October 30, 2013

IAYPA at the halfway point

Minimum:  100 Attempts

Ultra Super-Elite

  • Aaron Rodgers, 8.0   The best quarterback in the NFL
  • Peyton Manning, 7.9  Best regular season quarterback since Marino, or possibly Warren Moon

  • Philip Rivers, 7.6  Partying like it's 2008
  • Michael Vick, 7.6  Injured mid-way through his best passing season ever
  • Drew Brees, 7.5  See Rivers comment

  • Russell Wilson, 7.0 - The NFL shut down the read-option and he's still here
  • Matthew Stafford, 6.9 - The new Tony Romo?
  • Andy Dalton, 6.8
  • Colin Kaepernick, 6.7 - The NFL shut down the read-option and he's still here
  • Tony Romo, 6.7
  • Jake Locker, 6.6
  • Cam Newton, 6.4  - Another "running quarterback" who can throw
  • Andrew Luck, 6.4 - YPA lowest among top group, but just three interceptions

  • Matt Ryan, 6.1 
  • Ben Roethlisberger, 6.1 - Shadow of his former self
  • Jay Cutler, 5.8
  • Sam Bradford, 5.7 - Low YPA…but 14 touchdowns vs. four interceptions
  • Joe Flacco, 5.6 - All this can be yours for $20.1 mm per year
  • Alex Smith, 5.6 - All he does is win football games
  • EJ Manuel, 5.6
  • Robert Griffin III, 5.5 - The NFL shut down the read-option...and he is no longer Elite
  • Chad Henne, 5.5 - Wait, what?  Yes, he has won the job
  • Thad Lewis, 5.4

  • Terrelle Pryor, 5.1 - The Steelers did not quite shut down the read-option
  • Ryan Tannehill, 5.1
  • Tom Brady, 5.0 - Must be hurt…never seen him in the bottom half before
  • Geno Smith, 4.9
  • Christian Ponder, 4.8
  • Matt Schaub, 4.7
  • Mike Glennon, 4.7 - 6' 6", 23 years old, just had a pretty good game…bears watching
  • Eli Manning, 4.6 - Like Brady, this is unprecedented…top half player from day #1
  • Brandon Weeden, 4.4
  • Carson Palmer, 4.3
  • Josh Freeman, 3.8

Dell turnaround, Day #1

Dell engineers have ruled out biological contamination, and said the smell was not a health hazard.


The new LA



This is a mere excerpt:

But all of a sudden some fucking "task force" says that 100-hour weeks are somehow bad for morale? First the NFL outlaws leading with the head, and now junior fucking bankers at Goldman Fucking Sachs can't come to work Thursday morning and work straight through to Monday any more, because, wah wah wah, it's too hard, and they might run off and get a job at some bitch ass PE firm in fucking Connecticut, or even at that limp-wristed den of beanbag chairs, Google? Excuse us, you delicate little flowers, does being a small cog in a large machine that rules the fucking global economy not indulge your creative side enough? Do 25 year-old junior bankers at Goldman Fucking Sachs need to stay home and bake fucking cookies on Sundays? Are they going to fucking church? What world is this?


October 25, 2013

Fuck yeah to that, too

Cassini, fuck yeah!


Sound is a little weak on this so be sure to max out your volume

Kowloon Cross Section

I would be  inclined to think of the former Kowloon Walled City as extremely horrible to live in, but this blueprint cross section of the buildings, and all the objects and occupants, leaves the opposite impression. It was completely full of the wonder of human life.

October 24, 2013

Quonset Huts of Los Angeles, #1

Rosecrans and Crenshaw (via Google Streetview)

This is two miles west of Compton, which I drove through today because, let's face it, I am 100% Street and that's just how I roll.  Also, I got lost, and thought it would be pretty embarrassing for a white guy to do an immediate u-turn after seeing the "Welcome to Compton" sign.

October 23, 2013

Of course

October 22, 2013

No kidding

The test, which was invented by scientists, is here.

October 21, 2013

Yo también

October 20, 2013

Leonard Shapiro and Seneca on the entertainments


Some believe that a CBS documentary, “The Violent World of Sam Huff,” first aired in 1960, may have sparked the popularity of professional football. Huff was a celebrated New York Giants linebacker halfway through a Hall of Fame career at the time, and the documentary gave viewers an up-close look at the sound and fury of the pro game, using mini-microphones to pick up trash talk and the high-decibel thump of body against body, helmet against helmet. 

Half a century later, a highlight-driven sports culture, fueled by ESPN’s “SportsCenter” and YouTube clips, has increased the emphasis on Big Hits — the wicked shots heard ’round the football world.

