Category Archives: blog

Emil Guillermo: Video of when earthquake/avalanche hit Everest base camp makes it hard to imagine climbing season will resume in Nepal.

As I write there are 17 confirmed dead at Mt.Everest.

My Sherpa contacts in the U.S. had hoped for a resumption of the season since it means so much to Nepal revenue-wise.

But they hadn’t seen this video released today that shows the power of the quake as it hit the base camp.



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Emil Guillermo: My vote for best joke at White House Correspondents Dinner 2015

I like a little danger. And that means the best jokes are the ones where people feel uncomfortable laughing.  You’ve struck a nerve. Comic gold? Forget that, you’ve found truth. That’s better.


Before I get to the line, let me say, the president will always be funnier. Always.

He’s the president. And he’s usually not so loose enough to talk about things like  not having a “bucket list” but having, “something that rhymes with bucket list.”

Big laugh.

“Take executive action on immigration?  Bucket.”

The president will always be funny because the president is always usually serious.

He always wins.

So if you’re a comedian, you might as well say, “Bucket.”

I think Cecily Strong is a good young sketch comic.  She usually hides behind a character. That’s her thing. When you’re yourself, no one has a sense of your persona.  It’s just instant karma. They like you or not.  She’s pretty. At least, that helps if you bomb.

She didn’t. But she was reading her jokes as if doing a roast. And that took away from things, for me, at least.

But I still say she had the best line of the night. It’s the kind of line that touches a truth, but is too real to get a real big guffaw.

Instead it  gets a gurgling, rumbling reaction. Like you’ve poked the giant in the groin.

That’s what a satirist is supposed to do.

And she did that when she said:

“But seriously, the Washington Hilton is great, and I bet that when the president walked in and saw those bell hops, he thought, ‘Finally some decent security!'”

5 seconds of not laughs. But much higher than a groan. This is the Washington elite reacting.

“Nah, I’m just kidding, because let’s give it up for the Secret Service. yeah. (Clapping)”

Just the transition  to the real punch.

“I don’t want to be too hard on those guys. You know, they’re the only law enforcement agency in the country that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot.”

“Are you saying boo, or are you saying true?” Strong added, as she got at least :12 seconds of rumble/grumble/Washington reaction.

That’s a lot of something from a wonky crowd that doesn’t laugh easily.

Bucket. It’s my vote for line of the night. And I even like her more.

I haven’t been to a WHCD since my Washington days in the 80s and 90s.

I remember when the White House Correspondents Dinner was not very Hollywood. In the ’80s, one of the performers I remember was the comic, Sinbad.

Yes, Sinbad.

He was funny. But he mostly did his act.

Now it seems Washington wants to be Justin Bieber at his roast.

The president usually has help (the Anger translation bit was funny). And there’s usually videos now (the Aaron Schock bit was too long). But the infusion of good looks isn’t a bad thing.

To me,  though, it only seems worthwhile  if it all provides the cover for the night’s jester to strike a  nerve, or two.



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Emil Guillermo: Magnus Carlsen wins the Gashimov Chess tourney in Azerbaijan; Wesley So finishes 3rd.

soplayinggashAmerican Filipino Wesley So  was trying to convert a draw into a win in 9th round action vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.

But it was  all for naught.

Magnus Carlsen of Norway the World No.1 has already prevailed with a win over Rauf Mamedov.

With 7 points in 9 games, Carlsen was the tourney’s runaway winner.

Meanwhile, So’s perfect scenario didn’t work out.  Viswanathan Anand had to lose his match to Fabiano Caruana. Anand had to be shut out, but a draw gave him a half-point. He finished with 6 points  for sole possession of  second place.

Caruana’s half-point seemingly left him next in third with 5 points.

But So is placed ahead of Caruana because So had more wins in the tournament.

It didn’t  really matter if So eeked out an endgame victory in  this last match because Anand would be a half point ahead.

Still, a good, strong tournament finish for So, playing in back-to-back tournaments after the U.S. Championships earlier this month.



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Emil Guillermo: Sherpas in U.S. pray for Nepal after earthquake.(UPDATED)

Serap Jangbu Sherpa wrote on his Facebook page: “Everybody please let’s take a moment to pray for Nepal and all the Nepalese. It was a massive attack from Mother Nature but please stay strong. Those public monuments we lost, we will raise it again.”

Serap has climbed Mt. Everest three times.


He knows how to overcome difficulty.

But he still isn’t sure how the quake will affect the climbing season with a month to go.   See my column here.

Hard to imagine anything returning to normal.

The injury numbers  coming in are staggering.

As of Sunday morning, more than 2,200 now confirmed dead,  and the aftershocks continue.



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