The world’s hardest sport

I’ve been having a debate over what is the world’s most difficult sport, Golf or Polo.

Polo: The world’s hardest sport?

In my experience, Polo has the highest barrier to entry of any of the popular sports.

Even a minimal proficiency in polo requires a sound foundation in horsemanship and amazing hand-eye coordination. It can take years of practice before you are even ready to begin playing Polo.

Golf: The world’s hardest sport?

Depending on your definition of minimal proficiency, it can take hundreds of hours of practice to be able to enjoy playing golf.

Folks used to say that you must strike at least 10,000 gold balls to be proficient, while others claim that you must hit at least 100,000 golf balls to achieve proficiency as a golfer.

To play “bogie” golf (a score of 90 or less), most experts estimate that it takes an average player six years of regular play and weekly golf lessons. On the golf channel they claim that an average proficient golfer takes about 300 weekly lessons while playing at least 32 holes per week over a period of many years.

Of course, some golf courses are easier than others:

Filming an eBay commercial in New York City

Scout the guide horse is back in the Big Apple for the filming of an eBay TV commercial, and this is the first eBay commercial using a guide horse.

We are staying at one of New York City’s horse friendly hotels, and everyone is having a great time. Scout is enjoying his hotel suite, but Noel the doggie is a bit jealous.

In the eBay commercial, a blind fellow finds the perfect dress shoes for his seeing eye pony.

It’s just like our blind people do when they make their own shoes for their guide horses.

The commercial is a huge production, with over 50 crewmembers, actors and NYC police to block-off the streets for the outdoor scenes.

Best of all, we have our own caterer on the street corner, all free food!

In one scene, Scout has to go potty on cue, but he did not need to go at the time, so the crew improvised a stream of horse pee using yellow mouthwash and a tube, very creative.

Normally Scout will pee on cue, but only if he needs to go:

We filmed today on the lower east side, and it was great to have all of the crew and police to keep the street clear for filming:

Jen1 and Christina were Scout’s aids, and they helped Janet keep him sparkly clean and fresh for the cameras:

Last time we were in NYC, Scout got to meet scientist Jane Goodall:

Scout likes New York City, and he recently attended an improv comedy show sponsored by Monkey Dick. Tomorrow we wrap-up and we are looking forward to seeing the finished commercial.

Dave Barry likes my Redneck art!

Dave Barry likes my taste in deer butt art!

“Perhaps we need a new warning category?

Although, I’m really not sure what type of warning would adequately prepare me for an article containing detailed instructions on how to tie off Bambi’s anus just before severing her cute widdle large intestine.”

Air travel for the indigent

I recently had the displeasure of traveling on TrailerTrash Airlines, a super-cheap air carrier catering to the poor and destitute air traveler.

The most important difference was the notable absence of business travelers, and the flyers were a cross-section of scummy people, right out the studio audience from the Maury Povich show.

I noticed that the TrailerTrash customers fell into several categories:

The B. O. Plenty’s – The number of flyers with offensive body odor is a major issue, and TrailerTrash airlines support the right of passengers to exercise their right to stink.

The willfully disabled – These are those morbidly obese “double seat” flyers who eat themselves into wheelchairs and get special treatment as “disabled” travelers.

The Thumpers – These are the religious zealots who have recognized that the captive audience of an airport terminal is a great place to show-off and impose their worship ceremonies upon the public.

Is stinking a constitutional right?

During our coach travel adventure we encountered people from each of these low-class travelers, starting with the endless lines of people checking-in with their “Tennessee Samsonite”, a novel custom-made luggage, made from Hefty trash bags and duct tape.

Tennessee Samsonsite

At the ticket counter, one fellow stank to high heaven, an acrid, putrid stench made up from weeks of acuminated sweat and feces. This was a short fellow with matted black hair and the greasy skin complexion favored by San Francisco hobos.

The gate agent was trying to deny him boarding, but she did not speak English very well, which was OK, since he did not speak much English anyway. The stinker kept shouting “Kay?, Kay?”, and the counter lady became exasperated and finally relented, handing Mr. Plenty his boarding pass.

Pre-flight on TrailerTrash Airlines

Many of the traveler on TrailerTrash Airlines secured their in-flight meals by rooting through the trash cans at the food court, fetching-up tasty treats of half-eaten bagels and sandwich scraps.

The willfully disabled

During boarding we were treated to a small fleet of super-fat welfare recipients (or perhaps ex-Sumo wrestlers), all demanding wheelchairs and special treatment for their self-inflicted disability. Imagine flying cross country sitting next to Michael Moore, a nightmare of epic proportions:

Guess who gets the middle seat?

I’m sorry, willful misconduct should not constitute a disability, and people who eat themselves into a wheelchair are not legitimately disabled. I’m tired of hearing this crap about hormone imbalances. Do these fatties expect us to believe that they would remain grossly obese if they were imprisoned in a concentration camp?

The Thumpers

I have the greatest respect for the absolute right of people of every religion to practice their beliefs, and most air travelers are tolerant of quiet praying. But that’s changing, and I don’t understand how religious extremists think that they have the right to impose their worship ceremonies upon the public.

I remember the 1970’s where those Hairy Krishna’s preachers would ply the airports in orange robes (with what appeared to be a dab of peanut butter on their forehead), shaking their tambourines and pestering business people. Thankfully, they were banned from airports, but now in the 21st century travelers must tolerate invasive ad-hoc worship services in the boarding area.

