Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Diversion

If you're stuck inside on the first summer-like Friday of the summer, here's a little something in lieu of a patio and a bucket of ice cold beer. As always, this is some of the best stuff I've come across over the course of the past little while.

The Courthouse Ring
By Malcolm Gladwell

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird, Gladwell gives us an updated look into the realities of southern liberalism.

I have to say, having learned a few things about life and literature in the 15 years since I last read TKM (in the 10th grade), I'd say that I'm about due for another crack at Harper Lee's masterpiece.

A Guide to Summer Sun Protection
By Zev Borow

For all of the fair-skinned descendents of the Irish out there, this one's for you.

SPF 175—Ever wanted to have unprotected sex with a prostitute in Haiti? Don’t answer. Doesn’t matter. The point is with SPF 175 that’s now an option.

Bitter Brew
By Michael Idov

A hilarious piece about the apparently ubiquitous dream of opening one's own cozy little cafe. I have to say, I have, upon occassion, harboured the same little fantasy of hanging out in my own little coffee shop all day long, spinning great tunes, and generally soaking in the kind of bohemian slacker vibe that my establishment would undoubtedly emit.

Thankfully, this little essay has come along and put an end to that ridiculous notion. I think the subtitle summarizes it best:

I opened a charming neighborhood coffee shop. Then it destroyed my life.

At The National Sports Collectors Convention - Photo Gallery
By Bill Simmons

This photo essay is a must for any sports fan, pop culture fan, or for anyone who has spent any time at any kind of a collector's convention... I'm looking at YOU, dad.

When It Comes to Bad Contracts, Jays Ricciardi is Hard to Beat
By Joe Posnanski

I have been of the opinion that J.P. Ricciardi is one of the worst GMs in baseball for approximately 5 years. He is deserving of a spot amongst the truly great "Bad GMs in Toronto Sports History", joining his contemporaries (Rob Babcock and John Ferguson Jr.), as well as some legends (Gord Stellick and basically anyone associated with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 80s).

And it gives me great pleasure to announce that I'm no longer alone in this sentiment. As Posnanski points out (referring to Vernon Wells' contract):

This deal, to be honest, is not the sort of thing that leads to a general manager getting fired. It's the sort of thing that leads to entire villages getting pillaged. And that's what I mean about Ricciardi. I mean, this contract alone should be enough to put him in the Bad Contract Hall of Fame. But when you look over the whole body of work ... he IS the Bad Contract Hall of Fame.

In fact, really, we should just start referring to bad baseball contracts as "Ricciardis."

Thanks to Flats for the link.

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