There’s a Map for That

atatBy: Billy BeerSlugger

With the recent ad campaign from Verizon showing 3G coverage on the United States map for both AT&T and itself, it’s weird that I am now seeing ads from AT&T with Luke Wilson in them telling me this isn’t true.  I’ve seen this type of competitive advertising this year before with Direct TV and Comcast stating who had more HD Channels or Programming.  What is a consumer to think when two direct competitors are spewing two almost completely different stories and passing them off as gospel to the American Public?

First, let’s read between the lines.  Verizon’s ad displays a map of “3G Broadband” coverage for both itself and AT&T. That being said, the maps are correct.  Verizon’s network is immensely greater in terms of 3G coverage and AT&T can’t really dispute the 3G coverage on their map. The thing that AT&T should dispute is that the ad makes it seem like they do not offer or can’t get service in those areas. While Verizon’s network is far beyond AT&T’s in terms of 3G service, it does not mean AT&T users cannot  make calls in those areas and in most cases can still access the Web (granted not in 3G speed).  Basically, if you can make a phone call you can still check your email though streaming video is probably out of the question.

Chalk one up in the W column for the advertising people at Verizon for stealthily taking one fact about one aspect of their competitors services and having a good portion of the general public associate the 3G coverage map with the entire AT&T wireless network.

Don’t think that this is just an AT&T vs. Verizon matter either. There are two very prominent names attached to these cellular carriers in Google and Apple.  With Google coming out recently with it’s Android OS on every major carrier except AT&T and Apple having an exclusive licensing deal with AT&T for the iPhone, it’s more than just about the carriers. AT&T apparently made 1/3 of it’s 2nd Quarter revenue off of iPhone users and that’s something that Verizon and Google hope to accomplish with their partnership.

Luckily I’m off all this week and could figure all of this out for you. Unfortunately neither Verizon or AT&T subscribers can get 3G coverage in the middle of Lake Huron.

Vertical Farming

vertical_farmBy: Billy BeerSlugger

As far back as 2007 I have been captivated by the idea of Vertical Farming.  After all, it only makes sense given that no one is making any more land and the population continues to rise exponentially. Just as man has taken urban living and working quarters to the skies so soon will farming. If you take a patch of land using traditional farming methods you can only grow as much product as the land will allow. However, if you take that same land area and farm vertically, you can produce many times that amount. On top of all this you can produce the product all year round instead of just in the weather permitting seasons.

In an ever carbon-footprint, green conscious world, building these structures seems absolutely logical given the amount of fuel it takes to cultivate and transport our current food supply. Instead of lugging produce hundreds of miles by trailer or truck it could be delivered by foot, bike and other more environmentally methods over hundreds of yards instead. Even better you could just purchase the produce from the Vertical Farm itself, cutting out the middle man exchange.

There’s also a wealth of benefits from growing products indoors instead of outdoors. One of the most significant being that it all but eliminates the need for harmful pesticides. Inside you can better control what can come into contact with your produce. Everything produced in the Vertical Farm would be considered “Organic”.

Another significant advantage is the use and reclamation of water. With traditional farming methods, excess water used to hydrate plants either seeps back into the water table below ground or evaporates back into the atmosphere. One of the biggest costs of farming is water and one of the biggest costs of water is water being treated to the point where it is safe enough to drink and use.  Using an indoor, vertical farming system, excess water can be reclaimed and reused over and over again.

Some farms have begun using a Hydrophonic method of producing veggies without soil at all. Produce is grown in nutrient rich water cutting down the need for the process of constantly re-enriching soil. Also, without soil and with water being transparent farmers can make sure there is nothing contaminating the soil, just taking regular water readings to ensure it is not contaminated.

There are a number of other benefits including using local food wastes from restaurants and fast food type places and composting them inside the vertical farm, cutting down on waste/trash which doesn’t have to be hauled away to a dump and also eliminates trash for rats, mice and cockroaches to live on in urban areas.

With the world facing an ever increasing population along with the somewhat antiquated and vulnerable methods of traditional farming it will be interesting to see when the first of these major Vertical Farms will be built and where. It is only a matter of time though in my opinion and is a most logical one at that.

Dickson Despommier is a leader in this movement and you can get more information on his website including more illustrations/designs of what Vertical Farming would look like.

