sbfriedman Blog Articles
  • The CommercialsFirst off, the commercials. Everyone loves the Super Bowl commercials; some even more than the game itself. So to all you Super Bowl ad lovers out there, I have a great resource for you: to watch every Super Bowl commercial you could ever wish to see, broken down into all kinds of nifty categories, visit:Super Bowl Ads DatabaseAnd now, onto the hype and drama.
  • “We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.”This was just part of a collaborative response by French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo to then-French President Jacques Chirac back in 2006.
  • It's official, Sony has announced they will not release the highly controversial film 'The Interview' amid massive and ongoing hacker attacks on their company and terrorist-like threats to potential viewers of the film.
  • Welcome to the first ever college football playoffs. No longer are the national championship opponents pre-determined by the BCS ranking of the #1 and #2 seeds. Now the top 4 ranked programs in the country play each other in a playoff bracket (#1 plays #4, then #2 plays #3, then winner of both plays for the championship).Of course many are still annoyed with the playoff arrangement.
  • The day American shoppers lose their minds for moderately awesome, limited supply discounting is upon us! Black Friday is here, and some of the largest retailers across the country are following the annoyingly disturbing trend of opening their doors even earlier this year than the last.
  • If you are going to watch one single documentary about higher education in the United States, you can do no better than CNN's 'Ivory Tower'. Is College Worth It? That's the question Director Andrew Rossi sets out to answer. The points made in this documentary are nuanced, and the answers are many.
  • Money ruled these midterms, as pundit Jon Stewart of 'The Daily Show' pointed out. And in a big way. A $4 Billion big way. Yes, that's how much cash was inserted into the combined races for all the candidates in all the races this midterm season. And as Stewart also pointed out, it seems that 'ideas' were not on the ballot this year.
  • Two states plus Washington D.C. can follow in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state by voting in favor of fully legalizing marijuana with ballot initiatives, this mid-term election cycle. The states that have decided to have their electorate vote on ballot measures this time around are: Alaska, Oregon, and Florida.
  • Money and politics are interchangeable; a sentiment coming more and more true with every passing election. It's not pretty. Usually its downright infuriating. But it's true. He or she that can raise the most dollar bills, and insert that pile of cash into their campaign has a great chance of buying any given election.
  • "Sometimes I can't believe the things you say, Tom. So let's talk about the specifics." That was a response by current Governor Dannel Malloy to his running mate (R) Tom Foley, during their CBA debate to decide the next governor for Connecticut. And I think that line sums up well the feel of this gubernatorial race.
  • In a state that has been reliably red in the last decade's worth of elections, this mid term Georgia Senate race has some newcomers that can really shake things up, and give an all important tally win, either red or blue, in the battleground for overall Senate control. Historically, its true that the President's party doesn't do well in the mid-terms.
  • What will it take to oust Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in the upcoming mid-term election? In short, female voter turnout. Because, you see, there's a gender divide on the two running candidates when it comes to the polling, and its significant.
  • "Governor Scott... I'm not sure I got an answer to the question.." That was a remark from one of the moderators at the gubernatorial debate between incumbent Florida Governor Rick Scott and his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist. Rick Scott was asked a very straight forward question on discrimination with gay marriage: "Governor Scott, you say you are against discrimination.
  • In a year where war, violent protest, terrorist attacks and deadly diseases grab every headline, it's nice to take a step back for a moment and honor those that act in peace, and dedicate their lives to the uphill battle for real change. Enter Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Pakistani children's rights activist, and now by far the youngest recipient of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize.
  • Walmart, our nation's largest retailer, is cutting some 30,000 part-time employee's health care benefits, due to the rising costs for the company.
  • I remember when cop cars were all big, white Chevy sedans. And police officers dressed in light blue uniforms. They wore innocent enough black, cabbie looking hats, and I was never afraid to approach them with a question, or a problem. And then I grew up. Now they drive midnight black, stealth vehicles, usually equipped with mean grill guards.
  • At what point do you label a military operation a war? Without getting into the pros and cons, the rights and wrongs of bombing Syria, I still wonder at what point the American people, Congress and President Obama are willing to say 'Yes, we are at war with the Islamic State'. Let's try and break this down.
