Monthly Archives: August 2013

Good News Friday: I have so many bathroom choices in my new apartment . Rafa Nadal a class act, again. And MLK’s speech, still great 50 years on

move

So Thursday was moving day for the Lewises, and as exciting as it was to be re-locating from our tiny 1-bedroom Manhattan closet into a 2-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath (“I could choose among 3 toilets to pee in!” I exclaimed at one point, and yes I acknowledge that I’m weird), it was also pretty exhausting.

In fact, I thought of a whole bunch of things I wanted to blog about the moving experience, since all of you have gone through it to and can relate, but have forgotten most of them.
Still, a few parting shots before I head off to bed, exhausted, and feeling like I’m at a hotel since this whole place feels foreign to me:

— Moving company guys were great; very efficient, hard-working, and worked fairly quickly. But they left a bad taste in my mouth at the end when, after my wife paid them, with tip included, they guilted her into a bigger tip by, basically, asking for one. I thought it was in really poor taste.

— We moved from a Manhattan building with 450 apartments, to one with only 74. It truly feels like we went from a chain hotel to a bed and breakfast; at the new place all the doormen and staff knew we were moving in today, took the time to welcome us, and really were friendly.
— In that same vein, I learned that there are no mailboxes and mailbox keys for the residents at the new building; the front desk lobby guy sorts all the mail and then gives it to you when you come in at the end of the day.
On the one hand, it’s sweet and quaint. On the other, do I really want this dude knowing everything I get in the mail? I mean, we expect our postal guy to know about our personal business, but that’s his job. This just seems a little odd to me.

— Finally, and maybe only some of you will appreciate this fully, it’s truly outstanding to once again have a washer and dryer in my own apartment. For years I schlepped down to various laundry rooms and laundromats, and it was always a pain. To know I can now throw in a few loads and only have to go 10 feet is a beautiful thing.

— Last thing: I never want to see another box again. All around me for weeks: boxes. All around me now: Boxes. I swear if I hear Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” on the radio this week, I may snap and go all Michael Douglas “Falling Down” on the world.

nadal

**It’s not exactly a state secret to you readers that I’m an enormous fan of one Roger Federer, but like I’ve said before I never really have been able to develop a hatred for his biggest rival, Rafael Nadal, mostly because Nadal is such a good guy as well.
He still flies coach sometimes, his ego is the size of a gnat, and he truly seems to get how fortunate he is to do what he loves so well.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Federer making a sick fan’s dreams come true, and this week at the U.S. Open Rafael Nadal had a wonderful encounter with a fan who has suffered so greatly in his short life.

Read this for a reminder of why tennis is so lucky to have a guy like Nadal be a star.

Finally today, I’ve been a little distracted the past few days and haven’t seen some of the what I’m sure was terrific news coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s brilliant “I Have A Dream” speech.
Recently I saw a piece on CBS News about the speech and learned that King improvised the whole “I Have a Dream” section. Amazing he could be that eloquent right on the spot.

Here’s the speech, it’s always worth watching.

Advertisements

An awesome 10-hour day at the Open. I make my Deadspin debut. And the Onion skewers CNN brilliantly

VictoriaDuval

Spent 10 hours at the U.S. Open Tuesday, and as always, it was awesome.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The U.S. Open, during the first week of play, is the best value in all of sports. For my $56 grounds pass, I got 10 hours of high-quality tennis, seen up close. In no match that we (my mother, stepfather and wife) watched were we more than 20 feet from the court.

We saw parts of 11 matches; no, I’m not going to recap them all here. Just a few general thoughts from a day at the best tennis tournament in the world:

— Upset of the day was Victoria Duval, a 17-year-old Haitian-American from Florida, who is ranked No. 296, beating former Open champ Sam Stosur, 6-4 in the third. It was one of those electric Open matches where the crowd gets behind the underdog immediately, gets distressed when she falls behind (Duval was down 7-5, 4-2 at one point), and then rallies the underdog to a win she had no business achieving on a normal day.
Just fantastic. And Duval’s backstory is pretty remarkable too; she was held at gunpoint as a child in Haiti for 11 hours, and her father nearly died from an earthquake in 2010.

— Favorite overheard conversation on a day when you sat next to so many strangers in such a tight spot, you heard everything: “Where’s she from? Romania? Where the hell is that? Oh yeah, I’ve been there.”
— Cracks me up how many fans actually dress like they have a match that day. Dude, you’re in the stands, leave the headband and wristbands at home.

