Archive for November, 2009

20 Most Attractive Actresses in Movies

November 23, 2009

I don’t think anything will top the Most Beautiful TV News Women of 2008 blog, but this’ll have to do for now.

So this is my list of the 20 most attractive actresses in movies.   I list them as the most “attractive” instead of “beautiful,” because though most of them are beautiful, “attractive” implies personality traits and other intangibles.  The roles are also important, though this isn’t a list of great actresses – it’s a list of the most attractive women in my opinion based on their roles in these movies.  So it’s sort of more the character than the person, since obviously I don’t know them.

Without going through the whole list, this competition was over before it began.  Linda Hamilton has the nice girl, innocent look in “Terminator” and she shows she has a lot of heart.  Then in “Terminator II” she becomes a bad ass.  Franka Potente in “Bourne Identity” has moxie and style.  If I had just seen her without her being in the role, she might not make the top 100, but she is pretty phenomenal in the role of Marie.

Sometimes it’s a particular scene that leaves the impression, like when Sigourney Weaver is possessed by a ghost in “Ghostbusters,” or when Phoebe Cates walks by the pool in “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” with an assist by the song “Moving in Stereo” by the Cars (one of the most underappreciated rock bands of all time).  Then there’s the woman as authority figure, like P.J. Soles who played an MP in “Stripes,” a variation on the teacher theme.  In “Silver Streak,” Jill Clayburgh looked wholesome; in “Basic Instinct” Sharon Stone did not.

Back before older women were called cougars, you had Jacqueline Bisset (“Class”), Anne Archer (“Patriot Games”) and of course, Anne Bancroft in “The Graduate,” who just edges out Katherine Ross from the same movie.  Believe it or not, Linda Fiorentino of “Vision Quest” was also an older woman although she played someone who was only 21 in the movie.  Her suitor in Vision Quest was 17.  I always thought her character was more like 25 until I saw the movie again.  Cheesy movie but great.

The mention of Sandra Bullock reminds me that I saw her twice in bars in Washington, D.C. about 10 years ago.  Each time she had her hair colored blond (or was wearing a wig) like she has it in her new movie “The Blind Side.”  It was definitely her.  Once was in Atomic Billiards in Cleveland Park.  I honestly can’t remember where the other time was.  Anyway, I went up to her to talk.   I didn’t mention anything about her looking like (or being) Sandra Bullock – just tried to talk with her but I have to say she was pretty underwhelmed.  She blew me off both times.  Then after that I told her I knew who she was.  Again, she was a little bit unimpressed.  Oh well.

So here you have it.  I’m going to add pictures later.

  1. Linda Hamilton, Terminator
  2. Linda Hamilton, Terminator II
  3. Franka Potente, Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy
  4. P.J. Soles, Stripes
  5. Jacqueline Bisset, Class
  6. Sigourney Weaver, Ghostbusters
  7. Jill Clayburgh, Silver Streak
  8. Linda Fiorentino, Vision Quest
  9. Sharon Stone, Basic Instinct
  10. Anne Bancroft, The Graduate
  11. Katherine Ross, The Graduate
  12. Anne Archer, Patriot Games
  13. Julia Roberts, Ocean’s Eleven
  14. Sandra Bullock, Speed
  15. Lucy Liu, Charlie’s Angels
  16. Jessica Lange, King Kong
  17. Debra Winger, Officer and a Gentleman
  18. Halle Berry, Swordfish
  19. Robin Wright Penn, Forrest Gump
  20. Ashley Judd, Double Jeopardy
  21. Phoebe Cates, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Honorable Mention:  Lynda Carter.  I know she was a TV actress and hardly did any movies, but I had to include her on the list. She can occasionally be spotted in Bethesda, MD and looks as great as ever.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ve missed a ton of attractive actresses but this is the list.  It was almost a year ago that I did the list of the most beautiful newswomen of 2008, and that blog entry has gotten more traffic than all my other blog posts combined.

