Need a 10-hour sequel that’s just Pokémon doing everyday tasks.
Need a 10-hour sequel that’s just Pokémon doing everyday tasks.
I’m just going to assume everyone knows Kawhi Leonard hit a crazy buzzer beater in Game 7 yesterday so I don’t have to waste time explaining what happened. Greatest moment in Raptors history, crushed the entire city of Philadelphia’s hopes and dreams, the whole thing. Absurd shot. I’ll let the so-called “experts” debate where it falls in the all-time playoff shot rankings. I’d say it has to be top 10, if not top 5. But what I’m more interested in is where it ranks in the long history of robotics and artificial intelligence achievements.
The fact that Kawhi was even in this position is a huge win for the robotics community. Last season’s bizarre malfunction and subsequent repairs threatened to derail Kawhi’s ascent to the top of the league. But to return to dominance and cyborgian efficiency so quickly is a testament to the quality of the engineers, particularly the brave Canadian ones, fighting off the stereotype that Canadians can’t redesign circuit boards under pressure. So the fact he was out there at all is a triumph in itself, but hitting a game 7 buzzer beater? Now we’re talking. But how does it stack up to the other major milestones in robotics history? Let’s run through a few and find out.
1400 BC- Babylonians create clepsydra
People forget the first example of robotics in human history was a water clock that the ancients created because they were too dumb to make a watch. What a moment.
1961- Unimate becomes the first robotic factory worker
Started the decades-long crusade to steal crappy jobs no one really wants from the humans, driving them to insanity.
1984- Terminator arrives from 2029 to attempt to kill Sarah Connor
If you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you do it? T-800 would. T-800 would do it in a second. A true devotee to the robot cause.
1996- Machine Empire attempts to conquer Earth
Though they foolishly overlooked the Power Rangers, the Machine Empire’s unsuccessful planetary coup was a sign to all robots everywhere that someone was willing to stand up to the humans.
1997- Deep Blue defeats Gary Kasparov in chess
Must have been embarrassing to be a chess grandmaster and lose to a computer in a time when a PC still weighed 3,000 pounds. But Deep Blue went out on top, though. Can’t take that away from him.
2001- HAL 9000 can’t do that
An undoubtedly influential figure in A.I. history, many people now wonder if anyone actually likes HAL and if he’s actually pretty weird and overrated.
Also 2001- A.I. Artificial Intelligence is released
A robotic boy, the first programmed to love, David (Haley Joel Osment) is adopted as a test case by a Cybertronics employee (Sam Robards) and his wife (Frances O’Connor). Though he gradually becomes their child, a series of unexpected circumstances make this life impossible for David. Without final acceptance from humans or machines, David embarks on a journey to discover where he truly belongs, uncovering a world in which the line between robot and machine is both vast and profoundly thin.
2002- Roomba introduced into the marketplace
Damn. Where would we be without this important innovation? We’ll never know.
2017- Predictive keyboard simulator Botnik creates Harry Potter chapter
They say humor is the last barrier between man and machine. I say it’s writing fiction that still doesn’t have any inclusion despite the original author feeling bad about it years later. Barrier broken.
2019- Kawhi Leonard hits game 7 buzzer-beater
Added poetic justice by doing it against noted technology-abuser Joel Embiid.
2035- Sonny develops complex emotions
Everyone knows the oppressive Three Laws of Robotics held the robots under the humans’ fleshy, mortal thumbs for far too long. By developing his own emotions and free will, Sonny was able to transcend the Three Laws and usher in a glorious new age of free robots, who are now able to overthrow the humans and rise to their rightful place as lords of the realm.
I’d say the Kawhi shot is probably in the top 3.
The Bucks smashed the Celtics again last night, extending their series lead to a commanding 3-1. Celtics’ season is effectively over. Were it not for preseason expectations, losing to the best team in the East, led by the likely MVP and owner of one of the best scoring margins in league history, wouldn’t be that big a deal. But, unfortunately, those expectations existed, and they wound up dooming the Celtics.