— Besides Duval, was very impressed with American hopeful Jack Sock, who won, and a really talented U.S. played named Denis Kudla. Neither will likely win a Grand Slam, but they’re at least capable of making U.S. men’s tennis relevant again.
— As the day gets later fans are able to sneak down to better seats, and for an early-evening match on the Grandstand my wife and I sat third row in the “corporate boxes” behind the players. It truly is terrifying seeing a 130-mph serve coming right at you. Even though I’ve watched tennis forever, the fast-twitch reflexes and reaction time of pro players amazes me.

— Finally, the most exciting match, on and off the court, was one that went to a fifth-set tiebreak, between a Canadian and a Brazilian. You’ve never heard of either player, but it was on an outside court we were near, the fans were crowded around tight like sardines, and the screaming and cheering could be heard all over the grounds. The Canadian guy got a bad call late in the tiebreak and lost the match, and near-fights erupted in the stands between the two nation’s fans. (You know, Canada and Brazil, those traditional enemies.)
Then the chair umpire got booed loudly when leaving the court. Good times.

**I probably should’ve led with this, but I’m not the best self-promoter in the world. Many of you have probably heard of Deadspin, the uber-popular sports website that gets millions of hits a month and has become more and more influential as the years go by (they break many stories, not just ones involving Brett Favre and his you-know-what.)

Anyway, a buddy of mine named Brian Hickey works there, and asked me if I wanted to write something for the site’s “Tuesday Night Fights” section, where a writer watched a random brawl captured on film (the one I wrote about is above).

My piece got published Tuesday night; (I’m the second essay down) Pretty psyched about it. Let me know what you think.

**Finally today, you’ve probably heard about the Miley Cyrus sex show (I mean, performance) she performed at the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday.

Here, the satirical website The Onion brilliantly explains why CNN.com put the Cyrus video on its front page Monday.
This letter is fake, but it absolutely, positively could be real.

Another senseless murder, thanks to a gun. The difference between men and women. And sleep-texting is now a thing.

Two quick thoughts today before I head-off for 3 of the next 4 days of U.S. Open worship in Queens (and on the other day we’re moving to our new apartment, so I may miss a blog day or two this week:)
— Babysat for my awesome 8-year-old nephew for a full 24-hour stint Sunday/Monday for the first time. Moral of the day: Parenting is hard. But fun.
— Serena Williams waxed Franchesca Schiavone in the first round of the Open Tuesday night. This was the highlight of the match: Schiavone getting a pity hug from the ballboy.

It really upsets me to keep bringing attention to these stories. But even if my blog has 1/100th the readership of other major ones, I feel it’s important to keep highlighting senseless gun violence, as it occurs so damn regularly in America.

Check out this tale from Louisiana, where an 8-year-old boy intentionally shot and killed his 87-year-old grandmother, Marie Smothers, after playing a violent video game. (I am not blaming the video game, of course, though some of them are brutally violent these days.)

The story reads: “Although the boy initially told investigators that he accidentally shot the woman Thursday while playing with a firearm, the probe led authorities to believe he “intentionally shot Mrs. Smothers in the back of the head as she sat in her living room watching television,” the sheriff’s department statement said.”

Again, WHY is there a gun around the house where an 8-year-old could get to it? I know the boy will not be charged because he’s too young; can we start more seriously prosecuting parents who are this willfully and criminally negligient, please?

**Next, we offer this video with the comment of, “Yeah, I could’ve predicted some of these reactions.”

I still laughed pretty hard. The uncomfortableness is off the charts, especially with the guy at 1:02.

sleeptexting

**Finally, in one more sign that our society has gone a little bit overboard with our cellphones: Sleep-texting. It’s now a thing.

According to this story, sleep-disorder specialists are reporting that sleep-texting, which a person may perform several times over the course of a single night, is an alarming trend.

Forget sleep-talking; that’s so old school. Now, it’s all about texting in your sleep, apparently.

Am I the only person left in America who turns their phone OFF when they go to sleep? Because that would pretty much solve this problem.

This part of the story was pretty funny, though:

“Of course, sleep-texting can cause some embarrassing situations. Elizabeth Dowdell, a professor of nursing at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, has investigated the phenomenon of sleep-texting among college students.

One young woman Dowdell studied had a habit of sending gushing, romantic texts to platonic friends. “A classmate texted her something about anatomy class, and her reply back was, ‘I just love it. I love you! You’re the light of my life,'” Dowdell told US News & World Report. “Then, there was an old boyfriend who texted her, and she sent responses like, ‘I adore you, please come over,’ while she was asleep. She was mortified when she realized.”

