Wednesday, September 23, 2015

R.I.P. — Yogi Berra (May 12th, 1925 – September 22nd, 2015) — R.I.P.

Yogi Berra, Yankees Hall of Fame Catcher With a One-of-a-Kind Wit, Dies at 90 — The New York Times

Yogi Berra's legacy: Baseball and hilarious YogismsCNN

Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra dies at 90The Washington Post

Yogi Berra: 1925–2015Grantland

New York Yankees Legend Yogi Berra Dies at 90 — ABC News

Yogi Berra, Derek Jeter forged friendship across generationsESPN

Yogi Berra Was One Of A KindFive Thirthy Eight

R.I.P. — Yogi Berra (May 12th, 1925 – September 22nd, 2015) — R.I.P.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Coldest Story Ever Told: The Influence Of Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak

The Coldest Story Ever Told

Kanye West arrived at Auckland’s Westin Hotel in December 2008 looking exhausted, at the end of every possible rope. He was in New Zealand to promote—or perhaps explain—808s & Heartbreak, the new album he recorded in an ungodly rush amidst his continent-hopping Glow in the Dark tour. Sporting Tom Ford shades so dark that they seemed to obscure half his face, he waded through a 40-minute press conference in seeming slow-motion. Still reeling from the death of his mother as well as a breakup with his fiancée, he explained how “808s came from suffering multitude losses at the same time—it’s like losing an arm and a leg and having to find a way to keep walking through it.” When a reporter asked what he planned to see during his visit to New Zealand, he replied dryly: “The back of my eyelids."

In the time leading up to the album’s November release, West gave the impression of a man running on fumes, flooring the pedal through the most nightmarish moment in his life. There was a manic quality to his promo tour: Just one week before his New Zealand press conference, he was in New York performing 808’s lead single, “Love Lockdown”, on “Letterman”. The song called for him to sing alone, and he botched the first take in front of the studio audience. On take two, he still sounded shaky, badly missing a note even with real-time pitch correction software. But his body was twanging with effort as he gripped the mic stand for balance while heaving himself into the music. Kanye West had always been audacious, but this was a new kind of wire-walk.

808s & Heartbreak was West’s great pivot: He had promised since 2005 that his fourth album would be called Good Ass Job, the capper to his premeditated hip-hop takeover. But then he evidently threw out this life script. “Hip-hop is over for me now,” he started saying, dismissively, in interviews. “From now on, I want to be seen alongside only the musicians you see in the old black-and-white photographs—Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles.”

This was the moment, just after his iconic shutter shades, when all of his vague ideas about fashion, design, and pop art streamlined with his sharper notions about pop music. The project was surprisingly elegant in presentation for something thrown together in less than a month, its minimalist artwork—a lone deflated heart surrounded by grey—acting as a perfect introduction to the bare sounds within. 808s might have been his most complete zeitgeist achievement to date, a crack in time when he was truly, as he once put it, “on the freeway in a fucking plane, in all lanes at all times.”

808s & Heartbreak artwork. Photo by Willy Vanderperre. Illustration by Kaws.

Kanye is performing the entirety of 808s this weekend at the Hollywood Bowl, perhaps as a well-timed reminder, after a somewhat flat year, of what his peculiar brand of bravery can accomplish at its best. Looking back, it’s easy to see how many point-of-no-return qualities the album had. He was required to stretch far, far beyond his abilities to make it. Technically, he was (and is) a bad singer, as he readily acknowledged. So he made his voice more palatable and melodic with Auto-Tune, a piece of software that was loathed at the time for its association with T-Pain, a true innovator who became seen, in hindsight, as a happy jester running a fad into the ground. But after collaborating with T-Pain on the Top 10 hit “Good Life”—and then experimenting with Auto-Tune while playing that song live—West recruited him to help with 808s, essentially making that sound cool again.