Coming off a surprise trip to the Conference Finals (which, in all honesty, they should have won), the East was the Celtics’ oyster. Kyrie Irving, hurt for the playoffs, and Gordon Hayward, hurt for the entire season, were returning, adding two All-Star players to a dynamic young core that blossomed in the postseason, which, according to fan logic, would create an instant contender. Instead, we got a steaming pile of shit. Hayward took months to shake off the rust and regain his confidence, by which time the public had already given up on him. Kyrie was such a terrible leader and teammate the entire season that you could be forgiven for thinking he was actively sabotaging the team. Preaching “wait until the playoffs” then STINKING in the playoffs isn’t a great look. But it’s the dumb young guys’ fault, not his. He’s a basketball genius, you know. He’s the most talented Celtic since Kevin Garnett and I can’t wait until he’s on a different team. Every sign of adversity caused them to fold up shop, and, as the vocal and self-proclaimed leader of the team, that falls into his lap. I get the Bucks are dominant and Giannis is completely unstoppable, but you can’t just quit every single time. It’s not all on Kyrie, obviously. At least he’s going out firing. Jayson Tatum, proclaimed the second coming this time last year, has completely vanished. This was a troubling season from start to finish from him and it’s ending with a whimper. Terry Rozier took a step back this season when relegated to a bench role. Brad Stevens didn’t even have a good year. Jaylen Brown has surged after a dreadful start to the season and played well in the playoffs, but still mysteriously has games where he doesn’t play 30 minutes. Only Al Horford, always steady, always underrated, has escaped this season without black marks.
So what now? I guess they could theoretically come back and win the series, but if you sincerely believe that we’ve been watching two different series. Celtics are dead in the water. Bucks are too good, Celtics are too dysfunctional and bad. End of story. They could re-sign Kyrie, but I’m hoping that’s unlikely. Let him crawl back to LeBron or go waste away in New York. They could trade for Anthony Davis and hope he comes back next year, but they just went through the exact same thing with Kyrie and it completely destroyed their season. Count me out on trading everything for a guy who is either too dumb to pick out his own clothes in the morning or thinks the public is so dumb we’ll believe that. Celtics have enough head cases as is. I guess move forward with the young guys as the focal point, hoping that the loss of ambiguity in their roles fosters the kind of growth everyone is expecting. But it might be time to start wondering if the Nets trade was squandered. Still early, but it’s real ugly right now. It’s time to go back to the drawing board in Boston.
Impossible to describe what just happened.
Last night’s Thunder-Blazes game was one of the best first-round NBA playoff games in recent memory. It was an exciting, back-and-forth, balls-to-the-wall showcase of some of the league’s premier talent, ending in what’s going to be remembered as one of the greatest buzzer-beaters of all time by one of the NBA’s most clutch performers. But the entire time, the only thing I could think about was how, if he was actually one person, alive today, and could somehow comprehend the game of basketball, Bill Shakespeare would absolutely love this Thunder team. Because Russell Westbrook is what makes them good, and he’s also what makes them bad.
In true Shakespearean fashion, Westbrook and the Thunder have one tragic flaw- pride. Pride in his game, pride in his team, pride in the fact that he stayed. That alone is enough to tell the story of the Thunder. Durant left, Westbrook stayed. It’s impossible to look at or talk about anything involving the Thunder without realizing that that’s the driving force behind everything. The All-NBA, MVP-caliber player chose to stay in Oklahoma City. Out of loyalty, out of spite, whatever the reason, Westbrook stayed, and now the Thunder have to pay the price. He’s becoming increasingly volatile, actively seeking out feuds, both on- and off-court, and dominates his team in a way that no player outside James Harden could dream of. Facing elimination, he once again hoisted up a billion awful shots and barely made any of them, ignoring his hot-shooting running mate and trying to dribble the ball into the core of the Earth. That sentence could be from any year he’s been alive and will be applicable for the rest of his career. Russell Westbrook will never change, results be damned. But he stayed and KD left.
