tablet mg

TED Tuesday: Ideas Worth Spreading for the Week of 6/26

June 26th, 2012 Comments off

Earlier this year, Encyclopedia Britannica announced that it was shedding the fear of paper cuts and turning itself over solely to anxiety over internet access cuts. The now online-only encyclopedia of record further noted recently that they were looking to adapt a communal, almost wiki form of a community for it’s publication.

For those who grew up with one of their multi-volume sets, it marks an extraordinary end of an era. Despite the wonderment of Encarta95 and wikipedia, itself, the Encyclopedia Britannica was, at worst, one heck of a beauty on your bookshelf. My family still has our circa 1985 set at my parents home.

Nostalgia also struck one of my favorite TED speakers, the poet Rives. Below is his reaction to EB 2.0.

Vandy Baseball: The Road to Omaha

June 1st, 2012 Comments off

Accompanying the VandyBoys strong finish were multiple appearances from Brian Miller’s rescue beaver, Chance. Photo courtesy of Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

So, I’m just a bad VandyBoys blogger. During the month-plus since my last post, the Vanderbilt baseball team has undergone a transformation in which a pitching staff matured and leaders emerged. Gone were the 1-7 and 7-15 starts and the Commodores finished with a flurry, including a 16-4 run down the stretch of the season.

All told, the Dores came up huge winning their last five games (two at LSU and a home sweep of the Rebel Black Bears) to ensure a record over .500 entering the SEC tournament at Hoover. They topped that off by getting to the tournament final undefeated, before being shut out by Mississippi State’s ridiculous pitching staff. It was a stellar run that included two victories over nemesis Florida, who had entered Hoover with a seven game winning streak over Coach Corbin’s boys. So what did we learn and see from this squad?

We saw TJ Pecoraro return early from Tommy John surgery and throw back to back complete games in the last two weekends of the season. We saw Connor Harrell emerge from a slump and start mashing the ball all over the park. We saw Tony Kemp run rampant on the basepaths and single-handedly cause a couple Ole Miss pitchers ulcers. We saw Sam Selman emerge into a legitimate lefty ace. We saw a stuffed animal (oops, sorry, a totally real Canadian beaver that Brian Miller found on the side of the road… completely not a gift from his mom) help inspire fear in the eyes of the Crimson Tide Rally Penguin and Florida’s silly pet goldfish. [You can follow Chance at @VU_RallyBeaver and Alabama’s mascot at @BamaRllyPenguin]

Click through to catch up. Read more…

The Rise of the Commodore

May 10th, 2012 Comments off

Not a whole lot of description needed as this Video tells the tale itself. Welcome to James Franklin’s Vanderbilt:

InfoGraphic: Kids Then Vs. Now

May 7th, 2012 Comments off

There’s no better way to present info to today’s ADD-riddled kids than through a colorful infographic. And why not have that infographic compare our can’t-sit-still generation to their predecessors. Click on through for an interesting look at kids today and kids 30 years ago from BED.

Read more…

Mother Fracking Science

May 1st, 2012 Comments off

I’ve been busy of late and not keeping up with my blogging duties. Nevertheless, this morning I came across two things which I decided needed a place on this blog.

The first (found at The Awl) is a collection of images from Voyager and Cassini/Huygens which would make both Carl Sagan and Carolyn Porco proud. Note that all of the pictures interlaced in this video are raw image data from the missions… including the brilliant ice geysers of Enceladus. Ungh.

The song is The Cinematic Orchestra -That Home (Instrumental).

Click through to follow up with some fun NdGT adaptations. Read more…

Vandy Baseball: Sixth Week Behind, Week Ahead

March 30th, 2012 Comments off

The Commodores finally got of the schnide on Saturday with their first SEC win on a walk off single by Conrad Gregor. Photo credit: Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

From the darkest of moments, the Vanderbilt season has seemingly turned a corner. Although it would be hard to imagine another Omaha run and the NCAA playoffs still seem like a long shot, the VandyBoys do appear to be having fun out there. After a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Georgia on Friday, the Commodores erupted upon Conrad Gregor’s game winning single on Saturday night. Visiting Bulldog fans might have wondered what could have caused a near dog pile type celebration, but after seeing the frustration of a 7-15 record at the time and a season with so much promise in which so many things have gone wrong, the raucous victory lap was long overdue.

The Dores have a long way to go to get truly right, but it was a great first step and a pair of nail-biter victories over the Bulldogs were complimented by an easy midweek win over Tennessee Tech. More importantly, for the first time this season, Vanderbilt appears to be really having fun out there and is playing a more fundamentally sound version of baseball.

