A review of the “Seabiscuit” book, 10 years too late. A father flips the Donkey Kong switch, brilliantly. And a newspaper screws up daylight savings time


It’s quite possible I’m the last person left in America who hasn’t read “Seabiscuit,” the Laura Hillenbrand book phenomenon of 2003 about the famous racehorse in the 1930s who had pretty much been forgotten by history.

It was always one of those books I “meant” to read (David Halberstam’s “The Best and The Brightest, I’ll get to you one day, I swear!), but never got around to seeing it (I skipped the movie, too, because I really don’t like Tobey Maguire much as an actor).
I like horse racing, I loved Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken,” and I knew if I ever got around to it, I’d love the book.

Well, I finally got around to it in the last few weeks. And just in case I’m not the last person in America to read it, I highly, highly recommend it.

Hillenbrand’s writing and research is superb; I wager even horse-racing experts like my good friend (and frequent Wide World of Stuff material provider) Will Springstead would learn quite a bit. I came away having a whole new level of respect and awe for how hard a jockey’s life was back then (not that it’s so easy now), and just how huge a phenomenon Seabiscuit was.

The writing is so good, and so dramatic, that I was anxiously turning the pages every time Seabiscuit had a big race coming up. And since I hadn’t seen the movie, I had no idea how it ended.

OK, I’m rambling now. But seriously, if you never read the book when it came out in 2001, I highly, highly recommend it. I liked Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken” better, but this was damn good.

Next, a review of that new Peter Benchley page-turner, “Jaws!” (I kid, I kid.)

**I’m not a father yet, but I feel pretty safe in saying that this move by one great dad isn’t in the manual they give you at the hospital when the kid is born.

Mike Mika is a computer programmer and the father of a 3-year-old girl who likes to play old video games. One day after playing the classic Donkey Kong, the tyke asked her Pops why the princess couldn’t rescue the animal, like in some of her more recently-made games.

Most fathers would’ve just come up with an easy explanation. Not Mike. He hacked into the game and after hours and hours of work, came up with the video you see above.

So awesome. I nominate him for Father of the Year. (If you’re interested, Mike explains how he did this in detail in this interesting article here.)


**Finally, sometimes newspapers just get it hilariously wrong.

Like the Allentown Morning Call, which in last Saturday’s newspaper tried to remind readers about Daylight Savings Time.

Except the paper told its readers to turn the clock back an hour last Saturday night.

Oops. I can just imagine churchgoers and Sunday brunches being ruined all over Pennsylvania that day.



One response to “A review of the “Seabiscuit” book, 10 years too late. A father flips the Donkey Kong switch, brilliantly. And a newspaper screws up daylight savings time

  1. Glad to hear that you liked Hillanbrand;book. She really captured the era One of the best sports books I have ever read. As you know she has chronic fatigue disease (not sure if disease is the right term) You can imagine how hard it must be to do any kind of research.. As for Michael Morton Texas Monthly had a great two part article about him. I think 60 minutes also did a segment about him. Like you I am a little slow in getting around to reading things. I have yet to read the 2nd part.

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