Friday, February 26, 2010

Rupert: Episode 3 of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains"

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Years ago, Rupert told me that surviving out on a tropical island is only a part of succeeding on Survivor. He said the hardest part is playing what should be called the game of "Conniver." This week was a great taste of the lying, the behind-their-back plotting, and the ruthless back-stabbing that will no doubt grow as this season progresses.

Rupert catches a chicken! Ahh, now this is the outdoorsman and provider of food that Rupert fans want to see. Of course, you can't help but wonder what kind of mother-clucking Samoan Island has juicy wild chickens running around on it. I think the beach poultry phenomena may not be completely natural. But then again, who cares? Rupert caught a chicken!

This episode's challenge, a padded shoving match into a giant mud pit, seemed perfectly designed for our burly, tie-dyed Hero. Rupert went up against the nutty but fit Coach and was - oh no - pushed into the mud! But wait! Host Jeff Probst says Coach used an illegal karate chop instead of the pads, and the match was restarted. This time, Rupert triumphed! The Hero tribe won immunity for the first time, and as Jeff P. gave him the immunity idol, Rupert let out a hearty "Yes!"

After that, the best part of the show featured the whack-job known as Coach. Explaining that there was "no one honorable in this tribe - except for me," he went on to compare himself to Dr. Martin Luther King! I'm pretty sure beer shot out of my nose at this point.

Finally, Randy the Geezer was voted out of the Villains tribe. Good. That cat was boring, especially compared to some of the other nut-cases on this show. And the feather earring worn by Coach during tribal council, well, that pretty much made my entire week.

Rupert Boneham bonus update

Rupert spent this past snowy weekend once again out battling the forces of nature. Except this time, it was on a camp-out with his daughter, Raya, and her Girl Scout troop. Rupert said he overheard some of the campers tell Raya she had "a cool dad." Returning Saturday afternoon, Rupert joined me and a group of highly spirited, well-lubricated athletes for the 2010 Ice Bocce Championship. Rupert won last year's ice bocce tourney, but this year was bested by Ryan "Rhino" Freestone. Other players included Sean "Crabbie" Gelarden, Scott "Goldie Hawn" Sanders, Doug "E. Fresh" Brown, Scott "Purple Rain" Dunlap, and Jeff "Golden Showers" Ayers. The highlight of the tournament, however, was provided by Jim "Lucky Charms" Kelly, who fell into the snow feigning an injury, then cried out, "I think I broke my toe!"

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Last chance to see 13th Amendment

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

13th Amendment: Back to the Vault

This is perhaps your last chance to see two of our nation's most important documents together. The Indiana State Museum is scheduled to remove the rare signed copy of the 13th Amendment from its With Charity for All: The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection exhibition at the beginning of March and return it to the vault for safe keeping and a rest from harmful light and atmospheric conditions. This document, which formally abolished slavery in the United States, was passed by Congress on Jan. 31, 1865--just months before Lincoln's assassination--and then ratified by the states on Dec. 6, 1865. The signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation will remain in the exhibition until further notice.

With Charity for All: The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, the museum's own exhibition, tells the story of Lincoln, the man. Since his birth on a farm in the Kentucky wilderness some 200 years ago, Lincoln lore has transformed him into an almost mythological figure. Artifacts in the collection help paint a picture of an ordinary man who rose to become, perhaps, the greatest leader in American history. This exhibition is open until July 25, 2010.

At the same time, the Library of Congress exhibition, at the museum until April 11, 2010, features the Bible upon which Lincoln and, most recently, President Obama took the oath of office; the contents of Lincoln's pockets the night he was assassinated; some of Mary Todd Lincoln's jewelry, as well as letters, photographs, maps, sketches, political cartoons, period engravings, speeches and artifacts from Lincoln's political career and presidency.

There is no additional charge beyond museum admission to view these exhibitions, but advance timed-tickets are required, which are available by phone at 317.232.1637.

