Recent 210 West Magazine Posts

July 30, 2005

The pains of love for the NHL

Dan Nied never wanted to love hockey or the NHL. But he could never help it. That is what makes it so risky to welcome its return.

Continue reading "The pains of love for the NHL."

July 2, 2005

Going, going, gone

While Kenny Rogers berated a cameraman for doing his job, he just illustrated the strained relationship between media and athlete, says Dan Nied.

Somewhere in the cesspool of multiple sports television stations, thousands of sports websites and hundreds of major metro daily newspapers, the relationship between media and professional athlete has been breached, dulled, grayed and severed.

Continue reading "Going, going, gone"

June 21, 2005

Sinatra: The Life Book Review

There is no entertainer whose career spanned the 20th century and who can elicit so many different feelings than Frank Sinatra.

His first recording came 60 years before his last, Duets, in the late 1990s.

He saw Las Vegas through its infancy as a party town, and came back when odds were stacked against him (no voice, no job, and a wife who got more attention than he did).

Continue reading "Sinatra: The Life Book Review"

June 18, 2005

The ultimate defense

Dan Nied wonders if Michael Jackson walked away from court a free man simply because he is Michael Jackson.

Continue reading "The ultimate defense"

March 23, 2005

Bad day for baseball

With a bizarre cast of characters and a lack of answers, Congress's hearings into steroids in baseball hurt the sport, but there's no one to blame but themselves.

Continue reading "Bad day for baseball"

McGwire reveals feet of clay

The man who warmed fans' hearts and had a record-breaking season in 1998 forgot the key rule in screwing up in America when he testified Thursday.

Continue reading "McGwire reveals feet of clay"

February 15, 2005

King of the world

Eric Cassano sees the future is so bright, Bill Belichick has to wear shades to protect him from the reflection of his Nobel Prize.

Continue reading "King of the world"

October 15, 2004

Are You Better Off than You Were Four Years Ago?

Six presidential elections ago, the only time then-Pres. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan met for a debate was in Cleveland.

There, Reagan asked a question that has resonated since:

“Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

It’s a question asked by every challenger about every incumbent, and it’s a question that should be asked today.

Four years ago, many of us were still in college at Bowling Green. Some were early into their first jobs out of college. Most had come of age politically during the Clinton administration. There was little, if any, memory of the Cold War, let alone its flare-ups in Asia. Russia was our friend. Yasser Arafat was one of the good guys. Nobody knew who Osama bin Laden was. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 12,000, and there was talk it could hit 100,000 in our lives, no small feat since it broke 2,000 for the first time in the 1980s. The World Trade Towers were the Empire State Building’s bigger, uglier stepsister.

Since then, the world has changed immeasurably. We are at war with terrorism. We are at war in Iraq. The Dow struggles to stay above 10,000. Everyone knows who Osama bin Laden is. The World Trade Towers are now a hole in the ground in lower Manhattan.

And now, waist-deep in the real world, staffers at 210west ask themselves, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” Please send us your story.

Continue reading "Are You Better Off than You Were Four Years Ago?"

September 24, 2004

There's No "I" in Golf

Joel Hammond thinks today's golfers are too self-centered in their goals, as evidenced by the Tiger Woods / Phil Mickelson pairing for this year's Ryder Cup.

Continue reading "There's No "I" in Golf" »

July 30, 2004

Manchurian Candidate Review

Jonathan Demme's remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" is scary. I don't mean scary like "Showgirls" was scary. Demme's a brilliant director, as evidenced by Academy Award winners like "Silence of the Lambs" and "Philadelphia."

This movie is far better than Demme's last effort, which was also a remake, "The Trouble With Charlie," cf. "Charade." But that's damning it with faint praise.

The original, directed in 1962 by John Frankenheimer, was a taut suspense film that came chillingly true the next year when a Communist sympathizer (and ex-Marine) killed President John F. Kennedy, depending on who you believe. In fact, rumor had it Lee Harvey Oswald watched the movie shortly before the assassination.

But the remake is scary in ways the original could never be. If the original was scary because it was ahead of its time (would "Three Days of the Condor" or "The Parallax View" ever been made without it?) and came true, the current one is scary because it's already true.

