Monday, October 20, 2014

EYE CANDY: Ajay King

According to his Model Mayhem profile, Ajay King is a 31-year-old male model who is 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. He is from Los Angeles.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 WTA YEC: Serena and Sharapova Drawn Into Separate Groups

The Year-End Championships of the WTA tour is starting Monday in Singapore. World #1 Serena Williams won the title the last two years (d. Li Na in 2013 and d. Maria Sharapova in 2012). In order for Serena to end 2014 as #1 she will need to win at least 460 points more than Sharapova, which means that she either has to win the tournament for the fourth consecutive time she has played it, or Sharapova has to not reach the semifinal stage.

The draw has Serena in the Red Group which also includes Simona Halep, Genie Bouchard and Ana Ivanovic. Sharapova is in the White Group, which includes: Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova and Agnieska Radwanska.

The tournament should be very compelling, because it will feature match-ups for the first time this year between Serena and the two breakout stars of 2014: Wimbledon finalist Bouchard and Roland Garros finalist Halep. On the other side of the draw, Sharapova will definitely play 2-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova and US Open finalist Wozniacki.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Politics: SCOTUS Allows Texas' Unabashedly Racist Voter Suppression Law To Go Into Effect

As I discussed last Saturday, the politics of who will vote is becoming increasingly salient as Election Day 2014 approaches. Today, the bad guys won a big one when the Supreme Court in a 6-3 vote (boys against girls) decided to allow Texas's new voter suppression identification law go into effect for the 2014 election while the federal courts consider the law on its merits, even though a federal judge has already declared that the 2011 law intentionally has a disparate impact on minorities.
A divided Supreme Court handed a big defeat to the Obama administration and numerous civil rights groups early Saturday morning when it ruled that Texas can enforce its 2011 voter ID law in November that some have called the strictest in the country. Three justices dissented from the ruling that rejected an emergency request that had been filed by the Justice Department and civil rights groups. 
The decision appears to mark “the first time since 1982 that the Court has allowed a law restricting voters’ rights to be enforced after a federal court had ruled it to be unconstitutional,” notes Scotus Blog’s Lyle Denniston. A federal judge had struck down the law last week, saying that some 600,000 voters—mostly black or Latino—would face difficulties at the polls due to a lack of proper identification. The law, which was approved in 2011 but only came in effect in 2013 lays out seven approved forms of identification—a list many have questioned for including concealed handgun licenses but not college IDs, notes the Associated Press. 
This marked the fourth time over the last few weeks that the Supreme Court has been forced to decide whether voter ID laws passed by Republican state legislatures can be used in November. The justices voted to allow changes in Ohio and North Carolina and stopped a new law in Wisconsin. 
An article in Slate magazine by Jamelle Bouie questions whether voter identification laws are based in partisanship or racism and comes out in favor of partisanship. Regardless, the effect and impact of the enactment of voter "identification" laws is negatively impact the voting power of racial minorities.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Arizona Becomes 31st State With Marriage Equality!

Arizona joined the growing number of states (31) that allow same-sex couples to get married when a federal judge struck down the Grand Canyon state's ban on marriage equality today. The judge based his decision on the 9th Circuit's ruling last week striking down Nevada's and Idaho's bans on marriage equality and refused to put a stay on its effect.

Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Neil Patrick Harris Will Host The 2015 Oscars

Well, well, well! Last year's host of the Oscars was openly gay Ellen Degeneres. Ellen is a hard act to follow, but openly gay Neil Patrick Harris will have that opportunity on February 22, 2015. Harris, who has previously hosted the Emmys and the Tonys was announced as the next host of the Oscars:
Oscar hosting is considered a primo gig, but it isn’t easy. The host needs to maintain the show’s energy, both for the audience inside the Dolby Theatre and for the millions of TV viewers. There is always a guessing game on hosts, but there are a limited number of individuals who have shown their talent in such a role. Ellen DeGeneres was successful at the March 2 rites, but apparently was reluctant even then to do it, and didn’t want to do it for the 2015 ceremony.  
The March 2 ceremonies attracted the biggest Oscar viewership in 14 years, according to the Academy. It drew an average audience of 45.4 million total viewers, delivering a 13.7 rating among adults 18–49 (Live+7). 
Harris is currently co-starring in the current hit movie Gone Girl which may have a significant presence at the 2015 Oscars. He is the winner of 5 Oscars (3 for hosting various award ceremonies).
Maybe he will win one more for hosting the Oscars? Also, now all he is missing is the opportunity to host the Grammys and he will have achieved the EGOT of hosting.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

TENNIS TUESDAY: Resurgent Federer Reclaims World #2 Ranking; Post-Williams Era Beginning?

Federer Returns To World #2 And Aims Higher
After winning his fourth title of 2014 at the Shanghai Masters, Roger Federer is making an improbable run for the ATP Tour World #1 ranking by returning to #2 and is now only 990 points behind Novak Djokovic for year-to-date points, with the World #1 having to defend a whole bunch more points than Federer does in the final stretch of the year. With Rafael Nadal contending with appendicitis for the rest of the season, it should make life that much easier for the 17-time major champion to reach the World #1 ranking again, which he has already held for a record 302 weeks.

Has The Post-Williams Era Of American Tennis Begun?
Since Melanie Oudin won a title in 2012 the only American players who had won titles on the WTA Tour have been named Williams until this year when Madison Keys won her first title in Eastbourne (on grass). American Ali Riske won her first title at the Tianjin Open this weekend and earlier this summer Coco Vandeweghe also won her first title. Is this what the post-Williams era will look like?

Serena Reaches 210 Weeks At #1, Surpasses Hingis, Now #4 Behind Graf, Navratilova, Evert
Not so fast to dismiss the William sisters! The current World #1 has now been in that spot for 87 consecutive weeks, racking up 210 career weeks at #1, and this means that she has surpassed Martin Hingis. She is now (only!) 50 weeks behind Chris Evert's 260 weeks.

Could Sharapova Be The Next World #1?
Interestingly, Serena's arch-nemesis Maria Sharapova who has not been able beat her for over a decade (and 15 tries) may actually end the year at #1 if (as expected) Serena does not play the WTA Year-End Championships in Singapore starting next weekend. Serena is the defending champion but because she is only 566 points ahead of Sharapova for the year-to-date if she loses all those points all Sharapova would have to do is reach the semifinals and she would clinch the year-end #1. It's interesting that both Federer and Sharapova are in similar positions at #2 challenging for the World #1 at the end of the year. I'm sure that for Serena staying healthy enough to win Slam #19 is more important than the Year-End #1.

There's Always Someone Younger and Hotter
Looks like Grigor Dimitrov's days as the hottest player on tour (figuratively and literally) may be numbered. Check out this picture of 17-year-old Borna Coric on the cover of Croatia's Men's Health.

Monday, October 13, 2014

EYE CANDY: Ron K. Williams

Ron K. Williams is a Black male model from San Jose, California. According to his Model Mayhem profile he is 26-years-old, 6-feet tall and weighs 170 pounds. I think his best feature is his smooth, chocolate-hued skin. What do you think?


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