It is important to note that the museum will continue to be closed on Mondays, but will have extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays through April, with reservations through 8 p.m. (The museum will be open Easter Monday, April 5.)

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IDADA teams up with IndyGo for First Friday

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

IDADA First In Line Art Exhibition and Sale

Friday, March 5, 2010

6:00 - 10:00 pm

Held at 884 Massachusetts Avenue

Free and Open to the Public

Take IndyGo's routes 17, 21 or 5

Join the Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association (IDADA) for the annual First In Line Art Exhibition and Sale on the evening on Friday, March 5. This event will be held at the northeast end of Mass Ave., 884 Massachusetts Avenue, the site of the former GC Lucas Gallery.

The First In Line event is an exhibition and sale of original works of art by local artists and IDADA members. All works will be priced at $100 and available for purchase on a first come, first served basis. Proceeds will benefit artists and the IDADA general operating fund, which is used to directly serve artists and galleries in downtown Indianapolis.

The First In Line event will coincide with the IDADA First Friday Art Tour. A map of the IDADA First Friday Art Tour is downloadable at

The IDADA First Friday After Party will be hosted nearby at the Mass Ave Wine Shoppe starting at 9:00 pm. All IDADA First Friday participants are welcome and encouraged to attend the After Party. The Wine Shoppe will offer a "Last Call" shot of Ice Wine for $5, 5:00-10:00pm. Three dollars of each sale of this wine will be donated to IDADA.

IDADA encourages all tour-goers to use IndyGo bus system to get to the various galleries and studios on the IDADA First Friday Art Tour. IndyGo routes 17, 21 and 5 serve the Mass Ave Cultural District. Plan your travel with the new online trip planner, available at

(PARKING: Please note that construction crews are working to extend the Cultural Trail northeastward up Mass Ave. between College Ave. and 10th Street. On- and off-street parking is available for the IDADA First In Line event and for all businesses on the northeast end of Mass Ave.)


The Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association (IDADA) is a non-profit membership based organization of studio artists, art galleries, and arts-related businesses within the 20-block square of Monument Circle. IDADA is governed by its membership through a Board of Directors, which consists of volunteers. IDADA focuses much of its energy and resources on the IDADA First Friday Art Tour each month and works to fulfill its mission of developing public awareness of the artist and art dealer, encouraging strong continuing community support of the visual arts, and promoting the highest professional art standards.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poetry Out Loud finalists

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

The Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) announced today that finalists from 13 Indiana schools will compete Saturday, February 27th 2010 for top honors in the Indiana Poetry Out Loud recitation contest.

The competition will begin at 12:00 noon at the Indianapolis-Marion County Central Public Library, Clowes Auditorium. Admission is free.

Students representing high schools from around Indiana will compete to determine the state champion. The student crowned State Champion will receive a $200 cash prize and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Finals April 25-28, 2010. The National Championships feature competitors from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The State Champion's school will receive a $500 stipend to purchase poetry books.

Students participating in the 2010 Indiana Poetry Out Loud competition include:

Kier Grubbs, Anderson Preparatory Academy, Anderson

Jenaya Hooks, Arsenal Technical High School, Indianapolis

Durrell Jamerson, Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis

Kate-Lyn Edwards, Bloomington New Technology High School, Bloomington

Colleen Friedly, Broad Ripple High School, Indianapolis

Ashley Martin, Clay High School, South Bend

Joshua Westbrook, Columbus Christian High School, Columbus

Sierra Savage, Floyd Central High School, Floyds Knobs

Sydney Gates, Lawrence North High School, Indianapolis

Angelina Jung, Plymouth High School, Plymouth

Olivia Byely, Traders Point Christian Academy, Whitestown

Elise Lockwood, University High School, Carmel

Ben Koshnick, Warsaw Community High School, Warsaw

In 2009, Broad Ripple High School Senior Derek C. Kaellner was crowned Indiana's Poetry Out Loud Champion. Indiana is in its fifth year of participation in the Poetry Out Loud program.

