Friday, August 31, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Cool - I was able to identify 34 of the people in this picture by name. How about you?

- Life advice from Naval Ravikant

- 10 things you might not know about the Battle of the Bulge

- The Jordan Peterson Drinking Song. Pretty amusing.

- No American flag planting in First Man? Well I guess that's saves me $20 because I ain't going to see it now.

- Trump to federal workers - "No pay raises for you!"

- 9 stretches to relieve lower back pain and to work on general flexibility

Jesus' First Miracle

Supposedly archaeologists have unearthed the site of Jesus' first miracle.

This reminded me of a story from college.

It was a Friday afternoon and my fraternity was having a "social" at one of the sororities. There was a problem with their tap to the keg so me and a buddy agreed to walk back to our house to get one of ours.

We filled a red solo cup for the short walk home. When we arrived there were three young men in white dress shirts and solid ties waiting for us.

"Jesus wouldn't be happy with what you are doing" one of them said nodding at our Solo cups full of beer.

"Oh really?" said I. "What was Jesus' first miracle?" The man who had spoken knew he was beat. "That's right" said I. "Now get the fuck off my lawn."

They left without a word. My friend was impressed but puzzled. "What was Jesus' first miracle?" he asked.

"Turning water into wine for a party." We grabbed one of our taps, went back to the party and had a great time.

Haven't thought of that story in years.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

So Floyd Money Mayweather and Conor McGregor are trading insults on Twitter. My guess are those are the first shots in a potential re-match marketing campaign... If low-calorie beers were called "skim" beers instead of "light" beers - would they be less popular? Michelob Ultra should definitely be called a skim beer... Putin soften pension reform in face of public anger. I have long speculated that the Russian economy is much weaker and fragile than most people appreciate... Proctodeal Trophollaxis is such a cool way to say "ass-licking". The MSM did a lot of proctodeal trophollaxis of the Obama Administration...  Canada's Trudeau says NAFTA deal possible as early as Friday. This is interesting to watch. Trudeau is facing a lot of pressure to make the deal but my guess is Trump will accept nothing less than a victory for the US... Metabolic Cascades of Dysfunction would be a good name for a fantasy football team. It's also the medical term for "concussions"... For the record I was not invited to the McCain funeral either. I haven't felt this snubbed since Maggie Thatcher's funeral...

Ted Williams

Ted Williams would have turned 100-years old today. He was a complete bad-ass fighting for the Marines in both World War II and in Korea.

He is a member of both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the International Game Fish Hall of Fame.

Williams is the last man to hit .400 in MLB and is wildly regarded as the greatest hitter who ever lived. Williams was so great that during Joe DiMaggio's historic 56-game hitting streak - Williams actually had a better batting average over those same 56 games.

I was too young to ever see him play but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate both his baseball career and his service to his country.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Linky Links

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

- The inside story of The Naked Gun baseball scenes. The Naked Gun is a better baseball movie than Field of Dreams. There I said it!

- NPR researched school shootings and found that two-thirds of the reported 254 shootings never happened.

- This was pretty funny

- Excellent life advice

- These remain some of my favorite paintings

- One of the primary reasons why college education costs continue to soar

Heh Heh

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Now that Worcester has secured the PawSox - next up the Providence Bruins!... Credit where credit is due - Jared Kushner was quietly been very effective behind the scenes in the Trump Administration... Disappointed that the nickname Spanky isn't used anymore. Except I guess for high school boys who are caught - well you know... Interesting - Elon Musk claims a Tesla Semi prototype drove across the country alone... The things you learn from the Internet - "Despite the horrific display, nearly two-thirds of those who were on board the Hindenberg survived its 1937 crash"...  A new reports says China hacked Hillary Clinton's private server and had real-time copies of every single email. But nothing to see here... Scott Peterson was sentenced to death in 2004 for killing his wife Laci. He's still on death row. Get it over already!....

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Scientists discover "apparent evidence" of a universe beyond our own

- Agree with this 100%

- Interesting - New research on persistent poverty and joblessness in America. The idea of the "working poor" may be a myth.

- I agree with this parenting advice from tech billionaires.

- Russ Roberts on free trade

- Tesla not going public after all: what happens now?

- John Wick 3 looks awesome!

How to Fix Higher Education in a Few Steps

Here's my Modest Proposal to fix higher education in a few straight-forward steps if I were in charge of things.

First I'd change the tax laws so that if your household income is less than double the poverty line ($30,120 for single households and $40,580 for two-person households) then you would not be subject to Federal taxes. AND if your income level is below this 3-years or more after leaving college then you'd be allowed to declare bankruptcy including any student debt. Right now student debt is exempt from bankruptcy laws and that's not right.

I'd make the change effective immediately and the Federal Government would take the hit for any student debt that has to be written off now. If a person isn't making double the poverty line 3-years after attending college making that person pay off student debt on an education that didn't "work" just exacerbates the problem. Going forward from this year's freshman class onward - the risk of the default would be on the college. And the college ONLY!

