A quickie Tapes for this week, as I’m about to pass out from chugging Nyquil to battle a cold I came down with. My wife’s half-a-world away, otherwise she’d make me soup or something. I’d feel bad making her fly all day back from Africa just to heat up some chicken noodle.

Onward:

* I’m linking to two pieces I haven’t read, which is violating an unwritten TVFury rule. Both deal with the case in Ohio when a troubled man let loose his exotic animals before killing himself. Police were forced to shoot tigers and bears and other creatures that had been released. Esquire’s Chris Jones wrote about it, as did GQ’s Chris Heath. I’ve heard both stories are good but quite different. There is also some inside baseball going on as it’s odd for two writers at rivals to be working on a story like this at the same time in the magazine world. This New York Observer article explains some of it. I haven’t read either story because I’m waiting for each magazine in the mail. Old school.

* Bill Simmons did a podcast with his sports hero, Larry Bird. Even as a Lakers fan I enjoyed the piece, primarily because it’s fun listening to a basketball genius like Larry talk hoops, even if you have to wade through way too much talk about the 1986 Celtics and how if Kevin McHale had been healthy in 1987, he would have blocked Magic’s skyhook in Game 4 of the Finals.

* TVFury readers will remember Kevin Van Valkenburg, who did a Fury Files in December. He just started working for ESPN the Magazine but penned a goodbye to his old paper, The Baltimore sun. A good read.

* Up next, not poetry, but candid words from a situation that’s a total cluster: The University of North Dakota nickname debate. Without getting into too much detail, the NCAA deemed the Fighting Sioux bit “hostile and abusive.” Boosters bristled. Laws were changed. And now the issue is threatening to cost the school future conference affiliation.
This story by Tom Miller from the Grand Forks Herald includes the most candid in-house comments maybe ever on the subject. That’s one of the things I miss least about living and working in North Dakota – the potential to be assigned to update that fiasco. It sort of makes me want to jam a pen into my eyeball the way this dude in Fargo once did after his arson-for-insurance scam was uncovered.

* Are you ready for the latest breakthrough in energy-drink can technology? Meet West Coast Chill. It comes equipped with a button that causes the temp of the swill to drop 30 degrees. I think about how much the world needs this every time I work in the office, my soda turning room temp before I can finish it. Yuck. And pouring it into, say, some sort of insulated thermos will make it go flat.
This entry will fit perfectly in my upcoming book, “I would have been totally screwed if I live in the 1800s.”

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