Monday, November 30, 2015

POLL: Marriage Equality Has Majority Support In Japan

A new poll shows that marriage equality has majority support in Japan. This is something of a surprise because previous polls have shown that support for LGBT equality is not high in the Asian island nation.
Fifty-one percent of people polled by researchers from universities and the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research back such partnerships, the Asahi newspaper reported. Support exceeded 70 percent among respondents in their 20s and 30s, while 38 percent in their 60s and 24 percent in their 70s were in favor, the Asahi said.
Hat/tip to TowleRoad 

EYE CANDY: Devin Goda (#3)

Devin Goda has appeared as Eye Candy twice before (June 15, 2015 and September 14, 2015). He is a former football player who is now a model. He's in his mid-twenties and listed around 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds. You can follow him on Instagram (dgoda85) and Facebook (DevinGoda85).

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Britain Wins Davis Cup As Andy Murray Achieves Another Career-Defining Goal

The British Davis Cup team with Andy Murray and his brother Jamie managed to do something that had not been done since 1936: win the entire annual national team competition and bring the Davis Cup home. That's a drought of 79 years!

Murray, who ends the year as the World #2, went undefeated in singles play 8-0 and teamed with his older brother Jamie to win 3 doubles ties as well. Andy Murray became the first player since Pete Sampras (did it in 1993) to win three live rubbers in a Davis Cup tie. Murray also joins his major champion brethren Roger Federer (2014), Novak Djokovic (2010), Rafael Nadal (2011, 2009, 2008), Stan Wawrinka (2014) who have managed to win Davis Cup titles for their country.

Andy Murray has now ended three major sports droughts for Great Britain: winning the Davis Cup (first time since 1936), winning a singles Gold Medal (2012 London Olympics) and, of course, the first British male player to win Wimbledon (in 2013) since Fred Perry did it in 1936. Murray also became the first male British player to win a major title when he won the U.S. Open in 2012. Surely, he'll become Sir Andy Murray sooner rather than later?

Friday, November 27, 2015

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Michael B. Jordan on Cover of Men's Fitness Stars in Creed

You may remember Michael B. Jordan as the star of the movie Fruitvale Station in 2013, the dramatization of the horrible killing of Oscar Grant by BART cop Johannes Meherle (who was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and only served 11 months in jail before being released despite shooting Grant in the back while the black man was face down on the sidewalk on New Years' Eve of 2011.)

Jordan (and the director of Fruitvale Station, the talented Ryan Coogler) is back in theaters this week with Creed, the latest installment of the Rocky franchise (some 40 years after it began in 1975) as the son of Apollo Creed, Adonis Johnson. Jordan worked hard to get into shape for the role (and he is getting much deserved attention for the results) and the film is getting strong reviews. Both Jordan and Coogler are young African-American men. Jordan is 28 and Coogler is 29.

Go ahead, young bruthas!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GAME OF THRONES: Season 6 Teaser Poster Features Jon Snow...

Game of Thrones Season 6 will begin next year in April and the first question that will need to be answered is whether Jon Snow is alive or dead after the events at the end of Season 5. HBO has released a teaser poster that features an image of  Kit Harrington as Jon Snow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TENNIS TUESDAY: Djokovic's Amazing 2015: $21.6M, 11 Titles, 82W-6L

Novak Djokovic, 28, ended his amazing 2015 season by surprisingly defeating Roger Federer 6-3 6-4 in the finals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London, cementing his domination over the rest of the field. It was Djokovic's 11th tournament win of 2015 and he reached the final of 15 of the 16 tournaments he played in 2015. The win, along with bonuses for remaining World #1 for the entire calendar year means that he earned $21,646,145 in prize money in 2015, the most ever. (In fact, it is more prize money than Andy Roddick earned in his entire career!)

