July 30, 2014

Reason.tv – Comic-Con, Cosplay, and Self-Expression

Filed under: Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 14:14

Published on 29 Jul 2014

“It’s an idea of empowerment,” says the woman dressed as Captain America. “You get to be a different person for a day.”

Reason TV ventured to Comic-Con International in San Diego to check out the booming culture of cosplay, in which people dress up as their favorite superheroes, literary figures, or fantasy icons. Why do cosplayers dedicate so much time, money, and energy to their alter egos? It’s fun, they say, and it’s a powerful form of self-expression.

March 14, 2014

Vikings replenish their cornerback pool

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 07:39

It was so common to read about the 2013 version of the Minnesota Vikings secondary described in terms of “awful”, “dysfunctional”, “disaster area”, and “dumpster fire”. Even with some good new players over the last couple of drafts, their impact was negated by the poor play of others. Harrison Smith missed the last half of the season due to injury, and Xavier Rhodes only got to see the field regularly late in the season. This situation had to be addressed either in free agency or through the draft. The team has addressed most of their defensive line weaknesses (re-signing DE Everson Griffin and DT Fred Evans and bringing in DT Linval Joseph), so the big needs were for competent-or-better cornerbacks.

The team has lacked a good slot corner since parting ways with the great Antoine Winfield, but hope that they’ve now got someone to fill that role:

CHARLOTTE, NC – DECEMBER 15: Captain Munnerlyn #41 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates after returning an interception for a touchdown against the New York Jets during play at Bank of America Stadium on December 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 30-20. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings have signed former Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to a three-year deal, with details pending per Ian Rapaport.


Munnerlyn resolves arguably the biggest weakness from the 2013 Minnesota Vikings defense, which is pass coverage from the slot position.

Josh Robinson had the majority of the slot coverage duty for Minnesota and did a frankly abysmal job, competing with Robert McClain of the Falcons for some of the worst slot coverage in the NFL. No single cornerback gave up more receptions per snap in coverage or yards per snap in coverage, marking Josh Robinson with the singular distinction of being the worst statistical slot cornerback in the league.

To be fair, Robinson had never played slot in his college or pro career until last year, and he and the team would be far better served if he can move back to the outside.

Captain Munnerlyn is coming off of the best year of his career, and has had consistently fine play at the spot, although no one would mistake him for Leon Hall or Chris Harris, Jr. — perhaps the two best slot cornerbacks in the NFL today. Notably, Leon Hall played for the Cincinnati Bengals under Mike Zimmer, and perhaps Zimmer can turn Munnerlyn from good into great with some coaching.

The deal is relatively cheap, although a little more expensive than I like given that Corey Graham, a very good slot corner who played for the Ravens just signed with the Bills for an average salary one million dollars lower. Nevertheless, it is a team-friendly way to turn one of the biggest weaknesses on their defense into a relative non-issue.

Captain Munnerlyn’s Pro Football Focus grade was 11th of all corners last year, and he gave up league average statisics in yards per target, yards per snap in coverage and receptions allowed per snap in coverage. More importantly, he grew into his role after several seasons of relatively average play. A lot of that grade was due to his ability to stop the run, but it is more important to note that it was an outlier year for Munnerlyn. In coverage grades alone, Munnerlyn had struggled to beat the league average until this year (but was never significantly below average, maintaining consistency in reliable coverage).

But Munnerlyn wasn’t the only cornerback to join the team yesterday:

[Derek] Cox has five years of NFL experience and most recently spent last season in San Diego, playing all 16 games with them. He was a third round selection of the Jaguars in 2009 and was there for his first four NFL seasons. He has 13 career interceptions and appears to be healthy again after some injuries caused him to slump for a couple of seasons.

July 20, 2013

The Angry Nerd comes down on Comic Con weapon checks

Filed under: Humour, Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 09:27

March 22, 2012

Reason.tv: Jim the Realtor

Filed under: Economics, Humour, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas Russon @ 08:01

“When I come into a house with buyers, I start picking it apart,” says San Diego’s Jim Klinge, known on the internet as ‘Jim the Realtor,’ a wise-cracking real estate agent who posts his honest, painful, and sometimes hilarious assessment of bank-owned properties on his Youtube channel: youtube.com/jimtherealtor.

While both the Bush and Obama administration have advocated programs aimed at keeping people in their homes, Klinge argues that this is the exact wrong approach and is only prolonging the agony in the housing market.

November 4, 2011

The Kangaroo Family Court

Filed under: Law, USA — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 11:15

The headline says it all: “Sexual Assault Victim Must Pay Her Attacker Spousal Support”

A San Diego judge ordered Crystal Harris to pay $1,000 a month in spousal support to her ex-husband — just as soon as he finishes up his six year prison sentence for sexually assaulting her. As 10News reports, “The entire assault was caught on tape and what it captured was enough to convict Shawn Harris of a felony — forced oral copulation.”

So why is a victim being forced to pay her attacker? According to Judge Gregory Pollock, it’s because Crystal Harris brought home six figures worth of bacon while Shawn Harris was unemployed.

    “I can’t look at a 12-year marriage where one side is making $400 a month, the other side is making over $11,000 and say no spousal support,” Pollock said in court. “That would be an abuse of discretion.”

It sounds like a miscarriage of justice, but the law is written so that it only excludes attempted murderers from the right to receive spousal support. Another case of a bad law forcing a bad judgement (or a judge unwilling to exercise his discretion in a case that cries out for it).

September 12, 2011

Vikings drop season opener to Chargers, 24-17

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 08:20

Aside from an electrifying start, as Percy Harvin ran the opening kickoff all the way back for a TD, this game was forgettable for both teams.


May 1, 2010

Call out the inspectors

Filed under: Bureaucracy, Health, USA — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas Russon @ 07:50

A busybody manages to create a lot of new jobs in San Diego County with one little phone call:

On Tuesday, we were surprised inspected by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health. The two inspectors were sent out to visit our facilities (and other breweries in San Diego) as a patron had lodged a complaint about local tasting rooms. So I’d like to take a moment to thank that one person who felt it was important to lodge a complaint about brewery tasting rooms all over San Diego. Apparently they were concerned that we didn’t have a GIANT BLUE “A” on our cold boxes!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You see, my fellow brewers and brewery owners are now having our hands forced (in the name of public safety) to go through the plan check and approval phase so that all of us can earn Health Permits for our tasting rooms.

What’s even better and the reason we’re all so thankful for your efforts today is that Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey has been issued a cease and desist for the sampling of beer in our tasting room. Because, as we all know, beer is a public nuisance laced with nasty things that can kill you!

I personally want to extend my gratitude to that consumer who felt this industry needed more regulatory agencies knocking on our doors. (The Health Department has never been interested in us before this call) Muchas Gracias Amigo (or Amiga) wherever you might be. There are breweries all over the City of San Diego who are now going to have to spend thousands of dollars on repairs that at best are “marginally justified.”

What follows is a long list of local businesses that will be seeing more income from San Diego breweries, as they all scramble to get into compliance with regulations they didn’t have to worry about until now. Before you consider this is a good thing, make sure you read up on the broken window fallacy (scroll down to paragraph 1.6).

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