Huge multinational corporation with influence in the halls of power throughout the globe? Check.

Brain implants? Check.

People talking seriously about a presidential election that could decide the fate of the world? Check.

Liev Schreiber plays the title role, Raymond Shaw, a Medal of Honor recipient from Desert Storm and U.S. Congressman from New York. He's being considered as a vice presidential nominee, due largely to the machinations of his U.S. Senator mother (Meryl Streep).

Manchurian in this version refers not to the region as in the original (which used Korea in place of Desert Storm) but to a multinational corporation with a no-bid contract to rebuild war-torn countries and plans for a private army to relieve U.S. troops in combat.

As Shaw is nominated for vice president, the other men in his outfit are starting to have dreams that challenge what the record said happened leading to Shaw's Medal of Honor.

Denzel Washington's the commanding officer of the unit who's trying to get to the bottom of it.

Jeffrey Wright is wasted as one of the soldiers whose mind has gotten the better of him. Jon Voight is Schreiber's rival for the vice-presidential nomination. Keep an eye peeled in the beginning and ending scenes for B-movie king Roger Corman, Demme's mentor (he also cast him in "Silence of the Lambs" as the director of the FBI). Al Franken makes an amusing cameo as a TV news talking head.

First, the comparisons:

Schreiber makes the role his own. He's got the same vacant stare as Laurence Harvey had in the original, but instead of being "unlovable," as Harvey was, Schreiber's just not there, remniscient of the line about Michael Huffington: when you look into his eyes, you see the back of his skull.

Meryl Streep's the Stage Mother from Hell. She's a U.S. Senator from New York who works behind the scenes to get the men in her life in power. But she's not based on Hillary Clinton.

Angela Lansbury was nominated for an Oscar for this role in the original. Meryl Streep probably will as well, but then again, her home movies would get her nominated. Streep, as always, is brilliant, and doesn't even have to resort to an accent. Her character, like Lansbury's in the original, makes you feel all right to be in touch with your inner misogynist.

Washington (in the role originated by Frank Sinatra) is a little more unhinged than in the original, diagnosed with Gulf War Syndrome. In general, the movie's kinder to the mentally ill than a movie in 1962 would be.

The movie hangs together well, with no seams showing. The changes made to update the film fit well into the plot for anyone familiar with the original.

But those same changes might make the movie TOO topical. It's very easy to forget now how scary Communism was in the early 1960s and how ruinous McCarthyism could be (the original "candidate," played by James Gregory, was a McCarthyesque red-baiting senator). How well will this version age?

On the other hand, a remake of a 35-year-old song was used over the opening credits. Wyclef Jean gives his rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," and the words are just as true today as they were then.

Originally posted to 210 West. Read this and other reviews at

September 11, 2003

'This is our Pearl Harbor'

us flag.jpgCheck out the package that 210 West has prepared for the two-years-after of September 11. Be sure and comment on the articles! I can remember September 11 pretty well myself. I was listening to the Bob & Tom show (the best morning talk show) and they got very quiet, very quiet. Now for those who do not know what the Bob & Tom show is, its a comedy show, and there are no moments of prolonged silence. In a very sobering voice Bob & Tom told me, and the rest of people listening at that time, that the Twin Towers were being destroyed by one, and then two airliners. When I got to work someone on the radio announced that a plain had crashed into the Pentagon. That was my morning September 11, 2001. May our friends rest in peace. I have not really taken much time other then the days directly following September 11 to think about what happened. Of course The Media (tm) did not let me forget about it, ot let it get too far out of our minds. But I never really took much time, say last year at this time, to think about all that has happened. Please take some time today to think about the events that transpired on September 11, 2001. Your eyes might well up with tears, your through might sink, but it is worth it to reflect on the one moment that has changed our lives forever. And for us "20 somethings," the "MTV Generations" or "Generations X'ers" nothing has ever in our past changed our lives like September 11, 2001. May our friends rest in peace.

