Ridiculously Hilarious "Daily Show" Bit
SB: You're pooping for what's right.That is FUNNY.
Guy: Yeah, you could say that.
SB: It's what Gandhi would've done
Guy: If he'd been eating.
UPDATE: Jon Stewart is hounding Ed Gillespie, as Kerry was on last night - Stewart asks, "Where's your guy?" Gillespie offers this lame "I'll put in a good word," answer, and Stewart calls him on it, saying, "No you won't."
Stewart is holding Gillespie to the flame - saying SBVFT are lying; asking incredulously, "Are you sure you want to bring that up?" when Gillespie trys to plug www.kerryoniraq.com, and saying it was Bush who, you know, actually brought us into the Iraq war.
Finally, Stewart says in another attempt to get Bush on the show - "I promise I'll be a pussy."
But of course, BC04 is probably more terrified of Jon Stewart than any other potential interviewer. And with good reason, as he's the only interviewer out there who isn't actually a pussy.
What I Learned Watching the Olympics
- American runners are not 'kickers'; it's always important that they run fast early to solidify their position
- What holds back the development of American runners in the 800m is almost always strategy, and not talent
- American runners are basically never favored in the 800m; one runner advanced to the semifinals of the three Americans (from nine heats, top two each heat plus top six times advance)
So why is this?
Unsurprisingly, I have a theory. In two parts:
- Track and field sports are simply not that popular (i.e., able to draw tens of thousands to stadia) in the United States. That is not to say that they are not practiced by many - and many of the best - athletes. But they are not runners, exclusively. There are some marginal sports where America is able exercise (har har) its hyper-superior edge in training facilities and competitive-athletically-imbued culture despite the sport's overall lack of popularity, by the sport being very regionally popular (e.g., swimming and water sports generally in California and Florida; volleyball in California). But track and field sports are more or less universally marginal - the top athletes often use them for off-season training, and the best sometimes find themselves better at track sports than, say, football.
- As a result, there is an enormous glut of the world's best conditioned athletes who participate in track sports for the purposes of training. This means that they're training for, mostly, football and basketball (baseball players, though the most skilled athletes in the world, have more important and difficult things to worry about [e.g., hitting a curve ball] than going really, really fast). These sports emphasize a few things:
So, where does that leave the United States track and field team? Well, these are actually pretty good predictors of the events that the U.S. traditionally dominates - 100m, 200m and 400m sprints, hurdles and relays (esp. relays, given absurd depth of the United States' athletes); long jump; decathalon; the throwing sports (javelin, shot put, hammer, discus [which I really think an ultimate player should train for for 2008]).i) explosive speed over short distances
ii) leaping ability
iii) brute strength
These sports are emphasized, at this point, both for their training ability, the United States' traditional dominance, and also - their ease. The tools that are developed in other sports are easily translated into these events, which in turn help hone those abilities.
So - 800m+ races? What sport is there where running half a mile straight, with proper pacing and race strategy, comes in handy?
Plenty of sprinters and shot-putters went on to the NFL, or vice versa - not so much with the middle distance.
Not that there's anything wrong with that...it's just that, well, there's really no reason the United States should ever lose, at anything.
Great item and I love your pitch. I ordered a case and will slug it with some USA Prime Beef down upon arrival! God Bless America.Nice syntax, idiot.
- S.S., New York City
They give unnecessary homage to Reagan (whose administration proclaimed ketchup was a vegetable). Though at least they've giving their money to a good cause (college scholarships) rather than, you know, a bad one.
It's like DoubleMint gum
Jenna and Barbara Bush are on the campaign trail for daddy-o. I read this snippet on Newsday.com:
"We are asking you to get involved with this campaign not only because it is the most critical election of our lifetime, but also because we have the ability to positively change our future," said the 22-year-old twins."...said the 22-year-old twins"?? Did they speak in sync? Was this a written statement released to the press? I'm not sure which is funnier. No, actually, I am -- the former.
