Video of Opie and Jimmy discussing Anthony getting fired from SiriusXM

Gregg “Opie” Hughes posted a video on YouTube of the highlights from yesterday’s Opie and Anthony show. Opie and co-host Jim Norton discussed fellow co-host Anthony Cumia being fired by SiriusXM for posting a series of racist rants on Twitter. Opie earlier posted a video of the full three-hour plus show. This is better.

It’s worth watching, especially if you’re of the mindset that Opie and Jimmy should have quit in protest.

Loot Crate’s copy of ‘Rocket Raccoon’ #1 is a variant

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Loot Crate has revealed the cover of the Rocket Raccoon #1 in subscriber’s loot boxes and it turns out, it’s a special variant cover. It will not look like the issue that can be purchased in comic book shops, but will feature cover art exclusive to Loot Crate.

The cover has the Loot Crate name and logo at the top left and it shows Rocket Raccoon holding a Loot Crate box. It also looks as though it was done by a different artist. The standard cover was done by Skottie Young. This cover doesn’t look like Skottie’s work.

Remember when I said that because Loot Crate will be sending subscribers a copy of Rocket Raccoon #1, it would end up in the dollar bin? Yeah, you can forget about that. Since Loot Crate is sending a variant copy, it cancels out any possible glut on the market.

It’s not too late to get signed up with Loot Crate and get this comic. It’s fun to get a box in the mail with cool stuff inside and it doesn’t cost a lot of money. Let’s face it, most of the stuff you get in the mail anymore is boring and stupid. How many Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons does a person really need? They’re a lot like Twinkies in that they never expire.

Loot Crate makes the mail fun again.

Germany wins the 2014 World Cup in extra time

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Germany’s Bastian Schweinsteiger takes one for the team

Germany is the football champion of the world. They beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time. It’s Germany’s fourth World Cup title and it’s the first time a European team has won a World Cup in the Americas.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer won the award for best goalkeeper. He made a total of one save in the World Cup final. American Tim Howard didn’t even made the FIFA short-list for best goalkeeper, even though he led all keepers with 27 saves. Neuer was second with 24.

Argentina’s captain Lionel Messi won the overall award for best player. He scored a total of four goals in seven games in the tournament, all coming in group play. In comparison, Colombia’s James Rodríguez scored six goals in five games in the World Cup, three coming in the knockout stage of the tournament. Messi seemed ineffective as the tournament wore on. Rodríguez was the opposite. Some say that as gifted a player Messi is, he seems to choke in big games. Yesterday’s final will only solidify that criticism.

Rumor has it that Lionel Messi even let an old man steal one of his potato chips. James Rodríguez would never allow an old man to steal any of his salty snack food.

The next World Cup will take place in Russia, making it the first World Cup to take place in Eastern Europe. If that seems bad, just wait for the 2022 World Cup. It will apparently take place in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar. First Russia and then Qatar, why can’t they have the World Cup someplace nice? If a normal human being wouldn’t take a vacation there, it shouldn’t be host to the World Cup.

I enjoyed watching the World Cup. I will miss it.

Sports Card Radio: Raffles, razzes, and girls that look like boys

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A group breaker wrist-deep in the randomizer

If you’ve ever listened to Sports Card Radio, a podcast about sports cards, you probably know that host Colin Tedards is not a fan of raffles. It’s where someone takes an unopened, factory sealed box of sports cards and charges people for the privilege of  getting all the cards pertaining to a specific team. The team you get is random and is assigned by the person conducting the raffle.

For example, a box of baseball cards contains 30 teams. A person holding a raffle will sell 30 slots to baseball card collectors, mostly over the Internet in chatrooms. Each slot sold represents a team. Once all the slots are filled, the person holding the raffle will randomly assign each slot a team. One slot is assigned the New York Yankees, another is assigned the Colorado Rockies, and so on and so on. The packs in the box are then opened, usually over a webcam, and people get the cards belonging to players from their assigned team, or slot.

People like Colin believe the activity is a raffle because not all teams are of equal value. Participants pay money without knowing what team they will be randomly assigned.

The practice goes by different names because raffles are strictly regulated by state and federal law. PayPal, the payment gateway most used by people holding group breaks, specifically prohibits raffles. Because of this, they are often called razzes, razzies, or group breaks.

On the latest episode of Sports Card Radio, Colin interviewed Josh Cade, a very popular and seemingly successful group breaker. The interview was probably the most uncomfortable 34 minutes of audio I’ve ever listened to, including the time I was tricked into listening to a Jimmy Buffett CD.

The conversation was extremely hostile and antagonistic. It was also very confusing.

