March 25, 2012

James Cameron is a crazy bastard

James Cameron, better known as the best director in the world with the worst director commentaries on DVDs, will be taking himself to new depths. The crazy, rich and smug SOB is diving into the Mariana Trench which is the known deepest part of our earth's oceans. I'm sure we'll never hear the end about this from him...

Cameron is traveling by himself in a one-man submarine called the Deepsea Challenger. The tiny vessel — Cameron calls it a "vertical torpedo" — can withstand the incredible pressure of the deep sea. So, is the king of the world nuts or just curious? Perhaps both, but allow him to explain.

CAMERON QUOTE: I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction at a time when people where living a science fiction reality. People were going to the Moon, and Cousteau was exploring the ocean. And that's what I grew up with, what I valued from my childhood.

Doesn't this sound like the stupidest idea ever? Something tells me Cameron isn't a lifetime sub captain, nor is he a scientist. He directs campy sci-fi movies. Why not save the spot in the sub for some marine biologist that could do some good because that's what they're trained to do?

The only other time someone dived to the bottom of the Mariana Trench was in 1960. That was Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard and Navy Lt. Don Walsh. They used the Bathyscaphe Trieste, which was designed for the dive but still had some serious issues.

The descent to the ocean floor took 4 hours and 48 minutes at a descent rate of 0.9 metres per second (3.0 ft/s).After passing 9,000 meters one of the outer Plexiglas window panes cracked, shaking the entire vessel. The two men spent barely twenty minutes at the ocean floor, eating chocolate bars for sustenance. The temperature in the cabin was 7°C (45°F) at the time. While on the bottom at maximum depth, Piccard and Walsh unexpectedly regained the ability to communicate with the surface ship, USS Wandank (ATA-204), using a sonar/hydrophone voice communications system.[6] At a speed of almost a mile per second (about five times the speed of sound in air), it took about seven seconds for a voice message to travel from the craft to the surface ship and another seven seconds for answers to return.

He may never do another commentary talking about how facehuggers relate to the Vietnam War somehow.

March 24, 2012

There goes my diet

America keeps finding new ways to make it fatter. I mean Taco Bell comes out with the Doritos taco, Burger King comes out with beef patties bigger than my head and IHOP keeps piling on the hash browns. However all of that pales compares to the insane menu item that the Texas Rangers are serving up for their fans. Ye gods...

For $26, fans at the new Captain Morgan Club in center field and at several concession stands at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington can attempt to clog arteries with not only the large dog, but a slew of toppings.

By the time you add shredded cheese, chili, sautéed onions and fries, the entire plate could weigh two pounds. And it's likely to add more than that to your waist line.

"I don't know how many calories are in this thing, but it's got to be 2,000 or 3,000," said Casey Rapp, operations manager for Sportsservice, which handles concessions at the park.

I think if you finish this thing you should be celebrated like a national hero... before you keel over with a heart attack.

March 22, 2012

Mariners Commercial: Impressions

I'm glad Ichiro could clear things up...

March 21, 2012

Tebow to the Jets doesn't make sense

But what do I know about football? I thought Peyton Manning was heading to Seattle.

With Tim Tebow going to New York, the Jets have invited a QB controversy because current young QB Mark Sanchez sucked it up big time last season. When you're trying to bring along a young QB and help him develope... bringing another young QB that has a huge fanbase and tons of buzz around him isn't exactly a vote of confidence.

Now it has been said that Tebow will be a backup quarterback. That seems a bit odd. Why? Because Tebow became effective last season because the Broncos built their offense around him. If he comes in to relieve an injured Mark Sanchez (or after the Jets pulled him after throwing four picks), you can probably expect the same 8 for 20 passing with 30 yards.

Unless of course he makes big strides with his conventional quarterback skills.

He worked for the Broncos because they used with his skill set, and their defense kept them in games. Players on the offense knew what to expect from Tebow as their quarterback but Jets players wont be as lucky if he comes in during a pinch. Maybe it would work if they throw Tebow out there in certain packages to mix things up, throwing kind of a curveball at the other team.