The Associated PressThis is...kind of cool. Moreso, it's potentially cool, but given the penultimate paragraph - i.e., the robot doesn't really work, per se - it's interesting that this was thought worthy of an AP story, and that the WaPo would pick it up.
Thursday, August 19, 2004; 9:04 AM
TOKYO - Seiko Epson Corp. is developing a flying robot that looks like a miniature helicopter and is about the size of a giant bug. The company hopes it'll prove handy for security, disaster rescue and space exploration.
The robot, 3.35 inches tall and 0.4 ounces, follows a flight-route program sent by Bluetooth wireless from a computer.
On board is a 32-bit microcontroller, a super-thin motor, a digital camera that sends blurry images and a tiny gyro-sensor, which the company said may also appear in digital cameras and cell phones as soon as this year to help deliver more precise images.
The Micro Flying Robot barely managed to get off the ground in a demonstration this week. It crashed off the table at one point and required long waits for battery changes. It can fly just three minutes at a time, for now, and its lift was wobbly because the machine's precision is not much better than a wind-up toy.
But developers say its power, relative to its minuscule size, makes it potentially a useful tool for rescue and surveillance. The robot is not yet available for sale; a commercial model is planned for release in two or three years.
Too bad I have work
Bear with me
Head over to the 2004 Olympic basketball tournament page. Scroll down and click on the link that reads "View the Competition Schedule." Wha happon?
in the hypothetical (or, as the case may be, not, though I think I know this blog's readership pretty well) circumstance that you have a child, what sport are they pressured/encouraged to play?
a) football american
f) no sport at all
There is a correct answer to this question, which I've already composed. After y'all e-mail me with your opinions at mingle08 AT
Apparently Pat O'Brien Reads this Blog
But seriously, nobody's ever done the Olympics or NCAAs better than O'Brien, and I just wish he'd realize that (and also what an embarrassment "entertainment journalism" is...) and get back to actually being really, really good at something.So apparently he was paying attention. Kind of. O'Brien is back hosting the Olympics for NBC, though after that he will still start his sure-to-be-awful show, "The Insider" ("more newsy, unpredictable, with longer interviews" than "Access Hollywood", which means that interviews could stretch to 21 seconds even).
And in a further you-can't-make-this-shit-up twise, NBC was at one point suing O'Brien to prevent him from plugging "The Insider" during his 170 hours of anchor-desking.
These freakin' people (i.e., the media in all its hideousness) make me sick.
Also - turns out O'Brien went to SAIS and got a graduate degree there in international economics.
Things That Annoy Me, Part CVII
Now, I knew this was coming. Hotmail had sent me a message about two weeks ago (August 2, to be exact) saying:
Dear MSN® Hotmail® Member:That's really nice.
As a valued MSN Hotmail Member, you will receive your storage upgrade automatically in the coming days. Over the month of August we will upgrade the storage capacity of your e-mail account to 250 MB - that's 125 times your current storage limit! We will also increase your attachment size from 1MB to 10MB. This means you will be able to store and attach more than ever and it's free!
I've had a Hotmail account since well before it was a MSN® Hotmail® account - round about seven (7) years or so, and it's been, up until this morning, 2MB the entire time.
There was a long time when Hotmail was my primary, permanent e-mail - and then a couple of years ago I started bumping up against the ceiling, and rather than delete all my old messages (though I deleted a lot), I just switched. Because other free e-mail had more space, and was...better (e.g., Fastmail).
There was a time when Hotmail was the only game in town as far as free e-mail went (pretty much). Microsoft could've kept it that way, if only they'd've gradually increased storage space, and made their interface better, sleeker, and easier to use.
Instead, they chose to clog their interface, again and again, inserting annoying pages between login and viewing of actual e-mail, and keeping the storage static from 1997.
