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Saturday, April 23, 2005

 
Much can change in just a few hours. This is the beauty of mock drafts. Like NCAA brackets, a single change destroys the ordering of everything. I love the entropy of the process, but the honest evaluation is here is that this draft had no surprises until number ten. In a way, the fact is that most of the choices were the obvious ones rather than trade-created chaos.

Smith went exactly as expected. Miami almost assuredly did everything they could to bait Tampa Bay or Cleveland into trading up for the number two but in lieu of that, they took my favorite player in this draft. Ronnie Brown has Hall of Fame talent, and will make them very happy.

My favorite moments so far both came from running backs. Cedric Benson's tearful, cathartic venting about the process was powerful. He nobly pointed out how frustrating the process can be for a professional recruit. These kids have been treated like royalty their entire lives. There is no disputing that. Even so, the poking, proddding and interrogation each one faces during the two month period leading up to the draft would be classified as cruel and unusual punishment by the Supreme Court. Benson has been a tremendous competitor on the college level, stayed through his senior season and never did anything that would embarrass his university. Simply because he had dreadlocks and went to the same school as Ricky Williams, he suddenly attained the reputation of being a potential weed-toking yoga instructor. What a joke.

The other great moment, unquestionably the finest thus far, was of Carnell Williams finding out by telephone that he would be selected. It has been no secret that John Gruden fell in love with the kid during Senior Bowl week. Famously, Gruden couldn't talk Williams out of participating in the game despite a bad back. A bunch of reporters slagged Cadillac for fumbling on his first carry of the game. What they didn't know is that he had been medically advised not to play, but he didn't want people to think he was acting like he was too good for this game. Gruden had to sit him down after the play and tell him that the point had been made. He offered that Gruden smile that only the finest players receive and from then on, it was clear this would be the guy if the Bucs didn't trade up for Alex Smith.

All of this is only incidental to the moment itself, though. The familial joy his family experienced when the phone rang and his selection was confirmed is what makes the draft special. In point of fact, I don't understand how they are able to find an Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger willing to sit in the green room rather than hang out at home with the family. The warmth at the Williams household was like a fuzzy electric blanket.

The pick of the draft so far is going to be universally acknowledged as Mike Williams falling to tenth. This is the core flaw with the draft process as a whole. Some of the finest football minds in the world always manage to talk themselves out of the obvious. Mike Williams has been a man amongst boys since his first day of college. Somehow, though, this is the second straight year where football experts have managed to confuse themselves about whether being a third of a foot taller than the guy defending him is enough to make a difference. The kid has some of the best hands in the world, body control to die for, and a penchant for scoring that rivals Gene Simmons. Nine teams just passed on that guy. There is a reason that Detroit ran to the podium as fast as they could as soon as they were on the clock. The idea of placing three receivers on the field who are all 6'2"/205 pounds or larger is the stuff of myth and legend. No offensive coordinator in the league could screw that up.

The dark side of the draft system's flaws are represented perfectly by Houston. Their trade down for a 2006 third rounder was savvy, but then they turned around and screwed up their selection. Travis Johnson is a perfect defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme. In a 3-4, he will get run over more often than Wile E. Coyote. So, who chooses the kid? The Houston Texans, a team that runs a 3-4. Now, Johnson is much more likely to go down as a bust simply because the wrong team with the wrong scheme selected him. Luck plays a larger part in an NFL player's career than any expert would readily admit. Johnson didn't have any on Draft Day, and it will cost him.

 
Now is as good a time as any to confess that I have a sickness. It's not technically a medical condition, but it afflicts me nonetheless. I am an NFL Draft obsessive. I wish I were not as I have trouble reconciling my pure hatred of Mel Kiper Jr. with the fact that I still watch 16 hours of programming involving the man.

