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The offending ball

I bought a yoga ball the other day, to replace my chair with. I had heard they are good for posture, core strength, and kind of fun. So I got it, and I noticed on the box it was labeled “Burst Resistant” and I simultaneously thought “Awesome” and “Fooey”. Because I have the ability to think many things at the same time, which does get a little confusing.???

So when I got home and inflated it with the handy dandy little air pump that came in the box, I was overcome with the smell of the thing. I mean, it didn’t smell bad or anything, but just weird mix of rubber, mothballs, and something else. I suspect the makers package it with the gym smell pre-imbedded, so people who buy them for installation in a workout area aren’t wierded out by something that doesn’t smell terrible. In short, it’s a blast to sit on when doing anything, and I recommend it to anyone who sits at a desk for an extended period of time. I never knew that sitting down could be so exhausting. You can bounce on it, roll around, topple off it hilariously and giggle in a heap afterward. I’m not saying I did that, but I can vouch that it’s possible.

Then, while rummaging around my closet the other day, I spied the box the ball came in. The “Burst Resistant” labeling stood out at me again, and as I stared at the box, for about 10 minutes (I can neither confirm nor deny mind altering substances were in use) I took it as a challenge. “Alright, Bally Total Fitness 75 centimeter exercise ball,” I muttered, “we’ll see about this.” I threw a book at it, which bounced back onto my foot, which hurt. It was a big book.

One of my tools to destroy the ball

And from there I began to whale on the damn thing. When before I would absently bounce up and down when watching TV or writing or surfing the Internets, now I began to bounce as high as I could. I began to use it as a large soccer ball. Incidentally, it’s amazing how far the ball bounces, and how much destruction it can cause. In a short time I had broken a light, a small terra cotta warrior, three glasses, and nearly knocked my TV off the box it sits on like eight times. I’ve thrown it out the window a couple times, but all that happened there was I hit a bird on the bounce, which was kind of impressive. I’ve contemplated poking it with stuff, but that feels like cheating, right? I feel like only concussive force can be used in this “science” quest.  But the damn thing continues to not break. I am impressed with these Bally’s people. I must call their scientists, because this strangely scented polymer they’ve made the ball out of is seemingly invincible. Maybe a fat guy could help me.

I’ve tried rolling over sharp stuff, because that’s just incidental action when it comes to rolling around, but the thing is amazing in its resiliency. I even used it as a weapon against my little brother, but again its bounciness struck back at me, hitting me in the belly. Perhaps if I knew karate, I could chop it in half. But alas, I don’t have the time to spend years in the Orient learning from the Shaolin masters. I have a yoga ball to pop. I hit it with a hammer a couple times, but nothing. Really, I am at the end of my rope. I’ve been throwing playing cards at it the last couple hours in hopes paper cuts will wear away at it, but so far nothing. Maybe if we lived somewhere near trains, I could put it on a train track. But I have a sneaking suspicion it would just make the train derail, and I’d be back to square one. Maybe even square zero, because I’d have to deal with a derailed train.

If you have suggestions for me, email them to Together we can find success, and kick this stupid, core solidifying, good time creating, son of a bitch back to where it came from, or at least assert our dominance as human beings over it. I’ll not be stopped by this inanimate object. I’m better than that. Maybe I’ll try running it over with my car.

Magical Egypt
Episode One – The Invisible Science

Michael S. Schneider explains the Fibonacci series.

“Compassion and love constitute non-violence in action. They are the source of all spiritual qualities: forgiveness, tolerance, all the virtues. They give meaning to our activities and makes them constructive. There is nothing amazing about being rich or highly educated; only when the individual has a warm heart, do these attributes become worthwhile.”

~ Dalai Lama

NFC South

Sorry about the sudden halt people, I had to help my brother move to Pittsburgh this week. Incidentally, one of the nicer cities I’ve been to, though in the winter I’m sure it’s different. Plus, the Steelers are pretty ubiquitous. And PNC Park, where the Pirates play, is seriously the nicest park I’ve ever been to, other than having to watch the Pirates. Anyway, on to the NFC South, where we continue with the…

New Orleans Saints

Saints QB Drew Brees with son Baylen (Getty)

So you won a Super Bowl, did you? Well, boys, the NFL wants to know, what have you done for me lately? Yes, the NFC South, where you can’t finish first twice. In this decade no team has won the division twice in a row, and the way talent is showing up there again, the Saints, despite an electric offense and the will of a magic city, could have a tough time. But really, not that tough. Though they partied pretty much up until tomorrow to celebrate the city’s first championship in who knows how long, the Saints are the class of the division. Drew Brees, he of the golden (surgically repaired) arm and maybe the most adorable child in the world, is back and more at home than ever. He loves the city and they him, probably to the degree that Archie Manning is now an afterthought. Brees had a ridiculous season last year and only looks to improve on it, as head coach Sean Peyton can build on what he and Brees put together last year and spend the year giving defensive coordinators fits. The offense from QB on down is back where it matters, and now that Peyton finally figured out how to properly use Reggie Bush last season that could spell many sleepless nights for other defenses. Combine that with the incredible and still unheralded Marquis Colston as well as TE Jeremy SHockey more comfortable in the system, the Saints are a danger. Brees’ ability to distribute the ball to any number of receivers (there were games last year where he had receptions from seven or more separate players) and the word “drop off” should not even be thought of. I was just in Pittsburgh and the sports radio guys were agreeing Brees is the best QB in the league, surpassing Peyton Manning. This is a dirty travesty of a lie especially for actual people who get paid to do this. Brees is perfect in the system he’s in while Manning is a field general on a level that is unrivaled. Still, the system is there, and Brees is the straw that stirs the Hurricane, so another 5000+ yard season isn’t out of the question. The receiving corps led by Marquis COlston, maybe the most underrated receiver in the league right now, is fast, strong, and smart, able to assimilate into the Sean Peyton scheme. Reggie Bush is Reggie Bush, and with every passing year we realize a little more what that means. He can catch, run, jump and juke, and as they say, you put him in open space its game over. The discovery of Pierre Thomas these last couple of years has given the Saints the battering ram this high-flying offense needs to help them assert themselves at the goal line, and the offensive line seems to take it personally when their QB is touched. This in itself is a good reason to fear the Saints; they’re more of a team than most. On the other side of the ball, a classic 4-3 defense, you have beasts of all types. Sedrick Ellis is the anchor on the line, making good on the promises Mel Kiper made in his honor during the draft. He benched 440 at the combine in 2008, so think about where that’s ended up. And the fact that he was ranked behind Glenn Dorsey on boards everywhere tells you something about Kiper and his boys. Scott Shanle and the speedy, destructive Johnathan Vilma are the heart of the linebackers,  but strong-side man Jo-Lonn Dunbar is coming in for the departing Scott Fujita, so that could have an impact on the running game. the safety tamdem of Roman Harper and the near-legend Darren Sharper pair up to be maybe the best two safeties on one team, while Super Bowl hero Tracy Porter is emerging as a fantastic young corner. The Saints aren’t so much the class of the NFC South as they are the entire NFC. Winning a Super Bowl gives you that swagger, but also a nice big target on your back. This is one team that looks strong enough to build a dynasty. The way the coach and QB in particular mesh is amazing, while the whole team has a city rallied around it like nowhere else in the league. The Saints are going deep this year, every game and all season. Prediction : 14-2, playoffs, of course. Read Full Article →