Let us proceed . . .

1. “Lemonade” – Beyonce’

  • Nope. Couldn’t name one song. Not into her. Sorry Beyhive.

2. “Blackstar” – David Bowie

  • Listen, I love Bowie. However, you know the single most important thing an artist needs to do to have critics like them? Die.

3. “Coloring Book” – Chance the Rapper

  • Who?

4. “Teens of Denial” – Car Seat Headrest

  • I’ve heard a couple songs from this “hot new alt band.” Not impressed.

5. “Blonde” – Frank Ocean

  • Any relation to Billy? Caribbean Queen? Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Car? Nothing? OK.

6. “A Moon Shaped Pool” – Radiohead

  • Wait. Radiohead made an album?

7. “Blue and Lonesome” – Rolling Stones

  • Wait. The Rolling Stones are still alive?

8. “The Life of Pablo” – Kanye West

  • Not my cup of tea. And his music would have to be really, really good to overcome his abhorrent, narcissistic behavior.

9. “You Want It Darker” – Leonard Cohen

  • Cohen has always been a critic’s darling. I can take it or leave it.

10. “Jeffrey” – Young Thug

  • Who?

11. “A Seat at the Table” – Solange

  • Who?

12. “Stranger to Stranger” – Paul Simon

  • Listen, I know I may hold a grudge a little too long, but I haven’t liked Paul Simon since he said, “The world is waiting for two reunions. Simon and Garfunkel and The Beatles.” He said it in 1977 and it still makes me cringe that he compared the two.

13. “Hero” – Maren Morris

  • Who?

14. “Revolution” – Green Day

  • Hey, I love Green Day. Always have. And this album is pretty much what we’ve been getting from the last 3-4 albums. Good stuff.

15. “Return to Love” – Lvl Up

  • Who?

16. “The Weight of These Wings” – Miranda Lambert

  • I like Miranda Lambert. I think she’s really good and from what I’ve heard of it this is a good album.

17. “Human Performance” – Parquet Courts

  • Who?

18. “I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It” The 1975

  • I love The 1975. They remind me of MGMT which is a good thing. And that title is stellar.

19. “Atrocity Exhibition” – Danny Brown

  • Who?

20. “Skeleton Tree” – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

  • Meh. Never been a huge fan. They’ve always been a little too arrogant and self-important to me.

Oh, and did you know that Elton John and The Monkees both released new albums this year? It’s true, man. Who knew? Guess I need to pay more attention?

So yesterday we learned that, for the first time, more 18-34 year olds are living with their parents than not. Disgusting. And now, this:

[WSJ] – In the last several years, there’s been growing alarm over the fact millennials-welcome-to-life-that-participation-trophy-you-would-get-as-a-kid-it-doesn39t-work-here-meme-35512-2that many young people can no longer perform basic skills. In fact, one survey goes so far as to say that there are 20 basic skills – ranging from reading a map, looking something up in a book, spelling, grammar, handling money and handwriting – that are in danger of extinction in some of the developed parts of the world.

According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, this is becoming such a problem in the West that a couple of enterprising individuals created a business to pass these skills on to the next generation. Known as “The Adulting School,” the business aims to teach young people how to handle basic financial matters, simple household management, and other things one needs to live a successful adult life.

While it sounds humorous, it’s also rather tragic at the same time. How in the world did we end up with a generation of incapable adults?

Well, listen up wall Street Journal. I’ll tell you exactly how we ended up with a generation of incapable adults:

It’s their mommy and daddy’s fault.

Consider this – Parents have been taught that saying “no” to their child could permanently damage that child’s self-esteem. They’ve leaped in to “save” their child from any form of adversity, be it from a teacher, coach or neighborhood bully, rather than letting the child deal with the problem themselves.

They’ve also given them allowances and provided them with all the money they want, but never taught them to effectively earn and wisely manage that same money.

Parents also, for reasons unknown to me, feel their child should always be entertained. Because of this they involve them in every activity under the sun, from play dates to showering them with toys and computer games, but neglect to keep them involved in other ways like, you know, chores and stuff.

For you millennials, I know it’s a foreign concept but “chores” are activities like mowing the yard, taking out the trash, cleaning your room, barbaric stuff like that. Some kids even used to have to prepare their own plate at dinner! Gasp!

Honestly, young adults should not have to be taking an “Adulting Class” in order to learn the basic skills of life. Good grief. They should already have learned them from their parents as they grew up.

Really, shouldn’t kid’s lives revolve around their parents and not vice versa? Shouldn’t the ultimate goal of every parent be to raise a child that will someday, sooner than later, be prepared to exist on their own, independently?

Sadly, until parenting changes and children realize they’re not the center of the universe we’ll never see another generation of capable, responsible young adults.

Until then, there’s always Adulting Classes!

PS – Just talking about modern parenting in general, there are some amazing exceptions of course. But seriously, “Adulting Classes”?

Fo sho.

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Perhaps in another dimension this is the way it looks.

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Reminds me of my grandparents.

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Check out that Yellow-Bellied Marmot, just chillin’ on a rock. Honestly, that marmot looks like a Groundhog to me. It is sometimes referred to as a “Whistle Pig” because of the high-pitched noises it makes to warn others in its clan of possible predators. Weird, because that’s what we called Groundhogs when I was a kid. The Marmot lives in burrows that vary from 3 to 23-feet deep, and because it hibernates for a solid eight months a year, it can spend roughly 80% of its life underground, sorta like my friend Nicky from Freehold, Jersey. Anyhoo, Yellow-Bellied Marmot.

PS – Then again, maybe that’s a Woodchuck. I’m so confused.