However... look at the division. When Tebow played for the Broncos, he was competing against the ultimate crap sandwich of the AFC West. While the Jets aren't a bad team, Tebow has to do his thing against the Pats (Who destroyed Denver 45-10 last year in the playoffs), the getting-better Buffalo Bills and the always feisty Miami Dolphins. It's one of the best divisions in football.

Also look at Tebow's fans, and the incredibly fickle New York fanbase. If Sanchez starts to suck, which he probably will, then watch out. Remember how the Orton thing went down in Denver? You're going to have that in New York times ten. Is that a headache you want to put on the team?

Now Tebow reportedly had another option, going to Jacksonville. There were conflicting reports, the Broncos made it sound like they were going to let him choose. When he was traded to the Jets, Tebow said it wasn't his choice. I'd imagine the final call rests in Denver's hands because they're moving assets and would go for the best deal, but you'd think Tebow would be pushing to return to Florida.

All their fans would have Gator flashbacks, there would be low expectations and Tebow wouldn't be in that weird backup role. The Jags could build their offense around Tebow and sell a bunch of season tickets because of it. Seems like the perfect match and would perhaps be the thing that saves the NFL in Jacksonville.

But I guess it's not to be.

There's another weird wrinkle. If Tebow is going to New York to be a backup (Tebow claims to be friends with Sanchez and he's excited to be teammates with him)... why not just stay in Denver and be Manning's backup? You could still bring him on the field to throw a curve ball and he could work on his game from one era's best quarterbacks. Maybe Manning and Tebow don't get along? It just seems staying putt might have been the best thing for Tebow. Or going to Jacksonville.

But New York? That's a Hornets Nest.

This move doesn't make sense, but then again I'm the guy that expected Manning to be wearing a Seahawks jersey by now.

March 18, 2012

David Estrada is pretty freakin' awesome

David Estrada scored a hat trick last night in the Seattle Sounder's 3-1 victory over Toronto FC to open the MLS season. Hat tricks in soccer don't happen very often so I'm just going to brag and brag and brag about this one. In fact, I made a poster...

March 14, 2012

Discovery fires Bear Grylls

This might be the dumbest thing Discovery Channel has ever done.

Survival expert-turned-TV adventurer Bear Grylls has been dumped as the host of the Discovery Channel’s hit show “Man vs. Wild.”

Executives have terminated the Brit’s contract after he reportedly failed to honor his commitments to the network.

A source tells The Hollywood Reporter, “Due to a continuing contractual dispute with Bear LinkGrylls, Discovery has terminated all current productions with him.”

Reports suggest Grylls upset TV bosses when he refused to participate in two mystery projects he was contracted for.

The adventurer’s “Man vs. Wild” series became an instant hit when it debuted on Discovery in 2006. Grylls also hosted the network’s 2010 series “Worst-Case Scenario.”

Responding to the news, Grylls’ representative Heather Krug, tells, “Bear’s goal has always been to make life-empowering shows for his many fans around the globe, and he has taken great risks to bring Discovery such award winning programming over seven seasons.

“Unfortunately, Bear and Discovery have not been able to come to mutual agreement on new programming, and he disagrees with Discovery’s decision to terminate current productions. Bear has loved the ‘Man vs. Wild’ journey and looks forward to producing further cutting-edge content again soon for his loyal audience.”

Lets get this straight. They fire the hugely popular (and awesome) host for who? Mike Rowe can only do so much.

March 9, 2012

Seahawks release Marcus Trufant

Perhaps with the release of Peyton Manning, this kind of got swept under the rug. One the few remaining links to the Seattle Super Bowl team, Marcus Trufant was let go by the Seahawks after being drafted No. 1 in 2003.

In his heyday, he was a dangerous commodity on defense. While injury curtailed the end of his time with the Seahawks, I don't think too many fans can speak ill of this guy. Throw in the fact that he's a former WSU Cougar and he's a-OKAY in my book.

One of the toughest jobs in the NFL is being a corner back. You have to have a short memory and chances are, you're going to get burning. Trufant was solid back there at the position and I wouldn't be surprised if the Seahawks welcome him back to join the Ring of Honor at some point. Just look at this resume...