The college or university knows that a Gender Studies degree is almost worthless in the marketplace. Why make that budding Starbucks barista pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in student debt when the college snookered them into taking the loans in the first place? The college would then become more judicious about what degrees they offer and what students they admit.

Second I'd sign an order saying that for all Federal jobs four years of military service with an honorable discharge is now equivalent to a liberal arts degree. And for any open jobs or promotions the person with military experience is to be given preference.

Finally I'd change the tax exempt status of college sports. I would tax all revenue from college sports the same as any other business. I would then take that revenue and divide it into two equal buckets. The first bucket would go towards funding ongoing GI Bill expenses. The second bucket would go to help fund local libraries when true education and intellectual curiosity is often born.

These three steps wouldn't fix all the problems with higher education in the US but I think it would help put higher ed back on the right track.

Monday, August 27, 2018

John McCain

With the passing of Senator John McCain - I thought I'd share two stories from the archives about John McCain. Stories that I think reveal the man's true character.

The first is McCain confessing to being "broken" while a POW. But how that experience allowed him to be remade by the love of his fellow prisoners.

The second is how he may have saved the life of a desperate man while campaigning in New Hampshire.

(The links in the 2007 and 2008 stories no longer work but the quoted bits are what's important.)

Linky Links

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

- Very cool - Energy Department teams with Bill Gates to move mini-nuclear power plants to market

- This week in Musk World - Opinion piece says it's time for Tesla to replace Elon Musk as CEO. Isn't this the same logic that got Steve Jobs fired from Apple once upon a time?

- Awesome!

- US and Mexico could reach NAFTA deal as early as today

- RIP American icon Neil Simon

- Really NBC and MSNBC? Really?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Tommy Heinsohn

Happy 84th birthday to a true New England treasure Tommy Heinsohn.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

People with "coexist" bumper stickers are usually the worst drivers on the road. How about learning to coexist with other traffic and then you can make your political statements... Heh Heh... "The Democratic Party in power is a standing menace to the prosperity of the country." Republican motto from the 1888 election... Interesting - "at no time in the past 40 years, since Saddam Hussein aquired absolute power... has Baghdad been as free and fun as it is now"... When Albert Einstein first visited America in 1921 the US Senate saw fit to debate the validity of the Theory of Relativity. That's seriously something that happened... I honestly had never heard of the Great Colonial Hurricane (which would also be a cool name for a band)... Are National Dog Day and Womens Equality Day really held on the same day? Really?...

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Linky Links

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

- On the Cohen plea. The reputation of the FBI and the DOJ will lie in tatters when all is said and done.

- Tesla's Model 3 production seems to be surging. The company could be profitable in Q3.

- I love stories like this.

- The extra money in my paycheck are not "crumbs" to me

- Today I learned about Hingle McCringleberry. What did you learn about?

- Fibonacci is vastly underappreciated. The man and his works did change the world.

- Blast from the past - the great moon hoax of 1835

The Liberation of the Ritz Bar

I'm a big fan of Ernest Hemingway and if you were to mention to me the liberation of Paris in WWII (August 25, 1944) - the first thing I would think of is Hemingway "liberating" the bar at the Ritz Hotel that very same day.

Today is the 74th anniversary of that day. I was curious - so I Googled "Hemingway liberate Ritz bar" and I came across this article from the San Francisco Chronicle.

The article is an interesting read - chock full of anecdotes about Hemingway and his "liberation" of the Ritz bar. However, the paragraph that really caught my attention was this:
The renowned author annoyed his colleagues in the working press. They were both awed by his fame and furious that he was playing soldier, in violation of all the standing rules about correspondents staying out of the war, even though the reporters were very much a part of the war effort.
I have no trouble picturing Hemingway having a bit of a mid-life crisis (he was 45 at the time) and playing soldier would have been his equivalent of buying a new Corvette. What struck me as odd was the description of the "working press" who in their own way "were very much a part of the war effort".

Can you imagine today's press being described that way? No the American press could not be described as part of the war effort today. The press today serves their own self interests and not the public good. Stories are slanted to match a certain bias and agendas are almost completely transparent (even though the press likes to crow about being a neutral purveyor of the simple truth - yeah as long as "the truth" matches the agenda). I wonder how the Hemingway of 1944 would view the press of today.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Disaster Pants would be a good name for a band (or an MCT product)... Cool Kobe story... Who knew? The Spanish National Anthem has no words... Should you be taking folic acid to help prevent strokes?... The physical limitation of a straw is actually 33 feet because our atmosphere can't pull water any higher than that. I don't care if you have the world's best VO2 Max or if you use an elephant. According to physics 33 feet is the limit... I've actually read very few of the books on this list from Tim Ferris. I've got some reading to do!...  Travel coffee mugs are basically sippy cups for adults...