  • Quick question, and answer with your gut, which political party in this country is the party of liberty? The Republicans, or the Democrats? Which is the party of freedom? The party of equality? Which is the party of compassion, or common sense? Now hold those answers in head, and let me ask a few more and see if by the time you read all of this, you still feel the same: What have
  • Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. is considered "America's Main Street". Along this road are many historical sites and prominent buildings, namely the U.S. Capitol building, and most known being the 1600 address of The White House. Pennsylvania Avenue has been used as the main road for prominent funeral processions, including 7 of the 8 Presidents that have died while in office.
  • With the release of Apple's iOS8 mobile operating system and the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, there is plenty to be excited about in the Apple tech world. Question is, which is the better upgrade, the iOS8 operating system (which is a free upgrade for current Apple device owners) or the 6th model of the vaunted iPhone series phones? That's one way of looking at it.
  • The rematch of Floyd Mayweather vs. Maidana held the promise of delivering the undefeated World Champion his first loss. Maidana had gotten close the first time they fought, going all the way to decision with Mayweather left playing defense for the majority of that bout. And many believed with that primer, that Maidana could reign supreme in the rematch.
  • Believe it or not, there's actually a precise formula and set of rules that pre-determines the NFL regular season schedule for all 32 teams, for any given year, and it works on rotation. Under current design, a complete rotation takes 8 full seasons, meaning that it takes 8 years for every NFL team to have the opportunity to both host and visit every single other NFL team in the league.
  • The corporate tax rate is a heavily debated topic in this country. And many on the far right and those on the side of big business sight that upwards of a 35% corporate tax rate is far too high a premium to pay in taxes, just to do business in the United States.
  • It's standard in today's American workplace to work 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week. But did you ever wonder where they came up with those numbers in the first place? The short answer, labor unions lobbied Congress for decades until The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt.
  • There's an interesting story to be told about the The US Open Tennis Championships, an annual sporting tournament that has its roots dating all the way back to 1881. And that story has to do with the tournament's history of inclusion, and it's ability to innovate the sport of tennis throughout the years.
  • Texas Governor Rick Perry plans to run for president in 2016. He even just started his very own super PAC to gather campaign financing, named RickPAC. And the long time governor plans to hit the campaign trail hard later this month, visiting all the key Republican states, including Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, to name a few.
  • During a late-night, 20-lap Sprint race at a dirt track in Canandaigua N.Y., 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr was run over and lost his life. This happened after Ward slammed into a wall in his #13 car, got out of his vehicle, and was subsequently hit by fellow driver Tony Stewart.
  • Since I am currently living on the Big Island of Hawaii, in Hilo about a mile from bay front, I thought I would put my time to use (while hunkered down) blogging about a first hand account with Hurricane's Iselle and Julio. I plan to do this blog like an updating journal entry.
  • Regardless of how you feel about who is right and who is wrong in the greater scope of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, that began anywhere from a few weeks ago, to 7 years ago, to several centuries ago in the past, the living conditions of the people in the Gaza strip is a humanitarian crisis. And something has to be done about it.
  • After weeks of uncertainty and guesswork by the league and media, LeBron James has finally decided what team he wants to play for since becoming a free agent; he's coming back to where it all started, back to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That's right. The prodigal son is returning.
  • 2014 Emmy nominees were just announced. Here are the main categories, with my picks for who I think should win and why. Major Categories: Outstanding Drama Series: "Breaking Bad" (AMC) "Downton Abbey" (PBS) "Game of Thrones" (HBO) "House of Cards" (Netflix) "Mad Men" (AMC) "True Detective" (HBO) Full disclosure: I haven't watched any of Downton Abbey.
  • Several months behind Colorado, but still only the second state in our union to do so, Washington state has begun to officially sell recreational marijuana. Sales began on July 8th. As with Colorado, the first day of sales was largely celebratory and more historic in nature, than anything else.
  • The EITC (or Earned Income Tax Credit) is one of the largest and most effective tax stimulus credits the federal government has ever installed into the economy and tax system. This refundable tax credit's goal is to help out the millions of Americans that struggle to make ends meat every year.