The National Poetry Out Loud competition began in 2005. The program, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and The Poetry Foundation, is designed to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, which helps students master public speaking skills, build self-esteem, and internalize an appreciation for American literary heritage.

In 2009, more than 300,000 students participated nationwide in preliminary competitions which begin at the classroom level, advance to regional competitions, and finally state championships. Finalists for the National Championship will compete for scholarship prizes totaling $50,000, with the National Champion claiming $20,000 in scholarship funding and the opportunity to recite at the historic rededication of the Lincoln Memorial.

On behalf of the people of Indiana, the Indiana Arts Commission advocates engagement with the arts to enrich the quality of individual and community life.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Shakespeare High

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

On February 28th, 2010, fourteen young Shakespeare enthusiasts will arrive from around the state to participate in Indiana's 23rd annual Shakespeare Competition for high school students organized by the English-Speaking Union (E-SU). While for many years the event has been generously hosted and supported by the Indiana Repertory Theatre, this year due to scheduling issues, the E-SU is working in partnership with the Indianapolis-Marion County Library, emphasizing that institution's role as a center for educational and literary leadership in the state. The competition will be held, courtesy of the Library, at the Clowes Auditorium at Central Library, at 2:00 p.m.

At the regional level, the competition is open to all high school students in Indiana who have won the first round held at their own schools. The Indiana E-SU branch awards the winners cash prizes of up to $300 for first place in addition to the State Champion receiving an expenses paid trip to New York to compete in the National round at the Lincoln Center. At the national level the winner receives a full tuition scholarship to the British American Drama Academy's Midsummer Conservatory Program in Oxford, England. The runner-up receives $1,000 from the English-Speaking Union, and the third place winner is awarded $500 by The Shakespeare Society.

The English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition is a school-based program designed to help high school students develop their speaking and critical thinking skills and their appreciation of literature as they explore the beauty of the language and the timeless themes in Shakespeare works. Since its beginnings with 500 students in NYC, the program has given more than 250,000 young people of all backgrounds the opportunity to discover Shakespeare's writings and to communicate their understanding of his language and message. Currently, the Competition involves 60 English-Speaking Union Branch communities nationwide.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been recognized by the Globe Center (USA), the Children's Theatre Foundation of America, and the American Academy of Achievement. Judges for the Competition have included Andre Braugher, Kate Burton, Maurice Charney, Blythe Danner, Barry Edelstein, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Helen Hayes, Edward Herrmann, Dana Ivey, Peter Francis James, Kristin Linklater, Peter MacNicol, Jesse L. Martin, Cynthia Nixon, Tina Packer, Sarah Jessica Parker, Nancy Piccione, Phylicia Rashad, Christopher Reeve, Louis Scheeder, Carole Shelley, Richard Thomas, Courtney B. Vance, Sam Waterston, Dianne Wiest, and Irene Worth.

The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit, non-political educational organization whose mission is to promote scholarship and the advancement of knowledge through the effective use of English in an expanding global community. The ESU carries out its work through a network of 72 U.S. Branches, sponsoring a variety of language and international education programs. For information on joining the ESU, visit or call 212-818-1200.

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Conner Prairie Summer Camp

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

Registration for Conner Prairie Interactive History Park's 2010 Summer Day Camps begins March 5. Each week from June 7 through July 30, Conner Prairie's Adventure and Art Camps will be home to hundreds of children ages five to 14 who will spend their days exploring the land, water and sky, while letting their inner artist shine.

At Adventure Camp, children ages eight - 14 will take on the White River with canoe trips and tubing excursions, while five to seven year olds will explore Conner Prairie's pond in pedal boats. Children will also hike through the backwoods of Conner Prairie, take on a challenge course, fish, swim, cook over a fire and explore the wild outdoors. New this year, adventure campers will slide into even more fun with Conner Prairie's new Water Whoosh slide and Slip & Sled activity. With age-specific activity groups for all children, Adventure Camp has outdoor fun for every child.