Don't tell me that America was never great or that Socialism is better than Capitalism.

Graph via.

The Potato Chip

Today is the unofficial birthday of the potato chip (or as Dan Quail would say "potatoe chip"). According to Wikipedia:
It is believed that the original potato chip recipe was created by Native American/African American chef George Crum, at Moon's Lake House near Saratoga Springs, New York on August 24, 1853. He was fed up with a customer -  by some accounts Cornelius Vanderbilt - who continued to send his fried potatoes back, because they were too thick and soggy. Crum decided to slice the potatoes so thin that they couldn't be eaten with a fork. Against Crum's expectation the guest was ecstatic about the new chips. They became a regular item on the lodge's menu under the name "Saratoga Chips". They soon became popular throughout New England.
Saratoga chips are still served at the racetrack and at various restaurants around Saratoga Springs. I've had them and they are fantastic.

If you have a chance - read the Wikipedia entry on potato chips. It's pretty interesting stuff.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Linky Links

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

- A fittingly beautiful tribute

- Why does the Left hate Tolkien?

- 5 space companies zeroing in on first launch of tourists into orbit and beyond.

- The inside story on San Francisco's $137.5 million Jimmy Garoppolo gamble

- Where do we find such men?

- This looks delicious

Heh Heh

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Why socialism sucks in one graph... A reminder of the wisdom of the masses - a 1967 Gallup poll found twice as many Americans supported nuking North Vietnam as opposed to withdrawing... Heh heh... If an apple was magnified to the size of the Earth - then the atoms of the apple would equal the original size of the apple... Speaking of 1967 - yesterday was Carl Yastrzemski's 79th birthday. Here's a great Yaz story. My how times have changed...  Quotes that make you think: "You are 99 years old, you are on your deathbed, and you have a chance to come back to right now: what do you do?" Christopher Carmichael... This makes me pretty excited for the Deadwood movie...

They Didn't See Themselves as Revolutionaries

They saw them selves as conservatives.

Speech was from 9-years ago but seems just as relevant today.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Kyrie Irving

On this day exactly one year ago the Boston Celtics traded for Kyrie Irving. The trade was Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick (which ended up being the 8th overall which they used on 6'2" point guard Collin Sexton from Alabama).

The trade was a big win for Danny Ainge and the Celtics (despite what others predicted).  Looking back I stand by my immediate assessment of the trade.

The Celtics have Kyrie under control for this season and then he becomes a free agent. Even if he leaves Boston has Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier as back-ups. My big fear, however, is somehow Knicks find the cap room to sign both Irving and Kevin Durant to add to Kristaps Porzingas. That's a potent Big Three but realistically I don't see it happening. More likely Kyrie re-signs with Boston.

The Celtics will be very good this season. And Kyrie Irving will be their best player.

Linky Links

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

- US Military to send hospital ship to aid countries trying to deal with Venezuelans fleeing failed state. We should also send some food ships too. Good on General Mattis.

- Excellent point. 100% true when it comes to sports news.

- Media ignore record low Obamacare rate hikes. You know why.

- Dating in the 21st century. Read the thread!

- Exploding Sunroofs would also be a good name for a band.

- Ha ha - awesome!

- Honestly going to Mars in an "RV" holds no appeal to me. How long would that trip be? Maybe a week in an RV may be my max.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Cheez-It Bowl

The game formerly known as the Cactus Bowl is now officially the Cheez-It Bowl. It is also now officially the Bowl with the worst name since the Beef O'Brady Bowl ceased to be.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

I don't disagree that it would be cool to come up with a unique name for the AAA team to be based in Worcester but given these options I'd prefer a simple WooSox... Things can be infinitely small or infinitely large but yet both are equally infinite. Blows your mind if you stop to think on it... Meanwhile this week in Musk World - Tesla stock slides to below $300... Mischief Managed would be a great name for a Harry Potter themed punk band... ESPN's new president says politics is not their job and network will stick to sports... Observation from a Sunday spent at Old Orchard Beach - I could live to be 110 and not be able to come up with a reason or justification for having a large neck tattoo of a boom box..  Have to say that so far the new ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro is acting just as I predicted in March...

Monday, August 20, 2018

The California Wildfires and Mother Nauture

I've been thinking of commenting on this for some time. I hesitate because the California wildfires have been so deadly.  Yet that may be just one more reason to speak out since common sense seems to have fled the scene. 

Some are blaming the fires on global warming. And the solution? Embrace renewable sources of energy (except nuclear) and legislation demanding better gas mileage. Seriously.

Not to miss out on the fun the PG&E CEO also blames California fires on global warming (not negligent power line maintenance). And just like PG&E is not in any way responsible for the $17 billion in damage neither are the people who were supposed to be taking care of the trees or people who profess to worship mother Gaia. No - the people to blame are the climate deniers.

