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You Know You’re An Anglophile If…

May 24th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor

1) You watch Britcoms on public television and don’t mind watching episodes you’ve already seen multiple times.

2) You set the alarm for 3 am to watch a royal wedding live even though you can view the taped version in its entirety at a more reasonable hour.

3) You use the majestic plural of the pronoun “we” when referring to oneself without being labled schizophrenic.

4) You visit the Official Website Of The British Monarachy on a regular basis to keep apprised of the Queen’s corgies and dorgies.

5) You look forward to tea time (although not necessarily with clotted cream and scones with lemon curd) while keeping the pinky conspicuously upturned in a pretentiously genteel manner.

6) You know that cricket is something other than an insect that chirps.

7) You can name all six of Henry the VIII’s wives and the outcome or demise of each and still keep your head.

8)  You can keep a perfectly straight face while the elite model hats that look more like sculptures of extraterrestrial beings perched on their heads.

9) You are aware that The British Invasion refers to some of the best rock bands to hit US soil during the 60’s and not Paul Revere’s frantic announcement while riding horseback.

10) You can understand British film without having to read the sub titles (It is English after all).

11) You know that the tube and a flat have nothing to do with tires but that one will take you to the other.

12) You can convincingly fake an English accent to anyone who’s not actually British.

13) You display a solar powered waving Queen in your front window to amuse the serf  delivering mail from the UK.

14) You bestow titled names on your pets because you don’t have one yourself (eg; Sir Muddy Paws or Princess Powder Puff).

15) You tune into the BBC News and become instantly distracted listening to the anchor man talk instead of absorbing important details on world affairs (what did he just say about  nuclear fallout?)

16) You trace your family history convinced of your royal lineage only to discover your roots are tied to common laborers of suspicious origin.

17) You pay someone to create a family coat of arms to impress the neighbors who then pay someone to create one for them (keeping up with the Duke of Joneses).

18) You wear a t-shirt with a crown that says “She Who Must Be Obeyed” but can’t get the attention of the waitress for the past ten minutes.

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Reading Is (funda) Mental

May 17th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor
Today CNN.com listed the most well read cities in the U.S. Before reading the article, I was certain, that without a doubt, NY topped the list, but was shocked and dismayed to learn that it never even ranked in the top twenty! How can this be? I’m perplexed. Each day I see scores of people immersed in books, newspapers, magazines, and kindles while riding the train. Why, Michael’s obsession alone should ensure NY’s number one title. I’ve never met anyone who has a greater love of reading and not a moment is ever wasted idly waiting for time to pass,  when it can be utilzed absorbing a wealth of knowledge gained by simply reading. This is a man who takes advantage of every opportunity to be better informed. For instance, Michael reads while:
1) Waiting on line at a bank (Next! Next!)
2) In the car between traffic signals (Whoa! Easy on the horn, buddy).
3) At family functions (which I tell him is a bit rude but he’s managed to squeeze in some conversation, so I’m good with it).
4) While eating dinner (I’m convinced that this is what gives him indigestion, and not my cooking after all).
5) He even reads while walking which completely baffles me. I’m sure if I tried this, I’d stumble and break a bone, or get run over by the inattentive UPS truck driver delivering more books to our house).
So, what city made number one? Alexandria, Virginia with titles selected from the Romance category. (Wuthering Heights, anyone? Or something much less classic?) Number two? Cambridge, Massachusetts  in the categories of Business and Investing. (What about all those subscribers to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal? I’m cancelling our subscription). Number three? Berkeley, California on Travel books. (Could that account for all those people riding on NY trains? They’re not really NY’ers at all?? I didn’t notice any surfboards).
I think New York City should stage a protest with every single person reading on trains, buses, and subways tomorrow. And let’s not stop there. Every person waiting to buy their coffee and bagel should be accompanied with an open book in hand. Every driver stopped at a red light should be engrossed in their magazines, tabloids or what have you. To hell with all those honking horns. Let’s show them who’s really number one. Go ahead and be a devil. Read  Crime and Punishment while crossing Seventh Avenue tomorrow.  The yellow cabs will still  be stopped (reading, of course) and won’t even notice you’re crossing against the light. Just look out for the guy on the bicycle with a copy of Charles Kuralt’s, On The Road. And before you turn out the light, you will read your child to sleep, to instill a love of reading in future generations of NY’ers. (Daddy, read Gone With The Wind again without stopping). Might I suggest the abridged version?
What am I reading at the moment? Great Expectations (coincidentally) by Charles Dickens. What’s got your attention? Are you reading for the greater good of NY? Does reading Blogs count?
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What The Dickens?