Sloppy Joe Taquitos

taquitosBy: Billy BeerSlugger

So I came home completely butt fuck wasted from a company Christmas party this week and I was in “Eat Everything in the Fridge” mode when I realized there really wasn’t much in the fridge. A sober person can have the patience to defrost any poultry, meat, pork or fish product in the freezer but a wasted person needs the instant gratification of something/anything edible in the stomach.

Suddenly I spot couple day old Sloppy Joe leftovers in a Tupperware container hiding stealthily behind a gallon milk jug.  Awesome find! However, to my dismay, I open the bread drawer and there’s absolutely zero piece of edible bread. Stale/hard bread, green moldy bread but nothing I could throw my heated up Sloppy Joe sustenance on and demolish in record time.

Enter the next great find of the night, Soft Tortilla Wraps!  Combining the two made complete drunken sense. Sloppy Joe Taquitos is something I had never heard of or seen before but desperate drunken times require desperate measures.  Being a veteran of drunken food runs to 7-11 in my collegiate years at a North Philadelphia University, I knew a Taquito type food delivery device for my Sloppy Joe would satisfy my craving for not only protein but carbohydrates as well. I am not sure I have been more pleasantly surprised by an ad-hoc combination of food while in a severely inebriated state.

Sloppy Joe Taquitos are fucking delicious, plain and simple. Why wouldn’t they be?

The logic is right there. Sloppy Joe’s are delicious by itself even with no bread. Add bread and they get even better.

You can substitute bread in pretty much any sandwich situation with a Tortilla to make it a Wrap without really sacrificing much in terms of taste. In this case, using  properties of mathematics I learned in High School,

If (Sandwich – Bread) + Tortilla = Delicious so does (Sloppy Joe – Bread) + Tortilla = Delicious.

If you’ve got some sloppy joes lying around with no bread but have Tortilla’s, I’d highly combining the two. Though at this point I’d recommend using Tortilla’s as much as I would bread for Sloppy Joes.

No More Heroes

Bang the Girls Two at a Time, Tiger. That's the way you do it.

It’s a big surprise when somebody that everyone holds in such high regard becomes engulfed in a scandal like Eldrick “Tiger” Woods has. But it is really that big of a surprise? Did it really let you down? Given Woods’ squeaky clean image you probably didn’t imagine him banging chicks two at a time

I learned earlier in my life that not everything is what it seems. Starting with the revelation as a grade school-er that Santa Claus is alive only in spirit to Guns N Roses breaking up to the trading away or retirement of my childhood heroes of the Sixers, Phillies and Eagles, by now I’m used to being lied to and let down.  You see it not only in the world of Sports but teachers, entertainers, politicians, CEO’s, religious authorities and even a couple Presidents have seen their share of scandals.  People held up on such a pedestal, looked up to, admired and then ultimately their name dragged through the mud for sins which are routinely committed by everyday people who do not get the same treatment.

I understand to certain point about sex scandals involving Politicians. They are in a position of power and got there touting family values, a commitment to truth etc.  I get the outrage about teachers who have sexual relationships with students and I certainly understand when a man of faith strays and molests a kid or embezzles money. The thing I have a problem with is the crazy amount of coverage the media has to spend on Sports Stars and the people who consume this tabloid junk in mass quantities.

You can make any sort of argument you want in favor of Athletes being role models but I’m of the Charles Barkley school of thought and will make my case against it.  You see athletes are famous for being good at sports. For passing the ball, running the ball, kicking the ball, shooting the ball, hitting the ball, catching the ball and tackling the person with the ball. For the most part there is no holier than thou art attitude, there is no religious aspect or preaching from them, they cannot make laws and are not in charge of children except their own.

While Sports figures occasionally will hold political office after retirement and some will also praise a religious God before, during and after a game they are in effect in charge of nothing except their own athletic performance.Yes with a great athlete comes tons of money but just because a person has a lot of money doesn’t mean they are a role model. Just because you’re on T.V doesn’t make you a role model. Yes, athletes who get paid to endorse products like Woods and Jordan are presented by the media as good and upstanding but lets remember that these are commercials the athletes are appearing in. By associating their product with greatness on an athletic level is part of the lure.

