November 25, 2014

Please Enjoy Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin Pouring A Teensy Bit of Acid on the Concrete of the System

In the wake of the what, oh really? $100,000 fine on Marshawn Lynch for not talking to the media, is this.

November 23, 2014

DeLong amok

Today as in 1902 the poor have to spend their incomes in order to buy their necessities. Today as in 1902 the middle class have to spend their incomes to buy their necessities and the conveniences they need in order to ensure themselves that they are not among the poor. And today the rich can spend their incomes or not, depending on current and expected future interest rates, the magic wand of the Confidence Fairy, the state of long-term expectation, the level of interest rates, the availability of financial markets to summon the Genie of Risk Tolerance, the Inflation-Expectations Imp, and other factors.


November 22, 2014

Art interlude

November 21, 2014

Reduction Gear to the Known Universe

A UW Math Grad student in my figure class forwarded this to me- it's an art piece in Boston by Arthur Ganson.

"Each worm/worm gear pair reduces the speed of the motor by 1/50th. Since there are 12 pairs of gears, the final speed reduction is calculated by (1/50)12. The implications are quite large. With the motor turning around 200 revolutions per minute, it will take well over two trillion years before the final gear makes but one turn. Given the truth of this situation, it is possible to do anything at all with the final gear, even embed it in concrete."

Courage Beyond Your Nation: Lt. Thompson at My Lai

Regarding a man who helped stopped the slaughter by ordering machine gun cover against fellow American soldiers at My Lai, Maj. Hugh Thompson,

The Reddit thread has veterans' anecdotes about training to dehumanize the enemy.

November 17, 2014

More media meddling in good fun

November 15, 2014

Over the top, really

I'm out

Brown's exploits run through some of the most momentous events of world history. He was at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, he interrogated Hermann Goering, helped liberate the Belsen concentration camp and by chance managed to sing with the Glenn Miller band.  [He was also one of only two survivors of the sinking of HMS Audacity.]

But his greatest achievements were as a Royal Navy test pilot...


Bonus:  NOT an obituary

November 13, 2014

Say hello to the reality hammer, bitches

November 09, 2014

Let me clarify

When I said "no one can shell a mediocre defense like Peyton Manning," I may have overlooked someone in Green Bay:

November 04, 2014

A Link For the Republicans in Your Life

Rainbow Stalin, the most fabulous communism.

November 02, 2014

Trouble on the Dwarf ride


October 31, 2014

In the words of others

"[T]hat boy would try to steal a steak off the devil’s plate.”
- His Father

"What he did last night in the modern context of baseball – the way it’s played, the way they’re coddled, the way they (have a) five-man do what he did in the modern era, it was extraordinary."
- Bob Ryan

"Now he belongs to history, alongside Christy Mathewson and Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Randy Johnson. The pantheon of World Series pitching greats must welcome a new member. Madison Bumgarner burst into the club with a performance for the ages in Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday."
- Tyler Kepner, The New York Times

"These are just games, like any other games, and he’s good in these games because he’s good in all games, right? Nothing more than that? He doesn’t actually become some different pitcher with different skills and a different brain, does he?  Of course not. We know this. And yet as we watch inning after inning, our resolve weakens and we begin to think that maybe there is something that is, undeniably, very different.”
- Sam Miller, Baseball Prospectus

"I don’t know what it felt like watching Mathewson pitch, but watching Bumgarner is like feeling an expertly administered epidural nip in between a couple of vertebrae and deliver bliss: it’s a gliding, almost eventless slide through the innings, with accumulating fly-ball outs and low-count K’s marking the passing scenery. It’s twilight sleep; an Ambien catnap; an evening voyage on a Watteau barge. Bumgarner is composed out there, his expression mournful, almost apologetic, even while delivering his wide-wing, slinging stuff. Sorry, guys: this is how it goes. Over soon."
- Roger Angell, The New Yorker  (link)

"Best post season performance ever."
- Curt Schilling

Justice is served: NO DUCKS FOR YOU

After Welker pleaded not guilty to the charge, his attorney, Bob Weir, filed an affirmative defense, meaning that the facts concerning Welker's situation should be enough to excuse what is otherwise illegal conduct. 

Testifying on Wednesday, Welker's wife, Shirley Wagner, argued that since the ducks are registered with a national service registry as emotional support animals, and since no neighbors have personally complained to them, they should be permitted. 


October 28, 2014

"His name is Jake Peavy, and he sucks."