May 12th, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor

His was a Bleak House

In a sea of russet,

A Copperfield of sorts.

But make no mistake –

There were no Great

Expectations here

Among the Mystery

Of Droods.

Just a tale of woe.

A Tale of two –

Two Cities perhaps,

And an Oliver Twist

Of fate.

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Stroke of Eerie Fatalities Strikes Football Fans as Bizarre

May 11th, 2012 by Michael Tabor
I am not at all a superstitious person but with the recent suicide of Junior Seau I can’t help but think that the 1994 AFC Champion San Diego Chargers are cursed. 8 young men from that championship team have tragically died way too young and in bizarre fashion. Here is the dreadfully tragic list:
28 year old linebacker David Griggs is the first to meet death just 5 months after playing in the Super Bowl. Griggs’ speeding car slid off not only one ramp but also two ramps and a grassy median before careening into a pole.

Next in May of 1996, running back Rodney culver was a passenger on ValuJet Flight 592 the unprecedented freak plane accident that resulted from an absolutely stupid and careless mistake of not covering the firing pins properly of hazardous material located in the cargo department. Watch this scary video here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6316238687911883528#
What are the odds of dying in a plane crash? 1 in 20,000 says Life Science as opposed to heart disease which is 1 in 5. Moreover, it’s the freakish way the plane went down which boggles the mind.
2 years later in July of 1998, linebacker Doug Miller died after being struck by lightning while camping – STRUCK BY LIGHTNING?? Odds are 1 in 83,930. Wow! He was only 28 too.

Curtis Whitney, offensive center, died of a drug overdose at 39.

Defensive end, Chris Mims, died of an enlarged heart at the age of 38. This does happen to some athletes but it is very rare indeed.

In February of 2011, another teammate – Shawn Lee dies of a heart attack at the age of 44. These were world-class athletes.

In December of last year, 4 months ago, defensive tackle Lew Bush dies of a heart attack at the age of 42.

Finally, last Wednesday the great and popular Junior Seau commits suicide with a handgun at the age of 43.

God bless all these young men. All we can do is shake our heads and acknowledge the fact that when your # is up, it’s up.
WhaDaYaThink ? What do you Think? In a way I find it distasteful that we’re looking at the fact that this is happening to this one organization and perhaps even wondering – why ??  This is just tragic coincidence.
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Johnny Depp Won’t Dance