. . .

We should have been on this story far earlier. It’s not as if this was a deep, dark secret. At every Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony each August in Canton, Ohio, it’s difficult to ignore former all-pros limping, leaning on canes or rolling onto the stage in wheelchairs. In conversations with countless former players, we hear about replaced knees, hips and shoulders, surgically repaired necks and backs. Worst of all, there’s clear evidence of memory loss and dementia from concussions either undiagnosed, shrugged off or totally ignored. 

One player I know recalled being knocked out 10 times in his final season of football. He often was allowed to go back onto the field when he seemed to have regained his senses. That player now calls me “Buddy” because he can’t remember my name, even though in 1986 I collaborated with him on a book about his life called “Tough Stuff.” 

His name is Sam Huff.



Do you ask me what you should regard as especially to be avoided? I say, crowds; for as yet you cannot trust yourself to them with safety. I shall admit my own weakness, at any rate; for I never bring back home the same character that I took abroad with me. 

. . . 

But nothing is so damaging to good character as the habit of lounging at the games; for then it is that vice steals subtly upon one through the avenue of pleasure. What do you think I mean? I mean that I come home more greedy, more ambitious, more voluptuous, and even more cruel and inhuman, because I have been among human beings. By chance I attended a mid-day exhibition, expecting some fun, wit, and relaxation, - an exhibition at which men's eyes have respite from the slaughter of their fellow-men. But it was quite the reverse. The previous combats were the essence of compassion; but now all the trifling is put aside and it is pure murder. The men have no defensive armour. They are exposed to blows at all points, and no one ever strikes in vain. Many persons prefer this programme to the usual pairs and to the bouts "by request." Of course they do; there is no helmet or shield to deflect the weapon. What is the need of defensive armour, or of skill? All these mean delaying death. In the morning they throw men to the lions and the bears; at noon, they throw them to the spectators. The spectators demand that the slayer shall face the man who is to slay him in his turn; and they always reserve the latest conqueror for another butchering. The outcome of every fight is death, and the means are fire and sword. This sort of thing goes on while the arena is empty. You may retort: "But he was a highway robber; he killed a man!" And what of it? Granted that, as a murderer, he deserved this punishment, what crime have you committed, poor fellow, that you should deserve to sit and see this show? In the morning they cried "Kill him! Lash him! Burn him; Why does he meet the sword in so cowardly a way? Why does he strike so feebly? Why doesn't he die game? Whip him to meet his wounds! Let them receive blow for blow, with chests bare and exposed to the stroke!" And when the games stop for the intermission, they announce: "A little throatcutting in the meantime, so that there may still be something going on!" 

Come now; do you not understand even this truth, that a bad example reacts on the agent? Thank the immortal gods that you are teaching cruelty to a person who cannot learn to be cruel. The young character, which cannot hold fast to righteousness, must be rescued from the mob; it is too easy to side with the majority. Even Socrates, Cato, and Laelius might have been shaken in their moral strength by a crowd that was unlike them; so true it is that none of us, no matter how much he cultivates his abilities, can withstand the shock of faults that approach, as it were, with so great a retinue. Much harm is done by a single case of indulgence or greed; the familiar friend, if he be luxurious, weakens and softens us imperecptibly; the neighbour, if he be rich, rouses our covetousness; the companion, if he be slanderous, rubs off some of his rust upon us, even though we be spotless and sincere. What then do you think the effect will be on character, when the world at large assaults it! You must either imitate or loathe the world. 


October 19, 2013

Behold, the Franklin Expedition card!

A bit of Dasgupta

I actually got to meet Dasgupta a few years ago.  It was an interesting conversation until he asked, in his perfectly correct English accent, where I had taken my education.  I said something like "I'm an analyst, I got my learning on the streets," and he looked at me with an inscrutable gaze tinged with bafflement and pity.  The conversation faded and drifted away on soft Dutch breeze.