Djokovic has been at the top of men's tennis since 2011, and this is demonstrated by the fact that he has won the season-ending championship for the fourth consecutive year. In this year's tournament he finally lost a match, but it was in the round-robin format so he was still able to qualify for the semifinals an d get revenge in the final. During this tournament Djokovic evened out his rivalry with both Rafael Nadal (23-apiece) and Federer (22-apiece). It seems more likely than not that the Serb will end his career with leads against both these champions since both Federer's and Nadal's peaks are definitely behind them but Djokovic's may still be yet to come.

Djokovic won 27 of 28 grand slam matches in 2015 and went 82-6 overall, winning 93.2% of all matches he played. This chart puts his remarkable 2015in the context of some of the best years of all time:

It is very possible if Djokovic has another 2-3 years at the level he is currently playing at and no one else emerges to challenge his dominance that he will be in the conversation for greatest player of all time, especially if his current major haul of 10 titles gets into the mid-teens. His number of Masters Shields titles is already impressive (he won 6 of 9 in 2015) and now is just 1 behind Nadal's record total of 27.

Of course, I still think Federer has the edge in any conversation about the Greatest of all Time because he not only has 17 major titles (the most ever) but also has been at or near the top of men's tennis for well over a decade (2003). Djokovic won his first major title in 2008 so he has until about 2018 to see how many more majors he can get, but I would not be surprised if it was in the 14-16 range. He currently is 10-8 in major finals (but he has won 3 of 4 he played in 2015, including 2 consecutive Wimbledon finals against Federer) while Federer is 17-10 and Nadal is 14-6. Ultimately, it will be his final record in these historic matches that will determine his place in the pantheon of tennis greats.

Monday, November 23, 2015

EYE CANDY: Billy Brown (a.k.a. "Nate Lahey" on #HTGAWM)

Billy Brown is an African-American actor appearing on ABC television show How To Get Away With Murder which stars Viola Davis (for which she won an Emmy this year for her portrayal of Annalise Keating in Season 1). Brown plays Dtective Nate Lahey, who is one of Annalise's love interests (the other is a woman played by Famke Janssen!). There is not much information on Brown's physical statistics like age, height and weight. (Although his IMDB page does list him as 6-foot-2½ inches tall.

There are some crazy good looking people on How To Get Away With Murder, but Brown more than holds his own. Previously we featured another handsome guy from the show, Kendrick Sampson, as Eye Candy, on November 9, 2015. Brown has an incredibly chiseled body but for some reason it is quite difficult to find good pictures of him online. And by good, I mean pictures of him showing off some skin! Almost all of the images here are from the show, and even though his character has disrobed several times for some reason there aren't very many good shots of those scenes available either.  The best I could find is given here:

I can't believe I am the only person to notice what a banging body Mr. Brown has. His role appears to be getting bigger as Season 2 continues (last week's Season 2 mid-season finale was wild) so hopefully, we will literally see more of him in the future.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

FILM REVIEW: The Martian

The book The Martian by Andy Weir is a publishing phenomenon, widely regarded as one of the best (and probably the best-selling) science fiction books of 2014. When I discovered that the movie adaptation was being directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Prometheus, Gladiator) and starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney this film jumped to the top of my want-to-see list for 2015.

The Other Half and I saw it with another gay couple at our go-to place for watching movies in the theater, Arclight Pasadena. Since we saw it opening weekend the film has gone on to become a box-office smash (and is currently the #6  top-grossing film released in 2015, with well over $200 million in receipts in North America) as well as a critical smash, with 93% positive ratings at from both critics and audiences. Director Ridley Scott is starting to appear on Best Director Oscar consideration lists.

I read the book at the end of 2014 and enjoyed it, but was not overwhelmingly enthusiastic about it. I actually think the movie is a better (more entertaining) version of the story. The cast is incredible. Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean and Chiwetel Ejiofor play bigwigs at NASA with Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara and Michael Peña as fellow astronauts on a Mars mission with Matt Damon. Donald Glover has a key role as a quirky NASA astrophysicist.