Tallahassee Pain was only one of the ghosts in Kanye’s machine: Kid CuDi, an art-student dropout, was also brought in to help with the chilly synths and mournful air West was chasing. And 808s marked the birth and flowering of West’s “creative CEO” method of album-making. Late Registration boasted four co-producers, while Graduation had eight, but on 808s, the liner notes exploded: There were at least five co-writers on nearly every song. To hear producer Jeff Bhasker tell it, there were eight writers in the room when West was turning mumbles into what would become “Love Lockdown” while zoning for hours on that simple, thump-thump-THUMP, boom pattern.

That boom is a bedrock sound of hip-hop, but West saw it as a way to propel himself beyond the genre’s walls. “I’m trying to put on those Phil Collins melodies,” West told Miss Info, naming the most elusive and least-explored influence on 808s. He was talking about Collins’ synth-like, proto-Auto-Tuned voice, but there’s also a sonic kinship between the hard, sharp, and dry drums that Collins popularized on his earliest solo records and the uncanny explosions in dead space that make up 808s’ beats. Collins first came upon this “gated reverb” drum sound while working on Peter Gabriel’s 1980 track “Intruder”, when the song’s engineer, Hugh Padgham, used a microphone normally used for in-studio communication—something closer to an intercom—and then trapped and snuffed out any overtones with a signal processor called a noise gate. It made the drum hits both vivid and lifeless, loud sounds that confused our sense of how loud sounds travel. The technique was famously employed on Collins’ signature hit “In the Air Tonight”, which Kanye has covered live.

West’s reinterpretation of this effect came from the Roland TR-808 drum machine. Created by Ikutaro Kakehashi and Don Lewis and meant to retail for a consumer-friendly price in the early ‘80s, this microwave-shaped piece of hardware made drum sounds that were laughably simple, at least to the professional drummers who feared that robots were going to replace them. Who would listen to this tinny little boomp and blish and not yearn for the presence of a real drummer? Compared to the much more expensive LinnDrum machine, which struck fear into the bones of session players everywhere, the 808 seemed merely cute.

And yet, because it could never replicate drums, it was free to serve other purposes. It made an elemental shudder when you turned it up loud, sending vibrations up and down packed city blocks. It provided a rough sound that was perfect for an enclosed space with lots of loose rattling parts, like a car. Its brute force and widespread availability in pawn shops helped the 808 to rewrite the rules of hip-hop from the ground up. It is rap’s bedrock boom, and West savvily turned to it the moment he seemed to turn his back on rap completely. He had one eye on the chilly European pop that had once dominated radio formats and MTV playlists as rap music languished on late-night programming blocks and local stations, but he kept the 808s hits: They were souvenirs from home as well as strewn pebbles that might lead him back. He was quick to point out the implications of these aesthetic choices, name-checking Gary Numan in interviews while observing that “even if I’m harmonizing, it’s still from a nigga perspective."
808s & Heartbreak artwork. Photo by Willy Vanderperre. Illustration by Kaws.

Rap music has since absorbed the importance of this distinction into its DNA. The 808s template has seeped into the street-rap groundwater—a realm that West’s music has always had an arms-length relationship to—as a new generation of local artists emerges. Listen to “Say You Will”, the two forlorn specs of sound positioned at either channel like the world’s loneliest game of Pong, and then listen to the late South Carolina rapper Speaker Knockerz’ “Lonely”, a street hit from 2014 that has racked up more than 37 million YouTube views based largely on his popularity with high school kids. Knockerz’ fan base couldn’t have been further from the New Zealand arenas West was courting with 808s, but in “Lonely”’s four piano notes you hear the youth taking West’s 808s template as gospel. Young Thug would not exist as we know him without this album; Future’s deserted-astronaut image would not exist without this album. It is impossible to close your eyes when listening to Dej Loaf’s “Try Me” and not hear Kanye’s piping vocal from “Heartless”. For Lil Durk, Chief Keef, Soulja Boy, and countless others, showing up on a track sounding like you are drowning in the sound of your own voice is now as natural as an introductory ad-lib.

