Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Thunderstruck - 2 Cellos



These guys are awesome!

Bon Scott

On this day back in 1980 Bon Scott died - some say he choked on his own vomit but his death certificate says "death by misadventure" (wouldn't that be a great name for a band?). Anyway - here are what I consider the top 5 AC/DC songs with Bon Scott as frontman.

1. It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)
2. Whole Lotta Rosie
3. Highway to Hell
4. Jailbreak
5. (tie) TNT (tie) Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) may be the most perfect hard rock song ever recorded. There is no way to improve on that song. Not many people know this but Bon Scott wasn't even the original lead singer for AC/DC. It was a guy named Dave Evans who Scott replaced after about a year.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

The amusing thing about the Jussie Smollett hoax is now the phrase "This is MAGA country!" will be used as a punchline to make fun of the media and celebrities who fell hook line and sinker for the hoax. Their bias is worthy of much mocking... I still really want to see an Olympic ski jumping contest where all the athletes have to wear those fly squirrel suits... I would love to own a cafe with one of these machines... Just found out that Leonard Nimoy was a huge New England Patriots fan. Because of that he's now my favorite Star Wars character... See what I mean... "Gratitude is the wine of the soul. Go on. Get drunk!" - Rumi... Whenever I do yoga I say, "I have to do this more often." Whenever I drink too much I say, "I'm never doing this again." Yet somehow I find myself often drinking too much and doing yoga too little...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- How the Green New Deal would exploit poverty-stricken people across the globe.

- No thank you!

- This could be a pretty cool movie.

- Wicked cool

- Is marijuana as safe as we think? Interesting article by Malcolm Gladwell.

- Could push-ups be the key to heart health?

- Cool

Iowa Caucus 2020

I am still obsessed with the idea of running for President in 2020. It's not like I have a burning desire for politics or a giant ego that needs to be stroked. It's just that I'm pretty sure I could do better than Martin O'Malley's 0.6% of the vote he got in 2016.

Seriously - you should be able to convince enough strangers to vote for you as a favor or as a joke to do better than 0.6% of the vote. My real goal would be to fall between the 1.8% Mike Huckabee got and the 4.5% Rand Paul got. That should be enough votes to earn at least a single delegate. Me and that lucky delegate would party our asses off at the National Convention.

My platform would be simple and straightforward. "I'm a regular guy running for office because I want to send the message of bringing common sense and fairness back to politics." That's my whole platform. Oh - and I would always ask for the order. I would shake people's hand, look them in the eye and not let go until they promised to vote for me come caucus day.

The federal regulations allow a candidate to pay themselves the same salary as the office they are seeking. So I could potentially pay myself up to $400,000 for running for President. Time to line up some heavy duty sponsors!

Lynch 2020. I have to start working on the bumper stickers.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

This Week in Musk World

With Valentine's Day this past Tuesday maybe the big news on the Tesla front this week was the features and upgrades starting with the perfect time to use Tesla's Romance Mode.

Sentry mode was made active.
Dog Mode was released.
- And of course let's not forget about Fart Mode.

The Kia Niro EV could emerge as the leading competition to the Model 3 in the US. That is once the car is available in more than 12 states. Audi teases the Q4 e-tron as a potential competitor to the Model Y. The Q4 e-tron SUV is not scheduled to be available until late 2020 (is that why they called it the Q4?) or 2021. The Model Y gets a head start as it is supposed to be ready for shipment in 2020 and if it gets a perfect crash-test safety rating like it's big brother the Model X then the Model Y will be tough to top. Meanwhile Amazon invests $700 million in electric pickup truck startup Rivian. Setting up Bezos vs Musk once again (like SpaceX vs Blue Origin). GM is also rumored to be an investor in the Michigan based startup.

Threats of competition are nothing new for Tesla. But if Tesla can continue to top the lists of "most satisfying" cars this competition will continue to exist largely on paper. And as noted by Morgan Stanley - Tesla's Supercharger Network is a big competitive advantage. Even if Tesla opens up the Supercharger Network to other manufacturers just the subconscious sheepishness of an owner connecting to a Supercharger with a big "TESLA" on it will make them feel probably a little more than second class.