So as I put this one up, and the previous one just below this, part of the hope is that more people will read the other parts of my blog that deal with www.mikeneedsakidney.com, which by the way, isn’t just for me but is designed to raise awareness for all people who need kidneys.  While I’m on the topic, check out the song that the Dirtbags, the Redskins Appreciation Club band did for me.

Where is the NFL Blitz?

November 22, 2009

Why do we have the C Team on right now — Merril Hoge and Mike Ditka — providing analysis on today’s NFL games, instead of Chris Berman and Tom Jackson on the NFL Blitz?  We need highlights — not a studio show with ESPN’s worst analysts.  NFL Primetime used to be the best show ever — an hour long wrap-up highlight show of the NFL games.  Now the Blitz is all done in bits and pieces, and they’re not even doing that.

Ok, now the A-team is on.  But why not have them on the whole time?

Recap of David Beckham and L.A. Galaxy – D.C. United Game from August

November 22, 2009

Tonight David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy take on Real Salt Lake for the Major League Soccer championship in Seattle.

I saw Beckham play against D.C. United in August.  The game ended in a scoreless tie.  It was raining steadily most of the game and it had rained heavily beforehand.  So here are a few notes — three months late.

United’s Ben Olsen did a good job keeping Beckham in check.  I got the feeling that Beckham wasn’t going all out because of the conditions, but I’m not sure if you can blame him because he’s had some ankle injuries, and at 34 he has to pace himself because of the occasional call-up to England’s national team as well as playing in Europe the rest of the year.

What at first seemed like nonchalance, though, actually was the result of good positioning and little wasted motion, as Beckham knew where to go  – he never got too far forward or too far back.  He did have some of his patented free kicks but nothing too spectacular.  He seemed relaxed and confident.

The RFK Stadium crowed booed Beckham which I thought was good because it showed that they were true soccer fans rooting for the home team rather than just going to see Beckham.  The atmosphere at RFK is great and fan club Barra Brava was in full force. The local media did not do a good job of publicizing the game, so that combined with the weather and there being a Redskins preseason game and a Nationals game resulted in a crowd of about 22,000, only slightly more than usual.

Other notes from the game:

  • Beckham seemed content to hang back and set up others instead of charging to the goal when it seemed like he had a few opportunities to dribble up and take a shot.
  • I didn’t see a lot of verbal communication between Beckham and Donovan.
  • There were a couple of times Donovan could have kicked it back to Beckham but chose to keep it or pass to someone else.
  • Beckham didn’t use his left foot much.

All in all, it was a pretty even game without a lot of great scoring chances.  Donovan showed some of his straight ahead speed during several charges to the goal.

It sounds like Seattle is a great soccer town, averaging 30,000 fans per game, with a sold out crowd of about 45,000 expected for tonight’s match.  If sports media outlets such as ESPN would give soccer more airtime, I’m sure it would do better among fans.

Thanksgiving

November 21, 2009

As Thanksgiving approaches, we all have things to be thankful for. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the world of autism therapy, though. Sometimes parents take therapists for granted.  (By therapist I refer to someone who works with the child at home to improve his cognitive, social, and/or motor skills).  It’s human nature when you have a team of five people working with your child, year after year, to lose a little bit of appreciation, I guess.

People move on and parents switch personnel, so in some cases, by the time a child is 10, he has been to several different schools, had multiple home programs, and had enough turnover within each program that he has worked with more than 50 teachers and therapists.  It is not good for children to get attached to therapists and then have them taken away from them, because it teaches children that people are expendable and interchangeable.  It’s not good for the children psychologically to have people constantly shuffled in and out and taken away from them because they may develop problems in the future related to that.

The more money the parents have, the less they tend to appreciate the people working for them.  Not always, but as a general rule, it holds true.  You can take that to the bank.