At Art Camp, children ages eight to 14 will have the chance to explore painting, acting, pottery and weaving. From historical to modern crafts, campers will use the outdoors as inspiration for their work. Nature hikes and creative mediums will keep kids active while their inner artists take flight.

Both adventure and art campers will explore Conner Prairie's historic areas, where they'll discover what it was like to live and play in 19th-century Indiana, cozy up with animals big and small and see history in action. They'll feel the heat from a blacksmith's forge, soar 350 feet in the air aboard 1859 Balloon Voyage, jump in and help with farm chores and dance to the beat of a water drum.

New this year, School Break Camps will be offered April 8 & 9 and Oct. 21 & 22. April's Spring Break camp for six to 13-year-olds, titled "Archaeology, Action and Art!" will run 9 a.m. — 3 p.m. Campers will learn about and participate in a simulated archaeological dig, create pottery, canoe the Conner Prairie pond, build a wigwam and enjoy s'mores over the fire. Camp is $55/non-member, $50/member. More details are available at

Adventure Camp and Art Camp run Monday through Friday, June 7 through July 30, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. Early arrival beginning at 8 a.m. and late departure until 5:30 p.m. are available. Camps are $185/week, $170/week for members. Additional children in the same family receive a $5 discount. For more information or to register, please call Guest Services at 317.776.6006 or 800.966.1836 or e-mail, or register online at

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Mike Beas: Only Woods knows

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Like 99.9 percent of the earth's population, I don't know Tiger Woods. He and I don't exactly play the same courses. Therefore, it's impractical for me to accurately determine whether or not his recent apology was sincerity in its purest form or a carefully-crafted apparatus designed to prop up a slumped-over reputation.

Woods knows. Only Woods knows.

At this point, that should be the only vagueness involved in a story that is proving to have longer legs than Manute Bol. Not whether his wife, Elin, is going to divorce him. Not if more sponsors are going to bail. Not if there are other alleged mistresses out there preparing to spring from the woodpile in exchange for their 15 minutes of fame and a Boca Raton high-rise.

The reason it doesn't matter is because, frankly, Woods can't descend any lower, and yet there are those lining up hoping for a chance to grab the golfer's broad shoulders and push downward. Everything about Woods is being dissected and closely inspected like never before. Is there genuine remorse in those eyes, that voice, that walk?

Woods knows. Only Woods knows.

But we want more. A scandalous story these days just can't softly slip away and be replaced by more-pressing news the way it used to. New angles, if not found, must simply be made up in order to maintain audience attention. This is why everyone from Tiger's third cousin on his mother's side to the golfer's seventh-grade science teacher will be grilled if they haven't been already. Somehow, some way, there has to be a fresh twist to this story.

It's peculiar that the United States, a country known for being so pardoning to its sports stars, is also enamored with watching them crash to earth. Seems we are unrivaled in the art of patting backs as long as there's a pinch of salt in our palms for the open wounds.

Though his reputation is as a robotic conglomerate who packs the personality of a syrup bottle, Woods, conceited and temperamental as he may be, is still a human being susceptible to the same errors in judgment as the rest of us. Emotionally and financially, he's taken a reasonably large hit.

As for his reputation, it's the baseball and Babe Ruth just connected.

At 34, Woods with continued good health has yet to conclude his life's front nine. Hopefully he can mend his marriage and evolve into a true role model for the couple's two young children. Moreover, it's just as important for Woods to like and respect what he sees in the mirror each morning.

Whether or not that happens, we haven't a clue.

Woods knows. Only Woods knows.

