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Van Halen is officially back. The '80s legends played Thursday night in New York's tiny 250-capacity Cafe Wha? to officially launch the reunion, with a nationwide tour beginning after their new album is released next month. And it can't come soon enough. Van Halen have logged more shirtless arena hours than anyone, and they're just the kind of guitar-shredding, drug-addled veterans that can resuscitate hard rock. You may think the world has moved on from DLR, EVH and the boys, but here are seven reasons the world needs this Van Halen reunion.
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The race for the next Republican candidate officially starts today as the Iowa caucus takes off, which means it's time to start asking the serious questions. Some people say we've had a year of straight crazy from the GOP party, but really it's just been straight crazy entertainment. Meltdowns, lawsuits, mind-blowing forgetfulness and full-on right wing swagger.
We all know Barack Obama has dozens of hip-hop playlists on his iPod, and that swagger of his is so youthful it attracts those youthful votes. The Republican candidates are going to have to one up him to grab that young demo. How do they do that? Let's get real (by real, we mean completely, 100 percent just for kicks) and see what the candidates would look like if they went straight gangsta and became hip-hop stars. What would their names be? What would be their first single? Like we said, the important questions.
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Congratulations to the Oregon Darth Vaders, who edged Wisconsin 45 to 38 in a track meet yesterday that ended with a dud. Only Wisconsin players can tell us whether Oregon's uniforms provided an actual advantage, or maybe a distraction, or were simply a promotional opportunity for Nike that happened to be aesthetically pleasing to the fans. From our view in the seats at home, it looked like the helmets changed color once it got dark out, maybe owing to the helmets' LiquidMetal black finish. Before sunset in Pasadena, they appeared silver when they caught light.
The numbers on the uniform body, at least, definitely did change colors. From UniWatch, design elements included: "A completely redesigned number system boasting an iridescent sheen similar to that on a mallard’s feathers. The larger, bolder numbers shift in color as they move."
All in all, the flashy getups weren't quite as Darth Vader-y as in the promotional photos. Maybe 2.5 Vaders out of 4.
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It's Pro Bowl time! The rosters are out and as always, there's some snubs (Aaron Hernandez) and some surprises, one of them put best by Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News: "I have to say this one more time before I go to bed: 49ers have more Pro Bowlers (8) than the entire NFC East (7). Not how I saw it in Aug."
A surprise last year: even Bill Belichick mustered a smile at the Pro Bowl. Here's how we're handicapping the events at this year's most meaningless but still entertaining contest, superlatives style:
+ Most likely to gain 20 pounds of Mai Tai weight: Sebastian Janikowski (Raiders)
+ Most likely to have a small, uninhabited island named after him: Darrelle Revis (Jets)
+ Most likely to join Jared Allen for an afternoon of spearfishing: Joe Thomas (Browns)
+ Most likely to be photographed with a porn star wearing his jersey but not sleep with her: Rob Gronkoswki (Patriots)
+ Most likely linemen to have the same names as porn stars: Nick Mangold (Jets) and Jermon Bushrod (Saints)
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New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees made history last night by passing for 5,087 yards this season--with one more game left. The previous record holder was Dan Marino, who held the record for 27 years. That's a huge deal. On top of that, the Saints made the Atlanta Falcons (another playoff contender) look like a Pop Warner team on "Monday Night Football." Brees had every reason to rage in celebration, but he didn't. He just said something nice about his team and tried not to cry: "This record isn't about one person. There might be just one name that goes in the ledger under the record, but it's really about the team.... I want everyone to feel a huge part of this, that this record would not have been possible without them." Real nice, Brees. Why don't you live it up for once? Learn how to celebrate such an epic benchmark in your career. Do a dance or scream in to the camera, like these five examples.
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Surprisingly, the headline isn't misleading, it only leaves out a bit of information, making the scientific sound a little more absurd but hardly inaccurate: According to The Local, German scientists are growing human skin from the cells of babies' foreskin in the hope of using it to test cosmetics and medicines, reducing the need for animal testing.
Perhaps our view of the scientific breakthrough that might benefit animals by merely using the waste from a procedure that's already a medical custom in many cultures is quite juvenile. This is a great scientific feat, certainly one that will be welcome by the great animal community. But we just can't help but laugh that retractable penis covers might save the day. Baby foreskin, to the rescue! Among other least-expected anatomical parts or human by-products that might score a huge win for animals and/or get used to test cosmetics: pubic hair, bottled farts and vomit. Challenge accepted, science?
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Kanye West said the following a few weeks ago:
"I wanna have world leaders [at my funeral] that were, like, affected, that said, you know, ‘Kanye gave me my shot here...he told me to believe in myself'"
Uh, OK. Is that so, Mr. West? You know we couldn't let this slide without some sort of response. That being said, here are some world leaders who will or will not show up for Kanye's fictitious funeral services.
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That's right, folks, if you sleep with Derek Jeter, you will get a baseball, autographed by the man himself. Not only that, but you'll also get a ride home, a gift basket and possibly HPV. This is a limited time offer, so you should act fast! Offer prohibited if you're not an insanely attractive woman, like on a Minka Kelly level. (Damn, Jeter. They all gotta be dimes?)
According to the New York Post, Jeter takes the lady of his choice, usually introduced through a friend, to some hole-in-the-wall restaurant in NYC, then he takes her home and afterward, sends her off in a car. In that car is a gift basket that contains a baseball autographed by Jeter. That has to makes the woman feel like a Make-A-Wish child. Maybe in his mind, sleeping with Jeter is enough of a prize, the baseball is just a bonus.
Maybe he's right and other famous womanizers should take his lead. We brainstormed some objects other womanizing celebs should be giving out as parting gifts to one-night stands.
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The NBA has been moving at warp speed since a new collective bargaining agreement was executed and just yesterday approved.
+ That means training camps open today, but for some, it will be incredibly awkward. Because:
+ A blockbuster three-way trade between the NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets, L.A. Lakers and Houston Rockets was nixed by Commissioner David Stern. The deal would have sent Chris Paul to the Lakers and Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom to the Hornets.
+ Stern cited "basketball reasons," which is an amorphous, bull**** clause that is supposed to protect the NBA's best interests but it incidentally permits injustice and arbitrariness. Here is one artist's depiction of what happened:
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Albert Pujols has signed a 10-year, $250 million dollar contract with the Los Angeles Anaheim California Angels of Los Anaheim. Wow. The deal, which includes a full no-trade clause, may be worth even more. Baseball and logic figured that 31-(ish?)-year-old Albert would return to St. Louis, where he's played for 10 years and won two World Series. But funny things happen during free agency when big money gets thrown around.
Sports Illustrated calls the deal a "stunner" and ESPN describes it as a "shock." There's been several more surprising deals over the past couple years, either because of the way it went down, the amount of money involved or because of the teams involved. Let's revisit the five biggest.