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The simple rules of Butterfly Derby (plus review: Futurama, “The Butterjunk Effect”)

Though not currently based in North America, BuckBokai couldn’t wait to get his hands on this week’s episode of Futurama, the horrifically-titled “The Butterjunk Effect,” promising as it did another science-fiction sport to record in the annals.

Masters of the online science-fiction editorial universe io9, via reviewer Esther Inglis-Arkell, trashed the ep. Inglis-Arkell noted the out-of-character dialogue and action pressed upon Leela and Amy, and yes, BuckBokai must agree that a lot of the early stuff with catty remarks about shoes and weight seems like character-unspecific stuff written in somebody’s sleep. The io9 scribe did note some good bits to be hand in “the throwaway lines and sight gags that Futurama always excels at”; concurrence on this as well, then.

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Happy 40th, Ball Four!

How this event passed so low under the media radar is beyond BuckBokai – unless it can simply be attributed to the reality that *nobody reads books anymore* – but the 40th anniversary of the release of “Ball Four” was celebrated in Burbank yesterday with a show put on by nonprofit historical group The Baseball Reliquary.

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A tale of two tales: Introduction to Buck Bokai

Two books changed my life at a key formative age, and thanks to BuckBokai somebody might finally relate to the combination.

When i was an 11-year-old frequenter of flea markets and secondhand shops wheedling chump change off my mother for cheap baseball cards and cheap comic books and just generally cheap collectible stuff, i once accidentally ran across an intriguing sublime-looking little paperback.

It was white in cover with a baseball tucked neatly into one corner, knuckles riding atop as through to throw the Niekros’ (Niekroes’?) favorite pitch. The book had a cover quote describing the work as “a classic in the American vein,” while the final two pages were a long table of neat statistics (Statistics!) running under the headline “Tell Your Statistics To Shut Up.” Charlie Brown’s Peanuts meeting baseball in to what was to me-then a completely unique diary format?

I never knew books could be like this.

I did know i had to have it.

That book was, of course, Ball Four.

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