Sports

Metta World Peace

I was looking at the roster of the Los Angeles Lakers a several years ago and noticed a player by the name of Metta World Peace.

First of all, I love this name. I would love to meet this person and find out more about him. Or meet the person’s parents. I am sure to get along with them and probably share a lot of similarities. Metta means love. I first encountered this word while I was doing Buddhist meditation. Metta meditation is one type of meditation you can do according to the Buddhist tradition. You basically try to radiate loving kindness to all living beings on this planet of ours.

I did a little bit of research on the internet and found out who Metta World Peace is. I expected him to be a little known player who was probably drafted late in the fifth round. I imagined him as an African player whose father was probably an exchange student who met his mother in Tibet. Turns out Metta World Peace is Ron Artest. Or should I say the NBA player formerly known as Ron Artest. He was known as Ron Artest before legally changing his name to Metta World Peace in 2011 and later to Metta Sandiford-Artest in May 2020.

Metta Sandiford-Artest (MSA) actually occupies a notorious spot in the annals of NBA history. Before I go on about his notoriety, I will first recognize that MSA was a really good basketball player. OK back to his notoriety. On November 19, 2004, Artest was at the center of an altercation among players and fans during a game in Auburn Hills, Michigan between Artest’s Pacers and the home team Detroit Pistons.

The brawl began when Artest fouled Pistons center Ben Wallace. Wallace, upset at being fouled hard when the game was effectively over, responded by shoving Artest, leading to an altercation near the scorer’s table. Artest walked to the sideline and lay down on the scorer’s table. Reacting to Wallace throwing something at Artest, Pistons fan John Green threw a cup of Diet Coke at Artest, hitting him. Artest jumped into the front-row seats and confronted a man he incorrectly believed to be responsible, which in turn erupted into a brawl between Pistons fans and several of the Pacers. Artest returned to the basketball court, and punched Pistons fan A.J. Shackleford, who was apparently taunting Artest verbally. This fight resulted in the game being stopped with less than a minute remaining. Artest’s teammates Jermaine O’Neal and Stephen Jackson were suspended indefinitely the day after the game, along with Wallace.

On November 21, the NBA suspended Artest for the rest of the regular season, plus any playoff games. All told, Artest missed 86 games, the longest suspension for an on-court incident in NBA history.

I will admit that the first thing that I think of when I think of MSA is not his many game winning shots or his great dunks. Instead I think of this incident.

I would love to meet MSA and ask him about his reasons for changing his name to Metta World Peace. MSA, if you are reading this, please contact me and we can do a Zoom session. If you are worried about attracting unwanted publicity, don’t worry. It will be a private session and I will not divulge any information to the general public unless you want me to.

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Television

ZeroZeroZero

If you live in the US or Canada, you most likely have cocaine in your pocket right now. Go ahead, take out a $5 bill and sniff in the pungent scent of that white powder of which dreams are made of and paid for in blood.

According to an article published by National Geographic, nearly nine out of ten bills circulating in the U.S. and its northern neighbor are tainted with cocaine.

If you ever wondered about the intracacies of the cocaine trade, you will definitely like this drama series which you can watch on Amazon Prime. ZeroZeroZero is a crime drama television series based on the book of the same name by Roberto Saviano. ZeroZeroZero is a study of the business around the drug cocaine, covering its movement across continents. The series stars Gabriel Byrne as the head of the American Lynwood family, controlling an international shipping company which acts as cocaine broker between Mexican and Italian organized crime. The series derives its name from the purest type of flour (000), which is “the nickname among narcotraffickers for the purest cocaine on the market.”

You will not be able to resist binge watching this show. You will feel carried along by this series like you are floating on a soft white cloud, driven along by the hypnotic soundtrack. The soundtrack alone is a good reason to watch this series. The music in the show was composed by Mogwai.

Highly recommended. I give this series 5 out of 5 stars.

Footnote:

Cocaine on Money: Drug Found on 90% of U.S. Bills (nationalgeographic.com)

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Music

Stradivarius

It is amazing how beautiful music sounds when you least expect it. I was going to sleep. I was in a half sleep state when I heard beautiful violin music. I had turned on autoplay feature on BBC Radio on my Chromebook. I was listening to something earlier and after that show ended, autoplay was activated and started to play this radio show.

It was a radio show about Min Kym, a virtuoso violin player who loses her Stradivarius. The show is a very compelling retelling of what happens after Kym discovers that her Stradivarius is missing.

A Stradivarius is one of the violins, violas, cellos and other string instruments built by members of the Italian family Stradivari, particularly Antonio Stradivari , during the 17th and 18th centuries. The 1697 “Molitor” Stradivarius, once rumored to have belonged to Napoleon (it did belong to a general in his army, Count Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor), sold in 2010 at Tarisio Auctions to violinist Anne Akiko Meyers for $3,600,000, at the time a world record.

I know what you are thinking. How could anyone possibly lose a Stradivarius? Well, you will have tune in to the show to find out.

To listen to this radio show, go to BBC Radio and do a search for the show.

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Television

The Night Of

I watched this drama series a couple of weeks ago. The Night Of is a 2016 American eight-part crime drama television miniseries based on the first season of Criminal Justice, a 2008 British series. The Night Of received 13 Emmy nominations, winning five, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series for Riz Ahmed.

Naz is a Pakistani-American student who is on his way to attend a party in Manhattan on Friday night. He takes his only available source of transportation, his father’s old taxi cab. As he drives to the party, a mysterious young woman needs a ride and joins him in his cab. He is charmed by her good looks and intrigue. He then changes his plans of heading to the party and after a night of mind-altering substances, the woman is found dead.

The circumstantial evidence is overwhelmingly against Naz but there is more to the story that meets the eye. Watching the series is like peeling an onion, each removed layer getting the viewer closer to the truth of what happened on the fateful night.

If you like court dramas and you are interested in the American justice system, this series gives you an insider look at how the American justice system actually works. The series also provides an unsanitized portrayal of prison life in America.

I am sure you have watched lots of shows with uneven performances. What I mean is that some performances are good while others are not. This is not one of those shows. Every performance is good from the lead character to the least important supporting cast. There are also many drama series where some actors are good in some parts of series while not so good in other parts. Again, this is not the case in this series.

If you like shows that are gritty and real, you will not be disappointed.

If you are in Canada you can watch it on Crave. If you are in other parts of the world, you will most probably find this show on a streaming service that shows old HBO series. The series was originally released in 2016.

I give this series 5 out of 5 stars.

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Music

Angels Cry

I was listening to this song on Spotify. Mariah Carey is amazing on this song. Especially at the end of the song. I am not sure if her voice was digitally remastered but it sounded amazing.

Mariah Carey is one artist I regret not seeing live. I was not a real fan of Mariah Carey back when she was at the prime of her career. If Mariah Carey, in a live concert, sounded anything close to what she sounds like on the recording, I rue the missed opportunity to have seen a living goddess beautifully ply her trade.

I wish those scientists working on wormholes could hurry up and bridge the gap between time and space sooner rather than later.

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