Similarly, contemporary R&B would not glower at us from beneath a cloud of discontent and painkillers if not for 808s. The Weeknd made “I Can’t Feel My Face”, a song about the uneasy comfort of numbness, the biggest hit of the summer, and in doing so credited 808s as his spiritual guide, saying it is “one of the most important bodies of work of my generation.” It has also resonated in artier, post-graduate environs; How to Dress Well has said, "I can't fucking believe that that wasn't the most universally praised record of the decade.”

The only thing more influential than the album’s sound might be its tone: bitter, confused, self-pitying, defensive, and accusatory. West, then as now the most most fascinating, celebrated, and scrutinized egomaniac in pop culture, managed to perform emotional vulnerability without necessarily demonstrating it. In fact, the lyrical content of 808s remains the least forward-thinking, least transgressive element of the album: For all his talk in interviews about how the record broke down “the ABCs of relationships” and offered a male perspective on the devastation of breakups, it stands as West’s least introspective project. It is a seething mountain of hurt projected at a villainous “you” who has broken Our Hero. There is some self-loathing, but self-loathing, after all, is just egomania with heartburn.

In this way, 808s made sullen solitude fashionable again: Most male R&B stars want to be taken seriously as a misunderstood anti-hero now, and in this they are reenacting the public breakdown that West staged without a net. The bloodied mumbling that stumbled forth from the release of this record is unbroken—whenever a high-profile rapper suffers some sort of titanic emotional loss, we now expect them to respond with open wounds translated through warbling vocal filters. For example, after the public disgrace of his fallout with Ciara and the commercial disappointment of 2014’s Honest, Future revitalized his career with a three-mixtape series this year that felt like his own 808s. Like Kanye, he sounded dejected, but more angry than insular; his bad feelings were personal insults, career setbacks he didn’t deserve.

And of course, there is Drake, who emerged near-whole from 808s. There is a line to trace here, and it’s intriguingly irregular: Just as West stumbled upon the 808s sound palette during the long live breakdowns of “Good Life”, where he was called upon to sing T-Pain’s part, Drake hit on his own foggy aesthetic by rapping over 808s’ “Say You Will” on his breakout So Far Gone mixtape. Drake’s creative consigliere Noah “40” Shebib remembered being thunderstruck in the studio when that recording went down: “That shit was so impactful to hear him spilling his heart over that kind of production,” he told XXL. "I was like, 'Yo, fuck it, that shit crazy,' and I ran with that sound.”

In retrospect, going from relatively affable T-Pain, to convulsive Kanye, to polished Drake is like watching the evolution of one disruptive idea about what can happen to rappers’ voices when they pass through the center of the genre. The innovation has shuddered open new spaces, and now artists of all stripes live there. Kanye West has spent the duration of his career attempting to establish his brand as an exacting tastemaker, thought leader, and trendsetter, but it’s possible he made his most impactful statement the moment he fully let his guard down. — Jayson Greene | Pitchfork

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Death Spiral Of M. Night Shyamalan’s Career

The director M. Night Shyamalan is out on Friday with a new movie, “The Visit,” a film about two kids who have a lovely time hanging out with their grandparents.
In classic Shyamalan fashion, the movie may provide a pretty huge shock: It’s earning a good score on Rotten Tomatoes! Not a great score, but leagues ahead of what we’d expect based on the director’s recent work. How did one of the most promising directors of the early 2000s get to the point where we’re expecting schlock?
Incorporating data from Rotten Tomatoes and OpusData, let’s review the story of how Shyamalan tanked his directorial reputation, and the small-budget horror comedy that might redeem it.