So Tiger banged a bunch of girls while married, what baseball player doesn’t do that? I’m not advocating or absolving him of his infidelity but thousands of marriages break up every year due to infidelity. Chances are you know someone who was divorced due to infidelity or are the son or daughter of a marriage ruined due to mom or dad not being faithful.  What is any different in Tiger Woods’ situation from any other marriage in shambles due to someone fooling around?  Money, Fame for being great at Golf?  I don’t think the amount of girls matters because one time/girl is cheating.

What I’m trying to say is that Athletes are people too, they make mistakes and they are human like you and I.  They are not infallible because they are endorsing watches, hot dogs, cars, underwear or whatever product and just because they are great at their respective sport doesn’t make them a great person.

It’s OK to be a fan of a Sports Figure but putting them up on a pedestal, calling them a hero, having them as a role model for your children and generally wanting to be “Like Mike” will ultimately just end up letting you down in one way or another.  I think Charles Barkley was right in saying, “… parents should be Role Models.”.  Considering Michael Jordan and Barkley (who both allegedly cheated on their wives) are friends and role models for Tiger, why is anyone surprised by any of this?

Is Banging Football Recruits the New School Spirit?

laceybryceBob McFlurry with Sports

Recently it’s been in the news that the Tennessee Volunteers have a program in which they employ “hostesses” to help lure highly touted football recruits to the University.  So I guess my question is why is this news now?  I don’t think it’s any secret that using insanely hot girls to help land big time recruits is a time honored tradition in the ranks of College Football.

There’s a lot of things that go into where a top recruit will play his collegiate ball: proximity to home, family influence, program prestige, the ability to start right away.  When you’re a top 50 recruit in the nation though you can pretty much go anywhere and every school is going to trow as much at you as they can without getting nabbed by the NCAA for violations. Gifting money is kind of out of the question, at least not directly, so what other recourse does a University have but to bombard the recruit with a bevy of the hottest chicks on campus.  Some of which are probably told to “take care” of the recruit.  It’s way easier to pay off or incentivize  some sort of University coed than it is to straight up pay a player to come to the University.

Anyway, I think it’s a little naive for the media and sports fans in general to be shocked by this or consider it news.  There’s buku bucks in College football in Bowl Games and it all starts with what kind of players a team can get.  The better the player, the better the chance of a huge bowl game, the more money brought into the University. Millions of Dollars.

Even way back in 1993 in the movie The Program Halle Berry was given the task of convincing highly touted recruit Danell Jefferson (played by Mekhi Phifer… or was it Omar Epps) to come to fictional University ESU.  Not that Halle Berry banged the guy to get him to go there but she was named Sexiest Woman Alvie by Esquire magazine, you do that Algebra home slice.

Goes something like:

Hot Chicks + Blue Chip Football Recruits = Letters of Intent = BCS Money2

It’s pretty obvious to me what’s going on here and I really don’t have a problem with Football Programs wagging hot chicks in front of recruits faces. Anything that goes on besides that, sexually, is between the recruit and that “Hostess”.  If the “Hostess” decides to use her body as a marketing tool for her University I’m pretty sure she’s allowed to do that. I’m not sure what kind of incentives would be involved if the recruit signed but ultimately I doubt that a University is saying to these “Hostesses”, “have sex with this recruit coming in here this weekend”.  Blow/Hand Jobs maybe but not sex.


iversonsurviveBy: Bones

I am not an NBA fan. But for 3 years or so, I cared immensely about the Sixers, for one reason- Allen Iverson. By himself, he was a force of nature on the court, a one man wrecking crew capable of beat teams through sheer will alone. He elevated a team of bench players to the playoffs, then to the finals. When he left, I stopped caring, and so did the rest of the city. The team has gone downhill since then, and the result was the start of this season with an empty arena and a boring team. Granted, Allen’s got an attitude that rub a lot of people the wrong way, but that never bothered me, and still doesn’t. I’m glad he’s back, even though its obvious he has lost quite a bit, which was inevitable, game shape or not. I don’t care what the reasons are. I just want to see him at his best one more time. I stand by the assertion that when was at his best, a night where he drops 50+ careening like a maniac into the lane, jacking up 3s on the break, that he is the single most exciting player the NBA has ever seen. His style, his size, his fearlessness, and his amazing skills all combined to make some nights almost too much to believe. He’s not gonna do that too many more times, if ever. But i really think he’s got at least one left in him. Sometime between now and April, he’s gonna take it back to 2001 and drop 50 on someone, and it will be nothing short of awesome to watch. For that reason only, I’ll tune into sixers games for the rest of the year…just in case.