The move also cleared about $4.5 million in salary under the cap, where the Seahawks already have more than $20 million to work with.

“Out of respect for Marcus and his family, we’ve decided to release him today so that he has an opportunity to explore the full window of unrestricted free agency and the options that go along with it,” said general manager John Schneider.

“Marcus has done so much for this organization, but because of the changing landscape of the NFL, tough decisions have to be made and this is the correct thing to do at this time.”

The Seahawks selected Trufant with the 11th overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft. Trufant became an immediate starter, missing only one start in 124 career games played, returning from a back injury and playing in the nickel defense at Dallas (Dec. 1, 2009). He also started all nine Seahawks postseason games in his career.

He made 604 tackles (533 solo) to rank 10th in club history. His 21 interceptions rank fifth. He also return two picks for TDs, had 113 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Trufant was voted to the Pro Bowl after the 2007 season, when he notched a career-high seven interceptions (2nd NFC, T3rd NFL), 85 tackles and 16 passes defensed, including tying the franchise-mark with three interceptions in one game (vs. Arizona, 12/9/07) and returning one 84 yards for his first career score.

In 2004, he became only the fourth cornerback in NFL history to lead his team in tackles when he recorded a career-high 93 (83 solo). He also tied his career high with 20 passes defensed (2003).

I can't see why another team wouldn't take a flyer on him, even if he has been injury prone as of late. He won't make a ton of money but I'd imagine we'll see him in another NFL uniform.

March 7, 2012

Peyton Manning's best

With the Peyton Manning era officially coming to an end in Indy today, we at Just South of North thought what better way to honor him then with a tribute of his best commercials.

So please enjoy!

"That Peyton Manning guy is pretty good. If you're into 6' 5" 230 pound quarterbacks with laser-rocket arms."

I need a drink now

I need a drink. A big drink. I couldn't stomach my Eagles' loss to Montana last night after they had a commanding lead, blew it before halftime, played close the entire second half and fell at the end. It doesn't help anything that it was to the loathsome Montana Grizzlies and that it was in the Griz's home arena. Bottoms up! Here's Dave Cook with the skinny on the game...

It was déjà vu.

Montana overcame an 11-point lead by Eastern Washington University and pulled away in the final 1:45 for a 74-66 victory Tuesday (March 6) in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Men’s Basketball Championship in Missoula, Mont.

The Grizzlies advance to face Weber State in the championship game Wednesday (March 7) at 6 p.m. Pacific time and televised on ESPN2. The Wildcats trailed Portland State for 36 minutes in Tuesday’s other semifinal, but the Wildcats rallied for a 69-63 victory behind the 22 points of NBA prospect Damian Lillard.

Eastern’s season ended with a 15-17 record. The last time Eastern met the Grizzlies in Missoula, Eastern let a nine-point second half lead slip through their hands in a 79-71 loss.

“We came into an extremely tough venue and gave them all they could handle,” said first-year Eastern head coach Jim Hayford. “It was a great basketball game and I was very proud of the way our team played. We did a fantastic job to hold them to 40 percent shooting, including 23 percent from three. We just fouled a little too much. We played a complete game and I’m really, really proud.”

And for your Eagle fans that thought I had gone soft after moving to Montana. Lets just saw I was a bit mad last night. Look at this string of Facebook status updates I put together

"Difference between EWU and UM... drive outside of Cheney for 15 minutes and you're in the second biggest city in Washington State. Drive outside of Missoula for 15 minutes and you're kidnapped by the Unabomber. #Icantstandlosingtothegriz"

"Things I don't like 1. The Griz. 2. People posting photos of their toddlers in Griz gear on Facebook. 3. Memes about the Griz or Memes in general. 4. The fact that Griz fans are so uneducated they can't figure out what Big Sky Co-champions means in football."

"For the record, Bozeman is a way better college town than Missoula."

"And Monte is a hack."

And for the kicker, here's what my apartment looked like after the EWU loss...

Spokane Shock are ranked No. 9 in preseason poll

The Arena Football season is just around the corner, meaning that football season is just around the corner in Spokane. Despite a 9-9 season last year, they're ranked No. 9 in the league heading into this season. They open the season on March 12, hosting Iowa.