Anyway, Brad DeLong makes his students read this, and you should, too:

DeLong's note on why Dasgupta should be read is here:

October 17, 2013

LOTR Strangers

Down to the last few pages now.  We've been reading The Lord of the Rings most nights since our first encounter last April.  The fun's not quite over - we're currently scouring the Shire, and that led to a fine Stranger moment:
The man stared at him and smiled. ‘A beggar in the wilderness!’ he mocked. ‘Oh, is he indeed? Swagger it, swagger it , my little cock-a-whoop. But that won’t stop us living in this fat little country where you have lazed long enough. And’ - he snapped his fingers in Frodo’s face - ‘King’s messengers! That for them! When I see one, I’ll take notice, perhaps.’  
This was too much for Pippin. His thoughts went back to the Field of Cormallen, and here was a squint-eyed rascal calling the Ring-bearer ‘little cock-a-whoop’. He cast back his cloak, flashed out his sword, and the silver and sable of Gondor gleamed on him as he rode forward.  
‘I am a messenger of the King,’ he said. ‘You are speaking to the King’s friend, and one of the most renowned in all the lands of the West. You are a ruffian and a fool. Down on your knees in the road and ask pardon, or I will set this troll’s bane in you!’ The sword glinted in the westering sun. Merry and Sam drew their swords also and rode up to support Pippin; but Frodo did not move. The ruffians gave back. Scaring Bree-land peasants, and bullying bewildered hobbits, had been their work. Fearless hobbits with bright swords and grim faces were a great surprise. And there was a note in the voices of these newcomers that they had not heard before. It chilled them with fear. 

This is my second favorite stranger moment in The Lord of the Rings.  There are quite a few, but for me none surpasses Aragorn's presentation of his credentials to Éomer, not only for its dramatic power, but for his calling bullshit on Rohan's rationalizing and claims of neutrality:
Éomer raised his sword, and things might have gone ill, but Aragorn sprang between them, and raised his hand. ‘Your pardon, Éomer!’ he cried. ‘When you know more you will understand why you have angered my companions. We intend no evil to Rohan, nor to any of its folk, neither to man nor to horse. Will you not hear our tale before you strike?’  
‘I will ,’ said Éomer lowering his blade. ‘But wanderers in the Riddermark would be wise to be less haughty in these days of doubt. First tell me your right name.’ 
‘First tell me whom you serve,’ said Aragorn. ‘Are you friend or foe of Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor?’ 
‘I serve only the Lord of the Mark, Théoden King son of Thengel,’ answered Éomer. ‘We do not serve the Power of the Black Land far away, but neither are we yet at open war with him; and if you are fleeing from him, then you had best leave this land. There is trouble now on all our borders, and we are threatened; but we desire only to be free, and to live as we have lived, keeping our own, and serving no foreign lord, good or evil. We welcomed guests kindly in the better days, but in these times the unbidden stranger finds us swift and hard. Come! Who are you? Whom do you serve? At whose command do you hunt Orcs in our land?’ 
‘I serve no man,’ said Aragorn; ‘but the servants of Sauron I pursue into whatever land they may go. There are few among mortal Men who know more of Orcs; and I do not hunt them in this fashion out of choice. The Orcs whom we pursued took captive two of my friends. In such need a man that has no horse will go on foot, and he will not ask for leave to follow the trail. Nor will he count the heads of the enemy save with a sword. I am not weaponless.’  
Aragorn threw back his cloak. The elven-sheath glittered as he grasped it, and the bright blade of Andúril shone like a sudden flame as he swept it out. ‘Elendil!’ he cried. ‘I am Aragorn son of Arathorn, and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again! Will you aid me or thwart me? Choose swiftly!’

October 14, 2013

Too Fun, Had to Write a Friedman IHOP gag...

 "You can't float by falafel stand in the Mid-east in a 150 foot hybrid yacht without realizing that seen through a live satellite view of looking at people's heads offered at Skyheads.com -developed by the renegade Hartford team of the warm-hearted, round- faced Bill and Shirley, who told me over lobster puffs how they took a $25 millon investment in the web and turned it into $26 million in less than seven years by moving around currency- the Israeli falafel and Palestinian falafels stands are culturally united by Garbanzo beans, an underrecognized miracle ingredient that feeds over billion people on some Tuesdays. And in the same way, our new gluten free Clown Face Pancake Nu-Classic, made with hearty dark buckwheat, brings children of all different allergies together with a glimmer of hope that with a 4G LTE connection and a dash of capital just like the chocolate sprinkles that make the banana nose look like it has freckles, the Chinese markets might one day be open to them as well, and war might be thing of the past."

October 13, 2013

Isn't that special

The Angst-Joken: Now Depressing Facebook.

BAM-Os! Shoes for Cool Kids

A lady at Goldman-Sachs is at work one day, drinking her half-caff mocha. She analyzes the children's shoe market in a small overseas country: if thousands of adult workers could be fired and replaced with children, return on investment would increase by 1.7%, generating significant added market value in advance of a possible public offering. Children could make luxury shoes for - haha! how ironic!- the  children at the top 5% of the market, and she has a good chuckle at her little joke.  All that has to be done is bribe a few officials, weaken child labor laws, exploit religious bigotry to de-fund public education, ban trade unions, maybe scare a few activists, and make a stylish campaign emphasizing cutting edge design and how they use greener, recycled materials.