End of story.

IAYPA - Fevered Dreams of a Madman edition

In which Kyle Orton is having a better season than Andrew Luck, and a Cleveland quarterback is in the top five.

Ultra-Super Elite
Peyton Manning - 7.9  Epitaph:  No one could shell a mediocre defense like Peyton Manning.
Aaron Rodgers - 7.8  Takes a lot of sacks.  Beats the hell of out of throwing it to the other team.

Ultra Elite
Ben Roethlisberger - 7.4  Washed up, according to reports last year.  They were incorrect.
Brian Hoyer - 7.4  The Cleveland reporters may not be impressed, but this guy is playing great.
Philip Rivers - 7.2 
Carson Palmer - 7.1
Tony Romo - 7.0
Tom Brady - 7.0  Not bad for a a guy who's lost all his ability.
Kyle Orton - 6.9  Hell has frozen over.

Super Elite
Andrew Luck - 6.6
Andy Dalton - 6.6 
Colin Kaepernick - 6.6  Not bad for a perennial disappointment.
Russell Wilson - 6.5  "Russell Wilson's really good." - Jeff Fisher
Drew Brees - 6.4 
Cam Newton - 6.3 

Elite (median value for all QBs w/ >100 attempts is 6.2)
Matt Ryan - 6.2 
Matthew Stafford - 6.2 
Austin Davis - 6.2 
Ryan Fitzpatrick- 6.2 
Kirk Cousins - 6.2 
Joe Flacco - 6.1 
Alex Smith - 6.1 

Eli Manning - 5.9  So it's the Super Bowl.  Are you starting him or his brother?
Jay Cutler - 5.8 
Mike Glennon - 5.6 

Ryan Tannehill - 5.3 
Nick Foles - 5.3 
EJ Manuel - 5.3 
Teddy Bridgewater - 5.2 
Derek Carr - 5.1 
Jake Locker - 5.0 

Blake Bortles, 3.8  League leader in interceptions (12), two pick sixes vs. Dolphins this week
Geno Smith, 3.7 2nd in League in interceptions (10), including three in the first quarter over...or is it?

Don't give up Geno.  Kyle Orton lived here for almost a decade, now resides in the same neighborhood as Tom Brady and Andrew Luck.  Miracles do happen, even in the NFL.

October 26, 2014

I said it once

But it bears repeating.

Sorry, you bought a ticket for the full program, and this is included

Wilhelm II died of a pulmonary embolism at Huis Doorn, on 4 June 1941, with German occupation soldiers on guard at the gates of his estate. He was buried in a small mausoleum in the gardens, to await his return to Germany upon the restoration of the Prussian monarchy, according to the terms of his will. His wish that no swastikas would be displayed at his funeral was not heeded.


Open to the public, btw

The property was purchased in 1919 by Wilhelm II, the last German Emperor, as his residence-in-exile (1920–1941), following his abdication after World War I. During his years in exile, he was allowed to travel freely within a 15 mile radius of his house, but journeys farther than that meant that advance notice had to be given to a local government official. As he disliked having to kowtow to a minor official, he rarely journeyed beyond the "free" limit. The former Emperor regularly exercised by chopping down many of the estate's trees, splitting the logs into stacks of firewood, thereby denuding the matured landscape as the years progressed. Hence he was called by his enemies "The Woodchopper of Doorn".


October 25, 2014

And I'm down the rabbit hole

So, the Kaiser was asked in 1938 what he thought of Hitler, according to this thing I found on the Internet.  Here is his verdict:

So, for Wilhelm, sitting in the Netherlands in 1938, the problem with Hitler is: 1) he's not a family man, 2) he's not religious, and 3) he doesn't have any monarchical right to absolute power.

Not that he wasn't on board for a while.  He admits National Socialism had a certain allure for him, especially when one considers the quality of the people involved...

