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Paul Rinn

About Paul Rinn

Paul Rinn is a student at Columbia College, majoring in Fiction Writing. He lives in Chicago and hopes to one day publish a novel or collection of short stories. He enjoys the writing of Irvine Welsh, Bret Ellis, and many others.
12 Jun, 2013

Breaking Bad: Season Preview

Author |Television shows|0 Comments

With the final eight episodes of Breaking Bad coming up August 11th, we here at the CockleBur have been spending our days drifting through clouds of the crystal meth cooking in the basement, pondering the fate of our beloved master chefs, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. When Breaking Bad first aired back in 2008, Walter White (played by three time Emmy winner, Bryan Cranston) was just a sad sack that worked as High School Chemistry teacher and a part-time cashier at a carwash. After being diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and deciding the best way to provide for his family would be to manufacture crystal meth, Walter has transformed from lovable bad guy to one of the most despised and hated characters in television history. He has lied, cheated, stolen, and killed, but like any gangster story, eventually the bad guy must fall, and in these eight remaining episodes we shall finally learn what fate Walter White has bestowed upon himself.

            The last episode left off with a trademark cliff hanger from show creator Vince Gilligan, one in which anti-villain Hank Schrader (Walter’s brother-in-law and head of the local branch of the DEA) experiences a literal oh, shit moment, as the audience is lead to believe that Hank has just put together that his former-high-school-science-teaching/current-car-wash-owning, cancer-stricken, brother-in-law is actually the meth dealing kingpin he’s been after for over a year now, the infamous Heisenberg. However, during the past year Hank has greatly benefitted from Walt’s illegal activities (his entire physical rehabilitation treatment was covered by The White Family after he was shot by two assassins sent to kill him), bringing down Heisenberg could also mean committing career suicide. What is likely to happen is for Hank to trail Walt on his own, like he did when following his hunch about Gus Fring (the former kingpin that Walter killed at the end of season 4). The on-screen tension between Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris (who plays Hank) has already made for some of the most intense scenes in the past, so we’re amped up to see how they continue to deceive each other for the final checkmate. […]

9 Nov, 2012

Early NFL Playoff Predictions

Author |Sports|0 Comments

Yes, I know we’re only halfway through the season, but ten of the twelve playoff spots are pretty much already spoken for in each conference, leaving a bunch of sub par teams to scramble for the remaining wild cards. In the AFC; Houston, New England, Denver, Pittsburgh and Baltimore are all in line for return […]

12 Jun, 2012

My Thoughts on the NBA Finals

Author |Sports|1 Comment

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but if you go back and look at my predictions from when the NBA Playoffs were just starting you’ll see the only series I got wrong was the Chicago/Philadelphia match-up in the first round. And who can blame me? I’m a homer. If I were from Montana or something, who knows what my pick would’ve been. Either way, thirteen out of fourteen isn’t too bad. The only question is whether my prediction of OKC beating Miami in the NBA Finals will come true. Let’s have a look and see, shall we?

Miami has been here before. LeBron has been to the Finals three times now, and is as determined and as hungry and as focused and as locked in as I’ve ever seen him, and to bet against him seems like it would be a risky move at this point. He did everything in his power with his team down 3-2 in the Conference Finals to make sure that they advanced to the Championship round. It was something magical to watch: In game six, he had thirty points by halftime and it was like he wasn’t even really trying all that hard. That kind of drive is something that comes along only a few times every generation, with Michael and Kobe being the most recent examples. But a collective group of players as talented as OKC doesn’t come around that often either. This Finals series will answer the question of what makes a better team: one that is built around two or three really really good players that will do whatever it takes to win (even if it means becoming totally selfish and taking every shot), or one that is build around a bunch of good players that buy into the concept of a team and who make sacrifices for the betterment of that team (even if it means being selfless and passing up shots)? […]

6 May, 2012

Predictions for the NBA Playoffs

Author |Sports|0 Comments

Now that Rose is out for the remainder of the playoffs, the Bulls are mere mortals in a pool of mostly mortal teams. They were able to get by through the season without the reigning MVP from last year by playing outstanding defense, allowing everyone to get involved in the offense, and playing each game […]

1 Jan, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo: A Paul Rinn Review

Author |Movies|0 Comments

David Fincher’s remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo stays close to the dark, brooding, wintery feel of the original (directed by Niels Arden Oplev, released in 2009), which only proves that they made this movie to please the lazy Americans that couldn’t sit through two hours of subtitles. The sub plots for each […]

1 Nov, 2011

Update on Breaking Bad, the NFL, and some opinions of The Walking Dead.

