Sunday, June 27, 2010

Links for oil spill column

Here are some links that go with my Sunday column on the Gulf oil spill:

Brie Williams's photos from Grand Isle.

A live camera from the spill. (I tried to link to the cameras on BP's site, but they weren't working for some reason. That's not sarcasm, by the way.)

And here's the YouTube video from Destin. The part I mentioned happens about 2:30, but before then you can see some oil on the beach up close.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Last night on Twitter, ESPN's Bill Simmons started posting YouTube links of reactions to Landon Donovan's last-minute goal that beat Algeria in the World Cup. When I went to bed he had posted six. I could have watched 600.

I'm not going to pretend I was a big soccer fan before the World Cup. And I doubt I'll be following the English Premier League afterward. But you don't have to fall all the way in love with everything. Sometimes you can fall in love a little bit. I'm a little bit in love with soccer now. And I truly loved this moment.

The first video is from CNN -- I found it through WSOC's Bill Voth (@billvoth on Twitter). The next six come from Simmons (@sportsguy33 on Twitter). If you run across others -- especially from Charlotte -- holler in the comments and we'll post them.

I am now officially looking forward to a soccer match involving Ghana. This is a whole new world.

UPDATE: At the bottom there's a highlight reel of sorts, compiling pieces of most of the other videos plus a few others.

New York (there's an ad on the front end, but it's worth it):

San Diego:



At the stadium:


Lincoln, Nebraska:


Monday, June 14, 2010

Alvin Greene, being there

Alvin Greene, the unknown, unheralded, un-everything U.S. Senate primary winner in South Carolina, kept reminding me of something -- and somebody. Finally figured it out.

If you've seen Greene on TV, you learn two things: One, his interviews set the Guinness record for awkward pauses, and two, it's clear he doesn't have a clue what's going on. All he does is repeat the same lines about "Sixty percent of the vote is no accident" and "I just conducted a simple old-fashioned campaign," which is especially funny because I'm still not aware of anyone in South Carolina who went to an Alvin Greene rally, or had Alvin Greene come to their house, or even saw him on the side of a road waving a campaign sign like those kids doing a car wash for the glee club.

He might have won the Democratic primary because he's black, or he might have won because he was the first candidate alphabetically, or he might be a Republican plant, but one thing is clear -- he didn't win because the people of South Carolina deeply desire to put him in Congress. Although they've probably done worse.

If you watch him on TV, you think, what a disaster. But when I figured out who he reminded me of, it started to make sense.

The 1979 movie "Being There" is about Chance (Peter Sellers), a gardener born with "rice pudding between the ears." All he can talk about is gardening. All he likes to do is watch TV. But through a series of events, he ends up in the home (played by the Biltmore House!) of a rich businessman with political connections. And so Chance the gardener becomes Chauncey Gardiner, whose empty-headed homilies about the weather sound like Zen in a different context.

(He also ends up in bed with Shirley MacLaine, who doesn't quite get what he means when he says "I like to watch.")

So it's possible we've misunderstood Alvin Greene this whole time. He might be our Chauncey Gardiner, our homegrown Zen master of politics, and we're just not deep enough to get it.

I will just add this. If he does ever hold a campaign rally, and it's by the side of a lake, bring your camera.