In non-hypothetical news - the first big shipment of Model 3's made landfall in China this week. Real cars, real revenue. The shipments would continue to be in place until the new Gigafactory in China is complete. But once again - real cars, real revenue.

In SpaceX news - it could cost less than $500,000 to move to Mars and maybe as little as $100,000 according to Elon. Musk stated that the return trip would be free for those wishing to leave. He also stated that the chances of him going to Mars is 70% (kinda skeptical of that). SpaceX is facing certification review by the Pentagon. It is stated that "it's not known what sparked the Pentagon investigation" but a cynic could say that the answer was supplied earlier in the article when it was noted that certification allowed SpaceX to "take on regular defense contractors Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp." Money talks.

An Elon Musk backed AI company created a text generator AI that's too good out of the box causing the company to slow down the project to look for potential harmful issues with the technology. Musk hasn't been active with the company in over a year and does not sit on the company's board. It should also be noted the Musk is also one of the most outspoken leaders on the existential damage AI could cause to mankind. All that said - I would like to read the rest of the 1984 story the AI text generator would have created.

Artificial Intelligence may be an existential threat but self-driving cars can be an actual threat as underlined by this recent crash. I'm not sold on auto-pilot for any vehicles yet. That doesn't make me a grumpy old man either. Just makes me a pragmatist.

Scott Adams and Naval Ravikant



Wide-ranging informative discussion between Scott Adams and Naval Ravikant. Takes about and hour and a half but well worth your time. I will be watching/listening to this more than once.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Still one of the greatest scenes in TV history

- Steven Pressfield: How to overcome resistance & why talent doesn't matter

- Getting ahead by being inefficient

- Heh Heh

- Perhaps the headline of the year

- Interactive map plots your address over 750 million years of Earth's history

- From a Church in Philadelphia, Sports Reference Informs the World. Cool story on one of my favorite web sites.

The Mirrorworld

"The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet." - William Gibson
AR [augmented reality] Will Spark the Next Big Tech Platform - Call it Mirrorworld is a fascinating article in the latest Wired. The article was written by Kevin Kelly who has a proven track record of being out front of new technology changes in society.

After reading it I was convinced that future generations and historians may look back at Pokemon Go! the same way we look back at Ford's Model T. The Mirrorworld is coming and in fact in many ways is already here.

Just not widely distributed yet.

Jocko Willink - Good



Get some!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Bruce Lee at the 1967 Long Beach Tournament



Cool stuff.

Via Tim Ferriss' 5 Bullet Friday.

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- I really want this bobblehead

- The guy's a badass

- Heh heh - meanwhile in Peru. Maybe it's an emotional support llama?

- Absolutely a Green Deal I could get behind

- Heh heh

- Social Security does need some changes to make sure it is viable long term. But I think any plan that doesn't include gradually increasing the retirement age to reflect increases in human longevity is just ignoring reality.

- How can you not root for Isaiah Thomas?

Venezuela and Bitcoin

The Motley Fools say Bitcoin is about to face an important test. The energy to power Bitcoin mining and thus driving the whole blockchain transaction process may become too expense to support the model. And of course this made me think of Venezuela.

In specific it reminded me of my Modest Proposal to have Venezuela adopt Bitcoin as their national currency. Even though Bitcoin prices are way down from their peak - they are still double of where they were when I first made this proposal.

The amount to be disbursed among all the people would be less (because of the price increase) but the basics of the Modest Proposal are still the same, But I'd add one more wrinkle. I'd purchase a number of small nuclear reactors to both shore up the robustness of the power grid in Venezuela and to also put any excess power towards Bit-mining. 

It's a win-win all around. The people of Venezuela get a needed infusion of capital into the system, currency and pricing gets stabilized, going with Bitcoin basically as the national currency means the information infrastructure also gets upgraded, and the power grid is made more robust. Win-win-win-win.

