A Sick Kobe - Gasole - Odom Play, Lakers vs. Heat 2/28/08

Check out the amazing play that Kobe, Pau Gasole, and Lamar Odom pulled off last night - a steal, an over-the-shoulder pass, a behind-the-back pass, and a slam - one of the best plays I've seen all season.

Deep Blue Something comes to Brooklyn to Play Breakfast at Tiffany's one more time

Last night I went with some friends to a little bar/concert venue in Brooklyn called Southpaw to see Deep Blue Something, that 1-hit wonder band that came out with Breakfast at Tiffany's back in 1996.  Only around 25 people were at the bar, and it wasn't a usual concert setting; most of the crowd was sitting on couches towards the back, relaxing, and some people were even playing pool during the performance.  I'm not sure if the band ever pulled real crowds, but I wonder what they expected when they decided to go back on tour - it's got to be hard when an audience sits through your whole set and only reacts when you play that one single you are probably sick of playing.

Two other bands played as well - Porter Block, and Greater Good, the second of which made their way to New York City for the first time from Texas.  I enjoyed all three performances, but if I had to pick one to see again I'd go with Greater Good - they had the most energetic set (all the more impressive given the audience), and the most catchy music.  I'd see Porter Block too, and will listen to both bands more.  This is it for me and Deep Blue Something though  (after capturing the above video of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" live).


Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Java Beta Test

Joffrey's Coffee & Tea Java Beta Test
Originally uploaded by kskobac.

A new coffee brand Joffrey's is taking a cue from the thousands of new web services that launch each day and rolling out a "Java Beta Test" - otherwise put, you can sign up to be one of the first 10,000 'users' and you'll get a free package of coffee in the mail for being a 'beta' tester. Sign up here: http://beta.joffreys.com/

Baseball Season is here, and the Phillies / Mets Rule Fantasy

Baseball season is here, spring training has started, and the Mets vs. Phillies rivalry has gotten underway... in fantasy baseball at least. Taking a look at the average draft rankings on ESPN you can see that Mets and Phillies players take up 6 of the first round draft spots: Wright (3), Reyes (4), Utley (6), Santana (9), Rollins (10), Howard (11). Not only is that amazing, but it shows how exciting this season's rivalry is going to be. Last year ended with the Phillies climbing back and stealing the NL East title from the Mets, and then the off-season saw the Mets go out and sign Johan Santana, the best pitcher in baseball. It'll be a great summer of baseball.

I'm doing a keeper league for the first time this Fantasy MLB Season and I have the first pick; with that, I have to basically commit to drafting A-Rod, but it hurts. I'd rather have a late pick and come away with someone I would want to do well, and hold on to in a keeper league for 3 seasons.


Seeing "Black Magic" at the Apollo Theater

Last night I visited the Apollo Theater and attended the New York premiere of a documentary called "Black Magic", a film that portrays the intersection of basketball history and the Civil Rights Movement.  The film is produced by Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, and will air on ESPN in two parts March 16th/17th with no commercial breaks.  Aside from Earl Monroe, who is prominently featured in the film, there were pivotal in the desegregation of basketball, on a collegiate and professional level, including John McLendon, Bob Love, and Pee Wee Kirkland

The scene at the Apollo Theater was one to remember - people were lined up down the block to get in to what was a powerful two hour preview - Earl Monroe spoke, Love & Kirkland were in attendance, among others, and Mayor Dinkins welcomed the crowd (all 4 are major New York City icons and active in the community to this day).

Much of what was depicted of John McLendon comes from a book "Breaking Through", which is a biography written by my uncle Milton Katz, who is a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute.  He appears several times in the movie discussing McLendon, as well as the Secret Game, the first official game between a black and a white collegiate team, which was played in secret to avoid conflict.

If you are interested in history, interested in Basketball, or want to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement, you should watch this film.


The Evolution of Mario

Gizmodo pointed us to this blog that put together an interesting image showing the evolution of Mario, Link, and Donkey Kong from their 8-bit Nintendo days through now. Interesting to see a visual representation of how things have changed in video games in the 20 years.

Friendfeed is for people who share and create online

If you are creating or sharing content online, you should be using friendfeed. If you are writing reviews on yelp, blogging, posting photos on flickr, bookmarking sites on del.icio.us, saving videos on youtube, microblogging on twitter, digging articles, or more, you can pull it all together with Friendfeed and share it as a picture of your social web. Charles Hudson (I don't know who he is) says "FriendFeed is a community of people who like to share stuff" and I agree - you can see my feed on the right, and follow along; and if you join, let me know.
kskobac on friendfeed


The Ridiculous NBA Trade Season

According to ESPN, "43 players changed uniforms in February, with an amazing 19 teams involved in trades"; Shaq is now in Pheonix, Pau is now in LA, Marion is now in Miami, Ben Wallace is now in Cleveland, Kidd is now in Dallas, Bibby is now in Atlanta, the list goes on and on. This isn't even counting and off-season that saw Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett BOTH get traded to the Celtics. 2007 - 2008 has been a ridiculous NBA season - there are exciting players, exciting teams, exciting GM's - Usually by the last third of the season I'm worn out from Basketball, but in the last few weeks I've gotten more and more into it again. Philly is showing everyone up by being a young exciting team that is actually competing for a playoff spot (They are 8th seed right now, albeit in the East) when ESPN/SI basically picked them as the ONLY team in the east that had NO shot at a playoff spot. Even this year's dunk contest, with Dwight Howard and Gerald Green, was too a new level of imagination and competition.

Everything about the NBA this year, as a Fan experience, has been great, with the exception of the fact that I live in New York City and to watch basketball live means I have to go to see the Knicks, which is a combination of slow torture and uncomfortable sleep.

Seeing Linkin Park and Jay-Z at MSG

Last night Vito and I went to see Linkin Park perform at Madison Square Garden. The concert itself was pretty good, despite ignoring our horrendous far-away seats; despite the stadium venue, there was a lot of energy in the crowd through the entire show. Linkin Park performed mostly older songs, which was great for me since I've barely listened to the new album. But the real treat was during the encore, when the concert went from pretty good to great: Jay-Z made a surprise appearance and showed up on stage to perform a few songs of his songs with Linkin Park. The crowd went nuts, as you can see from the video I took, which becomes a blurry mess and eventually drowns out, as I seemingly broke my camera microphone by jumping up and down excitedly.


How much do you use the internet each month?

Nielsen sent me a newsletter this morning that quoted statistics for internet usage statistics per person (January 2008):

- 61 internet sessions per month
- 109 different websites visited per month
- 2,492 web pages visited per month
- 70 hours of pc-time per month

These numbers are all up 7 - 12% from this time last year. Session numbers are obviously questionable, since what exactly warrants a session, but the number of web-pages surprises me in terms of per-person average - it seems like people consume a lot of pages across not all that many sites. Meanwhile if I plotted my "pc-time per month" it would probably be pretty embarrassing compared to the average.