Today and tomorrow will be no exception. After weeks of tracking which players are on the rise (Matt Jones!) and which ones are on the decline (way to get arrested right before the biggest day of your life, Justin Miller!), the research culminates with today's events. Because Kim and I are going to be snuggled up with the cats watching this all day today and tomorrow, I figure we might as well blog it a bit for your amusement. In anticipation of this, I have thrown together a mock. Since I have been researching this for ages now, the thoughts themselves are well-formed, but I'm not going to spoil a lot of the rationale off the bat. Instead, I'll dole that out during all the filler that will exist over the first few hours of the draft.

The beauty of this draft is that we are going to see a lot of strange picks. The reason for this is that in a thin draft for topline players, every team's board is going to look different. That means that if a team can't trade down (and make no mistake, we're going to be here a while because all of them will be trying), their Best Player Available (hereby referenced as BPA) might seem crazy to some. As such, a lot of the post-draft evaluations are going to indicate as much about the opinion of the person doing the grading as of the team's personnel maneuvers the next 36 hours. I want to be honest about that going in. The team that is smart enough not to talk themselves out of the genius that is Mike Williams is going to get bonus points from me while the ones that fall for the hype on Fabian Washington and Khalif Barnes are getting off to a terrible start. I'll explain why as we go along.

Okay, let's mock.

1) SF: Alex Smith - QB - Utah
2) Miami: Braylon Edwards - WR - Michigan

Note: I expect both of these picks to involve trade discussions the first couple of hours of the draft. Smith may or may not stay in San Francisco, but Edwards is Miami's attempt to turn player value into more picks as the Chargers did with Eli Manning last year. Everyone has this penciled in as Ronnie Brown, but I don't think they spend the #2 overall pick on a RB. I think this pick winds up being Washington's.

3) Tampa Bay: Ronnie Brown - RB - Auburn

The reason why so many mocks blow up is that it's nigh-impossible to predict trades. I expect that the guy Tampa really wants is Alex Smith but if they can't work a deal for him, this becomes solid option B. Cleveland is rumored to have a strange value board, so they do not want to reach at #3 for a player they think they can get at #5 or lower. They will take less to fall back some. Meanwhile, the Bucs don't want to risk Chicago getting Brown over them.

4) Chicago: Cedric Benson - RB - Texas
5) Cleveland: Shawn Merriman - OLB - Maryland

Like I said before, strange boards are going to cause unexpected selections. This is the first one. Most people have Merriman penciled in to Dallas, but I see Romeo Crennel getting a linchpin defender while picking up extra draft choices.

6) Tennesee: Pac-Man Jones - CB - West Virginia
7) Minnesota: Troy Williamson - WR - South Carolina

The Vikings will make every attempt to trade down but if not, this becomes the second major surprise of the draft. They choose the speed of Williamson over the size of Mike Williams. Neither option is wrong.

8) Arizona: Cadillac Williams - RB - Auburn

I hate the way Dennis Green coaches. I love the way Dennis Green drafts.

9) Washington: Antrell Rolle - CB - Miami

Again, this is really Miami's pick and the replacement for Patrick Surtain. If it were the Redskins picking, the answer would be Carlos Rogers.

10) Detroit: Derrick Johnson - MLB - Texas
11) Dallas: Mike Williams - WR - USC

Steal of the draft happens one pick before the Chargers want it to go down. It would not shock me if Baltimore made a play, though.

12) San Diego: Marcus Spears - DE - LSU
13) Houston: Alex Barron - OT - Florida State
14) Carolina: Aaron Rodgers - QB - California

Carolina is ecstatic to see the potential #1 overall pick slide to them at 14. Their only fear would be a team trading over them to bag him.

15) Kansas City: Erasmus James - DE - Wisconsin
16) New Orleans: Thomas Davis - OLB/SS - Georgia
17) Cincinnati: David Pollack - DE - Georgia

The Georgia kids go right on top of each other and KC continues to wholly revamp their defensive unit.

18) Minnesota: Carlos Rogers - CB - Auburn

This is not a need pick but if the Redskins don't get him at 9, this is too good a pick to pass up at 18.