Author |Television shows|0 Comments

So, season four of Breaking Bad was going along great until Gus’s crew got shot at and then Gus comes strolling out like he’s Tony Montana or something, throwing his hands in the air like, what’s up? It was so bad that they even tried to explain it by having Jesse ask, “What was up […]

10 Oct, 2011

Breaking Bad: Perhaps the Best Show on TV

Author |Television shows|0 Comments

I’m not really big on TV. I used to be. I used to put in a good five hours a day watching movies or reruns of The Simpsons or whatever, anything to numb my mind. But once I got to Federal Prison, I noticed that only a select few were in charge of choosing what the inmates watched (there were no personal TVs) and I noticed that person wasn’t me. It turned out to be a fortuitous turn of events, however, since with all that free time on my hands I was able to focus on other things like reading and writing. Now I either watch football on Sundays or maybe an occasional movie during the week, but that’s it. Every once in a while though, I’ll get hooked on a certain show (usually ones that have run their course or have been canceled or are on hiatus) and then it’s a marathon event in which I’ll become a hermit in my bedroom, hitting “Play Next Episode” until the cows come home. My latest obsession: Breaking Bad. 

To anyone who hasn’t seen this show, I highly recommend you do so immediately. Start with season one and move on from there. To those who have seen this show, this next part will be like an observation that you may or may not agree with (and I’d love to hear whether you do or not, hit up the comment box) and for those of you who have not seen the show, this next part can serve as a heady warning to beware (but I promise not to ruin anything). […]

6 Oct, 2011

What’s Going On In The NFL?

Author |Sports|0 Comments

You know that stock video clip that you always see on ESPN when someone makes a boneheaded mistake or some crazy and improbable play happens and they cut to a shot of Vince Lombardi standing on the sidelines with his hands tucked into his beige overcoat, with his trademark glasses and fedora, yelling, “What the […]

25 Aug, 2011

Let’s End the Summer Break Between the NBA and the NFL

Author |Sports|0 Comments

Kobe Bryant on the NBA lockout

So it looks like the NBA season is going to be cancelled. This would be worrisome to me if I didn’t already have the NFL season to focus on. Thankfully the NFL was able to resolve their issues and move forward with the season more or less right on schedule. Sure, there was basically no training camps, OTAs were held by players rather than teams, and we missed out on the Hall of Fame game, but other than that we are going to have an entire season that fans can enjoy (or not). This is not likely to be the case for the NBA season. Both sides represented in the collective bargaining agreement are far from reaching a new contract and, unlike the NFL, these players actually have some leverage, so the threat of work stoppage won’t be a factor to anyone except the fans. Whereas the NFL is wildly popular in the United States, its impact anywhere else in the world is negligible. Go to Spain and ask some kid who his favorite football player is and he’ll probably tell you it’s Lionel Messi or David Villa. He might not have even heard of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. But ask that same kid who his favorite basketball player is and he’ll likely name the starting power forward for the Los Angeles Lakers. What does that tell you? If both sides are still at an impasse come November, do you think Pau Gasol is going to have any trouble finding work abroad? That’s why the player’s association is encouraging players like Kobe Bryant to ink deals with foreign teams: so that the owners get a clear understanding of who needs who.

That being said, there’s probably a good chance that the NBA season eventually takes place a few months behind schedule. The 1998/99 season started February 5th, five days after the Broncos beat the Falcons (who weren’t even supposed to be there) in SuperBowl XXXIII. The lockout had pushed the season back to the point where they just did away with the All-Star break and decided to shorten the season to 50 games. Most people didn’t even notice. […]

15 Aug, 2011

CockleBur Fantasy Football Preview

Author |Sports|0 Comments

So, they finally got around to fixing that whole NFL lockout deal by figuring out a way to make the players happy and keep the owners rich by making the players rich and keeping the owners happy. And now that everyone is satisfied for at least another decade, we can finally go back to concentrating on what matters the most this season: drafting the perfect fantasy football team.

            Now, I understand that most of you have jobs and priorities and things like that. I don’t. My whole purpose in life is to sit around the house participating in as many mock drafts as possible while watching reruns of The Simpsons. Ideally I’d like to break down my observations into a hypothesis, test that hypothesis, form a theory, and then finally explain my theory to you for your own personal gain. But what will likely happen is that I’ll do all that hypothesizing and theorizing, present you with solid information and sound advice, only to have you freeze up in the middle of the third round when the guy picking right before you yells out give me Reggie Wayne. Either way, here it goes… […]