So let it be written - so let it be done.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- This is kinda why regular people distrust the media on climate change

- 10 principles to live an anti-fragile life

- Tolstoy's 10 rules for life. Think I completely disagree with his 7th rule.

- Dilbert's Unified Theory of Everything Financial. Good to review this every once and a while.

- These tires actually look pretty cool

- We don't need a green new deal. The Earth is already getting greener (according to NASA)

- Mookie Betts may be the best athlete alive

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Maybe one of the reasons these "new" Democrats are so anti-Israel is that 42-years ago Israel basically switched from socialism to capitalism and that change has made all the difference... "I went to the doctor and told him 'my penis was burning'. He said "that just meant someone is talking about it." - Garry Shandling (one of my favorite quotes)... How to get rich (without getting lucky). You need to revisit this thread from Naval every once and a while... I still think the word "disseminate" should refer to when a man masturbates to climax... Rio de Janeiro means "River of January". I wonder if somewhere there's a Rio de Febrero?... I think the crisis in faith in the Catholic Church stems from the fact that such a big deal is made out of First Communion. Second Communion? Not so much. That's when things start to go off the rails... February 14th could easily be renamed National Shave Your Legs & Pubics Day sponsored by Lady Gillette instead of Valentine's Day and there would be more truth in advertising...

Happy 96th Birthday to Chuck Yeager

Today is General Yeager's 96th birthday. Happy birthday General!

I'm guessing if you asked him - he would probably be more proud of this accomplishment than of breaking the sound barrier.

Speaking of breaking the sound barrier.

And here's another example why Chuck Yeager is the man!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

God Emperor Trump

You know the Donald has to love this depiction of him. The image is from the Carnival of Viareggio in Italy. Please note the American flags at the base respectfully waving.

A lot of hard work went into the creation of this. And it seems to be a labor of love.

American Thinker argues that Trump is much more popular abroad than our domestic media would have us believe. I agree.

I can't help but recall the giant paper-mache heads of Reagan at protests in Western Europe. Meanwhile Reagan was a beacon of hope for the people of Eastern Europe - a fact that went pretty much unreported at the time.

Could the same thing be happening again?

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- How not to be stupid

- Manta Rays are awesome

- Heh Heh

- Bergeron at 1000 - must watching for Bruins fans

- News that went under the radar - US and South Korea sign cost sharing deal for US troops

- Dolly Parton is an American treasure

- Heh Heh

Top 5 - Perfect Albums

Cultural Offering has a list of "Perfect Albums". I agree with most of his selections and the ones where I'm not in 100% agreement is only because the album is new to me (but I'll try to rectify that). That said - here's 5 albums I'd suggest adding to the list:

1. Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
2. Live Bullet - Bob Seger
3. Back in Black - AC/DC
4. London Calling- The Clash
5. Frampton Comes Alive - Peter Frampton

Just missing the cut - The J. Geils Band "Live" Full House and the Grosse Pointe Blank Soundtrack (highly recommended but not sure if soundtracks are allowed).

Monday, February 11, 2019

This Week in Musk World

This week in Musk World.

Tesla cut the price of its Model 3 once again this week - this time by $1,100. The stated goal is to get the price down to $35,000 which could happen in 6 months or so but that would require trimming another $7,900 off the price. These price reductions could be achieved by "a combination of workforce reduction, manufacturing improvements, and greater economies of scale from higher-volume production." The higher volume should be helped with new markets and speaking of - Model 3's started being delivered in Europe so Elon Musk went over to tour the operations.

Also helping higher volume production will be the introduction of the Model Y - the all-electric Tesla SUV.

Even traditional media like CNN have taken note that the Model 3 was the top selling luxury car in America last year. The article brings up a good point though - Tesla didn't have a Super Bowl commercial. In fact I can't recall ever seeing a Tesla commercial. Maybe that's why traditional media have been so negative to Tesla - other car manufacturers buy lots of ads.

