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Quack Quack Quack! I Got Da Ball!

He stayed in the game after. The NBA used to be ridiculous, in a good way. Now it's usually ridiculous in a bad way. Remember when Artest went into the stands?

Artest is a funny guy. We all remember the time when he pulled down Pierce's pants in a game while with the Pacers. It didn't work, because Pierce continued on with the play and drained a three over Artest. But I came across this awesomeness, which is after the replay (about 45 seconds in). Artest wrote a little song to apologize to Pierce.

<3 Artest

Edit: Here's a Cedric Maxwell rap compilation. It will help explain the title. I know it's really annoying but there is a lack of Maxwell broadcasting videos on Youtube, though there are plenty of highlight reels.

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I Love Bill Simmons

The officiating in the NBA is getting worse, and it seems that this years playoffs have highlighted the problems. Adding fuel to the fire, Bill Simmons wrote an article that appeared today on ESPN (link). It's all about how shitty referees have become, and how they're ruining the playoffs this year. He brings up a lot of really good points, like usual.

First, the NBA can't seem to replenish its officiating ranks. 1937, 1939, 1943, 1944, 1947, 1948, 1950, 1951, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1955 ... those are the actual birth years of 13 current referees. In professional sports, athletes slip from the ages of 34 to 39 unless they extend their stay with PEDs. In the NBA, in which officials are required to run or jog for 150 minutes and make split-second decisions on hundreds of plays, we're expected to believe that the aging process doesn't apply.
I knew Dick Bavetta could be my great-grandfather, but I didn't realize just how many of these guys are AARP card-holders, or at least close to it. Obviously they won't be able to keep up with freakishly-athletic players playing one of the faster paced professional sports out there. Sure, they would be fine officiating baseball, where there is an umpire on each corner of the field and there's basically no movement required. Some new, fresh officiating talent is needed to make the NBA great just as much as exciting, young players like Rondo are.

My favorite game ever (and not just because Boston won) was Game 4 of the 1984 Finals, the ultimate example of stacked teams battling with an extra edge. I rewatched it last summer and couldn't get over how it would have been wrecked today. McHale gets tossed for the Rambis clothesline. Bird gets T'd for nudging Cooper out of bounds. Kareem gets tossed for nearly slicing off Bird's wispy mustache with an elbow. Maxwell gets T'd for walking across the lane and choking himself after Worthy's missed free throw. On the crucial play of OT, when Magic gets switched onto Bird and they fight for position down low -- with Bird finally draining a turnaround over Magic's mug -- the officials would have called Magic for a foul before Bird's shot happened. Six of the iconic moments of the game ... ruined. Could they have competed as hard with the current rules? No.
Today, these would all be Flagrant-2's, or Flagrant-7's, or whatever. Those numbers are ridiculous anyway. I don't even really know how to react to this.

In that respect, Jordan was both the best and worst thing ever to happen to the league. You know the good things he did, but he also paved the way for a generation of one-on-one players who careen toward the basket in big moments, create some form of contact and hope officials will bail them out.
Completely true. LeBron did it two nights ago, hitting two free throws with less than a second left. Sometimes players do draw actual contact, but other times, they don't, and fouls are called anyway because, well, who knows why. Referees like to please the stars.

Another underrated problem: The three referees are constantly in flux during games. Joey Crawford might end up under Cleveland's basket on one side and standing at midcourt on Orlando's side.
This is something I have never thought of, but it makes perfect sense. In the NFL, the referees have certain positions assigned, like the Head Linesman, who stands at one end of the line of scrimmage, or the Field Judge, who stands down field to watch the secondary (read on Wiki). In the NBA, the refs just kinda run and try and follow the play the best they can, but don't really seem to have assigned spots. I think this is one of the key points in Simmons' argument and something that is very overlooked. With this in my mind, while watching the game tonight, I'll be focusing more on the positioning of the refs.

(The following is absolutely true: Last week, the NBA sent out a memo for its Development League Referee Tryout Camp, which is scheduled for June 19-21 in Los Angeles. Participants officiate two games with prospective D-League players and need a minimum of two years experience at the high school level or higher. Not only do the participants have to pay their own way to get there, but the NBA charges them a $550 fee that covers "lodging for two nights at the camp headquarters, transportation to and from the games, and a camp officiating jersey." YOU HAVE TO PAY TO TRY OUT! The NBA, where amazingly dumb happens.

