Why the Astros Are Incredibly Stupid

The Astros are stupid. If they were cheating in 2017 or 2018 or 2019, as documented in various Youtube videos (see below), they are stupid. Morons. Idiots.

I should mention up front that I’ve been an Astros fan for years, and I followed the runs to the World Series in ’17 and ’19.

There’s still some doubt about the validity and extent of the allegations posed by the videos. MLB is investigating, for better or worse; if you’ve seen some weird rulings come back from New York on video replays, you may be thinking the latter.

Anyhow, the allegation is that the Astros used cameras to feed opposing catchers’ signs to the dugout hallway, where a staffer smacked a trashcan or made some other signal to indicate what kind of pitch was coming. “The banging was fairly dumb,” said Jomboy, the blogger who made the video posted below in a talkshow appearance with CBS Sports, but other methods could’ve involved any number of communication methods.

My assertion is that the Astros aren’t all that smart if this is true. This is one of the most boneheaded schemes ever, trashcans or no. If it happened as presented, it involved about 40 players, coaches, and staff, all of whom could spill the beans or change teams (and possibly resent the Astros) at the drop of a hat.

The other thing that astounds me about the magnitude of the scandal is that the Red Sox got caught doing pretty much exactly the same thing in 2017.

The Astros have been a bit of a magnet for controversy in recent years. People hate them for being mostly unbeatable. People hate them for doing things their own way, being strongly statistics-driven, and allegedly tanking games during their rebuild to stock up on high draft picks.

A bit of the hatred for the Astros comes from that smart-kid statshead bias. People don’t like admitting that some stats-cruncher is using computers and spreadsheets to win sports championships.

Well, they don’t look so smart now. We’ll see what MLB says, but if this goes the way it seems to be going, it’s gonna be a long offseason.

Not to bloviate or anything, but Tierney thinks “this is now the most pivotal moment in the history of baseball.” Cuz steroids and the Black Sox never happened.

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Using Drones to Plant 20,000,000 Trees

Your Austin game writer just dugUsing Drones to Plant 20,000,000 Trees.
Join #TeamTrees at https://teamtrees.org/
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Thanks to my friends at Discovery Channel for helping us find Arbor Day in the first place and then capturing all the footage for my video. They are absolute champions to work with I’ve got some really cool projects coming up soon.

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Thanks to www.carlyletools.com for giving my workbench tools a seriously needed upgrade!

If you want to learn more about C02 in ancient ice, check out this great video from Dr. Joe Hanson at It’s OK to be Smart- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myxVsYI4WZk&t=2s

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4:42 – Dive – Lvly
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Summary: The internet challenged Mr. Beast to plant 20 million trees. That is a really hard thing to do. So we banded together all our YouTube friends and started #teamtrees. Basically we partnered with Arbor Day and got them to agree that for every $1 we raise, they would plant 1 tree.

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I make videos like this once a month all year long while supplies last:

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via YouTube https://youtu.be/U7nJBFjKqAY

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Rocket Jockey Remake – Day 11 build – split screen + B12 Download

Your Austin game writer just dugRocket Jockey Remake – Day 11 build – split screen + B12 Download.
Challenge your friends with a brand new split screen mode!
Day 11 build is here!
Changes:
-game has purpose(you can die they can die)
-split screen
-choose number of AI
– tons of physics tweaks and little fixes
Day 12 Edit:
– tons of physics tweaks.
– bombs like ppl and rockets too.
– you can trip on active cables.
– loops now work
– New Stadium
Download Day 12 Build:
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Day 11:
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via YouTube https://youtu.be/lVmLwRS0xu0

Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About This Scene in Alita?

Alita: Battle Angel isn’t exactly a classic. Despite (or perhaps because of) its long history as a manga, a pet project of James Cameron, and a movie in development hell, the characters felt a little generic, some of the action was inexplicable, and the plot felt a little unbaked and unconvincing. Still, there was one standout scene that I’m still thinking about.

Mahershala Ali turned in one of the best acted scenes I’ve seen in the last decade in Alita. Pure genius. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. (I don’t want to spoil it; that scene is a late-game plot development.) Too bad his part as Vector, a typical bad guy lieutenant, was otherwise fairly rote.

Ali is a talent to watch, and I need to track down more of his performances, like his runs in The 4400 and Moonlight. Hopefully he gets some better roles in future than this one.

Note: Ali is the first black actor to win two Oscars in the same category (best supporting actor, in his case). Hard to believe that’s never happened before.

Here’s Ali in costume talking about the movie.

