To celebrate Earth Day, observed on April 22 every year worldwide, here’s a video posted at the Guardian of a newly built train in Japan that levitates on magnets and is designed to transport commuters at a speed of 500 kilometers (310 miles) per hour.

A similar train in the U.S. would get you from Cleveland to Chicago in about an hour. That would mean Cleveland to Akron in something like 5 minutes, Cleveland to Columbus in about 20, and Cleveland to Cincinnati in about 35 in case anyone ever wanted to go to the Deep South.

Think of how good it would be for the Cavs if it only took LeBron 5 minutes to get from home to work.

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Of course, in theory, there’s no reason we can’t have trains like this in the US. Practically, though, it’s a different story, and one that’s sad and inspiring at the same time.

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“Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.”Robertson Davies

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Three years ago it was Richardson and Weeden. Last year it was Gilbert and Manziel. This year the Browns have a pair of first-round picks yet again and whether the third time’s a charm or not we’ll still be back at Map Room next year to sip from that most reliable and refreshing fount of hope and goodwill: NFL draft day in Cleveland.

As for this year, it will be the fifth in a row that a group of your hardiest and most understanding friends gather in Map Room’s basement (1281 West 9th St., just north of Saint Clair in the Warehouse District), on Thursday April 30 for the Fifth Annual Cleveland Frowns NFL Draft Party.

The party will start at 6PM and will [click to continue…]

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There’s no place like home openers in Cleveland

by Cleveland Frowns on April 10, 2015

It’s opening day in Cleveland again, so it’s time for another round of conversations about the Major League Baseball club named the “Indians” and its redfaced logo Chief Wahoo, the only mainstream pro-sports logo in the Western world that caricaturizes a race of people.

On opening day in Cleveland last April, Wahoo and the “Indians” name became the subject of national attention thanks in part to a highly publicized encounter between protesters affiliated with the American Indian Movement (“AIM”), and lifelong Cleveland baseball fan Pedro Rodriguez, who had shown up to Progressive Field in redface and a headdress.

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Posted below is an 11-minute video from last year’s opening day scene, including the entire encounter between Rodriguez and the AIM protesters. If you don’t come away from it with a new appreciation of Cleveland baseball fan’s attachment to Wahoo and the “Indians” name, you might at least end up with [click to continue…]

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The Cleveland Browns are impervious to rebranding

by Cleveland Frowns on March 5, 2015

Last week the Browns made national headlines and put the local news cycle on freeze with a heavily promoted “rebranding” that turned out not to be a rebranding at all. For all the many ways this offseason has somehow again plunged the franchise to new depths of league-laughingstock status, the “rebranding” episode was actually glorious, and a much-needed reminder of how great it can be to be a Browns fan.

To review, the organization undertook what it announced as a two-year design process that resulted mainly in turning its primary logo from an orange football helmet to a slightly redder-orange football helmet.

RebrandedWhile national responses to the redesign ranged mostly from disappointment (“Completely underwhelming,” said the Washington Post’s Matt Bonesteel) to mockery, (“50 shades of orange!,” said pretty much everyone else) many locals were properly relieved.

Given owner Jimmy Haslam’s well-documented drive to squeeze every last penny out of his business ventures, humanity be damned, it was little surprise that he wanted to print up some newly branded merchandise to sell shortly upon taking control of the Browns in 2012. Yet, that anyone still identifies as a Browns fan at all after Art Modell’s theft of the franchise to Baltimore and the ensuing decade and a half of impossible failure on the field is proof enough that the Browns already had the strongest brand in the history of commerce.

That the logo would remain so much in tact after this clash of unstoppable force with immovable object is a testament to how great it can be when something original is allowed to stay that way.

The Browns are the only [click to continue…]

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Cardale Jones and America’s Greatest Storage Unit

by Cleveland Frowns on January 14, 2015

The rapid rise of the self-storage industry in the U.S. is a mainly dire phenomenon; a function of unchecked consumerism, consumption and inequality. While a growing number of Americans suffer in increasingly worse economic conditions, those on the other side of the divide continue to accumulate more stuff than they know what to do with. What doesn’t get dumped in the oceans is now tossed into storage units, basically, blighting the landscape with giant rectangular eyesores “that bring—comparative to their size and infrastructural requirements—few jobs or sales-tax benefits.”

For a resourceful group of teenagers from Mentor, Ohio in 2011, though, the rapid rise of the self-storage industry in America was something different. For these teens, the rapid rise of the self-storage industry in America was an opportunity – an opportunity to furnish one of the units at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage on East Avenue near the intersection of Routes 2 and 615 as a mini-clubhouse where they could hang out and do whatever free from the prying eyes of parents, law enforcement and other potentially meddlesome adults. To provide some background, here’s a photo of a related but worse-fated unit from this Mentor Patch report about underage drinking arrests at the same site from December 2011.

Storage Unit 1

As for the Mentor teens who started this local trend, it wasn’t long before they realized that they had something special at their disposal. Some of them being football fans who would attend Ohio State University the next fall, they got the idea to use Twitter to invite members of the acclaimed 2010-11 Glenville High football team, including current Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones and Indiana University receiver Shane Wynn, to attend a party at the unit.

After having received enough tweets from the Mentor group, Cardale, Wynn and Co. [click to continue…]

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Haslam’s tough talk on Manziel rings hollow

by Cleveland Frowns on December 29, 2014

After yesterday’s 20-10 loss to the Ravens in which the Browns ensured their seventh consecutive losing season, owner Jimmy Haslam made a rare appearance in front of the TV cameras to send a message to certain of the team’s young players.

“I think a player who can’t show up for meetings, can’t make practice, can’t make weight-lifting, disrespects himself,” Haslam said. “But I think more importantly, and I think this is what these young guys miss, they disrespect the team, the coaches, the staff, the fans. There’s a lot of people in our organization whose livelihood depends on how well we do. We’re not gonna tolerate people who are irresponsible, no matter what round they’re drafted in.”

Haslam was referring to 2014 first-round draft picks Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert, as well as third-year receiver and 2013 All Pro Josh Gordon, all of whom were subject to discipline by the team over the weekend thanks to a series of developments that would seem absurd in any other NFL city.

Here, though, [click to continue…]

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Johnson Bademosi is a great Cleveland Brown

December 11, 2014

Yesterday, Browns defensive back and top special-teamer Johnson Bademosi published a statement at SI.com on his decision to wear a t-shirt marked with “I can’t breathe,” in protest of what he calls “police killings as a symptom of the systematic and historical devaluing of black lives.” It’s as much

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Things we know and things we don’t know about the Browns

December 8, 2014

The Hoyer/Manziel thing is so tough. Who’s to say how much better Hoyer would be playing without the Johnny Football Industrial Complex looming over his shoulder? Who knows how much pressure Mike Pettine is under from the front office or owner’s box, let alone from the voices in his own head due to the quarterback […]

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Magic Johnson on LeBron and Social Justice

December 7, 2014

On Friday night, NBA legend Magic Johnson made a powerful statement on the importance of athletes speaking out against social injustice, specifically commending LeBron James for his recent public statements about Trayvon Martin, Donald Sterling, and social unrest across the U.S. related to various killings of unarmed young black men and boys by police officers. […]

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Mayor Jackson was wrong about Ferguson and Cleveland

November 25, 2014

Last week, a spokesman for Mayor Frank Jackson brushed off the idea that Cleveland had anything to learn from Ferguson, Missouri, where the killing of an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown, by police has caused massive protests and civil unrest. “Questions about lessons learned from Ferguson and the preparations Cleveland might take ahead of […]

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