West-coast rivals, the Utah Blaze and the Spokane Shock are eighth and ninth in the preseason polling, continuing a battle that will persist all season. Quarterback Tommy Grady leads a Blaze offense that scores as efficiently as anyone in the League, while the Shock rely on their raucous crowd and limited turnovers to propel them to victory.

I'm suprised they didn't mention former EWU quarterback and Walter Payton Award Winner ERIC MEYER, who is going to tear up the league this year as the Shock's starting quarterback. And let's be honest about Utah, about four people show up to their games.

Stuckey makes Kobe look silly

Well I mean Kobe already looks silly...

But Rodney Stuckey made Kobe look even sillier.

Felix wants to spend the rest of his career with Seattle

HAHA. Yeah right.

Pitching ace Felix Hernandez says his plan is to play for the Mariners his entire career, according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden.

That’s what “King Felix” told Bowden on Tuesday at spring training in Peoria, Ariz., after his start against the Cincinnati Reds. Hernandez, by the way, struck out four, gave up no hits and allowed just one base runner in three innings of work. The M’s won 8-6.

Hernandez, 25, is now the leader of the Mariners pitching staff, having two All-Star Games and a Cy Young Award under his belt. With his Cy Young win in 2010, he was recognized for his pitching despite the shoddiness of Seattle’s offense; his record that year was 13-12, but he threw 232 strikouts and had a 2.27 ERA in 249.2 innings of work.

Last season, Hernandez went 14-14 with a 3.47 ERA, including 222 strikeouts. He is signed with Seattle through 2014 on a five-year, $78 million contract.

We will see what happens when free agency rolls around and teams are throwing $100 million at him. While its a nice thought to think that the Mariners and Felix would never part ways, umm... look around baseball, what really, really, good pitchers have never parted ways with their team. Doesn't happen these days.

Can't wait for him to pitch for the Boston Red Sox...

March 6, 2012

Peyton Manning released, every NFL team with a crappy QB rejoices

Are we ready for the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, because they're coming after the Indianapolis Colts released their star quarterback today.

Peyton Manning's 14-year career as a member of the Indianapolis Colts is coming to an end.

Sources close to the team told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen that the announcement will come at a news conference in Indianapolis on Wednesday with both Manning and owner Jim Irsay in attendance.

Oh that should be nice, fun, awkward press conference to watch. Now comes the more interesting question, could by the grace of God Peyton Manning become a Seattle Seahawk? Its not as outlandish as you may think, at least according to one very smart Seahawks blogger...

In Seattle, Manning would be instantly adored and not face the same media crush he might in New York, Miami, or DC. If the Seahawks brain trust ever makes their pitch to Manning, it would include a strong argument that coming to Seattle would give Peyton his best shot at winning another Lombardi Trophy. Compare Seattle's roster to Miami, DC, Arizona... to ANY other team who might take a serious run at Manning- the Seahawks are younger, better managed, and already on an upward trajectory. Coming to Seattle is Manning's best shot at a storybook, victorious closing chapter to his career.

All valid points, you give that Seattle team a legit quarterback last year and they're making the playoffs. While I'm sure every blogger is talking about why Manning should come to their team, a fan base can hope, right?

March 4, 2012

Marshawn Lynch is going to be a Seahawk for a long time

This is a bigger signing by the Seahawks than you think. By re-signing Marshawn Lynch, Seattle has corraled themselves a solid yards producer and scorer... somebody who is now coming into his prime as a running back. At just 25, the Seahawks' four-year contract should cover the best four years of Lynch's career.

This is a smart, smart signing, and it's surprisingly cheap. That 17 million dollar price tag is just 4.25 million a year of guaranteed money. If he hits all the contract requirements, its only 7.75 million per year. I don't think fans or the front office is going to complain about that price tag, even if Lynch is average for the next four years. Ask the Tennessee Titans how paying their running back lots and lots of money is going for them.

It also gives the Seahawks a marketable star, and a clear weapon on offense. Here's what Sports Press NW had to say about the signing...