19) St. Louis: Jammal Brown - OT - Oklahoma

20) Dallas: Daryl Blackstock - OLB - Virginia

This is one of those headscratcher picks that makes sense for the scheme.

21) Jacksonville: Fabian Washington - CB - Nebraska

Late rumors have them looking at Matt Jones, but I think they continue to focus on defense rather than spend a second consecutive first round pick on a wide receiver.

22) Baltimore: Mark Clayton - WR - Oklahoma

But they hope it's Mike Williams instead.

23) Seattle - Demarcus Ware - DE - Troy State

Tim Ruskell breaks old boss Rich McKay's heart with this pick.

24) Green Bay - Matt Roth - DE - Iowa
25) Miami - Khalif Barnes - OT - Washington

This is the other selection from the expected trade with the Redskins.

26) Oakland - Marlin Jackson - CB - Michigan
27) Atlanta - Travis Johnson - DT - Florida State

I see it as a coin flip between him and Shaun Cody if both are on the board and the Falcons don't trade down.

28) Tampa Bay - Elton Brown - G - Virginia

I believe the Simeon Rice rumors.

29) Indianapolis - Shaun Cody - DT - USC
30) Pittsburgh - Heath Miller - TE - Virginia

He's rumored to have failed a physical with the Jets, prompting their trade with Oakland for Doug Jolley. If that is the case, I'm not sure if the Steelers hold firm or not.

31) Philadelphia - Matt Jones - WR - Arkansas

This kid is the future of the NFL. Every few years, we see a new version athlete who is somehow bigger and faster than the prior model. It's hard to imagine anybody outdoing Matt Jones in this regard, though.

32) New England - Kevin Burnett - ILB - Tennessee

*swoon* My hero, Kevin Burnett. Whichever team bags him automatically receives a letter grade upgrade when I rank their overall class.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

 
The second Rank & File is in the books. We have added the latest one about Nicole Kidman's career, and it will stay up through next week. The results of the Comic Book one-off R&F surprised me, though. Apparently, our readers have no long-term memories.


Here are the results from the BOP staff:

1. Sin City
2. The Rocketeer
3. Heavy Metal
4. Constantine
5. Dick Tracy

...and here are the results from the other BOP readers:
1. Sin City
2. Constantine
3. Dick Tracy
4. The Rocketeer
5. Heavy Metal

The staff was much closer than the reader base, but I suspect that Jason Dean offered favors in exchange for The Rocketeer votes. It is, after all, one of his favorite films.

I say that the actual ordering is:

1) Sin City

This is the film that is currently at the top of my Big Board. While I think that it's unlikely to stay in the top five for the year, maybe not even the top ten, I do find the film wonderful. It's easily the most visually appealing in recent memory, a big plus for any production. When we are comparing it to other comic book entries, though, that becomes the key to singling it out as vastly superior to its peers.

2) Heavy Metal

How old are you people??? Is this a case of out of mind, out of sight or what? When we selected the list of entries for this edition, Heavy Metal was almost excluded because we were so certain it would dominate the vote. Last place? What the? Head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of this disc. You're killing me here.

3) The Rocketeer

No, it's not as good as JD would have you believe. Yes, Jennifer Connelly does look great in it, though. The Rocketeer is best described as a toothless version of an Indiana Jones movie, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. It's a Disney-fied adventure where bland leads are put in neutral, semi-dangerous situations. For whatever reason, that seems to really work for it. Joe Johnston should get more work (the Hidalgo fiasco notwithstanding).

4) Constantine

We finally got to the theater to see this about ten days ago. All along, I had been hearing what a surprisingly good movie it was, despite the mediocrity of the trailers. In addition, the South Park PSP episode that referenced it had me thinking that if Parker and Stone came away pleased, it must not bring the suck. To my chagrin, I discovered that while the movie has some positives, it's just not anything special. There are several moments of painful dialogue, and I am possibly the only person on the planet who felt Chain Reaction, the other Weisz/Reeves film, was superior. Constantine has a fascinating mythology, and I think there is a good movie in there somewhere. We just didn't get it.

