THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH
”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”
Well, I sure am glad this was such a quiet, uneventful week, aren’t you? No wonder the guy above is grinning. Today, Internet Monk officially proclaims that this is the superhero we need for our times: Captain Chaos — “Dun dun DUNNNN!!”
Oh yes, we also marked Groundhog Day this past week. The crack reporters from the Babylon Bee were there to give us the results…
And to top off this amazing week, there is a little football game coming up on Sunday. Here are a few fun facts to spice up your enjoyment of Superb Owl LI.
- More than 100 million people will watch the game.
- Hosting the game will cost the city of Houston 5.5 million dollars.
- The game is expected to bring at least $350 million to Houston’s local economy.
- On Monday, the average reseller price for a ticket to the game was over $6,000.
- The cost of a 30-second television ad during the game exceeds $5 million.
- Tiffany’s has been producing the Vince Lombardi Trophy since SB I in 1967. The trophy is made from scratch every year and costs $50,000.
- Sports fans are poised to wager more than $4 billion in bets on this year’s SB, with about 97 percent being bet illegally.
- SB Sunday is the second largest food consumption day in America, behind only Thanksgiving.
- Americans will buy 12.5 million pizzas on SB Sunday, with an average order value of $26.45.
- Over the weekend, Americans are set to eat 1.33 billion chicken wings.
- Beer sales will approach $600 million, and another $110 million will be spent on liquor and spirits.
And what would this game be without the advertisements? Here is the SB ad that will unite America in these divisive early days of 2017:
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With all that food on the table tomorrow, we’d better stretch our stomachs today with several extra helpings at the IM brunch buffet! Come on, who wants some more bacon?
This one is for our Canadian friend Mike Bell and for everyone who loves statistics and cogent analysis. Check out tylervigen.com for some amazing charts revealing remarkable correlations that tell incredible stories!
THIS IS ONE BAD TEACHER
And I mean that in a good way. I love teachers who help their students enjoy coming to school and learning. Barry White Jr., a fifth-grade English teacher at the Ashley Park Elementary School in Charlotte, North Carolina, is one of those inspiring teachers.
Every morning he greets each student with a unique, specially choreographed handshake, welcoming them to school in style. Watch how they do it…
These kids will remember Mr. White their whole life long.
Okay, so maybe Ted and Randy and a few other of our New England readers (Joanie, are you there?) can help us have a little fun with this one.
Bill Pennington at the New York Times has issued a challenge: rank the New England Patriots (playing in this year’s big game) among some of the other great institutions of the region.
Here’s the list:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Fried Clams
- Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
- The New England Patriots
- The Boston Celtics (Larry Bird)
- The Boston Marathon
- The Old North Church and Paul Revere
- The Red Sox, Fenway and the “Green Monster”
- L.L. Bean
- Stephen King
- Higher Education
Go to the article, take the quiz, and then read the results. After that you can tell us what kind of a New Englander you are.
And hey, sorry we left out the Bruins, hockey fans. And Ted, where the heck are the lobster rolls? They gotta be #1, right?
QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
Is this really a good idea for Valentine’s Day? And would a person really need reservations?
SCIENTISTS WILL MARCH ON WASHINGTON
Scientists are not typically known as activists, but the recent women’s marches in Washington and across the U.S. have inspired “thousands of scientists [to] leave their labs and take to the streets to rally on behalf of publicly funded, openly communicated, evidence-based research.”
The “March for Science” is scheduled for April 22, Earth Day.
Here’s the text from the march’s official site:
The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.
ON APRIL 22, 2017, WE WALK OUT OF THE LAB AND INTO THE STREETS.
We are scientists and science enthusiasts. We come from all races, all religions, all gender identities, all sexual orientations, all abilities, all socioeconomic backgrounds, all political perspectives, and all nationalities. Our diversity is our greatest strength: a wealth of opinions, perspectives, and ideas is critical for the scientific process. What unites us is a love of science, and an insatiable curiosity. We all recognize that science is everywhere and affects everyone.
Science is often an arduous process, but it is also thrilling. A universal human curiosity and dogged persistence is the greatest hope for the future. This movement cannot and will not end with a march. Our plans for policy change and community outreach will start with marches worldwide and a teach-in at the National Mall, but it is imperative that we continue to celebrate and defend science at all levels – from local schools to federal agencies – throughout the world.
Here is the remarkable story of Father Rene Robert, a priest in St. John’s County, Florida who was vehemently opposed to the death penalty. His life’s work involved helping people with substance abuse problems and criminal histories. In 1995, he signed a notarized “Declaration of Life,” asking that, if he were ever to be murdered, the killer would be allowed to live.
“Should I die as a result of a violent crime, I request that the person or persons found guilty of homicide for my killing not be subject to or put in jeopardy of the death penalty under any circumstance, no matter how heinous their crime or how much I have suffered.”
Last year, at age 71, Robert was murdered. The alleged killer, Steven Murray, was a repeat offender that the priest was working with in hopes of his rehabilitation. Now, if convicted, Murray could face the death penalty.
The priest’s Declaration of Life has no legal significance in court. But his family, his fellow priests, and his alleged killer hope the dead priest’s stated commitment to life will lead to Murray being spared the ultimate punishment.
Father Robert’s fellow ministers in Florida’s Diocese of St. Augustine have taken his wishes to heart. A petition has amassed more than 7,000 signatures by people who oppose the death penalty for his alleged killer. On Jan. 31, the Florida diocese delivered the petition to the Georgia court where Steven Murray will be tried for the crime.
The first truly great singer-songwriter album of 2017 has been playing non-stop in my car for a few weeks now. Natalie Hemby’s Puxico is a wonderfully evocative tribute to a hometown, in this case her grandfather’s hometown.
Each year and for many decades now, that small town, Puxico, Missouri, has held a week-long homecoming celebration of their lives and their history. Natalie Hemby decided to do a documentary film about Puxico and its homecoming, and the songs on this album come from the film and its stories.
For a Midwest boy like me, this album hits the sweetest of spots in my heart, and Natalie Hemby’s expressive lyrics and wistful voice take me back there every time I hear them. Home.
Here is my favorite song on Puxico, a vivid, pensive picture of the mark a small town hero makes on those he leaves behind.