Merril Hoge: Get a Life and get off Vince Young’s Back

November 16, 2009

I recently wrote a blog that said that sports analysis has overtaken news analysis in terms of objectivity and professionalism.  Not so for ESPN’s Merril Hoge.  He continues his hatred of Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young.

Today on NFL Countdown he said of Young:  “It’s easy to play offense when this guy (Chris Johnson) is the guy you can give the ball to… Is there any running back that has to do more for his offense than Chris Johnson?  No.”  Then why is Young 3-0 this year and Kerry Collins was 0-6 with the same players?  Why is Young 21-11 as a starter?

Now Hoge says that Patriots coach Bill Belichick made the right call last night by going for it on 4th and 2 from the Pats’ 28 yard line, up by 6 points, giving Peyton Manning a short field to win the game.

What a fool.

Should Jay Cutler be Immediately put in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

November 12, 2009

I’m thinking that Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, because of his arm strength and passing yardage, should be automatically voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  It’s not too early to consider Cutler the best ever.  Meanwhile, Titans quarterback Vince Young should be kicked out of the NFL.

Cutler has a career record of 21-25.  Young has a career record of 20-11.  But winning doesn’t matter.  It’s how you do it.

I’m exaggerating just a bit.  But how about judging players on the same criteria, or at least make winning even just part of the equation?

Sorry, Mark Schlereth, Merril Hoge, Trent Dilfer, Tim Hasselbeck, and Rich Gannon.  Gannon:  can you say anything other than Vince Young can’t read defenses?  How long did it take you to become a good quarterback?  Give Vince Young a chance.  Don’t judge him using different standards than Cutler.

In reality, Young does have some deficiencies, and Cutler has a lot of talent.  But do you get the picture?  Could it be that Cutler is overrated and Young is underrated?  Why the vitriol against Young?

***

Switching gears for a minute, I’ll admit that sometimes I’m wrong.  In an earlier post I suggested that Browns fans were wrong in wanting Brady Quinn to start at QB ahead of Derek Anderson.  Both players have had terrible years.  I have an idea, though.  How about putting Joshua Cribbs at QB, or at least running the Wildcat with him?  He has a great arm and game-breaking speed.  He can’t do any worse than Anderson or Quinn.  He started at QB at Kent State.  In fact, according to Wikipedia, Cribbs is “one of only four players in NCAA history to both rush and pass for 1,000 yards in at least two different seasons, the others being Beau Morgan of Air ForceVince Young of Texas, and Pat White of West Virginia. Cribbs, in fact, accomplished the feat three times. He is one of only three quarterbacks in NCAA history to rush for 3,500 yards and throw for 7,000 yards in his career (the other two being Antwaan Randle-El of Indiana and Brad Smith of Missouri. Cribbs is also the only player in NCAA history to lead his team in both rushing and passing in four different seasons.”

I saw Cribbs play a game against Ohio State in the Horseshoe and I knew then Cribbs would be an NFL player.  Mid-American Conference QBs Ben Roethlisberger, Chad Pennington, and Byron Leftwich all made it as starting NFL quarterbacks and Charlie Frye is a backup. Cleveland, get your best player into the lineup, if not at quarterback, then at Wildcat quarterback, and if not there then start him at wide receiver.

Are N.Y. Yankees Fans Bad People?

November 4, 2009

No, Yankees fans aren’t necessarily bad people.  You should root for the team from the city in which you grew up or for the team in the city in which you live.  So any Yankees fans who grew up in New York or live in New York are doing what they should be doing.

But people who adopt the Yankees as their team because of their success? I can’t necessarily say they’re not bad people. Same with casual fans who are fans because the Yankees win.  And if you did move from New York to another place, why not root for the new team?  If you moved to New York, why not root for the team from your hometown?  Or if you’re from New York, why not just root for the Mets?  They have the second highest payroll but it’s still 30% less than the Yankees and the Mets obviously have won far fewer World Series.