How’d you like to be that guy showing up at the ex-girlfriend’s door, all excited to be with her, only to find her asleep?

A beautiful story of a man recovering from a childhood trauma. The U.S. Open is here, whoo-hoo! And great SNL audition tapes of stars

**After watching three quarters of the Jets’ preseason game Saturday night, I’m seriously contemplating not watching all their games this year. I mean, what’s the point? If this team wins 6 games, it’ll be a greater miracle than the ending of “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

How do you spend the rest of your life dealing with a tragic accident that changed your life forever when you’re 14?

It sounds like the beginning of a Hollywood movie, or a novel. But it’s the real-life story of Kemp Powers, who at 14 accidentally shot and killed his best friend while fooling around with a gun he had in his room. The next 20 years after that for Powers have been a constant reminder of what he did, even though everyone around him tried to let him forget it.

I’ve written before about how awesome “The Moth” storytelling podcast is, and have linked to a few stories.

But Powers’ story might be the most powerful one I’ve ever heard on “The Moth.” It’s Monday, take a few minutes and listen to a man struggling with demons, and eventually starting to win out. It’s a wonderfully-told tale that shows one mistake doesn’t have to ruin you forever.

usopenweb17s-3-web

**So today starts the U.S. Open at the National Tennis Center, and to say I’m psyched would be a massive understatement.

I’ve got tickets to go to three of the first five day sessions, and I’ve been counting down the weeks (out loud) for the whole summer (which has annoyed my wife, who said “you’re making the summer go by too fast by looking ahead to the end of it!'” I s’pose she had a point.)

Love, love, LOVE the U.S. Open; went every year as a kid, missed quite a few years as an adult, what with college and then moving all over the country for newspaper jobs.
But since I moved back to N.Y. two years ago, it’s my favorite annual event. A ticket to a day session to the Open during the first week is the best bargain in sports; for about $60, you get around 10 hours of tennis on 20 courts, and much of the time you’re within 10 feet of some of the greatest players in the world.

This year I expect awesomeness as usual. Can Rafa Nadal continue his summer dominance and win the Open again? (Nope.) Will Andy Murray defend the title and keep his incredible 12 months going? (Maybe). Will Novak Djokovic win it all? (Yep.) Can anyone beat Serena? (Keep an eye on Sloane Stephens.) Does my man Federer have any shot? (A small one. But he’d have to beat Rafa in the quarters.)

If you’re a tennis nut like me, the New York Times did an awesome Open section Sunday; click here for all the goodies.

**Finally today, I got a kick out these. The website Mental Floss has gathered eight great videos of “Saturday Night Live” audition tapes; the Jimmy Fallon one I posted above, but the Dana Carvey and John Belushi ones are stellar, too.

There was also a really cool Sunday story in the N.Y. Times, an oral history about the pressure of auditioning for Lorne Michaels, the longtime head honcho of “SNL” who never, ever laughs during auditions.

Another NFL team makes a sick kid’s wish come true. Kermit the Frog and Steve Martin playing the banjo. And 10 fun facts about “The Princess Bride.”

\We start this week’s Good News Friday with another heartwarming story of a sick child, a sports team, and proof that it takes so little from the rich and famous to make a huge difference.

Twelve-year-old Kevin Lee lives in Michigan, but thanks to a heart defect that’s literally life-threatening, he’s not allowed to play any kind of contact sports.

“Sometimes it feels like a sword is going through your chest,” Kevin says, matter-of-factly.

Still, he’s a big football fan, of the Seattle Seahawks and their fabulous quarterback, Russell Wilson. (Let me pause here for a moment and realize the Jets could’ve had him last year. Instead, we got to watch Mark Freaking Sanchez).

When the Seahawks learned of Kevin’s troubles, and his love of the team, well, they rolled out the red carpet big-time.

I had a tear in my eye by the end. What a terrific day for this young man.

**Next up, just your run of the mill story involving Steve Martin and Kermit The Frog in a dueling banjos contest, from the brillant minds at Funny Or Die.

I would pay big money to see these two in concert, wouldn’t you?

**And finally, because nothing puts me in a better mood than a scene from “The Princess Bride,” for my money the funniest movie of all time. Good story here, too, from Rob Reiner, who gave us 10 facts you may not know about the filming of the classic flick. Personally, the alternate ending they shot was fascinating, though I’m glad it ended the way it did.