  • Barbara Walters retired in May of 2014 from 'The View', and television hosting in general. Now, 2 of the 3 remaining hosts of 'The View' have been reportedly fired from the lineup, leaving only host Whoopi Goldberg with a job. Sherri Shepherd had been a host on the program for 7 years.
  • Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid, Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and pre-draft trading. These are arguably the biggest entities that make up the drama that will be the first several picks of the 2014 NBA Draft. Wiggins is largely expected to go #1. Parker might upset that order though.
  • ESPN, The Tennis Channel, and ABC will be airing hundreds of hours of footage for this year's Wimbledon tennis tournament, that officially kicks off at 6:30am on June 23rd, 2014 in England. The affair lasts a solid two weeks, and is the mainstay of elite tennis competition, attracting only the best from around the world.
  • San Antonio Spurs Win NBA Finals Championship! Defeat Heat in 5 Games, 4-1 Series Record This year's NBA Finals turns out to be a rematch of last year. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs go head-to-head once again. Here is the full schedule of this year's series, complete with date, time and channel.
  • If you have been keeping up with the news aggregate catch-all site 'Google News' lately, you will notice an uptick in what's "becoming the norm" as President Obama recently put it: school shootings. I know I've noticed it. And it got me wondering just how many school shootings have taken place lately? Feels more and more like an everyday, or at least every week occurrence lately.
  • Repeat tennis champions Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova assert their dominance this year at the 2014 French Open. For Maria Sharapova, beating Simona Halep 6-4,6-7 (5), 6-4 in the final at Roland Garros marks her 2nd French Open title victory in the last three years of the tournament. Even more impressive, in that three year time period she has won 20 straight three-set matches.
  • Back on November 6th, 2012, the bold states of Colorado and Washington passed ballot measures alongside the last presidential election process to fully legalize marijuana.
  • In its 95 year history, horse racing's highest honor and most prestigious prize is difficult to come by. So difficult in fact that it's only been achieved a grand total of 11 times. I am talking of course about winning the Triple Crown Trophy.
  • The instant access, video streaming juggernaut Netflix makes this claim on their YouTube homepage about their recent commitment and success with offering original content to subscribers: Netflix original series - The Future of Television is Here.
  • The Aging Spurs vs The Dominate Heat What a down right gutsy and impressive finish by the San Antonio Spurs to stave off the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, punching their ticket to yet another NBA Finals. Overtime felt like it would be too much for the Spurs, watching Duncan and Ginobili gasp their way through it.
  • Malcolm Glazer, the team owner of both the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the English Football League's Manchester United died Wednesday morning. He was 85 years old. The Buccaneers made the official announcement to the press. It is not known yet what the cause of death was exactly. Natural reasons are assumed though, given the age of Glazer.
  • Season 13 of 'American Idol' names Caleb Johnson as the big winner this year. The persistence of the 23-year-old from Asheville, North Carolina finally paid off; Johnson had tried out and been booted twice before in previous seasons. 2nd place went to Jena Irene, the teen-aged singer that favors pop-rock covers.
  • The Cleveland Cavaliers won the first round pick in the 2014 NBA draft lottery. That may sound familiar as they won it last year too. And in 2011 as well. That's right. The Cavs have been awarded the first round pick the last 3 of 4 years in the lottery; Cleveland has been very lucky indeed.
  • Horse racing's most coveted prize, The Triple Crown, is within reach for the American Thoroughbred racehorse California Chrome. Chrome won this year's Kentucky Derby, and is also the favorite in this year's Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, the 2nd leg of 3 races that make up the Triple Crown run.
  • There is a lot of discussion (and confusion) over Internet Neutrality, or 'net neutrality' as it was coined back in 2003 by Columbia media law professor Tim Wu.
  • Republican Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the "Safe Carry Protection Act" into state law on 4/23/2014. This law is being dubbed the "guns everywhere" bill by its critics. Here are the in's and out's of this incredibly controversial law, that goes into effect on July 1st.
  • In the last two State of the Union addresses by President Barack Obama, the raising of the minimum wage has been brought up. Obama urged the nation to vote on and be in support of proposed legislation that would raise the minimum wage from the national level that it is now at $7.25/hour to a more reasonable sum of $9.00/hr in his 2013 address, and $10.00/hour in his 2014 address.