Plead Guilty or Fight the Power?

parking meterBy: Billy BeerSlugger

So I got a parking ticket recently while parked on the street at the University of Penn.  I parked on the street because the lot was full and I had to continually put quarters in the meter.  Somewhere around 2PM I went out to put more quarters the meter and the time was not registering. Quarters in, no time allotted on the meter. I’m not sure whether the meter was full or broken or what but it seemed to have worked up until that point. I even went as far as to document this phenomenon in a grainy Blackberry video.

So I put a note on the hood of the car saying that the meter was broken and low and behold I get a parking ticket, $36. Now I have some proof that this happened on my phone but the real question is whether or not to dispute it. I would save a couple dollars by paying the fine and actually working for the two or so hours it would take me to fight the ticket in court.  So what do you do here? Take the fine even though it’s not your fault or take the time out of the workday or lose more money in lost work time then I would if paid the fine and get my ass to court?

Well it seems somewhat counter intuitive but I’m going  to fight this parking ticket. I don’t like the idea of admitting guilt when I didn’t do anything wrong.  I could see if I just parked the car and forgot about it all day. I would take the fine no big deal. However, I did go out every 3 hours, get an obscene amount of quarters from various lunch trucks and feed the meter so I didn’t get a ticket. It just so happens the meter broke on the 3rd time I had to put $4 worth of quarters in it.

I have no reason to lie to you the reader or the court about the truthiness of the parking situation but I am opening myself up to not only losing money on the parking ticket but also the lost wages. I would just rather not admit guilt to something when I’m not guilty.

Now I know sometimes in relationships men are ostensibly forced to apologize for things they don’t feel like are big deals or even infractions and I have been guilty of this from time to time just to continue with regular sexual activity. This, however, is a different situation. This is me against the Parking Authority and if I don’t stand up for myself they will continue to screw me. As opposed to apologizing to your girlfriend for something stupid and being able to screw her again.

I’ll let you know how pissed I am when this whole thing backfires right in my face.

Tv’s New Hit

TV will rot your brain..if your lucky.By: Sean Millski

Has anyone else seen that the news is suddenly full of stories about kids being hit and killed by…..Televisions!?  The first Delaware Valley incident that caught my attention was earlier this week in Kensington, That resulted in only an injury, the second, yesterday in Burlington county new jersey resulted in the death of a two and half year old boy! In doing a little research I found this is not at all uncommon. Every major city in the country reports many such instances every year. For example; Last November in Florida a 16mo old boy was killed when an older sibling climbed a 4ft tall TV to turn it off and ended up toppling it over onto his infant brother. Almost the exact same thing happened in Phoenix,Az. 3 times in as many months!

Even though I immediately started to suspect a combination of poor parenting and the trend towards huge TV’s (even though the one in Jersey yesterday was only 27″), as it turns out the vast majority of cases I looked into the police have put the blame on faulty TV stands and not the TV’s or parents. Which begs the question… What is with the problem with the TV stands!? Are people not putting them together properly , are the little plastic discs under a modern TV too small to support the weight or are the crappy fiber-board stands sold today too cheap to even be safe in your home!? If your thinking ” Whew, I’m safe ’cause I used a cool wall mount” you’d be wrong because in a few instances it was a faulty wall mount or installation of the mount  that caused the TV to fall. So unless your Builder Bob your not safe there either.

I could be way off here but we didn’t seem to have this problem years ago, even with the 2 ton sets we grew up with because furniture was made by a craftsmen, came assembled already and making a quality product was still job one.  Of course the old school TV’s came already in a  sturdy, balanced stand but even the hulking sets of the 80’s and 90’s were supported by real, honest to goodness furniture. I think this just another case of the increasingly ignorant consumer being screwed by the man at price-mart.