USDA Forest Service said that there were 129 million dead trees from drought, bark beetles and other causes that posed a "hazard to people and critical infrastructure, mostly centered in the central and southern Sierra Nevada region of the state." They said this in December 2017.  These dead trees were a fire hazard the USDA Forest Service said. They were right. But this science wasn't denied. It was just ignored.

I shouldn't be so pessimistic though. At least they're not trying to blame this on something silly like plastic straws. Which, baby step that it is, is at least a step in the right direction for California.

I'm reminded that while Hollywood was celebrating Al Gore and fighting against global warning the trees have been dying in California for decades. Over a million trees have died from a deadly mold since 1995 and Californians haven't done much or anything to stop the spread.

Since I was a kid I've been taught that the Earth is a remarkably resilient ecosystem. Blights, droughts, bark beetles, negligent power line maintenance, human carelessness and other causes. Are we to be surprised that perhaps Mother Nature is using wildfires as a way of starting from scratch?

They say that nature finds a way. Maybe, just maybe, wildfires in this case are the way.

Linky Links

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

- Scientists finally crack wheat's absurdly complex genome.

Heh Heh

- How emulsifiers used as food additives are messing with our guts (and making us fat)

- Seems like excellent life advice.

- Holy crap is that cop fast!

- This made me chuckle

- And this is devilishly clever

Joe Strummer

Joe Strummer would have been 66-years old today.

Miss you Joe.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Why Saudi Arabia would want to invest in Elon Musk and Tesla

- The official announcement of the PawSox coming to Worcester. And what the new ballpark will look like.

- Trump Administration could be nearing a new NAFTA deal with Mexico

- Mysterious X-37B military space plane nears one-year in orbit. Do we already have a Space Force?

- Interesting interview with Tao of Poker founder Pauly McGuire. (Long read)

- So Colin Kaepernick turned down a chance to play for the Broncos. Anyone who feels sorry for Kaepernick is a sap.

- Things that make you say WTF!?!?

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Worcester - the birthplace of barbwire, the shopping cart, the birth control pill and modern rocketry. Site of Ted William's first pro home run and soon to be the new home of the Pawtucket Worcester Red Sox...  I think we've all stood upon Mount Stupid at one time or another... It's OK Omarosa. On the Internet nobody knows you're a dog... Life lesson - if a man is dropping a deuce at a bar late at night he either has stomach problems or is a vampire just waking up... Fantastic life advice from Brad Stevens... The advice from Coach Stevens reminds me of this quote from Teddy Roosevelt, "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have."... Which then reminds me of this quote from Tom Peters, "Excellence is the next five minutes... Forget the long term. Make the next five minutes rock!"...

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Enemy of the People (In Boston)

"Beware false prophets, who will come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits." Matthew 7:15-16
About 350 newspapers today will run coordinated editorials today telling President Trump that the media is not the "enemy of the people."  Apart from the obvious on how such a coordinated message kinda proves the bias of the press personally I know the press is the enemy of the people - at least in Boston.

I'm a huge sports fan and for years I was addicted to the Boston Globe sports section but as I got older I learned the ugly truth. The sports journalists in Boston are not to be trusted and for the most part I've weaned myself off all the major outlets (with the exception of a few trusted voices).

John Tomase literally made up lies about the New England Patriots and yet he's still gainfully employed. As far as I'm concerned as a fan of the New England Patriot's he's my enemy. Ron Borges besides being a plagiarist let his personal animosity towards Bill Belichick for choosing Tom Brady over close friend Drew Bledsoe bias ALL of his reporting. For decades he tainted whatever Boston media outlet he was associated with from the fans perspective. And don't get me going on Dan Shaughnessy who has been force-fed to Boston fans continuously. I consider the Curly Haired Boyfriend an "enemy". I could go on and on about Boston sports media who have broken trust with Boston sports fans.

And don't get me started on people like Felger & Maz and the dumpster fire that is Boston sports talk radio.

Now I'm supposed to read a coordinated editorial response and say "OK I'll trust the media to be unvarnished purveyors of the truth"? No thank you! You couldn't even handle honest reporting when it came to sports!

Linky Links

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

- So now is spanking the hippo a thing? Thankfully not according to the Urban Dictionary (yet)

- Interesting - elephants have a secret weapon against cancer.

- An argument that David Hume is the philosopher (and philosophy) we need today.

- I would counter that it is Hume's good friend Adam Smith who is the philosopher we need today. And that Russ Roberts How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life is the place to start.

- 15 skills you can pick up in a month. Already proficient in 5 on the list but in September I might just look into becoming a notary or learning to juggle.

- SEC sends subpoena to Telsa over Elon Musk's Tweets. It's always something in Musk World.

Meanwhile one of Musk's other companies, The Boring Company, announce a planned underground loop to Dodger Stadium. See this is another example why we need the weekly soap opera Musk World.

