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TV and Sports

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Buffalo Bob Smith; live children’s audience from Howdy Doody
From NBC Studios Public Domain from Wikimedia Commons

The Sopranos :Am in the process of watching nightly reruns.  In this rapid sequence, the brilliant development of character is clearer than it was in my first viewing.  Tragic flaws everywhere.  I don’t think there’s ever been a show like it. Some people believe it is the best series ever made; fans of Breaking Bad may dispute that.Below is a picture of the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel, Jersey side.  Each episode of the Sopranos begins with Tony Soprano driving out of the Tunnel and heading toward the toll booths to the Jersey Turnpike.

Photo by Dan Souza

Uploaded from Wikimedia Commons on a Creative Commons attribution license 

Game of Thrones :
I know, I know.  Everybody loves this program.  Just want to add my kudos.  The hour always passes too quickly.  Isn’t that the best compliment?

Castelo de Vide, much like a castle that might appear on the Game of Thrones
Author: lin padgham 
Wikimedia Commons in the Public Domain

Arrested Development :Never caught this one the first time around.  Am still trying to figure out why it is so mesmerizing.  Maybe it’s the perfect casting.  Maybe it’s the shameless absurdity and irreverence.  All I know is, works for me.

Breaking Bad :
Another case of brilliant casting and character development.  Of course the series has to come to an end, but  can’t help regretting that I’ll only be able to watch Walt’s tragic devolution into megalomania for a little while longer.
Deadwood  This HBO series, written by David Milch, ran for three seasons (2004 to 2006). Milch said the dialogue was scripted entirely in iambic pentameter; I always suspected this explained his liberal use of profanity. Whenever he needed syllables to keep the cadence going, he’d just throw in an expletive or two.  And Ian McShane, as Al Swearengen, certainly knew how to deliver them.  Anyway, that’s my theory. 

The show was brilliant.  If you don’t like to watch violent scenes and are offended by profane language, skip this one. Otherwise, watch.  This show changed TV history.

Deadwood, South Dakota, 1876
From the National Archives and Records Administration
From Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

The Walking Dead 
I enjoy this show. The characters are complex; and the plots not predictable.  For some reason, the time is right for end-of-civilization drama.

Malcolm in the Middle Talk about original.  This show is a good antidote to all the indigestible sitcom pap that network television throws our way.  Kudos to That.

Staff Pick

The Honeymooners  This series could never be made today, but for those who grew up watching Ralph, Alice, Norton and Trixie, this show cannot be topped. 

Elevated Train in Brooklyn
By Jim.Henderson Public Domain


Hatfields & McCoys 

Extremely well-made mini series that tells the story of the legendary feud between two families.  A valid interpretation of what it was like to live in the “border” states during the Civil War.  Interesting insight into this defining conflict of U. S. history.  Excellent acting all around.Homeland

Kudos to television show that dares to introduce nuance to a drama about terrorism.  I’m pretty sure the producers of this program weren’t certain how a sympathetically drawn terrorist would play.  Well, they needn’t have worried.  The audience was ready for a little sophistication on this topic.  Maybe it’s because so many U.S. citizens believe they were handed a bill of goods when the country went to war in Iraq.  Maybe it’s because this show is just so well written that it allows us to see the humanity in all kinds of people.There is intelligence in the writing and the acting.  These two qualities are all too rare a combination–whether the medium be television or the cinema.  I hope the new season is able to maintain the momentum and high bar for excellence that has already been established.



Rome 
I was one of many disappointed viewers when HBO decided to cancel this show.  Apparently, much like the empire that inspired it, the series was done in by excess–excess cost, that is. The acting was outstanding; the scenery extraordinarily evocative.  The characters, many of them based at least tangentially on historic personalities, were complex and well-drawn.

Roman Ruins  by Erin Smith
Uploaded from Wikimedia Commons under GNU Free Documentation License 
The Twilight Zone 
Rod S

erling’s Twilight Zone debuted on CBS television in 1959 and ran for five seasons.  The show not only earned top ratings for most of its run but, due to it’s award-winning writing and acting, Serling’s series influenced generations of television and cinema to come.  Among the successful productions that owed a debt to Serling were: Star Trek, The Outer Limits, Planet of the Apes and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
A hallmark characteristic of the Twilight Zone was Serling’s use of the program as a platform for social commentary. Gene Rodenberry (Star Trek creator) said that Serling had a “deep affection for humanity” and that he was determined to “enlarge our horizons by giving us a better understanding of ourselves”.  Rod Serling died at the age of 50.  There is no doubt that if this pioneer writer had lived another twenty years he would have added to his artistic legacy by continuing to create works  that would go, as Gene Rodenberry might say of him, “where no man has gone before.”

A competitive Lotka-Volterra system plotted in 3D with the fourth dimension represented in color.
Fourth dimension was was intrinsic to the plot of a Twilight Zone Episode, Little Girl Lost

Illustration uploaded by Jwilty on Wikimedia Commons;  Public domain  

Sports

The Football Players
Henri Rousseau
Copyright Expired


Pool Sites
Illustration of billiards player down in his stance (c 1894)
By Joseph Bennet
Public Domain on Wiimedia Commons, Copyright Expired


AZ Billiard.com 

:  This is a poker forum on which the latest tournament results are updated regularly.  There are broadcasts of taped and live pool matches.  An invaluable resource for true pool enthusiasts

The Action Report.com :
  Watch live-stream competition between top pool players straight from Las Vegas, Nevada

Accu-stats.com :
  Catch live stream competition weekly and also see broadcasts of special tournament action. DVD’s of classic tournaments available for sale on this site

Inside Pool.com :
  Pool forum where you can eavesdrop on conversations between pool pros. Also some live-stream events
 

Poker Sites
British Soldiers Playing Cards 1915
From the H. D. Girdwood Collection
From Wikimedia Commons In the Public Domain in the UK

 

Twoplustwo.com :    Describes itself as a “strategy forum”.  Catch up on the latest happenings in the world of professional poker.  Get tips from the experts

highstakes.db.com 
:  Get up-to-date results of cash games on the Internet
pocketfives.com :  Poker forums, poker articles

pokerworks.com 
:   Poker fans can get info about all aspects of the poker scene

pokerstarstv   Catch the action of live-streaming poker matches between world-class players

http://www.thebike.com/   Live play broadcast from the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, Los Angeles. Below is a sign for Casa de Rancho San Antonio. Built in 1795 this house is the oldest in Los Angeles County and stands today at 7000 Gage Ave, Bell Gardens.

Photo by Zipotte
Uploaded from Wikimedia Commons on
a Creative Commons Attribution License
 

worldpokertour.com  Live-streaming poker action plus conversation

pokerpages.com 
:Tournament results, and chatter from twitter
cardplayer.com :Online magazine, offers instruction in poker strategy, tournament results

pokernews.com 

Gives hand-for-hand reports on tournament action

General Sports Coverage

ESPN.com 
What do you like? Hockey? Basketball? Football?  You name it, ESPN likely covers it.

Other Sports Resources

1919 Photo of Shoeless Joe Jackson
From Montgomery College 1919 World Series
Uploaded from Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain


Baseballtrivia.net   Haven’t had this checked out personally, but looked it up and it seems that if you’re one of those people who cannot get enough arcane baseball statistics, this is the site for you. Offers up-to-the minute stats for the true fan.

Pro-Football-Reference.com – Pro Football Statistics and History  Another site I have not had checked out personally.  I looked it up and it seems to be a resource for a lot of people who love football.

 
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