The movie is centered around science and the importance (and dangers) that are involved with space exploration and scientific progress. I complained to my fellow moviegoers that despite the centrality of science (especially, botany, biology, physics, astronomy and mathematics) to the plot there is not a single equation displayed in the film. They pointed out that for the vast majority of people who go to see the film, including a mathematical equation would be communicating something similar to including Chinese characters in the film. In other words, the symbols would have almost no inherent meaning to the audience, and would be communicating information that the audience is not intended to understand. I see their point, but I still think the filmmakers could have done a better job of indicating the mathematical calculations that must have occurred while all the science and engineering was being done to attempt to rescue Mark Watney on Mars.

That being said, the movie is not a geek-laden paean to NASA, but is instead a very suspenseful thriller which is exciting, emotionally gripping and inspiring.

Title: The Martian.
Director: Ridley Scott.
Running Time: 2 hours, 22 minutes.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.
Release Date: October 2, 2015.
Viewing Date: October 4, 2015.

Writing: A.
Acting: A.
Visuals: A+.
Impact: A.

Overall Grade: A/A+ (4.08/4.0).

Saturday, November 21, 2015

2015 ATP FINALS: Federer-Djokovic XLIV Is The Last Regular ATP Match Of The Year

The semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals are complete and Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets while Roger Federer beat Stan Wawrinka in straight sets. Therefore, for the   eighth time this year (and forty-fourth time in their careers) the two will meet on the ATP tour. In fact, the two met earlier in the week during the round-robin stage and Federer won that meeting in straight sets (7-5 6-2).

The two have met in 2 major finals and four other tour finals in 2015 and Djokovic won both major finals while they split the regular tour final meetings 2-all. Federer currently leads their overall head-to-head 22-21 and indoor hard courts is widely considered his best surface. However, Djokovic has won the ATP Tour Finals for the last three consecutive years. Last year Federer could not compete in the final due to a bad back and Djokovic won in a walkover. Despite that result, Federer went on to join with his compatriot Wawrinka and Switzerland won the Davis Cup in 2014.

If Djokovic wins tomorrow he will have evened up his rivalry between both Federer and Nadal and his 4th consecutive year-end championship. If Federer wins he will have won an unprecedented seventh year-end tour championship.

MadProfessah's Prediction: Federer.

Friday, November 20, 2015

CELEBRITY FRIDAY: Charlie Sheen Reveals He's HIV+

Actor Charlie Sheen revealed in a live interview with NBC's Today this week that he is HIV-positive. Although Sheen was television's top-paid actor when he appeared on CBS' Two and a Half Men his public profile has dropped considerably since he left television after the show Anger Management was cancelled last year. He revealed that he became aware of his status about four years ago and that he has paid out "millions" of dollars in extortion money to people who had threatened to publicly reveal this information. He made a statement:
"I’m here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive. And, I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths, and very harmful stories that are about threatening the health of so many others, which couldn’t be farther from the truth." 
It will be interesting to  see how the celebrity gossip culture reacts to this revelation. There were apparently all sorts of rumors about Sheen's health which influenced his decision to come out now. Social media, generally has been relatively kind, so far.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

TENNIS TUESDAY: Czechs Triumph, Federer Ends Djokovic's Streak!

The Czech Republic was able to win a dramatic 3-2 tie versus Russia with the help of Karolina Pliskova this weekend despite the presence of Maria Sharapova playing for Russia and her defeats of Pliskova and Petra Kvitova. This was the fourth win in five years (2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015) for the Czech Republic.

Roger Federer ended Novak Djokovic's 23-match winning streak in fine style at the ATP Tour Finals by winning in straight sets, 7-5 6-2. Federer's win gives the him the 22-21 edge in their head-to-head and assures that he will be playing in the semifinal round on Saturday. Almost certainly, the two will be facing again in the championship match, unless the two players who advance from the other group (likely to be Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray) disrupt this narrative. Interestingly, Federer was also the last person to beat Djokovic before the win streak began (in the 2015 Cincinati Masters final in August).

