NHL Salary Cap for 2011-12 season announced

So it appears that the NHL has released the salary cap numbers for the upcoming year. The salary cap has increased every year since its implementation, this time by 4.6 million dollars. This will provide relief for those teams bumping against the cap ceiling like Philly who just traded for the rights to Ilya Bryzgalov, and that means that every team in cap trouble will be able to sign or re-sign a player of significant talent.

I find it interesting to see how the cap has progressed, and that next season, the floor will be greater than the ceiling five years ago. I suspect that strong ratings, the new TV deal with Versus/NBC, and Winnipeg fiasco all play a part in the new-found health of the league.

Just like the housing market, we can’t expect to see increases forever, but I hope the league can get its sickly franchises in order so that they don’t hit that ultimate ceiling too soon.

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Vegan Black Metal Chef

If you haven’t seen or heard the phenomenon yet, please take a look:

While I think this has more staying power than, say, the Drunk History series, the author will need to be careful in how he proceeds with both quantity and quality of videos.

I’m not sure, but from what I’ve gathered, he’s done the music himself, and I find that pretty impressive, as the music itself is pretty good and fitting, and the timing is also very well done. He hasn’t gone overboard on any aspects, although in his second video he starts unloading f-bombs for no reason which to me is an immature copout in trying to be shocking, and when you have to try that hard, it ain’t metal anymore.

Keep up the good work, VBMC! While I’m not a vegan, or even vegetarian, I’ll have to try out some of your recipes, and please tell me where I can find a potato mace.

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Dave Mustaine – from Hypochristian to Third Place

Everyone should remember back in 2005 when Dave Mustaine refused to play in Greece on any dates with Rotting Christ, citing his Christian sensibilities, right?

Well, fast-forward to 2011 and guess who Megadeth has been playing with this year? Slayer? Those guys who wrote the albums Diabolica in musica and God Hates us All? Dave, you must have donated all your money to your church! Or maybe Rotting Christ doesn’t draw the same crowds as Metallica will, eh buddy?

And now I need to shake my head that Megadeth will be sharing the stage (playing third fiddle to) Disturbed and Godsmack. I gave Dave lots of integrity points for his Gigantour, but I guess Megadeth isn’t big enough to headline such a tour. Or maybe his selective choosing of the bands didn’t fill he stadiums he booked (I don’t fault you on that one).

Oh Megadeth! I used to love you in high school, but somewhere along the way, our tastes in music diverged… it happens! But Dave, you have gotten weird and selective in your Christianity (but that’s what Christianity is all about), and that makes you suck. Plus the Mayham Festival thing.

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More Thoughts on ‘Military’ Crows

I’ve given it a lot more thought, and at this point in time, see the recruitment of crows as a flight of fancy in terms of recognizing people in any sort of meaningful (to humans, anyways) way.

After fully reading the Marzluff paper, I don’t see the potential of crows and the application of their cleverness that the media has spun on it.

In terms of finding someone such as Osama Bin Laden or other person of interest, you need to:

  1. Know with reasonable approximation where he is located.
  2. Hope that coincides with (American) crow distribution:
  3. Go by the last known physical appearance, make masks, and train crows to recognize you as a threat so they’ll squawk when they see you.
  4. Hope his appearance hasn’t changed!
  5. Hope the crows see him and make enough fuss to make us humans notice.

I find that list to be a tall order for our noble avian friends, and a lot of effort on our part as well. The media has also spun this application to non-military, saying that crows could be used to find missing persons as well. I submit that you would need to satisfy the list above, and it would be a better use of everyone’s time to canvas an area rather than train crows to look for someone.

Not to take away from what I think is extraordinarily fascinating research! This was the first paper in a while that I was fully engaged from start to finish. And also kudos to the US military for thinking outside of the box. I know from personal experience the low percentage of investment in research leads to concrete results, but I will never fault anyone from using science to tackle a problem.

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Turisas: Stand Up and Fight video out!

The first video (self title track) for the third Turisas album Stand up and Fight came out a couple of weeks ago. This album is slowly growing on me… I listened to it when I bought it on its release date, but left it alone until a few days ago, and it’s been growing on me ever since. It does take some getting used to, but I think this has a good chance to become my favourite album from them.

Now hopefully they can come back to Seattle on a day when I haven’t already gotten tickets for another show!

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NHL Overtime goal statistics

I have told my wife many times that in the NHL playoffs, overtime goals are typically scored in the first few or last few minutes of a period. Nothing to back that up, but it’s always been ‘conventional’ wisdom. So I made some charts over lunch to actually see what the data look like, and here you go (first thumbnail is OT, and the second is 2OT):

As you can see, there is some trend towards scoring at the beginning of a period, but little evidence to support a flurry of goals scored in the dying minutes of overtime (especially in 2OT!). There were only 12 3OT, two 4OT, and two 5OT games during this time span, and wouldn’t have been very interesting to graph.

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Crow face recognition with military implications?

A very interesting news tidbit about University of Washington professor John Marzluff‘s amazing crow research, and how the military approached him to see if the uncanny ability for crows to recognize faces could be used to search for someone such as Osama Bin Laden.

My feathered friends never cease to amaze me, and since I know they can recognize faces that are friendly as well (i.e. those with food), I must work on gathering my own personal murder and see if I can coax them into doing my bidding.

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Dimmu Borgir Destroys Seattle

I like to think that I’ve been to a lot of great shows, but last Wednesday Dimmu Borgir visited Seattle (with Enslaved in tow) and I have to say they are one of the most intense bands I’ve ever seen live. They destroyed the place. Too bad we had such bad weather. Hopefully it didn’t stop many people from coming – I’m glad I went, and will never miss a show in the future!

Enslaved was the reason I went in the first place, as Vertebrae is a fabulous album.

Blind Guardian is on the horizon! Metal appears alive and well in this not-so-metal town!

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Below .500, just as it should be.

Ahh, the Leafs have finally fallen below .500 and are in danger of (or is that gunning for?) their seventh straight loss tonight. Oh how the Leaf fans couldn’t shut up about starting 4-0 and the Stanley Cup parade route was being staked out. I’m glad reality has kicked in and life is back to normal for hockey fans everywhere.

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Maru strikes again!

I love Maru. Even when he’s doing nothing in particular, I still like to watch him.

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