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Mastering the Hustle

Chess is a game that can drive anybody crazy.

Chess is also a game that reveals crazy cool moments.

One of the best scenes in Searching for Bobby Fischer was when young Josh returned to the park with his mom to reunite with street hustler Vinnie. In this moment, Josh rediscovered his passion of playing fast and playing for fun.

Speed chess does that because it forces you to react and not overthink the labyrinth of complexities on the checkered board. You prepare as best you can, go out and give it your best shot.

And it’s a genuine thrill to witness it, especially when a chess grandmaster casually sits down for a game with someone running his mouth a tad too much.

This video was recorded and posted by chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley. Here’s his video description:

“I was schooled by the best hustlers back in the day! This was actually in Washington Square Park where the late great Vinnie Livermore used to beat my ass at that same table!”

Check that out, mate.

Happy Monday!

“…end extreme poverty by 2030”
–Andrea Beasley, MSNBC

Four years in and the Global Citizen Festival, held in New York City’s Central Park, directs attention to initiatives that support equality and combating extreme poverty by working with organizations, celebrities and world leaders (Malala Yousafzai, Bill and Melinda Gates, Leonardo DiCaprio, to name a few).

While still early in its process, the publicity aimed at this annual musical gathering, with policy speakers and videos scheduled throughout the day, continues to draw some of the biggest bands and performers from around the globe. When I attended the first festival with a friend of mine, K’naan, the Black Keys, a special performance by John Legend, Band of Horses, Neil Young and the Foo Fighters (such an amazing weekend) entertained the crowd of 60,000-plus. It was a perfect day and night in NYC. This year, festival-goers enjoyed Beyoncé, Eddie Vedder and Ed Sheeran.

And this small indie group from across the pond that came equipped with a brand new song…

Have an Inspired Week!

Happy Monday!

Saturday Night Live has been providing late night sketches with some of the biggest names in comedy beginning with its very first cast back in 1975. Whether cast members and/or writers stayed for one season, seven or more, or if comedy greats today auditioned but didn’t make the cut, last night’s celebration at Studio 8H was an iconic moment for comedy. There was a history of SNL rap by the fan-favorite Fallon-Timberlake bromance, Steve Martin (need I say more?), a Jeopardy game with perfect categories for Sean Connery to mispronounce, a Californians sketch with a vintage mile-high goodbye, musical melodies from unforgettable duos, classic fake commercials, before unseen audition tapes, an In Memoriam remembering past giants, including with the very much alive and well Jon Lovitz sitting stunned in the audience, the return from one of its greats, a Q&A about nothing, a Wayne’s World episode 40 years in the making, cameos galore and countless clips from our favorite skits.

(Click the bottom right icon for sound and click on the video to stop and play)

One of the best parts about live television (and SNL in particular) is waiting for comedic professionals to break character. In so many situations, when the actors and actresses start laughing, that actually makes the skit so much more hilarious and memorable. Fortunately, there’s a special digital short for that:

Once again, let’s not forget to give another standing ovation to the man who envisioned it all 40 years ago and who has discovered and launched some of the best careers in comedy: Lorne Michaels.

Live from New York, it will always be Saturday Night!

From “Jaws” to…

When something is so bad, it’s good.

This is the undeniable truth regarding the cultural phenomenon known as Sharknado. It swept up audiences into a frenzy like the killer sharks swirling around in the tornadoes0. Written, acted and directed as a cheesy Syfy movie of the week, the combination of sharks (Jaws) and tornadoes (Twister) was too much to resist for people of all ages (suitable for the graphic content, of course). Sharks and tornadoes are eternally fascinating and, thankfully, someone had the genius idea (well, the idea at least) to join these two powerful forces of nature together. Plus, who could resist the father from Home Alone, 90210’s Ian Ziering and Tara Reid fighting off sharks swimming around her house on a hill?

And now, the sequel!

Yes, it’s true. The trailer was recently released for the world to see and, rest assured, it doesn’t disappoint (is that Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath?). My recommendation on how to effectively watch the trailer below after an initial viewing right here at Jimmy’s Daily Planet? Go to 7-11, get your free slurpee from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and enjoy the cinematic madness of sharks, tornadoes, Matt Lauer and the subway system in New York City again with a perfect refreshment and care-free attitude.

It’s a suggestion that’s so bad, it’s good.

Ladies and gentlemen, it happened again:

Come July 30th at 9:00 p.m. on the Syfy channel, you know you’re going to watch Sharknado 2: The Second One.

P.S. Clearly, lots of time and resources were spent on the title…