Monday, November 16, 2015

EYE CANDY: Stefan Williams (reprise)

Stefan Williams has appeared as Eye Candy here once before (March 2, 2015). He is a fitness model and is pretty active on Instagram (@willy_beamen). Enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

SATURDAY POLITICS: President Obama Is OUT Magazine's "Ally of the Year"

These are some awesome pictures that President Obama took as part of an interview he did with Out magazine when he was named their Ally of the Year in the current issue where the Out 100 is also revealed.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Venus Wiliams Ends 2015 Season Ranked World #7!

Venus Williams ended her 2015 season by winning the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, ensuring that she would end the year ranked #7 in the world.

For the tenth time, both Venus and Serena ended the year in the Top 10:

1999Venus finished No.3
Serena finished No.4
2000Venus finished No.3
Serena finished No.6
2001Venus finished No.3
Serena finished No.6
Serena finished No.1
Venus finished No.2
Serena finished No.7
Venus finished No.9
Serena finished No.7
Venus finished No.8
Serena finished No.2
Venus finished No.6
Serena finished No.1
Venus finished No.6
Serena finished No.4
Venus finished No.5

2015Serena finished No.1
Venus finished No.7
Go, Venus!

Monday, November 09, 2015

EYE CANDY: Kendrick Sampson (reprise)

Kendrick Sampson is a ridiculously attractive  actor and model who has appeared as Eye Candy once before (January 5, 2015). He is now probably best known to readers of this blog for his recurring appearances on ABC's hit drama How To Get Away With Murder as Caleb Hapstall, one of two adopted children accused of murdering their billionaire parents who are defended this season by the law firm of Annalise Keating (Viola Davis). This is what he look like on the show:

Sampson, according to his Wikipedia page is 27 years old. He is active on Instagram (@kendrick38) and Twitter (@kendrick38) and has his own website at

Honestly the pictures above don't do him justice. The best thing about Kendrick are his eyes, skin tone and sexy shaved head (in my opinion). What do you think? Sound off in the comments!

Sunday, November 08, 2015

2015 PARIS MASTERS: Djokovic Wins Record 6th Masters Shield of 2015; Now 22-0!

It's official, Novak Djokovic is playing the best tennis of his life. He won his 10th title of 2015, and 6th ATP Master shield at the Paris Masters today, defeating his frenemy Andy Murray (the #2 seed) 6-2 6-4. It was Djokovic's 22nd consecutive match win of the year; he has an astonishing record of 27-4 against the rest of the Top 10. No one has ever won 6 Masters shields in a year and Djokovic only lost one match at the Grand Slam level all year (to Stan Wawrinka in the final of Roland Garros).

It was Djokovic's 26th Masters shield, 58th ATP tour title. He improved to a 21-9 head-to-head record versus Murray and 58-26 in finals He has now won the Paris Masters 4 times and is now only one behind Nadal (27) on the al time list and is ahead of Roger Federer (24).

Saturday, November 07, 2015

REPORT: Almost 1 Million Same-Sex Married People In United States

A report has been issued "Marriage and Same-Sex Couples after Obergefell" by the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School which demonstrates how well the kultukampf over "gay marriage" is going for the forces of equality. The graph at the top of this blog post demonstrates the exponential growth in the estimated number of same-sex couples in the United States, which is near the 500,000 mark, which means that nearly a million Americans have a legally married spouse of the same-sex.

The report notes that there has been a rapid change since the U.S. Supreme Court Obergefell decision legalized marriage equality nationwide in June, overturning provisions in the last remaining states that were still enforcing bans on same-sex marriage despite an unprecedented series of legal rejections by dozens of federal judges.

In fact, in the figure below one can see that the percentage of all new marriages that are what used to be called "gay marriages" has jumped from 6.4% before June 2015 to 11.2% afterJune 2015.

