Monthly Archives: February 2015

A heartwarming story of an inner-city school and the “Humans of New York” guy. Fallon and The Roots score again. And “Goodnight Moon,” hilariously deconstructed

Brownsville.NYTIMES

Still buzzing, like everyone else, over the news that Harper Lee wrote a sequel to “To Kill A Mockingbird” 50 years ago and it’s going to be released this summer.
Totally torn about it: Thrilled to read something else by the author of one of my all-time favorite books, but scared it won’t be good and partially ruin the original.

Here’s a dirty little secret of the newspaper world: Most of the best stories in the paper every day aren’t on Page One.

They’re often buried inside, because of a variety of reasons, but every so often you can find a treasure if you look hard enough.

In Sunday’s New York Times, on Page 2 of the Metro section (which I never used to read when I didn’t live in NYC but now read religiously), I read a story about a wonderful school in Brooklyn called Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a school with a ton of low-income students who come from nearby and have very little given to them.
The principal there, Nadia Lopez, is an incredible woman who inspires, pushes and demands excellence from her students.
Anyway, last month a student from the school ran into Brandon Stanton, who photographs the wildly popular blog and book “Humans of New York.”

One thing led to another, and Stanton soon helped raise $100,000 to allow Lopez to take her whole school to visit Harvard University. Then $1 million was raised, and donations keep pouring into the school, and it’s just wonderful.

“For me, it just goes to show the spirit of humanity,” Lopez said. “People are literally investing and giving back to these scholars.”

If you read one thing today, make it this little story, buried in the Metro section. It’s just a treasure.

**Next up, I didn’t see this until Monday but Jimmy Fallon, who I have to admit hasn’t had too many “viral” clips that have interested me in recent months, knocked it out of the park on his post-Super Bowl show.

First, he, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart did a really funny “lip synch-off” with a special appearance by Drew Barrymore.
But what really was awesome was this a capella version of “We Are the Champions,” featuring Fallon and The Roots, in a “Brady Bunch”-style layout.

Very, very cool. By the way, between this and the Snickers commercial, that’s TWO “Brady Bunch” mentions on Super Bowl Sunday, 2015. Who the hell ever thought that could happen?

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**Finally today, maybe this will appeal to my fellow parents of infants more than most of the rest of you, but then again, any parent will find it hilarious.

The classic children’s story “Goodnight Moon” is a classic for a reason: It’s fantastic, and simple, and timeless.

But the blog theuglyvolvo.com decided to take a little “reality” test with the story, and the results are really funny. I mean come on, they’re right, what kid has a bedroom that huge?

Really funny stuff, go ahead and read the dissection, but you may never look at “Goodnight Moon” again.

A damn entertaining Super Bowl, with some great commercials to boot. And Serena and Djokovic rule again at Australian Open

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Never in Super Bowl history have so many jaws hit the floor at the exact same time as they did a little after 10 p.m. Sunday night, in one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played.

You don’t have to ask what I’m talking about. From sea to shining sea, all 110 million football fans watched the Seattle Seahawks just GIVE away a championship to the New England Patriots in the final seconds of Super Bowl 49.

At the 1-yard-line, with :30 left, with the BEST SHORT-YARDAGE BACK in the NFL on your team (Marshawn Lynch), with a touchdown winning the game, the Seahawks decided to throw the ball.

I had to watch it four times to actually believe what they did. But it happened. And Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted, and the Patriots won, and oh my God that was one sensational football game.

And it’s too bad that so many great moments from the game will be forgotten because of the worst play-call in Super Bowl history. The incredible Jermaine Kearse catch to get Seattle down there in the final minute (and if that had led to a Seahawks win, on yet another fluke/crazy catch in a Super Bowl, the entire New England region would’ve been on suicide watch, I think).

Tom Brady, cool as Fonzie, bringing his team back from 10 down. The great games by guys you never heard of, like Seattle’s Chris Matthews and New England’s Malcolm Butler.

One of the five best Super Bowls of my lifetime, with an ending that’ll never be forgotten.
It pains me, really, really pains me to type this.  But congratulations to the legends, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. To win four Super Bowls in 14 years is insanely difficult, and worthy of much praise.

Some other Super Bowl thoughts from my scattered brain…

— Idina Menzel sang the hell out of the anthem. God, what a voice.

— Loved the cool new NBC overhead camera angle they showed us at times; really let you see the whole field.

— Real classy, Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks, pretending to poop out the ball after scoring a TD (NBC cut away from this delightful act, but it’s all over the Internet if you haven’t seen it.) Your whole life, you wait to score in the Super Bowl, and that’s what you do?

**Loved a bunch of the Super Bowl commercials, including the Dove for Men ad (yes, of course me being a new father had a little to do with that), the Budweiser Lost Puppy ad, and this Snickers “Brady Bunch” ad was hilarious:

I also loved the Dodge commercial featuring the 100-year-old people giving pearls of wisdom. And I thought the Nissan commercial with the race-car driver and Harry Chapin’s “Cats in the Cradle” was good too, though as many pointed out on Twitter, Chapin died in a car accident so maybe not the best idea to have his song there, Nissan?

**On the other hand, that Nationwide commercial? Way too dark. Scared the hell out of me. Yes, let’s talk about kids dying from being unsafe on the Super Bowl.

— Didn’t watch much of the halftime show, since Katy Perry doesn’t do it for me. But seeing dolphin mascots dance alongside her was … interesting.

— It’s unconscionable that the Pats’ Julian Edelman wasn’t checked for a concussion after that severe hit he took in the fourth. It’s all about the safety of the players, right Roger Goodell?

— No more football for awhile. Boo.

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**Finally today, I want to say a few words about Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic, who just completed dominating performances in winning the Australian Open, once again.

Serena, who it’s no secret to anyone who reads this blog I have long loathed for her poor sportsmanship and arrogance on and off the court, was once again her dominant self. She now has 19 Grand Slam singles titles, rapidly closing the gap on Margaret Court’s total of 24 (and let’s be clear, it’s MUCH harder to win Slams these days, because the field is so much tougher than it was in Court’s day.)

She’s inching up the ladder toward being considered by most tennis experts as the greatest of all time. I still have her behind Steffi Graf and Martina, but it’s damn close. Serena is an incredible athlete, an unmatched competitor with a killer instinct like few others.

And Novak Djokovic? Well, he just about owns the Australian Open now, winning it for the fifth time. His defense, his shot-making, his mental toughness, just so impressive. Andy Murray had plenty of chances to win Sunday, and he played great at times.

But Djokovic was fitter, stronger, and better. He’s not in Rafa or Roger Federer’s category yet when it comes to all-time greats, but shoot, he’s getting closer.

Great Australian Open.