The Model 3 basically was a dead-heat in a drag race vs a 560-horsepower BMW M5. The Model 3 seems to be getting most of the media attention these days but the Model S remains perhaps the most badass EV out there.

In other car news - is Tesla going to work with Mercedes on an electric Sprinter van?

CNBC wants to know whatever happened to Tesla's Solar Roof tiles? It's a valid question but now I wonder if Tesla bought broadcast ads if the question would be asked in a more positive way. Meanwhile - even old homes can be fitted with solar and with Tesla Powerwalls. My opinion is that it is the Powerwalls that will be the real game-changer (for a number of reason).

SpaceX has a goal of 24-28 launches in 2019. SpaceX's website says that they have "secured over 100 missions to its manifest, representing over $12 billion on contract." By itself SpaceX is looking like a formidable company.

It really is amazing how much happens every week in Musk World. Being Elon must be exhausting!

Steve Jobs 2005 Commencement Speech at Stanford



Worth listening to every once and a while.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

What's Next for the Patriots?

Tom Brady will be back next year so will Bill Belichick so you have to like the Patriots chances (as always)

The three biggest questions going into the offseason are:

1. Will Rob Gronkowski retire? Nobody would begrudge Gronk if his decision was to call it quits because of the damage he's piled up over the years on his body. Gronk was the best tightend in NFL history. But if he does retire what do the Pats do to address the position?

2. Trey Flowers is an unrestricted free-agent and Belichick has a history of letting players walk to get the big money elsewhere. I hope he makes an exception for Flowers who is an elite defensive lineman. Belichick showed he was unafraid of paying a defensive player top dollar when he signed Stephon Gilmore to a big free agent deal. I hope he does the same for Flowers.

3. Trent Brown is another unrestricted free agent who was a big part of the team's success this season. Unless he takes a discount to be Tom Brady's blindside tackle I'm not hopeful that he doesn't sign a massive contract elsewhere.

Next season's team could be greatly helped by the return of injured LB Ja'Whaun Bentley and OL Isaiah Wynn two rookies who had their seasons cut short but should be ready for 2019.

Josh Gordon could be reinstated by the NFL as early as May. That's means he should be available in time for OTA's and training camp. Do the Patriots bring him back? I think they do. Gordon's failure was his own and I think his teammates are pulling for him to get well. And the coaches know he can produce on the field. I can see them bringing Gordon back but saying goodbye to Chris Hogan.

Greg Schiano will be joining the Patriots coaching staff as the new Defensive Coordinator. He replaces Brian Flores who is now the head coach of the Dolphins. Schiano and Belichick go way back and the McCourty twins played under Schiano at Rutgers so I think this transition will go rather smoothly.

Not to be overlooked is the fact New England has 12 draft picks in the upcoming NFL draft. These picks include 4 in the top 75 selections. Depth should be a strength next season.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Albert Finney



The great actor Albert Finney has passed away at age 82. Above is one of the first scenes I think of when I think of Finney. It's from one of my favorite movies Miller's Crossing. But I think this scene from Miller's Crossing shows the type of person Finney was. Did you see Finney? He was dressed in drag as the housemaid. All his scenes in the film were done but he stuck around because he was having so much fun with the production. And the Coen brothers liked him so much they put him into that scene as a lark.

He was great in the original Murder on the Orient Express. (The remake was shit.) Literally for decades I didn't recognize Finney as Poirot.

And this musical number from Scrooge always puts a smile on my face.

Finney had a long career. He first appeared on screen in 1956 and his final appearances came in 2012 - as Kincade in Skyfall and as Dr. Hirsch in The Bourne Legacy. Such a versatile man. Such a great career.

