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December 11, 2007

Somali pirates?

Usually when I look up world news on CNN, I blog about someone who was killed. While this story revolves around killiing too, it also is a bit more intriguing.

I saw on CNN that Somali pirates who took a Japanese tanker six weeks ago "have threatened to kill the 22 crew members unless a $1 million ransom is paid," a maritime official said Monday.

"Somali pirates holding the Japanese ship are demanding $1 million," said Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based East Africa Seafarers' Assistance Program. "They are also saying we are going to kill the crew if our demands are not met."

The CNN report said deaths are rare during such hijackings though.

This isn't the first such incident involving Somali pirates. For years they have been claimed as "out of control."

Vick sentenced to 23 months in prison

I know you don't like when I write this much about sports, but when one of the highest paid, most hyped, players in the National Football League is going to prison, I have to write something about it.

Michael Vick once one of the most famous stars in the NFL, was sentenced to 23 months in prison for financing a dogfighting ring and helping to kill pit bulls on Monday.

Vick, who has already started his sentence time, was dressed in a black-and-white striped prison suit during his court hearing.

At that time, he reportedly apologized to his family and to the judge for his actions. Interestingly, it appeared the judge wasn't satisfied with that. As he said the following in response to Vick's apologzy:

"You need to apologize also to the millions of young people who look up to you," U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson said.

This attitude by the judge is consistent with reports that he was not satisfied with the way Vick has been dealing with the situation - first lying, then taking responsibility when others he was associated with turned themselves in.

Vikings and playoffs now in the same sentence

Don’t look now, but the Minnesota Vikings are over .500 and in position to make the NFC playoffs.

The Vikings beat San Francisco 27-7 on Sunday despite only 3 yards rushing by Adrian Peterson on 14 carries. If anyone would have told a Minnesota fan that Peterson would have only three yards in any game that he played this season and the Vikings would winhttp://www.twincities.com/vikings/ci_7679678?nclick_check=1">, Its likely none of them would have believed the messenger.

Believe it. That’s what the Vikings are doing.

With stifling defense against an injured 49ers team, combined with smart quarterbacking from young QB Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota led 27-0 with five minutes left in the first half and didn’t look back.

At 7-6 the team is currently locked into the sixth and final position in the NFC playoffs. However, there are still three games left to be played and nothing is set in stone in the NFL until week 17 is complete.

Gophers beat Rams

After every weekend I blog. And after every weekend it seems I am blogging about a win for the Minnesota men’s basketball team. The Gophers improved to 6-1 on the season after beating Colorado state 91-74 Saturday night at Williams Arena.
Freshman shooting guard Blake Hoffarber was the story on this night. Hoffarber had a career-high 21 points and was a large reason Minnesota expanded a six point lead into a 32 point lead at one point in the second half.
Hoffarber’s performance continues the trend of a bench player coming in and playing well for Tubby Smith’s squad.

The bench put up 44 points Saturday night and now has totaled a combined 112 points in its last three games.
Lost in the outstanding play by the bench was the 22 point, 13 rebound game put in by senior forward Dan Coleman. On his 14th point of the night Coleman became the 34th player in Minnesota men’s basketball history to score 1,000 or more points in his career.

The Gophers next play Wednesday night against South Dakota State at Williams Arena. Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m.

December 3, 2007

Teddy bear name causes jail sentence

Here's an interesting story out of Khartoum, Sunday.

A British teacher who was convicted of insulting religion in Sudan has finally been release from prison.

Why was she jailed? Well, reportedly for allowing children to name a teddy bear "Mohammed".
Yes, I said a tedddy bear.

The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, 54, was sentenced to 15 days in jail last Thursday for allowing her students to name a teddy bear "Mohammed."

Gibbons, 54, was sentenced to 15 days in jail last Thursday for having allowed her students at a private school to name a teddy bear "Mohammed."
This, however, was a slap in the face to the Islamic religion.

Gibbsons said she made a mistake and would not knowingly offend anyone or any religion.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21973378/

A court also ruled she will be deported for her actions.

Winter storm makes way through Northeast & Midwest

The much anticipated winter snow storm hit Minnesota hard this weekend, but the storm made a lasting impact around much of the Northeast.

On Sunday, a CNN article reported that winter storm warnings were in effect into Monday in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and into Tuesday in parts of New York state.

Warnings were also issued for parts of Michigan, where freezing rain and sleet was predicted to turn to all snow late Sunday.

I struggled walking in four to five inches of snow on Saturday. I feel bad for the people in the Northeast after reading that the National Weather Service said a foot of snow was possible in northern New England, with the potential for 20 inches in northern Maine.

But even with all that snow, some are feeling more compassion for the Midwest.

"Compared to what's happening in the Midwest, we've kind of got it easy right now," said Joe Orlando, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.

Hundreds of flights were canceled at the Chicago O’Hare airport by the storm on Saturday. Flights were also canceled Saturday at airports in Des Moines, Iowa, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as blowing snow reduced visibility.
As for the state we currently occupy? Minnesota's Grand Marais got 20 inches. Duluth supposedly got 13 inches.

Considering I don't havve a car up here and have to walk pretty much everywhere (not that driving would be much safer), I’m hoping we don’t get anywhere near those amounts of snow......at least my boots are getting their proper use though.

December 2, 2007

Vikings turning into playoff team

What are the Vikings smoking, because I want some of that.

Just kidding, I don’t smoke.

But Minnesota’s professional sports team is playing out of its mind. The Vikings, once 2-5, are now 6-5 after winning their fourth-straight game Sunday afternoon, beating the Detroit Lions 42-10 at the Metrodome .
In his first game back from injury, Adrian Peterson looked healthy as can be, rushing for 116 yards in two touchdowns. Young quarterback Tarvaris Jackson didn’t look bad either. He threw for 204 yards and two touchdowns against a Lions’ team that continues to fall out of the playoff picture (6-6).

Minnesota’s defense wasn’t shabby either, which is another reason the Vikings are looking like a legitimate playoff team. The defensive group held the Lions to just 23 yards on the ground.

Tubby, Gophers win again

It was a cold walk over to Williams Arena for me on Saturday afternoon as I prepared to watch the Minnesota men’s basketball team play UC Riverside. Once in “The Barn? the Gophers showed they wouldn’t be affected by the frigid temperatures, warming up from beyond the three-point line and beating the Highlanders 75-38 in front of 11,232.
Minnesota hit 13 of 23 three’s (56.5 percent) to cruise to victory. Senior guard Lawrence McKenzie, who finished with 18 points, had five of them. Freshman guard Blake Hoffarber and junior forward Jamal Abu-Shamala combined for seven more, as the Tubby Smith led Gophers improved to 4-1 on the young season.

The program-record for three-pointers made in a game is 16. In my opinion, Minnesota would have shattered that mark if it needed to. The Gophers hit 12 three’s within the first 27 minutes of action, but up by 30 plus in the second half, had no reason to shoot many three’s for the majority of the second half.

One more thing. The 38 points the Gophers held UC Riverside to, was almost a record as well. The record-low for a Minnesota opponent is 37, when the Gophers stifled Arizona State in 1991.