Keith Olbermann: A Letterman Appreciation

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Originally posted on Deadline:

My perspective on David Letterman is a little different, I think, than most of his other frequent-but-really-not-that-big-a-deal guests. For one thing, while I can still be freshly awestruck by his intelligence and his creative genius, I like his humanity even more. The thing I like most about Dave is Dave.

Plus, I had been a fan for 25 years before I was ever on the show, and I had managed to meet him at NBC even though neither of us worked there. I was just leaving 30 Rock to get back to ESPN when I heard this very familiar voice shout my name and then, “What the hell are you doing here?” I explained, with a mixture of surprise and pride, that Bryant Gumbel had brought me down from Connecticut to be the sports guy on a panel for the Today show year in review for 1994. Without missing…

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A Last Word on Mad Men

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Originally posted on The Axis of Ego:

I began to get worried at about 10:58.

Realizing there wasn’t much time left in the series, I wondered how Matthew Weiner would be able to conclude Mad Men in a way that made sense and was true to the characters he had developed over seven (really eight) seasons.

DonDraperDoorThe resolution wasn’t perfect, but I think time will be kind to it.

Last week, I discussed what we might get from the finale.  I noted one key scene in the penultimate episode, where Don appears to glean some stroke of inspiration from staring at a broken, old-fashioned Coke machine.  I said that I thought that would lead to an epiphanic moment in the finale, generating one last spectacular (and redemptive) pitch at McCann that produced an incredible, iconic campaign.

We didn’t get to see the pitch, sadly, but the conclusion of the finale lets the viewer in on the secret:…

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National Post View: Game misconduct for crazy parents

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Originally posted on National Post | News:

One of the more reliable of Canadian winter traditions is also among the least edifying: the spectacle of hockey parents behaving badly.

The latest example of adults embarrassing themselves and their children is from Nanaimo, where the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association is contemplating a ban on parents who can’t control their outbursts when little Johnny or Janie are on the ice.

“The abuse happens in every game, in every rink, every weekend. Officials take the brunt of the derogatory comments but we have players being booed, hissed at, chastised,” league president Jim Humphrey told the Vancouver Sun.

“I’ve been involved in administering hockey for 30 years and it’s always been there. But in the last 10 years it’s been getting worse.”

Police have been called, referees escorted from their dressing rooms, players have burst into tears on the bench over the antics of their parents and grandparents. About…

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Maurice calls Blues ‘best team in the league’ ahead of tonight’s game in Winnipeg

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Originally posted on ProHockeyTalk:

Remember our old Tuesday Tire Pump? (It’s OK if you don’t, it didn’t last that long.) I ask because Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice seems to have utilized the format, albeit on a Thursday — prior to tonight’s key Western Conference clash against the Blues, Maurice put some major air in St. Louis’ whitewalls.

“I think St. Louis is the best team in the League,” Maurice said, per the Post-Dispatch. “So we have to be at our very best, shift-to-shift. They have been tight games because for the most part we have done that, but we’re going to need a little bit better in everything that we do.”

To their credit, the Jets nearly topped the NHL’s best team last Tuesday, when they rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the third period to even things up… only for Barret Jackman to score an outrageous game-winner from center…

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Finding The Elusive Big Wisdom In Big Data

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Originally posted on TechCrunch:

You probably already know ‘Big Data’ is top of mind heading into 2015. How could you not? You are hearing about it constantly from vendors and journalists alike (guilty as charged). And you know what that hype says, right? Big data is going to provide all the answers, make your companies run more efficiently and help you make brilliant, data-driven decisions that give your organization a sharp competitive edge.

To some extent that’s true, but like like any over-hyped technology, many companies find implementation is hard and the reality is very different from the hype. They may have figured out effective ways to collect and process the data, but putting it to work it to make better decisions is another matter. These companies are finding a key missing link between big data and big understanding, and if they don’t find a way to resolve this, they will be left with a big…

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Born to Run: One last chance

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Originally posted on classicrockjim:

Bruce Springsteen has been making music for forty years. But his career almost came to a halt in the mid-seventies. Though critics applauded them, Springsteen’s first two albums were not commercially successful, and his record label was thinking of dropping him. Pressure was on the young musician to create a hit third album, and that pressure produced a rock classic.

He had one last shot to prove to the music world that he was a serious rock artist. While his first two albums had been released nine months apart, production on the third took over a year. Springsteen was determined that this album would deliver what his record label wanted: a hard-hitting, full-fledged rock record. In an interview from 1987, Bruce said “When I did Born To Run, I thought, ‘I’m going to make the greatest rock ‘n’ roll record ever made.’”

According to the documentary “Wings for Wheels”…

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Suspended senators to lose pension benefit

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Originally posted on Global News:

OTTAWA – The Harper government has moved to preclude disgraced senators Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau from the parliamentary pension plan while they are under suspension from the upper house.

Amendments to the Members of Parliament Retiring Allowances Act are included in a 375-page omnibus budget implementation bill introduced today in the House of Commons.

READ MORE: Brazeau, Harb due in court next week over Senate expense charges

The move is aimed at ensuring the trio don’t accrue pensionable service while under suspension for making allegedly fraudulent expense claims.

The three were suspended without pay last November for the duration of the parliamentary sitting, which is expected to continue until 2015 – the same year all three would ordinarily become eligible to collect a generous parliamentary pension.

READ MORE:: Liberal senators want to use new independence to make Senate more responsive

The government was embarrassed to…

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