Plaxico Burress Shoots Himself Accidentally
Giants receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the right thigh while at a Manhattan nightclub early Saturday, hours after he was deemed unfit to play in Sunday’s game at Washington because of a hamstring strain in the same leg.

I think Couglin will blow a gasket if the Giants lose to the Redskins thanks to this sort of distraction and circus. He might blow a gasket anyway.

Today in Literary History

It’s the birthday of Mark Twain, (books by this author) born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, in 1835. When he was young, his family moved to Hannibal, a Missouri town along the banks of the Mississippi and a frequent stop for steamboats. And in fact, after a few years working as a printer, he became a steamboat captain, which is where he got his pseudonym: “mark twain” is the call when the water is two fathoms deep — about 12 feet — which is deep enough for a boat to navigate safely.
One of the worst (IMO) depictions of Mark Twain as a character occurred in the Star Trek The Next Generation 2-part episode: “Time’s Arrow”. While the idea was cool and seems to work from a logical time travel sort of sense, the depiction of Mark Twain broke the historical character for me. And while I admire their steadfastness in not using a reset button and having the memory of the 24th century erased from Clemens, I can’t help but think that someone like Mark Twain would have tried to make use of his knowledge, however subtly, once the Enterprise crew left.
At least when Doctor Who met Charles Dickens in an analogous manner, it was just before his death and changes to the timeline were going to be minimal. Here, Clemens would have over a decade after the meeting with the Enterprise crew.
When I read Silverlock for the first time: When the characters find a raft on the great river and start sailing it, it took me a minute and a few paragraphs to realize just what they found, I was gobsmacked. “Huck Finn’s raft!”
Mark Twain was born exactly two weeks after Halley Comet’s perihelion. In his biography, he said, “I came in with Halley’s comet in 1835. It’s coming again next year (1910), and I expect to go out with it. The Almighty has said no doubt, ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.’ ” Twain died on April 21, 1910, the day following the comet’s subsequent perihelion.

Walmart Tragedy

Sought: Wal-Mart shoppers who trampled NY worker
When I first heard about this, yesterday, I heard that someone had been trampled. “That is unfortunate” I thought, conjuring images in my mind of the basement of Macy’s, and other crowded situations.
When I heard the worker had been killed, I got angry. These people weren’t trying to escape a fire, a flood, armed gunmen…they were trying to get into a store to buy items.
No excuse, whatsoever. I hope they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Even more Malazan novels?

From Locus:
Steven Erikson sold six new Malazan Book of the Fallen novels (the Kharkanas and Toklakai trologies) plus novella
collections The Tales of Bauchelain & Korbal Broach volumes 1-3 to Eric Raab at Tor…

The original plan was for 10 novels (with #8 recently published). Which was ambitious enough! I suppose the story of the Malazan Empire et cetera “just grew”.

This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship…

It was on this day, November 26, in 1942, that the film Casablanca had its first showing. The event took place at the Hollywood Theater in New York City.
Although I have at least one friend who doesn’t like it, its definitely in my personal top ten movie list.
In a fair amount of movies that I’ve rented lately, there has been an anti-piracy ad which used clips from Casablanca and implied the characters’ troubles were also about pirating DVDs. The ad was amusing the first couple of times I’ve seen it; now its just annoying.

That Fair Catch Kick attempt in the Giants-Ari game

I didn’t know what to make of it, so I didn’t really mention the free kick attempt by Arizona in the Giants-Arizona game. So I did a little research…
At the end of the first half, after the Giants punted with a few seconds to go in the half, Arizona called for a fair catch.
After a fair catch, an NFL team has the right to take a free kick from the line of scrimmage on the next play. If the kick goes through the uprights, the kicking team scores 3 points. It is also known as a “free kick field goal.”
Basically, the difference between a free kick and a field goal is that it has to be after a fair catch, there is no snap, the defense has to be 10 yards back of the attempt, and the kicker cannot use a tee.
The Cardinals missed the attempt.

NYG 37 Arizona 29

NYG 37 ARI 29
Who are you and what have you done with my NY Giants?
Despite phantom Pass Interference calls which drove me mad (ask the Olsons!), another good performance from the defending Superbowl Champions. This is a post-Superbowl year, guys. You usually have no business being on the north side of a winning season, to say nothing of arguably being the best team in football. I’ll say that again. The Giants are arguably the best team in football. As far as the other great team in football, the Titans…
Have I gone in the Wayback machine to 1986, when both the Giants and Jets started off great? The Jets knocked off the previously unbeaten Titans preventing the Thanksgiving matchup of a 11-0 team with a 0-11 team (they are playing the Lions). It would have been the first time a 11-0 team faced a 0-11 one.
Back in 1986, the Giants went straight to the Superbowl; Jets went from 10-1 to 10-6,. and if not for being unable to beat Cleveland in double overtime, might have gotten at least to the championship game, if not to the Superbowl, too?
This is all a lovely dream and I am expecting a couple of teams to ruin it yet. But right now, its a good time to be a Giants fan…or a Jets fan, God help them.

James Hill House

Front of the House
Originally uploaded by Jvstin

Once it was the largest private residence in MN. Now its a museum. This is the James J Hill House in St. Paul, MN.

It was a dreary day and perhaps this does not allow the house to be seen in its best light.Since flash was not allowed, my interior shots are not very good, either. But you can look at them, if you like.

Underground Glaciers on Mars?
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has detected what NASA scientists believe are huge glaciers of water ice lying beneath a layer of rocky debris.
The finding is significant because it helps scientists better understand a feature of the Martian surface that has puzzled them for decades. In the 1970s, the Viking orbiters sent back images that showed what have been dubbed “aprons,” or large, gently sloping deposits of debris situated at the base of tall geographic formations like cliffs. Several theories for what created these aprons have been posed over the years. This research indicates that what’s just beneath that debris is of much greater interest.