The world is a poorer place today.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

In the wake of the Patriots Super Bowl victory many sports journalists were saying this season may have been the best coaching job in Bill Belichick's Hall of Fame career. Yet many of these very same journalists never (including this season) vote for Belichick as NFL Coach of the Year... You seriously have to wonder if the reason the Catholic Church in the US isn't excommunicating politicians who claim to be Catholic yet who also publicly support later term abortion is because the church is afraid those politicians would retaliate by going after the church for protecting pedophile priests... Speaking of the church - oral sex promoted in the Bible!... Still think that a sitcom about All-State's Mayhem guy dating Progressive's crazy girlfriend Flo would be worth watching... "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." - Benjamin Franklin... Adolph Hitler's sister in-law was named Bridget. Bridget Hitler. That just sounds funny to me. Like the name of an Irish punk band... 15 years ago today. I wonder if any other athlete from that issue is still active in their sport (never mind still playing at MVP levels)...

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Autonomous ships may become a big part of the Navy. I can see these being put to good use by the Coast Guard as well.

- Finland's guaranteed basic income trial boosts happiness but not employment. Of course it boosted happiness - these people were getting "free" money.

- Big fan of the X-Man

- Wow - this was the best Super Bowl party! I was amused that even the homeless guys skipped the Maroon 5 halftime show.

- I'm not aged 65-80 but maybe it's time to start taking 500 Mg of Resveratrol daily

If we are going to all PC about it why doesn't baseball just change the DL to the DA (Differently Abled) list?

If this doesn't get you a little misty then I seriously don't want to know you

Friday, February 08, 2019

Top 5 - Miscellaneous Nuggets from the Baseball Hall of Fame

Went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown last week and there were a few things I want to make note of. Here's the Top 5 of those things:

1. The Hall has these little circular emblems under the plaques of Hall of Famers who served in the military. I feel strongly that Ted Williams should have had two emblems under his plaque not just the one noting that he served in both WWII and Korea. There should have been one for WWII and one for Korea.

2. Carlton Fisk has his numbers, deservedly so, retired by both the Red Sox and the White Sox. Wade Boggs also has his number retired by two teams, the Devil Rays and Red Sox. I don't think either team should have retired Boggs' number.

3. The Yankees have retired the number 8 twice - once for Yogi Berra and also for Bill Dickey.

4. Buck O'Neil never made it to the Hall as a player but I was pleased to see the Hall recognized his special place in history with a statue.

5. Steve Garvey had his number retired but by the San Diego Padres not the Los Angeles Dodgers. I thought that interesting because when I think of Garvey it is always as a Dodger. Garvey has not been elected to the Hall but if he was I'm pretty sure it would be a as a Dodger.

This might only amuse me but I chuckled when I saw a bobblehead of Jerry Garcia in the SF Giants exhibit. What does not amuse me is the fact that the Washington Nationals do not recognize the retired numbers of the Montreal Expos. Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Rusty Staub and Tim Raines deserve better that that.

Cell Science for Laymen

I love this! What great names - "chamber of secrets", "Jell-O of life", etc.

The actual scientific names are a lot less poetic and memorable.

(Via)

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Richard Feynman on the value of science

- Life advice from Ernest Hemingway

- Cool - two neutron stars colliding

- Heh Heh

- Hmmm - Big Telecom companies sold users GPS data to bounty hunters. Who else did they sell this data to?

- Speaking of Virginia

Ronald Reagan



Today would have been Ronald Reagan's 108th birthday. Next to the "Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall!" speech - the above is the speech I most remember him for. Speech gets me every time.

Here's 10 things you might not know about Ronald Reagan.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Yesterday 1.5 million people turned out in Boston for the Patriots Super Bowl victory parade. I was not one of them. I went to the first Patriots' parade in 2002 but it was so cold that I watched most of the parade go by from inside a bar. Never went to another... I see this Julian Edelman t-shirt and all I can think of it Edelman's story would make a good "Santa: the Early Years" movie... Holy crap! Man is attacked by mountain lion - man kills mountain lion WITH HIS BARE HANDS! He choked the beast to death. Dana White should sign this guy up for the UFC!... Non-Recurring Phenomenon would be a good name for a movie studio (and a nice tribute to William Goldman),,,  "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." - Pablo Picasso... Fighting a big cat on land is terrifying but after seeing these photos I'm thinking fighting one in the water might be even worse... Anthony Davis' dad says he doesn't want his son traded to Boston because the Celtics aren't loyal - pointing to their trade of Isaiah Thomas. Ten years ago Anthony Davis' dad would have used the excuse that he didn't want his son traded to the Celtics because Boston is a racist city. So I guess that's progress?...