July 16, 2003

PHP 4.3.2 changes the include statement

GRRRR...... ......... This rant it brought to you in part by the letter "P" As you might have guessed, is my first attempt at a Movable Type site (and it shows). Well is my second pass at Movable Type the site is a lot more efficient. I am using PHP include statements all over the place. I guess I could just as easily use SSI or MT includes, but I am using PHP includes, quite frankly cuz its less code to type. My host yesterday updated the server to the 4.3.2 build of PHP. It was out the end of May, but thats a different story. Anyway, now includes use the syntax of <?php @include("http://.... or you can use the server root like <?php include("/home/public_html/... and not have to use the @ sign. That @ sign is new. And I just happen to like using the absolute URL. So all of a sudden I get a lot of fun errors all over my page b/c I use includes a lot in my templates. But i am also using includes in all the posts of the 210west site. The byline is put in with an include. Yea, fun. At least they don't have a ton of posts yet. GRRRRR..... So why change something like the syntax of the include statement. Something so simple. I have seen other, larger changes to the PHP language made in the past. And at that point i said "why?" as well. It is just this time when It actually effects me and my meager level of understanding of the PHP language. Oh well. More work for the web monkey to do.

July 14, 2003

New design for

The editor (Dan Nied) wanted a 3 column layout, and I wanted a less dull color palette. Also with a third column I can put things in such as "more articles by this author" etc. We were also shooting for something that was less "bloggy" and I think I have succeeded. It looks less like a blog and it is not all dull gray. The blue really pops nicely, at least IMHO. That is, BTW, my most favorite blue, #336699. And if you are asking, yes I can name, by hex, all the colors used in that layout :-P I am also happy to see (as this image shows) that it looks good at 800x600. It is viewable at 640x480 although I do not advise it. This is not live yet but you can still check it out. The poll on the left is a piece of work. I cannot tell you how much I like sympoll. It is exactly what it says. It is easy to configure and easy to use. All you need is a MySQL database and you are set. It is very customizable too.

June 18, 2003

New design is live

My new design is live and everyone likes it! I only have 2 templates for finish, archives main index and the date based archive. Other then that the new design is in place. I added an advanced search page today as well. I found another great reason to use Brad Choate's MTRegex plugin today: automatically add target="_blank" to the links! The Girlie Matters is where I found this most excellent tip:
<MTAddRegex>s|a href|a target=\"_blank\" href|g</MTAddRegex>
Next on the list of things to do for those 2 above mentioned templates and the search results template. Oh and some day I will update my own blog's templates ;-D.

June 16, 2003

New Design for

Wasn't this an eventful weekend. I have so many things I want to post about but I have been working on this new design for, please check it out and tell me what you think. There still is a small bit of tweaking to do but for the most part this is the final design. Now I get to work on all the other templates that are needed to make MT pretty. I am getting the hang of the MT code a lot easier then I thought I would. I really like Movable Type it is a hell of a nice CMS. I made the mistake of ding all the CSS stuff in Dreamweaver (DW). I got all done with the CSS and I have now come to the conclusion that DW does not like the ie5pc box model hack, which I have successfully used in the design of DW eats the hack for breakfast, it mangles it. I do not know why but if I edit a style such as #left that has the hack in it it will mess the definition up and put say a font-face in the middle of the hack definitions. DW should be able to handle this. the box model hack has been around for a while now. for those not familiar with the hack, here is the CSS for the left column:
#left { font-family: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; color: #dedede; position: absolute; top: 100px; left: 0px; margin: 0px; padding: 10px; border: 0px; background: #333333; width: 230px; voice-family: "\"}\""; voice-family:inherit; width: 210px; } html>body #left { width: 210px; }
I ended up just using HomeSite and let me tell you, things went a lot smoother. Its cool to be able to say I developed this entire template without a lick of DW.

June 13, 2003


As the saying goes, one is never enough. So here is another blog that I am part of. This one was not my idea though. I am hosting and helping with the technical stuff like templates etc, etc. The idea is great! You see 210 West Hall is the BG News newsroom at BGSU. was put together by a number of BGSU BG News graduates. It is an independent journalism blog. Rock on! You need to check it out. As we add more stuff I will post more about it (who says blatant advertising doesn't work). For the time being the domain just resolved to my name servers, and I just got MT 2.64 installed. There are a number of articles already though. So clicky clicky!

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