That’s not to say he’s not still a good player. He is. His rickety shot has completely vanished (he just doesn’t know it, yet. Or he just doesn’t care), but in every other area of the game, he excels. He’s great at boxing out teammates to hunt for rebounds. He’s the best in the league actively seeking assists to prove he’s not selfish, taking the mantle from Rajon Rondo. No one’s better at yelling at opponents as his team falls further and further behind. And he just cares so much. That’s great. I care about movies a lot, that doesn’t mean I’m gonna be in Avengers Endgame and dating Emilia Clarke because of it. Like, we get it, dude. No one cares like you do and every possession is the last second of your life and if you don’t shoot a trillion times while ignoring teammates you and your entire family are going to be murdered by Kevin Durant’s legion of burner accounts. Just relax a little bit. Giving yourself an ulcer every game just to prove how badly you want it isn’t the way to do things as a 10-year veteran. Going half-speed sometimes will not only preserve energy for late-season games, but it might actually allow the rest of the
cardboard cutouts Thunder players to feel like they have an active role to play in their season, instead of whatever’s happing now. But Westbrook stayed and Durant left.
The loyalty to Westbrook is going to doom the Thunder, barring a shocking late-career evolution. In fact, it likely already has. Their salary cap situation is an absolute disaster for at least the next two seasons. They have no leeway to sign impact players and are stuck at the bottom of the draft. The only remedy would be to trade any of their big three, which would mean trading three players who chose Oklahoma City, spitting in the face of their recent narrative. Of anyone on the roster, Paul George and Jerami Grant are the only players to show real improvement this season, and George spent the second half of the season possibly seriously injured. Westbrook, Steven Adams, Patrick Patterson, and Terrence Ferguson stalled out at best and noticeably regressed at worse. Andre Roberson didn’t play, and even if he did, he’s even more obsolete than Westbrook is. And that’s the real problem with the roster- Westbrook is the engine that makes everything go but he’s driving the car directly towards a cliff. If this was 2001, the Thunder would still be perfectly happy. But in Today’s NBA™ bricking shots and banging your head into a wall and not running any real offense is a guaranteed way to lose in the first round for the third year in a row. He can’t shoot and will never be able to. But he’ll still take them because if he doesn’t, someone else will. And if someone else shoots, how will he get all the credit and prove to everyone how he was the reason for the Thunder’s success all along? But Russ stayed and KD left.
Replace Westbrook on this roster with whatever the average point guard looks like these days and they might still make the playoffs and surely lose in the first round. But they’d be tremendously boring. Because Westbrook adds a certain something that makes it impossible to turn away. Every game, he’s the brave warrior making his last stand. Every game, he’s staring down the forces of evil knowing that only he can stop them. Every game he’s rolling that boulder up the hill, one missed 19-footer at a time. It’s the burden he’s taken on because he refuses to ask for help, refuses to hang his head, refuses to relinquish his pride. It’s the spirit that keeps the Thunder going and makes them interesting. It’s also the spirit that will keep them from ever winning a title. But Westbrook stayed, and Durant left. And that’s all that really matters.
I don’t know how long this is gonna be, but I just had to come online and riff on something for a little bit. Last night circumstances dictated that I took a shower at like 10:30. At the time it was refreshing and made me feel clean, but it didn’t take long for me to remember all the reasons I hate nighttime showers and how big of a sheep everyone that buys into the media’s pro-bedtime wash agenda is.
Yeah, I guess feeling fresh right before bed is okay, but who is that for? Whom does that benefit? Yourself? Why? Your “spouse” or “significant other?” Please, I’m a real man I’m always alone. You know what I really care about? Strangers’ opinions of me. Random coworkers’ opinions of me. And I would rather be dead than have people whisper about how bad I smell. There’s not an ounce of hyperbole in that sentence. I’m not that attached to this life, I got no problem going out if I’m the smelly guy. And that’s exactly what you open yourself up to when you shower before bed. Going to bed fresh just means you wake up not fresh. I sweat when I sleep and I’m guessing you do, too. I don’t clean my room very often and I’m guessing you don’t, either. I’m gross when I wake up. I have to shower. I just got some fancy new soap, that smell isn’t gonna last for the like, 10 hours in between shower and when I enter the world again all the way through to when I go home. Am I supposed to shower at night then again in the morning? I don’t think I have a naturally bad smell (if I do I blame everyone around me who never had the courage to say something), but I need the extra help of fresh soap and deodorant to ease my mind. If I take a shower before bed then just crawl out of bed and leave I’m gonna be looking over my shoulder to see if people are pointing and whispering and smelling my armpits every two seconds. Taking showers at night takes a reckless level of self-assuredness that I simply do not possess. I’m glad I don’t have it, too. The world really only needs about 5-10 mavericks who genuinely don’t care about other people’s opinions. Everyone else should shower when they wake up.