A major deed on the Seahawks’ off-season to-do list was done Sunday night when leading rusher Marshawn Lynch was signed to a deal that, according to multiple media sources, is potentially worth $31 million over four years, with $17 million guaranteed.

The Seahawks were up against an NFL deadline Monday for placing franchise tags on players. But the tags are for a single year and both sides wanted more contract length. If the Seahawks did not reach a deal at all, he would have been an unrestricted free agent March 13.

“We are excited to keep Marshawn as an important part of what we are building,” general manager John Schneider said in a club release. “This is what we were hoping for when we acquired him from Buffalo.”

Lynch, 25, has been the most productive running back since Shaun Alexander’s 2005 season helped the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. In 2011, Lynch had career highs in rushing yards (1,204) and touchdowns (13) and also scored in a club-record 11 consecutive games. That broke by two Alexander’s mark, also in ’05. Lynch, also had 100-yard totals in six of the final nine games to spark a second-half surge that helped the seasons to a 5-3 record in the second half.

Seahawk fans are a little pumped about this one...

The Earth is going to end

Oh no!!! You haven't heard this one before, there is a large rock headed for the Planet Earth and it will pass very, very close to our planet.

To avert a possible catastrophe – this time set for February 2013 – scientists suggest confronting asteroid 2012 DA14 with either paint or big guns. The stickler is that time has long run out to build a spaceship to carry out the operation.

NASA's data shows the 60-meter asteroid, spotted by Spanish stargazers in February, will whistle by Earth in 11 months. Its trajectory will bring it within a hair’s breadth of our planet, raising fears of a possible collision.

The asteroid, known as DA14, will pass by our planet in February 2013 at a distance of under 27,000 km (16,700 miles). This is closer than the geosynchronous orbit of some satellites.

While the truth is we don't know if the thing is going to even hit the Earth - there's a serious problem we're going to have to contend with... time. It would take us puny humans a couple years to build a spaceship capable of handling this rock. Now experts think that it could either burn up in our atmosphere or if it were to hit it would be like somebody set off a thermo-nuclear bomb (not an earth or human civilization killer) - but still nobody wants to play musical chairs with physics. An idea has come up with a very interesting way to handle this rock...

A spaceship is needed, experts agree. It could shoot the rock down or just crash into it, either breaking the asteroid into debris or throwing it off course.

“We could paint it,” says NASA expert David Dunham.

Paint would affect the asteroid’s ability to reflect sunlight, changing its temperature and altering its spin. The asteroid would stalk off its current course, but this could also make the boulder even more dangerous when it comes back in 2056, Aleksandr Devaytkin, the head of the observatory in Russia’s Pulkovo, told Izvestia.

Yeah not quite Armageddon hero stuff, just astronauts with spray cans. While this story is just a bit sensationalized ... there's no real proof that this thing is going to hit the Earth... it's kind of a scary thought because the United States doesn't have an effective space vehicle to use. Whoopsie.

Photos of Butte, America

Here are some photos I took while staying in Butte, MT for the Class A Boys Basketball State Tournament this week.

EWU Men playing in Big Sky Semifinals

While heading to Missoula would normally be considered a punishment (Because what the heck is there in Missoula?), EWU is welcoming the trip after defeating Idaho State in the Big Sky quarterfinals and advancing to the conference semi-finals. Here's EWU Sports Information Director Dave Cook with the skinny...

Portland State defeated Montana State 75-53 Saturday night (March 3), and as a result, Eastern Washington University will play Montana Tuesday (March 6) in the semifinals of the Big Sky Conference Men’s Basketball Championship in Missoula, Mont.

Big Sky runner-up and No. 2 seed Weber State (23-5) will take on No. 3 seed Portland State (17-13) at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time at Dahlberg Arena. The fourth-seeded Eagles (15-16) will take on the top-seeded and host Grizzlies (23-6) at approximately 7 p.m. Pacific time.

EWU is 0-6 against the remaining teams BUT those games were decided by an average of less than 10 points, so anything can really happen in the postseason. One thing that will be tough is playing in the Grizzlies home arena, which is only an hour and 20 minutes south of me, so maybe I should go tip the home-court advantage in the Eags favor?

