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On this day in 2001 - 2019-09-11T15:35:54Z

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Scripting News notes - 2014-05-03T20:30:08Z

Funky jazz band - 2014-05-03T20:28:40Z

At the entrance to the park at Columbus Circle earlier today.

- 2014-05-03T16:56:03Z
California drought: Sierra snowpack is barely there.

- 2014-05-03T15:57:57Z
Lifehacker: The Best Time of Day to Do Just About Anything.

- 2014-05-03T14:55:38Z
Esquire: 15 Forgotten Movies You Should Watch.

Video of the game-winning shot - 2014-05-03T14:17:17Z

- 2014-05-03T13:49:32Z
Mick Jagger sings a Dylan song for late girlfriend at private memorial.

Today's background image - 2014-05-03T13:26:23Z

As basketball was finishing up last night, Scott Beale, a longtime friend and proprietor of Laughing Squid web hosting, posted this gorgeous picture of a plane preparing to land in Amsterdam at dawn.

It's a flight I've been on quite a few times. I know and love the feeling. You've just flown overnight, and didn't get a whole lot of sleep, but the sun is rising, it's a fresh new day. The world you're in now is waking up, as your mind is saying it's finally time for you to go to sleep.

It's a fond memory for me, because I love spending time in Europe. And it was a nice way to shift gears after the crushing defeat in last night's Houston-Portland game.

"He'll probably miss" - 2014-05-03T13:06:09Z

Last night's basketball was amazing. It was also terrible, because I was pulling for the Rockets, I love that team. It looked like they had won yesterday's game. But the Blazers got the ball with .9 seconds left, just enough time to catch the ball and shoot.

The ball came in. As it was being passed the announcer said "A three wins the game" -- I hadn't had time to realize that, and as he was saying it, Damian Lillard, the hot Portland point guard, aims, shoots and the ball, it arcs, floats, the place goes silent, and swooooosh it goes right in the bucket. But there was enough time between the shot and the basket to think "He'll probably miss," only to realize less than a second later that it was all over. The Rockets go home and Portland moves on. Oh how I wished it had gone the other way!

It was an amazing moment for the sheer drama, and personality of it. The Blazers have great fans, and young Lillard is a real character and basketball star. But a Houston win would have made it amazing for another reason. It would have meant on Sunday there would be three game 7's, as there are three game 7's today. Each game 7 has a winner and a loser, like every game, but with the difference that there is no tomorrow for the team that loses. It's all or nothing, win or go home.

No matter what, it's been the most incredible postseason. Sometimes end of season games are boring, but not this year. There haven't been any big upsets yet. Dallas, Memphis, Atlanta -- these teams, if they win, will knock out one of the leading contenders for this year's title -- San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Indiana. The other two games are closer matches: the Clippers vs the Warriors and the Raptors vs the Nets. It will be stunning if one of the losers is one of the league leaders. Something we'll enjoy seeing, for sure -- with the hope that maybe one of the remaining teams will go on to beat the favorite to win the title, Miami.

As I wrote yesterday, it's a total burnout, in some sense I can't wait till it's over, because the pressure is so great. But it's the reason this is sport is imho the best one out there. It all comes down to the clutch, do you have it or do you choke. The teams that are left at this point have a lot of, as Walt Frazier would say, tenacity. We'll be talking about these games for years to come. And the games tonight and tomorrow are where it all comes to a head.

Today's background image - 2014-05-02T14:21:09Z

It's a screen shot from the current Mio commercial, embedded below for your enjoyment.

The Brooklyn Nets - 2014-05-02T13:53:19Z

This year's NBA playoffs are just getting started and I'm already burned out. They're so exciting! Tomorrow there are going to be three game 7's. Three. And believe it or not I care about the outcome in every one of them. And I'm afraid the team I want to win will not win.

And if that's not enough, we don't know for sure but there might be as many as three more game 7's on Sunday. That's got to be some kind of record!

There were a couple of contests I didn't care about. Miami vs Charlotte, because Charlotte had no chance and I hate Miami (only because they're so dominant, I like underdogs, and they are the opposite of an underdog). The other one I don't care about is Brooklyn vs Toronto. That's weird isn't it, because I live in NYC, and I'm a long-suffering Mets fan (despite what I say, as soon as basketball is over I'll probably start watching the Mets regularly). I didn't know if I'd be into the Brooklyn Nets or not, but I just can't get excited about a team that's led by the former leaders of the most despised team in NY, the Boston Celtics.

I think the owners of NBA teams must not understand their own sport. I certainly feel that way about James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks, and I'm glad he hired Phil Jackson to run the team. I was calling for his ouster before that, I wanted to call Michael Bloomberg out of retirement to run the Knicks. A few years under his oligarchy could have been just the thing. Dolan was all about splash, about winning now at all costs, no matter how much the future Knicks might suffer.

The owner of the Nets, a Russian guy whose name I never remember, a true oligarch, thought the way to fans' hearts was to put together a team that had a shot at the title. Well, it didn't work, did it? Most of the people in Barclay's for a Nets playoff game are actually Knicks fans! Hey we like basketball, and there's a playoffs in town. But do you think that buys our love? Hey no fucking way! This is New York. We love our losers. Let's spend a few years in the cellar, and then we can join you in celebrating a victory. Buying some old Celtic retreads, that makes us hate you not love you.