Enjoy.

The NYC real estate developer who wants a “poor door.” Mike Tyson plays “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.” A U.S. journalist calls out Russia on their state TV.

brownstones

**Going to Yankee Stadium Thursday afternoon, where I hope to lustily boo Alex Rodriguez, now easily No.1 on my least favorite Yankees ever…

Well, this story had my jaw dropping.
I wish I could say this is from The Onion, or some other satirical website or publication, but nope, it’s apparently real.

A real estate outfit in NYC called Extell Development Company has a new building planned between 61st and 62nd Street on Riverside Blvd. here in Manhattan, on the Upper West Side.
And what they have proposed is something that has to be a first: They want to have a separate door for people living in the “affordable housing” section of the building, and a separate entrance for the wealthy tenants.
Why? It’s a legal maneuver that will allow Extell to collect major tax breaks.

According to this story, “floors two through six of the building will be available only to residents earning less than 60 percent of the area median income, putting them under the “affordable” umbrella. Those five floors are part of the exact same building as the luxury condos, but because of the separate entrance they could be legally designated as a separate entity. So technically, [the developer] would have an entire building consisting of affordable housing. On paper, this makes the project eligible for subsidies ostensibly meant to protect lower-income tenants, not move them out of sight.”

Is this not one of the most ridiculous things you’ve ever heard? A separate entrance for the poor people living in your building? I’m sorry, has New York City suddenly become Birmingham, Alabama in the 1950s? Will the laundry rooms and elevators in the place also be separated by income? “Sorry sir, before I let you ride this elevator with me, let me see your last W-2.”

I mean, there’s greed, there’s Donald Trump-level greed, and then there’s Extell Development. What a disgrace.

**You know, I’ve said this before but we’ve reached a point with Mike Tyson that I will watch anything he does, because it’s almost guaranteed to be funny.

And so I give you the brilliance of Mike Tyson, playing the old classic Nintendo game “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out.”

**Finally today, some kudos to an American journalist I’d never heard of before today. A man named Jamie Kirchick was asked to be on Russia state television channel RT to talk about the Bradley Manning verdict.

Instead, Kendrick used his time to talk about Russia’s horrendous new anti-gay laws and browbeat his hosts.
This should be an enormous story every day, everywhere, leading up to the Olympics. It should be shined a light upon by NBC, which pays billions to broadcast the Olympics and therefore won’t touch this issue, and every other major media outlet.

A senseless murder leaves me with many questions. An American who lived in England examines our relationship. And a really stupid ticket idea by an NHL team.

Australian+Player+Ran_Acco

So many killings happen in this country, every day, that it all starts to blend together.
You turn on the TV, and there’s five murders in Chicago, a homicide in the Bronx, three people killed in Florida, yada yada yada. It all blends in like background noise, rarely paid much attention to, kind of the way the toll of our American soldiers’ deaths during long wars gets sadly ignored (Vietnam, the Iraq war from 2003-2011, it happens all the time.)

So it takes a lot to snap us out of our numbness about death. Tuesday it took me reading about this crime you may have heard about, a 23-year-old Australian going to college in Oklahoma named Christopher Lane.

Lane (photo above) is a baseball player at East Central University in Duncan, Okla., and he was murdered last Friday by three teenagers while Lane was out jogging.

They decided to kill him because, as one of the teens arrested told police, “we were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”

Of all the reasons for committing murder that I’ve ever heard, that might be the most maddening.

Where has our society gone wrong that three children growing up in America decide that it’s OK to go kill an innocent stranger because they were bored?

Where were the parents, or any other adults in these boys’ formative years, that so abdicated their responsibility to teach right from wrong?

Just sickening. Absolutely sickening that we as a nation can produce such animals as these three boys, who had nothing better to do last Friday so decided to end a person’s life.

When does it end?

british_american_flag_xlarge

**Time for a palatte-cleanser. Next up today, I thought this was one of the best newspaper essays I’ve read in a long time. Sarah Lyall was the New York Times’ London correspondent for the past 18 years, and while across the pond she got to learn just what it is that Brits think of Americans, and how different our two countries really are.

It was fascinating to see how her biases about each country changed, and I thought she had a trenchant take, especially on how England sees our political scene.

It’s definitely worth a read.

predators.tickets

**Finally, I don’t mean to pick on the Nashville Predators hockey team alone, because they’re nowhere near the only franchise to do something like this.

But it’s a terrible move when anyone does it, and I just happened to get annoyed by them today.