Top 5 - Songs with the Word Blue in the Title

Here are what I consider the Top 5 songs with the word "blue" in the title.

1. Behind Blue Eyes - The Who
2. Mr. Blue Sky - ELO
3. Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan.
4. Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
5. Bullet the Blue Sky - U2

Just missing the cut Blue Monday by New Order (I go back and forth on whether I like this song or not) and Blue Bayou by Linda Ronstadt (always makes me think of the great move Man on Fire) .

As you can see my musical tastes run more towards classic rock than anything else.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

VJ Day

On this day in 1945, Japan surrenders unconditionally to the allies to put an end to World War II. It used to be a major holiday and day of thanksgiving in the US. Today only Rhode Island still celebrates the holiday which was observed on Monday this week.

The Divorce Boat

Here's a free idea for Hollywood - ABC should reinvent the 80's classic The Love Boat but rename it The Divorce Boat.

On The Love Boat people fell in love and rediscovered love while the crew engaged in good natured hi-jinks. On The Divorce Boat people would get in huge fights over nothing, the ship can get attacked by pirates, cruises get plagued by weeks of terrible weather and uncooperative septic systems.  And the crew? They would be a cross between the cast of Shameless and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

I think a well written dark comedy like this could be a hit. Maybe even get it on HBO so there could be nudity. Lots of nudity.

Linky Links

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

- Interesting - foreign interests have spent over $534 million in lobbying efforts in the US since 2017. Not all of it is nefarious seeing how Tourism Ireland is the 3rd largest spending entity. China specifically targeting industries in "Red States" with tariffs and mid-term elections coming - now that's nefarious.

- Even with the apostrophe - still don't think I'm eating here

- Cool - the first dunk contest in 1976 featuring Dr. J vs David Thompson. Things have certainly changed in pro basketball in the decades since.

Watch an AI robot take all the fun out of Where's Waldo. If they ever train AI to find the G-spot men are finished!

- This is so awesome!

- This is also awesome!

- History will not be kind to the Mueller Investigation

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Gary Larson

Happy 68th birthday to the one and only Gary Larson. His Far Side cartoons have become legendary and in the case of the Thagomizer part of the science lexicon.

Here are some of his cartoons displayed in real life.

Thank you Mr. Larson for all the laughs.

Hope you truly enjoy your birthday today.

The Dinosaur Wars

According to scientists more time separates stegosaurs from tyrannosaurs - 67 million years than separates tyrannosaurs from man - 66 million years.

Which means according to science it is more likely that Jesus rode a T-Rex than it is that this epic battle ever occurred. Thanks science for ruining my childhood!

Oh and that's not all. Now in science there's a big argument over whether an asteroid actually killed the "charismatic megafauna" (dinosaurs) or whether volcanoes are responsible (the Deccan Volcanism theory). [Long read]

Just goes to show that the science is never settled. Right T-Rex riding Jesus?   

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Any beer (craft or otherwise) that uses the word "mouthfeel" to describe its product is dead to me. I can't even believe mouthfeel is a real word... "Holy shit!" is right!... "Friendship is born at the moment when one person says to another: 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one.'" C.S. Lewis... Very cool photo... Am I the only one who is disappointed that Abe Vigoda failed to rise from the dead?... I went to years of Catholic school and was never told that Saint Peter - the rock on which Jesus built his church - the first Pope - was married... Another cool (and scary) photo... Since being traded by the Red Sox Jon Lester has gone 61-34 - just saying...

Richard Harris - MacArthur Park

Richard Harris' inexplicable MacArthur Park may be the worst song in history or it could be so bad it's good. Either way - recently I've taken to playing this song on the jukebox when playing pool to throw off my opponent's concentration.

So far it's working.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Where do we find such men

- Why alcohol is the secret to humanity's success (long read)

- Socialism and autocratic rule by one man, first Chavez and now Maduro, have turned Venezuela into a shithole.

- And it looks like Turkey wants to follow the same path. Except of course they'll blame the Jews when the economy tanks.

- Organic solar cells the next big thing?

- Zdeno Chara is still the Bruins best defensemen. He's the 3rd best defenseman in Boston's history and a sure Hall of Famer. And even at 40 - there's nobody in the NHL who wants to fight Chara.

Wade Boggs vs Dwight Evans

Dwight Evans finished with more triples, home runs, RBI, stolen bases and total bases than Wade Boggs. Evans career OPS+ is 127 but if you take way his last two seasons (which were regrettable) then Dewey’s OPS+ is equal to Boggs career OPS+ of 130. Did I mention the fact that Evans had 8 Gold Gloves and is widely regarded as the best defensive right fielder of his generation? Dwight Evans was a much better all-around player than Wade Boggs and yet it is Boggs who has his bust in Cooperstown.