5) Dick Tracy

This is one of the ten worst films I have ever seen in my life. What it confirms is that Madonna should never be allowed to work again (I say Constitutional Amendment...who's with me?) and Warren Beatty remains the most overrated actor alive today. A genuine cinematic abomination.

Karma.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

 
They are going to be a couple of additions to the site in the next few days. One is the latest column idea we have been kicking around. The concept itself is as straightforward as these things can get, but the name itself is quite catchy. The other is a toy that ultra-genius Tony Kollath has created to enhance your everyday BOP reading experience. I don't want to give too much away before its debut, but I honestly believe this will prove to be BOP's answer to eMode. You are going to love it.

In other site news, while I still need to clean up my 2004 effort a bit, I went ahead and posted my 2005 Big Board. To say that this has been a brutal year for cinema thus far would be, if anything, an understatement. Everything from Racing Stripes down deserves a long look in the bottom 10 for the year. If not for the malevolent genius of Sin City, the first quarter would be a complete washout. The Amityville Horror, The Interpreter, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and maybe Crash are the only films from now until Memorial Day that appear likely to change that cold streak. Not good.

Karma.

Monday, April 11, 2005

 
Okay, the first edition of Rank & File is in the books. As will be the case with each of these, I will review the results once we have completed the polling.

Our readers have offered an aggregate of:

1. Spider-Man
2. X-Men
3. Batman
4. Superman
5. Blade


Our staff differs only slightly with an ordering of:

1. Spider-Man
2. Batman
3. X-Men
4. Blade
5. Superman


I maintain that the correct answers are:

1. Batman
2. Spider-Man
3. X-Men
4. Superman
5. Blade


My thought process is as follows. Both Sam Raimi Spider-Man films have been unexpectedly good. The second one is nothing short of wonderful. For me, though, the same statement is applicable to the first Batman film but to a more legendary degree. Jack Nicholson offered up the blueprint for the supervillian archetype that is still being mimicked some 15 years later. Even if we ignore the fact that the Batman film franchise is already almost 40 years old, it's still got a better first movie, a larger body of quality of works and more fertile soil for future development through Batman Begins and the eventual Batman Beyond. Spider-Man looks to cap out at three films before it stops being a Shakespearean masterpiece and settles into a more conventional Been There, Done That routine. That's the reason why I flip the rankings on those two.

X-Men is a more difficult proposition relative to Superman and Blade. The first X-Men film was a mediocre affair that felt rushed due to so many last minute scene deletions. A tighter 100 minute film was chosen instead of a deeper, more satisfying one left on the editing room floor. Auteur Bryan Singer learned from that mistake and alowed the second film to evolve in a more precise, methodical fashion. The result was a deeply satisfying movie with believable heel turns, stylish villains and a perfect set-up for a third film outing.

The problem is that Singer was later forced to make a decision not unlike what BOP asked our readers to do with this poll. He had to pick between re-invigorating the fading Superman franchise or making the Dark Phoenix movie teased at the end of X2: X-Men United. He chose what most creative minds would, and moved along to a new adventure. This leaves a void in the X-Men franchise, but since there are so many different superheroes with stories yet to be told, I favor the future of this one over the history of Superman.

That leaves the race to the bottom between Blade and Supes. Blade is a fascinating hero/anti-hero as a character. Thus far, the storyline options have led to exactly one brilliant movie, Blade II. There has also been a mediocre but encouraging film with the original Blade. Then, there was also the collateral damage that was Blade: Trinity. If I see Parker Posey on the street, I'm going to punch her in the babymaker. But I digress. The point is that no matter how much better storyline potential the vampiric vampire hunter has in theory, there has been little in the way of payoff thus far in the films themselves. Conversely, Superman might well be the dullest idea ever for a superhero (Ooh, he's nearly invincible...how exciting! Let's write another story where he almost dies due to kryptonite but doesn't!). What it does have going for it, though, is a couple of brilliant turns by Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor as well as a third film that isn't anywhere near as bad as its reputation. Blade might have better movies in its future but at this snapshot in time, it's well behind Superman in the race for fourth best comic book franchise.