Later, on her way back to a lower Manhattan Starbucks, she's run over by a school bus. This story has a happy ending, as thousands of jobs making shoes in a sweat shop in Asia were saved.

And we're done here

RUMOR: Disney and Warner Brothers to Bring “The Lord of the Rings” to Disney Parks


October 12, 2013

Once you start lying, it gets tough to keep track

I actually have to talk with a group this week about the standoff.  I will have a lot of trouble being both "honest" and "fair."

The ugliest thing about this episode for me is the collusion of Mankiw and Feldstein.  I'm not shocked they've fallen in line - people who work where they work and make what they make are supposed to sell the party position when told to do so.

My point is that these guys don't work for the fringe, they work for HQ, and that tells you a lot about what's really going on.  Apparently HQ told them to say the default was no big deal, so that's what they're doing.

Well, bullshit, gentlemen, and, thanks to your participation, bullshit to the story that this is all because of some fringe actors in the House.

Umm, that's correct, is it not?

"I heard just before I came, some senator from Arizona, a guy that liked Gaddafi before he wanted to bomb him," Gohmert said. "A guy that's been to Syria and supported al Qaeda and the rebels."


McCain's office said it would not dignify Gohmert's comment with a response.

But that's right, isn't it?  McCain went to Syria in support of the opposition, which does, in fact, have a strong al Qaeda faction.  If he didn't support the Syrian opposition, what was the point of the trip?

So, John McCain, are you for this guy or against him?  Since you went to Syria in support of the cause he was fighting for, isn't natural to assume you support him?

I'm fine! How are you?

Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney cleared a final hurdle Friday in building a new house in California, a house that will include a four-car garage with an elevator for the vehicles.


October 11, 2013

Unlikely Animal Friendships.

This eel has been this shrimp's AA sponsor for three years.

At the Onion.

Me too

Edwin Meese? Meese... Now, that's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time.

How's that shut-ey down-ey stuff working out for ya?

I believe this story could lead to a new Golden Age of Comedy

A group of rabbis face kidnapping charges after allegedly arranging assaults of Orthodox Jewish husbands to persuade them to grant divorces to their wives, authorities said Thursday.


It all reminds me of a joke I heard a long time ago:

Q:  Why do Jewish divorces cost so much?
A:  Because they're worth it.

                 - Henny Youngman

Additionally, I wonder if many of the wives might have stayed in the marriage, if offered the beating-only option.

Reduced for Easy Consumption

Imagine someone rolling out a thunderous three-hour barrage of the most inventive, righteous, graphically unmistakable obscenities, a bombarding battery of abuse that would make Richard Pryor blush, the furious fusillade directed at a clutch of suited men of a certain age with questionable haircuts, the flappy countenances of the morally bankrupt and the air of deflating blimps, as with shaking legs and withering fiber they are reduced to their chairs, thus triggering one by one hundreds of pre-positioned whoopee cushions. Having imagined me doing that, further comment on the Republican Party will be unnecessary this week.

Yglesias breaks meditation, opens can of whoop-ass, then returns to zen-like calm

[Tool Niall] Ferguson might want to consider a meta-rational approach in which he wonders if the range of people who disagree with him about such matters doesn't possibly reflect Ferguson's own wrongness rather than the vast reach of the Krugman conspiracy.

That said, it would perhaps be helpful at this context to simply turn the other cheek.


October 09, 2013

I'd sprunt but I'm all wamblecropt

USEFUL information from The Guardian.


October 08, 2013

Perfect Joke, Number 1

Bugs Bunny.

October 06, 2013

This one goes out to the Nazgul

Meanwhile, at the GOP House Caucus...

When promo graphics go bad




This just in

KOTOR fucking rocks.  This is a known thing, but it is true.

Now available, re-skinned and sweetly playable, for iPad.

October 04, 2013

Anyone we know?

Apparently someone at the Alaska division of the National Weather Service has too much free time on their hands.

How dare they waste time on frivolous things like this, while not collecting a paycheck?

October 03, 2013

No Shit?

This just in.. NYT "Republican Centrists Ushered in the Gingrich-Era of Hyperpartisanship..."

Who Wants a Bellyrub?

The Onion correctly executes the core purpose of comedy.

They don't know what they want but they know how to get it

"We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is."

I will never forget this magical time.