“The Sixth Sense” is a really good movie. The film is about a troubled child learning how to cope with the help of a psychologist friend (Bruce Willis) who’s learning how to move on with his life. “The Sixth Sense” made an alarming amount of money — it was the second-highest grossing film of 1999 — and generally pulled the carpet out from under the feet of audiences, earning an 85 percent certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes rating from critics and an 89 percent favorable score from fans.
Shyamalan next directed “Unbreakable,” a movie about a superhero and his mentor also starring Willis, this time alongside Samuel L. Jackson. Shyamalan’s first post-“Sixth Sense” film was also very well received — a Rotten Tomatoes score of 68 percent — though less of a box office smash. Two years later, Shyamalan hit another one out of the park with the 74 percent-fresh “Signs,” a surprisingly deep film about aliens4 with enough thematic depth to fuel one of my favorite movie theories.
All are solid Shyamalan! They’re the kind of movies that if you’re bored and they’re running on TBS you’ll watch to the end. They’ve each got a legitimate emotional turn and take a crack at interesting themes, all while using the patented Shyamalan twist.
But this schtick got old really fast.


In 2004, “The Village” constituted a bit of a breaking point for Shyamalan. The film featured Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix and Academy-Award-winner/future-“Dragon Blade”-star Adrien Brody as people mixed up in a deranged Colonial Williamsburg situation. Financially and critically, it was the worst of Shyamalan’s wide-release movies at the time. [Editor’s note: I disagree — the “The Village” was OK.]
The twist in “The Village” was nothing particularly new, and while the earlier three films had a solid emotional center (broken child bonds with surrogate father, broken man bonds with broken man, broken father connects with daughter), “The Village” just felt trite.
Once a director builds a brand, it’s difficult to bust out of it. If you see a Michael Bay movie, you’re going to get explosions. If you see a J.J. Abrams movie, you’re going to see lens flare. If you see a Steven Spielberg movie, you’re going to see a child of divorce learn self-reliance while being hurt by the world. And if you see a M. Night Shyamalan movie, you’re going to see a plot twist that attempts to shift the perspective of the viewer. By the time “The Village” came out, audiences had caught on. And while some directorial predilections are transferable and repeatable, Shyamalan’s became stale. He kind of became the Gallagher of film.
“The Village” garnered only 43 percent at Rotten Tomatoes, and while domestically it did about double its budget, the film was nonetheless a sign of things to come.


As exciting as Shyamalan’s 1999-2002 period was, that’s how disappointing his run since 2006 has been.
Shyamalan followed up “The Village” with “Lady in the Water,” a critical and box office flop about a man who finds a lady in a pool. “Lady in the Water” was innovative in one regard, at least, proving that it was possible for Paul Giamatti to be in a bad movie. This is a film that is literal self-insertion fan fiction by Shyamalan. Ever interested in hearing alternative viewpoints, I contacted a close friend of mine from college — the only person I ever met who loved this movie — to answer for its crimes. Then, this happened:
He later added “This movie is actually entertaining because he tries so hard to throw in a twist that it feels like a high school play,” a sentence I deeply wish I wrote.
Moving on, Shyamalan would go on to make “The Happening.” The twist in this movie is that Mark Wahlberg was cast to play a person qualified to teach children about science. Indeed, several years later at a press conference promoting “The Fighter,” Wahlberg would say:
We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie, and it was a really bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to…I don’t want to tell you what movie…all right, The Happening. F— it. It is what it is. F—ing trees, man. The plants. F— it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.
That feeling you are having right now? That’s your respect for Mark Wahlberg, hamburger entrepreneur, swelling.
While 2010’s “The Last Airbender” would make comparatively more money than the other shit-tier Shyamalan films, it’s by far the most poorly-reviewed of any of the movies he’s directed. It is legitimately difficult to pull off a 6 percent Rotten Tomatoes score. The wide deviation from the beloved source material, the whitewashed casting for characters who were canonically Asian and — of course — incoherent plot twists combined to make a thoroughly unwatchable film. And while it’s always important to be skeptical of a crowd-sourced encyclopedia, “The Last Airbender” somehow made it through the editorial gauntlet to earn a spot onto my third-favorite Wikipedia list, “List of Films Considered The Worst.”
By the time “After Earth” (2013) came out— a film that takes its twist verbatim from “Planet of the Apes” — studios were actively avoiding mentioning the name “M. Night Shyamalan” in trailers. “After Earth” proved to be a financial and critical failure, pulling $60 million domestically and languishing with an 11 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Having hit that particular rock bottom, there’s really nowhere to go but up. Maybe the director will finally pull of one of his famous twists.