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Great Jeep Ad



(Via)

Linky Links

Stuff I'd find interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Harley Davidson's new LiveWire $30,000 electric motorcycle

- That must have been a huge tree

- Redundant words you can eliminate from your writing. I'm guilty of many of these sins.

- Heh Heh

- Interesting - the dirty secret of el Chapo's downfall.

- Heh Heh 

- Cool - grains of salt under an electron microscope

This Week in Musk World

USA! USA! USA! The Model 3 was the best selling luxury car or SUV in the US - "the first time in decades an American carmaker has been able to secure the top spot." As the article points out - this may be an indictment of Cadillac and Lincoln more than anything. Not to take anything away from Tesla though because the Model 3 was also ranked by Consumer Reports as the Number 1 Car in Owner Satisfaction. USA! USA! USA!

Tesla cars have been shown to be robust when it comes to handling wear and tear with minimal maintenance costs.

According to Elon Musk the Model Y is up next but close behind is going to be the Tesla pickup truck. It supposedly looks like a smaller Tesla Semi but one cool feature I think is the plug in port(s) for electric hand tools. That could be a killer app for workmen.

One Tesla story I think has been underplayed is the demand for Tesla vehicles in Europe. A demand that is only now being met.

It is interesting to look at some of the negative "news" about Tesla and wonder who is sponsoring this stuff? Like the Washington Post's profile of Elon Musk's use of a private plane. Is there going to be a follow-up article in the Post on Jeff Bezos' use of private jets? If not then I'm going to chalk this up to the Bezos owned Washington Post taking a collateral damage swipe at Blue Origins (another Bezos company) biggest competition SpaceX and their primary owner in Musk. And people wonder why nobody trusts the media.

The article is another example. Tesla had 83% market share of all EV's sold in the US but Tesla's fourth quarter earnings were deemed "relatively disappointing" because they missed some analysts estimates. What did those analysts want? 100% of the EV market?

In other Musk World news - SpaceX is getting closer to a manned mission to the International Space Station.

Monday, February 04, 2019

On This Day in History


As Foretold in the Prophesies


Patriots Win the Super Bowl!

After a 98-day drought the City of Boston finally gets another championship! (And a Duck Boat parade on Tuesday.) Great day for Boston and all of New England!

So if you bet $100 on a moneyline parlay on the Bruins, Celtics and Patriots all winning yesterday you'd have won $460. (And you'd probably mention it in a blog post.)

It's amusing because it's kind of true. There just wasn't the same joy to this as the other five. Maybe it had to do with how hair-pullingly frustrating the actual game was

And the lack of fanaticism wasn't just because of the politics creeping in. Although I do like The Times of Israel noting that Julian Edelman was the first Jewish player to win the Super Bowl MVP. (As a reminder Robert Kraft was also responsible for being the first person to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Israel.)

Go Pats!

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Go Pats!

It seems agreed by football fans and players that Tom Brady is the best to ever play the game.

The real debate is where does Brady fit in the pantheon on American sports icons. I think it's too early to place him in his proper place in history. The man is 41 and still leading teams to the Super Bowl.

If you believe in omens then Ty Law getting voted into the Football Hall of Fame is a pretty good one for Pats fans.

End the drought indeed! There are 3-month old children in New England who have yet to experience the joy of a championship. Won't someone please think of the children! (Boston sports fan are spoiled - I fully agree.)

Climate Change

Scientists have detected an enormous cavity growing beneath Antarctica.

When you read the article it seems scientists have no explanation for why this is happening.

Yet this very same website three months ago explained a hidden radioactive heat source seems to be melting East Antarctica from below.