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Quick take on "Shutter Island"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM

"Shutter Island"

4 stars

When Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes on the case of a missing inmate (Emily Mortimer) at a foreboding island mental institution, he uncovers a conspiracy that shakes him to the core. And this is just the beginning of Martin Scorsese's new film, Shutter Island (based on the book by Dennis Lehane).

With its rich, moody atmosphere and operatic, Bernard Herrmann-esque score, Shutter Island is a nostalgic embrace of Hitchcockian horror. Fortunately, the film is not only an homage but a worthy addition to the genre in its own right.

Like Hitchcock, Scorsese understands that suspense never comes from the physical act of violence, but the threat of it. In his films, his characters, for the most part, keep their guns under the table so to speak. And in Shutter Island, the characters literally don't even have access to guns. This is a unique film for Scorsese in that it's more about mental intrusion and the violence that the mind can inflict on others - and oneself.

No one is better at evoking mental implosion than DiCaprio. Like his character in The Departed, Teddy is a walking ulcer living in dread. DiCaprio carries this film with ease and makes Teddy's paranoia our own.

Scorsese places Teddy in an unsettling yet artful world (stills from the film could easily be mistaken for gothic paintings) and surrounds him with equally interesting characters. There are great supporting performances from Ben Kingsley, Max Von Sydow and Patricia Clarkson.

These are just my initial thoughts upon seeing the film. Trust me, there is much more to be said about this intricate, disturbing thriller, so stay tuned for more blogs.

This is Scorsese's first foray into psychological horror since his brilliant remake of Cape Fear in 1991. I hope he continues to return to this genre for he deals with it masterfully.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

American songbook high school deadline extended

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

February 19, 2010



INDIANAPOLIS — The deadline for applications for the 2010 Great American Songbook High School Academy and Competition has been extended from February 28 to March 15, 2010. Currently enrolled high school students from Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin are eligible. Ten finalists will be chosen by the end of April and invited to the Great American Songbook Academy and Competition at the University of Indianapolis, June 2-6, 2010.

In June, finalists will learn about the history, music and performance techniques of music from the Broadway, Hollywood musical theatre and Tin Pan Alley era of the early to mid-20th century, known as the "Great American Songbook." The judges, University of Indianapolis faculty and other music professionals will conduct classes and help prepare finalists for the final competition performance on Saturday, June 5, at University of Indianapolis' Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. The center's acoustically superior Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, a 500-seat Viennese-style concert space, has been hailed as one of the finest of its kind in the Midwest.

After finalists each sing two songs, judges will announce first, second and third place winners immediately following the June 5th performance. Second and third place winners receive $500 each towards continuing music education. The first place winner will be invited to sing in New York City at Feinstein's at the Regency.

This year's judges include:

Michael Feinstein -- Broadway star, international performer and recording artist, and co-founder Michael Feinstein Foundation.

Sylvia McNair — two-time Grammy Award winner and world-renowned star of the opera, oratorio, cabaret and musical theater; currently teaching at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Susan Powell — former Miss America (1981) from Oklahoma is a popular performer not only in opera, concert and theatre stages around the world, but also hosted her own series on The Discovery Channel called Home Matters for 12 seasons.

Catherine Russell — an internationally renowned jazz and blues singer whose father served as Louis Armstrong's longtime music director; she recently ended a tour with Steely Dan.

Richard Walters — a composer, arranger, pianist, vocal coach and vice president of classical and vocal publications at Hal Leonard Corporation.

"I am so honored to be judging the 2010 GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK HIGH SCHOOL ACADEMY & COMPETITION," said Susan Powell. "Michael's vision of the continuation of American heritage through our songbook is an inspiration to us all. It will be a privilege to hear these wonderful, young performers bring new life into such a rich history."

Participants in the 2009 inaugural event described it as a life-changing experience.

"I have fallen in love with this music all over again," said 2009 Competition Winner Julia Bonnett, a graduate from Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana. "With [music from] the Great American Songbook, you're not playing a character, you can be yourself."