Those final two films — a CGI-fueled fantasy film based on a beloved cartoon and a CGI-fueled Will Smith family vanity project — feel a little out of step with the director’s previous oeuvre. Given how technically coherent and visually compelling the films are, it’s not really fair to imply that Shyamalan was out of his depth here, but it does make this forthcoming return to horror all that more intriguing, even if it does seem like he bit the “handheld shaky cam” cinematography bait.
“The Visit” was made for a dirt-cheap $5 million, so it’s basically impossible for it to lose money unless something terrible happens. The movie is sporting a frankly shocking preliminary Rotten Tomatoes rating of 64 percent fresh (as of Friday morning).
While the trailer does save it for the end, the promotional materials are referring to him by name again, making a point to mention it’s “From the writer and director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Village and Signs.”
Take that however you will, but here’s hoping his time in the wilderness made M. Night Shyamalan a better director of the kind of movie that made him big in the first place: tense, tightly-written thrillers with a strong emotional core. Sure, there’s probably going to be gauzy convolutions of plot, but emotional heart can cover for that. Anyone who enjoyed his early work has to be rooting for a comeback. — Walt Hickey | FiveThirtyEight

Alive Inside: A Story Of Music And Memory

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory

The documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken health-care system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin ("Don't Worry, Be Happy").

ALIVE INSIDE (2014) -starring- Dan Cohen | Directed By: Michael Rossato-Bennett

SYNOPSIS: Alive Inside is a joyous cinematic exploration of music's capacity to reawaken our souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity. Filmmaker Michael Rossato-Bennett chronicles the astonishing experiences of individuals around the country who have been revitalized through the simple experience of listening to music. His camera reveals the uniquely human connection we find in music and how its healing power can triumph where prescription medication falls short. 

This stirring documentary follows social worker Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, as he fights against a broken healthcare system to demonstrate music's ability to combat memory loss and restore a deep sense of self to those suffering from it. Rossato-Bennett visits family members who have witnessed the miraculous effects of personalized music on their loved ones, and offers illuminating interviews with experts including renowned neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks (Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain) and musician Bobby McFerrin ("Don't Worry, Be Happy"). 

An uplifting cinematic exploration of music and the mind, Alive Inside's inspirational and emotional story left audiences humming, clapping and cheering at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.

Monday, September 14, 2015



he truth is, we never saw Brooklyn coming. While such a statement seems ludicrous now that BK stands as the most populous and culturally trendy of New York's five boroughs, let's flash back to hip-hop's takeover of the American mainstream in the ‘80s. At the notorious Queensbridge projects, future super-producer Marley Marl was forming his legendary rhyme collective the Juice Crew: an audacious clique that included such standout emcees as MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté, Kool G. Rap, and a notable outlier: one of of Brooklyn’s finest, the indomitable Big Daddy Kane.

Meanwhile, Bronx-bred KRS-One--backed by the overwhelming history of hip-hop's birthplace--stared down Marley's seemingly unbeatable unit and raised them with his much-feared Boogie Down Productions crew. Doug E. Fresh and Kool Moe Dee repped Harlem USA to the fullest from uptown Manhattan, while the greatest lyricist of his generation, Rakim, led an unlikely rhyme stronghold in Long Island with the likes of Public Enemy, EPMD, and De La Soul taking turns releasing some of the genre's most celebrated works.



There's a reason that the artists from this storied borough faced an uphill battle early on for rap supremacy. From 1977 to 1982, the Bronx was ground zero for all things hip-hop. If you wanted to bomb with the best graffiti writers, dance with the illest B-Boys/B-Girls, or experience the sickest parties and park jams being thrown by larger-than-life spin-masters DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Coke LaRock, and Grandmaster Flash, Uptown was the place to be.