Karma.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

 
Below is the missive I just mailed off to my cable company. Kim Hollis asked me to reprint it here for your viewing pleasure. I apologize if you find the exercise pointless. But I feel better anyway.

To whom it may concern, I have been a Knology cable service customer for several years now. Note that this is not by choice as I would have bolted at earliest opportunity were there not monopolistic practices in place at our apartment complex. During the course of our service, I have experienced double and even triple billing due to the incompetence of your customer service agents. I have struggled through innumerable run-ins with phone support which were maddening in their illogical nature. It reached the point that I wrote a letter roughly two years ago diagramming all of the ways I had been failed by your organization along the way. I received a cordial reply regarding my experience and some manner of restitution was offered as an apology.

In the interim, customer support has hardly picked up from a usefulness perspective but since the digital service itself is so strong, my girlfriend and I have bitten our tongue. What has happened in the last 24 hours, though, is beyond our ability to accept. It’s an absolute abomination of failed customer service.

Yesterday, we took a personal video recorder into your office in order to exchange it for a normal converter box. That’s it. That’s all we wanted to do. It should have been a five minute process for someone who did not have to wait in line. Instead, we have experienced an embarrassing run of inconveniences, all of which reinforce the point that Knology has no inkling of knowledge about how to treat loyal customers.

When we asked for a new box, the disaffected young woman sitting at the front desk barely even paid attention to our request. She disappeared behind the door for several minutes, only to return and ask us exactly what we needed. Ignoring the short term memory loss stemming from her apathy, we explained it again. She disappeared for a few more minutes then returned with a replacement PVR. When we explained that ours was not broken but that we had gotten a TiVo instead, she vanished behind the door again for a bit. The fact that it took two attempts to even figure out what we wanted says it all about the public face of customer support you offer at that particular office branch.

Eventually, she returned with a converter box. She fought the computer for a moment, went back and got another man to help her, and then informed us that she could not authorize the box herself. Instead, we would have to call customer service when we got home. Already, bells and sirens were going off in our heads as we know the horror this usually entails. But since she had already moved along to a conversation with a buddy of hers who had dropped by to visit, there was little point in debating the point. After all, we reasoned, there was every chance in the world that anybody answering the phone might be more interested in doing their job than that girl was.

So, we got home, plugged in the box and were promptly rewarded with this message: “Your EXPLORER settop is NOT AUTHORIZED for use. Please call (865) 357-1000.” It’s easy to recite this quote, because it’s been haunting us for the last day. As I type this, it still says that on the screen. Little did I know then when I set out to quickly resolve the matter that I was going to needlessly waste two hours of my life.

The first woman who answered assured me this would only take a minute. With a sick feeling in my stomach caused by a sense of foreboding, I immediately knew what was in store for us. Ten minutes later, a series of unplugged power chord repetitions demonstrated that there was a problem with the box. The woman asked me to look at the bottom for a number. I tried to give her the P/N, but she said it should start with 00. I asked her if said number would be on the bottom or on the side and she re-iterated that it was the bottom. I tried to point out that I had a number starting with 00 on the side, but she was not having any of that. She knew the equipment much better than I did, so I couldn't possibly find the number anywhere else than her training manual indicated it should be. Eventually, she put me on hold for several minutes then returned with the resolution that she needed to check with her boss. I was placed on hold for nearly 20 minutes only to be randomly disconnected at that point. Lovely.