By March 15, 2010, applicants must send:

-- one completed copy of application form

-- two copies of two songs from a recommended list of Great American Songbook composers on CDs

-- color photo (preferably portrait)

-- $50 application fee (scholarships may be available upon request)

Application forms are available to download from the Web site: For more information, contact Gail Payne, manager of the Great American Songbook Academy and Competition, 317.985.5523 or e-mail

The Great American Songbook Academy and Competition is presented by the Michael Feinstein Foundation for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook. Its mission is to preserve and gain appreciation of the great American music, lyrics, culture, history and artists created during the 20th century for present and future generations; to prevent the lack, and eventual loss, of awareness, enjoyment and exposure of great American popular song for youngsters today and future generations.

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Survivor: Rupert report (Week 2)

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Well, if I had to sum up the second episode of this season's Survivor in one word, that word would be this: anticlimactic. Unlike last week's awesome two-hour premiere, there were no huge, menacing helicopters. None of the players dislocated a shoulder or broke a toe. No one had her bikini top removed during a brawl-like challenge and then finished topless, flipping off the other tribe (and host).

The second show featured only one challenge, a contest that involved rolling large crates through the sand and then assembling them into a giant staircase. Each tribe had to choose players to sit out — two from the Villains, and one from the Heroes. The Villain tribe wisely decided that the emaciated Courtney should sit out this challenge. It honestly looked like one of those huge crates could have crushed that bony child to death. Understandably, but nonetheless disappointingly, Rupert volunteered to be the one from his tribe to sit out, saying, "I don't know if I can run as good with a broken toe."

There were some highlights, beginning with Boston Rob passing out in the jungle from physical and mental stress. Waking up in a daze he said, "I feel like it's gettin' the best of me." Plus, someone from the medical team got to be on camera — good for her! It was also fun to watch James give his impassioned soliloquy about teamwork and the importance of listening to one person in the heat of a challenge. His anger was mainly directed toward Stephenie. When she wound up being voted out at tribal council, James' final words to his departing teammate were, "Keep your mouth shut." Ouch!

Rupert stopped by my house unexpectedly the afternoon before this episode aired. But not to talk about the show — he was there with his ten-year-old daughter, Raya, to drop off some Girl Scout cookies. I also paid for a box of Tagalongs ordered by our mutual friend, the artist Jim Kelly. You owe me three-and-a-half bucks, dude!

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Previous Rupert reports:

Episode 1 (Feb. 11) :

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Survivor: Rupert survives first episode

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Okay, lemme make a disclaimer and admission of conflict-of-interest right off the bat. First of all, I'm not a fan of reality TV. I'm not even a big Survivor fan. What I am is a big Rupert fan. I've known Rupert for many years, even before he became "America's Favorite Survivor."

That said, I'm gonna try to give an objective, albeit plainly pro-Rupert, assessment of each episode of this season's epic Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains.

Watching the beginning of the 2-hour premiere, my first thought was, "Holy shit!" Four huge, menacing U.S. Air Force helicopters fly over this beautiful chain of Samoan islands — it looks like a scene straight out of Apocalypse Now. Very dramatic. The choppers, each carrying five players, touch down on the beach, and the game is on.

In the first challenge, a kind of a two-on-two rugby contest using a large pouch-like ball that had to be dug out of the sand, things got a little rough. One of the women dislocated a shoulder, and Rupert wound up breaking a toe (or was it two?) This is not good. Rupert is now playing injured and is at a greater risk of being ousted by his tribe, culled by the herd like a wounded beast.

The next challenge involved putting together some sort of puzzle, and the Hero team did not fair well. Rupert is not a puzzle guy, and neither am I, goddamn it. This was followed by a failed attempt by Rupert to start a fire for his tribe — when another tribe member finally got a flame going, Rupert half-heartedly says, "Good for you."

