Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday morning coffee

- Here's a tale of two marriage proposals--both which worked out but one which went terribly awry. In Philadelphia, Bryan Pitcairn was competing in the Philadelphia Marathon. Seemingly spent, he dropped to one knee just ten feet from the finish line only to turn to his girlfriend, Katy Pellani, who was competing with him, to propose marriage. He held out the ring, which he had carried with him throughout the 26.2 miles, and awaited her reply. She said "yes," the crowd cheered and the two finished the race hand-in-hand. In Seattle, the story was a bit different--a young man bent down on one knee, while on a boat in Puget Sound, to offer his proposal and ring to his would-be fiance. Oops, the ring was fumbled overboard and, as he said, "I got engaged to a salmon." His girlfriend did accept the proposal but there was no word on the reply from the fish who now may be wearing the ring.

- The burger wars in Lawrence, KS are a "no contest." To review, the chef at The Burger Stand at Dempsey's, a local Irish-inspired bar, left that establishment and took his talents, and his tasty fare, to The Burger Bar at The Casbah. (The Casbah was a former store on Lawrence's main downtown drag, Massachusetts Street.) In response, owners of Dempsey's brought in a new chef to re-create the burger experience which formerly drew long lines to the bar. I sampled the new menu this past Thursday evening and declare the battle a knock-out--while good, the burgers and fries at Dempsey's cannot compete against the product at The Burger Stand. The Burger Stand's burgers are the best I've found, in the upscale variety, in the Kansas City region.

- Jason Mraz stopped by the University of Kansas yesterday, set up a stool and microphone in the Kansas Union, and began playing a set which lasted about two hours. Word of the event spread quickly via social media channels--it was only a few minutes before the lobby was overflowing with students and onlookers.

- Is all of that hair flowing out of the helmet of New England Patriot's QB Tom Brady the real deal? According to, Brady's wife, Gisele Bundchen, is pressuring Brady to get hair transplants. Apparently Brady has a bald spot and thinning hair (who knew?) and Bundchen isn't happy--she wants to maintain the perfect couple image of a fashion model with flowing locks and a marquee quarterback with a full head of hair.

- The debate has long raged on which pet--dogs or cats--is the smartest in the household. According to researchers at Oxford University, it's dogs. The researchers analyzed brain size and use, determining that a cat's "lack of sociality" means that the pet's brain doesn't work as dramatically as that of a dog. When asked to respond, our cats' response was "why should we care--WE know who's smarter."

- The mainstream consensus these days is that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the work of a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald. However, according to, some historians and former intelligence officials still suspect that Oswald did not act alone. Four historians, including David Kaiser of the Naval War College, have written books and articles arguing that CIA operatives and organized crime figures worked together to kill JFK. The CIA recently responded to a lawsuit by acknowledging that it has 2,000 pages of secret documents on the assassination. The catch? The documents won't be made available until 2017 on grounds of "national security."

- Who's the least-liked current or former politician? George Bush? No. Dick Cheney? No. Sarah Palin? No. According to polls, the honor goes to Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democratic delegation in the House of Representatives. Pelosi's net favorability rating is -25, i.e., 55% unfavorable to 30% favorable. That's worse than Cheney (-17), Palin (-14) and Bush (-9.)

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