This week in sports: I'll take the ______ and the points

I hope this happens on Sunday. The Chargers causing a fumble would be much more helpful than fumbling it away a couple times. The Chargers have the #1 offense, the #1 defense and the #32 special teams. I don't think they actually have a measurement for special teams, but whatever it is, if it says any other team in the NFL is worse than the Chargers, it's wrong. I'd like a Charger's game to end in an emotion other than frustration. As for everyone else in the NFL, underdogs are 62-40-1 against the spread (ATS...for those in the biz). I don't think this has anything to with gambling gods or karma. Underdogs are 46-58 straight up (SU) so the lines are accurately reflecting the favorites being the better team, but so many teams are so close that getting any points at all is enough to make the difference. Last week there were two games decided by one single point. When I make my picks, I click on every underdog first, then go back and actually analyze whether I think the matchup determines that I should take the favorite and give the points. As a result, I am 56-43 ATS and 60-44 SU.

Tech Thursday: Cloud Alliance

Today, Intel announced that it's leading a group called the Open Data Center Alliance in a project called Cloud 2015 (not to be confused with the Cloud Gate). What is Cloud 2015?

Image via IncomingIT.

Music Tuesdays - Semaname by Mercan Dede

Mercan Dede (pronounced mehr-john day-day) is a Turkish DJ/producer to makes some fairly cool sounding music. I got one of his albums on my trip and I'm looking for some good songs for future Music Tuesdays. I don't know what kind of music this is - house music? I feel like this might be up Scott's alley.

This week in sports: The Chargers are favored?

The Chargers are 2-4 and are dangerously close to being classified as a bad team. At the very least, they are below average. The Patriots are 4-1 and look like one of the best teams in the league (you know, if you only look at offense) and the Chargers are favored? But as I announced before, I am taking the Chargers every time. Because I'm the good kind of homer. I'm dedicated, optimistic and blinded. Here's a quick recap around the league...hell, because it's late on Friday, for a few of these games, I'll just give my pick and the predictions.

Wet Wednesday: Variety is the spice of life

I saw something glorious on Sunday...but before I get to it, you need a little history. As I mentioned in my own personal history of beer, the first step to liking beer came in the form of Pyramid Hefeweizen. That bottle was my "monkey using tools" moment. It was my small step. The natural progression was to Widmer Hefeweizen and other wheat beers. I slowly began trying new beers and styles. A few friends and I went to Hooters and on the server's suggestion a buddy and I ordered a Sam Adams Boston Lager and a Sam Adams Summer Ale. She set the Summer Ale down in front of me and the Boston Lager down in front of my buddy. We each took a sip, then passed the beers across the table so that we could each try both beers. He never gave the Summer Ale back.

Music Tuesday: Rise Against - Savior

After a long, hard day at work yesterday, I got in the car and this song was on the radio. The high energy immediately put me in a better mood and as soon as I got home I changed and went for a 20 minute run. What songs give you more energy than any food, drink or drug could?

This week in sports: F*ck if anyone knows.

I love this picture. It makes me so happy reminiscing how great LaDainian Tomlinson was (is?). It also illustrates the proper way to execute a stiff arm. 1) Place the heel of your hand just under the facemask of the defender. 2) Do not close your fingers because you will be called for a penalty. 3) Shove the defender's helmet off his head. It's a simple three step process. This week, as always, I'm taking the Chargers minus whatever. If the Chargers don't allow a special teams touchdown, I imagine they will win by 30 or so. As for the rest of the league, there are a few bad teams, a few good teams and a lot of teams in the middle that no one including the teams themselves have any idea about. I feel like I'll be taking a lot of points this week.

Tech Thursday: Robot Cars!

Last week we talked briefly about computers that could read (well, we more talked about how surprised we were by the "blockbuster-ness" of some recent movies, and that MP is an idiot). Six months ago we talked about towel-folding robots. In between, we talked about a lot of other things. This week, we'll continue the robotics theme with Robot Cars! Monday saw Google unveil their self-driving car, which has driven an amazing "140,000 miles with only occasional human control." (1K with no human control). Not to be outdone, Germany's Freie University unveiled their self-driving taxi this morning. No word yet how many miles it's driven, but the video in the link is pretty awesome.

Image via NY Times.

This week in sports: Not so bold predictions

The Chargers have had a guaranteed two wins against the Raiders every year since 2004. The Chargers have beaten the Raiders 13 straight times, and if I had a research department like TV broadcasts do, I'm sure I could give you exactly what the record for one team's dominance over another is. In fact, I'm putting the odds at -500 that the broadcasters mention the Chargers over Raiders streak and what the record is, at least once during the game. This is actually the easiest time for me to pick the Chargers minus 'it-doesn't-matter-how-many-points'. And to appease Scott, here is my new format...

Funny Story

It's a story of drugs, millionaires, arrest warrants, emotion and a donkey.

By Penelope Trunk

I would put this on Twitter, but for some reason I am having trouble sending out Tweets and this blog has more followers.

Tech Thursday: A Reading Computer!

"Right Now A Computer Is Reading Online, Teaching Itself Language"

That's the title of a recent Gizmodo article that caught my eye. I have to say there's not much else they could have put in that title, nor much they could have changed that would have made me read the article any quicker. The concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around the block a few times, and has been the subject of a few Hollywood blockbusters over the past decade. While the title immediately caught my attention, I must admit that I have little-to-no knowledge of the topic other than that its probably really hard to develop a self-thinking, learning computer. That said, the Gizmodo piece points to one such project that has over an 80% success rate with learning facts (e.g. Pikes Peak is a mountain in Colorado) - that's insane!

Image via Wikipedia.

Music Tuesdays - Tightrope by Janelle Monae

I originally heard about Janelle Monae on Prima Mag's site, which in turn I heard of via our friend C-Mac. This sequence of discover was also responsible for the awesome Uffie song a few weeks back.

Turns out Monae performed this song on Dancing With the Stars last week, so she qualifies as well-known by now. I like the video cause it's really fun, matching the mood of the song well.

This week in sports: The Bye weeks start

The Chargers have the best offense in the NFL after three weeks (as measured by the always dubious total yards metric), which surprises no one. This is a pretty boring observation because the Chargers have had a top five offense (measured by either yards or points) for the previous six seasons. What is a little surprising is that the Chargers currently have a top five defense as well. The Chargers have had a top five defense (again by yards OR points allowed) only once in the past six seasons. In fact, this year, in games where they don't allow a special teams touchdown, the Chargers are scoring an average of 38 points and only allowing an average of 13 points. So that should be the Chargers focus this week. Don't allow a special teams touchdown to the other team and everything else will fall in place. I say the Chargers follow this advice and beat the Cardinals handily. This week there are four teams on bye's so this column should be 12.5% shorter than last week.

Tech Thursday: Google's Good at Risk?

While not really in-line with the original goal of Tech Thursdays (but wait - we've strayed off track before!), today's Tech Thursday shows us that Google is really good at Risk. TechCruch reported today that, in addition to Brazil and Ireland, Google has added Antarctica to it's StreetView product, thus completing its world dominance.

Image via TechCrunch.