I doubt that the people who attend this camp even get a second look by the NBA. Simmons suggests paying the D-League refs more money to attract young talent that the NBA can groom. This seems like a great idea, especially as the NBA is in a pretty solid financial situation and could afford a small bump in salaries.

I love Bill Simmons because he is just like me and you, but instead of spending all his time bitching and complaining to friends, he writes excellent articles about pertinent sports issues. This article is no exception.

Oh, and Ortiz just struck out again. They just showed a clip of him in the dugout breaking his bat over his knee. Sad to see his fall.

Here's some Passion Pit to piss off Julian (this song's pretty good, but I really don't like the rest of their new album, 'Manners.')

And here's a really good Atlas Sound song:

The whole album that this comes from, Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See But Cannot Feel, is better when listened through as a whole, rather than a song at a time. Just keep that in mind when listening.
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New Google Images Feature? + Summer Song Mix

Well, I don't know if this feature has been active for a while and I just missed it or if it's a brand new thing, but there's a Google Image feature I haven't seen before: the ability to narrow down an image search based on color. Click this link (HERE) and you will see all the orange-colored dinosaurs on the Google Image database. I think this is just downright cool, like a lot of things Google does.

On an unrelated note, here are some good Summer songs that I'm currently into:

Phoenix - 1901 (Off of the new album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, due out May 26th)

Animal Collective - My Girls (Merriweather Post Pavillion)

Deerhunter - Rainwater Cassette Exchange (Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP)

This just came out, so it's not even on the almighty Songza yet. But check it out somewhere.

St. Vincent - Actor Out of Work (Actor)

Blitzen Trapper - Furr (Furr)

Yeasayer - 2080 (Live) (All Hour Cymbals)

So yeah, that's my list. Sorry about all these videos, according to Julian I ruined Songza ever since I accessed the website.

Oh yeah, and this is my first post, so maybe a little introduction is merited. I'm the little brother/superior sibling of Julian, aka CEO of Cooling Pie. If I had to have a title, it would be 'New Media Director of CPR,' but that's only because I signed Julian up for Twitter.

I'll leave you with this very cool Modeselektor remix of Thom Yorke's Skip Divided:

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TTH Label: I Am Entertained

As a co-founder of Cooling Pie, I make sure to keep abreast on other online record labels that are doing similar things.  I've got pals who run Tamur Records and Amazing Wow but by far my favorite online record label (besides CPR of course) is the omnipotent TTH Label.

I am using the <> tag in honor of TTH Label because their site is straight outta 1998.  Their understanding of selling music on the internet music industry appears to be stuck around the same time, while their understanding of the English language seems stuck back in whatever year English was invented.  Observe:

We are the first company to combine a cd duplication company with an indie music store. The artist can only benefit from this, as it virtually eliminates upfront costs to sell cds online. Pay nothing to start, a rate is taken out after each cd is produced and sold. This is the same rate other stores charge just to sell a cd, and they didn't make it

Why would they do this?  As a fan of CDs, I have to say, I'm not sure that this focus on CDs that TTH has makes much sense in 2009.  Couldn't they work on selling just MP3s and have a greater profit margin?  Couldn't they work on having a website that's not confusing as hell?  And yet, the labrynthian website is actually the most entertaining site I've read tonight.  It continues:

We provide a website free of annoying 3rd party advertisements. Personally those flashy advertisements are just downright annoying to us.

Again, go look at the site.  Not an ad to be found.  Also, the entire site is flashy (for 1998) and annoying.

The site is entertaining but the best thing about TTH is that whoever the hell is in charge likes to seek out TTH naysayers in order to silence them.  Check it out:

You all are a bunch of ignorent morons that need to smarten the hell up.

None the less Culture of greed don't go trying to slander my name because you couldn't follow instructions, I can 110% prove your post up there is a bunch of bullshit.

You want some cheese with that wine? Do you? You didn't like it because you were unable to read the english language, go back to school and then try again, out of 1017 people you're the only idiot that had to start problems because you couldn't follow instructions.

And the rest of you idiots, you are so quick to talk shit without knowing what the hell you are talking about. What i'm doing is praised by thousands, if I started posting the compliments I've received from artists I'd max your sql space out on your database.

By the way culture, I knew you'd do something like this, go stick your cds into a cd player than can read cd text and tell me what it says?

Who's laughing now?

This is the owner of a label.  In a public forum.  I'm hoping he reads this and spams us and we can ride his coattails to fame.  Come get some TTH!!