When Gmail and its splendiforous 1GB of storage came along a couple months back, Yahoo! immediately saw the threat, and within a week and without any hype, upped their mail to 100MB. Which really was nice, and insured that I'd keep using Yahoo! as an auxiliary account (which is all it's ever been). I was a valued customer, and they showed it, and I remain one (though it's not like Yahoo! ever has or will get a cent out of my pockets).
Now, Hotmail does it, and it's "Over the month of August"; yesterday I was in the red and they were threatening to delete my forwarded jokes from high school, now everything's cool.
I suppose I will keep Hotmail as a legacy account - some people for some reason still have that as my e-mail - but nothing else, really; the point of this all is, even when Microsoft does something good, they manage to do it badly.
UPDATE: Fastmail has now also upped the already (or at least previously) superior storage for its pay accounts (of which I have the "Full"); I go from 50MB to 600MB, while the enhanced goes to 2GB. If I ever get some sort of really serious independent consulting gig, this is the option I would take, as it's 2GB, and on a fairly well-protected offshore server. Plus with some really kick-ass other features (e.g., invisibility, ability to shoot lasers from eyes, etc.).
Holy Freakin' Crap
Oh, and btw - yeah, I know the Olympics don't start until tomorrow. That's true. Except for soccer, which started yesterday. Which is stupid.
California Supreme Court Strikes Down SF Marriages
Now wouldn't you think that this is a little, you know, important (i.e., providing the legal context for a story that is entirely about a court decision)? Maybe.
Suits by gay and lesbian couples and the city are pending in San Francisco Superior Court claiming - as Newsom did when he authorized the weddings - that California's opposite-sex-only marriage law violates the state Constitution by discriminating on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.
As promised, the Supreme Court in Thursday's ruling steered clear of the constitutional issue. The justices will probably have to deal with that issue in a year or two when the Superior Court cases work their way up to them on appeal.
Or maybe, as the WaPo does, you can just throw in some stuff about Preznit Bush:
Reacting against what he asserted was the rewriting of marriage laws through judicial activism, President Bush announced earlier this year that he would push for a constitutional amendment to define marriage, effectively banning same-sex marriages nationwide.Yeah. Like that.
130,000 Condoms in Athens
Thanks to the in-depth coverage of ESPN's Page Two, I read this little bit:
Countries: 199I guess so.
Condoms, courtesy of Durex: 130,000
Tubes of lubricant: 30,000
"There's a lot of sex going on," javelin thrower Breaux Greer told Men's Journal. "You get a lot of people who are in shape and, you know, testosterone's up and everybody's attracted to everybody."
This is really an hilarious article. Go check it out.
Thinking, and Alienation, and Stuff
It's as if our anxieties about the headlong pace of technology, of living under the threat of terrorism, of an economy that leaves most of us unsettled long past the age when our parents and grandparents had achieved some semblance of security, about being overwhelmed with choices we're not sure we even want to avail ourselves of, had risen from us like a collective ether and permeated the screen. ...There's more, and it's all good. It pulls together strands of thought in ways I hadn't yet done, and puts its finger on the strain of similarities between a number of films brilliantly.
We are schizophrenic toward engaging with the rest of the world. If we're liberal, we distrust globalization as a means of doing business, insist on multilateralism in our politics, and laud multiculturalism in the arts. "World music" and "world cinema" have become by-phrases for the kind of liberal enlightenment once typified by folk music. We're likely to talk excitedly about how the Internet is shrinking the world, erasing boundaries that once impeded communication, putting us in touch with more people faster than ever before.
And yet the world doesn't feel smaller. If anything, the erasure of boundaries can make the world feel intimidatingly large, too large to feel at home in.
I'll have more on this later, but y'all should read this, digest, and think about it.
The face of a champion, indeed
You read it here first
ALCS: Yankees over the A's in 5.
NLCS: Cardinals over the Marlins in 4.
World Series: Cards over Yanks in 6.
AL East: Orioles finish third for ... what, the 12th straight year?
