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March Madness

It's been a wild day already.

Talk about it here.

Let's Go Gators!

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Overrated, Underrated, Properly Rated

Bill Simmons:

[O]ne of my favorite games (inspired by Chuck Klosterman): "Overrated, underrated or properly rated?" In the Internet era, we spend so much time dissecting things that it's hard to find something that's properly rated -- we either think someone's getting a little too much credit or not quite enough. Right now, there are only a few properly rated things: "The Social Network," Albert Pujols, Rihanna, Aaron Rodgers, Jennifer Lopez in HD, "24/7," Chik-Fil-A, Jim Gray, Dr. James Andrews, TNT's "Inside the NBA" show, prison it's not a long list.

Give me your pick for most overrated, underrated and properly rated person, place or thing. Open Thread as well.

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Anxiety Addictions

Newsweek reports that some people are addicted to anxiety and actually seek it out.

Researchers who study emotion regulation—how we cope, or fail to cope, with the daily swirl of feelings—are discovering that many anxious people are bound and determined (though not always consciously) to cultivate anxiety. The reason, studies suggest, is that for some people anxiety boosts cognitive performance, while for others it actually feels comforting.

....In some cases, the need to experience anxiety can lead to a state that looks very much like addiction to anxiety.

At the other end of the spectrum, are those who have turned "F**k it" into a mantra. Check out this video, F**k It, The Ultimate Spiritual Way. (It's only 1 minute but I won't embed it because the title doesn't have asterisks.) You can also take the "F**k It" course at a gorgeous retreat called The Hill That Breathes in Urbino, Italy. [More...]

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Super Bowl

My picks: Christina Aguilera's national anthem length (1:54) (OVER) - Lock of the day.

Time Aguiliera will hold "brave" (6 seconds) - (OVER) - 2nd lock of the day.

Number of times Fox will show Jerry Jones (3) (OVER) (Bonus, will also show Jerry Jones' daughter once.)

Mentions of Brett Favre (2 1/2) - (OVER.)

Time left when Gatorade bath given to winning coach (0:45 second)- (OVER).

Packers player will attempt a Lambeau Leap - (YES)

The keys word for the Super Bowl is OVER, as in OVERdone.

Let me add to the overdone by adding these picks -- TAILS in the coin toss, the Steelers (+3) and the Over 45 points scored.

Open Thread.

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iBama: Was Obama Like Apple?

Via Kevin Drum, The Audacity of Mac:

[Apple is] a religion of hope in a hopeless world, hope that your ordinary and mortal life can be elegant and meaningful [. . .]

Drum properly mocks this sentence. My title is just me playing headline writer (revised title h/t Robot Porter), but I do wonder how much "Creative Class" there is in all of this.

Speaking for me only

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BCS Championship Preview

First, let me disclose my bias - a Florida Gator fan, I am firmly convinced that not only is the SEC the best football conference year after year, but that it is not even very close. Soooo, I'm picking Auburn tonight right? No. I think that Oregon is going to win the game easily and that this is one of the best betting propositions in some time. Let's look at the numbers - Auburn is a 1.5 point favorite (since I decided on Oregon, I shopped for the best line and have Oregon (+3) (15 units)). My view is that Jeff Sagarin has the most accurate computer rating system. Under the Sagarin system, Oregon is 7 points better than Auburn. More . .

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RIP: Revered Hmong Leader Gen. Vang Pao

Gen. Vang Pao, 81, has died of pneumonia in California. Exiled to America, the revered Hmong leader, regarded as the George Washington of the Hmong, was born on a farm in a mountain village in Laos. He began his career as a teenage translator for the French who were fighting the Japanese in Laos. He then went to French officer candidate school and became a commissioned officer in the French army. During the Vietnam War, he led a secret CIA-sponsored army fighting the North Vietnamese.[More...]

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Prom Night Dumpster Baby

Via Joan McCarter, I have no idea what in the world crazy Republican Steve King means when he says "I hate to tell you but [babies] show up in garbage cans around this country, sir," in the context of the constitutionality of the health bill, but it reminded me of this particularly tasteless Family Guy bit (Full Disclosure I love Family Guy):

It was based on this story. I'm in a weird mood today.

Speaking for me only

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Random Tech Issue

Just in case any tech gurus are reading today: I've been battling a new version of an e-discovery program the Government uses when providing us with wiretap discovery. It's called IPro Tech.

It's using a "new build" and the program won't open on my Windows XP desktop. I get an error that says "run-time error, invalid file format, 20009." [More..]

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Calif. Religious Sect Leader Committed to Mental Hospital

The leader of the California religious sect whose members went missing this weekend has been found and hospitalized on a 72 hour involuntary mental hold. Authorities say when found, she was confused.

The 13 sect members have been found and are safe. Authorities say they were preparing for or awaiting "the rapture or some catastrophic event." The found members say "they had no intention of harming themselves."

Sounds like the authorities over-reacted. Then again, I happened to watch "2012" yesterday on cable, and no one believed Woody Harrelson either ... except John Cusack, and maybe the Mayans.

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Tourmalet

Some of you might have noticed that I have not posted as much lately until today. Part of the reason has been a busy work schedule (I have things to do today but have been goofing off.) But the other reason has been I've been engrossed with the Tour de France, which has been a classic battle between Alberto Contador, the defending, and 2-time, champion and Andy Schleck, last year's runner-up. It has been, as they say, epic.

Today is a rest day in the Tour and tomorrow is the Queen Stage (the most difficult stage of a multi-day road race, typically involving multiple low- or beyond-category climbs) culminating in a mountaintop finish on the Col de Tourmalet. The Tour is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the inclusion of Pyrenees finishes - where this famous story adds to the mystique:

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World Cup: Spain v. The Netherlands

Update (TL): Spain wins.

****

What a great game this should be. The Netherlands has won 6 straight at the tournament. Spain is the best team in the world. It should be great.

What to expect? Nervous, cautious start. No one wants to give up an early goal. Spain will play its possession style as usual, but with more caution at the back. Sergio Ramos will stay back early. The attacks will build from midfield.

More.

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