Saturday, February 02, 2019

Linky Links

Stuff I found interesting or amusing and thought I'd share.

- Heh Heh

- So those Game of Thrones characters are dead for sure - right?

- All mental models are wrong. The map is not the territory (yet some maps are pretty damn useful).

- What if you used dynamite?

- 3 key facts that demonstrate Amazon's retail dominance.

- Autophagy is going to be one the key words to know when it comes to medicine and health in the next decade

- This is an example of why I think Howard Schultz running for President is a good thing. And for the record I'm not a Republican.

Mariano Rivera and the Hall of Fame

Yesterday I stopped at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for the first time and as luck would have it so did Mariano Rivera.

It is often said that even Red Sox fans admired and rooted for Derek Jeter and while that is true to an extent - the Yankee player who had universal respect and admiration was and is Mariano Rivera.

Have you ever heard of a negative thing about this man? The closest you'd get is silly grumbling that he never went to a Metallica concert or that he was "too Christian" for some people's tastes. I think those criticisms speak volumes more about the poor souls who would utter them than Rivera. 

I had the honor of watching Mariano being led to various Hall of Fame plaques starting with Roberto Clemente. There was fellow Panamanian Rod Carew and various Yankees. The one that touched me the most was when he stopped at the plaque for Jackie Robinson. Mariano understands the debt all players of color owe to Jackie and he knows that it is an honor to be the last player in MLB history to wear Robinson's retired 42. Baseball could not have picked a more humble and respected ambassador to be the last player to wear 42.

The final question Mariano fielded from the press was about 2001 and 2004 in which the Yankees lost to the Diamondbacks and Red Sox respectively in the playoffs. The way Rivera handled the question made me love him all the more. He pointed out that he gave his all every time he put on those pinstripes and every time he took the mound. Sometimes his best wasn't good enough to beat the other team's best. "That's baseball," he pointed out. He had "no regrets" for his career. He had to know the lows of losing to appreciate the highs of winning championships. He was pure class.

Mariano Rivera is the rarest of human beings. An adult how has no regrets for the life he's led. And a New York Yankee who is beloved by Red Sox fans.

The Periodic Table Turns 150



This year will mark the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev's creation of the Periodic Table (March 6th to be exact).

I, personally, put this "discovery" on par with Newton's "discovery" of gravity or Einstein's Theory of Relativity. That's how important I think the creation of the Periodic Table has been to the furtherment of science and our understanding of the world.

Happy Sesquicentennial Periodic Table!

Friday, February 01, 2019

Neil Gaiman's Masterclass



Neil Gaiman is teaching a Masterclass. You can pay $90 for his class or $180 a year for all-access to all the Masterclasses. This is something I'm considering.

Also Vanity Fair has an interesting interview with Gaiman which is worth your time if you're a fan (which I am).

Big League Chew

A version of Big League Chew featuring a female ballplayer is supposed to hit distributors today. All I can think is now people who support girls' sports will have to battle those who think pretend chewing tobacco leads to real-life use and cheek and gum cancer. Well played Big League Chew!

When I grew up we had candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars. They didn't make me want to grow up and smoke (although I do enjoy a good cigar now and again). Personally, most of the people I know who smoke - smoke because they saw their parents smoke. I honestly can't think of a single person who smokes cigarettes that didn't have a parent who smoked. It wasn't because they were subjected to candy cigarettes as a kid. The exception seems to be people who work in the food service industry.

The difference in taste between Big League Chew and real chewing tobacco is no different than the difference in taste between gummi worms and real night crawlers and yet the Little League snack shacks still have gummi worms. Aren't they concerned that the kids will grow up to be like Frank Burns and eat worms?

Maybe the makers of Big League Chew could have gone more PC and renamed the product Big League Shredded Gum. That worked for the folks who changed the name of the cereal Sugar Smacks to Honey Smacks back when sugar was proclaimed the root of all children issues.

Instead they put a female on the packaging - well played Big League Chew!