Hat/tip to Joe Jervis

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

GODLESS WEDNESDAY: Americans Moving Away From Religion

NPR reported on a poll by the Pew Research Center which demonstrates that the United States is becoming less religious.  The findings can be summarized as:
  • The share of Americans who say they are "absolutely certain" that God exists has dropped 8 percentage points, from 71 percent to 63 percent, since 2007, when the last comparable study was made.
  • The percentage of adults who describe themselves as "religiously affiliated" has shrunk 6 points since 2007, from 83 percent to 77 percent.
  • The shares of the U.S. adult population who consider religion "very important" to them, pray daily and attend services at least once a month have declined between 3 and 4 percentage points over the past eight years.
The key statistics to know is that the percentage of Americans who describe their religion as "nothing in particular" are now 23% of the population, up from 16%.

Monday, November 02, 2015

EYE CANDY: Matt Cook (3rd Time!)

Matt Cook is a model who has appeared as Eye Candy twice before (April 7, 2014 and June 2, 2014). With the demise of the Gorgeous Sexy Guys and David Dust blogs it has been getting more difficult to get recommendations for online pictures of scantily clad (but safe for work!) guys. (Readers should feel free to email me links if you have suggestions!)

However, Instagram and Twitter are making up the slack. Matt has his own Instagram (mattcook_) where he posts shots like the ones above.


Sunday, November 01, 2015

BASEL 2015: Roger Wins Federer-Nadal XXXIV 6-3 5-7 6-3 To Claim 88th ATP Title

As I predicted yesterday, Roger Federer was able to beat Rafael Nadal in their 34th career meeting. The match was actually quite close, with one break of serve deciding each set, as the final score of 6-3 5-7 6-3 demonstrates. Play lasted just over 2 hours and the rallies were often long and intense.

Federer's win stopped a three and a half-year drought of success against his most famous rival (he had lost the last 5 matches he played against Nadal). However, this match was literally played on Federer's turf (indoor hardcourt in his home town of Basel). The Swiss Great was playing in his twelfth final in Basel, and with the win earned his seventh title here and 88th career ATP title. He now improves to 11-23 against Nadal and 88-46 in career finals while Nadal falls to 67-31 in career finals.

By reaching the final (and beating Richard Gasquet) to do so Nadal set the field for the ATP Year-Ending Championship in two weeks in London will have the same eight players it did last year and made the result of whoever wins the ATP Paris Masters this week irrelevant to that race. (Novak Djokovic clinched the Year-End #1 earlier in the season when he won his 3rd major of the year at the U.S. Open.) However, Nadal's improved play on one of his worst surfaces (indoor hard courts) may augur good things for an upside in his fortunes in 2016.

Federer-Nadal XXXIV: Raja and Rafa In Basel Final

For the thirty-fourth time in their careers, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet on the ATP Tour. Nadal, 29, has won 70% (23) of those meetings while Federer, 34, has won only 10. In fact, Nadal has won the last five times they played, including all four matches they played in 2013 (which was the first year that the Swiss great failed to reach a major final and the year Nadal won almost every hard court tournament he entered after returning to the tour after losing early at Wimbledon). Significantly, the two have not played since Federer's game recovered in mid-2014 and he ascended to the World #2 ranking. This year, Nadal is on the comeback trail, since he failed to reach a major final for the first time in his career and his ranking almost fell out of the Top 10.

While the Federer-Nadal rivalry is compelling because they have met in 8 major finals (Rafa leads 6-2) and the two are the current all-time leaders of major singles titles won (Federer 18, Nadal 14). However, the Nadal-Djokovic rivalry is longer (45 matches, with Nadal holding a slim 23-22 edge) and the Federer-Djokovic rivalry is more exciting (42 matches, currently tied at 21-all with Djokovic winning three major finals in the last 18 months against Federer). It's conceivable that the 28-year-old Djokovic could end his career with head-to-head leads over both Federer and Djokovic, although it;s hard to believe he will end with more major titles since he currently has 10.

This is Federer-Nadal's 5th hard court final (currently even at 2-all). Federer is playing in his record 12th final in his hometown tournament, and if he wins on Sunday he will have won the tournament 7 times.

MadProfessah's pick: Federer.


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