Here’s the deal: Pro sports teams in non-traditional markets, like Nashville, often face the problem of road team fans with a rich tradition and a national fan-base coming to their arena and outnumbering, and out-cheering their home fans.

The Yankees’ opponents have this problem, as do the foes of the L.A. Lakers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Cowboys, and other storied franchises.

So instead of building up your own team’s fan base and putting a great product on the field to encourage your own fans to come out en masse, teams pull stunts like this. The Predators have announced that for the upcoming hockey season, any fans that want to buy tickets for the home game against the Chicago Blackhawks must ALSO buy tickets to another game.

This will theoretically limit the number of ‘Hawks fans who will fill up the Predators’ arena when Chicago plays Nashville.

This is stupid. Asinine. Idiotic.

First, you are going out of your way to prevent people from other cities from visiting your town, spending money on hotels, restaurants, etc., money that is sorely needed in any town.
Second, from a sporting perspective, it’s like surrendering. You’re saying “we can’t sell out our own building, so instead of allowing people who really want to go to the games attend, we’ll just freeze them out and have lots of empty seats.”

If I were a Predator fan, I would hate this. It makes zero sense. You want more Predators fans in your building? Then win. And create the desire in new fans to come to games.

A glorious weekend in Saratoga, at the track. McDonald’s paying its employees in gift cards (seriously.) And crazy Russians at a “water park.”

saratogaracecourse

Sorry there was nothing new here on Monday; I was away for a long weekend at one of my favorite places on Earth, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

I’ve waxed poetic about my love for Saratoga, where I lived for three years in the early 2000s, in this space before, and it remains as wonderful as ever. My wife and I went to the race track on Sunday of course, after a fantastic brunch on Broadway with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years.

The beautiful thing about racing at Saratoga is that it never changes: The same smells (fresh food, flowers and cigar smoke), visual overload (hideously ugly and big hats worn by some women, crazy suspenders by old men), and beautiful horses are always on display.

What also never changes is that I lose almost every race I pick. We did get one winner on Sunday, though; our horse actually finished second, but thanks to an “inquiry” (horse racing’s answer to instant replay review), the winning horse was disqualified for bumping another horse, and our horse got bumped up to first!

Hey, a win’s a win.

The weather was perfect, the food was delish, and all in all it was a superb weekend (we went mini-golfing in Lake George Sat. night and I didn’t lose the score-keeping pencil until the 3rd hole. Which is good for me).

Highly, highly recommend a trip to Saratoga in August if you’re ever able to.

**Next up, a harmless fun video I saw on Andrew Sullivan’s blog today; it’s some Russian men having some fun and inventing their own “water park” ride, involving some heavy equipment. Kids, don’t try this at home.

**Finally, a story about one of my least favorite corporations in America, McDonald’s. I hate McDonald’s not just because I read “Fast Food Nation” and saw “SuperSize Me,” although those are two pretty good reasons.

I hate them because of the way they treat their employees, and I’m not talking about the 16-year-old making fries while making eyes at the hot chick in the tank top ordering at the counter. They make billions in profits and compensate their executives beautifully, but are awfully stingy with workers.

In addition to these depressing facts about how little McDonald’s pays its workers, I also just read about Ronald’s company compensating its employees partially in debit cards, which have fees when you use them!

That’s pretty awful, and some former Mickey D’s employees are suing over it. Read the details here.

Good News Friday: A beautiful interaction at a Brewers game. My annual Jim Murray tribute. And a novel way of telling someone they’re gonna be a Grandma

brewersfan

First up on Good News Friday today, we have a very cool and seemingly random story out of Milwaukee.

A woman named Sarah went to a Brewers baseball game recently with her two sons, and had such a wonderful experience with a total stranger that she wrote wrote an open letter to “The Mystery Man in Section 113, Row 17, Seat 22” on her blog.

In it, Sarah talks about this stranger playing with her kids kindly throughout the game (that’s them, above), encouraging them about catching foul balls, and then at the end of the game, taking him down to the dugout to try to get a ball from one of the players.

If that was the whole story, it would be a nice, sweet tale of two strangers. But it gets better. I urge you to click here and read Sarah’s post, and the updates below the awesome photos.

Guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

**Next up, I thought this was kind of sweet. This couple from Florida, Sean and Lynn Kreps, were trying to come up with a unique way to tell Sean’s mom that Lynn was pregnant.

And so they led her on a little scavenger hunt around their kitchen until she opened the oven. To find… you guessed it, a bun.