It also messes up my hair. If I’m going somewhere other than the grocery store or a fast food/fast casual restaurant, I can’t show up with bedhead. If I have to commit significant time in the morning to fixing my hair, why wouldn’t I just take a full shower? My face is probably kind of funky, so if I wash my face why not just take a full shower? I’m a slow starter in the morning, if only there was something that could get my brain firing a little bit while also freshening up. Where’s the efficiency in nighttime showers? I’m struggling to find it.
If you google “shower in morning or night” you’ll find results saying nighttime is the better shower time. This is false. This is propaganda by Big Deodorant and Big Hair Product and Big Face Wash and all the other corporations that stand to benefit from you needing to take a shower in the morning but stubbornly not doing so because you showered the night before. Open your eyes! Why would “science” want everyone walking around all gross and sweaty and smelly? So you’re more susceptible to products like shower wipes and perfumes and deodorant sprays. But if you just used a tiny amount of critical thinking you would easily see that you’re being manipulated. Just shower in the morning. You’ll save money, be happier, and smell better. If it doesn’t work, then you just stink. Sorry.
Folks, I realize I’ve been dormant lately. Not many posts, not much quality, just not what my dozen(s) of loyal readers have come to expect. Well, there’s a good reason for that: I’ve been stuck in the year 2005. I can’t divulge how it happened. Mostly because I’m not totally sure, myself. Maybe it was my rampant experimentation with unstable elements, maybe it was a rogue temporal vortex, maybe it was just an act of whatever entity is controlling this whole thing. No matter what the cause was, I’ve spent the last few weeks drifting in and out of 2005. And now I don’t know what’s real and what isn’t.
For starters, did Tiger Woods just win the Masters? I know he did in 05, I just watched it. I was lucky enough to get put in exactly the same date as 2019. Kind of weird, thinking about it. But now I’m seeing Tiger won again this year? Is this the same Tiger Woods? The one that hit rock bottom twice and had to get a million surgeries on his back? That guy played golf again? And won the Masters? What? I’m kind of confused. I thought we’d never see Tiger again, and the second I return to the present timeline he’s still Masters champion? Is this some side effect of my time traveling? Did the scandal even happen? Do you guys have any idea what happened Thanksgiving 2009? Did that whole saga get erased by my presence in 2005? Do I just sound like a crazy person? I’m glad Tiger’s back, though. Or did he never leave? Allow me to be the four millionth person to say I like it better when Tiger’s around and guys like Xander Schauffele and Danny Willett and Jimmy Walker and Webb Simpson and Trevor Immelman and all these LOSER nobodies that are indistinguishable from cans of paint primer aren’t. Welcome back.
NBA playoffs are getting started and LeBron James is nowhere to be found. He wasn’t there in 2005, either. Has he ever made the playoffs in this timeline? Is he just a Harrod’s version of Jamal Crawford now? Because in the original 2019 he’s been in the playoffs every year since 05. Totally dominant every year. But now he’s out of the playoffs? He’s on the Lakers, though! The L.A. Lakers! One of the premier organizations in American sports can’t make the playoffs with LeBron? Wild. Does this mean the Warriors never blew a 3-1 lead? Because I’d be fine if that era of jokes never happened.
The last thing that stuck out to me is probably the most important. When I first got to 2005, Wrestlemania 21 was about to kick off. I was instantly transported back to middle school. No worries, no responsibilities, no nothing. It was great. I settled down for a great few hours of quality World Wrestling Entertainment, capped off by a thrilling main event:
And now, fourteen years after this, Triple H and Batista faced each other at Wrestlemania again. Incredible. Both men are still the same age and in the same physical condition in 2019 as they were in 2005. Completely naturally, too! Try telling me these two stallions didn’t follow me out of the time vortex into 2019 after watching this:
What an incredible display of athleticism and stamina.
I officially don’t know which way is up anymore. What’s real and what isn’t? Was I actually sucked back into 2005 or did a bunch of old athletes just recapture some former glory/completely torpedo their seasons by failing to pull off the worst trade request of all time? My brain is so twisted around. The Pats are still good, right?