After enduring a particularly invasive trip through airport security, white-hat hacker Evan Booth wondered if it was possible for terrorists to craft deadly weapons using only items for sale at the duty free shops and newsstands beyond the TSA checkpoints. After fashioning a fully functional shotgun with Axe body spray, Red Bull cans, and nine volt batteries, the answer turns out to be a decisive, anus-clenching, yes.
This quirky quartermaster has cracked coconuts using nunchucks made from dental floss, copies of US Weekly, and souvenir magnets purchased at Hudson News. A hair dryer, umbrella, and braided rope made from condoms became a makeshift crossbow. And while he has yet to figure out how to weaponize a Cinnabon, his arsenal of deadly weapons and step-by-step building instructions, collectively titled Terminal Cornucopia, should strike fear in the hearts of frequent flyers.
I have to admit I'm a little rusty on the target range, as it has been quite a while since I last put a few rounds downrange. Took some time yesterday to break in my new acquisition, with results better than I had expected:
I did most of my shooting between 7 and 10 yards. Even those shots that didn't find their way into black, still would have been "stopping" shots.
When I began collect sports card again back in Detroit, I set out with the goal to collect each card of Grant Hill from the 1994-95 season, his rookie year. I had been working for Joe Dumars, running his new restaurant in the Detroit suburbs. 1994-95 was Hill's rookie year, and I got to know him pretty well that season. One of his long-time friends (since they were around 6 or 7 years old) did Marketing for our facility, and the three of us didn't really know anyone in Motown.
Grant became a regular at my restaurant/bar, even spinning CD's from time to time as my Monday Night Football DJ. Classy guy, great player, and I had some great times during my stint there.
As you can imagine, collecting the cards of one of the more popular up and coming stars in the league, in the town he played in, had its pluses and minuses. Because he was a hot commodity for collectors, there wasn't a shortage of material. But also because of his high profile, his cards generally came at a premium.
There was one card that was especially hard to find, card #240 in the Topps Finest insert set of Refractors. These cards were cool, because they had a finish that gave off a rainbow effect when tilted under light. To make this card even more desirable, the set was split up into two series, with Hill (and other rookies-Kidd, Howard, Rose, and Jordan wearing #45). The Refractors were also insert into packs at a rate of 1:12, meaning that every twelfth pack had a single Refractor in it. With 166 cards in Series 2, you had to open a lot of packs just to find a Refractor, then a ton more to find a Hill (or Kidd, or Howard, or Rose, or Jordan).
Needless to say, with the scarcity and chance of pulling a good rookie in Series 2, many collectors chose to sell unopened product at a premium, with the the thought being the packs were worth more unopened (maybe you'll pull a Jordan!), than they were opened.
I have been chasing this card for close to 20 years, and finally, was able to score one off eBay. Here it is, in all of its glory:
The cards had a protective coating on them, which people initially peeled off (because it said so, right there on the coating!). Soon discussions took place within the trading community, wondering if you peeled the card, was it now no longer "mint"?
Personally, I wanted mine to have the peel, but the collecting community acknowledges that the cards should have the same value, peeled or not. I still like "unpeeled" as the more pristine card.
Since the Olympics recently ended, I dug into the collection to pull out a card from one of the most iconic athletes in Olympic history. The card is from the 2007 Allen and Ginter set, and features a piece of a shirt once worn by Tommie Smith, of the "Black Power" salute fame:
Here's a short bio of that event:
And here is the back of the card:
I've always admired what Smith and teammate Carlos did that day (also Peter Norman, the Australian who came in second). I think it was disgraceful that the two Americans were suspended immediately by the IOC.
Smith was a fantastic sprinter, setting the World Record the day he won Olympic gold. He later played three seasons with the Cincinatti Bengals of the NFL.
Today's card is from the 2010-11 Panini set, card #130 of the Black Box Materials subset. It's Celtic great Larry Bird:
Bird was the consummate competitor. He was famous for hitting the long three-pointer at the precise time it would break your team's spirit. He was a hustler, a defender, great passer, and a phenomenal trash talker. He's also the only guy to win an MVP, Coach of the Year, and Executive of the Year. Truly a great on every level.
Here's the back of the card:
Bird jersey cards aren't too hard to come by, but will cost a few bucks to add it to your collection. This one is individually numbered to 99, and books around $30.