Praying before a captive audience

A recent lawsuit highlights this issue of people imposing their religion on travelers, where Muslim worshippers sued their fellow air passengers for reporting their public worship ceremonies as suspicious.

We now see that many cab drivers deliberately violate the civil rights of disabled people, denying blind folks with seeing-eye dogs the right to equal access.

The future of air travel for the poor

While I’m sure that the poor deserve to fly on commercial airlines, they do not have the right to violate the rights of their fellow passengers.

Schools ban Wikipedia

The web is one of the world’s best search tools, but the clutter from uncredible sources ruining the experience.

They estimate that there will be over 500 million blogs in the next few years, most of them in Nigeria, and the search engines must develop a way to filter-out the crap. Just look at this Google search for “George Washington”:

It disgusts me that Wikipedia has no problem exposing children to profanity when doing a book report.

My article on evaluating credibility information on the web is just a start, and it’s only by verifying the credential of web authors that people can trust the reliability of the work.

Please join me in encouraging Google to PR0 Wikipedia and sent its garbage back to the 50th page of search results, where all anonymous drivel belongs.

SQL Candy

Here is a great photo from the Daily WTF that shows what happens when you use a relational database to print your labels and don’t check your work.

Here we see a SQL statement printed onto the candy label:

Facial recognition & racial profiling

Once in a blue moon, when Jupiter aligns with Mars, we are treated to the concurrent release of two closely-related news stories:

Facial Recognition technology to be deployed by Homeland Security

Muslims sue their fellow air travelers for finding them “suspicious”

The melding of these stories is a fascinating, timely and classic issue, especially in-light of the new-age sensitivities of some Americans. Imus was fired for making an offensive observation about the physical appearance of lady basketball players, and today, people are super-sensitive about being politically correct, and they struggle with their “weird-radar”.

The Average American’s weirdness sensitivity is especially high when traveling, and some folks find foreigners mannerisms to be “suspicious”, especially when you are the secured area of an airport.

The Muslim lawsuit news report notes:

“When you drive up the road towards the airport, there’s a big road sign that says, `Report suspicious behavior,'” said Gerry Nolting, a Minneapolis lawyer. “There’s no disclaimer that adds, `But beware if you do that, you might get sued.'”

The six imams were taken off a Phoenix-bound US Airways flight on Nov. 20 while returning home from a conference of Islamic clerics in Minneapolis.

Other passengers had gotten nervous when the men were seen praying and chanting in Arabic as they waited to board.

Some passengers also said that the men spoke of Saddam Hussein and cursed the United States; that they requested seat belt extenders with heavy buckles and stowed them under their seats; that they were moving about and conferring with each other during boarding; and that they sat separately in seats scattered through the cabin.”

Racist or Common Sense?

I had a similar experience in the Miami airport. Returning from an overseas trip, we were changing planes, and we witnessed two gentlemen with black scraggly beards dressed in expensive suits. About 20 minutes before boarding, they opened-up their carry-on luggage and pull colorful robes over their suits! Then, they put-on one of those little red beanies like the Pope wears, and strapped little square thingies onto their foreheads.

Finally, they clutched a pair of small books and start chanting and praying with a fervor like it was their last moment on earth. About this time, several people dashed to the counter to see about getting on a later flight. . . . The central question is “Were these people being racist, or were they just using common sense”?

Facial Recognition – Is finding people who look like terrorists a racist act?

The new Facial Recognition technology scans for similarities in facial characteristics, and the use of this tool to identify folks who “look like” terrorists seems like a great idea. Check-out this link to some facial recognition software on the web.

Would the intelligent use of facial recognition technology enable Homeland security to conduct in evil “racial profiling”? When seeking illegal immigrants in an airport, is it racist to single-out people who look like Mexican farm workers?

Evidently, some passengers judged the behavior of the Muslim group to be suspicious and they complained to the airline, which responded by banning the Muslim group from the flight. In a nutshell, the Muslims legal claim is that they were reported for simply acting like normal devout Muslims and that their fellow passengers are just a bunch of KKK racists.

Me, I strongly believe in TSA reform, to cut-down on the “Barney Phyfe” terminal Nazi’s:

These are some of the dumbest people I’ve ever seen, and the TSA recruiting ads should look like this.

On the other hand, how do we deal with the “waste” when TSA people are forced to screen randomly, regardless of whether someone “looks like” a potential terrorist? Screening old folks like this is just a stupid waste of time:

Was Edgar Allen Poe psychic?

“In the 19th century, the famous horror writer, Egdar Allan Poe, wrote a book called ‘The narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’.

It was about four survivors of a shipwreck who were in an open boat for many days before they decided to kill and eat the cabin boy whose name was Richard Parker.

Some years later, in 1884, the yawl, Mignonette, foundered, with only four survivors, who were in an open boat for many days. Eventully the three senior members of the crew, killed and ate the cabin boy.

The name of the cabin boy was Richard Parker.”


Spider bite causes erections

Scott Adams noted this fascinating story about the Brazilian wandering spider whose bites cause uncontrolled erections:

“The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort”

I remember the first time I heard the TV commercial “If you have an erection lasting for more than four hours, see your doctor”, thinking that it was a joke.

I wonder how many five year-olds hear this on TV and ask Mom:

“Mommy, what’s an erection”?