Quick Hits and Random Thoughts

Image of the Day

*sigh*

David-Gregory-QuickmemeCall me not as con­vinced as some oth­ers are that “Meet the Press” anchor David Gre­gory is going to jail over hav­ing an ille­gal (at least in the Dis­trict of Colum­bia) 30-round mag­a­zine while try­ing to rile up NRA CEO and Vice Pres­i­dent Wayne LaPierre last Sunday.

My guess is when it is all said and done, NBC or Gre­gory will only pay a hefty fine.  They’re clearly try­ing to go that route through their media strat­egy, the only ques­tion is does the legal strat­egy allow them to fol­low suit.

Did Charles Woodson’s Col­lar­bone Heal Properly?

I’ve been won­der­ing that now for the past few weeks.

On aver­age, it takes the typ­i­cal human being about 6 weeks to heal a bro­ken bone from a sim­ple frac­ture.  With the future hall of famer once again side­lined for this Sunday’s reg­u­lar sea­son finale against the Vikings, it will be ten weeks since Charles Wood­son has played a down of football.

While coach Mike McCarthy was explain­ing at his news con­fer­ence that team physi­cian Dr. Pat McKen­zie still hasn’t cleared Wood­son to return, Wood­son insisted dur­ing a short inter­view in the locker room that scans on his bro­ken col­lar­bone look good, and he hasn’t expe­ri­enced a setback.

There’s noth­ing going on, just hold­ing out,” Wood­son said. “Everything’s look­ing good but I just think the longer you can hold it off, then I guess the bet­ter it is. So we’re just waiting.”

Wood­son, who appeared to do only scout-team work in prac­tice today, said last week that he hoped to play in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Vikings in order to get some work in before the postseason.

When asked today whether he’s going to be able to per­form up to his stan­dards in the play­offs with­out any regular-season work since his injury, Wood­son said: “I’m not going to have a choice. There’s no time to come back and play around, you know what I’m saying.”

One good thing about a col­lar­bone injury is that it allows Wood­son to stay active on his feet, so if he is back in there for the play­offs, he shouldn’t have to deal with con­di­tion­ing issues.  The real ques­tion is arm strength.

The col­lar­bone allows for arm wingspan, so unless he’s found a way to keep that up with min­i­mal pain, it could be a fac­tor in his effec­tive­ness in cov­er­ing that ball.

Quote of the Day

Jonathan Swift prob­a­bly said it best in Gulliver’s Trav­els and the “Laputans” but Thomas Sow­ell said it much more pithy in his “ran­dom thoughts” col­umn today.

The more I study the his­tory of intel­lec­tu­als, the more they seem like a wreck­ing crew, dis­man­tling civ­i­liza­tion bit by bit — replac­ing what works with what sounds good.

Hav­ing knowl­edge is great.  Hav­ing a prac­ti­cal use for that knowl­edge is even better.

The Great Father-Caper Continues

So glad to see the lib­eral pol­icy of “A Father is the same as a Wel­fare Check” from the 1960s is work­ing accord­ing to plan.  Of course, you’d only cel­e­brate that if the plan was more poverty, increased child­hood illit­er­acy, declin­ing respect for peo­ple in places of author­ity, and entire gen­er­a­tions depen­dent on government.

In every state, the por­tion of fam­i­lies where chil­dren have two par­ents, rather than one, has dropped sig­nif­i­cantly over the past decade. Even as the coun­try added 160,000 fam­i­lies with chil­dren, the num­ber of two-parent house­holds decreased by 1.2 mil­lion. Fif­teen mil­lion U.S. chil­dren, or 1 in 3, live with­out a father, and nearly 5 mil­lion live with­out a mother. In 1960, just 11 per­cent of Amer­i­can chil­dren lived in homes with­out fathers.

Amer­ica is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other prob­lems, but more than per­haps any­thing else, it all comes down to this, said Vin­cent DiCaro, vice pres­i­dent of the National Father­hood Ini­tia­tive: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows.

Peo­ple “look at a child in need, in poverty or fail­ing in school, and ask, ‘What can we do to help?’ But what we do is ask, ‘Why does that child need help in the first place?’ And the answer is often it’s because [the child lacks] a respon­si­ble and involved father,” he said.

Wis­con­sin saw a 6% increase in the num­ber of father­less homes from 2000 to 2010.  (Can’t wait to see how the statewide left projects Jim Doyle’s fail­ure onto Scott Walker…)

One of the great fail­ures of the Obama Admin­is­tra­tion is that many peo­ple — not just con­ser­v­a­tives — hoped Obama would use his sta­tus as a lov­ing father of two young chil­dren as an exam­ple for young peo­ple and young black men espe­cially to fol­low his lead.  To be a provider, to be a fam­ily man, to be there for his kids.

How the hell we’ve let our soci­ety reach this level is incred­i­bly sad.

Peter Parker is Dead, Spider-Man Lives!

Now on comic book shelves, Amaz­ing Spider-Man #700, the last ever issue of ASM and the last with Peter Parker (at least so far) in the webs in the stan­dard Mar­vel Universe.

Call him Peter Octavius or Otto Parker, as a hybrid of sorts will make it out of Amaz­ing Spider-Man #700 to become the new Supe­rior Spider-Man [pre­view pages seen in this arti­cle] in the Mar­vel NOW! relaunch of the title in Jan­u­ary, 2013.

The final bat­tle between these age-old ene­mies is fought rather non-traditionally. After a vast mind-swapping scheme by Otto, bet­ter known as Doc­tor Octo­pus or sim­ply Doc Ock, the big fight sees Peter Parker in Otto’s body and vice-versa. How­ever, both minds have left a last­ing impres­sion, and that’s where the last punch is truly thrown by Peter as he lies dying in Otto’s frail body.

Peter Parker’s life flashes not just before his own eyes, but as Otto has full access to Peter’s mem­o­ries and is mind-linked once again, Pete forces him to see all his major, life-changing and philosophy-forming moments. In a crash course on Spider-Man his­tory, Octavius doesn’t just see moments like Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy’s deaths, he expe­ri­ences and feels them. He sees exactly what it was like to over­come adver­sity repeat­edly and finally learns: “With great power must also come great responsibility.”

Thus, Otto promises to not only live as Peter lived, but actu­ally become a bet­ter, and yes, “Supe­rior” Spider-Man.

This is Mori­arty in the head of Sher­lock. This is Prince John inside of Robin Hood. This is the great­est vil­lain inside the body of the great­est hero and try­ing to do good,” writer Dan Slott told USA Today of the new sta­tus quo. He promises you won’t sim­ply see a Peter Parker that has Otto over­tones though — this is Otto Octavius in Peter’s body try­ing to fig­ure out how to be a bet­ter hero than he ever was, and it won’t be easy. “That road of sal­va­tion and step­ping up and doing the right thing, it’s more inter­est­ing to see it from a char­ac­ter who has to fight his basic nature to do that.”

Mind swap, not the first time tried in comics and sci-fi, prob­a­bly not the last either.

The obvi­ous “out” of this story is that while Peter died with his con­scious­ness in Octavius’ frail and bat­tered body [there was a body, it was indeed buried], he was obvi­ously able to get a piece of him­self back in his body.  This will then lead to bat­tle of wills for con­trol over Peter’s body and who will be Spider-Man for the rest of time.

Bet on Peter, even with the Parker luck.

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