Just a quick runthrough of that roster:
  • Papen was the one who convinced Hindenberg that this Hitler guy was quite harmless and should be allowed into the government.  He quit after they killed some of his friends during the Night of the Long Knives, but the Nazis found roles for him throughout the war - ambassador to Turkey etc.  When captured at his home he remarked that "I wish this terrible war were over." An American paratroopers replied "so do 11 million other guys!"  Acquitted at Nuremberg.
  • Schleicher was the last chancellor of the Weimar Republic.  Didn't like Papen as a potential successor, so he voted the Hitler ticket.  He figured he'd still be in charge, since he ran the Army.  He slipped on a bar of soap and fell on a bullet in 1933.
  • Neurath - Foreign minister until 1938.  In the late 30s he and Blomberg (below) warned that attacking Russia would lead to a repeat of WWI, with the western powers forcing Germany into a war on two fronts.  He was fine with the annexation of Austria and Czechoslovokia, just didn't want to go too far.  Hitler, knowing he needed a wartime consigliere, replaced him with Ribbentrop.  Neurath went on to various domestic roles, but lacking sufficient enthusiasm for the agenda was denuded of his remaining powers.  He "tried to resign" on several occasions and finally managed to do so in 1943.  Convicted on various charges at Nuremberg, he got a compassionate release from Spandau in 1954, died in 1956.
  • Blomberg - Commander-in-Chief of the German armed forces from 1933-1938, "one of Hitler's most devoted followers."  A 1928 visit to the Soviet Union persuaded him of the military benefits of totalitarianism.  He had practical experience with those benefits, too:  stuck with the job of organizing the defense of East Prussia with just one division in the early 30s, he found that making lists of every man of military age for potential conscription was helpful.  He was a big fan of the Hitler Oath for the military.  Alas, in 1938 it emerged (with help from Göring) that his second wife had once been the subject of dirty pictures, taken by a Jew. His career was over.  Raeder tried to convince him to commit suicide, but Blomberg instead spent a year-long honeymoon on the Isle of Capri.  He spent WWII in obscurity and gave evidence at Nuremburg, where he died of cancer and was buried in an unmarked grave.
These are the fine men on whom Wilhelm had staked his hopes.  Without their cultural centeredness and fine moral guidance, he can see only naked, meaningless, mundane, victory:

Who among us has not...?

From one day to the next, Roth lost his job, his German publisher, and his German royalties at a time when his expenses increased. The clinic where his wife was being cared for was expensive. He had to support his mistress, Andrea Manga Bell, and her two children from her brief marriage to a Duala king in southern Cameroon. 


The Kaiser was a dick

From The Economist's review of a new book on Wilhelm II:
[He] was convinced that a racial war in which the Teutons would have to crush the Slavs once and for all was more or less inevitable.

[W]hen Bethmann Hollweg produced his highly expansionist war-aims memorandum in September 1914, the Kaiser wanted to go even further.

In exile, his conviction that the “Jewish rabble” had deceived the German people into betraying its Kaiser and its army fuelled his anti-Semitism to the point of mania. Thanks to Hitler, Wilhelm at least died a happy man in 1941 at the height of Nazi power in Europe and as the Wehrmacht was preparing for its war of extermination in the east.

October 24, 2014

Enjoy this Album Cover

October 23, 2014

Taffin would, I think, reluctantly approve

Although he did not use a sixgun, Kevin Vickers otherwise demonstrated Taffin-esque virtues.  He remained calm.  He retrieved his firearm from a locked box.  He fired it accurately and effectively.  And then he called his mother to tell her he was okay.

In an age of quasi-military abundance-of-caution types who prioritize costume and rate of fire above responsible alertness and good aim, it's worth noticing what effective self-defense with a firearm looks like.

And it's worth noticing what a hero looks like.  As you get further into that Washington Post story, itr becomes apparent that this may not be the most important thing he's ever done.

More like this, please.

October 22, 2014

Don Young is a Spectacular Asshole

Don Young says things again.


In honor of Bradlee, whose language was famously not a model of restraint, I’d like to say, fuck that. 


That ain't right

October 19, 2014

That's my President

“One of the things that Obama wanted to know was: Did this ever work?”


October 16, 2014

Botvinnik-Bronstein, 1951

photo source: Chess Notes 

"I just wanted to show he was not a God." - David Bronstein


His name is...

What's the difference between a New York consultant and an LA consultant?

See for yourself:

- Los Angeles

- New York

Hope you find that as educational as I did.

October 11, 2014


Oh come on, do we have to pass the fucking hat?

October 10, 2014

This should be really fun

[Y]ou can pit star quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson against each other now on “Temple Run 2.”

Kaepernick and Wilson are the first two NFL players featured in the hit mobile game as part of a new licensing agreement announced Friday between the NFL Players association and “Temple Run 2″ publisher Imangi Studios.


(I bought the Usain Bolt avatar a couple of years ago on vacation, and it was worth every penny.)

Running away?

Reports: Seahawks could move back to AFC West


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