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Somehow, I’d never read this quote from Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon found a dog beside the body of his dead master, licking his face and howling, on a moonlit field after a battle. He was haunted by this scene until his own death. Here’s the quote:

“This soldier, I realized, must have had friends at home and in his regiment; yet he lay there deserted by all except his dog. I looked on, unmoved, at battles which decided the future of nations. Tearless, I had given orders which brought death to thousands. Yet here I was stirred, profoundly stirred, stirred to tears. And by what? By the grief of one dog.”

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If you’re not following this guy you’re missing out. Just owns Twitter.

CNBC: For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most yahoo-boomerangcommon arrangement for people ages 18 to 34, an analysis of census data by the Pew Research Center has found.

To that point, about 33% of all millennials live with their parents, slightly more than the proportion who live with a spouse or partner. It’s the first time that living at home has outpaced living with a spouse for this age group since such record-keeping began in 1880.

See what you’ve done, parents? You’ve babied, spoiled, and enabled your kids to the point that they’re sponging off of you until they’re nearing middle-age. I swear to God I hope they eat you out of house and home.

And how do these people date? What do you do after dinner, take your girl back for a nightcap with mom and dad? I can imagine the conversation as you pull in the driveway:

“Ooh, nice place you have here, Seth. How long have you lived here?”

“Uh, 34-years actually.”

Hey, when I was younger anyone living with their parents past the age of 25 was ridiculed, mocked, scorned and possibly spat upon.

Is it that hard to raise a kid that grows into a strong, independent, self-reliant person by the age of 21?

Grow up America!

Samoset was the first Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. On March 16, 1621, the settlers were shocked when Samoset strolled straight through the middle of the encampment at Plymouth Colony and greeted them in English, which he had learned from English fishermen frequenting the local waters.

 

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Wild map, man.

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Look at those Burrowing Owls, man. Just cute like you read about. One of the smallest owls on the continent, this little dude lives in burrows that other animals such as prairie dogs and skunks have already excavated (though it will sometimes dig its own). Unlike other owls, these birds are diurnal, meaning that they are active during the daytime rather than at night. Burrowing Owls just goin’ against the grain like a boss, man. And check this out – this bro has unusually long legs that help him raise up for a better view from where he perches on the ground. That’s cool. Anyhoo, Burrowing Owl.

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The first player I can remember doing the “Heisman Pose” was Desmond Howard back in 1991 against the Buckeyes. In the years since couple others have tried, and like Howard they totally screwed it up. Let’s take a look:

Here’s the aforementioned Desmond Howard. Cute but incorrect.

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Here’s Patrick Peterson giving a good but ultimately mistaken effort.

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 Next up is USC’s Adoree’ Jackson from yesterday with what can only be described as an awful attempt. Dude looks constipated or something.

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Why are these wrong, you ask? Because they’re not posing like the Heisman Trophy. Not even close. As you can see, the back leg is bent and the front foot is firmly on the ground, unlike the nitwit pea brains I’ve shown.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: The Heisman Trophy, on December 11, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: Photographer approval needed for all Commercial License requests. (Photo by Kelly Kline/Heisman Trophy Trust via Getty Images)

And so I ask again, why can’t anyone get the “Heisman Pose” right?

Yep. Hippos surfing. On a related note, The Surfing Hippos would be a stellar band name.

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Check out the Javelina, man. It looks like a cross between a hog and an aardvark, but the Javelina is actually neither. These southwestern mammals are more technically known as Collared Peccaries, though they are also sometimes called Musk Hogs or Skunk Pigs, which is just rude. They’re called that due to the strong scent glands they use to mark their territories. The Javelina defends itself with its long tusks, and get this – their tusks sharpen every time the Javelina closes its mouth. That’s not only diabolical but it’s nature doin’ its thing big-time. When threatened, the Javelina will rub its tusks together to make a chattering noise. Herds of javelina can sometimes be a nuisance in suburban areas, feeding on garbage and garden plants, but for the most part they ignore humans. Thank God for that, huh? Anyhoo, Javelina.

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Manifest Destiny: The 19th-century doctrine or belief that the expansion of the US throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable.

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Man, Jackie was smokin’, wasn’t she? For you youngsters out there, this lady was the wife of President John F. Kennedy. Here she is in 1970 at the age of 41 in New York City. Stunning.

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Big Nick Lowe fan here. I’ve got all his stuff from the beginning. Love him.

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Truth.

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A photographer named Kevin Carter took this photo. In 1993 he flew to Sudan to photograph the famine racking that land. Exhausted after a day of taking pictures in the village of Ayod, he headed out into the open bush. There he heard whimpering and came across an emaciated toddler who had collapsed on the way to a feeding center. As he took the child’s picture, a vulture landed nearby. Carter had reportedly been advised not to touch the victims because of disease, so instead of helping, he spent 20-minutes waiting. Finally Carter scared the creature away and watched as the child continued toward the center. He then lit a cigarette, prayed, and wept. The New York Times ran the photo, and readers were eager to find out what happened to the child—and to criticize Carter for not coming to his subject’s aid. His image quickly became a wrenching case study in the debate over when photographers should intervene. Subsequent research seemed to reveal that the child did survive yet died 14-years later from malarial fever. Carter won a Pulitzer for his image, but the darkness of that bright day never lifted from him. In July 1994 he took his own life, writing, “I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings & corpses & anger and pain.” Man that’s sad.

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Sure.

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Bill Belichick, man. Rarely do you see him open up and show emotion like this. Really shows a human side to the guy. Some doofus reporter asked coach a question about the notorious “butt fumble” from a few years ago and Bill couldn’t control his emotions, just became all excitable like you read about. God bless old Bill for opening up for once. Check it out:

Heartwarming really.

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