The Yankees have a payroll of $208 million.  Compare that with Pittsburgh ($25 million), Florida ($36 million) or Washington ($62 million).  Is this competitive balance?  I don’t think so.  Even Philadelphia, eighth in payroll at $111 million, barely has more than half of what the Yankees have.  The Yankees just always buy the best players.  This isn’t news but it’s still not right. How can Yankees fans take any joy in winning?  Fans who aren’t from New York or don’t live in New York should examine why they are Yankees fans.  Are you a frontrunner who is not loyal?  Is the idea of rooting for the underdog boring for you?  Teams like Pittsburgh have no chance to compete.

It’s sickening how the Yankees buy up players who were stars from other teams.  Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson from years past, and now Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, and Johnny Damon.

Anyway, I’m boycotting watching Game 6 of the World Series now and instead I’m watching the Washington Capitals post-game show.

Fix the Schedule, NFL

November 2, 2009

What’s up with the NFL schedule and division rivals?  Can’t you spread it out a little bit more?  The Jets play the Dolphins twice in four weeks?  The Packers play the Vikings twice in five weeks?  Those two series are over before the season is at its midway point?  The Redskins will play the Cowboys twice in five weeks, all during the second half of the year?  Seems weird.

What do you think about Vince Young now, Mark Schlereth and Merril Hoge?

November 2, 2009

Vince Young had a good game today as he completed 15 of 18 passes for 125 yards and a TD and rushed for 31 yards in a 30-13 win for Tennessee over Jacksonville.  His record as a starter is now 19-11.  Sorry, Mark Schlereth, Merril Hoge, Tim Hasselbeck, Trent Dilfer, and everybody else at ESPN who hates Young and thinks he can’t play. What are you going to say at the end of the year when Young has gone about 6-4 when they went 0-6 without him?

Autism: What Works and Why

November 1, 2009

I was pleased to see that the theme for the upcoming annual Interdisciplinary Council on Learning Disorders (ICDL) Conference is “Autism:  What Works and Why.”  I’ve been to too many government meetings on autism that focus on the size of the amygdala or genetic components rather than treatments, therapies, and services for children and adults with autism.  The ICDL does an excellent job of working to help improve the lives of children with autism.  I’ll be attending the three-day conference from November 6-8 for the third straight year.

Dr. Stanley Greenspan is the author of the book “Engaging Autism” and the founder of the Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model of autism therapy.

The DIR model aims to improve social, emotional, and intellectual abilities in a way that is meaningful for the child rather than focusing on isolated skills and behaviors.  I wrote about the DIR model three years ago on my website, www.coachmike.net:

The DIR method focuses on the emotional development of the child. It takes into account the child’s feelings, relationships, and individual differences. DIR is based on following the child’s lead and enables the child to learn by doing what he or she likes to do in a fun and meaningful way that resonates most with the child. DIR focuses on the child’s skills in all developmental areas, including social-emotional functioning, communication, thinking and learning, motor skills, body awareness and attention. The DIR method can also help a child generalize skills initially learned through drills.

There are imitators who switch the DIR letters around, but DIR is the original.  I picked up Greenspan’s “Engaging Autism” again recently and looked at a few of the parts I underlined.  Here are a few of them that are certainly worth repeating:

  • We now understand that the lines of early development are interrelated.  Rather than assessing language skills, motor skills, and social-emotional skills separately, we should look at how well these abilities are integrated, how they work together as a whole.
  • Emotion always comes before behavior.  The child needs to enjoy relationships with parents, peers, and teachers in order to learn. Emotion is critical to brain development.
  • We always recommend that kids have at least four playdates a week, so that their main source of companionship begins shifting from parents to peers…Mommy is still important for security, warmth, and problem solving, but not for going out and riding bikes together.
  • We have never worked with a child or adult who didn’t have a desire to relate to others.

Other than the courses I took at Johns Hopkins University in its Graduate Certificate program in Autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders, the ICDL training is just about the best that I’ve experienced.


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