Fuck the Yankees. But to make sure my dear readers know where I stand: fuck the Red Sox, too. Yankee fans don't deserve anything, and there's nothing more satisfying to non-Bostonians than to watch their city fail again and again at sports. Like Philly.
He is Grooming His Poodle
Just a reminder, kids:
-The new album by Cake, Pressure Chief, comes out on October 5.
-The (amazing and beautiful) film about Andy Goldsworthy, Rivers and Tides, (finally) comes out on DVD on September 28.
-Cribbing entirely from King Kaufman (again) - George Carlin and Thomas Boswell are still right.
Kaufman is also entirely right when he says (talking about ESPN):
It's not like I pine for the old days of some jowly ex-jock in a plaid sport coat reading the scores. I like hip, irreverent and funny. And unlike a lot of sports fans I don't particularly miss "The Big Show," which I enjoyed at the time but didn't think it was anything to build a lifestyle around or anything.Yup.
But I do want to just once watch a Padres-Pirates highlight without wanting to throw something at the TV, you know?
Crazy in the coconut.
-Speaking of crazy: crazy CRAZY crowds for Kerry/Edwards. 20,000 in Kansas City. Which, either way you put it, is in either -
a) Kansas, or
Neither of which are, how shall we say, hotbeds of progressive activism. So, there's that.
Homework for Today
And happy Monday everyone!
On the Importance of Copy Editors
Neglected Market's High EndWow. That is an expensive house. Click to the article, and it makes more sense:
$930M Tudor house shows how upscale mortgages used in affordable housing goals.
The $930,000 Tudor house Jeffrey and Lisa Stegman bought on nearly two acres in Cincinnati in 2001 probably isn't what lawmakers had in mind when they ordered government-sponsored housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help disadvantaged home buyers.Ah yes. 930,000, as opposed to 930,000,000. What's three zeroes, or a K or M, between friends?
Short semi-related convention anecdote - one of the Run Against Bush founders is at one of our parties, and gets asked about the organization by another young woman. She starts talking, giving the schpiel, talking about how all the cute guys are Democrats, etc., and then the woman in the middle of this pulls out a tape recorder.
Run Against Bush says, what are you doing with that tape recorder? Young woman says, oh, I just want to make sure I remember all these quotes for the story. Run Against Bush says, don't use anything I said before you made it clear you were a reporter.
Can ya guess how this story ends? (Hint: it's with the reporter using what she said before she made it clear she was a reporter).
Seriously kids, I had more scruples than the mainstream media when I was editing a freakin' college weekly newspaper.
Other people think I'm funny, apparently
Best (worst) Bushism ... ever?
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."Thank you, Mr. President. This quote can now be found on innumerable news sites, and it is also on the White House website.
The big bad beer blind taste experiment
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Three blind tasters. Random draw to determine order of seeds. Best out of three. Complete consolation rounds to get full rankings.
Mix up the order in which you present the beers to the individuals. This wouldn't be a double-blind experiment, simply because that's too much work. Me handing 4 oz. of PBR to Will Singer isn't going to sway him at all. (Or ... will it?) The only thing we would possibly do is not tell the participants what beers were involved.
Also, every beer must be served at the same temperature. Perhaps 36 hours in the same refrigerator. And every 4 oz. pour must be made at the same interval from refrigerator removal. Am I forgetting anything?
Update on The State
Looking back over them, though...well, worse things have happened.
I've been suffering something like information overload lately - not where it makes me anxious (consumer society and politics take care of that - more on that topic to follow), but just to the point where words kind of whiz by without leaves imprints or effects.
I've also been reading, lately, books that take place in the early-to-mid 20th century, and there's probably a twinge of regret for things lost there.
One thing I do wonder - I always romanticize the 1930s American tub-full-of-beers (a la The Shawshank Redemption), but then I think about it, and that was pretty much before preservatives (I think - right? correct me if I'm wrong about this), so beer probably got skunked pretty quick. And maybe Miller Lite really isn't that bad? I dunno. This thread fell apart from lack of care. Carry on.