It seemed logical that Brooklyn had next, but the borough didn't have a visionary like Queens rap impresario and Def Jam founder Russell Simmons leading the way to commercial heights. Nor did it exhibit its surrounding boroughs’ tight knit, DIY camaraderie and readiness to crew up.

And yet against all proverbial odds, the BK would have its say.

"Born and raised in the streets of Brooklyn/There's three of us, and we're all good looking," proclaimed Whodini frontman Ecstasy on the hit-making trio’s majestically booming 1986 track, "Funky Beat." Hip-Hop's first official band, Stetsasonic, proudly waved the Brooklyn banner, finding chart success with their insightful pro hip-hop anthem "Talkin' All That Jazz." And while he rolled with a Queens-heavy lineup, the aforementioned, highly influential Big Daddy Kane--one of the genre's most celebrated lyricists--was BK all day. His Juice Crew cohorts, the gifted emcee Masta Ace and the collective's infectious class clown Biz Markie, also hailed from the unflappable borough. From late Beastie Boys member Adam "MCA" Yauch to game-changing female spitter MC Lyte, Brooklyn was in the house.

But BK's hard-boiled surroundings always loomed large in the background, informing the work of artists, filmmakers and actors alike. "Being a black man from Brooklyn, it was do or die," veteran actor Michael Kenneth Williams recalls of his turbulent come-up in the place proudly billed as the County of Kings.

"My craft was, for me, developed through my life pain downfalls. We have an old saying in the 'hood in Brooklyn. We say real recognize real."

Actually, Brooklyn was at times a little too real. Biggie Smalls would become one of the highest selling recording acts of the '90s; a genre-shifting, indispensable wordsmith who proved that the reinvigorated East Coast could thrive at a time when the West Coast's Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tupac Shakur were mashing the game and the South was emerging as a major player. But the stout Bed-Stuy representative was also a product of one of Brooklyn's toughest neighborhoods and drew heavy personal inspiration for his brilliant, yet at times dark words by tapping into the uneasy, paranoid experiences he had hustling on the streets.

But arguably the most important Brooklyn voice had even bigger ambitions. Indeed, B.I.G.'s boy and future hip-hop mogul, Shawn "Jay Z" Carter, took notes from his fallen hip-hop comrade, but added more Fortune 500 sheen to his immaculate, 'hood-tailored verses. Thirteen number one albums later and a reported net worth of nearly $520 million, Hov now stands as rap's longest running headliner; a touring behemoth that routinely sells out stadiums.

Jay Z's epic journey from the notorious Marcy housing projects to cashed-out owner in the Brooklyn Nets' $1 billion Barclays Center represents the borough's startling evolution. There is an irony to an increasingly gentrified area that is fighting for its do or die soul. And yet Brooklyn still cuts through the bullshit. From veteran punchline king Fabolous to new blood spitters Joey Bada$$ and Troy Ave, the BK still has something to say. — Keith Murray | SPIN & 1800 Tequila



Sunday, September 13, 2015

Remembering Moses Malone (March 23rd, 1955 – September 13th, 2015) R.I.P.

Remembering Moses Malone

The NBA family lost a legend when Moses Malone passed away suddenly on Sunday, 9/13 at the age of 60. Jared Greenberg takes a look back at a Hall of Famer, NBA champion and 3-time MVP whose work ethic and relentless pursuit of excellence defined his two decade-long career.

R.I.P. Moses Malone (March 23rd, 1955 – September 13th, 2015) R.I.P.

Hope For Paws: CADENCE — Dog Rescue

Hope For Paws: CADENCE — Dog Rescue

Saving Cadence - an abused Pit Bull shows us the power of second chances.

Cadence — a bait dog; passive and less-dominant pit bulls who are horrifically used as "bait" — tragically, they are routinely tortured, mauled, maimed and/or killed during dog-fighting competitions was miraculously rescued from a dark alley in Los Angeles by the canine guardian angels at Hope For Paws.

Cadence (pictured above) during her amazing rescue and recovery process — on the road to a healthy and happy doggy life!