The Immediate Progression – Getting to .501

Eligibility for the SEC playoffs has been expanded to ten teams in 2012. Currently, only one team seems certain to be excluded. The Alabama Crimson Tide are 9-16 and just 1-5 in SEC play with an RPI of 135. While Vanderbilt is just a game better on the season (and, more troubling, has yet to win any of their seven road games – though six have been against NCAA’s elite Florida and Stanford squads), the Commodores schedule appears softer than the Tide from hereon out. So it seems that Vanderbilt will likely compete with Tennessee (15-10, 2-4) and an injury-plagued Mississippi State (17-9, 2-4) squad for the lower end of Hoover eligibility this year.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the VandyBoys could either click on full in SEC play – after all, the talent is there – or completely fall apart. My guess is that we end up somewhere in the middle of that road. The starting pitching has certainly come around, and if TJ Pecoraro can regain his feel for pitching and have enough endurance to start, Vanderbilt should feel confident in a Sunday win each week (especially with Drew VerHagen and Will Clinard sharing closing duties).

So what would Vanderbilt need to do to be eligible for post-season play?

Click through to keep on reading Read more…

Vandy Baseball: Fourth and Fifth Week Behind, Week Ahead

March 23rd, 2012 Comments off

I’m getting quite behind in the columns due to just not having quite enough time to keep this up to date.  I’d be lying if the 7-14 start to the season didn’t have something to do with that.

Since I last posted, the VandyBoys had a rough go of it in Florida (as expected) and lost a heart breaker to Evansville on Tuesday.  With 33 games left on the regular season schedule, qualifying for NCAA post-season play is now looking more and more unlikely.

The Immediate Progression — Where the Season Goes From Here

To be eligible for a Regional, a team must be at least one game over .500 after the conference tournament in Hoover.  Sitting at seven games under, Vandy can’t feel comfortable entering Hoover unless they’re already at that point, necessitating something along the lines of a 21-12 finish to the regular season (permitting a 1-2 record at Hoover).

Ty Beede will be back in the Saturday starter role this weekend against Georgia. Vanderbilt needs him to come up big against All-SEC righty Michael Pallazone of the Bulldogs. Photo Credit: Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

Click Through To Keep On Reading Read more…

Vandy Baseball: Week Behind, Week Ahead Intermission

March 16th, 2012 Comments off

Riley Reynolds had quite the day on Wednesday, hammering his first career homerun and winning the #RileySonnyHomeRunChallenge over Sonny Gray. Photo by Mike Rapp, VandySports.com.

I’ve been busy of late and it’s been hard to stay on my regular weekly schedule for these. I’m going to try to catch up again this weekend after the Florida series and cheering my lungs out for Stevie Thunder and the #VUnit in the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

The big news for the weekend is Ty Beede reentering the weekend rotation, pitching on Sunday in place of Sam Selman. That sets the matchups against consensus #1 Florida as

  • Friday, 6 CT — LHP Kevin Ziomek (2-1, 3.09) vs. RHP Hudson Randall (2-0, 3.65);
  • Saturday, 12 CT — RHP Drew VerHagen (2-1, 3.93) vs. LHP Brian Johnson (2-0, 4.12); and
  • Sunday, 12 CT — RHP Beede (0-2, 7.24) vs. RHP Jonathon Crawford (1-1, 5.71).

Saturday’s game will air on CSS/ESPN3.com, while Friday and Sunday are viewable in HD by subscribing monthly to GatorVision.tv(not covered by CBS All-Access).

In the meantime, how about Riley Reynolds. The career .317 hitter had no homeruns (and few balls that even threatened to leave the park) in his first 622 plate appearances as a Commodore. In appearance number 623, he changed all that by putting a charge into a ball to right on Wednesday night against Sienna. His homerun put the exclamation point on a much needed midweek sweep in which the Commodores finally started to look like the Omaha-bound team they were a year ago.

Click through for video of the homer, Riley’s post-game interview and a look back to 2011 with the Baseball Banquet video package produced by Will Hinson (@TheVUCount). Read more…

March Madness – My Bracket

March 14th, 2012 Comments off

It’s time to get it on. The beloved Commodores are the reigning SEC Tournament Champions after unseating #1 Kentucky in New Orleans. I’m hanging my hat on the first round curse coming to an end against Harvard this year and I genuinely believe the Dores will be cutting down the East Regional nets in a couple weeks.

Sadly, I cannot overcome with my heart what my head tells me. The Wildcats are the best team in America and should give Coach Calipari his long sought title. For as much as I loathe all things Big Blue, they are my pick to win it all, with UNC facing them in the championship after knocking off Vanderbilt. Missouri is my other Final Four contender.

After the jump, a bracket based on tuition costs which gives the Commodores a true victory. Read more…

Music Video: The Shoes’ “Time To Dance”

March 12th, 2012 Comments off

What would you get if you mixed American Psycho with Donnie Darko? I’m not sure it would be a blockbuster, but director Daniel Wolfe gave it a shot with the music video for The Shoes’ “Time to Dance.” Filmed in France, it is cinematic in scope, if cut more as a trailer. Altogether pretty awesome.