Irritated, I called back and reached a nice young man who asked me to unplug and re-plug the power chord again. I tried to explain that I had already been through this a couple of times. He apologized politely, but stated that unfortunately he had a certain set of instructions he must implement before moving me along to further tech support. I asked if there was no way that we could waive said practices since they had already been done. He apologized once more and flatly said no. So, five minutes of failure later, he agreed that we probably would have been better served skipping that step. After another several minutes of hold time (I feel like I have developed a personal relationship with the voice of Knology), I was transferred to a higher level of tech support. This person informed me that I needed to…wait for it…unplug and re-plug my power chord. That didn’t work so I was placed on hold again. At this point, the Fandango movie tickets I had ordered had gone from being an hour and twenty minutes away to making me run late. I asked them to send out a technician. She informed me that this would not be needed. Instead, she would do something in my absence, and the service would work by the next morning when I turned on my cable box.

Ha!

At 8:15 this morning, I turned on the cable box. I was greeted with the message of: “Your EXPLORER settop is NOT AUTHORIZED for use. Please call (865) 357-1000.” Annoyed beyond description, I called back customer support. A nice woman wanted to help me, so she asked that I….you know it’s coming…unplug and re-plug my power chord. Shockingly enough, the 24th time did not prove to be a charm. Instead, I was left with her putting me on hold for a long time in order to figure out the problem. To this woman’s credit, she did take the time and effort to attempt to resolve my situation. Sure, there was a needless amount of hold time while I wondered if she had been attacked by wild boars and was unable to answer the phone, but I trust it was because she was talking to her superiors about how to help me.

Eventually, she returned and said that a technician needed to be sent to our house. I pointed out that this is exactly what I had wanted the night before and asked if one had been previously scheduled. She indicated that this had not happened. Instead, I was given the extra special customer service treat of getting to wait on the phone again this morning rather than have the issue resolved by someone who might have experience with the equipment. She was finished and ready to let me finally hang up the phone but then she thought of something else. I want to credit her for this in that at least she was attempting to determine a satisfactory resolution right then and there rather than pawning me off on someone else.

Unfortunately, this attempt led to significantly more hold time. Even worse, when she returned, she informed me that an on-site technician would be unable to resolve the situation so it had to be done over the phone. At this point, she asked me to hold while I was transferred to higher level tech support. Frustrated beyond description, I handed the phone to my girlfriend and went off to take a shower. 20 minutes later, I returned smooth shaven and smelling lily fresh. To my surprise, my companion had yet to speak to a live agent. It is 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday, for God’s sake. How can hold times be this dramatic??? My lady friend runs off to get dressed and I spend another ten minutes staring at a screen of “Your EXPLORER settop is NOT AUTHORIZED for use. Please call (865) 357-1000.” while I wait for a new agent to speak with us. As you might expect, this is exactly how I wanted to start my Saturday.

When the new and improved customer support agent reaches me, she asks me to…you know it’s coming…unplug and re-plug the power chord. Livid, I ask her why it should be expected to work this time when the process has failed me any one of three dozen times in the past 24 hours. I mean, I have developed an intimate relationship with my new cable box power chord in the day I’ve known it. I’ve touched it more than Tiger Woods has touched his driver. What possible outcome would be expected here that has not occurred the prior times, I posit? Humorlessly, she re-states that I need to try this. Beaten, I honor her request. In a stunning turn of events, nothing happens.

At this point, something occurs which may only be amusing to a person who has wasted two hours of their life getting "customer support". The new and improved tech support agent determines that only an on-site visit from a technician may fix the problem. Incredulously, I ask why she would say this when the prior woman said exactly the opposite. More to the point, I wonder why Kim and I have just spent another half hour on hold when we could have scheduled the appointment on two prior occasions and been done with it. Dully, she says, “I dunno.” I am almost disappointed by this. In my head, I have presumed that there is some amateur version of Punk’d going on or we are the victims of an elaborate April Fool’s Day prank by our friends.

Where does that leave us? The awesome magical power of an unplugged power chord has by all accounts failed me. Are there are any real technicians in your organization capable of giving a converter box to a cable customer? Or is this simply too unusual a request for your company to be able to facilitate? We spend roughly…well, a lot a month…on our Knology services. We have to be in the top percentile of your home service clients. How is it that you are utterly unable to reward us for our patronage? Where is the positive reinforcement for our trying to get a converter box that costs the same monthly as the PVR? Instead, you have punished us to a degree the local district court would determine to be cruel and unusual simply because we didn’t just say “Here! Take it!” with the PVR. I would be paying less and I would have almost three hours (including the time at Knology’s office and the time spent writing this letter) of Friday/Saturday back. What is wrong with you people? The way you do business would make Enron shake their head in disgust.

