Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could keep lies from conquering the minds of the weak. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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Commenter Jon Marthaler bakes up a delicious batch of links for you every week. Other times, you can find him here. Jon?
Tomorrow is April Fools' Day. If you're the type of person who loves the first of April, I'm going to ask you a favor: please stop. Just stop. Whatever you're planning for tomorrow, it's not going to be funny - in fact, it's probably going to be anti-funny. It will be un-satirical, non-humorous, and mirth-hindering.
About 26 years ago, the great George Plimpton invented Sidd Finch for Sports Illustrated, in what one ranking has dubbed the second greatest April Fool's Day hoax of all time. It's hard not to like the story of Siddharta Finch, but that's mostly because Plimpton wrote it; his other writing carries the same sense of wonderment. Ultimately, the only fun April Fools' Day hoaxes are those that are simply tongue-in-cheek or whimsical. Like Finch, or Terry Jones and the colony of flying penguins, they exist to make us laugh, not to make us believe.
So tomorrow, if you're thinking about promulgating a hoax or pulling a prank, ask yourself - who am I trying to entertain, today? If you're trying to make the world laugh, then you'll probably fail, but okay. But if you're only trying to make yourself laugh, if you're trying to make yourself the only smart one in a room of confused people, then congratulations - you're joining the long list of otherwise talented people who, like drunks trying to scale a curb at a Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade, fall on their faces in the attempt to be funny on April Fool's Day.
On with the links:
*We lead off this week with a twenty-year-old piece about minor-league baseball, because that's how we live, here in the Weekend Links. Miami Herald humorist Dave Barry made the trip to Erie, Pennsylvania, to then-Marlins affiliate the Erie Sailors. Things have changed in the past two decades, and perhaps today minor league baseball is not run quite so casually. Still, though, a thousand monkeys banging on a thousand typewriters about the thousand glories of baseball couldn't capture them any better than Barry does.
*Earlier this year, I wrote about why female athletes posing for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue didn't seem right to me. The Freakonomics blog highlighted some interesting new research on the same topic.
*I love both sandwiches and soccer, so I can hardly describe my excitement at this article that involves both: an examination of how the term "prawn sandwich eaters" became a pejorative among English soccer fans.
*While we're on the subject of soccer, the English newspaper the Guardian wrote a nice piece on the Independent Supporters' Council that promotes fan welfare in Major League Soccer
*And finally, there are two ways to respond to the latest local-sportswriter kerfuffle. Craig Calcaterra at the Hardball Talk blog posted a rumination on the dangers of access a few weeks before the latest blowup. I would call this the "measured" way of thinking about the issue. On the flip side, the great Stu responded at Twinkie Town with hilarity, and disdain for all parties. This may be less measured, but it's far, far funnier, and if you didn't read it yesterday go read it now.
If you know us at all, you know we love breakfast. We've posted about go-to spots for breakfast in the past. Today -- the Friday of MEA week, when our large blog-reading teacher constituency has headed for
meetings a four-day weekend -- we offer a different post: the go-to breakfast that YOU MAKE YOURSELF.
Personally, we have two variations: healthy (above -- Dannon vanilla yogurt, raspberries, a cut up banana and Cascadian Farm granola, and yes the brands matter) and not-as-healthy (below). We enjoyed the healthy version today. The main drawback to the healthy version is that it is also the pug's go-to breakfast when it comes to trying to steal a taste.
For a less-health breakfast, we require a few things: eggs, potatoes, some sort of meat and some sort of heat. The concoction below is a perfect example: three eggs, spicy Cajun chicken sausage, red potatoes, green peppers, jalapenos and Frank's hot sauce, along with an English muffin.
Now that you are sufficiently hungry and thinking about food, we want to hear about your go-to homemade breakfast. And don't tell us you hate breakfast. Because that would send us into a hate-filled rage.
What we do know is this: Folks around here (including us) take their breakfast VERY seriously, and at least in the metro area we are blessed with countless awesome options when we choose to dine out in the morning (or early afternoon, as it were).
This was reinforced this morning, when we threw out a couple of off-the-cuff tweets about our preferred breakfast establishments in the Twin Cities. If you read our top 10 list, you can see we skew toward diners, for the most part. Taste is our number one priority; creativity is big; relative value plays a role.
Judging by the responses to those tweets, if you want to engage a local reader, talk about morning food.
As such, it's Friday morning. It's not time to talk NCAA tourney yet. The Gophers athletic programs? Well, this guy thinks it might be as bad as ever over at Bierman. We'll drown in Twins talk if we get too deep this early. NFL, Wolves, Wild ... nope, nope and nope.
So let's throw out an early breakfast talker with a few questions:
1) What are your top three spots to get breakfast? Metro or non-metro, we don't care. We're always looking for a great new place.
2) Do you think Minnesotans have a greater love of breakfast than folks elsewhere?
3) What defines a great breakfast or brunch spot? That is to say, what are YOU looking for when you seek out a spot for your first meal of the day?
*Outstate Bar of the Week: The Corral Supper Club & Saloon, Nelson, Minnesota.
Well, friends, this is your lucky day. It's your lucky, extremely slow sports news day that has turned into a delicious slow news day.
Stensation would like to point you in the only direction he knows: the direct path to a coffee product called Maple Bacon Morning.
Reminiscent of a hearty Saturday morning breakfast around the table, this sweet, savory coffee delights the senses with the smell and taste of home! Maple Bacon Morning has a base that's full-bodied and complex, and it's a delicious way to rise when the rooster crows!
So bacon would clearly make coffee more delicious. It's science. Bacon makes a lot of things more delicious -- but some more than others. That is where you come in. Commenter draft: Name the food (or drink) item that is enhanced the most by the savory taste of bacon. Once a food is off the table, it cannot be chosen again. But you may play as often as you like. Even you, Roughkat.
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