Dwight Evans was flat out a  better player than Wade Boggs and that is why I still say having ingrate Boggs' #26 retired by the Red Sox is a slap in the face of Dwight Evans.

Just my opinion.

Musk World

I'm fascinated by Elon Musk. If there was a daily soap opera called Musk World  I'd get cable just to watch it. There's always something and I mean always something going on in Musk World.

Last week Musk tweeted out the possibility of taking Tesla private at $420 a share. This put a scare into the people who have been selling Tesla stock short and also brought to question whether Musk should be investigated by the SEC for stock manipulation.

Meanwhile Russian retaliatory sanctions aimed at the US space program may open up some opportunities for Musk's SpaceX.

This week Tesla's board might meet to discuss the possibility of going private and asking Elon to recuse himself from the negotiations.

There's always something happening in Musk World.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Idris Elba as James Bond

There's a report circulating that Idris Elba is the favorite to replace Daniel Craig as Jame Bond.

I'm of two minds on this. I love Elba as an actor. His role as DCI John Luther makes him one of the top cops in TV history while his role as Stringer Bell simultaneously places him as one of the top criminals in TV history. That's quite an acting daily-double.

The reason I'm not sure on this is not because he's black. That doesn't make a difference. The reason I'm not sure is his age.

Daniel Craig is 50-years old and he last played Bond in 2015 when he was 47. Craig looked old and tired in Spectre. Craig's first Bond film came out when he was 38 but was shot when he was 36-years old.

Elba is about to turn 46-years old on September 6th which is why I think this rumor of him as Bond is just a ruse. Timothy Dalton was 41 when he took over as Bond in The Living Daylights. And Dalton looked too old - at 41! Elba probably would be 48 by the time a film was actually made.

If I were a betting man - I'd bet against Idris Elba being named the next James Bond. He's just too old. 

Linky Links

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

- Slack is raising $400 million with a projected post money valuation of $7 billion. I feel so stupid for not knowing anything about Slack.

- Cool - looks like the opening to a John Carpenter film

- The country of Turkey is not in a good place right now. We should also cancel their order of new F-35 fighters.

- This story on Sean Young just makes my soul ache. I hope she's able to put her life together.

- An economist does a mea culpa. Good for him.

- New cloaking technology getting closer to reality. Hurry please because our Space Force is going to need this to fight galactic Predators

- Heh Heh

Alex Jones

I don't have enough information to have a well developed opinion about Alex Jones and Info Wars being pulled from a bunch of social media platforms but damn this is funny.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Bob Cousy

Happy 90th birthday to Holy Cross and Boston Celtics' legend Bob Cousy.

90-years young and still sharp as a tack. He might not have been born here but many (including me) consider him Worcester's own.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

As a Red Sox fan it seems like it was last season that Hanley Ramirez was on the roster not just a couple months ago (Hanley played in 44 games this year before being waived)... Heh heh - love this...  Martyred by Raccoons would be a good name for a band (or a grisly way to die)... Should Zach Thomas be in the Hall of Fame? I always equated Thomas and Brian Urlacher as basically the same player. I'd say yes - Zach Thomas belongs in the Hall... Illegal immigrant rapes a child after being released by the City of Philadelphia because of their "sanctuary city" "status". Firmly believe that the elected officials responsible here should be sued by victims of crimes like these. Make them financially responsible for their actions... Things I'll never understand - people who are mean to their waiter or waitress and people who hate dogs (though I'm not equating the two things in any way)... Heh heh - now I want this painting...

The Early Leading 2020 Candidate for My Support

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Linky Links

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

- Sign her up!

- The Tesla Roadster may have gotten all the press but the Rimac might be the true all-electric sports supercar

- Born 116-years ago today, Paul Dirac - the most underrated genius of the 20th century

- Fantastic tirade

- RIP Stan Mikita hockey royalty

- Speaking of sports cars - the Ford Mustang about to sell its 10 millionth!

- Saudi Arabia sells all of their Canadian stocks and bonds. This weakens the Canadian economy and puts them in an even worse spot in trying to renegotiate NAFTA with the Trump Administration. But at least Trudeau can still feign to be morally superior.

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

Roger Goodell believes climate change is real. And he blames Tom Brady for it... How Spygate is causing some lifelong Democrats to leave their party... Growing up Catholic if a priest said a mass in an hour he was a "good" priest. If he consistently finished in 45 minutes he developed a cult following... Good news for Red Sox fans and bad news for Yankees fans... "The best place to store extra food is in the belly of a friend" - African proverb... Still say Keith Olbermann and Milhouse from the Simpsons were separated at birth... Praise the Lord! I've now been stigmata free for over 40-years!...

Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Sports Betting Credit Cards

With more and more states legalizing sports gambling and even pro leagues like the NBA  embracing the idea I see the next big thing in sports betting as credit cards issued by casinos.