March 3, 2012

No you do not get an extra life if you eat these

I know what you're thinking "what crazy-ass sci-fi movie are these from?"

Nope. These are real. Super real. Although they have been missing for 170 years before being rediscovered. They're deadly if you eat them though...

Spotted once in 1840 and then never seen again, one of the world's most bioluminescent mushrooms has been rediscovered deep in the Brazilian wilderness.

The bioluminescent shrooms had become a Brazilian legend of sorts. They were first spied in 1840 by an English botanist named George Gardner, who was alarmed after he saw some boys playing with a glowing object in the streets of Vila de Natividad, a village in the Goiás state in central Brazil. After that, no more sightings of the brightly glowing fungus had ever been reported.

The mushroom was nearly forgotten until 2002, when Brazilian chemist Cassius Stevani came across Gardner's early reports. Then, in 2005, a breakthrough occurred. A pair of primatologists, Patricia Izar from São Paulo University in Brazil and Dorothy Fragaszy of the University of Georgia in Athens, were studying a band of monkeys deep in the Brazilian interior when they came across something mysterious glowing at the base of some palm trees.

Izar and Fragaszy scooped up specimens and contacted Stevani, who later confirmed that the mushrooms were indeed Gardner's long lost species.

While some people on the comment board started talking about how much is reminded them of Avatar, that's because they're pathetic, sad human beings. If you didn't make the immediate connection between these Mushrooms and Super Mario Bros., you should have your cool card revoked.

Red Sox defeat Northeastern 25-0

So it's the first game of spring training and it's against a college team, but you've got to like a 25-0 victory for the Red Sox, right?

FORT MYERS, Fla.—FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Bobby Valentine is using every opportunity this spring to help rid the Red Sox of the memory of their September collapse. He's banned alcohol in the clubhouse, tweaked the rival New York Yankees and now, in their exhibition opener, he's let his ballclub loose -- against a college team.

Red Sox 25, Northeastern 0.

Cody Ross connected twice and Adrian Gonzalez hit one of Boston's five homers as a star-laden lineup roughed up Northeastern in the first game of a college doubleheader Saturday. The Red Sox host Boston College in the nightcap.

"Discount the competition, but it's better to do goo than to do bad," Valentine said. "I was pleased, obviously. How can you not be pleased?"

Perhaps more impressive than anything was the shutout part. With it being the first game of action this year, you'd think the pitching might be a little behind but Jon Lester came out and threw strikes in two innings. Also, every one of the 15 Red Sox position players got a hit, which is promising as well.

Against college kids, of course.

March 2, 2012

Epic Photo: Butte Civic Center

Here's the court here at the Montana Class A Boys Basketball State Tournament in good ol' Butte.

March 1, 2012

The grand old town of Butte (Why is there a toxic pit above me?)

I'm currently in Butte, MT for the Montana Class A Boys Basketball Tournament State Tournament which is about three hours from my home base of Polson. There's plenty of historical things to experience, and one of those things is the United States' largest Superfund site. Namely, a large lake of toxic water that is nestled above the town. It's called Berkeley Pit and it looks like this now...

Berkeley Pit was originally opened as an open pit mine in 1955, and shutdown in 1982. When they shut things down, they shut down pumps in surrounding mines and water seeped into the pit. Now the pit it 1,700 feet of toxic water and a source of tourism for Butte (??)

Just how alarming is the water seeping into the pit? Here's how it looked in 1984...

Notice a "slight" chance is water levels. It's not good water either and its going to cause some serious problems in a few years, according to Wikipedia....

The pit and its water present a serious environmental problem because the water, with dissolved oxygen, allows pyrite and sulfide minerals in the ore and wall rocks to decay, releasing acid. When the pit water level eventually reaches the natural water table, estimated to occur by around 2020, the pit water will reverse flow back into surrounding groundwater, polluting into Silver Bow Creek which is the headwaters of Clark Fork River. The acidic water in the pit carries a heavy load of dissolved heavy metals. In fact, the water contains so much dissolved metal (up to 187 ppm Cu) that some material is mined directly from the water.

So with that said, I will not be drinking any tap water in Butte.