Bottom line: I did not have a good feeling about this episode. While Rupert is in no immediate danger of being voted off, he needs to catch some dang fish or something for these people. I'm a little worried.

Brief thoughts on some of the other contestants:

Sugar: First one voted off the island, and deservedly so. She reminds me of that b-side song by the Rolling Stones, "Stupid Girl."

Russell: Uh, let me say this: this dude seems like a borderline sociopath. Scary, like a mini-Charles Manson.

Coach: What is wrong with this guy? I get the impression that the thing he misses most on the island is a mirror.

Colby: Whether through editing or actual character, Colby is the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with. I wish he'd run for some sort of Democratic high office.

James: I am not familiar with this fellow's Survivor history, but I will tell you this: he and I are built exactly alike. He is like a black Harry Cheese. If people saw us together, they'd think we were twins.

Courtney: This chick, on the Villains team, is the scrawniest woman I have ever seen. She makes Victoria Beckham look like a lard-ass. How is she gonna survive out there? On the other hand, she's obviously used to eating very little food.

That's it for this week. At my house, watching Survivor involves drinking a lot of beer with friends and shouting "RUPERT!" whenever our boy is featured on camera. I just hope we can keep on drinking and shouting like this for many weeks to come. Arrgh!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Mike Beas: March Madness is absurdly delicious

Posted By on Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 4:00 AM

If one thing has been firmed up at this stage of the men's college basketball season, it's that absolutely zilch has been established relating to shoo-ins for the Final Four in Indianapolis.

The sense of hoops equality currently commonplace after being visibly and frustratingly deficient during the Wooden Era at UCLA is what's made these past three decades of March Madness so absurdly delicious. And it's what's going to make the 2010 venue, officially due to commence March 16 with that barely-witnessed play-in game in Dayton, one of the best ever.

When the dust settles, expect the Kansas Jayhawks to be among those taking the court inside sprawling Lucas Oil Stadium, which will be hosting the first of what's sure to be many men's Final Fours. Granted, this isn't exactly going out on a limb, but one relatively safe bet was needed considering my other three selections.

And they are, in no particular order . . .

OHIO STATE: During the month the Buckeyes' star player, 6-7 junior Evan Turner, was out with a back injury, OSU appeared susceptible. The fifth-best ball club in the Big Ten, at best. Now the Bucks are an absolute brute with much-improved Dallas Lauderdale manning the post and Jon Diebler a deadeye shooter from long range.

March Madness is a good time and all, but being bracketed against Ohio State promises to be 40 minutes of dreadful experience for at least four programs before the Bucks make the three-hour bus ride west to Downtown Indy.

DUKE: After leading the Blue Devils to 10 Final Fours in 18 seasons (1986-2004), coach Mike Krzyzewski, mired in his own personal slump having not led the Blue Devils deeper than the Sweet 16 over the past five seasons, returns triumphantly to center stage.

Duke's top three scorers (Jon Scheyer, Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler) are talented veterans who at this point have experienced every hostile basketball environment a young man can. The Blue Devils aren't breathtaking presences down low, but 7-1 senior Brian Zoubek and 6-10 Miles Plumlee get the job done nonetheless.

PURDUE: After numerous close-buts during the Gene Keady years (1988, '93 and 2000 being most painful), the Boilermakers finally strike paydirt behind a veteran cast that, like Duke's, should be the definition of unflinching at this juncture. NCAA Tournament games often are lower-scoring affairs, which should suit Purdue, one of the nation's premier defensive teams, just fine.

Another enticement is that if they win the Big Ten title and advance at least to the conference tournament championship game, the Boilers won't even see an airport. As the No. 1 seed in the Midwest Regional, Purdue would play its opening games in Milwaukee, its Sweet 16 and Elite Eight matchups in St. Louis and the Final Four in Indianapolis.

And it's in Indy where a whole lot of black-clad Boiler backers are going to witness their team lose, 76-69, to Kansas in the championship game.

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