May 9th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

So much for hard-hitting investigative journalism, WhaDaWeThink  has decided to write up a super light piece that I think we can all agree upon. Women are natural dancers and men have to work at it; I don’t think there is a single female who doesn’t look great – dancing, and as for men well…. Obviously there are exceptions, but men just look awkward and dumb (Black and Latino men seem to deviate from the norm) when they dance. I grew up going to clubs in the eighties when I was in my twenties and dance music was in style big time and I could not dance. As a matter of fact I refused to dance and yes I took the same position as Johnny Depp in which he said that, “I would rather swallow a “bag of hair” than dance.”
My dating opportunities were monumentally slashed because the easiest way to introduce yourself to a woman was to ask her to dance and that was precisely what my male competitors did. My friends and I were all also in the two left feet club too except for one (who happens to be a regular reader of this blog) and guess who out of all my friends got all the girls. I actually considered taking dance lessons but all that was available was the Fred Astaire Studio franchises which offered traditional or classical dance like the Fox Trot and the Tango,etc. Indeed, we were a forlorn bunch of guys looking at the dance floor, sipping our beers, and hoping that we would somehow meet a woman who could understand our situation and predicament. If we somehow managed to spark up a conversation with a woman, the fear was always there – what if she asks me to dance? Well at this point, the options were not good; we could say no and then she would think that I was a “stick in the mud” or I could bravely accept her invitation and embarrass myself and show her what an incompetent “dork” I was when it comes to dancing.
Now what may seem counter-intuitive to some, is that I have a tremendous sense of rhythm, after all I played guitar, was involved in sports, and I was and am a life-time martial arts practitioner. The aforementioned requires an expertise in timing. My knowledge of space and movement was well understood but I’ve since learned that I and everyone else must learn about that sort of rhythmic measuring. We are not born with 4/4 or 4/6 timing, this is all learned, though it seems like second nature now. I suppose I could have learned how to dance if I practiced, but honestly, I never did, not unlike Johnny Depp, I don’t enjoy expressing myself via dance. Listen, I have never, ever, practiced dancing – no I have never put on an album and subsequently proceeded to dance. Tapping my foot or playing air guitar is as far as I’ve ever gone.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? My opinion is women just look awesome dancing, it’s like fish to water; men, I’m really talking about white men (I know things are changing – white kids listen to rap etc.) just look stupid.

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Human Life is Precious

May 7th, 2012 by Michael Tabor

How many times have I heard people say something to the effect i.e. “If there is no God, then life is meaningless. “This assertion has always left me scratching my head and utterly perplexed. “Why bother raising a family if they’re all going to perish and die someday… ” This sort of illogical thinking has reinforced my belief that man is a strange species indeed; smarter yes, but stranger than any other primate is. I hear this time and time again from Christian fundamentalists who make the claim that if we don’t live for eternity and there is no afterlife then life ceases to matter. One might argue that since our time is limited, then  life ought to be all the more important.
I’ve written  before about how living forever would be a Kafkaesque nightmare, and I now want to just touch upon how foolishly inane this notion of thinking that a life that goes on and on and on and on – forever and ever without end is the only existence that would render life important and meaningful. This is just nonsense. The fact that we will one day no longer exist should not nullify or marginalize our life one iota, no matter how long or short of a time we live.
I must admit that I have been guilty of this sort of wrong-headed thinking when I was in college after a friend of mine had died at a young age. That semester and the semester after that , my grades dropped precipitously. “What is the point of studying and getting good grades if we’re going to die someday?” I suppose the fact that my friend’s death was unexpected and premature – he died way too young; was really the cause of my angst. The real issue at hand was that anyone of us can die at any time, but since I was 20 years old, wasn’t diagnosed with a terminal disease, and dying from an accident or mishap was remote, my emotional response was inappropriate. There are no guarantees as to when and how long we live but the fact that we are going to die doesn’t make life meaningless. Having stated the aforementioned, I personally think that most people do however die too soon; life is so ineffably rich and beautiful (often – it can be awful and ugly too)that I can envision myself living for centuries (this is science fiction here but ..) even thousands of years without getting bored, as long as my body held up.
But, even if I died tomorrow, and there was no afterlife,etc. I would still be full of gratitude and would consider myself an incredibly lucky person to be born and had had a life at all.
I’m going to conclude this blog with a little something that Shelly Kagan from Yale put together to illustrate and put into perspective how mind-bogglingly amazing it is that you and I are here alive. Here we go – If there are 5 billion people in the world today and roughly  2.5 billion are men and 2.5 billion are women the potential birth algorithm would be calculated as follows: 2.5 billion women x 30 years of childbearing years x 12 eggs x 2.5 billion men x 50 sperm producing years x the unbelievable average of 40 million spermatozoa per ejaculation the number you end up with is 1.5 million, billion, billion, billion potential births and after this generation gives birth you would then end up with more potential people than all the particles in the known universe.
So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Just think if your great, great, great, great grandmother had a headache and perhaps had sex 5 minutes later, you would not be here.

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May 1st, 2012 by Magdalena Tabor

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