We are looking into buying a house or moving apartments just so that we can get a different cable service. Can you imagine how much we would have to loathe your organization such that we are willing to predicate important life decisions around it? Pathetic is not a strong enough word for Knology’s customer support employees.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

 
I have been asked time and again exactly why the site features the Karma section and, particularly, the Folding@Home project. I would like to take this opportunity to briefly explain the rationale for each. Karma is a section which augments the roots of the site. From the very first month at BOP, we included a hyperlink on the front page to the wonderful TheHungerSite.com. The idea we had was simple. BOP was one of the few entertainment hubs which did not have banner advertising. In lieu of that, we simply asked for our readers to take a few moments to click the link in order to donate a few cups of food each week to a needy person elsewhere in the world. I consider this particular location to be so important I made it my home page for the body of two years, but after a time, other similar sites popped up. To my surprise, no one took the time to archive their locations in one place.

So, BOP became home to a permanent link to all the various charitable organizations on the web which exchange mouse clicks for helpful services. None of them charges a fee or requires anything from the user. You simply click a couple of times and bang, instant karma. You’ve helped a total stranger who might never see your face but who knows the kindness in your heart. It’s quick, it’s painless, and it allows you to feel a lot better about yourself as you go about your daily routine of mischief, mayhem and malevolence. We do everything we can to keep this page updated but since a lot of these organizations have a tendency to see the money dry up quickly, turnover is an issue. If you are ever aware of such a charitable click-site we could add, please leave us a note in our Feedback section. If any of our links need updating or are dead, that’s information we could use as well. Karma remains one of the most important aspects of our site to the point that I whole-heartedly recommend other webmasters who peruse BOP to take the same concept and implement it yourself at your site. Everybody wins on stuff like this, so it’s not about who does what or where, just as long as we get as many people as possible clicking. And the best way to do that is to make it your homepage so that you never forget each day to do your karmic part.

This leads us to sunny point #2, Folding@Home. This organization is the passion of one of the original Prophets from back in the days when we were another site. Jerry Barnes, a fascinating man who will make for a great biopic someday down the line, found out about the team at Stanford’s attempt to discover the how and why of protein folding. I don’t want to bore you with the physics of it (alright, it is because I don’t claim to understand it myself), but if scientists can learn more about the process of what makes proteins decide to fold, they will eventually be able to cure any disease. Tragic afflictions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease occur because proteins have misfolded. When science comes to understand when that process will occur then take steps to prevent it, they will be able to prevent such illnesses from occurring. Is this going to happen in our lifetimes? Probably not. Does that make the goal any less worthy? Of course not.

That’s why BOP feels it our civic duty to stop Jerry Barnes from nagging us to fold…errr, our duty to help. The way to do that is to download the folding client at Stanford.edu and run it on our computers. The process is simple as can be. Once installed, the folding client will run in the background. If you are using your computer, it won’t take up much in the way of resources. At the times when your computer is idling, however, the Stanford client will use your computer to collate data about the process of folding. In short, it does not affect you at all when you are at your computer. When you walk out of the room to get a doughnut or hit the liquor cabinet, the clock cycles of your machine are put to use in a way that benefits mankind. If you are one of those sorts who leaves your computer on overnight, you can do a tremendous amount of good simply by downloading and installing the folding client. It’s quick, it’s painless, and it frees up your conscience such that you can have all the freaky, guilt-free, hedonistic sex you want all the way knowing that you are simultaneously doing your part for the betterment of mankind.

If you want to track how you are doing against me and mine, the team number for the Box Office Prophets group is #22. You can track your performance against the rest of us at here.

Karma.


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