Maybe the lesson is to put out the three or four dollars for one of those furniture securement kits to keep your children, pets and property safe?

I don’t know what the answer is but maybe before you have the family over for the holidays you should take a second and make sure your TV is securely mounted to the wall or get those chinese directions out and give your realistic looking, veneered wood TV stand the once over.

Tiger Woods Yall

For Shizzle!
For Shizzle!

Bob McFlurry with Sports

So allegedly Tiger Woods cheated on his wife numerous times or something and this is supposed to be serious news.  Really, who gives a crap? It’s more likely to effect his bank account than his golf game so why do we even pay attention to these things? It serves no purpose to report on it other than he crashed his car or whatever and he was slightly hurt. Everything else is rumors, gossip and conjecture at best.

I think about 7 women have come out and stated publicly that they had relations with Mr. Woods and I have been advised by my counsel to neither confirm nor deny my involvement with Tiger, sexually that is.  Seriously though, the media has beaten this subject to death so much that gossip TV show Extra interviewed Ashley Dupree (Elliot Spitzer’s call girl) to see what she had to say and what advice she could give Tiger Woods about this ordeal.  That’s exactly who I would turn to for a real good take on the situation, a high priced hooker. She sure has a unique understanding of relationships, being the other woman and intimate knowledge of how a infidelity can ruin a marriage. She does make some interesting points though:

“My case in point: Here you have all these girls accepting gifts, money, trips from Tiger in exchange for sex — all the while knowing he is married. And now they all can’t wait to tell their stories in exchange for even more money from the tabloids? And I was the hooker? At least I kept my mouth shut.”

Television has gotten so bad that I watched C-Span yesterday for 40 minutes and besides watching Allen Iverson return to the Sixers it was the best 40 minutes of TV I watched all day.  There’s mad debates taking place on Capitol Hill about the Healthcare Bill. Stuff got pretty intense, this senator going at that senator, trading verbal jabs even if they were slightly more courteous than the ones lobbed on shows produced by MTV.  The best part is that  I watched and learned about something that actually matters and effects me unlike whether or not Tiger Woods was putting from the rough with a couple of Sally Slutbags.

Tragic Irony on MTV

Thank God JWow's breast don't move or there could be some wardrobe malfunctions.
Thank God JWow's breast don't move or there could be some wardrobe malfunctions.

By: Billy Beerslugger

This weekend I subjected myself to more MTV than I have watched probably since 2002 or so.  I could not get away from the phenomenon that is “The Jersey Shore”.  Guido’s, Guidettes, Blowout’s, fake tans, muscles and a whole lot of attitude. Pretty much what i expected from this show but after I watched it as research (I’m a hypocrite), then sat in with my roomates to watch a portion of it, then went over a friends house and they were watching it I seriously will not watch this show again.  I stopped watching “The Real World” after Pedro died in season 3 and “The Jersey Shore” is nothing more than a rehash of the Real World formula with the twist of having all Italian American’s as house inhabitants and a whole bunch of sterotypical behavior.  I can tell you how this show in it’s entirety will go: fist fights, fist pumping, drinking, shit talking about roommates, roommates hooking up (some of whom have boyfriends), roommates getting in a fight after hooking up, girls getting pissed about other girls being in the house, half the show being bleeped or blurred out, lame Guido stereotypical behavior, people get fired from their job selling t-shirts but are ultimately let back to work because it’s really hard selling t-shirts, some girl gets punched in the face by a dude.  Now save yourself the couple hours of your life and learn something.

For as much complaining as I’ve heard coming from the New Jersey tourism associations it didn’t stop them from running an ad during the show about Ocean City NJ.

Now onto the next farce I’ve seen on MTV that should have been pulled, DJ AM’s Gone Too Far follows the deceased record spinner while he tries to help them kick their addictions to drugs and alcohol.  The problem I have with this show still being on the air is that DJ AM died of a fucking drug overdose.  Wouldn’t that kind of be like if Oprah starred in a show about losing a weight and then her stomach explodes from eating too many Twinkies? This isn’t to say that DJ AM is a bad dude or that it’s easy to kick drugs but it’s not exactly inspiring that the host of a show about kicking your drug habit dies from a drug overdose. Do you see what I’m saying here? The guys credibility is completely ruined.