Rocket Bomber - article - Links and Thoughts - Links and Thoughts 29: 28 June 2014

Links and Thoughts 29: 28 June 2014

filed under , 28 June 2014, 06:05 by

Electric Light Orchestra – Roll Over Beethoven

Good Morning.

Judge for yourself: just after midnight every day, Meh will offer one new item for sale, the write-up for which should generate as many laughs as it does sales. Rutledge talks about running the site the way Trey Parker and Matt Stone run South Park, with as little lead time as possible, so that Meh can comment on current events. There will be no social media, no liking, no sharing, no email sign-up. He thinks email is a brand-damaging annoyance. The site should be compelling enough that people won’t need to be reminded to go to it. Repeat visitors who don’t buy stuff can click a “meh” button that will increase their prestige in the Meh community. He says, “Many people will be like, ‘But it’s a store. Why would you do that?’ That’s the fun part.”

This Internet Millionaire Has a New Deal For You : D Magazine, via The Feature

Lots of Tech Links:

Screen Time:
How to Stream TV Shows Now That Aereo’s Dead : Wired Gadget Lab

“Note that none of the scenarios above involve removing free videos from YouTube altogether. Even people who want to pull videos away from YouTube for exclusive windows assume that the world’s biggest video site will remain the world’s biggest video site and help create demand for paid products. But it will be very interesting to see how much, if any, video YouTube users are willing to pay for. If they can pay at all — YouTube’s core users are teenagers who have lots of energy but may find it difficult to make online payments.”
How Much Would You Pay to Watch a YouTube Video? : Re/code

The Impact of Soccer:


Diary entry for 28 June:

American’s new-found love of soccer may seem like a sudden, surprising (or even nefarious) thing but anyone who was born after 1964 knows why soccer is big (big enough) and getting bigger every year: we all played soccer as kids — OK, so not *all* of us; chunks of the US are [gridiron] football and always will be until more medical evidence about concussions passes peer review and gets published, and a lot of cities and small towns are into basketball for one of two reasons: it’s easier to pull together teams of five, as opposed to eleven, and b-ball courts are small (and grassless) making b-ball the better choice — literally, a better fit — than huge suburban soccer fields.

But soccer is here, and maybe after this World Cup, MLS can get a few fans to think about watching more than two-games-in-a-decade (especially if the national team can win one more game — or hell, 2 games and make it to the semi-final). There seems to be a huge opportunity: sitting-in-bars-and-watching-soccer-while-drinking has proven to be awfully popular this World Cup (more popular than the soccer?) so maybe the league and a few local pubs or sports bars in each MLS city can figure something out. If nothing else, there may be a few new stars to emerge from the tournament and that will help a few of the MLS clubs (over half of the US roster plays abroad, though).

MLS will expand to 21 teams in 2015; this latest version of US pro soccer has been operating since 1996. Any 18-year-olds signed up to play for the 2015 season will be younger than the league.

The Daily Beast released a list of 11 ‘great books’ about soccer — an excellent place to start (wikipedia works too, I guess) — but to their list I would add Outcasts United, as Today’s Book Recommendation:

Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference by Warren St. John (paperback, 9780385522045)

“Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find. The town also became home to Luma Mufleh, an American-educated Jordanian woman who founded a youth soccer team to unify Clarkston’s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.
“Set against the backdrop of an American town that without its consent had become a vast social experiment, Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the center of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the soccer field while holding together their lives—and the lives of their families—in the face of a series of daunting challenges.”

Outcasts covers two very important aspects of US soccer: the importance of soccer to most of the 21st century immigrant communities (like baseball in the 1920s, or at least, like baseball in the movies about the period), and the strong influence of youth leagues.

I’ll get my to-buy links sorted out eventually. In the meantime, you can still use most readers’ preferred option.


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