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Pumped Up Kicks Radiohead Mashup – Pomplamoose

Your Austin game writer just dugPumped Up Kicks Radiohead Mashup – Pomplamoose.
Not totally sure WHY this happened, but I dig it.
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CREDITS
Lead Vocals: Nataly Dawn
Keys/Mixing/Mastering: Jack Conte
Engineer: Pete Min
Drums: Sarab Singh
Guit: Brian Green
Bass: Nick Campbell
Background Vocals (left): Loren Battley
Background Vocals (right): Sarah Dugas
Cinematography: Ricky Chavez
Recorded and Filmed at Lucy’s Meat Market in Los Angeles

via YouTube https://youtu.be/WkbnUi1KRQY

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: The Saturday Boy (Billy Bragg cover) – Alice and Jamie

Your Austin game writer just dugThe Saturday Boy (Billy Bragg cover) – Alice and Jamie.
A very serious song. Mandolin debut on a cheeky Billy Bragg cover wit’ ma main man, Jamie Warnes.
Check ‘im out, do so at your own peril…
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheySayUK

via YouTube https://youtu.be/W6Or2X3OINk

Fake Videogame Companies

Fake videogame companies are now a thing, and it’s no real surprise to anyone who’s been watching the industry for a minute. Like many other crazy videogame wannabes, this Mahal guy got too greedy, pulled a Theranos (aka his lies and ego were the only thing of value that he was peddling), and screwed all of the people who tried to help him. That could be you, aspiring videogame designer… either the screwer or the screwee. The full story is up at Kotaku.

I don’t think Mahal did this maliciously. In his original plan, he probably saw them delivering a hit videogame. People don’t get into videogame development to make money; greedy people go to Wall Street. But at some point I’m guessing Mahal realized that the project would never reach completion, and he kept his group slaving on in hopes of… well, your guess is as good as mine. And that’s where the Theranos comparison starts to click in. If you don’t know Theranos, google it.

The funny thing is that the story isn’t too different from how Bill Gates founded Microsoft. In this article from IEEE Spectrum, Bob Zeidman details how Gates found out that IBM needed an operating system, bought the rights to SCP’s QDOS, and hired the creator to update it for IBM’s needs. The IBM PC went on to make computing history, and Microsoft rode that wave to become Microsoft. (Zeidman also goes on to investigate allegations that Gates’ code illegally stole from another company’s.)

Gates was like Mahal in that he didn’t have what people wanted, but smelling opportunity, he told them he did and then put all his energy into getting the desired product. Unlike Mahal, though, Gates had some resources (3x Mahal’s, and in 1970s money) and acumen, and he was successful in getting the product and turning it into something commercially viable.

Lesson? Well, it boils down to acumen. Knowing what you can do, sensing opportunity, and delivering. It doesn’t have much to do with videogames per se. Your parents would probably call it “horse sense.”

In other news, my pals Florence and Logan hooked me up with tickets to another ACL taping last night. I like to document these shows on the blog; the headliner was Lucy Dacus, who was originally supposed to play with Julien Baker, but Baker was ill. Despite her age (24) Dacus held the stage capably and showed the capacity to drive propulsively the show whether backed by guitar, bass, and drums or just with her voice and a single guitar. “I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore” and the capper “Fool’s Gold” were highlights.

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Superman Auditions – SNL

Your Austin game writer just dugSuperman Auditions – SNL.
Three actors (Christopher Reeve, Gary Kroeger, Rich Hall) audition for the role of Superman and the director (Jim Belushi) has them do some very dangerous stunts. [Season 8, 1984]

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via YouTube https://youtu.be/niiNPH64Xv4

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Wheel of Musical Impressions with Jamie Foxx

Your Austin game writer just dugWheel of Musical Impressions with Jamie Foxx.
Jimmy challenges Jamie to a game of random musical impressions, such as John Legend singing the Toys “R” Us jingle.

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The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon features hilarious highlights from the show including: comedy sketches, music parodies, celebrity interviews, ridiculous games, and, of course, Jimmy’s Thank You Notes and hashtags! You’ll also find behind the scenes videos and other great web exclusives.

Wheel of Musical Impressions with Jamie Foxx
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#FallonTonight #WheelofMusicalImpressions #JimmyFallon

via YouTube https://youtu.be/dGidYBqBHVw

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Simpsons Couch Gag | Rick and Morty | Adult Swim

Your Austin game writer just dugSimpsons Couch Gag | Rick and Morty | Adult Swim.
Two great worlds collide . . . violently. Do not miss the Rick and Morty Season Premiere, July 26th!

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Rick and Morty is Adult Swim’s most scientifically accurate animated comedy. Created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, it catalogues the bizarre misadventures of a bored scientific genius/drunkard and his socially awkward grandson, Morty. Their exploits tend to have unintended consequences for Morty’s dysfunctional family, especially his unfailingly mediocre father, Jerry. Watch Rick and Morty battle everything from interdimensional customs agents to Cronenberg monsters now, only at http://AdultSwim.com.

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Adult Swim is your late-night home for animation and live-action comedy. Enjoy some of your favorite shows, including Robot Chicken, Venture Bros., Tim and Eric, Aqua Teen, Childrens Hospital, Delocated, Metalocalypse, Squidbillies, and more. Watch some playlists. Fast forward, rewind, pause. It’s all here. And remember to visit http://AdultSwim.com for all your full episode needs. We know you wouldn’t forget, but it never hurts to make sure.

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Rick and Morty Simpsons Couch Gag | Rick and Morty | Adult Swim
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via YouTube https://youtu.be/7ecYoSvGO60