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Allen Adams

Allen Adams

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It probably will come as no surprise to those of you reading this space that we’re often gifted with an embarrassment of potential riches. Sure, there’s the occasional dry week where we have to reach, but for the most part, we’ve got plenty to choose from. Because here’s the thing: Famous people do stupid stuff ALL THE TIME.

This has led to us developing a sort-of system for determining which item to choose to run with in a given week. It’s not particularly complex – there’s some wiggle room, but it basically boils down to striking the balance between degree of fame and audacity of offense. The more famous you are, the less egregious your misdeed needs to be to get you into the conversation. The inverse is also true – the less famous, the more outlandish your antics must be to warrant discussion.

And sometimes, you get a weird one that might not necessarily hit all the marks, but is just ridiculous enough to land here in Celebrity Slam.

Tuesday, 06 April 2021 11:56

Weird National Briefs (04/07/2021)

Subtracting digits

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A mixed martial arts fighter had his finger severed during a match in Philadelphia, but doctors were eventually able to reattach it.

Khetag Pliev was injured Thursday night during the second round of his fight, which was stopped when the referee noticed Pliev was missing his left ring finger.

“In the second round, he (opponent Devin Goodale) caught my glove with one hand and held it,” Pliev told ESPN. “I felt my finger snapped. He kept pulling my glove and my finger snapped. We kept fighting. When the second round was finished, I see my (bone) was out in the open. I wanted to keep fighting, because I felt like I had this guy. But the doctor saw that and stopped the fight. ”

Event promoter Rob Haydak told ESPN that officials began searching inside the cage where the match was held, and an announcement was made to the crowd, asking them to look for it also.

After several minutes, the finger was ultimately discovered inside Pliev’s glove, Haydak said.

“It was crazy,” Haydak told ESPN. “He didn’t even flinch. He was getting ready to do the (official) decision and I was like, ‘Uh, guys, get him out of the cage and go put his finger back on.’”

Pliev was taken to a hospital where the finger was reattached. He said the doctor told him he tore 50% of the tendon on the finger, and he may need another procedure.

His opponent, Goodale, was ruled the winner by TKO. Pliev, though, said he will appeal the decision to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, claiming Goodale illegally grabbed his gloves during the bout.

Pliev, 37, is a native of Russia who competed in the 2012 Olympics as a wrestler for Canada.

TME – That is NOT how you give someone the finger.

Monday, 05 April 2021 15:07

Saddle up with ‘Concrete Cowboy’

One of the great things about the world in which we live is that there’s room for all manner of interests and identities. No matter how niche and/or unlikely the pursuit, there will be others who share feelings about it.

These subcultures sometime surface in mainstream awareness, but others simply go on, whirring along beneath the zeitgeist for decades. And again, no matter how incongruous and unlikely they may sound, they are very real and very important to those whose passions they reflect.

“Concrete Cowboy,” the new Netflix film directed by Ricky Staub, is the story of one such subculture. Adapted by Staub and Dan Walser from Greg Neri’s 2011 novel “Ghetto Cowboy,” it’s the story of a multigenerational group of horse enthusiasts operating out of inner-city Philadelphia. Through their connection to horses, these people find what they need.

(It’s worth noting that several supporting roles are played by real-life members of Fletcher Street Stables, the group upon whom Neri’s novel was largely based.)

It’s also the story of a young man who is thrust into the midst of this world, left to contextualize it alongside his own sphere of understanding, introduced into it all by the father who is all but a stranger to him. But even with influences tugging from all sides, he is the one who ultimately must make the decision about the man he wants to become.

One of the realities of big business these days is that so much of what the money is buying doesn’t actually exist yet. Millions of dollars thrown at ideas that may or may not come to some sort of fruition, a quest to find the next big thing – the next “unicorn,” VC speak for a company worth a billion dollars. And when you’re operating in a world where ideas can be everything, there will be people who prove capable of talking their way to the top.

“WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn,” currently streaming on Hulu, tells the story of the bright burnout of the ostensible tech company WeWork and its CEO Adam Neumann. Directed by Jed Rothstein, the film depicts the company’s rapid rise and fall, from a peak value of $47 billion to near bankruptcy in a matter of weeks – illustrative of some of the dangers that come with investing in opportunities that seem too good to be true.

Ever since we became aware of there being something beyond the confines of our world, we have been fascinated by the idea of aliens. We are compelled by these thoughts of life on other planets, and in an infinite universe, that life is almost certainly out there.