For instance, when Colin asked Josh to describe the process, Josh said the following:

“What you do is, is put everyone’s name in a randomizer, okay, so everybody has a chance at the same thing for the same value per spot. So basically all you’re doing is mixing up the names, half the people will get into a break, the other half will get the same value in cards. So, it’s really an equal opportunity for everybody, just some getting this part of it, some getting cards.” (0:55)

This doesn’t make sense to me. Doesn’t everyone get into the break that pays to get into the break?

What was even more confusing was when Colin told Josh that what he was doing seemed a lot like a raffle. This was Josh’s response:

“What seems like something, so, if you see a girl walking down the street that looks like a guy, you say, “oh, that seems to be a boy, but it’s really not a boy, okay, so I don’t know if that’s a good example or not, but something that seems like may not really be what it is. So that may not really be a boy, even though you may think it is. But if you talk to ‘em and then oh you are a boy, then you know for a fact. So what seems like something and what really is something are two different things, do you agree? Because a while ago, you said something about a raffle, then you said, “Well a raffle seems like, it seems like…”, well, does it seem like or is it? That’s what I’m asking you.” (6:22)

I believe Josh was trying to say that just because something seems like something, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something. I’m not sure why he chose to provide an analogy involving a transgender person, but in his defense, he probably doesn’t know why he did that either.

Colin then asked Josh why he does these raffles:

“Because some people can’t afford to necessarily buy stock outright, so, they can either take a chance on getting into breaks or they take a chance on getting their other side of it, and getting cards. So they win, their money is at work. That’s why.” (12:21)

It’s hard to believe that something can involve money, chance, and winning, and not be a raffle. Those seem like to me all the major ingredients to a raffle.

When Colin asked about Josh’s business partners and investors, he said the following:

“You’re not dealing with retards, in this, I’m telling you, I know your last name is retarded, but the fact is, we’re smart business people. As much as it hates and pains to you to understand that, we are smart businessmen. We know how to cover our tracks. We know how to do things legally.” (14:02)

How to cover their tracks? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a reputable or legitimate business describe themselves this way.  Normally the phrase is used to describe the concealment of wrongdoing.

When Colin asked Josh to clarify what his definition of a raz is:

“So a raz is a fictitious name that we gave to (inaudible). It’s like a game. So basically the game we play is a gambling game. It’s a game where some people can get into a break, some people get cards. You just don’t know what you’re getting. But you’re getting equal value of money worth of product. So, I guess that’s the definition of a raz. What else are you looking for?” (22:04)

A raz is a gambling game where people don’t know what their getting, but it’s not a raffle. Got it.

Why wasn’t Scott Wilson from ‘The Walking Dead’ nominated for an Emmy?

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The 2014 Emmy nominations were announced yesterday. Missing (again) from the list was AMC’s The Walking Dead. What I find almost offensive is that actor Scott Wilson wasn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work as Herschel. I don’t see how anyone could watch his performance on The Walking Dead and not find it worthy of an Emmy, let alone a nomination.

Scott Wilson appeared in a total of 37 episodes of The Walking Dead. His transformation of the character from his first episode to his last was really quite remarkable. He turned Hershel into a real person. The fact that he can get snubbed for an Emmy makes me think the whole thing is rigged.

The Emmys suck and I don’t like them.

Amazon vs. Hachette

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Like most people, I have a hard time knowing who to root for when multi-billion dollar corporations are fighting it out over money. That’s exactly what’s happening right now between Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer and Hachette, the fourth largest publisher in the United States.

The two conglomerates are at war over our money.

Hachette publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Books, Hachette Nashville, and Hachette Audio. They also distribute for Disney Book Group, Hearst Magazine, Marvel, Time Home Entertainment, and a bunch of others.

At issue is how much Hachette wants Amazon to pay for the privilege of distributing e-books. Amazon wants to pay less than what they’re currently paying, Hachette doesn’t want anything to change.

Amazon is putting pressure on Hachette by making it harder to purchase their paper books on the Amazon website. They aren’t allowing customers to pre-order Hachette titles, and they are suggesting non-Hachette titles instead whenever possible. They are also delaying the shipment of Hachette titles to customers, but I think that’s because they aren’t keeping Hachette titles in stock and must order them every time someone places on an order for a Hachette title on Amazon. I tried to pick a random Marvel book on Amazon, Avengers vs. X-Men, and it showed that it ships in one to two months. This book was published only two years ago. It shouldn’t be so hard to get.

From Amazon’s prospective, I’m sure it’s a worthy battle to fight. E-books are the future, if not the present. It behooves them to get the lowest price available for Hachette and other publishers. For Hachette, the future must be a scary place. E-books make publishers like Hachette irrelevant. When a book exists solely as ones and zeros, publishers like Hachette are an unnecessary middle-man.

I purchased a Hachette e-book on Amazon just the other day. Of the $12.99 I paid, how much went to Hachette? What ever it was, it was too much. I’d like to think the writer made most of the profit from my purchase, but that’s probably more than a little naive.