So tonight might be it for the 2014 Nets. Let's see how they handle losing. You don't get our love and admiration by being good at basketball. And when you do get it, if you ever do -- it probably won't have anything to do with who you are, because even bad teams are pretty disconnected from fans. But you have to be patient.

A couple more observations.

  1. The Mets, a team that's been around since 1962, always playing in the same area -- Flushing, is number two in Queens. They don't even own the loyalty of their own home borough. So that doesn't bode well for the Nets.

  2. If the Nets were really smart they would have traded for Jeremy Lin instead of Pierce and Garnett. That would have shown real chutzpah, and that's something New Yorkers respect. He's not good enough for the Knicks, but the NY fans love him? That's our guy, the Nets might say. Instead they went for a couple of old tires with a few more miles left on their tread. Fandom is about love, not winning. Esp in NY, and esp in Brooklyn.

R E S P E C T - 2014-05-02T13:51:05Z

It's a long-standing Scripting News tradition that I write big pieces on January 1 and in early May. They often represent months or even years of thinking. This is one of those pieces. Not too long, but a loop back to an early theme of this blog when I wrote about respect on a regular basis. I was trying to figure out what it means. I did eventually figure it out.

Respect is very related to integrity. Respect is when you listen to who the person really is, not who you think they are, what their age, gender or race says they should be (to you of course, these things mean different things to different people). It also means you listen to who they are today, not who they were in the past.

This idea of respect is rooted in the idea of "paying your respects." When you pay respect, you visit the person, in person, not via text message, or email, or a phone call. Paying respect means face-to-face, now, not in the past. Thinking about someone is paying respect to yourself not the person. Being with that person, listening to them, really listening, that's what respect is about.

When you look at a child do you see a person or someone who will someday become a person. The child wants you to recognize that he or she is today a person, worthy of respect. Listen to me, the child might say, not because you have to, but because you love me, because you respect me. Try to forget you changed my diapers and adopt my view of the world, the world in which I am a person who matters.

I think people are scared to really listen, that's why there is so little real respect.

- 2014-05-01T20:08:06Z
Today's ride: 6.44 miles, 40 minutes.

- 2014-05-01T14:25:48Z
Today's background image is Adam Silver suspending Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life.

- 2014-05-01T14:10:23Z
Scripting News: Raised by refugees.

- 2014-04-30T23:32:46Z
New Yorker: Witnesses to Oklahoma's Botched Execution.

Eliminate the death penalty in the US - 2014-04-30T23:25:32Z

New Yorker: Witnesses to Oklahoma's Botched Execution.

Things are changing in the United States now, and we're leading the world in some ways, with gay marriage and legal marijuana. But one direction the world is trying to lead us is away from capital punishment. Drug companies, not wanting to be associated with the killing, for good business reasons, won't supply the states. So they are killing in ever-more-desperate ways. The stories coming from last night's botched execution in Oklahoma are tragic.

It would be good to move beyond symbolic organizing, to political acts with real consequences. Like eliminating capital punishment in the United States.

The world is sending us a clear message. It's time to stop this practice.

- 2014-04-30T15:38:38Z
Scripting News: Why outliners?

- 2014-04-30T15:09:30Z
Today's background image is Rex Hammock's early morning Nashville pic, which he posted on Facebook, and I'm using with permission.

- 2014-04-30T02:58:24Z
NYT: An Early Skyscraper Becomes a Hotel With a View.

- 2014-04-30T01:21:15Z
Federal Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin Law Requiring Photo ID at Polls.

The best people - 2014-04-30T01:08:46Z

The best people are the ones who have a personal struggle. Adversity does deepen you and help you appreciate the good things you have. The pain straightens you out even though it hurts. All of my best friends have big struggles. I wish it didn't have to be that way, but it seems that's the way it works.

- 2014-04-30T00:58:44Z
A small release: Fargo 1.57.

- 2014-04-29T22:21:57Z
AP: Pro Sports Owners Disciplined by Their Leagues.

Why men stay silent - 2014-04-29T21:41:39Z

This has been a constant theme here on Scripting News. The answer is and always has been we don't speak because the penalty for speaking is so high.

Men have lousy PR. We let other people tell our story. So when the main positive quality for manhood is strength, and when the ideal man is the strong and silent man, then saying nothing is a positive thing, right? Take your medicine. Be a man. Man up. Don't be a baby. Whatever.

Truth is inside a man's body is a person, one that's not that much different from the other kinds of people. But if you tell a person over and over for their whole life that most of what they are is wrong (because we aren't as one-dimensional as we're supposed to be), and that silence is the right approach, well that's a prescription for disaster. And because our bodies are bigger that's not a disaster that's shared quietly. When the only valid emotion is anger, then that's how the emotions will come out. And there's lots to be angry about.

Anyway -- I thought this piece about why men don't speak up on behalf of women's status in organizations, written by a male psychologist, was so interesting. Reading it, all I could think about is how he's going to get it. Now why is that the normal thing -- a man expresses an opinion and the punishment is swift and sure.

The question he asks is if we don't have any vested interest in equality, and I'd argue with that, we can't justify speaking. We're told to shut up, and that's what we do.

Change isn't going to come until everyone has permission to say what they see. And at first it's going to be painful and awkward because we have so little practice doing it.

- 2014-04-29T19:55:09Z
Feedient Puts Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram Feeds in One Place.


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