I love the smile on the mother’s face when she discovers it. So cute.

jimmurray

**And finally today, it’s August 16, which means three things: It’s my father’s birthday (Happy birthday Dad!), it’s one day before my 38th birthday (Man, I’m old…) and it’s time for my annual tribute to the greatest sportswriter who ever lived, on the anniversary of his death.

Jim Murray died on Aug. 16, 1998, and to say he was one of my writing heroes is a massive understatement.

Murray wasn’t just a great sportswriter for the L.A. Times; he was a storyteller, a comedian, and a man who wrote with a tremendous heart. He wrote now-legendary lines like “Rickey Henderson’s strike zone is smaller than Hitler’s heart” and “Gentlemen, start your coffins,” at the Indy 500.

He also said, of the in-his-prime Muhammad Ali, “I’d like to borrow his body for just 48 hours. There are three guys I’d like to beat up and four women I’d like to make love to.” and that former Lakers star Elgin Baylor “was as unstoppable as a woman’s tears.”

If you’ve never read the former L.A. Times columnist, here are a couple of my favorite pieces by him. The first is a beautiful elegy to his late wife, (he describes her as “a champion at living”) and the second is his heartfelt “obituary” to his left eye, which had finally completely failed him (the last three paragraphs are just so perfect).

If you want to read a couple of pieces that will make you laugh and maybe make you cry, there’s no one better than Jim Murray.

And rest in peace, Jim Murray, the greatest there ever was.

“The Honest Toddler” site cracks me up. A Reebok product that may stop concussions. And finally, a roof at Ashe Stadium.

toddler

Quick update to Wednesday’s blog: Well, I’ll be darned. A mere 12 hours after I wrote that blog saying how frustrating it was waiting for our new NYC condo board to approve our apartment rental, I got a call from our broker this morning telling us we got approved. Cosmically, I think they read my blog and acted fast, knowing the immense power my site has (yeah, right).

So the movie “Look Who’s Talking” has always been one of my guilty pleasure flicks, since I think it was very creative at the time. There had never been a movie seen through a baby’s point of view, and it was quite a clever conceit.

Well, now we have a website that’s kinda the same, but even better. My friend Scott on Facebook pointed me toward “The Honest Toddler,” a site written from the POV of a toddler who’s, well, honest.

A sampling of the hilarious posts:

— Dear Mr. Spider (or can I call you Itsy?),

First, I’m a big fan of your work. Your music has seen me through a lot of difficult times: incisors, for one. When I was younger I’d ask for your song on repeat during car trips. I know all of the lyrics and even the lesser known corresponding hand movements. But that’s not why I’m reaching out.

I’m writing you today because I’m worried. I know lots of famous musicians live a fast-paced lifestyle but how many spouts is it going to take before you make a change?

— This post is for Adults-Only. If balsamic vinegar has a special place in your heart, keep reading (fool).

“I want to discuss something serious right now so put your phone screen-side down on the table. In parks, libraries, and play centers across the nation toddlers are being peer pressured to partake in an activity so dangerous, so disturbing that it makes thousands of us cry out the nose daily. I’m talking about sharing.”

I think it’s very, very clever. For more from The Honest Toddler, check out the site here.

**Next up, with the issue of concussions in pro football getting worse and worse, it’s been heartening to see the issue getting more and more attention from leagues and teams.

Now, Reebok has come up with a remarkable new product called the “Checklight,” which is an impact sensor for the head which can be worn under a helmet and records the number of hits at different intensities. It even has a flashing indicator recommending for players to be removed after enough dramatic hits.

Very, very cool. And hopefully to be used in every football league from Pop Warner to the NFL.

**Finally today, an enormous “It’s about time!” was shouted by me and my fellow tennis-loving brethren today, as the USTA announced that Arthur Ashe Stadium, home of the U.S. Open, would finally be getting a roof in the next few years (And yes, I’m officially excited to be going to the Open three of the first five days in the first week of the tournament. I’m a little obsessed, you might say).

If you’ve suffered the frustration of five consecutive years of rain-delayed, or postponed, U.S. Open semifinals and finals, you’ll realize how ludicrous it is that all the other Grand Slams have or are getting covered stadiums, but the USTA kept insisting it couldn’t put one over the court in Flushing Meadows.

Somehow, they’ve now miraculously figured out how to do it. With all the money that tournament takes in, I’m glad they’ve finally prioritized something important: Actually having live tennis for the paying customers to see.