Courtesy of the Hope For Paws — a non-profit animal rescue organization

Wombats — Nature's One Of A Kind Wonderments

Baby Wombat Orphans!

You would never expect it, but these baby Wombats are some of the cutest animals alive!

We asked our associate editor Harry what he thought about wombats, and he said, "An ugly animal—like a bat but dumber." Then we showed him this video and he was paralyzed in an alternating laugh/awwww/laugh/awwww stupor for three whole minutes. Then we really fucked with his emotional bearings by telling him that this little munchkin, named Belle, is an orphan.

Sadly, her mother was run over by a car, but when animal control arrived they checked her pouch and found Belle alive and well inside. (Unlike most marsupials, wombat patches open from the bottom, near their rumps, so that when they dig they don't sprinkle dirt all over their babies. Clever, eh?)

After being rescued, Belle was taken to Healesville Sanctuary in Australia and currently lives there with her best mate, Phoenix, another orphaned wombat. When we visited, they simultaneously dove into a tunnel that was too small to fit both of them, so their little butts were wiggling around in our faces as they tried to push their way inside. It was hilarious!

•   •   •

Robert & Bindi Irwin showcase their wildest animals at Australia Zoo.

Kato the nine year old Wombat has heaps of personality and she is one of Robert's favourite animals she was born at the Zoo and loves to got for walks on the leash around the Zoo with Robert. There are three type of Wombat the Common, Northern Hairy Nosed and Southern Hairy Nosed.

The Late — Great Steve Irwin (R.I.P.) posin' w/ a wombat

They have backwards facing pouches so their babies don't get dirty when they dig. They have to always be chewing as their teeth never stop growing and they have a solid bottom which they use to protect themselves from predators.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Kanye West VMA Vanguard Speech

Get More:

Kanye West
Kanye West VMA Vanguard Speech

Kanye takes the VMA stage to accept his landmark, career-defining award and announce his 2020 presidential intentions.

Once Upon A Time...

...I was in my room having romantic thoughts of screwing my past ex-girlfriends and my penis was about to meet my beloved Palmela...but suddenly, my Mom (sh*t) interrupts — 'Your Dad wants to know...wants you to explain who this crazy black man is on the MTV (awards) show!' [Spoken/Translated from Chinese (Mandarin)]

I had already guessed it was Kanye West...who else is a prima-donna on the national stage...I told my Dad, "You know him — it's the black guy who makes G.O.O.D. black music for other people...he doesn't sing or dance...he makes music (produces) for other people!" 

My Dad replies, 'Why is (he crazy?)...he can't talk good...he keep making mistakes...he speaking long time...he talk long time on stage...'

I replied, "They (MTV) give him special trophy and he just talkin' crazy sh*t because he's always angry like Rev. Sharpton...he's just talkin' bullsh*t to look like a leader for black people but he doesn't know what he's talkin' about — he just want to be famous!"

Both my parents still don't know who Kanye West is but after I told them he's married to the RICH BIG-BUTT GIRL (Kim Kardashian) who's father is the 'half-man/half-woman' (Bruce Jenner) Olympic guy — they both sighed, 'OHHHhhh-hh!'

After all that's said and done, they still both didn't know or what Kanye West is...but my Dad goes, 'Yeah, he crazy he smoke before speaking..."

~The End~

The Phil Files: ESPN's Nine-Part Mini-Series

In our nine-part series, Charley Rosen details the Zen Master's trying first season as president of the New York Knicks.

Part 1: The Battle Ahead

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Top 60 Crossovers Of The 2015 NBA Season

Best 60 Crossovers: 2015 NBA Season

Check out the best 60 killer crossovers and ankle breakers from the 2015 NBA season!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"If At First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again" — William Edward Hickson

Try, Try Again

When his drop shot, lob combo against David Ferrer didn't work once, Florian Mayer had to give it another go.

William Edward Hickson

He is credited with popularizing the proverb:

'Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try, try again.'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...