But what form will that life take?

We have no way of knowing the specifics – the universe is too vast and varied for that – but one scientist argues that what we know about our own world can give us some general ideas about the life that may exist on others.

Dr. Arik Kershenbaum’s “The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal about Aliens – and Ourselves” (Penguin Press, $28) is an attempt to use what we understand about the rules of this planet and apply that understanding to the potentialities of alien life. He does so through simple extrapolation, taking into account fundamental laws of nature and spinning them forward into general theories about the life that might be found elsewhere.

If you want to argue that too many of today’s blockbusters spring from blown-out franchises and IP cinematic universes, I’m not going to stop you. It’s clear that big-budget moviemaking has become almost exclusively a realm of CGI and superheroes and the like. Everything is loud and overlarge. It’s a fair point.

Counterpoint: Sometimes you just want to see giant monsters fight.

“Godzilla vs. Kong” is the fourth entry in the Warner Brothers self-styled MonsterVerse (it’s also the 36th Godzilla movie and the 12th King Kong movie, if you’re into that sort of thing), bringing together these heavyweights of giant monster cinema. Directed by Adam Wingard and currently available both in theaters and via HBO Max, it’s the sort of lumpy tentpole sequel that slots nicely into the overall development of the franchise. It’s big and a little convoluted and quite fun, albeit maybe just a little stingy with the aforementioned monster fighting.

It’s a big swing at progressing the overall universe even as it gives audiences the showdown they want. Whether those efforts at expansion prove fruitful remains to be seen – things get a little muddy and tough to follow in spots – but it’s a valiant attempt. And while some of the narrative subplots don’t work as well as others, the overall payoff is worth it.

BANGOR – Another literary genius has sprung from the fertile creative soil of our region, with a debut author preparing to take the world of letters by storm. But she is not just any author – this writer is a respected competitive chess player and a groundbreaking app developer. She decided that her next conquest would be the written word.

She is also a dog.

Longtime readers might remember stories from years past when we covered this pooch’s bevy of canine accomplishments – her surprise aptitude for chess, her elegant and effective coding ability – but this latest installment in her adventures presents an opportunity not just to promote her excellence, but to issue a confession.

This dog is my dog. She has always been my dog.

ST. POMME DE TERRE – For a small town nestled away in amidst the forests and potato fields of northwestern Aroostook County, the hamlet of St. Pomme de Terre sure does see some big drama, usually driven by the massive hairiness and sharp business savvy of its most famous resident, Bigfoot.

The former selectman and current footwear entrepreneur has found himself in the spotlight once again, albeit reluctantly.

Bigfoot has retained counsel and filed suit against beloved indie production icons the Duplass Brothers, claiming that their upcoming docuseries – “Sasquatch,” a three-part series scheduled to drop on April 20 – is defamatory to him and his cryptid brethren. According to his lawyer, Bigfoot is seeking a cease and desist on the airing of the program, as well as punitive damages in the area of $100 million.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 22:16

MLB’s possible milestones for 2021

Among the many secondary and tertiary benefits of a regular-length baseball season is the fact that fans might get more of a chance to see some historic accomplishments from players, numbers that place them among the best of their generation.

Baseball is a game that has always held its own history in high regard. And one of the best ways to keep track of that history has been through statistical milestones, numbers that have come to act as a sort of distillation of greatness. Round numbers that represent on-field brilliance in an easy-to-understand way.

Granted, changes in the game are in turn changing these milestones. The way the game is played and the meaning of the numbers being tallied isn’t what it once was; the sabermetric revolution has altered how we look at these statistics. Still, there’s something undeniably special about those iconic career marks. While their relevance may fade someday, we’re not there yet.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021 22:13

Celebrity Slam - Rock the boat

By now, you’ve probably heard about the colossal container ship Ever Given that managed to turn sideways and block the Suez Canal in Egypt, crippling international commerce to a degree that no one outside the maritime shipping industry would have ever believed possible. You’ve probably also heard that the ship was finally pulled free and sent on its merry way after a six-day ordeal.

What you haven’t heard is how.

Oh sure, you’ve heard the bullcrap story that Big Ship is out here pushing, with all this stuff about rising tides and tugboats and all that noise. And we have no doubt that that is what they want you to believe, because the truth is something that none of them have any interest in admitting.

It was The Rock. The Rock did it.

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