The big advantage local bookies have over legalized gambling is the ability to allow bettors to place their action on credit. You place a bet with a casino - you put the money up front and if you win then you get your bet back plus your winnings. With a local bookie you just say "give me $100 on the Red Sox."

If a casino like the MGM issues a credit card that can be used for all the normal things a credit card is used for PLUS betting then that's a big win. Say you get a Visa credit card from the MGM casino with a $2,000 line of credit - you could used that card (if betting is legal in your state) to place that same $100 bet on the Red Sox but instead of fronting the money $100 of your $2,000 credit would just be on hold. If you win then that hold is removed and $100 is added to your account. BOOM!

If you don't pay your local bookie - he has to chase you down. If you don't pay your MGM Visa card - then the interest just keeps accruing. A legal debt. The vigorish on credit card interest is actually probably more than the vig on the actual bets. Plus the card vendor makes 1-2% on any purchases made with that credit card too!

Card issuers can also have rewards programs geared specifically to gamblers. Points could be earned both for normal purchases and for bets made. Frequent flyer points but for bettors. Maybe throw in a "free" 5-team $5 parlay once in a while or something creative like that. Maybe partner with other companies and have special offers. For example maybe a partnership with StubHub for tickets to your favorite team redeemed through points earned on the card.

Sports betting credit cards are the next big thing in legalized gambling. Write it down.

Jordan Peterson

This short video is in a nutshell why so many love Jordan Peterson's message. And it is also in a nutshell why so many on the left oppose his message.

Monday, August 06, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

When I saw President Trump's tweet about LeBron James - my honest first thought was that Trump either consciously or unconsciously wants to be a one-term President... God help me but I laughed at this... If Donald Trump ever goes on trial for anything in his life one of the jury pool selection questions will now have to be "Are you a fan of LeBron James?" If the prospective juror says yes then they will be shown the door... Turns out that $32.6 TRILLION cost for Medicare for All over 10-years was a best case scenario. Anyone who argues for this has no idea how the world works... "God will not have his work made manifest by cowards." Ralph Waldo Emerson... For no reason I'm suddenly curious if a reggae version of The Band's Up On Cripple Creek exists... I'm curious how President Trump going after LeBron James polls in Miami and Ohio. Sure it will poll poorly in Akron but what about in Cleveland?...

Linky Links

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

- Am I an awful person for laughing at this?

- Up to 95% of plastic polluting world's oceans come from just 10 rivers. This report is almost a year old but somehow I'm just hearing about it now because dopes in the US want to ban straws.

- Surely I'm an awful person for laughing at this!

- I didn't laugh at this (because it is also something I've wondered about)

- This on the other hand I did laugh at.

- Are you ready for some football?

- Interesting row developing between Saudi Arabia and Canada.

Jocko Willink - Motivation "Good"

This always motivates me. Good!

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Red Sox Magic Number

The Red Sox Magic Number to clinch the AL East is now just 44. And in Boston that number makes you think of Danny Ainge.

Boston fans really have an abundance of riches when it comes to professional sports these days (and for the past two-decades for that matter).

Yankees suck!

Bridge Over Troubled Water - Elvis Presley

Before there was the Lemmonheads covering Mrs. Robinson.

Before there was Disturbed covering The Sound of Silence.

There was the King covering Bridge Over Troubled Waters.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

Maybe the Only Day You'll Find Me Rooting for the Denver Broncos

A good cause.

Linky Links

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

- The story of how the Obama Administration blatantly lied about the status of our battle against Al Qaeda, Iran and a whole host of other serious issues makes me mad. And the media knew. They knew.

- On a lighter note - here's the story of how the Choco Taco came to be.

- String theory may create far fewer universes than thought. Of course both string theory and the multi-universe idea are both untestable.

- Interesting - America's net oil imports at 14.9% is the lowest it's been in 60-years. The change is largely due to fracking.

- I can't stop watching this. Was that an egg at the end?

- Senator Diane Feinstein employed a spy for the Chinese government for 20-years! How is this not a bigger story?

- This is awesome! Hats off to the person who took the time to do this.

Kurt Vonnegut on the Shape of Stories

Very cool!

Friday, August 03, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

So Roger Goodell reportedly offered to let Tom Brady off for Deflategate if Brady agreed to throw McNally and Jastremski under the bus. Brady refused to ruin the lives of two innocent men. Fuck you Roger Goodell you are a despicable human... Very cool wildlife photos.... Is it just me or does it seem that CNN's Jim Acosta actually creates more content for Fox News than for his own network?... And speaking of Brady - today in an obvious attempt to troll the media President Trump will announce he's changing the name of the James Brady Press Briefing Room to the Tom Brady Press Briefing Room of Excellence in honor of Trump's favorite QB's birthday... New eye drops could repair corneas and make eye glasses a thing of the past... Can it be argued that e-evidence will follow existing extradition treaties? If so I'd look to countries that don't have extradition treaties with the US to become cloud service hotspots...

Linky Links

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

- Well Vermont isn't a real state - "true" single payer healthcare has yet to be tried. [Sarcasm off]

- Interesting - how legal pot actually made things worse for people who need medical marijuana in Oregon.

- A look at some of the issues facing law enforcement in the Internet age and new laws that try to deal with those issues.

- Charlie Munger's one way to make progress

- Royal crown jewels stolen in Sweden. How little security seems to have been in place for priceless artifacts.

- Canadian VHS era pop culture icon Troy Hurtubise passes.  I had never heard of Troy so out of curiosity I watched Project Grizzly on YouTube. Couldn't shake the idea that it was actually one long extended Kids in the Hall sketch except it was a real thing.

- Not all heroes wear capes!

Happy Birthday to the GOAT

Happy 41st birthday to Tom Brady the best to ever play the game.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Flotsam and Jetsam

Miscellaneous thoughts and observations.

If I were a programmer my coder name would be "Biatus" and any time I hacked a system I'd leave a note "Hack from Biatus" (I have a very low bar on what I find amusing)... Interesting? Scary? The "Buffett Indicator" and why it says a market correction may be due... Still disappointed that when Burger King and Canada's Tim Horton's merged they didn't call the new company Burger Horton's... Interesting - an argument that Ken Burns PBS series on Vietnam wasn't as impartial as it claimed to be... If I ran an Artificial Intelligence company I'd call it A.I. Davis and have my "Siri" voice be that of the late Raiders owner... "The game of life is the game of everlasting learning. At least it is if you want to win." Charlie Munger... Have no idea why the Bruins have waited this long to retire Rick Middleton's number 16. And a reminder why they called him Nifty...

World Famous Detective

I have a soft spot for the movie Murder on the Orient Express. Even though I've seen the movie about 20-times there's one piece of language that gets me thinking every time. 

In the movie - when people first hear the name Hercule Poirot - the reaction is the same. They all ask "The world famous detective?" That always gets me thinking. Is there such a thing as a world famous detective? I've racked my brain and I cannot think of a single one - not past nor present. 

Maybe its just me but that realization strikes me that vampires are probably closer to reality than characters like Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes.

Oh and don't watch the remake of Murder on the Orient Express - it's shit!

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Giving Things Up

I can't recall when or why I decided to do it but sometime in January I decided that I would give up beer for the month of February. No it wasn't a Lent related thing. I just decided I was probably drinking too much and for me giving up beer pretty much meant giving up alcohol for the month.

There were just a couple of times when I was out to eat with others and allowed myself a glass or two of red wine. But other than that it really wasn't that hard. When out watching a game or playing cards with friends they'd ask why I was doing it and I'd say, "Just because" then joke that I picked February because it was the shortest month.

I didn't give up anything for March since it's my birthday month and I had a trip planned for Santa Monica and the Pacific Coast Highway with my girlfriend. I wanted my full range of vices available to me. Which was nice.

For April I decided to try and give up porn. I really did try but damn it... Well let's just say I was much more successful giving up other things.

In May I gave up Keno. No problem. And I've only played Keno once since. It is a waste of money and even if you say "I'm just doing it for the entertainment value" it's a losing proposition. Now even the thought of it makes me feel like a loser. (Though I still may have those Professional Keno Player business cards printed up as a joke.)

Coffee was next. My pot of coffee habit in the morning and two large Dunkin coffees for any long drive had long been a staple of my existence. The headaches were tough in the first week and a half and my energy levels dropped for about the same amount of time but I stuck to just one large hot tea in the morning (Irish Breakfast Blend) and by the end of the month of June I wasn't really missing coffee at all. Just like beer - I've gone back to drinking coffee but the amount has been drastically cut down and now any given morning it is 50/50 whether it's coffee or tea in my morning cuppa.

July I gave up betting on sports. Like giving up alcohol in February because it is the shortest month - I justified giving up placing bets because there's only really baseball in July. Both the NBA and NHL are done and football is still a couple months away. No problem. (Giving up sports betting during football season would be different but hey let's not get carried away here.)

For August I plan to give up eating.

Maybe I should clarify. I plan to have two 24-hour fasts on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. I hope to make this a permanent habit if possible. I've already started intermittent fasting based upon some of the health based podcasts I've listened to. Now I try to eat only between the hours of 9 AM and 7 PM. Between 7 PM and 9 AM just water. I've already experienced some benefits (lost 6 pounds) and am curious about adding in a couple 24-hour fasts into the regular mix.

Not sure what I'll give up for September yet but I like this giving things up deal. Maybe soon it will be time to go on a add things in kick. Trying to do something for 30-days straight is supposed to be the easiest way to create a lasting habit.

Anyway just thought I'd share. Try giving things up yourself. What do you have to lose?

History of the Earth

Love illustrations like this.